Marcus Raskin, who channeled his discontent as a young aide in the Kennedy administration into helping found the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank that became an abundant source of research about nuclear disarmament, the Vietnam War, economic inequality, civil rights and national security, died on Dec. 24 in Washington. He was 83.
Mr. Raskin and Richard J. Barnet started the institute in 1963, fiercely devoted to maintaining its independence by refusing to accept government funding. "We also had extraordinary conceit," Mr. Raskin told The New York Times in 1983. "We were going to speak truth to power."
With its seminars and research, the institute tapped into a changing national mood: The optimism of President John F. Kennedy's New Frontier had yielded to an increasing disillusionment over the government's conduct of the Vietnam War. Mr. Raskin helped position the institute at the center of the growing antiwar movement.
In 1967, he and Arthur Waskow, a senior fellow at the institute, wrote a "A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority," a manifesto that urged young men to refuse to participate in war.
The obituary goes on to note that Mr. Raskin played a role in the revelation of the Pentagon Papers, the classified study that unmasked the decision making that had led the US into the Vietnam War.
It says that in 1970, Daniel Ellsberg, the "disillusioned analyst for the RAND Corporation who had drafted the study," gave Mr. Raskin and Mr. Barnet a copy of a part of it. They then passed it on to the New York Times, which later contacted Ellsberg and received the full report.
The article also quotes Sidney Blumenthal, who said that the Heritage Foundation was "modeled directly on IPS."