Academic Spying (The Glass House 3/5/06)

University academics are being recruited as “spies” in the war on terror. They’ve been asked to alert Canberra about any enrolment inquiries from students from countries suspected of having WMDs. In particular, they’re looking for students from countries who have used WMDs. So that’s pretty much just Americans then.

So Americans, Indians and Israelites had better watch out – though Iraqi suicide bombers are more than welcome to enrol in Jihad 101.

They’re also asked to be on the lookout for unusual inquiries by foreigners. Yeah, we want our suicide bombers to come from this country.

They’re also asked to be on the lookout for “inquiries by foreign nationals from particular countries about seminars on sensitive topics”. So, if you see certain people from particular countries interested in specific topics – quick, call the Hotline!

The plan was announced by the Prime Minister. It would’ve made bigger news except that he used the Cone of Silence.

Academics are said to be thrilled by the prospect of leading a secretive double life. By day he’s a mild-mannered advanced topological mathematics professor; but at night he becomes Agent 003.14159, licensed to triangulate!

Some of the academics are finding that the spying’s affecting their job performance. “Pass me that test-tube – shaken, not stirred.”

Any student found to be inciting trouble or researching terror will have to do catch-up tutorials on Good vs Evil.

Some of the subjects to keep an watch over are “How Intelligence is Manipulated”, “What the Government is Really Doing”, and “What to Say When They Catch You Paying Kickbacks” / “How to Crash Planes into Buildings”, “Crushing the Imperial Satan-Dog Beneath the Righteous Heel of the One True God”, and “Phys Ed”.

Suspicions are falling on any students who don’t go on pub crawls, play footy or join the Liberal Club.

But it should be easy for them to catch potential terrorists: just organise a lecture on “How to blow up America” and arrest everyone who turns up.

It’s a new phase to the War on Terror: the War for Tenure.

It’s a good plan; after all, Universities are hotbeds of anti-Western thought. However, most of it comes from the academics themselves…

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