US Mint Closes Liberty Dollar Accounts

Bernard von NotHaus revealed on FMNN’s eRadio last Friday that the US Mint has apparently taken action against NORFED behind the scenes as well as publicly.

To go along with the harassment that the Liberty Dollar and NORFED are enduring in the press, as well as the false accusations posted on the Mint’s website, Bernard revealed on the podcast posted Monday that the US Mint has acted to have bank accounts associated with NORFED and the Liberty Dollar closed, making it extremely hard for the American Liberty Dollar to conduct business.

This ratchets the battle between ALD and the US Mint up another notch.

Where it goes from here is anybodies guess. As Bernard states, CBS’ hatchet job on the subject suggests that it’s a crime even to possess ALD (it categorically is not a crime to own silver or ALD) much less use it. I’m quite certain that if they intended to arrest anyone for using ALD, they would have done so already. Silver is up again today, once again going over 13 dollars an ounce, spot price. My suggestion is, buy silver.

Here’s the issue of Liberty Dollar News that discusses the latest developments. As an aside, the Associate of the month, Jon Roland, is a personal friend of mine. Wander by Constitution.org and check out the volumes of work that Jon has put in on the subject of liberty and the Constitution.

Bernard Von Nothaus: Arrest Me

Just got the latest post from Bernard on the US Mint’s continuing effort to scare the users of the Liberty Dollar, and to libel Bernard and NORFED. All the promotion of the Liberty Dollar aside, I think he sums up the argument quite nicely when he says:

As the Monetary Architect of the Liberty Dollar and the responsible party, if I am such a heinous criminal I should be indicted by the United States Department of Justice. Alternatively, the US Mint immediately must stop claiming that using the Liberty Dollar, as voluntary barter is a crime. The idea that an American citizen cannot use a piece of gold or silver (or, for that matter, anything) in voluntary transactions between consulting adults is preposterous, antagonistic to a free market, and totally without legal merit or any law purporting to prohibit it.

They really need to back off on this. Looking at the law, I can’t see where they have any grounds to prosecute. I still think we need to stage an event with the media present, and conduct business exclusively in ALD in front of the cameras. Let them prove there is a crime being committed.

US Mint vs. ALD: More Press

More stories in the press on the subject of the recent announcement from the US mint. There isn’t as much attention being paid to this as I would like, but it still appears to be making a few headlines. 33 hits today, quite a step up from the 4 or 5 of a few weeks ago.

It’s still nothing more than a threat. No arrests made, no further elaboration from mint officials on the glaring errors in their statements. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who is familiar with the problems that We the People has been having getting their very simple questions answered.

But, like the tax protest problems, the law relating to money in the US is not exactly clear on the subject. Well actually it’s quite clear on the subject, it just isn’t being followed by the Federal Reserve or the government of the US. If it was, there would be no need for alternative currencies like the Liberty Dollar. The US dollar would provide a store of value. Inflation wouldn’t occur. We wouldn’t be in anything approaching the financial mess that this country is in right now.

Anyway, here’s a few of the stories I’ve run across.


Liberty Dollar medallions could land coin collectors in jail Trots out the 7 year old hatchet job from the Southern Poverty Law Center as part of the argument against the Liberty Dollar. Other than that it’s rather even handed.

The Washington Post says: ‘Liberty Dollars’ Can Buy Users A Prison Term, U.S. Mint Warns. But they only quote the same tired sources who misquoted the constitution in their original press release, and the above referenced hatchet job. No additional information, and much more negative than the Missoulian article.

As bad as the article is at the Washington Post, it’s nothing like the entrapment and complete mischaracterization that plays out on this video from WCBS. I’m actually embarrassed for the reporter who did this story. Is this what passes for journalism these days?

On a completely different note, the Philadelphia Inquirer wants to know: Is it sounder than a dollar? and quotes one of my more favorite statistics:

To use a concrete example, in 1948, gasoline sold for 25 cents a gallon, so a buck bought four gallons.

The dollar of that era was a silver certificate backed by just over three-quarters of an ounce of silver. That same quantity of silver still buys about four gallons at today’s prices – proof, say Liberty’s advocates, that precious metal retains its value while Federal Reserve notes, which they derogatorily call “FRNs,” diminish in value the moment they hit the street.

In what can only be called a positive piece for the Liberty Dollar. About the only article I’ve read that doesn’t toe the government line on the illegality of using Liberty Dollars in transactions. I hadn’t realized that the government had outlawed the barter system. I think they’ll have a hard time enforcing that.

Finally, UPI posted this last Wednesday, which has been picked up in several media locations:

U.S. Mint: ‘Liberty Dollars’ a buck short

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) — Alternative “Liberty Dollar” coins being circulated have prompted the U.S. Mint to remind users they can lose their liberty for five years for using them.

The silver and gold coins are produced at the private Idaho mint of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code, The Washington Post reports.

They first appeared in 1998 as the brainchild of NORFED co-founder and “monetary architect” Bernard von NotHaus, who claims on the group’s Web site the coins are a hedge against inflation.

The group claims to have more than $20 million in Liberty coins and notes in circulation, which is a bane to U.S. Mint officials.

“Merchants and banks are confronted by confused customers demanding they accept Liberty Dollars. These are not legal coin,” mint spokeswoman Becky Bailey told the Post, adding users could face a 5-year prison sentence.

In response to a public warning issued by the Mint, NORFED responded on its Web site, saying: “Here it is in plain sight … the Liberty Dollar is not a coin, not legal tender, and backed with inflation proof gold and silver!”

UPI

A buck short, indeed. As if the mint has any idea what the value of a dollar really is. A deer skin (a buck) goes for a good bit more than a dollar these days. I think they need to arrest a few people. Let’s see how strong their case is.


Editor’s note. I left this article pretty much alone. I did remove a few links to previous articles that I had compressed into one longer article on the subject. I was tempted to add this one to that article as well, but decided to let it stand. Why? Because it is cautionary tale about how dangerous it is to think you know things that you don’t actually know and can’t really explain.

I find it amusing, in hindsight, that I was so certain that the Liberty Dollar system was in the right and that this would be proven in court, all the while ignoring that nagging little voice that pointed out just how far into the wrong the marketing had spread before it was checked by the warning from the US Mint. What came after these events should not have been a surprise.

Liberty Dollar Usage a Crime?

This is a troubling development: Liberty Dollars Not Legal Tender, United States Mint Warns Consumers But the troubling part isn’t in the headline, it’s at the end of the press release:

NORFED’s “Liberty Dollar” medallions are specifically marketed to be used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and to compete with the circulating coinage of the United States. Consequently, prosecutors with the United States Department of Justice have concluded that the use of NORFED’s “Liberty Dollar” medallions violates 18 U.S.C. § 486, and is a crime.

This represents a reversal from previous rulings from the gov’t; which has, up to this point, given the alternative currency movement a pass. Referencing the code, this appears to be the pertinent section:

TITLE 18
PART I -CRIMES
CHAPTER 25 – COUNTERFEITING AND FORGERY
§ 486. Uttering coins of gold, silver or other metal

Whoever, except as authorized by law, makes or utters or passes, or attempts to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver or other metal, or alloys of metals, intended for use as current money, whether in the resemblance of coins of the United States or of foreign countries, or of original design, shall be fined under this title [1] or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

But, I would like to know, how do they plan to enforce this? If I want to accept silver for my services, I’m not sure that they have any grounds for prosecution, short of a sting operation.

There is also the issue of use of the phrase current money, which is essentially defined as legal tender. This is not a term used to describe Liberty Dollars.

If they wish to broadly interpret current money to include ALD, then it also applies to any token used in any business that substitutes for a fixed amount of cash; car wash tokens, bus tokens, arcade tokens, etc.

Maybe the mint and the justice department should have read the disclaimer on the Libertydollar.org website. They might have realised that this issue has been researched already.

“Gold and Silver Libertys are neither legal tender, money, “current money” nor coins; they do not resemble nor appear to be coinage minted, issued, authorized, or approved by any government agency; and do not relate to taxation or avoidance of taxation. They are privately minted one-ounce gold and silver examples of the goods on deposit for the warehouse receipts distributed by NORFED.”

Henceforth, all Gold and Silver Libertys will be provided with the clear understanding that it is NORFED’s intent that all Gold and Silver Libetys are provided as examples of the goods on deposit for the warehouse receipts distributed by NORFED. Of course, what you and thousands of other freedom loving, consenting adults choose to do in response to the government’s fiat money is beyond NORFED’s ability or duty to police.

The International Libertarian has an entry on the subject, as well as several pertinent quotes from Federal Reserve spokesmen (and others) who reviewed the currency and found nothing illegal about it.

The story had 4 mentions today (9/16/2006) USA Today, Free Market News Network, Asheville Citizen-Times and the original Rocky Mountain News story.

Only the USA Today story mentions a rebuttal from NORFED and the Liberty Dollar. In fact, not even the home site for the Liberty Dollar, libertydollar.org, has a mention of the tempest in a teapot that the mint announcement seems to have stirred up. I had to go to a third party site to read the entire press release.

So what has happened? Goliath just introduced David to millions of Americans as a nationally recognized underdog. Just as Pepsi went up against Coke with their “take the Pepsi Challenge” campaign, the Liberty Dollar will take it to the people to decide which currency they should use. Welcome to “Just try the Liberty Dollar” campaign. So keep doing “the drop” and spreading the word. We are within our rights to offer Liberty Dollars for goods and services to whoever will voluntarily accept them.

Liberty Dollar Says NO to the US Mint Allegations (via the Wayback Machine)