January 18

1986: U.S. Supreme Court approved concealment of scientists & institutions involved in MK-ULTRA

In CIA et al v. Sims et al (no 83-1075, decided April 16, 1986), the majority opinion held that disclosure of the names of scientists and institutions involved in MKULTRA posed “an unacceptable risk of revealing intelligence sources.” The majority of the Court rationalized: “. . . it is conceivable that the mere explanation of why information must be withheld can convey valuable information to a foreign intelligence agency.” How do we square this continuing need for secrecy with the CIA’s protestations that MKULTRA achieved little success, that the studies were conducted within the Nuremberg statutes governing medical experiments and that the research was made available in the open literature? (Cannon. Wikispooks, 1992)

It was not until June 25, 2007, that the last of the skeletons in CIA’s closet — “the Family Jewels” — were released. Many of these were even more excised than those released 30 years earlier. (National Security Archive) These presumed last of the long concealed documents record assassination plots against foreign leaders, drug experiments on unwitting citizens, wiretapping of U.S. journalists, spying on peace activists, opening mail, break-ins at the homes of ex-CIA employees during the 1950s to 1970s, long after the culpable officials were dead. The irony, Marks observed, “As was so often the case with CIA operations, the enemy probably had a much better idea of the Agency’s activities than the folks back home.” (Manchurian Candidate, Chapter 3)

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” — Albert Einstein

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