Here is an article on the case in German:
Yet Helicopter Ben is innocent?:
The New York Sun today editorializes brilliantly about the ironies in the conviction of Liberty Dollar founder Bernard von NotHaus. The editorial begins:”Here is a thought experiment concerning two men who have issued money. One issued gold and silver coins that will today bring more in dollars than he charged for them. The other issued paper notes that are today worth but a fraction the gold or silver they were worth at the time they were issued. One man is facing the possibility of years in prison after a federal jury found his issuing of money to have been a crime. The other man is walking around free and being treated by the authorities with great deference. Which is which?”
The editorial, most likely written by Sun editor Seth Lipsky, is headlined “A ‘Unique’ Form of Terrorism”:
– A ‘Unique’ Form of ‘Terrorism’ (New York Sun):
Which is which?
It turns out that the man walking free is Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. A one-dollar note that his bank issued used to be worth — as recently as, say, the start of President Bush’s first term — a 265th of an ounce of gold; today it’s value has plunged to less than a 1,400th of an ounce of gold. The man who issued the coins that will fetch more dollars today than when he issued them is Bernard von NotHaus, 67. He called his coins “Liberty Dollars,” minted them with some similarities to government money, and even though they more than held their value it turns out they’re against the law.
Liberty Dollar founder Bernard von NotHaus was convicted today on federal charges in Statesville. The case has local implications, because Asheville Liberty Dollar head Kevin Innes also faces trial. Innes has asserted that he is innocent of any wrongdoing, and sought local support.
Full announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s office below:
STATESVILLE, NC – Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted today by a federal jury of making, possessing and selling his own coins, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Following an eight-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation, von NotHaus, the founder and monetary architect of a currency known as the Liberty Dollar, was found guilty by a jury in Statesville, North Carolina, of making coins resembling and similar to United States coins, of issuing, passing, selling, and possessing Liberty Dollar coins, of issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money, and of conspiracy against the United States. The guilty verdict concluded an investigation which began in 2005 and involved the minting of Liberty Dollar coins with a current value of approximately $7 million. Joining the U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins in making today’s announcement are Edward J. Montooth, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Charlotte Division, Russell F. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Division, and Sheriff Van Duncan of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the evidence introduced during the trial, von NotHaus was the founder of an organization called the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code, commonly known as NORFED and also known as Liberty Services. Von NotHaus was the president of NORFED and the Executive Director of Liberty Dollar Services, Inc. until on or about September 30, 2008.
Von NotHaus designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the “$”, the word dollar, USA, Liberty, Trust in God (instead of In God We Trust) and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage. Since 1998, NORFED has been issuing, disseminating, and placing into circulation the Liberty Dollar in all its forms throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. NORFED’s purpose was to mix Liberty Dollars into the current money of the United States. NORFED intended for the Liberty Dollar to be used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and to compete with, United States currency.
In coordination with the Department of Justice, on September 14, 2006, the United States Mint issued a press release and warning to American citizens that the Liberty Dollar was “not legal tender.” The Mint press release and public service announcement stated that the Department of Justice had determined that the use of Liberty Dollars as circulating money was a federal crime.
Article I, section 8, clause 5 of the United States Constitution delegates to Congress the power to coin Money and to regulate the Value thereof. This power was delegated to Congress in order to establish and preserve a uniform standard of value and to insure a singular monetary system for all purchases and debts in the United States, public and private.
Along with the power to coin money, Congress has the concurrent power to restrain the circulation of money which is not issued under its own authority in order to protect and preserve the constitutional currency for the benefit of all citizens of the nation. It is a violation of federal law for individuals, such as von NotHaus, or organizations, such as NORFED to create private coin or currency systems to compete with the official coinage and currency of the United States.
Von NotHaus, who remains free on bond, faces a sentence of up to fifteen years imprisonment on Count Two of the Indictment and a fine of not more than $250,000. Von NotHaus faces a prison sentence of five years and fines of $250,000 on both Counts One and Three. In addition, the United States is seeking the forfeiture of approximately 16,000 pounds of Liberty Dollar coins and precious metals, currently valued at nearly $7 million. The forfeiture trial, which began today before United States District Court Judge Richard Voorhees, will resume on April 4, 2011 in the federal courthouse in Statesville. Judge Voorhees has not yet set a date for the sentencing of von NotHaus.
“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” US Attorney Tompkins said in announcing the verdict. “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,” she added. “We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”
The case was investigated by the FBI, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Secret Service, in cooperation with and invaluable assistance of the United States Mint. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jill Westmoreland Rose and Craig D. Randall and the forfeiture trial is being prosecuted by AUSAs Tom Ascik and Ben Bain Creed.
Posted by David Forbes in News
Mar. 18, 2011
Source: Mountain Xpress
First, it was a Missouri Analysis and Information Center (MIAC) report; then it was a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report; now it is a New York congressman’s bill. Each of these items, taken on their own, is problematic enough; taken together they portend “a clear and present danger” to the liberties of the American people. It is getting very serious now.
