The Michigan Militia Corps'

Weekly Update
Internet Edition

Volume 5, Issue 24

Week of July 13, 1998


Atlanta, GA - June 26th, 1998 - GamePAC (Political Action Confederation) is an organization which intends to represent the interests of the computer and videogame industry in Washington and at the state and local level.

The group officially launched during a trade industry organization meeting at the E3 expo in Atlanta last month.

GamePAC (Political Action Confederation) was formed by rank and file members of the computer game industry, and is a grass-roots lobbying effort. The group intends to develop a political action confederation made up of people who develop, promote and publish computer games, as well as consumers.

At his 1998 Computer Game Developers Conference presentation, 'Playing Games with Washington: Government Report '98', Daniel Greenberg said, "The bigger and more profitable our industry becomes, the more we'll attract government attention. We can no longer rely on our obscurity to avoid regulation. In the past, computer game developers were caught off guard by the government's scrutiny of our games and vital new technologies. In the future, we can continue to sit out the fight and hope for the best, or we can have a place at the table."

GamePAC was created to assure our place at the table, and that our voice is heard.

Members of GamePAC believe our industry is under siege. In a successful campaign waged by the IDSA, a bill that would have banned violent videogames was defeated in the state of Florida. An even tougher fight is expected next year, and the coordinated efforts of our developers and publishers together with others in our industry is key to maintain our liberties.

It is time that our voices be heard. As an industry, we have more political power than we can even imagine. Except for a few voices -- such as the IDSA, an industry trade association representing software publishers -- our industry is not heard in Washington and state capitals. However, the voices of lawmakers who want to blame our industry for violence in our society - who want to mandate a ratings system - who pass Internet censorship laws - ARE heard, while WE remain silent. As Thomas Paine pointed out, it is up to each generation to guard its liberties.

When Congress convenes, our liberties are in jeopardy. GamePAC is here to help facilitate and focus the political voice of the gaming industry, to investigate and inform game developers about government intrusion, and to help the game industry represent itself better in the halls of Washington and state capitals.

The GamePAC Web site, currently in development, will provide a conduit for support from game developers and publishers, enabling it to protect their industry's right to exercise creativity and imagination. To produce truly entertaining games for their audience, developers must have a strong voice in the outcome of laws that affect their ability to create. This freedom of expression is at the heart of the expansive growth of our industry. We need donations, contributions and your support NOW, to begin the real work of protecting our mutual rights. Protect your freedom to produce the games YOU want to produce.

IRS admits property seizure abuses

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service says it did not always follow proper procedures when seizing taxpayer property in the past but had taken steps to remedy the situation.

One day after IRS reform legislation sailed through the Senate on its way to the president, who is expected to sign it into law, the tax collection agency Friday released two reports on its own internal reviews which found the IRS had not always behaved properly.

"In these pages, American taxpayers will find a stunning confession of the sins of the IRS," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Roth, a Delaware Republican. He requested the reports after taxpayers testified to his committee about cases that were poorly handled by the IRS.

One report looked at IRS seizures of taxpayer property and assets and found the agency properly followed guidelines in 337 of 467 cases reviewed.

In the other 130 cases, however, issues arose such as alternatives to seizure were not always pursued, reasonable attempts were not always made to contact the taxpayer before seizing assets and legally required waiting periods before the seizure were not always met, according to the IRS.

Roth said the IRS in one case turned a "taxpayer's life upside down" by seizing and selling his business to net the IRS $4.17.

The IRS said it has taken action to respond, such as incorporating into procedures and memos on seizure procedures consideration of "reasonable alternative collection methods" before deciding to seize assets.

Steps also included development of a check sheet showing legal and procedural requirements for the seizure and sale process.

In the second report the IRS found inappropriate use of examination statistics in all 12 districts reviewed due partly to unclear and inconsistent guidance.

A key complaint during Senate hearings from IRS agents was that managers were using tax collection statistics to evaluate agents and the office.

The IRS said managers will now be evaluated on their performance in areas such as inventory management and employee development.

Constitutional Corruption

By Walter Williams

Let's ponder these questions: why did Congress amend the Constitution in 1916 giving it the power to collect taxes on any source? Why was the 17th Amendment enacted in 1913 to select Senators by popular vote rather than, as originally designed, selected by state legislatures? Finally, why did Congress pass the 18th Amendment in 1919 outlawing alcohol sales?

To really get into these questions and gain an appreciation for today's rogue Congress and Supreme Court, let's not get bogged down on the merits of these amendments. Let's simply look at the Constitution's restrictions. In Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution the Framers enumerated 18 functions of the federal government. Nowhere among those functions was Congress given the power to prohibit alcohol sales. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution expressly states "direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states" and forbids direct taxes on individuals. Then there's Article I, Section 3, that requires state legislatures to appoint Senators.

