The power to tax is the power to destroy.
And when you have the head of the IRS Doug Shulman admitting that it was true that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups that were seeking tax exemptions as well as individuals that were contributors to the GOP and or tea party, and it "was a mistake," he was sorry.
I see this as a problem beyond a problem. As I stated last week, the IRS scandal is kindergarten compared to Watergate. Watergate was party against party. The IRS scandal is government against the American people! Obama and company are in full denial, "I know nothing." Obama said, "I heard it on the news," and then noted that the IRS is an "independent" agency.
Many in Washington are looking for phone calls and emails trying to prove that there was extra scrutiny of these individuals and groups. That's not how post Watergate Washington works. Mr. Obama didn't need to pick up a phone. All he needed to do is exactly what he did for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in evil deeds; call out by name political opponents whom he'd like to see harassed; and have his party pressure the IRS to go after these individuals, groups and their contributors.
Such is the case of long-time Republican donor businessman Frank VanderSloot, who made a sizeable donation in 2011 to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred VanderSloot as a "wealthy individual" with a less-than-reputable record.
And then there's John Stacks, whom I pointed out in my column of May 1, 2013, who has just returned home after testifying in Washington D.C. Stacks is the businessman who experienced firsthand a SWAT team raid, along with his employees. He owns Mountain Pure Water, LLC and is the CEO of a local bank in Little Rock, AR and was a donor and supporter of Mitt Romney and the GOP as well as a tea party supporter.
Stacks said his company has had three IRS audits, one following the raid, with no problems. In John Stacks' case, still no charges have been filed. The Small Business Administration continues to stonewall about the raid's purpose and refuses to release property seized during the raid.
Coincidentally, VanderSloot went through the same number of IRS audits. By the way, he, like Stacks, had never been audited before and was subject to three audits in the next four months after being targeted. Again, like Stacks, no fine or penalty resulted from these audits, only $80,000 in legal fees and waiting 20 months for sizeable refunds, not to mention the mental torture to both of these individuals and many more.
Obama didn't need a telephone; he had a megaphone!
These same threats were made to conservative groups that might dare play a part in the election, i.e., in his State of the Union address on the Supreme Court's Citizens United Ruling, claiming it "revised a century of law to open the floodgates for special interest groups," and Joe Biden at the same time compared tea baggers to terrorists. I believe this is only the tip of the iceberg at the time, and certainly not the end of it.
Doug Shulman, head of the IRS from March 24, 2008 to Nov. 9, 2012, was allegedly fired, but an interesting fact is Sarah Hall Ingram, who was at the IRS and held a top position from 2009 to 2011, has been put in charge of Obama Care! I've been accused of being a right winger. I don' think that's the case, but whether you're a left winger or right winger, wrong is wrong, and the IRS targeting is wrong.
On to the Associated Press. The greatest possession we have in this country is freedom of speech. When we lose that we lose everything.
Did the Department of Justice seize months of phone records from the Associated Press because the news organization ran a story that contradicted a key White House claim in the war on terror? AP has speculated that the Justice Department investigation was launched because of a story it ran on May 7, 2012 reporting that the CIA thwarted an attempt by an Al Queda affiliate to blow up a U.S. airliner on the one year anniversary of the killing of bin Laden.
That story directly contradicted a White House claim that it had "no credible information that terrorist organizations, including Al Queda, are plotting such attacks. And thus the games begin.
When White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the President "a strong defender" of the First Amendment and, of course, had no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP.
However, the government seized records for more than 20 phone lines assigned to AP journalists in April and May 2012. More than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, confirming the AP reporters and their sources. But of course, Attorney General Eric Holder said last week he couldn't explain why his department did not simply ask the AP for voluntary cooperation before executing a subpoena. I have the answer to that one. It would be NO! The reason the government has no right to intrude on the freedom of the press is this is America!
In conclusion, the President sets the tone for his administration. In all of these scandals — the IRS, AP, Benghazi, Fast and Furious — the agencies in charge are executive agencies. Is Barack Obama the President or not?
Until next week.