ChrisWeigant.com

What I Would Have Said To Eric Holder

[ Posted Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 – 17:29 PDT ]

Attorney General Eric Holder is reportedly meeting with members of the press, to hear what they had to say about the Justice Department's actions towards the Associated Press and a Fox News reporter. Apparently, my invitation to this meeting got lost in the mail (perhaps it is in my "Spam" folder, I'll admit I didn't check...), so allow me to use the format of this column to say what I would have said to Eric Holder had I met with him.

Mister Attorney General, the reason I have such a problem with issuing warrants or subpoenas for news reporters is because I am aware of the history of the laws being used to do so. I have a hard time believing that you or your boss (a former constitutional professor) are completely unaware of these precedents in American history, but I haven't heard anyone else mentioning them, so I thought it fell to me to bring them up.

The Espionage Act of 1917 wasn't the first time the federal government decided to criminally target people who had the audacity to publish writings critical of those in power. That infamy belongs to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. The "sedition" part was directly targeted at newspaper editors who disagreed with the ruling Federalists, at the time. Benjamin Franklin's grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, was specifically targeted for his Philadelphia paper the Aurora (Philly was the nation's capital at the time). He died of yellow fever before he could be convicted of sedition, but other Antifederalist publishers did spend time in jail for the "crime" of criticizing the government. A sitting member of Congress who also published a newspaper, Matthew Lyon, was jailed for sedition during this time period, and he subsequently won re-election to his House seat while he was in prison.

This may sound like ancient history, so let's jump forward a century, to the Espionage Act passed during World War I -- which is still in force today (although it has been revised a bit). Like its predecessor, this law was passed to target "sedition" -- which at the time was classified as anyone speaking out either against the war or against the military draft. Once again, the law was not used to prosecute spies so much as it was used to prosecute those who didn't agree with America's entry into the war. This is the law that put Eugene Debs in prison with a 10-year sentence. It was also the law used against a moviemaker who had done nothing more than create a film about the American Revolution. He was found guilty of sedition for merely portraying the British in an unkind light in his film (pretty hard not to do, when the subject is the Revolution) -- because Britain was now our wartime ally. He also received a 10-year prison sentence.

One case brought under the Espionage Act back then created two phrases most Americans still recognize, even if few know their origin or the case's actual name. But when the Supreme Court ruled on Schenck v. United States, it gave birth to both "a clear and present danger" and also "falsely shouting fire in a theater." The clear and present danger to the United States that the court ruled could be punished? The "fire" that was being falsely shouted? It was a one-page pamphlet being handed out to men eligible for the military draft, one side of which was titled: "Long Live The Constitution Of The United States." When read today, it's hard to understand why anyone went to jail for it. The "clear and present danger" was, in fact, that young men would refuse to accept being drafted. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, in upholding the conviction: "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater, and causing a panic." Most Americans aren't even aware of what this court case was about, even if they do recognize snippets of this ruling which put rather large and arbitrary limits on the First Amendment.

In World War II, the Espionage Act was used to deny a mailing permit to fervent F.D.R. critic Charles Coughlin, which killed the distribution of his Social Justice. The Attorney General at the time also attempted to use it against other "vermin publications." From this point on, subsequent Supreme Court rulings have put much stricter limits on how the Justice Department can act towards reporters -- the most famous being the "Pentagon Papers" case in the Vietnam era. A new legal standard for the press was thus created, one in which reporters cannot be held in jeopardy for printing government information which has been leaked to them. Many news organizations, to put this another way, have printed portions of the "Wikileaks" documents, but none have been accused of any crime for doing so. This is supposed to be the new, modern standard.

This is what makes the Justice Department's recent actions towards the media so disturbing -- because it represents a step backward to a much uglier time, with fewer legal protections for the press. There is a very fine line between targeting leaking and targeting the media who print the leaks, and sedition laws were often passed with the specific intent of reining in unruly press as their main objective. This is historic fact. When the Justice Department applied for a warrant to search the emails of Fox reporter James Rosen, it specifically stated that he might be a "co-conspirator" with whomever leaked the information to him. Now the Obama administration would have us believe that Rosen was never the target, and there was no intent to ever prosecute him. Far from being exculpatory, however, this is even more disturbing, because of the misuse of the legal system it represents. The warrant application swore to a federal judge that Rosen was indeed a possible criminal, when apparently someone else was the real target. I fail to see how this is not lying to the judiciary branch, personally -- in a document signed by the Attorney General of the United States.

