Report claims Bush administration misuses or suppresses science data.

From the Tell-Us-Something-We-Don’t-Already-Know department comes word that a 40 page report prepared for Representative Henry A. Waxman (D) concludes that the Bush administration manipulates, distorts or suppresses scientific data for their own political ends.

Bush Misuses Science Data, Report Says – NY Times (Free Registration Req.)

“The administration’s political interference with science has led to misleading statements by the president, inaccurate responses to Congress, altered Web sites, suppressed agency reports, erroneous international communications and the gagging of scientists,” the report added.

The White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, dismissed the report. He contended that its sponsor, Mr. Waxman, who is widely known for his aggressive inquiry into the tobacco industry, was seeking to score political points.

“This administration looks at the facts, and reviews the best available science based on what’s right for the American people,” Mr. McClellan said. “The only one who is playing politics about science is Congressman Waxman. His report is riddled with distortion, inaccuracies and omissions.”

I highlighted a bit of text there because it seems to be confirming the very thing McClellan is trying to deny. That the Bush administration picks and chooses it’s data based on their agenda. The article goes on to cite examples of various policies and reports that the administration has suppressed or modified to play down or remove topics they don’t agree with.

I’ve brought up before how this is just symptomatic of having Evangelical types in the White House. Much like Creationists who want to proclaim Evolution as “just a theory” who then turn around and cite the second law of thermodynamics (itself “just” a theory) as proof that Evolution can’t be possible, Evangelicals tend to pick and choose what they wish to acknowledge from the field of science based on what they feel the truth should be instead of what the truth actually is. This is a dangerous and foolish approach to determining policies that are supposed to be based on scientific research.

You can see this sort of thinking in just about every area of this administration. It’s also why they chose to include the questionable intelligence data in the State of the Union address on Iraq and it’s supposed attempts to gain nuclear materials that turned out to be false. There was some indication from the intelligence community that this was not a confirmed fact, but the administration wanted to use it and so they applied pressure until they got their way. To hell with confirmation, it supports the policy we want to promote!

26 thoughts on “Report claims Bush administration misuses or suppresses science data.

  1. Um, so who is making the determination about what is ‘the best available science based on what’s right for the American people’? I can’t make up my own mind? Given the mental defectives running this government I think I would like to be able to make the decision about what is and isn’t right for me. God save (us from) the president.

    PS: Anyone who want’s to point out that atheists don’t believe in god can save their breath. It’s creative license.

  2. An excellent critical analysis, Les (don’t hold your breath for Stephanopolis or Rather to catch or comment on that one)!  These people are such idealogues they don’t even realize when they’ve tipped their hand.

  3. Hey, the White (is black) House knows what works. They realize the best way to get a christian’s support is to claim sincere agreement with christian ideals and practices. To mislead the scientifically minded they propitiously offer information they’ve perverted, while feigning respect for the methodology used to validate theories.
    A sucker isn’t really born every minute, but chooses to become one by disallowing selfless contemplation of issues and values. Millions achieve the criteria for membership in a halfwit club faster than they can request consideration. This administration then gleefully gathers suckers together and allows them an opportunity to fulfill their pathetic destinies.

  4. I am skeptical about most of what I hear in the news.  Just yesterday CNN said the Japanese were commemorating the bombing of Nagasaki.  The announcer went on to say,

  5. I am pretty sure I made reference to that in one of my rants about how America really had no right to claim the moral high ground in the war with Iraq when the hawks were trotting out the gassing of the Kurds as proof of how ‘evil’ Saddam was. Pot – kettle – black.

  6. Mild Bill,

    Typically your posts are relatively lucid, but I don’t really get the point of your last one.  Are you doubting that we dropped a bomb on Nagasaki because some punk reporter cited the wrong plane?  Are you skeptical that Japan is commemorating this event?  I doubt that these are your issues, but I’m not clear on just what might be.

    Your intention in citing the Tuskeegee experiments is similarly equivocal.  From my own perspective, this event illustrates the depths to which our government has been, and is capable of, sinking.  It also shows that when evidence of official malfeasance is finally released to the public decades after the event, the media (60 minutes, NPR, in this case) treats it as regrettable history, but not as the ongoing affliction of our public systems that it truly is.  When the “iron was hot” in regard to these experiments ( from the 30’s to the 70’s) I’m sure that any loose talk about the study at that time was rapidly quieted with accusations of “conspiracy theories” and admonitions for giving the feds the “benefit of the doubt” (one of your own favorite phrases, I’ve noticed).

    I’m glad that you doubt the controlled show that passes for mainstream news in this country.  However, rather than nit-picking about details like the precise model designations of aircraft involved in events decades old, concern yourself with the crucial information that is being left out of national coverage of current events.

    The effects of depleted uranium ammunition on our troops and on the civilian populations of the countries in which we use it?  – you don’t hear about it.

    Construction of the Unical pipeline in Afghanistan before the war was even over? – you don’t hear about it.

    The administration’s obstruction of every legislative attempt to increase or maintain financial support and remuneration of our servicepeople?  – ditto.

  7. My understanding from a number of sources is that depleted uranium is hazardous when inhaled (as dust), ingested, or present within the body in any form.  Inhalation of particles by those firing these munitions has been posited as a serious concern, as well as people engaged in activities at the target point (blowed-up tanks).  You, through your first-hand experience, are aware of these issues, but you must admit that the mainstream media are devoid of discussions in this regard. 

    We are in a greater degree of concurrence than it would seem.  I am not the Democrat apologist that you cast me as – the Tuskegee crimes that I appall spanned administrations of both parties, and Clinton fired his share of depleted uranium.  Additionally, I have a list of gross conflicts of interest exploited by FDR, Truman, JFK, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton/Gore that make me sick to my stomach.  I am, however, greatly concerned regarding the new heights of obscurity that our government has reached since the inauguration of the current crowd.  I see a radical intensification of what’s been bad for decades, and we need to be careful.

    My critique of your examples of media misinformation (B-52’s rather than B-29/ and now confusion between metric and English ammo designations)was based on my perception that these, while indicative of a general slovenliness on the part of US reporters, do not strongly suggest the intentional dissemination of lies for some ulterior motive.  Conversely, I do not think that statements like the one you supplied by Hannity represent minor details – these are intentional attempts to establish implicit public dogma (like the now-prevalent use of the fictional term “Axis of Evil”).  I am, however, gratified that you finally acknowledge a current problem at the heart of current national malaise.

  8. Amen to that.  No Child Left Behind?  All that leaves is a bunch of right behinds, which by definition is half-assed! rolleyes

    But getting back to the “Axis of Evil” – things like that have a way of taking on a life of their own.  I’ve written Neil Conan, Diane Rehm, etc. a number of times when references to “the other members of the Axis of Evil” were made on their reputedly critical shows as if this were a bona fide multinational organization.  I’ve never gotten an acknowledgment, despite the fact that when I write in that mode I am far less whacky and provocative than in my SEB manifestation (e.g. I have not once brought up any murders committed by Cheney :pirate: and Ashcroft when communicating with NPR personnel or governmental officers).

    When the product of the American school system hears propaganda like that with sufficient frequency, the once-euphemistic AOE might as well have an official logo, a diabolical charter and mission statement, draconian membership dues, and a futuristic boardroom fitted with trapdoors over acid vats :evillaugh: – or sharks.  Electric eels?

  9. Jon H

    Did you read my ENTIRE statement?  How do you account for my counterparts earning nearly 1/3 more in just three years?  And that

  10. Mild Bill, you’re the only guy I see on this site who constantly goes off on a tangent, then bitches about someone else doing it.*grin*
    If you don’t want to be off topic, don’t go off topic; or don’t complain if someone else does.

  11. I need to chime in here in response to Bill’s original comment re: my comment re: the Bushie’s financial disregard for serviceperople.  I had originally compalained about Bush’s “obstruction of every legislative attempt to increase or maintain support and renumeration for servicepeople”

    Perhaps I should have said “attempted obstruction of every….”

    I may not be aware of the way that raises are currently occurring throught the armed forces, but newspieces lke the one that Jon H supplied give ample evidence that the increases you cited are occurring against the desires and despite the efforts of the crooks in the Whitehouse!

    Check these articles out:

    Also look at the archives for even more of this unrelenting pattern (re: admin’s attempts to cut death benefit to bereaved families; drastic attempted cuts in base housing construction and maintainance….).

  12. Hey! Here’s a triple dip from Konspiracy Ken!
    And Bill, it has nothing to do with science!  It is, however, rendered essential by unfolding events.

    I’m just dying to put on the line what scant credibility that I yet possess with you folks – has anyone else noticed that the Big Blackout has totally pre-empted any other network/cable news coverage this evening?

    Additionally, did anyone else notice the big bag of shit opened in Baghdad yesterday, when the blackhawk knocked down that religious banner over a demonstrating crowd? – after which an RPG was fired at the Americans, who responded by firing into the crowd?  Does anyone think that a scenario like this will just dissipate into the 120 degree desert air?

    My paranoid mind also notes that Big Utilities and this administration will do ANYTHING to help each other.  I therefore submit that Cheney, in order to “wag the dog” away from some terrible bloodbath occurring today in Iraq, had their associates on the northeastern grid shut down the show, making news from the front difficult or impossible for many citizens to receive, and giving the rest of us a juicy “breaking story” to obsess about.

