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Censorship

Physicist says Defense Dept. Trying to Silence Him 8

Saint Aardvark the Carpeted writes "The New York Times reports here that Dr. Theodore Postel, a physicist at MIT, is accusing the US Department of Defense of trying to censor his criticism of the missile defense plan. Postel analysed a DOD report saying that, contrary to Postel's previous criticism, their prototype antimissile system could not distinguish between decoy and real warheads; he determined that the data had been distorted by TRW, the contractor responsible for the prototype. After the report was released, the DOD realised that it contained classified data, but by then it had already been distributed on the 'net(links, please!). Now they're telling MIT to confiscate the document from Postel and stop him from disseminating it, or lose the $320 million/yr contract to run the Lincoln Laboratory."
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Physicist says Defense Dept. Trying to Silence Him

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  • "Postel analysed a DOD report saying that, contrary to Postel's previous criticism, their prototype antimissile system could not distinguish between decoy and real warheads; he determined that the data had been distorted by TRW, the contractor responsible for the prototype."

    That doesn't make sense. It says that, according to the DOD report, the system *could not* distinguish between decoys and real. In other words, the Department of Defense says this thing doesn't work. What previous criticism made by Postel could this be contrary to? Did he criticise it for working too well, only to have the DoD rush to say "No, it doesn't work too well, in fact it doesn't work worth diddly.", and did he then find that TRW phoneyed up test results to make the system's performance look *worse*?

    I see by the NY Times article that this guy's last name is Postol, not Postel.

    Isn't there something terribly ironic about a story about censorship being hidden? Or is Hemos just trying to be cute?

  • Different aspect, but the same concept. Very troubling, but not very surprising. Billions of dollars at stake and lots of military guys who will retire out to contractor jobs if this gets past Congress.
    -S. Louie
  • by msouth ( 10321 ) on Monday July 30, 2001 @07:22AM (#2183165) Homepage Journal
    on why there are no comments on this story...
    --
  • or they'll commision the FBI to come in with Carnivore and eat everyone who links to this doc.
  • Salon has picked up upon it here [salon.com]
  • Corruption?
    Censorship?

    It's much better to assume stupidity until proven otherwise.
  • Is this quote from the Times Article (Archive addy, so no reg req) [nytimes.com]:

    "Just because it is made public doesn't mean it's declassified," Colonel Lehner said.

    Classic case of the military getting to big for their britches and trying to rule the rest of the country instead of the other way 'round. Stand up to 'em, Doc Postol! And if MIT caves, well, I don't think I'll be alone in saying that it will be a sad day for academia.
  • Here are links to a few articles from the RISKS archive that refer to Postol's work on the Patriot fraud.

    Risks13-19.3 [ncl.ac.uk]
    Risks13-32.1 [ncl.ac.uk]
    Risks13-37.2 [ncl.ac.uk]
    Risks13-46.4 [ncl.ac.uk]

It was pity stayed his hand. "Pity I don't have any more bullets," thought Frito. -- _Bored_of_the_Rings_, a Harvard Lampoon parody of Tolkein

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