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November 03, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-11-03

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
There Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MicH. NEWS PHONE: 764-0552
Truth Will Prevail
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
The thailand Project:
An Intolerable Engtanglement

Self-Destruction As Big Business


WHEN THE SUN rose over Ann Arbor
yesterday morning, the University was
still conducting classified military re-
search. It still was involved in Thailand
counter-insurgency operations and still
retained its secrecy shroud over Willow
Run Labs and other research complexes.
Yet Wednesday's sit-in was not a
wasted effort, despite the disappointment
of hard-core activists. It proved that
Voice, Student Government Council and
The Daily are not alone in their anger
over the misguided. course of University
research. It proved that administrators
are willing to listen-though perhaps not
be swayed-by the arguments of critics.
And it should have convinced University
leaders that two very necessary steps
should be taken to clean up the whole
acknowledge its regret over the Thai-
land involvement and announce cancel-
lation of the project. The reason for the
cancellation can be readily explained:
though assistance to the That military
may be proper for the United States gov-
ernment, it is not proper for the Univer-
sity of Michigan. Few would disagree-
even most advocates of classified re-
search in pure sciences-that the Univer-
sity's role has been abused in helping
the Royal Thai army locate and shoot
It will merely compound the error to
retain the University's commitment to
a project which has such little support
on the campus. One knowledgeable fac-
ulty member-himself a defender of se-
lective classified research-said that not
an administrator at the sit-in, which in-
cluded four vice-presidents and a number
of lesser functionaries, was really in favor
of the Thailand project. Professional
stubbornness should quickly be replaced
by an honest reassessment.
And if any further arguments are
needed, one need only examine the de-
fense of the Thailand project presented
by Vice President Norman and others. It
was never defended in specifics, but
rather in vague terms of all classified re-
search. But the goal for the moment-
for both opponents of all classified re-
m t Dat
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search and those critics of the Thailand
project-should be the University's $1
million counter-insurgency involvement.
With that battle won, the attack can
be continued on a broader front.
THE MORE GENERAL area of all clas-
sified research should be the second
step taken by the administration. When
it becomes clear that the classified re-
search guidelines now in effect have
permitted University involvement in an
Asian army adventure, it should be ob-
vious that the next step is a reappraisal
of guidelines. A thorough study should
be made of the desirability of classified
research, its function in the University,
and conclusions about its future on the
campus. The committee should be tri-
partite in nature, for students certainly
have a stake in whether or not classified
research is undertaken at the University.
To those critics who denounce the
tightening of secret research criteria as
an invasion of academic freedom, the
retort must be that these guidelines do
now exist, but are either too vague or
simply ignored. Officials confess that the
University does not accept chemical and
biological warfare contracts; it is only
an extension of that decision to prevent
the University from aiding in hunting
down and killing other human beings in
the jungles of Thailand.
If the University continues to defend
its Thailand involvement on the grounds
that all classified research (except
chemical and biological warfare con-
tracts) is defensible, one wonders at its
judgment. The University's present pos-
ture is convincing the sit-in critics and
others that administrators really can't
distinguish between appropriate and in-
appropriate research pursuits.
But if they can make this distinction-
and one certainly hopes this is true-they
should say so publicly and quickly by
cancelling the Thailand contract. If they
cannot, concerned students and faculty
should initiate tactics that will bring
attention and change to this University's
intolerable entanglement.
Editorial Director
Editorial Staff
MEREDITH EIKER, Managing Editor
City Editor Editorial Director
SUSAN ELAN..........Associate Managing Editor
STEPHEN FIRSHEIN ..... Associate Managing Editor
LAURENCE MEDOW .... . Associate Managing Editor
RONALD KLEMPNER .... Associate Editorial Director
JOHN LOTTIER ........ Associate Editorial Director
SUSAN SCHNEPP .......Personnel Directoi
NEIL SHISTER . Magazine Editor
CAROLE KAPLAb. Associate Magazine Editor
LISSA MATROSS. . Arts Editor
ANDY SACKS ... ............Photo Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: W. Rexford Ben iot, Neal Bruss,
Wallace Immen, David Knoke, Mark Levin, Patricia
O'Donohue, Daniel Okrent, Steve Wildstrom.

pHE MOST IMPORTANT thing that came out of
Wednesday's sit-in at the administration building was
its testimony to how far Voice-SDS has come in being
able to mobilize segments of the campus,,with a litte help
from the war. They pose the initial issues, The Daily
digs up the facts to lend credence to their charges (al-
though this is not done in any conspiratorial fashion, it
is just that what they talk about is good news), and then
they call for the demonstration.
The rest of the scene Wednesday was pretty pre-
dictable. There was a lot of talk, a lot of listening, and
in the end-after over five hours-there were a handful
of Voice people left to make decisions as to what should
be the next step.
The movement against classified research is coming
up against the same problems as last year's student power
thing: Thanksgiving and finals. But last year's lesson was
learned, it seems, and the big push wil probably be with-
held until January when Robben Flemming officially
becomes President and students aren't quite so up-tight
about grades.
But the significance of the classified research con-
troversy, as part of a pattern of challenges to administra-
itve authority in the University, is that this is an issue
which is probably more important to faculty than most
students-and thus it must come to a head.
ALONG THIS LINE it is important to note that there
Is a new breed of professors emerging, many of whom
were sittirig on the floor Wednesday. Mostly young and
assistants without tenure, they have made it clear that
they are willing to challenge what they do not believe
in, despite their vulnerability to reprisals. Their presence
has a tremendous effect in bringing more attention and

involvement in the movement than it otherwise would
And it is revealing that many of these men are the
best teachers around, the most accessible to students and
giving some of the better courses.
The implications of the research issue extends far
beyond the campus. The University is part of the mili-
tary-industrial establishment that is pervasive, and which
makes it steadily harder to buck military enterprises, as
McNamara found out when he tried to prevent the estab-
lishment of the Anti-Ballistic Missile System.
THERE IS A SHORT article in this week's Economist
about Peru buying fighter bombers. The article comments
that this act "offically inaugurated the latest, and most
singularly futile of all the world's costly arms races: the
Latin American race for supersonic military aircraft that
are not even relevant to the problems of internal security
faced by several of the region's governments."
It seems reasonable to speculate that Peru is buying
bombers-"chucking money into the sky" as the Econ-
omist puts it-because it is afraid of Cuba. And Cuba
arms because it fears the United States. And the United
States arms because it fears Russia. And Russia arms....
The whole thing spirals onward and upward, in a
moral vacuum where each step is taken on pragmatic,
matter-of-fact grounds. This international obsession with
self-destruction, moreover, is good business for big busi-
ness, and makes one think of Marx as he says that
capitalism requires periodic war.
Eisenhower, in his final days as President, warned the
nation that it was in danger of being hopelessly entangled
in a military-industrial complex that was far removed
from the traditional restraints governing power.

WE ARE NOW IN VIETNAM and the tragedy of the
whole affair is that we have no legitimate reason for being
there, despite the mumbling of Dean Rusk. The rationale
for that involvement was a post-facto thing. Kennedy did
not begin the intervention because of a SEATO commit-
ment, according to his aid Richard Goodwin, and maybe
the "yellow terror" scare is the closest thing we have
to a rational explanation of our action.
The point being made is that it is indeed naive to
believe that a concentrated military-industrial complex,
for whom limited war is a desirable thing, did not have a
major influence on the politicians who made their one-
step-at-a-time decision.
The universities, it is now evident, are an integral part
of this scene. This shouldn't be surprising, for Clark Kerr
defines the great university as one which can "best serve
the needs of society," delivering what it demands. Thus
the power demands the intellectual raw material of war,
and the university produces.
At the sit-in, Professor Emeritus William G. Dow, re-
tired chairman of the Electrial Engineering Dept., was
red-faced and emotional as he proclaimed: "I am proud
of the posture of this country and its military. We here
have aided the military establishment in defense of the
our reputation has been greatly strengthened by our
country. The element of achievement is paramount, and
participation in classified research."
It probably has-in professional circles. But what in
the end has this secret work done to the climate of so-
ciety? Has this classified work contributed to making this
a healthier, more hospitable place in which to live, or has
it in the long run added to the national paranoia which is
being cultivated and exploited by much of the "power




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Letters: The Sit-In and War Research

To the Editor:
KEN KELLEY'S article on the
sit-in (Daily, Nov. 2) implies
that there is greater consensus
among the faculty members in-
volved than in fact exists. I, for
one, am not opposed to classified
war research "primarily because
of its contribution- to the defense
effort and because of the lack of
dissemination of findings." De-
fense technologies, unfortunately,
are a necessity in today's world,
and to impede their development
may well be suicidal. Moreover,
the assertion that the findings of
classified research is not dissemi-
nated is false. In addition to the
public spin-off from defense pro-
jects, classified results are in fact
made known to the community
of scholars most directly involved
in the field of research, and most
capable to judge it; those with a
"need to know."
This is not to argue that the
classificaton of information is de-
sirable. Given the existence of a
system of classification, however,
it would be silly for the Univer-
sity to restrict access to classified
information to a greater extent
than the government already
I PERSONALLY feel that given
the world situation, and the na-
ture of projects currently under-
way at Michigan, there are more
important issues. I have three pri-
mary reasons for demanding a
classification of University policy.
First, I object to the prostitu-
tion of the concept of academic
freedom to cover the activities of
individuals not directly concern-
ed with the business of education
on projects initiated by outside
Second, I believe that the value
of human life is greater than the
value of academic freedom. While
I recognize a need for defensive

To the Editor:
THE STORIES The Daily car-
ried on Wednesday's sit-in had
several errors. As one of the
chairmen of the meeting that
went on in the Administration
Building, I want to correct the re-
porters' view that Vice President
Norman's appearance kept it non-
violent. Before he was asked to
speak we democratically and over-
, helmingful decided that we
would be peaceful and non-dis-
ruptive during this sit-in, and
there was at no point any ques-
tion that any one of the approxi-
mately 1000 people who took part
at one time or another would dis-
obey this decision.
-Samuel R. Friedman
Three Questions
To the Editor:
classified military-related re-
search at the University has large-
ly ignored several important ques-
tions of fact that have an impor-
tant bearing on its desirability.
First, to what extent does de-
velopment of weaponry and re-
lated technology in the School of
Engineering and Willow Run La-
boratories draw faculty and grad-
uate students away from basic
scientific research? Proponents of
classified research need to show
not only that there is a, feedback
from military development studies
into the non-classified classroom
and non-classified research, but
also that the scarce, high-powered
scientific manpower could not be
better employed by attacking more
basic scientific problems. The
brain-drain from pure science to
applied science is a major issue
that should not be ignored.
Second, a closely related issue
Is the attitude of several depart-
ments in the Literary College

ly, there is no classified research
now being done under the auspices
of Departments of Physics, Mathe-
mtics, Chemistry or any other LSA
Iepartment. Why do they shy
away from programs that Engin-
eering and Willow Run find so
THIRD, IF classified research is
valuable for the Ph.D. candidate
and professor in the sciences and
engineering, it is important to
know the quantities involved. How
many students have obtained ad-
vanced degrees by working in clas-
sified research projects? How
much feedback has there been to
the classroom and laboratory?
These are only two of the vital
quantitative questions requiring
specific answers that go beyond
the broad generalities of the dis-
cussion so far.
-Daniel R. Fusfeld
Professor of Economics
Stimulating Discussion
To the Editor:
in saying about the classified
research issue that ". . . we should
attempt to resolve these differ-
ences in open, full and frank dis-
cussion" (Ann Arbor News, Oct.
31). But it does not follow from
this, as SACUA seems to believe,
that demonstrations have no place
in the academic community. For
legal, non-violent demonstrations,
such as this week's sit-in, can
have the purpose of stimulating
such discussion and ensuring that
such discussion takes place.
There is no guarantee that the
sort of discussion of this issue
which SACUA commends will take
place. Although I am not con-
vinced by the arguments of Voice
and its supporters, nevertheless I
believe that the demonstrators are
performing a service for the aca-
demic community by seeing to it
that discussion of this issue con-

First, there is no A&D college
Student-Faculty Committee. I am
chairman of the Department of
Architecture's Student - Faculty
Committee, which is composed of
four faculty members and nine to
ten student members. Second, the
revisions I referred to are in the
Architecture Department's curri-
culum, not the A&D curriculum.
(The Department of Art has its
own curriculum.)
The quote concerning my feel-
ing that there would be no "sense
of outrage expressed by the stu-
dents" was in reply to a question
about whether I thought the stu-
dents would be upset by the fac-
ulty negative vote on the tri-
mester calendar. Then I pointed
out that it was understood that a
change of calendar was a matter
for the entire University, not just
the A&D college or the Depart-
ment of Architecture alone.
IT IS MY personal opinion that
the trimester system doesn't fit in
well wtih the planned revisions of
the Architecture Department's cur-

riculum because consideration is
being given to offering more of
the classes in architecture once a
year instead of once each term,
in order to improve class sizes and
composition, and teaching tech-
niques. Also many students of
architecture prefer using their
summers to work in architectural
firms, a practice that is encour-
aged by the faculty.
This ties in with my comment
about the "ambiguity" of the fac-
ulty vote. It is my impression that
the faculty members were respond-
ing to a number of different as-
pects of the calendar in making
their votes.
The Architecture Department's
Student-Faculty Committee Stu-
dent Ballot was designed to try to
eliminate these ambiguities by re-
questing opinions on certain as-
pects of the calendar in addition
to a yes-or-no-vote.
-Kingsbury Marzolf
Asst. Prof. of Architecture
Chairman, Student-Faculty
Committee Department of

l"Nonsense-I Have A Firm Grip On The Reins"
! -


.31E ' F 1c 11 31 , t3 ij }1T3 i'?% ? +Jd it' " .r;i: ., ii: I I


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