The PJ Tatler

Is the IRS Fishing for Lists of Veterans?

This is disturbing.

If the president wants to get angry about something, how about getting mad about the IRS leaping on the American Legion, requiring individual Legion posts to provide proof of their members’ eligibility, virtually accusing the veterans organization of being a cover for and sanctioning tax fraud?

As the Daily Caller has learned, this targeting of the American Legion is happening under a 13-part section of Part 4, Chapter 76 of the Internal Revenue Manual pertaining to “veterans’ organizations.” The section falls under “Exempt Organizations Examination Guidelines,” which was the jurisdiction of Exempt Organizations head Lerner.

“The American Legion has recently learned of the so-called IRS ‘audit manual’ and is concerned that portions of it attempt to amend statutes passed by Congress and approved by the president,” American Legion legal counsel Philip Onderdonk Jr. told The Daily Caller.

“The IRS now requires American Legion posts to maintain dates of service and character of service records for all members. …The penalty for not having the required proof of eligibility is, apparently, $1,000 per day,” the American Legion stated.

The American Legion, of which I’ve been a member on and off since leaving the Air Force, is a non-partisan organization chartered by Congress in 1919 that provides benefits and discounts to veterans while representing us as a group on veterans issues. It has existed for nearly a century, has never been partisan, and has never been required to furnish the information that the Obama administration is now demanding. The Obama IRS is treating this organization of veterans as if it has engaged in some wrongdoing, when it has not.

In isolation this might not be so profoundly unsettling, but it’s not happening in isolation. The Obama administration in 2009 identified veterans as potential terrorist threats in a Homeland Security report. This year, a Pentagon training guide identifies the American Founding Fathers and conservatives as “extremists.” The IRS has become a weapon against the president’s opponents, as the agency itself admitted, on May 10. Additionally, the Obama government has developed a consistent pattern of tilting toward those it perceives as its friends, while punishing those it perceives as its enemies. It could be using the Internal Revenue Service to obtain comprehensive lists of veterans around the country. If that’s the case, then a question must follow: For what purpose?