Shameful pattern of transgressions emerges from administration
Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are upset about revelations the Internal Revenue Service focused enforcement actions on conservative political groups during the election campaign last year.
Even though the IRS insists it did not target opponents of President Barack Obama, evidence to the contrary is clear and incontrovertible.
And the president’s announcement Wednesday that an acting director is being let go for the transgressions is woefully inadequate action. The person was due to leave the IRS anyway in a month, for goodness sake.
Angry lawmakers are vowing to investigate the IRS – and they should. The only question is how high up on the organizational ladder decisions to harass political opponents went.
Information about the IRS comes on the heels of news that some government employees who wanted to tell the truth about the attack last year on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were intimidated.
And 100 pages of e-mail from the administration on how talking points were altered before presentation of an outright lie to the American people that a video prompted the attack is hardly the full transparency this president promised us.
The third prong of shame is the confiscation of phone records of about 100 Associated Press reporters and editors who were working on a story about a national security leak.
Only five people were working on the story. Beyond that, there are clear First Amendment issues surrounding this Justice Department action.
A pattern is emerging, of a president who will not tolerate dissent and will mobilize the entire machinery of the government to suppress it.
And the typical response from the president and his administration that they will look into these matters and get back to us is insulting.
As thoughtful leaders on both sides of the political aisle in Congress understand, the administrations behavior regarding Benghazi, the IRS profiling and the muting of press freedom is not acceptable.
That is not what the United States stands for – and it must be stopped.