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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Will the Obama White House use the Las Vegas cop-killers as a pretext for new civil liberties abuse?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,Eric Holder,Justice Department,Civil Rights,Law Enforcement,Oklahoma City

It's only Tuesday, but already previously unknown facts have become public this week that taken together may hint at a disturbing new side of the Obama White House.

First, there is the revival by Attorney General Eric Holder of the Clinton-era Justice Department's Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee.

As Beltway Confidential's Kevin Daley reported, Holder "restricted his definition of extremist groups to the far right, defining domestic terrorists as those 'motivated by a variety of other causes from anti-government animus to racial prejudice.'"

The IRS angle

Second, there is an aspect of the IRS scandal made by public Monday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Chairman Darrel Issa and Rep. Jim Jordan, who chairs one of the panel's subcommittees.

As the Washington Examiner's Susan Ferrechio reported, Internal Revenue Service officials sent the Federal Bureau of Investigation a "'massive' database listing of tax exempt organizations" shortly before the 2010 election.

"At the very least, this information suggests that the IRS considered the political speech activities of nonprofits to be worthy of investigation by federal law enforcement officials," Issa and Jordan said in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Then there's Las Vegas

In the context of the Holder and IRS actions, Sunday's murderous spree by Jerad and Amanda Miller seems like something right out of a Hollywood script.

The Millers clearly were denizens of the criminally lunatic fringe of American society. They were fanatically anti-government and nurtured delusions of revolution.

If all of this sounds familiar, it should. The committee being revived by Holder today was established by the Clinton administration in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh and his nutty co-conspirators in 1995.

Here it comes

Just as happened in the Clinton era, expect an onslaught in coming days of mainstream media stories purporting to link nutcases like the Millers to the Tea Party, conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and House Republicans. See John Avlon's Daily Beast column today as an example.

But unlike 1995, the man sitting in the White House in 2014 has "a pen and a phone" and little hesitancy about using them unilaterally to advance his agenda.

One might wonder if the ACLU's Gabriel Rottman was being too kind in his assessment of the Holder decision, saying "given the already lenient standards for when the government can launch an investigation, the announced task force is both unnecessary and an invitation to investigate Americans for the beliefs they hold and not for any wrong-doing."

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: At Veterans Affairs, see no evil, hear no evil and get big bonuses.

Watchdog/Mark Flatten: IG says prosecutions, firings needed to root out corruption at Veterans Affairs.

Columnist/Sean Higgins: The hidden costs of raising the minimum wage.

Columnist/Cal Thomas: Bowe Bergdahl's freedom came at too high a cost.

Columnist/Gene Healy: Who would Hillary Clinton bomb?

Beltway Confidential/Kevin Daley: Holder reconstitutes Justice Department domestic anti-terrorist operation with focus on far-right groups.

PennAve/Brian Hughes: How the Obama White House uses immigration figures to play both sides of the debate.

PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Senate GOP poised to block Democrats' student loan bill.

Legal Newsline/Kyla Asbury: Class-action lawsuit claims United Healthcare violated mental health, addiction laws.

In other news

USA Today: Bergdahl could be tried for AWOL or desertion.

Time Magazine: Hillary gives no answers.

CNN: North Korea arrests American man for leaving Bible in hotel room.

Righty Playbook

The Weekly Standard: Did Gitmo detainees know of transfer before Congress?

The Daily Caller: The top eight Obama lies on Bergdahl.

Washington Free Beacon: U.S. talking to Snowden about plea deal.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Keep your hands off my womb, collectivist data managers.

Lefty Playbook

The Daily Beast: Hatriot politics created the Las Vegas killers.

The Huffington Post: Former Sallie Mae unit up for $1 billion government contract.

Progressive Populist: Hobby Lobby president buys a school district.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: What did my government do when I was taken hostage in Iran?

Blog Right

Powerline: The not-so-dirty half dozen Bergdahl accusers.

Patterico's Pontifications: Four proponents of Texas secession.

Hot Air: America in crisis as menswear designers roll out the short suit.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: GOP representative admits Members cast votes expecting donations.

Daily Intelligencer: Obama promised to do four big things and now he's done them.

In These Times: Piketty and meatballs.

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Author:

Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner