Jul 11 2007
08:34 am

Surely we the people shouldn't have to sit quietly by while our president and his handlers corrupt officials to the point that they can't even do their jobs honestly. Dr. Carmona, the former Surgeon General, deserves a lot of credit for revealing the extreme amount of pressure he received to report what the adminsitration wanted versus things that could dramatically improve public health. When I heard his testimony I was sickened by the pettiness of the whole Special Olympics denial. How heartless can people be? Especially the very ones who insist they are pro-life? Special Olympic children should never be used as political pawns.

Dr. Carmona said he was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings. (link...)

And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to a “prominent family” that he refused to name.

“I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.

The Special Olympics is one of the nation’s premier charitable organizations to benefit disabled people, and the Kennedys have long been deeply involved in it.

Obviously Carmona's rage was justified. He must have felt pretty silly to think he had been appointed for his expertise. He said his first impression of this happened when he heard advisors talking about global warming as if it was only a liberal issue with no scientific basis.

"And I said to myself, ‘I realize why I’ve been invited. They want me to discuss the science because they obviously don’t understand the science."

After he tried to explain global warming was a legitimmate and critical health problem, he was never invited back to any more discussions about it.

This interference with the function of the Surgeon General by the Bush administration would seem to be something more than just immoral. He is not obstructing justice, but he is in a way, he's obstructing the work of an important official the public relies on for life and death imnformation.

Isn't this an impeachable or criminal offense?

Sven's picture

Abuse of power is the reason

Abuse of power is the reason behind any impeachment. The "high crimes" clause is commonly misunderstood to refer to "criminal" acts, i.e, violations of criminal statute.

But it actually refers to "crimes against the state" and includes any act that subverts or corrupts the system of government. Thus Clinton's impeachment wasn't for perjury per se; the [ridiculous] charge was that he used his position to "corrupt and manipulate the judicial process" and that he failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

So, yes, transforming the Office of the Surgeon General into an arm of the GOP (along with virtually every other federal office and agency) is an impeachable offense.

talidapali's picture

Now, if we can only get Congress...

to remember WHY they are in Washington. They are the representatives of the people and they should be answerable to US if they fail to maintain a CHECK on the Executive branch of the government. I think we need to REMIND them of that fact.

Far too many of them, for far too long, have been rubber-stamping all the desires and whims of the Executive branch, which has led us to this pass of corruption and co-option of all levels of government and the politicization of the Department of Justice, the courts, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.


"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"

"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

nedwilliams's picture

Give me a break . . .

Give me a break . . . charities are frequently used (by politicians) for political advantage. Let's impeach Bush for Rove's assistant deputy asst. staff deputy questioning why the SG wanted to bless the Special Olympics with his presence.

conciliary's picture

of course it's political pandering...

And yes individuals with disabilities are often paraded up to the political grandstand (I know this from experience)'s like their religion and people bowing their heads in prayer for these individuals who seem to be "children of a lesser God" but these political figures never fully understanding the depths ...though appear to try...and then that politician and sometimes he is a President or Surgeon General or even a Mayor's whose conscience evokes a tear or two from their respective eyes but is that out of self pity? Or are they thanking their "God" with thoughts like "but for His Grace there go I ?" But I accept them... for politicians are disabled ways they don't realize.

Carole Borges's picture

In his interview the SG sounded sincere...

He was invited to appear at the Special Olympics and ended up going even though they said his expenses would not be reimbursed. He said he was apalled to think the whole thing was being politicized. He said he thought it was "about kids." Apparently, since he became SG and before he had done a lot of work with kids who were emotionally or physically challenged.

I'm pretty jaded, but I believed him.

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