NOVEMBER 15, 1999
C-Span co-opted?
© 1999

Saturday last, a whole bunch of people were anxiously awaiting C-Span to broadcast the "Citizens Summit to End the Illegal Operations of the IRS." Hard to fit on a business card, but although you did not see it as promised, it DID take place at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Why was it dropped? A lot of people would like to know. Some are claiming C-Span was paid NOT to air the controversial anti-tax summit.

Conventional wisdom from the establishment has been to undermine the credibility of tax protesters. Call them names, guffaw at their claims, and relegate them to the radical right-wing wacko fringe. However, this group of experts has routinely and consistently proven their allegedly outlandish claims, and mainstream tactics have been failing to quiet the roar.

I know several of the participants and have interviewed most of them on my radio talk show. Bill Benson, author of "The Law that Never Was" not only has documented the illegal implementation of the income tax, but he has also been offered money to turn over his documents and be quiet. Joe Bannister, is a former IRS special agent ("badge carrying, gun carrying agent") tells how he personally had asked the IRS (for whom he worked) to show him the statutes which make an American liable for the income tax. Since it was his job to enforce the law, he kinda wanted to see it. He never got a response. He was subsequently let go from the agency. I have always felt tangentially responsible since he had his own personal epiphany after researching material he had heard discussed on my program. (WorldNetDaily has written about his story.)

Constitutional lawyer Larry Becraft has a wealth of documentation supporting the group's claims, which the mainstream has assiduously avoided.

The C-Span scheduling change has prompted considerable confusion, disappointment, and anger -- specifically because C-Span management had already established not only the precedent of airing seminars from the organizing group (We the People) which had put on a similar tax summit previously this year, also at the National Press Club. The first summit was covered from introduction to the end by C-Span. Additionally, it was shown several times. First it was aired live, and then it was re-run several times after that the subsequent week. This summit is larger and better organized. C-Span normally covers events of national interest held at the National Press Club headquarters.

Why would C-Span, in the wake of cultivating a reputation for non-partisan candor fold on this one? It certainly wasn't any programming imperative. Instead of the promised tax protester live speeches, C-Span ran a re-run of a Books Notes show. When they ran the first event it proved to be a huge success. Reportedly, it had been the most often requested tape ordered from C-Span. It was apparently both an audience success AND a financial success in that it generated considerable tape sales. So why would they cancel the sequel with the original cast?

At the first summit (the one C-Span DID air), Bill Benson, discussed his book "The Law That Never Was," in which he proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the 16th Amendment was never properly ratified by the states. That really wasn't too earthshaking since Benson has been sharing his work for years. I first interviewed him on the air with his documentation in 1992. However, during his presentation, Benson noted that several years ago, shortly after he completed his research into the non-ratification of the 16th Amendment, he was offered a very large sum of money by a presidential candidate to not make the information public for fear it would destroy the entire tax system.

Bill did not, however (during the first broadcast summit), name the former presidential candidate. It was expected that Saturday the name would be released ... and it was. According to Benson, Orrin Hatch had offered him a large sum of money for all the original documentation of his work proving the 16th Amendment had never been ratified by the states.

Since Bill Benson has proven himself to be too principled to be bought off to suppress information the establishment claims is specious, maybe the would-be controllers could have better luck with the event promoter.

Allegedly, the We the People promoter, Bob Scultz was offered a five-figure bribe by a "leading presidential candidate" to NOT hold the event or get it on C-Span. Scultz said "An official attempt by a leading, currently-sitting U.S. Senator to pay to have the evidence suppressed, to avoid publication and to maintain secrecy has been exposed at this meeting this day."

Excuse me? Why pussy-foot around Bob? Why not just come out and say who the "currently-sitting U.S. Senator" is? Come on pal, is it or isn't it John McCain? You did say "currently sitting U.S. Senator," AND one that is a "leading presidential candidate." Is there another one other than McCain I missed?

This is outrageous! The emperor has no clothes! It is long beyond time to resolve this controversy. I've told Benson, Bannister, Becraft and others that, notwithstanding the academic argument (which, by the way, they win). Congress could and arguably should or shouldn't admit what Benson has proven, and (like when the ground ball rolled under Mrs. Leonardo's front porch) have a "do-over."

"Mr. Speaker, in the wake of congressional analysis of the scholarly work of Mr. Benson, it has been determined that the 16th Amendment was not properly ratified. In order to correct this procedural oversight, we recommend the states re-ratify the amendment in order to ensure the expeditious maintenance of federal revenues ... yada, yada, yada."

But THAT speech will never happen. For two reasons: 1) government appears incapable of admitting error (Tuskeegee, Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome, Ruby Ridge, Waco, Oklahoma City, TWA 800 et al.); and 2) the inimitable fear that, if presented to the states, the states might not ratify the unholy tax. Remember, when first proposed the income tax was a "mere" 1 percent. Hell, even the most radical tax protester could probably be bought off with a "mere" 1 percent.

However, as with ANY form of control: gun control, tax control, anti-trust control, union control, birth control, or information control, the qualifier is insignificant. It is, and always has been about CONTROL.

The framers established the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to control government. Sadly, we have permitted those who should and could be controlled to turn the tables and reverse roles. We need to fix that. And C-Span needs to either admit they have allowed themselves to become a tool of the government information cabal which allows them to maintain their fiction of non-partisan objectivity, or they need to provide their audience with what is wanted and needed, and not what is permitted or allowed.