Censorship of Climate Scientists Heats Up

"Prompted by reports that [Bush] administration appointees, including a former oil industry lobbyist who was chief of staff at the [White House] Council on Environmental Quality, edited climate change reports or pressured scientists to tone down statements about the dangers of global warming," the U.S.


Spin Doctor Outed As 'Health' Adviser on Guantanamo Prisoner

George Bush meets Alexander Downer in Canberra.The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, recently sought to downplay concerns about the mental health of an Australian citizen, David Hicks, who has been imprisoned in


Leaked Documents Spur Investigation into Lilly Drug Marketing

A U.S. federal court judge has extended an injunction banning groups in the U.S. from adding a weblink to leaked internal documents on Eli Lilly's schizophrenia and bipolar disorder drug, Zyprexa.


New transparency in Congress

If you look beyond the headlines of the recently passed ethics reform bills, a revolutionary leap forward in transparency has been made by two members of Congress. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) have each begun posting their schedules online, which we have included in their Congresspedia profiles (see here for Gillibrand and here for Tester). The idea of letting constituents know how their elected officials spend their day seems basic but, to my knowledge, has never been tried before.

Tester has thus far kept his previous schedules available in an online archive and Congresspedia has begun archiving Gillibrand's on the wiki, so don't worry if you don't catch her schedule on a particular day.

The Road Not Taken

Rick Snell, the editor of Freedom of Information Review and lecturer in law at the University of Tasmania, notes the contrast between Australia and New Zealand's experience of freedom of information legislation, which both enacted in 1983. In New Zealand, Snell writes, "it was greeted with hails of dismay by public service unions, lawyers and academics." In Australia, the then Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, extolled access to government information as "a public right".


Read Between the Redacted Lines

"Here is the redacted version of a draft Op-Ed article we wrote for The [New York] Times, as blacked out by the Central Intelligence Agency's Publication Review Board after the White House intervened in the normal prepublication review process," write Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann.


White House Accused of Limiting Debate on Iran

Former CIA analyst and National Security Council official Flynt Leverett has accused the White House of trying "to silence his criticism of Middle East policies by ordering the CIA to censor an op-ed column he wrote." Leverett said the CIA's attempt to remove already-public information about prior U.S.


Front Groups Lobbying Spurs Thoughts of Non-Profit Reform

Citing instances where groups like Citizens Against Government Waste and Americans for Tax Reform have accepted corporate funding to lobby for their donors' causes, journalist Bill Adair explores whether greater disclosure by non-profit groups is warranted.


Government Scientist Pleads Guilty to Accepting Pfizer Fees

The chief of the geriatric psychiatry branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Pearson Sunderland III, has pleaded guilty to accepting approximately $300,000 in undisclosed fees and expenses from Pfizer between 1997 and 2004. The NIMH is a part of the U.S. government's National Institutes of Health (NIH), which conducts and funds medical research projects.



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