TESTIMONY OF ADM. STANSFIELD TURNER,
DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL
Accompanied by Frank Laubinger, Office of
Technical Services; Al Brody, Office of Inspector General; Ernest
Mayerfield, Office of General Counsel; and George L. Cary, Legislative
Admiral TURNER. Thank you,
Mr. Chairman. I would like to begin by thanking you and Senator Kennedy
for having a joint hearing this morning. I hope this will expedite and
facilitate our getting all the information that both of your committees
need into the record quickly.
I would like also to thank you both
for prefacing the remarks today by reminding us all that the events about
which we are here to talk are 12- to 24-years old. They in no way
represent the current activities or policies of the Central Intelligence
What we are here to do is to give you all the information
that we now have and which we did not previously have on a subject known s
Project MKULTRA, a project which took place from 1953 to 1964. It was an
umbrella project under which there were numerous subprojects for research,
among other things, on drugs and behavioral modification. What the new
material that we offer today is a supplement to the considerable material
that was made available in 1975, during the Church committee hearings, and
also to the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific
At that time, the CIA offered up all of the information
and documents it believed it had available. The principal one available at
that time that gave the greatest amount of information on this subject was
a report of the CIA's Inspector General written in 1963, and which led
directly to the termination of this activity in 1964, 13 years
The information available in 1975 to the various investigating
groups was indeed sparse, first because of the destruction of material
that took place in 1973, as detailed by Senator Kennedy a minute ago, with
the concurrence of the then Director of Central Intelligence and under the
supervision of the Director of the Office of Technical Services that
supervised Project MKULTRA.
The material in 1975 was
also sparse because most of the CIA people who had been involved in 1953
to 1964 in this activity had retired from the Agency. I would further add
that I think the material was sparse in part because it was the practice
at that time not to keep detailed records in this category.
instance, the 1963 report of the Inspector General notes:
Present practice is to maintain no records of the planning and
approval of test programs.
In brief, there were few records to begin with and less after the
destruction of 1973.
What I would like to do now, though, is to
proceed and let you know what the new material adds to our knowledge of
this topic, and I will start by describing how the material was discovered
and why it was not previously discovered. The material in question, some
seven boxes, had been sent to our Retired Records Center outside of the
Washington area. It was discovered that as the result of an extensive
search by an employee charged with the responsibility for maintaining our
holdings on behavioral drugs and for responding to Freedom of Information
Act requests on this subject.
During the Church committee
investigation of 1975, searches for MKULTRA-related material were made by
examining both the active and the retired records of all of the branches
of CIA considered likely to have had an association with MKULTRA
documents. The retired records of the Budget and Fiscal Section of the
branch that was responsible for such work were not searched, however. This
was because the financial paper associated with sensitive projects such as
MKULTRA were normally maintained by the branch itself under the project
title, MKULTRA, not by the Budget and Fiscal Section under the project
title, MKULTRA, not by the Budget and Fiscal Section under a special
In the case at hand, however, this newly located
material had been sent to the Retired Records Center in 1970 by the Budget
and Fiscal Section of this branch as part of its own retired holdings. In
short, what should have been filed by the branch itself was filed by the
Budget and Fiscal Section, and what should have been filed under the
project title, MKULTRA, was filed under budget and fiscal matters. The
reason for this departure from the normal procedure of that time is simply
not known, and as a result of it, however, the material escaped retrieval
and destruction in 1973, as well as discovery in 1975.
who located this material did so by leaving no stone unturned in his
efforts to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request, or several of
them, in fact. He reviewed all of the listings of material of this branch,
stored at the Retired Records Center, including those of the Budget and
Fiscal Section, and thus discovered the MKULTRA-related documents, which
had been missed in the previous searches.
