Following the recent conviction of Bernard von NotHaus for his "domestic terrorism", "dollar counterfeiting" Liberty Dollar operation (for which he faces up to 25 years in jail and a $750,000 fine), the Feds are now scrambling to recover each and every ounce of physical silver available as part of the fallout. Today, for example, AP reports that Federal prosecutors tried to confiscate NotHaus' hoard of silver "Liberty Dollars" worth about $7 million. Whether or not this 181,000 ounces of "fungible" physical silver will be enough to satisfy Comex silver deliveries by Federal authorities (read a key tri-party repo clearer bank), remains to be seen.
"The prosecutors successfully painted Mr. von NotHaus in a false light and now the U.S. Attorney responsible for the prosecution is painting the case in a false light, saying that it establishes that private voluntary barter currency is illegal," Michel wrote.
The trial was scheduled to resume Monday in Statesville. The case involves more than five tons of Liberty Dollars and precious metals seized from a warehouse, which the government wants to take by forfeiture, according to federal prosecutors and Michel.
Federal prosecutors successfully argued that von NotHaus was, in fact, trying to pass off the silver coins as U.S. currency. Coming in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50, the Liberty Dollars also featured a dollar sign, the word "dollar" and the motto "Trust in God," similar to the "In God We Trust" that appears on U.S. coins. "Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism," U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said in a statement after von NotHaus was convicted.
The concerns raised by von NotHaus and his group are finding resonance among some state lawmakers, too. About a dozen states have legislation that would allow them to produce their own currency backed by gold or silver in the event of hyperinflation striking the U.S. dollar. North and South Carolina are among those states.
Not everyone believes in the purity of von NotHaus' motives: "NotHaus' group has been followed for years by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that tracks political extremism. Long before the government began its investigation into von NotHaus, the group was raising concerns about the popularity of Liberty Dollars among fringe groups on the far right."
"He's playing on a core idea of the radical right, that evil bankers in the Federal Reserve are ripping you off by controlling the money supply," said Mark Potok, spokesman for the group.
Um, is this actually subject to debate?
In the meantime, we wonder just how much more physical in the form silver-tipped "bringer of peace" missiles will be used up in the upcoming Operation Chocolate Dawn about to break out and restore human rights in Ivory Coast.