Historically, the federal government does not have a very good track record when attempting to interfere or intimidate its critics in the press. The press, in fact, is the only private industry even mentioned in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. I have to believe that freedom of the press was prominently placed in the First Amendment for a good reason. That reason is to prevent the federal government -- even in wartime, and even over governmental secrets -- from ever using its power to threaten members of the press.

So, Attorney General Holder, forgive me if I so far have not been impressed with your "just trust us" attitude towards using the full weight of the Justice Department to root around in the communications of two prominent media organizations. The history of the federal government doing so is not a shining one, to put it bluntly. You are not on firm ground, you are at the top of a very slippery slope indeed. Signing a search warrant application accusing a member of the press with being a co-conspirator to espionage was a serious lapse in judgment. The only way to rectify this lapse now and insure it does not happen again is to throw the full weight of the Justice Department and the White House behind those in Congress working to create a new federal "reporter shield law" (and don't exclude the bloggers, either!). Because -- once again -- the First Amendment doesn't seem to be enough to stop such abuses. Which is disappointing, to say the least.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

54 Comments on “What I Would Have Said To Eric Holder”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    The warrant application swore to a federal judge that Rosen was indeed a possible criminal,

    It's also worth noting that Holder went "judge shopping" to find a judge that would sign off on the warrant..

    Two judges refused to issue the warrant.

    Holder finally found one that would..

    Great commentary...

    And not just because I have been saying similar things for years! :D

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Tea Party groups file lawsuit over IRS targeting

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/29/aclj-files-lawsuit-on-behalf-25-tea-party-groups-against-holder-lew-and-irs/

    Still think it's not a scandal??

    Things are going to get very very bad for the Obama Administration..

    My bet is that the Administration will give anything, pay any amount to settle this thing out of court...

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    db wrote:

    "The press, in fact, is the only private industry even mentioned in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights."

    Wrong. The Slave Trade. As in not prohibited before 1808.

    "might be a "co-conspirator" & "never the target" are not mutually exclusive statements. Investigating a "co-conspirator" is not less valid when the target of the investigation is elsewhere.

    "Historically, the federal government does not have a very good track record..." Even assuming you're right & I will take the proposition that urging men to resist the draft in time of declared war is undermining the war effort. The fact that the issue has been misused in the past does not make the current use invalid.

    I will stand for the proposition that the CIA & President Obama & AG Holder have the right, no duty, to protect the identity of CIA assets in the DPRK. Whether from spies, leakers, or pseudo journalists from pseudo "news" services is of no matter.

    Michael #2.

    Covered. No money will change hands. Suggest stakes.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very nicely stated, db!

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Covered. No money will change hands. Suggest stakes.

    It will be impossible to prove my case as any settlement will likely not disclose details.

    So any wager would likely have to be settlement/dismissal..

    I am absolutely confident that there won't be any dismissal...

    And any settlement will likely require the government to admit wrong-doing..

    So, if you want to take the settlement/dismissal bet, yer on.. :D

    As far as Holder and the AP/FNC scandal I wonder how pro-AG ya'all would be if we were talking about Gonzalez or Ashcroft...

    Actually, one doesn't have to wonder. One just has to review recent history... :D

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    I will stand for the proposition that the CIA & President Obama & AG Holder have the right, no duty, to protect the identity of CIA assets in the DPRK. Whether from spies, leakers, or pseudo journalists from pseudo "news" services is of no matter.

    So, you agree with me that National Security trumps the public's right to know, eh?? :D

    We'll make a "me" out of ya yet! :D

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Well at least it took the media getting their rights taken away from them to actually wake up to the fact that for the past decade millions of Americans are having their rights taken away from them.

    Kinda like the Republican who is against gay marriage but then when his son turns out to be gay changes his mind.

    Just sucks that there aren't enough journalists with the integrity to have brought this up before...

    And +1 to DB. I will bet anything you want that the IRS will not pay a penny to anyone. Those who think otherwise (or those who think this is a scandal - pretty much the same people) clearly have no idea how the IRS works...

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    for the past decade millions of Americans are having their rights taken away from them.

    And what rights would that be, exactly??

    Oh yea, that's right. We can't take hair gel on an airplane.

    Oh the infamy!!! THE HORROR!!!!

    Those who think otherwise (or those who think this is a scandal - pretty much the same people) clearly have no idea how the IRS works...

    Perhaps

    But I sure as hell know how Obama's IRS is NOT supposed to work..

