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Bush Political Hacks Buried & Doctored Key Outsourcing Report Before the 2004 Election
by David Sirota    Common Dreams
Entered into the database on Friday, October 14th, 2005 @ 18:22:57 MST


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Manufacturing & Technology News, a well-respected trade publication, has just released an exclusive story about how the Bush administration buried a report on outsourcing before the 2004 election despite congressional legislation demanding it well before then. Worse, now that the government has been forced to release the report, Manufacturing & Technology News also found that the report's analysis by expert analysts was doctored by Bush political appointees in the Commerce Department.

Here are the details: The industry trade publication notes that Congress slated $335,000 for a report from the technical experts at the Commerce Department's Technology Administration. The timetable was well before election day as "the report was requested by Congress in an appropriations bill in December 2003, with a six-month deadline of June 2004." And to be sure, the report "was completed well before the November 2004 presidential election." However, it "was delayed for clearance by the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress due to the controversial nature of the subject." In fact, it might never have come out at all as it was only released now "as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request that [Manufacturing News] had filed on March 17, 2005."

Worse, after the election, an undoctored draft of the report by the government's technical experts "went into a vetting process among political appointees at the Commerce Department and White House" and the original report "never resurfaced." Instead, what did finally resurface was a "12-page version" that "focuses on the allegedly positive impacts for the U.S. economy of the offshore outsourcing." Instead of original data, the report "quotes research conducted by organizations and individuals that have been funded by corporations that benefit from shifting jobs overseas." And of course, "no mention is made of the conflict of interest inherent in the studies cited by the Commerce report."

Let's remember - this is only the latest example of political hacks doctoring and burying reports. Right after 9/11, for instance, the White House doctored EPA reports about air quality in New York City. Earlier this year, the White House doctored reports about the causes of global warming. And, as Think Progress shows, there are plenty of other examples.

What's particularly disturbing about these new revelations is that the report was not only doctored, but buried before the election, despite Congress specifically mandating the report be released before then. In other words, the White House didn't just take liberties - it deliberately violated the will of Congress in order to suppress and doctor government data for its own political purposes. That's way over the line, even for these guys.