“Murder & Torture Inc.” Targets Baruch:
A Threat to Us All
CIA Out of CUNY Now!
The Central Intelligence Agency – U.S. imperialism’s infamous “Murder & Torture Inc.” – has made an agreement with the City University of New York’s Baruch College to implant agents and recruiters on campus. This is a huge national issue sharply escalating the drive to militarize the university and subjugate it to the dictates of the government. The CIA’s website (cia.gov) states that “as part of CIA’s recruitment strategy,” Baruch has been included in the spy agency’s Signature Schools Program. This would use CUNY’s diverse student body to further the CIA’s “mission” here and around the world.
Since mass opposition and revulsion against CIA crimes and infiltration pushed the murderous spy agency off campuses during the Vietnam War, the CIA was forced to hide in the shadows at universities coast to coast – but now it seeks to come back with a vengeance. Baruch (together with the University of Illinois-Chicago and University of New Mexico) is to serve as a “pilot” campus for this new CIA program targeting universities across the country.
Let’s be clear: the drive to make CUNY students, faculty and staff cogs in the imperialist war machine is an attack on us all. The CUNY Internationalist Clubs and Revolutionary Internationalist Youth call for massive protest and exposure to stop the CIA from making our university a base for the torture, terror and mass murder it carries out around the world. CIA OUT OF BARUCH AND OUT OF CUNY, NOW!
The letters “CIA” are synonymous worldwide with racist, imperialist terror – from the assassination of African independence leader Patrice Lumumba to genocidal counterinsurgency in Vietnam and Central America; the overthrow of elected leaders Arbenz in Guatemala, Mossadegh in Iran, Allende in Chile; “extraordinary rendition” and “enhanced interrogation” at CIA “black sites,” dungeons and prison camps from Abu Ghraib to Guantánamo under Democrats and Republicans alike. Today under Donald Trump, CIA drone strikes continue to rain death from the sky, after becoming a signature program of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In Pakistan alone, these “targeted killings” have killed over 200 children.
How does the CIA describe its pact with the Baruch administration? The spy agency’s website quotes CIA Director Mike Pompeo, now slated to become arch-racist Trump’s Secretary of State, cynically spouting off about “diversity,” using this to promote the CIA-Baruch deal. What does this mean? It means using CUNY students’ different national and ethnic backgrounds to more effectively infiltrate, spy on and destroy those that racist U.S. imperialism puts on its hit list here and around the world.
The CIA site quotes Baruch president Mitchel Wallerstein touting the “exciting career options” that “the CIA-Baruch” program will provide “both in the US and abroad.” What do “careers” in the CIA mean? Just take a look at who Trump has named to take Pompeo’s place as head of the agency: career agent Gina Haspel, who, as reported in New York Times (13 March), has played a key role in the CIA’s “torture program.”
And the Baruch administration? It promises to “coordinate with CIA on all communications related to the program prior to its dissemination to the student body.” So the Baruch tops are volunteering (or are they getting paid?) to serve as a blatant PR agency for the CIA. Their “memorandum of understanding” with the CIA states that the program will use CIA agents as “Campus Ambassadors,” promote “networking activities with student organizations,” “build sustainable relationships with key university staff and personnel,” hold events on “the business of intelligence” and carry out a “campus advertising campaign.” These and other details from the August 2017 CIA-Baruch memorandum were leaked to a group based out of the City University’s Graduate Center, CUNY Struggle, which quotes excerpts in a March 15 posting to its website (cunystruggle.org).
So the Signature Schools Program would embed CIA agents on campus to present a shiny image of this bloodstained Murder Inc., rope students in, make student organizations complicit in its dirty work, and doubtless develop a network of professional snitches and finks. There was widespread outrage when the NYPD’s spying on Muslim students and campus clubs was exposed. The CIA openly setting up shop at CUNY should be met with an outpouring of opposition. All cops, spy agencies and military recruiters, from the CIA, NSA and FBI to the NYPD, I.C.E. and ROTC: out of CUNY!
The memorandum states that along with workshops and other “activities,” the CIA would carry out “simulations” on the Baruch campus. What will they simulate? Waterboarding? Other torture and interrogation techniques? Setting up a “black site” secret prison? More prosaically, will your classmates be spying on you and reporting? This recalls the “Homeland Security” course the CUNY tops tried to establish at Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2004, which was slated to include “interrogation techniques” and “technology for surveillance.” This sinister program was spiked by a protest campaign initiated by the CUNY Internationalist Clubs (see “Militant Protest Sinks BMCC ‘Homeland Security’ Program,” March 2005, at internationalist.org).
In November 2011, the CUNY tops showed what they really think of students at Baruch and all CUNY when they had campus security and the NYPD carry out a cop riot inside the main entrance to the Baruch campus. The CUNY and city cops violently attacked students who were there to protest tuition hikes outside a Board of Trustees meeting, pushing them up against plate glass windows, beating them and dragging women students across the floor by the hair.
In 2013, the CUNY administration made the provocative political decision to hire war criminal David Petraeus, former CIA chief and ex-commander of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, to “teach” at CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College. Like returning the Reserve Officers Training Corps to CUNY, bringing in “warrior scholars” like Petraeus was urged by the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. A campaign demanding “David ‘Death Squad’ Petraeus, Out of CUNY Now!” was launched by CUNY Internationalists and included a series of united-front protests. Attempts at intimidation, and the CUNY tops unleashing a brutal NYPD attack on student demonstrators, failed to silence those determined to defend the university against the drive for militarization, as the campaign drew widespread support.
Now those who want to subjugate CUNY to the CIA are at it again, and seek to up the stakes. The leaked memorandum excerpts bring out some important information. However, much is still hidden by the university administration, and needs to be dragged into the light. The CIA-Baruch memorandum boasts that the CIA already has a “track record of onboarding [sic] quality talent from Baruch College.” We demand that all the files on their recruitment activities at CUNY be opened up and published now.
Teach-ins, resolutions by faculty and student bodies, rallies and demonstrations – these will be crucial in building widespread opposition to the threat posed by this CIA incursion. The faculty/staff union (Professional Staff Congress) must take a stand and bring out its members. Large-scale student involvement is crucial. Today, with immigration cops threatening ever-increasing deportations, and the menace of ever new wars hanging over us all, thousands of CUNY students have a vital stake in opposing the drive to make CUNY a staging ground for CIA terror.
In line with the Democratic/Republican war party’s endless colonial carnage abroad, “The Company” (as the CIA is known) is in the forefront of those seeking to shred the most basic civil liberties here at home. The CUNY administration and Board of Trustees have shown yet again that they are eager partners in the dirty work of trying to turn CUNY into one big “war college.” In defense of our sisters and brothers around the world, and our rights here as well, bring out mass protest demanding CIA Out of CUNY Now!
CUNY Internationalist Clubs
Revolutionary Internationalist Youth
18 March 2018