Government watchdogs are crying "bullshit" and calling the U.S. Navy a "bully" in response to a redacted federal report on the drinking water supply at the Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune, the site of an ongoing pollution scandal.
The report released on Friday is a prerequisite for studies to come out in the next couple of years exploring links between chemical exposures in the late-1950s to mid-1980s and what appears to be increased levels of cancer and other diseases among former Camp Lejeune residents. Watchdog groups say that redacting information pertinent to these studies could impede justice.
"Given the many documented instances of inappropriate secrecy related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, it unfortunately is only reasonable to question the interest being sought by the Marine Corps," reads a letter addressed to U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Tuesday.
The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) and 30 other groups, including the Sierra Club and the Center for Environmental Health, signed the letter and sent another version Tuesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
"Quite clearly, the Navy is bullying," Angela Canterbury, director of public policy for POGO, told The Huffington Post.