Testing And Use Of Chemical And Biological Agents By The Intelligence
Under its mandate  the Select
Committee has studied the testing and use of chemical and biological
agents by intelligence agencies. Detailed descriptions of the programs
conducted by intelligence agencies involving chemical and biological
agents will be included in a separately published appendix to the Senate
Select Committee's report. This section of the report will discuss the
rationale for the programs, their monitoring and control, and what the
Committee's investigation has revealed about the relationships among the
intelligence agencies and about their relations with other government
agencies and private institutions and individuals. 
countries hostile to the United States would use chemical and biological
agents against Americans or America's allies led to the development of a
defensive program designed to discover techniques for American
intelligence agencies to detect and counteract chemical and biological
agents. The defensive orientation soon became secondary as the possible
use of these agents to obtain information from, or gain control over,
enemy agents became apparent.
Research and development programs to
find materials which could be used to alter human behavior were initiated
in the late 1940s and early 1950s. These experimental programs originally
included testing of drugs involving witting human subjects, and culminated
in tests using unwitting, nonvolunteer human subjects. These tests were
designed to determine the potential effects of chemical or biological
agents when used operationally against individuals unaware that they had
received a drug.
The testing programs were considered highly
sensitive by the intelligence agencies administering them. Few people,
even within the agencies, knew of the programs and there is no evidence
that either the executive branch or Congress were ever informed of them.
The highly compartmented nature of these programs may be explained in part
by an observation made by the CIA Inspector General that, "the knowledge
that the Agency is engaging in unethical and illicit
 Senate Resolution 21 directs the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence Activities to investigate a number of
"(a) Whether agencies within the intelligence community
conducted illegal domestic activities (Section 2 (1) and (2));
extent to which agencies within the intelligence community cooperate
(Section 2 (4) and (8));
"(c) The adequacy of executive branch and
congressional oversight of intelligence activities (Section 2 (7) and
"(d) The adequacy of existing laws to safeguard the rights of
American citizens (Section 2 (13))."
details of these programs may never be known. The programs were highly
compartmented. Few records were kept. What little documentation existed
for the CIA's principal program was destroyed early in
ties would have serious
repercussions in political and diplomatic circles and would be detrimental
to the accomplishment of its missions." 
The research and
development program, and particularly the covert testing programs,
resulted in massive abridgments of the rights of American citizens,
sometimes with tragic consequences The deaths of two Americans [3a] can be
attributed to these programs; other participants in the testing programs
may still suffer from the residual effects. While some controlled testing
of these substances might be defended, the nature of the tests, their
scale, and the fact that they were continued for years after the danger of
surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting individuals was known,
demonstrate a fundamental disregard for the value of human
The Select Committee's investigation of the testing and use
of chemical and biological agents also raise serious questions about the
adequacy of command and control procedures within the Central Intelligence
Agency and military intelligence, and about the relationships among the
intelligence agencies, other governmental agencies, and private
institutions and individuals. The CIA's normal administrative controls
were waived for programs involving chemical and biological agents to
protect their security. According to the head of the Audit Branchof the
CIA, these waivers produced "gross administrative failures." They
prevented the CIA's internal review mechanisms (the Office of General
Counsel, the Inspector General, and the Audit Staff) from adequately
supervising the programs. In general, the waivers had the paradoxical
effect of providing less restrictive administrative controls and less
effective internal review for controversial and highly sensitive projects
than those governing normal Agency activities.
The security of the
programs was protected not only by waivers of normal administrative
controls, but also by a high degree of compartmentation within the CIA.
This compartmentation excluded the CIA's Medical Staff from the principal
research and testing program employing chemical and biological
It also may have led to agency policymakers receiving
differing and inconsistent responses when they posed questions to the CIA
Jurisdictional uncertainty within the CIA was
matched by jurisdictional conflict among the various intelligence
agencies. A spirit of cooperation and reciprocal exchanges of information
which initially characterized the programs disappeared. Military testers
withheld information from the CIA, ignoring suggestions for coordination
from their superiors. The CIA similarly failed to provide information to
the military on the CIA's testing program. This failure to cooperate was
conspicuously manifested in an attempt by the Army to
 CIA Inspector General's Survey of TSD, 1957,
[3a] On January 8, 1953, Mr. Harold Blauer
died of circulatory collapse and heart failure following an intravenous
injection of a synthetic mescaline derivative while a subject of tests
conducted by New York State Psychiatric Institute under a contract let by
the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. The Committee's investigation into drug
testing by U.S. intelligence agencies focused on the testing of LSD,
however, the committee did receive a copy of the U.S. Army Inspector
General's Report, issued on October 1975, on the events and circumstances
of Mr. Blauer's death. His death was directly attributable to the
administration of the synthetic mescaline derivative.
their overseas testing
program, which included surreptitious administration of LSD, from the CIA.
Learning of the Army's program, the Agency surreptitiously attempted to
gain details of it.
The decision to institute one of the Army's LSD
field testing projects had been based, at least in part, on the finding
that no long-term residual effects had ever resulted from the drug's
administration. The CIA's failure to inform the Army of a death which
resulted from the surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting
Americans may well have resulted in the institution of an unnecessary and
potentially lethal program.
The development, testing, and use of
chemical and biological agents by intelligence agencies raises serious
questions about the relationship between the intelligence community and
foreign governments, other agencies of the Federal Government, and other
institutions and individuals. The questions raised range from the
legitimacy of American complicity in actions abroad which violate American
and foreign laws to the possible compromise of the integrity of public and
private institutions used as cover by intelligence
A. THE PROGRAMS
Project CHATTER was a Navy program that began in the
fall of 1947. Responding to reports of "amazing results" achieved by the
Soviets in using "truth drugs," the program focused on the identification
and testing of such drugs for use in interrogations and in the recruitment
of agents. The research included laboratory experiments on animals and
human subjects involving Anabasis aphylla, scopolamine, and
mescaline in order to determine their speech-inducing qualities. Overseas
experiments were conducted as part of the project.
expanded substantially during the Korean War, and ended shortly after the
war, in 1953.
2. Project BLUEBIRD/ARTICHOKE
earliest of the CIA's major programs involving the use of chemical and
biological agents, Project BLUEBIRD, was approved by the Director in 1950.
Its objectives were:
(a) discovering means of conditioning personnel to prevent
unauthorized extraction of information from them by known means,
(b) investigating the possibility of control of an
individual by application of special interrogation techniques,
(c) memory enhancement, and (d)
establishing defensive means for preventing hostile control of Agency
As a result of interrogations conducted overseas during the project,
another goal was added -- the evaluation of offensive uses of
unconventional interrogation techniques, including hypnosis and drugs. In
August 1951, the project was renamed ARTICHOKE. Project ARTICHOKE included
in-house experiments on interrogation techniques, conducted "under medical
and security controls which would ensure
 CIA memorandum
to the Select Committee, "Behavioral Drugs and Testing,"
damage was done to individuals who volunteer for the experiments. 
Overseas interrogations utilizing a combination of sodium pentothal and
hypnosis after physical and psychiatric examinations of the subjects were
also part of ARTICHOKE.
The Office of Scientific Intelligence
(OSI), which studied scientific advances by hostile powers, initially led
BLUEBIRD/ARTICHOKE efforts. In 1952, overall responsibility for ARTICHOKE
was transferred from OSI to the Inspection and Security Office (I&SO),
predecessor to the present Office of Security. The CIA's Technical
Services and Medical Staffs were to be called upon as needed; OSI would
retain liaison function with other government agencies.  The change in
leadership from an intelligence unit to an operating unit apparently
reflected a change in emphasis; from the study of actions by hostile
powers to the use, both for offensive and defensive purposes, of special
interrogation techniques -- primarily hypnosis and truth
Representatives from each Agency unit involved in ARTICHOKE
met almost monthly to discuss their progress. These discussions included
the planning of overseas interrogations  as well as further
experimentation in the U.S.
Information about project ARTICHOKE
after the fall of 1953 is scarce. The CIA maintains that the project ended
in 1956, but evidence suggests that Office of Security and Office of
Medical Services use of "special interrogation" techniques continued for
several years thereafter.
another major CIA program in this area. In 1967, the CIA summarized the
provide for a covert support base to meet clandestine operational
stockpile severely incapacitating and lethal materials for the specific
use of TSD [Technical Services
maintain in operational readiness special and unique items for the
dissemination of biological and chemical
provide for the required surveillance, testing, upgrading, and evaluation
of materials and items in order to assure absence of defects and complete
predictability of results to be expected under operational conditions.
Under an agreement reached with the Army in 1952, the Special
Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick was to assist CIA in developing,
testing, and maintaining biological agents and delivery
Memorandum from Robert Taylor, O/DD/P to the Assistant Deputy (Inspection
and Security) and Chief of the Medical Staff,
 Memorandum from H. Marshall Chadwell,
Assistant Director, Scientific Intelligence, to the Deputy Director/Plans
(DDP) "Project ARTICHOKE," 8/29/52.
Report, Project ARTICHOKE." 1/12/53.
Memorandum from Chief, TSD/Biological Branch to Chief, TSD "MKNAOMI:
Funding. Objectives, and Accomplishments." 10/18/67, p. 1. For a fuller
description of MKNAOMI and the relationship between CIA and SOD, see p.
systems. By this
agreement, CIA acquired the knowledge, skill, and facilities of the Army
to develop biological weapons suited for CIA use.
darts coated with biological agents and pills containing several different
biological agents which could remain potent for weeks or months. SOD
developed a special gun for firing darts coated with a chemical which
could allow CIA agents to incapacitate a guard dog, enter an installation
secretly, and return the dog to consciousness when leaving. SOD scientists
were unable to develop a similar incapacitant for humans. SOD also
physically transferred to CIA personnel biological agents in "bulk" form,
and delivery devices, including some containing biological
In addition to the CIA's interest in biological weapons for
use against humans, it also asked SOD to study use of biological agents
against crops and animals. In its 1967 memorandum, the CIA
Three methods and systems for carrying out a covert attack
against crops and causing severe crop loss have been developed and
evaluated under field conditions. This was accomplished in anticipation of
a requirement which was later developed but was subsequently scrubbed just
prior to putting into action. [9a]
MKNAOMI was terminated in 1970.
On November 25,1969, President Nixon renounced the use of any form of
biological weapons that kill or incapacitate and ordered the disposal of
existing stocks of bacteriological weapons. On February 14, 1970, the
President clarified the extent of his earlier order and indicated that
toxins -- chemicals that are not living organisms but are produced by
living organisms -- were considered biological weapons subject to his
previous directive and were to be destroyed. Although instructed to
relinquish control of material held for the CIA by SOD, a CIA scientist
acquired approximately 11 grams of shellfish toxin from SOD personnel at
Fort Detrick which were stored in a little-used CIA laboratory where it
went undetected for five years. 
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 behavior." 
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
MKULTRA began with a proposal from the Assistant Deputy
Director for Plans, Richard Helms, to the DCI, outlining a
[9a] Ibid. p. 2.
Senate Select Committee, 9/16/75, Hearings, Vol.
