Secret CIA Document Shows Plan to Test Drugs on Prisoners

Thanks to an ACLU victory in federal court, we know much more about how CIA doctors violated the medical oath to “do no harm.”

One of the most important lessons of the CIA’s torture program is the way it corrupted virtually every individual and institution associated with it. Over the years, we have learned how lawyers twisted the law and psychologists betrayed their ethical obligations in order to enable the brutal and unlawful torture of prisoners.

Now we’ve won the release of a 90-page account of the CIA’s Office of Medical Services role in the CIA torture program — a secret history written by the top CIA medical official, whose identity remains classified.

The history reveals that CIA doctors were hunting for a “truth serum” to use on prisoners as part of a previously secret effort called Project Medication. The CIA studied records of old Soviet drug experiments as well as the CIA’s notorious and discredited MK-Ultra program, which involved human experimentation with LSD and other drugs on unwitting subjects. The CIA doctors involved in Project Medication wanted to use Versed, a psychoactive drug similar to some of those used in MK-Ultra, on prisoners.

Image of declassified document

The CIA ignored lessons from its own history. After MK-Ultra was shut down, the CIA director testified in 1977, “It is totally abhorrent to me to think of using humans as guinea pigs.” But decades later, the agency decided to experiment on humans again, testing pseudoscientific theories of “learned helplessness” on its prisoners.

While Project Medication never got off the ground, CIA medical professionals remained critical participants in experimenting with torture. Just like the government lawyers who tried to give unlawful torture a veneer of legality, the secret history reveals that CIA doctors were “indispensable” to the effort of “legitimizing the program.”

Image of declassified document

Perhaps the most striking element of the document is the CIA doctors’ willful blindness to the truth of what they were doing. CIA doctors decided that waterboarding actually “provided periodic relief” to a prisoner because it was a break from days of standing sleep deprivation. Similarly, CIA doctors decided that when a different prisoner was stuffed into a coffin-sized box, this provided a “relatively benign sanctuary” from other torture methods. CIA doctors described yet another prisoner — who cried, begged, pleaded, vomited, and required medical resuscitation after being waterboarded — as “amazingly resistant to the waterboard.” Incredibly, CIA doctors concluded that the torture program was “reassuringly free of enduring physical or psychological effects.”

The truth is that CIA torture left a legacy of broken bodies and traumatized minds. Today, with a president who has vocally supported torture and a new CIA director who was deeply complicit in torturing prisoners, it’s more important than ever to expose the crimes of the past. Recognizing the roles played by the lawyers, doctors, and psychologists who enabled torture is critical to making sure it never happens again.

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Power corrupts.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.


Nobody on here mentions the connection to the "Positive Psychology" movement. Concepts fro Positive Psychology, are used by our media, marketers and the VA. The same psychiatrist who came up with "Learned Helplessness" used it to create a Resilience Program or our military. Concepts from learned helplessness, have been used to justify brutality, and misinform on everything form racism in our schools to people dying from lack of healthcare. Positive psychology has been very effective for marketing, misinformation, and denying the most basic human traits, like Empathy.

We have all been victims of this massive Psy Ops Campaign, used against the American people. check your local newspapers today. A 7 year old child died at our border, and virtually no empathy. Look at how they countered the facts. The same psychologists that embraced Positive psychology, for marketing, peddled the same thing for our media. it sounds so innocuous, yet once you become aware of it, it is everywhere. They used learned helplessness, to know how far you can push another human being, break their spirits, and mislead them, without a response. Not mush response toady to a dead child at our border, or the racism and genocide they normalized.


In 2018, if you truely believe that the government is not just beginning to make the premise of the movie 1984 a reality, then you have no idea where you live.


This is wrong because they force them to use drugs. So when they are release there they go hook on drugs. Out in the world doing crime to get rhe drugs they was force to take by the CIA JUST WRONG ALL THE WAY AROUND.


I guess the Tuskegee Experiment never actually ended... it’s deplorable how some folks in America, usually old, rich and white men (and the women that support them), thinks the rest of humanity and creation are expendable.

Carroll county md

I was part of military operation. It is ridiculous of what our government does to our citizens. Have been looking for lawyer since June 2018. This has completely traumatized me and my 6 month old baby. After trying to tell and seek help from lawyer made things worse. I am why nsa illegally deleted phone records they weren't supposed to have to begin with. My family has been subject to several different chemicals while laying in bed. Hard to say exactly what was done after we were unconscious


Anyone who supports the torture of human beings is a terrorist, period.


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