ROLAND HINKSON – Forensic Legal Investigator and Reporter
My son, David, verses Goliath
Isolated in a tiny prison cell without any human contact and with the prospect of 43 years behind bars, David Roland Hinkson, a Vietnam veteran, asked himself,
“What have I ever done to be treated like this in my own country?”
Hauled away in chains, the Department of Justice carried out an order by Ninth Circuit Judge, Richard C. Tallman, to house David in ADX, a SuperMax Federal Penitentiary, in Florence Colorado–the most sever in the United States. The prison has one-thousand, four-hundred remotely controlled steel doors inside and is surrounded by twelve-foot high razor-wire fences patrolled by vicious attack dogs. Amnesty International concluded that SuperMax, where David Hinkson was incarcerated for years, maintain conditions that “constitute psychological pain and agony tantamount to torture.” David’s life now became a nightmare.
Stew Webb, whistle blower and columnist for the Veterans Today website, called me asking for an update on the situation with David. So here’s the update:
After eleven years, my son still remains in prison for a conviction based solely on testimony of one man. David was convicted and imprisoned for 33 years based on the testimony of a former U.S. Marine, PFC Elven Joe Swisher. Also, he was given a 10 years sentence based on a misapplied IRS law. Or was it, in fact, misapplied? Read on; you be the judge.
However, the question David had asked eludes me even today. When I first learned from David that the Justice Department announced they were charging him with Murder-for-hire. I said,
“Don’t worry, David, no jury would be so stupid as to believe such nonsense.”
While we, the four members of David’s family, sat silently awaiting the verdict; when announced, the thirty-four U.S. Government attendees who attended ruptured with delight.
“Tonight, we celebrate,” voiced one.
What transpired over the following months before and during his trial made me cringe in disbelieve. I don’t suggest that the jurors were stupid per se–no, they were typical, acted normal and reasonable based on the information that was spoon-fed to them. Certainly, we have every reason to believe that what our servants of the people, our government, really want is justice. Don’t most decent citizens want to see the guilty abusers of our rights punished according to fair and just laws?
But what happens if the system breaks down or the abusers are themselves violating laws from within the system? Can there then be any “justice?” Wouldn’t it be normal for the father of an inmate to want to see his son or loved one released to freedom? Of course. Even if he or she is guilty? Yes, probably so.
Yet how would you feel if you uncovered a fraud, if you learned that there was treachery, lies and deceit involved in destroying the life of your loved one? And worst of all, that your loved one was totally innocent of any crime. What if it turns out that a highly honored judge himself lies from the bench and participated with political operatives within the justice system–not for justice, but for silencing someone. These are grave accusations and must and can be proven. But the cost is very high. The appeals process is lengthy and complex. For David’s defense so far, not including lost income from WaterOz, our attempts to get David a fair trial has now cost over four million dollars ($4,000,000.00).
In a press release on the PRWeb (February 2, 2013) the following was published:
“Dr. David Hinkson, a naturopath, inventor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, radio talk-show host and founder ofWaterOz, a dietary supplement maker, has already spent ten years in various Federal penal facilities. Hinkson supporters believe that the government has punished this innocent political prisoner enough [any punishment was too much] and that he should be released to return to his business, humanitarian and scientific endeavors. If not, Hinkson has 33 more years to serve, effectively a death sentence.”
A panel of three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declared that David was entitled to a new trial because of erroneous rulings by Trial Court Judge Tallman. The Panel of Appellate Court judges was composed of Judge Hug (former Chief Judge) and Judge Fletcher (a law professor)–the dissenting Judge was Margaret McKeown).
Excerpts taken from various appeals to the Ninth Circuit provide some insight into how the judges viewed the several appeals. They said,
“In an indictment filed on September 2004, following a two-week trial in federal district court in Boise Idaho, a Jury convicted David Roland Hinkson of soliciting the murder of three federal officials [a judge, IRS agent and Justice Department agent]. The government’s star witness supporting the conviction was Elven Joe Swisher.
The government maintained in its opening statement to the jury that Swisher was a Korean War combat veteran, wearing a Purple Heart lapel pin on the witness stand. Swisher testified that he had told Hinkson that he was a Korean War combat veteran and that Hinkson, ‘impressed’ by Swisher’s military exploits, solicited him to kill the officials. [The Prosecution] maintained throughout the trial that Hinkson’s understanding of Swisher’s military exploits showed that he was serious in his solicitations of Swisher.”