 Memorandum from the CIA Inspector General
to the Director, 7/26/63.
funding mechanism for
highly sensitive CIA research and development projects that studied the
use of biological and chemical materials in altering human behavior. The
Research to develop a capability in the covert
use of biological and chemical materials. This area involves the
production of various physiological conditions which could support present
or future clandestine operations. Aside from the offensive potential, the
development of a comprehensive capability 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 April 13, 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 General's survey of MKULTRA in 1963 noted the
following reasons for this sensitivity:
Research in the manipulation of human behavior is considered by many
authorities in medicine and related fields to be professionally unethical,
therefore the reputation of professional participants in the MKULTRA
program are on occasion in jeopardy.
MKULTRA activities raise questions of legality implicit in the, original
c. A final phase of the testing of
MKULTRA products places the rights and interests of U.S. citizens in
d. Public disclosure of some aspects of
MKULTRA activity could induce serious adverse reaction in U.S. public
opinion. as well as stimulate offensive and defensive action in this field
on the part of foreign intelligence services. 
ten-year life of the program, many "additional avenues to the control of
human behavior" were designated as appropriate for investigation under the
MKULTRA charter. These include "radiation, electroshock, various fields of
psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and anthropology, graphology,
harassment substances, and paramilitary devices and materials."
The research and development of materials to be used for
altering human behavior consisted of three phases: first, the search for
materials suitable for study; second, laboratory testing on voluntary
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 organi-
 Memorandum from
ADDP Helms to DCI Dulles, 4/3/53, Tab A, pp. 1-2. 
I.G. Report on MKULTRA, 1963, pp. 1-2.  Ibid,
zations. The annual
grants of funds to these specialists were made under ostensible research
foundation auspices, thereby concealing the CIA's interest from the
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 research phase, they conducted intensive tests
on human subjects.
One of the first studies was conducted by the
National Institute 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
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 drug of
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
by undercover officers of the Bureau of Narcotics acting for the
The rationale for such testing was "that testing of materials
under accepted scientific procedures fails 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 or members of
suspect criminal elements from whom the [Bureau of Narcotics] has
obtained results of operational value through 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. [Emphasis added.]
A special procedure, designated 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 MKULTRA 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.
used primarily as an aid to interrogations, but MKULTRA/MKDELTA materials
were also used for harassment, 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 project involving the surreptitious administration of LSD to
 Ibid, P.
 Ibid., pp. 11-12.
subjects -- the CIA had
developed six drugs for operational use and they 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.
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 about the project involving the
surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting, nonvoluntary human
subjects. As a result of the discovery and the Inspector General's
subsequent report, this testing was halted and much tighter administrative
controls were imposed on the program. According to the CIA, the project
was decreased significantly each budget year until its complete
termination in the late 1960s.
5. The Testing of LSD by the
There were three major phases in the Army's testing of
LSD. In the first, LSD was administered to more than 1,000 American
soldiers who volunteered to be subjects in chemical warfare experiments.
In the second phase, Material Testing Program EA 1729, 95 volunteers
received LSD in clinical experiments designed to evaluate potential
intelligence uses of the drug. In the third phase, Projects THIRD CHANCE
and DERBY HAT, 16 unwitting nonvolunteer subjects were interrogated after
receiving LSD as part of operational field tests.
B. CIA DRUG TESTING PROGRAMS
The Rationale for the Testing Programs
The late 1910s and early
1950s were marked by concern over the threat posed by the activities of
the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and other Communist bloc
countries. United States concern over the use of chemical and biological
agents by these powers was acute. The belief that hostile powers had used
chemical and biological agents in interrogations, brainwashing, and in
attacks designed to harass, disable, or kill Allied personnel created
considerable pressure for a "defensive" program to investigate chemical
and biological agents so that the intelligence community could understand
the mechanisms by which these substances worked and how their effects
could be defeated. 
Of particular concern was the drug LSD. The
CIA had received reports that the Soviet Union was engaged in intensive
efforts to produce LSD; and that the Soviet Union had attempted to
purchase the world's supply of the chemical. As one CIA officer who was
deeply involved in work with this drug described the climate of the times:
"[It] is awfully hard in this day and age to reproduce how frightening all
of this was to us at the time, particularly after the drug scene has
become as widespread and as knowledgeable in this country as it did. But
we were literally terrified, because this was the one material that
 Ibid, 1957, p.
 Thus an officer in the Office of
Security of the CIA stressed the "urgency of the discovery of techniques
and method that would permit our personnel, in the event of their capture
by the enemy, to resist or defeat enemy interrogation." (Minutes of the
ARTICHOKE conference of 10/22/53.)
had ever been able to
locate that really had potential fantastic possibilities if used wrongly."
But the defensive orientation soon became secondary. Chemical
and biological agents were to be studied in order "to perfect
techniques... for the abstraction of information from individuals whether
willing or not" and in order to "develop means for the control of the
activities and mental capacities of individuals whether willing or not."
 One Agency official noted that drugs would be useful in order to
"gain control of bodies whether they were willing or not" in the process
of removing personnel from Europe in the event of a Soviet attack.  In
other programs, the CIA began to develop, produce, stockpile, and maintain
in operational readiness materials which could be used to harass, disable,
or kill specific targets. 
Reports of research and development
in the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and the Communist
Bloc countries provided the basis for the transmutation of American
programs from a defensive to an offensive orientation. As the Chief of the
Medical Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency wrote in
There is ample evidence in the reports of innumerable interrogations
that the Communists were utilizing drugs, physical duress, electric
shock, and possibly hypnosis against their enemies. With such evidence
it is difficult not to keep from becoming rabid about our apparent
laxity. We are forced by this mounting evidence to assume a more
aggressive role in the development of these techniques, but must be
cautious to maintain strict inviolable control because of the havoc that
could be wrought by such techniques in unscrupulous hands.
In order to meet the perceived threat to the national security,
substantial programs for the testing and use of chemical and biological
agents -- including projects involving the surreptitious administration of
LSD to unwitting nonvolunteer subjects "at all social levels, high and
low, native American and foreign" -- were conceived, and implemented.
These programs resulted in substantial violations of the rights of
individuals within the United States.
 Testimony of
CIA officer, 11/21/75, p. 33.
 Memorandum from
the Director of Security to ARTICHOKE representatives, Subject: "ARTICHOKE
Restatement of Program."
 The Inspector General's
Report of 1957 on the Technical Services Division noted that "Six specific
products have been developed and are available for operational use. Three
of them are discrediting and disabling materials which can be administered
unwittingly and permit the exercise of a measure of control over the
actions of the subject."
A memorandum for the Chief, TSD,
Biological Branch to the Chief, TSD, 10/18/67, described two of the
objectives of the CIA's Project MKNAOMI as: "to stockpile severely
incapacitating and lethal materials for the specific use of TSD and "to
maintain in operational readiness special and unique items for the
dissemination of biological and chemical
 Memorandum from the Chief of the
Medical Staff, 1/25/52.
Although the CIA
recognized these effects of LSD to unwitting individuals within the United
States, the project continued. As the Deputy Director for Plans, Richard
Helms, wrote the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence during
discussions which led to tile cessation of unwitting testing:
I share your uneasiness and distaste for any program which tends to
intrude upon an individual's private and legal prerogatives, I believe it
is necessary that the Agency maintain a central role in this activity,
keep current on enemy capabilities the manipulation of human behavior, and
maintain an offensive capability. 
There were no attempts to
secure approval for the most controversial aspects of these programs from
the executive branch or Congress. The nature and extent of the programs
were closely held secrets; even DCI McCone was not briefed on all the
details of the program involving the surreptitious administration of LSD
until 1963. It was deemed imperative that these programs be concealed from
the American people. As the CIA's Inspector General wrote in
Precautions must be taken not only to protect operations from
exposure to enemy forces but also to conceal these activities from the
American public in general. The knowledge that the Agency is engaging in
unethical and illicit activities would have serious repercussions in
political and diplomatic circles and would be detrimental to the
accomplishment of its mission. 
Death of Dr. Frank Olson
The most tragic result of the testing
of LSD by the CIA was the death of Dr. Frank Olson, a civilian employee of
the Army, who died on November 27, 1953. His death followed his
participation in a CIA experiment with LSD. As part of this experiment,
Olson unwittingly received approximately 70 micrograms of LSD in a glass
of Cointreau he drank on November 19, 1953. The drug had been placed in
the bottle by a CIA officer, Dr. Robert Lashbrook, as part of an
experiment he and Dr. Sidney Gottlieb performed at a meeting of Army and
Shortly after this experiment, Olson exhibited
symptoms of paranoia and schizophrenia. Accompanied by Dr. Lashbrook,
Olson sought psychiatric assistance in New York City from a physician, Dr.
Harold Abramson, whose research on LSD had been funded indirectly by the
CIA. While in New York for treatment, Olson fell to his death from a tenth
story window in the Statler Hotel.
 Even during the
discussions which led to the termination of the unwitting testing, the DDP
turned down the option of halting such tests within the. U.S. and
continuing them abroad despite the fact that the Technical Services
Division had conducted numerous operations abroad making use of LSD. The
DDP made this decision on the basis of security noting that the past
efforts, overseas had resulted in "making an inordinate number of foreign
nationals witting of our role in the very sensitive activity." (Memorandum
for the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from the Deputy Director
for Plans, 12/17/63, p. 2.)
 Ibid., pp.
 I.G. survey of TSD, 1957, p.
Background. -- Olson, an expert in aerobiology who was assigned to the
Special Operations Division (SOD) of the U.S. Army Biological Center at
Camp Detrick, Maryland. This Division had three primary
assessing the vulnerability of American installations to biological
developing techniques for offensive use of biological weapons;
research for the CIA. 
Professionally, Olson was well respected
by his colleagues in both the Army and the CIA. Colonel Vincent Ruwet,
Olson's immediate superior at the time of his death, was in almost daily
contact with Olson. According to Colonel Ruwet: "As a professional man...
his ability... was outstanding."  Colonel Ruwet stated that "during
the period prior to the experiment... I noticed nothing which would lead
me to believe that he was of unsound mind."  Dr. Lashbrook, who had
monthly contacts with Olson from early 1952 until the time of his death,
stated publicly that before Olson received LSD, "as far as I know, he was
perfectly normal."  This assessment is in direct contradiction to
certain statements evaluating Olson's emotional stability made in CIA
internal memorandum written after Olson's death.
Experiment. -- On November 18, 1953, a group of ten scientists from
the CIA and Camp Detrick attended a semi-annual review and analysis
conference at a cabin located at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Three of the
participants were from the CIA's Technical Services Staff. The Detrick
representatives were all from the Special Operations
According to one CIA official, the Special Operations
Division participants "agreed that an unwitting experiment would be
desirable."  This account directly contradicts Vincent Ruwet's
recollection. Ruwet recalls no such discussion, and has asserted that he
would remember any such discussion because the SOD participants would have
strenuously objected to testing on unwitting subjects. 
1953, Richard Helms, Assistant DDP, held a staff meeting which the Chief
of Technical Services Staff attended. At this meeting Helms "indicated
that the drug [LSD] was dynamite and that he should be advised at all
times when it was intended to use it."  In addition, the then DDP,
Frank Wisner, sent a memorandum to TSS stating the requirement that the
DDP personally approve the use of LSD. Gottlieb went ahead with the
experiment,  securing the ap-
 Staff summary
of Vincent Ruwet Interview, 8/13/75, p. 3.
Memorandum of Col. Vincent Ruwet, To Whom It May Concern, no date, p.
 Ruwet Memorandum, p.
 Joseph B. Treaster, New York Times,
7/19/75, p. 1.
 Memorandum for the Record from
Lyman Kirkpatrick, 12/1/53, p. 1.
(staff summary), 8/1.3/75, p. 6.
General Diary, 12/2/53.
 Ibid. Dr.
Gottleib has testified that he does not remember either the meeting with
Helms nor the Wisner memorandum. (Gottlieb, 10/18/75, p.
of his immediate supervisor. Neither the Chief of TSS nor the DDP
specifically authorized the experiment in which Dr. Olson participated.
According to Gottlieb,  " a "very small dose" of LSD was
placed in a bottle of Cointreau which was served after dinner on Thursday,
November 19. The drug was placed in the liqueur by Robert Lashbrook. All
but two of tie SOD participants received LSD. One did not drink; the other
had a heart condition.  About twenty minutes after they finished their
Cointreau, Gottlieb informed the other participants that they had received
Dr. Gottlieb stated that "up to the time of the experiment,"
he observed nothing unusual in Olson's behavior. [37a] Once the experiment
was underway, Gottlieb recalled that "the drug had a definite effect on
the group to the point that they were boisterous and laughing and they
could not continue the meeting or engage in sensible conversation." The
meeting continued until about 1: 00 a.m., when the participants retired
for the evening. Gottlieb recalled that Olson, among others, complained of
"wakefulness" during the night.  According to Gottlieb on Friday
morning "aside from some evidence of fatigue, I observed nothing unusual
in [Olson's] actions, conversation, or general behavior."  Ruwet
recalls that Olson "appeared to be agitated" at breakfast, but that he
"did not consider this to be abnormal under the circumstances."
c. The Treatment. -- The following Monday, November 23,
Olson was waiting for Ruwet when he came in to work at 7:30 a.m. For the
next two days Olson's friends and family attempted to reassure him and
help him "snap out" of what appeared to be a serious depression. On
Tuesday, Olson again came to Ruwet and, after an hour long
 Dr. Gottlieb testified that "given the
information we knew up to this time, and based on a lot of our own
self-administration, we thought it was a fairly benign substance in terms
of potential harm." This is in conflict not only with Mr. Helms' statement
but also with material which had been supplied to the Technical Services
Staff. In one long memorandum on current research with LSD which was
supplied to TSD, Henry Beecher described the dangers involved with such
research in a prophetic manner. "The second reason to doubt Professor
Rothland came when I raised the question as to any accidents which had
arisen from the use of LSD-25. He said in a very positive way, 'none.' As
it turned out this answer could be called overly positive, for later on in
the evening I was discussing the matter with Dr. W. A. Stohl, Jr., a
psychiatrist in Bleulera's Clinic in Zurich where I had gone at Rothland's
insistence. Stohl, when asked the same question, replied, 'yes,' and added
spontaneously, 'there is a case Professor Rothland knows about. In Geneva
a woman physician who had been subject to depression to some extent took
LSD-25 in an experiment and became severely and suddenly depressed and
committed suicide three weeks later. While the connection is not definite,
common knowledge of this could hardly have allowed the positive statement
Rothland permitted himself. This case is a warning to us to avoid engaging
subjects who are depressed, or who have been subject to depression.'" Dr.
Gottlieb testified that he had no recollection of either the report or
that particular section of it. (Sidney Gottlieb testimony, 10/19/75, p.
 Memorandum of Sheffield Edwards for the
record, 11/28/53, p. 2.
 Lashbrook (staff
summary), 7/19/75, p. 3.
Memorandum, 12/7/53. p. 2.
memorandum, 11/28/53, p. 3.
memorandum. 12/7/53, p. 3.
 Ruwet memorandum,
versation, it was
decided that medical assistance for Dr. Olson was desirable.
Ruwet then called Lashbrook and informed him that "Dr. Olson
was in serious trouble and needed immediate professional attention." 
Lashbrook agreed to make appropriate arrangements and told Ruwet to bring
Olson to Washington, D.C. Ruwet and Olson proceeded to Washington to meet
with Lashbrook, and the three left for New York at about 2:30 p.m. to meet
with Dr. Harold Abramson.
At that time Dr. Abramson was an
allergist and immunologist practicing medicine in New York City. He held
no degree in psychiatry, but was associated with research projects
supported indirectly by the CIA. Gottlieb and Dr. Lashbrook both followed
his work closely in the early 1950s.  Since Olson needed medical help,
they turned to Dr. Abramson as the doctor closest to Washington who was
experienced with LSD and cleared by the CIA.
Ruwet, Lashbrook, and
Olson remained in New York for two days of consultations with Abramson. On
Thursday, November 26, 1953, the three flew back to Washington so that
Olson could spend Thanksgiving with his family. En route from the airport
Olson told Ruwet that he was afraid to face his family. After a lengthy
discussion, it was decided that Olson and Lashbrook would return to New
York, and that Ruwet would go to Frederick to explain these events to Mrs.
Lashbrook and Olson flew back to New York the same day,
again for consultations with Abramson. They spent Thursday night in a Long
Island hotel and the next morning returned to the city with Abramson. In
further discussions with Abramson, it was agreed that Olson should be
placed under regular psychiatric care at an institution closer to his
d. The Death. -- Because they could not obtain
air transportation for a return trip on Friday night, Lashbrook and Olson
made reservations for Saturday morning and checked into the Statler Hotel.
Between the time they checked in and 10:00 p.m.; they watched television,
visited the cocktail lounge, where each had two martinis, and dinner.
According to Lashbrook, Olson "was cheerful and appeared to enjoy the
entertainment." He "appeared no longer particularly depressed, and almost
the Dr. Olson I knew prior to the experiment." 
Lashbrook and Olson watched television for about an hour, and at 11:00,
Olson suggested that they go to bed, saying that "he felt more relaxed and
contented than he had since [they] came to New York."  Olson then left
a call with the hotel operator to wake them in the morning. At
approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday, November 28. Lashbrook was awakened by a
loud "crash of glass." In his report on the incident, he stated only that
Olson "had crashed through the closed window blind and the closed window
and he fell to his death from the window of our room on the 10th floor."
 Ibid., p. 4.
Lashbrook memorandum, 12/7/53, p. 1.
summary of Dr. Harold Abramson interview, 7/29/75, p.
 Lashbrook memorandum, 12/7/53, P.
 Abramson memorandum,
 Lashbrook memorandum, 12/7/53, p.
 Ibid., p. 4.
finding that Olson had leapt to his death, Lashbrook telephoned Gottlieb
at his home and informed him of the incident.  Gottlieb called Ruwet
and informed him of Olson's death at approximately 2:45 a.m. 
Lashbrook then called the hotel desk and reported the incident to the
operator there. Lashbrook called Abramson and informed him of the
occurrence. Abramson told Lashbrook he "wanted to be kept out of the thing
completely," but later changed his mind and agreed to assist Lashbrook.
Shortly thereafter, uniformed police officers and some hotel
employees came to Lashbrook's room. Lashbrook told the police he didn't
know why Olson had committed suicide, but he did know that Olson "suffered
from ulcers." 
e. The Aftermath. -- Following Dr.
Olson's death, the CIA made a substantial effort to ensure that his family
received death benefits, but did not notify the Olsons of the
circumstances surrounding his demise. The Agency also made considerable
efforts to prevent the death being connected with the CIA, and supplied
complete cover for Lashbrook so that his association with the CIA would
remain a secret.
After Dr. Olson's death the CIA conducted an
internal investigation of the incident. As part of his responsibilities in
this investigation, the General Counsel wrote the Inspector General,
I'm not happy with what seems to be a very casual attitude
on the part of TSS representatives to the way this experiment was
conducted and the remarks that this is just one of the risks running with
scientific experimentation. I do not eliminate the need for taking risks,
but I do believe, especially when human health or life is at stake, that
at least the prudent, reasonable measures which can be taken to minimize
the risk must be taken and failure to do so was culpable negligence. The
actions of the various individuals concerned after effects of the
experiment on Dr. Olson became manifest also revealed the failure to
observe normal and reasonable precautions. 
As a result of the
investigation DCI Allen Dulles sent a personal letter to the Chief of
Technical Operations of the Technical Services Staff who had approved the
experiment criticizing him for "poor judgment... in authorizing the use of
this drug on such an unwitting basis and without proximate medical
safeguards."  Dulles also sent a letter to Dr. Gottlieb, Chief of the
Chemical Division of the Technical Services Staff, criticizing him for
recommending the "unwitting application of the drug" in that the proposal
"did not give sufficient emphasis for medical collaboration and for the
proper consideration of the rights of the individual to whom it was being
 CIA Field Office Report,
12/3/53, p. 3.
 Ruwet Memorandum, p.
 CIA Field Office Report, 12/3/53, p.
Memorandum from the General Counsel to the Inspector General.
 Memorandum from DCI to Chief, Technical
Operations, TSS, 2/12/54.
 Memorandum from DCI to
Sidney Gottlieb, 2/12/54.
The letters were hand
carried to the individuals to be read and returned. Although the letters
were critical, a note from the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence to
Mr. Helms instructed him to inform the individuals that: "These are not
reprimands and no personnel file notation are being made."
Thus, although the Rockefeller Commission has characterized
them as such, these notes were explicitly not reprimands. Nor did
participation in the events which led to Dr. Olson's death have any
apparent effect on the advancement within the CIA of the individuals
3. The Surreptitious Administration of LSD to
Unwitting NonVolunteer Human Subjects by the CIA After the Death of Dr.
The death of Dr. Olson could be viewed, as some argued at
the time, as a tragic accident, one of the risks inherent in the testing
of new substances. It might be argued that LSD was thought to be benign.
After the death of Dr. Olson the dangers of the surreptitious
administration of LSD were clear, yet the CIA continued or initiated 
a project involving the surreptitious administration of LSD to
nonvolunteer human subjects. This program exposed numerous individuals in
the United States to the risk of death or serious injury without their
informed consent, without medical supervision, and without necessary
follow-up to determine any long-term effects.
Prior to the Olson
experiment, the Director of Central Intelligence had approved MKULTRA, a
research program designed to develop a "capability in the covert use of
biological and chemical agent materials." In the proposal describing
MKULTRA Mr. Helms, then ADDP, wrote the Director that:
we intend to investigate the development of a chemical material which
causes a reversible non-toxic aberrant mental state, the specific nature
of which can be reasonably well predicted for each individual. This
material 'could potentially aid in discrediting individuals, eliciting
information, and implanting suggestions and other forms of mental
On February 12, 1954, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
wrote TSS officials criticizing them for "poor judgment" in administering
LSD on "an unwitting basis and without proximate medical safeguards" to
Dr. Olson and for the lack of "proper consideration of the rights of the
individual to whom it was being administered."  On the same day, the
Inspector General reviewed a report on Subproject Number 3 of MKULTRA, in
which the same TSS officers who had just received letters from the
Director were quoted as stating that one of the purposes of Subproject
Number 3 was to
 Note from DDCI to Richard
 The 1963 IG Report, which
described the project involving the surreptitious administration of LSD,
placed the project beginning In 1955. Other CIA documents reveal that it
was in existence as early as February 1954. The CIA has told the Committee
that the project began in 1953 and that the experiment which led to Dr.
