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October 27, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-10-27

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A 1 I W Y

Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

Opposing Classified War Rese
By JULIEN GENDELL intervention in and manipulation us are familiar with, for example: on individually negotiated con-
and THOMAS MAYER of other countries and their gov- 1) direct secret war research on tracts mainly with the vrn

- _=

here Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.




.f... . . .

The 'Necessary Evil'

"DEMOCRACY," quipped Winston
r Churchill, "is the worst of all pos-
sible systems, except for all the others."
The same is true of classified research
at the University, and the flagrant
corruptions revealed last week - such
as the counter-insurgency work in
Thailand - should not transform the
issue into a simple all-good versus all-
bad argument.
Classified research is a complex
question, and America's thoughtless
Asian war should not be the sole cri-
teria for eliminating it. In fact, the
cry for a complete halt to all classified
research is unjustified and undoubt-
edly premature.
THERE ARE a number of cogent argu-
ments for classifed research and
they must first be discussed apart
from the passion of Vietnam. It would
be easier to defend University military
research during World War II, when
the nation was unified against Nazi
Germany and Japan. Those who now
deplore the prostitution of the aca-
demic sphere to Uncle Sam's inter-
ventist adventures might then have
urged the University's scientific in-
volvement in a moral fight for na-
tional survival. The issues for classified
research today are the same, though
the personalities and policies in Wash-
ington have taken an unfortunate turn.
Few would argue that the defense
arm of our nation doesn't require con-
stant research (though we may all de-
plore the arms race and fight for its
curtailment). Military development of
missiles in the 1950's was at the root of
the U.S. space effort, and much of the
related experimentation was undoubt-
edly classified. Thus question which
arises is not whether the military
should carry on classified research, but
whether this research should exist on
a university campus.
THERE ARE TWO persuasive argu-
ments for defense funds - some
of which are inevitably classified - to
be used on campus. The first is that
many of our nation's best scientists and
engineers are located in universities. If
the military buys them off and lures
them out of the academic sphere, uni-
versities will lose many, excellent
teachers, thereby stifling the regenera-
tion of future scientists. This is espec-
lally true for science, where the sub-
stance and method of research is
closely linked to teaching. And though
only a very small fraction of the Willow
Run Lab's staff has any teaching res-
ponsibility, the question remains of
how many research ideas developed
there are shared with other University
The second argument for classified
research concerns the valuable side
effects that may result from certain
"militaky" developments. If defense
department research were carried out
only in military laboratories, signifi-
cant advances that had civilian appli-
cations could easily be discarded. In a
university laboratory, ramif ications of
defense research can be expended into
the non-military arena.
WHEN THESE arguments are accept-
ed, what arises is a view of class-
ified research as a "necessary evil." It

would be very nice to have no govern-
ment funds threatening the autonomy
of the University - but this is a nostal-
gic day-dream in the modern univer-
sity. What we must strive for is a very
minimum of abuse in the universities
by the federal government. And the
very best place to begin the purging
process is in the murky working of
secret research.
As the Senior Editors of The Daily
argued , earlier this week, the Uni-
versity's involvement in Thailand
counter-insurgency work is a disgrace.
to this school, as it directly involves
the University in another U.S. military
escapade. It is no longer a scientific
project as much as a war maneuver,
and its existence is not even justifable
under the logic of retaining classified
The Thailand involvement is a
symptom of a problem which must be
confronted immediately. Like the tip of
an iceberg, the University's counter-
insurgency work could possibly be only
the beginning of a number of distaste-
ful projects. And with the administra-
tion's stiff silence over the questions
raised, one is tempted to think the
IF THE UNIVERSITY wishes to retain
classified research - and there are
reasons why this should be done - it
should be done - it should pull its
head out of the sand. Extreme abuse
of the University's services under the
rubric of "classified research" can only
contribute fuel to those who wish to
wipe all classified work away. And if
the University has so much to hide
that it will not face the light of public
scrutiny, perhaps these critics are right
and what is accepted as a "necessary
evil" has actually assumed the pos-
ture of a monster.
The University should thus cancel
the Thailand project, before legions of
faculty and students bring disruptive
pressure to bear. Secondly, the Univer-
sity should cease accepting all new
classified contracts until the criteria
of acceptance have been openly out-
lined and discussed. Thirdly, the pre-
sentation of this criteria - a rather
touchy subject until now - should be
made immediately, so that the doubt
and bitterness that has developed can
be dispersed.
President for Research A. Geoffrey
Norman is scheduled to speak, will pro-
vide a valuable opportunity for learn-
ing the truth. The retention of class-
ified research can be justified, but
only when the University community
is permitted to know the titles and
nature of the contracts (through the
work itself can be classified). If the
criteria are clarified and tightened,
the concept of classified research - on
a most minimal level - may be ac-
cepted by the University community.
But if the University administration
refuses to alter the guidelines have
permitted an aberration such as the
Thailand involvement, one can only
wish "good riddance" to all classified
research at the University.
Editorial Director

The authors are, respectively, as-
sistant professors of chemistry and
sociology at the University.
UNIVERSITIES are institutions
which can play a unique and
vital role in our society - for
they alone can provide an oppor-
tunity for an objective and com-
prehensive critical appraisal of
the society's values, policies and
development. A necessity for the
existence of a truly democratic
society is an institution wherein
scholars have the freedom to
search for knowledge and to use
that knowledge to analyze and
subject to a rational critique the
many views and policies with
which special interest groups
deluge the general public.
Unfortunately, this function of
the University is often in direct
conflict with a subordinate func-
tion: namely, that the University
exists to provide services for so-
ciety at large, to produce the in-
formation and trained personnel
which forces outside the Univer-
sity deem necessary and desirable,
and for which they are willing to
Since World War II, the United
States government has, by , a
variety of techniques, used Amer-
ican universities as instruments
of foreign policy. This has severe-
ly compromised the objectivity of
American academic institutions,
and damaged their freedom of
inquiry. As a result, the primary
function of the University has
been severely undermined.
We would like to note briefly
some of the reasons why the U.S.
government has used the univer-
sities, some of the techniques by
which this is done, and some of
the consequences of this subver-
sion for the University commun-
AT THE END of World War II
our government embarked upon a
policy of continual involvement
throughout the world. This new
policy was rationalized by the
cold war ideology of fanatical
anti-Communism and bolstered
by, a massive and technologically
superior military force. It used

ernments, often supporting dicta-
torial regimes as a means to pre-
serve the status quo social struc-
ture in fermenting under-devel-
oped countries.
Consequently there has been a
need for a vast reservoir of tech-
nically trained personnel to de-
velop offensive and counter-insur-
gency military hardware and
sophisticated procedures a n d
techniques for manipulating and
co-opting people, which in turn
requires a host of specialists in
and knowledge about foreign

"An academic institution in a democ ratic society must not become a state
agency. To serve society best it cannot be a servant of the state, but must
obey a more fundamental commitm ent to independence, objectivity and
freedom of inquiry."
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campuses; 2) C.I.A. engagement
of faculty and students as agents;
3) counter-insurgency projects
such as the M.S.U.-Vietnam Proj-
ect, Project Camelot, the U. of M's
escapades in Thailand, etc.; 4)
use of government contracts and
control over information to de-
termine what research is done
and to impose "self-restraint" on
the investigator; 5) establishment
of institutes such as the Institute
of Defense Analysis with a uni-
versity affiliation to provide the
luster of academic prestige for

ment ,curtails faculty independ-
ence, initiates subtle pressures
against objectivity, and places
enormous influence on the over-
all direction of academic research
in the hands of the funding
agencies. Intellectuals are no
more exempt than anyone else
from the maxim "He who pays
the piper calls the tune."
IN ADDITION, we have the
spectre of direct use of the con-
tracting power to stifle dissent as
in the recent 'smale case' or in

countries, their culture and the
study of their behavioral atti-
tudes. Thus information itself be-
came an essential resource-vital
to the national interest.
It was necessary to use the uni-
versities for these purposes partly
because many necessary facilities
already existed at these institu-
tions,'but more importantly to
provide a front and cover for
these activities. A front was
necessary not only to obscure or
shield government operations and
operators, but also to provide a
mechanism whereby intellectuals
could engage in these activities
cloaked in their academic prestige
and insulated with rationaliza-
tions of objectivity and the apo-
litical nature of scientific inves-
The seductive allure of aca-
demic title and affiliation is an
essential ingredient in enticing
many technically competent in-
dividuals to do the government's
bidding, some of whom might
even shy away from a direct and
open relationship with the mili-

war research facilities; 6) direct
military indoctrination and re-
cruitment without any semblance
of academic objectivity by the
R.O.T.C.; 7) co-optation, of the
faculty as indirect agents in the
process of draft selection.
Compromised in so many ways,
American universities can no
longer adequately perform their
primary function: the unrestrict-
ed search for and dissemination
of knowledge and an objective
appraisal of society's values, pol-
icies and development. Academ-
ics, eager for government re-
search funds, have usually sub-
mitted meekly to the ravishment
of the University. Administrators
have displayed few compunctions
about involving the University in
secret research which is so inimi-
cal to the spirit of free and open
The use of universities as a
cover for counter-insurgency
projects has made American an-
thropologists, sociologists, econ-
omists, political scientists, etc.,
suspect in the eyes of a good part
of the world,,especially in under-
developed countries, and has,
thereby, seriously hampered their
intellectual endeavors. The de-
pendence of most faculty research

the H.U.A.C. incident last year on
this campus. This latter incident
clearly illustrates the conse-
quences of government penetra-
tion of American universities.
Fear of losing government con-
tracts underlay the University of
Michigan's servile capitulation to
H.U.A.C. Freedom of dissent was
less important in the minds of
the administration than generous
research grants.
Those who believe that a free
university by unfettered investi-
gation and critique of all institu-
tions and policies renders an in-
dispensable service must firmly
resist the erosion of university in-
dependence and the prostitution
of university ideals. An academic
institution in a democratic so-
ciety must not become a state
agency. To serve society best it
cannot be a servant of the state,
but must obey a more fundamen-
tal commitment to independence,
objectivity and freedom of in-
The existence of secret research
is presently the University of
Michigan's most glaring violation
of the free university concept.
Students and faculty must exert
vigorous and unrelenting pres-
sure to eliminate such research.
In addition, all activities which

involve the direct use of Univer-
sity facilities for implementation
of government policy, or which
have government propaganda
and indoctrination rather than
objective analysis as their goal,
should not be allowed at an aca-
demic institution. This explicitly
includes R.O.T.C. Furthermore,
the universities must insure that
the power of the government to
award contracts not be used to
stifle unpopular views or to limit
dissent from government policy.
Universities must protect these
rights and provide support for
competent faculty and students
whose views deny them govern-
ment support.
FINALLY, we should like to
take issue with those of our col-
leagues who are unconcerned
about the uses to which the ro'.
sults of their research are put.
Future generations will not judge
us solely on the quality of our ab-
stract research. They will also
consider the uses made of this re-
search and the kind of society it
helps create. If the research of
today makes possible tomorrow's
hell, history will not judge the
researcher innocent.
Unfortunately, the distinction
between "good" and "bad" uses of
information has become extreme-
ly tenuous. It is a sorry state of
affairs that while American aca-
demics have the capability to do
so much good in the world, most
of ournational resources are de-
voted to support of a vast and so-
phisticated war machine so that
all research is potentially war re-
search. It is important to think
of this and to examine carefully
the features of our society which
create such a situation - to re-
alize that this problem will not
be resolved until the priorities of
American society are drastically
But before we drift off into
a convenient intellectual confu-
sion of complexities, each of us,
as an individual and as a moral
human being, must ask himself,
"to what end are the products of
my research being utilized and
are there ways that my talents
could be used to make the world
a better place for all mankind?"



used a

variety of techniques to
the universities. Most of


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Letters: A Professor's Thoughts on the March

Questions and Answers

TONIGHT'S TEACH-IN may be the only
opportunity for answering questions on
the University's participation in class-
ified military research. The furor which
has created the issue in the few weeks
after its emergence indicates that war
research will be a new central issue for
anti-war protest. The teach-in comes be-
fore dissent begins: it may be the single
opportunity for exhaustive discussion of
the issue.
Questions on the issue demand an-
swers before any move is made to change
policy. The teach-in must provide answers
to such questions as the following:

* Who is responsible for the Univer-
sity's policy on classifed research? How
can that policy be changed? What con-
tractual committments bind the Uni-
versity to its current policy - and can
those commitments be denied?
* Does the University's research activ-
ities contradict its educational philos-
ophy? Does research deprive resources
from more academic pursuits like teach-
ing. Is the University, through its research
programs, producing highly-competent
professional technicians of war?
* How much does University classified
research contribute to the total American
war effort? What effect on the effort
would a University cancellation of re-

