IRS Has Long History of Political Dirty Tricks
by Alan Farnham
If you think the IRS’s targeting of Americans for their political views is something new, think again.
Historians, tax lawyers, civil libertarians and past victims of abuse say the practice goes back to the Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy and FDR adminstrations, all of which reportedly used the agency as a weapon against political enemies.
“We need to be careful, here,” cautions David Schuyler, professor of American Studies at Franklin & Marshall and editor of the book “Power to Destroy: The Political Uses of the IRS from Kennedy to Nixon,” written by his now-deceased fellow Franklin & Marshall professor, John Andrew.
“Nobody has shown that Obama had anything to do with this. We do not know if that’s true or not. That’s one of the mysteries that undoubtedly will come to light,” he told ABC News.
The current controversy involves IRS employees targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups for audits and scrutiny. The agency has maintained that low-level employees took it upon themselves to do this. An internal report by the agency’s Inspector General cited “ineffective management” as the cause.
… Various laws prohibit the IRS and other government agencies from singling out a group for special scrutiny because of its politics, according to the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School. That would violate, for example, the Hatch Act, which prohibits civil servants from engaging in partisan political activity during the performance of their jobs and 18 USC Section 241, which makes it unlawful for two or more persons to agree together to intimidate a person in the free exercise of any right secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States.
Read the Rest @ IRS Has Long History of Political Dirty Tricks – ABC News