    And Obama's IRS is NOT supposed to target groups for harassment and intimidation due to political ideology...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    michty6 wrote:
  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Barack Obama: even the mainstream media has given up on the hopey-changey stuff
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100219382/barack-obama-even-the-mainstream-media-has-given-up-on-the-hopey-changey-stuff/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Obama's just lost his biggest ally....

    That's what happens when one starts believing their own PR...

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    michty6 wrote:

    And what rights would that be, exactly??

    Really? Off the top of my head:

    - Right to vote
    - Right to fair, democractic elections
    - Right to remain silent
    - Right to a fair trial
    - Right to work anywhere
    - Right to marry
    - Right to privacy
    etc etc etc

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Really? Off the top of my head:

    - Right to vote
    - Right to fair, democractic elections
    - Right to remain silent
    - Right to a fair trial
    - Right to work anywhere
    - Right to marry
    - Right to privacy
    etc etc etc

    You have a tendency to just throw up lists w/o any substantiation whatsoever..

    Can you DOCUMENT any of those rights you have allegedly lost??

    Of course you can't... It's nothing but hysterical fear-mongering...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    But you are correct, somewhat...

    Some Americans HAVE lost some of their rights.

    Conservative lost the right to be treated fairly by Obama's IRS with no discrimination..

    But that was done to win an election.. Not for any National Security reasons...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Lol right. The IRS sending out questionnaires to Tea-Party groups was how the election was won. Lololololol.

    CW - QuestionnaireElectionRigGate. Add it to the list.

    Last time I checked there was no 'right to not have your business affairs looked into by the IRS'. But hey maybe you should push for this to be added as a constitutional amendment...

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lol right. The IRS sending out questionnaires to Tea-Party groups was how the election was won. Lololololol.

    Sending out questionnaires???

    Yea.. That's *all* the IRS did...

    Right...

    Last time I checked there was no 'right to not have your business affairs looked into by the IRS'.

    No. The "right" comes in not being harassed or intimidated by the IRS based on political ideology.

    Just like you have the right not to be harassed by the IRS based on one's race...

    But I am sure you condone racial profiling, since you are all for ideological profiling..

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    - Right to remain silent

    We have the rule of Law here in the United States.

    You cannot testify under oath as to your innocence and then plead the fifth to avoid cross-examination..

    It's not allowed...

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    You cannot testify under oath as to your innocence and then plead the fifth to avoid cross-examination..

    And if you TRY to do that, the jury has the obligation to take that into account when determining your guilt...

    Awesome justice system, eh?? :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    A Washington Free Beacon investigation has identified at least five pro-Israel organizations that have been audited by the IRS in the wake of a coordinated campaign by White House-allied activist groups in 2009 and 2010.
    http://freebeacon.com/irs-crosses-green-line/

    And the hits just KEEP on comin'!!!

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    And looks like Obama's poll numbers are heading down...

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/obama-job-approval-poll-92023.html

    All I can say is it's bout time...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Obama may have promised “to hold the responsible parties accountable” for the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative non-profit groups, but one of the agents at the center of the scandal was recently promoted, an IRS source tells The Washington Examiner.

    Through 2012, then-Exempt Organization Specialist Stephen Seok signed many of the intimidating letters sent to conservative nonprofits. For example, this January 2012 letter sent to the Richmond Tea Party demanded the date, time and location of all group events, as well as copies of all handouts provided at the event, and the names and credentials of all organizers. Seok also demanded the names of all speakers and the contents of the speeches they made.

    There's yer "questionnaires", Michty....

    One has to wonder how ya would have reacted if Bush's IRS had sent these "questionnaires" to black groups or hispanic groups or progressive/liberal groups requesting tax-exempt status....

    My guess is ya'all would have gone ballistic...

    Thereby once again proving the power of the almighty '-x'... :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    michale,

    that's not his first negative poll this month. ratings have been scattered, but the poll of polls is still in the same place it's been for the past three and a half years, and will likely continue to be for the next three and a half.

    ~joshua

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    that's not his first negative poll this month. ratings have been scattered, but the poll of polls is still in the same place it's been for the past three and a half years, and will likely continue to be for the next three and a half.

    Killjoy... :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    michty6 wrote:
  24. [24] 
    michty6 wrote:

    And looks like Obama's poll numbers are heading down...

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/obama-job-approval-poll-92023.html

    In addition to Joshua's comment, it is worth noting that Obama's poll numbers are actually pretty good considering his unfavourability among Republicans is something like 90-10 in almost every poll. In this particular poll it is 86-9%.

