By Eric E. Clingan
Clinton's communist-inspired tactics
That's right. Under the Clinton administration, the U.S. has fallen in line behind such countries as China, Cuba and North Korea in its outrageous attempts to silence its critics by using the power of its investigative agencies. However, unlike communist dictatorships which employ hordes of rogues in trench coats, equipped with bugging devices and secretly-taken photographs, Clinton has chosen a crew of pencil-necked
geeks. These geeks are armed with erasers and adding machines, but are still as dangerous and unyielding as the KGB ever was. They are the geeks of the Internal Revenue Service.
Last September, only days after declining a White House offer to settle her sexual harassment case, Paula Jones received notice from the scaly accountants at Washington's most secret of secret services. She was being targeted for an IRS audit.
Shortly after going public over his unfair firing as Chief of the White House Travel Office, Billy Dale received what amounted to a poison pen letter from the agents at the IRS. He, too, was selected to be audited.
So, two individuals over the course of one year were selected for an IRS audit and they both were public critics of Clinton's character. By now you are probably dismissing this: "Strange coincidence, pass the Bud Light."
But before we drink ourselves happy over this achievement of a growing economy, consider that the Heritage Foundation, the American Spectator Educational Foundation, the Freedom Alliance, the Western Journalism Center and countless Christian church organizations have all been slapped with IRS audits since the rise of Bill Clinton to the position of "Most Powerful Man in the World." Each of these organizations have the commonality of publicly criticizing the policies and character of the nation's Chief Executive Philanderer.
According to Jay Seckullow of the American Center for Law and Justice, "There is absolutely no doubt that the Internal Revenue Service has targeted conservative churches and conservative organizations for special treatment." In an interview with Frank Greve of Knight-Ridder Newspapers, Sekullow drew a revealing parallel between conservative
church groups and Baptist groups aligned with liberal causes, noting, "Churches that collected money for the Rev. Jesse Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign never lost their tax exemptions or were even audited." Today's conservative churches, though, are paying a heavy price for pulpit politics.
The Jacksonville Daily News reported on Sept. 19, 1997, that such auditors have been relentless in their pursuit of conservatives. They reported that "Joe Farah, head of the Western Journalism Center, tells of an extended audit that his organization was subject to after it was mentioned on an internal White House memo about how to deal with administration controversies and groups investigating them." An IRS field agent actually
told Farah, "Look this is a political case, and its going to be decided at a national level." It was only after Farah went public with his harrowing experience, in a column to the Wall Street Journal, that Congress initiated its own investigation of alleged abuse of
American taxpayers by Clinton's cronies at the IRS.
As an attorney who specializes in representing non-profit groups from across the political spectrum, William Wewer of Montana has seen many such audits lately and notes, "Many of these audits of conservative non-profits don't make sense legally; they only make sense as an effort to harass." Not surprisingly, these audits are, by law, designed not to "make sense."
Indeed, IRS agents are legally protected from having to reveal what provoked an individual's audit. Also, the law provides them cover by restricting them from discussing exactly who the are auditing or have audited. This is a policy known as 6103. Still, Insight Magazine reports that, according to surveys completed by the Washington Times, "No comparable list of left-of-center interest groups and journals have been audited."
Congress' Joint Committee of Taxation is expected to release the findings of its investigation into these "coincidences" later this spring. In the meantime, political conservatives and hard-working Americans wishing to express their reservations about Bill Clinton's character, or lack thereof, had better balance their books first, it seems.
Clinton may have learned a thing or two from his early trips to the Communist Soviet Union, after all.
Eric E. Clingan is a senior majoring in political science. His column, "The Provocateur," appears every Wednesday.