“…MK-ULTRA, the CIA’s major drug and mind control program during the Cold War, was the brainchild of Richard Helms, a high-ranking member of the Clandestine Services -otherwise known as the “dirty tricks department” (see the Document Gallery) who championed such methods throughout his career as an intelligence officer. As Helms explained to CIA director Allen Dulles when he first proposed the MK-ULTRA project, “Aside from the offensive potential, the development of a comprehensive capability in this field… gives us a thorough knowledge of the enemy’s theoretical potential, thus enabling us to defend ourselves against a foe who might not be as restrained in the use of these techniques as we are.

“The supersecret MK-ULTRA program was run by a relatively small unit within the CIA known as the Technical Services Staff (TSS). For a while both the TSS and the Office of Security, which directed the ARTICHOKE project, were engaged in parallel LSD tests, and a heated rivalry developed between the two groups. Security officials were miffed because they had gotten into acid first and then this new clique started cutting in on what the ARTICHOKE crowd considered their rightful turf. The internecine conflict grew to the point where the Office of Security decided to have one of its people spy on the TSS. This set off a flurry of memos between the Security informant and his superiors, who were dismayed when they learned that Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, the chemist who ran the MK-ULTRA program, had approved a plan to give acid to unwitting American citizens.

The Office of Security had never attempted such a reckless gesture – although it had its own idiosyncrasies. ARTICHOKE operatives, for example, were attempting to have a hypnotized subject kill someone while in a trance. Whereas the Office of Security utilized LSD as an interrogation weapon, Dr. Gottlieb had other ideas about what to do with the drug. Because the effects of LSD were temporary (in contrast to the fatal nerve agents), Gottlieb saw important strategic advantages for its use in covert operations. For instance, a surreptitious dose of LSD might disrupt a person’s thought process and cause him to act strangely or foolishly in public. A CIA document notes that administering LSD “to high officials would be a relatively simple matter and could have a significant effect at key meetings, speeches, etc.” But Gottlieb realized there was a considerable difference between testing LSD in a laboratory and using the drug in clandestine operations. In an effort to bridge the gap, he and his TSS colleagues initiated a series of in-house experiments designed to find out what would happen if LSD was given to someone in a “normal” life setting without advance warning.

They approached the problem systematically, taking one step at a time, until they reached a point where outsiders were zapped with no explanation whatsoever. First everyone in Technical Services tried LSD. They tripped alone and in groups. A typical experiment involved two people pairing off in a closed room where they observed each other for hours at a time, took notes, and analyzed their experiences. As Gottlieb later explained, “There was an extensive amount of self-experimentation for the reason that we felt that a first hand knowledge of the subjective effects of these drugs [was] important to those of us who were involved in the program.” When they finally learned the hallucinogenic ropes, so to speak, they agreed among themselves to slip LSD into each other’s drinks. The target never knew when his turn would come, but as soon as the drug was ingested a TSS colleague would tell him so he could make the necessary preparations – which usually meant taking the rest of the day off. Initially the leaders of MK-ULTRA restricted the surprise acid tests to TSS members, but when this phase had run its course they started dosing other Agency personnel who had never tripped before. Nearly everyone was fair game, and surprise acid trips became something of an occupational hazard among CIA operatives. Such tests were considered necessary because foreknowledge would prejudice the results of the experiment.

Indeed, things were getting a bit raucous down at headquarters. When Security officials discovered what was going on, they began to have serious doubts about the wisdom of the TSS game plan. Moral reservations were not paramount; it was more a sense that the MK-ULTRA staff had become unhinged by the hallucinogen. The Office of Security felt that the TSS should exercise better judgment when dealing with such a powerful and dangerous chemical. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when a Security informant got wind of a plan by a few TSS jokers to put LSD in the punch served at the annual CIA Christmas office party. A Security memo dated December 15, 1954, noted that acid could “produce serious insanity for periods of 8 to 18 hours and possibly for longer.” The writer of this memo concluded indignantly and unequivocally that he did “not recommend testing in the Christmas punch bowls usually present at the Christmas office parties…”

George Hunter White


“…While looking through some old OSS files, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb discovered that mariiuana had been tested on unsuspecting subjects in an effort to develop a truth serum. These experiments had been organized by George Hunter White, a tough, old-fashioned narcotics officer who ran a training school for American spies during WWII. Perhaps White would be interested in testing drugs for the CIA. As a matter of protocol Gottlieb first approached Harry Anslinger, chief of the Federal Narcotics Bureau. Anslinger was favorably disposed and agreed to “lend” one of his top men to the CIA on a part-time basis.

Harry Anslinger

Right from the start White had plenty of leeway in running his operations. He rented an apartment in New York’s Greenwich Village, and with funds supplied by the CIA he transformed it into a safehouse complete with two-way mirrors, surveillance equipment, and the like. Posing as an artist and a seaman, White lured people back to his pad and slipped them drugs. A clue as to how his subjects fared can be found in White’s personal diary, which contains passing references to surprise LSD experiments: “Gloria gets horrors… Janet sky high.” The frequency of bad reactions prompted White to coin his own code word for the drug – ‘Stormy’ – which was how he referred to LSD throughout his fourteen-year stint as a CIA operative.

In 1955 White was transferred to San Francisco, where two more safehouses were established. During this period he initiated Operation Midnight Climax, in which drug-addicted prostitutes were hired to pick up men from local bars and bring them back to a CIA-financed bordello. Unknowing customers were treated to drinks laced with LSD while White sat on a portable toilet behind two-way mirrors, sipping martinis and watching every stoned and kinky moment. As payment for their services the hookers received $100 a night, plus a guarantee from White that he’d intercede on their behalf should they be arrested while plying their trade. In addition to providing data about LSD, Midnight Climax enabled the CIA to learn about the sexual proclivities of those who passed through the safe-houses. White’s harem of prostitutes became the focal point of an extensive CIA study of how to exploit the art of lovemaking for espionage purposes.

When he wasn’t operating a national security whorehouse, White would cruise the streets of San Francisco tracking down drug pushers for the Narcotics Bureau. Sometimes after a tough day on the beat he invited his narco buddies up to one of the safehouses for a little “R and R.” Occasionally they unzipped their inhibitions and partied on the premises – much to the chagrin of the neighbors, who began to complain about men with guns in shoulder straps chasing after women in various states of undress. Needless to say, there was always plenty of dope around, and the feds sampled everything from hashish to LSD. “So far as I’m concerned,” White later told an associate, “‘clear thinking’ was non-existent while under the influence of any of these drugs. I did feel at times like I was having a ‘mind-expanding experience’ but this vanished like a dream immediately after the session.”

White had quite a scene going for a while. By day he fought to keep drugs out of circulation, and by night he dispensed them to strangers. Not everyone was cut out for this kind of schizophrenic lifestyle, and White often relied on the bottle to reconcile the two extremes. But there were still moments when his Jekyll-and-Hyde routine got the best of him. One night a friend who had helped install bugging equipment for the CIA stopped by the safehouse only to find the roly-poly narcotics officer slumped in front of a full-length mirror. White had just finished polishing off a half gallon of Gibson’s. There he sat, with gun in hand, shooting wax slugs at his own reflection.

George H. White’s passport on file at Stanford Special Collections

No definitive record exists as to when the CIA’s unwitting acid tests were terminated, but it appears that White and the CIA parted ways when he retired from the Narcotics Bureau in 1966. Afterwards White reflected upon his service for the Agency in a letter to Gottlieb: “I was a very minor missionary, actually a heretic, but I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape, and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the All-Highest?”


“…The burgeoning acid scene raised more than a few eyebrows within the intelligence community, and a number of CIA-connected think tanks, including the Rand Corporation, analyzed broad questions relating to the social and political impact of LSD. Based in Santa Monica, California, the Rand Corporation played a crucial role in designing strategies for counter-revolution and pacification that were implemented in Vietnam. (Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger is a senior strategic analyst at Rand; Henry Rowen, former Rand president, previously served as head of the CIA’s National Intelligence Command.) In the mid-1960s the think tank approach was expanded to include domestic issues; along this line Rand personnel examined the short- and long-term effect of LSD on personality change. A Rand report by William McClothlin refers to “changes in dogmatism” and political affiliation: “If some of the subjects are drawn from extreme right or leftwing organizations, it may be possible to obtain additional behavioral measure in terms of the number resigning or becoming inactive.”

While Rand Corporation specialists pondered whether LSD might be an antidote to political activism, the Hudson Institute, another think tank with strong ties to the intelligence community, kept tabs on shifting trends within the grassroots psychedelic movement. Founded by Herman Kahn, one of America’s leading nuclear strategists, the Hudson Institute specialized in classified research on national security issues. Kahn experimented with LSD on repeated occasions during the 1960s, and he visited Millbrook and other psychedelic strongholds on the East Coast. From time to time the rotund futurist (Kahn weighed over three hundred pounds) would stroll along Saint Mark’s Place in New York’s East Village, observing the flower children and musing on the implications of the acid subculture. At one point he predicted that by the year 2000 there would be an alternative “dropped-out” country within the United States. But Kahn was not overly sympathetic to the psychedelic movement. “He was primarily interested in social control,” stated a Hudson Institute consultant who once lectured there on the subiect of LSD.

The psychedelic subculture and its relationship to the New Left and the political upheavals of the 1960s was the subiect of an investigation by Willis Harmon, who heads the Futures Department at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Located in Palo Alto, California, this prestigious think tank received a number of grants from the US Army to conduct classified research into chemical incapacitants. Harmon made no bones about where he stood with respect to political radicals and the New Left. When Michael Rossman, a veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, visited SRI headquarters in the early 1970s, Harmon told him, “There’s a war going on between your side and mine. And my side is not going to lose.”

Harmon was turned on to LSD in the late 1950s by Captain Al Hubbard, the legendary superspy, who took a special interest in his new convert. Harmon considered himself a disciple of the Captain. Hubbard’s protege became director of the Educational Policy Research Center at SRI. In October 1968 Harmon invited Hubbard, then living in semiretirement in British Columbia, to join SRI as a part-time “special investigative agent.” As Harmon stated in a letter to his acid mentor, “Our investigations of some of the current social movements affecting education indicate that the drug usage prevalent among student members of the New Left is not entirely undesigned. Some of it appears to be present as a deliberate weapon aimed at political change. We are concerned with assessing the significance of this as it impacts on matters of long-range educational policy. In this connection it would be advantageous to have you considered in the capacity of a special investigative agent who might have access to relevant data which is not ordinarily available.” Hubbard accepted the offer, and from then on he was officially employed as a security officer for SRI. “His services to us,” explained Harmon, “consisted in gathering various sorts of data regarding student unrest, drug abuse, drug use at schools and universities, causes and nature of radical activities, and similar matters, some of a classified nature…”

