By Brent Parrish
Yesterday I was overwhelmed by the number of reports coming out about the IRS singling out conservative and Tea Party groups for intense scrutiny over their applications for tax-exempt status as 501 (c)(4) organizations. It appears the current administration is committed to waging all-out war against its political adversaries.
Not one Tea Party group was approved by the IRS for tax-exempt status for two years and three months, yet Democrat groups were approved regularly.
For example, the Barack H. Obama Foundation, founded by Barack Obama’s half-brother Malik Obama, was fast-tracked for tax exempt status and received it in one month’s time.
The Daily Caller reported:
Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.
Malik Obama’s “shady” foundation was collecting donations illegally for “years,” yet tax-exempt status was made retroactive to shield Malik Obama’s prior illegal activity. Barack Obama’s Organizing for America (OFA) was speedily granted tax-exempt status as a 501 (c)(4) organization as well.
The IRS required conservative groups to answer a plethora of questions, demanding the names of donors, contributors, grantors—and insisted: “Please identify your volunteers.”
An Ohio woman, Marion Bower, formed an educational group, American Patriots Against Government Excess (PAGE), and was asked by the IRS to provide a “reading list” and a synopsis of books read. Bowers claimed she sent them a copy of the U.S. Constitution.
One Tea Party group seeking non-profit status was required to provide details of a rally with Newt Gingrich.
29.) Provide details regarding the townhall(sp) planned on February –, 2012 with Newt Gingrich.
St. Louis News 4 anchor Larry Conners asked the president some tough questions about his extravagant vacation schedule and on bullying the Supreme Court in an interview back in April 2012. Conners soon found himself a target, claiming in a Facebook post he was being “hammered” by the IRS.
Interestingly, Conners later made the following statement regarding his treatment by the IRS:
“Those were my personal views, not those of KMOV TV, second to be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview by several years. As a journalist I understand the importance of keeping my personal matters separate from my professional work, sometimes you have to do that to retain your independence as a news man. Those lines might have been unintentionally crossed yesterday by my post.”
There may be more to Connors’ statement than meets the eye. Dana Loesch reports that a well-placed source divulged to her, on the condition of anonymity, that Conners was
“… handed the statement that he is being forced to give at the end of the 5:00 and 6:00 news today on KMOV-TV 4.”
Even filmmakers are under the heavy-handed scrutiny of the federal government. Joel Gilbert directed the blockbuster film, “Dreams from My Real Father,” which was critical of Obama’s communist connections and Marxist philosophy.
Accuracy in Media reported (emphasis mine):
The revelations about the IRS targeting voices opposed to Barack Obama’s political agenda came of no surprise to filmmaker Joel Gilbert. His private financial accounts were hacked into and the information used by a George Soros-linked journalist, Seth Rosenfeld, before the presidential election. Gilbert wants to know who provided Rosenfeld with his private bank records. Was it someone at the IRS? Or at the White House?
Groups applying for tax-exempt status containing the words “Partriot,” “Conservative” or “Tea Party” were specifically targeted by the IRS for intense scrutiny. But not only were conservative Tea Party organizations singled out, but Jewish groups as well.
A representative of Z Street, a small Jewish educational group, spoke to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on the IRS harassment her group had received:
“They told us terrorism happens in Israel. Therefore, they had to look into our organization because they thought we might be funding terrorism. We’re a purely educational entity. We didn’t fund anybody; we barely funded ourselves.”
What is absolutely beyond belief to me is the fact Z Street was informed by the IRS their application for non-profit status would be turned over to a “special unit.”
During WWII, the Nazis formed units—specifically, death squads—known as Einsatzgruppen, which translates to “Special Units” in English. Einsatzgruppen were charged with hunting down and killing Jews en masse. Whether or not the use of the term “special unit” by the IRS was intentional or not, it certainly brings back painful memories of an awful time in history that resulted in the murder of millions of Jewish people.
ProPublica, a liberal non-profit group, admits the IRS sent them confidential applications from conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. These confidential documents were allegedly unsolicited by ProPublica. If true, it provides ample evidence the IRS was going way out of its way to provide private information to liberal groups for strictly partisan purposes.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rejects the claim by the Obama Administration the IRS shenanigans were simply relegated to low-level employees. McConnell believes it extends all the way to the top.