In sum, the agency failed
to uncover these particular documents in 1973, in the process of
attempting to destroy them. It similarly failed to locate them in 1975, in
response to the Church committee hearings. I am personally persuaded that
there is no evidence of any attempt to conceal this material during the
earlier searches. Moreover, as we will discuss as we proceed, I do not
believe the material itself is such that
there would be a motive
on the part of the CIA to withhold this, having disclosed what it did in
Next, let me move to the nature of this recently located
material. It is important to remember what I have just noted, that these
folders that were discovered are finance folders. The bulk of the material
in them consists of approvals for the advance of funds, vouchers, and
accountings and such, most of which are not very informative as to the
nature of the activities that they were supporting. Occasional project
proposals or memoranda commenting on some aspect of a subproject are
scattered throughout this material. In general, however, the recovered
material does not include overall status reports or other documents
relating to operational considerations, or to the progress on various
subprojects, though some elaboration of the activities contemplated does
appear from time to time.
There are roughly three categories of
projects. First, there are 149 MKULTRA subprojects, many of which appear
to have some connection with research into behavioral modification, drug
acquisition and testing, or administering drugs surreptitiously. Second,
there are two boxes of miscellaneous MKULTRA papers, including audit
reports and financial statements from intermediary funding mechanisms used
to conceal CIA sponsorship of various research projects.
there are 33 additional subprojects concerning certain intelligence
activities previously funded under MKULTRA but which have nothing to do
either with behavioral modifications, drugs or toxins, or any closely
We have attempted to group the activities covered
by the 149 subprojects into categories under descriptive headings. In
broad outline, at least, this presents the contents of these files. The
following 15 categories are the ones we have divided these
First, research into the effects of behavioral drugs and/or
alcohol. Within this, there are 17 projects probably not involving human
testing. There are 14 subprojects definitely involving testing on human
volunteers. There are 19 subprojects probably including tests on human
volunteers and 6 subprojects involving tests on unwitting human
Second, there is research on hypnosis, eight subprojects,
including two involving hypnosis and drugs in combination.
there are seven projects on the acquisition of chemicals or
Fourth, four subprojects on the aspects of the magician's
art, useful in covert operations, for instance, the surreptitious delivery
of drug-related materials.
Fifth, there are nine projects on
studies of human behavior, sleep research, and behavioral change during
Sixth, there are projects on library searches and
attendants at seminars and international conferences on behavioral
Seventh, there are 23 projects on motivational
studies, studies of defectors, assessments of behavior and training
Eighth, there are three subprojects on polygraph
Ninth, there are three subprojects on funding mechanisms
for MKULTRA's external research activities.
Tenth, there are six
subprojects on research on drugs, toxins, and biologicals in human tissue,
provision of exotic pathogens, and the capability to incorporate them in
effective delivery systems.
Eleventh, there are three subprojects
involving funding support for unspecified activities conducted with the
Army Special Operations Division at Fort Detrich, Md. This activity is
outlined in Book I of the Church committee report, pages 388 to 389. (See
A, pp. 68-69).
Under CIA's Project MKNAOMI, the Army assisted
the CIA in developing, testing, and maintaining biological agents and
delivery systems for use against humans as well as against animals and
Thirteenth, there are single subprojects in such areas as
the effects of electroshock, harassment techniques for offensive use,
analysis of extrasensory perception, gas propelled sprays and aerosols,
and four subprojects involving crop and material
Fourteenth, one or two subprojects on each of the
following: blood grouping research; controlling the activities of animals;
energy storage and transfer in organic systems; and stimulus and response
in biological systems.
Finally, 15th, there are three subprojects
canceled before any work was done on them having to do with laboratory
drug screening, research on brain concussion, and research on biologically
Now, let me address how much this newly
discovered material adds to what has previously been reported to the
Church committee and to Senator Kennedy's Subcommittee on Health. The
answer is basically additional detail. The principal types of activities
included in these documents have for the most part been outlined or to
some extent generally described in what was previously available in the
way of documentation and which was supplied by the CIA to the Senate
For example, financial disbursement records for the
period of 1960 to 1964 for 76 of these 149 subprojects had been recovered
by the Office of Finance at CIA and were made available to the Church
committee investigators. For example, the 1963 Inspector General report on
MKULTRA made available to both the Church Committee and the Subcommittee
on Health mentions electroshock and harassment substances, covert testing
on unwitting U.S. citizens, the search for new materials through
arrangements with specialists in hospitals and universities, and the fact
that the Technical Service Division of CIA had initiated 144 subprojects
related to the control of human behavior.
