In the post below, "A Hypothetical Example", I said what the Smithsonian did was uncalled for. I still stand by that statement, but what I felt was one of their more egregious attacks turns out to be understandable.
If you read the original OSC letter, it mentions that the Smithsonian painted von Sternberg as a "young-earth creationist" as the whole mess went down. This was to me a brazen attack, akin to a creationist calling someone who believes in evolution a Nazi - guilt by association. I thought the Smithsonian saw a man who followed Intelligent Design (pretty out there by itself) and thus ASSUMED he had to be a young earth creationist, i.e. one who holds that every single scintilla of evidence the Earth is over 6,000 years old (as per the Bible) is wrong/a lie. If ID is pretty out there, young earth creationism is fantasy as its most straitjacket worthy.
However, as Chris C. Mooney links to today, there was a lot of evidence to go on that Mr. von Sternberg was, indeed, a young earth creationist. (go to the Panda's Thumb link) Even though the assumption was wrong, it was understandable, and therefore more than likely not an outright attack. While I still feel the Smithsonian acted badly, I was wrong in my beliefs about the creationist label.