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The IRS Claims New Patriot Act Type Powers to Punish Political Dissenters

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  • Robert R. Raymond
    The IRS Claims New Patriot Act Type Powers to Punish Political Dissenters by Robert R. Raymond November 28,2003 In a precendent-setting case, the IRS wielded
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2003
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      The IRS Claims New Patriot Act Type Powers to Punish Political Dissenters

      by Robert R. Raymond
      November 28,2003

      In a precendent-setting case, the IRS wielded new power to punish the
      political speech of those who "espouse views" the government considers
      "inconsistent" with government-held beliefs. In a hearing originally closed
      to the public in a secret tribunal on a military island, but moved to a
      public location after protests from the press and the public, the IRS wants
      to wield this power against a former IRS whistleblower, who was forced to
      resign upon his discovery of fraud in the agency. After monitoring and
      taping the whistleblower's appearances on Sixty Minutes, talk radio shows,
      and political publications where he rebroadcast his findings of IRS fraud,
      the IRS initiated this inquisition against their former whistleblower. This
      new power may find new political targets soon enough.

      The IRS, through the small office of "Director of Practice," claims the
      authority to wield carte blanche authority over all the other powers of
      government -- the authority to monitor, surveil, and eavesdrop on political
      dissenters, the authority to pry into the private financial records of
      banks, businesses, and taxpayers, the authority to conduct secret
      investigations under a criminal grand jury, and the authority to censure
      political dissenters by branding on them a badge of infamy and stripping
      them of governmentally-protected licenses. In short, under the guise of a
      "practice" investigation, the IRS claims the right to wield all intrusive
      and invasive powers of government available.

      A "license" to practice before the IRS -- even for people who have never
      requested such a license or actually practiced before the IRS, but are given
      one as a matter of law if they are accountants -- "licenses" the IRS to
      conduct private audits without notice to the taxpayer, confer with criminal
      prosecutors without disclosure, and bring special "disbarment" proceedings
      against disfavored dissenters, even if the alleged "disreputable" conduct
      has nothing to do with any "practice" before the IRS.

      The IRS now claims it can use these so-called "practice" investigations
      of anyone who Congress licenses to practice before the IRS -- regardless of
      whether they actually practice before the IRS -- to surveil the public
      appearances of dissenters, eavesdrop on the political conversations of
      dissenters, benefit from secret grand jury investigations, hold secret
      conferences with the criminal investigators, surreptiously tap the private
      database of taxpayer information, including taxpayers who merely have some
      financial "connection" to the accused, audit the political dissenter's
      personal financial records, and use all this information against the
      dissenter in the "practice" proceeding.

      Under the guise of a "practice" investigation, the IRS can ignore all
      the normal procedural protections against an illicit audit while it conducts
      such an audit. Simultaneously, the IRS can ignore all the legal protections
      afforded a person accused of a crime while conferencing with the people
      conducting a criminal investigation. Indeed, the IRS can even ignore the
      sunshine laws, as the records of such "practice investigation" are exempt
      from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, as are grand jury

      The IRS claims it can exercise this authority in a secret proceeding
      without allowing a person the opportunity to cure any alleged mistakes, the
      opportunity to prepare a defense by knowing the exact facts they are accused
      of, without any opportunity for discovery, without any opportunity to call
      witnesses necessary for their defense, without any opportunity to cross
      examine their accusers, without any opportunity to testify at their own
      hearing about the merits of their position, without being forced to testify
      against themselves without such an assertion being held against them, and
      without even an opportunity for a hearing on the evidence.

      This power of this little office with a Napoleonic vision goes even
      beyond the Patriot Act type authority and stories of FBI monitoring of war

      Too Hoover-ish to be true in modern America? Just read the case of the
      IRS against Joe Banister scheduled for a "hearing" -- a hearing where the
      IRS prohibited Banister from introducing any witnesses or presenting any
      evidence as to his defenses, and even discussing the sincerity, the truth or
      the "reasonableness" of his positions -- on December 1 in the city by the
      bay, in the Tax Court chambers of the federal courthouse in San Francisco.
      History is being made.

      Please forward to any interested parties.

      Joe Banister's web page.


      Robert R. Raymond is the past Independent candidate for the U.S House of
      Representatives for Wisconsin's 5th District in the 2002 elections. A
      political activist for the past eight years, he can be reached by e-mail at
      rr@... . Republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink

      "Silence can be equated with fraud where there is a legal or moral duty to
      speak, or where an inquiry left unanswered would be intentionally
      misleading. . . We cannot condone this shocking behavior by the IRS. Our
      revenue system is based on the good faith of the taxpayer and the taxpayers
      should be able to expect the same from the government in its enforcement and
      collection activities."
      U.S. v. Tweel, 550 F.2d 297, 299. See also U.S. v. Prudden, 424 F.2d 1021,
      1032; Carmine v. Bowen, 64 A. 932.
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