    He is still viewed favourably by Democrats and (in most polls) Independents - probably because they don't watch Fox or listen to the right-wing noise machine that has been clattering on about XXX-gate for years...

  25. [25] 
    michty6 wrote:

    One has to wonder how ya would have reacted if Bush's IRS had sent these "questionnaires" to black groups or hispanic groups or progressive/liberal groups requesting tax-exempt status

    If the black or hispanic group was called 'Blacks Who Intend To Flout The Tax Laws' or 'Hispanic Tax Avoidance Group' I'd have absolutely no problem with the IRS targeting them.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    If the black or hispanic group was called 'Blacks Who Intend To Flout The Tax Laws' or 'Hispanic Tax Avoidance Group' I'd have absolutely no problem with the IRS targeting them.

    So, in your mind, Tea Party = "Intend To Flout The Tax Laws"

    Well, at least your bigotry is admitted and out in the open now..

    Admitting you are a bigot is the first step..

    Congratulations..

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Independents - probably because they don't watch Fox or listen to the right-wing noise machine that has been clattering on about XXX-gate for years...

    Actually, Obama's numbers are WAY down amongst us Independents..

    Which you would know if you actually READ something that was objective instead of gorging on the Obama Kookaid... :D

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Regardless of what you think of the various scandals, it is undeniable that Holder lied under oath..

    If I recall correctly, Nixon's AG went to jail for that... Scooter Libby was convicted of that..

    Does anyone here think that Holder should keep his job???

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    IRS may have targeted conservatives more broadly
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/05/30/192616/irs-may-have-targeted-conservatives.html#.UahvZspq9Cg

    The evidence that the IRS illegally targeted conservatives is becoming more and more damning...

    It's funny how there hasn't been ANY evidence that any groups palatable to the Obama Administration have undergone the same level of scrutiny...

    Granted, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence but one would surely think that, if there WERE instances of that happening it would be all over the liberal MSM...

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Granted, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence but one would surely think that, if there WERE instances of that happening it would be all over the liberal MSM...

    ACORN? planned parenthood? occupy wall street?

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    ACORN? planned parenthood? occupy wall street?

    Any evidence that they were targeted by the IRS???

    None that I have seen.. And, as I indicated, if there was such evidence it's likely that the Left would be pointing to it and saying, "See!!?? Lefty groups were targeted too!!!"

    We're not seeing that, so it is likely there is no evidence to support such a claim..

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    If I recall correctly, ACORN was caught red-handed aiding and abetting.....

    "AIDIN' n ABETTIN'...!!"
    -Sheriff Farley, MY COUSIN VINNY

    :D

    .... criminal activities...

    Don't know much about Planned Parenthood. Don't really care...

    Occupy??

    A bunch of whiney privileged and petty thugs who need to bathe and who complain when THEIR "wealth" is re-distributed...

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    We can always talk about how wonderful ObamaCare is??

    Rate Shock: In California, Obamacare to Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums by 64-146%
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/05/30/rate-shock-in-california-obamacare-to-increase-individual-insurance-premiums-by-64-146/

    Wasn't ObamaCare supposed to REDUCE the costs of healthcare, not triple it???

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    If I recall correctly, ACORN was caught red-handed aiding and abetting.....

    you recall incorrectly. a court of law found that ACORN was improperly targeted by the media and congress, due to a michael moore style propaganda job against its employees. congressional action was ruled unconstitutional as a bill of attainder, and the agent provocateur who created the video of alleged (and disproven) wrongdoing was later convicted of illegally bugging a senator's phone lines.

    planned parenthood and the occupy movement have also been the subjects of intensive and generally unwarranted scrutiny by the government, though admittedly not the IRS in particular.

    ~joshua

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    and the agent provocateur who created the video of alleged (and disproven) wrongdoing was later convicted of illegally bugging a senator's phone lines.

    Which had absolutely NOTHING to do with ACORN aiding and abetting criminal actions..

    The fact that the video surveillance was not legally obtained has absolutely NO BEARING on the illegality of ACORN's actions...

    If I illegally tape a scumbag breaking the law, that doesn't mean that the scumbag is NOT breaking the law...

    planned parenthood and the occupy movement have also been the subjects of intensive and generally unwarranted scrutiny by the government,

    For example....??????

    though admittedly not the IRS in particular.|

    Then I fail to see the relevance with regards to Obama's IRS scandal.... :D

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Then I fail to see the relevance with regards to Obama's IRS scandal.... :D

    That came out a little harsher (IE snooty) than I intended..

    What I mean to say is that there hasn't been a Leftist group targeted, harassed and intimidated solely and unequivocally based on their political ideology..

