GATA issues worldwide press release on Treasury Dept. correspondence
- Treasury Department Claims Power to Seize
Gold, Silver -- and Everything Else, GATA Says
GATA Press Release via Business Wire
Monday August 22, 2005
The U.S. Government has the authority to prohibit the private
possession of gold and silver coin and bullion by U.S. citizens
during wartime, and, during wartime and declared emergencies, to
freeze their ownership of shares of mining companies, the Treasury
Department has told the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee.
But gold and silver owners aren't alone in such jeopardy. For the
U.S. Government claims the authority in declared emergencies to
seize or freeze just about everything else that might be considered
a financial instrument.
The Treasury Department's assertions came in a letter to GATA dated
August 12 and written by Sean M. Thornton, chief counsel for the
department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, who replied to
questions GATA posed to the department in January. It took GATA six
months and some prodding to get answers from the Treasury, but the
Treasury's reply, when it came, was remarkably comprehensive and
The government's authority to interfere with the ownership of gold,
silver, and mining shares arises, Thornton wrote, from the Trading
With the Enemy Act, which became law in 1917 during World War I and
applies during declared wars, and from 1977's International
Emergency Economic Powers Act, which can be applied without declared
While the Trading With the Enemy Act authorizes the government to
interfere with the ownership of gold and silver particularly, it
also applies to all forms of currency and all securities. So the
Treasury official stressed in his letter to GATA that the act could
be applied not just to shares of gold and silver mining companies
but to the shares of all companies in which there is a foreign
Further, there is no requirement in the law that the targets of the
government's interference must have some connection to the declared
enemies of the United States, nor even some connection to foreign
ownership. Anything that can be construed as a financial instrument,
no matter how innocently it has been used, is subject to seizure
under the Trading With the Enemy Act and the International Emergency
Economic Powers Act.
Having just gone through a controversy about a Supreme Court
decision about government's power of eminent domain, most Americans
may be surprised to learn that the Trading With the Enemy Act and
the International Emergency Economic Powers Act could expropriate
them instantly and far more broadly without any of the due process
extended to parties in eminent domain cases. All that is needed is a
presidential proclamation of an emergency of some kind -- and of
course Americans lately have been living in a state of perpetual
When the Trading With the Enemy Act was passed in 1917, gold and
silver formed part of the official currency of the United States and
were essential to ordinary commerce, so perhaps an argument could be
made then against "hoarding," even if "hoarding" could not be well
defined. That is no longer the case; the United States has
officially disavowed gold and silver as money and they no longer
have a meaningful role in commerce. (GATA is working on that.) So
gold and silver investors may want to ask their members of Congress
to seek repeal of the statutes that give the government the
authority to interfere with the private ownership of gold and
silver, emergencies or not.
And ordinary citizens with no particular interest in gold and silver
may want to ask their members of Congress to reconsider these
statutes simply for being wildly tyrannical.
GATA's correspondence with the Treasury Department is posted on the
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RECOMMENDED INTERNET SITES
FOR DAILY MONITORING OF GOLD
AND PRECIOUS METALS
NEWS AND ANALYSIS
(Korelin Business Report -- audio)
Eagle Ranch discussion site:
Ted Butler silver commentary archive:
COIN AND PRECIOUS METALS DEALERS
WHO HAVE SUPPORTED GATA
AND BEEN RECOMMENDED
BY OUR MEMBERS
Blanchard & Co. Inc.
909 Poydras St., Suite 1900
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Centennial Precious Metals
3033 East First Ave., Suite 807
Denver, Colorado 80206
Michael Kosares, Proprietor
222 South 5th St.
Montrose, Colorado 81401
Don Stott, Proprietor
El Dorado Discount Gold
Glendale, Arizona 85316
Harvey Gordin, President
Gold & Silver Investments Ltd.
37 Adelaide Rd
+353 1 2315260/6
Fax: +353 1 2315202
Investment Rarities Inc.
7850 Metro Parkway
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Greg Westgaard, Sales Manager
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178 West Service Road
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620 Cathcart, Suite 900
Montreal, Quebec H3B 1M1
Lee Certified Coins
P.O. Box 1045
454 Daniel Webster Highway
Merrimack, New Hampshire 03054
Ed Lee, Proprietor
Lone Star Silver Exchange
1702 S. Highway 121
Lewisville, Texas 75067
Miles Franklin Ltd.
3015 Ottawa Ave. South
St. Louis Park, Minn. 55416
1-800-822-8080 / 952-929-1129
Contacts: David Schectman,
Andy Schectman, and Bob Sichel
Missouri Coin Co.
11742 Manchester Road
St. Louis, MO 63131-4614
Resource Consultants Inc.
6139 South Rural Road
Tempe, Arizona 85283-2929
Pat Gorman, Proprietor
Swiss America Trading Corp.
15018 North Tatum Blvd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Dr. Fred I. Goldstein, Senior Broker
Westpoint, Tennessee 38486
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