-Caveat Lector-

The silence is deafening


The paper trail I had sought to uncover for three years was revealed to the
world yesterday.
It showed that the audit of the Western Journalism Center in 1996 was
initiated by a tip passed on by the White House.

This was, by any standard of newsworthiness, a ground-breaking, explosive
story. Yet, I received no calls from the Associated Press. Not one major
newspaper in the country, besides the Wall Street Journal, which broke the
story simultaneously with WorldNetDaily yesterday, deemed the development
worthy of a follow-up. No congressmen asked to see the Treasury Department
document that proves the link between the White House and IRS audit. Heck,
not even the usually reliable Matt Drudge would let go of his obsessive
coverage of the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. long enough to let his vast
audience know about the story.

Sour grapes? Uh-uh. I would feel the same way about the treatment -- or
mistreatment -- of this story had the audit been directed against some other
journalist than me. I would be as outraged as I am today if the reporters
audited worked for Mother Jones or Human Events. It makes no difference.
When government messes with the First Amendment rights of the press, the
whistle needs to be blown -- loud and clear.

Now, it's no wonder why the president's political cronies don't speak out
about such offenses. To admit that would be to admit they were either
hoodwinked by a crook or taken in by a hustler. No politician wants to make
such an admission. Few want to concede that ideological allies are even
capable of corruption.

But what amazes me -- continually -- is the way this president is given a
free ride by the so-called political opposition.

Let's face it. Bill Clinton would have been political toast a long time ago
had the Republican establishment stood up and fearlessly exposed his
wrongdoings.

Why doesn't that happen?

I'll tell you one reason few are standing up in vocal opposition to the
political abuse of the IRS by the Clinton administration.

Because they are afraid.

They are afraid of probing too deeply into an agency with enormous power and
with a White House that fights back and never seems to go down for the
count.

We all witnessed last year how a pitiful Congress refused to carry out its
responsibility to hold the chief executive accountable for high crimes and
misdemeanors. He'll be gone soon enough, they told us. What harm, they
asked, can he do in another year or two?

History shows us that evil men in power can do an extraordinary amount of
harm in a very short period of time.

One thing that was encouraging about the response to our story yesterday was
the outpouring of concern and support by thousands of people on the
Internet. I appreciate that. It encourages me. But I want to challenge you
all to do more. I am going to ask you to do something I have seldom done in
this space, and that is to write to a public official to express your anger
at the continued abuses of this administration -- not the least of which is
the use of the IRS to target political enemies.

One man who was outraged by my initial accusations about the politicization
of the IRS back in 1996 was Rep. Bill Archer, chairman of the powerful House
Ways and Means Committee and co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation.
He immediately dashed off a letter to IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner
Richardson and called for fact-finding hearings into the charges raised
right here.

But, just as quickly, Archer dropped the ball. I went to Washington at my
own expense to testify to his committee. I was met with a lackluster,
perfunctory hour or so of questions by staffers. Not one congressman deemed
the charges significant enough to hear the first-hand story of how the
administration and IRS teamed up to stifle journalists' First Amendment
rights -- yes, in America, in the 1990s.

So, what am I asking you to do? I'm asking you to give Rep. Archer another
chance. Help him to redeem himself and his pathetic colleagues in the
Congress before they are turned out of their seats in droves next year. Give
them a wakeup call. And use Bill Archer as the point man.

It won't be as easy as it should be, because Bill Archer doesn't encourage
e-mail from anyone outside his district -- even though he chairs powerful
committees making decisions for all Americans. So, you'll have to settle for
calling his office at (202) 225-2571 or faxing him at (202) 225-4381.

Remember, be polite, be courteous -- but be forceful. The people need to
take this country back from the government.



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