    And not for the purposes of swaying and/or influencing an election..

    About the closest thing you can come to from the Right that compares with Obama's IRS actions would be the alleged targeting of minority voters by the Right..

    And we all know exactly how ya'all felt about THAT..

    So, why is THAT horrendous but the IRS targeting is no big deal???

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, why is THAT horrendous but the IRS targeting is no big deal???

    I bet I can answer that..

    Because deep down (or maybe NOT so deep down) ya'all (with a few notable exceptions) feel that conservatives DESERVE to be targeted, harassed and intimidated by the IRS...

    As does anyone else who dares speak against Emperor Barack The First...

    Am I warm???

    http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=4770

    Because that says I am warm.....

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/liberal-activist-admits-bugging-mitch-mcconnells-office_732085.html

    That also says I am warm....

    Apparently, on the LEFT side of the aisle, the rule of the day is, THE ENDS JUSTIFIES THE MEANS..

    Now, historically and categorically, I am on record as absolutely and 1000% totally OK with such a philosophy...

    I just never thought I would have so much company in that mind-think on the Left.. :D

    I'm just sayin'..... :D

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The fact that the video surveillance was not legally obtained has absolutely NO BEARING on the illegality of ACORN's actions...

    you missed the earlier point; ACORN's actions were later found by a court of law NOT to be illegal. selective editing made it SEEM like they were doing some illegal things that a review of ALL the related facts revealed they were in fact not doing at all. you've said the same of george zimmerman, just to cite an example of someone else who a partial and selective review of evidence in the media made seem VERY guilty. whether or not an alleged crime is actually the case needs to be proven; that's why courts exist.

    perhaps not the IRS, but homeland security were involved in the nationwide occupy crackdowns. while there is no hard evidence to support any conspiracy theories of political suppression, there was absolutely national coordination to destroy all of the occupy encampments.

    http://markcrispinmiller.com/2013/05/us-deployed-counter-terror-system-to-monitor-and-disrupt-occupy/

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    As does anyone else who dares speak against Emperor Barack The First...

    the obama administration may not have actively participated in the occupy crackdowns, but they were definitely in the loop. as for planned parenthood:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/28/us-usa-court-abortion-idUSBRE94R0ID20130528

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    you missed the earlier point; ACORN's actions were later found by a court of law NOT to be illegal.

    No offense, but you'll have to link that..

    Helping people buy a home for the purposes of child prostitution doesn't strike me as a legal activity..

    At the very least, it's immoral, unethical and totally bogus..... dood... :D

    perhaps not the IRS, but homeland security were involved in the nationwide occupy crackdowns. while there is no hard evidence to support any conspiracy theories of political suppression, there was absolutely national coordination to destroy all of the occupy encampments.

    The fact that they were actively breaking the law might have SOMETHING to do with that.. :D I'm just sayin'.... :D

    No one has found that the groups associated with the Tea Party were breaking the law, active or otherwise..

    Much to the chagrin of the Left, I am sure.. :D

    the obama administration may not have actively participated in the occupy crackdowns, but they were definitely in the loop. as for planned parenthood:

    Yea, they were..

    Seems that the Obama Administration intervened for the BENEFIT of Planned Parenthood..

    In a victory for Planned Parenthood, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to consider whether the state of Indiana can prevent the nonprofit, which is the country's largest provider of abortions, from receiving federal Medicaid funding for any medical services it offers to low-income people.

    From your link..

    Regardless, there is simply no comparison against the Left that compares to the actions of Obama's IRS against Conservatives..

    The only thing that comes close is the Left's accusations of the Right targeting minority voters for disenfranchisement...

    Which *IF TRUE* is comparative to the actions of Obama's IRS...

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Helping people buy a home for the purposes of child prostitution doesn't strike me as a legal activity..

    ... if true, which it wasn't.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/2010/03/02/breitbart-confirms-he-was-duped-by-okeefe-and-t/161084

  43. [43] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The fact that they were actively breaking the law might have SOMETHING to do with that.. :D I'm just sayin'.... :D

    certainly not in any way sufficient to justify a nationwide campaign coordinated by the DHS. and as to your assertion that the tea party groups had violated no laws, that's not entirely true either, as lewdan pointed out in a prior post. said violations certainly don't justify their being singled out for special treatment, but their hands are not clean - they were violating federal code and they knew it. they are not, as you are wont to say, pure as the driven snow, and occupy are not all terrible and evil.

