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IRS: Abuse of Power

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IRS: Abuse of Power
Geoff Metcalf
Monday, Nov. 24, 2003
Under the Color of Authority
Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. – Frederick Douglass

For over a decade I have been interviewing and reporting on what has been called The "Tax Honesty Movement." Some people call these folks “tax protesters," others call them wackos. To a growing many, they are patriots committed to redressing what they perceive as a grievous wrong.

In the wake of years of study, interviews and analysis I have come to my own personal conclusions:

As an academic exercise, and objective evaluation of the facts in evidence, the Tax Freedom crowd is mostly right.

However, as a practical reality check, and ‘The Golden Rule’ (those with the gold make the rules), when contemporary ‘Davids’ square off with the federal government’s ‘Goliath,’ right is NOT might.

Those who take on “The G” can and will be eviscerated by bureaucratic ‘shock and awe’ that has and will ruin lives.
Bill Benson [] collected over 17,000 documents proving the 16th Amendment was never properly ratified and therefore is (according to Benson) “The Law That Never Was.”

Bob Schultz [] continues his crusade to compel the government to answer questions it has routinely ignored.

One of the most heroic crusaders cast in the role of ‘David’ is Joseph R. (Joe) Banister. Joe is a CPA and former IRS Criminal Investigation Division special agent []. He is a good guy with a fascinating story and about to become another victim of abuse of power under the color of authority.

I confess to mixed feelings of pride and guilt over the Banister story. He claims I was in part responsible for him researching and documenting facts that eventually resulted in his resignation as a special agent for the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.

As a badge-carrying, gun-carrying special agent for the IRS, Banister had been ‘warned’ about the “anti-tax wackos.” However, he had been a regular listener of my radio program and had developed a listener/host relationship that (for good or ill) resulted in trust.

He was surprised to hear an interview I did with Devvy Kidd []. She was talking (in very unflattering terms) about the very laws Banister was daily enforcing. He knew about the fringe elements Kidd represented, but he also assumed I wouldn’t interview anyone if there weren’t a substantive constitutional conflict.

Banister did something remarkable (and commendable). He didn’t accept what he heard Devvy and Geoff talking about on the radio. AND he didn’t accept the routine IRS line about the ‘wackos’. He took two years to research and refute the claims of Kidd, Benson, Becraft et al.

When he concluded his research, he bound it in a 90-page report to his bosses and asked them to review it and demonstrate how he could be so wrong in light of such overwhelming documentation.

The IRS response was to NOT review his research but to assist him in resigning.

Since leaving the IRS, Joe has used his skill and experience as a CPA to assist clients in dealing with IRS abuse of power. Now the IRS is leaning on Banister HARD.

Banister is scheduled for a “public hearing” that is turning out to be 13th-century-flavor Inquisition [].

Apparently, the IRS may try to lock out the press and public from Banister’s Dec. 1 hearing. Initially, Joe had been assured the hearing would be in San Jose, Calif. (where he resides). However, the IRS has moved the hearing to a Coast Guard military base on an island in San Francisco Bay.

Guess what? The Coast Guard prohibits the public on the island. Interesting venue for a "public hearing."

Ostensibly, the "public hearing" has been morphed into a Star Chamber hearing held in secret, away from public and press.

If the objective of the hearing is to protect the public from the ‘wacko’ likes of Banister, why opt for an executive session dog and pony show? Wouldn’t the public be better served exposing Banister and his ilk in public?

Why the IRS diffidence of the taxpaying public at the hearing? Why does the IRS need to exclude the press from what is allegedly a "public hearing"?

Sunlight is the best disinfectant ... but it also results in an odiferous reaction on fish very similar to this latest IRS finesse.

I cannot confirm or deny the rumor that Tomás de Torquemada [] is representing the IRS. Meanwhile, please take the time to read Joe Banister’s resignation letter to Charles Rossotti dated Feb. 25, 1999.
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