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May 20, 2013

What Did Obama Discuss with IRS Union Chief Colleen Kelley the Day Before the X-Files Were Opened on the Tea Party?

Interesting.

According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.

The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:

Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30

In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”

The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:

April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.

I'm a little skeptical that things unfolded that quickly. I also have in mind that the IG Report redacted a February 25, 2010 incident as the event that began the whole process -- and February 25, 2010, while close in time to March 31, 2010, isn't the same date.

Nevertheless, this is extremely interesting. Think about what could be accomplished by such a scheme.

Suppose you're a president. A hypothetical one. Let's call this hypothetical president President Tee.

Suppose he wishes a federal agency to pursue a certain policy but does not want this policy traceable back to himself. He does not want a published order.

Let's say a union friendly to him, which actually endorsed him in the election, controls the agency concerned. We'll call this hypothetical union Union N, and we'll call the agency it controls Agency I.

It would seem that President Tee could choose to go outside the normal chain of command to issue an illegal order by simply telling the head of Union N to inform the union members she leads to pursue the policy, rather than issuing a formal order to the head of the IRS.

I don't think this meeting is a smoking gun, as I said; I think the actual incident which kicked this all off happened on February 25, 2010. It's a scandal in itself that this important information is being kept from us; we paid for the IG Report.

But it is terribly interesting that a hypothetical President Tee -- say a president with a history of "community organizing" -- could simply ignore the normal chain of command and normal channels for issuing his orders by delivering his policy directives not to his actual inferior executive officers, but to a big-wig union leader who then relay the command to the troops.

Is This Crazy? I'm not necessarily sold on this -- I'm not sure it could or would work, or that it has any benefits over simply sitting down with someone you know who's "on your side" and giving him the order off-the-record.

But it is, I think, a possible avenue. And I think it's important to think about the Government Interest in all these things-- that is, the interest of the Government Bureaucracy itself, which has its own agenda and has its own favored political policies.


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posted by Ace at 05:16 PM

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