President Calls IRS Scandal “Outrageous”,But Benghazi Investigation is a “Sideshow”

Obama

Mixing reality with politics, President Obama made two statements on Monday that illustrated the political dilemma in which he finds himself. The news that the IRS had specifically targeted “right wing” organizations, like those associated with the Tea Party, for special scrutiny, while giving a pass to liberal groups, such as Planned Parenthood and NPR, required a strong response from the President and he gave one, sort of.  He put his comments in the conditional tense, saying  that “if” the story were true, it would be “outrageous”. Not exactly a power statement.

On the other hand, he said quite bluntly that the continuing inquiry into the events leading up to, during, and after the Benghazi attacks, when senior administration officials were caught lying to the American people about the events, what caused them, and who was responsible, was a “sideshow”.  No investigation, it seems, is necessary on this one, despite the fact that four people, including our Ambassador to Libya, died that night.

Even the mainstream press is getting unexpectedly restless with the administration’s lack of unwillingness to clear the air on the subject of Benghazi. This administration, which promised to be the most transparent in history, wants the story of Benghazi to just disappear. But, as we said in a headline several months ago, Benghazi is “the story that won’t go away”. The interesting thing about this particular story is that the mainstream press and members of the Democratic party are starting to recognize that this is a real and very serious story, and they are, for the first time, asking the President some hard questions about Benghazi. The tide of secrecy seems to be turning as their questions get increasingly tougher and more persistent.We are fast approaching a tipping point in this administration.
A long series of cover-ups and lies, from gun-running to Mexico by the Justice Department and the DHS, to the attacks in Benghazi, to the real costs of Obamacare, and now the IRS scandal, have left a growing number of Obama supporters feeling angry and betrayed. As this continues to play out over the next few months, it will be interesting to see whether the President and his appointed Secretaries (including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) will be able to weather the political storm, or whether the sheer weight of evidence will be enough to strip away the coats of Teflon that have protected them this far.
Mr. President, the sideshow is not the investigation now being carried on by honorable men in
Congress who are seeking the truth. The sideshow is the continuing flow of lies and half-truths from people who have been given the public trust. The convoluted and contradictory statements that your administration continues to put out in order to shield your senior officials from public scrutiny, appears to be a colossal misuse of authority and a damning lack of concern for the lives of those who represent the American people.

———–  Ilana Freedman, Editor

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Obama: Politically driven IRS probes would be ‘outrageous’

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President Barack Obama (left) and British Prime Minister David Cameron leave their White House press conference …President Barack Obama declared Monday that Americans have the right to expect “absolute integrity” from the IRS and that it would be “outrageous” if the agency improperly targeted conservative political groups.

“This is pretty straightforward. If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous, and there is no place for it,” Obama said during a joint question-and-answer session with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House. “You don’t want the IRS ever being perceived to be biased and anything less than neutral in terms of how they operate.”

The president said he learned that the Internal Revenue Service may have improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of tea party-related groups when the news broke on Friday.

Obama’s strong words followed an outcry from many Republicans over the IRS’s apparent display of political bias. Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a GOP moderate, said Sunday that the IRS’s actions needed to be “personally condemned” by the president, who must “make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable.”

Collins also called into question the IRS’s early claim that the improper behavior was the work of low-level staffers.

“I just don’t buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees,” she said, underlining that “groups with ‘progressive’ in their names were not targeted similarly.”

Obama emphasized that the Treasury Department’s inspector general was investigating and that he did not want to comment “prematurely” on what they might uncover.

“But I can tell you that if you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable and it’s got to be fixed. So we’ll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are,” Obama said. “But I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it. And we’ll make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.”

Presidential press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the White House counsel’s office learned of the internal IRS investigation into the issue “in the week of April 22nd of this year.”

Carney said it was too early to talk about potential action against any IRS employees if evidence of wrongdoing comes to light. “The ‘if’ is important here,” he said. “We, like everyone else, are awaiting its results.”

In the press conference, Obama also pushed back hard against Republican-driven charges that his administration tried to cover up the role terrorists played in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, which claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

“There’s no there, there,” he said.

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2 comments on “President Calls IRS Scandal “Outrageous”,But Benghazi Investigation is a “Sideshow”
  1. Paul Hosse says:

    Benghazi is called a “sideshow” in order to ridicule and bury the tragedy as quickly as possible in order to minimize the damage to Obama, and in a broader sense, the Democratic Party in that it could have an negitive impact on Hillary’s possible run for President. Perhaps the recent scandals are intended for that very purpose; to devert the public’s attention to other, less damning scandals and scapegoats and away from intelligence failures, incompetence, the loss of American life, and terrorist appeasement.

    • Ilana says:

      I was thinking the same thing about the distraction of a lesser scandal. That is why, I believe, the President went to such lengths to express his ‘outrage’ about the seizure of the e-mails, and tried to marginalize the Benghazi cover-up. I don’t think it will work, however. Fox News has become the conscience of the country, and Congressmen like Gowdy, Issa, Cruz, Chafetz, et al plus Grassley in the Senate, will not let go of this. It’s too early to tell, but this may be a Obama’s Benghazigate.

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