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Cryptonym: ARTICHOKE

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The study and use of special interrogation methods and techniques. These special interrogation methods have been known to include the use of drugs and hypnosis, and "total isolation", a form of psychological harassment. Under the control of the Office of Security and the Office of Scientific Intelligence.
First known as BLUEBIRD - then ARTICHOKE - then MKULTRA. As shown below, at a 1954 Artichoke conference, attended by Frank Olson's Fort Dietrich superior, Col. Vincent Ruwet revealed... the ultimate goal of the group which is the running of selected foreign nationals back into Europe for specific work for the CIA.

Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes, pp. 64-66

"Deeply wary, Waltaer Bedell Smith dispatched a trusted three-star general, Lucian K. Truscott...to take over CIA's operations in Germany...he chose Tom Polgar of the CIA's Berlin base as his chief aid. They found several ticking time bombs. Among them was one very dark secret, described in CIA documents of the day as a program of "overseas interrogations". The agency had set up clandestine prisons to wring confessions out of suspected double agents. One was in Germany, another in Japan. The third, and the biggest, was in the Panama Canal Zone. "Like Guantanamo," Polgar said in 2005, "It was anything goes."...The project dated back to 1948, when Richard Helms and his officers in Germany realized they were being defrauded by double agents. The effort began as a crash program in 1950, when the Korean War erupted and a sense of emergency seized the CIA. Late that summer...two Russian emigres who had been delivered to the Canal Zone from Germany were injected with drugs and brutally interrogated...they were among the first human guinea pigs under a program code-named Project Artichoke, a small but significant part of a fifteen-year search by the CIA for ways to control the human mind."

Memorandum for the Record, Project ARTICHOKE. 1/31/75.

Definition given as provided above. Summary of project history. In 1952, responsibility passed from OSI to Office of Security. Morse Allen was the focal point for many years. ARTICHOKE operations were approved at least as late as 1960. See nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB54/st02.pdf

Acronym Aid for ARRB

“CIA crypt for program involving psychology experiments on humans (including drugs and hypnosis). Under the control of the CIA Office of Security and Office of Scientific Intelligence. Originally known as BLUEBIRD, name and program subsequently evolved into MKULTRA.”


Re 1950-1952: "D.A. Dimitrov, designated 'Kelly', is a Bulgarian expatriate who appears to have been imprisoned in Greece sometime in 1950 and 1951 on false pretenses because the Agency feared he would accept an offer from French intelligence. After six months in custody, he was flown to Panama where he was misrepresented as a psychopath and confined in a U.S. military hospital for several months...he was then removed from the hospital and held by the Agency at Fort Clayton in Panama for three years. He was then returned to Greece and ultimately allowed to enter the US as a refugee. It appears from the attached copy of a 7 February 1952 memorandum that 'the Artichoke approach', i.e. the use of drugs to reverse his hostility towards the US and US intelligence agencies, was never consummated." 10/7/77 memo from A. R. Cinquegrana, Office of General Counsel to Anthony A. Lapham:

104-10418-10242: Newspaper Article - Why Rockefeller Tried to Cover Up the CIA Probe

Tad Szulc, New York magazine, September 1977: "...there was Rockefeller's tenure as undersecretary of Health, Education and Welfare in 1953 and 1954. This was when the CIA set in motion its complex secret programs...code-named "Artichoke" and "MK-Ultra" and they involved secretly funded LSD research in scores of American hospitals, universities, and special foundations. A certain amount of this money was funded through HEW..."

Jeffrey Kaye and H.P. Albarelli, Jr., Cries From the Past: Torture's Ugly Echoes. Truthout, 2010. http://truth-out.org/archive/component/k2/item/89725:cries-from-the-past-tortures-ugly-echoes

"The code name 'ARTICHOKE' was selected with sardonic humor from the street appendage given to New York City gangster Ciro Terranova, who was referred to as 'the Artichoke King'...(the project was) overseen by the Agency's Security Research Staff, headed by Paul F. Gaynor, a former Army Brigadier General, who had extensive experience in wartime interrogations...(at a) 1954 Artichoke conference, attended by Frank Olson's Fort Dietrich superior, Col. Vincent Ruwet (revealed)... the ultimate goal of the group which is the running of selected foreign nationals back into Europe for specific work for this Agency...numerous Artichoke operational reports and records (were) filed by both the CIA and army from 1954 through to at least 1970.


"Fort Clayton is located near the Pacific opening of the Panama Canal in Central America. The USARSO's Commanding General commands, controls and supports Army forces throughout the theater to include plans and programs in support of the Commander in Chief's South Regional security strategy. Also, as Commander of Joint Task Force-Panama, he protects and defends US lives, property, the Panama Canal and promotes the development of democratic institutions by supporting security assistance and counterdrug requirements. This area of operation is roughly 22 percent of the earth's land surface and includes 19 sovereign nations...This US Army Base has been the headquarters of Army South of the Southern Command since the Second World War. Clayton, located on 2,180 acres on the east bank of the Canal in the Pacific Sector, is near Miraflores Locks and is just 30 minutes from Panama City."

Jeffrey Kaye and HP Albarelli Jr., The Real Roots of the CIA’s Rendition and Black Sites Program (Truthout, 2010) https://truthout.org/articles/the-real-roots-of-the-cias-rendition-and-black-sites-program/

In late January 1952, Morse Allen, a CIA Security Office official, was summoned to the office of his superior, security deputy chief Robert L. Bannerman...(for a discussion on) “the Kelly case.” Wrote Allen...(an) official “explained...: “Kelly, (whose real name is Dimitrov), is a 29-year-old Bulgarian and was the head of a small political party based in Greece and ostentively [sic] working for Bulgarian independence.” The official described Dimitrov [whose first name was Dimitre] to Allen as “being young, ambitious, bright … a sort of a ‘man-on-a-horse’ type but a typical Balkan politician.”...CIA field operatives discovered that Dimitrov was seriously considering becoming a double agent for the French Intelligence Service. “Accordingly,...a plot was rigged in which [Dimitrov] was told he was going to be assassinated and as a protective he was placed in custody of the Greek Police.” Successfully duped, Dimitrov was then thrown into prison...the Greek authorities...told the CIA “to take him back.” Because the agency was unable to dispose of Dimitrov in Greece, the memo states, the CIA flew him to a secret interrogation center at Fort Clayton in Panama. In the 1950’s, Fort Clayton, along with nearby sister installations Forts Amador and Gulick, the initial homes of the Army’s notorious School of the Americas, served as a secret prison and interrogation centers for double agents and others kidnapped and spirited out of Europe and other locations. Beginning in 1951, Fort Amador, and reportedly Fort Gulick, were extensively used by the Army and the CIA as a secret experimental site for developing behavior modification techniques and a wide range of drugs, including “truth drugs,” mescaline, LSD and heroin. Former CIA officials have also long claimed that Forts Clayton and Amador in the 1950’s hosted a number of secret Army assassination teams that operated throughout North and South America, Europe and Southeast Asia."

Jeffrey St. Clair & Alexander Cockburn, The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/17/the-cias-house-of-horrors-the-abominable-dr-gottlieb/

In 1952, the codeword Bluebird was changed to Artichoke. A CIA report on the project says that, among other things, Artichoke was meant to investigate the theory that “agents might be given cover stories under hypnosis and not only learn them faultlessly, but actually believe them. Every detail could be made to sink in. The conviction and apparent sincerity with which an individual will defend a false given under post-hypnotic suggestion is almost unbelievable.”

Bill Simpich • Hank Albarelli

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