Or how about Climategate? Species Destruction-gate? These slippery underhanded methods have become so synonymous with the Bush administration, they shouldn’t even be surprising any more.
A White House official has been repeatedly altering climate reports in order to downplay the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. And — coincidence? — this White House official used to be a lobbyist for the oil industry.
During 2002 and 2003, the Chief of Staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Philip Cooney, routinely made changes to reports after they were already completed by government scientists and approved by their supervisors.
The altered documents were obtained by the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit group that provides legal help to government whistleblowers. A senior scientist from the Environmental Protection Agency said this editing “has somewhat of a chilling effect and has created a sense of frustration” among government scientists.
Is there anything the Bush administration says that we can trust? “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” “Mission Accomplished.” “Freedom is on the march.” “These tax cuts will create jobs.” “This draconian new drug law will help The Children.”
The 1998 movie “The Truman Show” should be making a big comeback any day now. After 4½ years of smoke and mirrors from the Bush administration, we should all know exactly how Jim Carrey felt when he discovered that his whole life was just a TV show. His house and neighborhood were nothing but stage props, and all of his friends and family members turned out to be just actors.
That’s where we’re headed. The “news” turns out to be an infomercial prepared by the Bush administration. “Press conferences” are nothing more than softball questions lobbed to the president by White House stooges. “Town hall meetings” turn out to be completely orchestrated, with a handpicked audience and all the questions scripted and rehearsed. “Demonstrations” and “rallies” in favor of dismantling Social Security turn out to be organized and rehearsed, with a pre-selected audience.
The bloodiest massacres in Iraq are explained with “Look! The enemy is getting desperate! This means we’re winning!” With every massive downsizing / outsourcing we hear “the tax cuts are creating jobs. The economy is getting better.” A law allowing more air pollution is called the “Clear Skies Initiative.” A giant giveaway to the timber industry is called the “Healthy Forests Initiative.”
I’m almost afraid to imagine what this administration’s next Orwellian stunt will be, and how Bush will spin it. Anybody want to guess?