Monday, February 15, 2010



By Alone, in a Kind of Exile

Is the CIA working under cover against environmentalists in Kansas? Possibly. probably or not exactly-- but there are a lot of weird pieces of news coming out of the CIA’s big push into academia and universities in the last decade.

One recently CIA-recruited former academic [anthropologist] spook resigned and then wrote to David Price of Counterpunch. Consequently, Counterpunch editors quickly noted: “In the past 4 years 22 universities across the U.S. have quietly taken the CIA’s dollars and agreed to become spy-factories for student spooks. David Price breaks the story, identifies the campuses, details secret faculty protests and charts the strategy for resistance.”

Human Terrain Systems [HTS] is the focus of much of one of Price’s articles. It is entitled “Human Terrain Systems Dissenter Resigns, Tells Inside Story of Training’s Heart of Darkness”, and it describes how social scientists are begin recruited to work in Afghanistan and Pakistan these days for the CIA in support of US military forces on the ground. Price has since also brought out in Counterpunch a newer piece, called: “Silent Coup: How the CIA Is Welcoming Itself Back onto American University Campuses.” He discussed this piece about the big push or coup on 22 university campuses on Democracy Now [DN] just last week.

On DN, Price explained that the whole modern Putsch or Push by the CIA started “you know, probably twenty years ago, as American university campuses, sort of a piece at a time, started shifting towards more of a corporatization model, so that the interests for research, rather than coming directly from professors, often came from outside sources. Since 9/11, there was a very dramatic shift, where President Bush and members of Congress and members of the intelligence community in the Pentagon started a real hue and cry, saying that somehow 9/11 could have been prevented, if only there were greater links between the intelligence community and academia. And after this post-9/11 move, there were many programs, things like the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program or the Intelligence Community Scholars Program, which secretly link scholars with intelligence agencies and embed them on campuses doing scholarship, and programs like the Minerva Consortium for the Pentagon.”
The recent CIA academic program is called ICCAE, and Price notes, “[I]t’s very surprising how aggressive it is. As you said, it’s now on twenty-two university campuses, where these centers are openly established, and scholars are working with a whole variety of intelligence agencies. So it’s a move that’s been made under the public claim that it will make intelligence better. But very clearly, the largest outcome that will come from these programs is not that we’ll have better intelligence; it’s that the institutions, such as the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the FBI, Homeland Security, they’re sort of damaged institutional culture will start to seep in and start to have a greater presence onto our university campuses.”
The CIA was chased off many campuses in America after the Vietnam War and anti-Imperialist protests came into full swing in the 1960s and 1970s.
Later, the MKultra Program became well known by the mid-1970s—and because many students had been victimized, for over two decades the CIA recruiters were often seen as persons-non-grata throughout North America.
Robert Whitanek observes, “The nature of the relationship between the CIA and the academic community is[was] best seen in a 1968 memo from Dr. Earl C. Bolton who, while serving as Vice President of the University of California at Berkeley, was secretly consulting for the CIA. The memo, widely circulated among U.S. universities, advises the use of duplicity and deception to hide CIA connection to the campuses. It also suggests lying about CIA involvement in university projects stating, ‘The real initiative might be with the Agency but the apparent or record launching of the research should, wherever possible, emanate from the campus.’ “
“The memo continues: Follow a plan of emphasizing that CIA is a member of the national security community and stress the great number of other agencies with which the agency is allied [and] ... stress in recruiting articles and speeches that the agency is really a university without students and not a school for spies. There is as much academic freedom within the walls of the building and among those competent on the subject as on any campus I know. (I haven't detected the slightest tendency on the part of anyone to resist saying what he thinks.) Bolton's memo also recommended setting up programs with CIA funds ‘to establish the study of intelligence as a legitimate and important field of inquiry for the academic scholar.’ Under Bolton's plan the CIA was to fund one-year post doctoral programs for selected scholars.
Finally, Robert Witanek notes: “Campus recruitment by the CIA is as old as the Agency itself. In the late 1940s, Frank Wisner was director of the CIA's Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), which was then the CIA's operational component. He used 500 OSS World War II veterans who had returned to their careers as academicians after the war, as well as other faculty members, to form ‘selection committees’ which became the OPC's unofficial recruitment arm. Known as the OPC's ‘P-source,’ or professor source, these committees provided ideal means for screening potential recruits because they could observe the students over periods of time in a classroom setting.”
In the 1950s and 1960s, the CIA used LSD and other medication on its subjects and volunteers. Some guinea pigs died in the process or dropped out of school and life totally for many years.

