Jeffrey MacDonald On Drugs - Fort Bragg, N. C.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar preserved
I redacted the name of the person this was written per request
You have asked me for some thoughts re: the drug scene on Ft. Bragg in 1969-70, & associated topics. Hopefully by now, you've received Fred Bost's superb letter of May 4, 1995 on this same topic - it has excellent triggers, dates, events of interest on the issues. I am first going to try to put you back there mentally, the times, if you will, as it is impossible to understand the ominousness of certain little anecdotes without recalling the upheaval & paranoia of those days. Fred has given you, literally, recorded events that can be used as markers. My reflections may be more general in some situations, &, in others, more personal.
1. It is difficult today to get across the tumultuous nature of those times. We were at the height of the Vietnam War, with 100,000 troops rotating annually through Bragg. Fayetteville was like a war zone, filled with AWOL soldiers, drifters, hookers, Asian women brought back by GI's, & a constant struggle between the emerging counterculture & the mainstream, more openly "patriotic", side of the fray. To the mainstream, the counterculture was garbage. There was extremely bad feelings between the two groups. Each side could talk, or shout, but the other side couldn't hear, or wouldn't listen.
2. I - & Colette - & the majority of our friends and associates - were essentially mainstream people - the men volunteers, the women defending family & culture. Even among those who questioned the Vietnam War - quietly - none of the mainstream people would actively fight our government, march in demonstrations, or were involved openly in any of the drug related activities. Short hair - indeed! "White sidewalls" was not only "ok" with us but expected, & a haircut to feel proud of.
3. As important & seemingly over-riding as Vietnam now seems, please recall other issues were, back then, really hot issues, also. Thus, politics seemed more urgent. It was the era of sex, drugs, & rock 'n roll. "Hippies" and flower children were everywhere. It was the era of Woodstock, Chappaquiddick, the shocking deaths of JFK, RFK, & Martin Luther King. The "domino" theory of southeast Asia was in full sway, & racial tension in the country was enormous, with major ghetto riots & burnings in the air. Much of the confusion of the day probably occurred because of poorly done labels. "Hippies" were one thing to liberals trying to stretch the consciousness of our nation, while they were viewed only as malleable tools by anarchists, some left-wing organizations, and the drug dealers, each using the "flower power" for quite distinct goals. Meanwhile, a newer, more open sexuality was filling everyone with new, or newly expressed, hungers for more. It's difficult today to realize "important" issues of that day included public nudity, the musical "Hair", & no bras. It was a time of confusion, disorder, change, challenges to the old, "outrageous" conduct by the new, a new questioning of authority.
For many in the mainstream, it was a time of digging in the heels, trying harder than ever to do what is "right", not understanding at all many of the questions being asked nationally. The C.I.D., when they found the soundtrack of the musical "Hair" in my collection, referred to it as "deviant" music! They were serious.
And, perhaps, in direct answer to one of your implied questions, the drug issue was suddenly paramount in the nation. Drug use & abuse was wracking our cities, ghettoes, white middle class workers on assembly lines, & soldiers, never mind the more expected liberal students. The army was torn apart trying to figure out whether to be "tougher" on drug users, or more lenient (i.e., detox programs, counseling, halfway houses, etc.) It is very, very important you recall some of those milestones in Fred's letter to you: 1969-70 was the first time (!) the U.S. Army began counseling drug addicts - one of my specific duties was to counsel all drug abusers in our unit. January, 1970 was the first (!) halfway house, also the first unit-wide lectures & films on drug use & abuse, & just the beginnings of what later became a floodtide of discharges due to drug abuse. Stories were flooding the U.S., including Bragg. of widespread drug abuse in Vietnam, & we were reeling from the horror stories of units ambushed & slaughtered by V.C. because our sentries were "loaded" on drugs. Hepatitis was suddenly a major problem among our troops, especially southeast Asia returnees, a large part of it from drug use. Marijuana was being looked upon as generally okay, except among really elite units, like U.S. Army Special Forces - Green Berets - where any drug use was considered a weakness, and potentially deadly in the field. The spectre of heroin was suddenly emerging, first led by inner-city blacks in the service, but by 1969-70, it was a hot ticket even among whites, and it was considered very, very deadly among "real soldiers" (i.e., my type of unit).
The gulf between drug users & non-drug users was widening, not narrowing. Remember, those were the first days that we were hearing the stories - more widely circulated later - of U.S. soldiers shooting their own commanding officers, & the stories were often that the shooter was using drugs, while the officer who was the target was the one trying to maintain discipline, especially regarding drugs. Paranoia was rampant.
