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After the protest at Buckley Air Force Base, Westword contacted the base's public-information office to request information about what, exactly, goes on out there -- and what taxpayers' money is paying for. Candrea Thomas, deputy director of public affairs, asked for a couple of days to research our questions. Four days later, the following response arrived on the Westword fax machine:

Q: A protester said that you download listening data there. Does anyone download listening data?

A: That sounds like an intelligence-related question. As a matter of long-standing policy, we do not discuss intelligence matters.

Q: Are there any other antennas that download data?

A: As a matter of long-standing policy, we do not discuss intelligence matters.

Q: Is the National Reconnaissance or National Security agency using the antennas to capture intelligence data?

A: As a matter of long-standing policy, we do not discuss intelligence matters.

Q: I was told the radome coverings were not only used to protect the satellite dishes, but also used to prevent people from seeing where the dish is pointed. Is that correct?

A: That sounds like an intelligence-related question. As a matter of long-standing policy, we do not discuss intelligence matters.

Q: I have heard that Buckley is the largest consolidated intelligence base in the Western Hemisphere. Is that correct?

A: As a matter of long-standing policy, we do not discuss intelligence matters.

Q: How many people are assigned to the Aerospace Data Facility?

A: About 2,900 military, government civilians and contractors.

Q: What is the total number of people on base, including all contractors, civilians, and military members?

A: Approximately 8,000.

Q: What does the ADF do?

A: The Aerospace Data Facility is a Department of Defense information processing, analysis and test facility supporting the U.S. government and its allies. In addition, it provides an operational environment for training government and civilian personnel in the execution of their organizational mission.

Q: What kind of tests does the ADF do?

A: That sounds like an intelligence related question. As a matter of long-standing policy, we do not discuss intelligence matters.

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Eileen Welsome