Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Fears over CIA 'university spies'


From BBC

A CIA scheme to sponsor trainee spies secretly through US university courses has caused anger among UK academics. The Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program pays anthropology students, whose names are not disclosed, up to $50,000 (£27,500) a year.

They are expected to use the techniques of "fieldwork" to gather political and cultural details on other countries. Britain's Association of Social Anthropologists called the scholarships ethically "dangerous" and divisive.

'Detailed knowledge'

The ASA's president, John Gledhill, told the BBC News website the scholarships could foster suspicion within universities worldwide and cause problems in the field.

He said:
"Anthropologists go all over the world for long periods and gain detailed knowledge of places, such as Iraq or South America.

"This is information which would be useful in security circles, which is not what anthropology is for."

"There is also the suspicion factor. If people on the ground in foreign countries get the idea that some anthropologists work for the CIA, then they are not going to feel like being very friendly."

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