Whistleblower Case Illustrates How Trump/Flunkies Try to Silence Science

“The threat to these Alaska Native communities is not theoretical…Retaliation against me for those disclosures is unlawful.”

❝ For the first time since the Trump administration came to office and began dismantling the key science underpinnings of federal climate policy, a senior agency official has invoked the protections of the whistleblower law to publicly object to what he calls an illegal attempt to intimidate him.

The official, Joel Clement, had been the director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Interior Department before he says he was arbitrarily reassigned to an obscure accounting post to punish him for speaking up about protections for native Americans in Alaska. He says that was ordered by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to force him to be quiet or quit — and to send a message.

Clement, who publicized his formal complaint in a commentary published Wednesday in the Washington Post, said his case is not an isolated example but part of a pattern.

Witch Hunt is one of Trump’s favorite condemnations of journalists working hard to present facts to confront his lies – and more. No doubt many of his appointed flunkies – like Ryan Zinke – not only approve of their boss’s lies; but, join willingly in shameful practices like those described by Clement in an attempt to close down criticism and confrontation.

Not unusual for rightwing ideologues. Reminiscent of that Republican creep, Joe McCarthy, who popularized the witch hunt as his favorite political theatre decades ago. Trump’s theatrics promise a revival.

6 thoughts on “Whistleblower Case Illustrates How Trump/Flunkies Try to Silence Science

  1. Ministry of Truth says:

    “Interior Dept. ordered Glacier park chief, other climate expert pulled from Zuckerberg tour” (Washington Post 7/20/17) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/07/20/climate-experts-pulled-from-glacier-national-park-tour-with-facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg/ Reportedly “the Park Service’s public affairs staff was instructed not to post anything about Zuckerberg’s visit on its Facebook or other social media accounts, including sharing a Facebook post he wrote during the visit in which he registered his alarm at the shrinking glaciers at the park, according to someone with knowledge of the directive.”

  2. Update says:

    An Interior Department executive turned whistleblower who claimed the Trump administration retaliated against him for publicly disclosing how climate change affects Alaska Native communities resigned Wednesday. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/10/04/whistleblower-resigns-keeping-my-voice-more-important-than-keeping-my-job/
    Joel Clement, a scientist and policy expert, was removed from his job by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke shortly after the disclosure and reassigned to an accounting position for which he has no experience. Clement was among dozens of senior executive service personnel who were quickly, and perhaps unlawfully, reassigned in June, but he was the only person who spoke out.
    (Clement’s letter of resignation @ http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/national/read-joel-clements-resignation-letter/2566/ ) “Zinke is on a mission to cut 4,000 jobs at Interior in accordance with President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget. In a Senate committee hearing, Zinke said attrition and reassignments would be used as tools toward that goal, and said layoffs are possible if they don’t work.”
    (Sept 27th) “As Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blasted many within his department for being disloyal to the Trump administration’s agenda this week, the agency’s inspector general’s office continued a probe into whether officials acted inappropriately when they abruptly reassigned dozens of senior workers.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/09/27/zinke-says-his-workers-are-disloyal-they-say-his-personnel-moves-break-the-law/
    See also: “Interior Department rejects 25 endangered species petitions, including several linked to climate change” (Oct 5) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/10/05/interior-department-rejects-25-endangered-species-petitions-including-several-linked-to-climate-change/?tid=pm_business_pop

  3. Decline2Accept_Reality says:

    “E.P.A. Cancels Talk on Climate Change by Agency Scientists” (New York Times 10/22/17) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/22/climate/epa-scientists.html
    “The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference on Monday in Rhode Island, according to the agency and several people involved.
    John Konkus, an E.P.A. spokesman and a former Trump campaign operative in Florida, confirmed that agency scientists would not speak at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed program in Providence. He provided no further explanation.
    Scientists involved in the program said that much of the discussion at the event centers on climate change. Many said they were surprised by the E.P.A.’s last-minute cancellation, particularly since the agency helps to fund the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, which is hosting the conference. The scientists who have been barred from speaking contributed substantial material to a 400-page report to be issued on Monday.”

  4. Heads up says:

    Contrary to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s vow to Congress that his department is not censoring science, National Park Service officials have deleted every mention of humans’ role in causing climate change in drafts of a long-awaited report on sea level rise and storm surge written by a University of Colorado Boulder climate scientist. https://www.revealnews.org/article/wipeout-human-role-in-climate-change-removed-from-science-report/
    The research for the first time projects the risks from rising seas and flooding at 118 coastal national park sites, including the National Mall, the original Jamestown settlement and the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Originally drafted in the summer of 2016 yet still not released to the public, the National Park Service report is intended to inform officials and the public about how to protect park resources and visitors from climate change.
    Critics say the National Park Service’s editing of the report reflects unprecedented political interference in government science at the Interior Department, which oversees the park service.
    Columbia University’s Silencing Science Tracker documents more than 100 instances of government trying to restrict research or public information about climate change. Among them are reports on climate change that have been stripped from government websites. http://columbiaclimatelaw.com/resources/silencing-science-tracker/

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