The CIA has nothing on Noam Chomsky (no, really)


“This month, a two-year-long investigation into CIA records on Noam Chomsky concluded with a surprising result: Despite a half-century of brazen anti-war activism and countless overseas speaking engagements, the Central Intelligence Agency has no file on the legendary MIT professor. ‘Our searches were thorough and diligent, and it is highly unlikely that repeating those searches would change the result,’ reads an agency reply to a Freedom of Information Act request for any and all CIA records on Chomsky. The request, obtained by Foreign Policy, was submitted by Portland-based writer Frederic Maxwell, who’s writing a book about the renowned linguist. At stake is not so much the CIA’s reputation (the agency’s forays into domestic spying in the 60s and 70s are well-documented), but Chomsky’s: For what’s a towering leftist dissident without a lengthy CIA file — that ultimate rite of passage for 60s-era dissenters? Was Chomsky maybe even a little disappointed by the lack of a CIA file? Last, week, I presented him with the CIA’s findings, which he hadn’t been privy to. … But hold on. No CIA file? And Chomsky’s not suspicious? I reminded him of his impeccable qualifications for such surveillance. Over the years, Chomsky’s broad criticisms of the U.S. government (a ‘terrorist state‘) made him the only person on both Richard Nixon’s Enemies List and the Unabomber’s kill list. In the 60s and 70s, he undertook frequent overseas speaking engagements in countries that included Cambodia and Vietnam. He contributed to the leftist political magazine Ramparts, itself a target of CIA surveillance. Detailing the agency’s obsession with the magazine’s writers, former CIA director Stansfield Turner wrote in his 2006 book Burn Before Reading that ‘the CIA investigation of the staff of Ramparts was definitely illegal.’ He added: ‘It was also just a small part of a much larger [President Lyndon] Johnson-initiated project that went by the codeword CHAOS.’ Indeed, that program, initiated in 1967 under Johnson and expanded under Nixon, targeted the anti-war movement on U.S. college campuses, in which Chomsky was a major player. In total, the CIA program collected files on at least 10,000 American citizens. But nothing on Chomsky? …”
Foreign Policy<
When Chomsky Worked on Weapons Systems for the Pentagon

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Cambodia, CIA, Henry Kissinger, Lyn. Johnson, Nixon, Noam Chomsky, R. McNamara, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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