The real world: IRS Thuggery
March 2, 2004
The following statement is from Joseph Banister. His web site is:
This is what every single coward in Congress (except Ron Paul) is allowing to
go on in this Republic.
Vote for one single incumbent in Congress this November?
In a pig's ear would I reward any Republican or Democrat for their continued cowardice
in allowing the IRS to terrorize our people.
I'll write in Jesus on my ballot, but no way will I vote for any offering by the two main
political parties who offer up nothing but liars for hire.
Below this message from Joseph is a piece titled, What Fear is Doing to Our Freedom,
by Gene E. Franchini, a retired chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. It is
excellent and sadly, true.
* * * * * *
March 2, 2004
IRS Reveals "Silence Advocacy Project" -- IRS Looks to Nixon Era Model
For Punishing War Protestors
For those following my continuing battle to expose IRS wrongdoing and the IRS's
attempts to silence and discredit me for doing so, you will recall that on January 23rd, 2004
I submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury a 50 page appeal of Administrative Law
Judge (ALJ) Moran's "Initial Decision" to "disbar" me from "practice" before the IRS.
(www.freedomabovefortune.com, click on "IRS LOCKOUT UPDATE" and scroll
down near the bottom of the document list)
I just received word that the IRS has filed a legal brief replying to my appeal to the
Secretary. I have not yet read the IRS's reply brief but my attorneys say it is truly
startling because the IRS actually admits its true objective - a "Silence Advocacy
Project". That's right...the IRS wants to use the "DOP" (Director of Practice) as a
secret police force to monitor and punish political advocacy. This secret police
force is based on a very similar Nixon-era secret group within the IRS used to punish
war protestors in the late 60s. Is it any surprise that the agency fought so hard to limit
all discovery (my right to learn details about the government's evidence and witnesses)
in the case against me? Is it any surprise that the IRS is desperately fighting my appeal?
The "Silence Advocacy Project" uses the IRS Director of Practice and its little
Hoover-like enforcers such as Mr. David Finz (whom my counselors of law proved
committed perjury in my case) to silence all advocates and advocacy it disfavors.
First, these enforcers monitored my political appearances, then admitted that the referral
of the IRS complaint against me resulted from my talk radio appearances. (Apparently
IRS officials simply can not tolerate one of their former criminal investigators telling
America the truth about the agency's deceitful and illegal practices.)
Where did the IRS acquire the authority to engage in such monitoring of 1st Amendment
activities? Hint - they never acquired such authority - at least not legally. Congress
only allowed the IRS Director of Practice to regulate actual "practice before the IRS".
Are you ready for this? The IRS claims that "practice before the IRS" actually includes
anything involving "preparation" for any kind of "presentation" that might involve a "right"
of a taxpayer. In other words, according to the IRS, all the political rallies a person
attends or speaks at and all private political strategies and efforts are subject to IRS scrutiny.
Can you believe this? And you thought the IRS just collected the income tax "with
integrity and fairness for all" as outlined in the agency's mission statement!
Sprinkle in the new powers of the Patriot Act, and the IRS Director of Practice just
crowned itself the most powerful agency in the federal government, accountable to no
one and with access to all private financial information through its IRS tax and financial
databases, administrative subpoenas and audits outside of normal judicial process,
combined with the power of a secret law enforcement tribunal which can label someone
a "fraud," strip them of their professional livelihood, and set them up for other charges
without ANY access to due process of law or right to confront their accusers!
What about Constitutional restraints? Forget it. The IRS now claims that the right to
"practice" before the IRS is not a "license" at all, so that due process rules do not
apply. (Ironically, the IRS doesn't explain how it can deny someone like me the right
to "practice" before the IRS if the right to "practice" is not a "license" in the first place.)
The IRS says it can ignore what laws it wants, but every client advocate must now
conduct "due diligence" to rat out their client to the agency, stifle public dissent, and
can never disagree with the agency's interpretation.
The IRS has even now admitted that my arguments have been accepted on numerous
occasions by IRS officials, leading to refunds for taxpayers. So why am I being punished?
