UPDATE: I have just viewed a copy of the report the Inspector General is releasing about the IRS. On page 18, it notes that more than half (58%) of the organizations that received letters from the IRS requesting more information sought information that was unnecessary.
In addition, the report says that specialists in the unit (determining whether tax-exempt status should be granted) lacked knowledge of the activities permitted by 501(c)(3)'s and 501(c)(4)'s.
Also, some organizations received a second letter from the IRS requesting additional information -- requiring the group to gather the information in 2-3 weeks, although the IRS had done nothing with the iformation previously sought and given for more than a year.
Other wrongdoing also was perpetrated; for example, the Department sought donor information from 27 organizations that it would be required to make public if the application was approved, even though this same information could not be made public by the IRS when provided by organizations whose applications had already been approved.
Finally, the cover letter from the Inspector General, dated today, states specifically that "The IRS response . . . states that issues discussed in the report have been resolved. We disagree with this statement as well." It goes on to note that "a substantial number of applications have been under review, some for more than three years and through two election cycles, and remain open."
As the IRS scandal grows worse and worse, what's ugliest and most shocking is that it wasn't only conservative groups -- or Jewish groups -- who came in for abuse at the hands of the IRS. In essence, the IRS has been used (or made itself) a tool of retribution against those who displease the Obama administration.
Remember the famous interview conducted by St. Louis television institution Larry Connors conducted with the President last year?
Franklin Graham is revealing that the IRS came after Billy Graham ministries, as well, after they took positions inimical to those in power at The White House.
So was Romney donor Frank VanderSloot.
This is what's known as a pattern and practice of abuse, intended to silence and intimidate anyone who dared challenge the Obama administration.
Now the question becomes: Are we supposed to believe that this was an operation solely of low-level IRS employees?