Thursday, August 25, 2005

Punished for speaking the truth

President Bush has canned another member of his administration for daring to speak an unwelcome truth.

Lawrence A. Greenfeld, who was appointed by Bush in 2001 to head the Bureau of Justice Statistics, was demoted for resisting the administration’s attempt to downplay a study that highlights racial profiling during traffic stops.

Greenfeld was ordered to delete references to racial disparities in a news release prepared to announce a study on the treatment of different ethnic groups during police traffic stops.
The survey of 80,000 people, which was eventually issued in April without a news release, found that minority drivers were three times as likely to have their vehicles searched during traffic stops as white drivers.
Greenfeld fought the order and was eventually called to the White House and urged to resign six months before he was eligible for full pension benefits...

I’m trying to come up with a list of “Heroes of Conscience” from this administration - people who risked their jobs and their careers to stand up for the truth in the face of an administration that cares most about advancing its right-wing political agenda.

In addition to Mr. Greenfeld above, I’ve included:

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill who lost his job for disagreeing with Bush about the ill effects of his tax cuts which failed to boost the economy and have left us with record budget deficits once again.

Former economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey who was canned for having the audacity to suggest that the war in Iraq may cost as much as $100 billion - a figure we now know is at least three times and perhaps ten times too small.

Who have I left out?


I just noticed that Bob Herbert's column in the NYTimes today is about this topic.

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