The United States Department of Justice delivered a very clear and unfortunate message on Friday:
“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism. While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country.”
These remarks were released by the US Attorney’s office in the western district of North Carolina following the conviction of one Bernard von NotHaus, the creator of the ill-fated Liberty Dollar.
As you likely recall from a few years ago, Liberty Dollars were privately minted gold and silver rounds. Paper certificates, akin to warehouse receipts were also issued, effectively giving the bearer a right to claim a certain amount of gold or silver at the group’s warehouse in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
This is traditionally how the system of money used to function– precious metals would be stored in private, secure storage facilities, and paper certificates were issued as a medium of exchange that entitled the bearer to redeem metal from the vault. Liberty Dollars represented a return to that system.
Clearly, the Justice Department feels otherwise… instead viewing these silver rounds as an attempt by terrorists to undermine the US dollar.
Interesting choice of words. Undermine? “verb [transitive]. to erode the base or foundation of something. to damage or weaken, especially gradually. ”
Funny, this sounds a lot more like quantitative easing than anything else. Ben Bernanke, in creating trillions of new dollars and debasing the value thereof, is guilty of the same insidious acts, and similarly, he represents a clear and present danger to the economic stability of the United States.
Somehow, though, I doubt that Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano or Attorney General Eric Holder will end up labeling Mr. Bernanke as a domestic terrorist.
Von NotHaus faces up to 15 years in prison on one count and 5 years on two others. Punitively, this is more serious than engaging in female genital mutilation (5-years, section 116 of Title 18, US Code), certain types of assault (as little as six months, section 113), or, ironically, bank robbery (10-years, section 2113b).
The US government obviously has its priorities straight.
As for the total amount of Von NotHaus’ gold and silver booty? A whopping $7 million, roughly .000083% of Bernanke’s $8.4 trillion money supply. Von NotHaus was so insignificant he wasn’t even in the ballpark of a rounding error. By definition, this couldn’t possibly constitute a danger to the economy.
Realistically, the government’s 6-year effort to bring him down had one single purpose: to send a message. Uncle Sam is telling us very clearly, “You WILL use our rapidly depreciating dollars… and anything we don’t like in our sole discretion, we will label as domestic terrorism.”
If safeguarding the purchasing power of savings is considered domestic terrorism, what else is considered terrorism? I think this also begs the question of whether gold and silver confiscation is on the table… I’d love to hear your thoughts.