"Shocked! Shocked, I say!" -- scientists catch on to Bush's science scams

Well, it's only taken three years, but finally some prominent members
the scientific community have begun speaking out against the many
blatant distortions of scientific information, abuses of the scientific
authority and outright censorship of scientific research that have
characterized the Bush administration from day one. Better late than
never, I suppose.

Seth Borenstein writes for the Knight Ridder Newspapers:

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - A group of more than 60 top U.S. scientists,
including 20 Nobel laureates and several science advisers to past
Republican presidents, on Wednesday accused the Bush administration
of manipulating and censoring science for political purposes.

In a 46-page report and an open letter, the scientists accused the
administration of "suppressing, distorting or manipulating the work
done by scientists at federal agencies" in several cases. The Union of
Concerned Scientists, a liberal advocacy group based in Cambridge,
Mass., organized the effort, but many of the critics aren't associated with it.

White House Science Advisor John Marburger III called the charges
"like a conspiracy theory report, and I just don't buy that." But he
added that "given the prestige of some of the individuals who have
signed on to this, I think they deserve additional response and we're
coordinating something."

[LW: Translation -- Damn, we've been caught! What lie do we
float now?]

Back to the story ......

"The report charges that administration officials have:

_Ordered massive changes to a section on global warming in the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2003 Report on the Environment.
Eventually, the entire section was dropped.

_Replaced a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet
on proper condom use with a warning emphasizing condom failure rates.

_Ignored advice from top Department of Energy nuclear materials
experts who cautioned that aluminum tubes being imported by Iraq
weren't suitable for use to make nuclear weapons.

_Established political litmus tests for scientific advisory boards. In
one case, public health experts were removed from a CDC lead paint
advisory panel and replaced with researchers who had financial ties to
the lead industry.

_Suppressed a U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist's finding
that potentially harmful bacteria float in the air surrounding large hog farms.

_Excluded scientists who've received federal grants from regulatory
advisory panels while permitting the appointment of scientists from
regulated industries."

The full report can be found at the website of The Union of Concerned Scientists.