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Science Fiction

By PAM BERNS
According to the Los Angeles Times, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona says that political appointees censored his speeches and challenged him with political interference on issues such as contraception, smoking and disparities between whites and blacks in medical treatment. This is non-news to most of us who are used to reading about this administration’s manipulation of truth, be it global warming, bombing Baghdad with “Shock and Awe,” kickbacks from lobbyists, obstruction of justice, secret wiretaps, torture and rendition of prisoners. Former surgeon generals told Carmona that they did not experience the level of interference in their jobs as Carmona did. This administration has literally turned over to private industry lobbyists control of our public lands, forests and treasures to men and women who went through the revolving door between government and lobbyist and business positions, not people who historically served the public in their previous roles. And yet, many of the people who have served in the Bush years, such as Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill or former Environmental Protection Agency boss Christine Todd Whitman have left disillusioned and compromised. Bush and Cheney have awarded themselves power that our constitution does not recognize. But they cannot keep the truth from an educated people indefinitely. We have paid the price of believing them for too long. We cannot solve the most important problems of this century with political manipulation and ignorance.

Published: July 11, 2007