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CIA Killings of American and British Rock Musicians,1968-1998

CIA Killings of American and British Rock Musicians,1968-1998

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Published by: ruediedi on Oct 13, 2010
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WHO'S NEXT?: CIA Killings of American and British Rock Musicians,1968-1998
 by Alex ConstantineResearch assistance: The late Mae Brussell's "Operation CHAOS," an unpublished essay,and film-maker Lew Lee.Reports of appalling excesses committed by domestic intelligence operatives during theVietnam era have surfaced repeatedly in the public print since the evacuation of Saigon:the FBI's COINTELPRO outrages, the probable involvement of military intelligenceofficers in the murder of Martin Luther King, et.al,, assaults on 1960s activism by theCIA's CHAOS division, the distribution of LSD to subvert the anti-war movement, alitany of Watergate "horrors" and various ill-conceived, federally-sanctioned undercover operations. Some of this closet activity has only come to light decades later, including theexistence of a CIA-led "Sovereign Committee," an assemblage of prominent reactionaries bent on turning back the civil rights movement in the South of the 1960s by decimatingthe lives of its leading spokesmen.Still eclipsed by federal classification are the tactics of the U.S. intelligence sector in thedestabilization of the lives of musicians and counter-cultural activists, as revealed in aSenate Intelligence Committee report released on April 26, 1976:"Show them as scurrilous and depraved. Call attention to their habits and livingconditions, explore every possible embarrassment. Send in women and sex, break upmarriages. Have members arrested on marijuana charges. Investigate personal conflicts or animosities between them. Send articles to the newspapers showing their depravity. Usenarcotics and free sex to entrap. Use misinformation to confuse and disrupt. Get recordsof their bank accounts. Obtain specimens of handwriting. Provoke target groups intorivalries that MAY RESULT IN DEATH."Killing was, without question, deemed a sound option by an intelligence sector embroiledin suppressing the popular backlash to military-industrial authority. One covert operation proposed by the President Nixon's Plumbers unit,, a CIA cadré, involved the bombing of 100,000 demonstrators at a rock concert in Mission Bay, San Diego during the 1972Republican convention (an event subsequently moved to Miami, where the same WhiteHouse special operations unit planned to provoke a riot to be blamed on the Left, per Harper's magazine for December 1972, until the whistle was blown by FBI informant andGreen Beret vet William Lemmer before a Florida grand jury).The music industry of the Vietnam period was the binding force of a cultural revolution.Music and the politics of the Left were one. "War," Mick Jagger reflected, "stems from power mad politicians and patriots. Some new master plan would end all these mindlessmen from seats of power." Mick Jagger's audience sang his revulsion, but their enmity
 
toward the warfare state was mutual.The back channels of the intelligence world swarmed with crooks and killers. This genré belched forth the late Robert Hall, associate of Robert Vesco and Howard Hughes, a private investigator in L.A. summed up by former Harper's editor Jim Hougan: "tough,reasonably brave and decidedly larcenous ... a father, a wiretapper, an informer, a dope peddler and a double agent" (Spooks, William Morrow, 1878).Hall tailed Sal Mineo one evening in 1975 ... the very night the actor was stabbed todeath. (Mineo's had signed on to play Sirhan Sirhan in a film about the murder of RobertF. Kennedy - in it, CIA assassination and post-hypnotic programming were to be prominently featured themes.)Hall was retained by the managers of seven rock bands to investigate physicians who'dslipped their musicians fraudulent prescriptions, drugs that altered their personalities,sabotaged public appearances, hindered their lives and music.Hall reported that two doctors and a dentist had prescribed the mind-altering drugs. Thisinformation was turned over to the authorities. No action was taken. Hall was gunneddown shortly thereafter, on July 22, 1976. The homicide investigation turned up tapesrecorded by Robert Hall. Beverly Hills Police Chief Jack Eggars immediately resigneddue to his involvement with the drug dealer, as revealed in the tapes. The media,observed the late political researcher Mae Brussell, linked the killing to "Hollywood'smost famous celebrities in drug and sex scandals, exposures of television starts and highWashington officials, drug traffic from Los Angeles to the Malibu community,international sports events, the Los Angeles police department (one of their former agentsis now retired, and heads the Police Science Department at L.A. Valley College andsupplied the fatal weapon used to kill Hall)."Jack Ginsburgs, Hall's partner, was charged with the murder. Ginsburgs, according toHougan, was "a pornographer, the proprietor of XXX, Inc. The son of a White Russianémigré, he'd spent his youth inside the decadent Shanghai Bund - that romantic foreigncolony which [was] a meld of opium, kinky sex and intrigue." Gene LeBell was alsocharged. LeBell, another partner in Hall's firm, owned a pharmacy in Hollywood.Between 1967 and 1976, many of the music industry's most politically active talents died,among them Mama Cass Elliott, folk singers Richard Farina, Phil Ochs and Tim Buckley,Jim and Pamela Morrison, Gram Parsons, Otis Redding, songwriter Jimmy Reed,Clarence White of the Byrds, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead's "Pig Pen," Jimi Hendrix,Michael Jeffrey (Hendrix's manager), Keith Moon, others. Since, the deaths of JohnLennon and Bob Marley were succeeded by books exploring the possible involvement of the CIA.Operation Chaos (forthcoming), will examine evidence of complicity by the intelligence"services" - recruiters of morally-erosive holdouts of fascist regimes and Mafia stinkbugs- in the deaths of over a dozen musicians associated with the "New Left," among them:
 
