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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Aug > Aug 30

Re: New Revelations on the Origins of MJ-12

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 00:07:06 +0100
Archived: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 08:32:23 -0400
Subject: Re: New Revelations on the Origins of MJ-12

>From: Barry Greenwood <uhrhistory.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 09:26:40 -0500
>Subject: Re: New Revelations on the Origins of MJ-12

>The following paragraph, among others, was deleted without my
>permission by Brad Sparks from the draft manuscript for the 2007
>MUFON Symposium paper on Robert Pratt's records on the early
>years of MJ-12. The information was originally reported in my
>newsletter "Just Cause," September 1989, page 10, almost 20
>years ago:

>"After Moore released the first wave of MJ-12 documents in 1987,
>CAUS, and particularly Larry Fawcett, spoke to Moore about
>cooperation in researching the story in the form of filing FOIA
>requests, etc. as an effort to flesh out information. Moore
>rejected the offer, adding that he wanted to "put bread on my

Excuse me for intervening, but if I've understood the thrust
and counter-thrust of this argument correctly so far, this
phrase - "bread on the table" - is supposed to be evidence of a
"greed" motivation for hoaxing the documents. As it stands, and
without much more supporting evidence, this phrase may be simply
an author reserving the right to develop and publish his own
material independently. Unless it is being suggested that
commercial publishing per se is tantamount to intellectual

I have seen far stronger claims of jealous proprietorial rights
over supposed intellectual property, and there may be some not
far from the centre of this dispute who have resisted free
sharing information with third parties from time to time. But
does that make them corrupt? Of course context is all, and if
someone were attempting to exploit the phrase "bread on the
table" to suggest crass venality then it may be that it would be
not only justifable to scratch the quote along with the
speculative context in which it is embedded but editorially
impractical to do anything else.

>I asked a key proponent in the original MJ-12 team who was
>involved in a libel issue, Stanton Friedman, who had filed and
>won a libel case in Britain against Jenny Randles, if this
>information was libelous. His response, in an e-mail dated
>August 23, 2007 was "No, I don't consider it Libelous..."

Of course information is not libelous. Simply quoting what a
person said cannot be libelous, provided the quotation is
accurate. But the context, where it is used in support of a
damaging interpretation, it might be construed as libelous.

>One might also check the following link:


>For here you will find that even if libel did exist, which it
>doesn't by any stretch, the statute of limitations would not
>allow any action. Otherwise, Abraham Lincoln's relatives could
>be suing newspapers for perceived slurs 144 years ago!

Well, as I read it (but as a mere alien I defer to local
expertise) your Statute of Limitations period does not apply
from the date of the action or statement which may or may not be
slanderously construed, but from the date of the allegedly
libellous or slanderous claim concerning it. If I slander you
today in California, concerning something horrible you didn't do
10 years ago, you have one year to seek legal restitution. If
the MUFON paper may have been judged to contain possibly
actionable implications then the authors and publishers would be
liable for the statutory period after publication. Is this

>Also, for more background:


>Judge for yourselves if this is libel. If not, then where is
>the justification for trying to censor and silence me in the

If the above is correct then it may be due caution was
exercised. Even if the claim of "greed" might be not technically
actionable in the sense of being likely to lead to successful
prosecution for libel, it might still be considered defamatory.
Defamation may not  in practice be legally actionable if it is
not libel, but it still might not be desirable, and may turn out
to be defamatory to one's own reputation. So then it's a
question of balancing the evidence for the defamatory
insinuation against the greater public interest value of
pursuing it. If the "evidence" is no more than an author saying
he'd rather publish his own material under his own name - and I
assume you have shown us the most incriminating bloody weapon? -
 then perhaps the public interest would need to be large. I
can't see that it is. In fact to say, as you do, that merely
putting the phrase "bread on the table" into an author's mouth
is _not_ libellous is really just to admit that the phrase
itself is rather innocuous and is a slender basis for a thesis.

Martin Shough

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