What's the point of having positions like this if power trippers in the White House are going to twist arms at every opportunity? Shameful...
President Bush's most recent surgeon general accused the administration Tuesday of muzzling him for political reasons on hot-button health issues such as emergency contraception and abstinence-only education.
Dr. Richard Carmona told lawmakers that the Bush administration interfered with his work.
Dr. Richard Carmona, the nation's 17th surgeon general, told lawmakers that all surgeons general have had to deal with politics but none more so than he.
For example, he said he wasn't allowed to make a speech at the Special Olympics because it was viewed as benefiting a political opponent. However, he said he was asked to speak at events designed to benefit Republican lawmakers.
"The reality is that the nation's doctor has been marginalized and relegated to a position with no independent budget, and with supervisors who are political appointees with partisan agendas," said Carmona, who served from 2002 to 2006.
Another report, on global health challenges, was never released after the administration demanded changes that he refused to make, Carmona said.
"I was told this would be a political document or you're not going to release it." Carmona said. "I said it can't be a political document because the surgeon general never releases political documents. I release scientific documents that will help our elected officials and the citizens understand the complex world we live in and what their responsibilities are."
He refused to identify the officials who sought the changes.
Carmona said he believed the surgeon general should show leadership on health issues. But his speeches were edited by political appointees, and he was told not to talk about certain issues. For example, he supported comprehensive sex education that would include abstinence in the curriculum, rather than focusing solely on abstinence.
"However, there was already a policy in place that didn't want to hear the science, but wanted to -- quote, unquote -- 'preach abstinence,' which I felt was scientifically incorrect," Carmona said.
full story here: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/...eral.ap/index.html?iref=newssearch