This is a topic that usually is at many labels scary for me:

From the Chronicle of Higher Education By RICHARD BYRNE, June 28, 2007:

The Central Intelligence Agency’s release on Tuesday of more than 700 documents detailing some of its most closely guarded secrets was a reminder of some of the agency’s most notorious excesses — including political assassinations and eavesdropping on American journalists. But the document dump also shed a bit more light on the CIA’s early interest in student dissenters, in the United States and elsewhere.

The fact that the agency tracked student dissent was previously detailed in prominent reports on the CIA’s activities published in the 1970s — including those assembled by a commission created by President Gerald R. Ford and headed by Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, and by a U.S. Senate committee led by Sen. Frank Church, Democrat of Idaho.

The CIA’s monitoring of students’ activities against the Vietnam War was coordinated by a group within the agency labeled Operation CHAOS, which was given the task of tracking foreign influence in American antiwar movements, including student-led groups.

From CHAOS’s creation, in 1967, to its termination, in 1974, it compiled more than 10,000 files, including more than 7,000 on American citizens. The CIA group also received intelligence on antiwar movements from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and from CIA agents who were planted in domestic antiwar movements for training purposes before taking on CIA assignments abroad.

The documents released on Monday were gathered in response to a request in 1973 by the director of central intelligence at the time, James R. Schlesinger, for information about any past or present CIA operations “which might be construed to be outside the legislative charter of this agency.” Mr. Schlesinger’s successor, William E. Colby, eventually locked the responses to that request in an office safe, and the documents came to be known as the “family jewels.”

The documents are available on the CIA’s Web site, although their presentation, as a series of nonsearchable PDF files, with some sections blocked out, makes their study difficult.

Information about Operation CHAOS is part of the much-discussed cache. In particular, a number of documents concern a 1968 study of student dissent, entitled “Restless Youth,” that was prepared by the agency for President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In two memoranda dated May 7, 1973, the agency’s director of current intelligence informed Mr. Schlesinger of a series of episodes in which the agency had assessed and produced reports on the level of foreign involvement in the antiwar movement. One memo (Document No. 193 in Tuesday’s release) states that a late 1967 review of the evidence of such links by the agency — disseminated via memoranda — had concluded that “there was some evidence of ad-hoc contacts between antiwar activists at home and abroad but no evidence of direction or formal coordination.”

The other May 7 memo (Document No. 190 in Tuesday’s release) gives details of the genesis of the “Restless Youth” report, which was given to President Johnson in September 1968. The memo states that a national-security adviser, Walt W. Rostow — who later was a professor of economics and history at the University of Texas at Austin — asked the agency to put together a report on worldwide student unrest.

“Confronted by the tumult at campuses like Columbia and mindful of the violence accompanying student outbursts at Berlin’s Free University and elsewhere,” stated the memo, “Rostow sought to determine whether youthful dissidence was interconnected: spawned by the same causes; financed and hence manipulated by forces or influences hostile to the interests of the U.S. and its allies; or likely to come under inimical sway to the detriment of U.S. interests.”

The chapter of “Restless Youth” on domestic student dissenters, “Student Dissent and Its Techniques in the U.S.,” was sent to President Johnson in January 1968. Much of that document focused on Students for a Democratic Society, known as SDS, and drew heavily on FBI intelligence about the group. “Restless Youth” was the final draft of the report, which also included a section on SDS chapters in 19 other countries, including Argentina and Yugoslavia.

The material on “Restless Youth” contained in the “family jewels” material is particularly illuminating about the agency’s desire to conceal its interests and reporting on a U.S.-based organization, which was strictly forbidden by the agency’s charter. A memo (Document No. 171 in Tuesday’s release) dated May 22, 1973, remarks specifically on why the distribution of the full version of “Restless Youth” had been limited to President Johnson, Mr. Rostow, and the deputy secretary of defense from 1964 to 1967, Cyrus R. Vance, and also includes a copy of the original memo justifying the limited distribution of the report (Document No. 173).

“The paper ‘Restless Youth’ is sensitive because of its subject matter,” states the 1968 memo, “because of the likelihood that public exposure of the agency’s interest in the problem of student dissidence would result in considerable notoriety, particularly in the university world, and because pursuant to Mr. Rostow’s instructions, the author included in his text a study of student radicals in the United States, thereby exceeding the agency’s charter.”

A search of the agency’s Web site yielded only a tiny declassified portion of the “Restless Youth” report, dealing specifically with Western Europe and West German student movements.