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Fear nothing but God
*The Newsroom Conversation That Will Change America
…once it can be made to take place.
by Pete Hendrickson
THE ENERGETIC, AMBITIOUS YOUNG JOURNALIST hurries through the National News Desk Editor’s office door, and without even waiting to be recognized, blurts out his news:
“Chief, I’ve come across the story of a lifetime! There’s this guy in Michigan who does what might be called forensic legal research– historical background, fine-print parsing, untangling “legalese”, that sort of thing.”
The excited reporter plants his hands on the editor’s desk and leans in, eyes wide.
“The guy decided to focus on the income tax back around ’01, ’02. He ended up uncovering mind-boggling stuff, Chief!
Ever since the guy published his findings in 2003, tens of thousands of people have been routinely paying ZERO in federal and state income tax, Social security tax, and Medicare tax every year. ZERO!! Instead, these people get complete refunds of everything they had paid in or had withheld from them!!”
The young man now looks as though he’s barely restraining himself from grabbing the editor’s lapels and pulling him in to continue nose-to-nose…
“This isn’t some kind of “tax protestor” nonsense. These people have recovered $BILLIONS, Chief!! That’s $BILLIONS, with a “B”! And not just from the feds but from all the state governments, too! And they’ve been doing it for almost 15 years!!
Even when the IRS tries to argue with them, these people end up keeping all their money. Chief, THIS IS THE STORY OF THE CENTURY!!!”
Breathing as though he had just run a marathon, the reporter straightens up, waiting expectantly for his boss’s eyes to light up at this amazing news.
The grizzled old editor let a little twitch elevate the corners of his mouth as he sits back in his chair and picks up his half-smoked stogie from the oversized, over-loaded ashtray that has been a fixture on his desk for as long as he’s had the desk. Clamping the stogie between his teeth, he speaks around it to the younger man with a patient but amused air, affectionately using the young man’s nickname.
“Listen, Woody, I can see you think you’ve really found something. And I’m delighted to see that you can get so excited at what seems like a big scoop. I remember when I had that kind of enthusiasm.
But son, think about it. What you think you’ve found can’t possibly be true! Simple logic says so, ’cause as you yourself just said, if it were true, it’d be the story of the century, and believe me, I’d have heard about it.”
The reporter lets his own mouth twitch now, in turn.
“Chief, of course that’s just what you’d think. It’s what anyone would think. And that’s part of the story, Chief! That’s exactly what EVERYONE has thought. And that why no one has ever checked this out before, and no one has ever reported it!!
You think it can’t be true because no one’s ever reported it, when the only reason no one’s ever reported it is because everyone assumes someone else would have covered it by now!!”
Woody smiles openly now, knowing he’s just gotten the “intrigued” wheels turning in his editor’s head. He leans back in and shifts to what he knows is a “higher gear” for the man across the desk, who was once known as a corruption fighter, and still longs for a good opportunity to fulfill that critical duty of the Fourth Estate.
“There’s another reason, too, Chief, and you’re going to love it! Remember, what this guy has exposed amounts to the biggest government scam in American history. Think about it, millions of people paying as much as 40% of everything they earn in taxes they don’t owe… for decades.
So, the feds have been trying to suppress this guy’s work for the whole 15 years they’ve been making all those refunds. It’s a massive cover-up of a massive scandal.”
Woody parks himself on the corner of the chief’s desk, and continues.
“I’ve looked at some of the stuff that’s been done. I’ve never even heard of anything like it. This is corruption that’ll make your hair stand up!
The biggest thing has been gimmicked “judicial” proceedings– faked-up attacks on the researcher meant to make it look like “the courts” disagree with what he says about the tax. But when you examine the details, it turns out that the attacks actually confirm what the guy says, as shown by the dodges resorted to by the government.
For instance, in a phony “erroneous refund” lawsuit alleging that refunds made to the researcher and his wife were mistakes by an IRS which simply wasn’t paying attention,the government lied about anything being a mistake. In fact, during that period this researcher was the subject of what might be the most intense attention by the IRS and DOJ given to anybody in history, at the end of which it had had to issue the refunds.
In its pseudo-suit launched just before “tax day” a few years after issuing those first-ever-in history complete refunds, and when facing thousands of similar claims from people all over the country which it desperately wanted to discourage by a high-visibility attack on the researcher, the government could only pretend to dispute the couple’s claims to the refunded money. The best it could manage in this pretense was a fake IRS “examination report”.
