Azara Blog: The CIA funds American anthropology students

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Date published: 2005/06/02

The BBC says:

A CIA scheme to sponsor trainee spies secretly through US university courses has caused anger among UK academics.

The Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program pays anthropology students, whose names are not disclosed, up to $50,000 (£27,500) a year.

They are expected to use the techniques of "fieldwork" to gather political and cultural details on other countries.

Britain's Association of Social Anthropologists called the scholarships ethically "dangerous" and divisive.
Undergraduates taking part in the scholarship programme must not reveal their funding source and are expected to attend military intelligence summer camps.
Felix Moos, an anthropology professor at the University of Kansas, defended the scholarships.

He wrote in the journal Anthropology Today: "The United States is at war. Thus, to put it simply, the existing divide between academe and the intelligence community has become a dangerous and very real detriment to our national security at home and abroad."

Moos had better stay in Kansas, with Dorothy, if he is willing to make such dumb statements in public. Indeed, expect American anthropologists to be targetted by terrorist groups if this story gets wide circulation. Although the premise is not that surprising, since the US military-industrial complex funds lots of university work, sometimes openly, sometimes not. And how many American (British, French, Chinese etc.) journalists are spies? And it's perhaps better for the CIA to fund academics than torturers, which is their other favourite activity right now.

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