Military Kool Aid Acid Tests

Military Kool Aid Acid Tests

MKULTRA

The current hit Netflix series Stranger Things may seem like another interesting fictional suggestion that there are secret government secret programs unleash terror upon peaceful law-abiding citizens, but MKULTRA was an actual program.

Army Kool Aid Acid Tests

Military Kool Aid Acid Tests

MKULTRA

When it came to drug experimentation, the Feds were no slouches. The CIA program had it’s secret and illegal MKULTRA program that went on from 1953 to 1964. It tested subjects at over 80 institutions, many of which were fronts funded by the government and filtered to schools, private hospitals and even a jails. (Army Acid Test).

It had existed under previous names such as Project Bluebird and Project Artichoke. One MKULTA’s goals was to develop a robot-like assassin, a real-life “Manchurian Candidate.”

On one level, the drug program hoped to achieve a simple drug protocol to effortlessly get Soviet spies to “spill their guts.” The means toward that end were typically illegal.

Director of Central Intelligence, Admiral Stansfield M. Turner, wrote a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence which that Committee released in 1977. In it Turner wrote that:

…the following types of activities were undertaken:

A. Possible additional cases of drugs being tested on American citizens, without their knowledge.

B. Research was undertaken on surreptitious methods of administering drugs.

C. Some of the persons chosen for experimentation were drug addicts or alcoholics.

D. Research into the development of a knockout or “K” drug was performed in conjunction with research being done to develop pain killers for advanced cancer patients, and tests on such patients were carried out.

E. There is a possibility of an improper payment to a private institution.

Military Kool Aid Acid Tests

Volunteers

When our government needs experimental subjects, an easy pool of “volunteers” would be, of course, our Armed services.

From the looks of things it was an unqualified success as long as the goal was for the soldiers to have some fun and ignore orders. Here is a US Army film of its 1963 experiment. One soldier, James Stanley, sued government afterward saying the drug caused his marriage to fail. In 1987 the Supreme Court ruled against him (Ruling Reopens Wound for Bitter Ex-soldier), but in 1991, Stanley finally succeeded. (U.S. Backs Payment for Soldier in LSD Tests)

Military Kool Aid Acid Tests

Fall in

The CIA destroyed most of the documents relating to the project in 1973.

November 27, 1964: the British did their own experiment as part of research into how the drug might affect military operations. From the Imperial War Museum’s description of the filmed summary: Introductory title places trial in context of recent research to discover chemical agents able to incapacitate enemy forces but with negligible risk of fatal casualties. … One Marine in state of distress is comforted by nurse, while others smile and laugh hysterically, one attempting to cut down a tree with his spade, and another climbing the tree. … After exercise Marines rest in bed in Porton ward … One very distressed Marine is held by duffel coated doctor and scientist, muttering “I am not going to die.”  

Military Kool Aid Acid Tests

Ironic Acid Tests

Military Kool Aid Acid Tests

November 27, 1965: Ken Kesey began his acid tests. Not documented as such, it may have included the first performance by The Grateful Dead, known as The Warlocks. Held in Soquel, it was a small semi-public event advertised only at the local Hip Pocket underground bookstore.

Military Kool Aid Acid Tests
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Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving
L-R: PFC Victor R. Sheets; SP4 Jim L. Barstad; and SP4 Clint R. Bath of D Co., 12th Inf Regt., 3rd Bde, 4th Inf Div, enjoy their Thanksgiving Day dinner at LZ St. George. 27 November 69.
Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

Long road into American consciousness

An American military presence in Vietnam began in 1950 under President Truman.

Four days after the assassination of President Kennedy, on Tuesday 26 November 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s new administration reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the Republic of Vietnam.

The American public’s conception of the war did not began in  August 1964 when naval attacks by the North Vietnamese was reported and on August 7 the U.S. congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Johnson the power to take whatever actions he saw necessary to defend southeast Asia.

Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

Fog of War

In 2003, the documentary “Fog of War” was released. In it, President Johnson’s Secretary of Defense admitted that there was no actual second attack.

Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

Increased troops/casualties

In any case, as you can see, following the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the American presence in Vietnam, and the resulting casualties, increased dramatically.

1960 Nov 24 900 American troops 5 Americans died
1961 Nov 23 3205 American troops 16  Americans died
1962 Nov 22 11,300 American troops 53  Americans died
1963 Nov 19 16,300 American troops 122  Americans died
1964 Nov 26 23,300 American troops 216  Americans died
1965 Nov 25 184,300 American troops 1,928  Americans died
1966 Nov 24 385,300 American troops 6,350  Americans died
1967 Nov 23 485,600 American troops 11,363  Americans died
1968 Nov 28 536,100 American troops 16,899  Americans died
1969 Nov 27 475,200 American troops 11,780  Americans died
Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

From live turkeys dropped in 1962…

…to fasting in protest in 1969

Thanksgiving in the Vietnam War 1962…live turkeys airdropped. [Thanksgiving and Vietnam 1962]

