Monday, June 30, 2014
The IRS is having a hard time defending itself before the public -- and well it should. The claim that a hard drive with two years of e-mails had somehow been destroyed is beyond credibility. As commentators and technical experts have pointed out in recent weeks, it could only have been enormous incompetence or outright criminality behind the destruction. The IRS of all agencies in the US government understands the need to save records. Hence, the agency has provided opponents with a huge advantage in public debate over whether the IRS intentionally targeted conservative groups for tax audits. The Obama administration has tried to distance itself from the controversy but it too has been sucked into it to some extent. Republican investigators want to know if the White House directed the IRS to pursue its course. So far, there is little evidence that it did, but then, evidence is missing. It is likely that the IRS investigation will eventually sputter out when there is no longer any political advantage to pursuing it. The IRS, however, will take much longer to remove suspicion among Americans that it was used for political advantage.