M.I.T. Hints Unit Had Link to C.I.A.; Indicates Study Center

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M.I.T. Hints Unit Had Link to C.I.A.; Indicates Study Center

Postby admin » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:55 am

M.I.T. Hints Unit Had Link to C.I.A.; Indicates Study Center Was Once Financed by Agency
by New York Times
June 30, 1964

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Harvard has refused to accept money for classified projects, but some of its faculty members have done research for the CIA by the simple expedient of funneling their work through the Center for International Studies at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The MIT Center, which was set up with CIA money in 1950, has adopted many of the practices in effect at the CIA headquarters in Virginia. An armed guard watches over the door and the participating academicians must show badges on entering and leaving.

The Center was founded by Walt Whitman Rostow, an economics professor who served in the OSS in World War II and later as the chief of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. In 1952 Max F. Millikan, another economist, became the director of the Center after a two-year tour of duty as an assistant director of the CIA in Washington.


In a practice which has subsequently become standard procedure at MIT and elsewhere, Rostow and his colleagues produced a CIA-financed book, The Dynamics of Soviet Society, in 1953. It was published in two versions, one classified for circulation within the intelligence community, the other "sanitized" for public consumption.

One of Rostow's subordinates at the Center was Andreas F. Lowenfeld, who became a legal adviser in the State Department under Kennedy and Johnson. Lowenfeld was questioned about his work at MIT in testimony before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee on June 12., 1962:

SOURWlNE (Subcommittee counsel): Were you ever, Mr. Lowenfeld, connected in any way with the CIA?

LOWENFELD: Not in any direct way. The reason that I hesitate in my answer is that I was connected with the Center for International Studies at MIT.

SOURWINE: That was during what period of time?

LOWENFELD: That was 1951-1952. And they had some kind of contract with the CIA. So that it is conceivable that I was cleared by them.

SOURWlNE: Yes.

LOWENFELD: But I never formally worked for them.

SOURWINE: Did you know that the Center for International Studies was a CIA operation?

LOWENFELD: I was never formally told, but it became apparent.


One of the dangers inherent in the liaison between the universities and the CIA is the opportunity it provides for Communist propagandists to question the intellectual objectivity and detachment of American scholars.

On December 21, 1963, Cyril Black, the head of the Slavic Department at Princeton, was accused by Communist Bulgaria of having acted as the CIA's contact man with Ivan-Assen Khristov Georgiev, a Bulgarian diplomat who was shot the next month as an alleged spy for the United States.

At his trial, Georgiev testified that he met repeatedly with Black, the son of the former head of the American College in Sophia, during his five-year assignment at the UN. Georgiev said he had been paid $200,000 for his services but spent it all on a series of mistresses, three of whom supposedly were flown to New York for him at CIA expense.

Professor Black denounced the accusations as a "complete fabrication." "It is so preposterous," he said, "that it should not be dignified by a detailed rebuttal." Although Black's denial was not questioned by his colleagues, the incident, nonetheless, sent a shiver of discomfort through the academic community.

The question which troubled the professors was whether the Bulgarian accusations presaged a concerted Communist campaign to discredit the growing number of their colleagues who were working for the CIA.

In addition to its links with the academic community, there is evidence that the CIA subsidizes some foundations, cultural groups and a publishing house as well.

Most Americans are totally unaware of the CIA's domestic activities. In most cases, in a particular city, there is a telephone number for the Central Intelligence Agency under the "United States Government" listings. But there is no address given for the CIA office. As at Langley, the switchboard girl at a field office doesn't answer "CIA. " She simply repeats the number.

Here is a sample of CIA listings in 1963 city telephone directories around the nation:

New York-Mu 6 5517
Chicago-De 7 4926
Los Angeles-Ma 2 6875
[iv] Boston-Li 2 8812
Detroit To 8 5759
Philadelphia-Lo 7 6764
San Francisco-Yu 6 0145
Miami-Hi 5 3658
Pittsburgh-(simply listed as "Central Intelligence" ) 471 8518
Houston-CA 8 1324
St. Louis-MA 1 6902
New Orleans-JA 2 8874
Seattle-MA 4 3288
Denver-388 4757
Minneapolis-FE 5 0811

But the listed offices are only the beginning of the story. The CIA has other offices in some United States cities in addition to its listed ones. In Miami, for example, in 1963, besides its listed number in Coral Gables, the CIA was operating as Zenith Technical Enterprises, Inc.

