It should be clear to folks by now this was not a vendetta against Tea Baggers and those who rant & rave against Obama and/or Obamacare. This is just another form of surveillance by profiling.
Obviously we should think of how the IRS was going after some non-profit groups as a kind of profiling. When you are looking over groups because of certain key words, that is not different than singling folks out for ethnic criteria.
And my title here is a bit misleading. I do not mean that the IRS was doing extreme profiling–worse is being done I am sure by the NSA or the FBI.
Rather, I mean that this is a profiling of those at the extreme: Tea Party activists are not actually middle of the road but extreme. Moreover, those who struggle to get out the story of Palestinians are in extremis. In America, the status quo concerning Israel/Palestine falls on the Israeli side of the wall.
And finally from the examples provided in this article, what could be more extreme to most profit minded Americans than GIVING AWAY software rather than trying to make as much money as possible off of it?
So thus my title which hopefully caught a few eyes… the profiling of what the IRS considers to be extreme citizen groups. Or extreme profiling.
Organizations approached by The New York Times based on specific “lookout list” warnings, like advocates for people in “occupied territories” and “open source software developers,” told similar stories of long waits, intrusive inquiries and bureaucratic hassles that pointed to no particular bias but rather to a process that became too rigid and too broad. The lists often did point to legitimate issues: partisan political campaign organizations seeking tax-exempt status, or commercial businesses hoping to cloak themselves as nonprofit groups. But even I.R.S. officials say lookout list warnings were often pursued in a ham-handed or overly rigid way.
Last month, the acting I.R.S. commissioner, Daniel I. Werfel, formally ordered an end to such lists after discovering that they were still in use after the controversy flared up…
…Two months of investigation by Congress and the I.R.S. has produced new documents that have clouded much of the controversy’s narrative. In the more complicated picture now emerging, many organizations other than conservative groups were singled out: “progressive” organizations, medical marijuana purveyors, organizations formed to carry out President Obama’s health care law, and open source software developers who create software tools for computer code writers and distribute them free of charge.
- The IRS ‘scandal’ evaporates into nothing (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- IRS targeting wasn’t political, not by half (prairieweather.typepad.com)
- More evidence IRS was NOT targeting conservatives; even Obamacare groups received extra scrutiny (thesunnews.typepad.com)
- The Great Fizzle Continues (esquire.com)
- Dear Peggy, Your “Scandal” Just Evaporated (dish.andrewsullivan.com)