During earlier periods, Congress and the Supreme Court had far greater respect for the Constitution. They understood that if the federal government was to have a power not delegated, or expressly forbidden, by the Constitution they had to use the provisions of Article V to gain that power by amendment. They knew, for example, Congress had not delegated power to prohibit alcohol sales. They couldn't find that power by manipulating the "commerce clause" or going penumbra hunting.

Today, it's an entirely different story. Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court have abiding contempt for the Constitution and we Americans are left with a constitutional carcass. Take just a tiny comparison of today with yesteryear. Yesteryear there were alcohol prohibitionists; today we have tobacco prohibitionists. No matter what we think about the alcohol prohibitionists, we can have a bit of admiration for them because they used the constitutional route to get their agenda across. Tobacco prohibitionists employ constitutional stealth: taxes, majority votes and the totalitarian tactics of the EPA, and FDA.

In 1787, the Constitution would have never been ratified without both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.", is the Ninth Amendment and, "Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or the people.", is the Tenth. The Framers justifiably feared concentration, of power in Washington. Today, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments have been completely trashed and Congress is well on the way to finally trashing the Second and Fifth Amendments.

When and how we developed today's constitutional contempt is debatable. The federally-caused Great Depression played a role but the education establishment has played a greater role through the dumbing down of Americans. The resulting ignorance has allowed us to let charlatans and quacks in the legal profession tell us what the Constitution means. The Constitution was not written for intellectual elites; it was understandable to a nation of mostly farmers at the time it was written.

So where do we go and what do we do? Each of us is duty-bound to read and understand our Constitution. If we do that we'll realize Washington has little or no moral authority. Its authority rests mostly on intimidation and force of arms. And like the Founders, we should adopt the attitude that "There is one thing in the world more wicked than the desire to command, and that is the will to obey."

Circuit Court Tells Prosecutors: Tempting Witnesses Akin to Bribery

Washington, DC, July 7, 1998 -- In the wake of last week's momentous federal appeals court decision turning aside the common practice by which the U.S. Department of Justice buys testimony against accused citizens, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is urging Congress and the Justice Department to change that practice across the board. NACDL is also alerting judges and defense attorneys around the nation that the Justice Department's practice of promising leniency to jailhouse informants in exchange for their testimony must now be deemed precisely what the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals declared it is: a violation of the federal bribery statute.

At the very least, federal prosecutors should be required to corroborate any such tainted testimony with non-accomplice testimony or other credible evidence -- both before any grand jury and at trial -- in jurisdictions which still permit such testimony, defense lawyer and NACDL President Gerald B. Lefcourt, New York, said today.

A unanimous panel of the federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Singleton struck down the criminal conviction of Sonya Evette Singleton, alleged to have been involved in illicit drug activity and money laundering. The government essentially purchased the testimony of a star witness with promises not to prosecute him for certain crimes in state court and a pledge to inform the court of his cooperation. NACDL has long condemned the double standard which, until now, exempted prosecutors from the federal bribery statute, Title 18, Section 201 of the federal criminal code, and allowed prosecutors to pay for a witness' testimony in cash, or something even more valuable -- the witness' liberty, by dropping charges or more lenient sentencing, or the like. (Ms. Singleton's appeal was argued by long-time NACDL member John Val Wachtel, of the law firm Klenda, Mitchell, Austerman & Zuercher, L.L.C., Wichita, KS.)

"If the American justice system is a search for truth," Lefcourt said, "that search requires that every witness testify honestly and not for personal gain. If defense lawyers were to offer a witness anything of value in exchange for testimony, we'd be prosecuted, pure and simple. And what is more valuable than lenient sentencing or freedom? Prosecutors pay off cooperating witnesses with promises of money, soft sentencing, and promises not to prosecute at all.

"In a landmark ruling in a case of first impression, a highly-regarded federal appeals court has now agreed with what we have been saying for years -- no one should be convicted on the word of an accomplice alone. The enormous power of the government to lock up a defendant for life, or to free him altogether, creates an enormous incentive to lie. With today's inflation in sentencing -- particularly with mandatory minimums -- the Tenth Circuit has seen this type of deal for what it is: a violation of the plain language of the federal bribery statute," Lefcourt noted.

NACDL President-Elect and Denver criminal defense counsel Larry Pozner, who practices in the 10th Circuit, termed last week's decision "a bombshell." "The court has ended decades of government-sanctioned bribery. A system in which the government could exchange freedom for a story they wanted to hear is a system rampant with injustice and half-truths."

