Bush Is An Asshole. Believe It.
I have never used language like that in over three years of blogging on this site. But there is still a common misconception that Bush might somehow be a well-meaning fool who has just stumbled (through no fault of his own) into a very difficult situation. That is total crap, and it's time we all dropped the meme.
Consider this as definitive proof. Faced with a global disaster which would have repercussions for generations to come, Bush opted for secretive manipulation of intelligence and active suppression of those who spoke out.
This is from the Financial Times, via MSNBC:
The Bush administration has routinely suppressed or distorted communication of climate change science to the public, a climate specialist at Nasa's Goddard Institute said on Tuesday.Here is the Guardian version:
The accusation, before the chief oversight committee in the House of Representatives, was reinforced by claims by Democratic lawmakers that the White House was withholding documents proving that Philip Cooney, a former Bush administration official who now works as a lobbyist for ExxonMobil, regularly edited climate reports for political reasons.
At a hearing of Congress, scientists and advocacy groups described a campaign by the White House to remove references to global warming from scientific reports and limit public mention of the topic to avoid pressure on an administration opposed to mandatory controls on greenhouse gas emissions.Tell me, what could be worse than this? You have evidence before you that the entire world is facing a major crisis and you suppress it because...?
Such pressure extended even to the use of the words "global warming" or "climate change", said a report released yesterday by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Government Accountability Project. The report said nearly half of climate scientists at government agencies had been advised against using those terms.
Yesterday's hearings, overseen by the new Democratic chair of the House committee on oversight and government reform, Congressman Henry Waxman, follow years of complaints by scientists that the Bush administration was seeking to put its own spin on scientific research at government agencies. They also complain of a reduction in funding for climate research since the 1990s.
The committee was warned that the campaign by the Bush administration discouraged free academic inquiry. "If you know what you are writing has to go through a White House clearance before it is to be published, people start writing for the class," said Rick Piltz, a former senior associate at the US Climate Change Science Programme. "An anticipatory kind of self-censorship sets in." ...
In the survey of 1,600 government scientists by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 46% had been warned against using terms like global warming in speech or in their reports. The scientists interviewed were working at seven government agencies, from Nasa to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Forty-three percent of respondents said their published work had been revised in ways that altered the meaning of scientific findings. Some 38% said they had direct knowledge of cases where scientific information on climate was stripped from websites and printed reports.
Because the people who have most to lose from the truth are the same people who put you into office.
There is no excuse for this. Say what you will about Iraq and a thousand and one other Bush policy blunders. This one surely caps them all. We are talking about the long-term future of the entire planet. Get your head around it.
Bush is an asshole.
And now, I want you to imagine this...
You wake up one day and read the news. Bush has been arrested a few months ago and is now facing a public trial. But that is not even the main focus of your attention. It is not even the main focus of the global media's front page headlines, because it goes without saying (by then) that everyone involved with the corrupt Bush/Cheney administration must be severely punished for a multitude of sins.
What is really important (by then) is undoing all the damage that has been done. And that is what you, and the global media, and the world, are focussed on.
Go and make it happen.