“Human Experiments of a Type Not Easily Justifiable on Medical-Therapeutic Grounds”
More than 30 years after it was written, the Pentagon has released a memorandum detailing its involvement in the CIA’s infamous Cold War mind-control experiments.
, “Experimentation Programs conducted by the Department of Defense That Had CIA Sponsorship or Participation and That Involved the Administration to Human Subjects of Drugs Intended for Mind-Control or Behavior-Modification Purposes,” was prepared in 1977 by the General Counsel of the Department of Defense and released on May 6 after a Freedom of Information Act request.
Most of the details have been revealed in earlier CIA papers. And if anything, the Pentagon’s recap is a reminder of how little the Department of Defense cops to knowing about the CIA projects.
Still, there are some tantalizing new details. Take the origins of MK-ULTRA, the notorious CIA program that dosed thousands of unwitting participants with hallucinogenic drugs.
Initially funded by the Navy, the project set out to study the effects of brain concussion. Soon after, scientists noted that a blow to the head prompted amnesia, leading to the pursuit of a drug-based technique to “induce brain concussion … without physical trauma.” Shortly thereafter, the project was transferred entirely to the CIA, because it involved “human experiments … not easily justifiable on medical-therapeutic grounds.”