6.08.2005

do we see a pattern?

Conservative pundits on the government payroll. Fake journalists in the White House press corps. Every day, another Orwellian deceit is uncovered from this fun-house mirror of an administration.

Today's exposed lie?

Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming.
A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.

In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.

The dozens of changes, while sometimes as subtle as the insertion of the phrase "significant and fundamental" before the word "uncertainties," tend to produce an air of doubt about findings that most climate experts say are robust.

Mr. Cooney is chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the office that helps devise and promote administration policies on environmental issues.

Before going to the White House in 2001, he was the "climate team leader" and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. A lawyer with a bachelor's degree in economics, he has no scientific training.
Story - with interesting graphic - here.

15 comments:

Crabbi said...

Hell yes, there's a pattern. Loathsome, lying, hypocritical shameless mofos. (Excuse me for not putting that more elegantly - not feeling well.)

We progressives are so fond of language and typically conscientious about its proper usage, so I'd like to make a suggestion. I want to start reclaiming some of the words and phrases that the right have hijacked. "Disingenuous" is ours. I am claiming it. Also, we get "personal responsibility," since we actaully practice it and these clowns do not. You used that phrase in an earlier post and I thought, "How refreshing." I've been so used to hearing conservatives throw that around and I hated the association, so I've avoided it - that, or used air quotes (and a sneer) when I said it.

G said...

The Pattern Of Politics.

Happens in all governments - the question is how serious are the consequences of the lie?

Here in Canada, there is the sponsorship deal, which while a trust issue really it has little impact on the state of the country, the economy, the people, etc. Regardless of the outcome, little in the country itself, or its standing in the world, is going to change. We're upset within our Canadian bubble, sure, but the larger picture outside that bubble remains unaffected.

Likewise with the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and the lies within. Really made no difference other than give a boost to independent and online media. But to the country itself? Politically, economically, worldwide standing - nothing changed because of it. As well it shouldn't have.

But this current admin is a different story altogether. These are lies that have put the country at war, cost the lives of innocents on both sides (I include the soldiers in this) and bred terrorism against the country. Along with creating a politically divisive atmosphere and sinking the country economically. Oh, and killing the environment. Can't forget that one.

Lies will happen in all administrations. Everyone is trying to protect something. So in a sense this is no big surprise. Shame the lies had to be what they were ... would anyone really care if Baby Bush slept with an intern, or resumed his coke habit (what changed when the DC Mayor was busted)? But when the lies involve putting yourself above the world, the deaths of innocents, the destruction of the environment, the splitting of your population and the death of your economy, well, then what will whatever it is they're protecting be worth in five years' time?

Oh, to see an administration once again that thinks beyond its four-year term ...

L-girl said...

Happens in all governments

It does NOT happen in all governments to the extent that it is happening here and now. "No big surprise" and other expressions of cynicism is a form of letting them off the hook.

Clinton/Lewinsky and Marion Barry's coke habit don't even come close to anything that has happened here. Both are utterly inconsequential.

Democracy itself is at stake here. It's not just politics as usual, ho hum.

L-girl said...

"I want to start reclaiming some of the words and phrases that the right have hijacked. "Disingenuous" is ours. I am claiming it. Also, we get "personal responsibility," since we actaully practice it and these clowns do not."

I second the suggestion. Those of us who are patriotic, let's get that one back, too. Faith, anyone? And not just the religious kind.

Of course there's the big one:
LIBERAL.

G said...

Didn't say it did. Read my comment a second time.

"But this current admin is a different story altogether. These are lies that have put the country at war, cost the lives of innocents on both sides (I include the soldiers in this) and bred terrorism against the country ...

... But when the lies involve putting yourself above the world, the deaths of innocents, the destruction of the environment, the splitting of your population and the death of your economy, well, then what will whatever it is they're protecting be worth in five years' time?
"

Underscores exactly what you wrote in your response. Except for the part about lies not happening in every government. You're fooling yourself there. It's all in the extent, and the agregiousness, of the lies, that makes the difference.

G said...

To be clear:

I'm not making excuses. No one can for this admin. Lies were told, and we see (and many live) the consequences every day. And justice needs be done. Though what justice would make up for what has happened ... perhaps none could. That said, the "I" word would be a good place to begin.

And yes a coke habit and a mistress are no comparison - but they are examples of lies nonetheless, no matter how insignificant by comparison. Which was the original point re govs in general.

I don't think we're too far apart on this one, LG ... I think we just have different ways of making the similar points. :-)

L-girl said...

G, I read your comment well, I knew you weren't making excuses for them, or comparing the inconsequential personal lies to the massively important ones.

I meant only to drive home the point. Even putting the Clinton so-called scandal in the same sentence as these people makes my blood boil!

I'm not fooling myself. Of course all govts lie. Govts are made of people, people lie, therefore...

However, I do think what is happening in the US right now is on a scale and with an intent that doesn't come along every four years. I feel they are actually dismantling the democratic system, while keeping the appearance of democracy intact. It attracts less attention than tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue, but it's having the same effect.

Nixon circumvented the system, got caught, was punished (though not enough!). These guys are doing more, worse, and waltzing away.

L-girl said...

And yes a coke habit and a mistress are no comparison - but they are examples of lies nonetheless, no matter how insignificant by comparison. Which was the original point re govs in general.

But my point is that the difference is not one of scale, it's one of substance. The coke and the girlfriends weren't government lies. They were personal.

Personal failings, some would say immorality - but Clinton and Barry weren't acting in their governmental capacities. Even if one feels their lies were horrendous and unforgiveable, they were still personal. It was Bill Clinton the man, not President Bill Clinton representing the United States.

That's why I feel so strongly that there is no comparison. Yes, all govts lie, and I'm sure the Clinton adminstration did, too. But the Lewinsky scandal isn't an example of that.

G said...

Well, lines blur on it.

Personal life lie. While in power.

Add in the administration did all it could to circumvent (and distract from) the process of investigation. Basis for Wag The Dog, actually.

So from that perspective, a govt lie. The way I look at it, anyway ... you see it differently, cool.

But it's a point of contention that is aside from the greater issue. On scale of intent, which is THE issue, I'm with you all the way.

L-girl said...

Yes, very true. We certainly agree on the most important parts of this mess.

I'm no big Clinton supporter, either - not by a long shot.

G said...

Check this out from The Cunning Realist.

Writing on Iraq/Vietnam, and hope within the comparison:

"It took five years and a far higher number of casualties for the American public to even begin to sour on the Vietnam War the way it has on Iraq after just two years."
...
"Up until now I've thought that most people were too busy flipping spec homes or following the Michael Jackson case to care about something like a war."

Full post, including an excerpted article highlighting these points, here.

PS Cunning Realist is an excellent blog. One to add to your reading list for sure!

L-girl said...

Thanks G! That is definitely a great blog.

The post sounds like what I've been reading from Howard Zinn. Good stuff.

G said...

Another one for you.

Zen And The Art Of Digression

Pokes clever fun at the Bush explanations. Especially today's post.

G said...

... and one more:

(it's from the Washington Post so you may have already seen it)

Commentary on Bush/Blair news conference

Looks like someone finally had the balls to pop the big question about a little street named Downing.

Full Transcript of news conference here

G said...

Okay. I lied.

Fitting, isn't it? ;-)

But this, on topic, is too good a post to not promote in this comment collection.

See it on A Voice In The Wilderness, another truly great blog out there.