Stealth Attack! Act or Lose Your Freedom

November 14, 2003

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THE SOVEREIGN SOCIETY OFFSHORE A-LETTER
Your Link to Freedom, Privacy & Prosperity in the Offshore World
Friday, November 14, 2003 – Vol. 5 No. 134
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In This Issue:
* COMMENT: Stealth Attack! Act or Lose Your Freedom!

* OFFSHORE: Swiss News. Scotland Powerhouse. Bermuda Questions.
Russia’s New Totalitarianism. Tax Amnesty; Germany, South Africa.

* WEALTH: Tax Shelter Secrets. Tax Bonanza. ELF French to Prison.
Asian Money Powers Revival. Thailand GDP Rising.

* PRIVACY & RIGHTS: UK ID Card 10-Year Plan. US Mail Tracing.
Internet Extortion.
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COMMENT: Stealth Attack! Act — or Lose Your Freedom!

Dear A-Letter Reader:
On Sept. 12 in my Comment I opposed Pres. Bush’s demand for a major
expansion of law enforcement powers under the USA Patriot Act. At the
time he used the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the tragic Sept. 11
terrorist acts to claim that “unreasonable obstacles” in current law
are impeding the pursuit of terror suspects.

What disturbed me (and many others) was Mr. Bush’s plan to allow a huge
expansion of the FBI’s current use of “administrative subpoenas” in
terrorism cases without a showing probable cause to a judge or grand
jury. Any FBI agent, on his own, could decide where to search, what
to search for and who to arrest.

These secret subpoena powers were originally proposed after 9/11 but
later dropped by Congress as too extreme. The late FBI director J. Edgar
Hoover repeatedly asked Congress to give his agents this broad power
and was repeatedly rebuffed.

Now it turns out that the Bush Administration may gain these broad new
administrative subpoena powers by stealth. A little noticed measure
approved by both house of Congress would significantly expand the
FBI’s power to demand financial records, without a judge’s approval,
from car dealers, travel agents, pawnbrokers and any other institution
doing cash transactions with “a high degree of usefulness in criminal,
tax or regulatory matters.”

Does that sound like an anti-terrorism measure? Or is it a blank check
for the FBI to rummage through any and every body’s financial records
at will for any purpose? And what about the IRS? Guess the answer!

This administration is out of control when it comes to its wholesale
crushing of civil liberties, and especially so in its destruction of
financial privacy. Anti-terrorism can never justify such Draconian
proposals.

What can you do? E-mail, phone or write your US Senators and your
Congressman (see below). Demand that this un-American provision
be deleted from the Intelligence Community’s Authorization bills,
S.1025 and HR. 2417. It’s your freedom at stake.

That’s the way that it looks from here.
BOB BAUMAN, Editor

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COMMENT LINKS:
* FBI’s Reach Into Records Is Set to Grow. NY Times.
LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/12/politics/12RECO.html
* Better SAFE than sorry; St. Petersburg Times editorial. LINK:
http://www.sptimes.com/2003/11/13/Opinion/Better_SAFE_than_sorry.shtml
* Bush seeks new laws on terror, more FBI, police powers.
LINKS: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/11/national/11BUSH.html
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/09/11/bush_seeks_3_new_laws_on_terror/
* The Patriot Act Reconsidered. PC World.
LINK: http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,113247,00.asp
* The Patriot Act Under Siege. National Review. LINK:
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/mccarthy200311130835.asp
* EMAIL your Senators & Congressman
LINK: http://www.senate.gov/ LINK: http://www.house.gov/
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* OFFSHORE *

SWISS PRIVATE BANKS FACE BLEAK FUTURE
Says The Economist, “if they stick to Switzerland.” LINK (subs only):
http://www.economist.com/finance/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2216323
* Swiss ambassador denounces capitalism! LINK:
http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=105&sid=1593122
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SCOTLAND AS FINANCIAL POWERHOUSE
GLASGOW: 100,000 financial employees, £300 billion under
management, but Scotland is no tax haven, and there’s the problem.
LINK: http://www.business.scotsman.com/banking.cfm?id=1249362003
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BERMUDA QUESTIONS FOREIGN TAKEOVERS
HAMILTON: HSBC buy of Bank of Bermuda raises questions. LINK:
http://www.theroyalgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031112/NEWS/111120032
* Bermuda economy reviving after Hurricane Fabian. LINK:
http://www.theroyalgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031110/BUSINESS/111100023
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RUSSIA’S NEW TOTALITARIANISM?
MOSCOW: Arrest of Yukos exec a warning to other businessmen.
LINK: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2003/11/13/001.html
* Russian tax collectors given strong police powers.
LINK: http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=14053
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GERMANY PLANS OFFSHORE TAX AMNESTY
BERLIN: Deficit Chan. Schroeder needs more money. LINK:
http://www.commentwire.com/commwire_story.asp?commentwire_ID=5035
* JOHANNESBURG: South African offshore tax amnesty extended.
LINK: http://business.iafrica.com/news/285109.htm
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* WEALTH *

THE SECRET LIFE OF A TAX SHELTER
How a retirement account became a tax shelter and a lawsuit.
LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/11/business/11tax.html
* IRS puts enforcement before service to citizens. LINK:
http://www.sunspot.net/business/investing/bal-kristof111203,0,3274676.column?coll=bal-business-indepth
* IRS lists nations for offshore convention expense deductibility.
LINK: http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=98323
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CORPORATE TAX CHANGE COULD REAP BONANZA
Lowering repatriation taxes would return profits to the US. LINK:
http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_comment/mitchell200311130858.asp
* If a flat tax is good for Iraq, how about America?
LINK: http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed111003c.cfm
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ELF – FRENCHMEN TO PRISON FOR OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS
PARIS: Secret slush funds in Switzerland, Luxembourg. LINK:
http://www.expatica.com/france.asp?pad=278,313,&item_id=35675
* ARGENTINE subpoenas for foreign bankers on offshore accounts.
LINK: http://www.falkland-malvinas.com/Detalle.asp?NUM=2843
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ASIAN INVESTORS POWER GLOBAL ECONOMY
Far East consumers replacing American buyers.
LINK: http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=14033
* THAILAND: Thai PM targets 10% GDP growth by 2005. LINK:
http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1066565863293
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British expats’ pension appeal goes to House of Lords. LINK:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/global/main.jhtml?xml=/global/2003/11/11/pencarson.xml&sSheet=/global/2003/11/11/home.html
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* PRIVACY & RIGHTS *

UNITED KINGDOM BEGINS I.D. CARD DRIVE
LONDON: 10 years from now; “Your papers please!”
LINK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3259285.stm
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U.S. POST OFFICE TO TRACE ALL MAIL?
USPS under pressure to trace all mail and all senders.
LINK: http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,61140,00.html
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INTERNET WEB SITES UNDER EXTORTION THREAT
East European gangs in online protection racket.
LINK: http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/55/33954.html
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THE SOVEREIGN SOCIETY OFFSHORE A-LETTER. *
Bob Bauman, Editor * Daniel Aponte, Jr. Research Asst.
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