"White House officials have undermined their own government scientists' research into climate change to play down the impact of global warming," Paul Harris reports in the Observer. "Emails and internal government documents obtained by The Observer show that officials have sought to edit or remove research warning that the problem is serious.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has released an updated report chronicling the effects the war on terrorism has had on the public's right to know. The 89-page report, called "Homefront Confidential: How the War on Terrorism Affects Access to Information and the Public's Right to Know," outlines actions taken over the last two years by state and federal government agencies that limit the ability of journalists to do their jobs.
"In two years since the terrorist attacks," writes Keith McKnight, "journalists across the country have found themselves losing access to government-held information on various matters - much of which has nothing to do with national security."
"U.S. battlefield casualties in Iraq are increasing dramatically in the face of continued attacks by remnants of Saddam Hussein's military and other forces, with almost 10 American troops a day now being officially declared 'wounded in action,'" the Washington Post's Vernon Lobe writes. With so many troops wounded in action and attacks on soldiers becoming "commonplace," U.S. Central Command only releases the number of wounded when asked -- "making the combat injuries of U.S. troops in Iraq one of the untold stories of the war," Lobe writes.
The official Hutton Inquiry in England is posting daily transcripts and other evidence related to its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr. David Kelly, who died of an apparent suicide after he was identified as a source for news stories alleging that the British government "sexed up" its weapons dossier on Iraq.
"After several troops made some highly publicized negative comments to the media about the war effort in Iraq, the Pentagon has taken steps to keep the frustrations of both soldiers and their families out of reports," PR Week reports. "According to a story in the July 25 edition of Stars and Stripes, the military appears to be curtailing its much-touted embedded-journalist program, which has allowed reporters almost unfettered access to military units throughout the war and occupation.
The New Republic has interviewed an official who has read the 28 pages that the Bush administration is withholding from the recent congressional report on September 11. According to the official, the still-classified section of the report documents connections between the 9-11 terrorist attack and "the very top levels of the Saudi royal family. ... This week, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal flew to Washington for a hastily convened meeting with President Bush.
After retired diplomat Joe Wilson exposed the dishonesty of White House claims about Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Niger, senior administration officials retaliated by outing his wife, an undercover CIA agent. Senator Charles Schumer is calling for an investigation, pointing out that it is a felony to leak a CIA agent's identity.
"As frustration over their lengthening deployment grows among troops in Iraq, soldiers are smacking head-on into limits on their public speech," writes Steve Liewer, a correspondent for the European version of Stars and Stripes magazine. Troops interviewed in Germany and Iraq say they have been briefed to refer questions to a public affairs specialist and that soldiers have been getting in trouble for speaking out. "I'm not comfortable telling you what I really think, and I'm not going to lie to you, so it's better if I just don't say anything," said one soldier.
General John Abizaid, the new chief of U.S. Central Command, has issued a threat aimed at U.S. soldiers who complain publicly about the situation in Iraq. "Some U.S. troops in Iraq have complained publicly about the uncertainty of when they are returning home," write Will Dunham and Michael Georgy. "A group of soldiers aired their concerns on U.S. television on Wednesday, speaking of poor morale and disillusionment with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.