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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ooh, Listen To The Fifteen-Year-Old. This Is "I Can Die In Peace" Material.

This should cheer up a few of my friends and sphincter some of my adversaries.

(YouTube link if embedded video above is truncated in your browser.)

h/t Lisa Simeone and Tomm Undergod.

Update (2/25/11): A little slow on the uptake, me, and sure, I'm annoyed that the very inspiring video was taken down. But I'm downright pissed that Lisa's & Tomm's comments seem to have gone down the memory hole. Deeply pissed. Fuck whoever was involved in that censorship. Deeply.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WikiLeaks And Authoritarianism

Whether or not this is a serious "cyberwar" or, if it is, it rises to the sober gravitas of an actual armed conflict, the battle against corporate websites by 4Chan and other hackers, tentatively abetted (so far) by primarily social networking sites, clarifies the field quite a bit.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chris Hedges: Hope

For our modern times:
I cannot promise you fine weather or an easy time. I cannot assure you that thousands will converge on Lafayette Park in solidarity. I cannot pretend that being handcuffed is pleasant. I cannot say that anyone in Congress or the White House, anyone in the boardrooms of the corporations that cannibalize our nation, will be moved by pity to act for the common good. I cannot tell you these wars will end or the hungry will be fed. I cannot say that justice will roll down like a mighty wave and restore our nation to sanity. But I can say this: If we resist and carry out acts, no matter how small, of open defiance, hope will not be extinguished. If all we accomplish is to assure a grieving mother in Baghdad or Afghanistan, a young man or woman crippled physically and emotionally by the hammer blows of war, that he or she is not alone, our resistance will be successful. Hope cannot be sustained if it cannot be seen.

I have to to admit that, being of a certain age, that "protest" and "sit-in" and "chaining oneself to the [insert object here]" leave a bit of a cynical bad taste in my mouth.

On the other hand, the greedheads really hate that stuff. And, so...

Thursday, November 25, 2010


"Revolution!" He snorted. "What in the fuck are you talking about?"

"Oh, calm down, dumbass," Martin rolled his eyes. "You know what I mean."

"Well, no, actually. I don't." Jokay was being a bit disingenuous here, but baiting Martin was not a bad way to pass the time. "All that violent shit never gets anyone anywhere."

"Violence? Who's talking about violence?" This really got on his nerves. Baited, he was. "Same with 'anarchy.' The two sweetest and most liberating ideas to infect the human mind are forever associated with violence." He paused. "Well, maybe you're right... about the 'violence' part, not whether it got anyone anywhere. Not that I'm answering that right now."

"No, no. Of course not." Jokay smirked. "Do go on."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Musings On Bubbles And Growth And, Yes, Personal Responsibility

Cry Of The Masses

I am not an economist.

That is a very popular (dis)qualification being thrown about these days, a natural consequence of a nation of somnabulists grudgingly educating itself. Honestly, this empire is/was wealthy enough to forestall reality for a very long time, certainly longer than it is/has, but sheer exuberance and hubris has accelerated its inevitable and unforgiving arrival.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

War is Murder

Thank you, Arthur:
You already know what I'm about to tell you. But most people refuse to understand what it means, because most people are miserable cowards. It is certainly true that virtually all of us are taught to obey and to believe those in positions of authority. Yet once we are adults -- and certainly if we regard ourselves as independent, thinking adults to any significant degree -- we can challenge the lessons we've learned, and even reject them entirely when we determine those lessons are horribly, even evilly wrong.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rubicon Crossed


There is a depression running through me like a low-level chronic fever. Watching the accelerating pace of our nation's self-degradation has evoked all sorts of paralyzing and surprising emotions within me. One sad example is that, for me, the '80's was my "ascendant" period, and I reached Peak Mike somewhere in the early nineties, when the nation of the whole was embarking on its last hurrah. So I have been getting flashes of nostalgia for the zeitgeist of that period - of the eighties, for shit's sake! - which is wrong and horrible on so many levels.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Arthur On Authority

Arthur Silber has an excellent series of articles concerning the Wikileaks "debate" and its relationship with authority and obedience. I will not excerpt here, because Arthur does a fine job all on his own setting out the issue.

Now, go read them.

Update: Direct links to Parts I, II, III & IV.

Update: Part V is up, now I'm off to read it.

Part VI.

Part VII.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

North American Truth and Accountability Commission Sets Sights on CIA and Pentagon Human Experimentation Programs

A Terrible Mistake

[Update 2011/1/3: Thanks for the link, Crystal River!]

It's nice when someone makes a difference. H.P. Albarelli's book, A TERRIBLE MISTAKE: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, seems to have generated an appropriate amount of interest in our empire's misbehavin' (Mr. Albarelli has appeared on this blog here and here.) A number of his readers have created a civil commission that seems to have a sincere desire to have some teeth in investigating past and possible present (uh, probable) human rights crimes committed under the guise of "research." As you will see below in the announcement, these people are not the usual opportunistic carnival barkers like Alex Jones and his ilk, who seem to just want to sell spooky DVDs and grainy photos. So congratulations to Hank for your work, you should be pretty proud of your journalism!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Out Of Our Hands

Out of Our Hands
It's out of our hands.
Chris Hedges:
The climate crisis is a political crisis. We will either defy the corporate elite, which will mean civil disobedience, a rejection of traditional politics for a new radicalism and the systematic breaking of laws, or see ourselves consumed. Time is not on our side. The longer we wait, the more assured our destruction becomes. The future, if we remain passive, will be wrested from us by events. Our moral obligation is not to structures of power, but life.
Powerful words, from a passionate writer. Ahem, go read the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Millenial Lament

Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069
Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069, by Neil Howe, William Strauss

Charles Hugh Smith ( has written a rather provocative lament, or complaint, on the lack of the "heroism" on the part of the Millenial generation, expected and "predicted" by Neil Howe and William Strauss. Of course you should go read the whole thing.

It has been many years since I read Strauss & Howe's book, and I don't have a copy on hand, so what I have to say here is strictly from my own best recall.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Writer's Block

Writer's Block
Yes, yes that's it.

Writer's Block

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hail, Portland

Just another sunny May day in Portland - and I mean literally, sunny - with a sprinkling of WTF hail. I've only been here for 10 months - not quite a full cycle - so I don't know what to think. The locals seem to be OK with it, but I hear a lot of comments that the spring weather this year is a bit, ah, different - I just can't say how different myself, as yet.

(Please forgive the setting and the crappy cam handling. It's the content, not the form. Focus, people.) ;)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's The Death, Really

War Casualties

My complaints:
Oh, what is being done in my name.
Oh, what my government is doing.
Oh, the warmongering capitalist corporatist elite!
Oh, what is being done in my name!
Other, um, complaints:
Oh, where is my family?
Oh, where is my home?
Well, fuck - you get the idea.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Ogre And The Mother

Mother and Children
Sharon Sayegh painting found at Highland Park Artists
The mother tries to calm her two young children. They've been in their beds for almost an hour and are still very upset. At school earlier in the day, they heard another rumor about some teenagers who had gone missing in a town several miles away.

"Now, now, we didn't even know them. And you can't believe everything you hear...
So begins a poignant metaphor of our complicity in the evils of our times. Arthur Silber can often be difficult to read, insofar as he writes with unflinching judgment on our nature and ourselves. One wishes to look away, think of something else already. Many clearly cannot read his essays, if one is to believe Arthur's expressed frustration on this matter - some even go so far as to attack him for his writing, an action so unforgiveable one need not say anything more on the matter.

The device of dystopian fiction, used by writers like Poe and Orwell, and all great science fiction authors, offers a little trick of momentary distance between the reader and the tale, so that the lecture Arthur has prepared for us will hold us for a moment longer, past where the retching might otherwise begin.

Really, if you haven't visited Arthur's place before, go read it. Or rather, especially if you have been there before and have found yourself turning away.
Here is a note for those who write and talk about these issues. If you write on these subjects and if you talk about them regularly on radio and television, and if you do not state -- repeatedly, with all the conviction and passion that you can command -- that actions of this kind are insane, monstrous and deeply evil, you are not opposing the monstrousnessness. You are accommodating it, seeking excuses for it, trying to minimize it -- or, to use the phrase I often employ in my own notes -- you are "making friends with evil."

If you do this, you are not fighting against the monstrousness. You are part of it.
Unflinching judgment.

Note: As I post this, I see that Chris Floyd is thinking along similar lines.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Conservative In My Midst

Empire Burlesque - High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium
Empire Burlesque - High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, by Chris Floyd
My prior post brought in a thoughtful comment from "the other side," as it were, and Chris deserves another book plug.

My wan apologies to Conservative In Your Midst for front paging him/her, but it is this sort of jujitsu that we bloggers are infamous for.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Poetry Of "Patterns," By Courtesy Of Chris Floyd

Empire Burlesque - High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium
Empire Burlesque - High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, by Chris Floyd
Chris deserves a book plug for this post - The Poetry of Death: Patterns of State Terror (excerpting and yes, yes, go read the whole thing):
This "pattern" is put together from clumps of data gathered by surveillance robots hovering high in the sky above Pakistani towns and villages, watching people as they go about their ordinary business, and from whatever bits of local gossip the CIA can glean from paid operatives raking through their neighbor's private lives...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Real Hope, From America Del Sur

Socialist Hero: Evo Morales

[Aside: It is a relief to get Noriega's mug off of the top of my blog. Gratifyingly, he is replaced by someone more representative of the hemisphere.]

I must share my pleasure with this article from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (h/t quebecdude commenting at FireDogLake.)

Go read it, of course. I am excerpting liberally, as it were, some of the more gratifying passages (yes, FaveB, I am baiting you.) Any emphases are mine.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Improbable Martyr

Improbable Martyr: Manuel Noriega

Well, Manuel Noriega's sentence has run out before his heart has, so he has been whisked off to pursue this end in another dark place.

Chris Floyd, of Empire Burlesque, comments (excerpts follow, emphasis mine, and of course read the whole thing):
...Noriega, who had been a CIA "asset" since the late 1950s, carried on his yeoman service on behalf of his new bosses for awhile – but the assumption of formal power went to his head. He forgot he was a servant, was surly with his masters, and finally crossed the line: refusing to take part in the secret terrorist war that Reagan and Bush were waging, with Iranian money, against Nicaragua. Suddenly, Noriega's manifold crimes and massive corruption, which Washington had tolerated – indeed rewarded – for decades, suddenly became matters of urgent concern. Noriega went from imperial pet to "new Hitler" in fairly short order...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Costs Of Complexity

Deepwater Horizon

John Michael Greer of The Archdruid Report has a great post up: The Costs of Complexity, a subject which holds some interest for me. Go read it, then check out some things that I have written on this subject.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It Cannot Be Described


Let's put these ideas in concentrated form. This is their essence: Coltrane's loud and dense late-period music cannot be separated from the path toward racial tolerance and absolute worldwide human equality. It is not really meant to be recorded - such enormities can't be frozen and sold in measured units - yet the recordings are transcendent in spite of themselves. Resistance or intolerance toward this music is a kind of sclerosis; to open oneself to it is to admit honesty and greater feeling. "Understanding it" is empirical Western foolishness; the will to understand is just more sclerosis.
- Ben Ratliff,
Coltrane: The Story of a Sound [emphasis mine]
Reading Ben Ratliff's Coltrane: The Story of a Sound was a fascinating and holistic exercise for me.

The book is chock-full of musical analysis which I had no hope of parsing completely - in that sense, it is one of those books, for me, that one reads to catch a glimpse of another world, to exercise the navigation of terra incognita. Yet, the principal attraction was sociological, as Ben promised to posit Coltrane and his influence (and influences) in the American musical universe - the sort of thing that is red meat for me. He delivered spectacularly on that front (and probably on the other as well - being unqualified to judge, I can only say it all sounded good to me.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Avatar: Jumping On The Bandwagon Of Cultural Criticism

Avatar: Benevolent Violence

PSA: Arthur is writing.

I don't go for doing movie reviews - outside my interest (though I love movies beyond what is decent, and read reviews incessantly) and frankly I probably don't have the chops. That said - Avatar has provoked quite a bit of white-guilt navel gazing. As well it should, by my lights.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy 4/20!

Happy Buds
Buds at The Clubhouse
Update: The unwelcome domestic cat sez, "I'm here so I might as well be here." Bong hits all around.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Words About Revolution

Fake Revolution
Image found at Secret History
Commentor Your Favorite Bartender has
challenged me with some questions
left at my post about revolution (A Word About Revolution.). First, I thank YFB for taking the time to read and think about my points, and doubly so for offering his thoughts. I would like to attempt some explanation here.

The original post explored the fallacies and failures of conventional, utopian revolution, then offered some prescription for alternate paths to a just and humane society.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Questions About AIDS Resurface

A Terrible Mistake
[H.P. Albarelli, Jr. has courageously (and reluctanty, by his lede) compiled some uncomfortable questions about the origins of AIDS. While I have no interest in turning this site into another or, Hank's work on the Kennedy assassination and surrounding events lends a certain credibility to his observations in this new area, and I am obliged to provide a forum.

Check back here for updates as they may come.

Regarding the Kennedy conspiracies (and look to this site for upcoming Parts 2 and 3 of his further explorations of Oswald, et. al., Part 1 here) - I have read a number of post-90's CIA-dump analyses of the events surrounding November 1963. The closest to Albarelli's work, in my opinion, is the 960 page tome coauthored by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann, Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK. These authors, however, come to a different conclusion than I did reading the very facts they presented. Waldron and Hartmann - again in my opinion - take some tortuous paths on the way to presenting the Mafia as the perpetrators, with the CIA and other state services being duped into the assassination (or at least its cover-up), the logic being that the mob knew that the investigation would be shut down due to unpalatable facts about its conspiring with the US Government against Castro's Cuba. Sorry - mob dupes CIA? Not buying that. Anyway, buy Hank's book.]
I don’t like having to write this article. I don’t like even thinking about it...
- H.P. Albarelli, Jr.

by H.P. Albarelli Jr.

I don’t like having to write this article. I don’t like even thinking about it, but over the past few months its subject has come up repeatedly. Many television and radio hosts who have interviewed me about my new book, A TERRIBLE MISTAKE: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, have, on their own, brought up the subject of AIDS and Fort Detrick and the connection between the two. Nearly the entire ten years I worked on the book, this subject consistently loomed in the background like some malevolent poltergeist, and was essentially considered unspeakable by practically everyone I interviewed. Now things are different.

