Students Shut Down CIA Recruiting at UIUC

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ON APRIL 9, MEMBERS OF THE Campus Antiwar Network,
Iraq Veterans Against the War, and the International
Socialist Organization joined forces for a third annual
protest against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
recruitment session at the University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign. However this year, students and activists were
stunned by their victory when the CIA canceled the session
at the last minute, shamed by our tactics which
exposed the Agency‘s dark history of assassinations, political
sabotage and torture.
Outside the session door, one activist donned a black
Grim Reaper cloak and stood with
arms extended on a milk crate to
greet potential recruits and remind
them of the brutal atrocities conducted
at Abu Ghraib with CIA
complicity. Another used a simple
pillowcase as a hood and kneeled
with arms clasped behind his back
to show the treatment by prisoners
common at Bagram Air Base and
Guantánamo. Others passed out
informational leaflets and challenged
attendees to consider the
lies to be presented by the CIA,
which claimed in their campus ad
to be “looking for a diversity of
people for the important job of
keeping America safe.“
Campus police showed up at the
request of the CIA operative in
attendance who, according to the
officers, requested to “have us
removed.” However, the policemen
checked our campus IDs and then
notified us that we could stay as
long as we did not impede traffic. Five minutes later after
our continued vigilance, we were thrilled when we heard
that the CIA would cancel the session, claiming that since
the student newspaper had shown up and taken pictures
for an article featuring our protest, “security had been
compromised.” We suspect their true motive for cancelling
was their embarrassment over our collective message: “Say
NO To The CIA Recruiting on our Campuses!“
According to the International Red Cross, the CIA frequently
used techniques against prisoners held in secret
overseas detention centers or “black sites” that “constituted
torture” in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Prisoners
received cruel and degrading treatment, including
beatings, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures, strip
searches, starvation, scare tactics utilizing canines, and
waterboarding. Some detainees then
faced “rendition,” the transferring of
prisoners and outsourcing of torture
to other countries where the CIA
operates, especially those known for
committing human rights violations,
such as Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
Many of these prisoners become
“ghosts,” detainees whom officials
refuse to give information about the
location or status of to either family
members or lawyers on the grounds
that their incarceration is needed for
long-term interrogation.
Such barbaric deeds are a gross
violation of international and U.S.
constitutional law and are crimes
against humanity on par with the
U.S.-run concentration camps of
Japanese American citizens during
World War II and the “gulags” of
Soviet Russia. Among the prisoners
are possibly hundreds of innocent
people, whose only crime is to be
Arab, Muslim, and a person of color.
Moreover, such tactics by no means keep “America safe”
but rather alienate local populations by its heavy-handed
nature, and provide a window of opportunity for terroristgroup
CIA Director Leon Panetta reiterated the Obama
administration‘s commitment to continue several Bush
administration policies in the so-called war on terror.
Panetta told reporters the US will continue controversial
CIA drone attacks in Pakistan that have killed hundreds of
civilians. He also said that while CIA interrogators will
have to abide by the Army Field Manual, President Obama
can still approve harsher techniques using wartime powers
and that the “CIA retains the authority to detain individuals
on a short-term basis.“
Activists and students should stand up to the CIA
whenever they attempt to recruit on college campuses or
in your community. With even a small number, you can
shut down their recruitment meetings and score an important
victory for peace and justice. As Campus Antiwar Network
member Eric Heim explained, “I was pretty shocked
when I found out that we managed to cancel the meeting.
To finally have a visible victory was a huge morale boost.
The CIA needs to be opposed when and wherever it
appears because it is nothing but an agent of empire that
destroys democracy and helps establish US hegemony
across the globe through force and brutality.“
ISO Resources:
• ISO Champaign Meetings, Mondays, Greg
319@UIUC, 6PM. All are welcome
• Socialist Worker & Haymarket Books Tabling, Tuesdays,
Main Quad@UIUC, 2-4PM. (during inclement
weather, we will be inside the Student Union)
• Socialist Happy Hour! An evening of informal political
discussion, Fridays at 8:00PM: All are welcome,
Blind Pig (120 N. Walnut St.)

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