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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Good Lord. I know the Bush administration is completely unable to tell the truth about anything, but some lies are more appalling than others:

So what happened? Tinsley's report charges, in the crucial days after 9/11, the White House changed EPA press releases to "add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones."

*Sept. 13: The EPA draft release -- never released to the public -- said: EPA "testing terrorized sites for environmental hazards." The White House changed that to EPA "reassures public about environmental hazards."

*Sept. 16: The EPA draft said: "Recent samples of dust ... on Water Street show higher levels of asbestos."

The White House version: "New samples confirm ... ambient air quality meets OSHA [government] standards" ... and "is not a cause for public concern."

And the White House left out entirely the warning "that air samples raise concerns for cleanup workers and office workers near Water St."


The end result is tens of thousands of ill New Yorkers, a rash of low birth weight babies, and a future epidemic of cancer cases. All for... what? A PR boost? A misplaced desire not to let the terrorists 'win'?

Of all the villanies the Bush administration has perpetrated, both grandiose and petty, this one is perhaps the stupidest and most baffling.

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