Because an "advocate" who "practices" before the IRS is expected to follow the opinions
of tax court "judges," though the IRS is free to ignore those opinions as it pleases (such
as when it benefits the IRS, or when it helps a politically connected taxpayer.)
Haven't law-abiding, hard-working Americans put up with this kind of tyranny long enough?
With your prayers and financial support, you have helped me to force these IRS officials
out from the dark recesses of their bureaucracy into the bright light of truth, opening the eyes
of the American public to the fact that the IRS Emperor has no clothes. At every stage of
this process, we can sense IRS officials salivating at the opportunity to discredit and silence
me, but each and every time they have to step into the light and expose themselves and their
Did you know that people around the world are paying close attention to this once quiet case?
I have received inquiries from human rights activists in New Zealand, media requests from
publications with a nationwide readership, and discussion of my case from across the political spectrum. Finally, people are beginning to see how IRS officials stack the deck against them.
In their dealings with the public, these officials profess to be oh so concerned about your rights
and the integrity of the income tax system. When the public isn't looking, however, these
officials have created scheme after scheme to make sure you never prevail against them.
I want to expose and put an end to these schemes and I need your help to do it!
There is no way I could have reached this point without your spiritual and financial support.
My legal team must spend many hours each week evaluating and studying these IRS creatures
and the steps they take, as well as planning how to prevail against the future steps they
may take. The skills and determination of attorneys Robert Barnes and Robert Bernhoft
have been the roaring engine of this effort and you have provided the fuel.
Unfortunately, preparation of the 50 page appeal and related work up to this point has
caused the tank to get a little low on fuel. I need you to help me send the IRS a nice
loud message about its "Silence Advocacy Project" and other schemes we will be
uncovering as we continue to litigate this case.
I need your help to fully expose the rest of the contents of the bag of dirty tricks
carried around in the back pockets of these IRS officials. The tide is turning.
Your help made this possible -- you helped us force the IRS to expose its true agenda,
and we will keep smoking them out, creating even more world-wide attention to be
paid to this case. I believe there may be more shocking new evidence coming forth
soon about ALJ Moran's conduct in this matter, but I need your help to cover the
costs of this process. As many of you know, I made many personal and professional
sacrifices to fight for this cause because my faith prohibits me from bearing false witness
against my neighbor and because I promised to support and defend the Constitution -
and I keep my promises. Your continuing prayers and contributions keep this fight alive.
Donation information can be found by visiting www.freedomabovefortune.com and clicking
on "IRS LOCKOUT UPDATE". Recurring donations, even in smaller amounts, would
be greatly appreciated.
Donations can be sent to Joseph R. Banister in care of Freedom Above Fortune,
P.O. Box 90239, San Jose, California 95109-4239.
My sincere gratitude to each and every one of you who have helped me in the past and
to those who will continue to help in the future. Thank you very much.
Joseph R. (Joe) Banister, C.P.A.
Former IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent
For those who are unfamiliar with what has transpired to date in this case, please visit www.freedomabovefortune.com and click on "IRS LOCKOUT UPDATE" or visit http://joebanister.blogspot.com/.
My sincere thanks to those who have prayed for the success of our efforts and contributed
to my defense fund. Your continued financial support is enabling me to illustrate, in detail
and in a very public manner, that the IRS does not prevail against citizens because the
agency adheres to the rule of law, but that the IRS prevails against citizens because the
agency ignores the law and overwhelms the citizen with economic and legal burdens.
In a school yard, such tactics are called "BULLYING". In a government setting, such
tactics are called TYRANNY. This effort is the equivalent of ganging up on the bully
and sending him to reform school where he belongs.
* * * * *
From retired New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice, Gene E. Franchini:
What fear is doing to our freedomsAmericans, willingly - and foolishly - are sacrificing their rights in exchange for safety from
terrorism, today's writer says. Here is the text of his speech at the New Mexico Foundation
for Open Government's annual William S. Dixon First Amendment Awards.
TODAY'S BYLINE: Franchini is a retired chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Franchini gave his speech during the awards dinner Sept. 12 in Albuquerque.
