WASHINGTON — The Pentagon today distanced itself from Under Secretary of Defense Donald Hicks' statement that he opposes granting research funds to opponents of the "Star Wars" program.
"It is not Department of Defense policy to review researchers' opinions prior to awarding them contracts," said Pentagon spokesman Jack Powers, reading a prepared statement. "Awards to researchers are made strictly on a merit basis."
In an interview published in Science magazine April 25, Hicks said that "the Department of Defense is given money for defense. Those who want to accept money to help us with the programs we need, we want to have. But I don't particularly view it as appropriate when somebody says we don't like the way you're running the department but we sure like your money."
"I have a tough time with disloyalty," he said. "We are in a situation where we are trying to protect the United States against a power that would like to soak us up. A lot of people don't believe that, but I know it's true."