I’ll begin this post by quoting what I consider to be the one of the most seminal passages in A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Cold War Experiments. Keep in mind I did not read this book nor know any of these details until mid 2011.
In 1952, a twenty-four year old American named Stanley Milton Glickman was pursuing a promising career as an artist in France. Glickman, the son of a successful New York furrier, had moved to Paris in the summer of 1951 to study painting at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, and about seven months later, as an apprentice in the studio of renowned French modernist Fernand Leger. (In the 1940s, Leger had decorated the New York City apartment of Nelson A. Rockefeller.) By early autumn 1952, Glickman had his own studio on the outskirts of Paris and already had one of his paintings displayed in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
One evening in mid-October, about thirteen months after the peculiar outbreak at Pont-St.-Esprit, the young artist went into Paris to meet a friend at the Café Select. They were soon joined by two American men who Glickman did not know. After some casual conversation and several glasses of wine, the two strangers fell into a heated debate with Glickman about politics, power, amd patriotism. The debate went on for hours. The men told Glickman that he was a näive bohemian unmindful of the real ways of the world. Glickman told the two conservatively dressed men that their attitudes of political superiority were offensive to all that he felt was right with the world. When it grew late and Glickman was preparing to leave, one of the men offered him a drink as a conciliatory gesture. Glickman had been drinking only coffee, but reluctantly accepted. The man got up from the table and went to the bar, returning with a glass of Chartreuse for the artist. As the man moved back to the table, Glickman noticed that he walked with a pronounced limp.
Glickman sipped the drink slowly, and the conversation turned to other subjects. One of the men remarked that France was fascinating for its many religious miracles. Midway through his liqueur, Glickman began to feel strange. A tremendous feeling of anxiety filled his chest. The anxiety quickly gave way to the sensation that he was floating above the table. His perception of objects and their dimensions became distorted. Sounds took on an odd resonance, some painful to his ears. The two men watched him intently. One of them leaned toward him and said, “Surely a man of your many talents can perform his own miracles. Can’t you?”
Believing that he had been poisoned, Glickman fled into the street, leaving his friend behind. When he woke up the next morning he realized he had lost several hours of time. He was also hallucinating wildly. For two weeks he wandered about Paris “in the pain of madness, delusion, and terror.” He returned to the Café Select, went to the same table as before, and sat with his eyes closed, irrationally waiting “for someone to come and tell me what had happened.” When he refused to leave, he was taken away to the American Hospital of Paris and given electroshock treatment. After his release, he lived in a state of “stress, terror, and hallucination” for eight months, until his family learned of his condition and brought him back to the United States in July, 1953.
A psychiatrist treated Glickman for the next twenty-five years. He lived in New York’s East Village, never again painted, and ran a small antiques shop. His closest friends were his three dogs, Charlie, Gent, and Kuma. Sometimes he told people his name was Paul Galen.
(A Terrible Mistake, pp. 643, 644). (I posted the third link above about the drinker at McDonald’s two months before even ordering the book and it happened in February of 2010). (No, I do not think it’s evidence of ESP nor the existence of The Great Orbital Tea Kettle In the Sky capable of crushing mice at a whim. See the title of this post).
So, that’s how the parts of the US government violate not only people’s right to freedom of speech but also ruin artists, writers, actors, etc. Believe me, organized stalking is no resprecter of status, party, philosophy. There are numerable celebrities among the TIs.
You might say, “Hey, that was sixty years ago.” Yes, this incident was in the 1950s and it took decades for the revelation that the Central Intelligence Agency (who was working closely with the US Army on LSD under MK/ULTRA and other bizarre research) dosed him with LSD to come to light. It’s assassination without actually killing the person.
And really, how did it help national security? How did it make Americans safer? How did it do a single solitary thing except get a pair of sociopaths (with no oversight, no accountability from Congress to speak of, or their secret approval) “off” on the power they could wield without a care in the world? What is the justification for allowing this and a myriad of other “thought punishments” go uninvestigated, unmitigated?
This is what is happening today in the United States. It started, true, under a Republican president (or two or three) but it continues today under one who is a Democrat. I can appreciate that there are innumerable people within the government who staunchly refuse to get on board the “change” train, who would rather see a Republican back in office, that they have friends in powerful industries who resist letting go of this kind of surreptitious power, etc.
But at some point the Democrats own this. This may have been a neocon idea–to bring back all of the craziness that was justified by the existence of the Soviet Union in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and to make claims today that the presence of Al Qaeda justifies it–but that is no excuse to allow it to continue when you’ve been told it is going on.
And, just how does that work? How do allowing people their First Amendment rights allow “the terrorists to win”? I’ll tell you how. It’s not a logical argument, it’s an emotional one. Fear is the answer. Fear is how politicians who justify turning on their own citizens for profit and power justify what that the monsters they put in charge do: their worst. It’s about intimidating and tricking American citizens out of more of their money. That’s all it is. Create mayhem and then cash in on it by handing out new defense contracts to mercenaries who can now “expand” from Afghanistan and Iraq onto American soil. (And of course enjoy kickbacks and political contributions from the same).
And why should I or anyone believe that after the next election, that anything will change? Why? What pretty words can undo what has been done, continues to be done? How can anyone even contemplate the ability to *talk* people this depraved into behaving like civilized adults instead of like the twin neuropath ological agents of destruction in the anecdote above?
It will quickly become about the next election and making whoever is going to run in 2016 look good, to keep all the bad news under the rug rather than actually do a single thing to deal with it.
It’s shameful that this can be allowed to continue in the US. Shameful beyond belief. Shameful beyond repair. I know, I know, put if off for another sixty years, because all that matters is how things appear to the majority of people, not that there is a small minority being actively persecuted while simultaneously being forced to fund the very people who are doing the persecuting.
When is enough, enough? This is government-sponsored terrorism. Period. How can this not be a priority?
While I disagree with David Tennant’s Doctor Who on the non-existence of patterns (where there are people involved, there clearly are–maybe not in the Universe at large), when I read the story of Glickman all I could think of was the Doctor’s close-to-the-end line, “I could have done so much more!”
But that didn’t happen in Milton Glickman’s case because parts of this government are out of control, hate people for their freedom, hate people who disagree with them or their superiors. And because cowards in the rest of it continue to ignore these fundamental problems. They allow fear to rule them.
(Did I mention that poppy exports in Afghanistan are way up?). (Also, excellent commentary on the Pentagon, CIA and torture and assassination by Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation–link added at right–over here).
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