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December 22, 2016
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August 23, 2010
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April 17, 1980
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Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/23: CIA-RDP90-00806R000100330009-5 COLUMBIA DAILY SPECTATOR Columbia University (NY) 17 April 1980 Agency financed covert studies in '50s and '60s By J111 SCHACIITER Agents of the Central In-i telligence Agency (CIA) directed' research projects at Columbia dur-1 ing the 1950's and '60's. Studies, previously undisclosed, were both covertly and openly funded by the CIA as recently as 1969. Supposed-. ly independent organizations, in- cluding the National Science Foun- dation, were used as fronts for CIA financing of research. CIA employees have taken courses at Columbia-and may still. These revelations and others, which call into question the integri- ty of current as well as former Col- umbia faculty members and ad- I ministr ators shed new light on the CIA's operations during its for- mative years. They are -culled from thousands of CIA and Colum- via documents released to Spec- tator under terms of the federal Freedom of Information Act. ' The documents --accounting records, correspondence, research contracts and internal CIA memoranda-were obtained as part of an ongoing, two-and-a-half year legal action. They tell of an in- telligence agency seeking to ex- ploit the expertise of a leading university; of a university willing to shoulder its patriotic duty as it sought funding for its teachers' and students' research; and of a time before the initials "CIA" automatically cast doubt on the propriety of an academic enter- prise. All CIA-sponsored-activities at Columbia, the documents sugges=t, were apparently harmless. If the files tell the complete story of the university's relationships with the Agency, then no Columbia pro- fessors engaged in the "mind- control" drug testing experiments that raised furors on other cam- puses when they were disclosed in 1977. None of the Columbia studies, it appears, used or produeced classified materials. But frequently, the resear- chers-both students and teachers-were unaware of the source of the studies' funding, and when the researchers knew of CIA support, it seems, they often kept university administrators and i faculty colleagues unaware of their relationships with the agen- cy.. On two occassions, employees of the CIA worked at the university as directors of CIA-financed projects. From 1956 until 1969, Thad Alton, an economist, headed a study of "The National Income and Pro- duct of Soviet and Satellite Economies," which was located in the School of International Affairs. CIA association with the study of Eastern European post-war economies was classified until 1967, when Columbia, with the CIA's permission, confirmed the sponsorship after it was alleged by the Students for a Democratic Society. - - But even then, the university may not have known that the pro- ject "was under Agency control and headed by an Agencyl employee," as one CIA Office of Logistics memorandum states. Warren Goodell, an educational' consultant who in 1967 was associate director of Columbia's office of Projects and Grants, said administrators "had heard some stories" about Alton being a CIA employee. The stories, however, were never confirmed, Goodell recalled, and 'administra.tors! assumed the project was directed by Alton and Schuyler Wallace,' then dean of SIA. (Wallace died in 1974.) Alton continued to direct the pro- ject after it was transferred in 1969, to the Riverside Research In stitute, a private research center Columbia helped establish when it closed the applied sciences oriented Electronic Research: Laboratory. Still a Riverside Drive resident, Alton denied having any part in the contractual ar-.' rangements that established the. study. He termed the project "a 1 job we did of which we were proud." He would not comment on his relationship to the CIA. Using the Office of Naval Research as.a funding conduit, the CIA supported the doctoral research of five Teachers College (TC) students in 1957 and 1958. A sixth participant in the "Study of Patterns Which Have Characteriz-i ed Major Scientific Breakthroughs' of. the Twentieth Century" was' Robert Scidmore, CIA project manager for the study and an employee of the Agency's Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI). Scid- more was registered as a non- resident graduate student and ap-' parently received a Ph.D. for his, efforts on the project. The study, subject of a $24,000, contract between TC and the CIA,' resulted not only in a published dissertation, but in an internal classified CIA report by Scidmore on the possible applications of the research findings. The Columbia study was part of a larger OSI in- vestigation of "Current Soviet! Scientific Activities Indicative of a Possible Technological Breakthrough." - A TC professor, Frederick Fitz- patrick, secured the CIA funding after the Agency issued an open in- vitation for research proposals, ac- cording to OSI documents. CIA support of the project was classified. The five doctoral co;TIxU~D Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/23: CIA-RDP90-00806R000100330009-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/23: CIA-RDP90-00806R000100330009-5 students given $4,000 fellowships by the project were told it was sup- ported by the Office of Naval Research, one of them, Herbert Stewart, now professor of science education at )Florida Atlantic University, recalled. The CIA retained "final control" of the selection of researchers for the project, the documents state. University rules now prohibit con-1 tractors' interference in the selec- tion of research staffs. Faculty members were also told by Fitzpatrick (who died in 1975) that the funding came from ONR, said Willard Jacobson, professsor.ofl natural sciences and friend of Fitz- patrick. Fitzpatrick had been -a;l naval commander in World War II and "maintained close contacts to the Navy," Jacobson said. - Lawrence Cremin, president-.of: TC, was a faculty member in the '50's, but . said through_ a spokesman he was unaware of CIA support of Fitzpatrick's- project. The study was