    ~joshua

  45. [45] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    in fact, the more i think about it the more similar the two cases seem. both TEA and OWS are anti-establishment groups being unfairly singled out. again, the left-right paradigm fails to explain the conflict between our corporate-owned government and any citizen who dares to defy its will - whatever their reasons.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://mediamatters.org/research/2010/03/02/breitbart-confirms-he-was-duped-by-okeefe-and-t/161084

    If I get dinged for posting FNC links, you should get dinged for posting Media Matters links.. :D

    Irregardless, the pimp getup doesn't change the facts of the recording of the dialog...

    certainly not in any way sufficient to justify a nationwide campaign coordinated by the DHS.

    Well, DHS has it's own problems as epitomized by Obama darling Napalitano...

    But you simply CANNOT make the case that the OCCUPY groups were targeted for the purposes of swaying an election...

    No way, no how....

    , but their hands are not clean - they were violating federal code and they knew it.

    And evidence for this is.... what exactly???

    and occupy are not all terrible and evil.

    No, not evil and terrible...

    Just hypocritical arrogant thugs who need to more than a passing acquaintance with soap and water...

    Keep in mind that THAT ^^^^ refers to the true Occupiers, not the ones who played at it and then went home.

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But you simply CANNOT make the case that the OCCUPY groups were targeted for the purposes of swaying an election...

    you're missing the point - mainstream republican groups were not targeted, only TEA party groups. it's not left vs. right, it's establishment vs. anti-establishment. technically any social cause that contributes to an election campaign at all should not be eligible, so why pick on only the right-wing outsiders?

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    mainstream republican groups were not targeted, only TEA party groups.

    Ignoring for the moment that this is not true, I submit that it is not relevant..

    The conservative groups were targeted to limit their fundraising for an election that, at the time, was becoming increasingly closer and closer..

    technically any social cause that contributes to an election campaign at all should not be eligible, so why pick on only the right-wing outsiders?

    Exactly!!

    If the goal is altruistic in the sense of nullifying the Citizens United ruling, then why ONLY go after Conservative groups??

    ANSWER:

    Because the goal was NOT altruistic. The goal was to go after conservatives and limit their ability to fund raise....

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    "The conservative groups were targeted to limit their fundraising for an election that, at the time, was becoming increasingly closer and closer.."

    Exactly, Exactly, Exactly. Because those groups told the IRS they were not trying to raise funds for the election. They were pretending to be "social welfare" organizations & non-political. They were applying for tax-exempt status at the time you, so accurately, state they were raising funds for a political purpose.

    As for settlement/dismissal; I'll stand aside as the difference there may not be worth the fight. It's sometimes easier just to settle rather than expend the effort in a fight.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Exactly, Exactly, Exactly. Because those groups told the IRS they were not trying to raise funds for the election. They were pretending to be "social welfare" organizations & non-political. They were applying for tax-exempt status at the time you, so accurately, state they were raising funds for a political purpose.

    Then WHY do it in secret???

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2013/05/31/ftp260/#comment-38068

    As for settlement/dismissal; I'll stand aside as the difference there may not be worth the fight. It's sometimes easier just to settle rather than expend the effort in a fight.

    "If the cause be just and honorable, they are prepared to give their lives."
    -Captain Jean Luc Picard

    :D

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Ignoring for the moment that this is not true, I submit that it is not relevant..

    i don't buy the irrelevancy argument, so bring on the argument that it's untrue. the groups targeted were TEA party, not establishment republicans like rove's crossroads organization for example.

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    i don't buy the irrelevancy argument, so bring on the argument that it's untrue. the groups targeted were TEA party, not establishment republicans like rove's crossroads organization for example.

    Right To Life groups were also targeted... Groups that had absolutely NOTHING to do with the Tea Party...

    The ONLY common thread amongst ALL the groups targeted by Obama's IRS was that they were conservative groups..

    And not ONE SINGLE documented case of Obama's IRS targeting any liberal/progressive groups...

    "What are the odds???"
    -Robin Williams, FATHERS DAY

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    interesting. any specific anti-abortion groups? the religious right is somewhat the redheaded stepchild of the conservative movement, but i'd have to see the specific group to determine whether or not it disproves my establishment hypothesis.

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ask and ye shall receive.. :D

    http://tinyurl.com/ku9d7gy

    I would also refer you to my current comment in the FTP commentary that lists many Leftist/Liberal/Progressive groups that perform the same actions as the Tea Party groups but enjoy unfettered and unquestioned tax exempt status..

    Funny how that is, eh?

    Michale

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