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Aurora massacre: Several links between James Holmes and US Gov't research

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By Wayne Madsen

Posted: July 23, 2012

Holmes, the 24-year old suspect in the mass shooting of Batman "The Dark
Knight Rises" movie goers in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 people dead and
58 injured, has had a number of links to U.S. government-funded research
centers. Holmes's past association with government research projects has
prompted police and federal law enforcement officials to order laboratories and
schools with which Holmes has had a past association not to talk to the press
about Holmes. 

Holmes was one of six recipients of a National Institutes of Health
Neuroscience Training Grant at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical
Campus in Denver. Holmes is a graduate of the University of California at
Riverside with a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience. Although Holmes
dropped out of the PhD neuroscience program at Anschutz in June, police
evacuated two buildings at the Anschutz center after the massacre at the Aurora
movie theater. Holmes reportedly gave a presentation at the Anschutz campus in
May on Micro DNA Biomarkers in a class titled "Biological Basis of
Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders."

Initial reports of Holmes having an accomplice in the theater shooting have
been discounted by the Aurora police. However, no explanation has been given by
police why the Anschutz campus buildings were evacuated after Holmes was
already in custody in the Arapahoe County jail. 

The Anschutz Medical Campus is on the recently de-commissioned site of the U.S.
Army's Fitzsimons Army Medical Center and is named after Philip Anschutz, the
billionaire Christian fundamentalist oil and railroad tycoon who also owns The Examiner newspaper chain and website and the
neo-conservative Weekly
. The Anschutz Medical Campus was built by a $91 million grant from
the Anschutz Foundation.

In 2006, at the age of 18, Holmes served as a research intern at the Salk
Institute at the University of California at San Diego in La Jolla. It is
noteworthy that for the previous two years before Holmes worked at the Salk
Institute, the research center was partnered with the Defense Advance Research
Projects Agency (DARPA), Columbia University, University of California at San
Francisco, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wake Forest University, and the
Mars Company (the manufacturers of Milky Way and Snickers bars) to prevent
fatigue in combat troops through the enhanced use of epicatechina, a blood
flow-increasing and blood vessel-dilating anti-oxidant flavanol found in cocoa
and, particularly, in dark chocolate.

The research was part of a larger DARPA program known as the "Peak Soldier Performance
Program," which involved creating brain-machine interfaces for battlefield
use, including human-robotic bionics for legs, arms, and eyes. DARPA works
closely with the Defense Science Office on projects that include the medical
research community. Fitzsimons was at the forefront of DARPA research on the
use of brain-connected "neuroprosthetic"
limbs forsoldiers amputated or paralyzed in combat. 

According to his LinkedIn profile, James Holmes's father, Dr. Robert Holmes,
who received a PhD in Statistics in 1981 from the University of California at
Berkeley, worked for San Diego-based HNC Software, Inc. from 2000 to 2002. HNC,
known as a "neural network" company, and DARPA, beginning in 1998,
have worked on developing "cortronic
neural networks," which would allow machines to interpret aural and visual
stimuli to think like humans. The cortronic concept was developed by HNC
Software's chief scientist and co-founder, Robert Hecht-Nielsen. HNC merged
with the Minneapolis-based Fair Isaac Corporation
(FICO), a computer analysis and decision-making company. Robert Holmes
continues to work at FICO.

It has also emerged that Holmes, when he was 20, worked as a camp counselor at
Camp Max Straus of the Jewish Big Brothers and Sister of Los Angeles. According
to the Jewish Journal,
among other tasks, Holmes helped to teach boys between the ages of 7 to 10
archery. In another unusual detail, the car Holmes used to drive to the Aurora
movie theater had Tennessee plates. Holmes is originally from San Diego.

James Holmes is the grandson of Lt. Col. Robert Holmes, one of the first
Turkish language graduates of the Army Language School, later the Defense
Language Institute, in Monterey, California. Graduating from the Turkish
language class in 1948, Holmes spent a career in the Army, which likely
included more than a few intelligence-related assignments. Typically, U.S.
military officers conversant in Turkish served with either the Defense
Intelligence Agency or the Central Intelligence Agency at either the U.S.
embassy in Ankara or the Consulate General in Istanbul, or both. 

Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute for
Biological Studies and the director of the Computational Neurobiology
Laboratory, in an interview with Cognitive
Science Online
 in 2008, had
the following comment about recent studies of the human brain: "Alan
Newell [cognitive psychology researcher at the intelligence community-linked
RAND Corporation] once said that when AI [artificial intelligence] was founded
not enough was known about the brain to be of any help and in the early 1980s,
symbol processing was the only game in town. That has changed and we now know a
lot about the brain, perhaps
more than we need to know

More than we need to know!

The links between the younger and elder Holmes and U.S. government research on
creating super-soldiers, human brain-machine interfaces, and human-like robots
beg the question: "Was James Holmes engaged in a real-life Jason Bourne
TREADSTONE project that broke down and resulted in deadly consequences in Aurora,
Colorado?" In any event, if the Batman movies are now serving as a newer
version of J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the
subliminal messaging triggering mechanism, -- Salinger's novel was of
interest to a number of American political assassins -- keep in mind that
August 10 is the opening date of The
Bourne Legacy
. It may be wise to skip that film in the theater for a while.

Copyright 2012 Wayne Madsen Report

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