Friday, May 17, 2013

IRS's New Title - Office of Thuggery

Here’s something new, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is getting a lot of heat from Congress, the press and common U.S. citizens. The shoe is usually on the other foot with the IRS being the culprit applying all the pressure. Just ask Wesley Snipes.

It appears that the IRS targeted certain “conservative” groups trying to get or renew their 501-C3 or 501-C4 tax exempt status with the tax agency putting all manner of pressure on these groups and individuals that would seem to border on harassment. However, the big question remains, “Did the IRS break any laws?”

Some in Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, think they did, others believe what the IRS did, while not illegal, was offensive and inappropriate. Those within the IRS itself are saying that what happened over the last couple of years was the result of “foolish mistakes,” overworked staff and sequestration. Current IRS head, Steven Miller, denies any purposeful wrong doing on the part of him or any of his agents citing that the IRS is not in the business of deliberately targeting certain groups, playing favorites or committing political discrimination. Yet, a look at how the IRS handled the same kinds of requests from liberal and progressive groups, including an Obama Foundation over the same time period, reveals that those in these quarters had absolutely no problem getting what they needed from the IRS, most in a matter of a couple of months. Some conservative Tea Party groups have been waiting nearly two years just to get one simple reply back from an IRS representative.

In a recent Inspector General Report the IRS is being accused of asking for all donor names, even those who gave under $5,000, which, under current law is not a requirement. It wanted to know the political affiliations of the groups’ officers, speakers; which political candidates they supported during election years and what kinds of conversations were taking place during meetings. All of this is highly irregular and borders very closely to the edge of lawlessness and running roughshod over the U.S. Constitution on the part of IRS officials.

The jury is out on whether further Congressional inquiry into the IRS’s behavior will warrant a Special Prosecutor but one thing is for sure, guilty of breaking the law or not the IRS has overstepped itself and has left little doubt that it has become just another radical arm of the Executive Branch of government and little more than a presidential administrative political interrogator. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them move their offices from Washington D.C. to Gitmo seeing how they operate these days.

I have to agree with Representative John Boehner on this one: “Whose going to jail?” I have little doubt somebody will.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Benghazi, WMD's - Time For An Unbiased Investigation Into Both

A lot of Obama supporters are up in arms over the idea of going after him and members of his administration over the Benghazi incident which cost the lives of the Libyan U.S. American ambassador and three of his security personnel. They are stating rather fervently that if the GOP and press are willing to expend energy and taxpayer dollars with an investigation into this incident then the Congress should be just as willing to open up the entire file on the Bush administration's claim that Iraq had WMD's and used that as the excuse for attacking another sovereign country.

I have no problem with going after Obama and Hillary Clinton's handling of the Benghazi fiasco. I would also have no qualms about digging deep into the Bush/Cheney/Powell claim that Saddam Hussain had a cache of WMD's. It would require a change in security level status for many of the intelligence documents on both issues and that isn't likely to occur during any of our lifetimes. Hell, after fifty years we still don't know for sure if Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter of JFK.

Looking back to the Bush claim that Iraq had WMD's, I said then and still claim now that Hussain did have weapons of mass destruction. Most of what he had was gained from his close twenty-five year tie to our own government over the span of several different administrations, both Democrat and Republican. We damn well knew what this guy had and didn't have because we provided him with the ways and means to produce them.

You know those chemical weapons the Syrian government is currently using on its own people? Just where do you think they came from? Looking back in history people tend to forget that then President Bush didn't just race right into Iraq. He had his Secretary of State Colin Powell go before both Congress and the United Nations General Assembly and make the U.S. case for going into Iraq. That case made was the presence of WMD's. I remember much was made in the news media about nuclear WMD's, however, our government was less concerned over them than other types of weapons of mass destruction. It took the United Nations a full three months to deliberate the case. The U.S. Congress was quicker in its response to the President's evidence and by a near majority on both sides of the aisle gave Bush the go-ahead to invade Iraq. During that three month period of U.N. deliberation Saddam Hussain was able to get rid of his chemical stores by sending them into Syria, an Iraqi quasi-ally. Saddam thought at the time it would be a temporary arrangement with Assad, firmly believing the U.S. would again stop short of Baghdad as they did under Bush Sr. just a little over 10 years earlier. Had he known Bush Jr. intended this time to fully attack Baghdad and go after him with a vengeance he wouldn't have sent his chemical stockpile off to Syria but would have used them against U.S. and allied troops. U.S., French and Israeli intelligence knew all along there were no nuclear WMD's. Due to stringent U.S., allied and U.N. sanctions and years of onsite inspections, as well as, Israel's air strike against his main facility, Hussain had given up his nuclear aspirations. Bush's biggest concern was Iraq's chemical and biological WMD's which we knew they did have because Hussain has already used them on his own people in the recent past.

Therefore, I welcome an investigation into this arena because if done without bias it will prove once and for all that the intelligence gathered at the time about WMD's in Iraq were correct. We know where Hussain's chemical weapons went. The bigger question is - where did the biological's end up?