The Mind Control Debate is Over. What Next?by Cheryl Welsh, mindjustice.org
January 28th 2001
The mainstream press mind control debate began as a breakthrough when the 2007 Washington Post Magazine published “Thought Wars,” a headline news article on mind control allegations and secret government mind control research. But the debate ended as soon as it began because the article followed the influential, 2006 Nature reviewed book, “Mind Wars, Brain Research and National Defense.” “Mind Wars” concluded that the mind control allegations contained no hard evidence and were therefore conspiracy theory. Not surprisingly, the editors at Washington Post Magazine, followed suit. Both publications concluded that a government, advanced mind control program to remotely targets victims is too science fiction, especially if based on the crazy sounding allegations. In effect, the publications decisively ended the mind control debate even though neither publication conducted an in-depth investigation or recommended further investigation of the mind control allegations.
The debate’s abrupt ending is not surprising. Wired Blog Network senior editor Kevin Pousen wrote a typical response to “Thought Wars”;
If Weinberger [the reporter for “Thought Wars”] really thinks that somebody she interviewed is receiving microwave messages in their head from government spooks, she should nail that story down tight and collect her Pulitzer. (Why not bring a radio spectrum analyzer to their homes?) Instead, it looks a lot like she exploited her sources’ delusions to add color to an entirely unrelated story on government mind control research. For shame.
Pousen described the required amount of investigation needed for the mind control issue. And clearly there is a vast communications gap between TIs or targeted individuals of mind control as some call themselves, and most people. Few people look beyond the crazy sounding allegations to the significant amount of circumstantial information underneath. As Weinberger accurately reported, most TI’s lives are too disrupted by the targeting to maintain the stability needed to effectively fight the issue. In desperation, some TIs continuously flood news outlets and experts with emails containing science fiction-like, wild sounding allegations and pleas for help. TIs continue to use their stories as proof of their suffering and claims. They have exhausted every possible source of help with allegations that nobody can figure out or begin to investigate. Unfortunately in today’s society, this has only generated publicity and concern for their sanity, not help for TIs.
Many TIs don’t realize that significant evidence is required to effectively inform the public and ask for an investigation. Few TIs work on activism that other human rights groups have successfully used. After decades of failed mind control activism, instead of hiring credible experts and working on documenting evidence that meets the legal, scientific or journalistic standards of proof, a majority of the active TIs still think they have the answers. Right or wrong, this has contributed to the conspiracy theory label.
“Mind Wars” and “Thought Wars” missed the historical warning signs accompanying similar past national security scandals and that are present in the current mind control allegations. Richard Thieme, writing for the National Catholic Reporter, is one of the few who recognized some of the red flags. Thieme's article is posted here: http://mindjustice.org/mindwarscatholic.htm. In a June 22, 2007 book review of “Mind Wars,” Thieme explained;
Had Moreno spoken to victims of Mkultra and related projects in the fifties or sixties, before those documents were discovered, had he heard people subjected to electroshock therapy or drugs or isolation who told him in horrendous detail what had been done to them, don’t you think he would have made the same statement? That the sane conventional respectable response by a man of the establishment would be that they were deluded?
So why are such claims today unworthy of investigation?
Because to conduct such investigations in the absence of transparency, accountability, and meaningful legislative oversight is to subject oneself to ridicule and career suicide.
Media coverage of the mind control issue is seriously lacking reliable information. The mind control issue is not the only flawed media story. The 1999 book, “The News Media as a Political Institution, Uncertain Guardians” by Bartholomew Sparrow of the University of Texas discussed the underlying problems that are widespread in U.S. media today. Sparrow explained editorial standards of ethics and the depth of media problems;
The following are the ethical principles of the American Society of Newspaper Editors:
- responsibility to serve the “general welfare” by informing people and enabling them to make judgments about contemporary issues
- freedom of the press
- the independence from vested interest
- truth and accuracy
- impartiality, in particular a clear distinction between news and opinion
- fair play-respecting the rights of those in the news, observing standards of decency, giving opportunities for reply, and respecting confidentiality.
