Friday, November 20, 2009

Activity Related to Domestic Events

7 May 1973

MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of Central Intelligence

VIA: Deputy Director for Intelligence

FROM: Director of Current Intelligence

1. In late spring of 1968 Walt Rostow, then Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, tasked the DCI with undertaking a survey of worldwide student dissidence. Confronted by tumult at campuses like Columbia and mindful of the violence accompanying student outbursts at Berlin's Free University and elsewhere, Rostow sought to learn whether youthful dissidence was interconnected: spawned by the same causes; financed and hence manipulated by forces or influences hostile to the interests of the US and its allies; or likely to come under inimical sway to the detriment of US interests.

2. The paper was prepared by [...] of OCI with the assistance of the CA and CI Staffs. The DDI, D/OCI, and [...] met with Rostow to elicit the reasons for his or the President's concerns and to agree on the sources to be examined, the research methods to be followed, etc.

3. Written during the summer of 1968, the most sensitive version of Restless Youth comprised two sections. The first was a philosophical treatment of student unrest, its motivation, history, and tactics. This section drew heavily on overt literature and FBI reporting on Students for a Democratic Society and affiliated groups. In a sense, the survey of dissent emerged from a shorter (30 page) typescript study of SDS and its foreign ties the same author had done for Mr. Rostow at the DCI's request in December 1967. (We no longer have a copy.)

4. Because of the paucity of information on foreign student movements, it was necessary to focus on SDS which then monopolized the field of student action here and abroad. A second section comprised 19 country chapters--ranging from Argentina to Yugoslavia--and stood by itself as a review of foreign student dissidence.

5. Because SDS was a domestic organization, the full paper Restless Youth, including the essay on worldwide dissent went only to nine readers. A copy may be in the Johnson Library.

6. Following the paper's favorable reception by the President and Mr. Rostow, the DCI briefed the NSC on student dissent. The sensitive version subsequently was updated and sent to the White House in February 1969.

7. The less sensitive text was disseminated in September 1968 and then updated and issued again in March 1969 and August 1970.

Richard Lehman
Director of Current Intelligence


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