Editor, Daily Nexus,
In attempting to portray the more than 500 protesters who partially shut down the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies annual conference on Tuesday, Feb. 12 as impulsive and confused, Scott A. Heimerman (“Proper Protests Do Background Checks,” Daily Nexus, Feb. 14) projects his own deep personal confusion onto a group of people who, by contrast, had a clear and well-researched objective. The protesters sought to prevent an institution contributing to unthinkable levels of death and destruction from meeting on their campus. They accomplished exactly that goal.
Heimerman offers no documentary evidence for his mind-boggling conclusion: “Research conducted by ICB is mostly medical in nature.” Instead, he seems to take this fanciful notion on faith from a conversation with the harried ICB director, Daniel Morse.
In stark contrast to Heimerman, a large number of the anti-war protesters have put considerable effort into discerning what the ICB actually does, including its precise technical functions vis-a-vis War in Iraq. Hence, we have actually read what Morse has written.
In an article he co-authored for the October-December 2007 edition of the Army magazine, Army AL&T — available at http://tinyurl.com/2o5cnp — Morse contextualized the ICB’s purpose as follows: “The development of Future Combat systems will require components that are smaller, lighter and safer, yet more lethal than current systems.” Oh, but I’m sure the ICB’s focus on making combat systems more “lethal” will help cure AIDS and cancer, won’t it, Dr. Morse?
We who oppose the presence of war-related research on our campus have compiled a comprehensive overview of how UCSB is a decisive cog in the U.S. war machine. We are in the process of distributing it on campus en masse.
If you are interested in more information on the ICB and other militarized research at UCSB, please visit www.fiatpax.net, where this pamphlet will soon be available.