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More “smidgens” of IRS corruption

Hen House IRS DOJ Scandal Corruptionby Ed Rogers 

Anyone paying attention to the Internal Revenue Service scandal has been waiting for the next smidgen to drop. Well, two more hit pretty hard this week. At the president’s next encounter with the media, I will scream collusion if no one asks him for his exact definition of a “smidgen,” and if he thinks he has seen a smidgen of corruption yet. At this point, only the most gullible or culpable can continue to claim there is no compelling evidence in this case. Given the delays, lies and stonewalling, there is no viable argument against a special prosecutor.

In a stunning revelation this week, it was disclosed that former IRS official Lois Lerner told colleagues, “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails” and then proceeded to ask the IRS IT department, in an e-mail, “if [instant messaging] conversations were also searchable.” When she was told they were not, she e-mailed back, “Perfect.” This is a smoking gun e-mail in that it makes plain she had a cover-up in mind. There is no other plausible explanation. [Read more...]

The Emerging Junta

The IRS’s illegal actions — and its efforts at cover-up — undermine the foundations of our government.

IRS Scandal Lawlessness

by Kevin D. Williamson

I will confess to a little despair over the relatively mild reception that has greeted the evidence, now conclusive and irrefutable, that the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of senior leaders affiliated with the Democratic party, was used as a political weapon from at least 2010 through the 2012 election. It may be that the American public simply does not care about the issue; it is always difficult, if not impossible, to predict what issues will seize the electorate’s attention, or to understand why after the fact. It may be that the public does not understand the issue, in which case a brief explanation of the known facts may be of some use.

Here is what happened. In the run-up to the 2012 election, senior IRS executives including Lois Lerner, then the head of the IRS branch that oversees the activities of tax-exempt nonprofit groups, began singling out conservative-leaning organizations for extra attention, invasive investigations, and legal harassment. The IRS did not target groups that they believed might be violating the rules governing tax-exempt organizations; rather, as e-mails from the agency document, the IRS targeted these conservative groups categorically, regardless of whether there was any evidence that they were not in compliance with the relevant regulations. Simply having the words “tea party,” “patriot,” or “9/12” (a reference to one of Glenn Beck’s many channels of activism) in the name was enough. Also targeted were groups dedicated to issues such as taxes, spending, debt, and, perhaps most worrisome, those that were simply “critical of the how the country is being run.” Organizations also were targeted based on the identity of their donors. Their applications were delayed, their managements harassed, and the IRS demanded that they answer wildly inappropriate questions, such as the content of their prayers. [Read more...]

House select committee must peel back Benghazi coverup

Stays in BenghaziSince the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack that killed four Americans — including Ambassador Chris Stevens — at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Obama administration has covered up the essential facts about what happened before, during and after that terrible night. House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to go forward with a select committee to investigate Benghazi is both welcome and long overdue.

Some of the relevant facts were established by the Jan. 15 report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. From that report, for example, a partial timeline was constructed concerning the roles of the intelligence community and the military prior to and during the attack. It was clear that Stevens repeatedly asked for additional security forces in Benghazi, but not only were his requests denied, the mission’s defenses were reduced. In addition, it was learned that no military forces were on standby to aid the facility before it was attacked, and no request for such aid came from the State Department during the assault. [Read more...]

Obama’s “Blame the Video” Fraud Started in Cairo, Not Benghazi

The e-mail revelations and the Obama administration’s lies.

Benghazi Attackby Andrew C. McCarthy

Here is the main point: The rioting at the American embassy in Cairo was not about the anti-Muslim video. As argued here repeatedly, the Obama administration’s “Blame the Video” story was a fraudulent explanation for the September 11, 2012, rioting in Cairo every bit as much as it was a fraudulent explanation for the massacre in Benghazi several hours later.

We’ll come back to that because, once you grasp this well-hidden fact, the Obama administration’s derelictions of duty in connection with Benghazi become much easier to see. But let’s begin with Jay Carney’s performance in Wednesday’s exchange with the White House press corps, a new low in insulting the intelligence of the American people.