By Gene E. Franchini
"For the next few minutes, I would like to speak with you about a subject which I'm
sure every New Mexico Foundation for Open Government member cherishes . . . "the
public's right to know." I'd like to discuss with you what that phrase means to me.
"Secrecy in a democratic government is the antithesis to all that a representative
democracy stands for. It keeps the people in the dark and destroys any opportunity
they may have to speak out for or against any governmental action.
"When access to governmental activity is denied or restricted in any way, and access
to the opportunity to observe that activity is stopped, democracy dies. It's just that simple.
For, if this is truly a country of, by and for the people, then the people must be informed,
if they are expected to act. The people have the right to know.
"But what is it that we, the people, have the right to know?
"Certainly, we have the right and need to know the truth - what's really going on.
We have the right and need to know the true facts about governmental activity. We also
have the right to demand that.
"But, unfortunately, we usually don't. The dark space between ignorance and knowledge
more often than not is filled in this day of instant communication with stories, spins and
opinions of those with no knowledge or expertise and out-and-out misdirections and
"Do we have a right to know misdirections and fabrications? I believe that we
actually have a right not to. This organization's main interest should be a continuing
battle to have access to all areas of governmental action and to expose, when they
recognize it, the stories, spins, misdirections and opinions without basis for what they
are and what they create - the illusion that the people really know what's going on,
when they really don't.
"In this time of instant communication, it can be most difficult to separate the wheat
from the sheaf. More often than not, I'm afraid, the separation is made for us by others,
and the sheaf is what is usually distributed.
"The foundation's mission becomes more difficult, because, if the sheaf is distributed
and emphasized, rather than the truth, it's usually too late to do anything about it, once
we recognize it for what it is. What's worse, it is a violation of the Foundation for Open
Government's most basic principle. The public's right to know becomes the public's
right to know nothing.
"Another more destructive form of deception today is the selling of fear. Fear is
the most debilitating of all human emotions. A fearful person will do anything, say
anything, accept anything, reject anything, if it makes him feel more secure for his
own, his family's or his country's security and safety, whether it actually accomplishes
it or not.
"It works like a charm. A fearful people are the easiest to govern. Their freedom
and liberty can be taken away, and they can be convinced to believe that it was
done for their own good - to give them security. They can be convinced to give
up their liberty - voluntarily.
"Recently, the passage of the USA Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act
have resulted in the most direct attacks on the Bill of Rights that I have seen in my lifetime.
These acts were passed without any meaningful opposition and still have considerable
"The USA Patriots Act is an acronym for "Uniting and Strengthening America
by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism."
"The way that government is going to be provided with these "appropriate tools"
is to "temporarily" suspend or eliminate as much of our Constitution and its Bill of Rights
as it can, without court oversight or intervention, so that we will not be at a disadvantage
in the war against terrorism. That's the idea.
"Think about that for a minute, and then ask yourself: Why in the world would we
voluntarily do to ourselves that which our enemies over the last 200-plus years have
not been able to do to us by force? Why would we be so willing to give up our
God-given rights that have been verbalized in our Constitution, when we have fought
so hard to preserve them?
"It almost boggles the mind, when one considers what fear for one's safety and
security can accomplish. These bipartisan, virtually unopposed, legislative, governmental
actions are saying to us, "If you temporarily give up some of your liberty and freedom
now, you will be made more secure in the future."
"That, my friends, is a terrible lie. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, "One who
trades his freedoms for security, deserves neither." I might add that person will
finally lose both.
"The people have a right to know what their government intends to do about
the war on terrorism, and that includes all of its branches - including the judicial
"In a time of war, actual or threatened, our courts have, in my opinion, repeatedly
abdicated their function of equally interpreting and applying the Constitution, bowing
instead to "national security."
"The most horrible example was when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the
internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War, because the
government claimed they were a security threat. It took Congress some 50 years to
attempt to rectify that horrible opinion.
