Top-Secret Environmental Information

July 28th, 2006at 06:17pm Posted by Eli

This is bad. Very bad.

With New Yorkers already fuming about reports that the feds downplayed the danger of Ground Zero dust, the White House gave EPA chief Christie Whitman the power to bury embarrassing documents by classifying them “secret.”

“I hereby designate the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to classify information originally as ‘Secret,'” states the executive order, which was signed by President Bush on May 6, 2002.

Although the stated reason for Bush’s directive is to keep “national security information” from falling into enemy hands, advocates for thousands of ailing Ground Zero heroes are convinced there’s a more sinister motive.

“I think the rationale behind this was to not let people know what they were potentially exposed to,” said Joel Kupferman of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project. “They’re using the secrecy thing to cover up their malfeasance and past deceptions.”

(…)

Whitman, who resigned as EPA chief in May 2003, could not be reached for comment yesterday. In a Newsweek interview that year, she said the White House never told her to lie about the air quality.

However, Whitman conceded that she did not object when words of caution were edited out of her public statements.

“We didn’t want to scare people,” she said.

(…)

Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Whitman declared, “There appear to be no significant levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City.” Then on Sept. 21, Whitman reported that “a host of potential contaminants are either not detectable” or at a level the EPA considered safe.

But on Oct. 26, 2001, the Daily News slapped “Toxic Zone” on the front page and warned that “toxic chemicals and metals” were poisoning lower Manhattan.

So… what kind of “national security information” would the EPA have, exactly? I think Christie resigned about 20 months too late.

Entry Filed under: Politics,Wankers


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