War on science continues

It's one thing to be anti-science when you're arguing about the age of the earth or whether evolution is real, but it's another thing altogether when your ideological zealotry kills innocent people and you lie about the consequences of your action.

Insistence by Republican Congressional leaders that American money to fight the spread of AIDS globally be used to emphasize abstinence and fidelity is undercutting comprehensive and widely accepted aid models, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released Tuesday.

The report by the G.A.O., an investigative arm of Congress, examines the effect of a mandate from Congress that at least a third of United States money to prevent the spread of AIDS worldwide be devoted to sexual abstinence and fidelity programs. It found that the provision had limited the reach of broader strategies to fight AIDS that include the use of condoms.

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Dr. Mark R. Dybul, the deputy coordinator of the federal AIDS program, strongly disagreed. He said the program was carrying out a balanced effort that includes all the elements of ABC, a strategy that successfully reduced H.I.V. infection rates in Uganda. The guidelines are generally clearly spelled out, he said.

More broadly, he said, Congress's requirement has brought about what he called a needed shift of emphasis to include abstinence and fidelity, saying that earlier programs had been overly focused on condoms. But condoms have not been neglected, he said. The number distributed at United States expense has risen during Mr. Bush's years in office, to 429 million last year from 348 million in 2001, federal figures show.

When it comes to believing a Bushbot or the General Accounting Office, there's not much to debate.