This story was part of anti-government lore in the 1960s, so I knew about it vaguely. Yesterday, James Risen wrote about it again in the New York Times, because the family of C.I.A. operative Frank Olson, who died after unknowingly being drugged with LSD, is now suing the Central Intelligence Agency.
Here’s the paragraph that grabbed me particularly, because it illuminates brilliantly perhaps the deeper purpose to filing a lawsuit, beyond financial reward:
Mr. Olson’s sons said that their past efforts to persuade the agency to open its files and provide them with more information had failed, and that a court challenge is the only way to find out the truth.
But if you don’t know the story, or don’t remember much of it, you must read the whole article, because what we all fuzzily heard — that the C.I.A. was experimenting with LSD — seems to be not the whole story. Instead, the C.I.A. acted against their own guy, Mr. Olson, as if they were the paranoid KGB. Stunning.