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The dangers of “spin”: information, science, security, and welfare
  1. Nancy Milio
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor N Milio
 University of North Carolina, Carrington Hall no 7460, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460, USA;

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Restrictions on full and accurate information

The Bush administration may go down in American history as one of the most creative, or devious, (depending on your point of view) in its use or misuse of information. Other nations can take a lesson from its lethal language. The US public has been focusing on a basic ingredient of democracy: truth in government, the practice of transparency and full disclosure. In public hearings before a special national investigating commission on intelligence and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, the government’s practice is found wanting as the public witnessed and listened to the word games of administration officials. The entire history of open information use in the Bush regime is discouraging. The list is long. A few examples:

Going beyond the Patriot Act, (which was passed hurriedly by Congress without debate after September 11 and greatly increased national security agencies’ ability to encroach on civil liberties), the attorney general recently got what he has long sought, buried in new legislation: an extension of the FBI’s authority to get individuals’ financial records from private organisations ranging from credit card companies and car dealers to jewellers and the Post Office, without …

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