DOE SHIELDS FUSION RESEARCHERS FROM ACCOUNTABILITY



Dear Visitor:

The following correspondence with Government agencies is self-explanatory. It concerns a Government funding agency DOE (Department of Energy) shielding public-funded fusion energy researchers from scientific criticism.

For general background and legitimacy of this criticism, please visit

For my issues pertaining to the fusion research program explained in simple terms, please visit this page which concludes with the following prediction:

In my thinking, trying to contain a fusion plasma in a magnetic field is like trying to store nitric acid in a lead jar. A physicist of future might look back and find the "hot" fusion research program as humorous as the cold fusion research program has been perceived by the Physics Establishment today - although for different reasons.

Sincerely,

Bibhas De

      

N. Anne Davies, Head of Office of Fusion Energy Science (OFES); John Marburger, Head of Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP); Gregory Friedman, Inspector General, DOE (OIG-DOE)

Subj: "RESEARCH INTEGRITY"
Date: 1/7/2000
To: Information@ostp.eop.gov

The Office of Science and Technology Policy
Washington, D.C.

RE: Where to file a representation on research integrity (PHYSICS)

Gentlemen:

The Department of Health and Human Services has an Office of Research Integrity where one can file representations regarding the conduct of research in health sciences.

I am looking for information on where to file such representations on fields outside of health sciences (specifically, Physics).

This concerns raising of specific questions about scientific ethics of a specific research community - as elicited by a specific chain of events. The community is supported by a multiplicity of governmental agencies. The matter is not resolvable within the scientific community. The matter may have a public interest aspect to it.

I would be grateful if you can direct me to the right place, whether inside or outside your Office.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Sincerely,

Bibhas R. De, Ph.D.
email: BibhasDe (a) aol.com


Subj: Re: "RESEARCH INTEGRITY"
Date: 1/12/2000 7:33:22 AM EST
From: dhodge@ostp.eop.gov
To: BibhasDe (a) aol.com

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In order to address this issue, you need to figure out which agency is the primary funding source. After that is determined, please contact the agency's IG (Inspector General) with your concerns.

Dave


Subj: MAGNETICALLY CONFINED FUSION - NEW PHYSICS?
Date: 8/7/2001
To: Shahida.Afzal@science.doe.gov

Dr. Shahida Afzal
Fusion Energy Sciences Program
US-DOE

RE: MAGNETICALLY CONFINED FUSION- NEW PHYSICS?

Dear Dr. Afzal:

I am seeking your kind attention in forwarding this letter to the appropriate people in your organization.

This matter concerns my paper "THE MISSED PHYSICS OF SOURCE-FREE MAGNETIC FIELD", available at:

http://www.journaloftheoretics.com/Articles/3-3/bibhas-pub.htm

The paper has been studied many times at length and depth at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, which to date has been unable to disprove it. However, they seem to be reluctant to publish a public refutation, preferring to keep the dispute under wraps. This is not a philosophical or subjective issue - the paper is either correct or incorrect.

Since the matter concerns the very core of the science of magnetically confined fusion, it seems to me that your organization should have an interest in this matter. It seems to me that all parties concerned can benefit by a public assessment of this idea. Therefore I seek the aid of your office in urging Princeton and/or any other organization that you support to publish a refutation.

I am currently writing a tentative "white paper" on the ramification of the new idea.

Thanking you in advance, I am,

Sincerely yours,

Bibhas R. De, Ph. D.


Subj: RE: MAGNETICALLY CONFINED FUSION - NEW PHYSICS?
Date: 8/8/2001 1:15:32 PM EST
From: Albert.Opdenaker@science.doe.gov (Opdenaker, Albert)
To: BibhasDe (a) aol.com ('BibhasDe (a) aol.com')
CC: Shahida.Afzal@science.doe.gov (Afzal, Shahida)

Dear Dr. Bibhas:

I would suggest that if you would like to engage the fusion science community in a debate about your ideas, you prepare an article for an appropriate peer-reviewed journal. This is the mechanism normally used to begin such discussions.

