Peace Process

Arlene from Israel

The notion that there can be a viable negotiation process that will result in peace with “two states side-by-side” persists whatever the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And so, no matter how weary we become of the delusion, we must continue to track efforts to make it happen, and combat it as effectively as possible.

As I wrote yesterday, Sec. of State Kerry is due here tomorrow. And so there is a flurry of activity — or, more accurately, perhaps, a deluge of words espousing one position or another — in anticipation of his arrival.

What we have most notably are the words of Minister of Finance Yair Lapid (head of Yesh Atid), who gave an interview to the NYTimes, on Monday in which he declared that he would do everything he can to advance the discourse on peace:

“Israelis want peace and security and Palestinians want peace and justice – these are two very different things, and this is the real gap we have to close.”


Let’s pause here, to consider this statement. The Palestinian Arabs do NOT want peace and justice. They want the destruction of Israel. The failure to grapple with this reality is at the heart of the position of those who continue to push for negotiations.

As to “justice”: A very basic misconception — which has been fueled by PLO lies — is that the Palestinian Arabs are entitled to the land beyond the ’67 line, and that “justice” requires our giving it to them. They have no moral or legal or historical basis for this claim. The land is Jewish — as history and legal documentation make clear.

See here for more: http://arlenefromisrael.squarespace.com/336554365346/


Actually, when it comes to “justice,” the question I would like to pose to “two-state” advocates is why they imagine the Palestinian Arabs deserve a state within any parameters. There are probably thousands of ethnic groups — groups with legitimate historical reality and distinct cultural traits — who are without their own state. And yet the world does not clamor to give them sovereignty over the land on which they live.

What have the Palestinian Arabs done, even, remotely, to merit that sovereignty? What would a “Palestinian state” contribute in a positive way to the family of nations? What have the Palestinian Arabs done to develop a positive, constructive civil society that would form the basis of that state? Their failure in this regard is all the more striking because they have received so much international support and such huge international funding.


At any rate…

Lapid is far too left for my taste. At a Yesh Atid faction meeting, he declared, “Whoever thinks we can have peace without a two-state solution is mistaken.” In fashioning the negotiations as some sort of moral imperative — “even if it’s controversial here, and even if it is hard to trust the Palestinians.” — I believe he is the one who is badly and dangerously mistaken.

But to certain other members of his party, and to Tzipi Livni, he is not left enough. For he came out in the interview for an undivided Jerusalem:

“We didn’t come here for nothing…Jerusalem is not a place; Jerusalem is an idea…Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”

What is more, he opposes changes in “settlement” policy and supports their natural expansion.



But let me not inadvertently lend the impression that the government is solidly for that “two-state solution.” There are many within the coalition who are opposed to the formation of a Palestinian state. This is certainly true of Habayit Hayehudi, headed by Naftali Bennett, and including members such as Uri Ariel and Urit Struck. Just yesterday, Struck, pictured below, declared, “Two states for two nations is not the official government position. It’s not in the coalition guidelines…” (Emphasis added)

Credit: JPost

It is also so within Likud — Tzipi Hotovely, Danny Danon, Ze’ev Elkin (who is now a deputy foreign minister), Ofir Akunis (who advanced legislation requiring a referendum for a deal), Gideon Sa’ar, Miri Regev, Yariv Levin, and others oppose that state.

And within Yisrael Beitenu — Uzi Landau, Yair Shamir (son of former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir), etc.

Avidgor Lieberman, head of Yisrael Beitenu and currently chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, once supported the “two-state” concept. But he said at a committee meeting yesterday that Abbas has lost his legitimacy, and that it is impossible to solve the conflict now — it can only be managed.

Credit: Forward

“There’s no magic solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. Why are foreign ministers always here? Why are they so obsessed with the Palestinian issue?” (emphasis added)


Lieberman’s questions are good ones.


About the prime minister himself, I will simply say this now. It is his MO to “play the game,” something I’ve written about often enough. It is not his style to cross the Americans confrontationally for the most part. This can be dangerous, as it leads him down a slippery slope, and he may (inadvertently?) set precedents that will be regretted later.

And yet, it remains important not to assume that in playing that game he is necessary stating his true intentions. I’d be a millionaire many times over if I knew what his true intentions were. (I was told by one analyst yesterday that probably Netanyahu’s closest advisors don’t know his true intentions.) And so I reject rumors that are afloat — as they were bound to be — suggesting that he has caved; while they might contain some kernel of truth, they are based on no documentation that I am aware of.

I cringe at some of the things that he says, I recognize that sometimes he talks tough but doesn’t follow through, and yet, I am mindful, for example, that he came out in support of a referendum on a “peace deal.” At that time it occurred to me that he might see this as an out: “Gee, I was really for this, but the electorate is not in favor.”

And he is holding out for parameters for that Palestinian state that he knows full well will never be accepted on the other side. I do not think he trusts the Palestinian Arabs or believes they would negotiate in good faith — and in this respect differs substantially from Tzipi Livni. (Yes, I fully recognize that, infuriatingly, he appointed her to head negotiations; but he also appointed the tough, right wing Elkin as deputy foreign minister — at a time when Lieberman is absent and there is no real foreign minister. So, go figure.)

My last thought here is that he is under the most incredible pressure right now, with regard to Syria, Russia, Iran and more. Tough decisions have to be made concerning when to hit armaments, even armaments from Russia, in Syria and when and if to hit Iran. I see him doing a very credible job in this respect, at least to date, and wonder if it’s appropriate — not to turn a blind eye, but — to cut him a bit of slack with regard to criticizing his policies on “peace negotiations.”

Unless we know all of the parameters — and we most certainly do not — there is no way for us to know if he is taking a stance supportive of Obama with the understanding or the hope that there’s a quid pro quo in terms of Obama’s support for us if we hit Iran. All speculative, I realize. But not entirely irrelevant. It may seem to him like a very unwise time to directly confront Obama, and I’m not sure he’d be wrong.

(Rest assured, if Netanyahu — please, may he not — were to take a stance that is outrageous, I’d be raising my voice, figuratively, his need to make decisions on Iran not withstanding.)


Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya’alon have already decided on one “good will gesture” before Kerry’s arrival: The territorial limit into the Mediterranean for Arab fisherman from Gaza has been increased to six miles. In March, Ya’alon had cut the limit back to three miles after 14 rockets had been launched from Gaza. (The three-mile limit had been imposed after the Cast Lead operation in 2009, was increased as part of the ceasefire following the last operation, Pillar of Defense, and then was cut back again in March.)

I’m really not fond of these “gestures,” in particular when they involve removing checkpoints or otherwise loosening security. But our government acts as if they are expected, and in this instance I’m not aware of risks to Israel incurred.


There are a couple of positions vis-a-vis the formation of a Palestinian state that require a closer look.

One such position states that even though Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem are all Jewish — legally and historically — once we document this fact, we ought to show our willingness to act for peace by surrendering it to the Arabs. Livni says something like this, and Max Singer, of the Hudson Institute, just wrote a column on this notion in last week’s JPost Magazine.

This very perverse position makes me want to tear my hair out. Who but Jews would ever espouse such a stance: Oh, I can prove it’s mine, incontrovertibly, but to keep matters quiet, to be nice, I will give it away. What’s ours is ours. And it ought to be retained by us. Especially as what would be surrendered would be the very heart of the Jewish heritage. This would speak to a lack of national pride.

This need to please, to make sacrifices, to step back instead of defending our rights — this, I firmly believe, is the legacy of 2,000 years in galut (diaspora). And it’s not a healthy attitude. What is more, in demonstrating such a position we would be seen as weak by the Arabs and the gesture would not bring peace in any event.


Then there is the even more horrendous notion just advanced by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who proposed it in a talk on Friday at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC: first create a Palestinian state, and then make peace. Peace, he suggested, must be made between two equal states negotiating with each other.

I would remind him that the whole purpose of proposing a Palestinian state was to bring peace, within a “land for peace” concept. It turned out to be a failed concept. But what he’s suggesting here is having Israel surrender land without securing peace. Even far leftists here in Israel understand that there would be establishment of a Palestinian state only with an “end of conflict” agreement.


A slightly less horrific version of what Erdogan has suggested has come from Israeli politicians, including, most recently, Lapid: That is, create an “interim” Palestinian state with “temporary borders” until all issues can be resolved. Lapid proposed a three year time frame for determining permanent borders. The idea is to give the Palestinian Arabs something, to move past the status quo. But it’s a non-starter.

Suppose all issues cannot be resolved, in three years or in 10, and we’ve already given them some sort of state. If all issues are not resolved, they’ll claim the “right” to “resistance.”

The Palestinian Arabs will never go for this — out of concern that all they’d ever get in the end would be those “temporary” borders. Their position is just the reverse. Before negotiations are even begun, they want Israel to acknowledge the ’67 line as the basis for those negotiations.

Lapid has called upon President Obama — whose administration is seeking new approaches — to endorse this idea. Lapid, however, also calls for Obama to endorse former president Bush’s position of 2004, recognizing that some settlement blocs would be retained by Israel.



I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but with Kerry’s arrival imminent, I wanted to point out again that the so-called Arab League Peace Plan has not been modified — in spite of wide-spread impressions to the contrary.

A League delegation, which was in Washington a few weeks ago to negotiate changes in the plan, said that it might be possible to amend it so that “minor” land swaps would be instituted. But that suggestion then had to pass muster with the full League, and it did not.

Arab League head Nabil Elaraby has stated clearly that there have been no amendments to the 2002 plan.



And so, if you read something that suggests that Israel should be more forthcoming because now the Arabs have “moderated” their plan — reject it out of hand. For, there has been no modification.

But even if there had been, it would have been such a minor modification that the entire plan — which was presented on a “take it or leave it” basis and included “right of return” — was still not anything for Israel to remotely consider.


I will mention here that this is not the first time that the Arabs have lent the impression that they have modified a document, when in reality they have not. The most notable example: Arafat’s widely accepted claim that he was removing clauses calling for Israel’s destruction from the PLO charter. They’re still there.


And the latest word from our “peace partner”? On Monday, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, told a UN committee:

“Today in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem … I can sum up the situation with one word – apartheid. Worse than that which existed in South Africa.” (emphasis added)

This is not even a subtle misrepresentation, it is a bold lie — and very typical of what we see from the PLO/PA. Does he really think anyone believes this? In eastern Jerusalem (there is no “East Jerusalem”), live some 250,000 Arabs. They have residency cards, are provided full rights and can move about all of the city — in stores, restaurants, hospitals, etc. — with no prohibitions and no danger. Some apartheid.

Replied Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, “The more the Palestinians continue to fertilize the soil with hatred toward Israel, the smaller the chances that the seeds of peace in the Middle East will sprout roots.”



The Smoking Gun in the IRS Scandal, Part Two

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Republicans are getting tripped up by the media when challenged about evidence of President Obama’s personal involvement in the IRS scandal. Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, who chairs the House committee looking into the IRS, “admitted there was no evidence” linking Obama to the IRS scandal, as MSNBC described his appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Camp said, “We don’t have anything to say that the President knew about it.” Michael O’Brien, a political reporter for NBC News, said both Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Dave Camp “admitted they lacked evidence that the targeting of conservatives was ordered by the White House.”

But a Democratic Administration or its president does not need to issue orders or directives or make telephone calls demanding that the IRS act against conservatives. History shows that it is simply how the federal bureaucracy operates. The “smoking gun” is liberal politics as usual, and it stretches back to the Kennedy Administration.

To illustrate this point, consider an article on a left-wing website attempting to distinguish between the Obama Administration’s IRS “affair” and Richard Nixon’s “Watergate-era IRS scandal,” The author is none other than Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who insists that what Nixon did was far worse than anything that has been done under Obama. He advised Republicans not to fall victim to “anti-Obama hysteria” and to avoid talking about Obama’s impeachment.

“A principal distinction” between the use of the IRS by the Nixon and Obama Administrations, he said in his column, “is the ingredient of direct presidential involvement.”

He does acknowledge that Nixon, who resigned from office because he was threatened with impeachment, “was aware that the IRS had audited him in 1961 and 1962 and presumed those audits were politically motivated by the Kennedy White House.” He doesn’t provide any more details, probably because he doesn’t want to implicate his father, Robert F. Kennedy Sr., and his uncle, former President John F. Kennedy, in the political use of the IRS. But that is exactly what they did. In fact, they did it before Nixon, and led Nixon to believe the practice was routine.

As noted by Victory Lasky’s book, It Didn’t Start With Watergate, the practice of using the IRS for political purposes began with the Kennedy brothers, John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, when they were President and Attorney General, respectively. Not only were Nixon and others involved in his presidential campaign audited after John F. Kennedy won the 1960 election, “tax-exempt right-wing groups” were targeted by the Kennedy Administration’s IRS for special reviews and some lost their tax-exempt status.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s article focused on a “Special Service” staff of the IRS under Nixon. What he does not talk about is a special project under President Kennedy dealing with “ideological organizations.” According to the staff report “Investigation of the Special Service Staff of the Internal Revenue Service,” prepared for the Joint Committee on Internal Taxation in 1975, “This program apparently was stimulated by a public statement of President John F. Kennedy and also a suggestion by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.”

In other words, initially there were no direct orders or direct presidential involvement. IRS officials simply responded to the President’s public statements and his concerns.

Here’s how it worked: President Kennedy, in November 1961, was asked at a news conference about financial contributions to right-wing organizations, and he expressed concern about “a diversion of funds which might be taxable.” He added, “I’m sure the Internal Revenue System examines that.” The Senate report says that the IRS directly responded to this statement by reviewing and auditing various organizations.

Not satisfied with the results, President Kennedy did subsequently call the IRS commissioner, telling him to move forward with an “aggressive program” against both right-wing and some left-wing groups. As Victor Lasky points out, this reflected Kennedy’s annoyance with left-wingers attacking him for his anti-Castro activities and military support for non-communist South Vietnam, under invasion from the Communist north.

The report adds that, in addition to President Kennedy’s statement, “there was interest shown in right-wing organizations by the Justice Department,” and that Mitchell Rogovin, then Assistant to the IRS Commissioner, had said he had received a telephone call from John Seigenthaler, then Special Assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The report goes on: “Mr. Rogovin said that Mr. Seigenthaler asked about the tax-exempt status of four or five organizations generally considered to be right-wing. Mr. Rogovin said that, in response, Mr. Seigenthaler was told whether or not these organizations were exempt and whether the organization had been audited recently.”

The key point is that the report links the so-called “first phase” of the IRS program to audit conservative groups to President Kennedy’s press conference statement. It was also linked to a “suggestion of the Attorney General” that the IRS review the tax status of certain groups.

It may be the case that Obama officials had a direct role in the IRS scandal, going beyond simple knowledge of what the IRS was doing. But it was not necessary for Obama to raise the issue personally with the IRS, as the Kennedy Administration example suggests. All he had to do was demonize the Tea Party and let his allies in and out of Congress demand IRS scrutiny of conservative groups.

In addition to using the IRS, the Kennedy Administration used the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the “Fairness Doctrine” to intimidate and censor conservative and Christian broadcasters. The Fairness Doctrine was abolished under President Reagan, but liberal Democrats have talked about bringing it back in legislative form. They wanted to use it to muzzle conservative commentators.

As we noted in the current scandal, the evidence appears to show that the Obama Administration and its allies used the IRS to enforce a version of the Fairness Doctrine through federal scrutiny and intimidation of religious and conservative broadcasters. For example, conservative Christian broadcaster James Dobson was told he had to be fair to President Obama to get his tax-exempt status. It is doubtful that Obama had any direct role in this. He didn’t have to get personally involved.

It is likely, however, that some White House or Justice Department officials were aware of and approved the IRS campaign. The media are already noting that the official line has been changing about which people in the White House knew what about the IRS campaign and when they knew it, and whether they informed the president.

The key point is the Tea Party movement was handicapped during a critical election year. The democratic process was undermined for political reasons in order to guarantee Obama’s re-election. House Republicans will have to decide whether they consider this an impeachable offense.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].


The Real National Scandal: Putin’s Letter to Obama

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Appalling as the Benghazi, AP and IRS scandals are, this dwarfs them all.

This puts U.S. national survival and hundreds of millions of lives at stake.


From Russia Today:

The head of Russia’s National Security Council has arrived in the US on a two-day visit for top-level talks on key stumbling blocks in bilateral relations. He will also deliver President Putin’s response to a letter President Obama sent in April.

Putin aide Yury Ushakov confirmed on Tuesday that Patrushev is carrying the presidential letter and is scheduled to meet Obama.

Among the US officials Nikolay Patrushev will meet during his trip is National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon, who brought Obama’s letter during his visit to Moscow last month. The content of the letter was never made public, but Russian officials said it was very constructive and listed several proposals for building cooperation between Washington and Moscow.

“Ideas covering some of the directions have new elements, which our country will study carefully and respond to accordingly,” Ushakov said while describing the letter’s contents.

Washington reportedly suggested drawing attention away from frustrating issues in Russian-US relations, such as Russia’s human rights record and the controversial Magnitsky Act, which the US adopted in response to alleged human rights violations.

