WASHINGTON (Mar. 29)
President Lyndon B. Johnson today ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to begin cutting off secret subsidies to private educational, philanthropic, and cultural organizations like the “American Friends of the Middle East.”
The White House statement did not mention AFME or any other group by name but it was clear that he referred to such organizations. AFME was recently revealed to have financed, through secret CIA funds, the attendance at American universities of many Arab students who spread anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda.
President Johnson also announced he was setting up a special committee –to include some private citizens –to study ways in which the Government can channel aid in an open manner to causes the Government deems worthy. Secretary of State Dean Rusk will serve as chairman of the new committee.
AFME received several million dollars to finance the travel and tuition of a considerable number of Arab students, many of whom functioned openly as propagandists espousing anti-Israel prejudice at scores of American colleges and universities. The presumed reason for AFME sponsorship of the Arab students was to persuade them that America rather than Russia was the true friend of the Arabs.