NASA acknowledges case of censoring Jim Hansen communication

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In a June 6 letter to Senators Collins (R-ME) and Lieberman (D-CT), NASA acknowledged that the agency had inappropriately restricted public communication by Dr. James Hansen by preventing him from responding to a media interview request.  Sen. Lieberman’s response noted that new charges of suppressing climate science also have arisen at three other agencies.

Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), the chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, reported on June 9 that they have received a letter from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) acknowledging that a media request to interview Dr. James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Spoace Studies, was wrongly denied.

“An internal inquiry has revealed that one recent media request to interview Dr. James Hansen, of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was inappropriately declined,” wrote Brian Chase, assistant administrator of NASA’s Office of Legislative Affairs.  But this incident “was contrary to NASA policy [and] did not spring from any change in policy or in any way change NASA’s commitment to fully and transparently communicate its findings, programs, and activities to the public.”

Senator Lieberman commented:  “In the time it took NASA to acknowledge that the censorship of Dr. Hansen was inappropriate, new charges of suppressing climate science have arisen at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Forest Service. Reports of this disturbing practice have now arisen at four federal agencies: EPA, NASA, NOAA, and the Forest Service. It is time for the White House to stop suppressing important climate change information that the public has a right to know and needs to know.”

Earlier posts on this blog pertaining to Jim Hansen include: 
Feb. 3, 2006—Censorship of Federal Climate Scientists:  The Critical Case of Jim Hansen
Feb. 16, 2006—Jim Hansen: NOAA ‘by fiat” put out “biased information” on hurricanes
March 16, 2006—285 NASA scientists and engineers sign statement of support for Jim Hansen and open public dialogue
March 21, 2006—CBS News “60 Minutes” airs global warming story on “Re-Writing the Science”
April 2, 2006—Government Accountability Project memo to climate scientists on new NASA media policy

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