“The C.I.A. is the Gestapo”


When I was in graduate school, I led a demonstration on Grand Avenue in St Louis to prevent the C.I.A. from recruiting on campus at Saint Louis University. The former St Louis Globe-Democrat–the paper where Pat Buchanan got his start–ran a photo of a woman student with a sign she was carrying: “The CIA is the Gestapo” and I was quoted in a fairly lengthy subheading of the photo.

Reading this article in the generally conservative, prowar Washington Post concerning a global network of torture centers and detention facilities is at least suggestive of Nazi tactics during World War II.

It demonstrates how the war on terrorism, as well as war in general, leads to a significant attenuation of civil liberties at home and unleashes a nationalistic bestiality abroad. Imagine the horrors that the internees must be subjected to by these Americans working for this dreaded agency.

Full disclosure requires me to indicate that I applied once for a job with the C.I.A. while I was still in St Louis working on my doctorate. I was interviewed in the old Stouffer’s hotel near the arch in which the top floor would rotate in a circular pattern. I was interviewed in two separate hotel rooms by C.I.A. agents. I was asked to take the backstairs and not the elevator as I was “ferried” from one room to the other. I was given an on-the-spot Spanish-language test, which I did not perform well on, and asked a variety of questions on why I was applying etc. After the interview, I had no further contact with the Company: at least that I am aware of.

I can’t say I applied because I wanted to be a Trojan Horse and degrade it from within. Yet I know I did not apply out of a sense of patriotism or nationalism. I think I was curious to see how far my application would go and what kind of job I might be offered. I know I would be given a polygraph exam at Langley had my application continued up the chain. I was nervous that I would fail the polygraph, which I was never administered, if I were asked all these John Wayne or have you ever protested type questions. But I applied and am saying that here.

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