The CIA cover firm was listed this way in the 1963-64 telephone book:

Zenith Technical Enterprises, Inc., Univ. of Miami South Campus Perrine 238-3311

In true Ian Fleming fashion, the CIA cover office listed no precise address -- the university south campus is a big place. It can be revealed, however, without imperiling national security, that the CIA has been operating from Building 25. (Perrine, incidentally, is the home town of Allen Lawrence Pope, the pilot who flew for the CIA in Indonesia. )

The CIA has operated under at least three other commercial cover umbrellas in Miami -- the Double-Chek Corporation, previously mentioned, the Gibraltar Steamship Corporation and the Vanguard Service Corporation, which will be dealt with separately in another chapter.

The point of all this is that the CIA is not simply an agency that gathers foreign intelligence for the United States in far-off corners of the globe. [v] It is deeply involved in many diverse, clandestine activities right here in the United States in at least twenty metropolitan areas. It can and does appear in many guises and under many names -- Zenith, Double-Chek, Gibraltar Steamship and Vanguard in one city alone.

On university campuses and in the great urban centers of America, the foundation, the cultural committee, the emigre group, the Cuban exile organization, the foreign-affairs research center, the distinguished publishing house specializing in books about Russia, the steamship company, the freedom radio soliciting public contributions, the innocent-looking consulting firm -- all may in reality be arms of the Invisible Government. And these examples are not idly chosen.

Whether this state of affairs was intended by Congress when it passed the National Security Act of 1947, or, indeed, whether the Congress is even aware of those facts, is another matter entirely.

-- The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross


In many cases, the CIA's research involvement on the campuses went much deeper than simply serving as the patron of scholarly work. In 1951, CIA money was used to set up the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A key figure at the MIT Center was Walt Rostow, a political scientist with intelligence ties dating back to OSS service during World War II who later became President Johnson's Assistant for National Security Affairs. In 1952, Max Millikan, who had been Director of the CIA's Office of National Estimates, became head of the center. This linkage between the CIA and research institutions on campus and in the private sector became standard practice in later years, just as it did for the Pentagon. But whereas the Pentagon's procedures could to some extent be monitored by the Congress and the public, the CIA set up and subsidized its own "think tanks" under a complete veil of secrecy. When in 1953 the MIT Center published The Dynamics ot Soviet Society, a book by Rostow and his colleagues, there was no indication to the reader that the work had been financed by CIA funds and that it reflected the prevailing agency view of the Soviet Union. MIT cut off its link with the center in 1966, but the link between the center and the CIA remained, and the agency has continued to subsidize a number of similar, if smaller, research facilities around the country.

-- The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence, by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, Introduction by Melvin L. Wulf


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 29 —The Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was originally financed by the Central Intelligence Agency, the institute indicated today.

But, it said, the character of the center has changed markedly since 1953, two years after its founding, to avoid the danger of being a “captive” of any government organization.

Much of the material in a formal statement issued by the institute was based on the center's 12th annual report recently issued by Prof. Max F. Millikan, director since 1953. The statement was made available after the publication of the book, “The Invisible Government,” a story of the C.I.A., by Thomas B. Ross and David Wise, two Washington newspapermen.

The book asserted that the center was, in fact, a C.I.A. operation.

Two‐thirds of the center's operation is financed by such major foundations as Ford, Rockefeller and the Carnegie Corporation, according to the institute's formal statement.

The remainder comes from research contracts with a variety of government agencies, including the C.I.A., the Agency for International Development, the State Department, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Professor Millikan, reached at M.I.T. Conference Center in Dedham, Mass., said that the center had developed from a research project simultaneously generated by scholars at M.I.T. and James Webb, the Under Secretary of State.

The project broadly involved technical difficulties with the jamming of American broadcasts through the Iron Curtain. This led to considerations of what to say in the broadcasts and moved into the fields of social and political problems.

As a result, those involved agreed that it would be a good idea to have a “research bridge,” between scholars and operatives in the fields of foreign policy. The institute then formally established the center to do research for “a group of agencie represented on the National Security Council,” Professor Millikan said.

He said the work was financed by a “classified agency.” The institut did not officially deny that the agency was the C.I.A.

Over the years, the center has worked on problems concerning the economic and political development of emerging nations, the domestic and foreign policies of Communist states, international communications and United States foreign and military policies.

After Professor Millikan became director, a formal review of the situation by M.I.T. led to the decision that the center should be considered a permanent addition to the institute, “and that it should be financed primarily by private resources rather than governmental.”
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