Two disturbing news reports below:
1.UK Daily Telegraph reports about a covert CIA experiment on French civilians during the Cold War era: their bread was spiked with LSD.
2. Bloomberg News reports that President Obama threatens to Veto the Intelligence Budget Bill to prevent independent investigations of intelligence agencies.
In August 1951, nearly 500 people in a little French village were suddenly stuck down with mass insanity and terrifying hallucinations–at least five people died and dozens were interned in psychiatric asylums.
The cause has been a mystery for 60-years until an American investigative journalist, HP Albarelli Jr, the author of "A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments" uncovered evidence showing that the cause was a covert LSD experiment conducted by the CIA, working in concert with the Swiss pharmaceutical company, Sandoz, on unwitting French civilians.
All these years, a bogus cover-up explanation was promulgated: the hallucinations were blamed on contaminated bread and / or mercury poisoning. Albarelli says that the scientists who manufactured the bogus cover-up explanations–to deflect from the real source of the events–worked for the Sandoz, which was then secretly supplying both the US Army and CIA with LSD for research.
According to Albarelli, this top secret experiment was directed by the CIA and the US Army’s top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in an effort to find out if LSD could be used as an offensive weapon.
According to Albarelli, the US army also drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between 1953 and 1965.
Albarelli uncovered the evidence about the LSD experiment on French civilians while researching the bizarre circumstances of Frank Olson’s death in 1953. Olson was a high level Fort Detrick scientist, who worked for the Army’s top-secret Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, where he developed bioweapons and experimented with mind-control drugs. However, he had grown increasingly disillusioned, raising serious ethical questions about the work of SOD. There is speculation that during a trip abroad, Olson had discovered the CIA was conducting lethal experiments on prisoners similar to those carried out in wartime Germany and Japan where dissections were performed on live subjects who had been exposed to anthrax. http://www.petersnewyork.com/anthrax080813.html
Olson had been given LSD without his knowledge, whereupon he jumped–or (many believe) he was pushed–to his death out of a closed window on the 10th floor in a NYC hotel room.
http://www.crimemagazine.com/olson.htm and http://www.crimemagazine.com/olson2.htm
Sixty years later, Fort Detrick is implicated in the mystery surrounding the identity of the perpetrator of the anthrax laced letters which targeted civilians.
Scott Shane, an investigative reporter (formerly with the Baltimore Sun, now with The New York Times) has written numerous reports about highly secret US biowarfare experiments conducted by Fort Detrick scientists. After the anthrax letter attacks killed five civilians, Shane’s 2001 article, "Army Harvested Victims’ Blood to Boost Anthrax ," reported that "the Army collected anthrax from the bodies or blood of workers at Fort Detrick who were accidentally infected with the bacteria."
"The use of human accident victims to boost the killing power of the nation’s germ arsenal is a macabre footnote to a top-secret program designed to destroy enemy troops with such exotic weapons as botulism, smallpox, plague and paralytic shellfish poison. The offensive bioweapons program was launched during World War II and ended by President Richard M. Nixon in 1969."
Shane reported that in 1973 the CIA destroyed all of its records on MKNAOMI (LSD experiments) and its work with Fort Detrick’s Special Operations Division.
In 1975 the Washington Post reported that Rockefeller Commission examination of CIA domestic operations uncovered the Frank Olson case. The following day, Dick Cheney, then White House deputy staff director, sent a memo to his boss, then Chief of Staff, Donald Rumsfeld, concerning the need to keep classified information secret. The Olson family would later find the memo at the Ford Presidential Library.
President Gerald Ford invited the Olson family to the White House, apologized to the widow and her children, and promised a full accounting. CIA Director William Colby then invited Olson’s widow and her oldest son, Eric, to lunch in his office and gave them a redacted CIA file on Frank Olson.
A wealth of information about the Frank Olson case are available the website of the FrankOlsonProject
In 2004, Shane wrote:
"Now, after the Sept. 11 attacks, the anthrax mailings and a steady stream of government warnings on terrorism, the fears of the 1950s have returned — and the experiments of Fort Detrick’s covert bioweapons makers suddenly resonate in a new era. In the biological realm, there is little that any terrorist group could concoct that Fort Detrick’s "dirty tricks department," as veterans call it, didn’t think up decades ago. But because of the division’s scant recordkeeping and the fast-disappearing ranks of its aged scientist-warriors, the knowledge it acquired is being lost to history."
Although more than 50 years separates them, disturbing parallels have been drawn between the "suicides" of two biowarfare scientists at Fort Detrick–Frank Olson and Bruce Ivins.
On March 15, 2010, Bloomberg News reported that President Obama has threatened to veto legislation authorizing money for US intelligence agencies "if it resulted in more scrutiny and less money for spy operations."
Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget indicated that:
"While not prompting a veto, a provision calling for a new investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks also is objectionable. A proposed probe by the intelligence agencies’ inspector general “would undermine public confidence” in a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of the attacks “and unfairly cast doubt on its conclusions.”
So, the Barak Obama administration is lending its support for covert actions "dirty tricks" prohibited under the US Constitution–much as had been the policy during the Cold War. And, much like the Bush administration, the Obama administration is attempting to prevent Congress from performing its Constitutionally mandated role of providing oversight over the executive branch (and its agencies), by concentrating all power in the hands of the executive.
Is the enshrining of widely condemned Cold War intelligence tactics–such as the covert use of deadly biological weapons on civilian populations, and their subsequent cover-ups–the change that American citizens had fervently sought when voting for Barak Obama?