The Bear Market writes in his blog of the push by the CIA in the last decades and the providence of Price’s article, ‘Price’s timing is impeccable. Last Monday, the day we were preparing to send his story to press, came news that a group of Fox News’ free-lance buggers - the same who set up ACORN – had been arrested, trying for phone sabotage in Senator Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office. Three of the team were caught inside Landrieu’s office. A fourth was arrested as he sat in a car a few blocks away with what the police described as “a listening device that could pick up transmissions.’ Another anonymous official told MSNBC that the man in the car was Stan Dai.
Dai is a veteran of Trinity Washington University’s spook school,. funded by the ‘Intelligence Community’. In 2008, Dai served as associate director of ICCAE at Trinity Washington.”

The Bear then asks, “How many wannabe Howard Hunts and G. Gordon Liddys are being turned out by the spook schools? As Price writes, “Even amid the extreme militarization prevailing in America today, the public silence surrounding this quiet installation and spread of programs like ICCAE is extraordinary. In the last four years ICCAE has gone further in bringing government intelligence organizations openly to multiple American university campuses than any previous intelligence initiative since World War Two. Yet the program spreads with little public notice, media coverage, or coordinated multi-campus resistance.”

Meanwhile, just last autumn 2009, it seemed that Barack Obama was clearly publicly encouraging the CIA to have a bigger presence on USA campuses through congressional legislation and support. Far too many Campus Presidents across America already have bought into such an idea.

The Nation’s Jon Wiener reported in 2009, “I found one exception [to Obama’s push for more CIA presence on campus] among administrators: Harvard College dean Evelynn Hammonds, a historian of science, said she had not heard about the proposal, but ‘from what you described this has some real problems associated with it. It reminds me of when graduate students in the sciences worked on issues that touched on security and weapons programs.’ The Princeton director of media relations said president Shirley Tilghman would have no comment because ‘this legislation is in proposal form.’ Yale's deputy director of public affairs made the same argument. But wouldn't that be the best time for a university president to express concern and seek changes--before legislation was passed?”
Wiener explained, “The new program will incorporate an already existing one, the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence, which has trained about 650 students at ten universities in the past four years, including Norfolk State; Florida International; the University of Texas, Pan American; and Cal State, San Bernardino. That program isn't exactly rigorous. At Cal State, Long Beach, it claims to emphasize "national security, intelligence, foreign area studies, language proficiency, geographical expertise and related competencies." In fact, it's an extension of the minor in geography. Eight courses are required, including Map Interpretation and Analysis, and Physical Geography. So it teaches students how to find Waziristan on a map, but it doesn't teach them to speak Pashto or understand Pashtun politics, much less to infiltrate Taliban groups there.”

Washington Trinity is another school that has bought into the recent CIA programs and their expansion big time. Its campus website states: “Over the years, a handful of Trinity graduates have pursued intelligence careers at the CIA, FBI and the intelligence units of the military branches. Today, at the invitation of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Trinity is engaged in a curricular initiative designed specifically to prepare students for intelligence careers. This issue of the magazine focuses on the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence [ICCAE] at Trinity, and the study abroad experiences of the students who are participating in the program.”
What is interesting, for me, is that both Yale and Texas A&M have had fairly long and continuous secretive CIA presence for more than half a century, but no deep and comprehensive history has been written to date. [Both George W. Bush and his father—and Dick Cheney are Yale graduates.]
I attended and taught at Texas A&M around the time that 9-11 occurred. Before and after that time, I was continually harassed and chased after by certain students and faculty who might certainly have had direct CIA ties or financial support. (Former CIA Director and present Defense Minister taught in the same building I was enrolled in for my studies at Texas A&M.)
I wonder if I shouldn’t have ordered that FORTUNATE SON biography by J.H. Hatfield back in 2000 for the University Library at A&M.
I guess I am happy I survived my A & M spook hazing (circa 2000-20020—Hatfield, the author of FORTUNATE SON, ended up committing suicide under peculiar circumstances.



Blogger Dick McManus said...

check out my online book - a work in progress. It is about the dirty history of the CIA, their drug trafficking, support to torture and death squads, it is about the CIA's plot to kill JFK, and US war crimes.


This is the first time in years that I have figured out how to use this Blogger website. Finally.

11:41 AM  

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