How and Why Woolsey and Clinton Saved the CIA – Part 2

21 04 2012

By Trowbridge H. Ford

Little wonder that after the special CIA briefings – during which the Agency must have mentioned agent losses due to Soviet spying because DCI Robert Gates had been briefed on them by chief mole hunter Jeanne Vertefeuille on July 1, 1988 (David Wise, Nightmover, 204) – President Clinton then changed his mind about trying to appoint some liberal like Tony Lake the new DCI – what was bound to set off a jarring confirmation process in the conservative Senate, and alarm bells ringing at Langley. Committed to replacing Gates, though, Clinton chose the nearest possible replacement – R. James Woolsey. 
Despite popular impressions, Woolsey was a long-time Washington insider.  Like Clinton, both a Rhodes scholar and a graduate of Yale Law School – though they did not know one another before 1991 – conservative Democrat Woolsey worked for Paul Nitze on the SALT I agreement, served on Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council, and was general counsel for the Senate Armed Services Committee when Senator John Stennis of Mississippi was its Chairman. Woolsey then branched out into Non-Governmental Organizations, joining the Shea & Gardner law firm which currently represents Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. 
During the Carter administration, he served as Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy when it was experiencing its worst period of neglect.  Woolsey was present at the meeting behind the President’s back where the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Tom Hayward outlined the Sea Strike strategy in the Pacific which would take the fight to the Soviets in any showdown with Moscow in Europe – what Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy John Lehman would use to justify his massive navy build-up.  (For details, see Gregory L. Vistica, Fall from Glory, p. 30ff.)  While Lehman was doing this, Woolsey became the Republicans’ favorite Democrat while working with Scowcroft as a delegate to the crucial Geneva strategic-arms talks.  “In 1991,” David Wise added, “Bush named Woolsey as ambassador to the talks on conventional forces in Europe.” (p. 301)
Woolsey assured his selection by Clinton by joining a conservative think-tank which endorsed him for President.  The President-elect knew that he needed someone like Woolsey – someone who would take risks, cut losses by drastic means, and stand up to pushy opponents in order to achieve important goals – if he hoped to avoid the long-term problems which ultimately brought down Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and grievously injured Ronald Reagan’s Presidency.  They, though willing to take risks to bring down the Soviets and Saddam, went “wobbly”, to use the ‘Iron Lady’s famous adverb, when it came time to get rid of internal trouble, as Iran-Contra for Reagan, and her failure to retain the Conservative Party leadership in 1990 demonstrated. 
Woolsey showed the focus of his tenure by appointing another Admiral, William O. Studeman, Deputy Director.  He was not pining to get back to sea, though, but as the former director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, he was determined to contain the fallout from the 1986 non-nuclear showdown with the Soviets after Palme’s assassination, whether it was a question of protecting secrets, or punishing those who would divulge them. Studeman testified in the trial of the John Walker spy ring that the spying at the time had “powerful war-winning implications for the Soviet side.”  (Quoted from Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, Blind Man’s Bluff, p. 353.)   
With this background, it was hardly surprising that Woolsey completely reversed the focus of the Clinton agenda regarding the intelligence community, once his confirmation process commenced.  A few days later, Mir Amal Kansi conveniently assisted the change by murdering two Agency employees, and wounding three others as they drove in the front gate at Langley on their way to work, and then safely escaped to Pakistan. At the end of February, other terrorists associated with the murder of Jewish activist Meir Kahane, and with CIA agent Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman – who an Agency agent in Khartoum had given a visa to, and had not informed that Bureau that he was coming to the States – blew up the World Trade Center in New York. 
While Woolsey was struggling to regain the initiative for secret government, Clinton was confronted by the personal problems he had brought to the White House from Little Rock, and their sources he still had back in Arkansas, especially because of the difficulty he was having in gaining confirmation of his appointees, particularly in law enforcement.  In picking Zoe Baird, and then Kimba Wood to be the new Attorney General, Clinton was so eager to have someone who could fix his legal problems, especially with the Justice Department, that his staff overlooked theirs in suggesting the nominations.  Clinton became almost paranoid that he was developing a legal “perception” problem, as James B. Stewart wrote in Blood Sport – he was only interested in appointees with them.  Finally, Janet Reno was confirmed as Attorney General, and Clinton crony Webster Hubbell as Associate Attorney General.
Then Woolsey and Clinton were hit by a series of more damaging disclosures which caused widespread panic. The FBI finally learned that Rick Ames had clearly failed his 1991 polygraph test, but the Agency had failed to inform the Bureau contrary to the Directors’ Memo of Understanding. While Woolsey tried to assure Judge Sessions that there was nothing untoward in the delay, Sessions’ deputies were not convinced, opening a criminal investigation of Ames on May 12, 1993. The same day that Ames had failed the test, the Bureau learned that the Agency’s Office of Security had issued a report which narrated his reckless conduct with money and drink while at the Counter Intelligence Center, and later at Rome while dealing with Soviet and Eastern-bloc assets. Then Agency mole hunter Dan Payne’s 1990 memo about Ames’s unexplained wealth was finally completed, thanks to the prodding by the Counter-Intelligence Center’s deputy chief Paul Redmond, with devastating results.
