The surveillance state
By Doug Hagmann Wednesday, July 10, 2013
“If you let them do this to me and get away with it, then you’re giving them the eternal right to do the same damn thing to any one of you!” -Buford Pusser
To a lie, truth is toxic. To the purveyors of lies, truth-tellers are a poisonous threat. To the corrupt men and women of government, exposure of corruption is a serious threat that cannot be permitted to see the light of day.
Those seeking to expose the lies, deceit and corruption by our elected officials or those holding the reins of power are the targets of marginalization, vilification, or worse. I write these words not only under my own name, but with contempt and disgust as an American citizen known to the National Security Agency as FOIA File Number 70900. More precisely, it is the number assigned to my case by the NSA, stemming from my efforts to expose criminal government overreach against every American citizen. I will wear that number as I “walk tall” in my continuous quest for the truth.
Allow me to briefly take you back 40 years, as I believe you will see certain parallels that are perhaps more relevant today than they were then. And those parallels are applicable not just to my situation, but to everyone reading this.
The original film “Walking Tall” was a 1973 movie based on the real life of Buford Pusser, former sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee from 1964-1970. Anyone old enough to remember seeing the movie in theaters will likely recall the plot as well. At 6’6” tall, Pusser was a one-time professional wrestler, although was convinced by his wife Pauline to leave the theater of professional wrestling to return home to McNairy County, Tennessee, a backwoods area located along the northern border of Mississippi to start a business with his father in the lumber industry.
Following his return home, Pusser and a friend visited a well known gambling house known as the Lucky Spot. It was unlucky for Pusser, however, when he became a front line loser after he discovered that the craps game was rigged. His protests resulted in a near fatal stab wound that required 200 stitches. Like any other victim of attempted murder, Pusser complained to the county sheriff, who promptly did nothing and allowed his attackers to remain free and unmolested of any criminal charges.
Undeterred by this lack of official justice, Pusser does his own investigation. He soon learns that not only were the games at the Lucky Spot rigged, the whole system in McNairy County was rigged, and the men in power were corrupt. But who do you complain to when the very men who are supposed to represent law and order are themselves corrupt? Is any of this sounding remotely familiar to today’s federal government?
And so his quest for justice began. Fashioning a club from a tree branch at his family’s lumber mill, Pusser pays a visit to the men who stabbed him and left him for dead. His actions promptly caused the sheriff to arrest Pusser, and a jury trial ensued. It is here that I hope readers will see the relevance to the larger issues of today.
During a jury trial, Pusser represented himself. At one point during the trial, he ripped open his shirt and showed the jury the hideous scar left by the stabbing and the 200 stitches needed to close the near fatal wound. At the same time, he stared at those in the jury box and emphatically stated: “If you let them do this to me and get away with it, then you’re giving them the eternal right to do the same damn thing to any one of you!” Buford Pusser was acquitted of all charges.
Disgusted at the rampant corruption he saw, Pusser ran for the office of sheriff of McNair County Tennessee and became Tennessee’s youngest sheriff ever elected. He vowed to clean up the county, and hit the ground running to do just that.
The cost of justice
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