US court dismisses lawsuit against CIA over scientist’s death

CIA headquartersBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | |
A United States federal court has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Central Intelligence Agency over an alleged murder of an American Department of Defense scientist, which occurred in 1953. The lawsuit concerned the case of Dr. Frank Olson, a specialist in biological warfare working for the US Pentagon at Fort Detrick, Maryland. It appears that Olson, who studied the effects of toxic substances on the brain, participated —knowingly or unknowingly— in Project MKNAOMI/ MKULTRA. The project was a joint effort by the CIA and the US military to study the effects of substances such as heroin and LSD on the human brain. On November 28, 1953, Dr. Olson fell to his death from the window of his room on the 13th floor of New York City’s Statler Hotel. In an internal report that was declassified in 1975, the US government admitted that Dr. Olson had been assigned the task of military-scientific liaison with the CIA’s Technical Services Staff —the unit in charge of MKULTRA. Moreover, the report disclosed that the late scientist had been administered LSD by his CIA colleagues without his knowledge nine days prior to his sudden death. Ever since the report was aired, Dr. Olson’s family has maintained that the scientist did not voluntarily plunge from his hotel window on November 28, 1953. Rather, they claim, he was pushed to his death by CIA personnel, after he raised strong objections against the testing of chemical and biological substances on non-consenting human subjects by the Agency’s Technical Services Staff. But US District Judge James Boasberg ruled that, although the CIA had yet to come clean on the controversial history of MKULTRA, the lawsuit by Dr. Olson’s family had been “filed too late”; he added in his ruling that an earlier settlement between the dead scientist’s family and the US government effectively barred the possibility of a new lawsuit. Judge Boasberg was referring to a 1976 court case in which every member of the Olson family was given nearly $200,000 as part of a settlement with the US government. In 2011, a federal court dismissed another MKULTRA-related lawsuit against the CIA. That case had been brought before the court by the Vietnam Veterans of America, who alleged that some of its members had been subjected to chemical, biological and mind control experiments from 1953 until 1976. According to the presiding judge, the organization could not sue the CIA because it was unable to prove its members had taken “secrecy oaths” administered by the Agency under the experimentation program.

3 Responses to US court dismisses lawsuit against CIA over scientist’s death

  1. Pete says:

    This issue is one of the major “CIA is the devil” mantras – all necessary for the “two minutes hate” the CIA *

    I don’t think the CIA will mind that the NSA is becoming the new “devil” – thanks to ES.


  2. TFH says:

    Yeah, these scientists keep dying. I recollect one at the heart of the investigation to where those antrax mails came from, that had immigrated from Iceland but was then found under a bridge in the aftermath. Where did those mails come from anyway, was the investigation stopped?

  3. TFH says:

    Is it incredible that intel services monitor news outlets and try to influence the same, with any technology available?

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