Tag Archives: Carl Levin

Judicial Watch has documents tracing IRS-gate to Wash. DC

In 2013, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealed that it had selected for closer scrutiny conservative political groups applying for tax-exempt status.

Prominent among the targeted groups and individuals were Tea Party and Christian organizations and individuals.

Lois Lerner, who was the director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, claimed that the extra scrutiny given conservative groups had not been centrally planned and had been done by lower-level “front line people” in the Cincinnati IRS office.

That’s a lie.

The nonpartisan citizen watchdog group Judicial Watch has obtained documents, including emails, showing the targeting of conservatives was directed from IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Moreover, Democrat Sen. Carl Levin actively urged and colluded with the IRS, especially the agency’s Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller, on the political targeting of conservative groups and individuals.

All those who bash and deride conspiracy theorists should take note:

What the Obama IRS and Sen. Levin did is a criminal conspiracy.

Obama's CerberusHere are excerpts from Judicial Watch, May 16, 2014:

Following on our tremendous Benghazi success, Judicial Watch uncovered stunning new documents detailing the extent to which the Obama IRS improperly targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. And the news media is finally starting to stand up and take notice.

The latest batch of documents reveal that, contrary to claims by Lois Lerner and other top IRS officials, the handling of Tea Party applications was directed out of the agency’s Washington, DC, headquarters rather than out in the hinterlands. They show extensive pressure on the IRS by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) to shut down conservative-leaning tax-exempt organizations. And they contain IRS emails directly contradicting Lerner’s misleading explanations, uncovered for the first time by JW, to investigators about the targeting of Tea Party organizations. […]

The new IRS documents came in response to an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the agency refused to respond to four FOIA requests dating back to May 2013. And they directly contradict the story President Obama was peddling when he told Bill O’Reilly as late as February 2014 that the IRS targeting was entirely the fault of “bonehead decisions in local offices.”

One key email string from July 2012 confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that IRS’ Tea Party scrutiny was directed from Washington, DC. On July 6, 2010, Holly Paz (the former Washington-based Director of the IRS Rulings and Agreements Division and current Manager of Exempt Organizations Guidance) asks IRS headquarters lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.”  Cindy Thomas is the former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations office in Cincinnati and Sharon Camarillo was a Senior Manager in their Los Angeles office.

Grodnitzky, a top lawyer in the Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) in Washington, DC, responds:

EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases. Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob.

The reference to Rob is believed to be Rob Choi, then-Director of Rulings and Agreements in IRS’s Washington, DC, headquarters.

Another email string, from February – March 2010, includes a message from a California EO Determinations manager discussing a Tea Party application “currently being held in the Screening group.”  It, too, confirms the Washington IRS headquarters’ involvement in the targeting scandal. The manager urges, “Please let ‘Washington’ know about this potentially embarrassing political case involving a ‘Tea Party’ organization. Recent media attention to this type of organization indicates to me that this is a ‘high profile’ case.” A co-worker responds: “I think sending it up here [DC] is a good idea given the potential for media interest.”  It’s worth noting that, just as with Ben Rhodes’ Benghazi-related talking points email, Judicial Watch obtained a more complete version of this IRS email chain than was provided to a congressional committee. […]

The documents Judicial Watch obtained also include a chilling series of letters between Senator Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, and top IRS officials throughout 2012 discussing how to target conservative groups the senator claimed were “engaged in political activities.” In response to a March 30 Levin letter citing the “urgency of the issue,” then-Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller assures the senator that IRS regulations were flexible enough to allow IRS agents to “prepare individualized questions and requests” for select 501(c)(4) organizations – that is, conservative groups. The “urgency” was clearly the upcoming Obama re-election campaign.

The newly released IRS documents contain several letters and emails revealing an almost pathological obsession by Levin and IRS officials with determining what, if any, existing IRS policies could be used to revoke the nonprofit exemptions of active conservative groups and deny exemptions to new applicants. In a July 30, 2012, letter, Levin singles out 12 groups he wants investigated for “political activity.” Of the groups – which include the Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, the 60 Plus Association, and the Susan B. Anthony List – only one, Priorities USA, is notably left-leaning.