"Did we learn anything? I'm afraid not. Today, with this unending war on terrorism,
our government has taken steps again to radically infringe upon the right to counsel,
reasonable search and seizure, the right to a speedy and fair trial, and other
fundamental liberties, for fear of losing our security.
"We can hope that, eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court will subject these infringements
to real constitutional scrutiny. Unfortunately, the courts have historically yielded to
wartime fears and claims that our security interests would be jeopardized. Those prior
wars ended before long and, when they did, the country regretted the fact that it had
abandoned the Constitution, even temporarily.
"The war on terrorism is different. It's a war on an old idea - one that has been
used for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is a horribly destructive idea, but
history has shown that you can't kill an idea, however horrible, by killing those who
have it. You kill or replace an idea only by coming up with a better one. So far, we
haven't really tried to come up with a better one.
"No one can even guess how long this war will last. In the meantime, Americans,
as well as aliens, have been harshly affected by governmental measures after 9-11.
"The attorney general of the United States had more than 1,000 aliens detained,
keeping their names and locations secret. There are over 600 left at Guantanamo
in Cuba. He ordered many deportation hearings in secret. He required visitors
from 25 countries, mostly Muslims, to register with the government; and, if they
didn't within 40 days, they were subject to arrest, detention and deportation -
no public trials, no lawyers - all in secret, in the name of preserving security.
"For example, one American citizen, Yasser Hamdi, was found under unexplained
circumstances on a battlefield in Afghanistan. He was classified as an "enemy combatant,"
a new term which the government created to give it the power to seize and hold
American citizens indefinitely, without counsel or trial, and without any effective
review by the courts. He was totally isolated and not allowed to see a lawyer.
He was not charged with any crime.
"However difficult, lawyers came forward and were eventually allowed to
defend Hamdi. They immediately challenged his detention on constitutional grounds -
specifically, that this American was denied his right to counsel, his right to know
the charges against him, the right to face his accusers, and his right to a fair and
"The federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped the Constitution and
ignored Hamdi's constitutional rights as an American. Its holding: "The defendant,
an American citizen, classified as an `enemy combatant,' does not have a constitutional
right to counsel or trial, because `Mr. Hamdi was not being prosecuted.'"
"The government, therefore, can impose solitary confinement indefinitely, by simply
avoiding charging the defendant and giving such a defendant a lawyer or a trial. If this
isn't a violation of the Sixth Amendment, Hamdi at least has certainly been deprived
of liberty without due process of law.
"James Madison, the principal author of the Bill of Rights, must be spinning in his grave.
Most Americans would be shocked, I think, if they realized that they could be classified
as an "enemy combatant," taken off the street, imprisoned indefinitely and not be
given the opportunity to call a lawyer. But you can, my friends. At least one federal
appellate court has established that precedent.
"Since 1990, (the Foundation for Open Government) has had a single mission: to
help the general public, students, educators, public officials, media and legal professionals
understand, obtain and exercise First Amendment rights, as well as their rights under the
New Mexico Open Meetings Act and Federal Freedom of Information Act.
"The First Amendment is most important, or it would not have been the first. But
please don't forget the other nine, which, together with the first, compose the Bill of Rights,
the foundation of this nation's greatness and the real source of our security.
"If the present situation lasts for a generation, as well it may, together with its formidable
and direct attempt to restrict or eliminate the Bill of Rights in the name of security, then
the next generation may not remember what their rights were.
"There won't be anyone around to remember them or remind the next generation
what they were. They may say that they eliminated or restricted them for your own
good, and, besides, your forefathers and mothers voluntarily gave a lot of them up
a generation ago.
"So what is the Foundation for Open Government's mission? I think its prime purpose
is to keep the public informed, to keep the government open and to preserve for the
public their right to know. Its mission is to remind the people what has made this nation
the greatest on Earth, especially why they should care, as well as why and how they
can continue to preserve the Constitution and its magnificent Bill of Rights.
"Those first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are the real foundation for
our freedom and liberty, our foundation for real security. It is the fundamental law
which has made us the land of the free and the home of the brave. We have been
that for over 200 years. Let's keep it that way."