The White House memory hole
    is a bottomless pit

There seems to be absolutely no limit to the sheer effrontery of Team Bush’s effort to cover up the astounding incompetence that leads to its pattern of miserable failure.

This is funny, but it’s also serious. Republican government rests on accountability, and accountability depends on the existence of honest records of the past. The real horror of Nineteen Eight-Four isn’t Room 101; it’s the memory hole, and the denial of the independent standing of objective fact as against “the Party line,” or, as it’s now called, “the spin.” The habit of futzing with official websites so as to “edit” the past ought to be recognized as an issue of Constitutional significance, and it probably ought to be made criminal.

(Note to Democratic Senators, especially Messrs. Kerry, Edwards, and Lieberman: A rider on the White House appropriation might be a good legislative venue; the House leadership could and would keep such a proposal from ever coming to a vote, but it’s not so easy in the Senate.)

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: