Skip to comments.IRS: The Internal Repression Service
Posted on 05/17/2014 10:17:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Through months of Obama administration stonewalling, the redoubtable Judicial Watch perseveres in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, finally uncovering bombshell documents that have eluded several congressional investigations. For the second time in a matter of days, we find that standing oversight committees with competing subject-matter jurisdictions and limited attention spans are incapable of the grand-jury-style probe needed to get to the bottom of administration lawlessness. For that, in the absence of a scrupulous special prosecutor reasonably independent from the Obama Justice Department (not gonna happen), it becomes clear that a select committee will be necessary.
Just two weeks ago, the scandal involved the cover-up of administration duplicity regarding the Benghazi massacre. (See my related article in the new edition of National Review.) Now, it is the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.
For a year, the administration and IRS headquarters in Gomorrah by the Potomac have attempted to run an implausible con-job: The harassment of organizations opposed to Obamas policies by an executive-branch agency had nothing to do with the Obama administration it was just a rogue operation by an IRS office in Cincinnati which, though regrettably overzealous, was apolitical, non-ideological, and without even a smidgen of corruption.
The story had about as much credibility as the administrations blame the video script that Susan Rice dutifully performed on the post-Benghazi Sunday shows, or the Justice Departments 2011 assurance to Congress that its agents would never knowingly allow the transfer of a couple of thousand guns to criminal gangs in Mexico. The Cincinnati did it yarn has been unraveling since it was first spun by IRS honcho Lois Lerner and, soon afterwards, by President Obama himself. The lie has now been exploded by e-mails clawed from the IRS by Judicial Watchs Freedom of Information Act suit.
These include one from a top IRS lawyer in Washington succinctly explaining in July 2010 that EOT [i.e., the revenue agencys Exempt Organization Technical unit in Washington] is working Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. Tea party applications were requests by conservative groups to be granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. By selectively setting aside their applications, delaying the conferral of tax-exempt status to which the law entitled them, and putting them through inquisitions that violated their constitutional rights to political speech and association, IRS headquarters prevented them from raising funds and organizing as an effective opposition.
The e-mails elucidate that Cincinnatis strings were being pulled in Washington: We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent [in Cincinnati] to use as examples in the development of their cases. Tea party applications, IRS headquarters elaborates, have been isolated as the subject of an SCR meaning sensitive case report. To resolve such cases would require coordination with Rob a reference, Judicial Watch contends, to Rob Choi, who was then a high-ranking IRS official in Washington.
It is no more conceivable that IRS headquarters was off on its own antiTea Party witch-hunt than that the subordinate Cincinnati office was. The fuse, it must be recalled, was lit by the Supreme Courts Citizens United decision in 2010, affirming the First Amendments prohibition against government restrictions of political speech by corporations. The ruling enraged the Left and prompted the presidents tongue-lashing of the stunned justices during the 2010 State of the Union address.
At this point, it remains unclear which, if any, administration officials were to borrow the delicate term coordinating with the IRS. It is manifest, though, that in the atmosphere charged by Obamas impertinence, congressional Democrats felt empowered to push the IRS to undermine free political speech through administrative intimidation. Judicial Watchs FOIA suit reveals correspondence in which Senator Carl Levin, the powerful Michigan Democrat, agitates for IRS action against several conservative groups. In accommodating responses, then-IRS deputy commissioner Steven Miller takes pains to assure him that flexible regulations enable the revenue agency to design individualized questions and requests for targeted Section 501(c)(4) applicants.
After a damning Treasury inspector-general report last year, even the IRS concedes that its singling out of conservative groups and obnoxiously intrusive demands for information were inappropriate. In truth, they were blatantly unconstitutional. As is always the case in Washington scandals, the question of whether crimes were committed arises and now, the companion question of whether lawmakers who encouraged executive lawlessness are guilty of crimes.
For the time being, the lawsuits brought by conservative organizations victimized by the IRS have alleged only civil wrongs: principally, the deprivation of their constitutional rights to free speech and association, and of their statutory right to tax-exempt status. Nevertheless, these claims could trigger criminal jeopardy. For example, federal law (specifically, Section 242 of the penal code) makes it a crime for a government official to willfully subject any person . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
Without a competent, impartial investigation, it will be tough to amass sufficient evidence to prove a willful violation of law. The officials implicated would surely claim however dubiously that they were just trying to enforce ambiguous regulations. Moreover, even if executive-branch officials could be proved criminally culpable, any prosecution of members of Congress would face a severe roadblock: the broad constitutional immunity lawmakers enjoy whenever arguably engaged in legislative acts. Remember Representative William Jefferson, whose crass acceptance of bribes did not stop a federal appeals court from invalidating an FBI search of his Capitol Hill office.
In any event, as I argued here last weekend, to focus on criminal or civil liability is to miss the point. The importance of government officials lies in the public trust reposed in them and the awesome power it entails. When they demonstrate themselves to be unworthy of that trust, the imperative is to take the power away.
The IRS has become a vehicle of repression one that Democrats have further empowered through Obamacare. Its budget should be slashed, and we should figure out better ways to raise revenue. In addition, government officials have engaged in conduct that, at a minimum, grossly disregarded the constitutional rights our government exists to safeguard. Whether such serious misbehavior is attributable to incompetence or corruption, the officials who engaged in it should be defrocked. Most of us couldnt care less whether they are sent to jail or successfully sued, but we should all insist that they no longer wield power.
The most ominous development in the IRS scandal is the confederation of executive and congressional authority in opposition to our fundamental rights. The accumulation of all government powers in the same hands, Madison warned, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. In a free society, powers must be separated. The Framers thus gave us a Constitution that heeded the wisdom of Montesquieu:
When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner.
The IRS scandal presents a textbook case of tyrannical execution. It is fraught with peril. We are dealing not merely with a single president, who presumes to rule by decree; nor just with his congressional partisans, who presume to pull the executive bureaucracys coercive levers. Enormous power is cumulating in an ideological movement that is hostile to free expression, one that views its political opposition not as fellow citizens with a different point of view but as enemies to be silenced and destroyed.
Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute.
Both parties of Congress (paid for by taxpayers
but subservient to al Qaeda, Communists, foreign gov’t
and especially criminal illegals) support the IRS
attacks on taxpayers such as any pro-Constitution or
IRS Smoking Gun? - Judicial Watch: IRS Targeting Of Tea Party Groups Came From D.C. - Forbes On Fox
Using the IRS against private citizens for political purposes is a crime against humanity. We’re better than that - or used to be...
<> The IRS has become a vehicle of repression.
<> The most ominous development in the IRS scandal is the confederation of executive and congressional authority in opposition to our fundamental rights.
<> In a free society, powers must be separated.
<> When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty.
<> We are dealing not merely with a single president, who presumes to rule by decree;
<> Enormous power is accumulating in an ideological movement that is hostile to free expression, one that views its political opposition not as fellow citizens with a different point of view but as enemies to be silenced and destroyed.
But hey, just keep voting every two years. That will solve everything.
Revolts aren't won by votes!
They can be if they're cast from rooftops.
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Get back to me when that happens.
((( HOLDING BREATH )))
It works better if people think it's just not possible.
Issa and Gowdy strut around like they’re on it, but Judicial Watch nails the criminals.
And people here make fun of Klayman.
The clowns are the RINO chumps.
Or maybe it’s just obvious now that they’re just running interference.
How much more abuse will We the People take?
It is time to replace the income tax with the FairTax and abolish the IRS!
To find out how to help us, go to http://www.fairtax.org.
RE: How much more abuse will We the People take?
The problem is the political parties have succeeded in pitting people against each other.
Those with low income couldn’t care less.
Those with almost no income couldn’t care even more.
This is close to almost 47% of the population.
What we have to do is convince the takers that they are better off as makers.
FairTax can make that happen.
HST, we have a hellofabattle ahead of us!
Tyranny succeeds not because of the chain of command. It thrives due to the chain of obedience.
“Liberty and security in government depend not on the limits,
which the rulers may please to assign to the exercise of their
own powers, but on the boundaries, within which their powers are
circumscribed by the constitution. With us, the powers of
magistrates, call them by whatever name you please, are the
grants of the people . . . The supreme power is in them; and in
them, even when a constitution is formed, and government is in
operation, the supreme power still remains. A portion of their
authority they, indeed, delegate; but they delegate that portion
in whatever manner, in whatever measure, for whatever time, to
whatever persons, and on whatever conditions they choose to fix.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice James Wilson (Lectures, 1790-1791)
I thought you learned to copy the source code to provide links, italics, blockquotes, etc.