has just been broadcast by the beeb. If you missed it, it's being repeated on Sunday (17.00 GMT). If it disappears all together after that, I've got a copy (mp3 - ask)
It covers one major element of the ground I cover here. Viz - the political abuse of science. The beeb gives both sides a fair hearing and it's up to you to make up your minds. It points out, for example, how the Carter presidency rejected a particular report he'd requested on the need to fund research for new energy sources. It came back with the conclusion that there was no case to be made because there was an abundant supply of natural gas. The White House tried to pressure the authors but they wouldn't bend from the scientific conclusions. So Carter sacked the head of the US Geological survey and the report was removed from all official repositories.
We are also reminded that Nixon similarly rejected at least 2 major reports and disbanded his own Presidential Scientific Advisory Committee when he found that their expert advice conflicted with his prejudice on the issues of the Nuclear Test Ban and government involvment in the building of an American Concorde. The beeb doesn't even mention my favourite - his rejection of The Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse which he had packed with reliable drug warriors to ensure he got the answer he had already decided upon. (Both sins - political packing and rejection of expert advice in one shot. That's efficient government for you)
So we know predecessors on both sides have been capable of this behaviour. The real point is that whereas that Carter story is the only such incident that was reported under his reign and even tricky dicky restrained himself to 3 known cases, the UCS site maintains this growing list of (currently) no less than 22 documented cases of significant political maladministration through the abuse or wilful disregard of professional scientific advice by the current administration.
It's not difficult to analyse their psychology when you hear the "defence" using arguments like this:
"the fact is that what you have is liberals complaining about the fact that the (panels?) aren't made up of liberals. How terrible - that you would actually have diversity"
Like many examples I've used elsewhere, its almost as though these people don't realise they're talking out loud. Exactly what has political diversity got to do with the appointment of scientific advisors? They don't even deny the charges - they react as though they sincerely believe (as I discuss in the above link) that behaving this way is "right and proper". Of course its alright to place my political buddies in these technical roles. You don't expect me to let a bunch of commies advise the White House do ya?
Again you'll find evidence of politicially placed advisors with many previous presidents. They're probably all guilty of one or two similar misdemeanours. But at least with them, they knew it was devious - with this gang its policy!
Strangely the consistency of this behaviour is beginning to make me cautiously optimistic.
We've only recently seen the same attitude again over the revelation that
President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying
which would have been enough to end the political careers of any previous president. Not this one. They don't deny it. They can't, it's already public - so they do the next best thing and bluster that it was merely the president doing his job and looking after the security of "The American People" and that the crime, if any, was committed by those who had the gall to leak this totalitarian measure to the media. Gotta hand to them. They've got balls that would shame a stallion.
Then there is this excellent summary of the situation to date by "5th Estate" which includes this conclusion regarding another part of what the growing Untrusted Surveillance is really all about - this time we're talking about the open abuse of commercial data for political purposes
Pollsters and consultants are building "profiles" of you from consumer databases to determine what they think you want to read, to hear, to see, and to believe. It doesn't matter how broad-stroke and grossly exaggerated these profiles can be...to these nimrods, this data is like gold.
The goal is to build a society that combines the worst aspects of fascism and capitalism--a culture too scared to dissent, to rebel, to fight back, lulled into constant mindless consumerism that's targeted at you specifically from vast aggregate profiles the data sellers develop. The money that could be spent to secure our ports, our train stations, our military bases, our airfields, and our research labs is instead being used to sell us soap and monitor our credit uses.
You are no safer than you were on 9/11. In fact, you're in more danger now than you've ever been, and that danger isn't from some bearded psychopath and his army of Jihadists. It's from your own government. They're spending the money that should be going to infrastructure improvement and security hardening and using it to execute warrantless searches of Muslims, gay rights groups, and anyone else who doesn't fit into their paradigm.
It is clear that these people have successfully sold the Big Lie even to themselves. So that they genuinely no longer comprehend that they're consistently untruthful. They've bought into the propaganda model that "the truth is what you make it".
Well my friends - and others - that may work for the small beer, like spying on the American people, but I'm almost beginning to look forward to how they present their case as it becomes increasingly clear that WTC7 really is the smoking gun.
I'm becoming increasingly confident (and genuinely alarmed) that during this year it will become unequivocally obvious that WTC7 could not have collapsed in any other way than as the result of a controlled demolition, which would have taken weeks or months to plan and several days or weeks to implement. That mental hurdle having been crossed, it becomes much easier to accept the likelihood that WTCs 1 & 2 were "finished off" with similar pre-planned controlled demolitions. It is inconceivable that foreign terrorists had several weeks unrestricted access to those buildings in order to position the charges and similarly inconceivable that they controlled the demolitions from a control centre within WTC7.
Which leaves the devastating possibility (morphing rapidly into a probability) that it wasn't foreign terrorists but domestic ones, paid for by the American taxpayer.
Even as recently as last year I would not have dared give credence to such a scenario in private, let alone this publicly. And I haven't yet reached the stage of "beyond reasonable doubt" but I've certainly reached the stage of accepting that they have a very serious case to answer.
And every single one of these issues - from the relatively trivial refusal to follow the scientific advice on making "plan b" (the "morning after" pill) available over the counter - to the potential collaboration in possibly the world's greatest criminal murder conspiracy are stunning examples of exactly why we need the Trusted Surveillance I mentioned in my previous post.
The plain fact is that whether or not the Cheyney/Rumsfeld cabal, or their remote puppets took control of the attack on 9-11 in order to maximise rather than avoid casualties; there is enough credible documented evidence and analysis for those making such charges not to feel "extreme" or embarrassed when making them.
And when the charges are as serious as complicity in the murder of 3000 of your own citizens, we can neither tolerate a government which IS guilty as charged or merely LOOKS guilty as charged. It is clearly in their interests just as much as the wider social interest that no such doubt is possible.
That's just one of the aims of Trusted Surveillance.