Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

The Death of an American Political Prisoner

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   24 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; , Add Tags  (less...)
Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 4   Inspiring 4   Must Read 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 10/20/15

Author 76576
- Advertisement -


Irwin Schiff
(
Image by you tube)   Permission   Details   DMCA

Irwin Schiff spent much of his later life in prison. He died in prison on October 16, blind and suffering from lung cancer, having been denied "compassionate release" to die at home with his family. So, who was this Schiff fellow? A mass murderer? Perhaps a serial rapist? Well, no. Irwin Schiff's "crime" was saying and writing things the federal government didn't want you to hear.

He thought the income tax was an illegal scam. He refused to pay it. Based on what were obviously his genuinely held beliefs, he urged others, in several books (including one that the federal courts ordered him to stop selling -- apparently they don't teach the First Amendment in law school any more) not to pay it either.

- Advertisement -

In theory, he went to prison for "tax evasion" and "filing false tax returns." But that dog won't hunt. If it was about money he allegedly owed the government, he'd have been left free to generate wealth that could be seized.

Irwin Schiff was a political prisoner. Period. No ifs, ands, buts or maybes. His legal entanglements were about two things, and two things only: Shutting him up and making an example of him. If people listen to Irwin Schiff, they might emulate him and stop sending money to Washington. QED, Irwin Schiff must be silenced and caged.

At some point I guess I'm expected to assure you that I don't agree with Schiff's theories. I can't say that, because I've never studied them thoroughly enough to form an opinion on them. I never bothered because, unlike Schiff, I've never operated under the illusion that it matters whether or not the income tax is "legal." Since when does the US government (or any other government) follow laws when following laws is inconvenient?

- Advertisement -

Whether or not you or I agree with Irwin Schiff's ideas is irrelevant to whether or not he should have been imprisoned. Suppose he was wrong six days a week and twice on Sunday. If so, so what? Let me say this again: He was imprisoned for publicly -- and apparently persuasively, at least to some -- disagreeing with the US government and for no other reason.

In acknowledging Irwin Schiff's unjust imprisonment and untimely passing, take a moment to ask: Is this the America you thought you lived in? Is this the America you WANT to live in? Answer -- and act accordingly.

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 4   Inspiring 4   Must Read 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

Political Parties Should Say What They Mean. The Libertarian Party Does.

NATO: This Deal is a Turkey

There She Goes Again: Clinton's Blame Game