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Treasury claims power to seize gold & silver

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by Jonas Parker, Oct 10, 2007.


  1. Jonas Parker

    Jonas Parker Hooligan

    Published on Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (http://www.gata.org)
    Treasury claims power to seize gold and silver -- and everything else

    By cpowell
    Created 2007-10-06 17:01
    1p ET Saturday, October 6, 2007
    Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
    Because of recent inquiries to GATA about the possibility of an attempt by the U.S. Government to confiscate privately held gold and silver bullion and coins and shares in companies mining the precious metals, we're republishing here the correspondence between GATA and the U.S. Treasury Department on the subject in 2005.
    The Treasury Department was surprisingly candid in that correspondence, asserting the U.S. Government's authority, in declared emergencies, to confiscate precious metals and to restrict ownership of mining shares -- and to confiscate and restrict every other financial asset as well. So perhaps precious metals investors shouldn't feel too paranoid.
    Confiscation has never seemed to GATA to be a serious or imminent threat. While the U.S. Government in 1933 did demand the exchange of circulating government-issued coins for paper money (proceeding to devalue the paper money after the gold was surrendered), that gold then was a huge part of the country's money supply, and amid the national economic collapse at that time the government could make a plausible complaint against "hoarding." There are no such circumstances today, gold no longer being in general circulation as currency. (Yes, we're working on that.)
    But of course lately the arrogance and imperiousness of the U.S. government have far exceeded even the paranoia of precous metals investors. Certainly capital controls may be imposed in the United States in the next currency crisis, and it's not far from capital controls to even more brutal interventions in the economy.
    GATA's correspondence with the Treasury Department on the subject of confiscation is appended, along with the preface that appeared with the correspondence when it first was published.
    CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
    Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
    * * *
    12:11p ET Saturday, August 20, 2005
    Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
    The U.S. Government has the authority to prohibit the private possession of gold and silver coin and bullion by U.S. citizens during wartime, and, during wartime and declared emergencies, to freeze their ownership of shares of mining companies, the TreasuryDepartment has told the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee.
    But gold and silver advocates shouldn't feel too picked on. For the U.S. Government claims the authority in declared emergencies to seize or freeze just about everything else that might be considered a financial instrument.
    The Treasury Department's assertions came in a letter dated August 12 and written by Sean M. Thornton, chief counsel for the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, who replied to questions GATA posed to the department in January. It took GATA six months and a little prodding to get answers from the Treasury, but the Treasury's reply, when it came, was remarkably comprehensive and candid.
    The government's authority to interfere with the ownership of gold, silver, and mining shares arises, Thornton wrote, from the Trading With the Enemy Act, which became law in 1917 during World War I and applies during declared wars, and from 1977's International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which can be applied without declared wars.
    While the Trading With the Enemy Act authorizes the government to interfere with the ownership of gold and silver particularly, it also applies to all forms of currency and all securities. So the Treasury official stressed that it could be applied not just to shares of gold and silver mining companies but to the shares of all companies in which there is a foreign ownership interest. Further, there is no requirement in the law that the targets of the government's interference must have some connection to the declared enemies of the United States, or, really, some connection to foreign ownership. Anything that can be construed as a financial instrument, no matter how innocently it has been used, is subject to seizure under the Trading With the Enemy Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
    Having just gone through a controversy about a Supreme Court decision about government's power of eminent domain, most Americans may be surprised to learn that the Trading With the Enemy Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act could expropriate them instantly and far more broadly without any of the due process extended to parties in eminent domain cases. All that is needed is a presidential proclamation of an emergency of some kind -- and of course Americans lately have been living in a state of perpetual emergency.
    When the Trading With the Enemy Act was passed in 1917, gold and silver formed part of the official currency of the United States and were essential to ordinary commerce, so perhaps an argument could be made then against "hoarding," even if "hoarding" could not be well defined. That is no longer the case; the United States has officially disavowed gold and silver as money and they no longer have a meaningful role in commerce. (GATA is working on that.) So gold and silver investors may want to ask their members of Congress to seek repeal of the statutes that give the government the authority to interfere with the private ownership of gold and silver, emergencies or not.
