I think what makes it “smell fishy” to me is the legal and security implications.
I know the CIA has done some bizarre things in the past but I would’ve thought doing such things to citizens in another country would bring on more risk in terms of legality and diplomatic relations if somebody caught them doing it. Is that a risk they would’ve been prepared to take?
Plus think of the extra effort needed for security. I mean this is a whole town we are talking about and in a foreign country. Surely somebody could’ve been suspicious of what the contamination was.
Plus France is a friendly nation and at the time of the Cold War I would’ve thought the US Government would be keen not to take any unnecessary risks that might offend friendly countries. So if the CIA really was interested in conducting such experiments I would’ve thought they wouldn’t involve citizens of other countries, much less in the foreign countries themselves.
Having said that I’m still open to any evidence if it can be found. But I admit I’m feeling sceptical about it.
Remember that recently the CIA set up secret prisons/torture centres in foreign countries.
One reason for the CIA to use France might well be that any press coverage of strange incidents wouldn’t reach the US public that way.
France wasn’t really an ally anyway. They were not part of NATO for example.
I hear what you say. The CIA certainly has done some horrible things in the past. I still shudder to think about that poor kitty that was transformed into a living electronic eaves dropping device.
I guess we could keep arguing either way. Certainly the CIA has the history of doing nasty things. But did they do this particular nasty thing? I’d just like to see some piece of evidence.
The problem with this kind of black ops is that they don’t leave (publicly available) evidence. Even within the Agency itself these kind of things are only known at a “need to know” basis. Definite information only becomes available when it is declassified: and some things never get declassified, certainly if it is stuff that can raise issues.
That makes assessment of these kind of things very problematic. It often hinges at accepting (or not) anonymous sources.
Yet we do know (because that is public) that something very weird happened in that French village. And it is the kind of thing I wouldn’t put beyond the CIA, given their history. On the other hand, I agree: not everything weird necessarily has the hand of the CIA in it. The French Deuxieme Bureau itself has a dubious history too, and the ‘50-ies were a rather unstable period in France with parts of the military having their own secret plots (even leading to a coup attempt seven years later).