Saturday, August 23, 2003

Omissions and Lies, The EPA IG's Report
This report published Thursday from the EPA Inspector General about White House pressure to change their report to the public after 9/11 is stunning. According to the Associated Press (via The Boston Globe :

"The agency's initial statements in the days following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were not supported by proper air quality monitoring data and analysis, the EPA's inspector general, Nikki L. Tinsley, said in a 155-page report released late Thursday."

An email from the White House on 9/12 said "all statements to the media should be cleared" first by the National Security Council." and we know who is head of the NSC -- Condi Rice Our President. As part of the 'clearing' the 1600 Crew "convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones." "For example, the report found, the EPA was convinced to omit from its early public statements guidance for cleaning indoor spaces and tips on potential health effects from airborne dust containing asbestos, lead, glass fibers, and concrete."

Just when I think I'm as jaded as I can get there is another surprise waiting for me around the next corner.

Newsday, in a piece about responses to the report quotes Dr. Stephen Levin, director of the World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center, who "called the report "shocking," even though he said he had been suspicious of the EPA's reassurances from the beginning.

"It's an outrageous interference in the role of the public health agencies that were established to protect the people," Levin said of the Bush administration's alleged influence over the EPA.

"He said he has examined thousands of residents and workers with respiratory problems who had returned to work and "failed to protect themselves" because of EPA assurances that the air in lower Manhattan was safe to breathe."

Surely criminal charges can be brought ...

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