In this, the first full-length study of the Directorate of Science and Technology, Richelson walks readers down the corridors of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and through the four decades of science, scientists, and managers that produced the CIA that exists today.In this, the first full-length study of the Directorate of Science and Technology, Richelson walks readers down the corridors of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and through the four decades of science, scientists, and managers that produced the CIA that exists today.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-09-10 In recent years, the media have presented several reports on the tragic and scandalous 1953 death of army scientist Frank Olson. Ten days before Olson died, a Central Intelligence Agency researcher had slipped a dose of LSD into the unwitting Olson's drink. The hapless army scientist quite literally went mad and leapt to his death from the window of his New York hotel room. Press accounts have couched Olson's death as the work of a sinister CIA. In Richelson's even presentation, the Olson case, horrific as it was, is less representative of a CIA run amok than it is of a paranoid Cold War mentality in which the nation's premier intelligence agency was tasked with developing extraordinary measures for extraordinary times. The directorate responsible for those measures is the focus of this fine and meticulously researched study by master Langley-ologist Richelson (The U.S. Intelligence Community, etc.). Richelson places into context the directorate of science and technology's operations, from sci-fi-style remote-viewing experiments to very practical scientific advances that would eventually find application in heart pacemaker technology. Espionage aficionados will recognize a set of familiar project code names: JENNIFER, MKULTRA and others. Familiar spy personalities are also in abundance: Ray Cline, William Colby, Richard Helms. But Richelson expounds on what's already known, giving new insights into such matters as the development of U.S. aerial and space reconnaissance systems. The evolution of the aircraft that would become the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane is particularly fascinating, as is the story of the New York Times's investigative reporter Seymour Hersh's apparent agreement to a 1972 request from the CIA to withhold the true mission of the Glomar Explorer, a spy ship that had been dispatched to recover a sunken Soviet submarine. Photos. (Sept.) Forecast: As the scientific wing of the agency takes on increased importance in the new race for space, this book, if hand-sold as a solid, conservative perspective on the agency's history, could turn out to be a steady seller. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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