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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Obama's War on Transparency: Part II

...and he's beginning to lose one battle. From the L.A. Times:
WASHINGTON – President Obama announced the resignation Wednesday evening of Steven Miller, acting commissioner of the embattled Internal Revenue Service, a move the president said was essential to restore the public’s faith following revelations that the agency inappropriately singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny.
But here's the important part:
He became aware that there were potential problems in the way the IRS was handling applications more than a year ago, an inspector general’s report said this week. In late March 2012, amid media stories that tea party groups were having difficulty getting their applications approved, he asked one of his managers to find out what was going on and make recommendations. 
On May 3, 2012, Miller learned that the agency had improperly singled out groups by name for additional examination of their applications for tax-exempt status, the IRS said this week. 
But six weeks later, in a letter to the chairman of a key House oversight subcommittee, Miller made no mention of the problems and wrote that after an increase in applications for tax-exempt status in 2010, the agency "took steps to coordinate the handling of the cases to ensure consistency."
So he had the inkling, and later evidence, that the IRS was targeting a certain segment of the public for increased tax scrutiny, which can effectively hamper participation in our Republic (whether one agrees with their views or not). And all this before the last election began in earnest?

Benghazi was a red-herring and making serious opposition to the current administration look silly.

The actions of the IRS are just plain wrong.

And details about the recent theft at Associated Press are just starting to come out. It won't matter how they justify it in the end, or if they even bother trying to justify it at all, stealing notes, tapes, data from the press with the intent of prosecuting people is wrong.

It's worse than spying on political opponents, which is now widespread. It is worse than Clinton-Bush's free speech zones, and it is way worse than lying under oath on a matter not of grave national interest.

It is directly targeting the one thing vital to keeping people informed about their government and any abuses it may make, regardless of how poorly the media does it's job now.

The first thing taken away at the onset of any totalitarian regime is free speech, so often in frequency that I say a good cutoff for when you know things have become dangerous is the suspension of a free press.

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