Paul L. Caron

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 457

IRS Logo 2George Will, The Reason for Watergate:

June 17, 1971, was four days after The New York Times began publishing the leaked "Pentagon Papers," the classified Defense Department history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Nixon worried that further leaks would reveal his role in sabotaging negotiations that might have shortened the war. This fear caused Nixon to create the "the plumbers" and to direct an aide to devise other proposals such as the one concerning Brookings. This aide suggested using the IRS against political adversaries, but added:"The truth is we don't have any reliable political friends at IRS. ... We won't be ... in a position of effective leverage until such time as we have complete and total control of the top three slots at IRS." Forty years later, the IRS has punished conservative groups, and evidence that might prove its criminality has been destroyed. Happy anniversary.

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Jack Townsend: …the current IRS ‘scandal’ is not even close to Nixon's….”

"Hey, Jack," how could you possibly know that?

The IRS has “erased tapes” and, with the help of the DOJ, is “stonewalling” the investigation. The House Ways and Means Committee is still seeking Administration cooperation and answers, which are being withheld and for which the Fifth Amendment has been invoked to avoid incrimination. Private civil suits against the IRS are still trying to obtain evidence that is being withheld or has been destroyed.

Do you know “what the President knew and when he knew it?”

It’s way too early to be drawing conclusions of innocence or to put the blame only on “rogue employees at a local office.” An iceberg is analogous, because it’s likely that we haven’t uncovered a tenth of the truth about IRS attacks that the Obama Administration launched against political opponents.

If you look back at this blog from June 26th, you’ll see why attempts to politicize the IRS under Nixon failed – the IRS Commissioner refused to cooperate. That automatically makes Nixon’s IRS less of a scandal than what we already know about Obama’s IRS, which, with the DOJ, has become political and is being run by bureaucrats and ideologues who heavily donate to Democrats.

Unless you have inside information that should be shared with investigators, it’s way too early to declare the IRS scandal as anything less than a scandal, and it’s certainly inaccurate to declare this IRS as more noble than Nixon’s.

Posted by: Woody | Aug 9, 2014 8:50:12 AM

Hey, George, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you. But it also does not mean that they are after you.

Those of us who lived through the Nixon era (I was at DOJ in DC) or have studied it know the current IRS "scandal" is not even close to Nixon's. Indeed, when it all works out, my projection is that, like Benghazi, reasonable minds won't even call the IRS 501(c)(4) affair a scandal. (That's not to say that the IRS did not behave inappropriately, but calling it a scandal based on the extant evidence is exaggeration.)

Posted by: Jack Townsend | Aug 9, 2014 7:24:23 AM