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SCIENCE ADVISOR GETS TOP SECRET CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY

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Patriot_Spear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:40 PM
Original message
SCIENCE ADVISOR GETS TOP SECRET CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY
I don't have to point out that this blanket effort at governmental secrecy is unprecedented, even compared to the height of the Cold War, do I?

President Bush last week granted the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) the authority to classify information Top Secret. The OSTP Director previously had authority to classify only up to the Secret level.

The White House did not provide a justification for the move, which modestly increases the stature of the White House science advisor.

In the past two years, the President has delegated new classification authority to the heads of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Agriculture.

Historical note: Not even Eisenhower or Kennedy exercised this level of secrecy while facing down the Soviet Union.

As of last year, there were a total of 4,006 persons in the executive branch authorized to generate classified information ("original classification authorities"), according to the Information Security Oversight Office.

A copy of the President's September 17 designation of the
OSTP Director as a Top Secret classification authority may
be found here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/bush/ostp.html
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benfranklin1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. I saw this and was similarly alarmed.
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 12:48 PM by benfranklin1776
This is an obvious effort to allow these agencies' heads and the science advisor to keep secret embarassing internal government sceintific information that discredits ludicrous unscientific assertions by industries regarding things like global warming, diesel emissions, species extinction and also data concerning public health such as that concerning the air quailty at ground zero.
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Patriot_Spear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Exactly- remember, repukes don't like Science...
Good Science is almost impossible to 'argue' with. Bear in mind the repukes closed the Office of Science and Technology (the body responsible for explaining scietific matters to Congress) in the early 90's.

They want to make it impossible for there ever to be a clear picture- mainly to allow their wingnut thinktanks to muddy the water.

Global warming, stem cell research, etc.
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benfranklin1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. Yes precisely. They want only the industry propaganda-tanks to be heard.
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 01:47 PM by benfranklin1776
Thus any contrary evidence must be suppressed by any means necessary. Moyers had an excellent piece on this on last Friday's NOW on how the White House "Council on Environmental Policy" which is staffed by corporate extremists has repeatedly intervened to force the suppression of information regarding the air quailty at ground zero and information regarding global warming. This rule will enable other such extremist corporate functionaries occupying these politically appointed positions to suppress unpleasant information by classifying it.

http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_clearingth...

On edit: Added link, and I didn't know about closing the Congessional Office. If ever there was a bunch that needed scientific advice it is that bunch Of course since wing nuts like Delay don't even believe in evolution science is to be disregarded since they wish to march everyone back to the pre-Enlightenment Dark Ages where only the ilk of Falwell and Robertson can tell us the universal truth.
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DarkPhenyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. As far as the new "power"
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 01:02 PM by DarkPhenyx
it isn't a big deal. As a 1LT in the Army I could generate Top Secret documents. The "ability" isn't that big a step. The fact that they felt the need to do it is of a concern. Then again I'm not at all surprised.
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Patriot_Spear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. The trend is clear...
Bush* is handing out this authority like he was making hall monitor's in grade school- he is making sure his underlings have the 'power' to squash ANY sort of damaging info about his mis-adminstration. The whistle-blower legislation does not extend protection to classified material.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. The big deal goes to what documents would be classified.
People accept that there are military secrets that need to be kept. Even in weapons-oriented research and such, classification schemes are already in place.

So why does the Science Advisor need MORE authority NOW? The most obvious answer to anyone who looks at Bush's track record so far is to increase his ability to bury government-sponsored research that comes up with politically inconvenient results, as far as his supporters are concerened.
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DarkPhenyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. ok...point taken...
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 02:46 PM by DarkPhenyx
but be serious for a moment. do you honestly think we would find out about anything they didn't want us to know about? there isn't anything new here. the only thing it mgiht do is make it a little easier to do what they are already doing anyway.

right now all they have to do is cite National Security and it's nearly automatically classified. they don't even need to do that if you have control over the people with the information.
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yikes!
What on earth can a science ADVISOR have his/her grubby little hands on that they should be given this kind of authority?

Makes me wonder what's going down, what's the bigger picture that this puzzle piece fits into. Or is this misadministration just groping in the dark for all the power they can?
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SteveG Donating Member (833 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Why? Well - for example
They now have the power to classify top secret any environmental studies ,paid for by the Gov. which tend to support the Idea of Global Warming. Any studies which might show that women who have had an abortion are no more likely to develope breast cancer than those who haven't had an abortion....all sorts of things like that.
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. What your talking about isn't produced solely by the government
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 02:37 PM by sybylla
Studies on women having abortions and global warming are produced by universites, not the government. They can't make science classified.

Hence, why is someone who is merely an ADVISOR getting this authority? What could he or she possibly ever get their hands on that needs to be classified except their own correspondence with the misadministration?


on edit: grammar
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LearnedHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Yeah, but guess who funds those studies?
Yup, the government.
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DarkPhenyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. Nuke/Bio/Chem weapon threat data.
Terrorist threat data on domestic sites. Lots of things that the group of us aren't likely to know about.
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Nottingham Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. The Secret Society! Orwell is right!
This administration is horrible! I see massive exodus out of this country!
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Patriot_Spear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Care to translate your psycho-babble?
I'm just curious. Your post was the most disjointed string of words I've seen on DU lately- and that's saying something!
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
8. This would be consistent with new nuclear development and testing
On the one hand, someone advising the President on the scientific side of progress on usable nuclear weapons and their testing is going to generate documents that are going to be classified.

On the otherhand, shrub really doesn't need advice on this. These nuke projects will be rammed through just like the yet to work anti-missile system.

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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
11. Just a simple comment from a dumm canuk
without going into detailed theories or motives

doesn't this just mean that your own government doesn't want it's voters/taxpayers to know what they are doing with your trust and your money ??

Doesn't really sound much like a democracy does it ??

oh yah - you DO have the choice as to WHO will screw you !!

Just My Humble Canadian Opinion - -
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. to answer your damned good questions:
1) yes, that's exactly what it means

2) no, it does not

:grr:
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
16. The end-run around classified documents:
The Senate can de-classify documents with (I think) a majority vote. If de-classification is the goal on any particular subject, this is one place to start.
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Patriot_Spear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. ...and the likelihood of this Congress doing that is?
Null.
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