August 07, 2004

Hot on the Trail


According to Bush-Supporters, This Just Means
Better Beach Weather for Everybody!

(Image credit: Steve Jackson Games)

First Draft is a new collective blog being run by the same great bloggers who regularly sub for Atrios during his vacations. They always seem to find good stuff, and they update all the time. It's a great bookmark. Today, they pointed me to this article in which one of the few Democrats with a spine that the media actually pays attention to, Henry Waxman, asks some questions that need to be asked:

A top House Democrat called on Attorney General John Ashcroft on Friday to explain why the Justice Department was letting federal officials cooperate in a Congressional inquiry into the case of Samuel R. Berger despite a current criminal investigation.

The representative, Henry A. Waxman of California, the senior Democrat on the Government Reform Committee, said the department position regarding Mr. Berger, a national security adviser to President Bill Clinton accused of mishandling classified documents, was at odds with how inquiries tied to the Bush administration had been handled.

"For example, in the investigation into the leak of the identity of covert C.I.A. agent Valerie Plame, officials have said repeatedly that they cannot comment because the matter is currently under investigation," Mr. Waxman wrote. He said the policy was "intended to maintain the integrity of the investigation and protect the individuals involved." [...]

In his letter to the Justice Department, Mr. Waxman said the House committee staff was initially told by prosecutors and archives officials that they could not provide details of the case because of the investigation. But he said more senior department officials reversed that position after being asked to intervene by Republican committee aides.

Mr. Waxman said archives officials were scheduled to be questioned by House investigators on Wednesday and had been told they were "in no way constrained" from talking about the details with lawmakers or their aides. Mr. Waxman asked Mr. Ashcroft to explain why the prosecutors were overruled and whether he would "similarly 'clear' " officials to discuss other cases, like Ms. Plame's.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said he could say nothing about the letter from Mr. Waxman other than "we will review Congressman Waxman's letter as we do all Congressional requests."

You would think at some point, Bush-supporting nutball conservatives who claim to love America would show some signs of concern about the way this administration always puts politics ahead of national security. The only time national security wins is when it just happens to correspond to the most politically expedient thing to do, the same way that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But don't bother trying to tell this to the nutball brigade.

When it comes to the truth, Bush-supporters just don't give a shit. The latest thing I've seen them bandy about is an article from the Washington Times about global warming. The article just summarizes some basic research that's going on with global warming, and it includes a reference to scientists who are studying the possibility that variations in solar activity may be contributing to global warming.

Did I say "studying the possibility"? Well, to the nutball brigade, that reads "have conclusively determined". They're quoting that article right and left, saying that the big shot researchers at the Max Planck Institute (one of those places over in socialist Germany, you know) have proved that liberals are all wrong, etc. The sad part is that even though the article itself does an incredibly poor job of describing the actual research being done, it includes enough caveats that even the casual reader can see that this is just scientists saying the same thing we've always said: we just don't know what is going to happen.

The Bush-supporters never disappoint. Remember when I talked about Pine's great book, "Science and the Human Prospect", back here? One of Pine's key statements was, "It is important to note that what for most people is the conclusion of an investigation is only the beginning of an investigation for a science." Science is all about getting at the truth objectively, about disregarding theories that have been convincingly discredited, about intellectual honesty. That's why it is so dangerous to Bush-supporters and why I continue to enthusiastically teach scientific principles in my classes. I'm lucky to have the opportunity.

By the way, I talked some about what we *do* know about global warming here as Stupid Conservative Myth #5.

Posted by Observer at August 7, 2004 12:44 PM
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