The Trump cabal of religious extremists, privatization advocates and racists, as described by Jeremy Scahill, suppresses the science that doesn’t fit its agenda, “and that should terrify you,” reports Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik. “Nearly every day brings a new report of a federal agency told to shut down communications with the public or even members of Congress; tweets about important topics such as climate change removed from the public record; bans on talking to the press.”
“Among the first agencies reported to face an information lockdown were the departments of Agriculture and the Interior,” continues Hiltzik. “Scientists and other staffers at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, its main scientific arm, were told Monday to stop releasing ‘any public-facing documents’, including ‘news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content … until further notice’, according to an internal email published by BuzzFeed. Following a public uproar, the ban was rescinded a day later.”
Donald Trump started with climate change denial, and proceeded, rapidly, to fetter directives of the Environmental Protection Agency. “We’re living in a new era, where an unverified report about possible, unsubstantiated rumors of alleged, unconfirmed evidence hacked from an undisclosed source competes on an equal footing with real information,” notes Dr. Brian Moench, President of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Trump’s strategy is clearly an attempt to delegitimize any source of information that has the temerity to challenge or tarnish him.”
In keeping with its overall fascist direction and agenda, the new regime is attacking the foundation of the public’s ability to engage in critical thinking: a scientific, evidence-based approach to reality.
The Trump regime’s actions to shut down communications by dozens of federal agencies has not gone unopposed. A number of so-called rogue twitter accounts have sprung up to communicate information directly to the public. While all of them can’t be verified, an interview has been published with the people behind @ActualEPAFacts, who explained why they took this unprecedented, and potentially career-killing, step:
We all work on climate change research and grant administration. Knowing that our department is not valued by the person who may be leading the agency worries us. Our jobs are at stake. We wanted to be sure that science, real science, continues to have a voice. When the information was deleted from the Badlands NPS site it felt very Orwellian.
“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears,” wrote George Orwell in 1949. “It was their final, most essential command.”