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Top-Down Targeting, Not IRS Rogues, Responsible For Scandal

May 23, 2013 by  

Top-Down Targeting, Not IRS Rogues, Responsible For Scandal
PHOTOS.COM

An Investigative reporter in Cincinnati, the epicenter (so far as we know) of the Internal Revenue Service discrimination conspiracy against conservatives, has all but demolished President Barack Obama’s claim that the two-year hit job was the work of self-willed, autonomously acting “rogue” employees far down the chain of command.

Common sense would naturally tell anyone the same thing; and the known facts in this case do nothing but corroborate the suspicions of both liberals and conservatives convinced that the President was involved in the sandal, which obviously benefitted his re-election campaign, from the beginning.

Cincinnati’s FOX 19 investigative reporter Ben Swann checked into the administrative hierarchy within the IRS to determine where the supposedly “rogue,” low-level IRS grunts, whom the Obama Administration blames for targeting more than 300 Tea Party nonprofit groups, fit in.

Of the six IRS plebes (five IRS “agents” and one “supervisor”) Swann identified by name, none answers to the same manager. Instead, each answers to a separate manager, who in turn is managed by a “territory manager.”

But the process of applying for tax exemption — the very process the IRS used to green-light pro-Obama nonprofits while making sure the wheels fell off their conservative competitors — ultimately ends with one person. That person — Cindy Thomas, Program Manager of the Tax Exempt Division — is the one manager all the low-level agents, as well as their managers and those managers’ managers, have in common.

Swann explains the process:

When an application for tax exempt status comes into the IRS, agents have 270 days to work through that application. If the application is not processed within those 270 days, it automatically triggers flags in the system. When that happens, individual agents are required to input a status update on that individual case once a month, every month until the case is resolved.

Keep in mind, at least 300 groups were targeted out of Cincinnati alone. Those applications spent anywhere from 18 months to nearly three years in the system, and some still don’t have their nonprofit status. Three hundred groups multiplied by at least 18 months for each group means thousands of red flags would have been generated in the system.

Swann goes on to point to the events that have befallen the rest of the IRS chain of command since the scandal went public, noting that former Acting Commissioner Steven Miller and the Commissioner of Tax Exempt Entities, Joseph Grant, have both retired. Above them is Lois Lerner, head of Exempt Organizations, who took the stand Wednesday to tell Congress she’s pleading the Fifth on any questions about the fiasco. And the Director of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations division, Holly Paz, has been subpoenaed and will soon have the same opportunity.

None of the administrators in the preceding paragraph is based in Cincinnati; they are all based in Washington, D.C.

Writing in The Washington Post Wednesday, Ed Rogers related the story of how far up the chain of command the scandal went before being shielded from Obama’s delicate eyes:

My personal favorite of all the new revelations from the Obama IRS scandal is that White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough about the impending IRS inspector general report, but of course the White House chief of staff did not tell the president.

I sat in a White House chief of staff’s office every day for more than two years. The only reason the legal counsel would tell the chief of staff about an impending report or disclosure would be so the chief of staff could tell the president… There are many valid reasons why the chief of staff would tell the president, but I can’t think of a reason why he and the legal counsel would both agree that this news nugget would go no further. It’s very odd.

It’s not just odd; it’s criminal. And everyone knows who the chief perpetrator is.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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