Stewart D. Nozette, called by the Washington Post “a brilliant and creative scientist, an astronomer who… daydreamed of colonizing the moon,” was indicted Oct. 21 on two counts of attempted espionage. He is accused of giving sensitive government information to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.
The story is headlined “Espionage suspect has friends puzzled” (registration required). One of the friends named in the article is Jerry Pournelle:
“Stewart is too smart to be caught up in something like this,” said science fiction author Jerry Pournelle, who worked with Nozette and others in the early 1980s to advise the U.S. government on space policy. “I just find the whole thing very odd.”
Nozette attended one or more meetings of Jerry Pournelle’s Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy which enjoyed its greatest influence during the Reagan Administration.
The Post adds: “In January, Nozette pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion. But the case was sealed by a federal judge because the scientist was providing information about unrelated investigations of government corruption, prosecutors said.”
The history of the Council chronicled by a National Space Society publication in 2001 named Nozette among the participants:
Science fiction authors figured prominently among the Council’s membership. Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Dean Ing, and G. Harry Stine were among those invited at one time or another. Because the invitation to attend specifically requested assistance in preparing the Reagan transition team papers on space, Pournelle was able to induce a range of luminaries to attend. The list of those who attended the first and subsequent meetings of the Citizens’ Advisory Council included astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Gerald Carr, Philip K. Chapman, Pete Conrad, Gordon Cooper, and Walter Schirra. A number of retired military brass frequented the meetings too: Col. Jack Coakley, US Army Retired; Col. Francis X. Kane, US Air Force Retired; Brigadier General Stewart Meyer, former commander of the Redstone Arsenal; and Brigadier General Robert Richardson, US Air Force Retired. Other attendees ranged from NASA administrator Thomas O. Paine to Stewart Nozette, of the National Space Council, to Lawrence Livermore scientist Lowell Wood.
[Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]