THE AGONY, THE ECSTASY, THE AGONY PART 2
June 25, 2005
June 23, 2005, the verdict came in around 1:45 pm PST: not guilty on all counts.
Before I continue, I want to recount a human part of that day. In the delightful movie, Hatari, with John Wayne and Red Buttons, whose character is known as "Pockets," there is one particularly hilarious scene. Pockets builds this rocket that supposedly will fly over this huge tree and trap all the monkeys so they can round them up for shipment to zoos. The big day comes, Pocket loads his rocket, hits the fire button and then hides behind a tree and covers his eyes. He doesn't see a thing, but to everyone's amazement, it works like a charm. Later that night, the cast of characters celebrate with some adult libations and by then, Pockets is gassed to the gills, asking John Wayne and others over and over - as he cries - to tell him one more time how beautiful it was, how it worked. It was quite funny.
On June 23, 2005 at about 1:30 pm, everyone, me, Connie, the defense team, Joe's family (they were there in numbers to show their support to the jury) - all of us were sitting up on the 14th floor of that New Age Federal Court House frustrated to no end wondering what on earth was taking the jury so long? Finally, I told Connie, "You want the jury to come in with a verdict? No problem. I only live 15 minutes away. I'm going to go home to let my dogs out and then come back. As soon as I leave, the jury will come in." Connie said, "Don't hurry, it looks like we're going to be here all afternoon." Guess what? I walked in my front door, gave my two pooches kisses, put them outside for the wee wee call and the phone rang. It was Connie with the good news that Joe was found not guilty on all counts. Just like Pockets, I missed the finale!
I did, however, see Jeff Dickstein within the hour and he conveyed to me the details of the jury coming in, the decision and Joseph Banister walking out of the court room a free man. The morning of June 24, 2005, I took Sherry Jackson to the airport and she told me that after the verdict was read, she and others were able to speak with some of the jurors. This is Sherry's account of comments from two jurors regarding their deliberations as spoken to Joe:
On the second day they did a preliminary vote and 7 were for Joe and the others were unsure. No one was really staunchly against Joe. The second viewing of the Cencal videotape and the fact that the government has not answered our questions was the thing that brought the two undecided jurors over. When they watched the video they wondered why the prosecution even had that video in evidence. They were never really locked in combat against each other, they just wanted to review all of the evidence and compare it to the judge’s instructions concerning the counts. They had all heard of the “tax protest” movement before. They were never afraid that if they acquitted Joe the IRS would come after them. They said they knew that Joe believed what he was saying and that a man has the right to speak his beliefs without being prosecuted. They were surprised that the government did not have real evidence.
That is the ecstasy, but the agony - the persecution of Joseph Banister - is not over.
The federal government has been trying to get Joe Banister for years; the history of this persecution and hounding can be found on his web site. While Joe is a free man today, make no mistake about it: this is a big, bloody nose for the IRS, their lawyers got their noses rubbed in their incompetence and they will be back. I have known Joe Banister for many years and a more honorable man with incredible courage is difficult to find in this country. He is a patriot in true sense of the word as was Thom Jefferson, Patrick Henry and Nathan Hale. But, he has paid a terrible price for his courage and unwavering belief in the truth and the rule of law. You will never see this man complain or belly ache. He knew the path he chose to take would be the most difficult for any man to walk, but walk it he has and God bless him and his family who were there in that court room with love in their hearts for this kind, gentle man.
Most people have no concept or idea what happens in one of these major federal cases. While I have no knowledge of the specific amount of money Joe's defense cost, I know from other similar cases that a good legal team on a federal tax case runs anywhere from $35,000-$50,000 - up front. I personally wish to thank everyone who donated so generously to meet the necessary funding for Joe's defense, but most people who get indicted like Joe, simply don't have that kind of money. Besides the issue of trying to find a King's ransom to defend themselves, then comes the months of agony for the defendant wondering if he's living his last days as a free man. The agony for his family and friends. I have been watching this go on for fifteen years and it doesn't get any easier. After Vernie's acquittal, the Feds came after her in a civil action and are taking what's left. If they can't get you in criminal court, they will get you in civil court. What is happening in America today is a slap in the face to those who birthed this Republic and our nation's greatest enemy is the American people, both for their apathy and their fatal blind loyalty to their political party, forsaking the truth and what's right for federal "bacon" from their party.
For Judge William Schubb, the federal prosecutors and treasury agents - I have nothing but contempt for these people who will do anything for their cushy, safe paychecks. These people aren't that stupid and they can read. You can't tell me they don't smell something fishy, but they have neither the guts nor the courage to say this is a lie and walk away. Instead, their greedy, grubby little hands snatch paychecks funded by you and me and go about their daily mission of trying to shut out the truth, continue lying to the American people and trying to put honorable, decent Americans like Joe Banister in a 6' x 9' cage.
I feel compelled to try and clarify the misunderstandings that circulate following one of these cases. When Vernie Kuglin was acquitted, my mail box was full of e-mails proclaiming "This is the end of the IRS!!!!!" Nothing was further from the truth as time has proven. People did not understand that Vernie's trial did not challenge the law, it was a reliance defense case: the jury believed (rightly so) that Vernie took the actions she did because she believed in her heart that she was doing the right thing.
