Instrument of Domestic Terrorism?

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Liberty Dollar

Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted making coins resembling and similar to United States coins; of issuing, passing, selling and possessing Liberty Dollar coins; of issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money; and of conspiracy against the United States.

von NotHaus was charged with violation of 18 U.S.C. § 485, conspiracy to possess and sell coins in resemblance or similitude of any foreign gold or silver coin current in the United States or in actual use and circulation as money within the United States.

A coin with the image of Ron Paul is similar to actual U.S. coinage? Well, it is round. Wouldn’t the image on Ron Paul actually make the coin dissimilar to any U.S. coinage?

The FBI, in a press release, has absurdly labeled von NotHaus’s actions “domestic terrorism.”

U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins said:

While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country.

This kind of hyperbolic nonsense makes a mockery out of the justice system. The economic system is not so fragile as to be threatened by the Liberty Dollar.

It seems to me that the Liberty Dollar is a form of protected political speech. I look forward to the appeal.

H/T: Ron Chusid, Tim Murphy, Evansville Courier & Press.

16 thoughts on “Instrument of Domestic Terrorism?”

  1. How is this different from those characters who declare themselves ‘sovereign citizens’ and try to pay their bills with their own made up currency or scrip or whatever?

    And who are then arrested for it?

  2. Making fake money is actually pretty bad… Since most people don’t read each individual coin they give or receive, I would not consider the text/face to be enough of a difference. The color, weight and feel seem much more important to me. People having the ability to create realistic money could mean the end of our financial system… I’d give it a second look before discarding it as “freedom of speech”.

  3. Oh, and a third question:


    good points, but what DOES our current money standard represent? If it is time, in hours, as a nurse I can say that my idea of value and actual use of the time towards its purpose may not equal yours…not to mention that the current laws protecting employees are being rapidly castrated and have been ignored without enforcement for years. Why else would there be a huge drive to undermine any group that attempts to protect those who labour and HAVE laboured for years with the standard of time as its base. As far as I can see…corporations have raped the American worker just as much as can be fruitful in the money department and now they are going after time …


  4. For those that still demand the 19th century obsolete gold standard a couple of questions:

    How does the economy grow when there is a finite, limited amount of money in the whole world?

    Since the majority of gold production in the world is in Russia are you also in favor of their control over the growth of the world economy?

    Oh, and a third question:

  5. I think the DOJ would be better served to spend their time going after the admitted torturers who are still free. Bush, Cheney, Rice, et al. need to be reminded what the rule of law is.

  6. Woosty’s still a Cat

    “Tell Your Lawmakers: Shut Down The New Debtors’ Prisons”

    Thanks for the posting – very interesting.

    I have to wonder if AIG pursued wage garnishment, financial institution garnishment or judgment lien (assuming this guy has assets).

    If a debtor is judgment proof, having him or her arrested is viewed as nothing more than intimidation and is considered a waste of law enforcements time and the courts time.

  7. LK,

    “It looks like the allegation of terrorism is as broad and slippery as the government wants to make it.”


    I fully suspect there are those in government who would consider my and others here criticisms as “terrorism” but just don’t have the guts to threaten any of us given the forum. They all seem to make the same mistake the trolls do regarding language though. “Terrorism” has a distinct meaning . . .

    terrorism \ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm\, n.,

    : the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

    and bartering for gold, no matter how offensive the design of the coin is, is manifestly not the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.

    Nor is being critical of the government and criminal actors within the government.

  8. again they are swatting at flies with atom bombs and letting the house-a-fire burn to the ground…not to mention letting the real arsonists completely off the hook. But I don’t think they can make a big enuff smokescreen this time.

  9. The rationale for labeling this economic terrorism is interesting: “While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country.”

    Alternate, local currencies are present in many countries including our own, the most famous currently is “Ithaca Hours” which is characterized by a printed script exchanged for services.

    From Wicipedia:

    “Ithaca Hours

    The Ithaca HOUR is a local currency used in Ithaca, New York and is the oldest and largest local currency system in the United States that is still operating.[1] It has inspired other similar systems in Madison, Wisconsin; Corvallis, Oregon;[2] and a proposed system in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.[3] One Ithaca HOUR is valued at US$10 and is generally recommended to be used as payment for one hour’s work, although the rate is negotiable.”

    If Mr. Nothaus wants to pay for things in gold and he has vendors and service people that are happy with that, what is the problem beyond that they look like coins?

    If he had cast his gold as small pyramids, like gaming dice, would it still be terrorism? How about clam shells or turquoise nuggets? How is it that Mr. Nothouse a terrorist but the city of Ithaca (and others) is not? As long as it’s declared on the appropriate tax documents (like bartering) what is the problem? It looks like the allegation of terrorism is as broad and slippery as the government wants to make it.

  10. yup

    hypocrasy seems to be the fog of the moment….

    and yes! I agree it is looking very bleakhouse out there!

    (love Dickens….)

  11. Woosty,

    Can you imagine that many of today’s Cons look back at the age of Dickens with nostalgia. I bet a poll of Tea Baggers would see nothing wrong with this, while they bleat like sheep for liberty.

  12. There is a new instrument of domestic terrorism being deployed by those who have been bailed out at the expense of the American people…


    Tell Your Lawmakers: Shut Down The New Debtors’ Prisons

    Americans are in more debt than ever before, and the banks are going to new extremes to squeeze us for every last penny: If you can’t pay up, they’ll try to get you locked up.

    The Wall Street Journal has been investigating the disturbing resurgence of debtors’ prisons throughout America — here’s one especially infuriating example of what the banks are up to: AIG got a $122.8 billion bailout from taxpayers. Jeffrey Stearns happened owed AIG $4,000 on a loan for his pickup truck. How’d the mega-corporation handle his debt? Did they forgive him because of the public’s recent largess? No way: They had him arrested in front of his family.

    After being handcuffed in front of his four children, Mr. Stearns, 29 years old, spent two nights in jail, where he said he was strip-searched and sprayed for lice. “I didn’t even know I was being sued….It’s the scariest thing that ever happened to me.”

    The Wall Street Journal’s data reveals that across the country, banks are having tens of thousands of Americans arrested over their debts. What happened to Stearns could happen to almost anybody. Some state legislators are moving to outlaw the practice. Will you urge your lawmakers to join them?

  13. Oh, no! No, no, no!

    I have been a terrorist for more than thirty years and did not know it!

    Where can I run to safety? Where can I hide?

    Is it better to confess and be put to death?

    I have been making coins similar to United States of America coins for decades.

    Until now, I simply did not understand my crime.

    That is the problem with being stupid like I am stupid.

    For many years, I was licensed by the City of Chicago (Illinois) as a Supervising General Electrician.

    I did commercial work using metal boxes and metal conduit.

    Every time I knocked out a knockout to install a conduit connector, I made a coin similar to United States of America coins.

    How is the round piece of metal knocked out of a metal box similar to United States of America coins.

    The similarity is threefold, and that surely is much more than is needed for me to be convicted as a terrorist.

    I never knew this until now, but I have obviously been engaged in terrorism for about half of my life, and I am obviously guilty and without any defense because I did not understand the law and have no excuse.

    The three points of similarity between the “slugs” that result from knocking out electrical box knockouts are thus:

    1a. Coins of the United States of America are round or nearly so.
    1b. Knockout slugs are round or nearly so.

    2a. Coins of the United States of America are made of base metal.
    2b. Knockout slugs are made of base metal.

    3a. Coins of the United States of America have no lawful money value.
    3b. Knockout slugs have no lawful money value.

    4a. Coins of the United States of America are metal disks.
    4b. Knockout slugs are metal disks.

    5a. Coins of the United States of America fit into coin slots.
    5b. Knockout slugs fit into coin slots.

    6a. Coins of the United States of America have rough surfaces.
    6b. Knockout slugs have rough surfaces.

    7a. Coins of the United States of America are made by people who may not understand what they are doing.
    7b. Knockout slugs are made by people who may not understand what they are doing.

    8a. Coins of the United States of America may become scrap metal.
    8b. Knockout slugs may become scrap metal.

    Given the above 8 points of similarity, can I ever be anything other than a terrorist by fact of definition?

    That thought is terrifying to me.

    Is there no place on earth for me?

    If I am terrified, how can I be other than a terrorist?

    Where is a time machine to take me back before I made my first mistake?

    It does not exist?

    Now, what?

    Where can I hide from myself?

  14. Nal,

    Thank you for posting this. I had mentioned it when it first came out, and am glad it’s getting press.

    Money should be easily transportable, divisible, interchangeable, verifiable, long lasting, and rare. It should also be freely chosen by the market. As it has been for thousands of years, gold is money.

  15. The Government just hates competition….in any form….take the drug trade for instance….would…Ronnie and Bush had become president….

  16. ….and so the giant roll of duct tape has been placed across the great green ladies mouth….again.

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