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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/11/17

War Stories

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Following World War II, two American colonels, after midnight, on August 11, 1945, pulled out a National Geographic map and picked a place as far north as they thought they could get away with. They chose the thirty-eighth parallel of latitude. They drew a line. They thereby doubled the number of Koreas in the world. The North stopped receiving food from the South, and the South stopped receiving electricity from the North. The North got a leader chosen by the Soviet Union, and the South got one chosen by and imported from Washington, D.C. What could go wrong?


Robert Jackson, Chief U.S. Prosecutor at the trials of Nazis for war and related crimes held in Nuremberg, Germany, following World War II, set a standard for the world: "If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us." Among the trials held in Nuremberg was one of Nazi doctors accused of human experimentation and mass murder. This trial lasted from December 9, 1946, to August 20, 1947. An important witness provided by the American Medical Association was Dr. Andrew C. Ivy. He explained that Nazi doctors' actions "were crimes because they were performed on prisoners without their consent and in complete disregard for their human rights. They were not conducted so as to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering." In the April 27, 1947, New York Times, that newspaper's science editor Waldemar Kaempffert wrote that human experiments with syphilis would be valuable but "ethically impossible." Dr. John C. Cutler read the short article. He was at the time engaged in giving syphilis to unsuspecting victims in Guatemala. He was doing this with the funding, knowledge, and support of his superiors at the U.S. Public Health Service. He called the Times article to the attention of Dr. John F. Mahoney, his director at the Venereal Diseases Research Laboratory (VDRL) of the Public Health Service. Cutler wrote to Mahoney that in light of the Times article, Cutler's work in Guatemala should be guarded with increased secrecy. Cutler had gone to Guatemala because he believed it was a place where he could get away with intentionally infecting people with syphilis in order to experiment with possible cures and placebos. He did not believe he could get away with such actions in the United States. In February 1947, Cutler had begun infecting female prostitutes with syphilis and using them to infect numerous men. In April he began infecting men directly. The motivation was to find better ways to cure syphilis in members of the U.S. military, which clearly was not considering ending its operations simply because the war had ended and the United Nations been established. Many U.S. doctors at this time considered the Nuremberg Code that came out of the Nazi trials to be "a good code for barbarians." Many went right on human experimenting for decades.


On August 16, 1951, the quiet village of Pont Saint Esprit on the Rhone River in Southern France began to lose its mind. People were hit with insanity, delirium, hallucinations, and horror. A man screamed that his belly was being eaten by snakes. He tried to drown himself. Another yelled "I am a plane!" He jumped from a second-floor window and broke both of his legs. Nonetheless, he got up and continued to roam around ranting. One man said that his heart had escaped through his feet. Hundreds of people were affected, dozens taken to an asylum in straight jackets. Five people died. Decades later, a researcher found U.S. government documents confirming that the CIA had put LSD into the local food as an experiment. Probably the easiest way to hear an apology for the incident from the CIA would be to try some LSD.


Mohammad Mossadegh, the popular, democratically elected president of Iran, visited the United States and the United Nations in 1951. He posed with the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. He was the Time magazine person of the year in 1952. Many respected him, even if begrudgingly. Others truly liked and admired him. But he believed that Iran should profit from its oil, rather than a British corporation grow rich at Iranians' expense. This proved unacceptable. The British recruited the CIA, with President Dwight Eisenhower's approval, to overthrow Mossadegh in 1953. The operation was led by Teddy Roosevelt's grandson, Kermit Roosevelt Jr. The United States replaced Mossadegh with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the former Shah of Iran, who ruled as a brutal dictator but a good weapons customer until 1979, when he was tossed out by an Iranian revolution. Fearing another U.S. action, Iranians took over the U.S. embassy from which the 1953 coup had been launched. The revolutionaries held U.S. embassy employees as hostages. U.S. Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan made a deal with the Iranians not to release the hostages while Jimmy Carter was president. They were released the day Reagan was inaugurated. Iran's was one of at least 36 governments that the United States has overthrown since World War II, during which time the United States has attempted to assassinate over 50 leaders and dropped bombs on over 30 countries. The blowback from the Iranian coup -- that is to say, the undesirable results in the years that have followed, results that appear spontaneous and irrational to uninformed observers -- has been fairly typical of all such operations.


