Johanna Faust, a mixed race Jew, prefers to publish pseudonymously. She is committed: to preventing war, ecological disaster, and nuclear apocalypse; to keeping information available and free; and to not only fighting for personal privacy, but, by representing herself as a soldier in that fight, to exhorting others to do the same. All these efforts find representation on her blog "ah, Mephistophelis," so named after the last line of Chirstopher Marlowe's in his famous Dr. Faustus, which, as some would have it, successfully flouted the censor for a time. A female Faust, she is a poet, always.

Not A 'Scientific Report,' A 'Communications Product'!

Lawrence O'Donnell interviews THE Hugh Kaufman, EPA Hero, whistleblower willing to take on BP (bless him and keep him healthy happy and sane).  Watch the video at the end, or read the pertinent bit of the transcript (O'Donnell will be in citrine, Kaufman in olive):

Now were you and others at the EPA making this case within the system that, arguing that we shouldn't be using dispersants? And what was their response?
Well the working level troops in research, some of the toxicologists who have experience in education, were trying to get management to pay attention to data that the EPA had and has had for decades [?] but to no avail.  There was a political decision made to let BP take the lead as opposed to the government being proactive as we used to be.
Now when you say 'a political decision' are you saying that that decision was made by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Barack Obama apointee, or was it made outside of the EPA?
The decision was made outside the EPA by political appointees but I don't have the vision to see how high up that was.  My vision is limited because I'm in the middle of the bureaucracy.

Now I always used to wonder about that little bit about Kaufman's vision -- not anymore.  (Hat tip to Mr. Corporanon, yet again).

Because it seems that

(drumroll please)

In case you didn't catch that -- 

The mysterious 'higher up'?  .........  is NOAA.

Here, straight from the Project On Government Oversight's (POGO's) Blog Editor Bryan Rahija (emphasis mine):

...POGO recently unearthed internal emails suggesting that the White House placed public relations over science in last year's controversial report on the oil spill, which in fact was referred to as a "communication product" internally, according to the emails.

All this prompted POGO to send a letter yesterday to the President raising questions about the White House's handling of the report. Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) also wrote a blistering letter to the President, which you may read here.

You can find a quick rundown of the issue and a POGO statement here..


UPDATE: Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones has a response from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about POGO's letter to the White House:

Be sure to check out POGO for all the details, for only one more of which will I play spoiler: the Mother Jones scoop on what the EPA had to say for itself.

As promised, the full Kaufman interview (Read the full transcript here).

Be seeing you.

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