As readers may recall, the MIAC report profiled certain people as being potential violence-prone “militia members”: including people who supported Presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and myself. In addition, anyone who opposed one or more of the following were also included in the list: the New World Order, the U.N., gun control, the violation of Posse Comitatus, the Federal Reserve, the Income Tax, the Ammunition Accountability Act, a possible Constitutional Convention, the North American Union, the Universal Service Program, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), abortion on demand, or illegal immigration.
I was in the midst of the Save America Convention in Tampa, Florida when I heard, first, that Libya was under bombardment by the UN (led by U.S. forces), and, that Bernard von NotHaus of Liberty Dollar had been convicted of “counterfeiting”. It was a stressful day, to say the least. For those not familiar with the Liberty Dollar incident, In November of 2007, federal officials raided the group’s headquarters nestled in a strip mall and seized all documents and the gold and silver that backed up the paper certificates and digital currency being distributed through the Liberty Services website. The Justice Department asserted that Von NotHaus was placing gold and silver coins, along with precious metals currency, into circulation with the purpose of mixing them “into the current money of the United States.”
To be clear, NotHaus made some serious mistakes, including pressing his coins to look semi-similar to standard federal currency, and also using language which could be interpreted to insinuate that his currency was “legal tender”. There are many barter networks in the U.S. that use gold and silver that do not have these kinds of problems with the government simply because they are careful not to make the same blunders.
However, it wasn’t the conviction itself that struck me, so much as the language of the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins, in her post trial statement. Let me reprint my favorite parts for you here:
“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,”
“We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”
Some in the Liberty Movement have interpreted this statement to be a warning to all of us that the Federal Government is declaring open season on alternative currencies. Others see it as a preliminary move towards the confiscation of all privately owned gold and silver. And yet others see the statement as dire prophecy, now cowering behind their 1040’s at the thought of the smallest barter transactions, as if the IRS is the all seeing eye of Sauron waiting to catch them in the act of trading apples for oranges and sending agents to crush them with their slimy orc-like fists of doom.
Perhaps I am the only one, but in contrast, I see the prosecutor’s statement as an expression of blatant fear. I’ll explain, but first, let’s dissect the nonsensical and irrational idiocy behind the saber rattling of Anne Tompkins.
First, U.S. prosecutors prevailed over NotHaus on a conviction of COUNTERFEITING! Unless I am confused, and he was using his silver currency to fashion a McGuyver-esque thermonuclear sound money bomb, it is more than just a stretch to try to equate his actions with domestic terrorism. In fact, the post trial statements of Tompkins are so insane it makes one question her level of paranoia, and perhaps her prescription drug habits. After finding no obvious hint of crazy eyed drool mouth in her photographs, I realized that perhaps she was not a zealot, but simply a messenger.
My feeling (and this is only an intuitive notion) is that Tompkins had little to do with the writing of those statements, or had much “coaching” from the Department of Homeland Security, which has been expanding its absurd definition of terrorism to include almost anyone who does not agree with the philosophies of establishment elites and corporate global banks. Even returning military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been listed as possible domestic terrorist threats. Why not proponents of gold and silver?
What we see here is the not so subtle conditioning of average Americans towards categorizing certain innocuous behaviors as being related to possible criminal or terrorist motives. Owning guns is anti-social, and you are a naughty bad person for liking big boom boom stick. What’s that? A pocket Constitution!? Didn’t McVeigh or one of the 9/11 hijackers carry around something like that? You have a survival garden? Hmm, that sounds fishy. I better call the FDA and make sure everything you’re doing is on the up and up. You want to trade gold and silver? Privately?! That’s obviously “black market” barter, and you are the reason the economy is so unpleasant. I don’t get as many food stamps and free big brother goodies as I used to, and I blame you and your dastardly sense of self sufficiency! The IRS should have your head! And so it goes…
So, I promote private barter networking and precious metals to safeguard communities from impending inflationary crisis, and am therefore a “non-violent domestic terrorist which represents a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country”? How does Tompkins or anyone else, with a straight face, declare alternative markets and sound money as a danger to economic stability, when the U.S. economy has already been annihilated by the derivatives bubble conjured by international banks and the private Federal Reserve? What about the constant fiat injections by our central bank which have created an atmosphere prime for dollar devaluation and hyperinflation? Why in the hell hasn’t the U.S. Attorneys Office or Anne Tompkins placed the terrorist label squarely on the doorstep of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, or the Fed itself? I mean, if we are going to start equating the destabilization of the economy with white Al-Qaeda, then let’s be fair at least. Global banks have had far more to do with our financial downfall than gold or silver trade ever will.
What about the follow up chest beating proclamations of “infiltration and disruption” of any organization which seeks to “challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government”?
Wow. Isn’t that comment loaded with bile and stupidity. To begin with, if anyone, including Tompkins, can show me how our current form of government is legitimately “democratic” while both major parties are headed by globalists and corporatists who promote the same exact ideology and support the same exact legislation, while refusing to represent even a minority of Americans beyond the elite, then I welcome them to try. (By the way, Tompkins, I know they didn’t teach you this in public school, and probably not in college either, but America was founded as a REPUBLIC, not a democracy.)