Things were not going any better at the White House either.  The travel office scandal was followed by Filegate, and Vince Foster’s suicide. To justify getting rid of Billy Dale’s travel company aka Travelgate, the Bureau was called in, and its presence was expanded by having it perform security checks on everyone who visited the White House, even leading Republicans. While media allegations of improper use of the FBI for the Clintons’ purposes was used to help get rid of Director Sessions, the furore drove private counsel Vince Foster off the rails, causing him to commit suicide the day after Sessions was forced to resign.  While the President attributed the Director’s fall to the Bureau’s massacre of the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas, and to CI failures, especially in the Felix Bloch case – what would have prevented the Ames case being postponed until his watch – Sessions’ son, Lewis, put it another way – probing the Agency’s involvement in Iraq-Gate. 
While the new Director, Louis Freeh, was immediately using the Bureau’s counterterrorist powers in an even more aggressive fashion, especially in overseas cases, the CIA and Clinton took the opportunity to get rid of their most serious threats and opponents at home – what their critics have had a field day with, making rash claims reminiscent of what Mark Lane said about anyone who witnessed the JFK assassination, and what Gordon Thomas and others said about researchers working on microbes and the like when Dr. David Kelly was murdered. To hide their efforts, the Agency gave the Bureau agents looking for the mole unprecedented access to the contents of Ames’s safe at the Langley headquarters while he was away, and let them bug his Jaguar while he visited the Bureau’s headquarters with an associate in the hope of catching him servicing a dead letter drop with the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).  
On June 22nd, Washington whistleblower Paul Wilcher, who was trying to tie the President to the 1980 “October Surprise”, and Contra drug-running, was found dead in his Washington apartment, sitting on the toilet – a telltale sign of ricin poisoning, if my similar experience is anything to go by. (See my confession columns about being an exile, and more about America’s plot to kill me.)  During my seizures, the most frightening moment was when I was incurring the most violent vomiting and diarrhea.  My attacks started occurring soon after I wrote a most angery letter to Clinton, complaining of his praise and treatment of Nixon upon his demise.  The cause of Wilcher’s death was never established.
When Luther ‘Jerry’ Parks, Clinton’s former security chief while governor, heard about Foster’s apparent suicide on TV, he immediately exclaimed to his son, Gary: “I’m a dead man.”  Parks was communicating regularly with Foster about his threats against Clinton while governor, especially his secret trips while womanizing.  Two months later, his prediction about Clinton “cleaning house” became true despite most elaborate counter measures, as two burly men, with beer bellies, and in their late 40s, gunned him down in a hail of bullets as he was returning home by car from a meal in a Little Rock Mexican restaurant. The police in Little Rock, where Clinton was king, never made a serious effort to solve the case, while urging his distraught wife to withhold her suspicions until it was completed.  
As soon as the FBI started its surveillance of Ames, Woolsey told NSA Tony Lake about the Agency’s penetration, and once a month Lake briefed the President, who “was interested and concerned” (Wise, p. 231) about the state of the mole hunt. This way Clinton could be kept informed without the DCI ever having the need to do so himself.  Current scuttlebutt conveniently claimed that the President was refusing to see Woolsey, some critics even joking that it was the DCI who was piloting the light plane which crashed on the White House lawn in the hope of gaining access to the Oval Office.  
To simplify real concerns, the CIA sent Freddie Woodruff, who had rented Ames’s house in Reston while he went to New York to handle the growing number of double agent cases in Operation Courtship in the early ’80’s, and whose wife’s sister was a good friend of the Ameses, was sent to Georgia in the ex-USSR in August to determine if he was the mole.  Of course, if something happened to Woodruff, the Agency would still have the problem of determining whether he was eliminated to protect the real mole, or to secure the silence of the real one.
Woodruff had been station chief in Leningrad when Palme was assassinated, and it was hoped that he would oversee connecting the killing to the Soviets. Ideally, it was hoped that Soviet spy Stig Bergling would take the bait while on compassionate leave from prison in order to get married, and flee to the USSR – what would make him seem the ‘party policeman’ who had gotten rid of the now useless statsminister.  At the very least, it was thought that double agent Boris Yuzhin might personally inform Woodruff by a surprise dead letter drop that the Stockholm shooting had caught the Red Banner fleet completely off guard or that Sergei Motorin, another double agent, would call his girl friend back in the States – what he did regularly, and was being monitored by the Bureau – to inform Washington that Moscow had been taken completely by surprise in other ways.  Thanks to unknown spying for the Soviets, though, these developments never materialized.
As it turned out, Woodruff was apparently not the mole, as he was assassinated by the Russians, it seems, while working with Georgia’s intelligence service to help shore up Edvard Shevardnadze’s regime against Moscow’s threats.  Woodruff was shot through the head by one bullet as he was visiting the sites around Mount Kazbek with director Eldar Guguladze of its intelligence service, and two unidentified women. While the assassin, Anzor Sharmaidze, was conveniently convicted of a random act of violence when Woodruff’s car allegedly failed to heed his flagging it down, DCI Woolsey just happened to be in Moscow at the time, and he escorted Woodruff’s body back to the States.  In the hope of making sure that Ames was the spy, the Agency sent him there a month later, but the SVR did not shoot him – showing apparently that he was the spy.
To make sure that there were no more spies, and to help clear up the yet unsolved Stockholm assassination, the Agency started setting up Viktor Gunnarsson, the still leading suspect, for his own elimination.  Gunnarsson could have spoiled the Stockhom shooting by somehow tipping off the Soviets – resulting in their closing the KGB residency in the embassy on the night so that no one could call to implicate them – or Bergling that he was being set up.  
Gunnarsson had been running around the Swedish capital as a decoy in the days leading up to the statsminister’s assassination, and when the killing did not work out as planned – blaming it on Moscow and Bergling – the prosecutor, Hans Holmér, tried to make out that he was the killer, a process doomed to fail for lack of evidence. (See my earlier article about Gunnarsson.)  After two failed attempts to indict him, he was duly compensated for any embarrassment caused, and wrote a book about his ordeal – Jag Och Palme Mordet.  In its opening chapter, entitled “Scapegoat”, Gunnarsson explained that he only expressed his spirited opposition to communism and the Social Democratic leader, and that he was in no way involved in the murder. (p. 7)
Of course, Gunnarsson’s denials satisfied few others, especially those who still wanted to scapegoat him for the killing. Chris Mosey, a reporter for The Observer in Stockholm when the shooting occurred, took the lead in refocusing suspicion on Gunnarsson. At first, he gave substance to Soviet involvement, and when this proved inconvenient, he concentrated upon their surrogates, especially the PKK (the Kurdish Workers Party), relying heavily upon the Richard Reeves’ article, “The Palme Obsession,” in the March 1, 1987 issue of The New York Times Magazine. Ultimately, Mosey wrote the Cruel Awakening in which he blamed the assassination upon the repressive character of Swedish society, a claim prosecutor Holmér refused to entertain:  “From the start, as a firm believer in Palme himself, he found it hard to believe that a Swede had killed the prime minister.” (p. 173)
Gunnarsson, being the leading Swedish suspect, reacted to the charge, as he had before, by writing a 250-page, hand-written manuscript, denying it in greater detail, and submitting it to the leading Swedish publisher, Bonniers, for possible publication. Once it was rejected – undoubtedly not having anything really new in it, and certainly not a confession of the murder, or Bonniers would have jumped at the chance to solve the national obsession – Börje Wingren, after spending more than 30 hours interviewing Gunnarsson, wrote Han sköt Olof Palme (He Shot Olof Palme), contending that Gunnarsson had, indeed, confessed to the crime. 
Wingren was a former police inspector who apparently was involved in the first attempts to convict Gunnarsson of the murder.  Unfortunately, they were ruined by showing Gunnarsson’s photograph to a taxi driver who apparently saw the assassin in the hope that he would identify Gunnarsson as the person out of a police lineup.  The only trouble with Wingren’s latest claim was that it was based on new witnesses, and information, not Gunnarsson’s confession, as the book’s title indicated.  It would have been better, entitled I Shot Olof Palme. 
To me, the book recalls efforts by Clinton, Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley to Portugal, and the CIA two years later to put false words in my mouth about Nixon’s involvement in the JFK assassination – what Jim Marrs, author of Crossfire, attempted with Jim DiEugenio in the January 1996 issue of Probe magazine – so that someone would dispose of me too. The only difference was that my murder had to look like an accident.
Once Gunnarsson had been set up, his murder could not be like ‘Jerry’ Parks’s one, unsolved, as that would represent no convincing conclusion to Palme’s – a long-unsolved murder could not be settled by yet another unsolved murder.  Gunnarsson’s killing too had to be made to look like the handiwork of someone else, certainly not American covert government.  It had to be made to look like the result of a lovers’ quarrel.  The only person that the CIA had to work with in this regard was Mrs. Kay Weden, a one-time Pentagon employee who was most anxious to meet new men after the breakup of her engagement to former policeman L. C. Underwood in Salisbury, N.C., where Gunnarsson was now living.
Mrs. Weden learned of unemployed David Hall Sumner’s interest in having some kind of relationship through a Metro-Lines singles advertisement, and they became acquainted at the Cracker Barret Restaurant in Charlotte shortly thereafter.  Then they had their first date on November 13th in Salisbury, starting with dinner at Bogart’s Restaurant at 8 p.m. While they were eating, Underwood, accompanied by Danny Hillard, accosted the couple, demanding that Weden pay him the $2,000 she owed him.  After a heated argument, Underwood left the table, knocking over a glass of tea, apparently on purpose, into Weden’s lap.  (Special Bureau of Investigation File: 592-H-20, February 16, 1994)
After Weden took a call from an unknown party, the couple left the restaurant when the police arrived in the parking lot, telling them what had happened. Once Sumner learned that Underwood used to work for the police, “he was afraid the white male would have a gun” despite the fact that Weden assured him Underwood was harmless. (p. 2)  While Weden laughed about the incident as they were returning to her apartment, Sumner was highly upset by the whole affair.  He checked to see if Underwood was following them – which he wasn’t – and then checked to see if he had vandalized his pickup truck – which he hadn’t.  Sumner only reluctantly agreed to accompany Weden inside her apartment, and soon wished he hadn’t after he met her son, Jason, and his friends who were drinking beer and smoking marijuana.  “He then left and went home and has not talked to Weden since, nor does he care to.”
On December 3rd, Weden. accompanied by her mother Catherine Miller, had a similar date with Gunnarsson, who had been asked to come along, at the Blue Bay Restaurant, and later that night he disappeared, only to be found five weeks later, 110 miles away in a ravine – shot through the tempel and neck at close range, and only wearing his gold watch and ring.  A few days later in December, Ms. Miller was discovered in her residence, shot similarly through the head by a larger caliber weapon, and at close range.    



