Did Congressman George Hansen pay a price for being critical of the IRS?

June 12, 2013

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Who is George V. Hansen and why should his name, who he was, and what he did be of importance, especially in light of the IRS scandal where conservatives groups, organizations and individuals were targeted just because of their belief systems?

Born September 14, 1930, Hansen’s bio speaks of a former Republican politician from the state of Idaho who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years representing Idaho’s 2nd district from 1965 to 1969 and again from 1975 to 1985. He also served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 – 1954 and the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1964 to 1970.

So far nothing unusual. George Hansen could have been one of hundreds of other U.S. congressmen who retired and then went back home after they called it quits or were not reelected.

While in Congress Hansen was known as one of the most conservative members of Congress. In particular, Hansen was a vocal critic of the Internal Revenue Service. He also introduced the idea of the flat tax.

It was in 1980 when Congressman Hansen published a book titled To Harass Our People: the IRS and Government Abuse of Power. Hansen was one of the first members of Congress to point a finger at the IRS to reveal corruption in government.

Only four years after Hansen’s book was published in 1984, seven-term veteran lawmaker Hansen was reprimanded by the House when he failed to include transactions on federal disclosure forms. Was it a coincidence?

The House’s query led to a conviction for which then out-of-Congress Hansen spent 11 months in prison, financially destroying him and his family.  His imprisonment included torture through medical neglect and subjection to “diesel therapy,” a form of punishment in which prisoners are painfully shackled and then transported for days or weeks without respite.  Diesel therapy is usually applied to political prisoners and those who are considered trouble makers.   The gruesome details of Hansen’s imprisonment were written about by Rayelan Allan, Remembering George Hansen, first published in January, 1997 by Rumor Mill News.

Congressman George Hansen always insisted that he was wrongly prosecuted, but it took eleven years for the wrongness of his conviction to be realized on the basis of the U.S. Court decision Hubbard v. United States. Originally convicted of violating Title 18 Section 1001, relating to false statements Hansen allegedly made on his financial disclosure form, it was on May 16, 1995, that the Supreme Court ruled that federal prosecutors  — including Iran-Contra Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh — were wrong in charging officials with unsworn lies to Congress.  One of the three was George Hansen.

Just how much power does the IRS have in 2013?  George Hansen noted the following in his 1980 book, To Harrass Our People:

  • Only the IRS can attach 100% of a tax debtor’s wages and/or property.
  • Only the IRS can invade the privacy of a citizen without court process of any kind.
  • Only the IRS can seize property without a court order.
  • Only the IRS can compel the production of documents, records, and other materials without a court case being in existence.
  • Only the IRS can with impunity publish the details of a citizens debt.
  • Only the IRS can legally, without a court order, subject citizens to electronic surveillance.
  • Only the IRS can force waiver of statute of limitations and other citizen’s rights through the threat of Arbitrary assessment.
  • Only the IRS uses extralegal coercion. Threats to witnesses to examine their taxes regularly produces whatever evidence the IRS dictates.
  • Only the IRS is free to violate a written agreement with a citizen.
  • Only the IRS uses reprisals against citizen and public officials alike.
  • Only the IRS can take property on the basis of conjecture.
  • Only the IRS is free to maintain lists of citizen guilty of no crime for the purpose of harassing and monitoring them.
  • Only the IRS envelops all citizens.
  • Only the IRS publicly admits that it’s purpose is to instill fear in the citizenry as a technique of performing it’s function.

Thirty-three years ago Hansen noted the power of the IRS in government. He was the first to get a full scale investigation into the crimes of the IRS against the American people.  Has anything changed since 1980? The power of the IRS should be of concern to all Americans, for it extends into the lives of all of us.  But where is the outrage?  Maybe we are just scandal weary?

As power begets power, members of Congressional Oversight Committees owe the American people a thorough investigation.  They must not be soft in their approach in going after those culpable.

For too long the IRS has adopted an attitude of superiority in believing it could do whatever it desired in  regard to the American people.  Such an attitude breeds corruption and scandal.  The recent scandal of targeting conservatives by the IRS must be viewed as the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Heads must roll if the American people are to regain back their lost confidence and trust of the IRS.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 09:00 AM | Permalink

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