After multiple denials the CIA has finally admitted to what more or less everyone assumed was true – that the CIA had spied on Noam Chomsky. In theory Chomsky’s American citizenship and lack of being a threat to national security should have prevented this, but no.
For years, the Central Intelligence Agency denied it had a secret file on MIT professor and famed dissident Noam Chomsky. But a new government disclosure obtained by The Cable reveals for the first time that the agency did in fact gather records on the anti-war iconoclast during his heyday in the 1970s.
The disclosure also reveals that Chomsky’s entire CIA file was scrubbed from Langley’s archives, raising questions as to when the file was destroyed and under what authority.
That is a good indication the CIA broke the law. Or rather broke laws they would be embarrassed to admit they broke.
It’s worth noting that the destruction of records is a legally treacherous activity. Under the Federal Records Act of 1950, all federal agencies are required to obtain advance approval from the national Archives for any proposed record disposition plans. The Archives is tasked with preserving records with “historical value…
What does Chomsky think? When The Cable presented him with evidence of his CIA file, the famous linguist responded with his trademark cynicism. “Some day it will be realized that systems of power typically try to extend their power in any way they can think of,” he said
Is cynicism just reality with the volume turned up? It seems Chomsky’s cynicism hit the mark exactly right.
Though the file is from decades ago, the system of COINTELPRO and other intelligence activities were prologue to our current surveillance state. Only in those days they did not have the kinds of surveillance technologies that exist today.