Why John Hinckley, Jr. Almost Assassinated Reagan

19 10 2011

by Trowbridge H. Ford
The contrast behind the myth and reality regarding the health of American democracy when President Jimmy Carter sought re-election in 1980 could not have been greater. While liberals, and responsible conservatives, especially those who had brought about the resignation of the rampaging Nixon, thought that constitutional government had been restored, or at least secret government had been significantly reined in, actually conditions, despite appearances, had become worse, thanks to leaders of covert rule finding new ways to perform old operations. The slimming down of CIA, particularly the Operations Directorate, the adoption of more technical means for the collection of intelligence, and the retirement and death for some of the worst offenders – especially former DCI Richard Helms, CIA chief James Angleton, and “Executive Action’s” William King Harvey – had been more than compensated by old troublemakers finding new homes in other agencies, current ones finding ways to operate behind the backs of their nominal superiors, and old agent capability, especially in the production of mind-control, obtaining new technology and candidates for covert operations.

The Secret Team’s, to use Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty’s terminology, hopes that Theodore Kaczynski (aka the Unabomber) had the makings of a perfect Manchurian Candidate for killing President Carter’s re-election chances, despite promising testing, proved unfounded. Kaczynski, though connected to all the right people while at Berkeley at the end of the 1960s through Colston Westbrook’s Black Cultural Association, was not politically motivated enough to become a predictable robot. The loner mathematician, while he was finally recruited from Montana where no skeptics would suspect CIA involvement, was not willing to go after targets it had in mind, no matter how hard his co-conspirator brother David drove him, or how much drugs he was given. Ted Kaczynski had it in for university colleagues, especially those who supported the build-up of technology the Agency was interested in, and air lines which permitted them to experiment all around the world, as his FBI code name prefix indicated.

The Unabomber showed his unreliable character in the wake of the failed hostage rescue mission in Iran (Operation Eagle Claw) by following up his attack on an American Airline flight to Washington with a crude bomb sent to United Air Lines president Percy Wood on June 9, 1980. Kaczynski set Wood up by writing first in the name of Enoch W. Fischer, recommending that he, and other leaders of the capitalist world read Sloan Wilson’s new book, Ice Brothers, which would be arriving in a separate wrapper. This nostalgic account by Wilson – the author also of best-selling The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit – of his service during WWII in the Greenland Patrol was a telling reminder of just how far the author and Kaczynski had fallen out with their wartime buddies, especially Ted’s most ambitious brother David, in the post-war grab for personal glory. (For those interested in pursuing red-herrings on the internet about the book, see Ross Getman’s website where he claims that Kaczynski, a neo-Nazi, found inspiration for his anti-Semitism in its pages.) Characteristically, the Bureau questioned Sloan rather than David Kaczynski about the book’s significance, once the Unabomber was finally caught.

Ronald Reagan’s biggest contribution to the covert campaign against Carter’s re-election then became the expertise that Dr. Earl Brian, his former Secretary of Health, supplied for mind-control operations, now that the CIA, especially Dr. George White, had been obliged officially to close down experiments in California, and former head of the Technical Services Staff, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, was driven to convenient suicide because of legal questions arising in 1979 about painter Stanley Milton Glickman’s incapacity, another unwitting CIA guinea pig from a quarter century before in Paris. While Brian, like George Bush, Theodore Shackley, and William Casey, would ultimately be linked to the “October Surprise”, and the Reagan Justice Department’s theft of PROMIS software from Bill Hamilton’s INSLAW company to keep track of foreign counterintelligence (Jonathan Vankin and John Whelan, The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, p. 119ff.), actually Dr. Brian, like White and Gottlieb, was most closely connected to “LSD surprises”, what had led to tennis professional Harold Blauer’s death from forced injections, and Olson’s suicide in 1953. Brian even tried to establish in 1975, with Governor Reagan’s support, a center for the study of violent behavior in the Santa Monica Mountains, what would permit all kinds of mind-control operations with complete secrecy under UCLA professor Dr. Louis “Jolly” West’s leadership, but the fallout from Watergate prevented the California legislature from authorizing such a reckless initiative.

West, as Henry Martin and David Caul indicated in a long 1991 series about the state’s continuing mind-control program for the Napa Sentinel, was a product of the University of Minnesota’s Morse Allen, the leading expert on making Manchurian Candidates, and had worked at Oklahoma for 15 years with John Gittinger, the developer of the crucial Personal Assessment System for finding potential ones. ( For more, see obituary, “Louis Jolyon ‘Jolly’ West,” The Los Angeles Times, Jan. 7, 1999.) At Oklahoma, West, as John Marks indicated in The Search for the ‘Manchurian Candidate’, became the leading recipient of secret funding for LSD experimentation (p. 63), what ultimately led to certain people being programmed with sufficient doses of the drug not only to betray their countries but also their families, even their spouses. LSD, in an operational setting, could make the patient into a paranoid madman, set on destroying his marriage and memory.

Coming to UCLA in 1968, just after the assassinations of MLK and RFK, West was so successful in securing grants, over $5 million for himself from the National Institutes of Mental Health, and as much as $14 million in a single year for his Neuropsychiatric Institute from a wide range of sources for conducting experiments on controlling allegedly violent individuals, what gave all kinds of opportunities for creating them through the assistance of cooperating, professional informants. Though West feigned to be a great civil libertarian, and made a point of providing free expert opinion in public interest cases (See his letter in the June 24, 1976 issue of The New York Review of Books about Patty Hearst’s unsuccessful defense.), he, and side kick Dr. “Oz” Janiger, were such pavlovians when it came to drugs that Aldous Huxley, the greatest proponent of LSD’s liberating qualities, could not abide their obsessions. (See Huxley’s June 6, 1961 letter to Timothy Leary.)

