America’s Secret Wars Among Its Intelligence Agencies Since NSA’s Inception

6 09 2012

By Trowbridge H. Ford

Why Relations Despite the Scandals Didn’t Change Much between Watergate and the 9/11 Bombings 

 
The 9/11 attacks gave the FBI its biggest black eye in its history. While it had been starved of intelligence about the planned suicide bombing, and cut out of any response because of the belated disclosure of the spying by agent Robert Hanssen for the Soviets for fear that it would somehow be leaked, the Bureau was still in the process of handing over the new leadership to Robert Mueller – delegating the domestic response to any such problems to the CIA which was most eager to regain the lead in the country’s response to terrorism anywhere.  Without any really important National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts of the messages the suicide bombers were exchanging in preparation for the attacks, the FBI had little chance of connecting the signal intelligence dots of what was afoot, especially since it had forced the retirement of its leading counter-terrorist spook, John O’Neill.(1) The planned response was, consequently, most ham-fisted with fifteen unarmed CIA agents, under the direction of Solicitor General Ted Olson’s wife Barbara, it seems,  trying to play copper with the 19 hijackers when they were dedicated to killing everyone they could, especially themselves.  The only reason that the Bureau wasn’t blamed more for the fiasco was because its causes were not easily discernible.(2)
 
The root of the problem went back to the NSA’s near paranoia about anyone without a need to know, knowing of its very existence, much less its product, particularly since Director J. Edgar Hoover would not provide cover for its work. It had been that way since its inception, and it only got worse when it was caught out in the Watergate scandal, thanks to the investigation of Frank Church’s Senate Intelligence Committee, that it had been eavesdropping illegally on private individuals through telecommunication companies for any information which might be relevant for it and any related agencies doing that work fully.  “Pushed by Church,” James Bamford has written in Body of Secrets, “the committee voted to make its report public – over NSA’s vehement objections, and to the greatest displeasure of its Republican members.” (p. 439)  In the process, its Director, General Lew Allen was forced to resign, and the agency was obliged to live with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which made any such eavesdropping illegal, being now required to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court if it wanted to listen to the communications of American citizens and permanent residents within the United States.
 
Of course, this made NSA the Bureau’s official master in domestic matters, as it was expected to get some kind of input from the Bureau before any domestic eavesdropping. This restriction was impossible for NSA to maintain, given its worldwide capability to tap micro-wave messages, and to eavesdrop on what was going on in foreign embassies when it came to American residents.  While the problem only surfaced when important Americans were involved, it was responsible for an increased sense of paranoia within the agency, leading its leadership constantly to be concerned about possible leaks.  This was best illustrated when Vice Admiral Bobby Ray Inman was Director, going wild when the media, especially The New York Times, leaked information about Illinois Congressman Edward Derwinski being investigated for tipping off South Korean officials that its top spook in New York was about to defect by NSA monitoring his calls to Seoul (ibid.,October 27, 1977 issue), and President Carter’s brother, Billy, was working as a business agent for´Gadaffi’s Libyan government, aka Billygate, in the same fashion. (Bamford, pp. 380-1)
 
To avoid such embarrassment and controversy, future Directors became even more secretive and  most devious about what was going on.  NSA Director Air Force
General Lincoln Faurer, Inman’s successor, become so concerned about details leaking out about Reagan’s covert government intruding into Swedish waters that he had Airman David Helmer defect to Stockholm in February 1984 so that there would be no paper trail about what his mission was. Hemler had a top-secret clearance, and was stationed in Augsburg, Germany in its elite 6913 Electronic Security Squadron which knew all about signal intelligence communication in the Baltic,  He told Swedish security what he apparently knew about what had been going on  – what reinforced what statsminister Olof Palme’s opponents, particularly Conservative Party leader Carl Bildt, had engaged in, especially sending the previous October a most provocative diplomatic note about it to Moscow. (3) Faurer added to the ruse by having John Lehman’s US Navy send more attack submarines into the area to keep the ploy going.(4)
 
When Faurer learned, though, that the Reagan administration was serious about using it in a non-nuclear showdown with Moscow to end the Cold War at Sweden’s expense, he resigned, only to be replaced by a more hard-line, covert operator, Army Lieutenant General William Odom. He had served as NSA Zbig Brzezinski’s military assistant during the Carter administration, and was most noted for wanting to roll back Soviet power and influence across the board. Odom was obsessed by the potential leaking of NSA secrets by its personnel, earning the sobriquet Captain Queeg among his subordinates, and even considered the President to be the biggest offender by divulging its secrets in covert operations.
 
