Beyond an apology

IRS targeting of conservative groups demands investigation

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Defense attorneys like to talk about “the awesome power of the state” being brought to bear on their clients. And it’s true. The government has incredible power over individuals, and extensive resources with which to wield it.

Those of us indisposed to committing crimes feel that awesome power nonetheless – particularly at tax time. The IRS is the most feared and formidable government agency many of us will ever brush up against.

The thought of such a potent bureau having a nefarious agenda – political, for instance – truly is frightening. In another country, in another form of government, led by men of few scruples, such a power could be used to cripple perceived enemies.

So, the whiff of such a thing happening here is alarming – but is nonetheless in the air.

The IRS actually admitted last week that some of its agents last year illegally targeted conservative groups that were attempting to achieve official nonprofit status.

Dragging out the already interminable tax-exempt application process, the agents flagged some conservative groups to harass them with cumbersome questionnaires, extra reviews and added delays. The agency watched for title words such as “tea party” and “patriots” and singled out such groups for scrutiny.

Further – and frighteningly – “In some cases, (conservative) groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases,” the Associated Press reports.

Outrageous.

Again, the thought of using the awesome power of the IRS to torment someone because of his or her political beliefs is scary – and contrary to every notion of freedom this nation was founded upon.

To her great credit, Lois Lerner, chief of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, has acknowledged and even apologized for the offenses, which she said were carried out by low-level employees in Cincinnati.

“That was wrong,” the AP quoted her. “That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review.”

We appreciate her uncommon candor. And we certainly understand that, in a huge bureaucracy, there may be some rogue actors who act arbitrarily and contrary to rules and laws.

We do differ with her when she says the acts were not done with any political bias. That seems highly unlikely on its face.

We also would like a thorough investigation of this matter. How many agents did this? Have they been fired? Were they acting on orders from anyone else, either inside or outside the agency?

This is too serious an offense for an even sincere apology to suffice.

And there are political considerations, as well. If the goal, for instance, was to hamstring conservative groups prior to the election – well, sadly enough, mission accomplished.

In addition, this revelation only adds fuel to the conservative fire that burns with skepticism toward a government that also has seemed convinced in recent years that conservatives, rather than radical Muslims, are the chief terror threat in America. Homeland Security has put that fear in writing. And when radical Muslims bombed the Boston Marathon on April 15, liberals jumped to suggest it might’ve been a conservative tax-day attack – and key Obama adviser David Axelrod even hinted at it.

We appreciate the IRS leader’s extraordinary apology. We hope the agency will now engage in damage control – and a purge of unscrupulous partisans.

Comments (56) Add comment
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carcraft
26234
Points
carcraft 05/13/13 - 03:10 am
7
4
Please Think About Obama Care

The IRS is the group that is going to insure Obama care is financially integrated into the American people's wallet and uses the power of the IRS to insure compliance. Heads need to roll on this one and an example set. My list of excuses by SMNCICBHO is presented below to save the liberals time!
1) It is Bush's fault ! (already done, a Bush appointee is being blamed)
2) Bush did it
3) A tempest in a tea pot nothing going on
4) A fake scandel drummed up by conservatives.
5) Bush lied, people died
6) Nixon was involved

Bodhisattva
6305
Points
Bodhisattva 05/13/13 - 06:21 am
5
11
The apology was ridiculous.

The apology was ridiculous. Hundreds of organizations springing up all at once that obviously are political in nature file as 501(c)(4) organizations? These groups, that just got off the ground, suddenly have millions of dollars pouring into their coffers from some of the biggest names in partisans politics? That shouldn't set off a red flag, or hundreds of them at the IRS? Not to mention that groups filing as 501(c)(4)'s are tap dancing around the law to start with. (Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees?) Then you have the big money pouring in. A million from Murdoch a million from the Koch brothers to groups like Freedom Works that are players in partisan politics, nowhere near civic leagues. Then there's the few thousand they received from the dead woman. No red flags there. You have Fox news providing free publicity, free coverage, and free speakers. Should that be taxable as an in kind donation? Definitely more, not less, scrutiny is needed.