4. Almost as an aside, recall that music, lyrics, movies, books, "head shops", were all manifesting the new urgencies of drugs. "Easy Rider" and "Hair" were the big hits, Woodstock happened. Conduct everywhere was suddenly more exhibitionist, sexually permissive, and oriented to "free sex". (We paid the price only later: 1st, hepatitis, gonorrhea, syphilis, and unwanted pregnancies; later, chlamydia & Herpes, then finally AIDS, & dissolving family structures and huge increases in single parent families. All of it at least partly traceable to the nihilistic times and the paranoia of 1969-70.) It was a very weird, troubling, exhilarating, paranoid, explosive time. And then the Manson Murders happened in the summer of 1969, one of the markers of the psychosis of those years. Suddenly, the unimaginable was concrete, death was at your doorstep, & previously taboo horrors had been brought into every living room in America.
And everything happening in civilian America was also happening , maybe even more so, in the army. The spectre of Vietnam, death, the loss of your buddy, being away from home - it added more fuel to the fire within the military. AWOL's were up; education & discipline among the huge new pools of draftees were down. Violence & drug problems plagued Ft. Bragg. One only has to look at the Fayetteville Observer front page on 17 February 1970! The lead story is the slaughter of my family. The second story, also front page, was a huge spread on a massive drug raid netting 12 suspects.
5. What I am saying, ****, is that when we pick out specific anecdotes regarding drugs on Ft. Bragg, all of the above, especially the paranoia - must be kept in mind. It is impossible to understand events, actions & reactions, in those days without recalling how tumultuous & scary, if you will, everyday life had become. There is no other time, excepting the Civil War period, when our country was in such an uproar. Certainly, at no time since approximately 1975 can you recall anything approaching the upheavals of 1969-70. I believe very strongly part of the moronic C.I.D. response to 17 Feb. 1970 is easily understood if you realize they had to have an answer; they simply had to have a suspect, & quickly, so as to keep the fear & paranoia over the slaughter of my family to a minimum. One of their overriding concerns certainly had to be to come up with an understandable scenario. At least 4 "hippie" intruders, breaking into a captain's house on Ft. Bragg & killing his blonde wife & 2 children, simply wasn't acceptable. However, a domestic dispute, now that is something every newspaper reader could easily understand. I believe it was this reasoning which created part of the C.I.D. response. There are others, several more ominous - see below for the main ones.
6. As a Green Beret, I was a member of a very elite unit, & elite units almost always consider themselves "above the fray", if you will. The Green Berets were no exception. Our attached troops - Psyops (Psychological Operations), motor pool, transportation, communication & signal, etc. - caused most of the drug & violence problems among our troops. The actual Green Berets themselves were, for the large part, higher caliber people & troops, & generally were not disciplinary or drug problems. The Berets were more educated, were all volunteers, were put through rigorous training, were often self-motivated & were "patriotic" types, & were "Gung Ho", if you will. They were proud of their training & mission & elite status, & they, for the most part, liked going "into the weeds" , & even to southeast Asia, no matter what they told their wives & families.
7. I tell you the above because the typical Beret's reaction to the counterculture & turmoil was more ho-hum than many other people. Or, more direct. For instance, you would hear motor pool guys or Psyops personnel discussing the quality of marijuana or "Thai sticks" smuggled back from Vietnam, or the upcoming Jane Fonda protests in downtown Fayetteville. A typical Green Beret, sergeant or officer alike, would be more likely to be discussing body counts, ambush techniques, night jumps, the relative value of Nung vs. Cambodian mercenaries, specific weaponry, or our next "mission". If asked specifically about whether he was going to see Jane Fonda, the Beret would be more likely to say simply, "What a pathetic bitch!", or "Why don't we just kill her?" I can't tell you how many times a Beret said within my hearing, after someone mentioned a riot, or Jane Fonda, "I'd like to grease (kill) that bitch.", & mean it. It doesn't sound real today, but back then, all a C.O. had to do was say "Hit her!", & hundreds of troopers would have eagerly volunteered. Remember - we were very different from the regular army. When someone spoke negatively about Vietnam, a Beret's typical reaction was, "Don't knock it - it's our only declared war.", & they'd laugh, because they were privy to the wars being secretly fought in the Congo, Bolivia, Laos, etc. - all essentially unknown to the U. S. public until exposure 20 years later.
One effect of the above was to "pit" regular U.S. Army troops - & their more counterculture followers - vs. the elite units - the U.S. Navy SEALS, the Marine Corps Long Range Recon Patrol. & the Green Berets from the U.S. Army. To bring it home, this pitted our attached troops - the drug users - against the Green Berets, each side very suspicious of the other, & the gulf was widening.
8. As you might guess from the above, one spin-off from all of the above was that people like me - Gung-Ho, committed, working hard to do what our country had asked - tended to dismiss the counterculture, the later-to-be-more-obvious-"undertoad", as an unworthy opponent. I was too busy, accomplishing too much, teaching too many hot young Beret medics field medicine, to pay "undue" attention to any perceived threat from the drug culture. I never struggled with ambivalences. I simply saved lives in the Emergency Department, or jumped out of another helicopter, or "charged on" , in the parlance of the day, rather than anguishing over political or societal questions. I didn't really recognize the threats. Guys like me really never worried about downtown Fayetteville & its crises footing. We dismissed the drugs as so foreign & alien to our own world as to be a fringe thing, when in fact, drugs had become literally mainstream, at least in volume & effect. It wasn't until years later, in deep reflection, that I could see so plainly all the warnings, the milestones, the flags that would have alerted me to per-haps recheck the locks on the doors at night, which I almost never did. Colette & I had just come from 5 grueling years in big cities, living fairly hand-to-mouth, often in low-rent neighborhoods. I had seen "real" drugs & violence daily at Cook County Hospital in Chicago & the Presbyterian Hospital in New York, where the enemy was obvious - poor, in a ghetto, black or Hispanic, & "tatooed" down. Ft. Bragg looked like a campus to Colette & me. We felt safe, secure, easy. Life was a blast, & I was a hard-charger. I didn't recognize the warnings. I didn't really register that Fayetteville was a cesspool, that Helena Stoeckley & her friends, & their drugs, were out there, circling their prey.
9. Whew! Don't groan, but now I feel I can talk to you, with perhaps more meaning, about specific anecdotes regarding drugs, crime, paranoia, etc. It didn't make much sense from my view, to spin out these anecdotes unless you were tuned in to the above background material.
a. Re: Drugs in general. Everyone was aware in 1970 of the huge drug problem. It was everywhere - television, radio, movies, books, news-papers, talk, etc. The new army policies re: counseling, re: taking away the "confidential" nature of physician-patient communications, re: half- way houses, re: amnesty for AWOL & drug offenses - these were all in everyone's consciousness. I personally did the huge majority of drug counseling in my unit & most of these patients were support personnel, not Green Berets - but I was an obvious "true believer". There is no question but that I was considered "the other side" by troops using drugs.
First, my appearance - shined Boots, "military" (crisp) uniform, short hair, paratrooper & Green Beret patches - it all spoke loudly for "anti-drug" feelings, no matter my personal conviction (which, by the way, was softly anti-drugs). Second - and very importantly, according to witnesses at trial - see especially Major James Williams - & see Potter/Bost book - the troops viewed the army docs as "rats" (i.e., as having "turned in" their patients to the C.I.D. This was not true - no legit doctor did that - but it was done, to my first hand knowledge, by the Beret staff psychiatrist.
However, the point is, true or not, the troops believed the docs to be "rats". Given the temper of the times, & the paranoia, drugs, & weaponry, this was, in retrospect, very dangerous. I was told that several times, by officers & sergeants alike in my office - but I totally discarded the warnings. Helena Stoeckley herself, I believe, referred to me as a rat to Ted Gunderson, & implied one reason they came to threaten me was to force me to be more sympathetic to drug users. In fact, Helena went so far as to detail how long they discussed threatening me (months), & that they had "cased" 544 Castle Drive on previous visits, prior to 17 February 1970.
9b. A very specific connection between the drug underground & myself - documented in the Potter/Bost book & our F.O.I.A. files - was the episode in January 1970 when I worked at Cape Fear Valley Memorial Hospital (CFVMH), moonlighting as an emergency physician. In this episode, I save the life of a soldier from the 82nd Airborne, brought in by some friends. He was O.D.'d, and the save was quite dramatic, including an emergency tracheosteomy. (Jerry Potter has in his files an identical incident already written up with accurate dialogue, should you be interested.) The friends in the waiting room were arrested, shortly after I spoke to them about the patient. They were arrested because, unknown to me, my nurse had reported the O.D to the Fayetteville Police, and the police quickly arrived, arrested the visitors, and carted them off to jail, where they implicated a black male as the drug supplier. It turns out that the visitors were close associates of Helena Stoeckley, and one doesn't have to be Columbo to realize that I would be blamed for the arrest. Shortly after this episode, my family was attacked by the Stoeckley group, with a black male among them, this after Helena Stoeckley admits that they were coming to "warn the Captain to be more sympathetic to drug users". (All of this is corroborated by C.I.D., F.B.I. and F.O.I.A., plus Helena Stoeckley interviews.) Helena S. said, by the way, that killing was not the plan but that it occurred when the violence escalated out of control due to their drug ingestion (and, I suspect, their violent natures). The "concidents" of this episode are so eerie that I do not believe it coincidental. Surely, this well-documented incident must have been one of the major triggers for my family's slaughter, especially when you take into consideration the Stoeckley/Mitchell confessions to third parties. Importantly, and not in the Potter/Bost book, realize that after saving the life of the soldier, I went in to the waiting room and spoke directly to the visitors (later arrested). I always introduced myself, but I also always wore my name tag. So there is no question that they knew my name from this visit. The substance of my conversation was simply that the soldier was now alive and "stabilized", he had a breathing tube in place, and I was inquiring as to next-of-kin or commanding officer (who I called at Ft. Bragg when the patient couldn't be immediately transferred to Womack Army Hospital). I also thanked the men for bringing him in so quickly. (Imagine their shock/surprise to be arrested shortly thereafter.)
9c. There is another, less specific, event whereby the subculture could have obtained my name. In any busy emergency dept., there are frequent disturbances in the waiting room, due to the tension, alcohol, drugs, stress, etc. Every emergency dept. faces this problem. In N.Y.C. and Cook County, security was always available. In smaller hospitals, like CFVMH, (or Saint Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, back then, not now) security in those days was one over-age, fat, slow, retired, white male, wandering somewhere in the hospital, who would take 5-15 minutes to get there when called. So when a disturbance happened, the scenario was usually as follows:
The E.D. clerk asks the unruly visitors to please have a seat, everyone is busy, you'll be looked at ASAP, thank you.
Then the nurse would go out if the clerk was unsuccessful. The nurse would imperiously (if new), or calmly (if experienced) ask for calm, ask those not there for treatment to leave, and remind everyone that this was a hospital, not a bar.
If that didn't work, or sooner, depending on the scene, the doctor would then march out, obviously pissed and too busy, and demand order, in authoritarian terms. It usually worked. The doctor, coming through those swinging doors, stethoscope swinging from his neck, a firm voice ("command and control" - a "presence"), would usually cower the beast in the mob before it got out of control. Often I'd get their attention by saying "Look, this is a hospital. We have desperately sick people back there, including a baby having a seizure! We'll get to everyone as soon as possible." And often that did it.
If not, we'd call for security &/or city cops. In Fayetteville, most cops were ex-military, & they were efficient at cracking skulls, not bothering too much with constitutional rights & Miranda warnings.
My point is, there is no question that in Dec., Jan., & Feb., back then on several occasions I had to remove unruly groups creating havoc in the Emergency Dept. Usually it was drunk soldiers pouring coffee or beer on each other and then other visitors, who would be petrified. Sometimes, it was a group of Helena Stoeckley - like castoffs, really grungy and making no pretenses at liking "mainstream" people. I believe Fred Bost even has someone in the Stoeckley crowd as documenting one episode where they recall it was I who evicted them. This is another potential trigger for the Stoeckley crowd and their move on my family. Personally, I would suspect this type of episode as more likely adding fuel to the fire. That is, they already had my name as the "drug counselor", and they were angry over the O.D. visitors being arrested, and being evicted from the E.D. simply was gasoline on that fire.
9d. Another important, I believe, possible connection between the drug subculture and myself you're aware of (see Potter/Bost book), but I'll mention it. In early 1970, a major army policy was changed, and lectures were given to all troops (!), that the "privileged" communications between army doctor and patient were no longer privileged. From then on, if a GI was arrested for drugs, and if that GI had happened to see the doc in preceding weeks or months, especially if the visit was re: drug counseling, the doctor was naturally suspect as the source of the C.I.D. tip that led to the drug raid. Jim Williams warned me of this danger. I ignored it. What I'm saying is, by policy, I had been placed in a situation whereby all the usual paranoia re: drugs and tips and rats was focused, laser-like, on me. My position as "drug counselor" in the sixth group made me an especially prominent target. It was noted in the units, for instance, that drug counseling appointments were in precipitous decline after the policy change, i.e., the soldiers were inferring the dr. was "ratting them off" to the C.I.D. and thus canceled their appts.
9e. The now infamous body bag drug smuggling cases of the mid-seventies - the first such trial was regarding Marines at Cherry Point North Carolina, I believe - presided over by none other than Judge Dupree - had not yet become known in 1970. I'm sure some people must have known in 1969-70, but the actual specifics of smuggling drugs in that fashion wasn't being discussed yet. Drug smuggling from southeast Asia was being discussed - it was part of the fabric of the times, and gist for happy hour chats, and the floodtide of drugs arriving on Bragg was already common knowledge.
