Friday, June 3, 2005

A Bachelor of Espionage with a Minor in Anthropology

Fears over CIA 'university spies'
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 [...] 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.
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."
I'm sorry to tell you this, Dr. Gledhill, but that's what we call "September 10th thinking".

Maybe you were away on a dig, sir, but as of September 11th, 2001, America is at war -- and our war is endless and all-consuming. Therefore, anthropology, like everything else, is at the mercy of the war.
Dr Gledhill said: 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."
I'm very sorry, Dr. Gledhill. You really must get in from the ancient burial grounds more often, sir. The United States of America does not give a rat's ass about your "people on the ground in foreign countries". We can't afford to, sir, because our war is endless and all-consuming.

In fact, sir, the United States of America doesn't even give a rat's ass about its own "people on the ground -- at home or in foreign countries"! And we can't afford to care about that, either, sir, because ... yessir, it's endless and all-consuming, sir.

So please don't take any of this criticism personally. I know you mean well, but it's all about the war, sir. And forgive me for saying so, sir, but my country has gone crazy.
Felix Moos, an anthropology professor at the University of Kansas, defended the scholarships.

He wrote in the journal 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."