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A Weekly View from the Foothills of Appalachia

April 19, 1998
Issue #81

by: Doug Fiedor
E-mail to: fiedor19@eos.net

Previous Editions at:


It is the civic duty -- not the option, but the duty -- of every American citizen to turn in any felon they know about. So says the "Misprision of felony" law (18 USC 4). The law states:

"Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."

Got it? If a judge can perceive that a felony that you knew about was committed, or may have been committed, and you didn't snitch, you can get a fine and up to three years in the slammer. So, it stands to reason that if you are a public official and know of the commission of a felony, the offense is that much worse. Right?

Lawmakers and bureaucrats take note. Cause, this is going to get interesting to you rather soon.

Anybody remember about honor and integrity anymore? Those hackneyed terms were defined somewhat like: "Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code." And we once demanded that public servants act like they have some. However, times have changed. A lot! For instance, let's apply the "Misprision" law to Congress.

Article VI, clause 3 of our United States Constitution requires that Senators and Representatives take an oath of office to support the Constitution. The specific language of the oath is set by statute enacted by Congress (5 USC 3331). The exact words have changed several times since 1789. However, the Congressional Oath of Office now reads:

"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Another law (2 USC 21, 25) requires that Members must be sworn before they can take their seats and/or do anything official. And, one would suppose, Members of Congress would also be promising to obey all federal laws.

Yeah, yeah. That last sentence was quite a leap, I know. But, bear with me a while, cause they are American citizens, after all. I mean, the law "is" supposed to apply to them, too. So, let's pretend it really does.

During the Thompson Committee hearings on campaign finance corruption a number of things came out. As the Committee report identified, there was a link between illegal communist Chinese money and campaign donations laundered into the Democratic National Committee campaign coffers. There was also (since proven in court) reports of labor union money being illegally laundered into the Clinton and Gore campaign fund and the DNC campaign war-chest. There were a couple dozen other illegal activities too, but those two will do fine for this argument.

The Senate Committee held some hearings, isolated a few crimes, and then cut it off. They had to cut it off when they did. The trail was leading too close to home. That was because there were at least five Senators involved in the illegal activities. Worse yet, one of the Senate's very own was chairman of the DNC at the time and hence directly involved in overseeing all of the corruption. Anyone remember DNC Chairman Senator Christopher Dodd mouthing off on TV every night in favor of Clinton, Clinton & Gore?

Clearly, Dodd was the kingpin in a conspiracy to launder illegal funds. He directed the operation. Sure he had lots of help, but that's not the point. Dodd was the chairman of the committee that broke all those laws.

Every member of the United States Senate knows that Senator Christopher Dodd was deeply involved in laundering illegal money into the DNC and the Clinton and Gore campaign fund. Yet, not one United States Senator is saying a word about it.

Interestingly enough, the federal government has a law that covers that, too. It's called "Accessory after the fact" (18 USC 3):

"Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact.

"Except as otherwise expressly provided by any Act of Congress, an accessory after the fact shall be imprisoned not more than one-half the maximum term of imprisonment or (notwithstanding section 3571) fined not more than one-half the maximum fine prescribed for the punishment of the principal, or both; or if the principal is punishable by life imprisonment or death, the accessory shall be imprisoned not more than 15 years."

The Senate as a whole is doing its best to protect Dodd, and the other involved Senators, from prosecution. Everyone in the United States Senate knows of these laws. They also know that when they all collectively intentionally keep quiet about these breaches of the law, they are involved in a conspiracy. Yet, no Senator is speaking up.

So, already we have misprision, accessory after the fact and conspiracy to obstruct justice. There's more, but we've already far exceeded our word count.

The fact is, the United States Senate protects criminals.


A federal judge is calling for an investigation of Independent Council Kenneth Starr, reports the national media this week. Sounds important. That is, until we learn exactly who and why.

As it turns out, the judge is none other than U.S. District Judge Henry Woods of Little Rock. Woods, a Clinton crony, was conveniently assigned to hear the fraud and conspiracy case against then Governor Jim Guy Tucker. But, he got bumped for cause. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals removed him back in March of 1996. Actually, Starr asked the appeals court to remove Woods after Woods inappropriately tossed out Tucker's initial indictment.