    And ordinary citizens with no particular interest in gold and silver may want to ask their members of Congress to reconsider these statutes simply for being wildly tyrannical.
    GATA's correspondence with the Treasury Department is appended.
    CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
    Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
    * * *
    January 20, 2005
    Roberta K. McInerney
    Assistant General Counsel / Banking and Finance
    Department of the Treasury
    Washington, D.C. 20220
    Dear Ms. Mclnerney:
    Michael Kirk of U.S. Rep. John B. Larson's office has forwarded to me your letter to him of December 17, which answered my e-mailed inquiry to him about forcible redemption by the Treasury Department of gold and silver coins held by private citizens. You replied that a statute empowering the Treasury Department to do that, 12 U.S.C. Section 248(n), had been repealed.
    But since reading your letter I have learned of a similar statute: Title 12. Chapter 2, Subchapter IV, Section 95a, which provides in part:
    "During the time of war, the president may, through any agency that he may designate, and under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, by means of instructions, licenses, or otherwise -- (A) investigate, regulate, or prohibit any transactions in foreign exchange, transfers of credit or payments between, by, through, or to any banking institution, and the importing, exporting, hoarding, melting, or earmarking of gold or silver coin or bullion, currency or securities. ..."
    Section 95a further authorizes the president to "prevent" the "use" by U.S. citizens of "any property in which a foreign country or a national thereof has any interest."
    These provisions are of the greatest concern to investors in gold and silver bullion, coins, and shares of gold and silver mining companies, and to those companies themselves. So the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee urgently requests that the Treasury Department explain how it construes these provisions. Particularly, we'd like to know:
    * How does the Treasury Department construe "the time of war"? How can gold and silver investors know when the powers described in Section 95a are in operation or likely to come into operation? Are formal declarations of war by Congress required here, or lesser declarations, or none at all, but rather declarations made only by the president?
    * How does the Treasury Department construe "hoarding"? Does it include the ordinary collection of gold and silver coins, numismatic or not, and bullion by U.S. citizens, businesses, and corporations, absent any collaboration with enemies of the United States?
    * Does the Treasury Department construe Section 95a to empower the president to interfere with the ownership of shares in gold and silver mining companies merely because shares of such companies also might be owned by foreign nationals or foreign governments, at war with the United States or not? Under what circumstances would the president be so empowered?
    In essence, we need to know whether Section 95a contemplates the instant destruction of gold and silver investors and the precious metals mining industry in the United States. So the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee asks the Treasury Department for a meeting with the officials who might become responsible for implementing Section 95a, at which we might discuss the concerns of precious metals investors and mining companies. Would you kindly forward our request to the appropriate people?
    Thanks for your help.
    CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
    Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
    * * *
    February 28, 2005
    Mr. Chris Powell
    Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
    Manchester, Connecticut
    Dear Mr. Powell:
    Thank you for your follow up letter dated January 20, 2005, requesting information about how the Treasury Department interprets aspects of Title 12, Section 95a, of the U.S. Code.
    Most of the questions you raise fall within the jurisdiction of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Consequently, I wanted to let you know that I have forwarded your letter to OFAC's Office of the Chief Counsel for a response. The chief counsel's office will ensure that you receive a response to your letter.
    If you have questions about the status of your request, please call Mark Monborne, OFAC's acting chief counsel.
    Thank you for taking the time to write.
    Sincerely,
    Roberta K. McInerney
    Assistant General Counsel (Banking and Finance)
    U.S. Department of the Treasury
    Washington, D.C. 20220
    * * *
    August 12, 2005
    Mr. Chris Powell
    Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
    Manchester, Connecticut
    Dear Mr. Powell:
    Your letters to Roberta McInerney, assistant general counsel (banking and finance), dated January 20 and July 17, 2005, have been forwarded to me for response. I recently became the chief counsel (foreign assets control).
    The U.S. Code provision that you reference, 12 U.S.C. Sec. 95a, is a duplicate codification of Section 5 of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, 50 U.S.C. App. Secs. 1-44 ("TWEA"), with respect to which my office bears responsibility for interpreting.
