On a Cold, Cold Trail

Actually several things popping up at once, but this one required some immediate attention so it’s getting pushed to the front of the line.

First, read a short article about the diaries of Abu Zubaydah by IC-dubbed FOIA terrorist Jason Leopold. Please note that any “tinfoil hattiness” you may experience is all mine and not Jason’s. But do stick with me to the end of the post please.

Leopold, Jason, “Exclusive: The secret diaries of Gitmo detainee Abu Zubaydah,” Al Jazeera America, 7 November 2013:


It mentions how secretive the government has been about the diaries, and how they used it to justify many otherwise impossible due to illegal actions. In essence, it’s a big scary narrative about terrorism.

While I do not doubt that that is true, it is the nature of terrorism itself, at least where certain groups and “lone wolf” individuals are concerned that I question the conventional wisdom.

I’ve generally found that one of the obstacles in succeeding in getting one’s thesis across is getting people to hold the rest of the story, the labyrinth, in their head at the same time as they read a piece. We read news articles and typically don’t think of them as being connected at all to anything else. We can read two contradictory pieces even and not bat an eye.

So, let’s briefly review some facts before I move on.

The CIA has used and continues to use organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association for its own purposes. Historically, Donald Ewen Cameron, for example, was a member and president of also the World Psychiatric Association. This is not in any way to discredit the profession as a whole, merely to point out that in places where the worlds of mental health and NATSEC collide require some scrutiny. CIA pays people at the top of their professions as consultants. Sometimes they don’t even know who their real benefactors are and are paid through subcontractors, cover organizations and individuals. This is a long-standing and well-documented practice. In fact, it was the stated concern of continuing this practice that kept so many of the cooperating individuals and organizations out of the spotlight in 1977 when MKUltra was being investigated by the Senate.

While it is likely somewhat misleading that I note that, thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know the budgets of both NSA and CIA, at least for a previous year, CIA’s budget is 50% more than NSA’s. NSA’s was recently around $10B and they “collect it all,” as a matter of course. CIA’s was $14.7B. The reason it may be misleading is that NSA uses, to an extent, the phone carriers and ISPs as part of their system. I have no idea where that would put their real budget, but the point at least still partially stands. What does CIA spend so much money on every year?

The 1970s showed us programs like SHAMROCK and MINARET at NSA and MKULTRA, MOCKINGBIRD, BLUEBIRD/ARTICHOKE, MKSEARCH and others at CIA. PRISM and other NSA programs are essentially a repeat of those programs that the American public were assured would not continue. Is it not logical to assume that CIA has likewise resumed its old programs?

{Of course I know the answer to that, to the extent that I do. I write this for those of you who do not.}

More recently, the ADA has been charged with having conspired with the CIA in order to reverse engineer the SERE program–that is the program designed to help soldiers and spies resist enemy torture and interrogation–in order to figure out how to better torture people. Jeff Kaye has reported on this extensively. Here’s the latest:

Kaye, Jeff, “APA ‘Independent’ Torture Review Led by Attorney Who Worked With CIA’s Tenet,” Firedoglake, 7 December 2014:


David Hoffman, a Chicago attorney for the international law firm Sidley Austin, was handpicked by APA as an “independent reviewer” to investigate charges in a new book by New York Times writer James Risen that some of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) top leadership colluded with the CIA and the U.S. military in the implementation of the Bush Administration’s torture program. Hoffman is to report to a “special committee” drawn from APA’s Board of Directors.

The article goes on to detail denials and then several other members of the good ol’ boy network all content to pretend that one organization didn’t commit crimes against humanity that have made Americans less safe and that another didn’t violate its most precious tenet about doing harm.

Next, I take another detour into the world of MKUltra itself. I ran across some VICE documentaries recently, and they are fascinating. In order to put it in context, let’s recall that ergot, a fungus that grows on wheat, may have formed the basis for Saint Anthony’s fire and werewolf legends. Likewise, CIA researched as many substances as it could, including things like Mexican mushrooms:

Marks, John, “Chapter 7: Mushrooms to Counterculture,” The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, 1978:

For example:

On the other hand, Gordon Wasson found revelation. After a lifetime of exploring and adoring mushrooms, he had discovered the greatest wonder of all in that remote Indian village. His experience inspired him to write an account of his journey for the “Great Adventures” series in Life magazine. The story, spread across 17 pages of text and color photographs, was called “Seeking the Magic Mushroom: A New York banker goes to Mexico’s mountains to participate in the age-old rituals of Indians who chew strange growths that produce visions.” In 1957, before the Russian sputnik shook America later that year, Life introduced its millions of readers to the mysteries of hallucinogens, with a tone of glowing but dignified respect. Wasson wrote movingly of his long search for mushroom lore, and he became positively rhapsodic in reflecting on his Mexican “trip”:

In man’s evolutionary past, as he groped his way out from his lowly past, there must have come a moment in time when he discovered the secret of the hallucinatory mushrooms. Their effect on him, as I see it, could only have been profound, a detonator to new ideas. For the mushrooms revealed to him worlds beyond the horizons known to him, in space and time, even worlds on a different plane of being, a heaven and perhaps a hell. For the credulous, primitive mind, the mushrooms must have reinforced mightily the idea of the miraculous. Many emotions are shared by men with the animal kingdom, but awe and reverence and the fear of God are peculiar to men. When we bear in mind the beatific sense of awe and ecstasy and caritas engendered by the divine mushrooms, one is emboldened to the point of asking whether they may not have planted in primitive man the very idea of God.

