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)

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justthefacts
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justthefacts 05/13/13 - 01:52 pm
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Well

That's not what you said. Read your own quote. But, semantics aside, how in the world can you connect the two, and/or defend this action. Even the President has said it is "Outrageous". Last night you were defending the Benhgazi fiasco. An event that even Liberal columnist Maureen Dowd calls disgusting. To quote one of the few Liberals with some credibility on this site: "Blind partisanship is a sickness"

dahreese
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dahreese 05/13/13 - 02:26 pm
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"And there are political

Unpublished

"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."

We would all prefer that that the IRS be politically neutral, but could the AC care to expand on its accusation (and especially since one of our daily commentors on here is always asking liberals to provide her with "proof" - but she probably doesn't want any "proof" of this) just exactly "how" these "political investigations" hampered the election?

Was it that some shady conservative groups were afraid of being caught via illegal giving to conservative candidates, or that conservative candidates were afraid to accept shady money?
---------------------------------------------------
Does the name and behavior of Monica Goodling ring the bell of any of our conservative posters?

burninater
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burninater 05/13/13 - 02:54 pm
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Last night I was defending

Last night I was defending the Benghazi fiasco, JTF?

How so?

My comment was, to put it in simplest terms possible, that war is a stupid waste of life, and that was in response to a comment KSL made about lives lost in Afghanistan.

If you want to extend that to Benghazi, I feel that "war being a stupid waste of life" applies equally to the cretins that murdered our diplomats in Benghazi. How is that a defense? I don't follow that logic.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 02:30 pm
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The attorneys work at the

Unpublished

The attorneys work at the discretion of the President and may be released for ANY reason. The IRS is not supposed to operate that way.

burninater
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burninater 05/13/13 - 02:34 pm
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But, semantics aside, how in

But, semantics aside, how in the world can you connect the two, and/or defend this action.
----
You're putting more words in my mouth. Where did I defend this action, either?

How can I connect the two? They're both abuses of power for partisan gain. Ignoring either simply because it matches one's political alignment perpetuates and enables abuse.

I really didn't think that was a controversial statement.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 02:42 pm
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Burn....not to criticize, but

Unpublished

Burn....not to criticize, but the impression people get when you make comments like your opening comment today is that you are attempting to rationalize one act by pointing to someone else's poor behavior. If that was not your intention, then so be it, bit that was how it was perceived.

burninater
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burninater 05/13/13 - 02:46 pm
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The attorneys work at the

The attorneys work at the discretion of the President and may be released for ANY reason. The IRS is not supposed to operate that way.
------
So, you think it is acceptable that Federal attorneys be released for not prosecuting in a sufficiently partisan manner, simply because they work at the President's discretion.

That's horrifying.

I find it EXCEEDINGLY difficult to believe that if the current administration fired attorneys for, among other things, not prosecuting Republican candidates before elections, you would say hey, that's hunky dory, thumbs up Mr. President! I'll have to take your word for it that your acceptance of political firings for not prosecuting specific political targets in Federal court is a-okay under any administration.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 05/13/13 - 02:49 pm
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IRS not Democrat nor Republican

Seems as though both sides of the aisle have agreed that this "WRONG DOING" was limited to one office. Granted; again; this is wrong ! How long are conservs. going to beat that dead horse ??!!

burninater
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burninater 05/13/13 - 02:53 pm
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Burn....not to criticize, but

Burn....not to criticize, but the impression people get when you make comments like your opening comment today is that you are attempting to rationalize one act by pointing to someone else's poor behavior.
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I don't take that as a criticism, and I can't help that some people view one person's poor behavior as justification for another's.

It's not the criticism of the ACES and many posters here that is my concern, critical views are essential for a healthy democracy. It's the blind criticism of pure partisanship that is my ongoing concern. When such critical viewing is only directed at one's political opponents, it becomes mere propaganda, and it empowers abuses by the party not being criticized. It has a tendency to create the very abuses it claims to oppose.

But perhaps that's the real issue -- perhaps the intent is not to prevent abuses of power, but to ensure that it is one's own political affiliation that is in position to do the abusing.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 02:55 pm
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So where can you get a

Unpublished

So where can you get a documented reason the Federal Attorneys were let go? Or are you speculating?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 02:55 pm
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"How long are conservs. going

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"How long are conservs. going to beat that dead horse ??!!"

