Monday, May 10, 2010

Albarelli Interview: CIA Drug Experiments, Pont-Saint-Esprit, and the Murder of Frank Olson

Author Hank Albarelli is interviewed by RTAmerica, talking about the murder of Frank Olson, and CIA drug experiments of the 1950s. He describes how the experiments of the MKULTRA program were made operational by the CIA's Project Artichoke. Albarelli discusses the CIA LSD experiment on the French village Pont-Saint-Esprit in 1951. This experiment was only one of hundreds of such experiments carried out by the CIA and U.S. military on unwitting human subjects, including thousands of U.S. servicemen at the Edgewood Arsensal.

The Edgewood Arsenal experiments remain controversial. For more information see this selection from the book, Acid Dreams, or this essay, with plenty of links; in addition, photos of Edgewood Arsenal experiments are available here. While the media remains mostly silent on these topics -- Albarelli's book on the death of Frank Olson has yet to be reviewed by a major U.S. news source -- charges of unethical and illegal experiments conducted by U.S. intelligence and military agencies remains at the forefront of the torture scandal surrounding the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" by the U.S. government.

While some of the world press has picked up the Pont-Saint-Esprit story (see this UK Telegraph article), most of the press has remained mum, or tried to debunk Albarelli's work. Last January, Hank Albarelli took reader questions at a lively Book Salon at Firedoglake, which I hosted.

There is much that goes without reporting by the vaunted "free" U.S. press. Assigned to "conspiracy" status, the truth about the CIA's mind control and human experimentation programs remains largely off the public's radar. Not that there haven't been important articles over the years (see this New York Times article and this section of a U.S. government report). The Rockefeller and Church committee investigations of the 1970s opened up much of what we know about these governmental crimes, but they are not taught in history classes, and the population remains mostly unaware.

Albarelli's interview concludes that CIA experiments on new drugs are certainly ongoing. It will take a significantly awakened country to make the efforts to open up the government to full transparency.

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