Actually, there were two major kinds of smuggling that were being openly discussed. One was weapons; the other was drugs. One was "good", in the eyes of most active-duty people - i.e., the weapons. It seemed to such men, accustomed to killing and weapons, many of them serious gun freaks, that it was perfectly natural to "obtain" your own AK-47 (Chinese), or M-16 or .45 cal. pistol (U.S.) or even grenades or Claymore mines (!) for your own purposes. Remember - among the Berets who had been working in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with C.I.A. Spooks, and who often paid warlords in gold bullion, or protection, or cases of .45 cal. pistols, etc. - it wasn't a crime to smuggle weapons for yourself. (I'm sure many of the illicit weapons the drug dealers had were obtained from this pipeline.) I heard many a conversation regarding such weapons, including obtaining two Claymore mines to rig in the front lawn hedge of a suburban home outside Detroit "in case the blacks rioted, I can sweep the first wave off the street". (True Story)
The second smuggling being discussed - drugs - was not "good", but rather "bad". The troops I was around detested drugs, but saw and understood their monetary value - for instance it was frequently discussed that C.I.A./Beret teams working with Nung mercenaries protected the heroin shipments out of the Golden Triangle, in return for backing U.S. programs vs. the Communists.
(This was all documented years later in many publications and books.) So, while it wasn't good, there was a kind of guarded admiration for those soldiers involved in smuggling drugs, because everyone could see how that person's financial situation could suddenly be secure with a duffel bag or two of heroin.
Back in 1969-70, the mechanism we all heard about was via G.I.s coming home. The method was extra duffel bags; often one GI arranging it at the Vietnam end for two bags to be boarded, one with his id and one with a fake id ( often a recently dead soldier). At the Bragg (Pope AFB) end, if the coast was clear, that second bag would, "by mistake", be picked up by a GI - if stopped and questioned, the fake id on the bag made it a "mistake". If not stopped, the bag had made it safely to the U.S. In the bag was heroin, or hashish or Thai sticks or just marijuana, depending, (or the weapons discussed above).
By the way, should paranoia intervene, or should the bag runners sense trouble and leave the bag, of course the C.I.D. eventually collected it. I heard many conversations lamenting a lost duffel bag, with the lament being "I'm sure the C.I.D. had a blast with my Thai sticks". I also heard many variants of "disguising" the bag with pepper, spices, etc. to fool the (newly acquired) drug-sniffing dogs just coming into use.
Due to the flood tide of drugs, readily apparent in this southeast Asia-to-Bragg pipeline, no one really doubted organized crime was eventually involved - the money and temptation and ease of this pipeline was simply too staggering. It was not unheard of for you to overhear claims that a GI had a buddy who just bought a Corvette or a Camaro, (or a new house in those days) with the extra bolus of untaxed cash secondary to one shipment of drugs.
10. To give you a better picture of a specific time/place, the major place I recall being when I heard such stories as mentioned above, was a hunting lodge on Ft. Bragg called McKellar's Lodge. It is quite famous. It served hamburgers, chili, sandwiches, and beer, and it was used by a huge group of soldiers, mainly those who had been around awhile. It was an old lodge, smoky, often packed, and it was very convivial. It was one of the few places, for instance, where you could get a beer before 4 p.m. (NCO clubs, for instance do not allow beer before 4 p.m. happy hour). It also was one of the few "clubs" where officer-types mixed with NCO's and enlisted. The crowd that hung out there often sneaked to it - way out in the "boonies" on Ft. Bragg (which is 25 miles across) for a quick beer, or four - at lunch, but its main draw was after work "happy hour", at which time it was packed. Sergeants, Captains, Lieutenants, hot-shot old Sergeant-Majors held in awe by everyone, occasionally a Colonel or even General, would mix and tell stories and have retirement parties, etc. (It was only after I had been on two tough training exercises - one in the mountains of N.C., one in Puerto Rico, Vieques Islands and the Caribbean, and had "earned" my full Green Beret patch, i.e., status - that fellow old-time officers brought me with them to McKellar's Lodge. There is much lore about the lodge - for instance, after a demonstration for JFK at the lodge, when a paratrooper landed on the shore of the lake, saluted JFK, and presented him with his own personal Green Beret, only then did JFK authorize the troops to wear permanently the now famous Green Beret.)
