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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t3bledsoe
14290
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t3bledsoe 05/13/13 - 03:36 pm
1
1
HA it TRULY IS good to have you back !

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

HA you are just too good for me !!

burninater
9627
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burninater 05/13/13 - 03:39 pm
2
3
What is there to rationalize?

"You are starting to sound like you are rationalizing again."
-------
What is there to rationalize? My position is simple. People from both parties manipulate their position for partisan gain. It's abusive whoever does it. Don't turn a blind eye to it when it's your party affiliation committing the abuse.

It's really surprising that this position would be controversial to anyone.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 05/13/13 - 03:40 pm
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OK....one more post today.
Unpublished

"What is there to rationalize?"

"Funny, I don't recall calling for prosecution stemming from the Federal attorneys scandal."

No way could this be the same person. LOL

burninater
9627
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burninater 05/13/13 - 03:44 pm
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Seriously, what is with

Seriously, what is with people putting words in the mouths of others today?

Where did I say -- EVER -- that the attorney firings was a prosecutable event?

I said it was a partisan abuse of power. Repeatedly. Now you are just making things up. Good day to you.

KSL
131379
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KSL 05/13/13 - 03:45 pm
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Burn

I didn't comment on the deaths in Afghanistan. I was pointing out another alleged cover-up, at the hands of the shadiest administration since Nixon's.

burninater
9627
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burninater 05/13/13 - 04:00 pm
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KSL, I thought the important

KSL, I thought the important part of that comment was the loss of life. We all focus on different things.

justthefacts
22204
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justthefacts 05/13/13 - 06:09 pm
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Burn

Sorry, the mean flight attendent made me shut down as we decended in to LaGuardia. But, HA argued it well IMO. In both cases mentioned, you come here, not to talk about Benghazi or the IRS, but to bring up instances that took place during the last administration. Where is your condemnation of the CURRENT events? As HA said, you deflect.

carcraft
26270
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carcraft 05/13/13 - 07:38 pm
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Well we now have a news

Well we now have a news report that the Justice department Hacked AP emails over a period of several months. So we have Fast and Furious, The Bengahzi scandal, the IRS scandal and the justice department illegally hacking reporters Emails! How long before folks on the left pull thier head out of the sand? Will go through a litany of obsfuscating excuses fot this one?

carcraft
26270
Points
carcraft 05/13/13 - 07:43 pm
1
1
Oh excuse me! The justice

Oh excuse me! The justice department taped AP reporters phones!

KSL
131379
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KSL 05/13/13 - 08:48 pm
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As, I said, this is the most

As, I said, this is the most corrupt administration since Nixon's. I am going to have to revise that statement to the most corrupt ever.

http://lastresistance.com/2082/justice-department-has-decided-4th-amendm...

KSL
131379
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KSL 05/13/13 - 07:55 pm
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Check this out

http://lastresistance.com/2082/justice-department-has-decided-4th-amendm...

Apparently the Justice Department thinks they are above the law. Here is hoping that Eric gets himself, Hillary and obama impeached, and convicted, and punished.

Truth Matters
6986
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Truth Matters 05/13/13 - 07:58 pm
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Ap taping

Well, I agree that was wrong to do. and i don't want to minimize the story but it begs the question,why would DOJ bother since most people here accuse the AP of being "owned" by the administration. Guess this news puts that claim to rest.

KSL
131379
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KSL 05/13/13 - 08:36 pm
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It does beg the question,

It does beg the question, Truth Matters. Perhaps the wool has been pulled over your eyes. We conservatives have had that done to us. I would not expect that right minded liberals could not have the same done to you.

What is required is to open your minds to the possibility that one is being used by their party of preference.

KSL
131379
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KSL 05/13/13 - 08:50 pm
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burn

You do seem like the type of person who would have a problem with this.

KSL
131379
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KSL 05/13/13 - 08:57 pm
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Seems that more and more

Seems that more and more liberal reporters are having problems with what all is rolling out. I think the administration has taken several too many "May I"steps forward.