Until something gets done about it. That seem long enough?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:01 pm
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" It's the blind criticism of

Unpublished

" It's the blind criticism of pure partisanship that is my ongoing concern. When such critical viewing is only directed at one's political opponents, it becomes mere propaganda, and it empowers abuses by the party not being criticized. It has a tendency to create the very abuses it claims to oppose."

That is a very good description of MSNBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC, etc.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 05/13/13 - 03:02 pm
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HA you must be a terrific juggler !

How many people can you argue with at one time ??!! It's just so good to have you back.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:03 pm
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As many as it takes, Mr

Unpublished

As many as it takes, Mr Bledsoe! And I wasn't arguing with you....just answering your question.

burninater
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burninater 05/13/13 - 03:07 pm
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So where can you get a

So where can you get a documented reason the Federal Attorneys were let go? Or are you speculating?
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No, that was from the whistleblowers' own mouths.

The wiki article has a pretty comprehensive summary of the whole affair.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy#Law...

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:09 pm
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Interesting. I guess if you

Unpublished

Interesting. I guess if you say that those whistleblowers are 100% accurate, then you also believe that Clinton and Obama are due for impeachment.....right??????......per the whistleblowers.....

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 05/13/13 - 03:09 pm
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Wish I knew more about subject

Can not really argue about something that is a non-issue. Both parties aknowledge wrong doing and BY ONLY ONE OFFICE !! NON-ISSUE.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:14 pm
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The issue is that no one is

Unpublished

The issue is that no one is being punished.....yet.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:15 pm
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burninater
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burninater 05/13/13 - 03:17 pm
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Interesting. I guess if you

Interesting. I guess if you say that those whistleblowers are 100% accurate, then you also believe that Clinton and Obama are due for impeachment.....right??????......per the whistleblowers.....
--------
?
Clinton WAS impeached.

And I have said MULTIPLE times on this site that if members of Congress have evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, then unless they impeach, they ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:19 pm
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I meant Hillary

Unpublished

I meant Hillary Clinton...sorry. You must believe that her and Obama both deserve prosecution based on what the whistleblowers have testified.....right?

burninater
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burninater 05/13/13 - 03:21 pm
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Have the whistleblowers

Have the whistleblowers produced evidence of a crime?

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 05/13/13 - 03:22 pm
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HA what kind of punishment ?

"The issue is that no one is being punished.....yet."

How much and what will be punishment for these people ?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:28 pm
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No less evidence than the

Unpublished

No less evidence than the one's you mentioned, burn. As a matter of fact...from your link....

"In July 2010, the Department of Justice prosecutors closed the two-year investigation without filing charges after determining that the firing was inappropriately political, but not criminal, saying "Evidence did not demonstrate that any prosecutable criminal offense was committed with regard to the removal of David Iglesias. The investigative team also determined that the evidence did not warrant expanding the scope of the investigation beyond the removal of Iglesias."

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:24 pm
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"How much and what will be

Unpublished

"How much and what will be punishment for these people ?"

At the very least they should be fired and investigated as to who instructed them to act as they did.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 05/13/13 - 03:27 pm
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HA your use of improper pronoun ?

"I meant Hillary Clinton...sorry. ""You must believe that her and Obama"" both deserve prosecution based on what the whistleblowers have testified.....right?"

Questionable grammer ?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:28 pm
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I'm glad you caught

Unpublished

I'm glad you caught that.......you've been waiting for that...right?

burninater
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burninater 05/13/13 - 03:32 pm
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No less evidence than the

No less evidence than the one's you mentioned, burn. As a matter of fact...from your link....
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Funny, I don't recall calling for prosecution stemming from the Federal attorneys scandal.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:36 pm
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That is because even if it

Unpublished

That is because even if it WAS partisan, it's not illegal. No one was murdered when Attorneys were let go. You are starting to sound like you are rationalizing again.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:35 pm
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It's ok....I have things to

Unpublished

It's ok....I have things to do today. Critical thinkers will read what has been posted and see through the rationalization. Good day.

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