The problem with their theory is the total lack of evidence that such a conversation ever took place. Federal government prosecutors accepted without any evidence what-so-ever that Swisher was truthful and had no reason to lie. They took him at face value. After all, he was a “Super Hero” who had fought to save lives of prisoners of War (POWs), was a combat veteran and a man respected by those who knew him. The only problem is that they knew, or should have known, that he is a shameless, blatant liar.
The Majority Opinion of the Appellate Panel judges (Fletcher and Hug) presented some revealing facts about Prosecutor Michael Sullivan performance at trial, that
“In his opening statement to the jury on January 11, 2005, the prosecutor stated affirmatively that Swisher was a Marine, a Combat Veteran from Korea during the Korean conflict. At several points during Hinkson’s trial, the prosecutor emphasized Swisher’s military background, and Hinkson’s understanding of that background, in an effort to show the seriousness of Hinkson’s solicitations.
“The government now concedes that Swisher neither served in combat nor earned any personal military commendations, and that Swisher presented a forged military document in court and repeatedly lied under oath at trial.”
Trial Judge Tallman had removed the jurors from the Court room if anything exculpatory to David was to be presented–that is, anything likely to prove his innocence. Probably the most glaring is Tallman’s denial of allowing the jurors to see David’s passport showing he was outside the United States during the time the accuser, Swisher, claimed they discussed murder-for-hire. It was the FBI from outside the Idaho jurisdiction that investigated Swisher and brought four charges for which he was convicted and sentenced to prison; one of the charges was perjury. He testified, under oath, repeating the same lies instrumental in convicting David. One would think that Judge Tallman would acknowledge defeat in David’s case, because David was convicted as a result of Swisher’s lies. Not so with Tallman.
Judge Tallman, new to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, was appointed by then President Bill Clinton along with a batch of other judges upon the departure of the Clinton Administration. He was assigned by designation from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the lower District Court (Trial Court).
Under the rules, if there’s an injustice committed by the trial court, one must appeal to the appellate court. Yes, who sat on the Appeals Court to hear the complaint? None other than the same judge–Richard C. Tallman.
After disallowing the military records in trial, Judge Tallman denied a new trial motion in spite of new affidavits and documents from the custodian of US Military records proving Swisher’s forgery and fraud–affidavits of witnesses Tallman said he would permit to testify if obtained; but, he changed his mind. Thus, it’s apparent why Tallman denied all meaningful exculpatory evidence in trial and in anticipation of an appeal.
DENIED! DENIED! DENIED! Of course, it was an embarrassment for Tallman to be overturned. So this Judge would rather confirm a questionable conviction and commit a potentially innocent man to life in prison in order to save face. Could there be any rational, honest excuse for not allowing a retrial due to the fact that the sole accuser was later exposed as a total fraud.
Chief Judge Kozinski joining with Judge Fletcher’s said,
“Without Swisher, the government had no case.”
The steps to appeal a conviction include something called an “en banc” (means a full court–except in the case of a court with an inordinate number of judges). The Ninth Circuit is composed of 29 active judgeships, so they’re limited to eleven judges in an en banc hearing. So eleven judges will have their law clerks review the submissions for appeal.
Rather obvious, the appeals judges don’t become familiar with the details of a case. They have too many cases. Thus, the best way to expedite cases is to rely on the joint efforts of factions from all eleven judges–which can results in political decisions. If this were not so, how could a court be divided 6 to 5 on a guideline test such as the Harrington Test which is composed of five prongs in which they agree on either all or none of the prongs? This is not to say that all judges play politics. There are honest and honorable judges who truly stand on principle. The way to determine which is which is to study their decisions when you know the facts.
How about Swisher? The crimes of which he was convicted normally result in a 20 year sentence. The judge gave him an incredibly light sentence. After our endeavoring for a couple of years to get the government to investigate Swisher’s fraud, his lies and his theft, the Inspector General and a remote, distant branch of the FBI finally took action. The notorious Elven Joe Swisher finally faced Judge Winmill’s Court. I attended his trial. He was charged and convicted only with stealing government funds, perjury, forgery and decorating himself with medals reserved for genuine combat veterans who courageously distinguished themselves in battle. Yes, he went to a Federal prison but only for a couple of months and was mollycoddled with compassionate hands. I believe if he were to blow the whistle, several government agents could face felony charges.
