Thanks to the AP and the Freedom of Information Act,the American public has a bit more background on the goings on behind the scenes as the Obama administration released its estimates of the damage done in the Gulf of Mexico by the oil spill.
The documents released last Wednesday by the Commerce Department, NOAA’s parent agency, were significant because they revealed conversations among scientists working on the forecasts of oil in the Gulf. The government released 5,817 pages of files late in the afternoon on the eve of Thanksgiving, traditionally a period when few people are paying attention to news reports because of holiday travel. The first clue or red flag alerting us to trouble is the timing of the document release. Whenever a document dump is carried out at a specific time when an administration knows people are not paying close attention, that they are distracted with a holiday for example, we know it is less than favorable to that administration.
The same is proven true in this case, too. The e-mails released show that reports were being released before the scientists were finished with gathering data for the conclusions brought forward. These conclusions were the talking points and subjects of press conferences produced in order to make the American public feel better, to feel that the government was on top of the situation and doing all it could to remedy the situation.
The only reason these documents were made public is due to a Freedom of Information request by Rep Ed Markey (D-MA) and news organizations. Markey is anti-drilling and determined to weaken the industry through the political process. The Obama administration gives lip service to using 'true' science. The director of NOAA made a big show of claiming, under the direction of President Obama, that the agency uses 'real' science. It seems that to those determined to play politics with policy decisions, the field of science is open to interpretation.
This administration was caught red handed fudging on official studies and documents -specifically the report issued by the group of scientists on the issue of the moratorium - and using the signatures of respected scientists as cover. The scientists spoke out and denied the claims made by Secretary Salazar and his agency that a moratorium was necessary, that it was the best way forward after the oil spill. Now the administration releases documents as no one watches.
It's their story and they are sticking to it.