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03.08.05: The blog has moved to www.antropologi.info/blog/anthropology/, and several broken links have been corrected

Here are the most recent posts on the new blog location:

[ Frontpage ]

Friday, June 03, 2005, 00:24

"War on terror": CIA sponsers anthropologists to gather sensitive information

"A CIA scheme to sponsor trainee spies secretly through US university courses has caused anger among UK academics, the BBC reports. The Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program pays anthropology students 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."

"Undergraduates taking part in the scholarship programme must not reveal their funding source and are expected to attend military intelligence summer camps."

The CIAs activities are defended by an American anthropologist (Felix Moos, University of Kansas). He wrote according the BBC in Anthropology Today: "The United States is at war. Thus, to put it simply, the existing divide between academe and the intelligence community has become a dangerous and very real detriment to our national security at home and abroad." >> read the whole article (BBC)

Let's hope anthropologists say NO to the CIA!

This story reminds me on Montgomery McFate's controversial article Anthropology and Counterinsurgency: The Strange Story of Their Curious Relations where she urges anthropologists to cooperate with the military and Dustin M. Wax's comments: "a functioning anthropology can never be on the side of U.S. forces"

UPDATE: See also why anthropologist Robert M. Offer-Westort thinks that anthropologists should say No.

UPDATE 2 (6.5.05): More on the return of spies to college campuses in the Kansas City Star

PS: By the way. Check what kind of definition of anthropology the BBC uses on their website: "the study of esp. primitive peoples"...


Cloak and Classroom: Many social scientists say a new government program will turn fieldwork abroad into spying. Can secrecy coexist with academic openness? (David Glenn, Chronicle of Higher Education, 25.3.05)

The CIA's Campus Spies. Exposing the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program (Dave H. Price, Counterpunch, 12.3.05)

Anthropologists as Spies (David Price, The Nation, 20.11.00)


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