Three Professors Included In Secret USIA Blacklist
Three Harvard professors were reportedly included in a list of potential speakers blacklisted from participation in a government-sponsored speaking program by officials of the United States Information Agency (USIA), high-level government sources confirmed yesterday.
John Kenneth Galbraith, Warburg Professor of Economics Emeritus, Jorge I. Dominguez, professor of Government, and Richard N. Cooper, Boa Professor of International Relations, were among almost 100 potential speakers allegedly barred from the program.
The USIA oversees government cultural and informational programs abroad and is responsible for the administration of the Voice of America and the Fulbright Scholarships.
The reasons for the potential exclusion of the speakers are still unknown and USIA agency officials, refuse to discuss the motivation behind the list.
According to USIA spokesman James A. Bryant, the list was "unofficial and unsanctioned," and did not reflect the present policy of the agency.
The New York Times and The Washington Post, who obtained copies of the USIA blacklist from sources in Washington, have been printing partial lists of names since last week.
The list of potential speakers also included Democratic Presidential aspirant Sen. Gary W. Hart (D-Colo), Coretta Scott King. Walter Cronkite, and consumer advocate Ralph Nader.
Handwritten notations in the margins spelled out the reasons for the exclusion of each potential speaker.
Dominguez last night said he was surprised that his name was included in the blacklist.
"It can't be very efficacious," he said, adding that he has written for a number of USIA sponsored programs.
"I probably should never have been asked to write those articles," he added.
Dominguez said he had not heard about his exclusion from the speaking program until last night, but added that he thought it was both "funny and disturbing"
"It sounds like somebody in the USIA doesn't like what I have to say," Cooper said A former State Department official. Cooper added that he had spoken under the suspices of the USIA before but had never participated in the speakers program.
"It doesn't trouble me personally that I'm on the list, but it troubles me that there is a list and that distinguished Americans are being excluded from speaking abroad," he said.
During its investigation last week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee discovered that the list had been subsequently destroyed. Federal investigators are now looking into the legality of both the list's creation and eventual destruction.
Other Cambridge professors included in the blacklist were MIT economics professors Lester Thurow and Paul Samuelson.
Both Thurow and Samuelson were not available for comment last night but Thurow had apparently already heard of his inclusion in the list, according to his wife.