For instance also, the
relevant section of a 1957 Inspector General report was also made
available to the Church committee staff, and that report discusses the
techniques for human assessment and unorthodox methods of communication,
discrediting and disabling materials which can be covertly administered,
studies on magicians' arts as applied to covert operations, and other
The most significant new data that has been
discovered are, first, the names of researchers and institutions who
projects, and second, a possibly improper contribution by the CIA to a
private institution. We are now in the possession of the names of 185
nongovernment researchers and assistants who are identified in the
recovered material dealing with these 149 subprojects.
also names of 80 institutions where work was done or with which these
people were affiliated. The institutions include 44 colleges or
universities, 15 research foundation or chemical or pharmaceutical
companies or the like, 12 hospitals or clinics, in addition to those
associated with the universities, and 3 penal institutions.
the identities of some of these people and institutions were known
previously, the discovery of the new identities adds to our knowledge of
The facts as they pertain to the possibly improper
contribution are as follows. One project involves a contribution of
$375,000 to a building fund of a private medical institution. The fact
that that contribution was made was previously known. Indeed, it was
mentioned in the 1957 report of the Inspector General on the Technical
Service Division of CIA that supervised MKULTRA, and pertinent portions of
this had been reviewed by the Church committee staff.
discovered material, however, makes it clear that this contribution was
made through an intermediary, which made it appear to be a private
donation. As a private donation, the contribution was then matched by
Federal funds. The institution was not made aware of the true source of
the gift. This project was approved by the then Director of Central
Intelligence and concurred in by CIA's top management including the then
General Counsel, who wrote an opinion supporting the legality of the
The recently discovered documents also give greater
insight into the scope of an unwitting nature of the drug testing, but
contribute little more than that. We now do have corroborating information
that some of the unwitting drug testing was carried out in what is known
in the intelligence trade as safe houses in San Francisco and in New York
City, and we have identified that three individuals were involved in this
undertaking, whereas we previously reported there was only one
We also know that some unwitting testing took place on
criminal sexual psychopaths confined at a State hospital, and that
additionally research was done on a knockout or K drug in parallel with
research to develop painkillers for cancer patients.
are the principal findings identified to date in our review of this
recovered material. As noted earlier, we believe the detail on the
identities of researchers and institutions involved in CIA sponsorship of
drug and behavioral modification research is a new element and one which
poses a considerable problem. Most of the people and institutions involved
were not aware of CIA sponsorship. We should certainly assume that the
researchers and institutions which cooperated with CIA on a witting basis
acted in good faith and in the belief that they were aiding their
Government in a legitimate and proper purpose.
I believe that we
all have a moral obligation to these researchers and institutions to
protect them from any unjustified embarrassment
or damage to their
reputations which revelation of their identities might bring. In addition,
I have a legal obligation under the Privacy Act not to publicly disclose
the names of the individual researchers without their consent.
is especially true, of course, for those researchers and institutions
which were unwitting participants in CIA sponsored
Nonetheless, Mr. Chairman, I certainly recognize the
right and the need of both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and
the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research to investigate
the circumstances of these activities in whatever detail you consider
necessary. I am providing your committee with all of the documentation,
including all of the names, on a classified basis. I hope that this will
facilitate your investigation while still protecting the individuals and
the institutions involved.
Let me emphasize again that the MKULTRA
events are 12 to 24 years in the past, and I assure you that CIA is in no
way engaged in either witting or unwitting testing of drugs
Finally, I am working closely with the Attorney General on
this matter. We are making available to the Attorney General whatever
materials he may deem necessary to any investigations that he may elect to
undertake. Beyond that, we are also working with the Attorney General to
determine whether it is practicable from this new evidence to identify any
of the persons to whom drugs were administered, but we are now trying to
determine if there are adequate clues to lead to their identification, and
if so how best to go about fulfilling the Government's responsibilities in
Mr. Chairman, as we proceed with that process of
attempting to identify the individuals and then determining what is our
proper responsibility to them, I will keep both of these committees fully
advised. I thank you, sir.
Senator INOUYE. Thank
you very much, Admiral Turner. Your spirit of cooperation is much
appreciated. I would like to announce to the committee that in order to
give every member an opportunity to participate in this hearing, that we
would set a time limit of 10 minutes per Senator.
please give this committee the genesis of MKULTRA. Who or what committee
or commission or agency was responsible for dreaming up this grandiose and
sinister project, and why was it necessary? What is the rationale or
justification for such a project and was the President of the United
States aware of this?
Admiral TURNER. Mr.
Chairman, I am going to ask Mr. Brody on my right, who is a long-time
member of the CIA to address that in more detail. I believe everything
that we know about the genesis was turned over to the Church committee and
is contained in that material. Basically, it was a CIA-initiated project.
It started out of a concern of our being taken advantage of by other
powers who would use drugs against our personnel, and it was approved in
the Agency. I have asked the question you just asked me, and have been
assured that there is no evidence within the Agency of any involvement at
higher echelons, the White House, for instance, or specific approval. That
does not say there was not, but we have no such evidence.
Mr. Brody, would you
amplify on my comments there, please?
Mr. Chairman, I really have very little to add to that. To my knowledge,
there was no Presidential knowledge of this project at the time. It was a
CIA project, and as the admiral said, it was a project designed to attempt
to counteract what was then thought to be a serious threat by our enemies
of using drugs against us. Most of what else we know about is in the
Senate Church committee report.
Are you suggesting that it was intentionally kept away from the Congress
and the President of the United States?
TURNER. No, sir. We are only saying that we have no evidence one
way or the other as to whether the Congress was informed of this
particular project. There are no records to
Senator INOUYE. Admiral Turner, are you
personally satisfied by actual investigation that this newly discovered
information was not intentionally kept away from the Senate of the United
Admiral TURNER. I have no way to prove
that, sir. That is my conviction from everything I have seen of
Senator INOUYE. Now, we have been advised that
these documents were initially discovered in March of this year, and you
were notified in July of this year, or June of this year, and the
committee was notified in July. Can you tell us why the Director of
Central Intelligence was notified 3 months after its initial discovery,
why the delay?
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir. All this
started with several Freedom of Information Act requests, and Mr.
Laubinger on my left was the individual who took it upon himself to pursue
these requests with great diligence, and got permission to go to the
Retired Records Center, and then made the decision to look not only under
what would be the expected subject files, but through every file with
which the branch that conducted this type of activity had any conceivable
Very late in March, he discovered these seven boxes. He
arranged to have them shipped from the Retired Records Center to
Washington, to our headquarters. They arrived in early April. He advised
his appropriate superiors, who asked him how long he thought it would take
him to go through these and screen them appropriately, clear them for
Freedom of Information Act release.
There are, we originally
estimated, 5,000 pages here. We now think that was an underestimation, and
it may be closer to 8,000 pages. He estimated it would take about 45 days
or into the middle of May to do that. He was told to proceed, and as he
did so there was nothing uncovered in the beginning of these 149 cases
that appeared particularly startling or particularly additive to the
knowledge that had already been given to the Church committee, some
details, but no major revelations.
He and his associates proceeded
with deliberateness, but not a great sense of urgency. There were other
interfering activities that came and demanded his time also. He was not
able to put 100 percent of his time on it, and there did not appear to be
cause for a great rush here. We were trying to be responsive to the
Freedom of Information Act request within the limits of our manpower and
early June, however, he discovered two projects, the one related to K
drugs and the one related to the funding at the institution, and realized
immediately that he had substantial new information, and he immediately
reported this to his superiors.
Two actions were taken. One was to
notify the lawyers of the principal Freedom of Information Act requestor
that we would have substantial new material and that it would be
forthcoming as rapidly as possible, and the second was to start a
memorandum up the chain that indicated his belief that we should notify
the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence of this discovery because of
the character at least of these two documents.
As that proceeded up
from the 13th of June, at each echelon we had to go through the legal
office, the legislative liaison office and at each echelon about the same
question was asked of him: Have you gone through all of this, so that when
we notify the Senate Select Committee we do not notify half of the
important revelations and not the other half? The last thing I want, Mr.
Chairman, is in any way to be on any topic, give the appearance on any
topic of being recalcitrant, reluctant, or having to have you drag things
out of me, and my subordinates, much to my pleasure, had each asked, have
you really gone through these 8,000 pages enough to know that we are not
going to uncover a bombshell down at the bottom?
