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The ACLU joins the chorus of those unhappy with the Bush Administration's approach to dealing with science that doesn't fit their policies and restricting information based on homeland security issues.

AP The American Civil Liberties Union charged Tuesday that the Bush administration is placing science under siege by overzealously tightening restrictions on information, individuals and technology in the name of homeland security.

The administration "has sought to impose growing restrictions on the free flow of scientific information, unreasonable barriers on the use of scientific materials and increased monitoring of and restrictions on foreign university students," the ACLU said.

The ACLU also criticized the treatment of foreign students and researchers, complaining that the visa process is too cumbersome and that foriegn scientists are restricted from certain types of research without sound justification.

While I can imagine circumstances where certain types of sensitive intelligence information or defense related research should be restricted, the Bushies have clearly used this pretext for hiding/altering information that is merely counter to their policies and has no clear security risk.

This subject seems to be attracting more headlines recently. The chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality was recently outed for altering a report on Global Warming, quiting his government position, and immeadiately accepting a job working for Exxon (AP).  And Page recently summarized several articles on efforts to weaken the G8 report on global warming. And just yesterday the Union of Concerned Scientists submitted a letter of protest to the Bush Administration concerning their policy of limiting the use of scientific information in endangered species management.

Denver Post Some want the repeal of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife regional policy preventing the use of new genetic data, saying it gives leeway for some populations to be wiped out.  A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policy that critics say may undermine the Endangered Species Act by ignoring new genetic studies in evaluating plants and animals drew a protest letter today from 163 scientists.
The letter, sponsored by the Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit public-policy group, urges that the policy be rescinded.

The Bush adminstration refers to their approach to science as merely part of the "standard editing and review process." We know better. We know it's part of their efforts to fix the facts around their policies.

Our approach to science is one way we Democrats can really distinguish ourselves from the Republican's.  We belong to a party that believes policy should be crafted based on sound information.  Whether it is scientific or intelligence data, we want the facts to help us govern.

When I compile a list of all the places the Bush Administration and their allies have either suppressed, distorted, or changed scientific data and analyses it makes my head reel.

Global Warming
Breast Cancer and Abortion
Abstinence Programs
Endangered Species: Grazing (Chimpy), Genetic Data, Defining Harm
HIV and French Kissing
Birth Control and Sterility
Gays and Adoption
Effects of Mercury
Terry Schiavo's Diagnosis
National Parks (Chimpy)
Water Policy (Chimpy)

Add yours to the list, I'm sure I missed a lot. I'll add them here with attribution as you comment

Knowledge is power.  By creating your own versions of reality you increase your power.  That is until you are found out.  And I hope we are beginning to witness a new interest by the MSM in the Bush Administration's shameful disrespect for reality.

Downlaod the ACLU's report here: The Assault on Scientific Freedom

Originally posted to petewsh61 on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 03:37 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Also: Grazing (none)
    Report on effects of Grazing
    The Bush White House is again dictating science based upon ideology, this time altering a scientific analysis of the environmental impact of cattle grazing on public lands. Never has a modern presidency acted so cavelierly towards scientific knowledge, and with such potential for disasterous impacts. The ecological damage caused by cattle grazing upon range and forest lands is well known. Do the Bush people think this can just be ignored? This is the second example in two weeks of the Bush administration policy-makers rewriting science - the other being downgrading the risk of climate change through strategic edits of supposedly unbiased science by an oil industry stooge. Science needs to stand on its own, particularly matters of global ecological sustainability which will effect us all. This criminal contempt for what science has to tell us in this regard must end.

    Science in National Parks

    Science suppressed again: National Parks edition

    The N.Y. Times is reporting that the National Parks Service has suppressed and failed to act upon a report insisting that NPS needs to "do much more to preserve biological diversity and ecological integrity in the national parks," according to a member of the panel that produced the report.
    That member, Dr. Sylvia Earle, an oceanographer who is explorer in residence at the National Geographic Society, said she and her colleagues had expected that the National Park Service would distribute the report and take action on its findings. Instead, she said, "it has just languished."

    That is unfortunate, Dr. Earle said, because "the sooner action is taken the easier it will be, the less costly it will be, to maintain the health of the systems upon which all of the recreation depends."

    The report did not appear on the Web until this week, when a coalition of retired park employees posted it, accusing the Bush administration of hiding it because of its emphasis on science over recreation.

    Water policy

    Bush's Science Aide Rejects Claims of Distorted Facts

    Source: Copyright 2004, New York Times
    Date:&nbspApril 3, 2004
    Byline:  Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times

    The White House issued a detailed rebuttal Friday to accusations by an advocacy group and 60 prominent scientists that the Bush administration had distorted or suppressed scientific information to suit its politics.

    In a letter to Congress, which had requested a White House response, Dr. John Marburger III, science adviser to President Bush, said most of the accusations were false and in some cases "preposterous."

    In February, the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has long criticized administration policies on issues like biotechnology, global warming and nuclear power, released a 38-page report which found that "There is significant evidence that the scope and scale of the manipulation, suppression and misrepresentation of science by the Bush administration is unprecedented."

    The report was endorsed by 60 prominent scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and people who had served in past Republican administrations.

    Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

    by chimpy on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 03:49:19 PM PDT

  •  puposeful ignorance (none)
    This is a policy extension of what I see as the primary problem and evil in our society - purposeful ignorance.  Nearly every problem we have can be boiled down to this.  The fundamentalists support of an unjust war, corrupt administration and melding of religion and civil law at home form the political base of power of this ignorance movement and then projects that power through policy, law and actions that completely ignore reality and proceed to bash repleatedly our societal heads against solid fact.  

    What surprises me is the tenacity of which they hold on to delusion.  Reality is a difficult and painful place.  Fantasy offers hope but delivers destruction.  This is a timeless problem that starts with each person and spans the body politic.  It has always been there.

    A professor of mine once told me that the job of a teacher is to dis-illusion his students - that is, to remove illusions and bring to reality.  This is not always a pleasant.  

    George Bush's power rests solidly and purposefully on the deluded and the ignorant, driven by the insane and the greedy.  It is not a surprise that the projection of that power is also deluded and ignorant.  Do not forget that they (Rove) do this on purpose.


    Don't let Bush fix Social Security the way the vet fixed your dog!

    by YetiMonk on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 04:15:04 PM PDT

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