For the Record . . .

Scott Jaschik hasa spooky article in Inside Higher Ed today – reporting that, when Linda Bilmes, a Havard economist, wrote an analysis that said the administration had underestimated the cost of rehabilitation for soldiers injured in Iraq, the Pentagon challenged her findings. When she pointed out the data she used was from a government Website, the information on the site was changed. The Pentagon says it was correcting the number – by subtracting all injuries that were not a result of combat or enemy action. They became aware of the “error” when Bilmes wrote up her findings for the L.A. Times.

This certainly has implications for the preservation of government information. It’s disturbing that official numbers can be erased and altered if the conclusions scholars draw from them are uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, this might be just the right time to read a new report from The First Amendment Center, Government Secrecy vs. Freedom of the Press.

posted by Barbara Fister

Author: Barbara Fister

I'm an academic librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Like all librarians at our small, liberal arts institution I am involved in reference, collection development, and shared management of the library. My area of specialization is instruction, with research interests also in media literacy, popular literacy, publishing, and assessment.

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