In 1966, LSD was prohibited by the Drug Abuse Control Amendment from being used in experiments, causing the FDA to raid Janiger’s office in Beverly Hills, and to confiscate all his drugs, and records of clinical research. “When the panic subsided, only five government-approved scientists were allowed to continue LSD research…,” Todd Brendan Fahey wrote in the Las Vegas Weekly, the leading one being West. Until then, Janiger had gotten LSD from people like the CIA’s Captain Al Hubbard for his experiments on those who wanted to improve their performance, especially among Hollywood’s actors, notably Cary Grant. Now Janiger would get it from West, and, in return, he would be given access to his most promising subjects. This came in most handy in 1977 when The Washington Post reported that the scientific assistant to Carter’s Navy Secretary, Dr. Sam Koslov, had ended the program that West was running out of Stanford’s Research Institute at Fort Meade to create Manchurian Candidates by electronic means (“The Constantine Report No1,”), leaving apparently only the old means of deprivation, drugs, psychic driving, and hypnosis for making people with multiple personalities.

West’s greatest asset was that he was now interested in cults, the ideal cover for anyone who wanted to continue practicing “brain-washing” by CIA’s more traditional methods. In the wake of Charles Manson’s murders, Patty Hearst’s kidnapping and brain-washing by the Symbionese Liberation Army, and the massacre/suicide of 913 cultists at Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, the public was prepared to believe that such brain-washing was only the result of thought reform, what CIA had apparently helped sponsor with drugs in order to make sure that student radicalism spun out of control in utter confusion.

To legitimize the idea of coercive persuasion, West’s associate Dr. Margaret Singer wrote a ground-breaking paper the following year on the new phenomenon (“Dr. Margaret Singer’s 6 Conditions for Thought Reform,”, and she and Yale’s Dr. Robert Jay Lifton started propagating the claims as advisory board psychologists to the new American Family Foundation. Singer and Lifton had studied the brain-washing techniques on American POWs by the North Koreans for Washington back in the ‘fifties, ruling out wrongly their drug, and hypnosis-based techniques – what West used heavy doses of LSD-25, and hypnotism to replicate. (Jeffrey Steinberg, “Who Are the American Family Foundation Mind-Controllers Targeting LaRouche?,” Executive Intelligence Review, April 19, 2002, and larouche

During August 1980, Reagan’s campaign managers, especially pollster Richard Werthlin, Georgetown professor Richard Allen, and former CIA agent Richard Beal, organized a special operations group to counter any Carter “October Surprise” – the only thing they thought would secure his re-election. At the same time, John Hinckley, Jr. was programmed to assassinate President Carter just in case he was able to secure the release of the hostages by negotiation – what these people, along with Marine Captain Oliver North and Colonel Robert MacFarlane – had been able to prevent by force. The operation’s attraction lay in the fact that despite the publication of John Marks’s book on Manchurian Candidates the previous year, only Milton Kline, onetime President of the American Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and sometime CIA consultant in actual operations, believed that patsies and assassins could be, and had been created on occasion. (p. 199ff., esp. 204, note.)

Hinckley, one of the Beat Generation, was the offspring of an upward-mobile, disassociated family, growing up in Dallas during the years before the JFK assassination and during its aftermath. While his older brother Scott was following in his father’s footsteps at the Agency-connected Vanderbilt Energy Corporation, John was having trouble even getting started, spending seven years, on and off, at Texas Tech but without success. About the only thing he picked up was how to play the guitar, and an inclination for acting. During a trip to Hollywood in 1976, he came across Dr. Janiger, it seems, and was soon taking LSD again, and watching incessantly Martin Scorsese’s film Taxi Driver, based on the life of George Wallace assassin Arthur Bremer, in the hope of becoming a successful actor.

Before it was over, he imagined that he had become Robert Di Niro’s alter ego. (“John W. Hinckley, Jr.: A Biography,”…) Hinckley was so convinced that he was a carbon copy of the alienated, drugged cabbie that he even fantasized, it seems, that he too had a girl friend, like Betsy in the film, working in a campaign for a politician he ultimately plotted to kill in order to impress her, calling her Lynn Collins. The only trouble with this propensity was that there was no need for it now in Agency operations as critics like Church were finished off early by the electorate because of their attacks on America’s covert government.

Hardly had the unknown Carter gotten established in the White House than Hinckley was back in Hollywood a year later for more. The trouble with Hinckley’s potential was that the new President was proving much more supportive of the plans by secret government than any one had imagined (See, e. g., Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, Blind Man’s Bluff, p. 294ff.), and making Walter Mondale, the most experienced politician in keeping the intelligence community in check, President would only compound problems with its critics. Consequently, Hinckley’s handler, and it seems to have been either Dr. Singer or one of her female associates, directed him towards more beneficial activity, leading apparently to his gaining a role in a play, and becoming romantically attached to an actress, a daughter of the mother of all conspiracy theorists, Mae Brussell, of all people.

