The Spectacle Blog

Hey NASA, Let the Sunshine

By on 3.16.11 | 6:23PM

My piece explaining an appeal I filed today with NASA over a thoroughly bizarre effort on its part to withhold ethics-related records of James Hansen is now up at Pajamas Media, with links to the appeal and similar documents.

In short: how can you even try to pull the claim that releasing Hansen's applications for waiver for outside employment -- the ol' GSFC 17-60 -- would constitute a 'clearly unwarranted violation of his personal privacy', when you just released the same file for his co-worker Gavin Schmidt?

Do you really think you can get away with saying that whether or not NASA is complying with its ethics obligations is not relevant to the agency's operations, whether it is fulfilling its statutory duties or, as one court famously put it, "what [NASA] is up to"? Will you go to the mat with this claim that whether or not NASA is obeying ethics laws is not of the public's interest?

And, you're not really going to try to try the super hush-hush, national security, dontchaknow, "Glomar' reply, refusing to confirm or deny the records exist, like NSA did in creating this move regarding Cold War spy operations? Because I have to say, that seems to be what you're hinting at.

Anyone get the sense there's a there, there? Or, as I suspected after seeing Schmidt's files and reading NASA explain he only recently hopped right on that requirement after figuring out we were indeed coming after his records, that the applications are somewhat wanting?

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