James Hansen accuses White House of 'Nazi' tactics
WASHINGTON -- A government scientist, under sharp questioning by a federal panel for his outspoken views on global warming, stood by his view today that the Bush administration's information policies smacked of Nazi Germany.Scientist accuses White House of 'Nazi' tactics - Los Angeles Times
James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, took particular issue with the administration's rule that a government information officer listen in on his interviews with reporters and its refusal to allow him to be interviewed by National Public Radio.
"This is the United States," Hansen told the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. "We do have freedom of speech here."
But Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) said it was reasonable for Hansen's employer to ask him not to state views publicly that contradicted administration policy.
"I am concerned that many scientists are increasingly engaging in political advocacy and that some issues of science have become increasingly partisan as some politicians sense that there is a political gain to be found on issues like stem cells, teaching evolution and climate change," Issa said.
Hansen said the Bush administration was not the first in U.S. history to practice information management over government scientists, but it has been the most vigorous. He deplored a "politicization of science."
"When I testify to you as a government scientist," he said, "why does my testimony have to be reviewed, edited and changed by a bureaucrat in the White House?" Sitting beside him was one of the bureaucrats Hansen was talking about: Philip Cooney, chief of staff to the White House Council on Environmental Quality from 2001 to 2005.
Cooney, an official of the American Petroleum Institute before going to the White House, acknowledged having reviewed some of Hansen's testimony as part of a long-standing practice designed to result in consistency.