The Central Intelligence Agency’s Surveillance of the New Left
Eugene Phillips

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) collected information on American New Left organizations and activists in the 1960s and 1970s. Project RESISTANCE and Project MERRIMAC, conducted by the Office of Security, and Operation MHCHAOS were the means for the CIA to carry out its domestic missions of monitoring and surveillance of the New Left. The Office of Security sought to protect against New Leftists demonstrating against visiting college recruiters and protesting at the CIA's headquarters. Operation MHCHAOS collected information on American leftists who traveled abroad for the stated purpose of uncovering evidence of foreign subversion from governments hostile to the United States. No foreign subversion or credible threat to the CIA was uncovered yet information was collected on around 300,000 New Left activists and on a thousand organizations, which was distributed, to other intelligence agencies. Many materials for these programs are classified. Information was found in the reports from executive and congressional investigations in 1975-1976, the compilation of CIA internal memos titled Family Jewels which were declassified in 2007, and the 2011 monograph defending Operation MHCHAOS by its participant Frank Rafalko. All this proved that the CIA spied on the New Left for intelligence on its organizations and agendas.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rhps.v5n2a1