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IG Asked To Do Investigation on Political Bias Inside NASA

By Keith Cowing
October 7, 2011
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Rep. Lamar Smith Seeks Investigation on the Politicization of NASA
“Congressman Lamar Smith, the vice-chair of the Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, today called for NASA’s inspector general to investigate the politicization of the agency. This stems from a NASA-internal report showing that Obama Administration political appointees “focus on Democratic political goals, not national goals,” creating a dysfunctional and hostile work environment for NASA’s career civil servants.”
Keith’s note: Yawn. And when Republican political appointees at NASA where doing the exact same thing that has Lamar Smith all hot and bothered, he never uttered a peep. And who works on Smith’s staff? Former NASA political appointee Chris Shank (R). Pot, Kettle, Black.
NASA OIG: Investigative Summary Regarding Allegations that NASA Suppressed Climate Change Science and Denied Media Access to Dr. James E. Hansen, earlier post
“…it is our conclusion that the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs’ actions were inconsistent with the mandate and intent of NASA’s controlling legislation–the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (Space Act) and NASA’s implementing regulations–insomuch as they prevented “the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination” of information concerning NASA’s activities and results. While we could not substantiate that Administration officials employed outside NASA approved or disapproved or edited specific news releases, we do, however, find by a preponderance of the evidence that the claims of inappropriate political interference made by the climate change scientists and career Public Affairs Officers were more persuasive than the arguments of the senior Public Affairs officials that their actions were due to the volume and poor quality of the draft news releases.”
Internal NASA documents portray a dysfunctional, political agency, Houston Chronicle
“[Rep. Smith’s] request was prompted by NASA internal documents that date to February, 2010. They come from briefings on Team Development Assessment Reports. Essentially center directors, non-technical leaders at NASA HQ and technical leaders at NASA HQ were surveyed at the time about the morale, and concerns about the agency. The briefing chart below reflects a summary of the survey results for center directors (such as Johnson Space Center’s Mike Coats)”

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