Wednesday, February 3, 2010

French government queries U.S. State Dept. about LSD attack, prompted by new book release

 Prompted by a new book release, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research has received a confidential inquiry from the office of Erard Corbin de Mangoux, head of the French intelligence agency, Directorate General for External Security (DGSE), concerning a recent account of American government complicity in a mysterious 1951 incident of mass insanity in France. The DGSE is the French counterpart of the CIA.

Washington, DC (Vocus/PRWEB ) February 3, 2010 -- Prompted by a new book release, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research has received a confidential inquiry from the office of Erard Corbin de Mangoux, head of the French intelligence agency, Directorate General for External Security (DGSE), concerning a recent account of American government complicity in a mysterious 1951 incident of mass insanity in France. The DGSE is the French counterpart of the CIA.

The incident took place in the village of Pont-Saint-Esprit in southern France, and is described in a recent book about the 1953 death of an American biochemist, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments. The book, by investigative journalist H.P. Albarelli Jr., was published in late November 2009 by TrineDay, which specializes in books about “suppressed information.”

The strange outbreak severely affected nearly five hundred people, causing the deaths of at least five. For nearly 60 years the Pont-St.-Esprit incident has been attributed either to ergot poisoning, meaning that villagers consumed bread infected with a psychedelic mold, or to organic mercury poisoning. But Albarelli reports that the outbreak resulted from a covert LSD aerosol experiment directed by the US Army's top-secret Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, Maryland. He notes that the scientists who produced both alternative explanations worked for the Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.

The effect was devastating, as a contemporary French report made clear: “It is neither Shakespeare nor Edgar Poe. It is, alas, the sad reality all around Pont-St.-Esprit and its environs, where terrifying scenes of hallucinations are taking place. They are scenes straight out of the Middle Ages, scenes of horror and pathos, full of sinister shadows.” Even Time magazine took notice: “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. Pont-Saint-Esprit's hospital reported four attempts at suicide.”

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 U.S. 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.” 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.”

Albarelli also describes a series of small, secret chemical attacks by the CIA on the New York City subway system during the 1950s. Recently, the Army has referred to these experiments as “simulated tests,” but contemporary documents make no reference to simulation. An August 1950 FBI memorandum refers to “planned BW (biological warfare) experiments in the New York Subway System in September, 1950,” expressing concerns about “poisoning the water supply of a large metropolitan area at the source … the poisoning of food … sold to the general public.”

In its quest to research LSD as an offensive weapon, Albarelli claims, the Army drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between the years 1953 and 1965, and, with the CIA, experimented widely with LSD and other drugs through secret contracts with over 325 colleges, universities and research institutions in the U.S., Canada and Europe, involving about 2,500 additional subjects, many of them hospital patients and college students.

According to an official with the DGSE, who declined to be identified, “If the details of this book's revelations prove to be true, it will be very upsetting for the people of Pont-St.-Esprit, as well as all French citizens. That agencies of the United States government would deliberately target innocent foreign citizens for such an experiment is a violation of a number of international laws and treaties.”

Contact:
Kent Goodman
(541) 954-8142 or (800) 556-2012


~ Link ~

"The No. 1 example of injustice and hypocrisy in the age of Obama"

From BRITT TOWERY: Whistle-blowers face uphill battle

...Whistle-blowers frequently face reprisal — sometimes at the hands of the organization or government that they have accused. Fear for their lives was evident with the cases of Ellsberg, Gun and Darby.

The accused usually fights back against whistle-blowers. Take this month's trial of Bradley Birkenfeld. He was absolutely essential to a landmark tax-evasion case against the Swiss bank UBS' cheating the U.S. Treasury out of $100 billion a year.

Whistle-blower Birkenfeld, on Jan. 8, began serving a 40-month sentence in a Pennsylvania federal prison. His revelations were welcomed by the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service.

Then the rich bankers and the tax-evaders turned on Birkenfeld (who worked for UBS), and he became the only one to go to jail.

Leading anti-corruption groups have requested a presidential pardon for him. International anti-corruption groups have joined the case. The open letter to President Obama requested commutation for Birkenfeld to “reverse the devastating impact Mr. Birkenfeld's case will have on international law enforcement efforts.”

[ ... ]

New York Post writer Juan Gonzalez wrote: “Only Birkenfeld ends up in jail — the No. 1 example of injustice and hypocrisy in the age of Obama.”

