This quote has been tossed around lately in regard to President Obama's claims that he didn't know that IRS agents were discriminating against non-profit applicants which used the names "Tea Party," "Patriot," or "9/12."
According to this Wikipedia page, King Henry II and Thomas Becket were feuding, and the king made a remark in the presence of some knights that got Becket killed. The quote above is actually incorrect, according to said Wikipedia page, and a more accurate version is supposed to be this:
What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and promoted in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born clerk!
Dutifully shamed, four knights took it upon themselves to go to Canterbury on December 29, 1170, and assassinate Becket.
And likewise the IRS agents, inflamed by the hostile rhetoric coming from the President about his political opponents, knew that they could make a difference. Since those Tea Party people were racist hicks anyway, it was all OK. It was for the greater good. Who could let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by such low-born provincials?
Unfortunately for the IRS agents, Obama will use them as human shields to protect himself. If any heads roll, it will be theirs.