Harvard and the CIA
WHEN THE DELUGE of stories revealing the involvement of various American universities in the Central Intelligence Agency's controversial MK-ULTRA mind control program of the 1950s first began to pour onto the pages of the nation's papers, administrators from institutions like Stanford and MIT felt obligated to promptly release a full accounting of their universities' participation in the projects. Harvard apparently feels otherwise. Nearly two months have lapsed since Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, pledged a comprehensive report for public scrutiny on the extent of Harvard's involvement in the MK-ULTRA program. But aside from initially disclosing a Harvard connection with two projects conducted under MK-ULTRA auspices that did not entail drug experimentation, Steiner has consistently put off the fulfillment of his promise.
Perhaps Steiner and University Hall are procrastinating in the hope that the issue of clandestine university cooperation with the intelligence agency's behavior experiments may soon blow over. If such reasoning does indeed prevail within the administration, the University has taken on a cynical perspective that does not square with the spirit of openness and cooperation that prompted President Bok's decision to prepare and release specific guidelines last May regulating the relationship of Harvard faculty members with the CIA. The gravity of the MK-ULTRA issue warrants a thorough airing-out in the immediate future, given the commendable examples set by other universities in this area and the uncertainty aroused by Steiner's delays about Harvard's precise role in the CIA's mind control program.