I'm talking about those Internal Revenue Service agents who show up at
your house or office after you dare to criticize, expose or embarrass a
member of the Clinton-Gore administration.
It has happened more often the last seven and a half years than ever
The latest victim is Katherine Prudhomme, the New Hampshire woman, who
last December challenged Vice President Al Gore on his views of Juanita
Broaddrick's rape allegations against the president. That was an
encounter Gore is not likely to forget.
Perhaps if Prudhomme had faded away quietly after her 15 minutes of
political notoriety, she and her husband might not be facing an IRS audit
today. But, last week, Prudhomme took an active role in a rape awareness
rally outside Hillary Clinton's Manhattan campaign headquarters.
That's where she announced that she got the bad news from the IRS the day
Coincidence? Hardly. This is part of a pattern of broad political
intimidation orchestrated by this administration against critics. Before
Prudhomme, there was Broaddrick herself.
After publicly accusing Bill Clinton of raping her when he was Arkansas
attorney general in 1978, she, too, is faced with an IRS audit of her
nursing home for tax returns that were filed covering 1998. Broaddrick
had also sued the White House and Justice Department last year for
conducting a campaign to "smear and destroy her reputation" and is
demanding the administration turn over any information collected about
Before Broaddrick, it was Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, former White
House Travel Office Director Billy Dale and Elizabeth Ward Gracen. Each
was audited following complaints against the White House.
Dozens of Clinton's organizational political "enemies" also were audited
during the 1990s -- including the National Rifle Association, Citizens
Against Government Waste, the Heritage Foundation, American Spectator,
National Review and the Western Journalism Center, founded by yours
truly. Those are just a few of the dozens of non-profit organizations
"unfriendly" to the Clinton administration that have faced IRS audits
Why isn't there any outrage about this? Well, of course, for one thing,
media coverage has been very spotty. But, I believe, most Americans now
know about the pattern of political audits against people like me and
Paula Jones and Katherine Prudhomme. I'm afraid to say they just don't
care -- or, worse, just accept that such punishments by government
officials come with the territory of civic involvement and challenging
Take last Sunday's lead WorldNetDaily story about the poll showing few
Americans believe in the First Amendment. I know plenty of people who
think like this. Mind your own business, they say. Don't stand up to
authority. You'll get yourself killed, they suggest. Frankly, I even know
members of Congress who think like this. And that's why America is in the
sad shape it's in.
I have called this IRS-gate scandal the biggest of all the Clinton crimes
and cover-ups. It's not just because I have personally and professionally
been attacked. Rather, it's because of what such unanswered, unpunished
attacks like this do to our country, our national psyche, our national
Americans who speak their minds are not supposed to be afraid of their
government. It's in places like the old Soviet Union or China or Cuba
where people are deathly afraid to criticize their officials. But if
Clinton and those around him who have perpetrated these Gestapo-like
search-and-destroy missions against their most public adversaries go
unpunished, America as a unique experiment in openness will be destroyed.
That's how big the stakes are in this fight. Don't accept the
congressional whitewash investigations by timid little men with their
eyes on pensions and retirement. Don't accept the White House spin. Just
look at the facts. Jones, Gracen, Dale, Flowers, Broaddrick, Prudhomme....
How many more victims will it take to wake up this country?