Olson's death was part of the project.
from ADDP items to DOI Dulles, 4/3/53, tab A, p.
 Memorandum from DCI to Sidney Gottlieb,
2/12/54; and memorandum from DCI to Chief of operations, TSS,
"observe the behavior
of unwitting persons being questioned after having been given a drug."
 There is no evidence that Subproject Number 3 was terminated even
though the officers were unequivocally aware of the dangers of the
surreptitious administration of LSD and the necessity of obtaining
informed consent and providing medical safeguards. Subproject Number 3, in
fact, used methods which showed even less concern than did the OLSON
experiment for the safety and security of the participants. Yet the
evidence indicates the project continued until 1963. 
project, the individual conducting the test might make initial contact
with a prospective subject selected at random in a bar. He would then
invite the person to a "safehouse" where the test drug was administered to
the subject through drink or in food. CIA personnel might debrief the
individual conducting the test, or observe the test by using a one-way
mirror and tape recorder in an adjoining room.
Prior consent was
obviously not obtained from any of the subjects. There was also,
obviously, no medical prescreening. In addition, the tests were conducted
by individuals who were not qualified scientific observers. There were no
medical personnel on hand either to administer the drugs or to observe
their effects, and no follow-up was conducted on the test
As the Inspector General noted in 1963:
A significant limitation on the effectiveness of such testing is the
infeasibility of performing scientific observation of results. The
[individuals conducting the test] are not qualified scientific
observers. Their subjects are seldom accessible beyond the first hours
of the test. The testing may be useful in perfecting delivery
techniques, and in identifying surface characteristics of onset,
reaction, attribution, and side-effect. 
This was particularly troublesome as in a
number of instances,... the test subject has become ill for hours or
days, including hospitalization in at least one case, and the agent
could only follow up by guarded inquiry after the test subject's return
to normal life. Possible sickness and attendant economic loss are
inherent contingent effects of the testing. 
Paradoxically, greater care seems to have been taken for the safety of
foreign nationals against whom LSD was used abroad. In several cases
medical examinations were performed prior to the use of LSD.
 Memorandum to Inspector General from Chief,
Inspection and Review, on Subproject #3 of MKULTRA,
 IG Report on MKULTRA,
 Ibid., p.
 Ibid. According to the IG's survey in
1963, physicians associated with MKULTRA could be made available in an
 The Technical Services Division which
was responsible for the operational use of LSD abroad took the position
that "no physical examination of the subject is required prior to
administration of [LSD] by TSS trained personnel. A physician need not be
present. There is no danger medically in the use of this material as
handled by TSS trained personnel." The Office of Medical Services had
taken the position that LSD was "medically dangerous." Both the Office of
Security and the Office of Medical Services argued that LSD "should not be
administered unless preceded by a medical examination... and should be
administered only by or in the presence of a physician who had studied it
and its effect." (Memorandum from James Angleton, Chief,
Counterintelligence Staff to Chief of Operations, 12/12/57, pp.
administration abroad was marked by constant observation made possible
because the material was being used against prisoners of foreign
intelligence or security organizations. Finally, during certain of the LSD
interrogations abroad, local physicians were on call, though these
physicians had had no experience with LSD and would not be told that
hallucinogens had been administered. 
The CIA's project
involving the surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting human
subjects in the United States was finally halted in 1963, as a result of
its discovery during the course of an Inspector General survey of the
Technical Services Division. When the Inspector General learned of the
project, he spoke to the Deputy Director for Plans, who agreed that the
Director should be briefed. The DDP made it clear that the DCI and his
Deputy were generally familiar with MKULTRA. He indicated, however, that
he was not sure it was necessary to brief the DDCI at that
On May 24,1963, the DDP advised the Inspector General that
he had briefed the Director on the MKULTRA program and in particular had
covered the question of the surreptitious administration of LSD to
unwitting human subjects. According to the Inspector General, the DDP said
that "the Director indicated no disagreement and therefore the testing
will continue." 
One copy of an "Eyes Only" draft report on
MKULTRA was prepared by the Inspector General who recommended the
termination of the surreptitious administration project. The project was
suspended following the Inspector General's report.
On December 17,
1963, Deputy Director for Plans Helms wrote a memo to the DDCI, who with
the Inspector General and the Executive Director-Comptroller had opposed
the covert testing. He noted two aspects of the problem: (1) "for over a
decade the Clandestine Services has had the mission of maintaining a
capability for influencing human behavior;" and (2) "testing arrangements
in furtherance of this mission should be as operationally realistic and
yet as controllable as possible." Helms argued that the individuals must
be "unwitting" as this was "the only realistic method of maintaining the
capability, considering the intended operational use of materials to
influence human behavior as the operational targets will certainly be
unwitting. Should the subjects of the testing not be unwitting, the
program would only be "pro forma" resulting in a "false sense of
accomplishment and readiness."  Helms continued:
Physicians might be called with the hope that they would make a diagnosis
of mental breakdown which would be useful in discrediting the individual
who was the subject of the CIA interest.
Memorandum for the Record prepared by the Inspector General, 5/15/63, p.
 Ibid., p. 2.
If one grants the
validity of the mission of maintaining this unusual capability and the
necessity for unwitting testing, there is only then the question of how
best to do it. Obviously, the testing should be conducted in such a manner
as to permit the opportunity to observe the results of the administration
on the target. It also goes without saying that whatever testing
arrangement we adopt must afford maximum safeguards for the protection of
the Agency's role in this activity, as well as minimizing the possibility
of physical or emotional damage to the individual tested. 
another memo to the Director of Central Intelligence in June, 1964, Helms
again raised the issue of unwitting testing. At that time General Carter,
then acting DCI, approved several changes in the MKULTRA program proposed
by Mr. Helms as a result of negotiations between the Inspector General and
the DDP. In a handwritten note, however, Director Carter added that
"unwitting testing will be subject to a separate decision." 
specific decision was made then or soon after. The testing had been halted
and, according to Walter Elder, Executive Assistant to DCI McCone, the DCI
was not inclined to take the positive step of authorizing a resumption of
the testing. At least through the summer, the DDP did not press the issue.
On November 9, 1964, the DDP raised the issue again in a memo to the DCI,
calling the Director's attention to what he described as "several other
indications during the past year of an apparent Soviet aggressiveness in
the field of covertly administered chemicals which are, to say the least,
inexplicable and disturbing." 
Helms noted that because of the
suspension of covert testing, the Agency's "positive operational
capability to use drugs is diminishing, owing to a lack of realistic
testing. With increasing knowledge of the state of the art, we are less
capable of staying up with Soviet advances in this field. This in turn
results in a waning capability on our part to restrain others in the
intelligence community (such as the Department of Defense) from pursuing
operations in this area." 
Helms attributed the cessation of
the unwitting testing to the high risk of embarrassment to the Agency as
well as the "moral problem." He noted that no better covert situation had
been devised than that which had been used, and that "we have no answer to
the moral issue." 
Helms asked for either resumption of the
testing project or its definitive cancellation. He argued that the status
quo of a research and development program without a realistic testing
program was causing the Agency to live "with the illusion of a capability
which is becoming minimal and furthermore is expensive."  Once again
no formal action was taken in response to the Helms'
 Memorandum from DDP Helms to DDCI Carter,
 Memorandum from DDP Helms to DCI,
6/9/64, p. 3.
 Ibid., 11/9/64, p. 1.
 Ibid., pp. 1-2.
Ibid., p. 2.
From its beginning in
the early 1950's until its termination in 1963, the program of
surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting nonvolunteer human
subjects demonstrates a failure of the CIA's leadership to pay adequate
attention to the rights of individuals and to provide effective guidance
to CIA employees. Though it was known that the testing was dangerous, the
lives of subjects were placed in jeopardy and their rights were ignored
during the ten years of testing which followed Dr. Olson's death. Although
it was clear that the laws of the United States were being violated, the
testing continued. While the individuals involved in the Olson experiment
were admonished by the Director, at the same time they were also told that
they were not being reprimanded and that their "bad judgment" would not be
made part of their personnel records. When the covert testing project was
terminated in 1963, none of the individuals involved were subject to any
4. Monitoring and Control of the
Testing and Use of Chemical and Biological Agents by the
The Select Committee found numerous failures in the
monitoring and control of the testing and use of chemical and biological
agents within the CIA.  An analysis of the failures can be divided
into four sections: (a) the waiver of normal regulations
or requirements; (b) the problems in authorization
procedures; (c) the failure of internal review mechanisms
such as the Office of General Counsel, the Inspector General, and the
Audit Staff; and (d) the effect of compartmentation and
competition within the CIA.
a. The Waiver of Administrative
Controls. -- The internal controls within any agency rest on: (1)
clear and coherent regulations; (2) clear lines of authority; and (3)
clear rewards for those who conduct themselves in accord with agency
regulations and understandable and immediate sanctions against those who
do not. In the case of the testing and use of chemical and biological
agents, normal CIA administrative controls were waived. The destruction of
the documents on the largest CIA program in this area constituted a
prominent example of the waiver of normal Agency procedures by the
These documents were destroyed in early 1973 at the order
of then DCI Richard Helms. According to Helms, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, then
Director of TSD:
... came to me and said that he was retiring and that I was retiring
and he thought it would be a good idea if these files were destroyed.
And I also believe part of the reason for our thinking this was
advisable was there had been relationships with outsiders in government
agencies and other organizations and that these would be sensitive in
this kind of a thing but that since the program was over and finished
and done with, we thought we would just get rid of the files
 Section 2(9) of S. Res. 21 instructs the
Committee to examine: the "extent to which United States intelligence
agencies are governed by Executive Orders, rules, or regulations either
published or secret."
well, so that anybody who assisted us in the past would not be
subject to follow-up or questions, embarrassment, if you will.
The destruction was based on a waiver of an internal CIA regulation,
CSI 70-10, which regulated the "retirement of inactive records." As Thomas
Karamessines, then Deputy Director of Plans, wrote in regulation
CSI-70-10: "Retirement is not a matter of convenience or of storage but of
conscious judgment in the application of the rules modified by knowledge
of individual component needs. The heart of this judgment is to ensure
that the complete story can be reconstructed in later years and by people
who may be unfamiliar with the events." 
The destruction of the
MKULTRA documents made it impossible for the Select Committee to determine
the full range and extent of the largest CIA research program involving
chemical and biological agents. The destruction also prevented the CIA
from locating and providing medical assistance to the individuals who were
subjects in the program. Finally, it prevented the Committee from
determining the full extent of the operations which made use of materials
developed in the MKULTRA program. 
From the inception of
MKULTRA normal Agency procedures were waived. In 1953, Mr. Helms, then
Assistant Deputy Director for Plans, proposed the establishment of
MKULTRA. Under the proposal six percent of the research and development
budget of TSD would be expended "without the establishment of formal
contractual relations" because contracts would reveal government interest.
Helms also voted that qualified individuals in the field "are most
reluctant to enter into signed agreements of any sort which connect them
with this activity since such a connection would jeopardize their
 Richard Helms testimony,
9/11/75, p. 5.
Many Agency documents recording confidential
relationships with individuals and organizations are retained without
public disclosure. Moreover, in the case of MKULTRA the CIA had spent
millions of dollars developing both materials and delivery systems which
could be used by the Clandestine Services; the reconstruction of the
research and development program would be difficult if not impossible,
without the documents, and at least one assistant to Dr. Gottlieb
protested against the document destruction on those
 Clandestine Services Institution
(CSI) 70-10. When asked by the Select Committee about the regularity of
the procedure by which he authorized Dr. Gottlieb to destroy the MKULTRA
records, Helms responded:
"Well, that's hard to say whether it
would be part of the regular procedure or not, because the record
destruction program is conducted according to a certain pattern. There's a
regular record destruction pattern in the Agency monitored by certain
people and done a certain way. So that anything outside of that, I
suppose, would have been unusual. In other words, there were documents
being destroyed because somebody had raised this specific issue rather
than because they were encompassed in the regular records destruction
program. So I think the answer to your question is probably yes." (Helms
testimony, 9/11/75, p. 6.)
 Even prior to the
destruction of documents, the MKULTRA records were far from complete. As
the Inspector General noted in 1963:
"Files are notably incomplete,
poorly organized, and lacking in evaluative statements that might give
perspective to management policies over time. A substantial portion of the
MKULTRA record appears to rest in the memories of the principal officers
and is therefore almost certain to be lost with their departures." (IG
Report on MKULTRA, p. 23.)
tions".  Other
Agency procedures, i.e., the forwarding of document, in support of
invoices and the provision for regular audit procedures, were also to be
waived. On April 13, 1953, then DCI Allen Dulles approved MKULTRA, noting
that security considerations precluded handling the project through usual
Ten years later investigations of MKULTRA
by both the Inspector General and the Audit Staff noted substantial
deficiencies which resulted from the waivers. Because TSD had not reserved
the right to audit the books of contractors in MKULTRA, the CIA had been
unable to verify the use of Agency grants by a contractor. Another firm
had failed to establish controls and safeguards which would assure "proper
accountability" in use of government funds with the result that "funds
have been used for purposes not contemplated by grants or allowable under
usual contract relationship."  The entire MKULTRA arrangement was
condemned for having administrative lines which were unclear, overly
permissive controls, and irresponsible supervision.
The head of the
Audit Branch noted that inspections and audits: led us to see MKULTRA as
frequently having provided a device to escape normal administrative
controls for research that is not especially sensitive, as having allowed
practices that produce gross administrative failures, as having permitted
the establishment of special relationships with unreliable organizations
on an unacceptable basis, and as having produced, on at least one
occasion, a. cavalier treatment of a bona fide contracting
While admitting that there may be a need for special
mechanisms for handling sensitive projects, the Chief of the Audit Branch
wrote that "both the terms of reference and the ground rules for handling
such special projects should be spelled out in advance so that diversion
from normal channels does not mean abandonment of controls.
procedures may be necessary to ensure the security of highly sensitive
operations. To prevent the erosion of normal internal control mechanisms,
such waivers should not be extended to less sensitive operations.
Moreover, only those regulations which would endanger security should be
waived; to waive regulations generally would result in highly sensitive
and controversial projects having looser rather than stricter
administrative controls. MKNAOMI, the Fort Detrick CIA project for
research and development of chemical and biological agents, provides
another example where efforts to protect the security of agency activities
overwhelmed administrative controls. No written records of the transfer of
agents such as anthrax or shellfish toxin were kept, "because of the
sensitivity of the area and the desire to keep any possible use of
materials like this recordless."  The
 Memorandum from
ADDP Helms to DCI Dulles, 4/3/53, Tab. A, p.
 Memorandum from IG to Chief, TSD, 11/8/63,
as quoted in memorandum from Chief, Audit
 The memorandum suggested that
administrative exclusions, because of the importance of such decisions,
should require the personal approval of the Deputy Director of Central
Intelligence on an individual case basis. Present CIA policy is that only
the DCI can authorize certain exemptions from
 Sidney Gottlieb testimony,
10/18/75, Hearings, Vol. 1, p. 51.
result was that the
Agency had no way of determining what materials were on hand, and could
not be certain whether delivery systems such as dart guns, or deadly
substances such as cobra venom had been issued to the field.
Authorization. -- The destruction of the documents regarding MKULTRA
made it difficult to determine at what level specific projects in the
program were authorized. This problem is not solely a result of the
document destruction, however. Even at the height of MKULTRA the IG noted
that, at least with respect to the surreptitious administration of LSD,
the "present practice is to maintain no records of the planning and
approval of test programs." 
While it is clear that Allen
Dulles authorized MKULTRA, the record is unclear as to who authorized
specific projects such as that involving the surreptitious administration
of LSD to unwitting nonvolunteer human subjects. Even given the sensitive
and controversial nature of the project, there is no evidence that when
John McCone replaced Allen Dulles as the Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency he was briefed on the details of this project and
asked whether it should be continued .  Even during the 1963
discussions on the propriety of unwitting testing, the DDP questioned
whether it was "necessary to brief General Carter", the Deputy Director of
Central Intelligence and the Director's "alter ago," because CIA officers
felt it necessary to keep details of the project restricted to an absolute
minimum number of people. 
In May of 1963, DDP Helms told the
Inspector General that the covert testing program was authorized because
he had gone to the Director, briefed him on it and "the Director indicated
no disagreement and therefore the testing will continue."  Such
authorization even for noncontroversial matters is clearly less desirable
than explicit authorization; in areas such as the surreptitious
administration of drugs, it is particularly undesirable. Yet according to
 IG Report on MKULTRA, 1963, p.
 According to an assistant to Dr.
Gottlieb, there were annual briefings of the DCI and the DDP on MKULTRA by
the Chief of TSD or his deputy. However, a Nay 15, 1963 Memorandum for the
Record from the Inspector General noted that Mr. McCone had not been
briefed in detail about the program. Mr. McCone's Executive Officer,
Walter Elder, testified that it was "perfectly apparent to me" that
neither Mr. McCone nor General Carter, then the DDCI, was aware of the
surreptitious administration project "or if they had been briefed they had
not understood it." (Elder, 12/18/75, p. 13.) Mr. McCone testified that
lie "did not know" whether he talked to anyone about the project but that
no one had told him about it in a way that "would have turned on all the
lights." (John McCone testimony, 2/3/76, p.
 According to Elder's testimony, "no
Deputy Director, to my knowledge, has ever been briefed or was it ever
thought necessary to brief them to the extent to which you would brief the
 IG Memorandum for the Record.
On the question of authorization of the covert testing
program, Elder testified as follows:
"But my reasonable judgment is
that this was considered to be in the area of continuing approval, having
once been approved by the Director."
The theory of authorization
carrying over from one administration to the next seems particularly
inappropriate for less visible, highly sensitive operations which, unless
brought to his attention by subordinates, would not come to the attention
of the Director.
before the Committee,
authorization through lack of agreement is even more prevalent in
sensitive situations. 
The unauthorized retention of shellfish
toxin by Dr. Nathan Gordon and his subordinates, in violation of a
Presidential Directive, may have resulted from the failure of the Director
to issue written instructions to Agency officials. The retention was not
authorized by senior officials in the Agency. The Director, Mr. Helms, had
instructed Mr. Karamessines, the Deputy Director of Plans, and Dr.
Gottlieb, the Chief of Technical Services Division, to relinquish control
to the Army of any chemical or biological agents being retained for the
CIA at Fort Detrick. Dr. Gottlieb passed this instruction on to Dr.
Gordon. While orders may be disregarded in any organization, one of the
reasons that Dr. Gordon used to defend the retention was the fact that he
had not received written instructions forbidding it. 
situations the existence of written instructions did not prevent
unauthorized actions. According to an investigation by the CIA's Inspector
General TSD officers had been informed orally that Mr. Helms was to
be "advised at all times" when LSD was to be used. In addition TSD had
received a memo advising the staff that LSD was not to be used without the
permission of the DDP, Frank Wisner. The experiment involving Dr. Olson
went ahead without notification of either Mr. Wisner or Mr. Helms. The
absence of clear and immediate punishment for that act must undercut the
force of other internal instructions and regulations.
issue must be raised about authorization procedures within the Agency.
Chemical agents were used abroad until 1959 for discrediting or disabling
operations, or for the purpose of interrogations with the approval of the
Chief of Operations of the DDP. Later the approval of the Deputy Director
for Plans was required for such operations. Although the medical staff
sought to be part of the approval process for these operations, they were
excluded because, as the Inspector General wrote in
Operational determinations are the responsibility of the DDP
and it is he who should advise the DCI in these respects just as it is he
who is responsible for the results. It is completely unrealistic to
consider assigning to the Chief Medical Staff, (what, in effect, would be
authority over clandestine operations.) 
Given the expertise
and training of physicians, participation of the Medical Staff might well
have been useful.
Questions about authorization also exist in
regard to those, agencies which assisted the CIA. For instance, the
project involving the surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting
non-volunteer human subjects was conducted in coordination with the Bureau
of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. There is some question as to the
Commissioner of Narcotics' knowledge about the project.
Mr. Elder was asked whether the process of bringing forward a description
of actions by the Agency in getting approval through the absence of
disagreement was a common one. He responded, "It was not uncommon.... The
more sensitive the project the more likely it would lean toward being a
common practice, based on the need to keep the written record to a
 Nathan Gordan testimony, 9/16/75,
Hearings, Vol. 1.
 1957 IG
1963, the Inspector General noted that the head of the BNDD had been
briefed about the project, but the IG's report did not indicate the level
of detail provided to him. Dr. Gottlieb testified that "I remember meeting
Mr. Anslinger and had the general feeling that he was aware."  Another
CIA officer did not recall any discussion of testing on unwitting subjects
when he and Dr. Gottlieb met with Commissioner Anslinger.
memorandum for the record in 1967 Dr. Gottlieb stated that Harry Giordano,
who replaced Mr. Anslinger, told Dr. Gottlieb that when he became
Commissioner he was "only generally briefed on the arrangements, gave it
his general blessing, and said he didn't want to know the details." The
same memorandum states, however, that there were several comments which
indicated to Dr. Gottlieb that Mr. Giordano was aware of the substance of
the project. It is possible that the Commissioner provided a general
authorization for the arrangement without understanding what it entailed
or considering its propriety. A reluctance to seek detailed information
from the CIA, and the CIA's hesitancy to volunteer it, has been found in a
number of instances during the Select Committee's investigations. This
problem is not confined to the executive branch but has also marked
congressional relationships with the Agency.
c. Internal Review.
-- The waiver of regulations and the absence of documentation make it
difficult to determine now who authorized which activities. More
importantly, they made internal Agency review mechanisms much less
effective.  Controversial and highly sensitive projects which should
have been subject to the most rigorous inspection lacked effective
Given the role of the General Counsel and his
reaction to the surreptitious administration of LSD to Dr. Olson, it would
have seemed likely that he would be asked about the legality or propriety
of any subsequent projects involving such administration. This was not
done. He did not learn about this testing until the 1970's. Nor was the
General Counsel's opinion sought on other MKULTRA projects, though these
had been characterized by the Inspector General in the 1957 Report on TSD
as "unethical and illicit." 