This was the men's club to end all men's clubs with skeet shooting, darts, lots of beer, and limitless war stories. And it was here that a Sergeant back from his second Vietnam tour, for instance, would disdainfully mention how easy it was to get his now personal AK-47 assault rifle home in his duffel bag. Or you would hear the stories about the knapsack or duffel bag, or even mess kit, packed with heroin, that made it past all searches. [Another trick on the weapons was simply to disassemble it, and pack parts of it in to 2-3 different bags].
I remember being there one time at a crowded table with six or seven men around it when then-Cpt. Jim Williams, already a decorated Vietnam Vet of one or two tours and going back again, repeated his warnings to me about being labeled a "rat" by troops unfamiliar with me personally, due to the changed army policy re: confidentiality; and others around the table nodding, that it was no joke, given the enmity between drug users and mainstream people, and the surrounding violence of the drug trade. I totally passed over the severity of this warning, but it is perfectly possible it was at these talks, or one like it, whereby someone actively involved in smuggling drugs made a note of me and the just-discussed situation of me allegedly being difficult or hard on drug users.
By the way, for accuracy purposes, the lodge was not fancy. It was very "blue-collar" in looks and atmosphere. It was knotty pine, open beams, overlooked a lake, and when I was there, was usually jammed and noisy and beer was flowing freely.
11. New topic: secret, illegal, LSD experiments. ****, I believe you're aware of this topic, but let me cover it briefly. Quickly, what I'm about to mention is the possibility Ft. Bragg was being utilized by the C.I.A. (not the C.I.D.) for the now well corroborated nationwide (70 bases) illicit testing of LSD on unsuspecting people. We have voluminous research on this topic. We cannot prove Ft. Bragg was home to such experiments, but the circumstantial evidence is quite persuasive. The point is, if Bragg was being used as a secret LSD testing site, the murders of my family by drug (especially acid or LSD) people, would have been very, very, threatening to the higher-ups involved in the approval of such testing. For their purposes, even if done solely by sort of unspoken agreements, quick "solving" of the crimes by attaching blame to me - (the immediate family member), was significantly protective of their immediate paranoia over being discovered. That it could have played a large role in higher-ups ignoring all the signs that screamed out for a real investigation of the Stoeckley crowd is clear to me. Remember - relatively few people need to turn the other cheek, as it were, to real evidence: like Col. Kriwanek, who refused the F.B.I. permission to lab test the scene, and Wm. Ivory, (who also almost for sure, had personal reasons not to involve Stoeckley). Should Ivory's superiors not press him on Stoeckley, essentially with only two persons crimes of omissions - Kriwanek and Ivory - I could be safely prosecuted, and no threat to the illicit LSD testing would occur.
Here are, very briefly, some of the circumstantial evidence pointing to secret LSD experiments on Ft. Bragg, impacting the investigation:
11a. It is now known army doctors and C.I.A. collaborated on widespread LSD experiments on unsuspecting soldiers, civilians, and others, resulting in deaths then mislabeled as heart attacks and suicides. (There is a huge bibliography and file on this. The search was for an "ultimate" truth serum.) Upwards of seventy army bases were involved.
11b. Civilian psychiatrists ran the C.I.A. sponsored program and contracts were secretly written with testing agencies, Department of Defense, C.I.A., and for instance, New York State Department of Mental Hygiene.
11c. Ft. Bragg had a huge C.I.A. contingent - probably biggest in U.S. outside of Langley.
11d. As at known testing sites, unexplained LSD deaths were occurring at Ft. Bragg - see newspaper reports of 1969 death of soldier jumping from 9th story window of Womack Army Hospital.
11e. LSD was easily available at Ft. Bragg. Specifically, it is known and proven that Stoeckley gave up several dealers who dealt in LSD, and large caches of LSD were appropriated by "Drug Task Force" people, of which Ivory was a member.
11f. I was intimately involved in LSD user counseling sessions, and treatments of LSD O.D.'s, both at Womack and CFVMH.
11g. During the C.I.D. investigation of the case, somehow Ivory consulted not an army psychiatrist, but - secretly - Dr. James Brussel, a civilian psychiatrist, an "expert" in LSD, in New York City (incredibly unusual).
11h. The associate of Dr. Brussel of twenty years' duration was convicted of being the guilty party in secretly testing unsuspecting patients at New York Psychiatric Hospital with LSD and causing deaths. One of the families was awarded $700,000.00 when this came out twenty years after the death. The associate worked with Brussel for decades. (Newton Bigelow was his name.)
11i. The LSD experiments at that N.Y. hospital began by contract with the C.I.A., within mos. of Dr. Brussel's arrival at that hospital (1953), coming from the U.S. Army, as a psychiatrist who admits he was a C.I.A. agent between WW II and the Korean War(!)
