WHICH SIDE IS THE CON ON?
Robert R. Raymond
July 1, 2005
So began the soon-to-be-famous script of the closing argument of Attorney
Jeffrey Alan Dickstein of the Bernhoft Law Firm, on behalf of the "most
public and known member of the illegal tax protest movement," according to
the IRS -- one whistleblower named Joseph Banister. Bookmarking his closing
argument with the petition of Sir Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia to King
George of England and signed by a few other "notorious tax protestors," and
closing with the poem of the German priest who noted there were none left to
defend him when he had failed to defend his fellow citizens from the Nazi
regime, Dickstein threaded his closing with one resounding theme -- which
side is the con on?
With a pen and paper and a few words, Banister's attorney surmised the case:
conspiracy to defraud was the allegation, for which the first three letters
of the first word controlled the outcome: con. As Mr. Dickstein repeatedly
asked the jury, who was conning whom?
The former IRS agent who simply asked some questions and cracked the tax
code? Or the Government that "pink-slipped" him when he did? Which side is
the con on?
The Catholic school boy -- his friends call him the last Boy Scout -- whose
widowed mother sat behind him day after day in court? Or the government
lawyers who said no American citizen had a right to protest the IRS with a
direct petition, instead claiming only pamphleteering outside buildings was
legal? Which side is the con on?
The young man sitting before ordinary seamstresses openly sharing his story
on videotape, warning them of the dangers of learning who the tax law
applied to, but declaring he could not leave a morally corrupted world to
his children and live with himself in good conscience? Or the politicians
who blame the taxpayers for the problems they, and their hand-picked minions
before the bench and behind it, created? Which side is the con on?
The stunningly honest citizen tax advocate who followed the very procedures
the IRS advised him to take to get answers to basic questions from the
government? Or the government that now says doing just that is a criminal
conspiracy, calling advocacy itself, a notorious crime? Which side is the
Who is really the "mark" of the con? The all-powerful, lawyer-filled
marbled halls of power in the D.C. beltway "tricked" by Joe Banister's
"false" statements? Or the tax collecting politicians disclaiming their own
written laws in the words they were written in, behind the lectern and
leathered pulpits of sophists masquerading as judges, and harlots parading
themselves as prosecutors? Which side is the con on?
As Attorney Robert Bernhoft noted, is the IRS/Government's way of answering
serious questions from citizens about serious issues a Federal Criminal
Indictment to shut those people up? If it is, and the Banister prosecution
proves it is, then that's about as un-American as you can get.
Which side is the con on? The jury answered that question real clear:
Joseph Banister acquitted on all counts. So who does that leave guilty?
© 2005 Robert R. Raymond All Rights Reserved
Robert R. Raymond is the past Independent candidate for the U.S House of
Representatives for Wisconsin's 4th District in the 2004 elections. A
political activist for the past ten years he represents the Coalition of
Independent Americans. He can be reached on his web site
http://www.rraymond.org/ or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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