The War on Your Financial Privacy Continues

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

Recently
by Bob Bauman: The
(Tax) Return of the Tiger

 

 
 

President Obama
in a current
Rolling Stone interview
actually had
the audacity to say this
: “The idea that we’ve got
a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting
on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible. . . . .If we
want the kind of country that respects civil rights and civil
liberties
, we’d better fight in this election.”

Glen Greenwald
of Salon put
it best
: “…for Barack Obama to cite ‘civil liberties’
as a reason why Democratic apathy is ‘just irresponsible,’
and to claim with a straight face that this election will determine
whether we’re ‘the kind of country that respects’
them, is…detached from basic reality…”

This from a
phony 2008 presidential candidate who attacked the PATRIOT Act,
then as president expanded that law and has suspended due process,
allowed continued preventive detentions, authorized secret assassinations
of U.S. citizens, vastly expanded government surveillance of the
Internet, protected Executive branch crimes through the use of radical
secrecy doctrines, escalated punishment for government whistleblowers,
granted legal immunity for war crimes, and massively escalated drone
war in Pakistan.

American civil
liberties indeed!

Stupid Reporting
Tricks

What set me
off today on this rant was a New York Times article
this morning
announcing that the U.S. Treasury has proposed
an inane requirement that all banks make weekly reports of all
electronic money transfers into and out of the United
States – we’re talking millions if not billions of transfers!

Why? Because,
as usual government shills claimed, this bureaucratic measure is
needed to combat the dread scourge of terrorism!

This latest
Treasury proposal adds another layer to existing “anti-money
laundering” laws, one of the major governmental frauds of all
time, as
I have explained before
.

These Draconian
laws have been on the books in the United States and other countries
for nearly 30 years, promoted originally as being aimed at drug
kingpins and their illicit cash. Later the politicians started a
new myth — claiming that AML laws were needed to stop terrorist
cash.

In fact, these
laws have been mainly used as prosecutorial bargaining chips, since
they impose heavy fines and prison sentences. Add ML charges to
any threatened indictment and a putative defendant is likely plea
to a lesser charge.

They have also
been used by the IRS as a backdoor means to search for tax evasion,
especially when offshore financial activity is involved. The IRS
presumes any American engaged in offshore finance probably is a
crook.

Anti-Freedom
Plan

This is yet
another part of the anti-freedom plan in which the U.S. government,
and especially the IRS, have done all they can to keep you and your
money at home — where, under the privacy destroying PATRIOT
Act, they can confiscate cash at will and in secret.

Paris-based
Financial
Action Task Force
(FATF), is a subdivision of the stridently
anti-tax haven, pro tax Organization for Economic and Community
Development (OECD). Mainly a front group for the high tax, welfare
state G-20 countries, both the OECD and FATF have skillfully advocated
AML laws for their tax hungry sponsors as a pious means to destroy
financial privacy — and to track down what they claim is massive
offshore tax evasion.

Earlier this
year FATF
proposed
making tax evasion a co-crime with money laundering
and two
U.S. senators agreed
.

The 9-11
Offshore Myth

Is this latest
Treasury proposal needed to combat terrorism, as they claimed yesterday,
hinting that it could have thwarted the 9-11 attacks? Pure political
bologna!

The official
9/11 Commission estimated that $400,000 to $500,000 was used to
finance the 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, most
of American bank accounts. Only about $130,000 was sent from overseas.
Some of those transactions were wires above the $3,000 threshold
that requires bank record-keeping, but this 9-11 offshore money
myth was used by Congress to justify hundreds of pages restrictions
in the PATRIOT Act on offshore financial and banking activity. (See
my special PATRIOT
Report
for the full story).

SWIFT Again

There is another
audacious angle to this Treasury proposal.

Under the new
Treasury proposal, the bank reports on cross-border wire transfers
would come through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial
Telecommunication (SWIFT), a global banking cooperative based in
Brussels that actually wires all these funds, allowing financial
institutions to automate and standardize transactions.

In 2006 it
was exposed that SWIFT, under pressure from the Bush administration
secretly had been supplied the IRS with millions of private financial
records. In secret cooperation with the U.S. government, SWIFT violated
the privacy of an untold number of persons by allowing the U.S.
access to Swift cash transfer records. I
wrote about this at the time.

This secret
partnership with Washington, reported in The New York Times
in June 2006, gave U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S.
Treasury Department access to millions of records on international
banking transactions by private individuals and others. Once exposed,
the European Union and several governments put an end to this secret
snooping deal.

In my opinion
you better believe that the U.S. money snoops who say they are looking
for terrorist cash are also looking for tax evasion, money laundering
of all kinds and any other indictable offenses.

And they are
doing this in violation of the Fourth Amendment guarantees against
illegal searches without a warrant.

Reprinted
with permission from the Sovereign
Society
.

Robert
E. Bauman is a former Member of the United States House of Representatives
from Maryland, (1973–1981). He is also a former federal official
and state legislator; Member, Washington, DC Bar; Graduate of the
Georgetown University Law Center (1964) and the School of Foreign
Service (1959), Washington, DC. Robert currently serves as legal
counsel for the Sovereign
Society
.

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare