Archive for Corruption

A Woman Scorned

CBS benched Sharyl Attkisson until she ultimately resigned.

Bad move, CBS:

Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review

Sharyl Attkisson

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

New Benghazi allegation puts spotlight on Hillary Clinton confidants, alleged after-hours document review.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’”

Maxwell, 58, strongly supported President Barack Obama and personally contributed to his presidential campaign. But post-Benghazi, he has soured on both Obama and Clinton, saying he had nothing to do with security and was sacrificed as a scapegoat while higher-up officials directly responsible escaped discipline.

Maxwell spent a year on paid administrative leave with no official charge ever levied against him. Ultimately, the State Department cleared Maxwell of wrongdoing and reinstated him. He retired a short time later, in November 2013.

Several weeks after he was placed on leave with no formal accusations, Maxwell made an appointment to address his status with a State Department ombudsman.

“She told me, ‘You are taking this all too personally, Raymond. It is not about you,’ ” Maxwell recalls.

“I told her that ‘My name is on TV and I’m on administrative leave, it seems like it’s about me.’ Then she said, ‘You’re not harmed, you’re still getting paid. Don’t watch TV. Take your wife on a cruise. It’s not about you; it’s about Hillary and 2016.’ ”

How does this make you feel, Madame Secretary?

Don’t take it too hard. As the lady said, “it’s not about you”:

Attkisson said that the White House is misleading the public about the ongoing releases of information that they’ve offered regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2012 on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

She stated that one of the goals of the committee will be to investigate President Obama’s movement that night and how he reacted to the attack.

“I do think that they will reach out at some point, not in the beginning, to the White House and probably to President Obama directly, in some form, to get a timeline and an accounting of what he did that night, which has remained, mysteriously, and I think, unacceptably private when he’s the Commander-in-Chief acting on our behalf at a time when Americans are under attack on foreign soil.”

Ultimately, Attikisson confessed she has little hope that this committee will change the public narrative on what happened that night.

Allow me to elucidate, Sharyl. Obama was prepping for a fundraiser in Las Vegas the next day. Check his schedule; it’s public record.

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Can You Blame Her?

If I had done half the [bleep] Lois Lerner had, I’d have taken a flame thrower to my hard drive:

Judicial Watch today released a new batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) email documents revealing that under former IRS official Lois Lerner, the agency seems to acknowledge having needlessly solicited donor lists from non-profit political groups.

The new documents obtained by Judicial Watch also reveal that 75% of the groups from whom the lists were solicited were apparently conservative, with only 5% being liberal.

That’s a ratio of 15:1, my liberal friends. Still care to dispute that the chief witch in the IRS was on a witch hunt herself?

I didn’t think you did.

The documents came in response to an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)) filed against the IRS after the agency refused to respond to four FOIA requests dating back to May, 2013.

Key parts of this email and other documents the IRS produced to Judicial Watch have been blacked out. (Many of the documents are completely blacked out (or partially redacted) seemingly because they are allegedly “pre-decisional” or “deliberative,” information that might be exempt from disclosure under FOIA. The Obama administration’s decision to withhold this information is completely discretionary and is not required by law.)

The IRS ignored four previous FOIA requests, finally responding with a heavily-censored batch of emails and other documents.

In which we learn:

A subsequent IRS email thread on June 27, 2012, revealed that inappropriately obtained donor lists were being used for a “secret research project” and that a top official wanted then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller to decide how to handle the issue.

The documents produced do not detail the “secret research project” nor disclose how the IRS used the donor names the agency improperly obtained.

Alas, the subject of the “secret research project” was redacted. But doesn’t that make you feel special, conservatives? Any donor to any cause deemed unseemly by the IRS might have been part of this “secret research project”. (Isn’t that what Mengele called his research?)

Anyway, we know one thing the IRS did with the donor lists:

Then-IRS Commissioner Miller initially testified to Congress on May 17, 2013 that “instructions had been given to destroy any donor lists,” but donor lists were actually produced to the House Ways and Means Committee four months later. The House Ways and Means Committee also announced at May 7, 2014 hearing that, after scores of conservative groups provided donor information “to the IRS, nearly one in ten donors were subject to audit.” In 2011, as many as five donors to one conservative (c)(4) organization were audited, according to the Wall Street Journal. And this past June, the IRS admitted wrongdoing in releasing the conservative National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) confidential tax return and donor list, which were published in March 2012 by the Human Rights Campaign. The Human Rights Campaign is the chief political rival to NOM; its outgoing president had been named a national co-chair of the Obama Reelection Campaign. The IRS reportedly agreed to pay NOM $50,000 to settle the lawsuit.

But it may be this exchange that puts Lois’s left-leaning proclivities in the least likeable light:

Shortly after this email exchange, another email chain on June 28 between Lerner and Holly Paz, the former director of the Office of Rulings and Agreements, shows that Lerner believed that the TIGTA and congressional inquiries into the IRS’s practices were “dangerous”:

June 28, 2012 8:57 AM — Paz to Lerner: “Now TIGTA wants to talk to me. I am guessing they read this morning’s paper. [Apparent reference to Wall Street Journal article concerning IRS scrutiny of Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS tax exempt status]Will keep you posted.”

June 28, 2012 9:13 AM — Lerner to Paz: “Not alone. Wait til I am there.”

June 28, 2012 09:17 AM — Paz to Lerner: “Sorry. Too late. He already called me. It was not about WSJ. Just him trying to get better understanding of the scope of the [House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave] Camp [R-MI] request.”

June 28, 2012 8:22 AM [9:22 most probably]— Lerner to Paz: “Just as dangerous. I’ll talk to you soon. Be there in half hour.”

As I say, I’d throw my computer into Hell’s Canyon if it had this much incriminating evidence on it. And I’d plead the 5th on advice of counsel too.

One last lie to dispel: the low-level workers in Cincinnati:

The new documents also include emails further contradicting President Obama’s February 2014 excuse that the IRS targeting was entirely the fault of “bonehead decisions in local offices.” Obama was parroting Lois Lerner’s May 2013 claim that the targeting of conservative groups was the fault of “low-level” employees in Cincinnati for the targeting of conservative groups. In the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election, Lerner and other top IRS officials made it clear that no “advocacy” applications should be approved or denied without express approval from Lerner’s office in Washington, DC:

June 20, 2012: — Email from IRS attorney Michael C. Seton to managers in Exempt Organizations division defining targeted groups’ approval procedures:
Please inform the reviewers and staff in your groups that before issuing any favorable or initial denial rulings on any cases with advocacy issues, the reviewers must notify me and you [Lerner and other senior IRS staffers] via e -mail and get our approval. No favorable or initial denial rulings can be issued without your and my approval.

That lie is almost as bad as the “anti-Muslim video” they blamed for Benghazi.I’m tempted to say it’s worse, but no one died. Only Democracy.

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Try Not to Let This Destroy Your Faith in the IRS

Enough already, BTL! You’ve already written about Lois Lerner, the Madame Defarge of the Obama Terreur. Can’t you write about something else?

Okay, how about another ethically challenged woman in the IRS?

A lawyer in the IRS ethics office is facing the possibility of being disbarred, according to records that accuse her of lying to a court-appointed board and hiding what she’d done with money from a settlement that was supposed to go to two medical providers who had treated her client.

The disciplinary arm of the D.C. Court of Appeals has recommended that Takisha McGee, a section manager in the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, lose her law license over the charge, which stems from a personal injury case she worked about a year before she joined the tax agency.

The case could pose a credibility issue for the IRS, whose professional conduct office is the watchdog charged with ensuring all tax professionals “adhere to professional standards and follow the law.”

Don’t. Make. Me. Laugh.

By the way, this story broke in the Washington Times two days ago. It’s been picked up by Breitbart, the National Review Online, and a couple of smaller sites. No CNN, no NY Times, No WaPo. Try not to let that destroy your faith in mainstream media.

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By the Way

I don’t want to waste your time with “phony scandals” or other trivial matters that detract from the Most Transparent Administration Evah!™, but as the old saying had it:

“The IRS is the most intrusive and potentially punitive institution of the federal government and it is a law-enforcement institution and it is off the rails and it is now thoroughly corrupted,” Will said. “And people are saying, ‘Well, the Justice Department can take care of this.’ There’s a reason why Jack Kennedy had his brother [be] attorney general. There’s a reason why Richard Nixon had his campaign manager, John Mitchell, [be] attorney general. It’s an inherently political office and it can’t be trusted in cases like this.”

Just to keep you up to date on this trifling, inconsequential issue:

Lois Lerner’s Blackberry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun its probe into IRS targeting of conservative groups, a senior IRS lawyer acknowledged in a sworn declaration.

Thomas Kane, Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel for the IRS, wrote in the declaration, part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the IRS, that the Blackberry was “removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.”

That date – June 2012 – is significant because by that time, ex-IRS official Lerner had already been summoned before congressional staffers who interviewed her about reports of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

“If you intentionally destroy evidence, that is a crime. If you make a statement in court saying the evidence is not available and it is, that is also a crime,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.

News of the Blackberry’s destruction followed Monday’s statement by Judicial Watch that Justice Department attorneys said in a Friday phone call the federal government backs up all computer records to ensure continuity of government in event of a catastrophe, but retrieving the Lerner emails would simply be “too onerous.”

An administration official told Fox News Monday night that Judicial Watch misinterpreted the Friday phone call. “There was no new back-up system described last week to Judicial Watch,” he said. “Government lawyers who spoke to Judicial Watch simply referred to the same email retention policy that Commissioner (John) Koskinen had described in his Congressional testimony.”

But Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents other conservative groups suing the IRS, cited a whistleblower who bolsters Judicial Watch’s interpretation.

“I received information from a former Department of Homeland Security official who had security clearances. He just retired in April,” Mitchell said. “He contacted me and he contacted Judicial Watch and some members of Congress and said there is backup material.”

The dueling versions are not likely to sit well with District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is presiding over Judicial Watch’s lawsuit against the IRS. “He gave the IRS not one, but two opportunities in court filings with him to tell him where they were,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “There was no mention of this backup system to the court at that time.”

Let me cut through the blizzard of lies.

After the emergence of the Tea Party and the stunning correction in the course of the country in the 2010 midterms, establishment Democrats (Chuck Schumer most vocally) called for conservative grassroots organizations (“astroturf” according to Nancy Pelosi) to be cut down to size. Lois Lerner, the Madame Defarge of the Obama Terreur, happily complied. Any group with “tea party”, “patriot”, or other dog whistle in its name was singled out for scrutiny. A few Lefty groups were tossed in for seasoning, but were soon cleared. Conservatives, however, entered a mire of bureaucratic slime that they never escaped. Rarely turned down for 501(c)(4) tax status—which rejection they could appeal—they were instead delayed, given the runaround. Justice delayed was justice denied—all the way through the 2012 election. Obama, who was severely rebuked in 2010, won in 2012. Funny that.

It took some doing, but Congress began to investigate. Lerner was called to testify. She made a statement, then clammed up, citing the 5th Amendment. There is still a legal debate whether she had waived the 5th by making her statement, but with Lois lawyering up, Congress understandably turned to her record as Director of the Exempt Organizations Unit at the IRS. Which weren’t there. Her emails were gone, no backups available (in violation of archive and record-keeping laws), hard drives either lost, scratched, erased, destroyed (the story kept changing). And not just hers, but those of several other IRS employees. And not just her hard drive, but now her Blackberry as well. And we were expected to believe it all. Or, rather, they didn’t care if we believed it—what were going to do about it if we didn’t?

