From the front lines of the GOP War on Science:
Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional committee today that top officials in the Bush administration repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.
Dr. Carmona, who served as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, said White House officials would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues because of political concerns. Top administration officials delayed for years and attempted to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand tobacco smoke, he said in sworn testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
And more from the Times article:
On issue after issue, Dr. Carmona asserted, the Bush administration made decisions about important public health issues based solely on political considerations, not scientific ones.
“I was told to stay away from those because we’ve already decided which way we want to go,” Dr. Carmona said.
He described attending a meeting of top officials in which the subject of global warming was discussed. The other officials concluded that global warming was a liberal cause and dismissed it, he said.
“And I said to myself: ‘I realize why I’ve been invited. They want me to discuss the science because they obviously don’t understand the science,’ ” he said. “I was never invited back.”
He said the science is clear that effective sexual education efforts must offer what he called a “comprehensive approach.”
“However, there was already a policy in place to only support sexual education efforts that discussed only abstinence, he said.
He was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of every speech he gave, Dr. Carmona said. He was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings, at least one of which included Karl Rove, the president’s senior political adviser, he said.
The Times also reports that the Bush administration refused to allow Dr. Carmona to attend the Special Olympics because of the event's ties to the Kennedy family. In other words the White House not only puts politics above science but also above public service and charity. Bush can't leave office soon enough.