“The Obama effort to shut up opponents isn’t limited to the IRS. It applies to the FCC [Federal Communications Commission], SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission], FEC [Federal Elections Commission], HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] …. And you remember, the Obama campaign last year published a list of eight businessmen who it believed were enemies,” McConnell said.
So not only are conservative and Jewish groups being singled out for “special treatment,” but individuals as well.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl (video here) dropped a bombshell, alleging the West Wing of the White House authorized the IRS targeting:
In addition to the IRS scandal, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder, who was found in contempt of congress during the Fast and Furious probe, is now embroiled in a controversy over the DoJ’s seizure of phone records from the Associated Press (AP). The news organization called the action a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.”
Fox News reported:
The Associated Press announced Monday that the DOJ obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors without the news organization’s knowledge. The records obtained by the department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
While the subject of the probe remains unknown, the news organization suggests it may have been related to a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot. Officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have provided information for the AP’s story, which disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an Al Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the U.S.
These new developments concerning the AP and the DoJ threaten to undermine any confidence in the Justice Dept. to conduct a thorough and unbiased probe into the matter. Holder’s FBI is conducting the investigation of the IRS, both of whom are answerable to the attorney general.
Amazingly, Eric Holder is defending the DoJ’s seizure of the Associated Press’ phone records, yet disclaims any knowledge of certain details of the probe because he has recused himself from the investigation—which, to some, appears as if the attorney general is pleading the Fifth.
Ironically, the president was hailing “World Press Freedom Day” at the same time his DoJ was seizing the phone records of AP reporters and editors.
The reaction from the left has been starkly divided.
Joe Klein, who is no friend of the right, wrote that “the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups is outrageous.”
The far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated the DoJ’s spying on the Associated Press was an “unacceptable abuse of power.”
Astonishingly, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reacted strongly to the IRS scandal, calling it “one of the most outrageous excesses I’ve seen in all my years of journalism.”
Even people like John Stewart, David Gregory and Charlie Rangel expressed a measure of incredulity and outrage at the actions of the IRS targeting specific groups based solely on political affiliations.
Naturally, not all on the left are disturbed by the administration’s heavy-handed approach in silencing its political opponents.
Former Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod attempted to minimize the IRS and AP scandals by claiming the “government is so big … so vast.” The implication being the president cannot possibly keep tabs on all the machinations of all federal government agencies—which literally makes the Tea Party’s case for limited government. Additionally, Axelrod’s comments implied the Obama Administration had no knowledge of what the Obama Administration was doing
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went even farther in trying to excuse the actions of the IRS, claiming it once targeted liberal groups:
“What the IRS did, of course, is inexcusable, but this is not the first time we’ve seen this. It wasn’t long ago that the IRS inappropriately targeted the NAACP, Greenpeace and a California church that was really progressive, called the All Saints Church in Pasadena, Calif.”
The Los Angeles Times postulated that the IRS scandal was nothing more than lax oversight and a confused staff.
Breitbart News editor-at-large Ben Shapiro countered such notions that the IRS scandal is nothing more than bad management by stating:
“Insufficient management means somebody burned the burgers at McDonald’s. When the IRS politically targets, something else is at work.”
Dana Loesch brings up a disturbing point in regard to the IRS scandal:
“What this scandal also exposes is that there are no guarantees that the IRS wouldn’t deny health care to Americans based on beliefs.”
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires the hiring of some 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce the law. Furthermore, Obamacare puts the IRS in charge of building the largest ever database of personal information. What could possibly go wrong?
Mitch McConnell pointed out the abuse of federal power is not limited to just the IRS.
Obama’s EPA is waiving fees for liberal groups 92% of the time, but denies conservative organizations 93% of the time.
Health and Human Services (HHS), headed up by Kathleen Sebelius, is currently under investigation for illegally soliciting donations from the same companies that it would then regulate.
A recent report has also revealed the IRS told a pro-life group it had to promote abortion in order to receive tax-exempt status.
Shortly before the Benghazi, IRS and AP scandals broke, Barack Obama spoke to students at Ohio University and stated the following:
“They’ll warn that tyranny [is] always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
Considering these recent developments, many would be hard-pressed to reject the fact that using federal government agencies to intimidate and silence ones’s political foes is, in itself, the quintessential definition of tyranny.