My mother, Mary Babarovich, had an uncle John Babarovich who died in 1916 and is buried in the Anacortes, Washington cemetery with the rest of the family. His tomb stone stands out from the rest because of what is written on it. It says: "Known among men as Honest John." Truth and honesty is an important part of the American culture especially in the West. Standing up and being accountable, speaking out when things aren’t right, and taking the blame when you deserve it, are all part of our American heritage and part of what made this country great. But, today the situation is closer to the lyrics of the song by billy Joel:
"Honesty is such a lonely word; Everyone is untrue. Honesty is hardly ever heard, And mostly, what I want from you."
Honesty is what we want from the Bush Administration. The fact is that this administration has consistently lied, covered up and used political spin at the expense of the truth as a matter of administration policy. I’ve reported about this before "Doublespeak and this administration" 11/29/06 Recent examples include the news reporting the fact that Monica Gooding, U.S. Attorney General Gonzales’ counsel and white house liaison will take the Fifth Amendment if called to testify about the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. This, after Mr. Gonzales’s was shown to have lied to Congress about his role in the matter. And the media says the Pentagon lied when it insisted for weeks that former NFL football star Pat Tollman had been killed by gorillas in Afghanistan. In fact it’s now been documented that four generals and nine other officers were fully aware of the fact that fellow soldiers mistakenly killed him and were covering up about it.
That’s what is upsetting about the example set by the Bush-Cheney Administration. Systematic lying, stone walling and cover up have been the politically motivated choice of this administration since being in office. Finding the right political spin by advisor’s like Karl Rove replace any concern for the truth which is simply ignored or concealed. This administration has exceeded the political maneuvering we unfortunately have come to expect from politicians to an extent unprecedented in presidential administrations.
The list of examples is a long one, but the grossest examples start with the calculated lies used to induce invasion of Iraq. However, as bad as that was, there is also the calculated political corruption of scientific integrity by this administration. The FDA, the people’s watch dog over the powerful medical device and drug industry has been infiltrate with political influences to the point of being untrustworthy and failing the American people. I’ve written about this several times. 3/19/07 There has been a corruption of the medical advisor’s to the FDA by the drug manufacturers using financial influence to obtain drug approval. Worse has been the deliberate cheating involving scientific findings that expose the misrepresentations of the Bush policies. There have been documented cases of Bush appointees suppressing scientific findings and revising scientific reports to say something totally different then were written. The Bush administration directed the Centers for Disease Control to not follow the actual birth rate for participants in a study about abstinence only birth control. In order to pleased the religious right and conceal the effectiveness of condom use, the CDC was ordered to emphasize condom failures in its educational material over abstinence. The National Cancer Institute was ordered to post on their web site that abortion promotes breast cancer even though studies showed no connection. There has been blatant gagging of regulatory agencies. See my report of 1/30/07
The administration has packed all of the important regulatory and review boards with unqualified people whose agenda was to undermine regulations of big business and industry. Nominees for appointments were questioned about political views and whether they had voted for Bush irrespective of qualifications for appointment. There has been documentation of manipulation, distortion and suppression of scientific fact finding about client change, mercury emissions, endangered species, forest management and virtually every area of scientific work government is involved in.
There has been a consistent pattern of political lies, concealment and distortion of the truth ever since Mr. Bush was elected to office. These include his public insistence of concern about the environment while take actions which show a total lack of concern in favor of big oil and industry. Then there is Mr. Bush’s public commitment to education and "no child left behind" only to cut spending required to carry out his promises. We also have seen Mr. Bush’s conduct when he polically supported campaign financing only to have him then deliberately torpedo the process causing a temporary falling out with Senator McCain. Then we have the example of Mr. Bush’s "signing statements" in which he avoids having to veto a bill he disagrees with by signing it and then adding a statement that he won’t obey the law he has just signed. See report 1/5/07
These are just some of the example of calculated dishonesty. There are so many other less significant examples which show a pattern of lying like the fact Mr. Bush insisted the infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner had been put up without his knowledge by the Navy only to have to later admit his advance people had put it up. One of Mr. Bush’s most notable flip flops was his original insistance that "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden." However, when it was clear that he had missed the opportunity to do that and wasn’t going to be easily located, Mr. Bush then said "I don’t know where he is. I have no idea and I don’t care." Whatever happened to good old truth and honesty?