Chomsky: My CIA file "minor peccadillo" compared to today

Exclusive: MIT professor tells Salon his reaction to the news that the CIA kept and destroyed a file on him

By Natasha Lennard
Published August 14, 2013 12:58PM (EDT)
  (Reuters/Jorge Dan)
(Reuters/Jorge Dan)

As we noted Tuesday, after years of denial, the CIA finally admitted with the release of a document to Foreign Policy that a surveillance file had been kept on Noam Chomsky, especially during his days as a robust anti-war activist in the 1970's. The CIA admitted too to having wiped Chomsky's file from Langley's record -- a legally tenuous action.

Following the revelation, I reached out to the MIT Professor. He he made clear that while the government may have acted unlawfully with regards to their covert surveillance of his actions, such activity is barely a drop in the pond of today's expansive surveillance state. He wrote:

The only interest, as far as I can see, is that the CIA is barred from domestic surveillance, and that they’re destroying files.  Who knows how many and which.  But by today’s standards of government malpractice, it’s a minor peccadillo.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

MORE FROM Natasha LennardFOLLOW natashalennardLIKE Natasha Lennard

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Fbi Foia Langley Noam Chomsky Nsa Surveillance Surveillance State