The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has just released a new 90-page CIA report, which was provided in advance to the Associated Press (AP), shows how the government’s top spy agency considered using a drug it believed might work as a truth serum and force terror suspects to spill the beans about future attacks.
The spy agency determined that a drug called Versed, a sedative frequently prescribed to reduce anxiety, was “possibly worth a try.” But according to AP, the CIA did not ask government courts to approve its use.
The secret program was called “Project Medication” — is now disclosed in a once-classified report that was provided to the ACLU under a court’s order and was released Tuesday.
The CIA report revealed the internal struggle that medical personnel working in the agency’s interrogation program – routinely breached their professional ethics with the chance to save lives by preventing future attacks.
“This document tells an essential part of the story of how it was that the CIA came to torture prisoners against the law and helps prevent it from happening again,” said ACLU attorney Dror Ladin.
CIA doctors, psychologists, physician assistants, and nurses were, directly and indirectly, involved in the interrogation program from 2002 to 2007, the report said. They evaluated and monitored 97 detainees in ten secret CIA bases overseas.
The report said the CIA completely hid the drug-assisted interrogations from the Justice Department because there were “some significant ethical concerns.”
The Justice Department spent months approving various forms of interrogation tactics, including sleep deprivation, confinement in small spaces and the waterboarding. It was noted the CIA’s counterterrorism team “did not want to raise another issue with the Department of Justice,” the report said.
Before the agency selected Versed, the report said government scientist studied many reports of old Soviet drug experiments as well as the CIA’s discredited MK-Ultra program from the 1950s and 1960s that involved human experimentation with LSD and other mind-altering drugs, in the attempt to obtain the holy grail of truth serums.
“But decades later, the agency was considering experimenting on humans again to test pseudo-scientific theories of learned helplessness on its prisoners,” Ladin said.