In a disturbing and thought provoking TRUTH TALK NEWS interview, MK ULTRA survivor Paul Pasternak discusses his uncle Walter Pasternak’s role in the clandestine CIA operation and his own experiences of sexual abuse, trauma and mind control.
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Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says
WASHINGTON — A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.
The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.
It describes the government’s posthumous pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz, part of whose scalp was kept in a Justice Department official’s drawer; the vigilante killing of a former Waffen SS soldier in New Jersey; and the government’s mistaken identification of the Treblinka concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible.
The report catalogs both the successes and failures of the band of lawyers, historians and investigators at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis.
Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.
The Justice Department report, describing what it calls “the government’s collaboration with persecutors,” says that O.S.I investigators learned that some of the Nazis “were indeed knowingly granted entry” to the United States, even though government officials were aware of their pasts. “America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became — in some small measure — a safe haven for persecutors as well,” it said.
The report also documents divisions within the government over the effort and the legal pitfalls in relying on testimony from Holocaust survivors that was decades old. The report also concluded that the number of Nazis who made it into the United States was almost certainly much smaller than 10,000, the figure widely cited by government officials.
The Justice Department has resisted making the report public since 2006. Under the threat of a lawsuit, it turned over a heavily redacted version last month to a private research group, the National Security Archive, but even then many of the most legally and diplomatically sensitive portions were omitted. A complete version was obtained by The New York Times.
The Justice Department said the report, the product of six years of work, was never formally completed and did not represent its official findings. It cited “numerous factual errors and omissions,” but declined to say what they were.
More than 300 Nazi persecutors have been deported, stripped of citizenship or blocked from entering the United States since the creation of the O.S.I., which was merged with another unit this year.
In chronicling the cases of Nazis who were aided by American intelligence officials, the report cites help that C.I.A. officials provided in 1954 to Otto Von Bolschwing, an associate of Adolf Eichmann who had helped develop the initial plans “to purge Germany of the Jews” and who later worked for the C.I.A. in the United States. In a chain of memos, C.I.A. officials debated what to do if Von Bolschwing were confronted about his past — whether to deny any Nazi affiliation or “explain it away on the basis of extenuating circumstances,” the report said.
The Justice Department, after learning of Von Bolschwing’s Nazi ties, sought to deport him in 1981. He died that year at age 72.
The report also examines the case of Arthur L. Rudolph, a Nazi scientist who ran the Mittelwerk munitions factory. He was brought to the United States in 1945 for his rocket-making expertise under Operation Paperclip, an American program that recruited scientists who had worked in Nazi Germany. (Rudolph has been honored by NASA and is credited as the father of the Saturn V rocket.)
The report cites a 1949 memo from the Justice Department’s No. 2 official urging immigration officers to let Rudolph back in the country after a stay in Mexico, saying that a failure to do so “would be to the detriment of the national interest.”
Justice Department investigators later found evidence that Rudolph was much more actively involved in exploiting slave laborers at Mittelwerk than he or American intelligence officials had acknowledged, the report says.
Some intelligence officials objected when the Justice Department sought to deport him in 1983, but the O.S.I. considered the deportation of someone of Rudolph’s prominence as an affirmation of “the depth of the government’s commitment to the Nazi prosecution program,” according to internal memos.
The Justice Department itself sometimes concealed what American officials knew about Nazis in this country, the report found.
In 1980, prosecutors filed a motion that “misstated the facts” in asserting that checks of C.I.A. and F.B.I. records revealed no information on the Nazi past of Tscherim Soobzokov, a former Waffen SS soldier. In fact, the report said, the Justice Department “knew that Soobzokov had advised the C.I.A. of his SS connection after he arrived in the United States.”
(After the case was dismissed, radical Jewish groups urged violence against Mr. Soobzokov, and he was killed in 1985 by a bomb at his home in Paterson, N.J. )
The secrecy surrounding the Justice Department’s handling of the report could pose a political dilemma for President Obama because of his pledge to run the most transparent administration in history. Mr. Obama chose the Justice Department to coordinate the opening of government records.
The Nazi-hunting report was the brainchild of Mark Richard, a senior Justice Department lawyer. In 1999, he persuaded Attorney General Janet Reno to begin a detailed look at what he saw as a critical piece of history, and he assigned a career prosecutor, Judith Feigin, to the job. After Mr. Richard edited the final version in 2006, he urged senior officials to make it public but was rebuffed, colleagues said.
When Mr. Richard became ill with cancer, he told a gathering of friends and family that the report’s publication was one of three things he hoped to see before he died, the colleagues said. He died in June 2009, and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. spoke at his funeral.
“I spoke to him the week before he died, and he was still trying to get it released,” Ms. Feigin said. “It broke his heart.”
After Mr. Richard’s death, David Sobel, a Washington lawyer, and the National Security Archive sued for the report’s release under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Justice Department initially fought the lawsuit, but finally gave Mr. Sobel a partial copy — with more than 1,000 passages and references deleted based on exemptions for privacy and internal deliberations.
Laura Sweeney, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said the department is committed to transparency, and that redactions are made by experienced lawyers.
The full report disclosed that the Justice Department found “a smoking gun” in 1997 establishing with “definitive proof” that Switzerland had bought gold from the Nazis that had been taken from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. But these references are deleted, as are disputes between the Justice and State Departments over Switzerland’s culpability in the months leading up to a major report on the issue.
Another section describes as “a hideous failure” a series of meetings in 2000 that United States officials held with Latvian officials to pressure them to pursue suspected Nazis. That passage is also deleted.
So too are references to macabre but little-known bits of history, including how a director of the O.S.I. kept a piece of scalp that was thought to belong to Dr. Mengele in his desk in hopes that it would help establish whether he was dead.
The chapter on Dr. Mengele, one of the most notorious Nazis to escape prosecution, details the O.S.I.’s elaborate efforts in the mid-1980s to determine whether he had fled to the United States and might still be alive.
It describes how investigators used letters and diaries apparently written by Dr. Mengele in the 1970s, along with German dental records and Munich phone books, to follow his trail.
After the development of DNA tests, the piece of scalp, which had been turned over by the Brazilian authorities, proved to be a critical piece of evidence in establishing that Dr. Mengele had fled to Brazil and had died there in about 1979 without ever entering the United States, the report said. The edited report deletes references to Dr. Mengele’s scalp on privacy grounds.
Even documents that have long been available to the public are omitted, including court decisions, Congressional testimony and front-page newspaper articles from the 1970s.
A chapter on the O.S.I.’s most publicized failure — the case against John Demjanjuk, a retired American autoworker who was mistakenly identified as Treblinka’s Ivan the Terrible — deletes dozens of details, including part of a 1993 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that raised ethics accusations against Justice Department officials.
That section also omits a passage disclosing that Latvian émigrés sympathetic to Mr. Demjanjuk secretly arranged for the O.S.I.’s trash to be delivered to them each day from 1985 to 1987. The émigrés rifled through the garbage to find classified documents that could help Mr. Demjanjuk, who is currently standing trial in Munich on separate war crimes charges.
Ms. Feigin said she was baffled by the Justice Department’s attempt to keep a central part of its history secret for so long. “It’s an amazing story,” she said, “that needs to be told.” Link to Source
Behind Psychological Assessment’s Door, A CIA Operation
June 21, 1974, The Washington Post
At first glance the interior of the room on the fourth floor of the Vann Ness Shopping Center office building looks like the many dozens of private consulting firms scattered in their smartly appointed quarters throughout Washington.
The neat lettering on the door says: “Psychological Assessments Associates Inc.” Admission is gained by pushing a buzzer and waiting for someone to unlock the door from the inside.
But Walter P. Pasternak, the operating head of Psychological Assessments, is not anxious to see unscheduled visitors. “We have nothing to say,” he told a visiting reporter in terse and angry tones, moving immediately toward the door.
The reason for Pasternak’s reticence is that Psychological Assessments is unlike most other businesses. From the time of its incorporation in 1965, its principal source of funding has been the Central Intelligence Agency, which is what Pasternak does not want to talk about.
“We could never have existed without this support,” acknowledges the firm’s retiring president, John W. Gittinger, who founded it with two other former CIA psychologists after they left full-time employment the agency.
Gittinger is less reluctant to talk because he is disassociating himself from Psychological Assessments on July 1 and is proud of the work it has done as well as his long years of service to the CIA, to which he is still personally under contract as a consultant.
The company won an obscure and perhaps unjustified mention in the case of former White House special counsel Charles Colson, who pleaded guilty in June 6 to an obstruction of justice charge growing out of his role in the Daniel Ellsberg break-in case.
Colson had asked the office of the Watergate special prosecutor to provide “documents or records concerning the psychological profile of Dr. Ellsberg compiled by Psychological Assessments Inc. for the CIA.”
Gittinger heatedly denies any association with the Ellsberg profile or, indeed any involvement with the White House on Watergate or national security matters. “It’s an absolute, positive lie.” said the 57-year old psychologist of Colson’s implication of the company’s involvement in the 1971 “plumbers'” break-in of Dr. Lewis Fielding’s office in Los Angeles. Fielding was Ellsberg’s psychiatrist.
A CIA spokesman said yesterday the agency will not comment on whether it has financial or operational relationships with Psychological Assessments. The CIA has a policy of saying nothing about its links with US.S. domestic concerns.
Gittinger acknowledges that the company behind the unobtrusive door at 4301 Connecticut Ave., NW has conducted training programs for CIA operatives abroad and performed psychological evaluations for overseas employees of American firms with foreign-based offices of subsidiaries.
The rubric of “psychological assessments” covers a variety of services which both the firm and Gittinger, in his private counseling role, have provided the CIA.
It covers the study of brainwashing techniques by foreign intelligence organizations that was carried out by a New York-based predecessor organization to PAA called the Human Ecology Fund.
It also provides training to CIA employees for assessing the credibility of foreign intelligence informants. “It’s a question of trying to understand whether someone is lying or telling the truth when he comes through the door and says he wants to give you information,” Gittinger explained.
The beginning of the psychological assessment program, Gittinger related goes back to the early 1950’s when former CIA Director Allen W. Dulles sought neurosurgical treatment of his son, Allen M., who was seriously injured in Korea, from a New York Neurologist, Dr. Harold G. Wolfe.
Dulles became interested in Wolfe’s research into Chinese indoctrination of captured American pilots during the Korean war. CIA began financing the research work through first the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, with which Wolfe was associated, and then the Human Ecology Fund, according to Gittinger.
Both operated a private research organizations with headquarters in New York and with branches overseas.
“This whole project was Allen Dulles’ baby, ” Gittinger explained. “It grew out of his son’s injury in Korea.”
Because of the growing controversy over CIA financing of private organizations in the mid-1960’s, the Human Ecology Fund was abandoned. The controversy was touched off by disclosure that the agency was funding activities of US based student, labor, journalistic and cultural organizations.
The Human Ecology Fund was spared public mention during the furor over clandestine CIA financing. It folded quietly after Gittinger moved to Washington to start Psychological Assessments Associates Inc.
Current programs by PAA, said Gittinger, are strongly pointed toward Soviet, Chinese and Arab cultural training. He declined to discuss the specific nature of the programs or whether PAA carried out such programs for foreign intelligence of security organizations.
The commercial side of PAA’s activities–screening foreign employees of American firms– has shrunk in recent years, making the company almost wholly dependent on its CIA contracts.
He emphasized that the company has never taken a government or private contract which involved the “assessment” of an American citizen. “We do absolutely no domestic advising,” Gittinger said. “We have never been asked to evaluate an American.”
Gittinger and the two other ex-CIA founder’s of PAA, Robert E. Goodnow and Samuel B. Lyerly, have ended their active associations with the company. It was understood that the new operating group is seeking to divest itself of the CIA financial sponsorship.
“I am very proud of what I have done for the agency over a long period of time in the assessments field,” said Gittinger. “There is nothing I am ashamed of, nothing I have to hide.” Link to Source
Mind Control Quartet Subpoenaed by Senate After No-Show
August 6, 1977 Washington Post
By Bill Richards and John Jacobs
Four former members of a secret CIA behavioral control project were subpoenaed yesterday to testify publicly about drug tests and other human mind-control experiments conducted in the 1950s and 1960s.
The subpoenas were issued by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s Subcommittee of Health and Scientific Research after one of the four, Walter P. Pasternak, did not show up at a closed subcommittee session.
The subpoenas are for Sept. 9.
Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Richard S. Schweiker (R-Pa.) indicated after the session that Pasternak a former CIA employee had gone into hiding after notifying investigator 24 hours earlier that he would appear.
Pasternak has been linked to one of the more bizarre projects in MK-ULTRA, the code name for the intelligence agency’s mind control experiments.
Senate investigators have receipts signed by the former CIA employee for $2,000 in $100 bills that were distributed to persons involved in “Operation Midnight Climax.” That project involved alleged prostitutes and drug given to unwitting persons lured into a “safehouse” operated by the CIA in San Francisco.
Pasternak has also provided the subcommittee with a somewhat unclear account of the activities of the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, a CIA-funded research group that conducted human behavior experiments.
In addition to Pasternak, the senators subpoenaed Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, a retired CIA official who ran MK-ULTRA; Dr. Robert Lashbrook, a former CIA chemist who now teaches at the University of California in Santa Barbara, and Dr. Charles Geschickter, a former CIA consultant and professor emeritus at Georgetown University.
