Defense of IRS doesn't add up

June 25, 2013

Letter writer and former Internal Revenue Service employee Paul Streckfus has an insider's perspective and abundant knowledge ("Ehrlich wrong about IRS," June 23). He should have told The Sun's readers much more.

Mr. Streckfus reveals he is able to determine that tea party groups should not have tax-exempt status, without even reading an application calling them "blatantly political organizations." Why then didn't the IRS just process these applications in an ethical way and deny them rather than putting the applications on ice for months or even years and refusing to make a determination? Mr. Streckfus chooses not to say.

Katherine Inglebrack of Texas, who was head of True the Vote, applied to the IRS for tax-exempt status. She was soon contacted and visited not only by the IRS but by the FBI, BATF and OSHA. Mr. Streckfus is sure the Obama White House had no hand in this crackdown on an American citizen. So how is it that agencies of three different executive branch departments — Treasury, Justice and Labor — became suddenly interested in Ms. Inglebrack at the same time without the White House's knowledge or involvement? Mr. Streckfus chooses not to say.

Surely, Mr. Streckfus' former colleague, Lois Lerner, could have answered these and other questions when she appeared before Congress, but she invoked her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. No doubt Mr. Streckfus has a benign explanation for this as well.

M. Philip Lehr, Lutherville

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