"The difficult decision made recently by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery, despite objections from NASA’s safety chief and top engineer, demonstrated solid leadership and the very qualities America has always embodied - boldness and daring in the face of calculated risk."(link)
He took a risk no doubt. A VERY BIG risk. If the Shuttle had experienced another catastrophe the Shuttle program would be over.
What's interesting is the talk of "risk" in the article - a real fluff piece on how Griffin is all American because he took risks...
But it was risk taking that lead to the shuttle disaster that got NASA into all the heat it's under now...
For years NASA engineer knew and spoke of the problem of missing tiles on every Shuttle flight. Tiles are probably still missing off of the hull of the shuttle as we speak - although none obviously crucial.
They knew it was just a matter of time before a tile was knocked off in the wrong spot.
So again, risk got them in the problem, and now it got them out?