During and after the Korean War of 1950 - 1953, the United States had a problem for which the solution was brainwashing -- not actual brainwashing, but the creation and popularization of the concept of brainwashing. It became very useful to spread about the idea that the Chinese were capable of things that the CIA only dreamed of and desperately searched for, such as the creation of Manchurian candidates, human beings programed like machines. In particular, it became necessary to convince people that the Chinese could erase someone's mind and replace it with a bunch of made-up stories that would be sincerely believed. This feat, which is not actually possible in the real world, was called brainwashing. But why was it needed? Well, U.S. troops who had been held as prisoners during the war, had said some pretty terrible things about the crimes they had been engaged in. And now they were free and back home and refusing to recant their testimony. During the Korean War, the United States bombed virtually all of North Korea and a good bit of the South, killing millions of people. It dropped massive quantities of Napalm. It bombed dams, bridges, villages, houses. This was all-out mass-slaughter. But there was something the U.S. government didn't want known, something deemed unethical in this genocidal madness. We now know that the United States dropped on China and North Korea insects and feathers carrying anthrax, cholera, encephalitis, and bubonic plague. This was supposed to be a secret at the time, and the Chinese response of mass vaccinations and insect eradication probably contributed to the project's general failure (hundreds were killed, but not millions). But members of the U.S. military taken prisoner by the Chinese confessed to what they had been a part of, and confessed publicly when they got back to the United States. It was quickly discovered, to everyone's great relief, that these poor souls were victims of brainwashing.


Right up through the Korean War, the United States celebrated Armistice Day. Then Congress turned Armistice Day into Veterans Day. A day for peace became a day on which Veterans For Peace groups are often excluded from war-promoting Veterans Day parades. Not just the day changed. Veterans were changed into props for the marketing of wars, and of a permanent state of war, sold to the public as if it were all for the benefit of the young people sent off to acquire PTSD, brain injury, moral injury, and sometimes amputations and other visible hints at what's inside.


Less than 2 miles off the east end of Long Island sits Plum Island, where the U.S. government has worked with biological weapons, including weapons consisting of diseased insects that can be dropped from airplanes on a (presumably foreign) population. One such insect is the deer tick. Deer swim to Plum Island. Birds fly to Plum Island. In July of 1975, a disease nobody had seen in the United States before, appeared in Old Lyme, Connecticut, just north of Plum Island. Plum Island experimented with the Lone Star tick, whose habitat at the time was confined to Texas. Yet the Lone Star tick showed up in New York and Connecticut, infecting people with Lyme disease -- and killing them. The Lone Star tick is now endemic in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. This disease spread fast. Its source was a mystery, and in U.S. journalism it is treated as such to this day. But Plum Island held a germ warfare laboratory to which the U.S. government had brought former Nazi germ warfare scientists in the 1940s to work on the same evil work for a different employer. These included the head of the Nazi germ warfare program who had worked directly for Heinrich Himmler. On Plum Island these scientists frequently conducted their experiments out of doors . Documents record outdoor experiments with diseased ticks in the 1950s. Even the indoors, where participants admit to experiments with ticks, was not sealed tight. And test animals mingled with wild deer, test birds with wild birds. By the 1990s, the eastern end of Long Island had by far the greatest concentration of Lyme disease. If you drew a circle around the area of the world heavily impacted by Lyme disease, the center of that circle was Plum Island. (Thank you to Michael Carroll for this story.)


On July 23, 2002, British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with his cabinet at his house, 10 Downing Street. Minutes were taken that would be published in May 2005. Top British spy Sir Richard Dearlove was just returned from meeting with the head of the CIA George Tenet. According to the Downing Street Minutes, Dearlove's report was as follows. "There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." This document, never disputed by the British government, and later confirmed by numerous other sources, showed that eight months before attacking Iraq, the United States had decided to do so. First, however, would come eight months of claiming to be trying to avoid war while doing everything possible to get a war started.


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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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