Why Amazon’s Collaboration with the CIA is So Ominous and Vulnerable

As the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon wants a benevolent image to encourage trust from customers. Obtaining vast quantities of their personal information has been central to the firm’s business model. But Amazon is diversifying — and a few months ago the company signed a $600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency to provide “cloud computing” services.

Amazon now has the means, motive and opportunity to provide huge amounts of customer information to its new business partner. An official statement from Amazon headquarters last fall declared: “We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA.”

The Central Intelligence Agency has plenty of money to throw around. Thanks to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we know that the CIA’s annual budget is $14.7 billion; the NSA’s is $10.8 billion.

The founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is bullish on the company’s prospects for building on its initial contract with the CIA. As you might expect from a gung-ho capitalist with about $25 billion in personal wealth, Bezos figures he’s just getting started.

Bezos publicly savors the fact that Amazon has proven its digital prowess — aggregating, safeguarding and analyzing many billions of factoids about human beings — to the satisfaction of the CIA.

The company’s Amazon Web Services division is “the leader in infrastructure cloud computing,” Bezos boasted at a September 2013 meeting with journalists at the Washington Post (shortly after he bought the newspaper). He lauded the high “rate of invention” of Amazon’s technical web team, adding: “Their product offering is far ahead of anyone else.”

Apparently the CIA agrees. The agency gave Amazon the contract for $600 million even though it wasn’t the lowest bid.

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Amazon’s trajectory into the CIA’s spooky arms may be a bit more than just corporate eagerness to land a lucrative contract. In late 2010 — amid intense public interest in documents that WikiLeaks was posting to illuminate U.S. actions overseas — Amazon took a notable step. As the Guardian reported at the time, Amazon “pulled the plug on hosting the whistleblowing website in reaction to heavy political pressure.”

It didn’t take much for Amazon to cave. “The company announced it was cutting WikiLeaks off … only 24 hours after being contacted by the staff of Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate’s committee on homeland security,” the Guardian noted.

In view of Amazon’s eagerness to dump the WikiLeaks site at the behest of U.S. government officials, what else might the Amazon hierarchy be willing to do? Amazon maintains a humongous trove of detailed information about hundreds of millions of people. Are we to believe that the CIA and other intelligence agencies have no interest in Amazon’s data?

Even at face value, Amazon’s “Privacy Notice” has loopholes big enough to fly a drone through. It says: “We release account and other personal information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law; enforce or apply our Conditions of Use and other agreements; or protect the rights, property, or safety of Amazon.com, our users, or others.”

Amazon now averages 162 million unique visitors to its sites every month. Meanwhile, the CIA depends on gathering and analyzing data to serve U.S. military interventions overseas. During the last dozen years, the CIA has conducted ongoing drone strikes and covert lethal missions in many countries. At the same time, U.S. agencies like the CIA and NSA have flattened many previous obstacles to Big Brother behavior.

And now, Amazon is hosting a huge computing cloud for the CIA’s secrets — a digital place where data for mass surveillance and perpetual war are converging.

Amazon is, potentially, much more vulnerable to public outrage and leverage than the typical firms that make a killing from contracts with the NSA or the CIA or the Pentagon. Few people have direct contact with outfits like Booz Allen Hamilton or Lockheed Martin. But every day, Amazon is depending on millions of customers to go online and buy products from its sites. As more people learn about its CIA ties, Amazon could — and should — suffer the consequences.

This is an opportunity to directly challenge Amazon’s collaboration with the CIA. Movement in that direction began with the Feb. 20 launch of a petition addressed to Amazon CEO Bezos: “We urge you to make a legally binding commitment to customers that Amazon will not provide customer data to the Central Intelligence Agency.”

After working with colleagues at RootsAction.org to start the petition, I’ve been glad to read initial comments that signers have posted. Many are voicing the kind of responses that should worry Amazon execs.

“It’s never wise for a business to take steps that create distrust by their customers,” wrote a signer from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Another woman, who lives in Amazon’s home state of Washington, told the company: “Don’t share my data with the CIA. If this is your price, I’m afraid you’re not worth it.” And a signer in Cincinnati wrote: “If Amazon chooses to sell out their customers to the CIA, I will never visit their site again. Betrayal shouldn’t be the price of convenience.”

