Here is a section , from the US Congressional Church Committee Report published in 1975 into MKULTRA, the secret programme run by the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s. It is a stark reminder to those who say ‘ our government would never do that .’
DOCUMENT : FROM THE CHURCH COMMITTEE REPORT
94TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION SENATE REPORT NO 94-755
FINAL REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE TO STUDY GOVERNMENTAL OPERATION WITH RESPECT TO INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES
MKULTRA was the principal CIA program involving the research and development of chemical and biological agents . It was concerned with the research and development of chemical, biological and radiological materials capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behaviour .
In January 1973, MKULTRA records were destroyed by Technical Services Division personnel acting on the verbal orders of Dr Sidney Gottlieb, Chief of TSD . Dr Gottlieb has testified, and former Director Helms has confirmed that in ordering the records destroyed, Dr Gottlieb was carrying out the verbal order of then DCI Helms .
MKULTRA began with a proposal from the Assistant Deputy Director for Plans, Richard Helms to the DCI, outlining a special funding mechanism for highly sensitive CIA research and developments that studied the use of biological and chemical materials in altering human behaviour . The projects involved :
Research to develop a capability in the covert use of biological and chemical materials . This area involves production of various physiological conditions which could support present or future clandestine operations . Aside from the offensive potential, the development of a comprehensive ability in this field of covert chemical and biological warfare gives us a thorough knowledge of the enemy’s theoretical potential thus enabling us to defend ourselves against a foe who might not be as restrained in the use of these techniques as we are .
MKULTRA was approved by the DCI on 13th April 1953 along the lines proposed by ADDP Helms.
Part of the rationale for the establishment of this special funding mechanism was its extreme sensitivity . The Inspector’s General’s survey of MKULTRA in 1963 noted the following reason for this sensitivity :
a. Research in the manipulation of human behaviour is considered by many authorities in medicine and related fields to be professionally unethical therefore the reputations of professional particpants in the MKULTRA program are on occasion in jeopardy .
b. Some MKULTRA activities raise questions of legality implicit in the original charter .
c. A final phase of the testing of MKULTRA products places the rights and interests of US citizens in jeopardy .
d. Public disclosure of some aspects of MKULTRA activity could induce serious adverse reaction in US public opinion, as well as stimulate offensive and defensive action in this field on the part of the foreign intelligence services .
Over the ten-year life of the program, many “ additional avenues to the control of human behaviour ” were designated as appropriate for investigation under the MKULTRA charter . These include radiation electroshock, various fields of psychology, psychiatry,sociology, and anthropology, graphology, harrassment substances and paramilitary devices and materials .
The research and development of materials to be used for altering human behaviour consisted of three phases : first, the search for materials for study ; second, laboratory testing on human subjects in various types of institutions; third, the application of MKULTRA materials in normal life settings .
The search for suitable materials was conducted through standing arrangements with specialists in universities, pharmaceutical houses, hospitals, state and federal institutions, and private research organisations . The annual grants of funds to these specialists were made under ostensible research foundation auspices, thereby concealing the CIA’s interest from the specialist’s institution .
The next phase of the MKULTRA program involved physicians, toxicologists and other specialists in mental, narcotics, and general hospitals and in prisons . Utilizing the products and findings of the basic human research phase, they conducted intensive tests on human subjects .
One of the first studies was conducted by the National Institue of Mental Health . This study was intended to test various drugs, including hallucinogenics at the NIMH Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Kentucky . The “ Lexington Rehabilitation Center ” as it was then called was a prison for drug addicts serving sentences for drug violations .
The test subjects were volunteer prisoners who, after taking a brief physical examination and signing a general consent form were administered hallucinogenic drugs . As a reward for participation in the program, the addicts were provided with the drugs of their addiction .
LSD was one of the materials tested in the MKULTRA program . The final phase of LSD testing involved surreptitious administration to unwitting nonvolunteer subjects in normal life settings of the Bureau of Narcotics acting for the CIA.
The rationale for such testing was that “ testing of materials under accepted scientific procedures fail to disclose the full pattern of reactions and attributions that may occur in operational situations .”
According to the CIA, the advantage of the relationship with the bureau was that :
Test subjects could be sought and cultivated within the setting of narcotics control . Some subjects have been informers of suspect criminal elements from whom the ( Bureau of Narcotics ) has obtained results of operational value throughout the tests . On the other hand, the effectiveness of the substances on individuals at all social levels, high and low, native American and foreign is of great significance and testing has been performed on a variety of individuals within these categories .
A special procedure, designed MKDELTA was established to govern the use of MKULTRA materials abroad . Such materials were used on a number of occasions . Because MKULTRA records were destroyed, it is impossible to reconstruct the operational use of MK ULTRA materials by the CIA overseas ; it has been determined that the use of these materials abroad began in 1953 and possibly as early as 1950 .
Drugs were used primarily as an aid to interrogations, but MKULTRA/MKDELTA materials were also used for harrassment, discrediting or disabling purposes . According to an Inspector General Survey of the Technical Services Division of the CIA in 1957- an inspection which did not discover the MKULTRA projects involving the surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting, nonvolunteer subjects-the CIA had been used in six different operations on a total of thirty three subjects . By 1963 the number of operations and subjects had increased substantially .
In the spring of 1963, during a wide-ranging Inspector General Survey of the Technical Services Division, a member of the Inspector General’s staff, John Vance, learned about MKULTRA and the project involving the surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting, nonvoluntary subjects . As a result of the discovery and the Inspector General’s susbsequent report, this testing was halted and much tighter administrative controls were imposed on the program . According to the CIA, the project was decreased signnificantly each budget year until its complete termination in the 1960s .