Ronald Stark


“…But the mood changed dramatically by the end of the decade, and the political fortunes of the New Left quickly plummeted. There were many reasons for this, not the least of which involved covert intervention by the CIA, FBI, and other spy agencies. The internecine conflicts that tore the Movement apart were fomented in part by government subversion. But such interference would have been far less effective if not for the innate vulnerability of the New Left, which emphasized both individual and social transformation as if they were two faces of an integral cultural transition, a rite of passage between a death and a difficult birth. “We had come to a curious place together, all of us,” recalls Michael Rossman. “As politics grew cultural, we realized that deeper forces were involved than had yet been named, or attended to deliberately. We were adrift in questions and potentials: the organizational disintegration of the Movement as a political body was an outer emblem of conceptual incoherence, the inability to synthesize an adequate frame of understanding and program to embody all that we had come to realize was essential for the transformation we sought.” An autopsy of the youth movement would show that death resulted from a variety of ills, some self-inflicted, others induced from without. There was the paramilitary bug that came in like the plague after the Democratic Convention in Chicago, a bug transmitted by provocateurs and other government geeks who were welcomed by the Movement’s own incendiaries…

…The use of LSD among young people in the US reached a peak in the late 1960s, shortly after the CIA initiated a series of covert operations designed to disrupt, discredit, and neutralize the New Left. Was this merely a historical coincidence, or did the Agency actually take steps to promote the illicit acid trade? Not surprisingly, CIA spokesmen dismiss such a notion out of hand. “We do not target American citizens,” former CIA director Richard Helms told the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1971. “The nation must to a degree take it on faith that we who lead the CIA are honorable men, devoted to the nation’s service.” Helms’ reassurances are hardly comforting in light of his own role as the prime instigator of Operation MK-ULTRA, which utilized unwitting Americans as guinea pigs for testing LSD and other mind-altering substances. During Helms’s tenure as CIA director, the Agency conducted a massive illegal domestic campaign against the antiwar movement and other dissident elements in the US. The New Left was in a shambles when Helms retired from the Agency in 1973. Most of the official records pertaining to the CIA’s drug and mind control projects were summarily destroyed on orders from Helms shortly before his departure. The files were shredded, according to Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, chief of the CIA’s Technical Services Staff, because of “a burgeoning paper problem.” Lost in the process were all existing copies of a classified CIA manual titled, “LSD: Some Un-Psychedelic Implications”

Excerpts from Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties and Beyond, by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain (Grove Press, 1985)








“The Express reported: “British security services infiltrated and funded the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange in a covert operation to identify and possibly blackmail establishment figures, a Home Office whistleblower alleges. The former civil servant has told detectives investigating the activities of paedophiles in national politics that the Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch was orchestrating the child-sex lobbying group in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The whistleblower … says he was also warned off asking why such a notorious group was being handed government money. Whistleblower Mr X, whose identity we have agreed to protect, became a very senior figure in local government before retiring a few years ago.

Mr X recalled: “I raised my concerns, but he told me that I was to drop them. Hindley gave three reasons for this. He said PIE was an organisation with cachet and that its work in this field was respected… “He said PIE was being funded at the request of Special Branch which found it politically useful to identify people who were paedophiles… Hindley didn’t give me an explicit explanation of what Special Branch would do with information it gleaned from funding PIE, but I formed the belief that it was part of an undercover operation or activity. I was aware a lot of people in the civil service or political arena had an interest in obtaining information like that which could be used as a sort of blackmail.”

This has been going on in the UK for some time.  Specifically, Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 made gross indecency a crime in the United Kingdom, which included male gay sex.  The Amendment was so frequently used to blackmail gay Brits that it was dubbed the “Blackmailer’s Charter“. It’s not just the UK.

There is widespread speculation that Pope Benedict resigned because of sexual blackmail. And the American government has a long history (i.e. J. Edgar Hoover and many others) of blackmailing people – including high-level officials – with knowledge of their sexual peccadilloes.

Wikipedia notes: “The Lavender Scare refers to the fear and persecution of homosexuals in the 1950s in the United States, which paralleled the anti-communist campaign known as McCarthyism. Because the psychiatric community regarded homosexuality as a mental illness, gay men and lesbians were considered susceptible to blackmail …. Former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson has written: “The so-called ‘Red Scare’ has been the main focus of most historians of that period of time. A lesser-known element . . . and one that harmed far more people was the witch-hunt McCarthy and others conducted against homosexuals.”

FBI head Hoover was famous for blackmailing everyone … including politicians.  The New York Times reports: “J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadillos and private misbehavior of those he labeled as enemies — really dangerous people like … President John F. Kennedy, for example.” Alfred McCoy – Professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison – provides details: “Upon taking office on Roosevelt’s death in early 1945, Harry Truman soon learned the extraordinary extent of FBI surveillance. “We want no Gestapo or Secret Police,” Truman wrote in his diary that May. “FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail.” After a quarter of a century of warrantless wiretaps, Hoover built up a veritable archive of sexual preferences among America’s powerful and used it to shape the direction of U.S. politics.

He distributed a dossier on Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson’s alleged homosexuality to assure his defeat in the 1952 presidential elections, circulated audio tapes of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philandering, and monitored President Kennedy’s affair with mafia mistress Judith Exner. And these are just a small sampling of Hoover’s uses of scandal to keep the Washington power elite under his influence.

“The moment [Hoover] would get something on a senator,” recalled William Sullivan, the FBI’s chief of domestic intelligence during the 1960s, “he’d send one of the errand boys up and advise the senator that ‘we’re in the course of an investigation, and we by chance happened to come up with this data on your daughter…’From that time on, the senator’s right in his pocket.”  After his death, an official tally found Hoover had 883 such files on senators and 722 more on congressmen.