Then just the other day, the story veered wildly: there was a back up. It existed, had always existed (as IT people assured us it must), but was a real drag to gain access to. (You remember what a pain those floppy disks were.) And when that story didn’t fly, they now say it was all a misunderstanding, there is no backup: evidently, a senior officer in one of the most punitive bureaucracies in the federal government can run a political hit squad for months to years, and leave not a trace behind. Even the Teflon Don, John Gotti, left behind more incriminating evidence.

Lerner is just the face of the scandal, but it reaches much higher. IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman signed into the White House visitor logs 158 times during that period—solely to talk about the IRS’s role in ObamaCare, we are assured, and he maybe didn’t even actually show up every time he was cleared to. You silly amateurs see the most alarming things in every innocent thing.

Like this:

Last night on The Kelly File Chief Counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice Jay Sekulo revealed that the former chief of staff to former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, Nikole Flax, visited the White House 35 times after talking with former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner about working to criminally prosecute conservative tea party groups for “lying” about political activity. At the White House, Flax met with a top Obama aid during some of those visits.

The email discussed in the segment above is detailed in this previously reported story, along with Lerner’s contact with Democrat Elijah Cummings and suggestions from former FEC Attorney Larry Noble and Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse that conservative groups should be targeted for criminal prosecution in order to “make an impact and they [conservative groups] wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff.”

You mean voting. Organizing and contributing. Democracy, in other words. That sort of stuff.

Change the political affiliation from a D to an R, even change the skin from black to white, and this administration would have been impeached a year ago.

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Would I Lie to You?

By universal acknowledgement, the Obama regime is the most secretive, closed, media-hostile gang since William Howard Taft was in short pants (waist size 48).

Many are also coming around to our way of thinking that it is the most corrupt since US Grant put out his last cigar in his last shot of bourbon.

Obama’s response? Am not!

The White House on Friday rejected findings by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) that President Obama broke the law when he swapped Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders from Guantánamo Bay.

“We strongly disagree with GAO’s conclusion, and we reject the implication that the administration acted unlawfully,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. “The president has the constitutional responsibility to protect the lives of Americans abroad, and specifically to protect U.S. servicemembers.”

The GAO report, released Thursday, said the Pentagon violated a law that requires the administration to inform Congress at least 30 days before any prisoner exchange from Guantánamo Bay. It also said the Defense Department wrongly used $988,400 from a wartime appropriations to facilitate the transfer.

“The Department of Defense violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 when it transferred five individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar without providing at least 30-days notice to certain congressional committees,” the GAO wrote in its report.

Nuh-uh! I’m rubber, you’re glue! You can’t make me!

See how honest we are? Just ask us!

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IRS: Remember Those Lies We Told You About Lois Lerner’s Emails?

We lied:

Judicial Watch, a watchdog group which has been investigating the IRS scandal, has learned that Lois Lerner’s supposedly missing emails may still exist within a federal government back-up system.

After months of administration officials insisting that two years worth of Lerner’s emails were irretrievable following a computer crash, a Department of Justice attorney admitted to Judicial Watch Friday that the federal government backs up all their computer records in case of catastrophe.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified just a few months ago that Lerner’s emails were lost, while the IRS claimed it had gone to “unprecedented efforts” to retrieve the emails.

The news of the “lost” emails was met with wide mockery and disbelief in the press, with many suspecting that some back-up of the records must exist.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, told Fox News that the Department of Justice now claims it would be “too hard” to retrieve Lerner’s emails from the back-up system.

Fitton was irate over the administration’s deception: “Everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives, missing e-mails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration–it’s all been a pack of malarkey.”

“There’s no such thing as Lois Lerner’s missing e-mails,” said Fitton. “It’s all been a big lie. They’ve been lying to the courts, to the American people and to Congress. It is really outrageous.”

