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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    May 2007
    South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)

    IRS Scandal Heats Up: Did The White House Green Light Attack On Conservatives?

    IRS Scandal Heats Up: Did The White House Green Light Attack On Conservatives?

    May 16, 2013 by Sam Rolley


    The Administration of Barack Obama initially tried to downplay reports that the Internal Revenue Service placed undue scrutiny on conservative groups over the past several years, but a damning Treasury report on the IRS-Tea Party scandal released this week introduces Administration foot to Administration mouth.

    The official narrative from top Federal officials that the IRS abuse of conservatives was relegated to the agency’s Cincinnati-based Determinations Unit was destroyed by the report’s repeated references to the IRS’s Washington, D.C.-based Exempt Organizations Unit and guidance specialists also working for the IRS in Washington. In fact, the Treasury Inspector General’s report notes that 10 of 12 IRS offices involved in the dubious practices are in Washington.

    The White House was forced to issue a fickle statement on the explosive report.
    “The report’s findings are intolerable and inexcusable,” Obama said in a statement. “The federal government must conduct itself in a way that’s worthy of the public’s trust, and that’s especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test.”

    ABC, which recently took the Obama Administration to task over the Benghazi, Libya, cover-up, has been at the forefront of coverage on much of the IRS scandal as well. Most recently, ABC political analyst Trey Hardin said that as more information comes to light about the IRS ordeal, it will likely become apparent that top Administration officials were involved in green lighting the agency’s underhanded practices.

    “I will tell you this on the IRS front. I’ve worked in this town for over 20 years in the White House and on Capitol Hill, and I can say with a very strong sense of certainty that there are people very close to this president that not only knew what the IRS were doing but authorized it,” he said, tiptoeing around directly blaming Obama for the scandal.

    “It simply just does not happen at an agency level like that without political advisers likely in the West Wing certainly connected to the president’s ongoing campaign organization,” he added.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    15 May 2013

    Wednesday morning, Media Matters for America (MMFA) openly sided against the media in favor of the Obama Administration. In what might be a major tipping point against them, the hard-left, Soros-funded, 501 (c)(3) welfare queens released a set of pro-Obama talking points that take the Department of Justice's side in the case in which they seized the phone records of upwards of 20 Associated Press reporters:


    •If the press compromised active counter-terror operations for a story that only tipped off the terrorists, that sounds like it should be investigated.

    •It was not acceptable when the Bush Administration exposed Valerie Plame working undercover to stop terrorists from attacking us. It is not acceptable when anonymous sources do it either.

    •Is this story about a government source blowing the whistle on government misbehavior, or about a source gratuitously exposing ongoing counter-terrorism operations?

    •Did Republicans in Congress who are now exploiting the situation to score political points oppose the media shield law that likely would have protected the Associated Press in this situation?

    •How should the Justice Department strike the balance between respecting our free press and investigating damaging leaks that jeopardize counter-terrorism operations?

    The Daily Beast's Eli Lake sums up why Media Matters might have over-stepped this time:
    --Lake is a good reporter, but he is no right-winger and is a member-in-good-standing among the mainstream media.
    Since their inception almost ten-years ago, the worst-hidden, dirty little secret in America is that MMFA is nothing more than an arm of the Democratic Party and by extension the Obama Administration. Their job is -- by hook, crook, lie, or smear -- to annihilate stories damaging to Obama, or at the very least, to give the mainstream media an excuse to ignore or downplay them.

    The AP spying story, though, is a horse of a different color. It is a direct confrontation between The Obama White House and The Media. So for Media Matters to come out so openly against the media, in favor of protecting Obama against something the media increasingly sees as indefensible, is a huge tactical mistake on their part and a misreading of the situation.

    Tuesday, 52 media organizations signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder protesting the spying.
    If Media Matters discredits itself to a point where they lose their influence with the mainstream media, Media Matters might as well close shop.

    ADDED: My colleague Matt Boyle points out that there is a history of collaboration between the Department of Justice and Media Matters.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Heart of Dixie

    14 May 2013

    Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice secretly obtained two months of phone records of Associated Press reporters--the latest in a long line of attacks on an open and free media coming from this Department of Justice (DOJ).

    “The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a ‘massive and unprecedented intrusion’ into how news organizations gather the news,” theAP reported on Monday.

    “The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012.

    "The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.”

    These newly discovered intrusions on the media from Holder and the DOJ are just the latest in a litany of others. As this reporter uncovered before the election, emails between now former Holder spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler and the leftwing advocacy organization Media Matters for America show the administration colluding with the far left-wing group to smear media figures, whistleblowers and members of Congress like Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Schmaler resigned her position at the DOJ after the story.

    Issa called those who were targets of the Media Matters-DOJ attacks Obama’s “enemies list,” a reference to political targets of former President Richard Nixon.

    “Not since Richard Nixon have we seen a president who puts together an enemies list and has a whole team pursuing it,” Issa said on Fox News in September. “That’s what’s happened in this administration. It’s sad. It’s not the America I want to see going forward. I sincerely hope that after the election, regardless, the American people will have made a statement that they won’t tolerate this.”

    Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told radio host Ginny Simone of NRA News at the time that, “I promise you, we are going to have a nice, full public hearing on that.”

    Gowdy said he’s “delighted to know they [the DOJ] took time away from suing my home state of South Carolina to do something other than plan their next lawsuit. But, I’m very disappointed that they took time away to try to coordinate with the media on how to embarrass some of us who have been critical of them.”

    Holder is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, and one can imagine these issues will come up.

    According to the AP, Holder himself is required by DOJ rules to sign off on any records requests from the media. “Justice Department published rules require that subpoenas of records from news organizations must be personally approved by the attorney general but it was not known if that happened in this case,” the AP wrote.

    It is unclear what the DOJ was after, as the AP notes the government would not specify what it was seeking in the records. But the AP suggests the records desired include those relating to a May 7, 2012, article about a CIA operation in Yemen.

    The congressional probe into the Operation Fast and Furious gunwalking program was nearing its height in those months, too, so the records Holder’s DOJ was seeking could relate to that scandal too. During that timeframe, House Speaker John Boehner pressedPresident Barack Obama, himself Holder’s superior, to force Holder to release the thousands of pages of documents the administration continues to refuse to allow Congress to see.

    Months later, the full of House of Representatives voted on a bipartisan basis to hold Holder in contempt of Congress after President Obama asserted executive privilege over the documents. The president continues to assert that privilege but the House of Representatives is challenging the assertion in federal court.

    The AP recently reported that it appears the case’s judge, an Obama appointee, is leaning towards ruling in the House Republicans’ favor.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Report: IRS denied tax-exempt status to pro-lifers on behalf of Planned Parenthood

    May 15, 2013 | 2:40 pm | Modified: May 16, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Joel Gehrke

    Commentary Writer

    The Washington Examiner

    IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status to two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.

    “In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”

    Planned Parenthood endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012.

    The IRS also pressured another pro-life group about its religious activities. “The IRS withheld approval of an application for charitable tax-exempt recognition of Christian Voices for Life, questioning the group’s involvement with ’40 Days for Life’ and ‘Life Chain’ events,” according to the law firm. “The Fort Bend County, Texas, organization was subjected to repeated and lengthy unconstitutional requests for information about the viewpoint and content of its educational communications, volunteer prayer vigils, and other protected activities.”

    The IRS admitted last week to that some members of the agency targeted Tea Party groups for discriminatory reviews of their applications for tax-exempt status. The Justice Department has initiated a criminal investigation into the matter.

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