“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.
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.
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
Buford Pusser soon learned that justice comes at a price that few are
willing to pay. In his quest for “justice for all,” several attempts
were made on his life by those in power. Some attempts nearly succeeded.
Others had sad consequences. His wife of just 7 years at the time,
Pauline, was murdered on August 12, 1967 in an assassination attempt
meant for him. The killer, although identified by Pusser, was never
brought to justice.
Men of nearly unfathomable hubris and defiance not only to a system
of laws, but to the people they enslaved by their illegal actions, ran
roughshod over Pusser and continue unabated today. Has the template of
injustice and oppression changed over the years? It indeed has… it has
been consolidated and refined. Some things, however, don’t change. Some
techniques continue to work because we allow them to work, either
because of fear, general malaise by a self-absorbed populace, or the
feeling that we cannot make a difference. Again, it seems that some
things don’t change.
On the hot August night of August 21, 1974, Buford Pusser’s life came
to a tragic end in a manner that just might ring a familiar bell—a
ringing that continues today. Following an appearance at the county fair
that evening, Pusser was returning home as the driver and sole occupant
of his car when inexplicably, he slammed into an embankment at a high
rate of speed. The force was so great that Pusser was ejected from his
vehicle and, of course, the car burst into flames, leaving nothing but a
pile of twisted metal and shouldering embers that prevented any
forensic analysis of the vehicle for signs of tampering. Is any of this
You can find for yourself the tales associated with the final hours
of Buford Pusser’s life, including allegations that he was drunk at the
time of the crash, although there was no autopsy ordered or performed.
Interestingly enough, the Tennessee State Trooper who led the
investigation of the crash and Pusser’s death, Paul Ervin, later became
the sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee.
I believe that the print space devoted to Buford Pusser is necessary
against the backdrop of the injustice we are seeing today. Like Buford
Pusser, the very people who are attempting to expose the rampant
corruption within our own government are themselves being targeted by
the people in power. We are being systematically victimized by an
all-powerful, out-of-control tyrannical system where, like the former
Lucky Spot in McNairy County, Tennessee, all of the games are rigged and
the house always wins, and wins big. Like Jon Corzine big, as it was
just announced that the former New Jersey governor and former CEO of
Goldman Sachs and MF Global will not face any criminal charges for his
role in $1.6 billion of missing, segregated customer money that led to
the demise of MF Global and ruined the lives of countless
families—members of the unwashed masses. Can’t people see that “every
game in the house” is rigged, and the people in power are laughing at
The story of Buford Pusser, however, has never been as personal to me
as it is today. Having seen the film in the theater shortly after its
release, I can recall my disgust as a young man at the injustice
portrayed in the film, and the resistance to the efforts of Buford
Pusser. While I certainly make no claims being akin to his real-life
persona, I understand his passionate outrage at the injustice he saw and
personally experienced and wanted so badly to correct. I, too am
outraged, and you should be as well.
Considering that the whole system is rigged, are we not all victims,
or prospective victims like Pusser as he attempted to expose and root
out corruption in the county where he lived? Like Pusser, what do we do
when there is no one or no agency to right the wrongs, or even to
consider our grievances?
The surveillance state
In the grand scheme of things, I am no one special. In the files of
the NSA, however, I am File Number 70900. And as an American citizen, I
apparently pose a national security threat due to questions no one wants
to answer, and to corruption few wish to expose.
It was made clear to a FOIA request made on my behalf by my Canada Free Press colleague Marinka Peschmann
that the National Security Agency can do whatever they damn well please
to me and by extension, to you and anyone else with impunity and under
the cover of darkness by executive order 13526 signed by Barack Hussein
Obama on December 29, 2009. How’s that for the promise of transparency?
Regardless of what you think of Edward Snowden, he exposed an
unchecked surveillance apparatus that violates our Constitutional rights
and civil liberties. It is that very apparatus that has created a web
designed to ensnare anyone seeking the truth about the surveillance
process and those behind it. It has been deliberately turned upon those
who dare to expose the truth about what is really taking place in
America today, and what is being planned for tomorrow.
It was just two days ago that a fellow journalist told me that he
would no longer talk to me, as I have now become “toxic” by my presence
on the radar of the federal government. The very fact that the NSA is
not only collecting information, but content, is having
a chilling effect on those of us seeking to expose corruption and
provide the truth to the American public. You see, it’s not about
metadata and other innocuous sounding information. That’s the cover for
what’s truly taking place, which is identifying anyone who does not wish
to go along with the agenda of those in power. You are being lied to,
and no one in the press is questioning the lies, save for a few.
We must not allow this process that is contrary to our Constitution
to continue. With no one in congress challenging the legalities of the
Executive Orders, the trampling of our rights as American citizens, and a
Justice Department that is clearly in the back pocket of the Executive
Branch, to whom do we turn? Shall we write our congressmen, or patiently
wait for a “regime” change? How’s that been working for us?
Perhaps justice will not be of this world, as suggested in the words
of Thomas Jefferson. “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God
is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
For me, File Number 70900, I will continue my quest for the truth and
to expose the corruption and depraved indifference of those in power. I
merely ask that you do the same. And pray.