In this special edition of Frotnpage symposium, we have gather a distinguished panel to discuss how drugs have been used as a weapon of psycho-chemical warfare by our enemies. What have been the historical ramifications of the flooding of the free world with acid, heroin, and hashish from enemy territory, especially since the late 60s?
Remarkably little research has been done on Cold War drug-supply, even though the communists clearly stated their intent on poisoning Western youth with drugs.
Joining us today are some of the people who have looked into this subject more closely. Towards the end of the talk, we hope to be able to draw some parallels with the current threat of Islamic Jihad:
Our guests are:
Frank Kitman, a blogger and independent researcher who specializes in how America’s enemies have used drugs as a weapon against us.
J. R. Nyquist, the president of the Strategic Crisis Center, Inc. (StrategicCrisis.com). He writes a column on global strategic issues for Financial Sense Online.
Dr. Joseph Douglass, among the first defense analysts to identify the Soviet intelligence operation to move narcotic drugs into the “enemy’s camp” to undermine the youth and culture. His first articles appeared in 1987 and 1988 and his book, Red Cocaine, in 1991. He was also the first to write about the development and covert use of psycho-active drugs by their intelligence services in covert operations to influence thinking and behavior in the Medical Sentinel journal. He has also written several books on Soviet nuclear strategy, decision making, on the Soviet practice of arms control violations, and on the missing American POW/MIAs from WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Cold War.
FP: Frank Kitman, J. R. Nyquist and Dr. Joseph Douglass, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.
Dr. Douglass, let’s begin with you. What is the best way for us to begin this discussion?
Perhaps you can enlighten us on some of the evidence that has linked communist activity with the massive increase in drug-supply in the United States — especially following U.S. entrance into the Vietnam war?
Douglass: Thank you Jamie.
To work our way into the Vietnam War, I would look first at the late 1940s following WWII. Because of constraints on shipping during the war and efforts of the US Narcotics Bureau before the war to bring the use of opium and heroin under control in the United States, the use of “illegal drugs” after WWII had dropped to its lowest level since the early 1900s. The stats on over dose of heroin in NYC had dropped to zero in 1948 as those on first use of heroin in San Francisco was close to that also. This all changed in 1949 when there was an abrupt rise in the use of illegal drugs. The same was true in Japan. US intelligence and Japanese intelligence independently determined that the rise in both countries was due to a new flow of drugs out of the new Communist China. This might be viewed as the opening of today’s psychochemical war using drugs.
The first book to report on this was The Traffic in Narcotics by the legendary Harry J. Anslinger. It was published in 1952 right on the heels of a USG report submitted to the United Nations on the increase in international narcotics trafficking. Two quite substantial books that added considerable detail to the new “Chinese communist drug offensive” were Psycho-Chemical Warfare by A.H. Stanton Candlin and The Peking Bomb by Gerd Hamburger in 1973 and 1975, respectively. Both described the new drug offensive with maps on poppy fields, organization and soforth. My information from a high communist source later confirmed this message and the deliberate use by the top Chinese leaders of narcotics as a weapon in a covert war against the United States and Japan.
The Chinese expanded this practice during the Korean War in 1951-1953. They targeted their trafficking specifically against the US military forces engaged in the Korean War, both those in Korea and those stationed in nearby bases, such as Japan and Okinawa. This was an especially important beginning of the use of psychochemical drugs as a weapon in war. This practice gained little attention in the West at the time, but it had a significant effect in damaging the readiness of US forces, especially in logistics units. Additionally, it proved the effectiveness of the tactic that would be greatly expanded in the Vietnam War.
The Chinese undercover war was also noted by the Soviets who had directed the Czechs to build a experimental hospital in North Korea for use in running experiments on American and and allied force POWs during the war that was about to start. The Soviets wanted to test the effectiveness of Soviet chemical and biological agents and the effects of atomic radiation on American and other nationality soldiers who were captured during the war. In the process of conducting autopsies on the American bodies who were both taken dead from the combat area and who died during the experiments, the Czech and Soviet doctors noted that a significant percentage of the American soldiers had experienced “mini heart attacks.” They concluded that these must have been the effect of the hard drugs the Chinese had trafficked against the American soldiers.
The Soviets also used American POWs for testing the effects of new mind-altering drugs that Soviets and Czechs had developed. These drugs were quite effective. They were what were used to change certain attitudes the American boys held. One of the effects were what caused the Americans to speak badly about America and to tell how wonderful life in North Korea was. Videos of these interviews were run on American newsreels and caused alarm and confusion in America. Another of the drugs inhibited the American POWs spirit and motivation and was what led to the absence of escape efforts and the absence of any “leaders” among the American POWs.
It was in during this time period that both the KGB and CIA, who both had mind-altering drugs in development since the mid-1940s (and much earlier for the Soviets), began to experience significant progress. This progress was accelerated then because of German scientists working on mind-altering drugs that had been captured after WWII and because the field of psycho-active drugs for use in medicine had, in effect, been born with the discovery of the effects of lithium and chlorpromazine on the mind in 1949 and 1951 and the publication of the formula for LSD in 1951 and related information on Dr. Hoffmann’s discovery at Sandos in Switzerland. The psychoactive drug Genie was out of the bottle for both positive medical use and for the dark side of intelligence warfare.
In the mid-1950s the French decided to leave Vietnam after the battle at DienBeinPhu. It was at this time that the Americans sent their first contingent of forces and aid to South Vietnam. The Chinese watched these events slowly unfolding and concluded that a new war involving American forces in Vietnam was likely in the near future. With this in mind, the Chinese began to increase their own production of opium and heroin to use on the American soldiers in the upcoming war. This was also the time when the Soviets began to develop the trade craft for a new “strategic intelligence” operation, international drug trafficking. This decision was made by Khrushchev in 1955 following a major study of the potential vulnerability and effects of possible drug trafficking into America, Canada, France, Britain, and Germany. There conclusion was the drug trafficking would be tremendously effective and that the covering tactic should be to make the trafficking appear to have been managed by organized crime.
The background work to launch a major covert drug trafficking operation was initiated in 1956 and would not be completed until 1959. It was during this time that the Soviets moved to learn the techniques for manufacturing various drugs in crude laboratories and to learn how much US intelligence knew about the drug trafficking. The Soviets, with the assistance of the Czech intelligence set up training schools for drug traffickers and began recruiting indigenous people from all the countries that were targeted countries, most notably Latin American countries where the supplies would be manufactured and the targets that were global, but with special emphasis on America and Europe. The training centers were first developed in the Soviet Union and then duplicates where set up in North Korea, Eastern Europe, and Cuba. Those recruited in various countries where they would become drug traffickers would be sent to training centers for a three-month course. The actual trafficking began in 1959-1960.
In preparation for the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese sent a delegation to Czechoslovakia seeking military aid and assistance. It was during this week in 1963 that the decision was made to help North Vietnam. Also, the Soviets began training people for moving drugs into Vietnam against the American servicemen. The actual war began in the 1964-65 time frame and both the Chinese and Soviets trafficked drugs in competition against the Americans. The drug weapons led to a plague of drug use among the Americans and by the 1970s caused the US Air Force more casualties than the conflict caused. The effect of the use of these drugs, often given away free to the Americans, had become a major US military problem, along with desertion at the time that General Abrams was given command of US forces in Vietnam. These two problems were separated out as especially troublesome problem for the opening briefing for the new commander and his staff.
Unfortunately, to ease the picture presented to the new commander, his deputy directed those two embarrassing topics be removed from the briefing. This enabled the problem to continue to grow. It received grossly inadequate attention because the US military did not know about or understand this new dimension in war fighting.
FP: Thank you Joe Douglass, such tragedies and crimes you remind us of, and how little the American public knows about them.
J. R. Nyquist your take on Douglass’s comments? And how would you build on them?
Nyquist: Joe Douglass’s research warrants a brief side-discussion on Jan Sejna, who was a high ranking communist bloc official and a key source for Douglass’s work on Soviet drug trafficking and the strategic use of psycho-pharmaceuticals. Sejna had been briefed on Moscow’s long range strategy in 1967, the year before he defected to the West. Like all defectors with direct knowledge of Soviet strategy, Sejna had a message few wanted to hear. Unfortunately his warnings were ignored by the U.S. national security establishment, and his story was misrepresented in the press. In 1982 Sejna published a book with the title We Will Bury You. If anything demonstrates his credibility it is the prophetic character of this book, which describes long-term communist bloc operations across the globe, including plans for the future breakup of Yugoslavia along ethnic lines, the planned breakup of the Warsaw Pact alliance (as a deception), and the advent of a “progressive” American presidency coinciding with a severe financial crisis. All these future events were mapped out by Soviet planners in 1967. If this sounds incredible, anyone can read Sejna’s book and see for themselves.
According to Sejna, the Soviet regime based its policies on long-term strategic thinking. The Kremlin was obsessed with future scenarios and active preparations to trigger key events. Mind control drugs were to play a key part. This is all quite alien to our thinking, and Americans will not believe in it. But the leaders in Moscow are not Americans. They do not share our notions of development and growth out of the free play of a free society. They continue to believe in a planned future. And their strategic plan in 1967 was about destroying free society. About this, Sejna wrote: “One of the basic problems of the West is its frequent failure to recognize the existence of any Soviet ‘grand design’ at all. Those rejecting this concept unwittingly serve Soviet efforts to conceal their objectives.”
Since the main objective of Soviet strategy was destruction, it follows that psycho-pharmacology under the Soviet Union would be used in the development of a new kind of warfare. Under the Soviet Union, subversion and terrorism became sciences. Every scientific advance was harnessed for the sake of revolution. The Soviets developed thermo-nuclear weapons, launched the first satellite and put the first man in space. All of this was used to advance socialist power, which styled itself as a “scientific” power. Here every science was subordinated to strategy. Nothing could be more natural to Soviet leaders than the use of mind-altering chemicals to advance psychological warfare operations. It is inconceivable that Moscow would ignore this area of research. At the same time, the West’s openness and freedom signified a ready vulnerability to new forms of attack. Our collective refusal to acknowledge the Kremlin’s deployment of mind-altering technology is a potentially fatal error.
We need to admit that psychological warfare has a chemical warfare component. We know that consciousness can be chemically altered. We know that the “drug culture,” which appeared in the 1960s, was opposed to the Vietnam War and suspicious of the capitalist system. (Was this accidental?) We know that the moral structures of our society suffered a blow from which we have yet to recover. The morally corrosive effect of illegal drugs extends from the realm of the addict to the realm of money laundering and organized crime. I hope that during this discussion we will see how Soviet strategy sought to exploit linkages between drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, and the subversion of various governments. Drugs cannot be looked at independent of Soviet involvement in organized crime and terrorism. All of these elements are part of what Sejna called “The Strategic Plan” (the title of Chapter 10 in We Will Bury You). But who is brave enough to discuss this? In terms of the media, the subject itself is toxic.
Kitman: To begin with, I will try to expand on some of the points Joseph Douglass made about experimentation on American POWs in North Korea. These early experiments tell us that psycho-active substances were part of the communist military efforts from the very beginning. In fact it was the knowledge of such experiments that made the CIA start their own mind-control programs, in an attempt to keep up with the communists. This implies that discussions like the one we are having here concerning the communist use of drugs in psychological warfare is really the natural line of inquiry. It is not a conspiracy theory.
Secondly, within these experiments, the communists combined drug-testing with different strategies of persuasion and exposure to communist propaganda. The main objective was not to improve interrogation techniques and truth-drugging. These were full-scale, re-education programs, where prisoners were tortured, exhausted, forced to memorize propaganda, write private confessions and family history etc. In this setting, drugs would be used to generate experiences of extreme pleasure and all kinds of emotional confusion. The mental vulnerability inherent in many such altered states of consciousness then gave plenty of opportunity to change a person’s opinions, values and undermine his faith in God and Country – which communists have always considered of utmost importance.
This blend of modern pharmacology and behaviorist modeling is disturbing, to say the least. And unfortunately, I think it is fair to assume that most of the communist know-how developed through these experimental re-education programs must have been more or less directly applicable to the unsuspecting youths of the free world.
