MOSCOW, Nov 14 (IECurrentAffairs) The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been considering the use of a drug that should have worked like a “truth serum” in interrogation of terror suspects following the September 11 attacks, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on Wednesday, citing an obtained CIA report.
ACLU has received a 90-page declassified CIA report proving the existence of a research program dubbed “Project Medication” at the judge’s order following victory in the US court. The watchdog has made the report public.
“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,” the union said.
The agency ultimately decided to refrain from the drug’s use in order to avoid issues with the US Justice Department as well as ethical problems for doctors to be involved in interrogations, according to the advocacy group.
“At the beginning of 2003 the OMS review (informally termed ‘Project Medication’) was shelved, never to be reactivated. In retrospect, even had there been legal sanction, an opportunity to try drug-assisted interrogation may never have presented …
Failure to pursue the option of drug-assisted interrogation spared OMS physicians some significant ethical concerns,” the CIA report read.
According to the CIA report, the project lasted for five years from 2002 to 2007 and involved physicians, psychologists and nurses, among others. The specialists monitored and “provided quality care” to almost 100 detainees in 10 CIA facilities.
On September 11, 2001, terrorists seized four passenger planes, crashing two into the World Trade Center in New York and another into the Pentagon. The fourth jet came down in a field in Pennsylvania after being initially directed toward Washington. Some 3,000 people from 90 countries lost their lives in the terrorist attack.