Friday, June 15, 2007

Sunshine Project: Not in Berkeley

By Jeremy Singer-Vine
Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 4:55 PM

It seemed to fit so well. CBS5 reported last week that more than two years after "a Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange US military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting," the Pentagon had confirmed the claims. Berkeley activists working hard to reveal military foolishness related to a misunderstanding of homosexuality? Of course! CBS continues, "Edward Hammond, of Berkeley's Sunshine Project, had used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the proposal from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio." A visit to the Sunshine Project Web page shows no sign of its Berkeley roots. Austin, Tex.? Check. Hamburg, Germany? Check. Berkeley? Nope. A quick call to Hammond cleared up the confusion: Hammond's wife got a job in Berkeley for the year, and he is here with her. CBS interviewed Hammond in Berkeley, and assumed it was his permanent residence. Whoops.

Meanwhile, the Internet is having a field day with the story. Blog posts mentioning the story peaked at 88 on June 12. Some ran with the Berkeley connection. Says Mike Rowse, "Like that's a bad thing ... seriously wouldn't this program, if feasible, stop wars, have everyone making love and certainly the Queer Eyes would make the world a prettier place; everything the hippies in Berkeley say they want."

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