Alexander's Column

Obama's 'IRS Enemies List' -- Updated Chronology

The Patriot Post -- IRS Target of Opportunity

By Mark Alexander · May 16, 2013
“Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.” –Alexander Hamilton (1787)

NOTE: This column has been updated with new and relevant findings, in order that it may serve as a chronology of how Obama’s IRS union thugs targeted conservative “Patriot,” “Tea Party” and other groups in an effort to censure the advocacy of Liberty and conservative causes.

As the first conservative digest of news, policy and opinion on the Internet, our startup team knew that if we were effective at advocating for Liberty and Rule of Law, we would someday be targeted, organizationally and individually, by those wanting to silence us.

We must be fulfilling our mission, because over the years we have received all manner of threats. So vivid have some of those threats been that we screen incoming mail and packages. Apparently, some NeoComs are not so “tolerant” of diverse viewpoints.

If you asked me whether I thought card-carrying members of the Socialist Democratic Party would, by way of their bureaucratic surrogates, use the IRS and other government agencies to target groups with the name “Patriot,” I would have said, “Of course.” If you asked me whether I thought they would get caught at it, I would have said “No,” because they’re smart enough to use “cutouts” between their office and the bureaucrats committing the offense.

Cutouts are bureaucratic managers who act as surrogates to do the political bidding of elected officials. They are blamed and sacrificed for the “good of the cause,” in order to protect (read: “provide plausible deniability for”) elected officials who feign outrage and indignation at the violation of law in support of their political agenda. When the president of the United States is the elected official behind a culture of corruption and abuse of power, the layers of cutouts make it nearly impossible to find impeachable evidence of executive collusion.

Needless to say, Barack Obama and his black-bag dirty tricks team learned well from their Democrat predecessors, FDR, JFK and Clinton, how to use the Internal Revenue Service to harass their opponents. But they also learned a few things from Richard Nixon about the importance of using cutouts. Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment after being caught on tape discussing the Watergate burglary with key staffers, where today those staffers would never directly discuss such abuse of power with a sitting president.

I assume that, unlike Nixon, Obama is probably clever enough to ensure his fingerprints are not on anything directly related to the most significant scandal of his administration – the politically-motivated adulteration of the Benghazi talking points ahead of his 2012 re-election campaign.

Likewise, don’t expect Obama to be convicted for “guilt by association” with those in the West Wing, who have apparently been directing the IRS to target his political “Patriot” and “Tea Party” opponents since at least 2010. As his former chief dirty trickster, David Axelrod, said this week, “Part of being president is there’s so much beneath you that you can’t know because the government’s so vast.” Yes, vast layers of cutouts… Cutouts notwithstanding, we note that even some of Obama’s most adoring Leftist talkingheads are calling him out on this scandal, including this Chris Matthews tirade.

A legal and tax advisor to The Patriot Post informed us that the Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, our education fund advocating Liberty and constitutional integrity, clearly “met the criterion for the corrupt IRS inquisition,” but for a couple of reasons (which we can’t disclose publicly) we were passed over for review. She asked, “What’s it like being on Obama’s "enemies list.” I responded, “It’s like receiving a gold star on a badge of honor!”

However, almost 500 other groups with “Patriot” or “Tea Party” in their name were not so fortunate. (For the record, this is not the first time that Obama sycophants in a powerful government agency have targeted Patriot and Tea Party groups. Read “Army Preps for Tea Party ‘Terrorists’,” a Patriot Post exclusive from the same time period the IRS began its targeting operations.)

Obama’s political and legal team certainly recalls Article II, Section 1 of the 1974 House impeachment against Nixon, which could be a template for a case against Obama today if not for all the cutouts: “He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to … cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

Undoubtedly, the current regime’s dirty tricksters have learned their history and covered all the bases to protect their radical socialist leader.

Obama now claims, “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday. And this is pretty straightforward.” Really – no staffer thought to mention this issue to Obama in the President’s Daily Brief?

If Obama’s claim sounds familiar, that’s because he has issued the same defense when previous scandals have landed at his feet. Recall, if you will, Obama’s 2011 response when asked what and when he knew about his administration’s deadly Fast and Furious charade to promote gun control on the U.S. side of our porous border with Mexico: “I heard on the news about this story that, uh, fast and furious…it was something, uh, we found out about, uh, along with all of you.”

However, we now know that Obama’s Chief Counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, was alerted to the IRS scandal on 22 April of this year. The administration, at this date, has refused to make her available for comment, and refused to say whether Ruemmler told anyone else in the administration. Apparently they need more time to get their stories straight.

These claims are tantamount to the Sergeant Schultz defense: “I know nothing, I see nothing, I was not here, I did not even get up this morning.”

However, it’s difficult to reconcile Obama’s claim with the 54-page report issued by the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury regarding the targeting of his political opponents.

That report concludes:

1. For 18-months, all tax exempt applicants with the words “Patriot” or “Tea Party” in their names were selected for review, however, the IG report said it was unclear who had ordered the IRS to target Patriot and Tea Party groups. Later that order was expanded to include “groups focused on government spending, government debt, taxes, and education on ways to ‘make America a better place to live’.” Then came groups with educational missions focused on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Notably, while the IRS Cincinnati office was stalling conservative group applications for tax exempt status, it awarded the Barack Hussein Obama Foundation its status in just 34 days. (So, the Obama administration rejects terrorist profiling, but supports Patriot profiling…)

2. IRS section chief Lois Lerner knew about the profiling in June 2011, but in March 2012, the former head of the IRS, Douglas Shulman, testified before Congress “that the agency was not targeting conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status as ‘social welfare’ groups.” Shulman’s denial undoubtedly provides Obama political cover, even though he logged into the White House 157 times since 2009 – more often than any Cabinet member. Even Obama’s close friend, AG Eric Holder, only logged in 62 times. Shulman’s chief of staff, Jonathan M. Davis, met with Obama staff at the White House and adjacent Eisenhower office building more than 300 times between 2009 and 2012. Shulman’s predecessor, Mark Everson, visited the White House only once in his four years as IRS head under President George W. Bush, and said he might as well have been in “Siberia.”

On several of Shulman’s White House visits with Obama, he was joined by Stephanie Cutter, deputy manager for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. Cutter claims those meetings were not political…so, why was she there?

Further, the White House visitor logs create some serious problems for Obama.

On 23 April of 2012, IRS chief counsel William Wilkins met with Obama, and a day later, Wilkins' boss, former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, met with Obama. On 25 April, Wilkins then sent Lois Lerner revised guidance regarding the withholding of “Patriot” and “Tea Party” tax-exempt applications. This action by Obama’s highest political appointee at the IRS, clearly contradicts Obama’s claim that he knew nothing. It is likely that Wilkins and Shulman discussed more than the complexities of the plan to use IRS strong-arming to force compliance with ObamaCare.

Notably absent from the IG’s report is the fact that Lerner was given $42,531 in “bonuses” during the time period when she was overseeing the IRS agents who were targeting conservative groups. In fact, the IRS has given more than $100 million in bonuses since Obama took office. And fact is, the groups that were being targeted likely extend far beyond Patriot and Tea Party groups, and include Christian ministries and other groups deemed a threat to Obama’s re-election campaign. It is also likely that their are additional IRS offices involved.

Don’t expect to hear any more testimony from Lerner as she insists, “I have not done anything wrong, I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules and regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee [but] I’m asserting my right not to testify… One of the basic functions of the Fifth Amendment is to protect innocent individuals…” As Lerner might recall, “One of the basic functions of the [First and Fourth] Amendment is to protect innocent individuals,” and the IRS abjectly violated those protections. The real question for Lerner – if she is innocent, then who IS she protecting by invoking the Fifth?

Fact is, Lerner has a history of using her government office to target conservatives – including Republican candidates when she was at the Federal Elections Commission.

