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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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May 20, 2013 - 2:54 pm

ABC News visited the IRS Determinations office in Cincinnati, OH, the office that determines eligibility for 501(c)(3) and (4) groups. It has become a security state.

On Thursday morning, after news that Miller was sacked, two ABC News journalists walked into the Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati looking for answers. The newsmen were screened at the door by security. They emptied their pockets as instructed, removed their belts, then went through the metal detectors.We wanted to ask who about made the decisions in the unit and when the profiling started. And whether those decision makers been identified yet.

But the answers – like the people involved – remained elusive.

As we traveled the public hallways of the building – watched over by security cameras – an armed uniformed police officer with the Federal Protective Service followed us. We were looking for a particular office—of someone who would not want to be seen talking to reporters–but chose to bypass it because of our official babysitter.

Asked why we were being escorted in a public building, the officer identified himself as Insp. Mike Finkelstein and said he was only trying to make sure that the newsmen were not a “nuisance.” He brushed aside further questions. The cop said a supervisor would call to explain.

One of the reporters wanted to know if the act of following the journalists was an effort intended to scare off any federal employee who might have considered speaking to the press. That’s sure what it looked like; and, even if that wasn’t the goal, it was the effect.

The supervisor never called to explain. After repeated calls to Washington to obtain an explanation, the Department of Homeland Security eventually called back to tell the ABC reporters that the security guard following them around was proper.

So, the reporters’ calls of inquiry about a Department of the Treasury office were eventually referred over to the Department of Homeland Security. For what?

Is this America anymore, or have we truly been fundamentally transformed into something else?

h/t Dan Riehl

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Sadly unenterprising of the ABC reporters. Here's how to escape your "minder":

1. Go up to every person you meet.
2. Say, "Hi, I'm from ABC news. If you have anything of interest you'd like to tell me, privately, here's my card."
3. Hand them your card.

So now Mr. Minder has no idea who, if any, of the recipients might actually call one of the ABC folks, and if they *did* try to confiscate the business cards wouldn't *that* make for a wonderful story in and of itself?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'Is this America anymore, or have we truly been fundamentally transformed into something else?'

Where have you been? Give credit to Hussein O, he is one of the rare politicians who kept his promise.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
For what it's worth, this is standard procedure in most federal office buildings now. Visitors do have to go through metal detectors. A temporary visitor ID badge doesn't entitle anyone to wander around the halls by themselves. They need an escort, but that's usually the person they're visiting or someone from that person's office.

The story makes it sound like the reporters showed up unannounced, hoping they could visit the possible whistleblower. Being journalists, they couldn't identify their "source" to the building security officers. Presumably, the "source" wouldn't want to come to the security station to vouch for and escort the reporters - which is what would normally happen.

From what I've seen, the correct response by the security people should have been to deny the reporters access to the building. They might refer them to the IRS Public Affairs office or something. I have no idea why they thought it was ok to allow the reporters in with a security guard escorting them. Something doesn't smell right.

But the point is, this probably isn't a case of IRS trying to intimidate journalists. You visit a secure building, someone is always going to be "following you around." EVERYONE NEEDS AN ESCORT. Why it was uniformed security in this case, I don't know.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (41)
All Comments   (41)
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See picture of US/DHS overseeing TEA Party protests in front of IRS office in St. Louis, Mo. Ninty percent of over 200,000 DHS employees are stationed outside of Washington, D.C. Do they only have jurisdiction on so-called Federal property? http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/05/woah-armed-dhs-guards-outside-irs-in-st-louis/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've never liked the name, Department of Homeland Security, as it implied totalitarian uses. Son of a gun, but it was actually right on.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've noticed that most of the handles in this thread don't belong to PJM "regulars." Does this subject just attract crazy people from across the Net? I notice the same thing when anyone here criticizes Michael Jackson. The loonies come out of the woodwork.

Who are all you people, and where did you get your wacky ideas about the function of security guards?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
>Who are all you people, and where did you get your wacky ideas about the function of security guards?<

From the IRS.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's what they did in Soviet Russia: assigned "handlers" to follow people around and make sure they didn't ask inconvenient questions.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Little tip for you journalists. There were two of you and one guard. Split up. Will buy you a couple of minutes to make contact.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Homeland Security can't be bothered following folks like the Tsarnaev brothers because they need to keep tabs on the "real" enemy; anyone looking for information that may be damaging to Obama.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Federal Protective Services is part of DHS, that is why DHS called them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, go back the next day with not a couple, but with a hundred reporters. They can't follow them all. Talk to everyone in the building, they can't track every conversation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sadly unenterprising of the ABC reporters. Here's how to escape your "minder":

1. Go up to every person you meet.
2. Say, "Hi, I'm from ABC news. If you have anything of interest you'd like to tell me, privately, here's my card."
3. Hand them your card.

So now Mr. Minder has no idea who, if any, of the recipients might actually call one of the ABC folks, and if they *did* try to confiscate the business cards wouldn't *that* make for a wonderful story in and of itself?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Chicago, D.C.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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