At the same time, no government official was willing to make competing returns which are required by law if they think someone has filed “false” ones, as they claimed, in the fake lawsuit, to believe the researcher and his wife had done. Not only have these competing returns never been made, but a federal judge and a DOJ prosecutor both openly lied to a jury in an effort to cover this up. Have you ever heard of such a thing?”
Woody shakes his head in bemusement and the Chief, listening intently now, purses his lips. Woody continues:
“That phony lawsuit ended with a “summary judgment” making phony assertions— as so-called “found facts”– about the content of the researcher’s first book by a judge who later was forced to admit she had never read it (and who also had never seen or heard from a single witness)!
The researcher was later attacked with phony charges of not believing the outcome of his own work (and thus filing “false returns”), after his jury was prevented from seeing actual statutory text central to the charge, and ordered to deliberate using prosecution-written substitutes for these statutes. It was also given as evidence the phony “found facts” from the phony lawsuit ruling, without the appearance of any witness who could reveal the true character of that lawsuit.
But Chief, as bad as all of this is, it gets worse. When this “civil” assault and even the criminal assault didn’t stop the researcher or his readers (or the tax agencies, who chunked out tens of thousands of complete refunds while the guy sat in prison for two years), the corrupt officials behind the bogus tax scheme he had exposed began beating up on his wife! This is real mafia-grade stuff, and you’ve got to see it to believe it.”
The Chief opens a desk drawer and pulls out a bottle of scotch and two tumblers. He pours a shot and a half in each and passes one to Woody, who takes a sip before continuing.
“Like I was saying, the exposed tax schemers hadn’t been able to shut the researcher up by attacking him directly. And the bogus legal attacks had done more harm than good, with the truth glaringly clear to anybody reading between the lines.
So the schemers start in on the guy’s wife in 2013. She was then 58; a housewife with a minor child and no legal knowledge at all. Plainly this mob– the best word for them, I think– figured to get at the researcher through his family, and maybe to start scaring his readers by a display of lawlessness and brutality, at the same time.”
Woody took another sip of his scotch. The “Chief” poured himself another stiff one, all without taking his eyes off his young reporter.
“The assault on the wife reached back for its pretext to the phony civil lawsuit in 2006. As I told you earlier, the government had no grounds for saying that the couple owed it any money and that they weren’t entitled to the refunds they had claimed. That’s why the schemers had to resort to the fake “examination report”.
Well, at the same time, they tried to “work around” that problem by including in the summary judgment they wrote orders commanding the couple to replace their filed tax returns with new ones dictated by the government. They were ordered to say they believe their earnings qualify for the tax (something no one from the government would do, remember) even though they know perfectly well that this is not true. They were even told they had to conceal the fact that what they said was by government command.
Of course the orders were never obeyed– what American would do such a thing? Well, this gave the schemers the pretext they needed, as long as they were willing to get really corrupt. And they were.
TThese thugs engineered (or at least, produced) an indictment of the wife for “criminal contempt of court”. The judge who got her case, and who was a colleague of the one who had presided over the civil suit in which the orders involved were issued and had been the judge in one of the early failed attacks on the researcher himself, brushed aside all motions to dismiss, even despite the obvious First Amendment problems with orders dictating the content of sworn statements.
The case first went to trial in October of 2013 with the wife speaking for herself, and listen to this, Chief– because of the obvious illegality of the orders involved in the charge,the judge instructed the jury, at the government’s request, that the unconstitutionality or unlawfulness of the orders is not a defense to the charge!! Can you believe the brazenness of this corruption?!
But glory be, this housewife, up against a team of specialist shark prosecutors flown in from Washington and a co-opted judge, ended that first trial with a hung jury! Still, they came back at her again, because defending their bogus tax scheme is that important to these corrupt officials.
In the second trial, in July of 2014, the wife wasn’t even allowed to complete her opening statement. She was interrupted constantly throughout her examination of witnesses by judge and prosecutors, kept from reading Supreme Court rulings on speech rights to the jury, had the jury’s view of her tainted by the lying about the government’s obligation to produce competing returns we looked at earlier and had an outright evidence fraud perpetrated against her just before closing arguments, during which she was again interrupted constantly.
After the jury was sequestered for deliberations, the judge went into the jury room by herself. No one knows what got said, but after all that, and with the “unconstitutionality or unlawfulness of the order not a defense” instruction, the jury came back with a guilty verdict this time.”
Without even being aware of it, Woody and the “Chief” both have expressions of revulsion on their faces. Woody swallows hard, and then continues.
“So, the judge denies all post-trial relief out of hand, and sentences the wife to a remarkably harsh 18 months on this contempt charge. Thrown into the sentence is an orderthat when she gets out of prison, she must make the false statements ordered in the civil lawsuit within 60 days or face more time.
The Sixth Circuit “hears” the wife’s appeal, but, wait for it… it rules that it doesn’t have to make a decision on the Constitutional problems with the orders over which she was convicted, and refuses to do so. It even argues in its ruling that “lawful” is not an element of a criminal contempt charge, despite the language of the statute, which only criminalizes “Disobedience or resistance to [a court’s] lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command.”
A year after she gets out, the Washington shark who was the lead prosecutor in her trials (that’s the one who did the lying about the competing government return mandateand also the evidence fraud) moves the court to have the wife re-imprisoned. The pretext is her continued refusal to make the false returns.
The government wants those false returns really badly. Without them, the civil trial thing from way back in 2006 based solely on that fake “examination report” we looked at earlier remains without even the appearance of a leg to stand on, and it’s the phony summary judgment in that case that forms the basis for every attack on both the researcher and his wife since then.
What a tangled, ugly web, eh, Chief?”
The Chief shakes his head in astonishment, and Woody sits back and changes gears.
“Here’s the real kicker, Chief. All the while that all of this has been going on, it’s obvious that every bit of it is fraudulent even without looking at the “legal” details, because those refunds keep going out, year after year!”
Woody steps around and grabs the editor’s keyboard, quickly tapping.
“Look at this one, Chief, just as an example. More than $66K back from the feds, with $11K just in interest! Look at the date on the check. It got cut in August of 2010, just after the researcher went to prison that June for letting the cat out of the bag! In fact, look at the same guy’s Arizona refund for the same year right below, actually issued in June!
Look at this seven year struggle by by the IRS to browbeat one of the guy’s readers into caving on what they “propose” to be a $147K tax liability for 2008, before finally just fading away last year– all while the researcher was imprisoned for telling this guy what is obviously the truth, and all through the beating up on the researcher’s wife. Look atthis year-and-a-half+ effort to do the same to a doctor during a chunk of that same period– claiming he owed more than $120K, before finally admitting the truth and issuingthis!
Hundreds of thousands of checks and notices, totaling billions of dollars, Chief! And all before, during and after every one of these fake legal actions against the guy who spilled the beans and then the beating up on his wife!
In fact, the guy’s got a funny little image on his website, illustrating the absurdity of what the folks doing the cover-up hope we’ll all believe about all this in spite of the obvious truth. Take a look:
Perfect, right? We’re all supposed to think all these refunds, year after year, are just the biggest, most sustained bureaucratic screw-up in world history (and to do so, we’re supposed to overlook those focused efforts to keep the scam alive that we just looked at, which plainly are no accidents)!
But really, all kidding aside, this story DOES have a lot of “biggest in history” about it…
WE’VE GOT TO GET IT OUT THERE, CHIEF!!”
SO, THAT’S THE CONVERSATION that needs to take place in one or more major news organizations (or in a bunch of smaller ones), and which apparently never has.
For years I have done everything I can think of or have the resources to do in an effort to make this conversation take place, and to no avail. But I believe that the reason this conversation hasn’t happened is the one Woody explains early on– every news organization thinks that there can’t really be anything here to even begin to examine, because if there were, someone else would have already reported it. 15 years, after all. How could this have stayed under wraps for 15 years if it was legit?
Nonetheless, it is obvious that I can’t overcome this “Catch-22”. But you can.
If each one of you reading this undertakes to do all that you can to get a conversation like the one above to take place, I believe it will. Be creative; be persistent; be a pain in the ass if you have to, but resolve to make it happen, work to make it happen, and it will happen.
And then we will all see a change in America for the better.
“The day we see the truth and do not speak is the day we begin to die.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”
-John Stuart Mill
“Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”