Climate scientist James E. Hansen, with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has complained that Bush administration appointees at headquarters have demanded to review his lectures and publications in advance and give agency officials the right to stand in for him in interviews with reporters.

This is not unusual, as most governmental agencies have a public relations department.

Mr. Hansen has not only highlighted the growing threat of global warming but also one of the major problems with our government.

If you want to know why our government seems to be working less and less for the people and more and more for itself, you might start with the PR department.

The main purpose of a PR department is to make the organization it works for look good — and to release only the facts the organization they work for deems necessary. Have you ever seen a press release make the organization they work for look bad? Of course not, because it doesn't happen.

Now in a private business, that is understandable, but in a free society that is of the people, for the people and by the people, the people who work for that government should have the right to speak out about issues and abuses they see without fear of censorship or retribution from Big Brother. After all, their job is to represent the people, not the government.

I, for one, am sick and tired of seeing the truth glossed over by our government, and I'm sick and tired of politicians, both Republican and Democrat, who are more worried about lining their pockets, covering their rear ends and getting re-elected than they are about serving the people.

Maybe it is time to get rid of PR departments and see what happens when a few people just stand up and tell the truth. I think the people are dying to hear it.

Linda Way of the Little Rock community is a freelance writer and casino worker.

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