Hello and welcome back to another DailyTopT10s Top 10 Video. Today we’re looking at some top secret — and incredibly disturbing — government missions, proving that sometimes, your allies do more damage than your enemies, and that the CIA really are as evil as your stoner friend says they are.
10. Stargate Project
There is seemingly nothing that the CIA or the US special forces won’t try to get one up on their enemies. So when someone suggested that they try remote viewing, astral projection and other psychic phenomena, they shrugged their shoulders, threw several million dollars at it and labelled it the “Stargate Project”. This was an umbrella term given to a group of projects, each as bat-shit crazy as the last.
As far as we know, very little has come of this project, although it did spawn a great TV show.
9. Operation Paperclip
The Nazis were blood-thirsty, racist bastards, by all accounts, but they also came pretty close to wiping out most of the human race, and a lot of that was down to some pretty advanced technology, medicine and quite a bit of anti-semitism. That left the Allies in a bit of a quandary, because they didn’t want to send so many great scientists to their death, and they didn’t want to be seen hiring them either. So they did the next best thing: they hired them and didn’t tell anyone about it.
Operation Paperclip resulted in the employment of more than 1,500 Nazi scientists and technicians, many of which could have very easily swung from the gallows or spent the rest of their days in prison.
8. US Tests on Own People
The US have a history of testing weapons on their own people, because to win a war and save your country, you need to kill half of it. Apparently.
In the space of several decades in the 20th Century, they released a whooping cough virus in Tampa Bay, killing 12, and they sprayed pathogens on San Francisco. They even secretly tested the effects of nuclear radiation, exposing 18 non-consenting patients to a nuclear explosion in order to see how to affected them.
7. STD Crazy
In the 1940s, penicillin hit the market and the US Government wanted to learn just how effective it was at curing syphilis. They could have tested a few subjects who already had the disease. But the US Government don’t do anything by halves, so instead they found some infected prostitutes, and then unleashed on them Guatemalan prisons, psychiatric hospitals and army bases. A good time was to be had by all, but it didn’t work as well as the scientists had hoped.
So they took to simply injecting men with the disease or bathing their penises in the bacteria (we apologise for the mental image). To top off this side-show, there are reports that they only gave treatment to a third of the men.
6. Operation Mockingbird
There is a lot of distrust surrounding the media. The internet and the age of the arm-chair reporter has changed that somewhat, but it used to be much worse, and a lot of that was down to Operation Mockingbird.
This CIA program aimed to infiltrate the media and to spread fear about Communism — the “Red Menace”. They did this by hiring journalists and by planting operatives in newspaper offices and TV stations. These journalists ensured that the CIA had a direct line to every major news outlet, which helped them to spread their propaganda.
5. Phoenix Program
During the Vietnam war, US special forces, the South Vietnam Security Forces and members of the Australian forces were tasked with eradicating the Viet Cong by infiltrating their ranks and using intelligence to bring them down. So far, so good. Except, they targeted Vietnamese civilians and not soldiers.
This unit kidnapped, tortured, and abused scores of civilians, killing many of them. But in the end, at least it was all worth it. After all, the US won the war, peace was established in Vietnam and…oh. Maybe not.
4. Vaccine Drive
In 2011, the CIA recruited a Pakistani doctor in their quest to locate Osama Bin Laden. The doctor was tasked with organising a vaccination drive throughout the neighbourhood where they suspected this Most Wanted criminal was hiding. Blood samples they collected as part of the drive helped them to identify Bin Laden’s children and to confirm his location.
It all went to plan, except they didn’t both to follow up those vaccinations with additional — and essential — jabs, and while this didn’t cause any direct harm, it did increase suspicion of vaccinations in a country where fears and concerns were already rife. And as a direct result, many millions may refuse vaccinations that could otherwise keep them alive.
In 1978, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, helping to fend-off anti-communist rebels whose efforts seemed to be gaining traction. This had nothing to do with the US, so naturally they got involved, and as is so often the case, they would come to regret it.
The US set up camps to train the Mujahideen rebels. They gave them advanced weaponry and taught them how to use them, and they trained them in modern warfare. It helped the Mujahideen to put up a fight, but the Soviets remained in control.
Years later, those Mujahideen fighters began training others in the same tactics, even using the same weapons. And those tactics, those weapons and those fighters served as the foundation for groups like Al-Qaeda.
2. Sarin Tests
In 1953, the British Army offered servicemen 15 shillings to become part of a clinical trial. Few details were given about this trial and the servicemen never expected that their lives were on the line. But the whole point of the test was to determine how much sarin, a nerve agent, was needed to kill someone, so the scientists in the trial definitely knew.
Several servicemen signed up and all were given sarin, applied via drops to the skin. One of those was Ronald Maddison, who planned to use the money to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring. Maddison was the first to react negatively to the nerve agent. Within a matter of hours he had died, the scientists had their answer and Maddison’s girlfriend never got her ring.
During the Cold War, espionage was top of the agenda for the US, and one of the programs designed to tap into the enemy’s intelligence was MK-ULTRA. The aim of this program was to find a way to control the mind of an individual, making them submit to their whim. The conspiracy theorists will tell you that the whole purpose of this was to hypnotise an individual into killing at their command, but while this may have been part of the program, they also wanted to discover new methods of torture, and ways of getting information.
In the process, they tested many drugs, LSD included, on US and Canadian citizens, many of which were tortured, abused and even killed. They even gave heroin to addicts in exchange for them taking LSD and becoming part of the program.
Thanks for watching!