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The Case of Deborah Rice: Who Is the Environmental Protection Agency Protecting?

  • Herbert L Needleman
  • Published: May 13, 2008
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060129

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Response to Dr. Needleman

Posted by plosbiology on 07 May 2009 at 22:24 GMT

Author: Richard Rabin
Position: state labor department employee
E-mail: rickrabin@rcn.com
Submitted Date: May 16, 2008
Published Date: May 20, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

Dr. Needleman's account of the experience of Deborah Rice at the EPA is a good example of the consequences of unchecked political power in the hands of fanatics. The political tactics of the Bush administration are looking disturbingly like some of those of the former Soviet Union. Under Stalin, factories and other government agencies were staffed with political apparachiks to assure their "political correctness." In similar fashion, several months ago the Bush Administration announced that it was assigning political appointees to government agencies to assure that their regulations and health and environmental policies were in accordance with the administration's political priorities.

Now we hear from Dr. Needleman that the written recommendations, and even the identity, of a government advisor have been obliterated. Similarly, the writings, photographs and other evidence of the existence of political figures and other prominent people in the scientific and cultural world who fell out of favor in the Soviet Union were made to disappear.

No competing interests declared.