No one likely knew this man better than his daughter, Cheryl. In her Affidavit, she reveals his loathsome character. She wrote to me as follows:
Thank you for your insightful article regarding the numerous criminal activities of Joe Swisher. As one of the daughters molested and abused by him and in fact his only daughter by blood I applaud you.
It is unthinkable that he may be allowed to escape justice yet again, and let me assure you that he is held in the worst regard by his immediate family. It is my belief and the belief of mental health professionals with which I have had contact that Joe Swisher is a sociopath–in modern terms “antisocial personality.”
I only lived with him for a few years, but we children lived in terror of his violent temper and never knew when we would be visited in the middle of the night to provide him with sexual services. So much fear. I know that when I was in my teen’s my father’s mining associates with the help of my older brother tried to bring charges against him for, I believe, embezzlement and fraud.
I do know that my father has a long pattern, a lifetime of destroying others to get what he wants as well as classic “delusions of grandeur.” So I have absolutely no doubt that he is at work in your life as well. He will never stop hurting others. He doesn’t even acknowledge that he ever has. I believe there is clear, irrefutable evidence that he has antisocial personality disorder. . . . He can and will continue to manipulate from prison if justice is ever served, but at least that harm will be mitigated. My past has given me insight into helping others that I encounter that have been raped, beaten, molested or tortured.
Six and one-half years ago, April 2007, as an investigative reporter I wrote the follow article called, “The David Hinkson Story:”
“Our legal arguments are so strong that they can only be defeated by a nakedly political decision–probably unpublished–to spare the government embarrassment,” so stated Appellate Attorney Dennis Riordan, who represents David Roland Hinkson–founder of WaterOz Mineral Company (that employed about 40 people).
This is the shocking story of what happened to Mr. Hinkson. David started his company in 1991. He had been motivated to learn about health and proper nutrition after traditional approaches failed to deal with numerous personal health problems. His discoveries were incredible. However, his social naivety and trusting nature resulted in his being victimized by thieves and unscrupulous government persons. David’s story is scandalous. He began his journey, a journey through Hell.
Attorney Riordan said, “This is such a significant case that the judges may take their time preparing for oral arguments. There are two components to this saga. David was charged with and convicted of Solicitation to Commit Murder and for Structuring. In the Solicitation Case, he was charged with 11 Counts–acquitted of five, three dismissed, but he was convicted on three. The sole accuser, who convinced the Jury that David was guilty, was Elven Joseph Swisher of Cottonwood, Idaho.”
But he had plenty of help by Government agents–including the Judge. This judge, Richard C. Tallman, sentenced David to 33 years at the most sever prison in the United States, ADMAX. He managed to have David placed in solitary confinement. David Hinkson has been in solitary confinement for much of the past four years and is still there [but, after six years was moved to a penitentiary].
In the Structuring Case, he was sentenced to 10 years. His crime: he paid his employees on Thursdays $9,000 but within 24 hours paid his construction workers varying amounts which brought the total to over $10,000. in cash.
The Credit Union had failed to send a Cash Transaction Report (CTR) to the government of a withdrawal made by his manager. The fact is that a law designed to ensnare drug-traffickers was misapplied to a legitimate, exempt payroll situation.
This case has cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and has cost us well in excess of three million dollars. The amount of money lost by this treachery amounts to millions more. There is no way proper restitution can be made.
For the sake of providing a little background, I include excerpts from an article I wrote for the American s Bulletin, September/October Edition (2006) entitled, “Framing of a Political Prisoner–The David Hinkson Story,” I quoted David’s own account of his arrest:
On the morning of the 21st of November, 2002, I was startled out of a sound sleep by screams. I looked over at the door and I saw approximately eight men storming into my [bed] room dressed in black and holding machine guns. I heard over and over, Freeze, mother f***er.
I heard someone say, as I was being held down,
‘Where s your gun?’
All of the machineguns were pointed at me. I was still partially asleep when the only agent not in SWAT or military dress dragged me out of bed [at 5:45 am]…. That man, David said, was [IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID)] Agent Steven Hines….
Hines, in an effort to cover-up for the fact that he should not have been in that raiding party, testified [under oath, of course] on September 26, 2003, that it was his friend, FBI Agent William Long, who had held the gun to my head on that November morning.
