The reporters and “watchdog groups” are treating this problem as if it is only about whether or not the IRS can do sufficient background checks. But maybe they wanted this man because of his background. After all, the IRS has given private information to third parties before. So maybe this man is perfect for the job of harassing conservative groups.
From the Washington Times:
The Internal Revenue Service, already facing accusations that its workers improperly snooped through tax files, has hired a former police officer convicted just a few years ago of illegally accessing FBI records and providing information to a subject of a counterterrorism investigation involving an infamous al Qaeda figure.
Mohammad Weiss Rasool, or Weiss Russell as he is known at the IRS, was sentenced to two years of probation in 2008 after pleading guilty in federal court to illegally accessing the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database to run license tag numbers for a friend he thought was being followed. That friend, it turned out, was the subject of an undercover FBI operation and a close associate of the al Qaeda-linked cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the American Islamist militant who preached to three of the 9/11 hijackers and inspired the Fort Hood shootings, according to court records and interviews.
Government watchdogs told The Washington Times that Mr. Rasool’s hiring by the IRS raises red flags about the quality of the federal government’s background checks and is alarming given his previous admission that he misused a police database.
At the IRS, Mr. Rasool serves as a financial management analyst — three rungs away from the highest-level career position — working audit-related issues and matters. He was hired by the IRS after he served his probationary period.
I have such a dim view of the IRS, it actually occurred to me that they hired him in part to thumb their noses at conservatives. But that is probably not true.
I do wonder if, because Mr. Rasool had a Muslim-sounding name, they felt compelled to not act suspicious and gave him less of a comprehensive check than they would do for other people.
Whatever happened, it damaged the IRS’ trustworthiness yet more. And that is a pretty low area to begin with.
[Note, the original headline was wrong. I mis-read a headline that led me to the Washington Times story and both I and my editor missed the mistake. I apologize for the error]