Cheney, Rumsfeld Help Coverup CIA Scientist's Murder
Gordon Thomas - Globe-Intel 23 August,
The following report may be more than a year
old, and and refer to an event fifty years ago, but it throws interesting
new light current affairs. Largely ignored by the mainstream media, what
follows explores the murky past of two key members of the Bush
administration, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Ed.
Secret documents have
revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld are "linked to the murder" of a former senior CIA scientist.
In 1953 Frank Olson, who was a key member of the CIAs secret
brainwashing programme MK-ULTRA, was sent plunging from a New York hotel
He had threatened to reveal the CIA involvement in
"terminal experiments" in post-war Germany and in Korea during the Korean
For almost half a century his son, Eric, a psychologist, has
insisted his father was murdered "on orders from the highest level".
Now a California history professor, Kathryn Olmstead, revealed she
had discovered at the Gerald Ford library documents written by Cheney and
Rumsfeld at the time of Frank Olson's death.
They show how far the
White House went to conceal information about Olson's death - and his role
in preparing anthrax and other biological weapons. Part of his work had
been at Britain's Porton Down Chemical-Bio Research Centre.
and Rumsfeld were given the task of covering up the details of Frank
Olson's death. At the time, Rumsfeld was White House Chief of Staff to
President Gerald Ford. Dick Cheney was a senior White House assistant.
The documents uncovered by Professor Olmstead include one that
states "Dr Olson's job was so sensitive that it is highly unlikely that we
would submit relevant evidence".
In another memo, Cheney
acknowledges that "the Olson lawyers will seek to explore all the
circumstances of Dr Olson's employment, as well as those concerning his
death. In any trial, it may become apparent that we are concealing
evidence for national security reasons and any settlement or judgement
reached thereafter could be perceived as money paid to cover up the
activities of the CIA".
Frank Olson's family received US $750,000
to settle their claims against the US government.
Olmstead's revelations will almost certainly bring further embarrassment
to Rumsfeld and Cheney as the persistent fallout from the FBIs
investigation into the anthrax mailings last year, which lead to five
deaths in America, continues to escalate.
Both the offices of
Rumsfeld and Cheney have declined comment on their role in the murder of
But from his home outside Washington, Eric Olson said
that the documents involving Rumsfeld and Cheney show they "have questions
He added: "The documents show the lengths to which the
government was trying to cover up the truth. For decades there was a cover
up. And then, under the guise of revealing everything, there was a new
But a CIA spokesman, Paul Nowack, insisted that the CIA
had "fully cooperated in allowing the full truth to surface. Tens of
thousands of documents were released".
Eric Olson has contended
that his father was murdered to cover up his ultra-secret research in
Korea and later in Europe and Britain.
"My father was among
scientists studying the use of LSD and other drugs to enhance
interrogations, as Cold War tensions ran high, and Americans feared that
captured soldiers had been brainwashed in Korea. My father had gone to
Europe, where he observed the interrogation of former Nazis and Soviet
citizens at a secret US base", said Eric Olson.
He contends that
in the final days of his life, his father became "morally distraught" over
his work and decided to quit. Records show that CIA officials were
concerned that he was a security risk. Eric Olson believes that the
thought of Frank Olson quitting was a motive for the government to want
"In 1993, Eric Olson arranged for his father's body to
be unearthed and examined by a forensic scientist, James Starrs. Starrs
concluded that Frank Olson had probably been struck on the head and then
thrown out of the hotel window," writes Frederick Tulsky in the Mercury
Starrs' conclusion is one of the tantalizing pieces that
Eric Olson has gathered to support his belief that his father was
In late November 1953, Frank Olson, then 43, joined a
group of government officials at a conference at Deep Creek Lodge in
western Maryland. For days afterward, Olson was withdrawn. His son, Eric,
says his father told his wife that he intended to quit his job.
But Frank Olson did not quit. And on November 23 he went to New
York with another government official, where he twice visited Harold A
Abramson, a doctor who was one of the first researchers to study the
effects of LSD.
Olson returned to Washington, then went back to
New York on November 28 and checked into the Statler Hotel. He was
scheduled to enter a sanitarium the next day.
But early in the
morning of November 29, Frank Olson went through the window of the hotel
room he was sharing with a colleague, Robert Lashbrook. Lashbrook told
police that he was awakened by the sound of breaking glass.
Olson family knew little else. But in 1975, a commission headed by Vice
President Nelson Rockefeller issued a report on CIA abuses, and an account
in the Washington Post included a mention of an Army scientist who jumped
from a New York hotel room days after being slipped LSD in 1953," writes
"We realized they were talking about my father,'' Eric
Olson recalled. Family members talked to reporters about their outrage and
said they would sue the government. Days later, the family was invited to
the White House to meet President Ford. He assured them that they would be
given all information about what happened to Frank Olson.
after, family members were invited to lunch with CIA Director William
Colby, who gave them a file of documents that amounted to the CIA
investigation into Olson's death. But the documents left many questions
unanswered about both his work and the circumstances of his death.
"The express understanding was that the government had promised to
give us all information, which clearly meant information about his work
relationship with the CIA,'' the Olsons' attorney, David Rudovsky of
Philadelphia, said this week. "It now appears that was not the case.''
Over the years Eric Olson turned up many clues, real or
coincidental. There was, for example, the assassination manual that the
CIA declassified in connection with its Guatemala activities. The manual,
created in the early 1950s, identified "the contrived accident'' as "the
most effective technique'' of secret assassination.
efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet or more
onto a hard surface,'' the manual stated. "It was exactly what happened to
my father," said Eric Olson.
Courtesy Malcolm and Indy
Last updated 15/10/2003