It is safe to say the Bush administration has presided over some of the most radical changes in modern times.
It also has kept America in the dark on a lot of issues, just as previous administrations have toyed with the truth. However, the liberties taken by the Bushies have more serious implications than their predecessors.
“Now there are some who would like to rewrite history; revisionist historians is what I like to call them,” President Bush rebuked those still questioning the invasion of Iraq, as quoted in a June 16 Reuters article.
Just three days after making this proclamation, The New York Times reported the latest state of the environment report by the Environmental Protection Agency will exclude a lengthy analysis of the potential harm global warming poses.
The White House is said to have edited the section to a few innocuous paragraphs because the data no longer fits the “scientific consensus” concerning the topic.
While it is no surprise that the administration wants to minimize the emphasis on global warming in the report, its method is flawed. The rationale of unanimous consent discredits the work of thousands of reputable scientists.
Some will recall the speculation over links between Saddam Hussein and terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. On June 15, Former NATO Supreme Commander Wesley Clark admitted on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that he was urged to publicly link the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to Saddam Hussein. With the war over, the focus has shifted from this raison d’action to the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
The reason is simple. The intelligence suggesting the links between Hussein’s regime and al-Qaeda were either exaggerated or false.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that a number of ranking intelligence officials, reading over the still-confidential report on the issue, thought the intelligence behind the link was weak.
What of the U.S. News & World Report article that found Secretary of State Colin Powell recoiling in shock, declaring the evidence prepared for presentation to the United Nations as “bulls–t?”
Since then, multiple organizations have declared the justification for war existed only in stretched truths.
In comparison, the Clinton administration was caught in quite a few more gaffes than the current administration. However, you did not see the refusal of releasing vital information to such considerable degrees.
With Clinton, America got a lot of spin and tawdry tales of campaign finance violations and private liaisons. In either case, no major breach of authority occurred, to say nothing of Clinton’s fervent willingness to use executive orders to push policy into law.
By contrast, Bush has taken the power and prestige of the Oval Office and often used it to manipulate and obscure issues.
That often translates into human lives being affected, including the 193 American soldiers who have perished since the outbreak of the war.
No one should be surprised by a politician’s lies or secrets, but few have become concerned.
Whether it is due to fear of reprimand, apathy or blind allegiance, the lack of effectual outcry will continue to allow the current administration to rewrite history in its own image.
Christopher Harrop, Kansas State University