Interview 1243 – John Whitehead Dissects Obama’s Legacy

by | Jan 14, 2017 | Interviews | 16 comments

John Whitehead, author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People and founder of The Rutherford Institute joins us to discuss his retrospective of the Obama administration, “We All Lose: Obama’s Legacy and What It Means for a Trump Presidency.”

The Rutherford Institute

We All Lose: Obama’s Legacy and What It Means for a Trump Presidency

In 1995 Joe Biden Basically Wrote The PATRIOT Act


    • Thanks for that, Dacajeweiah. I’m 99% sure that is the study he was referring to but I’ll double check with him and if so I will add the link to the show notes.

  1. John Whitehead helped open my eyes a few years back. His excellent books and The Rutherford Institute caused me to rethink my entire worldview. His was the first non-mainstream media that captured me.


    I noticed this about Trump’s Pentagon nominee…

    Mattis says civilian control of military will prevail…

    “Current law prohibits retired military officers from serving as the civilian head of the Pentagon for at least seven years after they leave service.

    Since Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013, he will require a special waiver passed by both houses of Congress.

    The only exception made since the establishment of the Department of Defense in 1947 was for retired Gen. George Marshall in 1950.

    Mattis’ nomination and the separate waiver are expected to garner bipartisan support in the Senate and House.”

    Unusual has become a unstable concept but do others find this a bit spooky? In practical terms I suppose there will be no difference but it’s just the idea of the waiver that seems troubling.

    And of course, he is endorsing Russia as the US’s new best enemy.

    • Mattis didn’t retire. He was “retired”. Obama’s civilian operatives tired of his habit of questioning whether they had thought through the consequences of their war plans. He was retired for entirely opposite characteristics of the “mad dog” nickname being blown up for scary effect.

      • Oh, I was not aware of this conflict. I do know many ranking military members are fully aware that the officials who make the war plans are incompetent. Or appear incompetent. I think the poor planning is often a willful strategy used to keep the wars going. Like, to achieve objectives that would not be possible without the sustained problems caused by “poor planning”.

        I was in the US Army for a decade and the majority of the military population thought the war plans were ludicrous. Military members or not, that is probably obvious to most. The consensus was that military leaders should be the planners. I disagree but there is point to be made for it. (Of course don’t get me wrong here. Ideally any planning would allow us to just stop having wars.)

        All that aside, the retirement circumstances of Mattis are not my point. I think the idea of the waiver in and of itself is part of a weakening of the ability to keep the military in check.

        • Yes, realized your main point – but thought the fact that Mattis was pushed out for his traditional mission-focused mindset would be a plus. Trump’s security advisor Gen. Mike Flynn, also “retired” for being too competent in his military intelligence position and for having the inconvenient notion that intelligence should serve the overall mission objectives and not just narrowly focus on locating take out targets. Forced out by CIA. Decent Politico article: “How Mike Flynn Became America’s Angriest General”. I also remember that world view where this kind of waiver would cause me to take a second look at the situation. That was before the Homeland Security stateside stealth army and the intelligence network expansions came to the point that the DHS Director can issue, independent of not only congress – but even State legislatures – an “I Have Decided” Directive that extends his venue to all elections processes and locations. These more traditional alpha military types with their objective focused mindsets are natural hedges to Chaos = Power + Profit. And these two Generals have proven it by getting “retired”. I’m counting these two as opposing the dark side

          • Oh, I see.

            Well, he obviously won’t cause me to stop advocating agorism anytime soon but he did openly acknowledge that intimidation (failing that, death and destruction) is one of the US’s main power…

            “America has two fundamental powers. One is the power of intimidation. I was part of it and America will defend herself and our idea, this experiment that we call America. And that’s all it is, is an experiment in democracy. But the other power I think that perhaps we have used less in recent years, last 20 years maybe, is the power of inspiration. And I think that the power of inspiration of America at times has got to be employed just as strongly.”

            • Yes, well, at this point I’m more worried about the DHS armed forces stationed among us with zero community or State accountability and answerable only to a Director who has an astonishing expanse of authority in civilian life and who can issue unilateral decisions to expand into more – and again, his own private military to back it up. Who on earth are they recruiting and issuing god knows what equipment to and stationing among us? We won’t have any quotes or interviews from those personnel or commanders anytime soon to fret over the fine points

  2. More John Whitehead please…

    When the fight is done in the courts it means we already lost and we are fighting an uphill battle. We need more John Whitehead’s explaining to us common folk the legalese terms our so called officials will try to push through Congress via bills or *executive order, so we can contact our local representatives to let them know they either need to vote for, block or amend the bill before it becomes law.

  3. Would have to respectfully disagree with the sentiment that G.W. Bush was ever presidential.

    Everything Obama was able to do was because the foundation had been laid by Bush before him, and even Bush just built on what was left by Presidents past. In fact, many items on the list you linked specifically mention things like:

    Supported Bush’s unconstitutional Patriot Act

    Agrees with Bush’s support of unconstitutional, indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without filing any charges

    Defended Bush administration’s unconstitutional, unwarranted use of GPS device

    The list goes on. Not that I’m defending Barry, but the point is, it’s a pretty safe bet that EVERY President from here on out is going to be the WORST President in history, as the facade of the constitutional republic crumbles and the wheels come off…

    • Yep. There is no meaningful difference between one administration and the next. All of the policy examples listed and those like them are progressing as planned irregardless of who is president.

      • I want to add to my above post that my point is only my opinion. It’s not for me to minimize the opinion of others.

      • I would agree with you as well. Hating Bush or Obama is really nonsensical. The elections are just a show. No one makes it through the primaries without being groomed. They know what’s going on. Bush was a smart man; he knew exactly what those people were doing. H.W. and Prescott before him groomed their kids to be sociopaths.

        Obama talks elegantly and the left love him as he drones people to death, passes Romneycare, which only benefits the singly not entirely poor (the very poor were already covered by Medicade) and starts wars with .. wait who are we fighting again? Were we at war with Eurasia or Oceiana? I forget, but whoever it was, we were always at war with them.

        Obama and Bush are no worse than each other. Hillary was just as corrupt as Trump. They are figure heads to take all the hope or hate of a national and keep eyes off the 1% that really dictates policy.

        • Right.

          But it’s weird. I know this. And yet the illusion of power was so ingrained in me I slip back into those thought patterns even still today. I sometimes have to remind myself of new knowledge. Like that governmental power is a gang of thugs who took power arbitrarily.. And then further that all coercion, with good or bad intentions and/or outcomes, is still coercion and in and of itself immoral. I can’t always word all this correctly but you all get it.

          I try to live within the framework of a mini agorist philosophy but can’t get around MUCH of the governmental coercion. But at least I can recognize it and perhaps help pass on the recognition to the next generation.

    • It’s the incremental changes, you see. People fail to realize they’re being shafted if on every following occasion you shaft them just a bit deeper. Ties in with the short attention span.

  4. Wed Jan 18th, 2017 …an unsettled feeling.
    I have an unsettled feeling.
    It seems like there is an acceleration in the Press with its fervent straining to demonize Trump. (I did not vote.)
    Roger Stone says he was poisoned with Polonium.
    Things seem almost more surreal than usual.

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