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An American outrage: The IRS attacks conservatives

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Friday, May 10, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

It's almost as unbelievable as the White House's story that it had nothing to do with sanitizing the talking points about last year's fatal terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

In a stunning announcement on Friday, the Internal Revenue Service admitted that it “inappropriately” flagged conservative political groups for additional scrutiny during the 2012 election season to determine if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

Triggers for the extra “review” — harassment by any other name, “official oppression” by another — were the phrase “tea party” and that subversive word of subversive words — “patriot.”

But even more stunning is that Lois Lerner, the IRS official who oversees tax-exempt groups, expects the American people to believe that the program was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and that no high-ranking IRS officials knew of it.

Seventy-five conservative groups were targeted. They were forced to fill out lengthy and intrusive questionnaires. Some even were asked, illegally, for a list of their donors. No tax exemptions were revoked.

This is a tad bit more than “insensitive” and “inappropriate,” as Ms. Lerner put it, ladies and gentlemen. This is government thuggery at among its worst — siccing the tax man on those with political views opposite of those in charge of the executive branch and in the middle of a presidential election year.

The IRS explanation is not to be taken at face value if to be believed at all. This outrage demands a full congressional investigation and the naming of a special prosecutor. Now.

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