EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

May 19, 2013

Column: Plenty of hyporcrisy over the latest Washington scandals

Whoa, you are saying. What on earth is going on in Washington?

S is for scandal. C is for cover-up. A is for abominable misuse of government. N is for Nixonian behavior. D is for deception. A is for abuse of press freedom. L is for lies. That’s what many are saying.

Some would add I is for impeachment. House Speaker John Boehner says J is for jail.

Everybody agrees the Obama administration is having a terrible month. Let’s figure out what is going on.

Four Americans were killed when the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by terrorists last Sept. 11. The next day, President Obama said such acts of terror would not be tolerated. But then the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations went on TV with “talking points” falsely suggesting the attacks were motivated by a stupid amateur video about Muhammad that sparked violence in Cairo.

Republicans insist the administration downplayed an al-Qaida attack so Obama would be re-elected. But there’s no evidence; emails show the CIA wasn’t certain al-Qaida was involved. Republicans in Congress call this the worst scandal since Watergate.

Next came the disclosure that the Internal Revenue Services was giving extra scrutiny to dozens of new groups applying for 501(c) (4) tax-exempt status that also permits the right not to list donors. The IRS was mainly targeting groups with Tea Party or Patriot in their titles. The GOP rightly said this was scandalous.

The IRS has been accused a number of times of political audits. In 2004, the IRS gave intense scrutiny to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People after the group’s director criticized then-President George W. Bush for the war in Iraq. Any political abuse of the IRS is wrong and must not be tolerated.

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