Altered States

A House probe of transcripts

At a hearing last summer on the problems at the Environmental Protection Agency, Congressman John Hiler, an Indiana Republican, angrily accused the panel's Democrats of conducting a political witch hunt. "We are unfortunately doomed to have to undergo what has been an extraordinarily partisan hearing," he said. On reviewing the transcript of the hearing last month, Hiler discovered that his remark had been altered to read: "We are unfortunately doomed?" And there, astonishingly, the sentence ended. This and other surprising examples of phantom fiddling with the official record of House committee hearings had the effect of making...

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