Bizkit
32177
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Bizkit 05/13/13 - 09:32 pm
2
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But remember the

But remember the Congressional hearing went badly for Gonzales (he lied) and he was forced to resign when Dems voted no confidence in the Attorney General. So let's hope justice will be served again against abuse of power by either party. Obama already is resorting to the Alinsky strategy in defending his many problems of late.
1.Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have."
2.“Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
3.“Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
4.“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
5.“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
6.“A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
7.“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
8.“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
9.“The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
10."The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition."
11.“If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
12.“The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
13.“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

carcraft
26270
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carcraft 05/13/13 - 09:45 pm
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There was a leak about a

There was a leak about a second under ware bomber that AP wrote about. The justice department taped the phones to find out. Nixon would have won with out the break in! The folks in high office get a little shakey and buy into doing stupid garbage!

KSL
131379
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KSL 05/13/13 - 09:53 pm
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Biz

I became solidified into a conservative in high school with some major social exceptions. Conscience of a Conservative.

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 05/13/13 - 10:27 pm
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justhefacts

Really? To say that using the IRS as a tool against political opponents is a new one, is laughable. The history of IRS abuses against opponents of whatever current administration is a long and sordid one.

At Nixon's request, the IRS launched audits and investigations of a host of real and imagined opponents, including the Jerry Rubin Foundation, the Fund for Investigative Journalism (which funded Seymour Hersh's reporting on the My Lai massacre) and the Center for Corporate Responsibility. The basic intent, Nixon aide John Dean wrote, was to "use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies." This is a quote from Power to Destroy, a dry read on the use of the IRS to neutralize political opposition.

It's a shame that despite the best of intentions, all politicians are co-opted by big business, big pharma, big energy, etc. It's really a war to keep all, but the most wealthy and powerful under control, distracted and at odds with eachother while the privileged summer in the Hamptons or jet off for a round of golf in La Jolla while the little people drink their reserve, smoke their weed, pay their taxes, live on the dole, buy their hotfries with food stamps, remain locked in a pathetic cycle of wage earning and spending on useless trinkets, staring at their flatscreen tv's cheering for the latest talent on The Voice, rooting for their high school sports teams while educational institutions continue to imprison our children with shortsighted and ineffectual curriculums, all the while hoping for a political savior to rescue a tired and busted set of values that died decades ago, if they ever truly existed at all. Oh for the good old days. The truth being they never were. Let's go to war, that will solve everything.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 05/14/13 - 06:48 am
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I hate that I had to log off
Unpublished

I hate that I had to log off yesterday, and missed the laughable post where I was accused of putting words in someone's mouth after I cut and pasted a direct quote from that person. LOL!

justthefacts
22204
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justthefacts 05/14/13 - 07:13 am
3
0
Bantana

OK, you found another instance, 45 yrs ago. So, what is going on now is OK then. My bad.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 05/14/13 - 07:55 am
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JTF.... THAT is the very
Unpublished

JTF.... THAT is the very rationalization I was talking about. "Since someone else did something wrong, it makes it right when my guy does it."

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 05/14/13 - 08:49 am
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jtf

I never said what is going on now is good. I said all politicians are rotten. No rationalizing here, just pointing out that it's nothing new. The black devil wasn't the first and surely won't be the last.

Off to a job now, but I may be back.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 05/14/13 - 08:50 am
3
1
Hmmmm..... The usual. You
Unpublished

Hmmmm..... The usual. You point out wrong doing...they point out someone else's wrong doing....then CLAIM that it was in no way to deflect from their guys wrong doing, but to show that it has always been going on. That is textbook rationalization.

Also....just who is "The black devil?"

KasparHauser
364
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KasparHauser 05/18/13 - 04:48 pm
0
0
Where There's Smoke
Unpublished

My experience with various greedy, screw-you-I-got-mine people is that the people who try to cheat on taxes do so with the various rants that the income tax isn't constitutional or the government has the wrong color fringe on the flag in the courtroom making it lack jurisdiction. That comes from years of experience in the nuclear construction industry with the road gypsies who thought they'd get rich by moving to another project at no notice for a 10 cent raise.

Came as no surprise that the IRS would take a harder look at groups that express the same sort of adolescent posturing in the names of their organizations or their obvious political slant...

That's not politics, it just reasonable 'profiling', which I thought all the good ole boys were in favor of when it used on them 'other folks'.

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