Strong-arm tactics

By Geraldine Sealey
Published March 12, 2004 5:02PM (EST)

The Center for American Progress reminds us that the Medicare analyst who was threatened to be fired if he revealed higher cost estimates of the president's prescription drug plan -- the truth would have meant losing congressional votes, see -- isn't the only one to have faced such intimidation tactics.

Others include top White House adviser Larry Lindsey, fired when he revealed the war in Iraq could cost $200 billion. The Middle East mediator General Anthony Zinni lost his post after acknowledging there were bigger priorities than attacking Iraq. And, the Progress Report points out, U.S. soldiers have also been intimidated from speaking out. As Gen. John Abizaid, commander of the troops in Iraq, said after an ABC News reporter interviewed angry soldiers criticizing the administration: "None of us that wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the Secretary of Defense, or the President of the United States. Whatever action may be taken, whether it's a verbal reprimand or something more stringent, is up to the commanders on the scene."

A full list is here (.pdf file).

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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