"President Obama’s visit to the Solyndra solar panel factory in California last year was choreographed down to the last detail — the 20-by-30-foot American flags, the corporate banners hung just so, the special lighting, even coffee and doughnuts for the Secret Service detail."
"'It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future,' the president declared in May 2010 to the assembled workers and executives. The start-up business had received a $535 million federal loan guarantee, offered in part to reassert American dominance in solar technology while generating thousands of jobs.
But behind the pomp and pageantry, Solyndra was rotting inside, hemorrhaging cash so quickly that within weeks of Mr. Obama’s visit, the company canceled plans to offer shares to the public. Barely a year later, Solyndra has become one of the administration’s most costly fumbles after the company declared bankruptcy, laid off 1,100 workers and was raided by F.B.I. agents seeking evidence of possible fraud."
Eric Lipton and John M. Broder report for the New York Times September 22, 2011.
The House Energy Committee is expected to hold a hearing today at 9 am ET to question top Solyndra execs, who are expected to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights not to testify. The event is being televised live on C-SPAN 3.