23. CIA CORRUPTS ACADEMIC COMMUNITY ... AGAIN
In 1976, the nation was shocked, and the religious and academic
communities outraged, when the Church Committee revealed that the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) had surreptitiously hired clergymen and professors to do its dirty
The Church Committee found that, prior to 1967, the CIA sponsored,
subsidized, or produced over 1,000 books. It also reported that in 1967, the CIA
was using "several hundred American academics (administrators, faculty, graduate
students engaged in teaching) who in addition to providing leads and, on occasion,
making introductions for intelligence purposes, occasionally write books and other
material to be used for propaganda purposes abroad. ... These academics are located
in over 100 American colleges, universities, and related institutes. At the majority
of institutions, no one other than the individual concerned is aware of the CIA
When the dust settled, the CIA solemnly promised to stop
such activities within the U.S. "We will, under no circumstances, publish
books, magazines or newspapers in the U.S.," promised CIA Deputy Director
for Plans, Desmond Fitzgerald.
The CIA promise was good for just ten years
(as far as we know).
Last year, Harvard University discovered, and revealed,
that its Professor Nadar Safran accepted $107,430 from the CIA to secretly underwrite
his recently published book, SAUDI ARABIA: THE CEASELESS QUEST FOR SECURITY.
also was discovered that the CIA paid $45,700 to underwrite a symposium on Islamic
fundamentalism organized by Safran. Neither Harvard nor the participants in the
symposium were aware of the CIA involvement.
Congressman Don Edwards (D-CA)
charged that "This is serious misconduct by the CIA. So far the news accounts
of this incident have focused on Harvard and Professor Safran, not on the CIA.
Does this mean that the news media believe this practice is business as usual
for the CIA or that we have all forgotten that ten years ago this behavior produced
a major controversy? The public is entitled to know if these are isolated ventures
or if we are back to the bad old days when one didn't know which book was a CIA
plant. How many books, magazines, and newspapers are there in the U.S. that are
in reality CIA propaganda? How many professors and clergymen are on its payroll?
... Already there are repercussions over the Harvard incidents. Islamic scholars,
for example, are dismayed. Said one, 'People in the Middle East to whom we must
have access would never trust us again.' As for college students, never wholly
reverent towards their professors, are they beginning to wonder, as the professor
lectures, 'is he real, or is he CIA?"
RECON, Spring 1986,
"Books, Professors, and the CIA," by Congressman Don Edwards (D-CA),