Saturday, August 27, 2005

"Bush White House Afraid of the Truth"

To simply say “Bush White House Afraid of the Truth” as does the Democratic Party in the title of the below report is, at least the way I see it, an oversimplification. At the same time, the report is factually correct and helps to point out how far we have been moved by the Bush/Cheney cabal from this nation’s alleged “Democratic principles” upon which the nation was founded.

Bush and Company have no concept of the meaning of the word “truth.” For them truth is nothing more than “perception management” thru which they try and manufacture consent. It’s not that they are, as stated in the title of the following report, “afraid” of the truth, it’s that Bush&Co sees nothing past their Leo Straussian/Machiavellian ideology. For Bush/Cheney & Co, that is the only “truth.”

“Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist David Suskind says a top White House official said to him: "You're part of the reality-based community, one who believes that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. ... That's not the way the world works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study, too."

An excellent curent example is what the Bush/Cheney & Co attack dog(s) Karl Rove have initiated behind what Cindy Sheehan has stired up in a broad base of the American publics hearts and minds. Bush/Cheney respond with their usual condemnation, denigration and character assassination. After all, it was not that far back the George W. Bush told us, “I’m the commander--see, I don’t have to explain—I don’t need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.” (George W. Bush—Washington Post, 11-19-2002)

In the meantime the slaughter in Iraq continues--So much for spreading “freedom and democracy.” Bush/Cheney & Co. are uniters—they have united most of the civilized world against this nation and still they refuse to step outside the “Twilight Zone” they live in.--Jack

DNC Report: Bush White House Afraid of the Truth

Washington, DC - When the reality of inconvenient facts or opinions collides with their official rhetoric, the Bush Administration will smear and often times fire long-serving and hard-working government employees and bury or withhold crucial information. For example, Army Chief of Staff General Shinseki was fired after he said that the occupation of Iraq would require several hundred thousand troops, and the administration buried a report on poor working conditions in Central American countries prior to CAFTA's approval.

Two more examples of the Bush Administration's fear of the truth came to light this week. According to news accounts, the White House fired a senior Justice Department official after he attempted to "publicize findings that police treated Hispanic and black drivers more aggressively than whites during traffic stops," despite objections from Bush political advisors. [Washington Post, 9/25/05; New York Times, 9/24/05] It was also reported today that the White House is blocking a report it commissioned on bilingual education because it ran afoul of the Administration's political and policy goals by casting "doubt on the efficacy of teaching immigrant children through English-only lessons." [USA Today, 8/25/05]

“When confronted with the truth, the Bush White House smears and fires the messenger or simply buries information that does not toe the Administration line,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. “Honest answers from this Administration are hard to come by. The American people deserve real leadership and responsible government from their Commander-in-Chief, not a disturbing pattern of abusing power.”

See below for a new document from DNC Research:

THE REPUBLICAN SMEAR MACHINE CONSTANTLY IN MOTION

Republicans follow a tried and true tactic of attacking, smearing, and sliming anyone who might get in their way or threaten their political survival. Their ongoing effort to discredit Joe Wilson and their destruction of his wife's career is just the latest in a long line of questionable tactics that the Bush Administration, Karl Rove, and Ken Mehlman consistently use to protect themselves and retain political power.

ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF PUNISHED FOR TROOP LEVEL ASSESSMENT

Shinseki Punished For Honest Assessment Of Troop Levels Needed In Iraq; Retribution Intimidated Commanders.

Then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki told Congress in 2003 that the occupation of Iraq would require "several hundred thousand" troops. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz called that estimate "wildly off the mark." The Pentagon leaked the name of Shinseki's replacement months before his scheduled retirement, rendering him a lame duck. The Washington Times reported that some officers said privately that the rebuke intimidated commanders in Iraq. [UPI, 4/12/04; Washington Times, 4/10/04]

FORMER COUNTER-TERRORISM CHIEF SMEARED FOR CRITICISMS

Richard Clarke Smeared After Talking About White House Lackadaisical Attitude Towards Al-Qaeda.

