“I want to be really clear about this. I’m not here tonight to bash President Obama. That’s not my intent and serving in office right now is not to make President Obama’s job harder; it’s to try (to) improve Americans’ lives.” – Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)
The inherent paradox of that statement is that for Americans’ lives to improve, President Obama’s job of ‘fundamentally transforming’ the country must be made harder. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) made that contradictory remark in response to a question during a radio town hall in his district last summer. The question had to do with the IRS scandal and how it relates to Lois Lerner and Malik Obama, the half-brother of President Barack Obama.
While Kelly may only be in his second term, he also sits on one of the very committees charged with investigating the IRS – the House Ways and Means committee, chaired by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI). At a hearing last year, after delivering a passionate statement to representatives of Tea Party groups that had suffered IRS injustices, Rep. Kelly told them collectively:
“…so thank you for what you’re doing, stay the course; do not give up and please, spread the word to the rest of the American public, do NOT be afraid of this government. It is only when we fear the government that we lose. This is a government that is supposed to serve the people. The people are not supposed to serve it. So keep up the fight, we’re with you, and we’ve got your back.”
Last week, House Oversight Committee Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Committee member, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder upon receiving news that Barbara Bosserman, a donor to both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Barack Obama campaign has been put in charge of the IRS investigation by Holder. In the letter, Issa and Jordan demanded that Bosserman be removed due to this ‘startling conflict of interest’.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn’t plan to file criminal charges over the Internal Revenue Service’s heightened scrutiny of conservative groups, according to law-enforcement officials, a move that likely will only intensify debate over the politically charged scandal.
The officials said investigators didn’t find the kind of political bias or “enemy hunting” that would amount to a violation of criminal law. Instead, what emerged during the probe was evidence of a mismanaged bureaucracy enforcing rules about tax-exemption applications it didn’t understand, according to the law-enforcement officials.
At the heart of the complaints made by conservative groups is that their applications were delayed for inordinate periods of time – years in many cases – and that the applicants were made to respond to absurd requests for information, which kept them distracted and prevented them from exercising their first amendment rights. Contrast the explanation by “officials” as to why Tea Party groups suffered mistreatment and had their applications delayed for so long – a “mismanaged bureaucracy” that consisted of rules its bureaucrats “didn’t understand” – with the treatment received by Malik Obama’s Barack H. Obama Foundation.
The BHOF received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in less than 30 days and had it backdated 38 months, which is illegal. Though this is clearly favorable treatment, Malik’s background and associations could make Lerner and the contact person whose name is on the approval letter suspects in aiding and abetting an enemy combatant.
Strong words? You bet.
Last summer, via Youm7, a complaint (No. 1761) was filed against Malik Obama with the Attorney General of Egypt, Hisham Barakat based largely on our findings. Those findings have also been supported by Tahani al-Jebali, a highly reputable, former Chancellor of the Constitutional Court of Egypt.
Rep. Kelly benefited greatly from the Tea Party tidal wave of 2010. It was a group that helped him get elected in the third district of Pennsylvania, unseating an incumbent Democrat. Since that time, like-minded Tea Party groups have been targeted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In short, the people who attempted to lead such groups have had their lives worsened, not improved, and their attempts to exercise their first amendment rights were made harder as a direct result of the IRS.
Unfortunately, that’s what makes Kelly’s comments during a radio town hall last summer so oxymoronic.
During that August 29th town hall exchange, Kelly both admitted to knowing about the expeditious, retroactive, and illegal tax-exempt status Malik’s foundation received and twice said the claims that the President’s brother was connected to the President of Sudan (Omar al-Bashir) were “spot on”.
Again, via the WSJ article:
Initially, an IRS employee in Cincinnati was asked to search for applications with certain terms in them or ones that had “political sounding” names. That led to the creation of a document called a “Be On the Look Out,” or BOLO, which prompted heightened scrutiny of conservative groups.
About a third of the groups that received such scrutiny had names that included “Tea Party,” “Patriots” or “9/12.” Agents then directed questions about the group’s beliefs, donor lists and other information.
Perhaps if such IRS employees had been on the “Look Out” for applicants with connections to a government that is on the U.S. State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, which is led by a President who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, Malik Obama’s Foundation would not have received such preferential treatment.
Last week, liberal CNN host Ashleigh Banfield suggested that murder charges be dangled in front of the underlings of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to get more information on ‘Bridgegate’. Lerner has already invoked her fifth amendment right to remain silent and her lawyers have publicly stated that she might exchange her testimony for immunity.
Perhaps if a charge related to aiding and abetting terrorism were dangled in front of her, Republicans like Issa, Jordan, Camp, and Kelly would get more information and truly demonstrate that they have “the back(s)” of Americans whose lives need to be improved.
The only thing that may be more egregious than the actions of the Obama administration’s IRS is the inaction of so many Republicans in Congress on the issue of Malik Obama’s ties to terrorism.
Here again is the entire exchange between Kelly and Ben on August 29, 2013 during a radio town hall on 790 WPIC on the Ron Errett show, in Kelly’s district: