Sunday, April 5, 2015

How The CIA Infiltrated The National Students Association

At this point in our history, most Americans are quite familiar with the Central Intelligence Agency’s habit of being creative with (or, depending on your ideological leanings, outright contemptuous of) the rule of law. But although it was certainly the case by the late 1960s that Americans were beginning to look askance on their government like never before, a bombshell report from Ramparts Magazine in 1967, which found that the CIA had infiltrated and co-opted the National Student Association (NSA), still came to many as a shock. In a post-”enhanced interrogation” world, that might seem a little quaint; but a better angle might be to see it as a warning, unheeded, of worse things to come. Recently, Salon spoke over the phone with Paget to discuss the NSA, the CIA’s involvement, and how the relationship between the two organizations evolved with and reflected the changing currents of the Cold War. Our conversation is below and has been edited for clarity and length.


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