“What You Don’t Know Can’t Hurt You”
Every bureaucracy seeks to increase the superiority of the professionally informed by keeping knowledge and intention secret. The way in which knowledge is produced in an atmosphere of pervasive ambiguity and uncertainty is critical in the calamity that follows. In the contestation that follows in the wake of disaster, government agencies play a role equally decisive to that of the media, the law, and corporations in framing the event. The Committee's report asserts that the reviews of the FEMA trailer scandal, as well as deficiencies in other ATSDR health reports, "suggest" that the Agency has not fully recovered from its earlier problems. Furthermore, the report concluded that EPA's reassurance that it was safe for New Yorkers to return to work on Wall Street was substituted for a statement with a very different message, one that stated that the air monitors failed to record dangerous samples.