It ain’t the crime, but the cover-up. This is Watergate forty years on. If it’s too much to ask for Woodward and Bernstein, can we at least have Holmes (Katie) and Watson (Emma), Lucy and Ethel, or Potsie and Ralph investigate? Memo to media: this kind of crime is precisely why you exist. Do your job.

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Another Bitch-Slap From Lady Justice

Justice is blind, they say. Which is just as well, since the Most Transparent Administration Evah!™ is getting more opaque all the time:

A federal judge has issued a stinging rebuke to the Obama administration’s recent attempt to shield documents from disclosure in a case that could yield important clues about the Treasury Department’s relationship with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Government lawyers had argued they could redact key information before releasing records to the public by saying the documents related to the “deliberative process.” But in a ruling last month, U.S. Federal Claims Court Judge Margaret M. Sweeney rejected that, saying the government was illegally cutting corners.

“Defendant asserts that the court should merely take its word that the documents — some of which defendant itself has not reviewed — are privileged. This is contrary to law.”

That’s legalese for “don’t bring that [bleep] into my courtroom.”

[G]overnment watchdogs cheered the ruling, saying it represented an important pushback against a tool in the administration’s increasingly use of the exemption to try to keep embarrassing information secret.

“Theft is not privileged,” Tim Pagliara, head of shareholders group Investors Unite, said in a statement after the ruling.

That’s legalese for “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” Here’s another, in the original Latin, Praeses Obama gramen anus: Obama’s ass is grass.

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Badgered

Gov. Scott Walker’s successful restoration of sanity and balance in Wisconsin was noteworthy in its own right. But the ruckus that it kicked up among the liberal fascists in the public-sector unions and their supporters was equally remarkable. The blowback reached even our distant shores, via long-winded, tendentious comments from comsymps on the scene.

But we still don’t know the half of it:

Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

Subpoenas also demanded the conservatives’ bank records, “emails from every major private email provider” and other information in what some have described as a mini-NSA (National Security Agency) operation in Wisconsin.

“In fact, Defendants’ submissions confirm and expand upon the scope and intensity of retaliation previously demonstrated,” O’Keefe’s attorney wrote in documents ordered unsealed by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The documents raise serious concerns about the tactics of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, two of his assistant DAs and others involved in the investigation targeting dozens of conservatives.

Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their possessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.

Using government agencies to target and intimidate conservatives: where have we heard that before?


On a clear day, you can see Milwaukee.

I have a dream (as someone once said): that this whole steaming edifice of leftist bullcrap collapsed like a dung hut in an earthquake zone. The whole Obama decade, from his DNC speech to his illegitimate elections(s), gone, discredited, flushed away. It won’t happen, America will suffer (in the short term) if it does, but it will be stronger for it in the end. A dream, as I say.

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It’s There if You Want to Find It

And you’re telling me Lois Lerner’s emails are lost forever? What do you think I am, an a**hole?

Untitled

Sitting incongruously among the hangars and laboratories of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley is the squat facade of an old McDonald’s. You won’t get a burger there, though — its cash registers and soft-serve machines have given way to old tape drives and modern computers run by a rogue team of hacker engineers who’ve rechristened the place McMoon’s. These self-described techno-archaeologists have been on a mission to recover and digitize forgotten photos taken in the ’60s by a quintet of scuttled lunar satellites.

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) has since 2007 brought some 2,000 pictures back from 1,500 analog data tapes. They contain the first high-resolution photographs ever taken from behind the lunar horizon, including the first photo of an earthrise (first slide above). Thanks to the technical savvy and DIY engineering of the team at LOIRP, it’s being seen at a higher resolution than was ever previously possible.