“Brussell,” Vankin and Whelan have written, thought that this well-heeled individual without any visible means of support “…might be an ‘agent provocateur’ directed against her by the FBI via her daughter.” (p. 66) Then, as when Jules Ricco Kimble aka Raoul thought that Harvey was pursuing him in New Orleans in 1967, and called the Domestic Contact agent to protest, she called the Bureau’s Monterey Resident Agent to complain, making herself likewise a possible suspect in future developments. Ms. Brusell, thanks to financial support from the John Lennons, and publication support from The Realist’s Paul Krassner, was becoming increasingly convinced that Governor Reagan was to be the beneficiary of all the ungoing ‘dirty tricks’. (Paul Krassner, Confessions of a raving, unconformed nut, pp. 213-5)

Once the summer season was over, Hinckley returned to Texas Tech with a new lease on life for the stage, changing his major from business administration to English to suit his new career goals, only to see his relationship with Mae’s daughter ended, apparently because the mother opposed it, possibly resulting in the daughter’s death in an automobile accident. In a tailspin, Hinckley helped young George W. Bush in his unsuccessful 1978 run, directed by brother Neil, for the House seat in Lubbock, a campaign which Hinckley’s parents contributed money to. When it too proved unsuccessful, Hinckley went completely off the rails. He played Russian roulette with a .38 pistol he bought in August 1979, as he began to experience all kinds of aliments, requiring him to seek professional help, and to take both anti-depressants and tranquilizers, telltale signs of a manic depressive in a stretched out state. Hinckley even anticipated his role as Carter’s assassin in March 1980, before his handlers had even decided upon it, by stalking him on his own during his early campaigning.

Once the Reagan campaign against Carter moved into gear, and his assassination was now a distinct possibility, Hinckley spent three weeks during September enrolled at Yale, stalking actress Jodi Foster who played the teenage prostitute, Iris, in the movie. It was a classic case of negative psychic driving where the candidate would have experiences, and emotional reactions which would spur him on to more threatening actions – what James Earl Ray experienced after he attended dancing classes, graduated from bartending school, underwent a nose job, joined a Swinger’s Club, and advertized his sexual prowess in the Los Angeles Free Press but to no avail. (Gerald Posner, Killing the Dream, p. 208ff., though n.b. that he did not see hypnosis as the cause.) As Hinckley wrote Foster, perhaps a bit too self-consciously, just before he set off on his final mission to shoot Reagan: “And by hanging around your dormitory, I’ve come to realize that I’m the topic of more than a little conversation, however full of ridicule it may be.” (evidence in U.S. v. John W. Hinckley, Jr.)

“In a three-day period, Hinckley visited three cities where Carter rallies were held: Washington, D. C., Columbus, and Dayton.” (Doug Linders, “The Trial of John W. Hinckley, Jr.”) Though he once got within 20 feet of the President, he wasn’t able to draw his pistol, and shoot, claiming cryptically that he wasn’t in the proper frame of mind. Actually, the President hadn’t made a surprise announcement about the hostages which would have triggered the shooting, like what RFK’s announcement caused when he won the California primary. Then trips by Hinckley to Lincoln, Nashville, Dallas, Washington, and Denver proved no more efficacious, thanks to the apparent failure of a leading Nazi to stiffen his nerve, to a tipoff to airport authorities about a pistol in his luggage, and the like. Hinckley’s defense, if he had been pushed to shoot Carter, would have been that he was such a rabid supporter of the Reagan-Bush ticket, thanks particularly to all his connections with the Vice President’s family, that he could not restrain himself when the President stole the election by completely underhanded means because of Mae Brussell’s hatred of Reagan and his supporters.

Just when all Hinckley’s stalking had apparently proven unnecessary – Reagan’s campaign officials having concluded that Teheran’s consultations with Carter’s Iranian Core Group had ended in failure – Bush received a report from former Texas Governor John Connally, now Reagan’s campaign finance director who had helped box the President in the White House during the crisis, that Carter had worked out a “October Surprise” with Teheran after all, causing him to activate Allen. Robert Parry has explained in “The Consortium: Bush & a CIA Power Play”:

‘George Bush,’ Allen’s notes began, ‘JBC (Connally) – already made deal. Israelis delivered last wk. spare pts. via Amsterdam. Hostages out this wk. Moderate Arabs upset. French have given spares to Iraq and know of J. C. (Carter) deal w/Iran. JBC (Connally) unsure what to do. RVA (Allen) to act if true or not.’ (

In another column, Parry added about Bush’s role: “Whenever Allen knew more, he was to relay information to ‘Shacklee (sic) via Jennifer’ (Fitzgerald, Bush’s infamous secretary).” (“Clouds over George Bush,” Dec. 29, 1998, ibid.) When Allen’s queries failed to resolve the confusion, he activated Shackley.

The Agency’s former DDO was just the man to activate a programmed assassination at the drop of a hat – what the emergency required as there was no time to indoctrinate another Candidate. Shackley’s successor, John McMahon, supervised the work of the Stanford Research Institute which was still developing “remote viewing” – the projection of words and images right into patient’s brains by machines and psychics – despite Koslov’s attempts to kill it off. In 1995, McMahon admitted that the Agency had spent $20,000,000 on remote viewing research. “McMahon has, according to Philip Agee, the whistle-blowing exile, an affinity for ‘technological exotics’ for CIA covert operations,” Alex Constantine wrote in Virtual Government. Most of the program’s “empaths” – victims – came from Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientolgy, and Dr. West provided medical oversight for the psi experiments. West conducted his own on the “phenomenology of disassociate states” – the creation of people with multiple personalities. Thanks to research by Yale’s Jose Delgado, California’s Dr. Ross Adey, Walter Reed Hospital’s Joseph Sharp, and DOD-funded J. F. Scapita, Dr. Elizabeth Rauscher, of San Leandro’s Technic Research Laboratory in the Bay area, was prepared to produce any kind of human behavior by directing extremely low frequency (ELF), electromatic waves of words and images into victim’s brains.

This technique permitted handlers to quickly create robot killers, provided they had willing victims, and were able to move them around at will. Ideally, they would want to find someone who had a love-hate relationship with the proposed target. One just had to find a candidate who could be easily persuaded to do the evil deed with the appropriate psychic driving without any calculation or reservation. Then It was just a question of getting the controlled killer into position for killing the target on cue – what could be managed nearby with the proper electronic equipment. It was like having a home-deliverty assassination service.

The same day, October 27th, that Shackley was alerted to take action, Mark David Chapman, a Hinckley lookalike – who had quit his job when Hinckley’s mission had ended, and signed out in Lennon’s name as if he were the target, only to cross it out before adding his own – started preparing to assassinate the famous Beatle, buying a .38-caliber Charter Arms Special in a Honolulu gun shop. (Fred McGunagle, Mark David Chapman, Chapter Six – “To the Brink and Back,” p. 2) Hinckley was no longer available to go after anyone, back in Denver under the care his parents had arranged with psychologist Dr. John Hopper after he had taken an overdose of antidepressants. Chapman, who long had been of two minds about the former Beatle, had been ready for a similar assignment for a month, having been put through the psychological wringer the previous two months.

Chapman, the same age as Hinckley, and born in nearby Fort Worth, was another product of a dysfunctional family, though it took longer for him to descend to Hinckley’s state. Then, just when he had miraculously gotten married, and worked himself out of debt, Chapman fell into a similar mental frenzy, believing increasingly that he was becoming Holden Caulfield in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, even writing Hawaii’s Attorney General about the necessary procedure for changing his name. (McGunagle, p. 1) At the time, Chapman was working as a maintenance man at the Castle Memorial Hospital, under the supervision of psychologist Leilani Siegfried, after its therapists had nursed him back to health from a suicide attempt.

While Chapman, a Hinckley copycat, could have been positioned to shoot Carter too, it would have been extremely difficult, and the shooting of Lennon would be more efficacious at the polls. (Chapman indicated that he had a few other high profile targets, one added as recently as October 1980 when Carter captured the public’s fancy, on his assassination list when he went before the NY State parole board after 20 years incarceration, the names of whom were so sensitive that it redacted them from the published report.) Lennon’s murder, it was assumed, would send liberal elements and the beat generation in the American electorate into a tailspin, and any violence, like burning down Harlem, would rally conservative American voters flocking to the voting booth for Reagan, as had happened for Nixon after the MLK and RFK shootings.

While Lennon had drawn the ire and interest of MI5, and the FBI because of his songs of peace, and support of radical causes, especially the IRA’s, while taking drugs since the Nixon years (Fenton Bressler, Who Killed John Lennon?, excerpts, Part 2, pp. 2-3, www., John and Yoko unwisely considered themselves like comedians Laurel and Hardy when it came to serious political business until it was far too late. Lennon discounted the idea that CIA could have gotten rid of artists like Jimmi Hendrix, and James Morrison to quell radical ardor until his last days, only to concede to Krassner: “Listen, if anything happens to Yoko and me, it was not an accident. (Krassner, p. 215, emphasis Lennon’s) The Agency had far more reason for wanting to fix the unexpected permanent residents in America for underestimating the consequences of taking drugs, especially LSD, and of MK-ULTRA operations than the British and American security services, and few would suspect it having done so.

While the surprisingly well-heeled Chapman, whose source has never been adequately identified, set off for New York, like Holden Caulfield in the Salinger novel, on October 30th, splurging like Arthur Bremer at the Waldorf while stalking Nixon and Wallace, he allegedly failed to procure ammunition for his revolver when he bought it, requiring a trip to Atlanta to make up for the deficiency. Actually, it would have been most easy for anyone to purchase ammunition in New York. In the meantine, Carter’s last-minute effort to free the hostages through negotiation had been trumped by Bush and Allen bribing the Iranian Hostage Policy Committee’s Mohammad Behesti, thanks to a tipoff by the NSC’s Donald Gregg, who accompanied them, about the state of the President’s efforts. This was apparently the cause of the delay, and by the time Chapman returned, shooting Lennon had become meaningless with Reagan’s election, his handler persuading him to return to his wife Gloria in Hawaii in the hope of regaining a normal life.

There were the strongest operational reasons, though, for this not being allowed to continue. A cured Chapman, his CIA handlers in the “remote viewing” program soon feared, might well recall how he had been maneuvered to kill Lennon, eager to tell all about the regime the Agency had put him through. More sinister elements in the program rued the loss of an actual operation which would determine if a patient could really be driven directly to shoot a target wherever it appeared. As typical scientists, they were obsessed with seeing if their push button approach to assassination really worked. Most important, Reagan’s people wanted a diversion to direct the people’s attention away from his “October Surprise,” the return of all the hostages being postponed until after his inauguration to prevent further speculation.