Mr. Carney was grilled about just-released e-mails that corroborate what many of us have been arguing all along: “Blame the Video” was an Obama-administration–crafted lie, through and through. It was intended, in the stretch run of the 2012 campaign, to obscure the facts that (a) the president’s foreign policy of empowering Islamic supremacists contributed directly and materially to the Benghazi massacre; (b) the president’s reckless stationing of American government personnel in Benghazi and his shocking failure to provide sufficient protection for them were driven by a political-campaign imperative to portray the Obama Libya policy as a success — and, again, they invited the jihadist violence that killed our ambassador and three other Americans; and (c) far from being “decimated,” as the president repeatedly claimed during the campaign (and continued to claim even after the September 11 violence in Egypt and Libya), al-Qaeda and its allied jihadists remained a driving force of anti-American violence in Muslim countries — indeed, they had been strengthened by the president’s pro-Islamist policies. [Read more...]

Benghazi Attacks: The Campaign to Deny 2+2=4

Obama Benghazi1by U-T San Diego Editorial Board

Key details about the deaths of four Americans — three with deep San Diego roots — on Sept. 11-12, 2012, in terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have been established for more than a year. Since then, much of the national media has done all it can to avoid admitting that 2+2=4.

Within hours after the second attack, the president of Libya told U.S. officials it was executed by terrorists. Given that the assaults on two U.S. facilities involved rocket-propelled grenades, this was not exactly surprising.

But for weeks afterward, the Obama administration — most notably the president himself in a Sept. 25, 2012, speech to the United Nations — suggested the attacks were a spontaneous outgrowth of protests over a crude anti-Muslim YouTube video posted by an American. This deception came at the height of a presidential campaign in which one of the incumbent’s main selling points was his record fighting terrorism. [Read more...]

More Benghazi Lies Revealed

Obama Benghazi Gate

by Stephen F. Hayes

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed last summer by Judicial Watch, the Obama administration last week released 41 documents related to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. An email from the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, has received most of the attention. In it, Rhodes laid out four goals for Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who would be appearing on five Sunday talk shows 36 hours later. “To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad; To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy; To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests; To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

The Judicial Watch documents also included White House talking points for Rice, with possible questions and answers she might provide to meet the goals set out by Rhodes. These new White House talking points included a broad discussion of the Arab Spring and its challenges, as well as several specific references to the attacks in Benghazi—a mention of Ambassador Chris Stevens, a question on Benghazi intelligence, and a separate section under the header “Benghazi.”

[Read more...]

White House withholds thousands of documents from Senate CIA probe, despite vows of help

whitehouse Presidentby Jonathan S. Landay, Ali Watkins and Marisa Taylor

The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.

In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee’s work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.

The significance of the materials couldn’t be learned. But the administration’s refusal to turn them over or to agree to any compromise raises questions about what they would reveal about the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists in secret overseas prisons. [Read more...]

The Benghazi Cover-up

benghazi media scandalHow the CIA’s No. 2 misled Congress

by Stephen F. Hayes

Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, then acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, gave an account of his role on Benghazi that was often misleading and sometimes deliberately false.

“I went back and reviewed some of his testimony the other day and he’s gotten himself in a real box,” says Senator Saxby Chambliss, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee. “It’s really strange. I’ve always thought Mike was a straight-up guy, gave us good briefings—factual, straightforward. I mean, this has really been strange the last few weeks—all this now being uncovered.” [Read more...]

Benghazi attack ‘Al Qaeda-led event’

benghazi media scandalThe 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya was an “Al Qaeda-led event” according to multiple on-the-record interviews with the head of the House Intelligence Committee who receives regular classified briefings and has access to the raw intelligence to make independent assessments.

“I will tell you this, by witness testimony and a year and a half of interviewing everyone that was in the ground by the way, either by an FBI investigator or the committee: It was very clear to the individuals on the ground that this was an Al Qaeda-led event. And they had pretty fairly descriptive events early on that lead those folks on the ground, doing the fighting, to the conclusion that this was a pre-planned, organized terrorist event,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told Fox News in a November interview. [Read more...]

Questions They Still Won’t Answer

benghazi media scandalBenghazi isn’t going away.