Now, Woods says that the very same conservative groups accused of funneling money to a key government witness, like David Hale, might also have orchestrated his removal from a Whitewater case originally assigned to him.

"It is important to me, and I believe to the integrity of the judicial process, to know whether any person in the justice system, including those in (Starr's office) or in the legislative branch, was aware of machinations to affect and determine what judge would preside over the ... case," Woods said in a public statement.

Woods has real proof "conservatives" were giving money to David Hale, too. Caryn Mann, also of Arkansas, claims Hale received money from conservative activists working for a foundation that publishes the American Spectator magazine, and that Hale gave the magazine information about Starr's investigation. First, she said that she "saw" the transaction. Later, Mann said that her ex-boyfriend told her that. More recently, she says her 13 year old son (maybe) saw something.

Mann, as it turns out, is a psychic. She's a professional shopping mall tarot card reader, among other things. She also claims to be able to control the weather, and says she used her extrasensory powers to discover where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Oh, and she used her powers to direct American forces during the Persian Gulf War too.

Just as an aside here: Evidently Mann does not wish to make public where Jimmy Hoffa rests, so we could not check her accuracy on that. We did, however, contact two military officers who were on the line in the Persian Gulf War. Among the expletives that need not be entered into record, they indicated they were quite certain that they have no knowledge of Mann offering assistance.

Anyway, what we have here is another judge with a long history of abuse of power and a press that runs with any damn thing against Starr that pops up, no matter how ridiculous. Put the two together and we get some really stupid news. For example: The media even put Mann on the evening news, numerous times.

If Congress would do its duty, and impeach two or three bad judges a year, Judge Wood would have been off of the bench years ago. Instead, Congress allows his ilk to wield continued power over an unsuspecting population having honest business before the courts.


It's time to make some noise, folks. Congress has had its two commissions and some hearings. There is no doubt. The United States tax code is all screwed up and the Internal Revenue Service is so far afield of the Constitution that they act like the Gestapo.

Good news, though. As it turns out, not even the nation's chief tax writer can figure out the income tax law. As the Washington Times reported in an April 15 editorial:

"Bill Archer, the Ways and Means chairman who has always done his own taxes broke down this year and resorted to tax software to prepare his return. It still took him two full days to complete. 'I was amazed,' he told The Washington Post last month. 'Even I didn't realize how complicated the tax code is until I went through that interview process that tax software uses to make sure it has everything set up correctly.' If the man whose committee writes the nation's tax laws finds them complex, it's not hard to imagine how befuddled they leave everyone else."

Members of Congress and staff, it should be noted, have their income tax forms prepared free by the IRS. Unlike the way the IRS treats the rest of America, they want to insure that the people on the Hill get every penny that's possible returned to them.

Meanwhile, the IRS is using SWAT teams to kick old folks out of their lifelong homes. They are still snooping (violating the Fourth Amendment) on every transaction made by every American citizen. They are still conducting political punishment audits on dozens of groups and citizens throughout the country. They still feel free to "take" anything from any person for any reason without first bothering to take that person to court. And, they still schedule audits on American citizens for no particular reason, other than that they are paid to do audits.

No Constitutional protections are available to Americans hounded by the IRS. The IRS is, in fact, a law unto itself; a thing far afield of the American rule of law. Their actions are not just un-Constitutional, they are also un-American.

Congress made that and a lot more possible. In fact, wander over to the Alert Global Media web page at: http://www.moneylaundering.com/, and click on the Suspicious Activity page to see just exactly how bad things have become. Alert Global Media lists a whole slew of legal activities that can immediately trigger an investigation by the IRS. Worse, Congress actually passed laws that force banks and businesses to inform the IRS when you are using your own money in certain ways.

Then, go check out the federal government's Office of Electronic Technology's web page and see what Al Gore and Hillary have in store for the American public. Find that at: http://policyworks.gov/org/main/mt/homepage/mtc/smartgov/cards/cards.htm

This is an election year. Every Member of the House and one-third of the Senate is running. They want to stay in office, but we can remove them.

