A Lie By Any Other Name is ... Mendacity ... Dissembling ... Obscurantism

NASA's own watchdog: Agency misled on global warming, AP

"NASA public affairs officials criticized by the report called it wrong, saying they were always open and truthful. Not so, according to the report. The report did not directly accuse them of lying, but used more nuanced terms such as "mendacity" and "dissembling." The space agency complained those terms were unjust."

Investigative Summary Regarding Allegations that NASA Suppressed Climate Change Science and Denied Media Access to Dr. James E. Hansen, A NASA Scientist

Editor's note: This report really goes to extreme - and I think slightly absurd - lengths not to use the word "lie". Yet multiple instances where someone at NASA was not telling the truth - or telling slanted/partial truths - was meticulously documented. Unless I am mistaken some of the words used instead mean exactly - or darn close to the word "lie". All you need is to type these words into Google to see what they really mean.

Page 47: "We uncovered no direct evidence to substantiate their beliefs, but the circumstantial evidence (to include the apparent mendacity of one or more senior Public Affairs officials)"


"1. The condition of being mendacious; untruthfulness.
2. A lie; a falsehood."

Then there's this instance:

Page 22: "Dissembling/Obscurantism. Allegations that NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs improperly altered the author's message to mask the purported controversial implications of the scientific findings. Included in this allegation was the simplifying of headline titles, the adding of uncertainty to the findings, the changing of the emphasis of the story, the eliminating of "hot-button" words or phases such as "global warming," and the changing of scientists' "quoted" statements."


"1. To disguise or conceal behind a false appearance. See Synonyms at disguise.
2. To make a false show of; feign."


"(from the Latin obscurans, "darkening") is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known. There are two common senses of this: (1) opposition to the spread of knowledge--a policy of withholding knowledge from the general public; and (2) a style (as in literature or art) characterized by deliberate vagueness or abstruseness."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on June 2, 2008 6:57 PM.

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