In this “Sunshine Week” — amid revelations that the vow of transparency was not, as George Stephanopoulos famously said about Bill Clinton’s truthiness, one of the campaign promises Barack Obama intended to keep — I have just filed an administrative appeal with NASA challenging its thoroughly puzzling refusal to release ethics-related records for its high-profile global warming activist/advocate, the astronomer Dr. James Hansen.
This request and appeal are on behalf of the American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center, for which I am pursuing a transparency project. Other efforts include seeking the same records from the University of Virginia, under the state’s Freedom of Information Act, that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is seeking through a taxpayer protection, anti-fraud statute.
On that front, we have been promised that a rolling production of documents will begin in mere days (which does not mean that we won’t be forced to litigate over claimed exemptions).
NASA rejected our request for records relating to compliance with applicable ethics laws, particularly Hansen’s office, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Hansen is NASA’s highest-profile, most media-present employee and also very entrepreneurial.