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To Shut Down the Surveillance State, We Must End the IRS By Mark Adams

Written by Subject: Government Waste
To Shut Down the Surveillance State, We Must End the IRS By Mark Adams 
 
Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has earned plaudits from civil libertarians for launching a class action lawsuit to roll back the National Security Agency’s snoop-fetish spying program. Owing to the heroic disclosures of former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden, the public is becoming aware that everything we say over the telephone, or write online, is subject to scrutiny by the spy agency.

Edward Snowden was not the first to warn us.

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive NSA and, like Snowden, a whistleblower. He, along with other NSA top-level employees, went public to warn Americans that the NSA is dangerously out of control.

In swift retaliation the government set out to destroy him.

Here’s the time-honored blueprint of tyrants:

First, demonize the targeted victim. Mr. Drake was fired from the NSA. Left with no source of income, he was blackballed from finding gainful employment.

Second, assign a team of government - paid lawyers to rack up a list of felonies that cumulatively add up to a long prison sentence.  The government charged Mr. Drake with violation of the Espionage Act, among other felonies including: 5 counts of willful retention of national defense information, 1 count of obstructing justice, and 4 counts of making a false statement.

Third, throw the victim behind bars. Mr. Drake was arrested at his home. While taking a shower he was startled to have the shower curtain pulled back only to find a loaded pistol pointed at his head by a gun - slinging FBI agent.

In early June 2012, a few days after broadcast of a 60 Minutes episode regarding the Drake case, the government dropped all of the charges against Thomas Drake except one - a misdemeanor of misusing the agency’s computer system. By this time Mr. Drake was financially devastated and agreed to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge.

At the July sentencing hearing the presiding judge, Richard D. Bennett of the Federal District Court, bitterly denounced that it was “unconscionable" for the government to charge a defendant with a list of serious crimes that could have resulted in 35 years in prison only to drop all of the major charges on the eve of trial.

 

Snowden was aware of the treatment inflicted on Drake. This is why he fled the country he had loved, and a life he enjoyed, into exile abroad. And over the past several months, current and former intelligence officials have called for Snowden to be executed – following a Soviet-style show trial, if possible, but extra-judicially, if necessary. One intelligence agent actually suggested that Snowden could be murdered by the CIA employing the same poisoning method the KGB had used to kill Bulgarian dissident Georgia Markov in the late 1970s.

The story of Thomas Drake was a warning to Snowden – but also to the rest of us, because it reveals the deeply laid connections between the NSA and other elements of the Regime that threaten the public at large.  

Included in the wolf-pack of government entities that sought to destroy Mr. Drake is the “Public Integrity” Section of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Two years ago, it was revealed that the “Public Integrity Section” of DOJ framed the late Senator Ted Stevens. As reported by Jerry Seper in the March 2012 issue of the Washington Times, DOJ prosecutor William M. Welch II, who had previously been charged with contempt and removed from the Senator Ted Stevens case, was assigned to be the government's Senior Litigation Counsel when they were gunning for Thomas Drake – a case that was so badly flawed it totally collapsed on the eve of trial.

This isn’t the first time that the “Public Integrity Section” of the DOJ targeted a Congressman for destruction. Nor is the NSA the only secretive three-letter federal agency conducting widespread spying operations that target the American public.

On April 26, 1982, Idaho Republican Congressman George Hansen presented what he called “litigation-proof” evidence to the House Ways & Means Committee that IRS spying was so massive in scope and so pervasive, that their electronic spying racket had to be carried out “with the aid and cooperation of the National Security Agency.”

What could be more ominous than the NSA collaborating with the IRS to conduct surveillance of the American population? One answer to that question is: The “Justice” Department acting as an enforcer to punish conscientious public officials who reveal those unconstitutional initiatives.

Shortly after Rep. Hansen presented that evidence to Congress, he was charged with multiple felonies by -- that’s right: the “Public Integrity Section” of the DOJ.

Justice Department attorneys Reid Weingarten and James Cole concocted a criminal prosecution of Congressman Hansen and sent him to prison with a whooping $40,000 fine.

Ten long years later Congressman Hansen’s conviction was overturned and the government had to reimburse the $40,000. But by then it was too late: he lost his congressional seat and his home – it was sold in order to pay the $40,000 fine. Like dissidents in the Soviet Union, George Hansen was a political prisoner – and his health deteriorated dramatically during his unjust and vindictive incarceration.

While the IRS has been a blight on our country for roughly a century, it was radicalized into stark brutality under the reign of Lyndon Johnson. Over the decades there have been no fewer than 25 congressional investigations that probed nation-wide, rampant abuse that the public has now come to expect from this lawless agency.

Republican Congressmen Dave Camp at the Ways & Means Committee and Darrell Issa at Oversight have been trying to investigate the IRS but have been stonewalled at almost every turn. Ironically – or perhaps predictably – the effort to expose wrongdoing within the agency, and to hold the responsible parties accountable, have been stymied by “respectable” elements within the Republican Party leadership, who are facing a long-overdue challenge from younger and libertarian-oriented activists.

The Old Guard on both sides of the aisle want to protect the IRS precisely because it is invaluable as a way of punishing those who threaten their position – and intimidating others who might be tempted to do likewise.

Think of the spectacle of Lois Lerner invoke the Fifth Amendment when summoned to testify before Congress regarding the agency’s illegal targeting of conservative activists.

Now consider this: Everything the IRS does requires that Americans incriminate themselves. The IRS maintains its own “tax court” system in which the accused are presumed guilty, and deprived of indispensable due process protections.

This is the agency that will provide the punitive muscle behind the corporatist power-grab called “ObamaCare.”

The problem isn’t that the IRS has become corrupt. The problem is its very existence. Given that the agency is acquiring the power to inflict literal life-and-death decisions on Americans, it’s clear that if we don’t end the IRS, the IRS will soon be the end of us.

 


1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Anon Commenter
Entered on:

The IRS is the sister organization to the so-called "Federal" "Reserve" Banks.  Both organizations are UNCONSTITUTIONAL. 


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