To the Editor:
IN AN ARTICLE in Wednesday's
Michigan Daily Walter Shapiro
spoke of last Saturday's demon-
stration at the Pentagon as a ro-
manticizing of politics, unrealis-
tic and therefore frustrating. As
one who was present there, I
would like to disagree.
I went to Washington not cer-
tain of what was going to happen,
and therefore not certain what I
would do. At four-thirty, when
the section I was marching with
got to the Pentagon, I went up
the steps (thereby technically
committing an act of civil dis-
obedience) because I wanted to
see and in fact be a part of the
confrontation between the march-
ers and the troops.
I stayed for perhaps two hours,
moving about and listening. It
occurred to me quite soon that
one of the keys to valid participa-
tion in acts of civil disobedience
of that kind is the spoken word:
you must be prepared not only to
be arrested but to speak to the
troops present, if humanly pos-
sible not in anger or out of fear,
but with affection, explaining
why you are doing what you are
and indeed in order to ask them
to join you - as at least one sol-

ber of people give up a measure
of their safety not on their own
behalf but that of others and of
a valid cause - that is to say, not
self-destructively - then Christ
is present, and the effort can
never be in vain. I am therefore
deeply proud to have been part
of what went on.
I am sorry a good deal of
taunting of the troops occurred.
But I don't regret that a number
of men and women felt called
upon to get arrested. Maybe only
by doing so is there any chance
of penetrating the blandness of
official sanction of our policies
in Vietnam,
To be sure, such demonstra-
tions are no substitute for other
more orthodox forms of political
activity. They should not be in-
dulged in as a kind of escapist
drug nor will they by themselves
solve the problem. But, under-
taken realistically, they are valid.
--John A. Bailey
Departinent of Near Eastern
Languages and Literatures
Saturday's March
To the Editor:
I WENT to the Peace Mobilization
in Washington because I hate
the war in Vietnam. I felt it was

placed by a kind of disgust.
Marchers met in the Pentagon
parking lot after walking from
the Lincoln Memorial. The police
and troops had set up ropes
around the Pentagon as markers
for where the marchers had to
stop or be arrested. The "flower-
children" were tossing quite unlov-
ing jeers at the guards stationed
to protect the Pentagon. One Ne-
gro at the front began jeering at
the "honkey cops."
These and other displays em-
barassed me beacuse of their un-
abashed hypocrisy-the hippy cry-
ing hate instead of love; the Negro
yelling "honkey" and listening
carefully for the breast-smoting
scourge of the word "nigger." I
felt like apologizing.
I CAME TO the mobilization
with the idea of peace in mind.
It was lost when the ropes were
torn down in anger, when police
drew their riot clubs and bayonets,
when the blood of six who made it
into the Pentagon was splattered
on the steps.
I came with the ideal of a unit-
ed stance against the war. It was
lost when the psychedelic doves set
to exorcising the Pentagon with
Halloween noisemakers and in-
dis ,,eusbe ant.we al

point to be made was that all the
people who gathered by the re-
flecting pool wanted the war stop-
ped-not that the Pentagon should
be spiritually raised nor that lead-
ers of state should turn on, nor
that the ideals of joy and peace
and flowers can overcome the
dullness of Washginton officials.
Too many came with platforms
rather than convictions.
What could have been a beauti-
ful 100,000-man conscience saying
"No." to this inscrutable war be-
came a 3-ring circus with every-
one entertaining in his own way,
for his own people. This was my
-J. Russel Gaines '69
To the Editor:
WE SHOULD like to present the
reasons for the Graduate As-
sembly's holding of a referendum
on the draft.
This referendum is in response
to Dean Spurr's request that the
Graduate Assembly tell him what
his posture on the draft should be.
He, being one of the more en-
lightened administrators, does not
wish to impose his personal opin-
ions upon a matter that primarily
concerns graduate students' Grad-

The graduate students have the
opportunity to determine this im-
portant University position. Hope-
fully, we have not become so call-
ous to the horrors of war as to be
indifferent to determining the fate
of each of us.
This is not another protest-a
salve for conscience. It is a refer-
endum, predetermined to influ-
ence. It is unfortunate that The
Daily hastily condemned such a
meaningful action.
In a state of flux, according to
President Johnson's Execeutive
Order of June 30th, 1967, are:
1) Those students who will
automatically be placed in Class
II-S, in addition to those already
2) The official University reac-
tion to Master's and Ph.D. can-
didates enrolling this term being
subject to the draft within a year.
IN ADDITION, at the risk of
seeming puerile, we must correct
the other misinformed comment in
your editorial. We have influenced
the University foreign language
policy, largely through a Graduate
Assembly-conducted, poll, so that
the graduate school has relin-
iuished control of foreign lan-
guage requirements to the individ-



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