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CIA in Cambridge

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY has no business operating a secret office in Cambridge. No legal underpinning exists to support any CIA surveillance of any domestic activity. Regardless of the Cambridge community's reputation for political activity, the CIA's presence here is simultaneously a waste of tax money and a violation of domestic civil liberties.

Informer Jessie Gill's familiarity with the office refutes any claim that the CIA does not use its Cambridge facilities to keep track of local affairs. Gill is a self-confessed informer who worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation regularly and did sporadic work for the CIA. Her knowledge of the office and its staff and the agency's use of the Cambridge office to funnel her money is incontrovertible evidence that for some purpose the CIA has been following local activities through its Boston office.

The chilling effect of CIA surveillance on American political activities cannot be denied. The CIA is specifically required to limit its activities to overseas work of various sorts and analysis of foreign affairs. Boston hardly qualifies as a foreign community, and the mere presence in the Boston area of large numbers of foreign policy experts cannot excuse CIA activities here. By moving into Cambridge, the CIA clearly and dangerously overstepped its mandate.

The CIA's presence in Cambridge and use of informers to keep track of local politics is intolerable. At present the extent of its domestic intelligence operation is unclear. But the office in Technology Square is a concrete demonstration that the agency has an illegal interest in domestic affairs. And there is no reason to doubt that this is an interest that spreads far beyond the immediate Boston area.

Since the CIA's formation, it had had major influence in American international politics. And given the agency's highly questionable record in that arena, any attempt by the CIA to extend its influence into American domestic politics must be halted immediately.

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