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September 20, 2011

Second Government Official Comes Forward To Charge That White House Lobbied Him On His Testimony, To Make It More Helpful To Donor/Ally LightSquared

An Air Force General already reported, on the record, that the White House tried to push him into altering his testimony in order to help LightSquared.

LightSquared has a neat business plan -- wireless internet for homes. They'd just beam the signals to your house, and your home would beam back your imputs. No cable-optic or copper wires.

The problem is that the particular band of the electromagnetic spectrum LightSquared purchased for this purpose happens to sit right next to the band for GPS positioning, and there are questions about whether having so much traffic in a nearby band would disrupt/distort the GPS signal. Which, of course, not only has gonzo consumer applications, but crucial military ones.

Now another government official steps forward to say the White House offered him "guidance" about the timetable for resolving the question of whether about signal bleed from LightSquared's band would disrupt the GPS band.

Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, told The Daily Beast he rejected “guidance” from the White House’s Office of Budget and Management suggesting he tell Congress that the government’s concerns about the project by the firm LightSquared could be resolved in 90 days, a timetable favorable to the company’s plans.

“They gave that to me and presumably the other witnesses,” Russo said. “There is one sentence I disagreed with, which said that I thought the testing could be resolved in 90 days. So I took it out.”

Russo said he objected to that language because “I have low confidence that we can complete all of the testing in 90 days.” He estimated that such testing would take at least six months. Russo called the White House efforts to alter his testimony “guidance rather than pressure.”

Right, well, that's what he says.


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posted by Ace at 03:23 PM

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