in reply to Management that just doesn't understand

Why not install mod_ssl, run the script under ssl, and send back an email to all concerned saying it is now running under ssl, and re-open the question?

Be sure to send email to a list of people (be sure to include the boss who wants the application the most) and make it polite and to the point. Something like this:

I am sorry. I had no idea that SSL was a requirement. I reconfigured the webserver that I put my proof of concept on, and the script is now running securely under SSL. This changes the URL to https://xxxxx/xxx. I would be happy to make any other changes that are needed. Sincerely, xxxxxx
The image you want is not upset or frustrated. Just ready, willing, and able to help. Focus on that. Because the fact is that you are making someone look really bad (namely whoever would normally produce this type of application), and that will cause political problems. (Hence the obviously stupid technical complaint about a non-issue.) But the nicer you are about the situation, and the more useful your stuff is, the more likely you are to handle the political problem.