Friday, October 15, 2004

Civil Rights Commission's Preliminary Report on Bush 

The New York Times reports both on a preliminary report on the Bush Administration published online by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and on the accusations being made by some of the commissioners that the online publication was politically motivated.

The process of immediately posting the preliminary report online was approved by the commission in a 6-2 vote two years ago, after a draft report had been leaked to the press. The draft report is researched and written by staff, who then submit it to the commission and post it online. The commissioners can then challenge any findings and vote on those challenges before sending the final report to Congress and the White House.

As in 2000 when then President Clinton was facing re-election, the commission voted to postpone consideration of the report until after the election. The Republican commissioners have expressed their concern that the timing of the posting was politically motivated, and attempted to have it removed.

My question - if not posting the unfavorable draft would have been contrary to approved standard procedures, would that not have been a politically motivated violation of procedure?

At any rate, the report, titled "Redefining Rights in America: The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2004," is still posted on the Commission's homepage, and is clearly labeled as a staff draft, as are several other posted documents.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:53 PM