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NEW YORK--The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) directed research projects at Columbia University in the 1950s and '60s, sometimes channeling funds through supposedly independent organizations such as the National Science Foundations, the Columbia Daily Spectator reported April 17.
The newspaper, which based its series of articles on thousands of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act after two years of legal struggles with the CIA, said the information "calls into question the integrity of current as well as former Columbia faculty members and administrators."
Frequently the researchers at Columbia--both students and teachers--were unaware the CIA was funding their studies, and when the researchers knew they often did not inform colleagues and administrators of their connections with the agency.
Twice, CIA employees worked at Columbia to direct CIA-financed projects. One study, which lasted until 1969, concerned "the national income and product of Soviet and satellite economies," and was ostensibly sponsored by the School of International Affairs.
It Takes Two
The Spectator also reported that department chairman had cooperated with the CIA in recruiting students to work for the agency.
Columbia President William McGill said he had been contacted by the CIA several times during his career and once was debriefed after going to a convention in Europe attended by representatives of the Soviet Union.
McGill said, "The real evil that the CIA has let loose on us is that by engaging in these sort of activities without formal guidelines, they have raised a level of paranoid suspicion in all the universities."
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