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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 25

Friedman's Laws for 'Debunkers'

From: James Easton <pulsar@compuserve.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 23:02:35 -0400
Fwd Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 12:14:43 -0400
Subject: Friedman's Laws for 'Debunkers'


Regarding...

>Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 20:17:16 -0300
>From: Stanton T. Friedman <fsphys@brunnet.net>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Who is Jerome Clark?


Stanton wrote to Peter Brookesmith,

"Thank you, Duke, for  demonstrating all 4 of Friedman's laws
for Debunkrs, even if you only paraphrased #3 If you can't
attack the people, attack the data. 1.What the public doesn't
know , I am not going to tell them. 2. Don't bother me with the
facts,my mind is made up; and 4. Do your research by
proclamation, not investigation. It is much easier".


Stanton,

No doubt you'll be aware of the following:


  _Skeptics' UFO Newsletter_ by Philip J. Klass. #43, Jan, 1997
404 "N" Street, SW, Washington DC 20024          (C)  1997

   [SIX ISSUES $15 for US/CANADA, OVERSEAS AIR MAIL IS $20/YEAR]


==============================================================

_National Security Agency (NSA) Responds To SUN's Request And
Declassifies Revealing Portions Of its Top Secret "UFO
Documents"_


    Partially declassified copies of 156 Top Secret "UFO
documents" recently obtained by _SUN_, which the National
Security Agency refused to release in 1982 in response to a
Freedom of information Request (FOIA), reveal that NSA's refusal
was to keep secret that it was eavesdropping on Soviet air
defense radar sites -- providing vitally important intelligence
for our Strategic Air Command bomber missions. When NSA
intercepted messages from Soviet radars which reported tracking
an 'Unidentifiable object,' some NSA analysts translated that
into "Unidentified Flying Objects".  Because the Soviets used
balloons carrying radar reflectors to periodically check the
performance of their air defense radars and the alertness of
their radar operators, a NSA translator-analyst would add
"Probably a balloon" where it seemed appropriate.  After UFO
organizations, such as Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS),
began to make FOIA requests to CIA and NSA in the late 1970s to
release documents involving "UFOs," NSA translator-analysts
stopped using the term UFO for the balloon-borne targets.

    Most of the 156 Comint documents obtained by SUN report the
"Probably balloon" type of slow-moving UFO.  The reports,
covering the 21-year period from 1958 to 1979, are still heavily
censored to withhold the identity/location of the Soviet radar
sites whose communications NSA was able to intercept, the dates
and other still-sensitive military information.  Following are
several typical NSA "UFO" summary reports, with still-censored
material shown as [XXXX]. The first numbers show the time when
the "UFOs'" were being tracked by Soviet radar.

[...]


_NSA ALSO RELEASES GREATLY DECLASSIFIED COPY OF TOP SECRET
DOCUMENT WHICH UFO-LECTURER FRIEDMAN CLAIMS IS EVIDENCE OF
COSMIC WATERGATE_

    To enable U.S.  District Court Judge Gesell to render an
informed judgement on the agency's rationale for not releasing
its "UFO documents," NSA provided him with a 21-page affidavit
in October 1980, classified Top Secret, which described all of
its "UFO documents" and explained the reasons for not releasing
most of them.  After studying the document, Judge Gesell ruled
in favor of NSA.  Subsequently, in response to an FOIA request
to obtain a copy of this Top Secret court document, NSA released
a heavily censored version in which about 70% of the contents
were blacked out.  UFO-LECTURER STANTON FRIEDMAN INVARIABLY
SHOWS THESE MOST HEAVILY BLACKED-OUT PAGES DURING HIS LECTURES
AND TV SHOW APPEARANCES, CLAIMING THEY PROVE A GOVERNMENT UFO
COVER-UP.


_FRIEDMAN WITHHOLDS SIGNIFICANT INFORMATION_

    Friedman knowingly withholds from his audiences the fact
that the heavily censored version of NSA's 21-page court
document disclosed that the bulk of the documents being withheld
were "communications intelligence (COMlNT) reports." Friedman
also withholds from his audience the further NSA explanation
that these Comint reports "are based on [covertly] intercepted
communications of foreign governments." In the affidavit, signed
by a top NSA official Eugene F. Yates, he said "I certify that
disclosure of past and present foreign intelligence
communications activities of NSA revealed in the records the
plaintiff [CAUS] seeks would endanger highly valuable sources of
foreign intelligence."  FRIEDMAN NEVER MENTIONS THIS AS A
POSSIBLE EXPLANATION OR JUSTIFICATION FOR NSA'S ACTIONS.

