The Sciences

Griffin/Obama follow up

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitDec 12, 2008 12:21 AM


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A friend of mine who shall remain nameless sent me an interesting follow-up to the news that Griffin may be giving the Obama transition team for NASA a hard time. A lot of blogs and news orgs wrote about the situation, so Griffin posted a note to a NASA mailing list:

Point of Contact: David Mould, Office of Public Affairs, 202-358-1898 ------------------------------------------------- A MESSAGE FROM THE NASA ADMINISTRATOR A recent report in the Orlando Sentinel suggested that NASA is not cooperating with members of President-elect Obama's transition team currently working at Headquarters. This report, largely supported by anonymous sources and hearsay, is simply wrong. I would like to reiterate what I have stated in a previous email to all NASA Officials: we must make every effort to "lean forward," to answer questions promptly, openly and accurately. We are fully cooperating with transition team members. Since mid-November, the agency has provided 414 documents and 185 responses to 191 requests. There are six outstanding responses, and the agency will meet the deadline for those queries. Also, we strongly urge full and free cooperation by companies performing work for NASA. I am appalled by any accusations of intimidation, and encourage a free and open exchange of information with the contractor community. The transition team's work is too important to become mired in unsupported and anonymous allegations. The President-elect's transition team deserves everyone's complete cooperation. Michael D. Griffin Administrator

Like I said, I'm not thrilled with using "unnamed sources" in articles, but on the other hand Griffin's statement doesn't really clear things up; if the accusations are false then nothing has changed, and if they are true than he would be forced to post something like this anyway. It's an irritating aspect of he-said-she-said. Also like I said in the earlier post, read the original Sentinel article with skepticism, but it doesn't take away the point I was making. Griffin will almost certainly be replaced, and that I hope Obama picks up the ball and puts someone in his stead who has experience and vision for NASA. While I disagree with Griffin politically and on some other issues, he in general has the right idea for NASA.

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