Schools and university campuses across the US and internationally are becoming ever more integrated into the military-intelligence-state apparatus. As the ruling class of every country prepares for an intensification of military conflict around the world, institutions of education are being turned into centers for the manufacturing of war propaganda, recruitment into the military and intelligence agencies, and the cultivation and promotion of nationalist ideology.
The fight against war and the military-intelligence-censorship complex can only be carried forward through the mobilization of the working class on the basis of a revolutionary, socialist program. The International Youth and Students for Social Equality is committed to this fight. The following article is part of a series of articles dedicated to exposing the militarization of schools and universities. To read more about the issues facing young people and to join the IYSSE, visit iysse.com.
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) demands the immediate end to all connections, partnerships and agreements between UIC and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). We call on all students, student clubs, faculty, and campus workers to take up and fight for this demand: CIA out of UIC!
Behind the backs of students and educators, UIC agreed in February to partner with the CIA as part of the Signature Schools Program, which includes a handful of other colleges around the country.
The university has provided little information to students about the program. According to a brief statement published on UIC News, which few students read, the CIA will now have “a regular recruiting presence on the UIC campus”; students “will have opportunities to engage in on-campus interviews, information sessions, workshops, simulations and networking activities with CIA personnel”; and “students will participate in unclassified discussions, presentations and seminars that discuss the business of intelligence and learn about employment opportunities within the CIA.”
In other words, the campus is being opened for recruitment into the CIA. According to the CIA’s website, UIC was selected because it provides a large and diverse group of students from which to recruit. Many of the students that contribute to this diversity are the children of immigrants who were forced to flee their country of origin due to the turmoil caused by the regime change operations of the CIA itself. If recruited, these students would be utilized to carry out imperialist crimes of the US government around the world.
The CIA has absolutely no business at UIC or any college campus. As the chief global spy agency of the United States, it is responsible for countless crimes—the overthrow of governments, the fomenting of civil wars, assassinations, torture and spying. A selection of the most harmful and anti-democratic CIA operations includes:
* In 1961, the CIA ordered the assassination of Congolese independence leader and first prime minister of the Republic of the Congo Patrice Lumumba. Between 1960 and 1963, the CIA organized several attempts to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro, including the April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.
* During the Vietnam War the CIA lead the Phoenix Program. Devised to collect intelligence on suspected Viet Cong members and then neutralize (assassinate, capture or torture) them, the program led to random arrests and the murder of entire households. The brutality of this CIA program caused the death of 26,000-40,000 people.
* In 1967, the CIA began Operation CHAOS. The operation’s mission was to spy on the American people and provide the government with intelligence on individuals affiliated with civil rights, black power, socialist, or anti-war activities. College students were made targets of the CIA under this operation.
* In 1973, the Nixon administration, the CIA and the Pentagon collaborated with the Chilean military in a coup overthrowing the left-wing government of Salvador Allende. The US military-intelligence apparatus was intimately involved in rounding up, torturing, and “disappearing” tens of thousands of Chilean workers, students and left-wing intellectuals. US officials also oversaw the murder of two US citizens, Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi.
* The CIA provided over $40 billion worth of weapons to Afghan fighters in the proxy war with the Soviet Union between 1979 and 1989, under Operation Cyclone. Most of the support went to the Mujahideen, a guerilla military group that included Osama Bin Laden. The CIA has continued to maintain relations with right-wing, Islamic fundamentalist organizations throughout the Middle East up to the present day.
* During the Iran-Iraq War from 1980-1988, the CIA was involved in selling weapons to both sides of the conflict and actively participated in deadly chemical weapons attacks which killed tens of thousands.
* Under the administration of George W. Bush, the CIA violated international law by torturing captives and holding them in “black sites” all over the world without charging them with any crime. The CIA subsequently destroyed video evidence of torture and, under the Obama administration, spied on a US Senate subcommittee carrying out an investigation into it.
The blood of these horrific crimes is on the hands of both Democratic and Republican Party leaders who have fully supported the operations of the CIA since its inception. Indeed, while the Trump administration pursues its warmongering and fascistic attack on immigrants, it is the Democratic Party that has emerged as the main party of the CIA and military-intelligence apparatus. In their conflict with Trump, the Democrats have upheld war criminals like former CIA Director John Brennan as tribunes of democracy.
In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats are running an unprecedented number of candidates with a background in the CIA and the military. The Democratic Party fully supports the CIA’s mission to recruit new layers of young people into the shadowy arm of American imperialism.
In opposition to the Democrats and Republicans, the IYSSE at UIC stands irreconcilably opposed to UIC’s partnership with the CIA. We call on students at UIC and across Chicago to join and support the IYSSE’s demand that all ties be severed between the university and the intelligence agency.
The encroachment of military and intelligence agencies onto the campus is not an isolated incident but a symptom of the breakdown of world capitalism. Amidst increasing inequality and growing resistance in the working class, the ruling elite is looking for new ways to suppress opposition to its domination of every aspect of social life. It is trying to turn college campuses, which should be center for learning and the free exchange of ideas, into instruments of counter-revolution and reaction.
We call on all students who want to fight against UIC’s decision to open the university to the CIA to join the IYSSE today.