Little wonder that when Ollie North wanted to do this in spades while working for Reagan NSA Bud McFarlane that Odom gave him what help he could to achieve the task.
 
Odom ordered John Wobensmith of its Information Systems Security Directorate to give North whatever help he needed, including two of its KY-40 scramblers.- what he did without North having to sign a receipt for having gotten them. The lap-top computers contained “…secure encryption chips so that he and his fellow conspirators could communicate secretly via e-mail while traveling.” (Bamford, p. 391) An additional benefit was that it would be carried on without NSA having a clue about what was happening. The lap-tops were the crucial component of North’s “FLASH” communication network would get round all the red tape required by official institutions, and permit his operatives to do missions like capturing the Palestinian terrorists who killed Leon Klinghofer on board the Achille Lauro (5) to making Palme pay with his life for having stopped the transfer of arms for Tehran in exchange for the release of American hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
 
Of course, when Palme was assassinated, but the Soviets were not shown to have apparently done it, thanks to Moscow having been tipped off about the set up by the spies it had developed, and the countermeasures it had taken against any surprises triggering the planned non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War, all kinds of considerations became sensitive, and then alarming when Iran-Contra began unravelling.  It was then that Director Odom became particularly worried about using information NSA had about Libya’s alleged bombing of La Belle discotheque in West Berlin on April 5, 1986 for a retaliatory attack on Gaddafi’s capital Tripoli for fear that it would lead to what had happened in Stockholm the previous February 28th. Then when the C-123 carrying arms for the Contras was shot down over Nicaragua in the fall, the concerns resulted in murders of dangerous participants or their being forgotten about, especially the spies still unrevealed, destruction of key evidence about the plots, and defusing damaging evidence by rendering its sources immune from prosecution – what required the most strenuous efforts by the NSA and others.
 
The strain was immediately demonstrated when North put the highest priority on destroying incriminating evidence.  He was shedding all the evidence he could lay his hands on in his office and that of the National Security Council, only to have his former boss, McFarlane, remind him of an even more important chore: “I hope to daylights that someone has been purging the NSA files on this episode.” (6)  This problem was greatly complicated by the fact that NSA had not given North’s people just two KY.40 scamblers but fifteen KL-43 encryption devices whose codes had been changed every month, and had recorded everything they transmitted.The prospect of retrieving all the devices, and discovering what was within them made the possibility of what had really gone on most remote. In addition, the PROF notes between North and the new NSA Admiral John Poindexter about the operation were destroyed, but they had been copied by the agency’s computer system, and were ultimately discovered.
 
Then there was all kinds of intercepts that NSA had normally collected from around the world. The fleet of attack submarines, especially the Parche, SSN-683, which had been moving into position to sink Soviet hunter and boomer subs, once they started moving into launch position after the surprise assassination of Sweden’s statsminster had occurred –  had created a vast amount of communications which would become really troublesome if the real cause of Iran-Contra’s illegalities came into focus. The double agents that the CIA had developed in the USSR during Operation Courtship to pin the set up on Moscow would become serious if any investigators suspected so. Also there was all the data which had been collected by the monitoring device that technician spy TAW had placed on the KGB communication center southward of Moscow, and what operation ABSORB disclosed about the movement of ICBMs along the Trans-Siberian railroad in preparation for a first strike upon America.(7)  
 
Then Director Odom tried to pin the blame on Wobensmith for North’s people having the KY-40 lap-tops. Wobensmith claimed that Odom was so positive about helping that he did not even make North sign receipts when receiving them. Two years later, Wobensmith was suspended without pay for fifteen days by a NSA superior because of the oversight. and not instructing North how to properly use them, but an appeals board recommended that it be reversed and Webensmith reimbursed for his legal fees – what incensed Odom. “He believed that Wobensmith was responsible for casting the agency into the public spotlight, a rare and unforgivable sin in NSA’s secret city.”(Bamford, p.391).  As a result, he only received $1,229 for his legal fees, and was demoted in rank.
 
By scapegoating Wobensmith, Odom made it easier for the agency to keep Special Counsel Walsh investigating Iran-Contra at arm’s length. While Walsh  was finally able to obtain over 100,000 pages of classified documents to begin trying defendants in the conspiracy, their success depended largely upon their use in the trail – what NSA General Counsel Elizabeth Rinskopf doggedly opposed.  “Her concern was not only the preservation of intelligence sources, but also the protection of her agency from embarrassment.” (Bamford, p. 176) She insisted, for example, that McFarlane’s message to North in his PROf notes, about wanting the NSA traffic files purged, be redacted. More important, Walsh had to resort to various expedients to hide NSA being the source of information most germane to successful prosecutions of the conspiracy and diversion charges in North’s indictment, but Attorney General Richard Thornburgh refused to go along with the scheme – what Bamford, by then the author of The Puzzle Palace about NSA, surprisingly explained on national TV was required to maintain its secret intelligence capability.
 
With NSA’s role in Iran-Contra being effectively covered up, it was passed time for Odom to go, and he was replaced by Office of Naval Intelligence Director Vice Admiral William Studeman who was a soft-spoken copy of the former director.
 
 In taking leave, though, Odom could not restrain himself from leaking more secret information by comparing .the Agency with his agency:  “The CIA is good at stealing a memo off a prime minister’s desk, but they’re not much good at anything else.” (Quoted from Body…, p. 474.) This was obviously a reference to stealing Palme’s agenda in October 1985 for his scheduled meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in April 1986 – what allegedly included establishing a non-nuclear weapons zone in Scandinavia, and what was used by William Casey’s CIA to justify his assassination.  CIA resident in Stockholm Jennone Walker apparently got MI6 agent E. D.´Mack´ Falkirk in Oslo to steal the document. 
 
The only problem with the theft was that it did not trigger a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War at Palme’s expense – that was achieved by the Anglo-American leaders with Gorbachev themselves after the set up fizzled out because of countermeasures that Moscow took for the intended surprise, thanks to its spies around Washington.
 
During the next decade after the collapse of the USSR, the struggle within America’s intelligence community was plagued by ferreting out the spies, especially CIA’s Aldrich ‘Rick’ Ames, a process so damaging that it almost ended the Agency’s existence while the Bureau was increasingly taking the lead in fighting terrorism, even overseas, thanks to copper Louis Freeh becoming its Director, and the wake up call it had received because of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993. The impact on NSA was devastating because of the continuous reduction of its enormous size, and a peacetime mission in a growing world economy, as Air Force Director General Kenneth Minihan discovered. The Bureau went wild on fishing trips with NSA intercepts to find foreign companies which were engaging in illegal activities at the expense of legitimate American business.  While Minihan gave the impression that he was a great promoter of agency transparency, he ran a very tight organization.
 
While Miniham’s replacement, Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Hayden, had great plans for reforming NSA so its operators and funders could be happier about its performance, everything was put on hold to clear the air until the 9/11 attacks surprised everyone – making a bad situation much worse. A cause of the delay was the most belated discovery that Bureau’s Special Agent Robert Hanssen had been another spy like the Agency’s Ames – what Director Freeh compounded by immediately resigning, leaving the FBI naked to its enemies.(8) 
 
DCI George Tenet cut the Bureau out of having anything to do in subduing the suspected hijackers of the four planes while its agents in the field were increasingly having trouble connecting the dots in all its criminal investigations.(9) Moreover, the NSA did not accept Rick Taylor’s recommendation about implementing his system called Thinthread which would allow it to see the head notes of foreign e-mails entering the States while the Bureau was forced by the FISA court to keep its data gathering more separated from its criminal investigations.(10)
 
The results would be the 9/11 disasters where both the failings of the Bureau and NSA would be paramount, but this time the FBI was more exposed in the fallout, and would resort to more drastic attempts to fix it, as we shall see in the concluding article.       
 
          .          
 
References
 
1. For more, see this link: https://flyingcuttlefish.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/oneill-a-voice/
2. For a more complete explanation, see Trowbridge H. Ford, “The Prelude: US Intelligence – 11 September 2001, Eye Spy magazine, Issue Eight 2002, pp. 26-33.
3. Svenska Dagbladet, April 27, 1983.
4. For more about this, see the awards that the US Navy’s submarines received during 1984 and 198 in Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, Blind’s Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, p. 426.
5.  Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America, pp. 140-1.
6.  Quoted from Lawrence E. Walsh, Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-Up, p. 8.
7.  Pete Earley, Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames, pp. 117-8.
8.  Ford, op. cit., p.26ff.
9.  James Bamford, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. p. 108ff.
19. Ibid., p. 44ff.

 





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,” csj.org/studyindex), 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 pub.com/other/2002)

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,” law.unkc.edu/faculty/proje…) 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.’ (consortiumnews.com)

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. shout.net/-bigred/lennon), 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.