Albert L. Opdenaker III
Office of Fusion Energy Sciences
301-903-4927
albert.opdenaker@science.doe.gov


Subj: Re: MAGNETICALLY CONFINED FUSION - NEW PHYSICS?
Date: 8/16/2001
To: Albert.Opdenaker@science.doe.gov
CC: Shahida.Afzal@science.doe.gov
CC: mail@journaloftheoretics.com

Dr. Albert Opdenaker
Office of Fusion Energy Sciences
US-DOE

RE: MAGNETICALLY CONFINED FUSION

Dear Dr. Opdenaker:

Many thanks for your kind response. In reply to my request that your office urge the Magnetically Confined Fusion research community to publish a public refutation of my recent paper, you write:

"I would suggest that if you would like to engage the fusion science community in a debate about your ideas, you prepare an article for an appropriate peer-reviewed journal. This is the mechanism normally used to begin such discussions."

This comment suggests that I have failed to properly set forth the matter for you. I will do so now. This letter can then also serve as a later referral to the Inspector General of DOE, should it come to that.

First, the paper HAS BEEN published in a peer-reviewed journal. It stands documented. One can argue about which journal is better or worse, but this is irrelevant once a scientific idea has been properly documented in the proper language of science.

Second, I have tried unsuccessfully to initiate the debate that you suggest for the past five years, having failed to publish the paper in some 20 "appropriate peer-reviewed journals". They simply would not let the paper see the light of day.

Third, the above rejection was based mostly on authoritative assertions that the paper is wrong (without any proof thereof). In other cases, it was deemed not appropriate or urgent for publication. However, they have no problems justifying the time-critical publication of papers on Time Machines and Teleportation when these come from the anointed among them.

Fourth, upon the publication of the paper by Journal of Theoretics, a very serious and in-depth effort was made to disprove it at Princeton University. This was done because a scientist there became irate with the publication of this paper which he had earlier rejected for another journal. I have however worked closely with them on this, assisting them in their assessment. But this effort has not gone anywhere. They have not shared their calculations with me, will not publish them for everyone to see, and are reluctant to let me quote their failure to disprove the paper. When I mentioned that I was following up further on my idea, they said I was making too big a deal of it.

Fifth, the paper is either correct or incorrect. If correct, it means that this community is deficient at the very core. It may even mean that sustained magnetically confined fusion is a theoretical impossibility.

Sixth, I have contacted a very large number (hundreds) of responsible leaders of the physics community over this. I have sought their help in getting the paper debated. The result was complete silence. After the paper is published, the silence continues.

Seventh, this community has recently been reviewed by a high-level panel which has a issued a sternly critical report. The main point seems to be that this community has a tunnel vision, refusing to look at the broader relevant issues of physics beyond their own chosen narrow focus. Their present conduct bears out this criticism.

Eighth, if you think that a learned group as whole can do no wrong, I can point you to the standards set in this area by physicists themselves. Recently, they mounted a highly visible attack on the Social Theory community, calling them intellectual impostors. After the publication of that book, there was much self-congratulatory rejoicing over this in the pages of the flagship news journal PHYSICS TODAY.

Ninth, earlier I contacted the OSTP in the Executive Office of the President on what the appropriate equivalent in physics would be for the ORI. I was told that it would be the Inspector General of the relevant funding agency.

For all these reasons and more, I feel that the matter is ready and appropriate for the Government office that oversees the distribution of public funds to this community. But I am not asking much of your office at all. It is not at all unusual for funding agencies (FDA, NIH etc) to initiate interest in a controversial issue. In fact, it's a crucial part of their job. This need not be done formally or in an officious manner. All that is necessary is for an agency scientist (a grant monitor) to call an appropriate academic, exchange pleasantries, and casually inject something like this: "Hey Ron, what's the deal with this? … I see. Another crackpot paper?… OK, so if it is so patently wrong, it should take much to write up a rebuttal and publish it?… Better do this and get done with it."

Sincerely yours,

Bibhas R. De, Ph. D.

Copy to:

Dr. Shahida Afzal,
Office of Fusion Energy Sciences,
US-DOE

Dr. James P. Siepmann,
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Theoretics


No response


Subj: Pending Issue
Date: 2/28/2002
To: Albert.Opdenaker@science.doe.gov
CC: Shahida.Afzal@science.doe.gov

28 February 2002

Dear Dr. Opdenaker:

With regard to our correspondence last August I am writing to inquire what, if anything, is being done by your office for the furtherance of this scientific cause. To refresh your memory about this correspondence, simply go to following site, and scroll down to the section "Government Waste?":

http://www.journaloftheoretics.com/Comments/c3-5.htm

Please note that the original paper at issue:

http://www.journaloftheoretics.com/Articles/3-3/bibhas-pub.htm

has now been supplemented by a white paper:

http://www.journaloftheoretics.com/Links/Papers/BibhasDe.pdf

As I mentioned before, if no help is available from your office, I will on this basis take the next logical step - write an open letter to the IG of DOE.

Thank you in advance for an update on this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Bibhas R. De


Subj: Your Request for Funding Support
Date: 3/1/2002 12:59:59 PM EST
From: Albert.Opdenaker@science.doe.gov (Opdenaker, Albert)
To: BibhasDe (a) aol.com ('BibhasDe (a) aol.com')
CC: John.Sauter@science.doe.gov (Sauter, John), Laura.Scott@science.doe.gov (Scott, Laura), John.Alleva@science.doe.gov (Alleva, John)

Dear Mr. Bibhas R. De,

I am responding to your e-mail message to me dated February 28, 2002. I assume from reading your message that you are seeking funding to support furthering the efforts described in your papers. The Department of Energy, through the Office of Science (SC) has established a Special Research Grant Program for research in various topics in energy related sciences. This program is codified in Section 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 605.

An application guide has been developed to assist potential applicants for SC financial assistance awards in understanding the required forms, formats, pre- and post-award administration requirements, and the award process used by SC awarding offices. This guide is entitled "Application Guide for the Office of Science Financial Assistance Program." The application guide is located on the Office of Science Home Page located on the World Wide Web at

http://www.science.doe.gov/productions/grants/grants.html.

A listing of the current individually published notices of availability and solicitations for research grants is also provided at this web address. The application guide, including all required forms, can be downloaded and printed locally. No printed copies of this guide are available from this office.

All grant applications will be subject to a merit review by peer experts in the field.

If you would like more information on the research program funded by Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (OFES), you can find it on the OFES Home Page located on the World Wide Web at

http://www.science.ofes.doe.gov/

Thank you for your interest in the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences.

Sincerely,

Albert L. Opdenaker III
Office of Fusion Energy Sciences
301-903-4927
albert.opdenaker@science.doe.gov


Subj: Re: Your Request for Funding Support
Date: 3/1/2002
To: Albert.Opdenaker@science.doe.gov
CC: John.Sauter@science.doe.gov
CC: Laura.Scott@science.doe.gov
CC: John.Alleva@science.doe.gov

Dear Dr. Opdenaker:

Many thanks for your prompt and detailed response about funding.

Unfortunately, however, there appears to have been a communication lapse somewhere along the line. I never sought any monies from OFES - I am not a fund solicitor. This is a much larger matter from my point of view. I requested the help of OFES in urging its scientific community to publicly refute a proposed discovery that the community first relentlessly suppressed, and then deliberately ignored once it was published by Journal of Theoretics. I understood such a request to be within the mission of OFES. The scientific issue sits at the very core of the fusion program. However, my request was denied by OFES because the journal was not considered worthy of attention. I then sent a pleading letter to which I received no response. All this was about half-a-year ago. Here again is the link to the entire correspondence:

http://www.journaloftheoretics.com/Comments/c3-5.htm

Sincerely yours,

Bibhas R. De


No response


Subj: REFERRAL TO IG, DOE
Date: 3/6/2002
To: ighotline@hq.doe.gov
CC: Albert.Opdenaker@science.doe.gov
CC: ostpinfo@ostp.eop.gov
CC: mail@journaloftheoretics.com, aipinfo@aip.org

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The attached letter is a referral to the US Department of Energy, Office of the Inspector General.


