On February 14, 1967, the New York Times front-page headline read: “A Student Group Concedes It Took Funds from C.I.A.” The article by the reporter Neil Sheehan unleashed a series of revelations about secret operations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Since the 1950s the agency had apparently been financing independent, private organizations and institutions that seemed to bear little relevance to the official tasks of the CIA, namely to collect information abroad that was relevant to America's national security. The day before, the underground magazine Ramparts bought a full-page ad in the New York Times to publicize its March issue. The ad announced that Ramparts would reveal how the CIA had for many years sponsored the National Student Association (NSA...

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