The FBI and the Secret Service showed their willingness today to utilize the expanded definitions of “counterfeit currency” and “domestic terrorism” brought about by the recent conviction of Bernard von NotHaus of the alternative currency outlet “Liberty Dollar” when the agencies initiated a surprise raid on an unsuspecting Chuck E. Cheese establishment in Des Moines, Iowa.
Chuck E Cheese is charged with violations of 18 U.S.C. § 514, which covers the counterfeiting of Federal instruments, including currency, as well as 18 U.S.C. § 486, which states:
Whoever, except as authorized by law, makes or utters or passes, or attempts to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver or other metal, or alloys of metals, intended for use as current money, whether in the resemblance of coins of the United States or of foreign countries, or of original design, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
The statute phrases “intended for use as current money”, as well as “of original design” are extremely vague and wide open for any number of unconstitutional interpretations. Traditionally, the concept of “resemblance” or “similitude” in terms of counterfeiting has been considered to mean an attempt to make an exact copy or near exact copy of a unit of U.S. currency with the intent to illegally replicate its appearance as well as its value. However, the FBI found that the Liberty Dollar decision, and the “precedent” set by it, actually expanded the definition of “resemblance and similitude” to mean almost any privately made coin or barter token. That is to say, there are no longer any exact guidelines for what actually constitutes “counterfeiting”, and therefore, all alternative currencies are now fair game, including the insidiously prevalent Chuck E. Cheese game token.
“Haven’t you ever been at the laundry mat with a pocket of change thinking you have plenty of quarters, only to discover that most of them are Chuck E. Cheese tokens?!” railed Anne Tompkins, Department of Justice prosecutor in the Liberty Dollar case, as she read from a carefully prepared DHS script. “That is close enough to counterfeiting for me! It is a blatant destabilization of our democratic economy! What are you supposed to do, let your underpants wallow in filth while Chuck E. Cheese makes a profit? I say no to these financial terrorists!”
“We have to start making examples out of these alternative currency people,” said Agent Heinrich Himmler of the FBI, who was part of the Des Moines raid, “if we don’t chill enthusiasm for this kind of black market activity and so called “free trade” now, then who knows what could happen! We can’t have average citizens attempting to operate their own commerce. That would be un-American!”
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