The people who run Amazon figured they could rake in big profits from the CIA without serious public blowback. We have an opportunity to prove them wrong.

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ABOUT Norman Solomon

Norman Solomon is an American journalist, media critic, antiwar activist, and losing candidate in 2012 for the United States House of Representatives. Solomon is a longtime associate of the media watch group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting.

 

 

 

 

 

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PsyWar: A Short History of the Battle for the Mind

free-dumb

As with all totalitarian regimes, the black/white or the good/bad Baby Bush “You’re either with us or you’re with the Terrorists” – binary rhetoric lies at the heart of the Global Power Elite’s PsyWar technology.

In 2004, Denis Boneau, a French journalist writing for the Voltaire Network, published an article called “The Science of World Domination”  (www.voltairenet.org/The-Science-of-World-Domination), making an excellent summary of key milestones in the development of the United States’ post-World War II Global Psychological Warfare Strategy.

He starts by describing the Truman Doctrine of “Containment” of the former Soviet Union that was based on the so-called “long telegram” sent to the State Department in 1946 by an advisor in the US embassy in Moscow – and key Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) scholar – George S. Kennan.

Shortly afterwards, Kennan was called back to the US to brief his superiors more fully and his recommendations were finally published in the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs, the official journal of the CFR, as “The Sources of Soviet Conduct.” This became known as the “X” article because that’s how Kennan signed it, as there was still heated debated as to whether it would become official US foreign policy.

It did. With his highly influential article, Kennan gave birth to the US policy of “Containment” of the Soviet Union which consisted in blocking the expansion of communism through the control of national emancipationist movements that could lead to greater power to pro-socialist or nationalist leaders.

As official policy, “Containment” required the collaboration of experts capable of providing geographical, economic, cultural, psychological and sociological data useful to the US Armed Forces and the intelligence community, working very closely with key think tanks like the CFR.

Thus began the Cold War which Kennan and the US Government believed would give the United States a historic opportunity to assume leadership over what they would eventually describe as the “Free World.” With time, as the Global Power Elite became more deeply embedded inside the US and British public and private power structures (and that of their key allies), that “leadership” would end up encompassing practically the whole planet.

In a way, one can say that the CFR in conjunction with other think-tank and university scholars – George Kennan, Henry Kissinger, Leo Strauss, Zbigniew Brzezinski included – single-handedly started and macro-managed last century’s forty-five year long Cold War.

As part of that global strategy, 1947 also saw the Truman Administration sanction the National Security Act which, amongst other things, created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tasked with designing, planning and executing “propaganda, economic war, direct preventive action, sabotage, anti-sabotage, destruction, subversion against hostile States, assistance to clandestine liberation movements, guerrilla, murders, assistance to indigenous groups opposed to the enemy countries of the ‘free world’…

What is Psychological Warfare?

Boneau defines Psychological Warfare (PsyWar) as a number of actions ranging from radio propaganda to torture, that require comprehensive information on targeted populations. In a document written in 1948, American ground forces defined “psychological warfare” as follows:

“It is based on moral and physical means different from those upon which orthodox military techniques are based on. Its purpose is: (a) To destroy the will and the fighting spirit of the enemy and avoid its allies’ support and, (b) To encourage our troops and our allies’ will of being victorious.”

PsyWar uses every possible weapon and tool to influence and impact the will of the enemy. Such “weapons” are labelled “psychological” because of their effect and not because of their own nature. This is the reason why, open propaganda (“white”), secret (“black”) or “grey” propaganda – subversion, sabotage, murders, special operations, guerrilla, espionage, political, economic and racial and ethnic pressures – are all considered useful PsyWar weapons.

To implement such programs, the intelligence services recruited specialists on behavioural sciences capable of inventing the “simple, clear and repetitive” white propaganda and black propaganda aimed at provoking “disorder, confusion and… terror” within the enemy forces.

We thus begin to fathom that the so-called “Arab Spring” of today did not just suddenly and spontaneously explode in 2011, but was rather hatched from an “egg” laid decades ago and brooded by the secret intelligence agencies.

“White” Propaganda

This began in the 40’s and 50’s with Project Troy that mobilised top scholars to identify available means of transmitting the “truth” (i.e., US propaganda) behind the Iron Curtain through powerful radio transmitters like the Voice of America, the broadcasting network created by the International Information Service (IIS), another PsyWar institution created under the Truman Administration.

Voice of America was used to promote US “values” of so-called “democracy,” the “American Way of Life,” “freedom” and Corporate Capitalism. A key leader of Project Troy was James Webb, adviser to Secretary of State Dean Acheson and a “psychological warfare” operative who recommended university experts and the government to work closer.

They soon realised, however, that Voice of America was not enough to penetrate the Iron Curtain and supported by the US Navy and the CIA, they suggested other channels to implement “white” propaganda: university exchanges, publications of books, information through the mail, professional journals, commerce and industrial publications.

Truman also created the Psychological Strategy Board encouraging studies of “Soviet society” through a program of recruiting dissidents called Project CENIS – Centre for International Studies – at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) directed by CFR operative Max Millikan.

This worked so well that in 1950 the US Air Force commissioned and funded similar research on the Korean population. Wilbur Schramm, the founding father of the mass communication paradigm, John Ridley and Fredericks Williams were given the mission of interviewing anti-communist refugees to draw up a suitable propaganda strategy on Korea. The study also resulted in the establishment of the “Public Opinion Quarterly” (POQ), the official magazine of “psychological warfare” community.

In the 1963 Project Camelot was created that defined process models leading to national revolutions in Third World countries to facilitate counter-insurgence operations. Camelot is a good example of the strengthening ties between behavioural scholars and the US Intelligence community (i.e., intel services, universities, major corporations, think-tanks and the Military). It facilitated interventions in Yemen, Cuba and the Congo, and helped foresee and prevent the risk of revolution.

In Chile, operating through the Special Operations Research Office (SORO), Project Camelot supported CIA plans to overthrow the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende imposing General Augusto Pinochet’s military junta on Chile on 11 September 1973.

Psychological Warfare Strategy development also counted on key universities dealing in Communication Sciences to develop the “mass communication” paradigm financed by the US Military, the CIA and the State Department. This led to effective propaganda used to penetrate the Iron Curtain through different means, including leaflets and broadcasting. The discipline’s field of study was wide: persuasion techniques, opinion polls, interviews, military and political mobilisations, ideological dissemination…

They have now come a long way thanks to dramatic breakthroughs in communications and information technologies, where propaganda and PsyWar have to a great extent been outsourced and privatised. Today, their main PsyWar weapons include TV, radio, press and internet outlets such as Fox, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, New York Times, Newsweek, BBC, RTVE, RAI, Time, Daily Telegraph, Sun, Mirror, Daily News, Reuters, Jerusalem Post and their global subsidiaries and dependants.

Most importantly, this process also encompasses that key arm of social engineering and thought deformation known as the “entertainment industry” with Hollywood as its main hub and flagship.

Dirty Tricks Departments

From the very beginning, torture was considered a research field in social sciences. During the Korean War, the BSSR (main “black” propaganda research centre) was charged with carrying out studies for the Army to identify Eastern Europe population’s “vulnerability targets and factors” while defining different “aspects of psychological violence.” BSSR reported on the effects of traditional interrogation techniques – electric shocks, blows, drugs – all funded in part by the CIA, especially on the populations of Viet Nam and Africa, geared at improving torture effectiveness.

The paradigm of mass communication was inserted in a broader intellectual plan consisting in the division of the world map based on the American strategists’ logic. The patriarch of this discipline, Wilbur Schramm (as did Leo Strauss), offered a perspective of this reductionist dimension of communication sciences based on the “good guys/bad guys” antagonism, where communism symbolised “Evil” and America symbolised “Good.” This was shared by the majority of the intellectuals and scientists supporting the US government in its fight against Soviet expansionism where neutrality was considered treason.

In 2001, the Bush Administration reactivated these Cold War mechanisms, not to fight the Soviet Union but to impose a “New World Order.” Since 11 September 2001, the excuse for this reactivation is “The War on Terror.” Once again the intelligence community turned to universities: the CIA’s director of scientific research, John Philips, took control of the Rochester Institute of Technology; Michael Crawl, deputy director of the CIA’s joint economic association in the computer sector was appointed dean of the University of Arizona, and Robert Gates (former CIA director under Bush Senior) before becoming Bush/Obama’s Pentagon Chief was president of Texas A&M University.

Alas! Nothing new under the sun…

If you appreciated this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

About the Author

ADRIAN SALBUCHI is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio talk-show host in Argentina. He has published several books on geopolitics and economics in Spanish, and recently published his first eBook in English: The Coming World Government: Tragedy & Hope? which can be ordered through his web site www.asalbuchi.com.ar, or details can be requested by E-mail to arsalbuchi@gmail.com. Salbuchi is 58 years of age, married, with four adult children, and works as strategic consultant for domestic and international companies. He is also founder of the Second Republic Project in Argentina, which is expanding internationally (visit: www.secondrepublicproject.com).

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 131 (March-April 2012).

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission to re-send, post and place on web sites for non-commercial purposes, and if shown only in its entirety with no changes or additions. This notice must accompany all re-posting.

CIA Black Ops, Mind Control, MK-Ultra, New Phoenix Project, Organized Stalking, Monarch

Gang stalking is a form of community mobbing and organised stalking combined. Just like you have workplace mobbing, and online mobbing, which are both fully recognised as legitimate, this is the community form.

Gang stalking is organised harassment at it’s best. It the targeting of an individual for revenge, jealousy, sport, or to keep them quite, etc.

It’s a psychological attack that can completely destroy a persons life, while leaving little or no evidence to incriminate the perpetrators.”

Primary targets are woman, minorities, dissidents, whistle blowers, etc

9 Huge Government Conspiracies That Actually Happened

Prohibition Research Committee

AP Photo

The Prohibition Research Committee, pictured above, traveled the country trying to find one “drunk” reformed by the legislation.

1. The U.S. Department of the Treasury poisoned alcohol during Prohibition — and people died.

The 18th Amendment, which took effect in January 1920, banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol — but not consumption. Despite the government’s efforts, alcoholism actually skyrocketed during the era.

To keep up with America’s thirst, bootleggers not only created their own alcohol but also stole industrial versions, rendered undrinkable by the inclusion of certain chemicals (namely methyl alcohol). Liquor syndicates then employed chemists to “re-nature” the alcohol once again, making it safe for consumption, according to Deborah Blum, author of “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.”

By mid-1927, however, the U.S. government added much deadlier chemicals — kerosene, chloroform, and acetone among those most well known — which made alcohol more difficult to render consumable again. Adding 10% more methyl alcohol caused the worst efforts.

Although New York City’s chief medical examiner, Charles Norris, tried to publicize the dangers, in 1926, poisonous alcohol killed 400 in the city. The next year, 700 died.

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Wikimedia Commons

A doctor administers an injection to one of the Tuskegee patients.

2. The U.S. Public Health Service lied about treating black men with syphilis for more than 40 years.

In 1932, the Public Health Service collaborated with the Tuskegee Institute to record the history of syphilis in the black male community, hoping to justify a treatment program. 

Called the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Malethe study initially included 600 black men — 399 with the disease and 201 without. While the men were told they would receive treatment, however, the researchers never provided adequate treatment for the disease. Even when penicillin became the preferred and available treatment for syphilis, researchers kept their subjects in the dark. 

Although originally planned to last only six months, the experiment continued for 40 years. Finally, in 1972, an Associated Press article prompted public outrage and a subsequent investigation. A government advisory panel deemed the study “ethically irresponsible” and research ended almost immediately.

As a result, the government settled a class-action lawsuit out of court in 1974 for $10 million and lifetime health benefits for all participants, the last of whom died in 2004.

Jonas Salk Polio Vaccine

Wikimedia Commons

Jonas Salk, who created the inactivated polio vaccine in 1955.

