IRS scandal is parallel of 'The Purloined Letter'

June 26, 2013 at 1:26 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

No one questions that the IRS targeted conservative organizations for special scrutiny. Seemingly, it is not so clear who directed the misguided, illegal effort.

Edgar Allan Poe wrote the short story "The Purloined Letter." In Poe's tale, the prefect of the Parisian Police spent many months searching for a stolen letter of great importance. All of his experience and the tools of the policeman's craft were brought to bear on the search, to no avail. The protagonist finally discovers the purloined letter barely disguised but openly placed with other mail in the thief's apartment.

In the current IRS case, our government prefects supposedly are searching for mail, email or telephone records that would identify the official who initiated the IRS campaign. There is no need for sophisticated sleuthing. Democratic senators wrote open letters to the IRS demanding scrutiny of conservative organizations. President Obama made numerous public speeches questioning the validity of the tax-exempt applications of these groups, some specifically called out by the president.

Edgar Allan Poe could have solved this current mystery without an intensive investigation. President Obama himself and his senatorial allies never bothered to hide the evidence. We know who directed the IRS campaign against perceived political enemies. The president's signature is on the purloined letter.

Jim Stokes, Victoria



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