Instead, the two nations would focus on strategic issues such as counter-terrorism cooperation, the conflict over NATO’s anti-ballistic missile system in Europe, and nuclear disarmament. It was indicated that several groundbreaking agreements may come from the letter, likely including a legally binding agreement that would make the ABM shield in Europe transparent to Russia, assuring that its nuclear deterrence is not compromised.

Patrushev himself said that he had “no pessimism” about his trip to the US.

America’s worst ever President, a man with extensive pro-Moscow communist connections, doing secret deals involving U.S. national security with a life long KGB operative.

Right in front of our noses folks.


IRS Scandal Reaches the White House

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post narrative surrounding the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups is that it began as a scandal involving low-level employees at a Cincinnati office, the “Determinations Unit,” a natural outgrowth of an increase in political activity by these groups. This belies other reporting by the Post’s Fact-Checker, which indicates that there was little growth in the number of groups applying for tax-exempt status at the time the targeting occurred.

As more details come to light, responsibility for the IRS actions keeps moving up the ladder and has landed, at least in part, at the White House. Top-level White House staffers knew about the scandal before a manufactured apology was made to the public on May 10.

“The White House on Monday once again added to the list of people who knew about the IRS investigation into its targeting of conservative groups—saying White House chief of staff Denis McDonough had been informed about a month ago,” reported Reid J. Epstein for Politico on May 20. White House Chief Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said she learned about the IRS scandal the week of April 22, but didn’t tell the President.

A public relations storm was brewing, but the public is supposed to believe that the President himself was kept in the dark. “Press secretary Jay Carney said again that no one had told President Barack Obama ahead of the first news reports: not his top aide McDonough, nor his chief counsel Kathy Ruemmler, nor anyone from the Treasury Department,” wrote Epstein. “Monday’s revelation amounts to the fifth iteration of the Obama administration’s account of events, after initially saying that the White House had first learned of the controversy from the press.” Epstein called this the White House’s “shifting” account.

When Politico and the Post’s Fact-Checker, Glenn Kessler, note that the President’s story doesn’t quite add up, you know there’s trouble.

Indeed, IRS official Lois Lerner earned herself “a bushel of Pinocchios” from Kessler for her “misstatements and weasely wording when the revelations about the IRS’s activities first came to light on May 10.” After all, Lerner planted the question, asking Celia Roady to bring up the targeting scandal at an American Bar Association conference. Roady, though initially denying this deal, has now confessed that her question was planted.

“We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question,” maintained Roady. “I knew nothing!” seems to be the cry of everyone at the top who might be involved in this scandal. Perhaps that should be translated as “Please don’t put a target on my back!” like the IRS did to conservatives.

Although Lerner had had the opportunity to discuss the targeting at a Congressional hearing just two days earlier, she ended up doing it in a fabricated, closed environment. This is par for the course with this Administration. Democratic Representative Joe Crowley (NY) is calling for Lerner to be fired because he says she lied to him at that hearing. Lerner has indicated she will be invoking her Fifth Amendment rights during her appearance before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Wednesday.

On Tuesday morning, May 21, at a Senate Finance Committee hearing, chaired by Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) asked whose idea it was and why they decided to use a “prepared Q&A” to bring this out. Steven Miller, the Acting Commissioner who was fired last week by President Obama, said that he was responsible: “I will take responsibility for that. The thought was, now that we had the TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) report, we had all the facts, we had our response, we thought we should begin talking about this, we thought we’d get out an apology. The way we did it, we wanted to reach out to Hill staff, about the same time [that the brief came out], did not work out. Obviously the entire thing was an incredibly bad idea.”

The IRS targeting of conservative groups was intrusive, at best. “A Tea Party group in Ohio reports that the IRS ‘wanted to know what materials we had discussed at any of our book studies,’” wrote Mark Hemingway for The Weekly Standard. “One educational group in Tennessee was asked to turn over the names of all the high school and college kids it had trained.”

“A pro-life group was asked to submit a letter in writing saying it would not protest Planned Parenthood.” In one case, the Coalition for Life of Iowa received a letter from the IRS office in Cincinnati requesting details about members’ prayers and whether they were “considered educational.” “’Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood, are considered educational as defined under 501(c)(3),’” read the letter, according to Chris Moody with Yahoo! News. This happened in 2009, when 1,745 applications for tax-exempt status were processed, long before the boom in numbers, according to Kessler.

Accuracy in Media has repeatedly demonstrated that these and other ridiculous requests were used to muzzle the free speech of organizations applying for tax-exempt status.

“No serious person who understands how things work really believes that the president picked up the phone and told the IRS chief to go after his enemies,” asserts Fox News commentator Bernard Goldberg. “But is it such a leap to assume that IRS agents and their bosses figured they were doing what the president would have liked them to do—but couldn’t ask?”

Similarly, Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal noted that the President did not need to direct the IRS’ actions, only call for this approach publicly. “Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone,” wrote Strassel. “All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.”

“Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do,” said Strassel.

The Washington Post’s Zachary Goldfarb and Kimberly Kindy reported that “At the same time, the IRS faced growing criticism from the outside that it was not doing enough to examine an increasing number of politically active groups seeking tax-exempt status.”

Another thing the President could do to further his agenda was to appoint officials who had a history of politicization. Former acting commissioner Steven Miller, who was asked to resign, told Congress that he didn’t think that the agency’s actions were political. Judicial Watch’s President Tom Fitton wrote that “At Judicial Watch, we know this well because, very early on, we were one of the many conservative organizations and Clinton critics that Miller’s tax exempt branch subjected to politically-inspired audits.”

“Steven T. Miller […] was one of several agents who investigated anti-Clinton organizations including Judicial Watch during that Democrat’s administration, according to court documents and interviews,” reported the Washington Examiner on May 14.

“Given our well-publicized experience with him, it is no surprise to me that Miller was content to allow this illegal IRS harassment of Obama’s hit list—and the subsequent cover-up,” argued Fitton.

Policies usually flow from the top, but The Washington Post would like its readers to think this one was organically created. It draws largely from the Inspector General’s report—hardly an impartial source. “The IRS is not well equipped to make political judgments,” write Zachary A. Goldfarb and Kimberly Kindy. “Its accountants and lawyers are sticklers and technocrats, trying to enforce the letter of the law. When the law is left vague—as it is for 501(c)(4)s and political advocacy groups—it could take years to come up with clear guidelines.”

Is that why the IRS took years to clear “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” and “9/12” organizations at the same time as it preferentially gave tax-exempt status to liberal groups? Is that why it only took one month to approve the Barack H. Obama Foundation?

“They created a spreadsheet of group names and activities to watch, called a ‘be on the lookout’ list, or BOLO, borrowing jargon used by police,” wrote Goldfarb and Kindy. Who exactly issued the directive for such a list? “The list soon included 40 groups, including 22 with ‘tea party’ in their names.” So, the vast majority on the BOLO list were conservative groups. But historically, liberal groups such as the NAACP and AARP have also used 501(c)(4)s to engage in political activity.

In fact, in a 2010 Los Angeles Times column, largely critical of the Republican use of 501(c)(4) groups, Doyle McManus wrote that while “Democrats have denounced the 501(c)(4) gambit, and they’re right to do so,” they “have been no slouches in finding innovative ways to funnel millions into political campaigning. In 1996, then-President Clinton held dozens of events in the White House to encourage donors to give ‘soft money’ to Democratic causes. In 2004, Democrats were way ahead in setting up ‘independent expenditure’ committees (known by another section of the tax law, 527) to enable millionaires to donate unlimited money for TV commercials.” He also pointed out that Obama loyalists David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs have run campaigns in which they were able to avoid disclosing the donors.

While Obama may continue to claim he had no personal knowledge of the targeting that took place by the IRS, it is now clear that his White House counsel and chief-of-staff did, well before it was purposely leaked out on May 10th. But what is also clear is that based on signals coming from the White House and top Democrats on Capitol Hill, the “lower-level” IRS operatives had good reason to believe they were carrying out the wishes of the White House.

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].


Must See! New Larry Grathwohl Interview

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Larry Grathwohl went undercover for the FBI in the terrorist group the Weather Underground. He is interviewed on WNDB radio by Marc Bernier. Grathwohl talks about his personal experiences with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn as they planned and executed terrorist bombings in the United States and their ties to Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.

To order Larry’s fascinating book, go here.


Watcher’s Council Nominations – Takin’ The 5th Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

‘Nuff said.

This week’s contest is dedicated to Rep. Darrel Issa… for relentless courage.

Council News:

This week, Ask Marion and Liberty’s Spirit took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status with some great pieces.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which won’t be published) in the comments section, no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!