Mike Rogers: Benghazi, IRS, Media: Where’s the accountability?
by Mike Rogers, Special to The Star
Jun 05, 2013 | 1349 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Attorney General Eric Holder.
Attorney General Eric Holder.
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Most Americans expect their country to be led by a government that’s honest and accountable.

Unfortunately, this administration continues to show itself as neither. The scandals are mounting. From Benghazi to the IRS targeting conservative groups to monitoring emails of reporters, it’s understandable that the trust Americans should have in our government is again being shaken.


The Obama administration has yet to be transparent about the attacks on Sept. 11, 2012, when four Americans were killed by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya.


No one has gotten to the bottom of it because the administration hasn’t been forthcoming with information regarding the attack. We should continue to investigate what really happened in Libya. It’s unfortunate we’re spending time and resources searching for answers from our own elected leaders, rather than rallying around the unique brand of American justice for those who wish to do us harm.


The IRS scandal is very troubling because one of the ways Americans exercise their First Amendment right to free speech and assembly is by supporting groups sharing their views. Holding tax-exempt groups hostage, simply because of opposing policy views, is a tactic worthy of a lesser nation. This includes the Wetumpka Tea Party, whose leader testified recently before Congress.


When IRS official Lois Lerner came before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, she decided to take the Fifth Amendment. While that’s her constitutional right, it’s important we find out who directed her to target conservative groups, what the extent of the targeting was and what other information was examined, and hold accountable those responsible. Congress is determined to do just that. The American people have a right to know.


The IRS has enormous power in our government and this type abuse should make us all wonder what else it is doing. Congress should take a fresh look into the IRS to help ensure it isn’t abusing other powers as well as working to prevent any future missteps.


Then there’s the media surveillance scandal involving Associated Press reporters and Fox News. The Justice Department secretly obtained months worth of reporters’ phone records, emails and even security badge use.


Not only is this a highly questionable intrusion on our right to free press, but on May 15, Attorney General Eric Holder testified under oath before Congress that he had removed himself from the investigations. But now there’s evidence he might’ve known all along about the investigations.


Holder didn’t even respond to a letter from Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., requesting further information, but instead left it up to a lower-level staffer to send a response.


Holder already was held in contempt of Congress for his actions during the Operation Fast and Furious debacle. Why would the administration allow the selling of guns to drug gangs? That question was one Holder refused to give a straight answer. It’s another reason I demanded he resign and be held accountable for his failed leadership. I hope someone will be held accountable soon.


Mike Rogers, R-Saks, represents Alabama’s 3rd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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