Vera Hassner Sharav
Obama Veto Is Threatened on Intelligence Budget Bill
By Jeff Bliss
March 15 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama probably would veto legislation authorizing the 2010 budget for U.S. intelligence agencies if it resulted in more scrutiny and less money for spy operations, an administration official said.
The White House objects to provisions that would require all members of Senate and House intelligence committees to receive briefings on matters that now are disclosed only to senior congressional leaders known as the “gang of eight,” said Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
He wrote the comments in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.
The administration additionally opposes letting the General Accountability Office, Congress’s auditing arm, conduct investigations of spy activities, he said.
The White House also doesn’t want the measure to set aside less money for the 2010 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, than was already approved in previous spending legislation, Orszag said.
The House version of the measure would authorize $65 million less for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair. The Senate version would allow some funding only if the FBI completes a report on the plan for its National Security Branch, Orszag said.
“The president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill” unless these aspects of the legislation are revised, he said.
While not prompting a veto, a provision calling for a new investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks also is objectionable, Orszag said.
A proposed probe by the intelligence agencies’ inspector general “would undermine public confidence” in a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of the attacks “and unfairly cast doubt on its conclusions,” Orszag wrote.
On Feb. 19, the Obama administration released a 92-page summary of the FBI probe that said the late Bruce Ivins, a government scientist, was behind the attacks. Lawmakers including Representative Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat, have questioned the thoroughness of the investigation.
Anthrax-laced letters sent to lawmakers and news outlets nine years ago infected 22 people, killing five.
The House and Senate are preparing to meet to resolve differences between their versions of the budget legislation.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Bliss in Washington firstname.lastname@example.org.
French Bread Spiked With LSD In CIA Experiment
11 Mar 2010
By Henry Samuel in Paris
A 50-year mystery over the ‘cursed bread’ of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.
An American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD
In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted.
For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War.
The mystery of Le Pain Maudit (Cursed Bread) still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France.
On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire.
One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets.
Time magazine wrote at the time: "Among the stricken, delirium rose: patients thrashed wildly on their beds, screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead."
Eventually, it was determined that the best-known local baker had unwittingly contaminated his flour with ergot, a hallucinogenic mould that infects rye grain. Another theory was the bread had been poisoned with organic mercury.
However, H P Albarelli Jr., an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the US Army’s top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
The scientists who produced both alternative explanations, he writes, worked for the Swiss-based Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.
Mr Albarelli came across CIA documents while investigating the suspicious suicide of Frank Olson, a biochemist working for the SOD who fell from a 13th floor window two years after the Cursed Bread incident. One note transcribes a conversation between a CIA agent and a Sandoz official who mentions the "secret of Pont-Saint-Esprit" and explains that it was not "at all" caused by mould but by diethylamide, the D in LSD.
While compiling his book, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, Mr Albarelli spoke to former colleagues of Mr Olson, two of whom told him that the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident was part of a mind control experiment run by the CIA and US army.
After the Korean War the Americans launched a vast research programme into the mental manipulation of prisoners and enemy troops.
Scientists at Fort Detrick told him that agents had sprayed LSD into the air and also contaminated "local foot products".
Mr Albarelli said the real "smoking gun" was a White House document sent to members of the Rockefeller Commission formed in 1975 to investigate CIA abuses. It contained the names of a number of French nationals who had been secretly employed by the CIA and made direct reference to the "Pont St. Esprit incident." In its quest to research LSD as an offensive weapon, Mr Albarelli claims, the US army also drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between 1953 and 1965.
None of his sources would indicate whether the French secret services were aware of the alleged operation. According to US news reports, French intelligence chiefs have demanded the CIA explain itself following the book’s revelations. French intelligence officially denies this.
Locals in Pont-Saint-Esprit still want to know why they were hit by such apocalyptic scenes. "At the time people brought up the theory of an experiment aimed at controlling a popular revolt," said Charles Granjoh, 71.
"I almost kicked the bucket," he told the weekly French magazine Les Inrockuptibles. "I’d like to know why."
* Major Diplomatic Scandal Erupts As USA LSD Killer Experiment On 1950’s France Exposed
F. William Engdahl, Author
As Albarelli notes, a Department of Justice website on the dangers of LSD states that in the early 1950s, “the Sandoz Chemical Company went as far as promoting LSD as a potential secret chemical warfare weapon to the US Government. Their main selling point in this was that a small amount in a main water supply or sprayed in the air could disorient and turn psychotic an entire company of soldiers leaving them harmless and unable to fight.”
He claims that the CIA entertained a number of proposals from American scientists concerning placing a large amount of LSD into the reservoir of a medium-to-large city, but, according to former agency officials, “the experiment was never approved due to the unexpected number of deaths during the operation in France.”
Indeed, Albarelli has discovered once secret FBI documents that reveal that the Fort Detrick’s Special Operations Division, a year prior to the Pont St. Esprit experiment, had targeted New York City’s subway system for a similar experiment. States an August 1950 bureau memo, “[The] BW [biological warfare] experiments to be conducted by representatives of the Department of the Army in the New York Subway System in September, 1950, have been indefinitely postponed.” The memo goes on to cite FBI concerns about “poisoning of food plants” and the “poisoning of the water supply” of large cities in the U.S.
In an interview with this author, Albarelli described how he developed the shocking details of the CIA secret drug programs: “My first tip-off was a 1954 CIA document that detailed an encounter between an official of the Sandoz chemical company (the producers of LSD) and a CIA official in which ‘the secret of Pont St. Esprit’ was referenced. The Sandoz official went on to say, ‘It was not the ergot at all.’"