As soon as Joe's acquittal hit the Net, one organization known as the P.T. Barnum of the tax movement, sent out a thinly disguised pitch for donations using the the Banister case which reads:
"Former IRS CID Special Agent Joseph Banister Acquitted of Tax Fraud And Conspiracy - Government Unable To Prove U.S. Law Requires Income Tax Withholding or Filing"
This is grossly misleading. Joe's trial was not about any challenge of the income tax or withholding laws. The government charged Joe Banister with the counts listed in Part I. The entire case was tied to Al Thompson's indictment. The government accused Joe of conspiring to defraud the government over the preparation of tax returns for Thompson's company, filing false returns (read the full indictment). Joe's excellent defense team and those in the court room understood the issue of free speech, protected political speech and what constitutes a conspiracy. The jury had to decide if Joe Banister knowingly and willfully set out, in cahoots with Al Thompson, to defraud the government, to impede the collection of taxes, did they knowingly file false returns (proven this was not the case) and was Joe guilty of assisting in the preparation of filing false returns (read the charges).
The jury did not know about Al Thompson's conviction or sentencing because it would be too prejudicial. They had to consider if Joe was guilty of the charges set forth and they had to carefully consider the jury instructions, which they did. To tout that the "government was unable to prove U.S. law requires income tax withholding or filing" is outright misleading at the very least, but sounds good to pitch for more donations. The hucksters will be busy the next few weeks picking the pockets of the gullible who believe such misleading headlines. Joe was acquitted because the jury could clearly see that Joe's sincere intentions absolutely did not constitute an effort to defraud or impede the government's collection of taxes or meet the threshold of guilt on the other charges in the indictment and that Joe did not knowingly file false tax returns on behalf of Al Thompson.
As a result of this organization mentioned above posting such a misrepresentation of the actual facts of the case, I received the following e-mail as a cc: "Dear Allen, Based on the findings of the jury in the Bannister case would ADF consider petitioning the courts to give the Indianapolis Baptist Temple their property back? Its my understanding that there is no statute of limitations on fraud. Please advise. Dr. Greg Dixon, Pastor Emeritus, On behalf of Pastor Greg A. Dixon and the IBT congregation"
So, you see? People's hopes get raised over some organization that sends out a misleading headline that spreads like wildfire, but in the end, has no basis in reality regarding the Banister trial, the same as what happened after Vernie Kuglin's trial. It wasn't the end of the IRS after Vernie's acquittal and it won't be as a result of the verdict in Joe's case.
The issue of petitioning the government came up with evidence demonstrating that Joe had participated in a steady, concentrated effort to petition Congress and various IRS officials to answer questions about the tax laws. However, and this is important: to my knowledge, no one's First Amendment rights to petition the government regarding income tax issues has been impeded or denied. Every American has the right to petition Congress and millions have on the income tax issue. But, Congress has their own set of written rules and they can answer any way they want (or not answer) until the cows come home. They will say they have answered people's petitions and questions and that the courts have ruled (for their masters) on this issue. The petitioners respond that they don't get the answer they want (the truth) and so it goes back and forth like a tennis match.
I don't like this any more than you, but as I said, Congress has their written rules made by them. Members of Congress do accept petitions and become "sponsors" of those petititons, but it isn't going to happen on the income tax - not with this current Congress because they need to keep feeding the privately owned central bank so they can continue funding a trillion dollars in social welfare programs, throwing tens of billions to foreign countries and to funding unconstitutional wars. It's a no brainer that we need to clean out Congress, but at the same time, we need to get our fellow Americans to understand the money trail. Once they discover that their "income tax dollars" don't fund the limited functions of the government, that is when they come to the side of truth and get steamed.
The federal jails are full of people who are so desperate they will believe anything from guru's in the tax movement. Al Thompson believed the nonsense about "names in caps" and look where it got him. Everyone is sick and tired and fed up with the lies and silence out of this government from one administration to the next. We all want this fraud to stop, but that isn't going to happen until a large enough percentage of the population fully understand and comprehend the nexus between the income tax and the central bank. The toll in human carnage (broken marriages, bankrupted individuals, etc) will only continue until Americans unify, get on the same sheet of music and create a wind of such force, we will see change.
I urge everyone (if you haven't already) to read Why An Income Tax is Not Necessary to Fund the Federal Government. And, please order Joe Banister's 90+ page report he submitted to his superiors. Joe has done a superior job in laying it all out for everyone to understand. Read it and give it to someone who does want the truth about where their tax dollars go and let us get this truth out to thousands and millions. Remember: We are the wind. Live it. Believe it. Stay the course.
The Agony - Part I
© 2005 Devvy Kidd - All Rights Reserved
Devvy Kidd authored the booklets, Why A Bankrupt America and Blind Loyalty, which sold close to 2,000,000 copies. Devvy appears on radio shows all over the country, ran for Congress and is a highly sought after public speaker. Get a free copy of Why A Bankrupt America from El Dorado Gold. Devvy is a contributing writer for www.NewsWithViews.com.
Devvy's website: www.devvy.com
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