Riverman1
84893
Points
Riverman1 05/13/13 - 06:23 am
10
4
It's simply amazing how the

It's simply amazing how the liberal press downplays one wrong doing after another.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 07:12 am
9
2
"You have Fox news providing
Unpublished

"You have Fox news providing free publicity, free coverage, and free speakers. Should that be taxable as an in kind donation? "

I don't guess Techfan ever heard of MSNBC. Obama doesn't claim all the free campaigning from them as a donation, does he?

Bodhisattva
6305
Points
Bodhisattva 05/13/13 - 07:23 am
3
13
And the right wing press

And the right wing press remained strangely silent, and even going so far as to questioning the patriotism of anyone who spoke against any possible wrongdoing in Republican administrations.

Riverman1
84893
Points
Riverman1 05/13/13 - 07:28 am
9
1
Bod, do you have an example

Bod, do you have an example of what you mean? What wrongdoing and what conservative news organization?

ymnbde
9894
Points
ymnbde 05/13/13 - 07:29 am
10
4
penalties and interest must be paid

and the first penalty should be to cut all funding for NPR
they're as partisan as Pravda
penalties should also include having no interruption in the Benghazi scandal
and further investigation into the Fast and Furious scandal
plus possible prison time for the top officials
it seems their strategy to minimize interest in one scandal is simply to have another take its place... they just keep on coming

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 07:29 am
8
2
Yeah....examples would be
Unpublished

Yeah....examples would be nice.

Bodhisattva
6305
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Bodhisattva 05/13/13 - 07:31 am
3
9
I do, however, have the

I do, however, have the ability to read and use people's correct screen name. It's a shame that simple courtesy is lacking in some users on this site.

Bodhisattva
6305
Points
Bodhisattva 05/13/13 - 07:33 am
3
7
We are using the comment

We are using the comment section of one now.

Riverman1
84893
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Riverman1 05/13/13 - 07:40 am
10
1
Jeffrey Immelt

Jeffrey Immelt, GE CEO, the parent company of NBC, is an Obama advisor and head of his Economic Advisory Panel. You don't think that affects the way NBC and MSNBC report the news?

Bodhisattva
6305
Points
Bodhisattva 05/13/13 - 07:42 am
3
6
And further investigation

And further investigation into a certain fire with uneven and unnatural burn patterns that were only in areas not covered by sprinklers in a building that magically had all computers and customer records removed 8 days before the fire and had the fire insurance more than quadrupled three weeks before the fire. Now that I'd like to see.

Bodhisattva
6305
Points
Bodhisattva 05/13/13 - 07:48 am
3
8
You name it. Iran Contra.

You name it. Iran Contra. The Iraq War, Blackwater. Secret energy meetings, Abu Ghraib There was a whole lot of, "If you're not for x , you're with the terrorists.".

deestafford
27840
Points
deestafford 05/13/13 - 07:50 am
7
1
Somewhere there is an old Nazi Gestapo veteran saying,

"If we had had that much power, we would have won."

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 07:56 am
7
2
So no example of "questioning
Unpublished

So no example of "questioning the patriotism of anyone who spoke against any possible wrongdoing in Republican administrations." It figures.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 08:03 am
6
2
Example of people accused of
Unpublished

Example of people accused of wrongdoing for speaking out against Iran Contra?.......

Example of people accused of wrongdoing for speaking out against Iraq War?.....

Example of people accused of wrongdoing for speaking out against secret energy meetings?.......

Example of people accused of wrongdoing for speaking out against Abu Ghraib?......

Simply stating the name of a scandal does not make your point true.....if that were the case I could just say "Fast and Furious" or "Benghazi" and the President would be impeached. Facts don't work that way.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 08:05 am
5
2
"I do, however, have the
Unpublished

"I do, however, have the ability to read and use people's correct screen name. It's a shame that simple courtesy is lacking in some users on this site."

Sorry...I'll use the new name if you like it better.

Little Lamb
46392
Points
Little Lamb 05/13/13 - 08:37 am
5
2
Trans

Did you change gender when you changed screen name?

mad consumer
178
Points
mad consumer 05/13/13 - 08:55 am
7
1
I love iran contra

most people didn't know that Olie sold Iran tow missals that were sitting in a warehouse collecting dust because they were defective. Also know that the soft wear included with them had a Trojan horse that when the they tried to use them infiltrated their defense system computers and made them totally inaccurate and nearly useless.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 09:03 am
5
2
An hour later and no answer
Unpublished

An hour later and no answer to my 8:03 post...... I guess Bod logs off at the exact same time that Techfan used to log off...........hmmmmm.

dichotomy
33495
Points
dichotomy 05/13/13 - 09:10 am
8
2
It's official. The Benghazi

It's official. The Benghazi cover-up, the gun running cover-up, using the IRS to harass political enemies. The Obama administration is now the Democrat's Nixon administration....only worse. Other than Watergate, Nixon was actually a pretty good president. That will never be said about Obama. Especially with Obamacare rapidly unraveling before our very eyes....just like we said it would.

