Barely a week ago, President Obama stood before a crowd of new graduates and told them to reject the voices which warned them to be wary of government tyranny and oppression.
His remarks are all the more ironic, given the explosion of scandals which have been exposed this week, not the least of which involves the Obama administration using the IRS to intimidate and harass political opponents.
The Associated Press reports:
The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.
IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.
Read more at AP
Conservative applicants were forced to answer bizarre and intrusive questions, provide mounds of paperwork, and wait as the IRS stalled on their applications for up to three years. For some groups, these hurdles prevented them from fully participating in the 2012 election.
The criteria for targeted groups was expanded over time to include nearly anyone who dared disagree with Obama’s policies:
An IRS campaign to apply additional scrutiny to conservative groups went beyond targeting “Tea Party” and “patriot” groups to include those focused on government spending, the Constitution and several other broad areas.
[…] The internal IG timeline shows a unit in the agency was looking at Tea Party and “patriot” groups dating back to early 2010. But it shows that list of criteria drastically expanding by the time a June 2011 briefing was held. It then included groups focused on government spending, government debt, taxes, and education on ways to “make America a better place to live.” It even flagged groups whose file included criticism of “how the country is being run.”
By early 2012, the criteria were updated to include organizations involved in “limiting/expanding government,” education on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and social economic reform.
Read more at Fox News
It wasn’t just Tea Party groups being targeted. The IRS also targeted pro-life groups, Jewish groups, and individuals who dared to challenge, question or criticize Obama or his policies, including Billy Graham, columnist Todd Starnes, news anchor Larry Conners, businessman and Romney donor Frank VanderSloot, and Wayne Allyn Root, who describes the ugly ordeal:
I am the face of Obama’s IRS attacks. I am proof of how bad it is, when it started, that it was directed at individuals as well as groups, and that it did not involve only “low level IRS employees.”
[…] Most importantly, I’m living proof it was directed at individuals — with the intent of ruining our lives. It almost ruined mine. This is important because the American public needs to see the faces of the targets. I have a wife and 4 children. I didn’t deserve this.
Here is my personal story. I’m a small businessman, but also a national media personality with a megaphone. I’m an outspoken critic of Obama. My views are seen by millions on Fox News Channel, and read at web sites like The Blaze and FoxNews.com. And in almost every media appearance its pointed out that I’m Obama’s Columbia Class of ‘83 classmate. You don’t think Obama noticed?
The result? In January, 2011 an unprecedented IRS attack was launched against me. My personal story of IRS attack was covered extensively by conservative media.
In 30 years of doing business, I’ve had a spotless tax record. And I had never heard a peep from the IRS. The attack was so over-zealous and out of bounds, I was forced to hire one of this nation’s top tax attorneys, who took my case to court where we won a 100% victory.
My relief at being vindicated lasted five days! Then the IRS announced a new tax audit against me.
My attorney had never heard of such a thing and, before me, assumed it wasn’t possible.
The many legal and accounting experts (who drained my savings) all agreed this could only happen if I was on “Obama Enemies List.”
The attack was chilling and intimidating, affecting every aspect of my life. It was meant to bleed me dry, and teach me a lesson — if you dare to criticize Obama, get ready to lose everything.
Read more at Fox News
Former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld claims that the IRS has been used to retaliate against businessmen who dared to speak out, as well:
“Having been in the position of a chief executive officer, I can understand why a businessman might be reluctant to speak out against the actions of federal agencies that have the power to harm their enterprises,” he wrote in Rumsfeld’s Rules, which goes on sale Tuesday.
“By doing so, corporate leaders could expose themselves and their companies to government retaliation–from the IRS, the SEC, congressional committees, or the many other agencies of the federal government that regulate and oversee their operations,” he added.
Criticism of presidents, he said, is hard. “I suppose if more business leaders defended capitalism, there might not be quite as many smiling photos with politicians.”
Read more at the Washington Examiner
As if this weren’t bad enough, it appears that not only was the IRS targeting conservatives for additional scrutiny and investigation, but they were also handing over their confidential information to progressive groups that could use the information against them:
The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.
The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.
Read more at Breitbart
It didn’t stop there:
A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”
Now — on the heels of news the IRS’s apology for having targeted conservative groups — NOM is renewing their demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the people responsible.
“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said NOM’s president Brian Brow, in a prepared statement. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”
Read more at the Daily Caller
Eric Holder’s corrupt Department of Justice has promised to investigate the IRS scandal. Congressman Issa scoffed at the idea of the Executive branch legitimately investigating itself, promising a thorough and transparent congressional investigation.
The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight is already demanding all IRS communications which contain conservative buzz words such as “tea party” or “patriot,” along with the names of anyone involved in the scandal.
With full Obamacare implementation only months away, who wouldn’t want the same agency that recently admitted to targeting dissidents to have access to all of your personal health info?
Repeal the 16th Amendment. Abolish the IRS.
The IRS Is The Internal Retaliation Service
Mark Levin Forces IRS Apology for Targeting Conservative Groups
IRS targeted conservatives as early as 2010. Read I.G. report.
IRS Intimidation Forced Founder To Shut Down Tea Party Group
IRS Lied to Congress about Targeting Tea Party
Republicans slam IRS targeting of Tea Party as ‘chilling,’ a form of intimidation
Ted Cruz: IRS Scandal “Harkens Back To The Days Of Nixon,” Proof Obama Keeps An “Enemies List”
A Reminder of How the Obama Government Has Repeatedly Targeted Conservatives
IRS Office That Targeted Tea Party Also Disclosed Confidential Docs From Conservative Groups
McConnell warned IRS was ‘demanding attendance lists, meeting transcripts, and donor information’ from tea party groups
Tax Audits Are No Laughing Matter: A president shouldn’t even joke about abusing IRS power
Chuck Todd on IRS targeting right-wing groups: “Why aren’t more Democrats jumping on this? It’s outrageous…”
George Will: If Bush Had IRS Going After Progressives ‘We Would Have All Hell Breaking Loose’
IRS Employees Donated Over Twice as Much to Obama in 2012
Obama’s Enemies List: Targeting Private Citizens Who Support His Opponents