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Surgeon Generally Frustrated

As President Bush appoints a new Surgeon General, the old one, Dr. Richard Carmona, who cleaned out his desk in 2006, is back to clean out his closet.He told a House committee that during his 4-year tenure his speeches were scrubbed for politically sensitive content, and he was ordered to keep quiet..

As President Bush appoints a new Surgeon General, the old one, Dr. Richard Carmona, who cleaned out his desk in 2006, is back to clean out his closet.

He told a House committee that during his 4-year tenure his speeches were scrubbed for politically sensitive content, and he was ordered to keep quiet on issues like stem cell research. A problem?

The Wall Street Journal thinks not:

"Science may inform policy, but it's no substitute for the political judgments that properly play a role in guiding public policy. In the area of stem cells, for instance, there is no ban on debating the science -- only a question of whether and to what extent it should be publicly funded."

But if the government tries to obscure the scientific facts, it gets a lot harder to debate them. Whatever your moral position, the science is relevant and we, the electorate, need an objective expert so we know which chad to punch when we're evaluating politicians' positions.

Check out Reagan's Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who was against abortion philosophically but maintained objectivity about its medical risks.