The family of a US intelligence agent that mysteriously died in 1953 has filed a lawsuit that accuses the CIA of committing murder.
The sons of deceased CIA officer Frank Olson allege in a lawsuit this week that their father was killed on the job nearly 60 years ago, despite the Central Intelligence Agency’s lost-standing claim that the death was a suicide.
Frank Olson was found dead outside the New York City Statler Hotel after what was originally described as a jump from the thirteenth floor carried out by his own accord. In 1975, a government report was made public that revealed Olson had been given LSD by his employers as part of a top-secret behavioral engineering project dubbed MKULTRA beforehand, and the drug has since been blamed for his alleged suicide. In the decades since, however, the case has been called into question due to a number of peculiarities, including how closely the alleged cover-up in the years since has come eerily close to the agency’s own policies.
“The circumstances surrounding the death mirrored those detailed in an assassination manual that, upon information and belief, the CIA had drafted that same year,” Scott Gilbert, a lawyer for the Olsons, writes in the complaint filed this week.
CIA spokesperson Preston Golson tells Bloomberg News that he cannot comment on a pending court case specifically, but suggests that the agency stands by their explanation.
“CIA activities related to MK-ULTRA have been thoroughly investigated over the years, and the agency cooperated with each of those investigations,” Golson said. “In addition, tens of thousands of pages related to the program have been declassified and released to the public.”
According to the complaint filed by sons Eric and Nils Olson, though, there is more to the story — just days before Frank Olson’s death, he allegedly informed a colleague that he had ethical concerns regarding the agency’s conduct and had planned to resign. That colleague, Vincent Ruwet, then accompanied the agent along with a CIA scientist to New York City so that Olson could see a doctor. There an allergist prescribed him sedatives and the alleged suicide occurred shortly thereafter.
When Olson was discovered dead, either Ruwet or the CIA scientist responsible for giving him LSD, Robert Lashbrook, made a phone call to an agency higher-up to inform them of the death.
“Well, he’s gone,” one person allegedly told the other in a phone call conversation included in the complaint.
“That’s too bad’,” the other responded.
According to a report this week published by Bloomberg, Eric and Nils Olson believe their father’s closed-casket funeral further covered-up the fact that Frank Olson had been bludgeoned by CIA agents before being tossed from the window. A 1994 investigation later all but confirmed that allegation, the complaint reads.
The New York District Attorney’s Office reclassified the cause of Olson’s death from “suicide” to “unknown” during the late 1990s. Now once again his sons are demanding they be told the truth.
WASHINGTON—Following the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus amid recent reports of marital infidelity, current acting director Michael Morell assured Americans Monday that he does not engage in any form of sexual activity whatsoever. “Under no circumstances do I ever take part in sexual acts of any kind, nor do I desire to, nor have I ever deemed this activity necessary in any way,” Morell told reporters at a press conference, explaining that his genitals are “solely for excreting urine and absolutely nothing else.” “I have never had sex in the past, I am not having sex now, and I guarantee I will never have sex in the future, be it for pleasure, procreation, or any other purpose. Indeed, I am a fully asexual being who possesses neither the need nor the inclination for sexual intercourse.” Morell then stared unblinkingly at the assembled press corps for a full five minutes.
In an interview with a Denver TV reporter Friday, President Obama twice refused to answer questions as to whether the Americans under siege in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, were denied requests for help, saying he’s waiting for the results of investigations before making any conclusions about what went wrong.
After being asked about possible denials of requests for aid, and whether it’s fair to tell Americans that what happened is under investigation and won’t be released until after the election, the president said, “the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. These are folks who served under me who I had sent to some very dangerous places. Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do.”
President Obama told KUSA-TV’s Kyle Clarke large that “we want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people, we’re going to bring those folks to justice. So, we’re going to gather all the facts, find out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesn’t happen again but we’re also going to make sure that we bring to justice those who carried out these attacks.”
Clark pressed again.
“Were they denied requests for help during the attack?” he asked.
“Well, we are finding out exactly what happened,” the president again said. “I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.”
In response, CIA spokesperson Jennifer Youngblood said, “We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”