On Tuesday, February 19, the Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Annandale campus is hosting a “CIA Day” for students “thinking about a career with the CIA.” A promotional leaflet for the event calls on students to “discover the truth” about “everything that threatens our nation.”
The event will include a 90-minute informational session and “individual appointments” with the agency. It is being presented as a job fair for students, many of whom are desperate to find a decent career that utilizes the skills they are paying thousands of dollars in tuition to receive. It is yet another expression of the integration of college campuses with the US military and intelligence apparatus.
NVCC, which consists of six campuses in Washington, DC’s northern Virginia suburbs, is the second largest community college system in the United States. The region is home to both the CIA headquarters in Langley and the Department of Defense (Pentagon) in Arlington, just a few miles away. With over 75,000 students from more than 180 different countries, the college is a prime target for intelligence agency recruitment.
According to Daniel Golden, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who authored a 2017 best seller on the intelligence community’s infiltration of US campuses, “the FBI and the CIA set their sights on international students, professors and visiting scholars in the United States, assessing them as potential threats or ‘assets.’”
The author notes that a 2012 staff poll taken at US universities showed that at “universities who work with international students…almost one-third reported that the FBI had visited students within the past year.”
Far from helping students “discover the truth,” the agency, known as “Murder, Inc.” in the 1970s, has been behind some of the most egregious violations of human rights and international law since its establishment at the onset of the Cold War in 1947.
A sampling of the agency’s crimes includes:
• The 1961 assassination of the Congolese independence leader and first prime minister of the Republic of Congo, Patrice Lumumba.
• Operation Phoenix during the Vietnam War, which involved the assassination and torture of suspected National Liberation Front members.
• The 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh and installation of the bloody dictatorship of the Shah.
• The 1954 toppling of the democratically elected government of Jacobo Árbenz of Guatemala, done at the behest of the United Fruit Company.
• The organization of military coups throughout Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s, leading to the repression of left-wing anti-imperialist movements and the disappearances and torture of tens of thousands of students and working people. This included the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile and installation of the Pinochet dictatorship.
• The 1965 coup in Indonesia that involved the murder of hundreds of thousands of socialists and trade unionists.
• The running of “black sites” throughout the world that engage in the detention and torture of individuals captured in the United States’ “war on terror.”
The treatment of the CIA, a blood-soaked agency of US imperialism, in festive terms (“CIA Day”) is obscene. Rather than being given access to the student body, this agency should be met with determined protests by students and faculty.
Many of the students enrolled at NVCC have experienced firsthand the criminal policies imposed with the critical aid of the CIA and its political stooges. In addition to students from countries that have experienced US regime-change operations, military coups, CIA-fomented civil wars or direct invasions, over 700 students at NVCC are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children by parents fleeting countries devastated by US imperialist intervention and oppression. They are now threatened with deportation.
NVCC, which was recently given a top 10 ranking among US schools by the veterans’ organization Military Friendly, maintains extensive ties to the intelligence community. The college is a founding member of the National Cyberwatch Center, which has designated it as a school specializing in cyber security education. In 2013, the college was named a “National Center of Academic Excellence” by the National Security Agency, the agency that has carried out massive illegal spying on the population in the US and internationally.
The crimes of the Central Intelligence Agency are aided and abetted by both the Democratic and Republican parties. Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the vice-chair of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, has a particularly close relationship with NVCC and the intelligence agencies. In 2016, the senator appeared at a ceremony celebrating the college’s 50th anniversary. The Mark Warner Student Services Building at NVCC’s Annandale campus will host the CIA’s visit on February 19.
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality calls for a movement of youth, students and workers to oppose the effort to transform schools and universities into incubators for the military and intelligence services. The IYSSE demands that NVCC repudiate all ties to the CIA, including barring it and other agencies of the US military-intelligence apparatus from recruiting students.
Opposition to cuts in education must be coupled with opposition to war and the system that breeds it—capitalism.
The author also recommends:
CIA out of University of Illinois Chicago!
[8 September 2018]