Paul L. Caron
Dean


Saturday, January 31, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 632

IRS Logo 2New American, Surveillance of the Right Is Not New: The IRS Scandal in Historical Perspective:

The Obama administration’s ongoing coverup of the IRS scandal about targeting the Tea Party is not the first instance of the federal government persecuting the political Right with IRS audits. In fact, the current IRS scandal — where Lois Lerner’s Blackberry and her desktop computer have apparently been wiped clean to destroy evidence — are actually following a more than 50-year script for government to destroy the political Right in the form of the “Reuther Memorandum.” “The flow of big money to the radical right should be dammed to the extent possible,” the “Reuther Memorandum” informed the Kennedy administration, asking for political assistance in stemming that flow. ...

Several lessons can be learned from the 1960s. The first is that the perseverance of The John Birch Society in the wake of such government persecution and surveillance over the past 55 years should be a source of hope for modern Tea Party organizations. The Obama administration has tried to delay and deny tax-exempt status designations from the IRS in order to starve the Tea Party for funds because they know most corporations and foundations won’t donate to an organization without a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) tax-exempt designation from the IRS. Despite the intimidation, IRS harassment, and media ridicule, the JBS remains a major fixture on the political Right today.

Secondly, the experience of The John Birch Society teaches the lesson that government can’t be trusted — even the administration of the allegedly sainted and martyred John F. Kennedy — and its secrets need to be revealed through dogged congressional investigations and strong public information laws. Public information laws needed include a strengthened Freedom of Information Act, as well as stronger whistleblower laws so that public informants such as Edward Snowden can come to Congress with information about blatant government violations of the U.S. Constitution without fear of prosecution. Most of what we know about the FBI and IRS persecution of political groups — both in the 1960s and under the Obama administration — came from the congressional investigations and whistleblowers who testified before them.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/01/strong.html

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Comments

"Despite the intimidation, IRS harassment, and media ridicule, the JBS remains a major fixture on the political Right today."

I'm conservative. I see zero activity or presence, and barely any mention, of the John Birch Society. A couple of weeks ago, I read an article how William F. Buckley "excommunicated" the JBS from the conservative activity. That's it.

Posted by: Elmer Stoup | Feb 2, 2015 7:40:42 AM