David had done nothing to merit this Gestapo type assault? FBI agent Will Long later threatened David saying, “I’ll put you away for the rest of your life.”
Why? We don t know for sure. We only speculate. David had previously sued Hines and several other agents of the IRS and agents of the Justice Department.
The Grangeville Gazette April 16th, 2002, headlines stated,
“Local Businessman Files 50 Million Dollar Lawsuit Against IRS Agents and a Local Attorney.…”
David Hinkson filed a civil rights complaint in Federal Court in Coeur d’Alene against Steve Hines, Gerry Morgan, Dennis Albers, Nancy Cook, and the Internal Revenue Service.
As David’s father, my purpose in writing that article was not only to help exonerate and free my son but to provide an example of how a corrupted government will destroy an innocent victim. I hoped to help defrock the treacherous conspiracy gripping this Nation.
As I stated in my Article, “There are but two possibilities concerning this article: (1) I’m paranoid, incompetent, dishonest or
(2) What I’ve written is true.” I swore under oath by everything I hold dear that everything in this article is true to the best of my knowledge.
John Pugsley, president of The Sovereign Society pointed out that, “History proves that governments inevitably grows corrupt, and that corruption leads to an increasing use of police and military force, both against foreign enemies and against its own citizens.”
It’s clear from the circumstances of this case that when government agents conspire to target someone such as David, they broker special favors for individuals who agree to act as cooperating informants. They entice them to provide false information or to act as witnesses.
By cooperating with officials, false witnesses themselves often get charges dismissed; or they receive other inducements. David had “pulled the chain” of all the agents up the line of command. A conspiracy to get David was in the making. There was a prize to be had for all participants.
Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Cook offered to drop the charges if Dave would plea-bargain and pay a $5,000 fine. I learned painfully later: that the United States and our system of so-called-justice–that I’d been taught about all my life–is a total fraud.
The story I wrote for the Americans Bulletin continues:
“Since David refused to cooperate, these Federal villains came up with a new tactic: accuse David of Murder-for-hire––a favored charge. That’s one that would infuriate the public. So release to the media accusations that David wanted to kill agents of the government. Thus, any jury-pool would be compromised.
“Maybe the worst scandal in FBI’s history was the Joseph Salvati case. Salvati spent three decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit (as reported by http://www.aim.org). He was put there by uncorroborated, false testimony from an informant under the protection of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There is compelling evidence that the Bureau knew Salvati was an innocent man, and then [they] conspired to keep him in prison for more than three decades…. After his release from 30 years in prison the FBI agent responsible said, ‘What do you want, tears or something?’”
Dave, I said, “No jury will be so stupid as to believe this murder-for-hire nonsense that they’re now accusing you of.”
Nancy Cook [who was trying so hard to ensnare David] must be a first year law student. But as I watched the fraud unfold, the perjuring agents, the dishonorable judges, the cowardly media and gullible, manipulated public all share in a despicable railroading of an innocent man, I was finally awakened.
So FBI Agent Will Long set up a ruse to ensnare David. A female employee, Marianna Raff, that David had fired for stealing $6,600 from his house, told Long she’d testify that David wanted to pay her to kill a judge and a couple of people she knew David disliked. David came to the Sheriff’s Office to report the theft.
Instead of pursuing the theft, the real crime, Agent Long placed David under arrest. David was wearing a voice-activated tape-recorder under his coat. He asked why he was being arrested. In response, he was told to “shut up.”
At a detention hearing on April 9, 2003, before Magistrate Williams, Agent Long lied under oath stating that Hinkson had not demanded an attorney. But David had the concealed tape-recorder in his shirt pocket. When the recorder later was discovered in David’s personal belongings and transcribed by a court reporter, it proved that Long had perjured himself [of course, no mention of this by the Court]
Judge Tallman refused to allow the jurors to hear David’s exculpatory evidence–evidence that showed Swisher was a liar and had forged his military records (DD214).
Later, Swisher was exposed for his forgery and lies and was expelled from the Marine Corp League, the Purple Heart Organization and the VFW. Yet the Government has failed to prosecute him for his numerous felonies. [Could it be because] Elven Joe Swisher became the Government’s star witness.
Swisher had fraudulently sued David for various amounts. First, according to a Swisher associate in the Marine Corp League, for $6,000.00. Then [his then friend and associate] Joe Volk heard that David owed him [Swisher] $9,000.00. Swisher threatened that if David did not give him half of his business (WaterOz Company), he would testify against David. Later Joe Volk heard from a trial transcript that Swisher was suing [David] for $522,000.00 that he now said was owed to him.
It was just one year ago that I wrote a letter to David as follows:
“As you know, David, there’s no doubt in our minds that you are a victim of a ruthless, uncaring bunch of criminals. These criminals come in many forms–sometimes as FBI agents, sometimes as IRS agents and sometimes as judges…. Swisher is an incorrigible rogue. His crimes include forgery, fraud, theft and blackmail…. Hopefully we can bring the conspirators before the bar of justice for prosecution. But since some of the culprits are in government, we may get only justice in the court of public opinion. Humiliation and dishonor may be their only punishment–time will tell.”
In an article in a local publication entitled “Detachment, Who’s Who,” appears the following flattering statements about Joe Swisher. The article said,
“Swisher was 17 years old when he joined the Marine Corps. In the fall of 1950, he decided to visit Inchon on D-Day plus 2. The cities of Seoul and Wonsan where visited, and then he took a leisurely jaunt up to Frozen Chosin.”
In that publication, dated March 2004, called Tell It To The Marines, “Joe Swisher was elected as Commandant of the Sergeant Major Linehan North Central Idaho Detachment–1034. He thanked the membership for electing him as Commandant.”
The Article described Swisher as a “decorated combat veteran from the Korean War era, as having served with the third battalion, third Marines, third Marine division (3/3/3) as well as third battalion and fifth Marines… He became a regular member of the Marine Corps League in 2001 and the life member in 2002. [Thus,] he’s a life member of the Marine Corps League, of Disable American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart….
“He discovered he was not welcome [by the Chinese] and commenced the return trip to the coast. However the Chinese Communist seemed aggravated by his presence and he thought that they were anxious to have a remembrance of his visit, and so he traded a small amount of his blood in the snow for an equally small amount of Chinese shrapnel and the now famous North Korean frostbite.
“Later he was air-evacuated out of Koto-Ri to Hamhung and then to the U.S. Naval hospital in Yokosuka, Japan. From there he was transferred to Mare Island in California. Quite a trip for a native Pennsylvania Dutchmen.”
But wait, there’s more. I wrote the follow-up story that went out over the Associated Press:
Former Marine Expelled for Life from the Marine Corps League. The National Hearing Board of the League held a lengthy hearing in Lewiston, Idaho, at the Red Lion Hotel, on April 1, 2006.
Two-hundred pages of documents were reported to have been gathered in an investigation prior to the Hearing. This was the first hearing in twelve years by the National Marine Corps League. Members conducting the hearing, “Findings of the Board” affirmed to Mr. Swisher:
(1) You have submitted record documents (DD214) found … to be a fraudulent … per the National Personnel Records Section, St. Louis, Missouri – Verdict: Guilty;
(2) You did adorn Department of Defense Ribbons and Medals of which you were not awarded … Verdict: Guilty.
By a unanimous vote of the Hearing Board according to the MCL Administrative Procedures they declared that Mr. Swisher be EXPELLED from the Marine Corps League for Life.
National Personnel Records Center verified that Swisher was a fraud.
PFC Swisher claims he took part in a special expedition after the Armistice was signed with Korea. The purpose, he stated, was to free American prisoners of war (POWs). The operation was highly secret, classified, he said. But upon investigation by the National Personnel Record Center, there was no evidence Swisher was involved in any classified operation. Swisher’s documents were altered (forged) according to the Record Center. Retired Marine Colonel Woodring, who was a captain at the time, confirmed that his signature on Swisher s DD214 was a forgery. Woodring had no authority to sign discharge documents.
Since Swisher would have been age 16 when the Armistice was signed in 1953, Swisher’s story was [had to be] modified. He said he was selected for a special expeditionary force. Truth is, he was never in any combat situations. “Because of his heroism under fire,” having been wounded from a grenade etc., etc., etc., he maintained claim to The Silver Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, The Navy & Marine Commendation Medal with Gold Star and other medals and Ribbons.
However, according to the Personnel Record Center, Swisher is not entitled to any decorations. What is more, the Commendation Medal didn’t even exist when Swisher claimed it.