Just a few days ago, one radio host, who had actually read my entire book, asked about the many trips various Fort Detrick bacteriologists and biochemists took throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and beyond to locations in Africa. Trips were to locations like the Belgian Congo and Burundi and French Equatorial Africa. A few media hosts have remarked about the thousands of rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees that Fort Detrick went through in their countless experiments during these same years; resulting in so many mutilated and dead primates that one former Army scientist, Dr. Henry Eigelsbach, told me that sometimes their bodies had to be “scooped up with a back-hoe and loaded into dump trucks” and then carted off for disposal and incineration.

Only yesterday, a very well informed radio host in California, Cary Harrison, at KPFK-FM, asked me about well-documented reports concerning the 1969 testimony of a high-level Pentagon biological warfare official before the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nobody in their right mind wants to think or believe that the American government had a hand in producing the dreadful disease AIDS, certainly not me. My father, as a dedicated and conscientious histologist, worked for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in the 1950s, and went on to devote his life to helping people in any way he could. He would have never done anything to hurt anyone, yet now there is strong evidence that other scientists with the U. S. Army may have done just that. Before his recent death, I asked my father about these reports. He sadly shook his head, and said, “I don’t know what’s happened to this country. I don’t understand it at all. It’s not the country I went to war for; it’s not the same country I was willing to die for.” My father was always a confident man. It distressed me to see him bewildered, but I too was bewildered. I didn’t at all like thinking about Fort Detrick and AIDS.

On July 1, 1969, a high-ranking Pentagon biological warfare official, Dr. Donald MacArthur, appearing before the Defense Department Appropriations Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, told the assembled elected officials that “dramatic progress being made in the field of molecular biology [by Army researchers at Fort Detrick and elsewhere] led [the Army] to investigate the relevance of this field of science to biological warfare. A small group of experts considered this matter and provided the following observations:

  1. All biological agents up to the present time [1969] are representative of naturally occurring disease, and thus known by scientists throughout the world. They are easily available to qualified scientists for research, either for offensive or defensive purposes.
  2. Within the next 5 to 10 years, it would probably be possible to make a new infective microorganism, which could differ, in certain important aspects from any known disease-causing organisms. Most important of these is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon when we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.”

Dr. MacArthur ‘s testimony went on and he informed the subcommittee that a research program to explore the feasibility of developing such a disease, “a synthetic biological agent, an agent that does not naturally exist and for which no natural immunity could be acquired,” would take only about 5 years to complete, and would cost $10 million.

As readers may expect, the Army that year was given its fully requested appropriation. As to whether or not the new biological disease Dr. MacArthur spoke of went into production is unknown, but former Army scientists with Fort Detrick’s Special Operation Division (SOD), speaking under terms of anonymity, say the program had actually already begun several years prior to 1969 under a reformatted Project MK/NAOMI. That project was the ultra-secret joint CIA-SOD program that was organized in late 1950. One former SOD researcher said, “The idea of a man-made disease that the immune system couldn’t handle had been proposed much earlier in the late 1950s with a fair amount of field work conducted in the process.” When I attempted to interview other SOD researchers about the manufacturing of an AIDS-like virus at Fort Detrick people clammed up and shook their heads. Said one microbiologist, “I can’t discuss that. You know as well as I do that if I said anything at all about that it would be like putting a gun to my head.” Said another coyly, “We had ability to do practically anything we wanted to do back then; to create any diseases we wanted to, but what we did and did not do is not a subject I can discuss. Lets just say that nothing was beyond our reach.” Answers such as these provided me with little satisfaction or comfort. I became increasingly uneasy about the smugness of some of the replies. When some replies were made along with what I considered terribly racially-biased remarks, I often wished I had never brought the subject up.


At about the same time as retro-virus work began, Army researchers at Fort Detrick began intensive research into what it dubbed “ethnic weapons.” These were chemical and biological weapons targeted at various and specific ethnic groups. When I first encountered the term in a conversation with a former colleague of Frank Olson and inquired as to what it meant, he explained, “Weapons aimed at selected ethnic groups. Like Blacks who are particularly susceptible to certain blood diseases, weapons like that for example.” Despite the vagueness of the explanation, I understood.

I was astonished to learn that the Army was conducting research in this area, and soon encountered another scientist who spoke about the subject. I asked where was this research conducted? Both Fort Detrick and Edgewood Arsenal, I was told, and on a few selected university campuses. Are human subjects involved? I asked. Servicemen and others, came the answer. Others? Selected people and groups in the field came the answer. I asked if experiments involved particular ethnic groups with other shared characteristics; for example, Caucasian homosexuals or Black homosexuals or homosexuals, in general? It could, certainly, was the reply.

“We know and understand that there are differences, innate differences, among certain groups of people due their ethnicity,” the former Army scientist said. “This presents certain vulnerabilities that can be exploited through the studied use of selected chemical and biological agents. Which in turn offers some really exciting possibilities… it’s not far fetched at all to think that we can selectively, and very affectively, attack targeted ethnic groups, inflicting measured damage ranging from incapacitation to death.”

The Army scientist I had interviewed drew my attention to an early 1970 paper written by Dr. Carl A. Larson. The paper, later the same year published by the United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was simply titled, “Ethnic Weapons.” Larson was head of the Department of Human Genetics at the Institute of Genetics, University of Lund, Sweden. Widely published in medical journals in American and Europe, Larsen held a Licentiate degree from the Medical School of Lund University and was a licensed physician.

Dr. Larson’s paper proposes that differences in gene frequencies between ethnic groups serve as the basis for researching and developing an entirely new grouping of chemical and biological warfare agents—agents with the capabilities of incapacitating or killing a targeted population with ease thus sparing other groups within the targeted population. “For example, the Army scientist explained, “say we wanted to eliminate all those people of a certain ethnic group in a targeted city and we knew that this group was highly susceptible to a certain form of cancer. We would incorporate that cancer into a weapon and through special delivery mechanisms induce the disease into those people.”

Dr. Larson’s paper cites a number of examples of “enzymatic reactions” or “enzyme polymorphisms.” He writes, “Clearly a relative advantage in one environment granted carriers of a mutant gene can be entirely void in another environment…. Careful analyses of enzymatic reaction patterns to a series of drugs are underway, and we may soon have a grid where new observations of this kind can be pinpointed.”

Larson explains that also examined are the possibilities “of the poison-provoking enzyme production, an individual adaptation observed in several instances.” He then cites one poison, milk, explaining that among Europeans intolerance to lactose, or milk sugar, “occurs as a rare recessive trait” but that “milk intolerance in various groups of non-Europeans began to accumulate, it was remembered that malnourished children in east Africa get diarrhea when treated with dried skimmed milk. Then, the enzyme lactase was found to lose its activity in the intestinal mucosa of African infants over the first four years of life.” I found Larson’s discussion of milk quite provocative because I knew from my research into Frank Olson’s work at Fort Detrick that some of it had centered on milk, Asians, and microbiology. However, everyone I interviewed on the subject refused to give me specifics about this phase of Olson’s research.

Interestingly, Dr. Larson also briefly mentions the drug, or “incapacitant”, known as BZ “which before the present renaissance as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) caused epidemic outbursts of Saint Anthony’s fire in the Dark Ages. With ditran-like compounds, BZ shares the capacity to produce transient toxic psychosis, sometimes compared to schizophrenia.”

Larson’s paper goes on, “Surrounded with clouds of secrecy, a systematic search for new incapacitating agents is going on in many laboratories. The general idea, as discussed in open literature, was originally that of minimum destruction.” Subtlety paying his respects to the Army’s earlier joint CIA top-secret drug experiment of 1951 in Pont St. Esprit, France, Larson’s paper states, “Psychochemicals would make it possible to paralyze temporarily entire population centers without damage to homes and other structures. In addition, with the small quantities required for full effect of modern incapacitating agents, logistics problems would be minute. The effective dose of BZ-type agents amounts to micrograms.”

Larson’s “Ethnic Weapons” paper concludes by stating that during the first half of 1969, “several laboratories reported factors engaged in passing over the genic message from DNA, the primary command post, to RNA which relays the chemical signal. The enzymatic process for RNA production has been known for some years, but now the factors have been revealed which regulate the initiation and specificity of enzyme production. Not only the factors have been found, but their inhibitors. Thus, the functions of life lie bare to attack.”

Larson’s paper makes no mention of field experiments in support of ethnic weapons but from other Army sources we know that the United States did conduct such experiments. In addition to the Pont St. Esprit experiment, cited above, others were conducted in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where the U.S. Navy launched a number of experiments at a vital naval supply depot. These surreptitious experiments, in the Navy’s own words, were aimed at “Negroes, whose incapacitation would seriously affect the operation of the supply system.” The Navy secretly employed an aerosol delivery mechanism whereby Asperillus fumigates was employed to simulate Coccidioides. Coccidioides immitis is a lethal fungus that causes valley fever. Fort Detrick and Edgewood Arsenal scientists studied the fungus for years in the 1950s and 1960s. Their experiments revealed that African Americans, as opposed to whites, were much more likely to die from exposure to valley fever.

In addition to Navy’s experiments, there were also a series of SOD experiments conducted in the early 1950s in Florida that specifically targeted African Americans in impoverished areas. In several neighborhoods outside of Miami, as well as at least one location nearby where Disneyworld is today, SOD scientists conducted a number of experiments using mosquitoes as vectors for various biological agents. Files concerning the operations, according to the Army, were destroyed in 1973. Additionally, at about the same time, Fort Detrick researchers working under the CIA’s MK/NAOMI project targeted a number of inner-city minority neighborhoods in Chicago and New Orleans with several aerosol attacks using chemicals thought to be harmless. Perhaps coincidentally, months following the urban experiments, a large number of elderly African American fell seriously ill and died. One former SOD biochemist, interviewed in his Maryland home in 1999, told me, “We weren’t all that sure of the supposed harmless agent used. I don’t even recall what it was. I’d be lying if I said anyone really was all that concerned about the targeted areas to begin with.”

In 1974 and 1975, Dr. Richard Hammerschlag, a biomedical researcher with nearly 20 years of experience with several west coast medical institutions, including City of Hope National Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Health Research and Cancer Services, sounded a note of alarm about ethnic weapons research at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. After learning of the Army’s experiments with ethnic weapons, as well as learning that the CIA under its revamped MK/ULTRA program, now called MK/SEARCH, was also researching ethnic weapons, Hammerschlag had began warning other scientists of the serious dangers of such research.

At the Chemical Society gathering, Hammerschlag said, “South East Asians, for example, have a different genetic composition than do Caucasians. It’s therefore possible that these people are susceptible to diseases westerners are not, and we know that’s true. Its been learned that certain proteins exist in the blood of specific groups. These proteins occur in multiple forms and are called polymorphysims. We call them blood types, such as A, B, O, and RH. And they appear in different frequencies among different groups of people. For example, blood type B almost never appears in American Indians. But accounts for 30-40 percent of certain population in South East Asia and Southern India.”

Dr. Hammerschlag eventually approached Dr. Larson to speak about ethnic weapons. Larson, according to a 1983 report, told Hammerschlag that if the research continued the efforts could be “suicidal” for humankind. Larson sounded this warning over 25 years ago, and by most accounts the efforts he warned about have continued unabated.

Copyright© H.P. Albarelli Jr. 2009-2010. All Rights Reserved. H.P. Albarelli Jr. is the author of A TERRIBLE MISTAKE: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments [TrineDay Publishers, November 2010]. Anyone reprinting this article must give credit to its author.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Word About Revolution

Fake Revolution
Image found at Secret History
Shorter this post: Don't bother.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
- Dylan
What with all of the populist righteous indignation green-shooting around the country these days, I'd like to suggest we settle down a bit. But, I will try not to be that patronizing and explain a little bit why we should settle down. After all, I'm righteously indignant myself, and I feel your pain.

Change is hard, right? And history tells us that nothing important ever changes unless you first unsettle or unseat the powers that be. They're entrenched, they have their hands on the levers, and until you pry their cold, dead fingers from them it will be status quo. Or, more properly, the slow decline will continue - to the inevitable revolution.

I love Dylan, and the romance of revolution (if you can ignore all of the attendant mayhem and death, that is.)

However, history tells us something else about revolution. It tells us that it happens over and over again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, or so Ben Franklin would have it (or Einstein, depending on where you stand on that particular dispute.) I agree. While this observation is usually made regarding individual or group behaviour, I also believe it applies to generational repetition as well.

History, and common sense, tells us what happens when "the last become first and the first become last." In our modern times, the "last" are the have-nots, the "first" the haves. The quote says they switch roles. (Oversimplification, but fine for the discussion, OK?)

The haves are pretty dismissive of the have-nots, and that makes them right bastards, really. The have-nots absorb all sorts of degradation and poverty, and that makes them the salt-of-the-earth, of course. I happen to agree with this, and the first impulse is to drive out the bastards and put the salt-of-the-earth in charge. All should be well, then, for the new haves will not be right bastards and will treat the new have-nots with much more compassion than they received. And hell, even if they don't, the right bastards deserve it, right?

Problem is, "have" and "right bastard" are merely synonyms - there is no separating the two. Become a have, become a right bastard. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Revolution is merely eye-for-an-eye expressed in generational terms. Demonizing an "elite" and overthrowing it merely puts the revolutionaries in the same psychic position as the elite. And they will act exactly the same. This idea has been touched on before.

A significant part of the problem is that the have-nots (the "people") are not very salt-of-the-earth after all. They have their inner right bastard as well, and its name is covetousness. In other words, the very would-be revolutionaries, who happen to be right and will have history on their side, dodge an important lesson by the very virtue of their success.

The people suffer at the hands of their oppressors, yes. It is understandable to think that all you have to do is to cow said oppressors and start over with a new system. Such "new systems" have historically become increasingly "democratic," with their heart-felt pledges to curb centralization of power, etc. (Go USA!)

It's happening again, though, ain't it?

The truth is, as long as there is a covetousness for power and advantage over others, we clever monkeys will find a way to game the system.

What makes the oppressed "blessed" in any sense is that there is an opportunity, for them, to learn the lesson. Forget about the privileged - once you "have yours" there is absolutely nothing to teach you (at least existentially, where it matters.) Oh, but the oppressed are quite motivated to absorb existential lessons, and they do. Sadly, they always seem to stop with the simple revelations ("oppressors bad"), rather than digging a bit deeper, seeing their own responsibility in this haves/have-nots condundrum.

