OBAMA: THERE WAS NO IRS SCANDAL – IT WAS JUST MADE UP BY THE MEDIA

December 6, 2013
From Gateway Pundit and iBloga:
The IRS Scandal involves:
Last night during his interview with Chris Matthews, Barack Obama denied there was a so-called IRS scandal and said it was just something sensationalized by the media.
“If on the other hand, you’ve got an office in Cincinnati, an IRS office, that I think for bureaucratic reasons, is trying to sreamline a difficult law to begin with, and interpret whether a non-profit is a political organization, deserves a tax exempt agenc, ant they’ve got a list. Suddenly, everyone’s outraged… And, I’ll point out that there are some so-called progressives and perceived to be liberal commentators during that week that were just outraged at the possibility that these folks had in some way been discriminated against. And, that is what gets news.”
When news of the scandal broke Obama promised to get to the bottom of it.
IRS investigators have still not interviewed one single Tea Party group. There is evidencethe White House and IRS exchanged confidential taxpayer information.


You won’t find this news on big 3 US TV networks: IRS admits targeting groups with ‘anti-Obama rhetoric’

September 20, 2013
USA Today reported on Wednesday that the IRS has admitted that it flagged political groups for ‘anti-Obama rhetoric‘ (Hat Tip: Carl and  Bad Blue). And the big 3 of US network television refuses to report it.

ABC, CBS and NBC have so far refused to report the latest bombshell in the IRS scandal – a newly released list from the agency that showed it flagged political groups for “anti-Obama rhetoric.” On September 18 the USA Today, in a front page story, reported the following: “Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about ‘anti-Obama rhetoric,’ inflammatory language and ‘emotional’ statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.”

Not only have ABC, CBS and NBC not reported this story they’ve flat out stopped covering the IRS scandal on their evening and morning shows. It’s been 85 days since ABC last touched the story on June 26. NBC hasn’t done a report for 84 days and CBS last mentioned the IRS scandal 56 days ago on July 24.

The article by Gregory Korte went on to report: “The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as ‘propaganda.’ The list provides the most specific public accounting to date of which groups were targeted for extra scrutiny and why. The IRS has not publicly identified the groups, repeatedly citing a provision of the tax code prohibiting it from releasing tax return information.”


IRS Gave False Testimony

July 18, 2013
Sympathetic media outlets ran headlines proclaiming, based upon statements made in a conference call given by Danny Werfel, the new Acting IRS Commissioner, with select members of the media, that the IRS had not only used the words “Tea Party” as a search term to target organizations for additional scrutiny, but that it had also targeted “progressives,” “Israel” and “Occupy.” …But a laborious review of the IRS documents released by Levin, as well as a lengthy response by the Inspector General to Levin’s scathing letter, revealed that those documents did not prove what Levin and others hoped was being proved…. the Service was looking at certain “Israel connected” organizations and making a distinction based upon the organization’s political/ideological viewpoint. While the term “progressives” was found as a category on several of the documents, just a few minutes’ review revealed that nothing was done with the organizations with that term in their title. The 14 IRS documents released by the House Ways and Means Committee contained a category, created by IRS employees, entitled “Occupied Territory Advocacy.” the notice to IRS inspectors to “Be on the Look Out” for groups under this category was sent on August 10, 2010, just days after Z STREET’s file was reviewed

here is a site that has some more information from Z Street:
lorilowenthalmarcus@gmail.com 610.664.1184


US Treasury Inspector General: ‘No evidence’ IRS discriminated against pro-Israel groups

May 16, 2013

The United States Treasury’s Inspector General is claiming that there is ‘no evidence‘ that the IRS discriminated against pro-Israel organizations. 

In the Treasury inspector general’s report out this week, there was no finding that ‘pro-Israel’ or ‘Jewish’ were classifications that were specifically targeted for political purposes. In other words, no evidence has thus far been discovered that an organization like Z Street would have been singled out because of its allegiance to Israel or because of specific Israeli government policies.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told The Jerusalem Post that he has neither seen nor heard of any evidence to the contrary, though he admits that, if a group represented by the conference were being audited, he might not be the first to know.

