July 09, 2008

Confederacy of Dunces Lumbers On In Its War on Science

image courtesy of totalobscurity.comPointing out the instances of dishonesty perpetrated against scientific findings is almost too trite to bother with. Writing about the shriveled mechanical blackness that substitutes for a conscience in the psyche of Dick Cheney is doubly so. Still, the latest revelation of Cheney's attempts to suppress information about climate change needs to be highlighted. His attempt to remove the findings of studies related to the potential impact of climate change on public health are beyond the pale, so over the top, so demonstrative of how this administration is willing to sacrifice the well-being of Americans for the benefit of corporate cronies, so totally immoral that I simply can't let it pass without comment.

Cheney's office accused of censoring climate data

By Frank Davies, Mercury News Washington Bureau

Vice President Dick Cheney's office last year blocked testimony on how global warming endangers public health, a former Environmental Protection Agency official said Tuesday.

It was the strongest evidence yet of White House efforts to censor data on climate change.

Jason Burnett, former top adviser on climate change to EPA chief Stephen Johnson, made several other damning revelations in a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, also released Tuesday. Among them: new information about the recent disclosure that White House officials had refused to open an e-mail from the EPA with its findings on global warming...

In October, Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was prepared to testify before Boxer's committee that climate change "is likely to have a significant impact on health," warning of extreme heat and weather, water-borne diseases and food and water scarcity.

But Cheney's office and the Council on Environmental Quality effectively deleted six pages of Gerberding's testimony, Burnett said: "CEQ requested that I work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change..."
This is disgusting stuff, and Americans ought to be outraged that people in their government are attempting to cover up findings related to issues that stand to profoundly impact their lives. This is not some small thing; this is an abrogation of an elected official's primary responsibility to the governed. The people deserve to have access to the findings of studies that not only point out what their future may hold but are being paid for with the money that they themselves pay to their government with their taxes in the first place. What they do with that information, and whether they agree or disagree with it, is a secondary consideration. They have to know that the information exists first, and for Cheney to interfere with that basic right should be enough to have him removed from office, hung up by the ankles and used as a piñata at a child's birthday party in Turkmenistan.

Let's just hope that what we get for a new administration come January 2009 will be better and more concerned with the health and well-being of the American people than these black-hearted sons and daughters of jackals that we're saddled with until then. It's hard to conceive of an administration that would be worse in this regard.

Still, we shouldn't worry about Cheney's career after ShrubCo plods off into the annals of governmental ignominy. I'm sure there are job openings out there for an experienced puppy-strangler and propagandist for which he'll be well-qualified.

The preamble to the Constitution of the United States doesn't seem to be taken too seriously these days, but so far the Ministry of Truth hasn't quite managed to get it expunged. As a reminder, it reads:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
I'd say that knowing about possible outbreaks of disease and famine touch at least a little on the general welfare and that an informed citizenry is necessary for the preservation of liberty, but what do I know? I'm just one of those crazy liberals who thinks that a government owes honesty to the governed before all other things. What a wacky concept!

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