By late June,
about the 28th, this process reached my deputy. He notified me after his
review of it on the 7th of July, which is the first I knew of it. I began
reading into it. I asked the same probing question directly. I then
notified my superiors, and on the 15th delivered to you my letter letting
you know that we had this, and we have been working, many people, many
hours since then, to be sure that what we are telling you today does
include all the relevant material.
I would like to commend Mr. Laubinger for his diligence and expertise, but
was this diligence the result of the Freedom of Information Act or could
this diligence have been exercised during the Church hearings? Why was it
not exercised? Admiral TURNER. There is no question that
theoretically this diligence could have been exercised at any time, and it
may well be that the Freedom of Information Act has made us more aware of
this. Would you speak for yourself, please.
LAUBINGER. I really don't attribute it, Senator, to diligence so
much as thoroughness. If you can imagine the pressures under an
organization trying to respond, which I think the CIA did at the time of
the Church committee hearings, the hallways of the floor I am on were full
of boxes from our records center. Every box that anyone thought could
possibly contain anything was called up for search. It was one of a
frantic effort to comply.
When the pressure of that situation cools
down, and you can start looking at things systematically, you are apt to
find things that you wouldn't under the heat of a crash program, and that
is what happened here.
Senator INOUYE. Thank you
very much. Senator Kennedy?
Admiral Turner, this is an enormously distressing report that you give to
the American Congress and to the American people today. Granted, it
happened many years ago, but what we are
basically talking about
is an activity which took place in the country that involved the
perversion and the corruption of many of our outstanding research centers
in this country, with CIA funds, where some of our top researchers were
unwittingly involved in research sponsored by the Agency in which they had
no knowledge of the background or the support for.
Much of it was
done with American citizens who were completely unknowing in terms of
taking various drugs, and there are perhaps any number of Americans who
are walking around today on the east coast or west coast who were given
drugs, with all the kinds of physical and psychological damage that can be
caused. We have gone over that in very careful detail, and it is
significant and severe indeed.
I do not know what could be done in
a less democratic country that would be more alien to our own traditions
than was really done in this narrow area, and as you give this report to
the committee, I would like to get some sense of your own concern about
this type of activity, and how you react, having assumed this important
responsibility with the confidence of President Crater and the
overwhelming support, obviously, of the Congress, under this set of
I did not get much of a feeling in reviewing your
statement here this morning of the kind of abhorrence to this type of past
activity which I think the American people would certainly deplore and
which I believe that you do, but could you comment upon that question, and
also perhaps give us what ideas you have to insure that it cannot happen
Admiral TURNER. Senator Kennedy, it is
totally abhorrent to me to think of using a human being as a guinea pig
and in any way jeopardizing his life and his health, no matter how great
the cause. I am not here to pass judgment on my predecessors, but I can
assure you that this is totally beyond the pale of my contemplation of
activities that the CIA or any other of our intelligence agencies should
I am taking and have taken what I believe are adequate
steps to insure that such things are not continuing
Senator KENNEDY. Could you tell us a little
bit about that?
Admiral TURNER. I have asked for a
special report assuring me that there are no drug activities extant, that
is, drug activities that involve experimentation. Obviously, we collect
intelligence about drugs and drug use in other countries, but there are no
experimentations being conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency, and I
have had a special check made because of another incident that was
uncovered some years ago about the unauthorized retention of some toxic
materials at the CIA. I have had an actual inspection made of the storage
places and the certification from the people in charge of those that there
are no such chemical biological materials present in our keeping, and I
have issued express orders that that shall not be the case.
that, I have to rely in large measure on my sense of command and direction
of the people and their knowledge of the attitude I have just expressed to
you in this regard.
Senator KENNEDY. I think that
is very commendable.
Admiral TURNER. Thank you,
Senator KENNEDY. I think it is important that
the American people understand that.
You know, much of the
research which is our area of interest that was being done by the Agency
and the whole involved sequence of activities done by the Agency, I am
convinced could have been done in a legitimate way through the research
programs of the National Institutes of Mental Health, other sponsored
activities, I mean, that is some other question, but I think you went to
an awful lot of trouble, where these things could have been.
ask you specifically, on the followup of MKULTRA, are there now -- I think
you have answered, but I want to get a complete answer about any
experimentations that are being done on human beings, whether it is drugs
or behavioral alterations or patterns or any support, either directly or
indirectly, being provided by the Agency in terms of any experimentation
on human beings.
Admiral TURNER. There is no
experimentation with drugs on human beings, witting or unwitting, being
conducted in any way.
Senator KENNEDY. All right.
How bout the nondrug experimentation our Committee has seen --
psychosurgery, for example, or psychological
Admiral TURNER. We are continually
involved in what we call assessment of behavior. For instance, we are
trying to continually improve our polygraph procedures to, you know,
assess whether a person is lying or not. This does not involve any
tampering with the individual body. This involves studying records of
people's behavior under different circumstances, and so n, but it is not
an experimental thing. Have I described that accurately,
Mr. BRODY. Yes.
KENNEDY. Well, it is limited to those
Admiral TURNER. Yes; it does not involve
attempting to modify behavior. It only involves studying behavior
conditions, but not trying to actively modify it, as was one of the
objectives of MKULTRA.
Senator KENNEDY. Well, we
are scarce on time, but I am interested in the other areas besides
polygraph where you are doing it. Maybe you can either respond now or
submit it for the record, if you would do that. Would you provide that for
Admiral TURNER. Yes.
[The material on psychological assessments
Psychological assessments are performed as
a service to officers in the operations directorate who recruit and/or
handle agents. Except for people involved in training courses, the
subjects of the assessments are foreign nationals. The assessments are
generally done to determine the most successful tactic to persuade the
subject to accept convert employment by the CIA, and to make an appraisal
of his reliability and truthfulness.
A majority of the work is done
by a staff of trained psychologists, some of whom are stationed overseas.
The assessments they do may be either direct or indirect. Direct
assessments involve a personal interview of the subject by the
psychologist. When possible the subject is asked to complete a formal
"intelligence test" which is actually a disguised psychological test.
Individuals being assessed are not given drugs, nor are they subjected to
physical harassment or torture. When operating conditions are such that a
face-to-face interview is not possible, the psychologist may do an
indirect assessment, using as source materials descriptions of the subject
by others, interviews with people who know him, specimens of his writings,
The other psychological assessments involve handwriting analysis
or graphological assessment. The work is done by a pair of trained
graphologists, assisted by a small number of measurement technicians. They
generally require at least a page of handwritten script by the subject.
Measurements are made of about 30 different writing characteristics, and
these are charted and furnished to the graphologist for
The psychologists also give courses in psychological
assessment to group of operations officers, to sharpen their own
capabilities to size up people. As part of the training course, the
instructor does a psychological assessment of each student. The students
are writing participants, and results are discussed with them.
is important to reiterate that psychological assessments are only a
service to the operations officers. In the final analysis, it is the
responsibility of the operations officer to decide how a potential agent
should be approached, or to make a judgment as to whether any agent is
telling the truth.
Admiral TURNER. The
kind of thing we are interested in is, what will motivate a man to become
an agent of the United States in a difficult situation. We have to be
familiar with that kind of attitudinal response that we can expect from
people we approach to for one reason or another become our spies, but I
will be happy to submit a very specific listing of
Senator KENNEDY. Would you do that for the
In the followups, in the MKSEARCH, in the OFTEN, and the
CHICKWIT, could you give us also a report on those particular
Admiral TURNER. Yes,
Senator KENNEDY. Did they involve
experimentation, human experimentation?
TURNER. No, sir.
Senator KENNEDY. None of
Admiral TURNER. Let me say this, that the
CHICKWIT program is the code name for the CIA participation in what was
basically a Department of Defense program. This program was summarized and
reported to the Church committee, to the Congress, and I have since they
have been rementioned in the press in the last 2 days here, I have not had
time to go through and personally review them. I have ascertained that all
of the files that we had and made available before are intact, and I have
put a special order out that nobody will enter those files or in any way
touch them without my permission at this point, but they are in the
Retired Records Center outside of Washington, and they are
I am not prepared to give you full details on it,
because I simply haven't read into that part of our history, but in
addition I would suggest when we want to get into that we should get the
Department of Defense in with us.
