ince the 1970s, FREEDOM has probed misconduct in numerous government agencies. In 1978, FREEDOM revealed that high-ranking officials of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had once plotted the assassination of the then head of Panamanian intelligence, Manuel Noriega. FREEDOM obtained and released The DeFeo Report, named after its principal author, Michael DeFeo of the U.S. Justice Department, who headed a three-man team appointed by the attorney general to investigate allegations of fraud, irregularity and misconduct in the DEA, of which the assassination plot was just one example. The report had been submitted to the attorney general in June 1975, but had not been released by the Justice Department.
In 1979, FREEDOM exposed the harmful nature of the drug BZ, a hallucinogen classified as up to 100 times more powerful than LSD. By means of a phone call, FREEDOM legally obtained a sample of the deadly substance free of charge enough to drug the entire United Nations General Assembly. FREEDOM turned its BZ sample over to the DEA and notified the drug firm how the substance had been obtained. The firm rapidly implemented stiffer controls.
Formerly known as quinuclidinyl benzilate, the U.S. Army had dubbed it BZ and, in tests administered at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland in the 1960s, gave it to thousands of American serviceman, a number of whom reported severe adverse after-effects.
FREEDOM has reported on many instances of government experimentation on unwitting human subjects, including tests with BZ and LSD; these stories have pointed out that the civil rights of the victims of these experiments were ignored, and that illegal activities by individuals in the agencies involved were never prosecuted. Adverse effects reported from the tests included severe birth defects in offspring and recurring psychotic reactions.
FREEDOM has probed misconduct in numerous government agencies.
FREEDOMs coverage of government chemical and biological warfare tests included, in 1979, the exposing of Operation Big City, five consecutive days of covert biological warfare experiments conducted in 1956 by the CIA with the cooperation of U.S. Army personnel. In 1980, FREEDOM published an analysis of CIA records which revealed that the agency had sponsored biological warfare tests in Florida in 1955. These tests were linked to an outbreak of whooping cough in that state which claimed the lives of 12 people, half of them children under the age of one.
Also in 1980, FREEDOM broke the story of how the CIA had spent more than $150,000 to continue biological warfare work in apparent defiance of a 1969 presidential order. The documents showed that the CIA continued to spend money through 1972 on a project intended for the development and testing of biological warfare harassment systems and for the large scale production of microorganisms, despite the 1969 order, which banned the stockpiling and production of biological weapons.
As reported in The Washington Post on March 11, 1980, Using documents made public under the Freedom of Information Act, primarily CIA financial records, the Scientologists said receipts for repairs and replacement parts indicated...[a] machine was steadily used for 13 years and may have produced hundreds of pounds of various biological agents and microorganisms.... Citing one invoice from the early 1960s, the Scientologists said there was evidence that at least two disease-causing agents, one that could touch off undulant fever and another that could bring on tularemia, were mass produced.
Another FREEDOM story, in 1984, revealed that the U.S. Army had secretly sprayed potentially harmful bacteria in open air tests in Washington, D.C.s National Airport and in bus terminals in Washington, Chicago and San Francisco in 1964 and 1965. According to documents obtained in FREEDOM under the Freedom of Information Act, these were part of a biological warfare experiment. The germ used to spray hundreds of unsuspecting American citizens has been found to cause symptoms of respiratory infections, blood poisoning and food poisoning.
FREEDOMs ongoing coverage of mind-control experiments by government agencies included, in 1985, a two-part series by Walter Bowart1 and Richard Sutton entitled The Invisible Third World War, containing startling revelations about secret intelligence agency programs aimed at controlling the human mind through chemicals, implanted electrodes, electromagnetic radiation, and other means.
From 1989 to the present, FREEDOM has published an ongoing series of articles, entitled The Drugging of America, which have exposed reports of drug smuggling, money laundering and other illegal activities centered around Mena, Arkansas. This series was prepared with the help of local, state and federal law enforcement officials, as well as members of the news media in Arkansas and elsewhere.
In the series, FREEDOM has presented accounts of how, in the 1980s, Mena became a base for an international, multibillion-dollar cocaine transport operation. As described in the series, corrupt U.S. government officials were allegedly involved in covering up the illegalities, which included special aircraft modifications so drugs could be flown into the United States and weapons transported out.
A continuing series, entitled The Drugging of America, exposed the alleged involvement of corrupt U.S. government officials in covering up illegalities connected with an international, multibillion-dollar cocaine transport operation.