When South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham threatened last week to place a hold in the Senate on all Obama administration nominations until the president and his advisers cooperate fully with investigations into the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, White House press secretary Jay Carney responded with a familiar accusation.

“Let’s be clear that some Republicans are choosing to play politics with this for partisan purposes, and we find that unfortunate,” he said at a White House press briefing on October 28. Carney, in a we’ve-been-over-this-before tone of annoyance, ticked off numbers meant to show administration cooperation: 13 congressional hearings, 40 staff briefings, and “providing over 25,000 pages of documents.”

It’s been more than a year since four Americans were killed in Libya and more than six months since Carney dismissively declared that Benghazi “happened a long time ago.” Is he simply doing his job or does he really believe that Benghazi is a “phony scandal” trumped up by Republicans? Whatever the answer, Benghazi is not going away. [Read more...]

New Benghazi details should add to outrage

Benghazi Cover-upOn Oct. 8, 2012, this editorial page asked, “When will President Obama and his administration come clean?” about the events of Sept. 11-12, 2012, that led to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three Americans with San Diego ties, security contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods and information officer Sean Smith, at U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. We speculated that information was being kept from the public to help the president’s re-election campaign.

That campaign is long over. But there is still cause to ask, “When will the president come clean?” New information keeps coming out — but never from the Obama administration. [Read more...]

60 Minutes: Benghazi Was Planned, Sophisticated Attack

Stays in BenghaziCBS News: When Chris Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Libya, on the anniversary of September 11th last year, it was only the sixth time that the United States had lost an ambassador to its enemies. The events of that night have been overshadowed by misinformation, confusion and intense partisanship. But for those who lived through it, there’s nothing confusing about what happened, and they share a sense of profound frustration because they say they saw it coming.

Tonight, you will hear for the first time from a security officer who witnessed the attack. He calls himself, Morgan Jones, a pseudonym he’s using for his own safety. A former British soldier, he’s been helping to keep U.S. diplomats and military leaders safe for the last decade. On a night he describes as sheer hell, Morgan Jones snuck into a Benghazi hospital that was under the control of al Qaeda terrorists, desperate to find out if one of his close friends from the U.S. Special Mission was the American he’d been told was there.

Morgan Jones: I was dreading seeing who it was, you know? It didn’t take long to get to the room. And I could see in through the glass. And I didn’t even have to go into the room to see who it was. I knew who it was immediately. [Read more...]

Clean up the Corrupt IRS

IRS Scandal AGlenn Harlan Reynolds

With all the excitement over Syria last week — we went from “Assad is Hitler” to “we have achieved peace in our time” almost overnight! — you may have missed another big story. The IRS scandal, which has slumbered over the summer as Congress has been in recess, seems to be waking up.

It has now been over four months since the IRS admitted it was targeting conservative groups in the run-up to the 2012 election. The chief IRS official in charge of Exempt Organizations, Lois Lerner, has “taken the Fifth” — invoking her right against self-incrimination in order to avoid testifying before Congress on what went on. Nonetheless, President Obama — who himself “joked” about auditing his enemies — has lumped the IRS misconduct in with what he calls “phony scandals.” [Read more...]

CIA Employee Who Refused to Sign Benghazi Non-Disclosure Suspended

Benghazi AttackEmployee forced to hire legal counsel

by Adam Kredo

A CIA employee who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from discussing the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has been suspended as a result and forced to hire legal counsel, according to a top House lawmaker.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) revealed at an event on Monday that his office was anonymously informed about the CIA employee, who is purportedly facing an internal backlash after refusing to sign a legal document barring him from publicly or privately discussing events surrounding the Benghazi attack. [Read more...]

Benghazi: One Year Later

Nearly one year after the Benghazi terror attack, questions remain unanswered and the investigation incomplete, says Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf.

Even with six different committees looking into aspects of the attack and the response by the Obama State Department, “The Congress, as of this moment, has failed to carry out its oversight responsibility,” Wolf told The Daily Caller.

The solution, he said, is a single “select committee” with the authority and resources to get to the bottom of the U.S. government’s inept response.

The public still has not learned why help was not sent to the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, to rescue Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty.

See video below.

[Read more...]