The solution is simply a heart-change. The reason it seems so daunting is that it seems a little difficult to imbue this to a population under the best of conditions, let alone one under the stresses of oppression.

As a matter of fact, telling people under the stresses of oppression that kind of Pollyannish shit can get you crucified, or so I hear. It is clearly not a message for the masses, nor a sensible curriculum for public education (at least, not yet.)

The good news is that you don't have to convert anybody. Only yourself. Stop playing the oppressors' game. The game is - you want what we have and you can't have it. To stop playing it, you simply say, "No, actually, I don't want it."


  • Stop respecting the idea of property. (No, this is not a call to vandalism. There are lots and lots of people out there who do respect the idea of property, and there is no percentage in inviting their outrage.) Forget about dividing it up "equally." Ignore it outright (while respecting those who are still deluded by it.) Buy or rent (because our sick society is set up that way), but know in your heart that it isn't really yours at all. Property is a man-made idea, and a very bad one at that.
  • Money should never be used to transact in human rights. These include food, clothing, shelter, medicine. Go ahead and use money to buy these things (because our sick society is set up that way), but avoid charging for these things as much as possible. Be subversive, trade, share, be the change that you want to see.
  • Do not exploit the labor of your fellow human beings for your own profit. This is flat-out evil, and the fact that it is considered normal, moral business practice is a flashing-red indicator that the system of capitalism is also flat-out evil. If you care to provide a service which requires "employees," then get equal partners. Subtract the greed from your deeds.

Just those three things are so revolutionary that you will bring upon yourself a great deal of resentment from the players in the oppression game - both sides. That should sate some of the initial impulse to dance with these fools.

But you will pick off (convert) enough of them that at some point in history a critical mass will be reached. I am as certain of this as I was certain that my newborn son would walk when he reached a certain age. This is how we stop doing the same thing over and over again.

Now - off to the barricades heart of the matter with you all!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hunter Gatherers, Agriculture, And Global Warming

Hunter Gatherers
Hunter Gatherers image found at Progress Daily
Progress Daily has a snippet of an article that dismisses the hunter gatherer life, feting agriculture as the saviour of mankind. It states "facts" about the HG lifestyle that contradict anything I've ever learned about it. But since it is a courtesy to them after I borrowed their image for this post (I love the shopping carts), and also it's rather good sportsmanship to offer an opposing view, I provide this link so you can "go read the whole thing."


I've long felt that agriculture is the "original sin" of mankind, in that this is the first (and truly necessary) step for human populations to grow out of local resources. In the early days, this "merely" caused all sorts of wars and mayhem, and here we are at our twilight, contemplating the fact that there ain't nowhere else to go anymore. We're pretty much churning on all cylinders now, global resource-wise, with a population bursting at the outer edges of sustainability. (OK, that last bit was a bit of snark - we crossed that line at least 60-70 years ago, if not sooner).

But let's just leave my moralizin' aside for the moment. Let's give equal sustainability and quality-of-life points to both agricultural- and HG-based societies. Hell, I'll even let you dreamers out there claim superior points for your beloved Agriculture. I want to look around for a moment and assess what's going on.

Global Warming (which Tom Friedman characterized as being more correctly called "Global Weirding" in a rare moment of insight), is starting to show some serious messing with the seasons. We can expect this to get even "weirder" as the consequences of our carbon crimes continue to lurch things around.

At what point does agriculture become economically infeasible when the ancient reliability of the growing season disappears? Even the periodic fluctuations in our traditionally "normal" growing seasons have given farmers the vapors - spawning things like virgin sacrifice and the Farmer's Almanac - can you imagine the task farming will become when planting a crop is essentially a toss of the dice? Or to look at it another way, won't randomly successful "harvests" look exactly like gathering?


Perhaps this is the perfectly appropriate dessert for misusing the Earth's resources. We don't even have to bother to learn about intelligent and sustainable resource practices.

Mother simply decrees, "Go back to hunting and gathering, assholes."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things To Come

Bank Window Smashed
Bank Window Smashed
Update: Due to the recent rash of window smashing at Democratic Party offices, I would like to apologize for my unfortunate "schadenfreudelicious" snark. It's not funny.

Well, lookee here.

Arrived at my bus stop this morning, on my way to make some "World's Greatest Hamburger(s)", and was presented with this schadenfreudelicious tableau. This is a window at the Chase bank branch office, on 39th & Hawthorne.

Someone or two or three gifted the bank with a brick (you can see it at the bottom of the window, on the inside.) Spray painted on the wall of the bank was this little greeting card (I paraphrase because my bus arrived before I could snap a pic of that):

Police protect the rich, we can take care of ourselves.

Oh, boy. And so it begins.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Articulation Of Chris Floyd

Our Administrators
Image by Rowena_2007
I have run out of words to describe how vile this is. The mind recoils against fully comprehending the moral depravity of our leaders -- and the reeking stench of their pious hypocrisy.
This, from a post entitled "Teach Your Children Well: There Is No Law But Might And Murder". Obviously, Dick Cheney is involved in the situation that has provoked Mr. Floyd's article (go read it of course - he is indispensable) but, more importantly, so is every motherfucker from current and past administrations.

I too don't have the words. So... what he said.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Portland, Again... And Lovin' It

Bus Stop Shadow
Petro @ Bus Stop
OK, back to me.

I simply feel compelled to provide, for my multitude of lurkers, a proper and recent image of me, waiting for the bus after a productive day of producing the "World's Greatest Hamburger(s)" for the multitudes. Because, dontchaknow, my readers are way above the the blogging tradition of leaving a trail of turds comments on my posts. A principle for which I am very humiliated grateful.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Author H.P. Albarelli, Jr. On "Connections" (Part 1 of 3)

A Terrible Mistake
[I am very happy and grateful to be hosting Hank's post here. Buy his book. What follows is pretty sobering stuff.]

How could drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Coincidence is the word we use when we can't see the levers and pulleys.
-Emma Bull

Of course it’s all connected; every facet of life is inextricably linked. It all began at the very beginning and continues today and into the future, all as part of the grand plan, all as part of the grand illusion that will be revealed only when the Creator sees fit.
-Eamonn Gabriel

Coincidence is best regarded as a crack in time, a gap in time’s narrative that requires filling in, elaboration. You see, when the entire story is laid before you the concept of coincidence simply vanishes and understanding takes its place.
-Eamonn Gabriel

On Dr. Frank Olson, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, George Hunter White, CIA, MK/ULTRA, and MK/NAOMI, or Everything is Oddly Connected in the Clover Covered Fields of Camelot
by H.P. Albarelli Jr.

Many readers of my book, A TERRIBLE MISTAKE: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, have written to me asking for further information about the varied connections between Frank Olson’s death and Lee Harvey Oswald and the JFK assassination. The following is an initial effort to answer those questions, and to further detail these connections. Of course, many of these connections are explained in greater detail in my book.