The Bush White House worked hard to discredit its counterterrorism czar, Richard Clarke, after he wrote a book suggesting the president let down his guard on al-Qaida because of an obsession with Iraq. After Clarke testified to White House inadequacies, the White House assailed Clarke's motives. "In an interview evening, Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director, dismissed Mr. Clarke's charges as 'politically motivated,' 'reckless' and 'baseless.'" [New York Times, 3/22/04; AP, 11/16/04]

White House Tried To Paint Picture of Disgruntled Former Employee.

After claiming that Clarke is linked to Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said, "Mr. Clarke has been out there talking about what title he had... He wanted to be the deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department after it was created. The fact of the matter is, just a few months after that, he left the administration. He did not get that position. Someone else was appointed to it." [White House Briefing, 3/22/04]

Cheney Claimed That Counterterrorism Chief Was Not "In the Loop."

Cheney: "[Clarke] wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff... It was as though he clearly missed a lot of what was going on." [Cheney to Rush Limbaugh, 3/22/04]

White House Asked the CIA to Declassify Select Material to Highlight "Contradictions."

In response to Richard Clarke's call on "Meet the Press" for "all" of his testimony to be classified, NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported, "NBC News has learned, at the request of the White House, the CIA is already going through Clarke's testimony to Congress to see what could be declassified, supposedly to show contradictions. All part of an unrelenting White House counteroffensive." [NBC Nightly News, 3/29/04]

Frist Called Clarke Apology to 9-11 Families Arrogant and Manipulative.

Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) said "In his appearance before the 9/11 commission, Mr. Clarke's theatrical apology on behalf of the nation was not his right, his privilege or his responsibility. In my view it was not an act of humility, but an act of supreme arrogance and manipulation." [Frist Statement, 3/26/04]

TREASURY SECRETARY FIRED FOR OPPOSITION TO TAX CUTS

O'Neill Fired For Expressing Misgivings Over Bush's Additional Tax Cuts.

Paul O'Neill, his first treasury secretary, was fired after expressing misgivings about the need for additional tax cuts proposed by the president. [AP, 11/16/04]

Administration Launched Investigation After O'Neill Wrote A Book. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld called O'Neill twice after hearing he was writing a book on the Bush administration. Rumsfeld called it a "sour grapes" book. Soon after the book was published the Treasury department launched an investigation into whether O'Neill shared secret documents with 60 Minutes. Ron Suskind, the author of the book, who was given access by Mr. O'Neill to 19,000 documents that were turned over to him by the department after his departure, said the document that was shown on "60 Minutes" was the cover sheet for a February 2001 briefing paper on planning for a post-war Iraq. But he said Mr. O'Neill was not provided with the briefing paper itself. [New York Times, 1/13/04; New York Times, 1/14/04]

ECONOMIC ADVISER FORCED TO RESIGN

Lindsey Forced to Resign After Citing Large Cost of Iraq War.

White House economic adviser Larry Lindsey annoyed the White House in September 2002 when he suggested that war with Iraq would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion, an estimate administration officials insisted was too high. In December 2002, the White House requested Lindsey resign from his post. "While I think this economic team has clearly had problems working together, I think the criticisms of Larry Lindsey have often been inconsistent and unfair for someone who was loyally carrying out the president's agenda, however much I disagreed with it," said Gene Sperling, Mr. Lindsey's immediate predecessor under Mr. Clinton. [New York Times, 12/8/02; Houston Chronicle, 12/7/02]

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS DIRECTOR FIRED FOR BUDGET CRITICISM

Army Corps Director Fired For Comments On Bush Budget.
"Mike Parker, director of the Army Corps of Engineers and a former Republican congressman from Mississippi, testified on the Hill that Bush budget cuts would have a 'negative impact' on the Corps and that he had no 'warm and fuzzy' feelings toward the administration. A furious [Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell] Daniels sent a transcript of Parker's comments to the White House. Soon after, he was given 30 minutes to resign or be fired." [Christian Science Monitor, 12/17/02; USA Today, 3/14/02]

PARK POLICE CHIEF FIRED FOR CRITICISM OF BUSH POLICY

Park Police Chief Fired For Comments On Bush Policy.

U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers was suspended from her job when she said her "understaffed department had to curtail critical patrols in Park Service jurisdictions beyond the Mall, such as major parkways and crime-ridden U.S. parkland in neighborhoods, because of Interior Department orders requiring more officers to guard downtown national shrines... For responding with the truth to questions from The [Washington] Post and other news outlets about staffing in her department, U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers has been placed on leave and notified that superiors in the National Park Service and Interior want her fired." [Washington Post, Editorial, 12/24/03]

Department of Interior Threatened Lawsuit Against Chambers; Turns Down Gag Deal.

The Department of Interior's Park Service announced that it wanted to fire Chambers in December and was considering pressing charges related to release of sensitive information, lobbying, insubordination and breaking the chain of command. Chambers rejected an offer from the National Park Service that would have resulted in all charges against her being dropped in exchange for her agreeing to receive permission before speaking to Congress or the media. [Greenwire, 1/21/04]

REPORT CRITICAL OF CAFTA BURIED BY WHITE HOUSE

Bush Administration Worked to Keep Secret a Report that Was Critical of CAFTA.

The Labor Department began in spring 2004 to maintain secrecy for nation-by-nation studies that were critical of working conditions in Central American nations included in the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The contractor, the International Labor Rights Fund, was hired by the Labor Department in 2002 to conduct the studies. The Department instructed the contractor to remove the reports from its Web site, ordered it to retrieve paper copies before they became public, banned release of new information from the reports, and even informed the contractor that it could not discuss the studies with outsiders. [AP, 6/29/05]

Study Had Concluded that CAFTA Nations Had Poor Working Conditions and Failed to Protect Workers Rights.

The Labor Department has now worked out a deal with the International Labor Rights Fund to make the reports public-- provided there is no mention of the Department or government funding. The government-paid Labor Department studies concluded that countries proposed for free-trade status have poor working environments and fail to protect workers' rights. According to the government report by the International Labor Rights Fund, "In practice, labor laws on the books in Central America are not sufficient to deter employers from violations, as actual sanctions for violations of the law are weak or nonexistent." [AP, 6/29/05]

Bush Administration Has Already Begun a Preemptive Campaign to Undercut the Study's Conclusions.

According to the Associated Press, "Used as talking points by trade-pact supporters, a Labor Department document accuses the contractor of writing a report filled with 'unsubstantiated' statements and 'biased attacks, not the facts.'" [AP, 6/29/05]

WHITE HOUSE OMITTED KEY PORTIONS OF MERCURY REPORT

White House Selectively Edited Scientific Findings to Minimize Mercury Risk.

According to hundreds of pages of documents and e-mail messages, White House staffers played down the toxic effects of mercury while writing new rules to regulate mercury emissions from coal fired power plants. The White House staffers deleted or softened information on the health risks associated with mercury from coal-fired power plants. In some cases, White House staff members suggested phrasing that minimized the links between power plants and elevated levels of mercury in fish, the primary source from which Americans accumulate mercury in their bodies. [New York Times, 4/7/04]

REPORTER SMEARED FOR REPORTING ON TROOP MORALE

ABC News Reporter Smeared By Bush Administration For Documenting Low Troop Morale.

After ABC News reporter Jeffrey Kofman did a story on "World News Tonight" detailing low morale among the troops serving in Iraq, the Bush Administration sought to discredit the messenger rather than refute the message. The internet's Drudge Report published a headline that read: "ABC News correspondent who filed troop complaints story is openly gay, Canadian." Site publisher Matt Drudge later told the Washington Post that "someone in the White House communications shop tipped me" to the ABC correspondent's piece and the Advocate profile. [Chicago Tribune, 7/23/03; Washington Post, 7/18/03]

INS AGENTS DEMOTED FOR POINTING OUT LAX SECURITY

INS Agents Demoted for Discussing Lax Security On Canadian Border.

Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Agents Mark Hall and Robert Linderman were demoted from their positions after they told reporters that United States security at Canadian borders was lax. The demotions were later over-ruled by INS Commissioner James W. Ziglar after a report by the INS Office of Special Council found that Hall and Linderman were not aware of rules against INS agents speaking with the media. [Washington Post, 4/6/02]
http://www.democrats.org/a/2005/08/bush_white_hous_1.php

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