[The following is reposted from INVICTUS Blog (HERE) which reposted it from a Firedoglake Book Salon. It was the introductory essay introducing author H.P. Albarelli and his book, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments. One can still read the chat from the 1/23/10 FDL Book Salon by clicking here.]
The book contains among others, revelations about "the LSD dosing of an entire small French town, Pont-St.-Esprit, in August 1951. Four people died, and hundreds were afflicted."
"As the book's title suggests, Olson's death was intricately tied up with the history of U.S. interrogation, torture, and mind control experiments. Many readers are no doubt familiar with the acronym MKULTRA. This CIA program, and others like it - Project Bluebird, Operation Artichoke, MKNAOMI, MKSEARCH, among others - were launched in part in reaction to fears within the government that communist countries were outstripping the West in their ability to manipulate prisoners' minds, and even create, via hypnosis and drugs, Manchurian Candidate assassins. Hysteria over "brainwashing" was later discovered to be whipped up by CIA-linked journalists.
The CIA worked closely with academic and military researchers, including many doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists. The scientists' results were later operationalized in the CIA's 1960s KUBARK and other interrogation manuals."
"One of the many revelations in this well-researched and documented book, and a key element in the Olson murder mystery, is the LSD dosing of an entire small French town, Pont-St.-Esprit, in August 1951. Four people died, and hundreds were afflicted. It may have been an incautious slip regarding the Pont-St.-Esprit episode that constituted what Frank Olson explained to his wife before his death was "a terrible mistake."
From the book (p. 690):
According to Albert and Neal [two CIA informants], several weeks before the meeting at Deep Creek Lake, Frank Olson had "broken security" and talked about the French experiment on at least two occasions. He had been specifically cautioned by [CIA agent] Vincent Ruwet and [Ft. Detrick Special Operations Division chief] John Schwab about the "high level of security and sensitivity involving the experiment"....
The question was posed to the two sources: "Was this, the incident in France at Pont-St.-Esprit, the 'un-American activity' referred to in the papers given to the Olsons by [CIA Director] William Colby?"
FULL ARTICLE HERE: