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'Ghosts' group threatens IRS employees

Posted By Jon Dougherty On 09/01/2001 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled

A group calling itself the “Ghosts of the Revolution” has issued a threatening warning to the Internal Revenue Service, claiming that agents, employees and IRS offices could be targeted for attacks after Sept. 1.

“This warning is given to all Americans now employed by the Internal Revenue Service,” the group said in a four-page communiqu?, a copy of which was provided to WND.

“The IRS is a criminal organization in the service of collectivists and socialists. A condition of war now exists between free Americans and the IRS,” said the warning. “The failure of the IRS to conduct itself in a lawful manner has brought about the need for this action.”

Several copies of the communiqu? were sent out Aug. 6, bearing a Casper, Wyo., postmark.

The warning comes just weeks before tax reform advocates, congressional supporters and officials from the IRS and Justice Department are to meet in Washington, D.C., to discuss the nature, scope and legality of the federal income tax and the 16th Amendment.

The hearings – scheduled for Sept. 25 and 26 – are still on, despite the threat, said tax-reform expert and author Bob Schulz, who plans to attend and participate. Schulz is director of We the People Foundation, a tax reform group that is also sponsoring the hearings.

Besides Schulz, tax-reform advocate Devvy Kidd, tax attorney Larry Becraft and former IRS agent Joe Banister – all hearings participants, too – also received copies.

Schulz said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Maryland Republican who helped arrange the hearings, also received a copy. He said he and Bartlett discussed the communiqu? last week when Schulz visited Bartlett in his Washington office. However, no one in Bartlett’s office was available on Friday to confirm or deny whether the congressman received a copy of the warning.

Schulz said the contents of the communiqu? weren’t made public until this week because recipients said they weren’t sure what to do. But he did say recipients immediately contacted the FBI.

A spokesman at the bureau’s headquarters in Washington told WND he had not heard of the communiqu?. But Peter Gulotta, an FBI spokesman in the bureau’s Baltimore office – in Bartlett’s district – said the agency “was aware of the threat.”

“I don’t know where the threat originated, but we’re taking it seriously and looking into it,” he told WND.

Schulz also said he had been interviewed by agents from the Treasury Department, but the agency did not return phone calls for confirmation.

Schulz said he wasn’t sure if the communiqu? was sent by “a competitor” or not, but he suggested it could even have come from a government agency.

He noted that all of the recipients, ironically, are associated in some way with this month’s hearings.

Some experts say the warning could be the work of a “provocateur” – either a government agent or other faction seeking to discredit the tax reform movement specifically in advance of next month’s hearings, or simply to discredit the movement in general.

The group claims it sent copies of its statement to other media outlets, including newspapers, television stations, magazines, and “select Internet sites.”

One such Internet newssite, The Sierra Times, reported that the communiqu? “warns citizens to avoid IRS facilities beginning Sept. 1.”

Schulz told WND he did not in any way sanction the violence alluded to in the communiqu?.

“That’s not who I am,” Schulz said. “I don’t condone that kind of behavior. We don’t want to see anyone hurt.”

Meanwhile, Schulz said negotiations were moving ahead in selecting tax-reform attorneys and experts to present evidence and make arguments during the upcoming hearings. However, Schulz refused to say whether his group had selected a “lead counsel” to head up the team.

A week ago, WND reported that Robert Bernhoft had stepped down as the group’s lead counsel.

“I wish the foundation and the other interested Americans success,” he told WND, saying he wasn’t “at liberty” to discuss the details of why he stepped down.

“The federal income tax is a slave tax. We’re a free people; we’re not slaves. There are so many constitutional violations and legal problems with the current tax as it’s imposed and collected that the tax will unwind eventually, somehow,” he said.

Mike Bodine, a spokesman for the foundation, cited “personality differences” as the reason why Bernhoft resigned.


Related stories:

‘We the People’ counsel quits

Plantiff seeks high court tax review

IRS bashes ‘frivolous’ tax arguments

Tax activists refute IRS claims

Tax activist meeting in jeopardy


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