11j. Upon being secretly briefed by Ivory in 1970, Dr. Brussel at the first meeting, without talking to me or even seeing the crime scene, pronounced me "guilty" and a pathological homicidal maniac. This was then hidden for nine years by the C.I.D. and prosecutor. See Bost/Potter book.
11k. Dr. Brussel first came to defense attention when he was a psychiatrist I was forced to be examined by, at trial, in 1979, on Judge Dupree's orders, and Murtaugh's suggestion. Brussel immediately contradicted five previous examiners - two defense and three govt. - all of whom said I was normal, sane, and unlikely to have committed the crimes. Dupree used this fake Brussel info. to disallow all the real psychiatric info. (five prior exams) at trial. See the Potter/Bost book for the extremely well-done section on Brussel.
11l. Only after some of the secret LSD deaths came to public attention, via federal trials, did we make the connection between Brussel, his old associate, LSD, and the C.I.A. To me, it very dramatically and positively answers the how and why a lowly investigator like Ivory could/would find a bizarre civilian psychiatrist in New York and secretly use him to help frame me. The only answer: Ivory knew of Brussel because Brussel was a consultant to the C.I.A.-sponsored LSD experiments. I would imagine at least Col. Kriwanek, if not Grebner ( head of C.I.D. at Bragg) would have been aware of the secret LSD experiments, if only to hush up unexplained LSD deaths and prevent investigation into those deaths. (****, if you think this is far-fetched, you only need to read the files we have corroborating this info., and/or remember these are the same C.I.A. operatives and psychiatrists, etc. who were "testing" anthrax, botulism, plague, etc. in Utah on farms (unknown to the farmers whose sheep kept dying), and also testing it in San Francisco and New York subway stations!
So - in review - I believe there is a strong possibility Dr. Brussel came into my case due to then current LSD illicit drug testing, tests which the C.I.A. and U.S. Army kept denying even existed, until trials proved them in the late 1980's. This scenario answers, if it is true, some or all of our questions regarding the "how" and "why" of such an obvious, massive, and determined cover-up. To allow Stoeckley and her group to be fully investigated, whether or not she had any connection to LSD, would have opened the whole can of worms regarding LSD. See? Investigators would have been swarming all over Fayetteville - F.B.I. agents, not clued in to C.I.A. experiments - and Helena's known connection to LSD suppliers would have inexorably led to questions about the unexplained LSD deaths, on and around Ft. Bragg.
In my mind, I believe somehow drugs, and dirty C.I.D. agents like Ivory, were clearly involved in not pushing for Helena's investigation. But the acquiescence of higher-ups, while explainable if large-scaled drug scams were going on, are much more easily explained if you envision a terrified Col. Kriwanek on the morning of 17 February 1970 hearing the MP's report of the words I heard Stoeckley say, involving "acid", and then hearing she was sighted 100 yards from my house by an MP. This terrified Colonel instantly saw his career in tatters, since he had acquiesced in not "uncovering" the widespread illicit testing of LSD on innocents, overseen by the C.I.A. The one way out for Col. Kriwanek was to charge me with the crimes. And when Ivory - himself fearful of prior personal ties to Helena - immediately reports to Col. Kriwanek that he (Ivory) thinks the living rooms scene was "staged" by me, well, Col. Kriwanek breathes a huge sigh of relief, and immediately - prior to any investigation - refuses the F.B.I. the right to lab test the evidence, and the case is begun against me.
Remember, **** - we have proof that from that morning on, evidence was being badly mishandled - way more than average sloppiness - each piece of which was exculpatory to me and was somehow changed, lost, or explained away. It is difficult to imagine a "conspiracy" broad enough to encompass all these tasks. But it is totally understandable, believable, and possible if you see how, via two key people - Col. Kriwanek, the police chief of Ft. Bragg if you will - and Wm. Ivory, the sleazy chief investigator on the case - the evidence was then controlled, mishandled, lost, and compartmentalized.
The truth is, I believe the above is much, much, much stronger - both in believability and in corroboration - than is the more common scenario of higher-ups involved in drugs. Either or both are possible. But the Brussel/C.I.A./LSD connection to the case is so clear to me that I've come to believe it must be a major part of the untold story. Jerry and Fred wrote a terrific chapter on Brussel - yet they left out the above simply because we haven't yet found the "smoking gun", like the contract between the C.I.A. and Bragg, for instance, or definite proof of Brussel's tie-in to Bragg prior to 17 February 1970.
