- Senior Vice President of the Center for American Progress
- Director of George Soros’ Open Society Policy Center
- Long associated with the Institute for Policy Studies and the National Lawyers Guild
- Foreign policy expert who proposed unilateral U.S. nuclear disarmament, the end of all American clandestine activities, and United Nations control over every international use of the U.S. military
- Befriended CIA agent-turned-Communist Philip Agee
Morton Halperin is Senior Vice President of the Center for American Progress and Director of the Open Society Policy Center established by George Soros.
Born in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, Halperin graduated from Columbia University in 1958 and earned a Ph.D. from Yale University three years later.
From 1961 to 1966 he taught at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs. During this period, he advocated U.S. nuclear disarmament even if the Soviet Union did not likewise disarm. In any mutual arms reduction treaty with the Soviets, wrote Halperin in his 1961 treatise A Proposal for a Ban on the Use of Nuclear Weapons, "inspection was not absolutely necessary. … The United States might, in fact, want to invite the Soviets to design the inspection procedures if they seem interested in them."
During his 1966 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Halperin stated that the United States should diplomatically recognize the Communist People's Republic of China and seek its admission to the United Nations.
Halperin went on to work in the Department of Defense from 1966 to 1969, and in 1969 he was named senior assistant to Henry Kissinger, who was then President Nixon's assistant for national security affairs.
In 1970 Halperin resigned that post to protest Nixon's decision to move American forces into Cambodia and intensify the bombing of North Vietnam. It was later learned that classified details of U.S. bombing campaigns in Cambodia had been leaked to the New York Times. Security officials, suspecting Halperin, tapped his telephones. Halperin, in turn, sued the government over what he called this violation of his privacy.
After he left government in 1970, Halperin became a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was feted and embraced by many leftist organizations that promoted similar views, such as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations.
"The Soviet Union apparently never contemplated the overt use of military force against Western Europe," wrote Halperin in his 1971 Defense Strategies for the Seventies. "The Soviet posture … has been, and continues to be, a defensive and deterrent one … against a Western attack."
During President Lyndon Johnson's administration (1964-1968), Halperin had been put in charge of compiling a classified history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. As David Horowitz and Richard Poe report: "This secret history later emerged [in June 1971] into public view as the so-called 'Pentagon Papers.' Halperin and his deputy Leslie Gelb assigned much of the writing to leftwing opponents of the war, such as Daniel Ellsberg who ... was already evolving into a New Left radical. … With Halperin's tacit encouragement -- and perhaps active collusion -- Ellsberg stole the secret history and released it to The New York Times. … Not surprisingly, 'The Pentagon Papers' echoed Halperin's longstanding position that the Vietnam War was unwinnable, and ridiculed Presidents Kennedy and Johnson for stubbornly refusing to heed those of their advisors who shared this opinion."
In 1975 Halperin became Director of the Center for National Security Studies (CNSS), a spinoff of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). CNSS also is aligned with the National Lawyers Guild. Much of CNSS’s staff was derived from these two organizations. IPS Director Robert Borosage helped Halperin run CNSS.
In the mid-1970s Halperin befriended Philip Agee, a former CIA agent-turned-Communist who publicly identified hundreds of American CIA agents. At least one of these agents, Athens station chief Richard Welch, was murdered shortly thereafter. Halperin flew to Europe to help Agee find safe haven after Great Britain had expelled him. In the U.S., Halperin, who has described the CIA as "the subverter of everybody else's freedom,” opposed legislation to punish the outing of U.S. undercover agents as Agee had done.
During that era, Halperin also served as Director of the Washington, DC office of the American Civil Liberties Union, under whose auspices he defended the right of The Progressive magazine to publish secret details it had obtained of how to make an atomic bomb.
In 1976 Halperin accused the FBI of "murdering" Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. In 1977 Halperin joined forces with the National Lawyers Guild to form a legal resources center to oppose "police spying" and became Chairman of the Campaign to Stop Government Spying (CSGS). The conference that launched CSGS was co-convened and controlled by a steering committee of several leftist organizations, among them the Institute for Policy Studies, the National Lawyers Guild, Halperin's CNSS, Philip Agee's Organizing Committee for a Fifth Estate, and the Socialist Workers Party. That same year Halperin co-authored the book The Lawless State: The Crimes of the U.S. Intelligence Agencies.
In the June 9, 1979 issue of The Nation magazine, Halperin wrote the following with regard to the Soviet-Cuban military intervention in Angola: "Every action which the Soviet Union and Cuba have taken in Africa has been consistent with the principles of international law."
In Target America -- James L. Tyson's 1981 expose of the Soviet Union's massive "propaganda campaign designed to weaken and demoralize America from the inside" -- the author stated:
"Halperin has emerged as probably the leading 'expert' on intelligence matters among the Far Left Lobby groups. He and his organizations have had a constant record of advocating the weakening of U.S. intelligence capabilities. His organizations are also notable for ignoring the activities of the KGB or any other foreign intelligence organization. His criticism of American intelligence misdeeds would give the impression that our agencies have been committing these crimes simply for their own villainous reasons in a world where the U.S. faces no external enemies whatever. A balance sheet analysis of Halperin's writings and testimonies ... gives Halperin a score of 100% on the side of output favorable to the Communist line and 0% on any output opposed to the Communist line."
According to a May 2000 World Net Daily report, “Halperin, according to a well-respected former State official, was suspected of working for the communists in the '60s and '70s. ‘He was a person we knew to be pro-Soviet and not a person to be trusted,’ said the official, who worked in intelligence during the height of the Cold War. ‘Halperin has been known on embassy [briefing] cards as a Soviet or communist agent.’”
Halperin remained CNSS Director until 1992, when the election of President Bill Clinton brought him back into government. In February 1993 Clinton's administration announced the appointment of Halperin to the new position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping. Halperin withdrew his name from consideration in January 1994, however, when his nomination was stalled by both Republican and Democrat U.S. Senators who refused to consent to a nominee with so radical a history.
President Clinton thereafter appointed Halperin to several positions that required no Senate confirmation: Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director for Democracy at the National Security Council, consultant to the Secretary of Defense, and consultant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
In 1998 Halperin became Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department. During his tenure there, 15 State Department laptop computers containing highly classified intelligence information disappeared; one of them was checked out to Halperin's office. A number of people were punished for this serious security breach, but Halperin was not.
In February 2002 Halperin became Director of the Open Society Policy Center and has worked closely ever since with its creator, George Soros.
According to a March 1, 2004 report by Robert Dreyfuss in The Nation, Halperin and Soros together hand-picked the President of the Center for American Progress (CAP), former Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta. Halperin today is Senior Vice President at CAP, where his son David is a Special Adviser on Campus Outreach. Another of Morton Halperin's sons, Mark Halperin, is the Political Director of ABC News.
As of March 2011, Morton Halperin was an advisory council member of J Street.
 James L. Tyson, Target America (Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1981), p. 2.
 Ibid., p. 200.