OUR GOVERNMENT IN ACTION
This is an excerpt from my Memoirs of a Drug Warrior, which I have been writing for several years. Since no one is kicking down my doors to print the thing, I have decided to publish some experts. I don’t know how this will work, but I believe much of the information and history I have experienced in the War on Drugs needs to be exposed and brought to light. I hope to be around long enough to tie all this together into something cohesive. But, until then, suffer or ignore.
The following is from newspapers about the Kerry Committee Hearings:
WASHINGTON — A pilot told a Senate hearing Wednesday that his firm contracted with the State Department to fly clothing to Nicaragua’s Contras in 1986 at the same time he was operating as an undercover drug smuggler for two federal agencies.
Michael Palmer, appearing under heavy guard, said that before he started working for the government in his extraordinary dual role, he had illegitimately smuggled $40 million worth of marijuana into the United States from South America over an eight-year period.
Yesterday, convicted marijuana smuggler Michael Paul Vogel told the Senate panel that in 1979 or 1980 he and a Cuban associate met with then-Panamanian leader, Brig. Gen. Omar Torrijos, and Noriega, then head of Panama’s military intelligence, to discuss smuggling drugs from an island off Panama to the United States.
Vogel said that during 14 years of drug trafficking, he made numerous payoffs to government and law enforcement officials in Colombia, Mexico, the United States and elsewhere.
But Vogel said the two Panamanian leaders were “extremely greedy,” and wanted $100,000 per trip, so Vogel and the Cuban rejected the deal. (LA Times April 07, 1988)
For several years, after my audit, I had little income. I survived, but barely. I had to close down my office after all my equipment was seized. The only thing after 87 weeks of tax audit and interviewing my clients did was alienate my clientele, wreck my business, cause clinical depression and assess a penalty of $7000, 80% of which consisted of penalties and interest. I didn’t keep adequate enough records for the IRS regarding mileage. Even though the dumbest simpleton could look at my calendar and see what cities I drove to for court, since I didn’t’ write beginning and ending odometer readings, the mileage wasn’t allowed I could appeal, but I had to pay the assessment before doing so. Essentially, I was screwed. I was shunned and avoided by colleagues with every nut case trying to get something on me for the reward. I learned the hard way about the realities of law and lawyers, which was vastly different from the views I had until then. The idea of a profession, promoting the greater good had died, replaced by billable hours, business building and profit.
However, during this time strange things kept happening. I ran into strangers who told me interesting facts. Reports would turn up mysteriously in my mailbox and I started to be inundated with information, some good and some false, forcing me to analyze and investigate. I started to get referrals from strange sources, including law enforcement who were concerned with corruption and misdeeds. I soon found myself head of a group consisting of criminals, citizens, police and others concerned with the integrity of police and government. The main focus was on the Central Intelligence Agency and its various factions. I was about to enter the looking glass, and unlike contemporaries, without the aid of LSD.
One such client was a young aviator from Detroit whom I will refer to as the Zoo-Keeper. The reason for this moniker is that I met him at the zoo and he strip searched me in the restroom for a mike or recorder. After that, we walked around the zoo, talking about his problems, situation and some solutions.
About that time, I was subject to collection actions by the IRS. Anytime I would get out f the red, I would have funds seized by the Government. During this time, I was served a subpoena to appear before a grand jury in Detroit. It concerned the Zoo-Keeper. I took the position that it was invalid because it was a privileged communication between attorney and client. The Government disagreed. I took the position that I did not practice in Michigan. They said it didn’t matter. Their claim was that under Michigan law, they could enquire about the nature of the employment and whether I was his lawyer.
They finally served me with a subpoena. I didn’t show up. An irate US Attorney called and threatened me with contempt for not showing up. The following is a dramatization of the conversation with the US Attorney in Michigan.
“Mr. Blewitt. Why didn’t you appear in Court yesterday? Your ignoring the subpoena could have serious consequences for you.”
“I know that.”
“Why weren’t you here?”
“I had no way of getting there.”
“We reimburse you when you arrive in Detroit. Just put it on your credit card and give us the receipts and we will issue a check for your expenses and some per diem.”
“I don’t have a credit card.”
“Oh, we will send you the money.”
A week later, a check and subpoena arrived, delivered by a marshall. I didn’t appear on that date and had another conversation with the US Attorney.
“Mr. Blewitt. Why didn’t you appear this time?”
“I had no way to get to the airport.”
“Mr Blewitt, you are treading on thin ice here. We will advance expenses next week for travel, food and lodging. You had better show up.”
The check arrived the next week, along with another subpoena. I deposited the check in my account which was the subject of a seizure action. The Government, as I predicted, gobbled up the check and I missed another flight.
The prosecutor must have been pretty mad because, next thing I knew, a US Marshall arrived at my door to escort me to their office in Denver. When I got to the holding cell, I was told to call the prosecutor in Detroit.
“What’s your excuse this time? It better be good or you will have an escort from the Marshall’s office to Detroit, and it won’t be by commercial airline.”
I couldn’t go because you people seized the deposit of the check and I had no money. I wish you would make up your minds. First you give me a check and then you attack my account and take it away. I think you are trying to deliberately drive me crazy or to suicide.”
I said the magic words. I had just read a bulletin from the IRS for agents to closely watch for possible suicides, which woud be bad publicity. Knowing this, I thought I would give them something to think about.
In any event, the Marshall talked to the prosecutor who then talked to me. I then talked to the Marshall, etc., untill a resolution was provided. I was to be provided cash for the ride to the airport, from the airport to Detroit, then a cab from the airport to the hotel, the hotel, from the hotel to the courthouse and then the return to Boulder. Since I was arrested, I demanded that I have my attorney present with me in Detroit. I also wheedled some expense money from them. It was all in cash. The marshall’s office booked the flight, which was first class due to the last minute reservations. I got round trip for both my lawyer and myself. Two days later, we were on the way to Detroit, which was to change my assumptions from Riha and Tannenbaum being the causes of my problems, to concluding that it was because of knowledge of Government drug sales that I was receiving all this publicity and harassment
TO BE CONTINUED
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