There is no mention in the report
of the 1957 Inspector General's survey of TSD of the project involving the
surreptitious administration of LSD. That project was apparently not
brought to the attention of the survey team. The Inspector who discovered
it during the IG's 1963 survey of TSD recalls coming upon evidence of it
 Gottlieb, 10/18/75, p.
 The IG's report on MKULTRA in 1963
"The original charter documents specified that TSD maintain
exacting control of MKULTRA activities. in so doing, however, TSD has
pursued a philosophy of minimum documentation in keeping with the high
sensitivity of some of the projects. Some files were found to present a
reasonably complete record, including most sensitive matters, while others
with parallel objectives contained little or no data at all. The lack of
consistent records precluded use of routine inspection procedures and
raised a variety of questions concerning management and fiscal
 CIA, Inspector General's report on
TSD, 1957, p. 217.
rather than its having
been called to his attention as an especially sensitive project.
Thus both the General Counsel and the Inspector General, the
principal internal mechanisms for the control of possibly improper
actions, were excluded from regular reviews of the project. When the
project was discovered the Executive Director Comptroller voiced strong
opposition to it; it is possible that the project would have been
terminated in 1957 if it had been called to his attention when he then
served as Inspector General.
The Audit Staff, which also serves an
internal review function through the examination of Agency expenditures,
also encountered substantial difficulty with MKULTRA. When MKULTRA was
first proposed the Audit Staff was to be excluded from any function. This
was soon changed. However, the waiver of normal "contractual procedures"
in MKULTRA increased the likelihood of "irregularities" as well as the
difficulty in detecting them. The head of the Audit Branch characterized
the MKULTRA procedures as "having allowed practices that produced gross
administrative failures," including a lack of controls within outside
contractors which would "assure proper accountability in use of government
funds." It also diminished the CIA's capacity to verify the accountings
provided by outside firms.
d. Compartmentation and
Jurisdictional Conflict Within the Agency. -- As has been noted, the
testing and use of chemical and biological agents was treated as a highly
sensitive activity within the CIA. This resulted in a high degree of
compartmentation. At the same time substantial jurisdictional conflict
existed within the Agency between the Technical Services Division, and the
Office of Medical Services and the Office of Security.
compartmentation and jurisdictional conflict may well have led to
duplication of effort within the CIA and to Agency policymakers being
deprived of useful information.
During the early 1950's first the
BLUEBIRD Committee and then the ARTICHOKE Committee were instituted to
bring together representatives of the Agency components which had a
legitimate interest in the area of the alteration of human behavior. By
1957 both these committees had fallen into disuse. No information went to
the Technical Services Division (a component supposedly represented on the
ARTICHOKE Committee) about ARTICHOKE operations being conducted by the
Office of Security and the Office of Medical Services. The Technical
Services Division which was providing support to the Clandestine Services
in the use of chemical and biological agents, but provided little or no
information to either the Office of Security or the Office of Medical
Services. As one TSD officer involved in these programs testified:
"Although we were acquainted, we certainly didn't share experiences."
 Even after the Inspector came upon it the IG
did not perform a complete investigation of it. It was discovered at the
end of an extensive survey of TSD and the Inspector was in the process of
being transferred to another post within the
 Testimony of CIA officer, 11/21/75,
group designed to coordinate research in this area also had little
success. The group met infrequently -- only twice a year -- and little
specific information was exchanged. 
Concern over security
obviously played some role in the failure to share information,  but
this appears not to be the only reason. A TSD officer stated that the
Office, of Medical Services simply wasn't "particularly interested in what
we were doing" and never sought such information.  On the other hand,
a representative of the Office of Medical Services consistently sought to
have medical personnel participate in the use of chemical and biological
agents suggested that TSD did not inform the Office of Medical Services in
order to prevent their involvement.
Jurisdictional conflict was
constant in this area. The Office of Security, which had been assigned
responsibility for direction of ARTICHOKE, consistently sought to bring
TSD operations involving psychochemicals under the ARTICHOKE umbrella. The
Office of Medical Services sought to have OMS physicians advise and
participate in the operational use of drugs. As the Inspector General
described it in 1957, "the basic issue is concerned with the extent of
authority that should be exercised by the Chief, Medical Staff, over the
activities of TSD which encroach upon or enter into the medical field,"
and which are conducted by TSD "without seeking the prior approval of the
Chief, Medical Staff, and often without informing him of their nature and
As was noted previously, because the projects and
programs of TSD stemmed directly from operational needs controlled by the
DDP, the IG recommended no further supervision of these activities by the
It is completely unrealistic to consider assigning
to the Chief, Medical Staff, what, in effect, would be authority over
clandestine operations. Furthermore, some of the activities of Chemical
Division are not only unorthodox but unethical and sometimes illegal. The
DDP is in a better position to evaluate the justification for such
operations than the Chief, Medical Staff.  [Emphasis
Because the advice of the Director of Security was needed
for "evaluating the risks involved" in the programs and because the
knowledge that the CIA was "engaging in unethical and illicit activities
would have serious repercussions in political and diplomatic circles," the
IG recommended that the Director of Security be fully advised of TSD's
activities in these areas.
Even after the Inspector General's
Report of 1957, the compartmentation and jurisdictional conflict
continued. They may have had a sub-
 The one set of
minutes from a QKHILLTOP meeting indicated that individuals in the Office
of Medical Services stressed the need for more
 When asked why information on the
surreptitious administration of LSD was not presented to the ARTICHOKE
committee, Dr. Gottlieb responded: "I imagine the only reason would have
been a concern for broadening the awareness of its
 CIA Officer, 11/21/75, p.
 IG Survey of TSD, 1957, p.
impact on policymaking in the Agency. As the Deputy Chief of the
Counterintelligence Staff noted in 1958, due to the different positions
taken by TSS, the Office of Security, and the Office of Medical Services,
on the use of chemical or biological agents, it was possible that the
individual who authorized the use of a chemical or biological agent could
be presented with "incomplete facts upon which to make a decision relevant
to its use." Even a committee set up by the DDP in 1958 to attempt to
rationalize Agency policy did not have access to records of testing and
use. This was due, in part, to excessive compartmentation, and
Testing On Human Subjects By Military Intelligence Groups: Material
Testing Program EA 1729, Project Third Change, and Project Derby
EA 1729 is the designator used in the Army drug
testing program for lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Interest in LSD was
originally aroused at the Army's Chemical Warfare Laboratories by open
literature on the unusual effects of the compound.  The positive
intelligence and counterintelligence potential envisioned for compounds
like LSD, and suspected Soviet interest in such materials,  supported
the development of an American military capability and resulted in
experiments conducted jointly by the U.S. Army Intelligence Board and the
Chemical Warfare Laboratories.
These experiments, designed to
evaluate potential intelligence uses of LSD, were known collectively as
"Material Testing Program EA 1729." Two projects of particular interest
conducted as part of these experiments, "THIRD CHANCE" and "DERBY HAT",
involved the administration of LSD to unwitting subjects in Europe and the
In many respects, the Army's testing programs duplicated
research which had already been conducted by the CIA. They certainly
involved the risks inherent in the early phases of drug testing. In the
Army's tests, as with those of the CIA, individual rights were also
subordinated to national security considerations; informed consent and
followup examinations of subjects were neglected in efforts to maintain
the secrecy of the tests. Finally, the command and control problems which
were apparent in the CIA's programs are paralleled by a lack of clear
authorization and supervision in the Army's programs.
USAINTC staff study, "Material Testing Program, EA 1729," 10/15/59, p.
 This same USAINTC study cited "A 1952
(several years prior to initial U.S. interest in LSD-25) report that the
Soviets purchased a large quantity of LSD-25 from the Sandoz Company in
1951, reputed to be sufficient for 50 million doses." (Ibid., p.
Generally accepted Soviet methods and counterintelligence
concerns were also strong motivating factors in the initiation of this
"A primary justification for field experimentation in
intelligence with EA 1729 is the counter-intelligence or defense
implication. We know that the enemy philosophy condones any kind of
coercion or violence for intelligence purposes. There is proof that his
intelligence service has used drugs in the past. There is strong evidence
of keen interest in EA 1729 by him. If for no other purpose than to know
what to expect from enemy intelligence use of the material and to, thus,
be prepared to counter it, field experimentation is justified.
(Ibid, p. 34)
1. Scope of
Between 1955 and 1958 research was initiated
by the Army Chemical Corps to evaluate the potential for LSD as a chemical
warfare incapacitating agent. In the course of this research, LSD was
administered to more than 1,000 American volunteers who then participated
in a series of tests designed to ascertain the effects of the drug on
their ability to function as soldiers. With the exception of one set of
tests at Fort Bragg, these and subsequent laboratory experiments to
evaluate chemical warfare potential were conducted at the Army Chemical
Warfare Laboratories, Edgewood, Maryland.
In 1958 a new series of
laboratory tests were initiated at Edgewood. These experiments were
conducted as the initial phase of Material Testing Program EA 1729 to
evaluate the intelligence potential of LSD, and included LSD tests on 95
volunteers.  As part of these tests, three structured experiments
1. LSD was administered
surreptitiously at a simulated social reception to volunteer subjects who
were unaware of the purpose or nature of the tests in which they were
2. LSD was administered to
volunteers who were subsequently polygraphed;
3. LSD was administered to volunteers who were
then confined to "isolation chambers".
These structured experiments
were designed to evaluate the validity of the traditional security
training all subjects had undergone in the face of unconventional, drug
At the conclusion of the laboratory test
phase of Material Testing Program EA 1729 in 1960, the Army Assistant
Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) authorized operational field
testing of LSD. The first field tests were conducted in Europe by an Army
Special Purpose Team (SPT) during the period from May to August of 1961.
These tests were known as Project THIRD CHANCE and involved eleven
separate interrogations of ten subjects. None of the subjects were
volunteers and none were aware that they were to receive LSD. All but one
subject, a U.S. soldier implicated in the theft of classified documents,
were alleged to be foreign intelligence sources or agents. While
interrogations of these individuals were only moderately successful, at
least one subject (the U.S. soldier) exhibited symptoms of severe paranoia
while under the influence of the drug.
The second series of field
tests, Project DERBY HAT, were conducted by an Army SPT in the Far East
during the period from August to November of 1962. Seven subjects were
interrogated under DERBY HAT, all of whom were foreign nationals either
suspected of dealing in narcotics or implicated in foreign intelligence
operations. The purpose of this second set of experiments was to collect
additional data on the utility of LSD in field interrogations, and to
evaluate any different effects the drug might have on
 Inspector General of the Army Report. "Use
of Volunteers in Chemical Agent Research," 3/10/76, p.
Inadequate Coordination Among Intelligence Agencies
15, 1959, the U.S. Army Intelligence Center prepared a lengthy staff study
on Material Testing Program EA 1729. The stated purpose of the staff study
was: "to determine the desirability of EA 1729 on non-US subjects in
selected actual operations under controlled conditions.  It was on
the basis of this study that operational field tests were later
After noting that the Chemical Warfare Laboratories
began experiments with LSD on humans in 1955 and had administered the drug
to over 1,000 volunteers, the "background" section of the study
There has not been a single case of residual ill effect.