Often overlooked in the chronology of Lee Harvey Oswald’s early years is that when he was 13 years old he lived in New York City for a period of about one year, in 1952-1953. Astute readers will recognize these as critical years in the development and operation of the CIA’s MK/ULTRA safe house in New York operated by Federal Narcotics agent and CIA consultant George Hunter White. The first-floor safe house was located in Greenwich Village at the corner of Bedford and Barrow streets (the address was 81 Bedford Street). According to a 1978 CIA document, “an elusive Frenchman who was engaged in the import-export business” owned the two-story, brick apartment house, just a short walk away from one of White’s favorite watering holes, Chumley’s, perhaps a primary reason for its selection. The building that housed the safe house was torn down several decades ago. Chumley’s, with all its ambiance and ghosts, is still there today.

Marguerite Oswald, along with her son, Lee Harvey, moved to New York City from Texas in August 1952. For their first several weeks there, Lee and Marguerite lived in a small apartment, located at 325 East 92nd Street. The cramped apartment was shared with Lee’s half-brother, John Edward Pic, his 18-year old wife, and their newborn child. Pic was a Hospital Corpsman and Radioman with the United States Coast Guard. Beginning in early January 1952, and continuing for about four months, Corpsman Pic was assigned to assist with an outbreak of streptococcal at a U.S. Navy installation in Bainbridge, Maryland. Bainbridge is about 170 miles away from Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, Dr. Frank Olson’s place of employment. This was at the same time that the CIA initiated Project MK/NAOMI, a joint project with the Agency whereby Fort Detrick’s Special Operations (SO) Division, which Olson headed up, aggressively developed a virtual cornucopia of lethal biochemical weapons that the CIA could use in targeting both individuals and large groups of people for incapacitation or death.

Said one SO Division bacteriologist about MK/NAOMI: “Our mission was pretty simple and to the point: to provide the CIA with every means possible to maim or kill targeted groups or individuals through the use of toxic and lethal biochemical agents. We worked hard at it and delivered.” One the CIA’s earliest documents on the program’s genesis uncharacteristically lists its objectives in part: “How to knock off key people...knock off key guys… make death look as if from natural causes… [such as] method to produce cancer… and to make appear as heart attack.” The same memorandum cited the case of an imprisoned “Russian… who had been subjected to the routine administration of intimidation, bright lights and more severe roughing, followed by insulin shock.”

On site for the Bainbridge epidemic, along with Oswald’s half-brother, were bacteriologists from the U.S. Army’s biological warfare center, Fort Detrick, as well as physicians from the Armed Forces Epidemiological branch. Dr. Charles H. Rammelkamp, Jr., a member of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB), was also there for the outbreak. Readers knowledgeable about the findings of the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, may recall that the committee took a cursory look at experiments reviewed, approved, and sponsored by the New York School of Medicine and AFEB, at the time of Rammelkamp’s tenure, on physically healthy mentally retarded children at the Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, New York.

The experiments centered on subject children being fed infected stool extracts obtained from individuals with hepatitis, thus infecting the subject children with the virus. Additionally, Dr. Rammelkamp was at the center of another controversial experiment conducted in the early 1950s. This experiment, conducted concurrently with the Bainbridge outbreak, involved American servicemen stricken with streptococcal which can cause rheumatic fever and heart disease. The servicemen, hospitalized at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, were intentionally not treated with penicillin, which at the time was still being questioned as an effective treatment for rheumatic fever.

In a 1966 TIME magazine article, Harvard University’s Dr. Henry K. Beecher, who was asked by the magazine to consider Dr. Rammelkamp’s experiments, stated he was “concerned about experiments that are designed for the ultimate good of society in general but may well do harm to the subject involved.” Earlier Dr. Beecher had stated in the New England Journal of Medicine, that since World War II, the numbers of patients used as unwitting experimental subjects was increasing at alarming rates. Beecher told TIME editors that the increase was causing “grave consequences” but he declined to name any physicians, hospitals, or universities involved in such experiments. Beecher also did not reveal to TIME magazine, or anyone else, that he too, like other Harvard officials of his day and today, was also involved in such experiments and that for the past thirteen years, or longer, he had served the CIA as a covert informer and consultant on interrogation and mind control techniques, including the use of LSD, as well as his specialty anesthesia. [See my book for details about Dr. Henry Beecher’s work for the CIA overseas, which included several surreptitious meetings with Sandoz Chemical company officials.]

We do not know for sure if Dr. Frank Olson was among the Fort Detrick scientists who traveled to Bainbridge for the outbreak, but we do know that members of his division, Fort Detrick’s Special Operations Division, were there and that they were especially interested at the time in creating a biological warfare weapon out of the Group A streptococcus infection.

Group A streptococcus is a bacterium commonly found in the throat and skin. Infections can range from mild to life threatening. Detrick’s scientists wanted to employ the bacterium through aerial aerosol spraying, quite similar to what the SO Division had done earlier with an Eyes-Only, top-secret LSD experiment in a village in Southern France. That French experiment produced better than expected results, ,but drew more scientific scrutiny than anticipated. To circumvent this scrutiny, and to offer viable scientific explanations for the outbreak of insanity that took over the town, the CIA dispatched scientists from the nearby Sandoz Chemical company, the same company that provided the agency with the drug used in the experimental attack on the town. [Again, see my book on the so-called Pont St. Esprit “ergot outbreak.”]

From about 1948 on, through to the about 1968, Fort Detrick scientists mounted a variety of plans that involved surreptitious spraying attacks in both domestic and foreign locations. Two of the very first considered, according to once classified Army, FBI, and CIA documents were covert spraying in the New York subway system in 1949 and during the same years a simulated spraying attack using the ventilation system of the Pentagon building. Indeed, at the request of the CIA’s Technical Services Section, George Hunter White, in 1952, detonated a small aerosol device that released a cloud of vaporized LSD on a New York subway car. The reported results of this test were destroyed in 1973.

Also, quite interesting, is that in 1952, Dr. Olson’s Fort Detrick’s SO Division undertook covert advance work, with Army microbiologists posing as state public health workers, in the Florida towns of Avon Park and Carver Park. The covert work was in preparation for secret experiments to be conducted in 1956 through to 1958 with infected mosquitoes that were released in selected low-income African American neighborhoods with dense public housing. As a result, many men, women, and children became dreadfully ill and some died. One account of these secret experiments claims: “Within weeks of the first exposures, hundreds of men, women, and children became sickened with typhoid, mysterious fevers, chills, excruciating abdominal cramps, breathing problems including bronchitis, as well as neurological disorders such as encephalitis. Yet others dropped dead and mysteriously died.” [A FOIA request for documents regarding SO Division Florida experiments filed in 2002 by this author was refused because files were still classified.]

Equally noteworthy is, not long after the Florida experiments, Fort Detrick SO Division microbiologists assisted in several covert attacks against rural and agricultural areas in Cuba. These attacks involved aerial spraying and employed the swine flu virus, dengue, and other lethal bacterium. As a result, hundreds of farm animals and humans died. (Assumably, this type of covert action does not qualify as an act of terrorism against innocent populations because it is carried out against a nation that is not democratically controlled.)

After Bainbridge, from April 1952 to February 1953, Lee Harvey Oswald’s half-brother returned to New York City and was assigned to the Coast Guard’s Port Security Unit at Ellis Island. The Security Unit, an outgrowth of the Espionage Act of 1950, was charged with identifying, investigating, and ridding the New York harbor, longshoreman’s union, and maritime industry of Communists and subversive elements.

This assignment is extremely interesting because earlier, in April 1951, one of Frank Olson’s killers was being held, pending deportation, in a cell on Ellis Island. Later, at the same time that Oswald’s step-brother was assigned to duty on the island, several additional major drug traffickers from France and Corsica, apprehended in a major Federal Narcotics Bureau operation headed up by George Hunter White as a dual narcotics-CIA operative, were being held at Ellis Island. Illicit drugs impounded from these arrests were transferred to a secret holding compound in New Jersey, where according to CIA documents, the drugs were disbursed to various researchers under contract with the CIA and to other unknown places. One of the French traffickers apprehended by White would be sent to a federal prison in Atlanta where he would be subjected to intense mind control experiments. Multiple drugs were used during those experiments, including morphinum, dicain, and heroin. Some readers may recall that these same drugs in 1964 were discovered listed in Lee Harvey Oswald’s stepbrother’s notebook. (Dicain, according to pharmacists, has never been available in the U.S. It can only be purchased overseas, and was used in Eastern Europe.)

Of equal interest, is that earlier still, during World War II, White and a number of other FBN agents assigned to the OSS, precursor to the CIA, worked very closely in New York with Port Security and the Office of Naval Intelligence on what is now commonly called Operation Underworld. This was the top-secret project that involved the freeing from prison of infamous gangster Charles “Lucky” Luciano in return for his, and the Mafia’s, assistance with the Allied invasion of Italy. All of the FBN agents assigned to work on Operation Underworld went on to become covert operatives for the CIA, and would become connected in a variety of ways with Projects MK/ULTRA and MK/NAOMI.

Worth noting here is that adjunct to the Espionage Act of 1950 was the Emergency Detention Act of 1950, which created six large internment camps for the purpose of receiving thousands of persons who were to be apprehended and detained in the event of an internal security emergency. Among the six camps nationwide was a barbed-wire surrounded former Army installation in Avon Park, Florida.

After a few tumultuous weeks living with half brother Pic, Lee Harvey Oswald and his mother moved to a small, dank, basement apartment located at 1455 Sheridan Street in the Bronx. Lee complained of having to sleep on the living room’s couch. At the time, Marguerite worked at Lerner’s Dress Shop located at 45 East 42nd Street. Interesting to note, is that George Hunter White’s wife, Albertine, called ‘Tine’ by those closest to her, shopped at Lerner’s and had friends who worked there. Like Marguerite, Albertine also worked in the clothing business as a buyer for the Abraham & Strauss Department Store in Brooklyn at 422 Fulton Street. After working at Lerner’s, Marguerite Oswald, in February 1953, went to work for Martin's Department Store in Brooklyn at 501 Fulton Street, a very short walk from where Albertine worked. Again, we find that Albertine had close friends who worked at Martin’s.

Albertine and George White enjoyed living in New York City. Their apartment was at 59 West 12 Street in the Village. They had many friends, although most of those friends were mainly attracted to the couple because of Albertine’s vivacious personality and charming ways. George could be quite gruff and moody. His consumption of large quantities of alcohol, mainly Gibson’s gin, didn’t serve to enhance his social skills. His propensity to surreptitiously dose visitors to his home with LSD, supplied to him by the CIA, also didn’t help matters much. On one of several such nights, George, much to Albertine’s displeasure, surreptitiously dosed a number of his and his wife’s friends, sending two women to the hospital in total dismay and fear at what was happening inside their heads.

George White used Central Park and the Bronx Zoo as rendezvous points for meetings with criminal-types, confidential informers, intelligence agents, and drug traffickers. White’s alias for conducting business with and for the CIA was “Morgan Hall.” Morgan Hall, named after magnate J.P. Morgan, is a section of the American Museum of Natural History in Central Park, opened in 1900. It houses the minerals and gems collection. According to the Warren Commission’s report, one of the first places Pic took Lee to sightsee was the Natural History Museum. George White’s date book for 1953 contains numerous references to his meetings with unsavory characters. In the interest of full disclosure, several notations cite a person referred to only as “Lee,” but I believe it extremely doubtful that this was 13-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald.

Lee Harvey Oswald apparently greatly disliked attending school in New York. His attendance records state that he was “excessively absent.” Teachers and school officials recall that Lee was an extremely smart youngster, but that he was also “refused to salute the flag” and preferred to be alone. Oddly, some teachers recalled him to be “slight…and thin”, others “well built.” Once, in the spring of 1953, Lee was picked up truant at the Bronx Zoo, a place he visited often, and returned to school by an attendance officer who Oswald angrily called a “damned Yankee.” (Lee’s father, Robert E. Lee Oswald, was named after the famous Confederate general.) Young Lee Harvey Oswald before entering the Marine Corps at age 17 lived in 22 homes, including foster homes and an orphanage, and attended 12 schools.

With continued school absences, in April 1953, Oswald was sent to Youth House located on 12th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues in Manhattan. Here he was placed under psychiatric observation. Observers termed him an “emotionally isolated boy”… “who suffers under the impact of really existing emotional isolation and deprivation, lack of affection, absence of family life and rejection by a self involved and conflicted mother.” He was also described as having “superior mental resources and [he] functions only slightly below his capacity level in spite of chronic truancy from school which brought him into Youth House.” While at Youth House, Lee reportedly told Marguerite, “Mother, I want to get out of here. There are children in here who have killed people, and smoke. I want to get out.” Lee told a social worker at Youth House that he felt like “a veil” separated his life from those of others. He said he liked having the veil there.

Some delinquent boys sent to Youth House that were deemed incorrigible went on to the nearby Bordentown Reformatory in New Jersey, a home away from home for what were then commonly called “juvenile delinquents.” This is no evidence that Oswald was ever sent to Bordertown, but physicians who worked at Bordertown also performed work at Youth House. Bordertown is mentioned here because during World War II and also in 1951 through to at least 1964 it was the site of secret CIA and U.S. Army mind control experiments. Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer of Emory University, Atlanta and the University of Illinois Medical School oversaw some of these experiments, which were intended to both study and trigger “a model psychosis characterized by visual and auditory hallucinations.” Pfeiffer refined his objectives with extensive experiments in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Questioned about these experiments in 1981, the CIA’s Dr. Sidney Gottlieb said, “We learned a lot from the Atlanta experiments. The Agency learned that a person’s psyche could be very disturbed by those means.” (Readers can find far more about Dr. Pfeiffer’s work with the CIA, and with one of Olson’s assassins in my book.)

Earlier, during World War II, the Bordentown Reformatory was used by the OSS, precursor to the CIA, for truth drug experiments. These experiments included then OSS officer Capt. George White and psychiatrist Lawrence Kubie. In the late 1950s, Kubie wrote White a letter within which he “fondly” recalls their time together conducting drug experiments at Bordentown and at a state prison in Baltimore. Wrote Kubie: “I look back fondly on those days. What great fun we had.” (As my book details, Dr. Kubie treated my friend, former Hollywood producer, Bill Hayward, when he was just a youth. This experience, Hayward said, was a psychological low point in his life. I sadly believe it contributed greatly toward Bill’s eventual suicide.)

