The mysterious collapse of Australia's Nugan Hand bank (SLYT) has long been a favorite subject of the espionage mythos, with its chairman's suicide, the disappearance of its former CIA co-founder Michael Hand, the bank's ties to the CIA, apparent drug money laundering... basically, talk of ties to every CIA conspiracy theory of the last 30 years... the stuff of legends. Except, of course, that Michael Hand has been found by Australia's 60 Minutes, living in Idaho Falls, where he runs a business manufacturing combat knives for the special OPs crowd. Here is the full 60 Minutes report.
Operation Delirium. "The military’s secret Cold War experiment to fight enemies with clouds of psychochemicals. Decades after a risky Cold War experiment, a scientist lives with secrets." [Via]
In December 1974, New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh's front-page account (paywall) of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program documented their illegal domestic intelligence operations against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States. The article eventually prompted investigations by the Rockefeller Commission and the Church and Pike committees. "There have been other reports on the CIA's doping of civilians, but they have mostly dished about activities in New York City. Accounts of what actually occurred in San Francisco have been sparse and sporadic. But newly declassified CIA records, recent interviews, and a personal diary of [George H. White,] an operative at Stanford Special Collections shed more light on the breadth of the San Francisco operation." SF Weekly: "Operation Midnight Climax: How the CIA doped San Francisco citizens with LSD." MK-ULTRA: Previously on Metafilter. (Via)
The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that military scientists tested hundreds of chemical and biological substances on them, including VX, tabun, soman, sarin, cyanide, LSD, PCP, and World War I-era blister agents like phosgene and mustard. The full scope of the tests, however, may never be known. As a CIA official explained to the GAO, referring to the agency's infamous MKULTRA mind-control experiments, "The names of those involved in the tests are not available because names were not recorded or the records were subsequently destroyed." Besides, said the official, some of the tests involving LSD and other psychochemical drugs "were administered to an undetermined number of people without their knowledge."
American Drug War - The Last White Hope (in case you missed it on Showtime) Includes footage of and interviews with gang members, narcs, prisoners (like Tommy Chong), and other folks on the front lines of the drug war including Freeway Ricky Ross (infamous for starting the crack epidemic) and DEA Agent Celerino Castillo who both wound up working for the CIA. [more inside]
The lavishly-furnished custom Boeing 727 figures in the current tempest over his relationship with female lobbyist Vicki Iseman who provided and flew with McCain on the plane. Lots of colorful background in this investigative report by Daniel Hopsicker, the best muckraker since Gary Webb [more inside]