... (Sparrow, 173)
Unfortunately, it is a particular kind of order the media provide, one that advantages the powerful and wealthy and disadvantages the many. The American public increasingly senses this. Public opinion polls suggest that a large proportion of citizens already think that the news media do not protect or act in the broad public interest. Even journalists themselves are concerned. In early 1997, the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government sponsored a National Press Club conference entitled “Is American Journalism in Crisis?” Later that year, a group of twenty-eight prominent journalists led by William Kovach, curator of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, announced a schedule of eight meetings as “a call by journalists for a period of reflection about the troubled state of our profession.” (Sparrow, 177)
The 2005 National Security Archive’s 20th Anniversary featured legendary investigative journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Seymour Hersh. He stated that the media has failed the public and has not done a good job. Hersh said many inside the government are troubled by what is going on and there is “enormous secrecy” so that congress and reporters can’t find out what is going on. Some government insiders say they have no legal authority for the activities they are conducting under the veil of secrecy. Journalist Bill Moyers, President of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy discussed the widespread media acceptance of government official statements as fact. This problem is pervasive in the mind control issue;
Tim Wells, who wrote a compelling book on The War Within: America’s Battle Over Vietnam, told Cohen and Solomon [Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon authors of 30 Year Anniversary: Tonkin Gulf Lie Launched Vietnam War] it was yet another case of “the media’s almost exclusive reliance on the U.S. government officials as sources of information,” as well as “their reluctance to question official pronouncements on national security issues.”
As a result of the continuing problems of mainstream media today, both the Washington Post Magazine editors and Moreno were more willing to automatically accept government and scientists statements that mind control is science fiction and a future capability. Moreno wrote an informative but limited, introductory book on brain research and national defense. Moreno stated that it took the “better part of another decade for me to achieve the insight that led to the idea behind this book.” His book was an attempt to answer how the huge interest and funding of government mind control research by national security agencies in the 1950s applied to the interest in neuroscience for national security today. Neuroscience is “perhaps the fastest growing scientific field, both in terms of numbers of scientists and knowledge being gained.” (Moreno, 3) Moreno described the complete lack of reliable information on neuroscience research for national security purposes;
In addition to uncertainties about how much is being spent on research in general, we have no way of knowing whether the CIA itself is also working specifically on the potentialities of the brain sciences and various methods of enhancing or impairing human performance. What is clear is that DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] is only one of several government agencies deeply interested in these and similar possibilities and that, other than for DARPA, citizens can’t get much access to information about how their money is being used. (Moreno, 14)
I. The pattern of national security scandals
A sizable number of victims allege government targeting and a more accurate comparison of mind control allegations is to national security scandals rather than conspiracy theories. New books are reporting a consensus opinion about intelligence agencies and national security scandals and this significant pattern of illegal government programs has important consequences for the mind control issue. One 2006 book is “The Central Intelligence Agency/ Secrecy Under Scrutiny,” edited by Athan Theoharis with Richard Immerman, Loch Johnson, Kathryn Olmsted, and John Prados. A 2007 book is the “History of the CIA, Legacy of Ashes,” authored by Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times reporter, Tim Weiner. Four national security scandals follow a pattern of executive branch approval and implementation of illegal, comprehensive and long running government programs; the 1970s CIA scandal including mind control experiments, the 1990s human radiation experiments scandal, the 2004 Abu Ghraib torture scandal and the related 2005 scandal of U.S. renditions and secret prisons.
Secrecy for national security purposes has been used to cover up illegal government activity. The executive branch employs the tool of “plausible deniability,” the ability of the government to deny all knowledge of the involvement of the United States and to distance the United States, and particularly the president, from whatever event or illegality has occurred. The concept of “plausible denial,” “was built into the structure of the National Security Council. Under this doctrine, the secret warriors insulated the president from knowledge of potentially unpopular CIA actions so that he could later deny responsibility for them. ... Instead of the president, decision makers outside of the Oval Office would pass final judgment on covert action. ... it continued to serve the purpose of preserving the president's deniability while maintaining some White House control over agency operations.” (Olmsted, 86) Experts agree that the system of congressional oversight and accountability for the executive branch national security programs are seriously deficient. As a result, investigative reporting has become an alternative method for exposing national security scandals. The scandals usually lead to congressional hearings and weak reforms, so that scandals continue to occur. For example, many historians have recently acknowledged that attempts to reform the CIA have failed.
Congressional findings of an imperial president, not a rogue agency
The books “Secrecy Under Scrutiny” and “Legacy of Ashes” included explanations of how the CIA scandal of the 1970s was managed and controlled by the executive branch, the CIA, congress, and the press. The CIA was not a ‘rogue elephant,’ as Senator Frank Church famously claimed in 1970s congressional hearings into CIA plots of domestic spying, assassinations and mind control experiments. Rather the CIA was and is a lapdog, i.e. the CIA does the president’s bidding. The executive branch, rather than the CIA, initiated national security policy for the CIA to carry out. A June 27, 2007 New York Times article, “Files on Illegal Spying Show C.I.A. Skeletons From Cold War” by Mark Mazzetti and Tim Weiner explained;
The internal C.I.A. investigation into covert operations during the agency’s first three decades, the inquiry that produced the “family jewels” documents, was begun in 1973 by James R. Schlesinger, then director of Central Intelligence. ...
Known inside the agency as the “family jewels,” the 702 pages of documents released Tuesday catalog domestic wiretapping operations, failed assassination plots, mind control experiments and spying on journalists from the early years of the C.I.A.
More than anything, the papers provide a dark history of the climate both at the C.I.A. and in Washington during the Cold War and the Vietnam era, when fears about the Soviet threat created a no-holds-barred culture at the spy agency. ...
Historians have generally concluded that far from being a rogue agency, the C.I.A. was following orders from the White House or top officials. In 1967, for instance, President Lyndon B. Johnson became convinced that the American antiwar movement was controlled and financed by Communist governments, and he ordered the C.I.A. to produce evidence.
His director of central intelligence, Richard Helms, reminded him that the C.I.A. was barred from spying on Americans.
In his posthumous memoir, Mr. Helms said Johnson told him: “I’m quite aware of that. What I want for you is to pursue this matter, and to do what is necessary to track down the foreign Communists who are behind this intolerable interference in our domestic affairs.”
Though it was a violation of the C.I.A.’s charter, Mr. Helms obeyed the president’s orders.
The C.I.A. undertook a domestic surveillance operation code-named Chaos that went on for almost seven years under Presidents Johnson and Nixon. Mr. Helms created a Special Operations Group to conduct the spying. A squad of C.I.A. officers grew their hair long, learned the jargon of the New Left, and went off to infiltrate peace groups in the United States and Europe.
Subsequent intelligence reforms are ineffective.
An excerpt from “Secrecy Under Scrutiny,” included a description of how congressional investigations of the “family jewels” scandal were hampered by the executive branch and the CIA and resulted in few reforms;
The media devoted most of its attention to the sensational issue of CIA assassination plots. As a result, many reporters neglected the Church [congressional] Committee’s solid efforts to investigate the agency’s mail opening programs, it’s domestic spying, and its role in the overthrow of Allende’s elected government. The committee documented 900 major covert operations and several thousand minors ones conducted by the Agency since 1961. It also revealed that the CIA had collected 1.5 million names of “subversive” Americans in a database as a result of its massive mail-opening program, while Operation CHAOS had prompted the creation of files on 7,200 citizens. ...
The committee never resolved the thorny issue of those responsible for the plots. Most of the members seemed to believe that Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon had at least tacitly, if not explicitly, approved the attempted murders.
Otis Pike and the Imperial Presidency
The special investigative committee in the House took on a different agenda and came up with radically different conclusions. Otis Pike, a moderate Democrat from New York, chaired a polarized House panel ...
Because the Pike Committee took a more systemic approach to investigating the Agency, its conclusions were even more devastating than those of the Church Committee. The Pike Committee had asserted that auditors had little control over the CIA budget; as a result, the committee concluded, the agency was fraught with waste and fraud. Even more distressing, the committee concluded that CIA analysts seldom predicted major crises, in other words, the agency failed to perform its major intelligence function. ...
Finally, the Pike Committee charged that many CIA covert actions were at best amoral and at worst harmed American interests in the long term. Pike insisted, however, that an imperial president, not a rogue agency, was responsible for these actions. As the committee’s final report concluded: “All evidence at hand suggests that the CIA, far from being out of control, has been utterly responsive to the instructions of the President and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.”
The Pike Committee report was potentially dangerous for the Agency, but the committee’s own mistakes and a clever counteroffensive by CIA officials and the Ford administration succeeded in containing the damage. The Ford White House had formed a special ad hoc group to battle the investigating committees. These executive staffers worked with CIA consultant Mitchell Rogovin to orchestrate press and public opposition to more disclosures. ...
[T]he Pike Committee encountered another destructive controversy with the leak of its final report, President Ford had refused to allow the publication of the report, which was highly critical of the Agency, on the grounds that it damaged national security and endangered individual CIA agents. When the House voted to uphold the president, someone leaked the report to CBS’s Daniel Schorr, who arranged to have the report published by Clay Felker, publisher of the Village Voice. ...
In the end, the “year of intelligence” led to few real reforms. (Olmsted, 205-7)
The CIA as a clandestine presidential tool
Weiner and a consensus of experts say that the CIA has a flawed, even failed record. As cited above, the CIA has been a presidential tool for implementing illegal national security policy but the CIA has successfully resisted reform. Weiner summarized the CIA failures in the last paragraph of his book;
For sixty years tens of thousands of clandestine service officers have gathered only the barest threads of truly important intelligence-and that is the IA’s [Intelligence Agency’s] deepest secret. Their mission is extraordinarily hard. But we Americans still do not understand the people and the political forces we seek to contain and control.
The book, “Security Under Scrutiny” included a description of a few of the several attempts to reform the CIA;
Indeed, the end of the Cold War triggered calls form some influential circles for the end of the CIA altogether. New York Senator Daniel Moynihan led this charge. Moynihan argued that the Agency’s failure to predict the Soviet Union’s collapse demonstrated its inadequacy as a collector and analyst of intelligence. ... As early as 1991 Moynihan proposed folding its functions into the State Department. Then in 1995 ... , he sponsored the Abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency Act. His bill, however, gained few supporters.
Approaching its fortieth anniversary, the CIA was by then an entrenched institution. Its budget was no longer a high priority during the 1990s, but its abolition would be politically and bureaucratically more difficult than its establishment. (Theoharis, 63-4)
The pattern continued with the 2004 Abu Ghraib torture scandal.
The United States maintained that the U.S. government does not torture and that Abu Ghraib was about a few bad officers but evidence now proves that torture techniques were ordered by the executive branch and carried out by top military officers. This change in U.S. policy is contrary to international human rights treaties and has recently been incorporated into U.S. law. University of Wisconsin professor Alfred McCoy wrote the 2006 book, “A Question of Torture, CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.” See this page: http://mindjustice.org/wisdom.htm for McCoy’s documentation of the highly successful CIA ‘no touch’ torture program. The same pattern can be found in other areas that were considered critical to national security including CIA mind control experiments and human radiation experiments. Legal loopholes were not closed and national security experiments can continue with impunity. See this page: http://mindjustice.org/humprot2-06.htm. In a December 10, 2005 Guardian article, “The U.S. has Used Torture For Decades. All That’s New is the Openness About It,” by Naomi Klein, McCoy stated;
If you don’t understand the history and the depths of the institutional and public complicity, then you can’t begin to undertake meaningful reforms. Lawmakers will respond to pressure by eliminating one small piece of the torture apparatus: closing a prison, shutting down a programme, even demanding the resignation of a really bad apple like Rumsfeld. But he warns, they will preserve the prerogative to torture.
Experts agree that national security policy has been predominately presidential policy and Congress has shown significant deference to the executive branch if national security is invoked. The 1970s CIA mind control experiments, the 1990s radiation experiments and the 2004 torture scandal follow this pattern.
The process of how national security scandals become front page headlines is more complex than routine investigative news reporting. Kathryn Olmsted’s 1996 book, “Challenging the Secret Government, The Post-Watergate investigations of the CIA and FBI” described “what historians have called the ‘Cold War consensus’ in American political culture, the almost universal support for anticommunism .... The cloak of national security allowed CIA officials to escape public debate over their actions.” (Olmsted, 14) The Vietnam era of official government lies leading up to the Nixon resignation was a time of disillusionment and distrust of the government. The Cold War consensus of anticommunism began to crack in the 1970s and this provided an opportunity for reporters to scrutinize intelligence agencies more closely. Similarly, investigative reporters were able to expose the 2004 torture scandal in large part because of the tremendous distrust and unpopularity of the Bush administration.
As Theoharis, Olmsted, Welsome and Gup explained with much more documentation and detail than presented here, the news reporting and also congressional investigations of the CIA scandal and radiation experiments scandal were limited. The prevailing trend has been towards increased secrecy and continuing deference by congress to the executive branch on national security issues and a growing problem with oversight and accountability for national security programs. For example, the Abu Ghraib torture scandal revealed the CIA’s highly successful ‘no touch’ torture techniques, another classified Cold War secret that escaped government oversight and accountability for decades.
II. How investigative reporters uncover national security scandals
The 1970s CIA scandal
Washington Post Magazine article, “The Hersh Alternative” reporter Bob Thompson explained how Hersh was personally attacked for his reporting;
Hersh understood what they could do to him, too, and tried to take precautions. “I knew there was going to be a wild attack on the story,” he says, and he went so far as to contact Sen. Edmund Muskie with an offer to share his evidence in advance so the influential Maine Democrat could be prepared to respond when it came out. (Muskie declined.) He carefully confirmed his reporting with “another high government official,” who told him the CIA abuses were even worse than he knew, then watched the same official denounce his story on television the day it ran.
Given the lessons about illegal government activities and official lies that had been so painfully learned from Watergate and Vietnam, one might assume that the Washington press corps would have leaped to follow up Hersh’s scoop. But what happened was exactly the opposite. The story was widely derided as overblown and its author slammed for relying too heavily on anonymous sources, by The Washington Post, among others, whose editorialist seemed to have forgotten the paper’s own anonymously sourced Watergate stories. Columnists and CIA officials attacked Hersh personally. Little follow-up reporting was done, except by the Times. And a great fuss was made over a single adjectival choice that Hersh and his editors had made. ...
“What Sy is, he’s one of the shock troops,” Woodward explains, making a point not just about the domestic spying story, but about Hersh’s whole career. “He’s the one who goes in first.” And as such, “he is going to get bloodied.” ...
Investigations by the presidentially appointed Rockefeller Commission, the Senate’s Church committee and the House’s Pike committee, all of which were a direct result of Hersh’s story, would soon make public so much even dirtier CIA laundry as to render semantic quibbling moot.
By the spring of 1975, with the congressional investigations gearing up, the Ford administration was deeply worried about the damage, to America’s national security or simply to its image, depending on your point of view, that further revelations might produce. ...
So in late May, when the Times published a Hersh piece headlined “Submarines of U.S. Stage Spy Missions Inside Soviet Waters,” citing sources who thought the missions dangerously provocative and accident-prone, some in the administration tried to figure out how to muzzle the reporter who was causing them so much grief. Among them was Dick Cheney, then Ford’s deputy chief of staff.
“In two secret meetings in the White House,” writes historian Kathryn S. Olmsted in Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI, “Ford’s top aides considered several alternatives.” Cheney’s notes from a May 28 meeting show that the alternatives considered were:
- FBI investigation of NYT, Hersh +/or possible gov’t sources
- Grand Jury, seek immediate indictments of NYT + Hersh
- Search Warrant, to go after Hersh papers in his apt.
- Discuss informally w/ N.Y.T.
- Do nothing.”
The notes also contain a section labeled “Broader ramifications” that asks, “Can we take advantage of it to bolster our position on the Church committee investigation? To point out the need for limits on the scope of the investigations?” Fortunately for Hersh, option five was chosen.
Meanwhile, the historical implications of Hersh’s intelligence reporting were becoming increasingly clear. True, neither his work nor the subsequent congressional investigations would end the CIA’s covert action programs. And true, the committees would fail, in his view, even to assign the responsibility for agency abuses where it properly belonged. ... Still, when it came to the CIA, “the reality people think exists” was gone forever.
A 1980s national security scandal involving top secret U.S. plans for nuclear war
William Arkin is the author of the 2005 book “Code Names Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World.” Arkin also co-wrote the 1983 book, “SIOP, the Secret U.S. Plan for Nuclear War.” In a Democracy Now interview on Thursday January 25, 2005, Arkin explained how he used unclassified information to expose questionable government secrets in his 1983 book. He explained the threats and harassment that he received from the government;
Amy Goodman: We speak with military analyst, William Arkin, ... I began by asking him why he published the book.
William Arkin: Well, I’m in a position as a journalist and a military expert to collect alot of this information. I guess it has been a passion of mine to follow the secret and not-so-secret meanderings of the military over the years.
It seemed to me that there was an incredible explosion of secrecy after 9/11, and I guess I just felt compelled to do what it is that I was asking the government to do, which is to put it out there. I felt like if I had hoarded that information or kept it for my own use, then I would be no better than what I’m criticizing the government for doing. ...
So I have been doing this now for almost 30 years. I wrote a book in the 1980’s that revealed where all the nuclear weapons were around the world. The Reagan administration was not very happy about it and came down on me pretty hard. And
Amy Goodman: How?
William Arkin: Well, they threatened to throw me in jail. And it took many months of negotiations with the Reagan administration to convince them that I had not used any access to classified information in order to compile that book. That was the key that they would have used as the excuse to put me in jail. So it took many, many months to do that. It was quite a hairy time.
The 1990s radiation experiments scandal
Investigative reporter Eileen Welsome won the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the 1990s radiation experiments scandal. Welsome testified before a 1994 congressional hearing, “Radiation Testing on Humans” about the difficulties she encountered with the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in uncovering her story on eighteen Americans injected with plutonium between 1945 and 1947 in radiation experiments. Welsome found evidence of human experiments in archives and then matched the evidence up to the actual human subjects of the experiments. Her news accounts led to the public exposure of radiation experiments in the early 1990s.
In the 2007 book “Nation of Secrets, the Threat to Democracy and the American Way of Life,” Ted Gup described the radiation experiments and how Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Hazel O’Leary declassified government documents against the advice of most senior officials at the DOE. O’Leary was instrumental in uncovering the massive government program that was known by many insiders for decades. O’Leary was politically attacked as a result;
Roger Heusser [a young chemist with the Atomic Energy Commission working at Hanford, Washington in 1968 or 1969] remembers most clearly: his own tears streaming down his cheeks as he read a classified research report chronicling government projects involving experiments on humans. The government, his government, had injected plutonium and other radioactive materials into deathly ill patients and into prisoners to trace the effects of radiation on the human body. ...“I went to my boss and told him I was concerned about this research and he essentially said not to worry, it’s not being done at our site.” ... He ... kept his mouth shut, though others later spoke of the experiments quite freely. ... For officials in the know, it was a matter of “the less said, the better.”
A quarter century passed, ... One day he was called to a meeting in the conference room of the secretary of energy, Hazel O’Leary. “Who can tell me about the human experiments?” she asked. The problem had surfaced via a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Eileen Welsome, a reporter with the Albuquerque Tribune. ...
The secretary repeated the question twice. Still there was no response. Finally Heusser raised his hand. “Ma’am,” he began, “I’ve known about it for nearly thirty years.”... All the senior officials present argued against releasing materials on the experiments, warning that it would only fuel a widening scandal and wound the department’s reputation. O’Leary overruled them. ... The release of tens of thousands of human experimentation records was only a small part of what may be remembered as one of the greatest campaigns for openness in the annals of the U.S. government, a recognition that history would have precedent over image, that accountability, no matter how late in the coming would have its day. ...
Documents that showed ... that a staggering 800 separate human experiments had been conducted. By Heusser’s count, they involved some 16,000 human subjects over the course of 40 years. ... What the documents show time and again was how secrecy was invoked not to protect the nation’s security but to conceal nefarious activities from the eyes of the American citizens, to avoid controversy, public embarrassment, or ethical review. ...
There was evidence aplenty even before 9/11 that the days of openness that Energy Secretary O’Leary helped promote were numbered. ... On June 8, 1999, Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.) unleashed a vicious personal attack on O’Leary on the House floor, coming as close as one can to charging treason without uttering the word “traitor.” Even the late Joe McCarthy might have blanched. But the real target was openness itself. ... Rohrabacher ranted “... This is someone who has a fanatical anti-american attitude in a position to hand over to our worst enemies secrets that put our young people and our country in jeopardy. ...”
The occasion for Rohrabacher’s calculated outburst was an investigation into the case of Wen Ho Lee, ... scientist at Los Alamos weapons lab ... under suspicion of having helped the Chinese in their nuclear weapons program. ... Of course, none of O’Leary’s accusers apologized after it became obvious that there was no evidence that Wen Ho Lee had committed espionage, nor anything to substantiate their claims that anyone had benefited inappropriately from the release of DOE’s historical records.
The 2005 national security scandal of U.S. renditions and secret prisons
Stephen Grey is a New York Times investigative journalist and wrote the 2006 book “Ghost Plane, The True Story of the CIA Torture Program.” More than 1,000 prisoners worldwide were flown by the CIA in airplanes to torture centers in “Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Jordan, Afghanistan, and other places” where torture and interrogation for the war on terror took place. Similar to Hersh’s methods, Grey described how rumors and leaks of illegal government programs by government insiders such as CIA employees were substantiated with corroborating evidence. He explained why “the testimony of a real credible witness or some undeniable piece of physical evidence” is essential in exposing any national security scandal;
As I continued my reporting in Washington, I heard whispers that there was something much bigger going on: a system of clandestine prisons that involved the incarceration of thousands of prisoners, not just the few hundred in Cuba. While the president spoke of spreading liberty across the world, CIA insiders spoke of a return to the old days of working hand in glove with some of the most repressive secret police in the world, regimes like Egypt and Uzbekistan that also happened to be the toughest opponents of Islamic extremism.
Administration officials referred to the CIA programs as among the most top secret of activities. As a reporter without access to classified information, it was still unclear how it would be possible to penetrate this secret world to find out the truth behind these rumors. (Grey, 15-16)
Many journalists, of course, claimed frequently to know and write the truth about the CIA’s secrets, and some got pretty close. Some have written a plethora of “inside accounts.” There were detailed narratives such as Bob Woodward’s Bush at War that described covert operations in great detail. But accounts like these often provided only the illusion of access. The very references in these accounts to “secret” and “classified” documents often betrayed the fact that they had been fed certain choice tidbits of information that, whether officially or not, were cleared for release. How could I tell this story as a Washington outsider, how could I find out about such secret operations, without being manipulated or being used for a hidden agenda?
In reporting on the secret world of intelligence, the most important thing is to find out some hard facts. Rumors and conspiracy theories are easy to find. So are stories based on anonymous sources. And however wild the latest report may be, they rarely force a secret service like the CIA to respond to charges; they simply add to the agency’s mystique. The key thing for a covert operation is to maintain “deniability”; the ability of the government to deny all knowledge of the involvement of the United States. When a covert operation is ordered, there is a fair chance that its existence will eventually become public knowledge.
But the key thing is to be able to distance the United States, and particularly the president, from whatever had occurred. Extraordinary rendition, with its unsavory whiff of cruel torture, was exactly such a covert policy. It is okay for it to be public that a terrorist was sent from Albania to Egypt, and even that he was tortured. It is okay for anonymous sources to allege that the United States had arranged the whole thing. But it was definitively not okay for the CIA to have a proven role, and for the president to be implicated. This then was the challenge: to find a firm link between the rendition operations and the U.S. government. Only then could the agency and it’s masters begin to be held accountable.
To discover the truth of rendition, what I needed was the testimony of a real credible witness or some undeniable piece of physical evidence. As in all good detective stories, the clues were all out there. At this stage, I just hadn’t spotted them. (Grey, 109-110)
To bridge the communication gap between the public and TIs requires reliable information on the mind control issue. Most people don’t understand that an ordinary citizen who alleges illegal national security activities will not be able to obtain evidence to prove their claims under the current system of secrecy. Many of the investigative reporters and some of the top officials involved in exposing national security scandals experienced significant government harassment and few reporters are willing to take on this extra burden. Today, Congress has not been able to obtain basic information on neuroweapons research in GAO (Government Accountability Office) Reports or CRS (Congressional Research Service) Reports. And Congress is still not exerting its constitutional authority of basic accountability and oversight of executive branch national security activities. These are the serious issues underneath the conspiracy theory label.
For 2008, Mind Justice’s approach is to work on developing more evidence to show probable cause to investigate the mind control issue further. Mind Justice will work on hiring professional investigators to begin the process. Then it will require a top newspaper reporter or team such as Frontline, the New York Times or the Washington Post to develop and corroborate more evidence. As in past national security scandals, congressional hearings could then uncover the government documents and evidence. Given the growing numbers of international TIs, especially in Russia, India and Europe, a similar investigation of the mind control issue should begin on an international level.
Original Page: http://mindjustice.org/debateover.htm
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