Study of the prolific scientific literature on LSD-25 and personal
communication between U.S. Army Chemical Corps personnel and other
researchers in this field have failed to disclose an authenticated
instance of irreversible change being produced in normal humans by the
This conclusion was reached despite an awareness that
there were inherent medical dangers in such experimentation. In the body
of this same study it is noted that:
The view has been expressed
that EA 1729 is a potentially dangerous drug, whose pharmaceutical actions
are not fully understood and there has been cited the possibility of the
continuance of a chemically induced psychosis in chronic form,
particularly if a latent schizophrenic were a subject, with consequent
claim or representation against the U.S. Government. 
attempt was made to minimize potential medical hazards by careful
selection of subjects prior to field tests. Rejecting evidence that the
drug might be hazardous, the study continued:
The claim of possible
permanent damage caused by EA 1729 is an unproven hypothesis based on the
characteristic effect of the material. While the added stress of a real
situation may increase the probability of permanent adverse effect, the
resulting risk is deemed to be slight by the medical research personnel of
the Chemical Warfare Laboratories. To prevent even such a slight risk,
the proposed plan for field experimentation calls for overt, if possible,
or contrived-through-ruse, if necessary, physical and mental examination
of any real situation subject prior to employment of the subject.
This conclusion was drawn six years after one death had
occurred which could be attributed, at least in part, to the effects of
the very drug the Army was proposing to field test. The USAINTC staff,
however, was apparently unaware of the circumstances surrounding Dr.
Olson's death. This lack of knowledge is indicative of the
 USAINTC staff study, "Material Testing
Program EA 1729," 10/15/59, p. 4.
Ibid, p. 4.
 Ibid, p.
general lack of
interagency communication on drug related research. As the October 1959
study noted, "there has been no coordination with other intelligence
agencies up to the present." 
On December 7, 1959, the Army
Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI, apparently a General
Willems) was briefed on the proposed operational use of LSD by USAINTC
Project Officer Jacobson, in preparation for Project THIRD CHANCE. General
Willems expressed concern that the project had not been coordinated with
the FBI and the CIA. He is quoted as saying "that if this project is going
to be worth anything, it [LSD] should be used on higher types of non-U.S.
subjects" in other words "staffers." He indicated this could be
accomplished if the CIA were brought in. The summary of the briefing
prepared by Major Mehovsky continues: "Of particular note is that ACSI did
not direct coordination with CIA and the FBI but only mentioned it for
consideration by the planners." 
After the briefing, four
colonels, two lieutenant colonels and Major Mehovsky met to discuss
interagency cooperation with CIA and FBI. The group consensus was to
postpone efforts toward coordination:
Lt. Col. Jacobson commented
that before we coordinate with CIA we should have more factual findings
from field experimentation with counterintelligence cases that will
strengthen our position and proposal for cooperation. This approach red to
by the conferees. 
Had such coordination been achieved, the
safety of these experiments might have been viewed differently and the
tests themselves might have been seen as unnecessary.
Subordination of Individual Rights to National Security
Just as many of these experiments may have been
unnecessary, the nature of the operational tests (polygraph-assisted
interrogations of drugged suspects) reflects a basic disregard for the
fundamental human rights of the subjects. The interrogation of an American
soldier as part of the THIRD CHANCE 1961 tests is an example of this
The "trip report" for Project THIRD CHANCE, dated
September 6, 1961, recounts the circumstances surrounding and the results
of the tests as follows:
[The subject] was a U.S. soldier who had
confessed to theft of classified documents. Conventional methods had
failed to ascertain whether espionage intent was involved. A significant,
new admission by subject that he told a fellow soldier of the theft while
he still had the documents in his possession was obtained during the EA
1729 interrogation along with other variations of Subject's previous
account. The interrogation results were deemed by the local operational
authority satisfactory evidence of Subject's claim of innocence in regard
to espionage intent. 
 Ibid, p.
 Mehovsky Fact Sheet, 12/9/60, p.
 Ibid, p. 2.
SPT Trip Report, Operation THIRD CHANCE, 9/6/61, p. 5.
The subject apparently
reacted very strongly to the drug, and the interrogation, while
productive, was difficult. The trip report
(1) This case demonstrated the ability
to interrogate a subject profitably throughout a highly sustained and
almost incapacitating reaction to EA 1729.
apparent value of bringing a subject into the EA 1729 situation in a
highly stressed state was indicated.
usefulness of employing as a duress factor the device of inviting the
subject's attention to his EA 1729 influenced state and threatening to
extend this state indefinitely even to a permanent condition of insanity,
or to bring it to an end at the discretion of the interrogators was shown
to be effective.
(4) The need for preplanned
precautions against extreme paranoiac reaction to EA 1729 was
(5) It was brought to attention by this
case that where subject has undergone extended intensive interrogation
prior to the EA 1729 episode and has persisted in a version repeatedly
during conventional interrogation, adherence to the same version while
under EA 1729 influence, however extreme the reaction, may not necessarily
be evidence of truth but merely the ability to adhere to a well rehearsed
This strong reaction to the drug and the accompanying
discomfort this individual suffered were exploited by the use of
traditional interrogation techniques. While there is no evidence that
physical violence or torture were employed in connection with this
interrogation, physical and psychological techniques were used in the
THIRD CHANCE experiments to exploit the subjects' altered mental state,
and to maximize the stress situation. Jacobson described these methods in
his trip report:
Stressing techniques employed included silent
treatment before or after EA 1729 administration, sustained conventional
interrogation prior to EA 1729 interrogation, deprivation of food, drink,
sleep or bodily evacuation, sustained isolation prior to EA 1729
administration, hot-cold switches in approach, duress "pitches", verbal
degradation and bodily discomfort, or dramatized threats to subject's life
or mental health. 
Another gross violation of an individual's
fundamental rights occurred in September 1962 as part of the Army's DERBY
HAT tests in the Far East. A suspected Asian espionage agent was given 6
micrograms of LSD per kilogram of bodyweight. The administration of the
drug was completed at 1035 that morning:
At 1120, sweating became
evident, his pulse became thready. He was placed in a supine position. He
began groaning with expiration and became semicomatose.
 Ibid, pp.
 Ibid, p.
 "DERBY HAT" Medical and Pharmacological
Report: Case #1, 9/20/62, 1). p. D10-2.
For the next 28
minutes, the subject remained semicomatose.
At 1148, responses to
painful stimuli were slightly improved.
At 1155, he was helped to a
At 1200, he became shocky again and was returned
to supine position.
At 1212, he was more alert and able to sit up
At 1220, Subject was assisted to the interrogation
At 1230, he began moaning he wanted to die and usually
ignored questions. Rarely he stated "he didn't know."
At 1250, his
phasic alertness persisted. He frequently refocused his eyes with eyelid
assistance. He frequently threw his head back with eyes closed.
1330, he was slightly more alert. He was forced-walked for 5 minutes. He
physically would cooperate until he became shocky again (sweating, thready
pulse, pale). 
For the next three hours the subject remained
in about the same condition. Continued attempts at interrogation yielded
no relevant answers. Six hours after receiving the drug, the subject began
giving relevant answers to questions. Eight and one-half hours after the
initial dosage, the subject was polygraphed. The interrogation continued
for seventeen and one-half hours after the drug was
There was some psychological and medical screening of
the individuals tested within the United States, in Europe, and in Asia.
The proposal for the field experimentation in fact called for such
examinations. The fact of prescreening did not eliminate tile risk of
injury; the availability of medical staff did, however, limit injury and
may well have prevented the death of one or more of the subjects. As the
medical corps member of the team which surreptitiously administered the
LSD noted, "one subject... did collapse after the interrogation and the
presence of the medical officer was not only of value to the subject but
to the interrogation team who were thus assured that an unnecessary
untoward result would not occur." 
In the October 15, 1959,
USAINTC staff study, moral and legal ramifications of covert
administration of LSD in field conditions were considered.
always a tenet of Army Intelligence that the basic American principle of
the dignity and welfare of the individual will not be violated. A more
meticulous regard for the prohibition against violence or duress is taken
in practice when the suspect is a US citizen or ally as against an actual
or potential enemy, in peace as against war, and in respect to the nature
of the crime.... In intelligence, the stakes involved and the interests of
national security may permit a more tolerant interpretation of
moral-ethical values, but not legal limits, through necessity. Any
 Ibid., p.
 SPT Trip Report, Operation THIRD
CHANCE, 7/25/61, p. 1.
against the US
Government for alleged injury due to EA 1729 must be legally shown to have
been due to the material. Proper security and appropriate operational
techniques can protect the fact of employment of EA 1729. 
the basis of this evaluation, the study concluded that in view of "the
stakes involved and the interests of national security," the proposed plan
for field testing should be approved.
administration of drugs to unwitting subjects by the Army raises serious
constitutional and legal issues. The consideration given these issues by
the Army was wholly insufficient. The character of the Army's volunteer
testing program and the possibility that drugs were simply substituted for
other forms of violence or duress in field interrogations raises serious
doubts as to whether national security imperatives were properly
interpreted. The "consent" forms which each American volunteer signed
prior to the administration of LSD are a case in point. These forms
contained no mention of the medical and psychological risks inherent in
such testing, nor do they mention the nature of the psychotropic drug to
The general nature of the experiments in which I
have volunteered have been explained to me from the standpoint of possible
hazards to my health. It is my understanding that the experiments
are so designed, based on the results of animals and previous human
experimentation, that the anticipated results will justify the
performance of the experiment. I understand further that experiments
will be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and medical
suffering and injury, and that I will be at liberty to request that the
experiments be terminated at any time if in my opinion I have reached
the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiments becomes
I recognize that in the pursuit of certain
experiments transitory discomfort may occur. I recognize, also,
that under these circumstances, I must rely upon the skill and wisdom
of the physician supervising the experiment to institute whatever
medical or surgical measures are indicated. [Emphasis added.]
The exclusion of any specific discussion of the nature of LSD
in these forms raises serious doubts as to their validity. An
"understanding... that the anticipated results will justify the
performance of the experiment" without full knowledge of the nature of the
experiment is an incomplete "understanding." Similarly, the nature of the
experiment limited the ability of both the subject to request its request
its termination and the experimenter to implement such a request. Finally,
the euphemistic characterization of "transitory discomfort" and the
agreement to "rely on the skill and wisdom of the physician" combine to
conceal inherent risks in the experimentation and may be viewed as
dissolving the experimenter of personal responsibility for damaging
aftereffects. In summary, a "volunteer" program in which subjects are not
fully informed of potential hazards to their persons is "volunteer" in
 USAINTC staff study, Material Testing
Program EA 1729," 10/15/59, p. 26.
volunteer consent form.
This problem was
compounded by the security statements signed by each volunteer before he
participated in the testing. As part of this statement, potential subjects
agreed that they would:
... not divulge or make available any
information related to U.S. Army Intelligence Center interest or
participation in the Department of the Army Medical Research Volunteer
Program to any individual, nation, organization, business, association, or
other group or entity, not officially authorized to receive such
I understand that any action contrary to the
provisions of this statement will render me liable to punishment under the
provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 
these provisions, a volunteer experiencing aftereffects of the test might
have been unable to seek immediate medical assistance.
disregard for the well-being of subjects drug testing is inexcusable.
