A letter from a reader: A chance to work for the CIA

March 19, 2008:

I'm reading a book from the '70s, Dirty Work, by Philip Agee, which discusses CIA recruitment of young, idealistic college students. I was one in the spring of 1964, when I met with Dean William D'O. Lippincott in his office in Nassau Hall (I'd made dean's list). I think I was also trying to arrange a deferment; I wanted to go to the South as a civil rights worker. As we chatted, he mentioned casually that he might be able to help if I was interested in "government work." I don't remember his exact words, but his meaning was clear to me; he was offering me a chance to work for the CIA. I was surprised, as I was sort of an early '60s radical, for Princeton, anyway. I'd been in the Student Peace Union and was more a folkie than a club type, though I was doing my best to live up to our party-boy rep as well.

In any case, nothing came of it -- I wasn't interested -- and I went off to Mississippi with SNCC that summer. I more or less forgot about Lippincott, but wondered later whether he'd approached other students and was actually a CIA recruiter. 

I'd be glad to know more about what Dean Lippincott was up to, and to be referred to any articles in PAW, the Prince, or other media, about this matter, and wonder if other alumni and alumnae have any similar memories they'd like to share.

San Francisco, Calif.

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