Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Government of Liars

I sympathize with the American people for, while they've made some stupid mistakes these past eight years, I can't think of a time in the last six decades when the population of a Western nation has been so overwhelmed by such a malevolent pack of liars in office.

Word of caution here. I am NOT suggesting the Bush regime is on some sort of par with the Hitler administration, not at all, nothing of the sort. That said, I don't think that state propaganda has been brought to bear on a populace so powerfully and effectively as by the Bushies since Joseph Goebbels and, even then, he openly called himself a propagandist.

It's easy for us to judge and heap scorn on the American people but when have we ever been subjected to such a subversive onslaught of deceit, fear mongering and hate mongering from our own government? We haven't. Not to say there aren't those north of the 49th who wouldn't try but we haven't experienced the traumatic underpinning the Americans suffered on 9/11 to let them get away with it.

They lied their way into wars without end. They lied about their tax cuts and the prosperity it would bring to all. They lied about the danger of environmentalism. It's been one lie atop the next until lie has become indistinguishable from truth.

Now we learn - surprise, surprise - that political appointees (commissars) in NASA's public affairs office, "worked to control and distort public accounts of its researchers' findings about climate change for at least two years, the inspector general's office said yesterday."

From the Washington Post:

"James E. Hansen, who directs NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and has campaigned publicly for more stringent limits on greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, told The Post and the New York Times in September 2006 that he had been censored by NASA press officers, and several other agency climate scientists reported similar experiences. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are two of the government's lead agencies on climate change issues.

From the fall of 2004 through 2006, the report said, NASA's public affairs office "managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced, marginalized, or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public." It noted elsewhere that "news releases in the areas of climate change suffered from inaccuracy, factual insufficiency, and scientific dilution."

Lest we yield to the temptation to get smug about this, remember this is pretty much exactly what Harpo has done by gagging Environment Canada scientists and requiring their communications with the outside world to be subjected to his political commissar's censorship from the PMO.

"Kristin Scuderi, a spokeswoman for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in an e-mail that director John H. Marburger III "would not comment until he's reviewed the report, and he has not yet done so yet. Therefore, OSTP has no comment at this time."

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), one of the senators who pressed for the investigation, said in a statement that the report showed that citizens had been denied access to critical scientific information that should inform public policy.

"Global warming is the most serious environmental threat we face - but this report is more evidence that the Bush Administration's appointees have put political ideology ahead of science," Lautenberg said. "Our government's response to global warming must be based on science, and the Bush Administration's manipulation of that information violates the public trust."

I suppose it must be some comfort to the White House to know that, even if John McCain loses in November, there'll still be an administration nearby to keep alive the Bush legacy of secrecy and deceit. That is until we send them packing and restore democracy to Canada.

I remember the day when we used to mock and ridicule the Soviet Union for just this sort of thing.


WesternGrit said...

My tears are for the raging masses that believe this stuff over and over and over and over again... Anything the media feeds them, they believe.

We really need to ensure the security of a democracy by TEACHING everyone about their democracy, and teaching them the value of a vote - in school - in mandatory civics courses.

It's time we did something to ensure that people are better educated, and not as prone to be taken in by a quick soundbite, or a platform full of misdirection and "non-policy"...

The Mound of Sound said...

Good point on the need to kickstart education, WG. The question is how do we go about that? About the only thing I agree with Jack Granatstein any longer is the need to restore Canadian history to its pride of place in our elementary and secondary schools.

In the 80's I hired a receptionist straight out of high school. She'd won some pretty impressive accolades from her school and community, located in the Fraser valley.

One day, out of the blue, I offered her a $5 a week raise for every Canadian prime minister she could name other than Chretien, Mulroney and Trudeau? Then I offered her the same deal to name an American president other than Washington, Lincoln, Reagan and Bush (Sr.). Guess how much that cost me? I asked her if she'd heard of Zimbabwe or Idi Amin. A blank stare. I turned and walked into my office, saying that when Mr. Diefenbaker called to put him straight through. It was then that I first realized we were heading for trouble.

WesternGrit said...

It'll have to be a Provincial effort, but I think the Federal Government (not this one - they don't care about education) can take the lead, and can actually provide funding for "Canadian History/Civics" - to ensure these elements are a focus of our education system from coast to coast - and to ensure that "no Province is left behind"...