January 18

February 1975: President Ford appointed a commission headed by Nelson Rockefeller

The Commission’s task was to investigate CIA’s unlawful domestic activities. The Commission report attempted to downplay the scope of MK-ULTRA and its offshoots, barely including two pages about these experiments. The section about an employee of the Army who jumped from a hotel window after CIA operatives slipped LSD into his drink reverberated in headlines across the country. In 1975, the Olson family learned that Dr. Olson had unwittingly ingested a drink that had been laced with LSD by Sidney Gottlieb, head of CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control project. LSD had triggered Olson’s severe anxiety, depression, psychosis and paranoia.

The scandal also prompted several more aggressive congressional committees to probe CIA’s activities; but they were hampered by the executive branch officials who considered themselves above the law. The Pike Committee investigation was impeded by a hostile CIA and White House. The very first line of the Pike report reads: “If the Committee’s recent experience is any test, intelligence agencies that are to be controlled by Congressional lawmaking are, today, beyond the lawmaker’s scrutiny.” The Pike report was never officially published; it was leaked to journalist Daniel Schorr and was published by the Village Voice.


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