January 13, 2011

DEAR DEFAMED: Trust Us, We’re The Government. “With the release of a new report analyzing a quietly amended Government Accountability Office study that’s been used to club for-profit colleges, fear of GAO bias has reached a fever pitch. Sadly, the GAO’s response to the report does anything but assuage that fear. To get a decent sense for the government abuse both surrounding, and possibly perpetrated by, the GAO study in question, it’s worth a quick rehash of events. . . . You don’t have to suffer from tinfoil-hat paranoia to see real and potential government abuse all over this sorry episode. First, opportunist politicians and others misused the initial GAO report to smear the whole for-profit sector. Then, once the damage was done, the GAO made significant changes to their report without even so much as issuing a press release. And now, as even the amended report is being ripped to shreds, the GAO’s response is basically ‘you can’t have access to the evidence being used against you, and you don’t need it: We’ve already decided we’re right and you’re wrong.'”

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