The Difference Between the IRS and NSA Scandals


At the end if a much larger piece, Ace makes an important point about the difference between the NSA and IRS scandals that is worth considering.

Here’s the thing: The IRS scandal is plainly a partisan illegal political scandal done for corrupt motives. Unconstitutional ones, too.

This gets to the very heart of the American experiment. The NSA scandal, if it pans out, is an illegal scandal, yes, but unlikely
done for partisan or corrupt motives. It would be a case of overreach and constitutional violation, yes, but probably not with
partisan or corrupt motives. And it’s the latter that hang someone. Mistakes or differences of opinion do not.

If the NSA turns out to be an overreach, but one done without partisan or corrupt motives… well, no one’s getting impeached forgoing too far to protect the American people from a terrorist attack.

George Bush got reelected on that platform, for crying out loud. He practically announced, “I intend to go too far.”

That doesn’t mean that this isn’t worrisome or unconstitutional. It means, at the end of the day, the IRS and Benghazi scandals are threats to this corrupt administration in a way the NSA scandal never will be (or is extremely unlikely to be).

The NSA scandal at worst is about the growth of the security state and while that is a compelling topic for many libertarians and well worth discussing, it doesn’t show malice to most people.

The IRS scandal does. Few Americans know what the NSA is but everyone knows and resents the IRS.

  • Steve Fraser

    IRS and NSA are government agenies….Big Brother promises to protect us against “America’s enemies”….Mr. Greenfield is a stunningly naive man if he actually believes what he wrote. Let’s just assume his essay is a parody to show the potential of how dangerous the State can become. Check out “A Government of Wolves” by Whitehead for an assessment of how far down the road we are to America the Police State.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      The article is discussing the implications with regard to 0′Bama’s credibility. Of course they’re both dangerous because eventually they fuse together and the NSA will help the IRS persecute people using phone, email and medical records in one big unified database.

      The question is how to alert people and allow them to see how serious it is. It’s easier for dim leftists to understand that you can’t allow the IRS to pursue political objectives. Even they can see that, and even they know that in theory they could be on the losing end next time.

      • ziggy zoggy

        Obama is using EVERY government agency to persecute dissidents and further his agenda. His handlers have seen to that. There is no difference between the motives of his IRS and NSA. Surely you see that?

  • Steve Fraser

    From ” America’s top national security experts say that the NSA’s mass surveillance program doesn’t make us safer … and that whistleblowers revealing the nature and extent of the program don’t harm America.”

  • ziggy zoggy

    “The NSA scandal at worst is about the growth of the security state and while that is a compelling topic for many libertarians and well worth discussing, it doesn’t show malice to most people.”
    Do you honestly believe that the Obama NSA is using this data to fight terrorism rather than to identify and persecute American dissidents? Are you $hitting me? Why would you write something like that?
    Please stick to form and ignore my question. I’m old but still too young to die of a heart attack.

  • ElizabethMC

    I think it’s an assumption to say that the NSA is just an overreach, but without partisan or corrupt motives.
    We didn’t know the IRS was acting with partisan motives until there was evidence of that. Who’s to say the NSA is not acting the same, but evidence has yet to be disclosed.

  • Gee

    I can tell you that the NSA was not only capable, but actually getting every single public phone call in the word back in the late 1970s. And most of the non-public as well.

    The NSA has increased in size and budget by well over 500% since then

    • catherineinpvb

      If true; and doubt the capability; compared to that of today’ he bigger question is; what did they do with the information gathered?

  • catherineinpvb

    Please; to imagine that the most corrupt; politically self-serving/ends justifies any means, Administration was in ‘this’ case; actually using NSA for ‘National Security’ and for America’s ‘best interest’; is to believe the elephant – and dungin the room; is no more than a fantasy; after you have rubbed noses with the animal and have stepped in it’s dung.

    Why is anyone; willing to ascribe the ‘non-existent’ – in this case; altruistic/patriotic Leadership – to Obama, Inc.; all of whom, for their now, five years ‘in power’; have consistently demonstrated their absolute antipathy for such. Worse – and most pathetic – is that we have Leadership believers; who are not only ‘close enough’ to know better; but as well; should ‘know better’. . .and who knows; by the very worst; perhaps ‘do’. . .

    We all know that Obama, Inc. is a hands on corruption; from the ‘top’. ..down; and if our Country’s security was paramount – a ‘natural’ assumption by those altruistic – there would be evidence; action – a ‘record’ – to back up such a logical conviction. There is none; ‘zip/zero/nada’ from Obama,Inc.

    Instead; they are determinedly rendering our Constitution ‘relative’; while they target as ‘Enemies of State’; Republicans; Conservatives – Tea Party citizens – Christian groups; Jewish Organizations; while allowing favorable status to the ‘terrorists in our midst’; those who actually threaten our nation’s security and make ‘good’ on their threats. (There are more enemies of course; including the ‘unborn’; the unhealthy. . .the ‘family’; the ‘individual’. .)

    Meantime; per NSA; we are now witnessing the highest – most expensive and draconian – levels of Intel ever brought to bear, AGAINST a citizenry; by it’s Government. All which speak to the ‘motives’ of those currently holding onto ‘reigns of power’. To imagine a capacity for ‘Good’ being served; is. . .at best; a mind-boggling challenge.

    (If this Admin were serious; and without intention of only hiding their own ways/means corruption; they would not be making ‘employees’ out of those; whose only merit; is that they are either, indifferent to politics; or have status by their being, simply; ‘Obama disciples’. Those who; like so many of ‘Obama hires’, could not enjoy, otherwise; such benefits of employment – at highest grades yet – per skill/trust that Authentic Leadership would demand per hiring. This contamination has been invited, into all our Government Agencies; and the reasons for such hiring MO’s, should be obvious.)