Baruch students must accept CIA's presence

The Central Intelligence Agency has chosen Baruch College to take part in its Signature School Program, which is a prestigious honor for one of the most ethnically diverse schools in the nation. However, not everyone is excited about the news.

The CUNY Internationalist Clubs and the Revolutionary Internationalist Youth club have taken a tough stance against Baruch’s involvement in the program. These clubs handed out flyers around campus titled “Imperialist ‘Murder & Torture Inc.’ Targets Baruch: A Threat to Us All.”

To blatantly call an organization evil is irresponsible on many levels. This is no different than labeling all Muslims terrorists or Hispanics as illegals.

The flyer questions what the CIA will do on campus, criticizing the CIA’s plans of hosting workshops and simulations. The flyer asks: “What will they simulate? Waterboarding?” This is an outrageous accusation. The CIA is not going to waterboard students at Baruch — that is asinine. “Setting up a ‘black site’ secret prison? Will your classmates be spying on you and reporting?” All of these hyperbolic accusations should not be taken seriously, for they are highly unlikely.

The CIA is largely not permitted to collect intelligence on the domestic activities of U.S. citizens, except in certain cases, such as if a U.S. citizen is communicating with a foreign individual under CIA surveillance.

The CIA has been under speculation for its methods before, but unfortunately, that is how the world works. That is the price to pay for protection. Take the coups and rebellions during the Cold War. A majority of them were morally unjustifiable, but they need to be looked at in their full context. If the United States did not involve itself in other countries affairs, the Soviet Union would have instead.

The work done by the CIA is incredibly important and vital to the nation and our allies. “CIA’s primary mission is to collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence to assist the President and senior US government policymakers in making decisions relating to national security,” the CIA website states.

Currently, President Donald Trump seems to disregard some of this information, but in a normal presidency this information is crucial to make informed decisions.

For example, it was the CIA that tracked Osama bin Laden to his compound in Abbottabad and relayed the intelligence to then President Barack Obama, allowing him to make the informed decision to execute the mission.

This is not to condone the CIA and their past actions such as non-consensual drugging of Project MKUltra subjects, the use of Air America to ship heroin and opium all over Southeast Asia or their use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Instead, it is to defend the purpose of the CIA. There must be a centralized agency that supports our spies around the world.

One does not need to approve of what the CIA does, but it is important to note that in the world rife with espionage, there are no bad guys or good guys — just business.