It’s amazing to me how many stories are appearing now that address issues that have been floating around since the beginning of this administration. For instance, yesterday’s news that the Union of Concerned Scientists are accusing the Bush White House of manipulating and distorting science to fit their agenda. What the heck took them so long to come to this conclusion? I knew that years ago.
I have a feeling that people were so afraid to speak out against Bush because of a combination of shock over the terrorist attacks and the “if you’re not with us, you’re not a patriot” line that was spewing forth, conjuring images of investigations from our fundamentalist attorney general.
I think that Howard Dean will be fondly remembered as the man who pointed out that the emperor has no clothes, opening the flood gates and letting out all that pent-up frustration and outrage toward this president.
Anyway, from the Union of Concerned Scientists:
Specifically, the administration has distorted and suppressed scientific findings at federal agencies that contradict administration policies; undermined the independence of science advisory panels by subjecting panel nominees to political litmus tests that have little or no bearing on their expertise; nominated underqualified individuals, or individuals with industry ties, to advisory panels; and disbanded some science advisory committees altogether.
** Scientific findings on issues such as climate change, mercury emissions, and reproductive health are being weakened or omitted in government reports and websites.
** Highly qualified scientists have been dismissed from advisory committees on childhood lead poisoning prevention and workplace safety and replaced by less qualified individuals with industry ties. At least two panels dealing with nuclear weapons have been disbanded altogether.
** The White House is proposing new rules that would bar government-funded researchers from serving as reviewers of the science underlying new regulations, while allowing industry-funded scientists to participate in the peer review process.