The CIA On Campus: Expanding the “Academic Homeland Security Complex”

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Excerpts from a new essay by William Martin titled “Manufacturing the Homeland Security Campus and Cadre” on the “academic homeland security complex” and the increasing role of the Department of Homeland Securty, CIA and Pentagon on college campuses:

“[F]unded directly by homeland and national security agencies, [there is a drive] to create a new cadre of intelligence and military officers that rotate between our classrooms and national intelligence agencies.  The lure is spectacular and widespread:  The Department of Homeland Security in September 2003 announced the first 100 winners of a new collegiate fellowship program in the applied social and behavioral sciences; another 105 were announced late last year. Undergraduates receive a stipend of $9,000 in addition to all tuition and fees for nine months, and $5,000 summer stipend to work at a DHS-designated agency. Graduate fellowships cover tuition and fees and a $27,600 per year stipend (including a mandatory summer internship).  Needless to say this makes a mockery of the desperate student applications for $9-12,000 graduate fellowships common across the country… 

“Not to be left behind, the CIA received four million dollars via  the 2004 Intelligence Authorization Act to create a pilot program to train agents in university classrooms.  Named after Senator Pat Roberts, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the  Pat Roberts Fellowship Program (PRISP) offers undergraduate or graduate students $25,000 a year.  Fellowship holders are required to meet in closed sessions run by their administering intelligence agency and, upon graduation, accept 18 month’s employment for each year of  fellowship support.  Like all CIA employees, graduate student interns have to pass medical and polygraph tests as well as background investigations. Scholarship holders as well as the campuses they are on remain a tightly held secret…”

” The inspiration for many of these programs — now across all the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities — is clearly the narrower National Security Education Program established in 1992, which was designed to provide an increased number of U.S. students with language and area experience for the DOD, CIA, and other federal agencies.  Under NSEP students study both in the US and overseas, on fellowships awarded under the direct administration of the DOD and under an oversight board which includes the director of Central Intelligence; fellowship holders are required to seek employment in “national security” agencies.

“All signs point to the proliferation of these programs, extending into more scholarly fields and levels of education.   In 2005 the DOD will unveil a new national initiative in foreign languages, signed and supported by most other federal agencies and seeking to introduce more language instruction in the K-12 system, colleges, and universities with a variety of support programs in order to increase ‘homeland security’.

“What these programs signal is thus not simply an attack on academic freedom or even the diversion of education funding into secret intelligence projects. For students and scholars alike these new programs threaten to solidfy dangerous institutional changes.  Secret military and intelligence agencies will increasingly dictate which languages, religions, and peoples — both beyond and within our borders — will be studied and by whom.   New networked centers and programs, created by and tied to federal security funding, will form an academic homeland security complex destined to implement the fear of ‘un-American others,’ all in pursuit of an increasingly profitable and increasingly illusory “war on terror.”   Meanwhile, hidden behind these facades, marches the development of security and intelligence student trainees who report to security agencies and move back and forth, unknown and unobserved, from our classrooms to security agencies.”

Read William Martin’s full essay “Manufacturing the Homeland Security Campus and Cadre”

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