The Final Frontier

| Thu Dec. 11, 2008 2:20 PM EST

THE FINAL FRONTIER....Hmmm. Speaking of czars, apparently NASA administrator Mike Griffin thinks he's the space czar, one whose word is not to be questioned by meddling usurpers:

In a heated 40-minute conversation last week with Lori Garver, a former NASA associate administrator who heads [Barack Obama's] space transition team, a red-faced Griffin demanded to speak directly to Obama, according to witnesses.

In addition, Griffin is scripting NASA employees and civilian contractors on what they can tell the transition team and has warned aerospace executives not to criticize the agency's moon program, sources said.

....When team members arrived three weeks ago, they asked the agency, among other things, to quantify how much could be saved by canceling Ares I. Though they also asked what it would take to accelerate the program, the fact that the team could even consider scrapping the program was enough to spur Griffin and his supporters into action

According to industry officials, Griffin started calling heads of companies working for NASA, demanding that they either tell the Obama team that they support Constellation or refrain from talking about alternatives.

....Soon after, Garver and Griffin engaged in what witnesses said was an animated conversation...."Mike, I don't understand what the problem is. We are just trying to look under the hood," Garver said.

"If you are looking under the hood, then you are calling me a liar," Griffin replied. "Because it means you don't trust what I say is under the hood.

This whole thing is bizarre. In six weeks Obama's team will take over and they're going to be able to tear the hood to shreds and dump its contents on the floor if they feel like it. What on earth does Griffin think he's accomplishing with this kind of Mayberry Machiavelli stuff? Via Tapped.

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