Science, the White House, Iraq, and Iran

By Phil Plait | August 15, 2007 2:30 pm

There are so many ways history will remember this White House: the shameful lies, the egregious politics, the elevation of party and greed over country, liberty, and freedom.

I know that along with many others I carry the banner about White House suppression of science, and I know it’s a very important issue, but I’m not a fool; I know that in the long run, that won’t be on the list of the worst things the Bush Administration has done. That is, of course, unless their stance on global warming kills everyone, and/or winds up costing us (and by us, I mean all humans) trillions of dollars. Which it very well might.

Whenever this Administration says anything that even marginally intersects a science issue, I wonder where the lying will begin. This is not mere cynicism; it is based on long experience and observation. Stem cell research, global warming, the EPA, endangered species, the Plan B pill — these have all been spun, folded, and manipulated to fit the Bush Administration’s preconceived politics, as opposed to reality.

And again, it’s possible that in the long run these issues will be smoothed over, or eclipsed by much greater issues.

Like Iraq. I haven’t said much on this blog about the war (except for hammering home that in money alone it costs $11,000,000 every hour of every day), because so many others already do. But then I find out something so incredible I can hardly believe it… until I remember what this White House is capable of.

We are currently "surging" in Iraq, dumping tens of thousands more soldiers into the Viet Nam-esque quagmire in the hope that something good will come of it. The idea was that it would be given a few months to run its course, and then a non-partisan general (General Petraeus) would give an overview of the surge to Congress and the President. The decision to continue or pull out would be based on the general’s report.

Now comes the news — are you ready for this? — that the report will be written by the White House:

Despite Bush’s repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

Hey, how does that make you feel? Warm and squishy inside, knowing how loyal to the truth the Bush White House is? No? Then this will make you feel even better:

And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report’s data.

So the White House will take the general’s report, write it up themselves, present it to Congress, and then, in the end, it’s the White House that will decide how to act on it.

Do you hear that muffled screaming? It’s George Orwell yelling, "I told you so!"

And for those of you who will no doubt poopoo this and try to minimize it, try this New York Times article on for size:

The Bush administration is preparing to declare that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is a foreign terrorist organization, senior administration officials said Tuesday.

If imposed, the declaration would signal a more confrontational turn in the administration’s approach to Iran and would be the first time that the United States has added the armed forces of any sovereign government to its list of terrorist organizations.

We went to war in Iraq over a series of lies. We knew there were no WMD’s; inspections for a decade made that clear. We knew Saddam Hussein was not a clear and present danger to the US. We knew there was no connection between Al Quaeda (remember them?) and Iraq. And it obviously wasn’t to free the Iraqi people, because more nations have more suppressed populations, and have it much worse than Iraq.

Now we’re seeing the buildup to Iran.

The press is already calling Bush a lame duck, and that assertion is clearly ridiculous. With over a year left in office, what more disasters are we careening toward?

I know that the crushing suppression of science imposed by the White House is putting a metaphorical gun to the head of our children, but it’s becoming very, very clear that in other issues, that gun is not metaphorical at all.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Piece of mind, Politics

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