"At the very least Congress should require that such questionable testimony be corroborated, as is currently required in places like New York State," Lefcourt added. NACDL's Board of Directors approved just such a resolution in May 1996. Presented by Lefcourt, the resolution states:

RESOLVED, that NACDL supports legislation which would require in federal criminal prosecutions that accomplice testimony be corroborated by non-accomplice testimony and/or evidence, both in the grand jury and at trial, before it can be deemed sufficient to establish either probable cause or guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Right now, a federal jury in Miami is deliberating the fate of two attorneys accused of representing the alleged former heads of the Cali cocaine cartel in such a way that the government considers them principals in a 10-year conspiracy to import drugs and export money. The case is built not on familiar evidence -- such as wiretaps, fingerprints and surveillance photos -- but solely on the testimony of actual members of the conspiracy who pleaded guilty and hope to win their freedom by testifying against the attorneys. Last year, another federal jury acquitted the lawyers, Michael Abbell and William Moran, of the most serious charge in the indictment and deadlocked on the other charges. The government decided to try them again, but with no more evidence than they had at the first trial-- the bartered testimony of desperate men.

Juries naturally greet this type of bought-and-paid-for evidence with suspicion. Court will often instruct a jury that these cooperating witnesses" have a motive to lie.

But in the case handed down last week, the 10th Circuit held, for the first time ever, that freedom-for-testimony deals violate the plain language of the federal bribery statute. There are good reasons why no one -- even federal prosecutors -- should ever be allowed to give a witness anything of value in exchange for testimony. As the court noted, there is probably nothing more valuable to a defendant facing a long prison term than the promise of freedom -- a gratuity which only the government has the power to confer.

After last week's ruling, such plea bargains are prohibited in the six states that make up the federal 10th Circuit: Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. But this kind of prosecutorial bribery is not uncommon. Although once the preferred method of making cases in the shadowy world of organized crime, in recent years it has become standard operating procedure, whether the accused are suspected drug dealers or a medical group under investigation for Medicaid or insurance fraud, or a small business accused of overbilling on a municipal contract, or a major corporation targeted for defrauding the federal government.

NACDL President Gerald Lefcourt summed up as follows:

"The 10th Circuit's decision to exclude bought-and-paid-for testimony from alleged co-conspirators should materially enhance the truth-seeking process. One of the basic tenets of American jurisprudence, civil and criminal, is that it is a search for truth -- not purchased truth or bartered-for truth, but the unvarnished truth that comes from the lips of a witness in whose integrity a jury can have confidence. When the government seeks to convict American citizens in a court of law, it must be above reproach. Promises of payment to a government witness, whether in cash, kind, or liberty, render that testimony inherently untrustworthy."

The court's opinion in United States v. Singleton, written by Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr., is online at

The Ghost of Watergate

By George Zimmerlee
Watergate has been characterized as a low grade burglary which failed even to bag the targeted files. The historical importance was in the President distancing himself from it. The President resigned in shame when his lie was discovered. Watergate may return to haunt President Clinton. He claims that he was aware of, but not directly involved in the events at Waco. White House has refused documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which clearly defines the Executive Office of the President as subject to the Act. Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys are stonewalling certain information to protect the FBI in this case. FBI and FCC have classified document to prevent their release.

After the 1993 Waco-BATF raid, part of the plan to get the Davidians to come out was destroying the "ham radio tower", so presented in the FBI news briefing. Aerial photographs of February 28, 1993 show that the tower in question was already missing prior to the raid. FBI used the briefing to create a scenario explaining the missing tower. No mention of it ever followed. Destroying such private property prior to the service of a warrant was bizarre, but not as bizarre as illegal jamming by FBI and FCC of the emergency amateur radio station inside the church. Section 706 of the Communications Act gives the

President authority to suspend enforcement of the Act during war or emergency. Although the FBI has admitted jamming to Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, he refuses to investigate this matter claiming that no laws were broken. If President Clinton suspended the Commmunications Act, then as Gingrich knowingly claims, no laws were broken.

If Clinton used a war and emergency provision of law for political purposes, and the Executive Office of the President violated the clear language of FOIA to cover up this abuse of power, then this case should become greater than Watergate. All that remains is to have Clinton deny he signed such orders and do so on television before the American people. Since so few people know about this case, and since the liberal news media will not investigate it or broadcast it, no denial will be made, unless readers of this story force the issue. For documents in this case, visit the Research on Criminal Government site:

If you would like to submit an editorial, commentary, or news story from your perspective on something you have been keeping an eye on, please e-mail it to and it will be evaluated for entrance. Thanks.

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