Now remember, moving a decade ahead as America enters the Vietnam war, we suddenly begin to see these massive increases in the supply of the very same psycho-active substances used in the earlier experiments, especially LSD and marijuana extracts. And at all the hotspots for consumption of these drugs concerts, festivals etc, we often find a presence of some kind of communist agitation and propaganda materials. Furthermore, the drugs are very generously distributed at all major, anti-war rallies and after-parties. This suggests that drugs were used by communists as a lubricant for their propaganda efforts, as well as for a key reinforcement for “revolutionary behavior” and other activities helpful to China and the Soviet Union.
It is of course debatable to what extend this was part of “The Strategic Plan” that Jeff Nyquist points to. But if we consider the testimony of Jan Sejna, the Cuban defectors and other dissidents, as well as the crucially important writings of Joseph Douglass, it becomes hard to miss a grander scheme of things. And honestly, this need not be phrased as an incredible conspiracy. Suffice to say, that during the Vietnam war, communists skipped the sugar and candy and instead used LSD, marijuana and other psycho-active substances to win “hearts and minds” among Western youths.
And, with devastating results.
FP: Joe Douglass?
Douglass: Both Nyquist and Kitman have expanded our journey in several very important ways. Nyquist points out that we cannot look at the use of drugs independently of other major operations such as organized crime and terrorism. All three work together in subverting cultures and governments.
Actually, there are numerous other groups of operations that are also part of the Soviet long-range plan, such as infiltration of various mass organizations and then working from the inside to slowly turn the organizational policies so that they support Soviet policies. Nevertheless, these have not been as strategically important and directly attacking cultures and institutions as were drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, and the all important Soviet “active measures” (a combination of targeted deception and propaganda to confuse other nations as to the Soviet intentions, policy, and ideology) one of whose goals was to hide the Soviet role in international drug trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime and another parallel critical goal, in respect to banks, that was to divert attention away from the banks that handled the very important money laundering.
The primary goal of drug trafficking in the Soviet Union at the start was not money. Nor is it such today. Money is only a beneficial side effect to the goal of undermining the financial strength of capitalist countries. The real primary goal was, through drug trafficking, to undermine the moral, mental, and physical gifts of our youth, which would under mine our military strength within a few years (drugs impair the cardiovascular system) and, as our youth mature in the future, the strength of our future leaders is also weakened through corruption and their inability to think well. Because these drugs were mainly tools of sabotage operations, drug trafficking was run out of the GRU. In contrast, the organized crime was directed at the power elite, to corrupt them and open doors for direct policy influence, and espionage at the highest level. Because the dominant role here was political, the organized crime element was run by the KGB. Terrorism had two different goals, one was to destabilize countries and make them vulnerable to insurrections and take-overs, and the other was to help isolate the United States from the rest of the world. Because of its nature, it, too, was run by the GRU.
While these all began as independent covert operations, by the mid-1960s their boundaries were getting fuzzy because each would benefit from some contributions of the others. Additionally, there were some capabilities that were shared among all of the three because they were critical to each one, for example, the movement of monies, that is, money laundering and associated financial support.
Also as pointed out by Kitman, we need to consider the large range of drugs and their different effects, and, hence, their very different usages. For example against the youth, which is indicated above in the targeting of the youth, are the so-called recreational drugs. These were drugs for the masses, mainly the youth. And, the main idea was to get the youth to become addicts and drug users before the age of 25, which was when the youth were most vulnerable. The second largest category of use is specific mind-altering drugs whose object is not a trip that puts people into la-la land, but drugs that are used, mostly, on individuals who are the target of special psychological operations designed to change the target’s way of thinking or acting to the Soviet benefit. There are many different types, as Kitman explains. Only a few such drugs were developed to extract information or “truth.” The largest range of drugs are for very different usages, such as to cause the targeted individual to become very paranoid, aggressive, frightened, unable to make decisions, sleep inducing, chaos or “craziness” inducing, hate inducing drugs, and some that just made people happy and accepting or able to support different policies and people. These were used on leaders and individuals of power and influence in a very different fashion – that is, the target has no idea he or she have been given a special drug covertly. There is also a third very different category which is for military use, drugs for use against group targets, up to battalion-sized targets, drugs for use against commanders or control centers, and drugs that affect the mind in such a way that facilitates recruiting individual officers and turning them into unwitting Soviet agents.
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