The article caused a sensation in the United States, where people had already been awakened to ideas like these by Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception. It lured waves of respectable adults—precursors of later hippie travelers—to Mexico in search of their own curanderas. (Wasson came to have mixed feelings about the response to his story, after several tiny Mexican villages were all but trampled by American tourists on the prowl for divinity.) One person whose curiosity was stimulated by the article was a young psychology professor named Timothy Leary. In 1959, in Mexico on vacation, he ate his first mushrooms. He recalls he “had no idea it was going to change my life.” Leary had just been promised tenure at Harvard, but his life of conventional prestige lost appeal for him within five hours of swallowing the mushroom: “The revelation had come. The veil had been pulled back…. The prophetic call. The works. God had spoken.”

There’s much more at the link. CIA paid people like Thomas Moore to catalog them.

The point, seeing how they could manipulate humans. That’s what it’s all about, whether you’re talking disinfo, torture, propaganda, or getting you to shell out for the next wave of gadgets and social networking sites that spy on you.

Reverse engineered SERE…turned torture resistance into torture…

See where I’m going with this? What does an unscrupulous gathering of scary people do with someone they deem a threat…a potential witness against other crimes? * As with Martha Mitchell with regards to hiding Watergate, you first make them seem insane. Next, you need to get them out of the picture altogether. One way to do that would be to get them to do something illegal–preferably that which could be labeled an act of terror so that it becomes a federal issue–and get them off the street and cut off from the outside world.

Is that what happened with Abu Zubaydah except he and others were slipped something that made them break with reality? Recall again, the 1980s were the period of Charlie Wilson’s war; the CIA used men like Osama Bin Laden against the Soviet Union as proxy warriors. The 1990s then followed along with energy exploration and–how could they miss it?–noting the abundant poppy fields. Both decades provided access and opportunity.


At last back to Zubaydah’s diaries:

The first volume of Abu Zubaydah’s diary begins 23 years ago, when he was a troubled college student. He feels so betrayed by friendship that he decides to address his 30-year-old self in the diaries.

A voracious reader of books about psychology, parapsychology, philosophy and war games, Zubaydah was mindful that talking to oneself might be interpreted as psychotic, so he made a point of noting in his diary that he was not mentally ill.

“I am not a schizophrenic, which is a split personality disease; rather, I am trying to divide myself into two parts because; I believe that everything changes with time, even human beings. Therefore, it is inevitable that you Hani 2 at 30 years of age are different than Hani 1 … Me … at 20 years old.”

Nonetheless, the fact that Zubaydah wrote to different versions of himself led some in the intelligence community, notably FBI Special Agent Dan Coleman, who was assigned to the CIA’s elite Al-Qaeda-tracking Bin Laden Unit, to conclude that Zubaydah had a “schizophrenic personality.”

Coleman examined the diaries for the FBI after Zubaydah’s capture. After he read through them, he advised an FBI official that Zubaydah was an “insane, certifiable split personality” because he wrote to different versions of himself, journalist Ron Suskind wrote in his book “The One Percent Doctrine.” Coleman later publicly took issue with the CIA and Bush administration’s characterization of Zubaydah as a top Al-Qaeda operative and was highly critical of the use of torture as an interrogation tool.

Now retired from the FBI and working as an elder care expert at Mom’s House in New York City, Coleman did not return calls or emails for comment. A colleague of his, FBI Special Agent Ali Soufan — who interrogated Zubaydah after his capture — noted in his book “The Black Banners” that it was wrong to conclude Zubaydah was mentally ill just because he wrote in different voices. (Daniel Freedman, a spokesman for Soufan, told Al Jazeera America that the former special agent could not comment on anything about Zubaydah’s diaries beyond what Soufan had written in his book.)

You’ll find somewhere on this blog a few posts from years ago where I use the third person. I had wondered why in the hell I was doing that even as I was doing it. I decided it was partly to protect my reputation {laughable in retrospect, it was utterly destroyed}. But I’m really not sure that was why.

While still in Brooklyn, I’m going to guess March of 2010 or so, there was an old acting resume picture of me that my partner had. For some reason, I started scratching the eyes off, then disfigured the face. This was, as I’ve noted before, at a time when I was “tripping balls.”

Was it a drug? A combination of drugs and the psychological harassment?

Combine this with Shaker Aamer’s doctor’s report alleging electronics or something that makes you think it is–while please holding the rest of these details regarding documented history, budget, and the general subject of greed in your head–and I think a pattern begins to emerge. Are we still doing this? Doing this at Guantanamo Bay’s secretive ‘Penny Lane’ section? Creating more terrorists under the guise of turning them?

Keep the War on Terror going just like they kept the Vietnam war going. It was highly profitable for people in Congress. Some owned the ships, for example, that carried ammunition.

The Military-Congressional Industrial Complex. All roads seem to lead there, no matter where you start. Of course if there’s one thing that makes me suspicious, it’s trails that even a zombie could follow.

Daniel Stuckey and Sabu
I’m not sure why this is here.

* In my case I believe that this was insider trading and other financial misdeeds. I’ve noted this both here and in Wicked Game. Keith Alexander’s exposed trading in odd Eastern investments and A.B. ‘Buzzy’ Krongard’s old firm potential shortselling of airline stock on 9/11 would both seem to support the idea that it occurs.


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