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Meet the Press   |  May 12, 2013

3: Roundtable discusses IRS targeting of conservative groups

A Meet the Press panel of experts examines the IRS target of conservative groups during the 2012 race and what the scandal means for the Obama administration.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

up. vo: this is the kind of back and forth that happens when people apply for 501 c status.

>> that was march last year. news this morning that he in fact that he and other senior officials at the irs knew there were conservative groups with the word patriot in their names trying to get tax exempt status put through extra regulatory hoops to get that status. you heard chairman issa talk about that. senator sfin stein, were you concerned about that?

>> i'm concerned about that. my understanding is the inspector general is doing a report that should be out shortly. i think we have to take a good look at it.

>> there's no proof the director himself of the irs was personally aware.

>> that's my understanding. somebody made the decision that they would give extra scrutiny to this particular group. and i think we have to understand why. i don't understand why.

>> this is kind of lumped in this morning. "the washington post " this morning, david brooks , kind of a second term curse. you've got the benghazi investigation going now, questions about the irs . does this further poison the well in washington?

>> yeah, i mean, second terms are generally hit with scandal. the obama administration you're not going to having monetary scandal. these people are not financially corru corrupt. the irs story is going to be big and confirm a lot of suspicions a lot of republicans have. you combine that with the benghazi thing and even the red line . syria where that looks like a political thing because you wouldn't carry through it. what the president needs is a group of people put out there the clearly above politics, senior older people show that a significant part of this administration and the core of this administration is not hyper political and that has been a problem for the administration i think since the get go.

>> huge story this week is the sexual assault in the military and the figures that were revealed this week katty kay , from 2010 to 2012 , an increase of 35% within the military, the president very angry about it. this is men and women who are being assaulted. this gets to a core issue which is, who you report assaults to in the military and the role of a military commander to even do away with the verdicts or decide whether the cases are brought.

>> almost as shocking as the number of cases is the fact that 92% of reported assaults in the military never actually make it to a court process. there are two issues. one is that it's incredibly scary for young women and young men in an organization where following orders is what you are meant to do and where it is very hierarchical to go to seniors when those seniors in some cases might have been the perpetrators and say i've been the victim of assault. it's particularly hard in the military and the prosecutorial process is flawed because it's left up to military commanders. senator gillibrand is going to propose prohe legislation that that gets taken away from military commanders.

>> there is still al issue of order and discipline. this is not a democracy, senator graham pointing that out, that you can't change this process that dramatically. you've been in the military.

>> yeah.

>> can you get real reporting if it goes up the chain of command ?

>> i don't think -- i don't think it's that difficult to change reporting. when you look at these numbers, it's something that has to be looked at. this isn't just an issue about fairness and equity but recruiting and retention. in 2016 , the military is going to be fully integrated. woim will be allowed to serve in all different exam arms operations. we can't act like this is something that hasn't been noticed by females and males serving in the military. the military has always been ahead of society on so many issues. we integrated before society integrated. equal pay for men and women. society still doesn't have the same measure. and also you look at even basic issues of jobs and criteria. this is one issue where we're still far behind on. i think if the military cannot work out a process no order to sustain that, 93% of cases don't get prosecute, we have an obligation of being able to be examine, investigate and then to convict people who are guilty of crimes which is what they are.

>> david, i think the key is what these twos have just said. i think it has to be taken out of the command decision making. it's clear that there is too much excuse. and this has got to stop. and there has to be zero tolerance . and that has to be supported by a separate judicial process whether it's a full-court marshall process or anything else. apart from the military command structure. and you know, what's happening too, to women all over the world, the rapes in india, what's happening in this country, the concern over the abuse of women against their will, it's got to stop. and the military ought to set the tone for a new day because it cannot continue like this.

>> congressman, as i said, you've been in the military. how do you feel about it?

>> this is a tragic situation. i mean, look, you have young women ha that are basically volunteering in some cases to give their lives for our country and they put themselves in some cases in a hostile environment. so i think the military has got to be very open about saying any level officer, any level supervisor, if you hear of something, you have to report it up the chain. i can tell you as an officer, if i would have heard of anybody in my command being mistreated not only will i have reported up the chain, i would have dealt with it right there immediately. people need to be encouraged to do that. you have to have the freedom to feel right where you.

>> there was a wonderful image this week far apart from some of these horrible stories that we've been following, and that was freedom tower in new york and the spire being put atop it 1776 feet. david brooks , what did this mean?

>> finally, a little recovery. it took a long time. i've been up on the top of that thing.

>> i would never go to the top of that thing.

>> the building, not the top of that.

>> okay.

>> and you know, it took a long time.

>> yeah.

>> but it means a lot to the city just to walk around the city and look up there and see let's back up there.

>> i was with president bush when he first saw that 9-14-01 and the lattice work sticking up. to see that level of recovery on i an gorgeous day in new york means a lot to the country. we'll take a