12. ****, just so you're aware of it: the C.I.A. contingent on Bragg was huge and pervasive. The 82nd Airborne and the Green Berets had many "missions" requiring or utilizing extensive C.I.A. intelligence and vice-versa. The Berets were essentially the fighting arm, and sometimes the intelligence-gatherer for the C.I.A. The C.I.A. had its own fenced, isolated, locked compound on Bragg, but we interacted with the Spooks at briefings, or missions, etc.
My personal initiation into the C.I.A. was a surprise. I was giving my first major "area assessment" briefing at JFK Center on the area formerly called Belgian Congo, to a large group of brass, intelligence people, and, apparently, Spooks. When I finished my lecture, (and Col. Kingston later told me how "impressed" he and the C.I.A. operatives were), Col. Kingston introduced me to a plain-clothes guy who didn't identify his function or office. He promptly confiscated my lecture notes, slides, and all copies of the outline I had made and had distributed for the briefing. I was amazed - later Col. Kingston said that the Spooks, if impressed, "stole" your lecture, redid it, and passed it on to Langley as their own work. Col. Kingston and his Sergeant-Major were amused at my consternation at losing my lecture, and I had to remake the broad outlines of the lecture for the purposes of teaching my own unit.
It's hard to get across to you the temper of those times. Assassinations, espionage, fermenting revolutions, secret wars, the "Phoenix" program in Vietnam (assassinating thousands of public officials suspected of being VC) - All of it was centered at Ft. Bragg, with the Berets and the C.I.A. The drug warlords of southeast Asia were "allies" to/with the C.I.A. Everyone was aware "the Flying Tigers" airline, and Southern Air (in the Caribbean) were C.I.A.-owned airlines. Such things as the C.I.A. protecting huge shipments of opium, heroin and hashish out of southeast Asia was such common knowledge as to barely raise eyebrows anymore. I worked with men who had chased and killed Che Guevara in the Bolivian mountains, and men who knew all about our secret wars in the Congo, Laos and Cambodia. Under those times and those circumstances, it is easy to imagine the above-described LSD "conspiracy".
As an example of what I did personally know, I went on a joint U.S. Navy SEAL, Marine, and Special Forces exercise on the island of Vieques off Puerto Rico. It involved U.S. invading a "mock" third world country in disarray from Communist-led strikes and student protests, i.e., Puerto Rico. To make the exercise real, we targeted real people, as well as imaginary, and, "for practice", launched missions from subs, even in a tropical storm, landed, and then secured various objectives. These objectives included power plants, etc., but mainly involved targeting student and union leaders. No one thought this bizarre or unusual. The temper of those times is very different from the national consciousness now.
13. In regards to organized crime, or cartels, the only cartel known to us back then were the Golden Triangle warlords. We were aware of the usual publicly-known information on the Mafia, but I know of no direct links. Everyone assumed organization was occurring in the drug trade, simply because the volume and money involved almost demanded it. You are aware, I'm sure, known associates of Stoeckley were tried and convicted of major drug smuggling, extortion, murder, and kidnapping, and were thought of as "connected". It was also common knowledge that organized crime had a hand in prostitution in Fayetteville, and it was also known that certain clubs, like the Pink Pussycat Lounge on Bragg Boulevard, seemed to escape serious drug busts too frequently to be by chance. But that is my extent of personal knowledge on these lines.
14. Re: drug busts on Bragg, all I was privy to was the usual assortment of gossip, rumors, war stories, and bits in the local papers regarding the ever-increasing number of successful busts, and what I've already described to you regarding successful smuggling from southeast Asia. Clearly, Bragg was a major drug entry place. Later research and public articles indicate Bragg was also a "way-station", a stopover place, along the Miami-New York corridor, increasing the Fayetteville population of non-service connected drugs and/or drug people. In my mind, I am positive Wm. Ivory was dirty. There is no other obvious reasoning behind his abysmal performance and reasoning on the morning of 17 February. All of his actions scream out that he was "dirty" and his informant, Stoeckley, was not going to be investigated, no matter what. That Ivory remained in "drug" investigations throughout the 1970's and into the 80's seems to me to be proof that he was dirty. Most cops move on - the dirty ones stay to keep making the illegal money.
In closing, I have tried to give you an overview of the times, concentrating on our paranoia and on the drug scene on Ft. Bragg. Fred Bost has given you specific dates of events - I have tried to flesh out those dates with more personal memories and anecdotes. Additionally, I wanted to cover two things I believe to be of very serious importance to the story: the infamous "hair incident", and the possibility that there were illicit LSD experiments going on Ft. Bragg, thereby explaining the very bizarre appearance, and use of, Dr. James Brussel, for his fake psychiatric exam of me. The "hair incident" follows this report. I hope all of this material is of interest, and that it is helpful to you.