IRS Investigations Used in the Past to Intimidate and Punish

By:  Bob Adelmann
IRS Investigations Used in the Past to Intimidate and Punish

The Internal Revenue Service has been used for decades as a tool to intimidate, neutralize, and punish opponents of the White House, no matter who is in office.

The recent admissions of guilt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that it deliberately targeted conservative non-profits for intimidation have forced to the surface a long list of other IRS abuses that have faded from public memory with the passage of time.

The IRS has been a tool of intimidation and neutralization for decades under administrations as far back as President Franklin Roosevelt’s in the 1930s. Former IRS commissioner Mortimer Caplin said that IRS audits of non-profits during the Eisenhower administration were “notoriously aggressive” and that the IRS was complicit in President Kennedy’s “Ideological Special Organizations Project,” which targeted conservative groups with audits and other harassment measures. The Nixon administration was noted for its aggressive use of a specially selected group of IRS auditors aimed at Nixon’s enemies, numbering more than 3,000 groups and 8,000 individuals.

During the Clinton administration, the IRS targeted Clinton accusers Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick, and even the White House Travel Office Director Billy Dale. In addition, conservative non-profits were aggressively audited, including Citizens for a Sound Economy, the Christian Film and Television Commission, the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, Citizens Against Government Waste, Citizens for Honest Government, National Review, American Spectator, Freedom Alliance, the National Center for Public Policy Research, the American Policy Center, American Cause, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, and Concerned Women for America.

Using the IRS as a tool to harass, intimidate, and punish enemies during the present administration is not limited to just conservative non-profit groups. The Koch brothers were subjected to negative public exposure when former chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, Austan Goolsbee, told reporters back on August 27, 2010 that their company, Koch Industries, paid no income taxes. But since Koch Industries is privately held by Charles and David Koch, there is no way Goolsbee could have known that information unless he had been provided it, illegally, from the IRS. When the White House was pressed for Goolsbee’s source, ...

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