Time to stop pussyfooting around.
George W. Bush is a liar.
Many in his administration are liars as well.
They wouldn’t know the truth if it walked up and bit them in the ass.
For the past few months, the pro-Bush forces have told us the jury is still out on whether or not he told the truth about weapons of mass destruction and some other key misstatements of facts that were used to justify the invasion of Iraq.
The war, Bush told us in his grandstanding photo op on board an aircraft carrier, ended May 1 (although the relatives of the 139 and counting Americans who have died since then might disagree with him) and our troops still haven’t found any WMD, any proof of a link between Saddam and al Qaeda, any weapons-level uranium and some other things he and his cronies assured us would be there.
But lets put that aside for a moment, shall we, and look a little closer to home, to the city of New York, where even before the dust and smoke from the ruins of the World Trade Center had settled, the Bushies ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to lie to the American people.
According to a report issued by Nikki L. Tinsley, EPA Inspector General, the Bush administration ordered the agency to withhold vital information from the American public regarding significant health hazards in the New York City air after the World Trade Center disaster.
At White House direction, the EPA issued five press releases within 10 days of the attacks, and five more by the end of 2001, reassuring the American public the air was safe to breathe. In fact, it wasn’t and it wasn’t until June 2002 that the EPA determined the air had returned to pre-Sept. 11 levels. By that time, thousands of New York City workers and residents had already developed serious respiratory ailments and other problems from the PCBs, soot and dioxin in the air, not to mention the thousands who went to New York to help with the rescue and cleanup efforts.
On the day following the attacks, then EPA deputy administrator Linda Fisher’s chief of staff sent an email to all agency senior personnel saying all media statements had to be cleared through the White House’s National Security Council. The White House Council on Environmental Quality coordinated all contact between the EPA and the NSC.
James Connaughton, chairman of the environmental council, admits the White House directed EPA to add and delete information that was slated to be released publicly and that the White House ordered the agency to withhold any and all information about any danger in the air quality.
Cannaughton claims the decisions were made “because of national security,” an old, tired excuse that is all too often used to justify major league screwups.
How, for example, is “national security” served by telling Americans that air is safe to breathe when it is not? What “national security” purpose is served when Americans are told to work in areas where the air is unsafe and they are not advised of the risks?
It isn’t, but that simple little fact is lost on an administration that doesn’t give a damn about ordinary Americans. Not when there is a larger political agenda and monied special interests who must be served and protected at all costs.
In recent days, another report, this one by the General Accounting Office shows EPA eased pollution restrictions on oil companies, utilities and other manufacturing companies by using only supporting data from the companies and not from independent research or monitoring.
“Because it lacked comprehensive data, EPA relied on anecdotes from the four industries it believes are most affected,” the GAO said. “Because the information is anecdotal, EPA’s findings do not necessarily represent the program’s effects across the industries subject to the program.” The industries affected just happened to be among the largest financial supporters of George W. Bush’s political campaigns.
Congressional investigators also found the agency took the action at the direction of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, home of the same administration that is currently refusing to turn over documents from Vice President Cheney’s Energy Task Force. Investigators believe the documents show the oil industry has an “undue influence” over administration policy not only in energy matters but also on justifying the war against oil-rich Iraq.
Lawyers for the administration argue that the documents are “not relevant” to the Congressional probe and contain “no significant information.” If not, then why not release them? What are Bush and his boys trying to hide?
What I believe they are trying to hide is proof of an intentional program of lies, deceit and misconduct, not only in the administration of government policy, but also in dealing with the American public and our allies.
This is an administration that fears the truth and hides from the glare of public scrutiny. This is an administration that cynically used public fears from the 9-11 terror attacks for political gain, dismantled the First Amendment to prevent public examination of their actions and empowered thugs like John Ashcroft to ride roughshod over the Constitution. This is the administration that invoked a little used military tribunal law to arrest and hold thousands without due process and then fought all efforts to discover even the names of those held. This is the administration that ordered federal agencies to fight all requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act and hide even the most mundane of decisions under the shadowy guise of “national security.”
Sorry. This outfit no longer deserves the protection of reasonable doubt or the chance to “see how things turn out in the end.” Their continued abuse of power and violation of public trust provide what the lawyers call prima facie evidence of misconduct and malfeasance in office. They have proven themselves to be a pack of liars and a cabal of miscreants who snuck in the back door of the presidency during a tainted election in 2000 and should be shown the door when the next election comes around in November 2004.
Assuming, of course, that our country can survive their misdeeds and mismanagement until then.