Well, you will supply that information to the Intelligence Committee, the
relevant, I mean, the health aspects, obviously, and the research we are
Admiral TURNER. Yes,
Senator KENNEDY. Will you let us know,
Admiral TURNER. I will be happy
p. 169 for the material referred to.]
KENNEDY. Thank you. I am running out of time. Do you support the
extension of the protection of human subjects legislation to include the
CIA and the DOD? You commented favorably on that
before, and I am
hopeful we can get that on the calendar early in September, and that is
our strong interest.
Admiral TURNER. The CIA
certainly has no objection to that proposed legislation, sir. It is not my
role in the administration to be the supporter of it or the endorser of
Senator KENNEDY. As a personal matter, since
you have reviewed these subjects, would you comment? I know it is maybe
unusual, but you can understand what we are attempting to
Admiral TURNER. Yes,
Senator KENNEDY. From your own experience in
the agency, you can understand the value of it.
Just finally, in
your own testimony now with this additional information, it seems quite
apparent to me that you can reconstruct in very careful detail this whole
project in terms of the responsible CIA officials for the program. You
have so indicated in your testimony. Now with the additional information,
and the people, that have been revealed in the examination of the
documents, it seems to be pretty clear that you can track that whole
program in very careful detail, and I would hope, you know, that you would
want to get to the bottom of it, as the Congress does as well. I will come
back to that in my next round. Thank you very much.
INOUYE. Senator Goldwater?
GOLDWATER. I have no questions.
INOUYE. Senator Schweiker?
SCHWEIKER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral Turner, I
would like to go back to your testimony on page
12, where you discuss the contribution to the building fund of a
private medical institution. You state, "Indeed, it was mentioned in a
1957 Inspector General report on the Technical Services Division of CIA,
pertinent portions of which had been reviewed by the Church committee
staff." I would like to have you consider this question very carefully. I
served as a member o the original Church committee. My staffer did a lot
of the work that you are referring to here. He made notes on the IG's
report. My question to you is, are you saying that the section that
specifically delineates an improper contribution was in fact given to the
Church committee staff to see?
Admiral TURNER. The
answer to your question is "Yes." The information that a contribution had
been made was made available, to the best of my
Senator SCHWEIKER. To follow this up
further, I'd like to say that I think there was a serious flaw in the way
that the IG report was handled and the Church committee was limited. I am
not making any accusations, but because of limited access to the report,
we have a situ-
where it is not even clear whether we actually saw that material or not,
simply because we could not keep a copy of the report under the procedures
we had to follow. We were limited by notetaking, and so it is rather
ambiguous as to just what was seen and what was not seen. I certainly hope
that the new Intelligence Committee will not be bound by procedures that
restrict its ability to exercise effective oversight.
I have a
second question. Does it concern you, Admiral, that we used a subterfuge
which resulted in the use of Federal construction grant funds to finance
facilities for these sorts of experiments on our own people? Because as I
understand what you are saying, while the CIA maybe only put up $375,000,
this triggered a response on the part of the Federal Government to provide
on a good faith basis matching hospital funds at the same level. We put up
more than $1 million of matching funds, some based on an allegedly private
donation which was really CIA money.
Isn't there something
basically wrong with that?
Admiral TURNER. I
certainly believe there is. As I stated, the General Counsel of the CIA at
that time rendered a legal opinion that this was a legal undertaking, and
again I am hesitant to go back and revisit the atmosphere, the laws, the
attitudes at that time, so whether the counsel was on good legal ground or
not, I am not enough of a lawyer to be sure, but it certainly would occur
to me if it happened today as a very questionable
Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, I think those
of us who have worked on and amended the Hill-Burton Act and other
hospital construction assistance laws over the years, would have a rather
different opinion on the legal intent or object of Congress in passing
laws to provide hospital construction project money. These funds weren't
intended for this.
It reminds me a little bit of the shellfish
toxin situation which turned up when I was on the Church committee. The
Public Health Service was used to produce a deadly poison with Public
Health money. Here we are using general hospital construction money to
carry on a series of drug experimentation.
