Bush Appointee Blocked 2006 Surgeon General's ReportSun, July 29, 2007 - 3:30 PM
given after the link to the story - TR
Bush Appointee Blocked 2006 Surgeon General's Report
Christopher Lee and Marc Kaufman of the Washington Post
report in Sunday 29 July 2007edition that a 2006 report urging
Americans to help tackle global health problems was kept
from public view largely because it did not promote White
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Richard H. Carmona, who commissioned the "Call to
Action on Global Health" while serving as surgeon general
from 2002 to 2006, recently cited its suppression as an
example of the Bush administration's frequent efforts
during his tenure to give scientific documents a political
twist. At a July 10 House committee hearing, Carmona did
not cite Steiger by name or detail the report's contents and
its implications for American public health.
After a long struggle that pitted top scientific and medical
experts inside and outside the government against Steiger
and his political bosses, Carmona refused to make the
requested changes, according to the officials. Carmona
engaged in similar fights over other public health reports,
including an unpublished report on prison health. A few
days before the end of his term as the nation's senior
medical officer, he was abruptly told he would not be
End of excerpts from:
Bush Appointee Blocked 2006 Surgeon
Christopher Lee and Marc Kaufman of the Washington
Post report in Sunday 29 July 2007
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Scientists claim Bush bends data
The International Herald Tribune 02-18-2004
Distortions are said to serve policy goals
More than 60 influential scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates,
have issued a statement asserting that the Bush administration
has systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy
goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear
weapons at home and abroad.
The sweeping accusations on Wednesday were discussed
later in a conference call organized by the Union of Concerned
Scientists, an independent organization that focuses on technical
issues and has often taken stands at odds with administration
policy. The organization also issued a 38-page report Wednesday.
The statement and report accuse the administration of repeatedly
censoring and suppressing reports by its own scientists, stacking
advisory committees with unqualified political appointees, disbanding
government panels that provide unwanted advice, and refusing to
seek independent scientific expertise in some cases.
According to the report, the Bush administration has misrepresented
scientific consensus on global warming, censored at least one report
on climate change, manipulated scientific findings on the emissions
of mercury from power plants and suppressed information on condom use.
The report asserts that the administration allowed industries with
conflicts of interest to influence technical advisory committees and
subjected prospective members of scientific panels to political litmus
tests. "Other administrations have, on occasion, engaged in such
practices, but not so systematically nor on so wide a front," the
statement from the scientists said, adding that they believed the
administration had "misrepresented scientific knowledge and misled
the public about the implications of its policies."
Kurt Gottfried, an emeritus professor of physics at Cornell University
who is chairman of the board of directors of the Union of Concerned
Scientists, said the administration had "engaged in practices that are
in conflict with spirit of science and the scientific method."
John Marburger 3rd, science adviser to President George W. Bush
and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the
White House, said it was important to listen to "the distinguished
scientific leadership in this country." But he said the report by the
Union of Concerned Scientists consisted of a largely disconnected
list of events that did not make the case for a suppression of good
scientific advice by the administration.
"I think there are incidents where people have got their feathers
ruffled," Marburger said. "In most cases, these are not profound
actions that were taken as the result of a policy. They are individual
actions that are part of the normal processes within the agencies."
D. Allan Bromley, the science adviser to President George H.W. Bush,
the current president's father, went further. Bromley, a physicist at
Yale, called the statement "clearly" politically motivated and said it
was made up of "sweeping generalizations."
The Union of Concerned Scientists denied that it had political motives
in releasing the documents as the 2004 presidential race began to take
clear shape. The organization's report, Gottfried said, had taken a year
to prepare, much longer than planned, and was released as soon as it
was ready. "I don't see it as a partisan issue at all," said Russell Train,
an administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under Presidents
Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. "If it becomes that way, I think it's because
the White House chooses to make it a partisan issue." The letter was
signed by luminaries from a broad array of disciplines. Among the Nobel
winners are David Baltimore, Leon Lederman, Norman Ramsey, Harold
Varmus and Steven Weinberg. Signatories and the union's report can be
found at www.ucsusa.org.
The New York Times
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