    As you may be aware, Congress enacted TWEA during World War I to prevent certain transactions that might be of advantage to an enemy during wartime. During World War II the Treasury Department implemented extensive punitive blockings of Axis assets and protective blockings of Allied assets.
    In 1950 the United States imposed economic sanctions against the People's Republic of China as a result of the Korean emergency to prevent, among other things, Chinese acquisition of foreign exchange through transactions with Americans. The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") began enforcing foreign asset control programs in the 1950s. Today the only economic sanctions programs administered by OFAC under TWEA are with respect to Cuba, North Korea, and certain third-country transfers of sensitive materials.
    You have asked how the Treasury Department construes the term "the time of war," which appears in section 5 (b) (1) of TWEA. Although TWEA does not include a definition of the term "during the time of war," it does include definitions for the terms "the beginning of the war" and "end of the war." The words "the beginning of the war" are deemed to mean "midnight ending the day on which Congress has declared or shall declare war or the existence of a state of war." The words "end of the war" are deemed to mean "the date of proclamation of exchange of ratifications of the treaty of peace, unless the president shall, by proclamation, declare a prior date."
    Thus the phrase "during the time of war" would seem to cover the period between "the beginning of the war" and the "end of the war."
    Since this period cannot come into existence without some form of congressional declaration, it would appear that TWEA -- with the exception of its present applicability to the Cuba, North Korea, and transaction control programs referenced above* -- applies only to situations involving a declared state of war. In exercising any of the specific powers available to him under TWEA during the time of war, the president would issue an executive order or other similar instrument generally made available through publication in the Federal Register.
    (* -- From the early 1930s until 1977, when the International Emergency Economic Powers Act was enacted, TWEA applied not only in times of war but also in situations in which the president declared a peacetime national emergency. Pre-existing emergencies declared with respect to Cuba and North Korea and certain transaction controls were grandfathered, which explains why TWEA still serves as the basis for those sanctions programs, even though the United States is presently not in a state of war with respect to any of the affected countries.)
    The construction of the term "hoarding," as used in section 5(b)(1) of TWEA, would depend on how the president chooses to exercise his authority with respect to hoarding in any particular instance.
    In making any decisions under the authorities conferred by TWEA, the president would, of course, be taking steps to address threats to our national security during a time of war. In the past, the president has used TWEA or TWEA-like authorities to criminalize hoarding. See generally Bauer v. United States, 244 F.2d 794 (9th Cir. 1957). Today, however, such activity is not restricted under the only sanctions programs in effect pursuant to TWEA -- i.e., the Cuba, North Korea, and transactions-control programs.
    If, during a time of war, the president expressly chose to restrict the hoarding of gold or silver, he could do so.
    Among the many factors the president would likely consider before taking such action, however, is the fact that the U.S. Government now mints and issues gold and silver coins to meet public demand for both numismatic and investment purposes.
    (See 31 U.S.C. § 5112(a)(7)-(10) & (e)-(i).)
    You also have asked about the president's ability to "interfere with the ownership of shares in gold and silver mining companies merely because shares of such companies also might be owned by foreign nationals or foreign governments, at war with the United States or not."
    Under TWEA during times of war -- and also under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. Secs. 1701-05 ("IEEPA") during peacetime national emergencies -- the president has broad powers to regulate property in which there exists a foreign interest. See TWEA § 5(b)(1)(B); IEEPA Secs. 1702 (a) (1) (B).
    Consequently, the president may restrict shares in any company owned by foreign persons consistent with the purposes of any declared emergency.
    In this respect, foreign-owned shares in gold and silver mining companies are no different from foreign-owned shares in companies in any other industry.
    Finally, you raise concerns about the "instant destruction of gold and silver investors and the precious metals mining industry in the United States." In the establishment and implementation of sanctions, the U.S. Government is always mindful of the domestic impact of restrictions meant to serve national security and foreign policy purposes. Just as the U.S. Government has been mindful of the practical impact that sanctions have on various service and manufacturing industries, it would also be mindful of the potential impact of sanctions with respect to the markets and industries associated with precious metals.
    I hope you find this letter instructive. Thank you for your interest. If I can be of any further assistance, please call me.
    Sincerely,
    Sean M. Thornton
    Chief Counsel (Foreign Assets Control)
    U.S. Department of the Treasury
    Washington, D.C. 20220
     
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I have a lot of ammo that trumps their illegal, unconstitutional "authority".

    They are, of course, welcome to the empty cases once I am through expending them in their direction.
     
  3. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Monkey+++

    No pulling a Ed Brown on this.

    I'm to old, to cranky, and have way more ammo than gold.

    Bring it on sukkers.........[wannamesswitme]

    AE
     
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    This is nothing new. Since 1933, when the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 was amended by pres. Procl. #2039 and 2040, the office of the pres. May LEGALLY (albeit unconstitutionally) do whatever he damn well pleases (short version), including taking your gold, your silver, your pottery and GI Joe figurine collection -it doesn't matter. As "Citizens", you became the enemy of the federal government more than 75 years ago, and nothing has changed since. You, as the enemy must be licensed to do business, as per regulation. Wow, doesn't that make sense now? No wonder...geee...golly...

    The constitution has been suspended, by declaration of war powers, which are still in force today (Senate Rpt 93-549, of 1973 and also see USCA T12, S95b.) So, claiming to have "rights" while operating and doing business within a dictatorship is kind of pointless. Of course, we do have a colorable (having only the appearance of legitimacy) monetary system, as well as a colorable legal system (by turning code into law and using circular terms to define itself), such as utilizing the term "statutory jurisdiction" to denote legality, but after careful review of the term in Black's Law, we find it to actually be Admiralty, and conviently defines itself to be "statutory". You simply cannot define an egg as an egg, refusing to explain what the heck it actually is.

    The government is counting on you to remain ignorant and to continue to be indifferent.
     
  5. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    Ammo will be an instrument of barter some day so if they want it....
     
  6. Jonas Parker

    Jonas Parker Hooligan

    and as we see here, they did...

