Covering for the boss

Surgeon General Carmona wouldn’t tell us who was pulling his strings when it came to weasel-talking to the public about health:

Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional panel Tuesday that top Bush administration officials repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations

The administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues. Top officials delayed for years and tried to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said. Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm.

Dr. Carmona said he was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings.

And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to a “prominent family” that he refused to name.

“I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.

The Special Olympics is one of the nation’s premier charitable organizations to benefit disabled people, and the Kennedys have long been deeply involved in it.

When asked after the hearing if that “prominent family” was the Kennedys, Dr. Carmona responded, “You said it. I didn’t.”

In response to lawmakers’ questions, Dr. Carmona refused to name specific people in the administration who had instructed him to put political considerations over scientific ones. He said, however, that they included assistant secretaries of health and human services as well as top political appointees outside the department of health.

Dr. Carmona did offer to provide the names to the committee in a private meeting.

Hmmmmm. I wonder who any of these political appointees could be. Here’s a clue based upon the sure-to-come trashing of Carmona:

Emily Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman, said the surgeon general “is the leading voice for the health of all Americans.”

“It’s disappointing to us,” Ms. Lawrimore said, “if he failed to use this position to the fullest extent in advocating for policies he thought were in the best interests of the nation.”

Emily Lawrimore:

Speech and communications graduate Emily Lawrimore is communications director for S.C. Congressman Joe Wilson (with whom she’s pictured) in Washington, D.C.

Before joining Wilson’s team, Lawrimore worked at the White House, where she served as an executive assistant in the office of Karl Rove, senior adviser to President George W. Bush.

She also worked for Vice President Dick Cheney as a special assistant to his communications director, Cathie Martin.

This is just a hunch, you understand….

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....