bush rewrites history

This is just creepy. From the Washington Post: “White House Web Scrubbing”. Remember all those protests from Bush saying that those who criticized past U.S. policies towards Iraq were engaging in historical revisionism? It turns out those critics were just amateurs. The White House has bellied up to the bar to show ’em how it’s done: Alter or delete the record of public statements from government officials so that they do not contradict subsequent developments or policies.

Two examples:

  • A headline on Bush’s website reading “President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended” had the word “Major” added before “Combat.”
  • Comments from an official asserting that the cost to U.S. taxpayers of rebuilding Iraq would not exceed $1.7 billion (we’ve since learned it will be almost $100 billion) have been deleted.

Lawrence Lessig posted an entry about this sort of thing over a week ago, pointing to the problem of accountability when the White House actively works (through the use of their robots.txt file) to prevent any sort of automated external archiving of documents from the White House website.

Creepy. And incredibly dishonest.

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3 thoughts on “bush rewrites history

  1. I’ve been following the comments by Thomas Kean reported on CBS News that 9/11 was preventable (“should and could have been prevented”).
    It’s all pretty disturbing right now.

  2. Via Salon:

    If you’d logged onto the Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau Web site in 1999, you would have found a list of more than 25 fact sheets and statistical reports on topics ranging from “Earning Differences Between Men and Women” to “Facts About Asian American and Pacific Islander Women” to “Women’s Earnings as Percent of Men’s 1979-1997.”

    Not anymore. Those fact sheets no longer exist on the Women’s Bureau Web site, and have instead been replaced with a handful of peppier titles, like “Hot Jobs for the 21st Century” and “20 Leading Occupations for Women.” It’s just one example of the ways in which the Bush administration is dismantling or distorting information on women’s issues, from pay equity to reproductive healthcare, according to “Missing: Information About Women’s Lives,” a new report released Wednesday by the National Council for Research on Women.

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