The Politico piece cites one sole source from the IRS whose comments indicate the possibility of a connection to the scandal: Jon Waddell, manager of the Exempt Organizations Determinations Group at the IRS.

“Israel is one of many Middle Eastern countries that have a ‘higher risk of terrorism,’” wrote Waddell concerning legal action from Z Street. “A referral to TAG is appropriate whenever an application mentions providing resources to organizations in a country with a higher risk of terrorism.”

But a look at the IRS code on tax exemption procedures clarifies what Waddell means by ‘higher risk of terrorism.’ Procedure requires Waddell and his team take into account the activities of an organization that are deemed to put resources in danger; this includes activities or grants in foreign countries flagged by the State Department as having “trends” in terrorism. Those flags automatically prompt perfectly legal procedures, such as further questioning through further paperwork.

Whether Israel should still be on that list is a separate question. But whether the IRS was targeting pro-Israeli groups to investigate possible conservative ties is, at the moment, pure speculation.

(Carl) If you follow these links you will see that there is a lot more evidence against the IRS than is cited in the JPost article excerpted above.


Will the IRS finally get its day in court?

May 16, 2013

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the founder of Z Street who filed a lawsuit against the IRS, notes that “the very first hearing in Z STREET v IRS was recently scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, July 2, [2013] in the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia.” If Marcus were not a lawyer herself and very persistent, there would be no appeal for Z Street. And need I point out that justice delayed is justice denied?

I don’t know what official reasons were given by the IRS to Tea-Party related organizations — as well, ironically, as those with the word ‘patriot’ in their names — for holding up their applications, but Z Street’s lawsuit claims that

21.   [IRS] Agent [Diane] Gentry also informed Z STREET’s counsel that the IRS is carefully scrutinizing organizations that are in any way connected with Israel.
22.   Agent Gentry further stated to counsel for Z STREET: “these cases are being sent to a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.”

Could the violation of the First Amendment be more clear? An affadavit from the IRS official in charge of the “special unit” referred to was even more Orwellian:

a. The application indicated that Z Street could be providing resources to organizations within Israel or facilitating the provision of resources to organizations within the state of Israel;
b. Israel is one of many Middle Eastern countries that have a “higher risk of  terrorism.” (LR.M. 7.20.6.7.5.2(1). See also http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2008/122433.htm); and
c. A referral to TAG is appropriate whenever an application mentions providing resources to organizations in a country with a higher risk of terrorism.

This is like saying that we shouldn’t support the Boston Marathon, because terrorism happens there! And it is reminiscent of the US refusal to give refuge to Jewish victims of the Nazis because, as Germans, they were enemy nationals.
Marcus notes that the Z Street charter specifically condemns terrorism, and that Z Street has never provided funds or ‘resources’ to anyone in Israel or anywhere else.  And she adds that Z Street is not the only Jewish organization to receive ‘special treatment’ from the IRS:

And at least one purely religious Jewish organization, one not focused on Israel, was the recipient of bizarre and highly inappropriate questions about Israel.  Those questions also came from the same non-profit division of the IRS at issue for inappropriately targeting politically conservative groups. The IRS required that Jewish organization to state “whether [it] supports the existence of the land of Israel,” and also demanded the organization “[d]escribe [its] religious belief system toward the land of Israel.”

Three years ago, long before this week’s scandal broke, (Carl) reported that the IRS was holding up the registration of the pro-Israel group Z Street as a tax-exempt organization. Z Street sued the IRS, and in court it introduced a letter from the IRS asking whether it supported Israel. The next court date in that case is July 2, but in the meantime the IRS is facing a much larger scandal in which pro-Israel organizations may only be a small part (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). 