While at Youth House, Oswald was examined by three physicians. They were Dr. Renatus Hartogs, Chief Psychiatrist at the facility, Dr. Milton Kurian, a psychiatrist working for the New York Court system and Dr. Irving Sokolow, a Youth House psychologist. Dr. Sokolow found Oswald “withdrawn” and “presumably disinterested in school subjects”, but to have an intellectual functioning level “in the upper range of bright normal intelligence.”

Dr. Kurian, a former president of the American Psychiatric Association, who once wrote to Jacqueline Kennedy about Oswald after the assassination, examined Oswald, after Dr. Hartogs, at the request of a New York probation officer assigned to Oswald’s Domestic Relations Court case. Dr. Kurian spoke with Oswald only once, and concluded that the youngster “was withdrawn from the real world and responded to outside pressures to a degree necessary to avoid the disturbance of his residence in a fantasy world.” Kurian would later say that he felt Oswald was “mentally ill” and should have been hospitalized in a facility for children. [See John Armstrong’s interview with Kurian in Harvey & Lee, page 58.]

Youth House Chief psychologist Dr. Renatus Hartogs examined Oswald on May 1, 1953. Hartogs, born and schooled in Germany with additional advanced medical schooling and degrees from New York University and the University of Montreal Medical School, became a U.S. citizen in 1945. He told the Warren Commission in 1964 that he had been “impressed” by Oswald because the young boy “was in control of his emotions” and “showed a cold, detached outer attitude.”

In reply to this observation, Hartogs was leadingly asked, “As you remember what particular thing was it about Oswald that made you conclude that he had this severe personality disturbance?” Replied Hartogs, “It was his suspiciousness against adults, as far as I recall, his exquisite sensitivity in dealing with others, their opinions on his behalf. That is as far as I recall it.”

It is especially intriguing that Dr. Hartogs attended some of the wild LSD sorties that Dr. Harold A. Abramson held on his Long Island estate throughout the 1950s. Dr. Abramson was the “psychologist” to whom the CIA sent Frank Olson for treatment in New York City just days before his alleged “suicide”, which we now know to have been murder. Dr. Abramson was also the linchpin for many of the CIA’s MK/ULTRA and MK/NAOMI drug experiments, as was the much-overlooked Dr. Robert Hyde of the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, who continued his work throughout the 1970s at the Vermont State Hospital, a facility with much less than a stellar record in the care of mentally ill patients. It is difficult to imagine that JFK assassination investigators from both the FBI and CIA, and members of the Warren Commission, were not aware of these relationships, yet they are never mentioned in documents detailing investigations.

There is more about Drs. Hartogs and Kurian. Dr. Milton Kurian, in 1964-65 was president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), a position that put him into frequent contact with Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron, perhaps the most notorious of all MK/ULTRA experimenters. Cameron, who had been APA president in 1952-53, was an earlier founder, along with French LSD researcher Dr. Jean Delay, of the World Psychiatric Association. Files from the early 1950s reveal that this fledging association received surreptitious assistance from the CIA. Dr. Cameron’s work with LSD and “psychic driving” at McGill University’s Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal was the subject of a high-profile lawsuit brought in the late 1970s that was spurred into action by the 1975 Rockefeller Commission revelations about Frank Olson.

It appears that Dr. Hartogs also held himself out as an expert on the occult. In June 1969, Dr. Hartogs appeared on a popular NBC-TV program, First Tuesday. The program focused on the subject of “Witches and Warlocks” and explored the question of why young people were so interested in occultism. Explained Dr. Hartogs: “The occult holds promise that no one else in our society can give. It helps the young person in his hopelessness.” Added Hartogs: “Black magic enables the young person to indulge in some form of aggression. It has a beneficial effect since it releases his pent-up hostilities and he can go on to maturity.” Over the years there have been several reports that Dr. Hartogs was also an aficionado of magic and that he knew famous New York stage magician John Mulholland, who made a brief but notable appearance in the Frank Olson case.

In 1975, a New York jury convicted Dr. Renatus Hartogs of malpractice. The jury awarded $350,000 in damages to Julie Roy, a secretary at Esquire magazine whom Dr. Hartogs had sexually exploited while she was his patient. At the time of the case, Hartogs wrote a widely read advice column for Cosmopolitan magazine. In 1976, Julie Roy co-author with New York Times reporter Lucy Freeman, a widely read book about her case, which was quickly made into a TV movie. Perhaps coincidentally, eleven years earlier, Dr. Hartogs had also co-authored a book with Lucy Freeman, The Two Assassins, about Oswald and Jack Ruby.

And then there is the matter of hypnotism. Highly respected JFK assassination investigator and author Dick Russell in his excellent book, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, reveals that Dr. Hartogs may have been adept at hypnotism, something never before reported anywhere. This information came to Russell from Dr. Milton V. Kline, a well-known authority on hypnotism, who had worked closely with the CIA on its Project Artichoke and MK/ULTRA hypnosis-related interrogation and mind control programs. Kline told Russell that Dr. Hartogs, after losing his license to practice psychiatry in the Julie Roy case, “set up shop as a hypnotist in New York.”

Kline also informed Russell that Hartogs had been involved “in some kind of government consultation”, and then days later reported that Hartogs may have been involved in the 1950s with Dr. Sidney Malitz, a psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), located only about ten blocks from where young Oswald’s New York address. In the early 1950s, hypnotist George Estabrooks wrote to CIA director Allen Dulles about the covert merits of hypnosis. Stated Estabooks, “The hypnotic state places a veil of sorts between the subject and the real world.”

Dr. Malitz worked under Dr. Paul Hoch, NYSPI Research Director. Hoch, a German who came to the U.S. with assistance from the Dulles family, went on to become Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s and New York’s Commissioner of Mental Health. In the early 1950s, Hochwas very much involved in experiments at the Bordentown Reformatory. As early as 1948, Hoch cited his Bordentown involvement in a book he edited, Failures in Psychiatric Treatment. Through Dr. Hoch, Malitz was involved in a number of covert contracts with the CIA and U.S. Army to perform experiments with psychosurgery, electroconvulsive therapy, LSD, mescaline, and other drugs. Kline told writer Russell that Hartogs worked alongside Malitz on some of these experiments.

Apparently, however, what both Kline and Russell did not know, or perhaps that Kline chose to not reveal to Russell, was that at least three of the covert contracts Dr. Malitz worked under were with Fort Detrick’s Special Operations Division, the unit that Frank Olson headed up at this very same time. As my Olson book details, months prior to Olson’s murder, a NYSPI patient named Harold Blauer died as a result of one of these Fort Detrick funded experiments. Blauer was unwittingly injected with a massive dose of mescaline that immediately sent his body into violent shock. Later, one NYSPI physician involved in the experiment said the Institute knew so little about mescaline that “for all we knew it could have been dog piss we were injecting [Blauer] with.” In early 1954, as documented in my book, the Pentagon and CIA colluded to suppress the government’s involvement in the Blauer’s death and conspired to put strong pressure on one of the Blauer family’s attorney to not pursue any legal action.

And the story goes on.

[End of Part One of Three Parts]

Copyright© H.P. Albarelli Jr. 2009-2010. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced without express written permission from the author; may be quoted from only with proper crediting. Some of the above material, as well as ample supportive material, is taken from the author’s book: A TERRIBLE MISTAKE: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments [TrineDay Publishers, November 2009].