Sidebar: On the subject of bonuses and other IRS perks, former Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner testified that last year, the IRS spent $500,000 of taxpayer revenue on five conferences. According to another IG report, however, it turns out that almost $50 million in taxpayer revenue was allocated for more than 200 lavish events featuring a long list of ridiculous and wasteful speakers and activities. Apparently the IRS does not do a good job of accounting for such events…

If you think the IRS is out of control, it is important to understand that there is nothing that distinguishes the IRS waste from every other government agency.

For the record, the IRS harassment of conservative groups was not limited to a few “low-level employees” in Cincinnati. The current complaint count involves Obama’s union thugs in at least three IRS regional offices who have targeted more than 500 conservative groups. And notably, an IRS agent in Cincinnati protested, “We people on the local level are doing what we are supposed to do. Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.” They further identified IRS attorney Carter Hull in the Washington headquarters as one individual who told employees to target Patriot and Tea Party groups.

“Union thugs?” Indeed. Colleen Kelley, president of the IRS employees' union, was most likely the conduit for Obama’s wink-n-nod “directive”. Kelly met with Obama on 31 March 2010, the day before the first Sensitive Case Reports on conservative groups were initiated. Kelley already had Obama’s 2009 Executive Order 13522 in her corner, which directed that the IRS must “allow employees and unions to have pre-decisional involvement in all workplace matters…” – giving unions an unprecedented end run on legislative authority. However, Obama’s political agenda, shared by his unionistas, required no directive.

Of course, Obama feigned indignation: “Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it. The good news is we can fix this.” I presume that means making sure the abuse is better concealed in the future? Obama added, “I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency.” This from an ideological socialist whose appointees have ensured that ALL government agencies are acting as “enforcers” of his political agenda.

To deflect attention from his West Wing administrators, Obama fired acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller Wednesday, though Miller was already scheduled to resign next month. Miller’s firing is nothing more than a diversionary tactic. In testimony befovisited the White House 165 timere the House Ways and Means Committee this week, Miller insisted, “I do not believe that partisanship motivated the people that engaged in the practices described in the inspector general’s report.” (See Rep Mike Kelly’s interrogation Miller.)

Fishing for the truth, Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg News asked Obama: “Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your Counsel’s Office found out on April 22nd?” Obama replied, “Let me make sure that I answer your specific question. I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press.”

You will note that Obama did not answer the “specific question,” choosing instead to distance himself from any complicity.

Moreover, Sarah Hall Ingram, who served as commissioner of the office overseeing tax-exempt organization from 2009 to 2012 – the division responsible for targeting Obama’s “enemies list,” visited the White House 165 times, none of which overlapped with Shullman’s frequent visits. And making matters worse, in 2012 Ingram was transferred to oversee the IRS office enforcing ObamaCare mandates, greatly expanding the opportunity to target a much broader “enemies list” with a wide range of tax and regulatory compliance mandates. By the way, Ingram received $103,390 in “bonuses” at the time the Patriot and Tea Party organizations were being targeted. And a related case, the IRS is being sued right now because agents seized the medical records of more than 10,000,000 Americans while investigating an employee of a records aggregating company. The medical records were unrelated to the original case.

In response to these violations, Sen. John Cornyn has sponsored legislation to prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, or any of its enforcement wings, including the IRS, from enforcing ObamaCare provisions.

And then there’s the question of how Obama’s 2012 campaign co-chair, Joe Solmonese, far above most cutouts in the IRS case, acquired the confidential donor tax records of the National Organization for Marriage and assailed Mitt Romney for his donation of $10,000 to NOM in support of traditional marriage. Solmonese protested that Romney’s “funding of a hate-filled campaign designed to drive a wedge between Americans is beyond despicable. Not only has Romney signed NOM’s radical marriage pledge, now we know he’s one of the donors that NOM has been so desperate to keep secret all these years.”

At the time, Solmonese was still president of the so-called Human Rights Campaign, a major homosexual advocacy organization. A day after posting that criticism of Romney in the liberal Huffington Post, he resigned his position with HRC and became Obama’s co-chair.