    (When Friedman presented a paper at the 1981 MUFON
conference in Cambridge, Mass., it began with a statement
attributed to Albert Einstein: "The right to search for truth
implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one
has recognized to be the truth.")

    Whereas only about 30% of the originally released court
document was readable (i.e., not blacked out), roughly 75% of
the contents are now visible in the recently declassified
version.  The new release reveals that the court document
carried the highest/most sensitive classification for Comint
documents: TOP SECRET UMBRA.

[...]


_NEWLY RELEASED COURT DOCUMENT EXPLAINS PREVIOUS BLACK-OUTS_

    The original court document cited a second non-Comint
document, written by the same NSA employee, which had been
released to CAUS with some deletions.  NSA's explanation for the
deletions was heavily blacked out in the copy of the court
document originally released but are now revealed in the newly
classified version.  (The portions of the court document
previously blacked out are underlined below.)

    "The second non-Comint document is a three page undated,
unofficial draft of a monograph with a four page appendix by the
same agency employee who authored the draft referenced in
sub-paragraph a, above....It is entitled 'UFOs _and the
Intelligence Community Blind Spot to Surprise or Deceptive
Data_'. In this document, the author discusses what he considers
to be a serious shortcoming in the Agency's COMINT interception
and reporting procedures -- the inability to respond correctly
to surprising information or deliberately deceptive data. He
uses the UFO phenomenon to illustrate his belief that the
inability of the U.S.  intelligence community to process this
type of unusual data adversely affects U.S. intelligence
gathering capabilities. Deletions in this document were made as
follows:

(1) All  of the title after UFO, _which addresses the perceived
shortcoming_ and all of paragraph one, which discusses the
_employee's perception of the negative implications of the
handling of the UFO phenomena as it demonstrates what he
believes is the less than optimum ability of the intelligence
community to process and evaluate highly unusual data_...

[...]

[End]



It's asserted that you may not fully have explained the
perspective of some documents released under the FOIA, i.e.,
that you neglect to acknowledge they are often evidence which
does not substantiate claims of a 'cover-up'.

As you know, one of your favourite 'party pieces' during debates
was to reference the aforementioned NSA documents and show the
'blacked out' pages or NSA submission which led to Judge Gesell
ruling in favor of the NSA.

For example, whilst in the UK, if I recall to participate in a
1996 Oxford University debate on the subject of UFOs, you
appeared on the nationally broadcast 'breakfast' TV program 'The
Richard and Judy Show' and when asked, "A lot of stuff you
believe is being covered up by various governments", responded:

"The National Security Agency, which is a major cover-up
agency... now this is a legal document, that's 75 percent
blacked out [document shown] and this is only the justification
to a Federal Court Judge for not releasing 156 UFO documents
they admit they found, but they wouldn't even show them to him".


Some six months after the publication of the above Skeptics' UFO
Newsletter, on 27 June, 1997, you appeared on the 'prime time'
UK ITV network broadcast 'Strange But True?' televised 'UFO'
debate.

In view of the fact the NSA documents and court ruling had since
been demystified, I wondered what you might replace them with.


On the question of a government 'cover-up', you claimed this was
"easy to prove" and cited as evidence:

"A group of us went after the NSA. We found that they had over
150 UFO documents. They refused to release them to us, and to
the Federal court Judge. We went after the CIA... 'Freedom of
Information', people think is the magic tool that unlocks all
the doors, it doesn't. Took me 5 years to get a released CIA UFO
document [document shown], on which you can read 8 words, not
very exiting words.

There's no question that they're withholding data, CIA, NSA,
DIA..."


Presumably you no longer displayed the NSA documents or
submission to the Federal Court, as both had largely been
explained.

Yet, you still implied that the original "150 UFO documents" had
never been released at all, either to yourself or the Federal
Court Judge.


We can perhaps also conclude you never had any intention to,
otherwise you wouldn't have mentioned the NSA documents or
Federal court proceedings, hardly now evidence of a 'cover-up',
in the first place.


I wouldn't have brought this up, other than it relates to your
recent comments to Peter Brookesmith, when you said of
"Friedman's laws for Debunkers":

"1 .What the public doesn't know, I am not going to tell them."


I wondered if you realised your own 'debunking' might be
considered somewhat selective, not necessarily faithful to the
facts and perhaps is seen to fall short of satisfying your own
criteria.

As Philip Klass suggests, does it ring hollow when you proclaim,
"The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not
conceal any part of what one has recognized to be the truth"?



James. E-mail: pulsar@compuserve.com


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