considered part of TC's Science Manpower Projet, a program headed by Fitzpatrick for improving the teaching of science in secondary schools. Other projects at Columbia were under less direct Agency control. One, mentioned briefly in a 1963 document, involved "work" on "69 Hungarian refugees" ati Columbia's Neuropsychiatric In- stitute by a College of Physicians and Surgeons staff member. The study was financed by the Human Ecology Fund, which in 1977 was revealed to have been a' CIA-created foundation. The fund, which earlier was called the Socie- ty for the Investigation of Human Ecology, was used as a funding conduit for much of the CIA's $25 million "MK-ULTRA" mind- control research program. MK- ULTRA researchers studied the ef- fects of mind-altering drugs on un- witting students, inmates and others. The CIA had informed President McGill in 1977 that two MK- ULTRA studies were performed at Columbia in the 'SOs. McGill later reported that William Thetford, a professor of medical psychology, had undertaken Human Ecology- funded studies in the theory of human behavior. The research did not involve drugs. McGill said last week he had no knowledge of a study of Hungarian refugees but that he suspected the' .research was "more sophisticated" .than.:Thetford's. ..Edward Sachar,director. of~ the-: NeuropsychiatrIe ;Institute-. ands ;'chairman a Yips ineu q Psychiatry, said yesterday he would initiateran investigation to determine the content of the research and name.of the resear cher. ' .1 "I thought that. the. Institute; hadn't been involved with the CIA` after the early.'SOs," Sachar said. He later added,,''My heart sinks.", ,-,.-,The ;;The-documents; also. reveal... an MK-ULTRA project at the Educa- tional Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, N.J. ETS, the testing service which creates the SAT and other examinations, had previous- ly acknowledged that seven Human Ecology-funded studies of the relation of personality to test scores had been traced to the CIA. But a spokesman said ETS was unaware that the research by E.A. Saunders, a psychologist, was MK- ULTRA subproject 77. A different sort of front was used by the CIA for its sponsorship in 1952 of a $40,000 project for what the documents term "research and planning preparatory to the com- pilation of a new Russian-English Scientific Dictionary." The project, which also produced brief . mathematical and metallurgical lexicons, was funded "through the National Science Foundation," (NSF) according to the documents. NSF had been created in the early '50s as the Government's mechanism for fun- ,ding basic scientific research. It remains one of the major financers of such studies. While NSF, according to spokesmen in Washington, scrupulously avoids any involve- ment in classified research, it agreed to administer the dic- tionary project for OSI. The rela- i tionship between the two agencies was designated "Confidential," the CIA's least rigorous security classification. The agreement was accepted by NSF's founding direc- tor, Alan Waterman. Other documents reveal the CIA maintained contacts in the '50s with the independent National i Academy of Sciences. Ad- ministrators in the two agencies apparently sought to avoid duplicating research efforts by clearing their plans with each. other. Other items disclosed by the f documents include; ? Columbia's War Documentation Project, headquartered in Alexan- dria, VA., in the early 'S0s was "of common concern to the State Department, the USIA (United States Information Agency) and CIA" and was funded by the CIA in 1954. The previous sponsor was the Air Force. - . The Project involved "research studies based on captured German and Russian documents" dealing especially with "Soviet psychological warfare and counter-psychological warfare." The Project was administered by Columbia's Bureau of Applied Social Research (BASR), headed by BASR Director Charles Glock and classified "Confidential." ? CIA employees have attended'classes-mostly,... . graduate level-at the university. A roster of the employees and the studies they undertook is in CIA files but was denied to Spectator. Lee Strickland, CIA assistant general counsel, explained in a letter that federal law prohibits the Agency from revealing such information. The CIA would not say what years the roster covers. ? At one point, Columbia invited CIA employees to enter a special program in the Russian Institute. In 1951, Institute Director Geroid j Robinson wrote to General George Bedell Smith, director of the CIA, suggesting that 50 CIA, armed forces and foreign service officers enroll in a one-year "comprehen- sive training program .' .. in the Russian area." JJ A response from the CIA in- dicated interest in the proposal, but no additional correspondence on the subject seems to exist. Strickland speculated, "it seems quite possible. that some CIA employees attended the program in 1951-52 or thereafter." But he said such records would only be fil- ed under employees names and thus "are simply not recoverable." Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/23: CIA-RDP90-00806R000100330009-5 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/23: CIA-RDP90-00806R000100330009-5 . expiration dote 31 August 1969. According t Dchen in op- proninately $200of, 0.90 unexpended under these cm-'ii e~iontreote, e - tlon. with the Agency vu bated oo r.... t student desooetr.tloo? to the ea.pu. of Coluebla Otreralty. 2. Tuk Order No. 1 of Contrast No. IO-2521 with It. soendaeats totals $510,000.00 ad has . co.pletlm d?t* of 31 Dec?bet 1966. Task Order No. 1 of Contract Mo. iC-1956 1. funded with $125 000.00 ad baa of 'booted out' of it. Coorr?et. with this Ageoey at the ..r11ut possible tls.; that this desire on the part of the Oot..e It 1 t l LTlel. who Si aLe pro t /I ut o the cub$ntt Contracts. +lsed'th05 be hod reu1.1 that h. currently hat $115,000.00 of ST 68 food. arallabL . a oo- tract it being with a new roncrsctor--with a..ddtttooal $125.000.00cof,' FY 69 funds prograved for future obltg?tioa. ~:- Irl in far on the Prowr?o?et is co.c?r.M, no pr?emt sat1on 1e eentevpt.tad uod.r either of Coetreeb milt _h tLa as th? Agency .q uceive tonal regwet fret Colu.bie L Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/23: CIA-RDP90-00806R000100330009-5