6 March 2002
From:

Dr. Bibhas R. De
P.O. Box 21141
Castro Valley, CA 94546-9141

To:

The Inspector General, US Department of Energy

Copy to referenced organizations:

Office of Fusion Energy Sciences
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Journal of Theoretics
Physics Today

Subject - RESEARCH INTEGRITY: FUSION ENERGY PROGRAM

Dear Sir:

This open letter is the unfortunate culmination of an unresolved process that has been festering for many years. I bring to your attention a specific issue of conduct of science by the Physics Establishment in general, and the Fusion Energy research community in particular, who are substantially funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). It is a conduct that is potentially detrimental to the success of their endeavors, and therefore to the interest of the funding public. There are here two specific issues which, for the purpose of this letter, may be articulated as follows:

(1). Evasion of scientific criticism by Government-funded scientists;
(2). Relentless suppression of attempts to air said criticism.

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?

I proposed a discovery in theoretical physics that - if correct - may represent a fatal gap in the knowledge base of the scientists engaged in the Fusion Energy program and other areas:

The missed physics of source-free magnetic field (Exhibit 1)

Later I discussed the ramifications of the discovery to science and technology:

Source-free magnetic structures (Exhibit 2)

WHAT HAPPENED?

Over a period of some five years, the physics "establishment" kept my idea from seeing the light of day while I attempted publication in some 20 journals - an extraordinary feat by any standards:

List of journals

There have been so many people involved that it is appropriate to say that the Physics Establishment in the relevant fields has been extensively sampled. With some journals I even exhausted the appeals process. I also tried to put various spins (suggested applications) to the basic result to fit it into various specialized journals. I approached countless (hundreds) individual relevant scientists through email, including many of the visible and vocal leaders of the Theoretical Physics community. All these to no avail. I then wrote a letter about this story of pervasive suppression ("The excommunication of an idea") to the correspondence section of the establishment's flagship journal Physics Today (which section routinely airs unresolved/ongoing controversies). But the suppression continued there. Neither will they let me publish the paper, nor will they let me say that they are suppressing the paper. Then, just as when they seemed to have buried the idea six feet under, there appeared a ray of hope. The intellectually broad-minded editor of the Journal of Theoretics - fully apprised of the history of the paper - published it. It became a legitimate, archived scientific publication. The establishment - when apprised of this - assumed now a posture of silence. There is no acknowledgement of this very major proposed result in their field anywhere within this community. While they were copiously issuing mightily authoritative rejections of the paper as long as they could act in private, there was not a peep out of anyone in public. The self-same journal Physics Today, which reports comprehensively on all kinds of current developments in physics, ignored this publication like the proverbial elephant in the cocktail party.

THE OFFICE OF FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES, US-DOE

When all conceivable efforts to get this community to acknowledge and address the scientific issue thus failed, I approached the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (OFES), US Department of Energy (DOE). I requested them to facilitate a scientific evaluation, consistent with the very cause for which this Office has been established:

"The mission of the U.S. Fusion Energy Sciences Program is to advance plasma science, fusion science, and fusion technology -- the knowledge base needed for an economically and environmentally attractive fusion energy source."

Please note that OFES itself employs relevant scientists, and it would have been the most natural and constructive instinct for this office to ask them to take a look at the issue. It was also the easiest thing for them to urge academics to do the same. However, far from seizing this opportunity "to advance the knowledge base", OFES sent me a dismissive response, suggesting that a publication in Journal of Theoretics was not worthy of their attention because it is not an "appropriate" journal. They were prejudging a scientific idea from its packaging. I made further pleas to which there was no response. Prior to my writing this present letter to you - and nearly half-a-year after those initial pleadings, I made a final inquiry of OFES if anything was going on to resolve the issue and thus, happily for me, to make it unnecessary for me to write the present letter. However, if their previous response surprised me, their response this time discombobulated me. They suggested that I was angling for money, and sent me detailed information on how to get some money from OFES. Multiple people at OFES are aware of this, but nobody seems to have steered the matter in what I would consider the right direction. My initial correspondence with this office was published by the Journal of Theoretics under the heading "Government Waste?":

Government waste? (Exhibit 3)

The OFES had a choice to take on this matter as a science issue that is within the four corners of their stated mission, or to let it proceed to the Inspector General. They have decided in favor of the latter.

WHY IS THIS A MATTER FOR THE INSPECTOR GENERAL?

The cycle of suppression that emerges here from the above facts, and of which a Government oversight agency is supportive, is this: (1) Keep this discovery out of our "appropriate" journals. (2) If he publishes it in some other journal, just ignore him. (3) If he forces the issue, tell him we will look at it if he publishes in one of our "appropriate" journals. (4) If he tries to do this, go back to step (1).

Opposing a new radical idea through public debate is a normal way in which ideas clash and evolve. However, keeping a budding idea from seeing the light of day, and then killing it by deliberately ignoring it once it somehow manages to sprout against all odds, are an aberrant "ideocidal" activity on the part of a learned community. I am not suggesting that all these people are in collaboration. It is far worse: They have all independently conducted science in the same way.

The matter therefore is no longer a scientific dispute that properly belongs within the scientific community. The establishment itself has expelled the matter from that arena. It is now a matter of manifest conduct of science that is contrary to the interest of the funding public. This is the basis of referral of the matter to you.

Earlier I contacted the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) with the question: What is the equivalent in physics of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in medical sciences? Their response was: "In order to address this issue, you need to figure out which agency is the primary funding source. After that is determined, please contact the agency's IG (Inspector General) with your concerns."

WHAT IS THE ACTION IS BEING REQUESTED?

The minimum action an interested but dispassionate member of the public would want to see taken is, I think, this: My paper presents a proof that this community has missed the most fundamental result of that science which forms their expertise. Therefore, their knowledge base necessary to perform their Government-funded research is placed at issue. They should address this by publishing a refutation of my paper. Denigrating Journal of Theoretics is not an appropriate response: That journal has shown how to take the high ground. To parrot that my idea violates some theorem is not an appropriate response: Most truly new ideas contravene some existing notion. Assuming a posture of dignified silence is not an appropriate response: There is no dignity in evading professional responsibility.

CLOSING REMARKS

I thank you in advance for your time and attention to this matter. In resolving this, you will have rendered to the funding public a service that was not yours to perform, but that fell upon you due to an abject failure of the scientific process.

Sincerely yours,

Bibhas R. De


Subj: RE: REFERRAL TO IG, DOE
Date: 6/5/2002 11:07:25 AM EST
From: Jerome.Yurow@hq.doe.gov (Yurow, Jerry)

Dear Dr. De,

I checked the status of the matter on our management information system (MIS). It is no longer active. The matter has been filed as case number I02ZH057 and a notation in the MIS and in the case file reads:

"ON 25-MAR-02, AN OIG PRE-CCC DECIDED TO CLOSE (ZH) THIS MATTER BECAUSE IT DOES NOT REALLY CONTAIN AN ALLEGATION AGAINST THE DEPARTMENT."

This means that the group (the PRE-CCC) that decides which matters come before the Inspector General and which do not, decided that this matter did not rise to the level of an allegation, say, of waste, fraud, or abuse, against the Department of Energy (DOE). In this instance, the DOE appeared to be "yet another group among many" that considered your articles to be speculative writing rather than applicable science and therefore not a high priority for discussion or publication.

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It's a good thing you asked about the status of the case, because, unless they specifically ask, it is not the policy of the Office of Inspector General to keep complainants informed of their case status.

Jerry Yurow
Program Analyst
Office of Inspections (IG-44)


Subj: Re: REFERRAL TO IG, DOE
Date: 6/6/2002
To: Jerome.Yurow@hq.doe.gov

Dear Jerry Yurow:

Many thanks for informing me on the outcome of my referral. As you can probably guess, by now I am inured to this type of response. I have sent the matter back to OSTP. My main purpose in pursuing this matter is to leave no stone unturned in trying to get my ideas acknowledged. The stark irony of the DOE decision is that it supports the scientific establishment it funds in the latter's refusing to examine potential new knowledge.