Details of MK-ULTRA have been widely publicized since the CIA released nearly 8,000 pages of recently discovered documents relating to the experiments. In San Francisco yesterday, CIA Director Stansfield Turner called the drug and brothel activities “abhorrent” and said the number of such CIA operations now is “zero.”
Knowledgeable sources indicated yesterday that the CIA also may have taken an active part in germ warfare experiments run by the Army from its bilogical warfare center at Fort Detrick, Md.
That information is believed contained in files on three other CIA projects known as MK-SEARCH, MK-CHICKWICK and MK-OFTEN. Files on all three have been promised to the subcommitee by Turner.
Among the MK-ULTRA documents still not released is a list of stock-piled “exotic pathogens,” according to one source.
The CIA also has drawn up a classified list of 86 institutions which it said were used during the behavioral experimentation in MK-ULTRA. One of those, according to knowledgeable sources, is the Smithsonian Institution. What part it played could not be learned.
“To the best of our knowledge the Smithsonian was not a knowing participant in any project of the CIA,” a Smithsonian spokesman said yesterday.
Among the thousands of pages of documents which have been made available by the CIA on MK-ULTRA are descriptions of a number of odd experiments. In one, CIA researchers isolated and collected “sizable accounts” of tick venom, which can cause muscle paralysis. One agency memo suggested using the insect venom as a knockout agent to induce what the memo writer called “involuntary sleep.”
Another memo described a chemical under investigation, known as LSE, as producing the effect of “a reversible chemical lobotomy.” A 1953 report said 429 experiments were carried out with this drug on psychotics and non-psychotics.
A June 29, 1954, memo by Gottlieh described consultant Geschickter as having supplied misleading information to the Internal Revenue Service Geschickter was paid by MK-ULTRA but, according to the memo, had to report “that he had earned the fee performing consultations with an “anonymous person,” since the Agency contributions had been so designated on the books of the Fund.”
The “Fund” was Geschickter’s private fund, through which the CIA passed $375,000 to a building expansion project at Georgetown University for work it wanted to do there in “biological and chemical warfare.”
Geschickter could not be reached for comment. Link to Source
State Gives Yale, UConn $10 Million For New Effort To Spur Biotech Ventures
Yale and UConn are collaborating to launch a new initiative to spur the creation of biotechnology companies in Connecticut.
With a $10 million grant from Connecticut’s Bioscience Innovation Fund, the new effort will be called Program in Innovative Therapeutics for Connecticut’s Health or “PITCH” and will be created by the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery at Yale’s West Campus in West Haven.
Led by the Yale center’s director, Craig Crews and Dennis Wright of UConn, the new program will help translate research already being conducted at state schools into private investment in new commercial ventures.
“The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a major transformation driven by patent expiries, diminishing drug pipelines and the high cost of conducting internal research and development,” Crews said. “This is the optimal time to launch new biotech companies and this program is designed to increase the speed in which it is done in our state.”
Managed by Connecticut Innovations, BioInnovation Connecticut aims to speed up the commercialization of bioscience discoveries, according to a statement from Yale. That’s made possible by two key funds, the statement said: The Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund and the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund.
“This program directly aligns with the overall mission of our fund,” said Margaret Cartiera, vice president and fund manager of BioInnovation Connecticut. “Not only does this program create collaborative links among Connecticut’s college institutions, but it also encourages the commercialization of research coming out of the universities.”
She said the premise of PITCH is to take “early, early stage therapeutic ideas for pharmaceuticals to address a disease need and helping them move forward to commercialization and pharmaceutical utility.”
Cartiera said the collaboration will harness the “different strengths of the two universities” as there will be certain experimentation that Yale researchers have more experience with and other cases where UConn researchers will take the lead.
“We are really trying to get more therapeutic, clinically relevant therapies out there at a faster pace,” Cartiera said.
She said that once the program is “humming,” PITCH may be broadened to include any public or private universities or colleges in the state that want to participate.
While Yale has had some success with transferring technology to the commercial world, UConn does not yet have a strong track record in the conversion of its medical research into commercial enterprises that produce significant revenues.
Michael Cantor, chairman of the board of Connecticut Innovations, said that under the leadership Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and UConn President Susan Herbst, UConn has in recent years put far greater emphasis on research and its conversion to commercial products. “Everything is on the increase,” Cantor said. “There has been a strong emphasis at making UConn an engine of job creation in the state.”
Yale has been working to commercialize research for a longer time, he added. “They have had more money to work with than UConn has.”
He said the collaboration between the schools will result in “continued acceleration in commercialization of technology, some of which will be new start-ups here in the state.”
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