The untold story of the Bush administration's penchant for secrecy

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ARogueTrader, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. Breaking News 12/12/03

    INVESTIGATIVE REPORT: The untold story of the Bush administration's penchant for secrecy

    How the public's business gets done out of the public eye

    Friday, Dec. 12, the PBS television program NOW with Bill Moyers will air a report on Bush administration secrecy produced in collaboration with U.S. News. Please visit for stations and airtimes in your area. The U.S. News article, "Keeping Secrets," will be publshed in Monday's edition. Full text will be available on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 6 p.m.

    The Bush administration has removed from the public domain millions of pages of information on health, safety, and environmental matters, lowering a shroud of secrecy over many critical operations of the federal government.

    The administration's efforts to shield the actions of, and the information held by, the executive branch are far more extensive than has been previously documented. And they reach well beyond security issues.

    A five-month investigation by U.S. News details a series of initiatives by administration officials to effectively place large amounts of information out of the reach of ordinary citizens, including data on such issues as drinking-water quality and automotive tire safety. The magazine's inquiry is based on a detailed review of government reports and regulations, of federal agency Web sites, and of legislation pressed by the White House.

    U.S. News also analyzed information from public interest groups and others that monitor the administration's activities, and interviewed more than 100 people, including many familiar with the new secrecy initiatives. That information was supplemented by a review of materials provided in response to more than 200 Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the magazine seeking details of federal agencies' practices in providing public access to government information.

    Among the findings of the investigation:

    Important business and consumer information is increasingly being withheld from the public. The Bush administration is denying access to auto and tire safety information, for instance, that manufacturers are required to provide under a new "early-warning system" created following the Ford-Firestone tire scandal four years ago. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, meanwhile, is more frequently withholding information that would allow the public to scrutinize its product safety findings and product recall actions.

    New administrative initiatives have effectively placed off limits critical health and safety information potentially affecting millions of Americans. The information includes data on quality and vulnerability of drinking-water supplies, potential chemical hazards in communities, and safety of airline travel and others forms of transportation.

    Beyond the well-publicized cases involving terrorism suspects, the administration is aggressively pursuing secrecy claims in the federal courts in ways little understood--even by some in the legal system. The administration is increasingly invoking a "state secrets" privilege that allows government lawyers to request that civil and criminal cases be effectively closed by asserting that national security would be compromised if they proceed.

    ?New administration policies have thwarted the ability of Congress to exercise its constitutional authority to monitor the executive branch and, in some cases, even to obtain basic information about its actions.

    There are no precise statistics on how much government information is rendered secret. One measure, though, can be seen in a tally of how many times officials classify records. In the first two years of Bush's term, his administration classified records some 44.5 million times, or about the same number as in President Clinton's last four years, according to the Information Security Oversight Office, an arm of the National Archives and Records Administration.

    MEDIA CONTACT: Rchard Folkers, Director of Media Relations( or 202-955-2219)
  2. Bill Moyers symbolizes all that's wrong with public tv. He is a leftwing hack who has made a career out of whining about Republicans at taxpayer expense. Bill, we're not interested. You bore us.
  3. Classic Hannityism style response from AAA. Rather than deal with the information and charges of Bush's secrecy he makes a personal attack on Moyer, even going so far as suggesting that his opinion is representative of "we" and "us."

    AAA, you are becoming far too predictable, a living breathing caricature of a right wing extremist brain dead ditto head.
  4. Suddenly I'm not allowed to voice my opinion about a leftwing blowhard who has grown fat on taxpayer dollars over decades?

    He is a perfect example of why public broadcasting should be either shut down or severely restrained in its programming. It is a one-way attack on the average voter and their values. I don't have a problem if CNN wants to do that, since I'm not forced to subsidize it, but Moyers can't get a commercial gig. Why? Because he is boring, has nothing to say and no one listens to him. If 10,000 people tune in to his latest attack on Bush he will be lucky.

    And as an aside, do you notice even the tiniest irony in criticizing me for making a "personal attack", then calling me a "right wing extremist brain dead ditto head"?
  5. Allowed to voice your opinion? Who is stopping you?

    Equally, I am voicing mine.

    Public broadcasting should be shut down? Severely restrained in their programming? They should conform to your own particular sense of what should air, what should be public?

    A one-way attack on the average voter and their values? What values are those? If only 10,000 voters tune in, what are you afraid of?

    Do I notice the irony?

    Sure, it was intentional. You clearly recognize the techniques, don't you?

    All of this is just distraction on your side, intended to take the focus away from Bush & Company practices of secrecy. More Hannityism.

    Why would you not want the American people to know about FACTS of Bush's secrecy?

    Either it is a FACT that Bush and company are the most secretive bunch of controlling freaks we have ever had in the White House, or they aren't.

    Why fear this going to air? Let the people decide.

    Just because you deem something or someone to be left of your right, doesn't make it untrue, or not in the public interest to have the information aired.
  6. Pabst


    Rogue: You picked the wrong guy to defend. Moyers started his career with Sen. Lyndon Johnson and later was Johnson's press secretary in the White House. Lyndon Johnson makes George Bush look like George Washington cutting down the apple tree. No President in history lied to the American people with such brazenness as LBJ. As press secretary, Moyers was partisan abettor numero uno. Besides the fact that he has fed handsomely at the public trough for almost 5 decades, he has been a one way train, preaching the fiscal expansion of the Federal Government, and the imprudent continuation of Johnson's failed great society.

    If you don't know the revelation's on the Gulf of Tonkin incident, THE pivotal moment in America's involvement in the Viet Nam war, read this article. Tapes released by the LBJ library seemingly confirm that LBJ grossly deceived the American public. While Moyer's wasn't White House PS until the year after GOF, (1965-1967) it's doubtful, given his access and longtime friendship with LBJ that he didn't know the real story.

    PS. This link is from an ultra PRO-DEMO web site!
  7. Wow, talk about staying on topic!
  8. Pabst


    Is Moyer's credibility not an issue? Am I supposed to read a synopsis of Moyers propaganda about Bush administration secrecy and not be skeptical that LBJ's lying ex press secretary has a biased agenda?

    Just the fact that this administration has only classified twice as many documents than Clinton's is telling. Since 9/11 you don't think there's shitload's of studies, reports that should be secret? Or is it important that the public has access to studies on what types/quantities of chemicals are needed to poison American's drinking water.

    It's certainly no more disingenuous for me to attack Moyers, than it is for him to use the Firestone tragedy as a representative catalog of the types of documents that the admin is keeping out of the public domain. Conservatives are not advocating an Orwellian secret government. Yet it's naive to think that in these perilous times, when information sharing is at a ridiculously accessible juncture, that documentation of methods vital to U.S. security should not be guarded.
  9. Moyer is presenting information from an article that will appear in U.S. News and World Report.

    Are you questioning the credibility of the U.S. News and World Report?

    Friday, Dec. 12, the PBS television program NOW with Bill Moyers will air a report on Bush administration secrecy produced in collaboration with U.S. News. Please visit for stations and airtimes in your area. The U.S. News article, "Keeping Secrets," will be publshed in Monday's edition. Full text will be available on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 6 p.m.

  10. Anything to avoid the truth of the topic of Bush & Company and their secrecy and control tactics, eh?

    These guys who are going after Moyers obviously shoot the messenger.
    #10     Dec 13, 2003