Was NASA's SEAC4RS project a cover for covert activity?

Sometimes I feel like non-U.S. news sources are the best sources for U.S. news. Similarly, I wonder if watching Thai news gives a biased view of events here in the Kingdom!

A big story here is the cancellation or postponement of NASA’s SEAC4RS climate study project. (NASA was unable to tolerate delays in approval from Thai government.) The government and opposition parties are pointing fingers of blame at each other for the cancellation. AFAICT, there was a concern that the NASA project would be a front for U.S. military activity, and the opposition was concerned that the government was not asking (or answering) the right questions.

I wonder if any Dopers can comment on NASA’s project. Was it to be a front for covert activity?

The project was to be at U-Tapao Air Base 30 kilometers south of Pattaya. This base hosted major U.S activity during the Vietnam War (and IIRC was used as a transport point during Desert Storm) and I’ve often seen crewcut-type Americans coming from there, or the nearby Sataheep District. I think the CIA rendition center for Thailand was/is near U-Tapao, my evidence being:
[ul][li] A U.S. naval intelligence officer I know told me he knows where the CIA rendition center is.[/li][li] He said nobody who really knew would ever tell me![/li][li] He denied it when I suggested the CIA base was located near Sataheep.[/li][/ul]
If untrue, why did he deny it? :wink:

My head, it asplode.