There are so many facets to the IRS scandal that I am beginning to reel from the enormity of the whole thing.
The initial complaints about the behaviour of the IRS were centred on Cincinnati Ohio (go the Reds). Justin Brink who also writes for the Washington Examiner explains how he was in fact the target of the first probes. He broke the story several months ago when he pointed out that conservative groups were being targeted by the Cincinnati office and that his name was mentioned in the requests. He writes in a current article:
What hasn’t been broadly discussed is that these letters included the name of one individual citizen in particular: me. In a question to a Cincinnati-area group, the IRS requested that it “provide details regarding your relationship with Justin Binik-Thomas.”
Can the IRS be more blatant with their line of questioning that something as specific at this? I suggest that such a question goes well beyond what is required to approve a group’s tax status and that the question was being asked for the purpose of harassment at the very least.
This is only one example of what is now coming out about the leaks, the targeting of individuals and the very intrusive requests for information that should not be the business of the IRS in the first place. ( I would suggest that the powers of the IRS need to be reduced such that they once again become an agency that gathers taxes and that they have no input into other political matters, but how that is achieved, I cannot guess).
Some more blatant examples of the harassment are also coming to light with comments from Franklin Graham about the audit of his Ministries and of his father Billy Graham, as well as the audit of Catholic commentator Professor Ann Hendershott. In fact the attack upon her was more blatant than the attack on the Graham ministries. Then there is the audit of a Baptist newspaper… and the list keeps on growing.
This is only the harassment side of the equation because another aspect of this scandal happens to be the leaking of information about conservative political donors to progressive organizations. Believe it or not ProPublica has done some of the right thing by coming forward about some of the leaked information that they received, especially when it related to applications for groups that had not been approved. The leaks are in fact a very big part of this scandal and it includes the leaking of tax information (selective and incorrect it seems) regarding Mitt Romney and some of his large donors. At the same time there had been yet another campaign against the libertarian Koch brothers.
It is impossible for me to believe that the White House Administration knew nothing about what had been going on, because they must have known the source of leaks relating to Mitt Romney and his taxes, as well as most of the other dirty tricks within the campaigning during 2012. Yes, in fact Obama must have known about most of this at the time and he must have given his imprimateur to the harassment of groups associated with the TEA movement, especially and including True the Vote.
Other factors that are coming to light include things like the IRS staff were large donors to the Obama campaign, either directly or through donations to PACs that were giving donations to Obama.
The whole scandal has the ring of intimidation.The report from Politico on the subject indicates that the purpose seems to be an attempt to shut down anyone who votes against the Democrats or who is prepared to criticize the usurper in the White House. It has been a deliberate campaign. I have no doubt in my mind that Obama gave them the go ahead with the intimidatory tactics that have been used when holding up those applications. Many of the groups withdrew their applications because of the intrusive nature of the questions. One person actually got smart and applied using a more liberal name for his organization once he discovered that if you had Occupy Wall Street in the name of your group or progressive of even the now defunct coffee party the application went through like the smoothness of a baby’s bum.