Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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May 21, 2013

Where the buck stops

Mr. President, the buck stops with you.

President Truman set that standard, with these very words posted on a sign on his Oval Office desk.

But now, with over a thousand days left in this second Obama administration, we find a Nixonian stench emerging from the “W. House.”

What we’ve witnessed this past week has been a stew — some issues like Benghazi simmering for months — while the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of conservative groups was known to insiders and then exploded into the public consciouness last week.

As a reporter, I was most incensed about the monitoring of Associated Press phone calls, but at least there was a plausible reason for it when Attorney General Eric Holder described a Department of Justice leak involving a terror airliner plot.

The Benghazi story has emboldened Republican conspiracy theorists, but what sticks out at me is the fact that Ambassador Chris Stevens ventured out to a CIA facility with only four security personnel and no obvious Plan B once the RPGs began to fly. This was a logistics problem and, having occurred on Sept. 11, a lack of recognition of the historic relevance coming in a sector that had 60 other terror-related events in the previous six months.

The IRS component has echoes of Nixon era enemies lists, spying, using the FBI to track political henchmen, and that sort.

Particularly when acting IRS Director Steven Miller wrote in a USA Today op-ed article, “Mistakes were made, but they were in no way due to any political or partisan motivation.”

I couldn’t believe the wording, that conjured up Watergate: “. . . mistakes were made …”

What the IRS — and possibly the Obama administration — has done is played right into the hands of some of the Tea Party and Patriot groups who sensed conspiracy and political malfeasance beginning three years ago. Some of this mistrust was warranted, some of it hyped. Some misguided; some not. But now the Obama regime has provided authentication to what some had seen as paranoia.

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