Thursday, August 30, 2007

JPL Scientists Refuse Broad Background Checks

from "JPL Scientists Sue Federal Government and Caltech for NASA's Background Checks"

The waiver allows investigators to look at workers' employment, financial and medical histories. They can also question friends and colleagues about the workers' psychological health, political background and sexual proclivities.

This is legally acceptable for people in classified or highly sensitive positions, said Stormer, but none of the 28 scientists -- many of whom have been at JPL for decades -- fit that bill.

..."I can fly a spacecraft to any planet in the galaxy, and I'm being judged by people who don't have a clue as to my technical qualifications whether I'm suitable for government service," said Byrnes.

He continued, "It's already an extremely rigorous process when the labs hire someone. We check your degrees, whether you worked where you said you did. All that is normal and fine. This is something else. This is McCarthyism."

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