Further, the absence of any comprehensive long-term medical assistance for
the subjects of these experiments is not only unscientific; it is also
4. Lack of Normal Authorization and
It is apparent from documents supplied to the
Committee that the Army's testing programs often operated under informal
and nonroutine authorization. Potentially dangerous operations such as
these testing programs are the very projects which ought to be subject to
the closest internal scrutiny at the highest levels of the military
command structure. There are numerous examples of inadequate review,
partial consideration, and incomplete approval in the administration of
When the first Army program to use LSD on American
soldiers in "field stations" was authorized in May 1955, the Arm violated
its own procedures in obtaining approval. Under Army Chief of Staff
Memorandum 385, such proposals were to be personally approved by the
Secretary of the Army. Although the plan was submitted to him on April 26,
1956, the Secretary issued no written authorization for the project, and
there is no evidence that he either reviewed or approved the plan. Less
than a month later, the Army Chief of Staff issued a memorandum
authorizing the tests. 
Subsequent testing of LSD under
Material Testing Program EA 1729 operated generally under this
authorization. When the plans for this testing were originally discussed
in early 1958 by officials of the Army Intelligence Center at Fort
Holabird and representatives of the Chemical Warfare Center at Edgewood
Arsenal, an informal proposal was formulated. This proposal was submitted
to the Medical Research Directorate at Edgewood by the President of the
Army Intelligence Board on June 3, 1958. There is no evidence that the
plan was approved at any level higher than the President of the
Intelligence Board or the Commanding General of Edgewood. The approval at
Edgewood appears to have been issued by the Commander's Adjutant. The
Medical Research Laboratories did not submit the plan to the Surgeon
General for approval (a standard procedure) because
 Sample Volunteer Security
 Inspector General of the Army
Report, "Use of Volunteers in Chemical Agent Research," 3/10/76, p.
program was ostensibly covered by the authorizations granted in May 1956.
The two projects involving the operational use of LSD (THIRD
CHANCE and DERBY HAT) were apparently approved by the Army Assistant Chief
of Staff for Intelligence (General Willems) on December 7, 1960. 
This verbal approval came in the course of a briefing on previous drug
programs and on the planned field experimentation. There is no record of
written approval being issued by the ACSI to authorize these specific
projects until January 1961, and there is no record of any specific
knowledge or approval by the Secretary of the Army.
On February 4,
1963, Major General C. F. Leonard, Army ACSI, forwarded a copy of the
THIRD CHANCE Trip Report to Army Chief of Staff, General Earl Wheeler.
 Wheeler had apparently requested a copy on February 2. The report
was routed through a General Hamlett. While this report included
background on the origins of the LSD tests, it appears that General
Wheeler may only have read the conclusion and recommendations.  The
office memorandum accompanying the Trip Report bears Wheeler's initials.
5. Termination of Testing
On April 10,
1963, a briefing was held in the ACSIs office on the results of Projects
THIRD CHANCE and DERBY HAT. Both SPT's concluded that more field testing
was required before LSD could be utilized as an integral aid to
counterintelligence interrogations. During the presentation of the DERBY
HAT results, General Leonard (Deputy ACSI) directed that no further field
testing be undertaken.  After this meeting the ACSI sent a letter to
the Commanding General of the Army Combat Developments Command (CDC)
requesting that he review THIRD CHANCE and DERBY HAT and "make a net
evaluation concerning the adoption of EA 1729 for future use as an
effective and profitable aid in counterintelligence interrogations." 
On the same day the ACSI requested that the CDC Commander revise
regulation FM 30-17 to read in part:
... in no instance will drugs
be used as an aid to interrogations in counterintelligence or security
operations without prior permission of the Department of the Army.
Requests to use drugs as an investigative aid will be forwarded through
intelligence channels to the ACSI, DA, for approval....
research has established that information obtained through the use of
these drugs is unreliable and invalid....
It is considered that DA
[Army] approval must be a prerequisite for use of such drugs because of
the moral, legal, medical and political problems inherent in their use for
intelligence purposes. 
 Ibid, pp. 135,
 Mehovsky Fact Sheet,
 Memorandum from Leonard to Wheeler,
 SGS memorandum to Wheeler through
 Maj. F. Barnett, memorandum for the
 Yamaki memorandum for the
adoption of this regulation marked the effective termination of field
testing of LSD by the Army.
The official termination date of these
testing Programs is rather unclear, but a later ACSI memo indicates that
it may have occurred in September of 1963. On the 19th of that month a
meeting was held between Dr. Van Sims (Edgewood Arsenal), Major Clovis
(Chemical Research Laboratory), and ACSI representatives (General Deholm
and Colonel Schmidt). "As a result of this conference a determination was
made to suspend the program and any further activity pending a more
profitable and suitable use." 
D. Cooperation And Competition Among The Intelligence
Community Agencies And Between These Agencies And Other Individuals And
1. Relationships Among Agencies
Within the Intelligence Community
intelligence community agencies in this area varied considerably over
time, ranging from full cooperation to intense and wasteful competition.
The early period was marked by a high degree of cooperation among the
agencies of the intelligence community. Although the military dominated
research involving chemical and biological agents, the information
developed was shared with the FBI and the CIA. But the spirit of
cooperation did not continue. The failure by the military to share
information apparently breached the spirit, if not the letter, of commands
As noted above, the Army Assistant Chief of Staff for
Intelligence was briefed on the proposed operational testing of LSD under
Project THIRD CHANCE, and expressed concern that the project had not been
coordinated with FBI and CIA. Despite this request, no coordination was
achieved between the Army and either of these agencies. Had such
cooperation been forthcoming, this project may have been evaluated in a
The competition between the agencies in this area
reached bizarre levels. A military officer told a CIA representative in
confidence about the military's field testing of LSD in Europe under
Project THIRD CHANCE, and the CIA promptly attempted to learn
surreptitiously the nature and extent of the program. At roughly the same
time Mr. Helms argued to the DDCI that the unwitting testing program
should be continued, as it contributed to the CIA's capability in the area
and thus allowed the CIA "to restrain others in the intelligence community
(such as the Department of Defense) from pursuing operations.
The MKNAOMI program was also marked by a failure to share
information. The Army Special Forces (the principal customer of the
Special Operations Division at Fort Dietrick) and the CIA rather than
attempting to coordinate their efforts promulgated different requirements
which varied only slightly. This apparently resulted in some duplication
of effort. In order to insure the security of CIA operations, the Agency
would request materials from SOD for operational use without fully or
accurately describing the operational requirements. This resulted in
limitations on SOD's ability to assist the CIA.
ASCI memorandum, p. 2.
 Memorandum from the
DDP to the DCI, 11/9/64, p. 2.
Between the Intelligence Community Agencies and Foreign Liaison
The subjects of the CIA's operational testing of
chemical and biological agents abroad were generally being held for
interrogation by foreign intelligence or security organizations. Although
information about the use of drugs was generally withheld from these
organizations, cooperation with them necessarily jeopardized the security
of CIA interest in these materials. Cooperation also placed the American
Government in a position of complicity in actions which violated the
rights of the subjects, and which may have violated the laws of the
country in which the experiments took place.
the intelligence agencies and organizations in foreign countries was not
limited to relationships with the intelligence or internal security
organizations. Some MKULTRA research was conducted abroad. While this is,
in itself, not a questionable practice, it is important that such research
abroad not be undertaken to evade American laws. That this was a
possibility is suggested by an ARTICHOKE memorandum in which it is noted
that working with the scientists of a foreign country "might be very
advantageous" since that government "permitted certain activities which
were not permitted by the United States government (i.e., experiments on
anthrax, etc.)." 
3. The Relationships Between the
Intelligence Community Agencies and Other Agencies of the U.S.
Certain U.S. government agencies actively assisted
the efforts of intelligence agencies in this area. One form of assistance
was to provide "cover" for research contracts let by intelligence
agencies, in order to disguise intelligence community interest in chemical
and biological agents.
Other forms of assistance raise more serious
questions. Although the CIA's project involving the surreptitious
administration of LSD was conducted by Bureau of Narcotics personnel,
there was no open connection between the Bureau personnel and the Agency.
The Bureau was serving as a "cut-out" in order to make it difficult to
trace Agency participation. The cut-out arrangement, however, reduced the
CIA's ability to control the program. The Agency could not control the
process by which subjects were selected and cultivated, and could not
regulate follow-up after the testing. Moreover, as the CIA's Inspector
General noted: "the handling of test subjects in the last analysis rests
with the [Bureau of Narcotics] agent working alone. Suppression of
knowledge of critical results from the top CIA management is an inherent
risk in these operations."  The arrangement also made it impossible
for the Agency to be certain that the decision to end the surreptitious
administration of LSD would be honored by the Bureau personnel.
arrangement with the Bureau of Narcotics was described as "informal."
 The informality of the arrangement compounded the problem is
aggravated by the fact that the 40 Committee has had vir-
 ARTICHOKE Memorandum,
 IG Report on MKULTRA, 1963,
 Ibid This was taken by one Agency
official to mean that there would be no written contract and no formal
mechanism for payment. (Eider, 12/18/75, p. 31.)
on the part of the Bureau's leadership to ask for details, and the CIA's
hesitation in volunteering information. These problems raise serious
questions of command and control within the Bureau.
Relationships Between the Intelligence Community Agencies and Other
Institutions and Individuals, Public and Private
General's 1963 Survey of MKULTRA noted that "the research and development"
phase was conducted through standing arrangements with "specialists in
universities, pharmaceutical houses, hospitals, state and federal
institutions, and private research organizations" in a manner which
concealed "from the institution the interests of the CIA." Only a few "key
individuals" in each institution were "made witting of Agency
sponsorship." The research and development phase was succeeded by a phase
involving physicians, toxicologists, and other specialists in mental,
narcotics, and general hospitals and prisons, who are provided the
products and findings of the basic research projects and proceed with
intensive testing on human subjects." 
According to the
Inspector General, the MKULTRA testing programs were "conducted under
accepted scientific procedures... where health permits, test subjects are
voluntary participants in the programs."  This was clearly not true
in the project involving the surreptitious administration of LSD, which
was marked by a complete lack of screening, medical supervision,
opportunity to observe, or medical or psychological follow-up.
intelligence agencies allowed individual researchers to design their
project. Experiments sponsored by these researchers (which included one
where narcotics addicts were sent to Lexington, Kentucky, who were
rewarded with the drug of their addiction in return for participation in
experiments with LSD) call into question the decision by the agencies not
to fix guidelines for the experiments.
The MKULTRA research and
development program raises other questions, as well. It is not clear
whether individuals in prisons, mental, narcotics and general hospitals
can provide "informed consent" to participation in experiments such as
these. There is doubt as to whether institutions should be unwitting of
the ultimate sponsor of research being done in their facilities. The
nature of the arrangements also made it impossible for the individuals who
were not aware of the sponsor of the research to exercise any choice about
their participation based on the sponsoring organization.
greater precautions are now being taken in research conducted on behalf of
the intelligence community agencies, the dilemma of classification
remains. The agencies obviously wished to conceal their interest in
certain forms of in order to avoid stimulating interest in the same areas
by hostile governments. In some cases today contractors or researchers
wish to conceal their connection with these agencies. Yet the fact of
classification prevents open discussion and debate upon which scholarly
 Ibid p. 9.
Ibid p. 10.
B: Documents Referring to Discovery of Additional MKULTRA
C: Documents Referring to