As the 2012 presidential election drew nearer, Levin sent a series of letters to the IRS intensifying his campaign against predominantly conservative nonprofit groups:

  • September 27, 2012: Levin asks for copies of the answers to IRS exemption application question 15 – a question about planned political expenditures – from four specific groups: Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, Priorities USA, Americans for Prosperity, and Patriot Majority USA.
  • October 17, 2012: Miller informs Levin, “As discussed in our previous responses dated June 4, 2012, and August 24, 2012, the IRS cannot legally disclose whether the organizations on your list have applied for tax exemptions unless and until such application is approved.” Miller, however, then informs Levin that Americans for Prosperity and Patriot Majority have been approved, but the IRS has no records for Crossroads and Priorities USA.
  • October 23, 2012: Levin writes to again express his dissatisfaction with the IRS handling of “social welfare” (501(c)(4) organizations insisting that IRS guidance “misinterprets the law” by allowing any political activity. He again demands an answer as to whether the four organizations he listed in his previous letter were primarily engaged in the promotion of social welfare. He also seeks copies of tax exempt revocation letters sent due to c4 political activities, as well as statistics on how many c4s have been notified that they may be in violation due to political activities.

In perhaps the most revealing letter from the IRS to Levin, Miller on June 4, 2012, takes 16 pages to carefully outline for Levin what IRS regulations and policies may and may not be used to evaluate political groups – and assures him that the agency has considerable leeway in picking and choosing which groups the IRS could subject to additional scrutiny by tailoring its investigations:

There is no standard questionnaire used to obtain information about political activities. Although there is a template development letter that describes the general information on the case development process, the letter does not specify the information to be requested from any particular organization . . . Consequently, revenue agents prepare individualized questions and requests for documents relevant to the application. . .

Let me make it clear: These new documents show conclusively that officials in the Washington IRS headquarters were responsible for the illegal delays of Tea Party applications. And they also confirm the unprecedented pressure from congressional Democrats to go after President Obama’s political opponents.  So, the IRS scandal has now ensnared Congress. In mid-April, you will recall, Judicial Watch released a batch of IRS documents (produced earlier in this litigation) revealing that Lerner had communicated with the Department of Justice about whether it was possible to criminally prosecute certain tax-exempt entities.

As a result of the Judicial Watch revelations in the Benghazi scandal, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has now convened a special Select Committee to investigate the matter.  I would suggest another Select Committee should be convened to get to the bottom of the Obama IRS’ abuse.

~Eowyn

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Bill Whittle- Bill of Rights Freedoms Have Been Taken Away


LTG

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Obama Signs US Citizens Detention Bill


On the last day of 2011, with a flick of his pen, Obama shredded our 224-year-old Constitution with its Bill of Rights that protect and preserve our individual liberties.
On December 31, 2011, while still on vacation in balmy Hawaii, Obama signed into law a bill — approved by both houses in Congress — which now makes it legal for the military to detain — indefinitely — any and all U.S. citizens without charge or trial. The bill has the innocuous bureaucratic name of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). I’ve warned you about this bill under its previous guise as Senate Bill 1867. Read here, here, and especially here.
Do you think I exaggerate? Then read what Obama himself said in his signing statement issued by the White House (h/t PrisonPlanet):
————-

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2011

Statement by the President on H.R. 1540

Today I have signed into law H.R. 1540, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.” I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed….

The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists….

Section 1021 affirms the executive branch’s authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary….

I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law….

In other words, Obama is telling us: “I now have the perfectly legal authority and power to detain American citizens, but trust me, I won’t!”
Yeah right….
This piece of sh*t is talking with forked tongue.
Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) who is the sponsor of SB 1867, has revealed it was the Obama administration itself that lobbied to remove language from the bill which would have protected American citizens from being detained indefinitely without trial. (h/t PrisonPlanet)

For that matter, more than two years ago, on May 21, 2009, in a speech at the National Archives, flanked by copies of the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence, Obama had proposed a new policy of preventive detention, without trial, for people he suspects might commit crimes in the future.
Of the current crop of GOP presidential candidates, only Ron Paul recognizes the lethality of NDAA. He correctly states that the new law means the imposition of martial law on the United States.

Here’s a good video on NDAA:

H/t our beloved May and Tina.
~Eowyn

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S1867's Bad vs. Good Senators

Last Thursday, December 1, 2011, by an overwhelming majority and bipartisan vote of 93 vs. 7, the U.S. Senate passed S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.
In so doing, the Senate gives authority to the President to have the military arrest and detain U.S. citizens deemed to be enemy combatants (called “covered persons” in Sec. 1031 of S.1867) without charge or trial.
In so doing, the Senate also legalizes sodomy and bestiality in the U.S. military, by repealing the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s Art. 125 (see S1867’s Sec. 551(d)).

These are the senators who are mainly responsible for S1867:

1. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan), who is the sponsor of S. 1867 and the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The committee had approved and recommended S. 1867 to the rest of the Senate.
2. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), who is the minority leader of the Armed Services Committee.
3. The other members of the Armed Services Committee:

  • Democrats:

Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut)
Jack Reed (Rhode Island)
Daniel K. Akaka (Hawaii)
Ben Nelson (Nebraska)
Jim Webb (Virginia)
Claire McCaskill (Missouri)
Mark Udall (Colorado)
Kay R. Hagan (North Carolina)
Mark Begich (Alaska)
Joe Manchin III (West Virginia)
Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire)
Kirsten E. Gillibrand (New York)
Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut)

  • Republicans:

James M. Inhofe (Oklahoma)
Jeff Sessions (Alabama)
Saxby Chambliss (Georgia)
Roger F. Wicker (Mississippi)
Scott P. Brown (Massachusetts)
Rob Portman (Ohio)
Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)
Susan M. Collins (Maine)
Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)
John Cornyn (Texas)
David Vitter (Louisiana)

These are the seven senators who voted against S1867:

Here’s Sen. Jeff Merkley explaining why he voted against S1867:

H/t beloved fellow Tina.
~Eowyn

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O Joy. Now It's Fake Weapons Parts from China

Whose bright idea is it to outsource our weapons manufacturing to China?
Given China’s abysmal track record in counterfeit products — including fake pet food (that killed American dogs and cats), fake drugs, fake milk and infant formula (that have killed Chinese babies), and fake rice (mixed with plastic pellets, I kid you not) — having U.S. weapons parts made in China is just asking for trouble.
Yesterday, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, we are told that the Pentagon’s supply chain is “inundated” with suspect counterfeit electronics, mostly from China, which can “possibly” endanger the lives of our troops.
Donna Cassata reports from the Associated Press, Nov. 8, 2011, that company executives, a Defense Department official, government investigator and a representative from the semiconductor industry testified before the committee about a “ticking time bomb” of suspect counterfeit electronics ending up in weapons system. They described counterfeiters operating openly in Chinese provinces with Beijing unwilling to crack down on the deception.
Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the committee, said, “The failure of a single electronic part can leave a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine vulnerable at the worst possible time. A flood of counterfeit electronic parts has made it a lot harder to have confidence that won’t happen.”
The counterfeit weapons parts are mixed with fake ones in hopes that the counterfeits will not be detected when companies test the components for multimillion-dollar missile systems, helicopters and aircraft. That practice is called “sprinkling”.
The committee’s ongoing investigation found about 1,800 cases of suspect counterfeit electronics being sold to the Pentagon. The total number of parts in these cases topped 1 million. By the semiconductor industry’s estimates, counterfeiting costs $7.5 billion a year in lost revenue and about 11,000 U.S. jobs.
Richard J. Hillman, an official with the Government Accountability Office, told the committee that they created a fictitious company to investigate counterfeit parts, purchasing them through the Internet. They were able to buy 13 parts and after analysis of seven found that none was authentic.

USAF C-17 Globemaster


The committee investigators found that counterfeit or suspect electronic parts were installed or delivered to the military for several weapons systems, including military aircraft such as the Air Force’s C-17 and the Marine Corps’ CH-46 helicopter, as well as the Army’s Theatre High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defense system.

THAAD


THAAD or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense is a U.S. Army system to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate ballistic missiles in their terminal phase using a hit-to-kill approach. The missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy of the impact. THAAD was designed to hit Scuds and similar weapons, but also has a limited capability against ICBMs.
Missing from the long list of witnesses at the hours-plus hearing was a representative from China. Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the panel wrote the Chinese ambassador but he declined to send someone to testify. Instead, China’s foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing “attaches great importance to and has actively promoted cooperation in fighting fake and shoddy goods with competent authorities of other countries….” Blah, blah, blah.
~Eowyn

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