May 14, 2013
Some days one can’t help but look at the headlines and think of Ayn Rand.
With all the destructive measures by desperate governments from Cyprus to Argentina, it seems sometimes like we’re reading from the pages of her seminal work, Atlas Shrugged.
But what we’re seeing now seems to have far surpassed Atlas Shrugged. We’re definitely into 1984 territory.
We’ve recently learned that the US federal government has (a) secretly tapped the Associated Press’s phone records, and (b) used the nation’s tax authorities to target opposition political groups.
This is the same sort of thing one would expect from Belarus or Azerbaijan. But these sad events are, unfortunately, no longer surprising in the Land of the Free. Nor are they isolated.
One appalling example is the case of Richard Hatch, who I spoke to a few days ago. You may remember that Richard won the first season of the TV series Survivor back in 2000/2001… and the million dollar prize that went along with it.
Tax-wise, it was a complex matter; the production took place off the coast of Borneo, so the prize money was technically Malaysian-sourced income. Plus a number of other issues.
But Hatch and his tax team filed returns. They claimed the prize money. They paid tax on it. They event sought additional guidance from the IRS.
Never once did the IRS issue a ‘notice of deficiency’, essentially a routine letter they send when they think you owe them money.
And yet, Hatch was ultimately charged with a crime– ‘attempted’ tax evasion.
Now, it’s absurd that tax evasion is even a criminal matter in the Land of the Free. It’s even more absurd that ‘attempted’ tax evasion is a crime.
But it defies all reality that an individual, who was fully up to date on his filings and being advised by licensed tax professionals, was personally tried and convicted of such a ridiculous charge, having never once been notified by the government that he owed a single penny.
After this shocking conversation with Richard, I spoke to William Binney, a 35-year veteran of the NSA. During our call, Binney walked me through some very technical details about the government’s illegal monitoring and archiving of ALL Internet traffic, and HOW they’re doing it.
William Binney is a man of tremendous integrity; he resigned from the NSA to protest the wanton dismantling of the Bill of Rights.
Since then, government thugs have kicked down his door at gunpoint. He’s been maliciously sued by Uncle Sam. He’s had his private property seized. All because he continues to expose the crimes that they’re committing.
And these are crimes, plain and simple… clear violations of the Fourth and Fifth amendment.
Bottom line, EVERYONE is being monitored. Every email is being archived. And the data is being shared across the government spectrum with law enforcement as well. This is important.
Today, there are thousands of crimes on the books in the Land of the Free. If they want to, they can get you for anything, even ‘attempted tax evasion’. You can’t even apply for a passport without being threatened with jail time.
And with such ubiquitous surveillance, they can get any information they need to seize property or incriminate anyone they want on whatever stupid law they can dig up.
The easy course of action is to live in denial– “It can’t happen here, it won’t happen to me.” Everyone wants to think this. But it does happen. And given the trend, it’s going to happen much more.
This isn’t intended to be gloomy, rather a sobering wakeup call. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is step back, look at the big picture, and realize that these tactics are no longer fiction. This is now reality in the Land of the Free. Welcome to 1984.