Thursday, June 09, 2005
White House Calls Editing Climate Files Part of Usual Review.
Andrew C. Revkin | June 9
NYT - Bush administration officials said yesterday that revisions to
reports on climate change made by Philip A. Cooney, a former
oil-industry lobbyist now working at the White House, were part of the
normal review before publishing projects that involved many agencies.
Report Shows FBI's Missed Sept. 11 Chances.
Pete Yost | Washington | June 10
AP - The FBI missed at least five opportunities before the Sept. 11
attacks to uncover vital intelligence information about the terrorists,
and the bureau didn't aggressively pursue the information it did have,
the Justice Department's inspector general says in a newly released
critique of government missteps. The IG faulted the FBI for not knowing
about the presence of two of the Sept. 11 terrorists in the United
States and for not following up on an agent's theory that Osama bin
Laden was sending students to U.S. flight training schools. The agent's
theory turned out to be precisely what bin Laden did. "The way the FBI
handled these matters was a significant failure that hindered the FBI's
chances of being able to detect and prevent the Sept. 11 attacks,''
Inspector General Glenn Fine said.
Can't think of any good Amnesty International jokes.
are doing good work and getting slammed for political gain by the Shrub
and company, all of who would quickly sell their own mothers into
slavery if they could get a decent asking price. We can't save Amnesty
International, but we can pull off a stunt to entertain you, introduce
some favorite bloggers to larger audience, and most importantly, raise
money to give to Amnesty International.
It's Pandagon Blog-a-thon 2005. 8AM EST on Saturday the 11th to 8AM
EST Sunday the 12th, Jesse and I, along with some guest bloggers, will
be updating this blog at least once every half-hour. I have like ten
bands to see, a going-away party for a friend and neighbor, and a
brunch with another friend from out of town during this time. Jesse's
got a loaded social calendar as well. No matter! We will blog and blog
and blog! And in the end, we hope to have a fat check to give Amnesty
The donation button is on the sidebar. Thanks for your help! We
can't stop torture and other human rights abuses overnight, but we sure
as hell can help. [Pandagon]
Jesse Helms: Still Scum.
I thought he was dead. Jesse Helms has decided to make clear in his memoir that yes, he's still a racist s-o-b.
Helms mea culpa on AIDS, not integration
â€śWe will never know how integration might have been
achieved in neighborhoods across our land, because the opportunity was
snatched away by outside agitators who had their own agendas to
advance,â€� according to the uncorrected proof. â€śWe certainly do know
the price paid by the stirring of hatred, the encouragement of
violence, the suspicion and distrust.â€�
If we blacks had simply bided our time, and wait for the rights we
duly deserved to be dribbled out to us by the Jesse Helmses of the
world, we'd be so much better off. I bet if we had done the right thing
and elected Strom Thurmond president on the segregation ticket, we
wouldn't have all these problems - right, Trent Lott?
They can't avoid thinking this way. It's like its embedded on their DNA. [Oliver Willis's blog]
Hooman Majd: Dr. ElBaradei Goes to Washington
Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the IAEA (International Atomic
Energy Agency) is due in Washington on Thursday, having been summoned
by Condoleeza Rice for a meeting. In Vienna, where Dr. ElBaradei is
based, reports (AP) say he won’t heed U.S. calls for him to become
tougher on Iran in exchange for U.S. support for his campaign for
another term, while in Washington, the NY Times reports that the
administration has signaled that it will no longer object to his
appointment to a third term next Monday at an IAEA Board meeting. The
good news is that Washington’s objection to Dr. ElBaradei’s continued
directorship is echoed by no other board member, so dropping it is
merely a face-saving move on the part of the U.S.
But Dr. ElBaradei’s situation is a key indication of how the Bush
administration views diplomacy and the work of international agencies.
This administration has made it clear that their preference for the
directorship of the IAEA (or indeed any international body), is someone
who will echo American claims and who will do our bidding, no questions
asked. Dr. ElBaradei’s sin, in the eyes of John Bolton and other
administration officials, is that he has been absolutely impartial in
his dealings with Iraq (prior to the war) and with Iran (ever since).
In Iraq, the U.S. wanted him to quickly declare Saddam Hussein wildly
in pursuit of nukes and hiding other WMDs, while with Iran the U.S.
wants him to simply declare that that country is in violation of the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty. In both cases, ElBaradei has been
right in taking the positions he has: his inspectors were in Iraq
attempting to prove U.S. claims and were withdrawn only when our bombs
were about to fall on them and the country, and in Iran he has merely
said that there is no concrete proof that the regime is pursuing
weapons rather than energy, although his inspectors are there trying to
find out. As for Iran being in violation of the NPT, well, technically
they’re not, even if they resume enrichment, so what the U.S. wants is
for him to abandon his impartiality, the one asset he has in dealing
with a Third World suspicious of CIA involvement in every international
body. And what would be wrong with that, since surely it’s better to be
safe than sorry? What if he took a much stronger stand against Iran, or
had been quicker to judge Iraq? Leaving aside any moral or legal
questions (we hardly want our own judges and juries to be anything less
than impartial), if the Director of the IAEA had gone to the Dick
Cheney school of diplomacy he might have received more invitations to
Crawford but probably none from Tehran. And that’s where it’s more
important for him to be welcome.
The Bush administration seems to have forgotten that diplomacy is a
human endeavor designed to avoid, rather than start, conflict and war.
How, if the Director followed American instructions and declared Iran
in violation of the NPT, would conflict be avoided? What could Iran
possibly do, other than accelerate its weapons program, kick out any
inspectors, and mobilize its troops?
- Hooman Majd
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
Chris Mooney: The Stories Behind the Story
Yesterday, New York Times global warming ace Andrew Revkin broke the story
of how an official at the White House Council on Environmental
Quality--Philip Cooney, formerly of the American Petroleum
Institute--has tinkered with the wording of government reports on
global warming to exaggerate scientific uncertainty. Published on the
front page of the Times, and coming just after Tony Blair
arrived in the U.S. to pester Bush about climate change, Revkin's
article was bound to draw considerable attention. Indeed, in
yesterday's press gaggle, White House spokesman Scott McClellan had to
put on an impressive display of public relations jujitsu just to head
off a feeding frenzy of reporters peppering him with questions about climate science. It was truly a sight to behold.
But what nobody pointed out is the following: Andy Revkin has broken
numerous similar stories over the past several years. In each case,
they create a stink for the administration, but because of the short
attention span of the media, it's only a temporary one. Then business
as usual resumes -- as does the routine politicization of science,
apparently -- while I suppose that Revkin starts working on the next
Let's just take a look at some examples of what Revkin has exposed
over the years about the Bush administration's politicization of and
interference with climate science and government climate scientists:
April 2, 2002:
Following urging by energy interests, the Bush administration pushes to
have leading scientist Robert Watson--who is "highly regarded as an
atmospheric chemist by many climate experts," according to
Revkin--removed as chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change. Watson is indeed later replaced by a scientist
from India.Does anyone detect a pattern here? (Besides the fact that Andrew Revkin is a good reporter I mean.)
September 15, 2002:
An annual Environmental Protection Agency report on air pollution omits
its section on global warming "for the first time in six years," Revkin
reports, a decision made "by top officials at the Environmental
Protection Agency with White House approval." "There's a complete
paranoia about anything on climate, and everything has to be reviewed
widely," one EPA insider tells the Times.
June 19, 2003:
The White House Council on Environmental Quality drastically edits the
global warming section of an EPA report on the state of the
environment, leaving the section "whittled to a few noncommittal
paragraphs." "Among the deletions," writes Revkin, "were conclusions
about the likely human contribution to warming from a 2001 report on
climate by the National Research Council that the White House had
commissioned and that President Bush had endorsed in speeches that
year." An internal EPA memo--which you can download here--objects
that due to the White House changes, the report "no longer accurately
represents scientific consensus on climate change." Ultimately the EPA
decides to drop the global warming section from the report entirely.
April 25, 2004:
NASA cracks down on its scientists, telling them they are not allowed
to do interviews or otherwise comment on the global warming disaster
flick The Day After Tomorrow. ''It's just another attempt to
play down anything that might lead to the conclusion that something
must be done'' about climate change, gripes one government scientist to
Revkin, who can't use his name "because of standing orders not to talk
to the news media."
October 26, 2004:
NASA climate expert James Hansen--sometimes called the "father of
global warming" for his 1988 congressional testimony calling attention
to the problem--goes public with allegations that agency administrator
Sean O'Keefe instructed him not to discuss "dangerous anthropogenic
interference [with the climate], because we do not know enough or have
enough evidence for what would constitute dangerous anthropogenic
interference.'' Hansen, a government employee, lays it on the line to
denounce the Bush administration's approach to climate science just
days before the presidential election.
This list sets Revkin's latest story, about the Council on
Environmental Quality and its editing of scientific reports, into a
much deeper context. Not only has the office done this before; it has
been previously caught in the act for it by Revkin and the Times.
So there's a very long history here, and the current news is just one
episode among many. Moreover, despite this long history, and despite
repeated complaints from government scientists and whistleblowers, the
Bush administration shows no inclination of ceasing to interfere with
government climate science on a regular basis. Indeed, it refuses to
admit there's even a problem.
Moreover, Andrew Revkin is just one reporter out of many who's been
covering interference with climate science by the Bush administration.
For a totally different example--now switching over to the Washington Post -- see here.
I suppose it's possible that every last one of these news stories might
be based on massive distortions and a hefty helping of liberal media
bias. But it doesn't seem very likely, does it? - Chris Mooney
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
Private property 3.
Or: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Road to Serfdom" OK, as
promised, here's one biblical story/passage I find utterly bewildering:
Genesis 47. This isn't the story of a villain, like the story of Ahab's
murderous usurpation of Naboth's vineyard, but...
Hillary Gone Wild.
Hillary busted out of the gate this morning with one of those
take-no-prisoners addresses that does our shriveled little partisan
hearts such good:Mrs. Clinton, who is running for a second term in 2006
and is widely described as a possible...
Nabobs of NABA.
It was an experiment. The Initiative represented the government's
interest in not only controlling the otherworldly menace, but in
harnessing its power for our own military purposes. The considered
opinion of this council is that the experiment has failed. ......
Blogging over at The Washington Monthly, Ezekiel Emanuel has penned one
of the most woefully unconvincing critiques of single payer health care
I have ever read. In two posts, (one, two), he raises these
objections: "Americans are simply...
Kos is arguing that bloggers should be eligible for a media exemption
to the FEC reporting rules. The media exemption gives journalists the
right to say whatever they want about a candidate without reporting
their expenditures to the FEC. I...
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7/1/2005; 6:37:31 AM.