When is “Misleading” a Lie?

UPDATE (details at end of post): One Honest person in D.C…?

Selected bits seen recently in the news, gathered here for your convenience from a National Review Online article:

Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel on Monday told reporters that the now-infamous “Be On The Lookout” list was far broader than was originally disclosed….

(Associated Press and Bloomberg News reported that)various versions of the list not only included terms like “tea party,” but also “progressive,” “Occupy,” and “Israel.”

The AP reported earlier on Monday that “Terms including ‘Israel,’ ’Progressive’ and ‘Occupy’ were used by agency workers to help pick groups for closer examination.”


…. while the list did contain the word “progressive,” screeners were in fact instructed to treat “progressive” groups differently from “tea party” groups.

Whereas screeners were merely alerted that a designation of 501(c)(3) status “may not be appropriate” for applications containing the word ”progressive” – 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from conducting any political activities – they were told to send those of tea-party groups off  [sic – to?] IRS higher-ups for further scrutiny. 

That means the applications of progressive groups could be approved on the spot by line agents, while those of tea-party groups could not.

And yeah, there’s more, but it’s all just more lying. From our trustworthy government. ‘Cause, you know, we’re from the government and we’re here to help you…..

Update Details: Today, the IRS Inspector General Russell George comes along to say, Nope, we only targeted the Tea Partiers:

“Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the ‘progressives’ identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012,” George wrote in the letter obtained by The Hill.

The inspector general also stressed that 100 percent of the groups with “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12” in their name were flagged for extra attention.


six of the 20 progressive groups that applied for tax-exemption between 2010 and 2012 received close scrutiny. Of the 292 tea-party groups that applied, … all 292 did.

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