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April 03, 2014

None Dare Call It "Targeting"

Except that's precisely what everyone - from the Treasury Dept IG to the IRS Commissioner - have been calling it. Except, of course, when they want you to think otherwise:

The May 2013 report by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Russell George is titled “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review.” In the report, he states that, in response to concerns expressed by members of Congress, an investigation was launched:
The overall objective of this audit was to determine whether allegations were founded that the IRS: 1) targeted specific groups applying for tax‑exempt status, 2) delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications, and 3) requested unnecessary information from targeted groups.
What did the inspector general conclude? “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax‑exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention,” the report said.

You can see the IG is engaged in a delicate balancing act here. On the one hand, he uses the terms preferred by members of Congress to describe the investigation. But then he reverts to bland bureaucratic phrasing in his conclusions. He uses this same formula in his written testimony.

But what happened when George actually spoke before Congress about his report? Here are two examples from his testimony on May 22, 2013:

The three allegations considered during our review were proven true. The IRS targeted specific groups applying for tax-exempt status. It delayed the processing of these groups’ applications, and requested unnecessary information, as well as subjected these groups to special scrutiny.”

“The inappropriate criteria discussed in this audit were the IRS’s targeting for review Tea Party and other organizations based on their names or policy positions, a practice started in 2012, and which was not fully corrected until May 2012. Actually the practice was started in 2010 and not fully corrected until May of 2012.”

Note that George said the three allegations were “proven true.” The allegations all concerned “targeting.” And then he actually used the word. He even said that the “inappropriate criteria” was defined as the “IRS’s targeting.”

Moreover, Koskinen himself uttered “targeting” before he arrived at the IRS, during his confirmation hearings in December, even though he told Congress in March that he had never used the phrase:

“I think as the president responded and everyone responded to the extent that the facts show that conservative groups or liberal groups or any groups were targeted because of their political positions when they made applications,” he said in response to a question from Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). “That really is intolerable.”

Was the phrase so toxic that it was wiped from his lexicon once he arrived at the IRS? Perhaps. But an instant report issued by his predecessor, Daniel Werfel, on June 24, 2013, also used the phrase “targeting”. (See Page 9.)

Personnel in the Exempt Organizations (EO) unit applied inappropriate screening criteria to applicants for tax exempt status, creating BOLO listings that resulted in the improper targeting of a number of applicants for additional scrutiny.

Kind of gives new meaning to the term "mealy mouthed".

Posted by Cassandra at April 3, 2014 08:13 AM

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Comments

We willfully and purposefully used the apparatus of government to harrass our political enemies during an election, but don't worry, it wasn't "targeting" so move along, nothing to see here.


Greece, Venezuela, wait for us! We're right behind you.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 3, 2014 11:26 AM

We willfully and purposefully used the apparatus of government to harrass our political enemies during an election, but don't worry, it wasn't "targeting" so move along, nothing to see here.

YAG, YAG, YAG.... no one important was targeted. How many times do we have to explain this to you ignorant rubes?

Posted by: The Lamestream Media at April 3, 2014 12:03 PM

Hey!
How come he isn't an ignorant slut??!!!!!eleventy!!1
I feel targeted.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 3, 2014 01:55 PM

How come he isn't an ignorant slut??!!!!!eleventy!!1

We have 3 kids 5 and under. Exhaustion can only manage ignorance. :-)

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 3, 2014 03:07 PM

*snort*

Posted by: DL Sly at April 3, 2014 05:14 PM

OK, color me the hopeless romantic neophyte; I'm deeply offended that congress is allowing this blatant politicization of the IRS enforcement powers.
> this is for G*d D*mn sure MUCH worse than anything the Nixon administration was even accused of, and polite society (MSM, etc) went absolutely *p*sh*t.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at April 4, 2014 11:21 PM

Yeah, but Nixon was a republican.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 5, 2014 07:50 PM

But was he a crook?

Posted by: The Wyzzyrd uv Izz at April 6, 2014 02:30 PM

By definition.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 7, 2014 11:20 AM

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