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Cutting Clare Short

By William Bowles, Creative-i

Back in February 2004 I wrote a piece about the GCHQ worker Katherine Gun who really did 'break ranks' when she blew the lid on the UN spying operation and of Ms. Short's role in the run-up to the invasion, bits of which I think are worth reprinting here:


“The dirty tricks campaign mounted against members of the UN Security Council that included bullying, bribery and blackmail by the US to get the half dozen recalcitrant members to endorse its invasion of Iraq (a campaign that amazingly failed), has yet again exposed the bumbling English political class as an inept and divided servant of US capital.“Is there no end to Blair's screw-ups? Apparently not as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision not to continue with its case against Katherine Gun for breach of the Official Secrets Act reveals. Apparently afraid that the defence would use the illegal nature of the invasion as part of its defence and that a jury would agree with Ms Gun, at the very last minute the Crown decided not to continue with the prosecution.

[ ... ]

“More's the pity that Ms Short didn't have the 'courage of her convictions' back when it counted, before the war was launched. Her argument, that she thought she would have more influence within the government's inner circle than outside it, rings hollow when you consider the nature of the present-day politician and the opportunistic nature of the 'political' process, where expediency rules. I find it difficult to believe that Ms Short was not aware of how the ruling class rules and Rule #1 is; don't break ranks. This is after all, the same Ms Short who voted for the war last March.”

[ ... ]

“I'm not troubled about myself. I've reached an age [58] and stage where I'm free to tell the truth and be responsible to my conscience.” — Clare Short


“Hmmm…but a year ago she hadn't yet reached that age and stage? Perhaps she should go tell the victims of Blair's imperialist war in Iraq that she is not troubled by her conscience, I'm sure they'll understand. This is after all not an issue about the state of one's conscience, it's about right and wrong (let alone the illegality of the invasion), that Ms Short was surely aware of even at a younger age and stage of her life last March.

“What I can never escape from is the knowledge that in spite of all the hot air that gets expended and all the 'breast-beating' done by conscience-stricken politicians, the Iraqi people are nowhere to be seen in the 'debate'. They figure not at all whilst the privileged members of the fourth richest country in world 'debate' the workings of the imperium.

“Where is Ms Short today as the US, with EU backing, dismembers Haiti through its proxies, Duvalier's former death squads? Perhaps I'm old-fashioned in believing that principle comes first (even if leavened somewhat with hard-headed pragmatism). Clearly, Ms Short's real problem is that she had to make a decision between her 'principles' and the threat of Labour losing power. This was after all the ultimate 'threat' that Blair used last March ('back me or I'll resign'). I don't know the woman personally but surely she knows how the 'game' is played. She did say after Blair got elected leader of the Labour Party in 1994 “My God, what have we done?” so it's not like his neo-con agenda crept up on her unseen.” — 'Blair outGunned and then brought up Short', 27 February, 2004.

But okay, let's give Ms. Short the benefit of the doubt and that at long last she has spoken out in no uncertain terms, though even here her comments about the role of the UN is neither here nor there (Ms Short claims that she was persuaded to stay on with promise of UN involvement in reconstruction of Iraq, a somewhat different claim than the one she made back in 2003, that she thought she would have more influence within the government's inner circle than outside it).

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Gagging order on David Kelly records could be lifted

Lord Hutton has responded to reports that a 70-year gagging order he imposed on records and photos relating to the death of the government scientist Dr David Kelly could be challenged by stating that the documents could be revealed to doctors.

In a U-turn, Hutton said the information could be released to five doctors who are seeking to reopen the inquest into Kelly's death.

"I requested that the postmortem report should not be disclosed for 70 years as I was concerned that the publication of that report would cause [Kelly's] daughters and his wife further and unnecessary distress," Hutton said.

"I consider that the disclosure of the report to doctors and their legal advisers for the purposes of legal proceedings would not undermine the protection which I wished to give."

Kelly's body was found in woods close to his Oxfordshire home in 2003, shortly after it was revealed that he was the source of a BBC report casting doubt on the government's claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that could be fired within 45 minutes. An inquest was suspended by Lord Falconer, then lord chancellor, before the Hutton inquiry, and then not resumed after Hutton's report in 2004 concluded that Kelly killed himself by cutting an artery in his wrist.

~ more... ~

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