Brian Jones: The coroner's report concluded, "death by misadventure" on July 2, 1969.the Rolling Stone complained that police planted marijuana on him, and he compared hishandling by the law to the hounding of Lenny Bruce, recalling the tactics detailed in the1976 Congressional Intelligence Committee report. Two books published in 1994,
 Paint  It Black 
by Geoffrey Guiliano and Terry Rawlings'
Who Killed Christopher Robin?
,concluded that Jones had been murdered. England's Independent reported on April 4,1994, "Murder Claims Raise Doubts Over Rolling Stone's Death." The 27-year-oldguitarist may have been "deliberately drowned in the swimming pool of his countrymansion by one of his aides, Frank Thorogood." The books cited above are in agreementthat before Jones drowned, Thorogood conned the musician out of thousands of pounds.Was Thorogood a contract killer?Keith Richards: "Some very weird things happened the night Brian died. We had thesechauffeurs working for us, and we tried to find out. Some of them had a weird hold over Brian. I got straight into it and wanted to know who was there and couldn't find out. Theonly cat I could ask was the one I think who got rid of everybody, and did a wholedisappearing thing so that when the cops arrived, it was just an accident."Phil Ochs: Wrote songs condemning war. In 1974 he sang at Madison Square Gardenwith Bob Dylan, the occasion: "An Evening with Salvadore Allendé." The death of PhilOchs was determined to be "death by hanging" in April, 1976. Two years before, he'd hada bout of depression and bizarre behavior that left him with a multiple personality, a psychological state much explored by the CIA's mind control community.Richard Farina: Married Mimi Baez, sister of Joan Baez - to the national security state born. Joan Baez wrote in her autobiography, And a Voice to Sing With (Signet, 1987),that when she was a young girl, "most of the bright young Stanford scientists went off toLos Alamos, New Mexico, where the atomic bomb was being developed. My father recognized the potential destructive power of the unleashed atom even in those earlydays. So he took a job as a research physicist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York."Cornell was the home base of the CIA's mind control experiments, and Joan Baez is aself-described survivor of ritual child abuse, which employs a form of mind control,trauma-based programming, a technique perfected by the CIA."Soon my father was invited to become Head of Operations Research at Cornell. Exactlywhat the job entailed was classified information, but he was offered a three-week cruiseon an aircraft carrier as an introduction to the project and promised a huge salary. As itturned out, he would be overseeing Project Portrex, a vast amphibious exercise whichamong other things involved testing fighter jets, then a relatively new phenomenon.Millions of dollars would be poured into the project, about which he was to know littleand say less." Farina, who had married into a CIA family, was killed in a motorcyclecrash. According to the sleeve of his last record, "Goldwater was about to win theCalifornia primary and the skies were somewhat uneasy."Jimi Hendrix: From the Sunday Telegraph, December 12, 1993: "The former girlfriend of 

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