Why do they lie to us?
By Dr. Robert Owens
When faced with the highest levels of unemployment in American history why does the government trumpet a falling unemployment rate? In the face of overwhelming evidence of ineptness at best in Benghazi why do our hacks and their flacks insult us with answers like, "Dude this was two years ago!" With the obvious politicization of the IRS why does the president tell us there isn't even a smidgen of corruption in the IRS while professional bureaucrats who really run this country take the 5th, stonewall, and lie?
The Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media regales us with oxymoronic statements such as, "Despite the unemployment rate plummeting, more than 92 million Americans remain out of the labor force." The Great Recession grinds on in the lives of everyday working people while our leaders talk about a recovery that only benefits them and their cronies.
The shoes in the Benghazi scandal continue to drop finally reaching the point where go-along to get-along John Boehner has agreed to allow the House to vote on the establishment of a select Committee so that this long simmering embarrassment can hopefully come to the truth. But then again, "What difference at this point does it make?"
Article 2 section 1 of the Articles of Impeachment filed against President Nixon was about the abuse of power. It stated, "He has, acting personally and through his subordinated and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigation to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."
Progressives were targeted, too
For months, Democrats and the media relied on the talking point that progressive groups also ended up on an IRS "Be on the Lookout" list while the agency was auditing and seizing information from conservative groups. But as The DC reported, IRS agents testified before the House oversight committee that the IRS scrutinized ACORN groups because it thought they were old groups applying as new ones; the group Emerge America was scrutinized for potential "improper private benefit;" and no evidence exists to prove that the IRS targeted any Occupy Wall Street group.
"Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word ‘progressive,' all of which were then approved by the IRS… [T]here is simply no evidence that any liberal or progressive group received enhanced scrutiny because its application reflected the organization's political views," according to an oversight committee staff report.
No White House involvement
"Not necessarily the White House" was the phrase that some Democratic "strategist" used when attacking one of our Daily Caller stories on cable television last year. He meant that while the IRS may have been corrupt to its very Washington core, President Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett have not yet been photographed sifting through tea party applications at a desk in the Lincoln Bedroom.
But we do know, however, courtesy of The Daily Caller's reporting, that Lerner exchanged confidential taxpayer information on conservative groups with White House officials including White House health-policy adviser Ellen Montz and Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy Jeanne Lambrew, who just happened to be the most powerful official on Obamacare implementation within the White House.
A couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati
Ah, yes. The "WKRP in Cincinnati" Theory of 2013. You know the episode where the wacky characters in the Cincinnati office make a little "whoops" and take it upon themselves to target conservatives nationwide? A team of reporters from The New York Times, including dreamboat Nicholas Confessore, even went to bat for the administration on this theory last year, publishing a disgraceful article about Ohio-based "confusion" and "staff troubles" among "Low-level employees in what many in the I.R.S. consider a backwater."
But at least five different offices ranging from Chicago to Laguna Niguel, CA. were engaging in this kind of "confusion," and the whole excuse got torn down like Riverside Stadium. A Cincinatti-based IRS official said that Washington "was basically throwing us under the bus." The bus to the world-renowned American Sign Museum.
Lerner can still cite the Fifth Amendment
That's what her lawyer, Bill Taylor, wrote in a recent letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, calling a possible contempt vote "un-American." But it's just not true. Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment privilege when she made a statement attesting to her innocence at a May 2013 oversight hearing. The oversight committee and U.S. House counsel both determined as much.
It could take years for the IRS to get all of Lerner's emails
That's what new IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who has been threatened with contempt himself, told oversight investigators. But the independent group Judicial Watch managed to obtain emails showing Lerner coordinating with the Department of Justice to potentially prosecute conservative activists. It only took Judicial Watch one Freedom of Information Act request to get that stuff. "Now I see why the IRS is scared to give up the rest of Lois Lerner's emails," said oversight member Rep. Jim Jordan.
Don't worry, federal government investigators are on top of things
Eric Holder's Department of Justice tapped an Obama political donor to head its investigation. FBI investigators went months without contacting the conservative groups that were victimized by the IRS targeting, and leaked to the press that no criminal charges would be filed in relation to the case before much of the relevant information we currently have even came out.
The Obama administration's investigation of the scandal was such a joke that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte accused Obama and Holder of "undermining" investigators on multiple occasions, and joined with other House GOP leaders in calling for a special counsel to prosecute the case.
But if the investigation was a joke, here's the punchline: The Justice Department has been the only investigative body to ask Lois Lerner any questions, at an off-the-record "Q+A" that was not under oath.
Only tea party groups were targeted
Good for the IRS for taking a firm stand against all those wacky tea party groups popping up out in Palookaville trying to exercise their little "First Amendment rights." Bunch of Koch-funded rednecks.
But oh wait: The IRS also audited the Leadership Institute, founded by Morton C. Blackwell, which has been one of the Washington area's foremost conservative activist training organizations since 1979, even demanding personal information about the institute's college-aged interns. Oh yeah, and the IRS also told a pro-life group "you can't force your religion" and tried to stop pro-life activists from picketing Planned Parenthood clinics.
The targeting is over now
Sure it is. Just ask Ron Paul and his group Campaign for Liberty's donors about that.
Why do they lie to us?
The easy answer is because they can. The major media has morphed from a watchdog to a lapdog barking on cue that everything is all right, there's nothing to see here, move along.
The best government money can buy has shown us that they can safely operate on the assumption that American voters choose their leaders based on the philosophy, "I know he's a liar but I like what he says."
But hey there's a game on tonight! Or as President Obama's body double Alfred E. Newman has been known to say, "What me, worry?"
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens