The O. Zone

Fear and Loathing in San Francisco: Real Aspen's Troy Hooper digs deep into covert CIA drug testing

By David O. Williams
Real AspenMarch 16, 2012
My friend and colleague at Real Vail, Real Aspen and the Colorado Independent, longtime Aspen journalist Troy Hooper, has a remarkable cover story in the San Francisco Weekly this week. It’s the twisted historical tale of covert CIA drug testing on unsuspecting San Francisco residents in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The San Francisco Weekly
Cover illustration by Rick Sealock


Lest you start believing the right-wing rhetoric that modern terrorism dictates the steady rollback in civil liberties we’ve seen since 9/11, give Hoop’s story a good read. It’s a terrifying cautionary tale about government run amok in the name of national security.And the best part is the name given the testing program, which included at least three brothels where agents watched johns unknowingly dosed with LSD freaking out: “Operation Midnight Climax.”

The program was exposed decades ago by groundbreaking investigative journalist Seymour Hersch, whom Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney later wanted to bring up on charges for revealing sensitive national secrets, but Hooper delves into new details unearthed about the covert program’s operations in San Francisco, including an interview with a former U.S. marshal who was allegedly victimized by the CIA.

Go to the San Francisco Weekly website to read the full article.


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