Thanksgiving in the Vietnam War 1965…from President Johnson to the armed services: Today Americans of all faiths gather in their homes and places of worship and give thanks for the blessings of our great land. [Thanksgiving and Vietnam, 1965]

Thanksgiving in the Vietnam War 1966… Most American servicemen in Vietnam will haveThanksgiving dinners tomorrow starting off with shrimp cocktail and going on through turkey and giblet gravy…. [Thanksgiving and Vietnam, 1966]

Thanksgiving in the Vietnam War 1967…Thanksgiving Day church services in the nation… [Thanksgiving and Vietnam, 1967]

Thanksgiving in the Vietnam War 1968…Some 500,000 pounds of turkey are on the way to mess halls and tents throughout South Vietnam… [Thanksgiving and Vietnam, 1968]

Thanksgiving in the Vietnam War 1969… More than a hundred G.I.’s serving in a field evacuation hospital here boycotted Thanksgiving dinner today…  [Thanksgiving and Vietnam, 1969] [see also]

Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

 

Alice’s Restaurant

Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving 1965, Friday 26 November, Great Barrington police arrested Arlo Guthrie for littering in the nearby town of Stockbridge, MA. The resulting adventure would be immortalized in his song “Alice’s Restaurant,” one of the most influential protest songs of that era.

Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

John Lennon

Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving

By the mid-60s’ Beatlemania was gone, but individual Beatles still had an impact.

On November 26, 1969,  the day before the American Thanksgiving celebration, John Lennon returned his MBE to the Queen as an act of protest against the Vietnam war.

Your Majesty,

I am returning my Member of the British Empire as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.

With love. John Lennon of Bag

Good Morning Vietnam Happy Thanksgiving
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CBS News Harvests Shame

CBS News Harvests Shame

On November 25, 1960, CBS TV broadcast “The Harvest of Shame.”

Millions have come to the United States in search of the American Dream. Some got here and stayed; some got here and went back. Some of those who stayed found the whole Dream; others found a nightmare.

During the Great Depression, John Steinbeck wrote, The Grapes of Wrath, a story about an American family forced off their farm by large business. They tried to find a living again by driving to California. It doesn’t turn out well. A harvest of shame.

CBS News Harvests Shame
Farm in South Dakota after dust storm.
CBS News Harvests Shame

Woody

In 1940, Woody Guthrie a song of that story. The story of a harvest of shame.

CBS News Harvests Shame

 César Chávez

In 1942, American-born César Chávez was forced to leave school, after completing the eighth grade, in order to help support the family. He did that by picking crops. In  August of that same year, with a shortage of workers due to the US entry into World War II, the US and Mexico made a series of laws and agreements, known as the Bracero Program (“strong arm” in Spanish), for the importation of temporary contract laborers from Mexico to the United States.  Between 1946 and 1948, Chávez was in the Navy. At the time Mexican-Americans could only work as deckhands or painters.

CBS News Harvests Shame

“Plane Wreck At Los Gatos”

In 1948, Guthrie again wrote about farm workers. This time  the words were to the song, “Deportees” or “Plane Wreck At Los Gatos” in response to an airplane crash which resulted in the deaths of 32 people: 4 Americans and 28 migrant farm workers who were being deported to Mexico from California.  That the news media reference to the workers as simply deportees, never mentioning their names, outraged Guthrie. The Mexican victims were placed in a mass grave at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno, California. There were 27 men and one woman. Only 12 of the victims were ever identified. Another harvest of shame.

CBS News Harvests Shame

Bracero Program

The Bracero Program continued after the war and in the 1950s Chávez and Dolores Huerta attempted to organize the migrant workers. Organize those whose lives reflected a harvest of shame. (see National Farm Workers Association)

Chávez and Huerta’s story becomes another thread in the fabric that made up the cultural revolution of the 1960s–and beyond.

CBS News Harvests Shame

Edward R Morrow

But on that November 25, 1960, people watched Edward R Morrow stand in an American field and describe the lives of others that Americans thought only happened somewhere else. Not the United States. Appropriately, it was the day after Thanksgiving.

CBS News Harvests Shame
From the NYT: “THE shocking degradation and exploitation of millions of human beings who pick the fruits and vegetables that are served on America’s richly laden dinner table were shown last night on “C.B.S. Reports” over Channel 2.”

Morrow said, “This is not taking place in the Congo. It has nothing to do with Johnannesburg or Cape Town. It is not Nyasaland or Nigeria. This is Florida. These are citizens of the United States, 1960. This is a shape-up for migrant workers. The hawkers are chanting the going piece rate at the various fields. This is the way the humans who harvest the food for the best-fed people in the world get hired. One farmer looked at this and said, ‘We used to own our slaves. Now we just rent them.’ ” The hour-long telecast, shocking to many viewers, immediately leads to a greater public and political awareness of the workers’ lives.

CBS News Harvests Shame

Legacy

The story, of course, continues in its many horrible racist and xenophobic hues. It is a headline everyday and sometimes the news media actually points out that fact. Sometimes artists have to remind us of the plight of the American Nightmare. (and jeez, can Tom Morello play the guitar?)

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