Sincerely yours,

Bibhas De


Subj: SHUTTLECOCK BETWEEN AGENCIES
Date: 6/5/2002
To: Information@ostp.eop.gov
CC: Jerome.Yurow@hq.doe.gov

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5 June 2002
The Office of Science and Technology Policy
Executive Office of the President
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Copy to:

Mr. Jerome Yurow,
Program Analyst
OIG-DOE

RE: Shuttlecock between Government Agencies

Gentlemen:

I am seeking your kind help in resolving the issue of where a grievance concerning a Government-funded research program should be properly addressed. It may be doubly appropriate to refer the matter to Dr. John Marburger since it also concerns the Physics Community of which he is a leader. My befuddlement is best described through the following series of correspondences.

On 1/7/2000, I asked the OSTP:
RE: Where to file a representation on research integrity (PHYSICS)
Gentlemen:
The Department of Health and Human Services has an Office of Research Integrity where one can file representations regarding the conduct of research in health sciences.

I am looking for information on where to file such representations on fields outside of health sciences (specifically, Physics).

This concerns raising of specific questions about scientific ethics of a specific research community - as elicited by a specific chain of events. The community is supported by a multiplicity of governmental agencies. The matter is not resolvable within the scientific community. The matter may have a public interest aspect to it.

I would be grateful if you can direct me to the right place, whether inside or outside your Office.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

On 1/12/2000, I received the following kind response from OSTP (Mr. D. Hodge):

In order to address this issue, you need to figure out which agency is the primary funding source. After that is determined, please contact the agency's IG (Inspector General) with your concerns.
Dave

Accordingly, on 3/6/2002 I wrote to the Office of the Inspector General, US Department of Energy (OIG-DOE), telling them specifically about the advice of the OSTP. A copy of that letter is attached. The matter was summarily dismissed by the OIG, as follows:

Case No. I02ZH057
"ON 25-MAR-02, AN OIG PRE-CCC DECIDED TO CLOSE (ZH) THIS MATTER BECAUSE IT DOES NOT REALLY CONTAIN AN ALLEGATION AGAINST THE DEPARTMENT."
This means that the OIG-DOE does not entertain issues of research integrity. It also means that I have become a shuttlecock between Government agencies, without being able to have the real issue even addressed. Therefore, I am asking you to please tell me again: What is the equivalent in Physics of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in Medicine where this grievance about the conduct of a Government-funded research program can be heard?

If your answer is still the OIG-DOE, would you kindly sort the matter out between yourselves and let me know?

Many thanks in advance for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Bibhas R. De


No response.


DOE SECRETARY IS NOTIFIED OF THIS WEBSITE THROUGH DOE WEBSITE IN MID-SEPTEMBER, 2002:

Results: (what you posted (if anything))
FROM: mailnsuch (a) aol.com
NAME: Bibhas De
SUBJECT: Science & Technology
ZIP: 94546
CITY: Castro Valley
PARM.1: TO:the.secretary@hq.doe.gov
STATE: CA
TOPIC: DOE SHIELDS RESEARCHERS
SUBMIT: Send Comments
CONTACT: email
COUNTRY: USA
MESSAGE: FYI: Please visit the following website:
http://www.geocities.com/bibhasde/doe.html
It has the title: DOE SHIELDS FUSION RESEARCHERS FROM ACCOUNTABILITY It factually reports correspondence with the Office of Fusion Energy Science (DOE), and the Office of the Inspector General (DOE).

MAILADDR: P. O. Box 21141

Output forwarded to the.secretary@hq.doe.gov


THE HEAD OF THE OFFICE OF FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES IS NOTIFIED OF THIS WEBSITE:

Subj: RE OFES
Date: 9/15/02
To: AnneDavies@science.doe.gov

FYI: Please visit my website:

http://www.geocities.com/bibhasde/doe.html

It has the title:

DOE SHIELDS FUSION RESEARCHERS FROM ACCOUNTABILITY

It is just a set of correspondence with the US Department of Energy, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. (Similar emails have been sent to the Office of the Secretary, DOE and to the OSTP).


THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY IS NOTIFIED OF THIS WEBSITE:

Subj: RE OSTP
Date: 9/15/02
To: cchase@ostp.eop.gov
FYI: Please visit the following website:

http://www.geocities.com/bibhasde/doe.html

It has the title:

DOE SHIELDS FUSION RESEARCHERS FROM ACCOUNTABILITY

It includes correspondence with OSTP. (A similar email has been sent to the Office of the Secretary, DOE.).