    Why would the utilities agree to such a breech of public trust? – Quid pro quo – and the fact that a disastrous blackout would enable them to raise rates astronomically, just the way it worked for their deregulated counterparts in California. 

    I realize that triple dipping is probably a really onerous SEB faux pas, but I figure that Les – hailing from Michi-gasm – is among the blacked-out victims of our treacherous leaders and their henchmen, and therefore will not immediately object. 

    Watch those little-bitty stories on the back page of Section B for the next several days.

  13. I shall rename you Konscientious Ken smile
    (I hope your last name doesn’t start with a “K”)

    I think it

  14. Bill,

    You missed the whole point of my last message re: Bush’e lip-service to servicepeople.  Don’t listen to what the Administration and Pentagon SAY about the issue, look into the wide range of reports for the past six months that show what they support or oppose legislatively.  The two are diametrically opposed.  Hostile-fire pay may be an unworkable concept in today’s world, as you propose, but does it not reflect poorly on our leaders when they use it as a carrot to rally support for war among the troops (as they did!), only to turn around and try to cut it behind closed doors? (ditto on the death benefit)

    To reiterate, they have not been universally or immediately successful in these efforts, but the efforts themselves expose their forked tongues. 

    The cost of the occupation keeps rising, but the money goes to private contractors (i.e. “Friends of W”)who can’t even keep our troops supplied with sufficient water or rations a month after the “end of the war”.

  15. Ken, it’s interesting to imagine that yesterday’s outage event might go deeper than an aging electric grid can explain, but I wouldn’t put anything past Bush and the boys.
    It is at least damning that “scientists and engineers with the National Research Council warned the White House and Congress about the vulnerability of the power grid as recently as November, saying nationwide weaknesses needed to be repaired – and fast.
    Little has been done, despite a chorus of experts who’ve pushed since well before Sept. 11 to fix a grid that’s riddled with threadbare links and plagued by chronic shortages.”

    Additional questions, no doubt, arise from another story:
    In the hours of confusion after Thursday’s outage, Canada’s government offered conflicting explanations for the blackout, insisting it started south of the border. U.S. officials and power industry figures initially blamed Canada, then said Friday they are focusing on a massive electrical grid that encircles Lake Erie.
    Earlier,(Canada’s) Defense Minister John McCallum said Canadian and U.S. security officials will review what caused the huge blackout to examine how to protect against future outages.
    McCallum had blamed a fire at a nuclear plant in Pennsylvania but then backed away from that claim. He said Friday that no one knows exactly what happened – but insisted whatever it was, it happened in the United States.

    ‘The Americans don’t have all the answers,’ he said. ‘The origin of the problem is in the United States, and the United States doesn’t have all the answers.’”
    My first response was why are US and Canadian companies sharing electricity generation resources?

  16. Brock,

    The most frequently cited explanation I have heard suggests that the whole mess may have been the fault of an unscrupulous provider on the grid breaking the “rules” and overloading lines to maximize short-term profits (its been a cool summer, after all).  If this is true, it would have the downside of negating my Konspiracy theory of a couple of days ago. C’est la vie,  I shall return to accuse another day.

    However, the thread of deregulation and privatization inherent to my paranoid scenario remains alive and well.  The “rules” I mentioned above that supposedly govern the individual behavior of the profit-motivated suppliers along our power grids are not rules at all.  They are mere guidelines, with no sanctions whatsoever attached.  Why are we so stupid?  We trust the most basic and crucial materials and services of our civilization entirely to unnaccountable goons who can and do screw at will if thay can squeeze out an extra buck.

  17. Here is an article that has some of the answers to your questions, Mild Bill (plus links to others).  Are you going to continue to credit Bush for what improvements that have been made in military compensation, despite the fact that his administration opposes and attempts to block them at every turn?

  18. I have two ways to go on the whole war on terrorism thing. First approach is…Remember what those dirty assholes did to innocent civilians on our home soil and nuke all of them goofs back into the stone age.  Or, embrace the muslim extremist culture and have our women walk behind us where they belong, kill them if we don’t like what they’re doing and be able to kill anyone we don’t like by denouncing them to the local extremist council.  Kind of a hard choice, but I’ll try to make the right one.

  19. Remember what those dirty assholes did to innocent civilians on our home soil and nuke all of them goofs back into the stone age

    Uhm, so that would make us different from them how, exactly? Are you saying that it’s wrong to ravish nations, but not if Americans do it? Whatever, man. Can I have some of what you’re smoking?

    Or, embrace the muslim extremist culture and have our women walk behind us where they belong, kill them if we don’t like what they’re doing and be able to kill anyone we don’t like by denouncing them to the local extremist council.

    My, my, you certainly live in a black-and-white world, don’cha? Good thing the real world doesn’t operate quite like that…

    Way to post your random thought in an appropriate thread, by the way.

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