Remember when President Barack Obama promised to lead “a new era of openness in our country”?
That was a lie.
It turns out that when the White House doesn’t like the facts, it changes them. For example, after the BP oil spill – in the hopes of issuing a blanket moratorium – Obama frantically ordered the Interior Department to issue a report on the dangers of drilling in the Gulf Coast.
Unfortunately, the Interior Department’s outside experts didn’t agree with the White House’s pre-ordained conclusion. So according to Politico:
The White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling, the Interior inspector general says in a new report.
In the wee hours of the morning of May 27, a staff member to White House energy adviser Carol Browner sent two edited versions of the department report’s executive summary back to Interior. The language had been changed to insinuate the seven-member panel of outside experts – who reviewed a draft of various safety recommendations – endorsed the moratorium.
You can view the Inspector General’s report here.
In June, I observed that Obama received a similar rebuke from U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman who initially struck down the drilling moratorium. Judge Feldman wrote at the time,
Much to the government’s discomfort and this Court’s uneasiness, the Summary also states “the recommendations contained in this report have been peer reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.” As the plaintiffs, and the experts themselves, pointedly observe, this statement was misleading. The experts charge it was a “misrepresentation.” It was factually incorrect.
As Obama’s moratorium fiasco continues to grow, it shows that the White House appears to place ideology above science and the facts. In this instance, Obama’s extreme “green” ideology crippled an already struggling economy. According to Representative Bill Cassidy (R-LA):
The inspector general’s finding that the blanket-drilling moratorium was driven by [sic] politics and not by science is bitter news for families who, because of it, lost their jobs, savings, and way of life … Candidate Obama promised that he would [be] guided by science, not ideology. If that were true, at least 12,000 jobs and 1.8 billion dollars of economic activity would have been saved on the Gulf Coast.
This is raising eyebrows on Capitol Hill, where the new House leadership may be interested in issuing a subpoena or two (or more) about this apparent Obama Administration deceit. On the Senate side, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) said:
the Obama administration appears to have “deliberately violated” a law that sets government-wide procedures to ensure the integrity of information put out by federal agencies.
And, if the Supreme Court ever reviews the moratorium, Associate Justice Elena Kagan may have to recuse herself. Even Obama’s most recent appointment to the High Court is tainted by charges of document fixing. As was discussed during her confirmation hearings this past summer, while serving as a Senior Advisor to then-President Bill Clinton, Kagan rewrote “scientific conclusions [of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists] to provide better cover for her preferred policy on partial birth abortion,” according to the Republican Senate Policy Committee.
Deception appears to be a leading character trait in many Obama appointees.
Now that a Federal Judge and the Inspector General report have uncovered the President’s chicanery, perhaps he will apologize and recommit himself to the honesty and openness he so often promises.
Once again, I am not holding my breath.