“We’re reaching back to a capability that existed but couldn’t be touched back when it was created,” says Keith Cowing, co-lead and founding member at LOIRP. “It’s like having a DVD in 1966, you can’t play it. We had resolution of the Earth of about a kilometer [per pixel]. This is an image taken a quarter of a f***king million miles away in 1966. The Beatles were warming up to play Shea Stadium at the moment it was being taken.”

In 1966 Lois Lerner would have been joining the local chapter of SDS, I believe.

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We May Be A-Holes, But We Ain’t No…

I can’t say it, but while we’re on the subject of bodily orifices:

An email exchange released by a Republican-led House committee investigating scrutiny by Lerner’s unit of GOP political groups seeking tax-exempt status suggest she’s no fan of conservative talk radio.

“Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP … The right-wing radio shows are scary to listen to,” read an email to Lerner from an unidentified sender in November 2012 as Congress was probing the matter.

“Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many a**holes,” Lerner replies.

“And I’m talking about the hosts of the shows. The callers are rabid,” another email to Lerner, apparently from the same person, shows.

“So we don’t need to worry about alien terrorists. It’s our own crazies that will take us down,” Lerner responds.

I don’t have a problem with the language. I hear it every day out and about, sometimes from flesh and blood. But I do have a problem with who said it. And what she could have done to my…orifice by any number of her jack-booted thugs. No wonder she tried to claw the files off her hard drive with her gnarled talons.

And it’s not just conservatives:

Emails uncovered by the House Ways and Means Committee show that the State Department was involved in the IRS’s attempt to deny tax-exempt status to Z-Street, the pro-Israel organization founded and run by AT contributor Lori Lowenthal Marcus, based on Z-Street’s pro-Israel positions that conflicted with Obama administration policy. This is known as “viewpoint discrimination,” and is strictly illegal.

In an April 16, 2009 email, Treasury attache to the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Katherine Bauer sent IRS and Treasury colleagues a 1997 JTA News article sent to her by State Department foreign service officer Breeann McCusker. The subject was whether 501(c) groups buying land in Israel’s disputed territories were engaged in “possible violations of U.S. tax laws.” The article chronicles the controversy and whether “ideological activity” can “legally be financed with the help of U.S. [tax] dollars.”

“Thought you might find the below article of interest—looks like we’ve been down this road before,” Ms. Bauer wrote. “Although I believe you’ve said you can’t speak to on-going investigations, I thought it was worth flagging the 1997 investigation mentioned below for you if it can be of any use internally when looking for precedence [sic] for the current cases.” A Treasury spokesman declined comment on Ms. Bauer’s behalf.

The “current cases” would have been applications like Z Street’s in which Israel-related activity was apparently being scrutinized for its ideological and policy content. The government says Z Street got special scrutiny because it was focused in a region with a higher risk of terrorism, which is hard to believe and in any case doesn’t explain all of the IRS’s behavior.

It doesn’t cover, for instance, why one questionnaire we’ve seen from the IRS to another Jewish group applying for tax-exempt status asked, “Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?” and “Describe your organization’s religious belief system toward the land of Israel.” No matter the answers, they should not affect the processing of an application for 501(c) status. The State-IRS emails reveal a political motivation for IRS scrutiny that gives Z Street powerful evidence for its suit charging IRS bias.

This is now a scandal that involves a conspiracy between different departments of the federal government, strongly implying a coordinating effort senior to the Departments of State and Treasury. Which would be…the White House.

This is so incriminating that a full court press is being invoked to delay further discovery. The lawsuit filed by Z-Street in 2010 is the furthest along of any judicial inquiries into the IRS scandals. And the IRS is doing everything possible to slow it down:

On Monday the IRS filed an appeal of the judge’s decision denying its motion to dismiss Z Street’s case. The government says the action stops all discovery while the appeal is pending, a process that could take months or even years. By filing the appeal on the last possible day, the Justice Department is running out the clock on discovery during the remainder of the Administration.

This is a whole lot of effort to prevent discovery in a case that is not even seeking damages.

Maybe you believe this is nothing, or very little. Maybe you think nothing of an IRS Commissioner signing into the White House hundreds of times during the period in question. Maybe you think it was entirely normal for the revolutionary Tea Party spirit of 2010 to have evaporated into thin air by 2012. And maybe you think this “most transparent administration ever” contents itself with critics and alternate viewpoints. You can think that, it’s a free country.

But here in Literalville, we have a saying: whatever you’re smoking, I want some.

PS: And maybe you think that a regime that persecutes pro-Israel nonprofits and that insists on an armistice that leaves a genocidal gang of killers in power truly “has Israel’s back”. Lay off that [bleep], man. It’s scrambling your brain.

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CSI: IRS

Okay, enough already. The Lois Lerner Show has jumped the shark:

House investigators said Tuesday that the computer hard drive of ex-agency official Lois Lerner — a key figure in the IRS targeting scandal — was only “scratched,” not irreparably damaged, as Americans have been led to believe.

GOP-led Ways and Means Committee investigators, in their quest to recover missing Lerner emails, learned her hard drive was damaged but recoverable by talking to IRS information-technology experts, after the government originally refused to make them available, according to the committee.

“It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive,” said committee Chairman Dave Camp.

The Michigan Republican said the new information also raises more questions about potential criminal wrongdoing at the IRS because the committee was told no data was recoverable and the physical hard drive was recycled and potentially shredded.

In addition, learning that the hard drive was only scratched also raises questions about why the IRS refused to use outside experts to recover the data.

“In fact, in-house professionals at the IRS recommended the agency seek outside assistance in recovering the data,” the committee said Tuesday in a release.

House investigators said they also are trying to determine whether the scratch was accidental or deliberate.

“If the IRS would just come clean and tell Congress and the American people what really happened, we could put an end to this,” Camp said. “Our investigators will not stop until we find the full truth.”

Then it’s been renewed for another season. Because there’s no way the Obama regime is going to come clean.

Democrats say there is no scandal and that Republicans are trying to turn it into an election-year issue.

That’s what happens with lies and evasions: they never go away.

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Doing Well By Doing Bad

I’ve finally found the one person who benefited from the jihadist entity known as Gaza:

[W]hile most of the Gaza population tries to deal with the difficulties of daily life, it seems that one sector at least has had few worries about their livelihoods – Hamas leaders and their associates.

Someone who has benefitted financially is the former Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh. Before 2006 and Hamas’ shocking electoral win and subsequent dominance of the Palestinian government, 51-year-old Haniyeh was not considered a senior figure in Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But according to reports in the past few years, Haniyeh’s new-found senior status has allowed him to become a millionaire. This is an unusual feat, given that he was born to a refugee family in the al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza.

In 2010, Egyptian magazine Rose al-Yusuf reported that Haniyeh paid for $4 million for a 2,500msq parcel of land area in Rimal, a tony beachfront neighborhood of Gaza City. To avoid embarrassment, the land was registered in the name of the husband of Haniyeh’s daughter. Since then, there have been reports that Haniyeh has purchased several homes in the Gaza Strip, registered in the names of his children – no hardship, as he has 13 of them.

At least with regards to his eldest son, it seems that the apple does not fall far from the tree, given his arrest on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with millions of dollars in cash in possession, which he intended to take into Gaza.

According to sources in Gaza, Haniyeh’s wealth, like others high up in Hamas, came primarily from the flourishing tunnel industry. Senior Hamas figures, Haniyeh included, would levy 20 percent taxation on all of the trade passing through the tunnels.

No wonder they want a ten-year truce: business has been good. For the rest of Hamastan, however, not so much:

Do I have to pay Haniyeh a fee for using that image of a tunnel? Sue me, fatso.

PS: The more one learns about the invented species palestinias, one comes to realize that their support among the Left has nothing at all to do with themselves, but everything to do with their sworn enemies: Jews. Hamas and the Left share that.

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