Thursday, January 4, 2007

Why IDA Must Go--Part 2

During the Vietnam War Era, anti-war students at Columbia University explained why they felt Columbia University should sever all connections to the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in a leaflet which included the following text:

"Recent IDA Projects Further Reflect The New Emphasis In Counterinsurgency. Titles Include:

"`The Worth of Target Kill Assessment Systems';
"`Airborne Night Television Reconnaissance-strikes';
"`Levels of Nocturnal Illumination';
"`Small Arms for Counterguerrilla Operations';
"`Tactical Nuclear Weapons--their Battlefield Utility';
"`Chemical Control of Vegetation in Relation to Military Needs';
"`Interdiction of Trucks from the Air at Night';
"`Night Vision for Counterinsurgents'

and so on. IDA tests and develops weapons specifically for the terrains of Vietnam, Thailand, North-east India, and Latin America (Hearings, House Comm. on Appropriations, Defense Approop. Hearings for 1965, vol 14, p. 138). It goes without saying that for those engaged in the liberation struggle throughout the world, this new emphasis on counter-insurgency will have deadly consequences.

"IDA is also engaged in developing techniques for suppressing ghetto rebellions and other domestic insurgencies. In a report to the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, IDA researchers recommended explosively spread adhesives, spray mists, droplet projectors, foam generators, `super water pistols,' and `tranquilizing darts, which have been used on wild animals' (NY Times, Nov. 12, 1967).

"IDA depends on its university affiliations to attract top talent (see Business Week, Feb. 25, 1967, "Battle for Brainpower"). Without the prestige and assistance Columbia and its eleven other affiliates give IDA, the organization would be desanctified in the eyes of the academic community it exploits: it would appear to be just what it is--an academic service-station for America's world-wide `company cops.' Columbia's disaffiliation would be a big blow to IDA's legitimacy and to the whole military-academic alliance.

"NOTE: Columbia's affiliation with the IDA is just one instance of the University's very intimate relation with the whole network of oppressive military and corporate institutions. William Burden, a Columbia trustee, is not only chairman of the board of IDA. He is also a director of Lockheed Aviation, Allied Chemical, CBS, American Metal, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, and a score of other foundations and philanthropies. President Kirk, an active member of the IDA executive committee, is also a director of Socony-Mobil, IBM, Consolidated Edison, Greenwich Savings Bank, and too many foundations to mention (including two CIA conduits--the Asia Foundation and the Institute for International Education). These facts alone should dispel any illusions about `value-free' universities. The university must take sides. The only question is--which side?"

No comments: