Monday, July 14, 2008

In case you haven't heard

It turns out that the CIA project to research “mind control” you may have heard about isn’t an urban legend, a hoax or a rumor-- they actually did do a lot of work trying to figure out how to control people's minds with drugs. I can't remember where exactly, but I read recently in at least one place (seems like it was more though) "Oh, those silly rumors about the CIA MK ULTRA project, which we all know is just an urban legend..." or some words to that effect. Since I read a lot of political blogs, could be some conservative moron-- who feels it's his mission in life to make every kind of cop, Western empire, unscrupulous person, etc., that ever existed look as good as possible-- was just trying to make people out there think it was a bunch of poop it they ever happen to hear the name of the op in conversation, or glance it in a piece of writing.

You used to (prior to 9/11) hear a lot of nasty things about the CIA. Since 9/11, they've got a considerable whitewashing (by which I mean the media refuses to say a single bad thing about them, except the leaking of some evidence that a couple of people died during interrogations they conducted-- everything else they do is portrayed from a shallow & uncritical "you can see the arguments on both sides" perspective).

But anyway, this old project fits the old image of the CIA you used to hear about (probably more truly reflecting them), that they're a bunch of jerkwad hacks. For MK ULTRA, they secured a bunch of money they had zero accountability for, and they conducted a bunch of totally unscientific field experiments on often unwilling and unknowing subjects, including plenty of American civilians (these were not intelligence targets, just random schmoes the CIA decided to mess around with since they were big and bad CIA agents and the people were just regular old innocent U.S. citizens). The results of their ridiculous caper (besides killing some people and permanently ruining some people’s lives) were finding out the drugs they investigated (mostly LSD) wouldn’t make people controllable the way the CIA was looking for.

There is a bunch of substantiation at the Wikipedia page, including citations to Senate-floor remarks from Sen. Ted Kennedy and a Supreme Court opinion related to the program:

Despite the totally legitimate documentation of this, it still seems kept quiet. When was the last time you saw the words "MK ULTRA" in a mainstream source? The documentation is out there, but TV, the newspapers, and Hollywood don't want to talk about it. Which isn't good, since a bunch of idiots shouldn't be, you know, left to their own devices to do things like this to people. Maybe if people had mentioned MK ULTRA a little more during this whole so-called "War on Terror" thing, people would have realized "Oh, these CIA jerks are just a bunch of used-car salesmen and deluded assholes" and wouldn't have depended on praise from President Bush, the fiction TV show 24, and appearances on TV news programming by "ex-"CIA agents for their low-down on the CIA.

If the documentation was well-known, people should have been saying "MK ULTRA" non-stop during all this bidness about the interrogations and Abu Ghraib and whatnot. I assume it is well-known to a few people, but those people don't seem to have done a good job of explaining what it is in newspapers, TV shows, the blogs, etc., besides perhaps just mentioning the name and omitting the important details.

It seems like everyone got so scared after 9/11, even a lot of liberals forgot to mention that the CIA are a bunch of jackoffs and started eating up the line that the CIA are a bunch of expert, nice, bipartisan guys out to help us all. As too often turns out to be the case with intelligence agencies, it seems they've become more like the goons that lawmakers think we can't get rid of, or are too afraid to try. Really, what's your remedy against the CIA? Sub-departments or even the whole agency could be amassing all sorts of power and we wouldn't know it, and maybe the Senate and the President wouldn't even know it. They could be intensely ideological and we wouldn't know it.