vetting our scientists

The LA Times has this story (free, reg. required) about the Bush administration’s new rules governing Health and Human Services (HHS) employees’ attendance at World Health Organization (WHO) meetings. Under the present system the WHO invites experts to serve on panels. However, Tommy Thompson’s spokesperson claims:

No one knows better than HHS who the experts are and who can provide the most up-to-date and expert advice. The World Health Organization does not know the best people to talk to, but HHS knows.

The new system requires all requests for government experts to be vetted by the political appointees in HHS.
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