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June 03, 2013
Breitbart's John Sexton May Have Just Discovered One of the Earliest Moments in the IRS' Targeting of Tea Partiers
The IG Report redacts the first incident in the scandal. But we know it occurred on February 25, 2010.
He notices something that I think everyone else missed -- the next line in the chronology reads thus:
"The Determinations Unit Group Manager asked a specialist to search for other Tea Party or similar organizations’ applications in order to determine the scope of the issue." [Emphasis added]
This suggests that the first incident (redacted) concerned the first Tea Party scrutinized, and the second entry then described the hunt for others.
This would also jibe with officials' statements as to why this initial incident was redacted -- they have said that it would be routine to redact information about specific taxpayers. If this first entry concerned a specific application, then it would fit that stated criterion for redaction.
He speculates that the Patient Zero for the scandal may have been a Tea Party group which applied for 501(c)4 status and which was profiled in a We-Must-Stop-These-Monsters-from-Abusing-a-Rigged-Game-We-Have-Long-Exploited-Ourselves NPR report on February 10, 2010.
One thing, though: At the end of his piece he calls this hypothesis, if true, a "relatively benign" start to the scandal. I don't agree with that part of it at all.
NPR is a partisan organization-- the IRS is not permitted to choose a partisan organization from which it will take its marching orders. That is to say, saying "We got the idea from NPR!" hardly lets the IRS off the hook.
Furthermore, all liberals, not just NPR, were buzzing about how to stop these Monsters (that is, law-abiding US citizens) at this time. The fact that NPR reported on it hardly means that no political actors then picked up the ball. In fact, I'd bet good money someone in the Administration or in Congress sent an Action Demand to the IRS, clipping the NPR article as "proof" of the allegations leveled.
This is the way it works in the Media-Government complex. The Democrats give marching orders sotto voce to the media, and the media shouts the marching orders back to the Democrats. It's a two-step manner of "laundering" the marching orders.
Political actors planting stories in the press in order to then justify their intention from the start -- "Look what the media is saying!" (unmentioned: I planted the story so that the media would say this) -- is very well-known tactic. It happens, literally, 100 times a day in Washington.
None of this means that the political witchhunt wasn't political and wasn't a witchhunt.
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