Enemies of the State
By: Mark Hyman
Tin-foil hat is a term of ridicule that is hung on those who believe in conspiracy theories.
But what may have once been considered a theory we now know is a reality. The IRS has admitted that it targeted conservative groups that have or were seeking tax-exempt status.
[The IRS subjected groups to invasive scrutiny not performed on any other tax-exempt organizations (here, here, here). A sample of some the 55 inappropriate questions the IRS demanded be answered is here.]
The IRS claimed a couple of rogue employees in Cincinnati recently did this on their own without any political intent.
Now we know it was a nationwide effort at least three years old that targeted scores of groups that believe in Constitutional principles, limited government, or call themselves “patriots.” “Tea Party” members. Or support Jewish causes. And senior IRS officials knew of it.
[Here is the IG Report on IRS Abuses.]
[Several Democrat Senators sent a joint letter to the IRS in 2012 – but two years after the tax agency had already began its harassment campaign – urging the IRS to pursue conservative tax-exempt organizations.]
[Of note, David Plouffe, the former campaign manager for and close confidante of Barack Obama appeared to justify the IRS targeting conservative groups but later backed off that statement.]
[Congressional response to the IRS abuses was relatively non-existent with only Rep. Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA-3) known to have sent a letter to the IRS.]
This isn’t new. Since 2009, federal agencies have published numerous documents indentifying law-abiding Americans as enemies of the state [These documents include: “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”; “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A ?Vision? of the Future”; “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right”; and “Religious Extremism”]. Including those who believe in individual liberty, support the Bill of Rights. Are evangelical Christian, Mormon, Catholic or Jewish. And are pro-life, or military veterans.
And we’ve learned the Justice Department violated freedom of the press by secretly obtaining the phone records serving more than 100 journalists of the Associated Press.
Ironic considering the AP has been in-the-tank for the president.
This is an unprecedented use of government agencies as shock troops to attack political opponents.
So much for tin-foil-fats.
Mark Hyman hosts "Behind the Headlines," a commentary program for Sinclair Broadcast Group.