Using Federal Muscle to Punish Political Enemies; Conservatives Are Targeted Now, but Liberals Could Be Next

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 15, 2013 | Go to article overview

Using Federal Muscle to Punish Political Enemies; Conservatives Are Targeted Now, but Liberals Could Be Next


Byline: Jenny Beth Martin, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Internal Revenue Service unlawfully targeted American citizens who disagreed with the party in power - during an election season - then covered it up and lied about it.

This is a chilling revelation, for both the left and the right. It happened - not in China, not in North Korea and not in the Nixon administration during Watergate - but right here, right now, in America.

This scandal has erupted at a time when all the politicians talk about transparency and making information more available to Americans.

Now we know it went higher up in the IRS than originally known. The IRS and the White House have admitted to it. President Obama and White House spokesman Jay Carney declared it was indeed inappropriate for the IRS to target Tea Party groups, and the IRS itself admitted to abusing its immense government powers to single out and target groups of American citizens who dare to call themselves Tea Partyers or patriots.

What's worse, the IRS inspector general's draft report shows that the government has been targeting American patriots as far back as 2010.

IRS-gate is a true bipartisan scandal. We can all agree - Democrats, Republicans, independents and Tea Partyers - that the government does not have the authority to spy on, track or target its citizens in any political way. When the American Civil Liberties Union, Mother Jones and now even The New York Times agree that government abuse of power to target its own citizens is wrong, perhaps it signals an opportunity for us to end this partisan bickering and unite around a shared desire to return America to the constitutional government envisioned by our Founding Fathers - a system of a limited government that gave freedom to people of all political persuasions.

Now we've learned that the Department of Justice has been monitoring The Associated Press, tapping its phone lines and listening to the conversations of its reporters in what is being described as an unprecedented intrusion. Since when does the government have the authority to spy on and single out the press, a violation of the First Amendment just as targeting Tea Party groups is a violation of that same principle?

What is the best way to prevent the government from abusing its power, like the IRS and now the Department of Justice appears to have done? A government whose power is limited would be held accountable and would not be allowed to single out and target American citizens with the power of its government agencies.

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Using Federal Muscle to Punish Political Enemies; Conservatives Are Targeted Now, but Liberals Could Be Next
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