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The Book of the Week is “Baseless, My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act” by Nicholson Baker, published in 2020.

From the 1940’s through the 1960’s, the CIA funded, and was supposed to supervise certain big-name American universities’ and the U.S. military services’ secret research; this, in biochemistry, pathology, mycology, entomology, etc. for the purpose of developing weapons of mass destruction. Such weapons would cause deaths of famine from crop failure or from fatal diseases, or spur regime changes. Government officials lost control of the experimenters’ spending and activities. The “researchers” were accountable to no one.

Pursuant to their actions, the researchers generated documents that they desired remain classified forever, or else redacted in large portions thereof, so as to become incomprehensible or prevent their readers from connecting the dots, because such secrecy allows them (to this day!) to hide their unethical, even evil behavior and shameful harm to society.

This book’s author repeatedly asked for said documents under the United States’ federal law called the “Freedom of Information Act” (or FOIA); he did hours and hours of reading to detect the truth about the wrongs committed by American officials. Those officials’ excuse for their coverups (during the Cold War– it was anti-Communist measures) is always “It’s a matter of national security.” The government keeps on violating FOIA by taking years (instead of weeks or months) to fulfill the author’s numerous requests.

Despite the government’s stonewalling, American society is changing in ways that offset the harm done by the lack of information on the government’s past evil actions; among them:

  • muckraking gadflies such as the author (who globally disseminate information on the shameful behavior of society’s leaders);
  • the increasing number of females (who are displacing alpha males in the shrinking “old boy network” and generally do not behave like alpha males) who are taking top leadership positions in America’s institutions;
  • propagandizing of celebrities, such as Bill Maher, (who, a number of years back, joked that “If your kid’s not learning in school, don’t blame the teacher– fire the parent!” which has perhaps influenced recent legal cases in which failures of parents have been perceived as a major factor in their kids’ shooting people– involving “parental responsibility statutes”);
  • the quantum leap in knowledge-sharing made quick and easy by the Internet (in spite of disinformation), through countless international, multi-media human-interest stories and videos that are raising awareness of the importance of voting and other actions Americans can take to help maintain their democracy;
  • the fact that the Internet has fostered a grass-roots communications revolution by allowing ordinary Americans to express themselves in a decentralized global network at the speed of light, absent the filtering of past societal influencers such as journalists, politicians and celebrities;
  • the fact that the body of knowledge of power-abusing American presidents in the past half-century has been amply globally publicized so as to significantly lessen the impact of their historical revisionists– and that Americans’ learning curve on them has run its course;
  • the COVID lockdown of 2020, which forced all different stakeholders to deal with education and childcare issues, and showed how the wisdom of life-experience has been imparted from the older generation to the younger one.

The author pointed out that every president to hold office since the 1930’s has committed evil of one kind or another– funding terrorists or authorizing the use of unethical practices in creating weapons of mass destruction (which were actually seldom used, and of course, were a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money) to supposedly keep America’s enemies at bay.

The author listed a number of online primary sources of governmental misdeeds and James-Bond wannabe activities; among them (in no particular order):

Internet Archive (

Brill ( — charges a fee for its services

MuckRock (

The Black Vault (

And, he listed the physical libraries that contain the said Swiss-cheese, needle-in-a-haystack, “smoking gun” information: the National Security Archive at George Washington University and the CREST database in the FOIA Reading Room at the CIA.

One of many specific studies the author mentioned, involved 1940’s germ-warfare experiments that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of hogs and fowl, and the subsequent early 1950’s actual use of bacteria in North Korea and East Germany. On civilians.

Other evil scientists sought to learn whose buildings burned longer– Japan’s or Germany’s, in the early 1950’s, as the U.S. was then firebombing both North and South Korea. Interestingly, each territory’s building materials differed, and so burned at different rates.

Read the book to learn a lot more about the research– how men were promoted to the highest military or government positions and hailed as heroes for the info they gathered on how to do grievous harm to other human beings; the unexpected, mysterious deaths of certain of them; and everything you ever wanted to know about their plausibly deniable, willfully ignorant, fear-mongering propaganda campaigns (which was their true ulterior motive in the midst of all that distracting sociopathic “science”; it was thought that rattling the enemy psychologically more than physically, did more harm).