In a conference call with reporters last week, the IRS official responsible for granting tax-exempt status said that it was a mistake to subject Tea Party groups to additional scrutiny based solely on the organization’s name. But she said ideology played no part in the process.
“The selection of these cases where they used the names was not a partisan selection,” said Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations. She said progressive groups were also selected for greater scrutiny based on their names, but did not provide details. “I don’t have them off the top of my head,” she said.

The IRS did not respond to follow-up questions Tuesday.

Congressional critics say the IRS’s actions suggest a political motives: “This administration seems to have a culture of politics above all else,” said Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas. “A lot of the actions they take have a political side first, and put government second.”

Flores complained to the IRS last year after the Waco Tea Party’s tax-exempt application was mired in red tape. The IRS asked the group for information that was “overreaching and impossible to comply with,” Flores said: Transcripts of radio interviews, copies of social media posts and details on “close relationships” with political candidates.

When Flores complained last year — asking pointed questions about the IRS treatment of Tea Party groups — the IRS response didn’t acknowledge that it had treated conservative groups differently. “They did more than sidestep the issue,” he said. “They flipped me the finger.”

Before the IRS started separating out Tea Party applications, getting tax-exempt status was routine — even for conservative groups. The Champaign Tea Party’s treasurer, Karen Olsen, said the process was smooth, with no follow-up questions from the IRS.

Politico suggests that pro-Israel groups were also targeted.  

The same Internal Revenue Service office that singled out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny also challenged Israel-related organizations, at least one of which filed suit over the agency’s handling of its application for tax-exempt status.

The trouble for the Israel-focused groups seems to have had different origins than that experienced by conservative groups, but at times the effort seems to have been equally ham-handed.

Legal filings show that the problems for Z Street — and apparently for other Israel-related groups — stemmed from an obscure unit in the Cincinnati IRS office: the “Touch and Go Group.” One of the so-called TAG Group’s duties was to weed out applications that might be coming from organizations which might be used to fund terrorism.

In response to Z Street’s lawsuit, an IRS manager acknowledged that applications mentioning Israel were getting special attention.

Israel is one of many Middle Eastern countries that have a ‘higher risk of terrorism,’” wrote Jon Waddell, manager of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Determinations Group. “A referral to TAG is appropriate whenever an application mentions providing resources to organizations in a country with a higher risk of terrorism.”

However, Z Street and other groups reported getting unusual inquiries from the IRS. A Z Street lawyer was contacted by a Jewish religious group, which detailed inquiries from the IRS that the group’s leaders thought had treaded too far.

Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel? Describe your organization’s religious belief system towards the land of Israel,” the IRS asked in a letter sent to the religious group, which asked not to be named.

“If they’re asking that of that group, what else are they asking?” Lowenthal Marcus asked.
She said basing the review for terrorism on where an organization did business was strange and ineffective.

“If their policy was to look at any organization that had anything to do with a country where terrorism exists, I don’t see how that limits anything,” Lowenthal Marcus said. “There’s been terrorism in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in Canada, in Malaysia….and in Boston. Is that now going to be on the list?”

In court filings in the Z Street case, the Obama administration has denied that the IRS is discriminating against groups that disagree with Obama administration policies.

In court papers, the IRS denied that its personnel ever told Z Street that there was a special review for groups that might be at odds with Obama administration policy. The tax agency contended that the issue was whether the groups might violate “public policy” — a legal term of art for the notion that the government shouldn’t bestow a benefit on an individual or organization engaged in illegal activity like terrorism, or in an officially disfavored activity such as racial discrimination.

“The application was not transferred to TAG because of an ‘Israel special policy’ or because Z Street’s views on Israel contradict the Obama administration’s views on Israel,” the Justice Department wrote in a brief seeking dismissal of Z Street’s lawsuit.

TAG was originally set up by the Bush administration in 2005 to target terror funding. The Obama administration vowed to change TAG in 2009, but of course, Muslim groups are still claiming that it targets them as well.