Another year has almost passed under the Bush Administration, and so it's time to review how much less we know.
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Last year, we launched the insanely ambitious project of recording every significant instance of this administration stifling government information. As we said then, "they've discontinued annual reports, classified normally public data, de-funded studies, quieted underlings, and generally done whatever was necessary to keep bad information under wraps." To be sure, the list will continue to grow through January, 2008.
TPMm research hounds Adrianne Jeffries and Peter Sheehy set to updating our already extensive tally, and those items have been added below (don't miss our new section on global warming!). But TPMm readers made the list what it is, so if you see something else that should be on there, let us know, and we'll update it accordingly.
So, without further ado, the list! Some notable additions:
* Does the intelligence community disagree with the administration's take on Iraq, Iran, or al Qaeda? Don't expect to hear about it. In October 2007, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell reversed the practice of declassifying and releasing summaries of national intelligence estimates.
* In July 2007, Richard Carmona, President Bushâs first Surgeon General from 2002-2006, testified to Congress that when he attempted to speak publicly about stem cell research, he was âblocked at every turn, told a decision had already been made, stand down, donât talk about it.â He also testified that political appointees vetted his speeches âin such a way that would be preferable to a political or ideologically pre-conceived notion that had nothing to do with science.â Carmona was precluded from speaking openly with reporters.
* On June 2007, the New York Times reported that Dick Cheney's resistance to "routine oversight of his officeâs handling of classified information" is so intense that he has "suggested abolishing" the National Archives unit that monitors classification in the executive branch. Because Cheney has repeatedly refused "to comply with a routine annual request from the archives for data on his staffâs classification," "the Information Security Oversight Office, a unit of the National Archives, [has] appealed the issue to the Justice Department, which has not yet ruled on the matter." In a related effort to prevent the release of information about his office, Cheney has also instructed the Secret Service to destroy copies of visitor logs.