3. More than 100 million Americans received a polio vaccine contaminated with a potentially cancer-causing virus.

From 1954 to 1961, simian virus 40 (SV40) somehow showed up  in polio vaccines, according to the American Journal of Cancer. Researchers estimate 98 million people in the U.S. and even more worldwide received contaminated inoculations.

Jonas Salk, known creator of the inactivated polio vaccine, used cells from rhesus monkeys infected with SV40, according to president of the National Vaccine Information Center Barbara Fisher, who testified before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness in the U.S. House of Representatives on this matter in 2003, after researching the situation for 10 years.

The federal government changed oral vaccine stipulations in 1961 — which didn’t include Salk’s inactivated polio vaccine — specifically citing SV40. But medical professionals continued to administer tainted vaccines until 1963, according to Michael E. Horwin writing for the Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology in 2003. And even after 1961, the American Journal of Cancer found contaminated oral vaccines.

Although researchers know SV40 causes cancer in animals, opinions vary on a direct link between the virus and cancer in humans. Independent studies, however, have identified SV40 in brain and lung tumors of children and adults.

The Centers for Disease Control did post a fact sheet acknowledging the presence of SV40 in polio vaccines but has since removed it, according to Medical Daily.

photo from Gulf of Tonkin

Wikimedia Commons

A photo of three Vietnamese boats taken from the USS Maddox (on Aug. 2).

4. Parts of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which led to U.S. intervention in Vietnam, never happened.

After evading a torpedo attack, the USS Maddox reportedly engaged three North Vietnamese boats in the Gulf of Tonkin on both Aug. 2 and 4, 1964, according to the Pentagon Papers. Although without U.S. casualties, the events prompted Congress to pass a resolution allowing President Lyndon John to intervene in the Southeast. 

Talk of Tonkin’s status as a “false flag” for U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War has permeated public discourse almost since the time of the attacks, especially after the government admitted that the second incident may have involved false radar images.

But after resisting comment for decades, the National Security Agency finally declassified documents in 2005, admitting the incident on Aug. 4 never happened at all.

Those involved didn’t necessarily intend to cover-up the incident to propagate a war. But the evidence does suggest “an active effort to make SIGINT fit the claim of what happened during the evening of 4 August in the Gulf of Tonkin,”according to NSA historian Robert J. Hanyok.

Fidel Castro

Wikimedia Commons

Fidel Castro speaking in Havana in 1978.

5. Military leaders reportedly planned terrorist attacks in the U.S. to drum up support for a war against Cuba.

In 1962, the joint chiefs-of-staff approved Operation Northwoods, a covert plan to create support for a war in Cuba that would oust communist leader Fidel Castro.

Declassified government documents show considerations included: host funerals for “mock-victims,” “start rumors (many),” and “blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.” They even suggested somehow pinning John Glenn’s potential death, should his rocket explode, on communists in Cuba.

The advisors presented the plan to President Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, according to investigative journalist James Bamford’s book, “Body of Secrets.” We don’t know whether McNamara immediately refused, but a few days later, Kennedy told Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, the plan’s poo-bah, that the U.S. would never use overt force to take Cuba.

A few months later, Lemnitzer lost his position.

“There really was a worry at the time about the military going off crazy and they did, but they never succeeded, but it wasn’t for lack of trying,” Bamford told ABC News.

Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Wikimedia Commons

Ken Kesey, author of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” voluntarily participated in Project MKUltra.

6. The government tested the effects of LSD on unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens.

Under the code name “MKUltra,” the U.S. government ran a human-research operation within the CIA’s Scientific Research Division. Researchers tested the effects of hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, torture, and most memorably, LSD, on U.S. and Canadian citizens. Most had no idea.

To conduct these experiments, the CIA paid prisons, hospitals, and other institutions to keep quiet. The department even enticed heroin addicts to participate by offering them heroin, according to documents from a joint hearing to subcommittees of Congress, where President Kennedy spoke.