    [FONT=Palatino, Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif][SIZE=+2]Feds raid Liberty Dollar offices[/SIZE][/FONT]
    <!-- end head --><!-- deck --> [FONT=Palatino, Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif][SIZE=+1]Gold, silver for 'private voluntary barter currency' confiscated[/SIZE][/FONT]
    <!-- end deck --> <hr size="1"> [SIZE=-1]Posted: November 16, 2007
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    [/SIZE] [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times][FONT=Palatino, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times, serif] <!-- byline -->
    <!-- end byline --> <!--- copywrite only show on NON commentary pages as per joseph meeting 8/23/06 ------> [SIZE=-1] <!-- copyright --> © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com <!-- end copyright --> [/SIZE] [/FONT] [/FONT]
    <!-- intelliTXT --> [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times] <!-- Kontera --> <!-- begin bodytext --> [/FONT][FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]A company that makes and distributes Liberty Dollar coins in various denominations has announced it is shut down – for now – after a raid by FBI and U.S. Secret Service agents in which documents, records, coins and gold and silver were confiscated. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]Liberty Dollar produces and distributes the coins as "private voluntary barter currency," or coins that compete with the Federal Reserve notes used in general economic circulation. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]In a news release signed by Bernard von NotHaus, the "monetary architect" for the company in Evansville, Ind., officials announced yesterday "a dozen FBI and Secret Service agents" raided the office, [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]"For approximately six hours they took all the gold, all the silver, all the platinum, and almost two tons of Ron Paul Dollars that were just delivered last Friday. They also took all the files and computers and froze our bank accounts," the letter said. [/FONT]
    <table align="center"> <tbody><tr> <td width="402">[​IMG]
    The Peace Dollar, by Liberty Dollar</td> </tr> </tbody></table>
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]"We have no money. We have no products. We have no records to even know what was ordered or what you are owed. We have nothing but the will to push forward and overcome this massive assault on our liberty and our right to have real money as defined by the U.S. Constitution," it continued. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]The company said it did not know when, if ever, it would be able to resume filling orders. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]It also said a special website had been set up for those interested to "band together for a class-action suit." [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]"We cannot allow the government to steal our money," the letter said. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]U.S. Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials both declined comment on the issue, referring WND to the U.S. Attorney's office in North Carolina. There a spokeswoman told WND she had no information "on the public record" she could provide. <script type="text/javascript">adsonar_placementId=1270202;adsonar_pid=663759;adsonar_ps=1451068;adsonar_zw=300;adsonar_zh=250;adsonar_jv="ads.adsonar.com";</script><script style="display: none;" language="JavaScript" src="http://js.adsonar.com/js/adsonar.js"></script> [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]Asked if that meant something had occurred, but officials were withholding information, she responded, "Yes." [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]Company information says Von NotHaus developed the Liberty Dollar in 1998 as an "inflation-proof" alternative currency to Federal Reserve Notes. The U.S. government, however, historically has taken a dim view of anything monetary that could be perceived as substituting for Federal Reserve Notes. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]Authorities have attacked such alternatives as counterfeiting, while supporters of such bartering tool attack the Federal Research Notes as fakes. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]That opinion was shared by Lance Haverkamp, who joined in a forum at the Courier-Press newspaper on the issue. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]"Do you realize how stupid it is to say the green stuff is 'real' and the gold & silver is 'fake'… You must work for the government!" he wrote. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]The organization explained its position like this: [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]"It's incredible how few people know the facts about the Federal Reserve. The organization chaired by Ben Bernanke is not 'Federal' – it is instead a cabal of private and international banks that does not answer to the United States government. And while there is some precious metal stored in Fort Knox, it doesn't back the debt based 'fiat' U.S. dollar that they issue, because nothing backs it except your trust in the system! Even a casual look at the Fed's history leads one to wonder how an institution that profits mightily from its own policies of victimizing Americans has maintained control over the money of the wealthiest nation on Earth. For those who have made a serious inquiry, the Federal Reserve is shadowed in deceptive origins and fraudulent policies." [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]Its alternative is a series of coins made of precious metals that can be exchanged for an assigned dollar amount. Over its history, the company has produced the California Bear, Chambersburg Dollar, Evansville Dollar, Hawaii Dala, Peace Dollar and the new Ron Paul Dollar, among others. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]The company claims legal opinions that its products are not illegal, and posts testimonies from those who have used the Liberties. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]"I am writing this to Liberty Dollar in hopes that it can be used to help with support," wrote a fan, M. Symonds, of Dallas, Texas, who reported using the coinage for $700 expenses on a trip to Austin. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]"My entire trip was funded with The Liberty Dollar. It used it everywhere I went. … I am here to tell you that the major chains and businesses will accept them. Here is a list of some of the places I used them: Joe's Fina Mart, Placido, Texas; James Texaco, Lolita, Texas; Jack In The Box, Austin, Texas; Chevron, Schulenburg, Texas; McDonalds, Port Lavaca, Texas, Wal-Mart, Port Lavaca, Texas; Reeds Grocery, Odem, Texas…" [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]"The only catch is that as the Liberty Dollar is voluntary, your bank may not accept it for deposit," the company website said. "Of course, this also means that money cannot be siphoned away from your community by big box retailers. The Liberty Dollar is designed to stay in your community of origin for the advantage of the community." [/FONT]
    [FONT=Palatino, Book Antiqua, Times New Roman, Georgia, Times]For example, a construction worker is paid a $20 Liberty for services, he then takes it to a grocery story for $20 in groceries. The store owner pays a local utility bill with the coin, and that coin then goes to a utility company employee for wages. That employee then pays it back to the construction worker for a remodeling project. [/FONT]
     
  7. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    If they can out right seize pms what can they do during a dollar collapse with a switch to the Amero? 1 Amero for each $1, $10,$20???and does it make a difference???
     
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