With a few hundred cable probes and computerized decryption, the NSA can now capture the kind of gritty details of private life that J. Edgar Hoover so treasured and provide the sort of comprehensive coverage of populations once epitomized by secret police like East Germany’s Stasi. And yet, such comparisons only go so far. After all, once FBI agents had tapped thousands of phones, stenographers had typed up countless transcripts, and clerks had stored this salacious paper harvest in floor-to-ceiling filing cabinets, J. Edgar Hoover still only knew about the inner-workings of the elite in one city: Washington, D.C.

To gain the same intimate detail for an entire country, the Stasi had to employ one police informer for every six East Germans — an unsustainable allocation of human resources. By contrast, the marriage of the NSA’s technology to the Internet’s data hubs now allows the agency’s 37,000 employees a similarly close coverage of the entire globe with just one operative for every 200,000 people on the planet.

In the Obama years, the first signs have appeared that NSA surveillance will use the information gathered to traffic in scandal, much as Hoover’s FBI once did. In September 2013, the New York Times reported that the NSA has, since 2010, applied sophisticated software to create “social network diagrams…, unlock as many secrets about individuals as possible…, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner.”

By collecting knowledge — routine, intimate, or scandalous — about foreign leaders, imperial proconsuls from ancient Rome to modern America have gained both the intelligence and aura of authority necessary for dominion over alien societies. The importance, and challenge, of controlling these local elites cannot be overstated. During its pacification of the Philippines after 1898, for instance, the U.S. colonial regime subdued contentious Filipino leaders via pervasive policing that swept up both political intelligence and personal scandal.

And that, of course, was just what J. Edgar Hoover was doing in Washington during the 1950s and 1960s. According to James Bamford, author of two authoritative books on the agency, “The NSA’s operation is eerily similar to the FBI’s operations under J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960s where the bureau used wiretapping to discover vulnerabilities, such as sexual activity, to ‘neutralize’ their targets.

The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer has warned that a president might “ask the NSA to use the fruits of surveillance to discredit a political opponent, journalist, or human rights activist. The NSA has used its power that way in the past and it would be naïve to think it couldn’t use its power that way in the future.” Even President Obama’s recently convened executive review of the NSA admitted: “[I]n light of the lessons of our own history… at some point in the future, high-level government officials will decide that this massive database of extraordinarily sensitive private information is there for the plucking.”

Indeed, whistleblower Edward Snowden has accused the NSA of actually conducting such surveillance.  In a December 2013 letter to the Brazilian people, he wrote, “They even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography, in case they need to damage their target’s reputation.” If Snowden is right, then one key goal of NSA surveillance of world leaders is not U.S. national security but political blackmail — as it has been since 1898.

And the NSA tracks people’s porn-viewing habits in order to discredit activists.  The NSA also keeps nude and suggestive photos of people in order to blackmail them. The Associated Press notes: “The stockpiling of sexually explicit images of ordinary people had uncomfortable echoes of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” where the authorities — operating under the aegis of “Big Brother” — fit homes with cameras to monitor the intimate details of people’s home lives.

The collection of nude photographs also raise questions about potential for blackmail. America’s National Security Agency has already acknowledged that half a dozen analysts have been caught trawling databases for inappropriate material on partners or love interests. Other leaked documents have revealed how U.S. and British intelligence discussed leaking embarrassing material online to blacken the reputations of their targets.

Bill Binney – the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, a 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees, an expert on spying by the Soviets, interviewed by virtually all of the mainstream media, including CBS, ABC, CNN, New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, PBS and many others – told Washington’s Blog: “This is just one of the ways to make controlling people possible.  Standard KGB/Stasi tactics.”

FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds alleged under oath that a recently-serving Democratic Congresswoman was secretly videotaped – for blackmail purposes  – during a lesbian affair. There have been allegations of blackmail of gay activities within the U.S. armed forces for years.

And Yahoo News reported in 2010: “A 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into the purchase of child pornography online turned up more than 250 civilian and military employees of the Defense Department — including some with the highest available security clearance — who  used credit cards or PayPal to purchase images of children in sexual situations. But the Pentagon investigated only a handful of the cases, Defense Department records show.

But the DCIS opened investigations into only 20 percent of the individuals identified, and succeeded in prosecuting just a handful. Without greater public disclosure of how these cases wound down, it’s impossible to know how or whether any of the names listed in the … papers came in for additional scrutiny. According to the records, DCIS prioritized the investigations by focusing on people who had security clearances — since those who have a taste for child pornography can be vulnerable to blackmail and espionage. At least some of the people on the … list with security clearances were never pursued and could possibly remain on the job…”


“Some claim White House Counsel John Dean ordered the second break-in because he believed that the Democrats had records on a call girl ring that was operating out of the Columbia Plaza Apartments, and wanted to obtain certain documents that could damage the reputation of a friend connected to the ring [like his girlfriend Mo].

Phillip Bailley, a young lawyer accused of having a role in the operation of the service, claimed the Democratic party was arranging sexual liasons for politicians. Bailley represented many prostitutes and seemed to have a business relationship with Heidi Rikan, aka “Erika” or “Cathy” Dieter, who ran the call girl ring at Columbia Plaza. She had previously been a stripper at the Blue Mirror. The service eventually had many Democrat clients and serviced one astronaut, South Korean and US intelligence people, and a Saudi prince, who came from the nearby Saudi Arabian embassy.

