Baseless Attacks

April 3, 2010

I can’t believe I even need to address this, but I’ve received several messages from people suggesting that Rich and I are merely disgruntled employees pursuing a vendetta against JPL. That is ridiculous. Neither am I going to comment on the specific allegation that he or I are named plaintiffs in the litigation regarding the HSPD-12 implementation at JPL. That’s ridiculous and unfair. Your awareness of that lawsuit clearly shows that you now work or have worked at JPL. The fact that the lawsuit has resulted in an injunction against NASA implementing new HSPD-12 investigations for non-sensitive positions, and the fact that the federal court found NASA had violated employee’s privacy, shows your profound insensitivity on this issue, and that you are on the wrong side of this argument. Several close colleagues and subordinates have had their career path gravely altered by the needlessly personal and intrusive examination of their lives that HSPD-12 required. If you’ve worked at NASA or JPL for any length of time I’m sure you’ve seen that too. If you imagine our national security and national technology secrets are somehow secured by this farcical make-work smokescreen, you are a heartless fool.

As for the suggestions that Rich and I were passed over for MSL, you clearly haven’t read what I’ve said. I was not part of MER and MSL wouldn’t have been the appropriate place for me had I remained at JPL. You have no idea whether or not Rich has moved to MSL, I will neither confirm nor deny that. Even if he hasn’t moved yet, it means nothing. Excellent people remain needed on the MER team for some time to come; there will be plenty of time to transition later.

I am surprised and disappointed by this simplistic attack on our credibility. If you have worked at JPL as it seems, attack me on facts. What have I said that is factually untrue? I am a scientist, I endeavor to separate my personal feelings from the observations I make and the conclusions I draw from them. Those observations and conclusions are what I try to relay here. I wish that you who likely call yourself fellow scientists took the same objective view in debating these points that you do to your science.

I am working to post the conclusion to my journey tomorrow, but I felt I needed to address these allegations now.