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Linda LeTendre's Waging Peace
by Linda LeTendre

Waging Peace

A Daily Gazette community blog
Linda LeTendre fights for a peaceful world.

IRS: Irresponsible Revenue Search

The AP (Associated Press -- or as I prefer the “Absent Press”) is outraged at having their records subpoenaed by the Justice Department -- as well they should be. It has had a chilling effect on sources, as it should.

Finally, they are outraged over the shredding of the Constitution. This comes under the heading of “You Are Late To The Party But It Is Nice To Have You.” Where have they been?

If the Associated Press had been paying attention to and really reporting in depth on stories like the National Defense Authorization Act and the unprecedented collection of personal data on citizens by the FBI, CIA and NSA they should not have been surprised by this attack by the government and in fact should have been expecting it.

No one I know in the peace community was surprised; all of us are expecting the same knock on our doors. If this reflects AP's ability to reason and deduce, I can see why we get stories about the Kardashians' latest wedding and the story of former Vice President Dick Cheney having an arrest warrant issued through Interpol by Nigerian authorities because of his involvement in an alleged $182 million bribery scandal to Nigerian lawmakers, who awarded a $6 billion natural gas pipeline contract to Halliburton subsidiary KBR when Cheney was running the company didn't even make sidebar column filler let alone the headlines this story should have made.

Asleep at the wheel? That would be an improvement. The AP isn't even in the car. Maybe this will at least get them into the parking lot.

I am getting a perverse laugh on a lot of levels at the flap over the IRS looking closely at the Tea Party for tax exempt status. Welcome to my world. When I started getting more deeply involved with anti-war activities, a minister friend of my father's warned me with a story sent through my dad.

“Tell your daughter to be careful,” he said, “Make sure she files her taxes on time and make sure they are accurate.”

Seems that during the Viet Nam War, when he was actively and publicly protesting, he was called into the IRS for an audit. It became apparent during the interview with the IRS agent that this man had been singled out for said audit because of his public stance on the war. He had the gumption to confront the agent who just threw up his hands and said with some embarrassment that he was only doing his job.

As far as I know there was never any investigation of this incident. Certainly no one in Congress publicly called for people to go to jail as John Boehner recently did. He didn't just want to know who was going to be fired, he wanted to know who was going to jail over this. I love it, he wants to know who is going to go to jail over something that while inappropriate and need to be checked, may not have been illegal and no one was harmed.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street people and "banksers" who crashed the economy, caused people to lose homes (banks are still foreclosing on home they do not own), life savings, retirements, jobs, etc. are running around free as you please and Boehner does not even so much as call for an investigation, let alone asking for people to go to jail.

The US government has been spying on the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) , an international Quaker relief organization that espouses nonviolence, since 1916 as far as we know. No outrage by anyone Congress let alone calls for an investigation.

I did contact AFSC with some ideas for snappy, humors buttons to mock the government for doing so, “Quakers, spied on by the the US government since 1916 and proud of it” was one. “Quakers, spied on the governments for 350 years -- we hope they're learning something.”

Suffice it to say AFSC was not amused.

To add to the circus, the Republicans are giddy with glee at the prospect of derailing Obama's second term. We have an economy that is not sustainable for the planet or democracy, student loan debt is crippling the next generation and the planet is not warming -- it is dying before our very eyes and THIS is what the Republicans want to focus on?

Just for the record, I have a CPA tax attorney prepare my taxes.

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