Trawling the Web over the weekend, I found a new pro-Joint Strike Fighter white paper from an Australian organization - the Williams Foundation - that I'd never heard of. I'm not going to get into the content of the paper right away, except to say that if you've been following the debate on Ares over the last couple of years, it won't open your eyes all that much.
But, I wondered, who is the Williams Foundation, and, more specifically, who died and made them God?
Their clean and professionally designed homepage identified itself as an "independent research organization" focused on Australian defense issues. Its principals are mostly retired RAAF officers. It's named after the RAAF's first commander, Sir Richard Williams.
On the other hand, although it's called the Williams Foundation, Williams didn't found it. It's brand, spanking new, launched in Melbourne in February 2009 - but, apparently, with its views on the JSF already established.
A clue to the speed with which the organization reached its conclusions can be found at the end of the foundation's inaugural press release.
We had hoped to obtain some start-up funding from Defence. However, that has as yet not happened. Luckily for us two defence-related companies have made generous offers of support.
Chemring Australia, a manufacturer of defence pyrotechnics and air, land and sea based decoys is one of our two major sponsors.
The second is Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the F22 and the F35.
Well, just fancy that. But as an editor, I would advise them to check the Oxford definition of "independent" - as in "free from outside control or influence" and "not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence" - and revise their mission statement accordingly.