Monday, November 26, 2007

What you don't know can't hurt Bush

With the help of p3 correspondent Doctor Beyond, I used to try to keep track of all the information the government normally made available to the public that the Bush administration was, now, as a matter of routine, keeping buried.

I finally gave up--there was just too much.

As TPM put it,
They've discontinued annual reports, classified normally public data, de-funded studies, quieted underlings, and generally done whatever was necessary to keep bad information under wraps.

Well, the good news is that TPM sicced two of its research interns on it, and have come up with, if not quite the definitive list (in this case, that would almost be like proving a negative), a pretty extensive list all the same. (p3's own research intern left months ago with my five dollars, supposedly stepping out to get me a large Earl Grey decaf with a splash of half-and-half and a toasted bagel, and never returned.)

Do you think you're entitled to the truth? For example:
Do you think we should know what the Surgeon General would have said in Congressional testimony about stem cell research?

Think we're entitled to know whose names are on the visitors logs for the Vice President?

Or what the U.S. Geological Survey's scientists are finding in their global warming research?

Ditto with the Centers for Disease Control?

How about presidential records dating back (surprise!) to Reagan?

How about information from the Department of Health and Human Services about substance abuse and treatment options for gays and lesbians?

Or photographs of servicemembers' coffins returning from overseas?

Or IRS information on the job performance of its own people?

Or monthly statistical data on the number and size of layoffs by US corporations?

Well, Bush and Cheney have determined that you can't handle the truth!

Some of these will sound familiar, but the list just goes on and on and on.

Keep in mind, this is not information about the nuclear launch codes. This is information that other administrations have routinely provided to the public about government performance, or the economy, or government whistleblowers, or public safety--or the weather--and in many cases the administration is required by law to provide the information it's refusing provide.

Even if we elected the best possible president in 2008, who in turn assembled the best possible team, it would still take years--decades--to undo the harm that Bush and his people have done to our form of government.

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