Instead of the current blind cult worship status as the first black president, history will remember Obama as just another lying, conniving, tax and spend, liberal Democrat ideologue politician who happened to be black and who ruined the American health care system while doubling it's cost to the average WORKING American and doubling the nation's debt.

His legacy is already down the toilet. All that remains is the 2016 flush.

Little Lamb
46392
Points
Little Lamb 05/13/13 - 09:47 am
4
2
Quantitative Easing

In addition to Obama's doubling of the debt, as Dichotomy mentioned, Obama's fiscal policies have set into motion the unavoidable consequence of price inflation, which will lead to demands for wage inflation. That ugly cycle cripples people who have saved a bit of money and makes people who borrow to invest wealthy.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 05/13/13 - 09:48 am
5
2
"... history will remember Obama

... as just another lying, conniving, tax and spend, liberal Democrat ideologue... "

No, it won't. History, remember, is written by liberal academics. He will go down in revisionist 'history' as a much maligned target of racist hate, his administration crippled by partisan politics.

Winston Smith, phone home.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 05/13/13 - 11:21 am
0
1
bodishattva,
Unpublished

you're at least 50 fries short of a happy meal!

dichotomy
33495
Points
dichotomy 05/13/13 - 11:45 am
3
2
"No, it won't. History,

"No, it won't. History, remember, is written by liberal academics."

Point taken dstewartsr. But even they could not cover up the dismal failures of the Carter administration and I think the long term results of the Obama administration will also be unable to be ignored. The ruination of the health care system. The unavoidable inflation that will smack us in the face from printing money to prop up this administration. The horrible results of this administration's policies probably won't become fully apparent for years but when they hit even the liberal historians won't be able to cover up the origin. Although....if you check the price of groceries, energy, health insurance, and medicine, the first indications of what is coming are already starting to show. The 14% (actual) unemployment, the part-time no benefits workforce brought on by Obamacare, it's all going to be easily traceable back to the Obama (and the Democrats) administration. Especially the first two "veto proof" years of his administration and his "print mo' money" FED.

burninater
9627
Points
burninater 05/13/13 - 11:54 am
3
4
Things like this need to be

Things like this need to be stopped before they spread to higher levels.

If this type of partisan abuse of power spreads to higher levels, next thing we know we'll have Attorneys General dismissing Federal Prosecutors because of their political beliefs. Can you imagine an administration or political group becoming THAT abusive of their power?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 12:42 pm
5
2
Or an Attorney General
Unpublished

Or an Attorney General refusing to prosecute people for voter intimidation, huh, Burn?

burninater
9627
Points
burninater 05/13/13 - 12:51 pm
2
3
Exactly, HA. Why did people

Exactly, HA. Why did people jump on the lack of prosecution for voter intimidation, but give the dismissal of attorneys a free pass? Are people so eager to pervert democracy, as long as its their team doing the perversion? Blind partisanship is a sickness.

justthefacts
22196
Points
justthefacts 05/13/13 - 12:53 pm
3
2
Quite a reach

"next thing we know we'll have Attorneys General dismissing Federal Prosecutors because of their political beliefs." Happens with every administration change. Always has. However, having the IRS target your political opponents, well thats a new one.

burninater
9627
Points
burninater 05/13/13 - 01:50 pm
2
3
"next thing we know we'll

"next thing we know we'll have Attorneys General dismissing Federal Prosecutors because of their political beliefs." Happens with every administration change. Always has.
-------
JTF, meet just the facts: the midterm firing of U.S. attorneys was "unprecedented" or, if you'd prefer, "well thats a new one."

My point is not that one abuse cancels the other. My point is that many people seem to be blindly accepting of abuses if they feel aligned with the abusive party.

It's still an abuse, regardless of who's doing the abusing. Stop giving the abusers a free pass.

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