That day, he regaled Congress with “chilling testimony.” Over 30 universities became involved in various studies. Notably, many lacked oversight by medical or scientific professionals. At least one participant, Frank Olsen, died, reportedly from suicide after unknowingly ingesting LSD. 

In January 1973, then CIA Director Richard Helms ordered the destruction of all documents pertaining to MKUltra. When Congress looked into the matter, no one, not even Helms, could “remember” details. Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, more documents were located, but the full timeline remains incomplete.

The events inspired investigative journalist Jon Ronson’s best-selling book, “The Men Who Stare At Goats,” now a movie of the same title starring George Clooney.

Glomar Explorer Project Azorian

Wikimedia Commons

The Hughes Glomar Explorer, the recovery ship designed for Project Azorian.

7. In 1974, the CIA secretly resurfaced a sunken Soviet submarine with three nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.

The CIA’s secret “Project Azorian” aimed to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean to retrieve three nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, each carrying a one megaton nuclear warhead.

With President Nixon’s approval, CIA director Richard Helms placed all the plans in a secret file called “Jennifer,” thus keeping the information from everyone but a select number of government officials.

After a FOIA, the NSA finally published an article from the CIA’s in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, revealing that the department succeeded in resurfacing portions of the sub, named K-129.

The CIA redacted text in these documents that prevent determining the operation’s exact level of success, but the crew of the Glomar Explorer, the recovery ship, did haul contents to Hawaii for unloading.

Reagan Iran Contra Scandal

Wikimedia Commons

8. The U.S. government sold weapons to Iran, violating an embargo, and used the money to support Nicaraguan militants.

In 1985, senior officials in the Reagan administration facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, then under embargo. The government, with the National Security Council’s Oliver North acting as a key player, later used the profits to fund the Contras, anti-communist rebels, in Nicaragua.

The whole situation began with seven American hostages taken by a hostile group in Lebanon with ties to Iran. Through an elaborate exchange involving Israel, the U.S. planned to sell weapons to Iran in exchange for the hostages’ freedom. The situation quickly derailed, although the Lebanese did release all but two hostages.

After a leak from an Iranian, the situation finally came to light in 1986. After repeatedly denying any involvement, the Reagan administration underwent 41 days of congressional hearings, according to Brown University’s research project on the scandal. They subpoenaed government documents as early as 1981 and forced declassification of others.

Reagan’s involvement in and even knowledge of the situation remains unclear. The hearings never labeled the sale of weapons to Iran a criminal offense, but some officials faced charges for supporting the Contras. The administration, however, refused to declassify certain documents, forcing Congress to drop them.

Nayirah C-SPAN

YouTube/guyjohn59

“Nayirah”

9. A public relations firm organized congressional testimony that propelled U.S. involvement in the Persian Gulf War.

In 1990, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl identified only as “Nayirah” testified before Congress that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers pulling infants from their incubators at a hospital and tossing them to the ground to die.

A later investigation revealed that PR giant Hill & Knowlton arranged her testimony for a client, Kuwaiti-sponsored Citizens for a Free Kuwait, and furthermore that Nayirah was the daughter of Kuwait’s Ambassador to the U.S., according to The New York Times.

Tom Lantos, a representative from California who co-founded the committee that heard Nayirah, coordinated the whole thing. Perhaps not coincidentally, his committee rented space in the PR firm’s headquarters at a reduced rate. Citizens for a Free Kuwait would go on to donate money to foundations with ties to said committee sometime after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

At first, Amnesty International affirmed the girl’s testimony. But after reinvestigation, the group and other human rights organizations switched positions. They didn’t necessarily question the accuracy, just her withheld bias.

Nayirah’s testimony helped build support for the Persian Gulf War, though Congress would have likely pursued involvement without her words.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/true-government-conspiracies-2013-12#ixzz2sgo8xB16

One of the Most Shocking CIA Programs of All Time: Project MKUltra

reblogged from One of the Most Shocking CIA Programs of All Time: Project MKUltra.

When the extent of the U.S. government’s domestic spying program was revealed this past summer, many were surprised and outraged: how could a government which so prizes liberty of its citizens covertly collect data on its own people?

Yet, sadly, this is not the first time Uncle Sam, without permission or notice, secretly gathered information on its people and wasn’t even close to the greatest atrocity.  For that, there are numerous other examples such as when the government intentionally poisoned certain alcohol supplies they knew people would drink, killing over 10,000 American citizens and sickening many thousands others. (Despite this, the program continued for some time, though it was hotly debated in Congress when the death tolls started rolling in.)

One other such “interesting” program, was from 1953 to 1964, when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducted dozens of experiments on the effects of biological and chemical agents on American citizens without their knowledge in Project MKUltra. These covert tests included subjecting the unwitting subjects to hallucinogenic drugs and other chemicals, among other things.

It is difficult to find official documents about this program; however, in 1976 and 1977, the U.S. Senate conducted investigations and even held a joint committee hearing on Project MKUltra, then published much of what was discovered; you will not believe what they found out.

MKULtra’s Purpose

According to the hearing report, the project was intended to “develop a capability in the covert use of biological and chemical materials.”[1] The motivation was also defensive, in that many were afraid during the Cold War that the Russians and Chinese had already developed weapons in this area. As the project’s proponents noted:

The development of a comprehensive capability in this field of covert chemical and biological warfare gives us a thorough knowledge of the enemy’s theoretical potential, thus enabling us to defend ourselves against a foe who might not be as restrained in the use of these techniques as we are.[2]

Officially authorized in 1953, by 1955, project creep had expanded the CIA’s authority under MKUltra to include the following:

Discovery of the following materials and methods [including those]:

  • which will promote the intoxicating affect of alcohol;
  • which will render the induction of hypnosis easier or otherwise enhance its usefulness;
  • which will enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion during interrogation and so called “brain-washing;”
  • which will produce amnesia for events preceding and during their use;
  • [which will produce] shock and confusion over extended periods of time and capable of surreptitious use; and
  • which will produce physical disablement such as paralysis of the legs, acute anemia, etc.[3]

LSD experiments

Senator Edward Kennedy dominated the hearing. In his opening remarks, he noted there was:

an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens “at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign.” Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to “unwitting subjects in social situations.”[4]

For many of these drug tests, especially early on, there were “no medical personnel on hand either to administer the drugs or observe their effects.” Often, the randomly selected subjects had “become ill for hours or days, including hospitalization in at least one case.”[5]

Even more troubling, some of the tests proved lethal, but that did not stop the CIA from continuing their experimentation:

The deaths of two Americans can be attributed to these programs; other participants in the testing programs may still suffer from the residual effects. . . . The fact that they were continued for years after the danger of surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting individuals was known, demonstrate fundamental disregard for the value of human life.[6]

One of these lives belonged to Dr. Frank Olson, himself a researcher with the U.S. Army who studied “developing techniques for offensive use of biological weapons . . . [and] biological research for the CIA.”[7]

Along with a group of 9 other such scientists, he attended a conference in a cabin at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland in November 1953. Once there, ironically, CIA operatives spiked the researchers’ Cointreau with LSD. Only after the scientists had finished their drinks were they informed that they had been drugged.[8]

Most of the researchers handled the experience well and had no aftereffects, but not Dr. Olson. He never recovered from the ordeal and shortly after the experiment, began to show “symptoms of paranoia and schizophrenia.”[9]

Dr. Olson’s superior and the CIA who ran the experiment arranged for him to get treatment in New York City. While spending the night in a hotel room with the CIA officer, and after requesting a wake-up call for the next morning, Dr. Olson somehow managed to fall to his death. As the CIA officer (Lashbrook) reported:

At approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday, November 28, Lashbrook was awakened by a loud “crash of glass.” . . . . Olson “had crashed through the closed window blind and the closed window and he fell to his death from the window of our room on the 10th floor.”[10]

There is no indication that any investigation of foul play, particularly by the CIA officer (who was both responsible for the experiment and alone in the hotel room with Olson) was ever conducted.

Universities, Prisons and Hospitals Conducted Experiments

In the hearing, Senator Kennedy noted that many otherwise respectable institutions were fraudulently incorporated into MKUltra projects:

What we are basically talking about is . . . the perversion and corruption of many of our outstanding research centers in this country, with CIA funds, where some of our top researchers were unwittingly involved in research sponsored by the Agency in which they had no knowledge of the background or the support for[11]

According to the hearing report, “eighty-six universities or institutions were involved,”[12] and “185 non-government researchers and assistants” worked on these projects.[13] “Physicians, toxicologists, and other specialists in mental [and] narcotics” were lured into MKUltra through the provision of grants that were “made under ostensible research foundation auspices, thereby concealing the CIA’s interest from the specialist’s institution.”[14]

For some of the 12 hospitals that participated in Project MKUltra, tests were conducted on terminal cancer patients – presumably because the experiments were anticipated to have long-lasting detrimental, if not lethal, effects.[15]

Sadly, to get the hospitals (and perhaps the patients) to agree to these experiments, the CIA often paid the institution. For example, Subproject 23, authorized in August 1955, worked as follows:

The project engineer . . . authorized the contractor to pay the hospital’s expenses of certain persons suffering from incurable cancer for the privilege of studying the effects of these chemicals during their terminal illnesses.[16]

Likewise, many of the experiments conducted at the three prisons were done secretly: “We also know now that some unwitting testing took place on criminal sexual psychopaths.” [17]

Not all testing was done unwittingly, although that did not make it any more ethical. For example, in a prison experiment conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health Addiction Research Center at the Lexington Rehabilitation Center (a prison for convicted drug addicts), prisoners who volunteered to participate in a hallucinogenic drug experiment were promised (and received) doses of “the drug of their addiction.”[18]

Miscellaneous Other Experiments 

An unknown number of other experiments in “such areas as effects of electro-shock, harassment techniques for offensive use . . [and] gas propelled sprays and aerosols” to be used as “assassination delivery systems” were also being conducted.[19]

In addition, MKUltra scientists were authorized to research “additional avenues to the control of human behavior” including “radiation . . .[and] paramilitary devices and materials.”[20]

Heinous Covert Experiments: By the Numbers 

Project MKUltra consisted of 149 subprojects “many of which appear to have some connection with research into behavioral modification, drug acquisition and testing or administering drugs surreptitiously,”[21] including as follows:

  • “6 subprojects involving tests on unwitting subjects were conducted.”
  • 8 subprojects involving hypnosis, including 2 that also used drugs were performed.
  • 7 subprojects included the use of drugs or chemicals.
  • 4 subprojects used “magician’s art . . . e.g., surreptitious delivery of drug-related materials.”
  • 9 subprojects studied sleep research (read: deprivation) and psychotherapy’s influence on behavior.
  • 6 subprojects studied the effects on human tissue of “exotic pathogens and the capability to incorporate them in effective delivery systems.”[22]

The CIA Lost or Destroyed All Records of Project MKUltra

Sadly, but not surprisingly, almost no records remain of the 10 years of covert activity. As Senator Kennedy noted:

Perhaps most disturbing of all was the fact that the extent of experimentation on human subjects was unknown. The records of all these activities were destroyed in 1973, at the instruction of then CIA Director Richard Helms.[23]

Notably, however, some records were overlooked during the CIA’s destruction because new records were found in 1977, as noted by Senator Kennedy:

We believed that the record, incomplete as it was, was as complete as it was going to be. Then one individual, through a Freedom of Information request, accomplished what two U.S. Senate committees could not. He spurred the agency into finding additional records . . . . The records reveal a far more extensive series of experiments than had previously been thought.[24] 

Nonetheless, these records still leave an incomplete record of the program.

No Accountability

Two lawsuits arising out of MKUltra activities made it to the Supreme Court, but both protected the government over citizen’s rights:

In 1985, the Court held in CIA vs. Simms that the names of the institutions and researchers who participated in Project MKUltra were exempt from revelation under the Freedom of Information Act due to the CIA’s need to protect its “intelligence sources.”

In 1987, in United States v. Stanley, the Court held that a serviceman who had volunteered for a chemical weapons experiment, but who was actually tested with LSD, was barred from bringing a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act.