Alfred C. Baldwin, who was to work for James McCord during the Watergate break-in, seems to have been tape recording the call girl ring’s telephones. He was using equipment purchased by one Louis James Russell, who initially used McCord funds to buy equipment to spy on columnist Jack Anderson. He had once worked as a stringer for Anderson.

Russell hung out at Columbia Plaza, acting as a customer, bouncer, and friend to the girls, who often crashed at his apartment and shared sad stories with him. Russell had been bounced out of the F.B.I. due to drinking problems and spent years as an investigator for the House Un-American Activities Committee. For a time, he was a watchman for the Committee to Re-Elect the President. After the scandal broke, he went on the payroll of Security Associates, a detective agency owned by McCord. In that capacity, he did some work in George McGovern’s headquarters. Russell also worked for another firm that was doing some work for George H.W. Bush. He was a good friend of man who would later become head of Senator Sam Erwin’s investigative staff, Carmione Bellino.

Cathy/Heidi’s roommate was Mo Biner, known by the codename “Clout.” We do not know what role “Clout” played, but her name and code name turned up in Bailley’s address book along with the names of Heidi’s employees. Mo Biner was dating John Dean at the time. In 1972, Bailley visited the DNC headquarters and succeeded in soliciting some business for the prostitution ring. The arrangement was attractive to the DNC because the Watergate was not far from Columbia Plaza. Bailley, an active Democrat, thought communications between the DNC and the prostitution operation were made on DNC official Spencer Oliver’s telephone line. Oliver travelled frequently,so his office could be used for private telephone conversations. Bailley later claimed that Maxine Wells showed photographs of female sex workers to people who were interested in entertainment. In a 1996 deposition, Robert Strauss said he had been told that some state party chairmen used Oliver’s phone to make dates.

After the DNC started using the Columbia Plaza bordello, the former F.B.I. agent told lawyer Bernard Fensterwald and two of his employees that he was recording conversations between Democrats and the girls; he added that the ladies did not mind. Russell sometimes worked for Fensterwald, who also served as his attorney. Republicans, including White House people, also frequented the brothel. Sometime near when Bailley was making visits to the DNC, John W. Dean became interested in the layout of those offices and sent Tony Ulasewicz to visit the offices and diagram the layout. Dean wanted to get information on Democratic sexual activities, and must have suspected the Democrats were using services other than those provided by Heidi.

On April 6, 1972, Bailley was arrested for a a Mann Act violation, but it had no connection to Heidi’s ring. The case was given to prosecutor John Rudy, who was soon visited by Louis James Russell, who tried to steer Rudy away from the Columbia Plaza operation and toward another brothel frequented by judges and local politicians. The problem involved in the Bailley case was that the F.B.I. obtained his two address books. At the apartment they obtained films, photographs, a whip, and other sexual apparatus.

The Washington Star eventually ran a story stating that Bailley was involved in a sex ring that could involve a White House lawyer and that that ring’s activities were not mentioned in Bailley’s indictment. Dean acted quickly and summoned Rudy and his superior to his office on Friday, June 9, 1972. Dean demanded to keep the notebooks over the weekend, but the prosecutors only permitted him to photocopy them. On Monday, Jeb Magruder told G. Gordon Liddy to break in to the DNC for the second time to repair the O’Brien bug. Recently, Magruder, now a clergyman, admitted that Dean – not Mitchell— had ordered the break-in.

Bailley’s case went to Judge Charles R. Richey, a Nixon appointee, who sent Bailley to St. Eliozabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital, where he spent 15 days and only received 45 minutes with an analyst. He was committed on the basis of sexual photographs the prosecution showed Richey. In Bailley’s second hearing, the Judge then instructed both sides to dispose of the case. Bailley, now completely demoralized, accepted a plea bargain that resulted in getting him 5 years in federal prison. He was now thoroughly disgraced. For some reason, the paperwork on his two hearings was sealed and subsequently lost. By settling the case without a hearing, the judge made it impossible to bring up the material on the sex ring. But all of this took some time, and it was not certain how much evidence needed to be buried.

The second break-in occurred on the night of June 16-17, two days after Dean talked to the prosecutors. It was ostensibly being done to change the bugs placed on Larry O’Brien’s telephones. However, just before that, AT&T had swept the offices and found no bugs. James McCord, on the pretext of delivering a typewriter, stuffed and taped open the lock on a door accessing the building. The team knew that the tape had been found and removed, but Gordon Liddy thought it was still safe to go ahead with the operation. He reasoned that a maintenance man might have removed the stuffing and simply gone home. After all, there were no police on the scene. This time Gonzales probably taped the door again and the operation went ahead at 1:30 AM. It was McCord’s job to remove the tape once they were in, but he did not do so.

Subsequently, James McCord and five Cubans were arrested in the DNC headquarters. Also arrested were Liddy and Hunt, who were monitoring the break-in at a distance. The F.B.I. arrested Alfred E. Baldwin at his listening post. Baldwin was supposed to be listening to DNC phone calls for about twenty days. He recorded nothing, but supposedly took some notes. Some now think there were no bugs in the DNC. If that was the case, it is likely he was only listening to phone calls and bugs in the bordello down the street.”


