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
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.