No sooner, though, did Reagan hint that he might have pulled off an “October Surprise” of his own than Chapman’s Castle Memorial therapist started winding him up again, resulting in his having such a shouting match with supervisor Siegfried that he was obliged to resign, resulting in threatening phone calls, and bomb threats to various parties – reminiscent of when Kaczyinski went off the rails. The apparent loner “… spent his days harrassing a group of Hare Krishnas who dailly appeared in downtown Honolulu.” (McGunagle, “Is That All You Want?,” p. 1) Arriving back in New York on December 6th, Chapman planned to kill Lennon the next day, the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a fitting reminder to Yoko Ono of the betrayals.

After a spate of psychic driving during which Chapman acted as if he were a close associate of Lennon’s while living as if he were a nobody without a friend in the world, he bought a poster intended to screw up his courage, spotted a photograph of the former Beatle on a newsstand advertising an interview with the Lennons to focus his attention, purchased a copy of Lennon’s latest albumn to remind himself of his words, and finally bought a new copy of The Catctcher in the Rye to renew his hatred of the world’s biggest phony – the image, sound, and words which were to trigger the shooting by impulses into his brain when he was in position. In doing this programming, though, Chapman was so engrossed that he missed a few opportunities to kill Lennon. When Lennon finally came into the picture, Chapman couldn’t bring himself to shoot him because he was so friendly, open, and generous.

Instead of allowing Chapman to go back to Hawaii with the signed Lennon albumn, and possibly a photograph of the friendly Beatle handing over the prized possession to this apparent nobody, his handler so bombarded him with negative impulses during the night at the Sheraton that he was back the next night at the Lennons’ Dakota residence to finish the job. There was no way that Chapman could escape now, as any remission from what he had been through would be more dangerous than ever, given the ever increasing conspiratorial activities by Reagan’s people. The negative driving finally won, as Chapman later explained: “He walked past me, and then a voice in my head said, ‘Do it, do it, do.’ over and over again, saying ‘Do it, do it, do it, do,’ like that.” (McGunagle, ch. 8, p. 1) And Chapman, after getting Lennon to turn, and show his face, did it, and then, after preparing himself for the arrival of the police, resumed reading Sallinger’s novel.

While Lennon’s assasination had the expected effect upon the American electorate, it served no useful purpose. In fact, it brought Hinckley out of his drug-related fantasies with a vengeance. He was so upset by Lennon’s assassination, the Beatle being the one person he truly loved, that he went to New York, and attended a service in Central Park to honor his contributions to music and art. As the debate about who was behind it, and the release of the prisoners in Iran grew, Hinckley increasingly sided with, of all people, Mae Brussell who explained Lennon’s assassintion thus: “It was a conspiracy. Reagan had just won the election. They knew what kind of president he was going to be. There was only one man who could bring out a million people on demonstration in protest at his policies — and that was Lennon.” (Bresler, p. 1)

Under the circumstances, questions about Hinckley’s stability, and allegiances started growing in official circles. On January 13, 1981, Mae Brussell noticed a white sedan, with a man and woman sitting inside, parked across the street from her house. The conspiracy theorist, as she explained in a 14-page letter to FBI Director Clarence Kelly, thought that the pair were conducting a surveillance on her, and she characteristically confronted them about it. While the woman in the car explained that they weren’t, the man hardly said anything. “When Reagan was shot, Mae recognized photographs of the accused assailant as the same quiet young man she had seen parked in front of her home.” (Vankin and Whlean, p. 64) After the Bureau checked out this claim, and others by the noted conspiracy theorist, it concluded conveniently in a memo that she was “mentally unstable”, whose theories were not to be taken seriously.

Of course, the FBI might have concluded differently if it had realized that the person, probably his former handler, in the while sedan with Hinckley was trying to rekindle his hatred of Brussell for having stopped his romance with her daughter a few years before rather than conducting a surveillance on her. Obviously, it didn’t work as Hinckley increasingly had the President or the Vice President in his sights. Then there were stories in the Washington press that someone was stalking the Vice President, causing the city’s police and the Secret Service all kinds of concerns which Bush was denying as quietly but as angrily as he could. Then there was the dinner date that his son Neil had scheduled with Hinckley’s older brother Scott on the night after John’s assassination attempt on Reagan. (ibid., pp. 332-3) People in the know about John’s state of mind, and intentions were obviously most concerned about what he was up to.

Despite further attempts by John’s handler to prevent him from doing anything drastic, he was among the small group awaiting Reagan’s exit from Washington’s Hilton early in the afternoon of March 30, 1981, and then started firing his .22 caliber pistol, armed with “devastator” bullets, at the rather loosely protected President, the last of which ricocheted off the limosine’s fender, and deeply penetrated the President’s thorax, narrowly missing his aorta. The Secret Service had apparently not followed its usual formation in protecting Reagan, apparently not to highlight its increased concerns about his safety in apparently such a risk-free area, and was slow to react to his wound, thinking it still impossible for any assassin to actually have hit him. These miscalculations almost cost Reagan his life, and a new batch of data for conspiracy theorists to work with.

The Agency, though, did not need any new revelations to mend its ways somewhat. Its trials and tribulations with Hinckley taught it to avoid the use of any kind of Manchurian Candidate in future, though it was willing to lend out its expertise to allied services if necessary.