Congress created this IRS mess. Congress can uncreate this IRS mess. It is our job to force the issue.

So, how about we voters make a deal with those in Congress running for reelection? Here's the deal: Either Congress immediately abolishes the IRS; or, Congress immediately passes a bill forcing the IRS to exactly obey the Bill of Rights as written; or, all of us will work to see that no incumbent is reelected.

That is a very simple deal, easily understandable by all. Congress will not have time to put a new taxing system in place this year. They do, however, have plenty of time to pass a bill clearly stating that the IRS must honor the Bill of Rights, and at the same time take away all those silly loophole excuses about civil and administrative law.

Thereafter, when an IRS agent wants to snoop in a citizen's private affairs, they will have to first get a warrant describing exactly which records they want and why. And, if they want to take something from an American citizen, the IRS will first have to formally charge that citizen with something and prove wrongdoing to a jury in a court of law.

If the Lords and Ladies of The Hill want to keep their cushy jobs, tell them they must first show us voters some action by taking care of this one little matter. They must support our Constitution, and order the IRS honor each section of it as written.

Otherwise, adios.


There has sure been a lot of hubbub about Second Amendment rights lately. We added a little to the fray too, of course. But we shouldn't have. All we did was to pile misinformation on top of more hackneyed misinformation. In other words, we were (partially) wrong.

Here's a quick question for all you Constitutional scholars: Which of the enumerated powers authorized to the federal government are described in the Bill of Rights?

None, of course. All powers (except tax and alcohol) given the federal government by the Constitution of the United States are listed in the body of the Constitution. The Second Amendment, then, is something else.

When we have a doubt of the exact meaning of sections of the Constitution, the Supreme Court instructs that we should look to The Federalist Papers for clarification. In Cohens v. Virginia the Court said: "Its intrinsic merit entitles it to this high rank [as a complete commentary on the Constitution], and the part its authors performed in framing the Constitution put it very much in their power to explain the views with which it was framed." Since then, the Federalist Papers have been quoted liberally as an authority in many Court opinions.

In The Federalist #84, Alexander Hamilton gives his opinion on why a Bill of Rights was not really needed:

"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?"

Indeed. Why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? And, there is no power to regulate private firearms.

Yet, many people wanted this declaration of rights added to the Constitution. The promise to do so was made so as to get the Constitution ratified. And the rest is history.

It is also enlightening to read what the Representative from Virginia, James Madison, said to the first House of Representatives as he proposed the Bill of Rights. Here is part of that speech:

"It has been said, by way of objection to a bill of rights, by many respectable gentlemen out of doors, and I find opposition on the same principles likely to be made by gentlemen on this floor, that they are unnecessary articles of a Republican Government, upon the presumption that the people have those rights in their own hands, and that is the proper place for them to rest. It would be a sufficient answer to say, that this objection lies against such provisions under the State Governments, as well as under the General Government; and there are, I believe, but few gentlemen who are inclined to push their theory so far as to say that a declaration of rights in those cases is either ineffectual or improper. It has been said, that in the Federal Government they are unnecessary, because the powers are enumerated, and it follows, that all that are not granted by the constitution are retained; that the constitution is a bill of powers, the great residuum being the rights of the people; and, therefore, a bill of rights cannot be so necessary as if the residuum was thrown into the hands of the Government."

Got that? "The people have those rights in their own hands, and that is the proper place for them to rest." Later, he says that, "all [powers] that are not granted by the constitution are retained" by the people.

If the federal government had the power to regulate personal firearms, it would be one of the powers listed in the body of the Constitution, not in the Bill of Rights. And, since there is no such power granted, the right to keep and bear arms completely and unequivocally belongs to the people. Personal arms may, however, be regulated by State government.

The Second Amendment, then, is no more than a declaration that that people already have the right to keep and bear arms.

So, what would the Founding Fathers say about the abuse of power by the federal government to grab guns? Alexander Hamilton gives us a pretty good idea in The Federalist No. 78:

"There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid."

One other little point: State governments gave up a few powers when the country was formed. But, the American people did not give up any of their rights. Were the people asked to sacrifice liberty, the Constitution would never have been ratified.

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