Additionally, ProPublica, a non-profit which is funded by George Soros' Open Society Foundation, also received conservative applications for tax exemption. The IRS claims the release of this confidential information was “inadvertent and unintentional disclosures by the employees involved.”

It’s no small irony that before the IRS scandal broke last week, Obama delivered a commencement address at Ohio State University, where he counseled graduates, “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn … that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

Using the strong arm of government to suppress political opponents exercising our constitutional prerogative to “petition the government for a redress of grievances” is the very definition of tyranny.

To that end, I recall language from another historic impeachment, which most assuredly applies to Obama: “He has refused his Assent to Laws… He has obstructed the Administration of Justice… He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people… He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation … all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

That indictment is, of course, from our Declaration of Independence.

I am also reminded of another commencement speech Obama delivered in 2009 at Arizona State University, after university officials declined to give Obama an honorary doctorate. Obama “joked” that “[university president Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.” Maybe not so much of a joke after all…

As you recall, Obama proclaimed in 2010, when the IRS began its work on his enemies list, “We have put in place the toughest ethics laws and toughest transparency rules of any administration in history.” That was just another fine example of rhetorical horse pucky from the master prevaricator.

It is truly difficult to perceive just how ignorant Obama’s low-information poverty plantation constituents have to be at this point to believe anything this pathological narcissist says.

Last month, Obama asserted, “I am elected by you. I am constrained … by a system that our Founders put in place. It’s a government of and by and for the people.”

He may have uttered the words of a solemn presidential oath to abide by the constraints of the “system our Founders put in place,” but there is no evidence he has, does or ever will abide by that oath.

Obama’s spin machine is running full throttle.

After Lois Lerner publicly acknowledged, “We made some mistakes; some people didn’t use good judgment. We’re apologetic [for] absolutely inappropriate” actions against conservative groups, Jay Carney, proxy spokesman for the president of the United States, rebutted, “You know, one person’s view of what actions were taken happened is not enough for us to say concretely what happened was inappropriate.”

Carney’s non-committal confutation was on cue from Obama’s qualification of his “outrage” about the IRS accusations: “If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that had been reported on…” And David Plouffe, manager of Obama’s 2008 campaign and a senior advisor until January of this year, responded via Twitter, “[Important] to note GOP groups flourished [the] last 2 elections, overwhelming Ds. And they will use this to raise more $.” (So the IRS actions were justified on the grounds of “leveling the playing field”?)

When Carney was confronted by CNN’s Piers Morgan, one of Obama’s otherwise sycophantic media promoters, for more information on the Benghazi and IRS scandals, Carney replied, “You’re concocting scandals that don’t exist, especially with regard to the Benghazi affair that was contrived by Republicans and, I think, has fallen apart largely this week.”

But the inquiry into the politically-motivated adulteration of the Benghazi talking points should not fall into the shadow of the IRS scandal, because Americans died in Benghazi. In fact, Watergate reporter Bob Woodward said, after the release of the Benghazi emails, “I have to go back 40 years to Watergate when Nixon put out his edited transcripts to the conversations, and he personally went through them and said, ‘Oh, let’s not tell this, let’s not show this.’ I would not dismiss Benghazi. It’s a very serious issue.”

Commenting on the common thread of lies about Benghazi and the IRS, Newt Gingrich notes, “The parallel between Benghazi and the IRS story is … lying and then lying about lying then hiding from the fact that they’re lying then seeking to apologize from lies that they claim they didn’t tell. .. There’s something culturally sick if the American government says, ‘You put that word Constitution in your name, we’re going to come after you.”

Now that the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight has received White House emails which clearly contradict Obama’s “Benghazi script,” the Subcommittee is demanding that the Internal Revenue Service turn over every communication in its records that includes the words “tea party,” “patriot” or “conservative.” The Democrat-Senate is still ducking for cover.

Footnote: In a commencement speech to Morehouse College this week, Obama said that if not for his integrity and values, “I might have been in prison. I might have been unemployed.” He might yet!