“…So when does sex become a security problem? The CIA conducts background checks and administers periodic polygraph tests to try to ferret out anything that might make undercover officers vulnerable to blackmail. Until the mid-1990s, homosexuality was considered an immediate cause for dismissal. And “close and continuing contact with a foreign national,” a euphemism for a sexual relationship, was deemed to be another major vulnerability. Any such relationship had to be reported and failure to do so could also lead to dismissal. In fact, during the Cold War, the KGB (and allied services, including the East German Stasi under Markus Wolf, and Cuban intelligence) frequently sought to entrap CIA officers. The KGB believed that Americans were sex-obsessed materialists, and that U.S. spies could easily be lured with the prospect of an easy lay. CIA officers in Russia were strongly warned about “swallows,” the term for the beautiful women the KGB deployed to try to seduce Americans, which was a constant danger at Moscow station. (One former CIA official told me that he and his friends joked that they longed to be given the job of “sexual entrapment training officer.”)

The Russians did have some modest success with this strategy. Back in 1940, the FBI discovered that “single U.S. employees in Moscow frequented a prostitution ring linked to Soviet intelligence and that classified documents were handled improperly and may have been obtained by Soviet workers.” It’s also been reported that the CIA’s first Moscow station chief fell for a swallow—his maid—and returned home in disgrace. The Russians and their allies also targeted American military personnel stationed abroad. The best-known case was Clayton Lonetree, a hard-drinking Marine stationed in Moscow who was seduced by a swallow named Violetta Seina, a translator at the U.S. Embassy. Seina hooked up Lonetree with “Uncle Sasha,” his KGB handler, whom he provided with valuable information. Lonetree continued to spy for the Russians after he was transferred to the American embassy in Vienna, but ultimately turned himself in. The only American Marine ever convicted of espionage, Lonetree was released after serving nine years of a 30-year sentence.

Sex wasn’t just used by the Russians as a recruitment tool, but also as a means of compromising CIA officers. One source told me: “Let’s say a guy has a girlfriend and he decides not to report it. The Russians take pictures of him but don’t approach him right away. Five years later, though, when he’s stationed in another country, a KGB officer shows him old pictures of him and the girlfriend, and newer pictures of the girl with a young kid. The guy doesn’t know for sure if it’s his kid or if the girl was working for the KGB, but he’s dead, especially because he never revealed the relationship at the time. So he turns down the recruiting pitch but has to go back to the office and write the whole thing up, including what he didn’t report five years earlier. He’s probably of no further use in that country and he may not be of use anywhere else.”

I asked the former officials if the CIA used sex as a lure to entrap foreign intelligence officials. “Not often,” one told me. “Coercive recruitment generally didn’t work. We found that offers of money and freedom worked better.” However, several of the sources said that if the CIA found that a KGB official had a girlfriend, they’d try to recruit her as an access agent who could then be used to turn the Russian. “There was a woman who was promiscuously involved with the Soviet community in Beirut and we put her on the payroll,” one former Middle East hand told me. “I’m not aware that it ever led to anything, but we paid her for quite a while.”…

One former CIA officer said that while sexual entrapment wasn’t generally a good tool to recruit a foreign official, it was sometimes employed successfully to solve short-term problems. For example, this officer was once stationed in a Middle Eastern country and wanted to shut down a known spy from a neighboring state who was also posted there. To make a long story short, the CIA obtained video footage of the man in intimate embrace with his local girlfriend. When the man turned down a recruiting pitch, the agency mailed the images to his wife. What happened next was never precisely clear, but the man was soon recalled to his home country. This source also said the CIA routinely kept prostitutes on the payroll in Third World countries. “It might cost you $500 a month, which was nothing, and you’d get a wealth of information about who’s who and who’s doing what to who,” he said. “You were always looking for people like that who could give you visibility into the dark side of the city.”

Back to Dusty Foggo. In addition to stories in Hettena’s new book, I’ve previously reported that Foggo had behaved very badly while based in Honduras in the early-1980s, when the CIA was using the country as a base for covert programs in Central America. He was said to be a regular at a Tegucigalpa bar named Gloria’s and at a casino at the Maya Hotel, both places known at the time as hooker hotbeds. Whether Foggo had official dealings with prostitutes in Honduras or not, this was clearly a big problem. “Dusty would have been the perfect target of a counter-intelligence operation,” said one official who worked in Honduras at the time. “He had access and knowledge, and was reckless and visible. You’re only vulnerable if you make yourself vulnerable, and that’s what Dusty did.”

This person, and several others, have told me that Foggo continued to display poor judgment throughout his career and had been reprimanded over his personal conduct–and that all of this was well known to Goss before he installed Foggo as executive director. “When we heard Dusty had been picked, we figured we were doomed,” he said. “And we were right.” All of which leads to one of the great, unanswered questions surrounding Foggo: why would Goss possibly have picked him for such a senior position at the agency? I asked the CIA press office if Foggo’s personal conduct had ever raised red flags at the agency. Spokesman Mark Mansfield replied by email, saying, “Given that legal proceedings are underway, it would not be appropriate to comment, other than to point out that Mr. Foggo left the CIA last year and the position he held, Executive Director, doesn’t exist any more.”







Thousands of women participating in a nationwide strike to protest a legislative proposal for a total ban on abortion, in Castle Square, Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 3, 2016


“Protesting a recent proposal to completely ban abortion in Poland, tens of thousands of women went on strike on Monday, boycotting school, work, and household chores and marching in black in 60 cities throughout the country, waving black flags and mourning the death of their reproductive rights. Solidarity marches also took place around the world, from Germany to France to Kenya. The Polish protests—dubbed Black Monday—were inspired by a 1975 march in Iceland, in which 90 percent of Iceland’s women refused to do office and house work, and instead took to the streets to remind the country of their value and correspondingly low pay. Reportedly, places like schools and shops closed or ran at half-capacity as a result.

The day served as a powerful symbol of a woman’s power—and of the fact that without them, society would come to a standstill. Five years after the Icelandic protests, the country elected its first female president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who went on to serve for 16 years. As she later told the BBC, the day in 1975 was the first step towards equality in the country, engendering a “great feeling of solidarity and strength among all those women.” Just two days after the Black Monday strikes in Poland, the proposed abortion ban is in a state of near collapse. The country’s former prime minister and current Liberal MP Ewa Kopacz triumphantly told reporters that the conservative party behind the bill had “backtracked because it was scared by all the women who hit the streets in protest.”

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir’s Election Day

There’s a long and very successful history of women around the world who’ve gone on strike form society at large, refusing to take part in gendered activities that often stereotypically define them, such as childcare, household chores, and sex. One of the most notorious protest methods is known as “Lysistratic non-action.” It takes its name from Lysistrata, a Greek comedy by Aristophanes, which tells the story of a woman determined to end the Peloponnesian War. Her method? Withholding sex. By convincing the rest of the women in Greece to not have sex with their husbands, she hoped to force the men to bring about peace.

Real-life examples of this tactic can be found throughout history. In the 1600s, Iroquois women withheld sex from their partners; they also withheld food—which was a particularly effective tactic, as they had complete control over crop cultivation—and other supplies. The strike eventually earned women veto power for all future wars; according to the Global Non-Violent Action Database, this is considered the first feminist rebellion in the US. Similarly, in 2006, in the Colombian town of Periera, the partners of gang members protested violence by refusing to have sex. Working with local government, they asked gang members to hand in their guns and attend a training program. Their ultimate goal, they said, was to show men that violence isn’t attractive. Later that year, women involved in the protest released a rap song with the lyrics, “All together, we will win / against the violent ones, with our legs crossed.”

“One thing that I think really radicalised women is when they understood that this could lead to incarceration for women who had miscarriages.”

Kenyan women employed a similar method in 2009, when they refused to have sex for seven days in hopes of convincing politicians to end infighting and avoid violence. Other peacemaking attempts had failed, and the Women’s Development Organization hoped to force politicians to come to an agreement. They wanted to bring people together, because, after all, everyone has sex. “We have looked at all issues which can bring people to talk and we have seen that sex is the answer,” said the organization’s chairman Rukia Subow, according to the BBC. “It does not know tribe, it does not have a [political] party, and it happens in the lowest households.” Organizers even offered to pay sex workers in compensation for lost work in the hopes that they’d join the strike.

This method is not always used to protest violence. In 2011, the women in a small Colombian port town called Barbacoas refused to have sex unless the government paved the town’s deadly main road. The road was so badly in need of repair that it took seven hours to travel 57 kilometers, which made food and medical care hard to come by. The sex strike came after years of more traditional attempts, like hunger strikes, failed to persuade the government. Why sex? The protesters from Barbacoas connected sex with procreation and the lives of their future children, explaining that it was irresponsible to bring a child into an unsafe world. Their message was received, sort of. On October 11, 2011, the government promised to allocate $21 million to paving part of the road. Unfortunately, the group had to go on strike again two years later when their needs weren’t met.

While sex strikes like these are sometimes successful, some critics argue that they incorrectly imply that a woman’s power is physical. Still, at the very least, they start a conversation. Case in point: The Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace organized a sex strike to end civil war as part of a larger strategy that also included sit-ins and demonstrations. While the group’s leader, Liberian activist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Leymah Gbowee, said that the sex strike had little practical results, “it was extremely valuable in getting us media attention.” History is rife with stories like these. Women can shine a spotlight on society’s ills by refusing to partake in it entirely. By making their absence felt, they have asserted their power and demonstrated their value in order to get what they deserve from men in charge.”

Members of the committee that prepared the “Women’s Day Off”

The day Iceland’s women went on strike
by Kirstie Brewer  /  23 October 2015

Forty years ago, the women of Iceland went on strike – they refused to work, cook and look after children for a day. It was a moment that changed the way women were seen in the country and helped put Iceland at the forefront of the fight for equality. When Ronald Reagan became the US President, one small boy in Iceland was outraged. “He can’t be a president – he’s a man!” he exclaimed to his mother when he saw the news on the television. It was November 1980, and Vigdis Finnbogadottir, a divorced single mother, had won Iceland’s presidency that summer. The boy didn’t know it, but Vigdis (all Icelanders go by their first name) was Europe’s first female president, and the first woman in the world to be democratically elected as a head of state. Many more Icelandic children may well have grown up assuming that being president was a woman’s job, as Vigdis went on to hold the position for 16 years – years that set Iceland on course to become known as “the world’s most feminist country”.

But Vigdis insists she would never have been president had it not been for the events of one sunny day – 24 October 1975 – when 90% of women in the country decided to demonstrate their importance by going on strike. Instead of going to the office, doing housework or childcare they took to the streets in their thousands to rally for equal rights with men. It is known in Iceland as the Women’s Day Off, and Vigdis sees it as a watershed moment. “What happened that day was the first step for women’s emancipation in Iceland,” she says. “It completely paralysed the country and opened the eyes of many men.” Banks, factories and some shops had to close, as did schools and nurseries – leaving many fathers with no choice but to take their children to work. There were reports of men arming themselves with sweets and colouring pencils to entertain the crowds of overexcited children in their workplaces. Sausages – easy to cook and popular with children – were in such demand the shops sold out. It was a baptism of fire for some fathers, which may explain the other name the day has been given – the Long Friday. “We heard children playing in the background while the newsreaders read the news on the radio, it was a great thing to listen to, knowing that the men had to take care of everything,” says Vigdis.

As radio presenters called households in remote areas of the country to gauge how many rural women were taking the day off, the phone was often answered by husbands who had stayed at home to look after the children. As I talk to Vigdis in her home in Reykjavik, she has on her lap a framed black-and-white photograph of the rally in Reykjavik’s Downtown Square – the largest of more than 20 to take place throughout the country. Vigdis, her mother and three-year-old daughter are somewhere in the sea of 25,000 women, who gathered to sing, listen to speeches and talk about what could be done. It was a huge turnout for an island of just 220,000 inhabitants. At the time she was artistic director of the Reykjavik Theatre Company and abandoned dress rehearsals to join the demonstration, as did her female colleagues. “There was a tremendous power in it all and a great feeling of solidarity and strength among all those women standing on the square in the sunshine,” Vigdis says. A brass band played the theme tune of Shoulder to Shoulder, a BBC television series about the Suffragette movement which had aired in Iceland earlier that year.

Women in Iceland got the right to vote 100 years ago, in 1915 – behind only New Zealand and Finland. But over the next 60 years, only nine women took seats in parliament. In 1975 there were just three sitting female MPs, or just 5% of the parliament, compared with between 16% and 23% in the other Nordic countries, and this was a major source of frustration. The idea of a strike was first proposed by the Red Stockings, a radical women’s movement founded in 1970, but to some Icelandic women it felt too confrontational. “The Red Stockings movement had caused quite a stir already for their attack against traditional views of women – especially among older generations of women whom had tried to master the art of being a perfect housewife and homemaker,” says Ragnheidur Kristjansdottir, senior lecturer in History at the University of Iceland.

The Women's Day Off sticker
Sticker distributed to participants – reading “Women’s Day Off”

But when the strike was renamed “Women’s Day Off” it secured near-universal support, including solid backing from the unions. “The programme of the event itself reflected the emphasis that had been placed on uniting women from all social and political backgrounds,” says Ragnheidur. Among the speakers at the Reykjavik rally were a housewife, two MPs, a representative of the women’s movement and a woman worker. The final speech was given by Adalheidur Bjarnfredsdottir, head of the union for women cleaning and working in the kitchens and laundries of hospitals and schools. “She was not used to public speaking but made her name with this speech because it was so strong and inspiring,” says Audur Styrkarsdottir, director of Iceland’s Women’s History Archives. “She later went on to become a member of parliament.” In the run-up to the event the organisers succeeded in prompting radio, television and national newspapers to run stories on low pay for women and sex discrimination. The story attracted international attention too. But how did the men feel about it? “I think at first they thought it was something funny, but I can’t remember any of them being angry,” says Vigdis. “Men realised if they became opponents to this or refused to grant women leave they would have lost their popularity.”

Vigdis Finnbogadottir and Margaret Thatcher, 1982

There were one or two reports of men not behaving as Vigdis describes. The husband of one of the main speakers was reportedly asked by a co-worker, “Why do you let your woman howl like that in public places? I would never let my woman do such things.” The husband shot back: “She is not the sort of woman who would ever marry a man like you.” Styrmir Gunnarsson was at the time the co-chief editor of a conservative newspaper, Morgunbladid, but he had no objection to the idea. “I do not think that I have ever supported a strike but I did not see this action as a strike,” he says. “It was a demand for equal rights… it was a positive event.” No women worked at the paper that day. As he remembers it, none of them lost pay, or were obliged to take the day as annual leave, and they returned at midnight to help get the newspaper finished. It was shorter than usual, though – 16 pages instead of 24. “Probably most people underestimated this day’s impact at that time – later both men and women began to realise that it was a watershed,” he says. At the same time, he points out there have always been strong women in Iceland – something reflected in the (fictional) Icelandic Sagas. “Our past is in our blood and through the centuries life was difficult in Iceland,” Styrmir says. “Those who survived must have been strong.” The Women’s Day Off is generally regarded in Iceland as a seminal moment, though at least one member of the Red Stockings regarded it as a missed opportunity – a nice party that did not really change anything.

Vigdis disagrees. “Things went back to normal the next day, but with the knowledge that women are as well as men the pillars of society,” she says. “So many companies and institutions came to a halt and it showed the force and necessity of women – it completely changed the way of thinking.” Five years later, Vigdis beat three male candidates to the presidency. She became so popular that she was re-elected unopposed in two of the three next elections. Other landmarks followed. All-women shortlists made an appearance in the 1983 parliamentary election, and at the same time a new Party, the Women’s Alliance, won its first seats. In 2000, paid paternity leave was introduced for men, and in 2010 the country got its first female prime minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir – the world’s first openly gay head of government. Strip clubs were banned in the same year. Saadia Zahidi, head of Gender Initiatives at the World Economic Forum (WEF) says Iceland still has further to go. “While more women than men are enrolled in university, the workplace gender gap persists,” she says. “Women and men are nearly equally present in the labour force – in fact women are the majority across all skilled roles – but they hold about 40% of the leadership roles and earn less than men for similar roles.” Nonetheless, Iceland has topped the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Index since 2009. And if at the time of the Women’s Day Off only three of the 63 members of parliament were women, the figure is now 28, or 44%. “We say in Iceland, ‘The steps so quickly fill up with snow,’ meaning there is a tendency to consign things to history,” says Vigdis. “But we still talk about that day – it was marvellous.”