The CIA, Wormwood, and Gall: The Facts, the Accusations & the Cover-up

In this special episode, China Watch tells the story that Errol Morris missed in his acclaimed documentary Wormwood.

The film has focused attention on the mysteries surrounding the death of government scientist Frank Olson.  Olson fell 13 stories to his death from a New York hotel window in 1953.  He died after—but possibly not because—he was dosed with LSD by the CIA.  Why Frank Olson died—and maybe why he had to die—leads us to one of the most persistent controversies of Cold War America.

Did the US use biological weapons during the Korean War?  The US government says No.  Frank Olson apparently thought otherwise.

This week, in a special edition of China Watch, Wormwood and Gall, I look at the story: the facts, the accusations, and the cover-up. And, in a China Watch exclusive, I point to indications of another terrible crime, one that might provide the key to the death of Frank Olson.

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Show notes

Dirty Little Secrets

Charles Bailey, Ph. D.

Code Name: Artichoke transcript

The True Story of Brainwashing and How It Shaped America

Cries from the Past: Torture’s Ugly Echoes

General MacArthur’s Conspiracy to Start a War with China! New Documentary Release & Interview! For purchase at Newsbud Store or for Purchase or View via Amazon or Vimeo

The Korean War was a desperate and dubious battle in which the US was ready to try anything and everything to overcome its strategic and tactical disadvantages.  Biological weapons, nuclear weapons…and Douglas MacArthur’s plans for a strategic breakout via escalation of the Korean conflict to a regional war.  Everything was on the table.

Douglas MacArthur made the first US attempt to parlay a Korean crisis into an existential confrontation with the People’s Republic of China.  With the US milsec establishment, his ideas are more popular—and dangerous—than ever.  My documentary uses first hand testimony and declassified archives to finally reveal the truth behind this long-suppressed event.

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  1. John Hesse-Moline says:

    Not surprising that Errol Morris would “miss” the most interesting point of this story, after making love-letter documentaries on war criminals MacNamara and Rumsfeld.

  2. David Creighton says:

    Is it possible to disband the CIA entirely?
    Is it possible to get rid of the ability to hide behind “National Security”?
    Is an agency that does not obey the Executive so the Executive has “plausible deniability” even Constitutional?
    If not, can we make it Unconstitutional?

  3. spiro skouras says:

    Great job Peter and Broc! You guys make me proud to be apart of Newsbud

  4. CuChulainn says:

    a list of scientists who died for having a conscience: Frank Olson, David Kelly, Matthew Puncher (?), others?

  5. This was an outstanding presentation! Like Spiro said, with work like this, I’m definitely proud to support Newsbud. Excellent work Peter and indeed Broc, one of the unsung heroes behind the scenes who I too often forget to praise. The video editing you do on a regular basis is truly first rate and rivals anything you might expect to see from a big budget production team.

    That said, some pretty chilling subject matter. The United States likes to wag our finger at the rest of the world and feign the moral high ground, talking about how terrible and ruthless this or that regime or terrorist group is, while agencies like the CIA operate inside a moral vacuum which will just as casually roll the carpet on one of their own whos conscience, not even their loyalty, becomes their biggest liability.

    I don’t doubt that the majority of those who start in agencies like the FBI and the CIA enter with altruistic ideals and a sense of patriotism, but at what point do you begin to look at the actions of your higher ups while they’re clearcutting the forest in the name of conservation and force yourself to ask the question whether or not, in working in an environment which prides itself in carrying out its daily operations under the mantra of ecology, you’ve become lost in the woods on a mission which perpetuates itself on a culture that opts to disregard, even hold in contempt, the line between the forest and the trees.

  6. Years before the 1959 film The Manchurian Candidate was released, which gave
    a fictional depiction of the process of mind control among U.S. POW’s during the
    Korean Conflict, the nature of mind control via hypnosis and drugs was already
    being explored in the literary imaginings of Sax Rohmer, author of the Fu Manchu
    series. In one such book published in 1936, President Fu Manchu the Chinese vil-
    lain, attempts to influence the U.S. Presidential election. As part of the plot, a gang-
    ster’s bodyguard is drugged and hypnotized into committing murder at a given sig-
    nal. The scene describes a fictional mind control procedure which is not too far
    away from what the CIA attempted with MK-ULTRA, demonstrating the possibility
    that the Chinese Illuminati had this kind of knowledge a long time before the CIA:

    The snaky yellow fingers of Dr. Fu Manchu held a needle syringe. He made a quick
    injection and studied the motionless man before him. Then, with a delicate atom-
    izer, Dr. Fu Manchu shot sprays up the left and right nostrils of the unconscious vic-

    Ten seconds later Herman Grosset sat suddenly upright, staring wildly ahead. His
    gaze was caught and helped by green compelling eyes only inches from his own.

    “You understand”—the strange voice spoke slowly: “The word of command is
    ‘Asia!’” “I understand” Grosset replied.

    “The word,” Dr. Fu Manchu intoned hypnotically, “is ‘Asia.’”

    “Asia,” Grosset echoed.

    “Until you hear that word,”—the voice seemed to come from the depths of a green
    lake—“forget, forget all that you have to do.”

    “I have forgotten.”

    “But when you hear the word?”

    “I shall kill!”

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