TURNER. Excuse me, sir. If I could just be, I think, accurate, I
don't think any of this $375,000 or the matching funds were used to
conduct drug experiments. They were used to build the hospital. Now, the
CIA the put more money into a foundation that was conducting research on
the CIA's behalf supposedly in that hospital, so the intent was certainly
there, but the money was not used for
Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, I
understand it was used for bricks and mortar, but the bricks were used to
build the facility where the experiments were carried on; were they
Admiral TURNER. We do not have positive
evidence that they were. It certainly would seem that that was the intent,
but I do not want to draw inferences here --
SCHWEIKER. Well, why else would they give this money for the
building fund if the building was not used for a purpose that benefited
the CIA program?
Admiral TURNER. I certainly draw
the inference that the CIA expected to benefit from it, and some of the
wording says the General
Counsel's opinion was
that this was legal only if the CIA was going to derive adequate benefit
from it, but, sir, there is no evidence of what benefit was
Senator SCHWEIKER. There must have been
some pretty good benefits at stake. The Atomic Energy Commission was to
bear a share of the cost, and when they backed out for some reason or
another, the CIA picked up part of their tab. So, at two different points
there were indications that CIA decisionmakers thought there was great
benefit to be derived from whatever happened within the brick and mortar
walls of that facility.
Admiral TURNER. You are
absolutely right. I am only taking the position that I cannot substantiate
that there was benefit derived.
The agreement documents say that the CIA would have access to one-sixth of
the space involved in the construction of the wing, so how would you enter
into an agreement that specifically says that you will have access to and
use of one-sixth of the space and not perform something in that space? I
cannot believe it was empty.
Admiral TURNER. Sir,
I am not disputing you at all, but both of us are saying that the
inference is that one-sixth of the space was used, that experimentation
was done, and so on, but there is no factual evidence of what went on as a
result of that payment or what went on in that hospital. It is just
missing. It is not that it didn't happen.
SCHWEIKER. Admiral Turner, one other--
KENNEDY. Would the Senator yield on that
Senator SCHWEIKER. I understand that in the
agency's documents on the agreement it was explicitly stated that
one-sixth of the facility would be designated for CIA use and made
available for CIA research are you familiar--
BRODY. Senator, as I recall, you are right in that there is a
mention of one-sixth, but any mention at all has to do with planning.
There are no subsequent reports as to what happened after the construction
Senator SCHWEIKER. Admiral Turner, I
read in the New York Times that part of this series of MKULTRA experiments
involved an arrangement with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics to test LSD
surreptitiously on unwitting patrons in bars in New York and San
Francisco. Some of the subjects became violently ill and were
hospitalized. I wonder if you would just briefly describe what we were
doing there and how it was carried out? I assume it was through a safe
house operation. I don't believe your statement went into much
Admiral TURNER. I did mention the safe
house operation in my statement, sir, and that is how these were carried
out. What we have learned from the new documentation is the location and
the dates at which the safe houses were run by the CIA and the
identification of three individuals who were associated with running those
safe houses. We know something about the construction work that was done
in them because there were contracts for this. Beyond that, we are pretty
much drawing inferences as to the things that went on as to what you are
Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, the subjects
were unwitting. You can infer that much, right?
SCHWEIKER. If you happened to be at the wrong bar at the wrong
place and time, you got it.
Mr. BRODY. Senator,
that would be -- contacts were made, as we understand it, in bars, et
cetera, and then the people may have been invited to these safe houses.
There really isn't any indication as to the fact that this took place in
Admiral TURNER. We are trying to be very
precise with you, sir, and not draw an inference here. There are 6 cases
of these 149 where we have enough evidence in this new documentation to
substantiate that there was unwitting testing and some of that involves
these safe houses. There are other cases where it is ambiguous as to
whether the testing was witting or voluntary. There are others where it
was clearly voluntary.
Senator SCHWEIKER. Of
course, after a few drinks, it is questionable whether informed consent
means anything to a person in a bar anyway.
TURNER. Well, we don't have any indication that all these cases
where it is ambiguous involved drinking of any kind. There are cases in
penal institutions where it is not clear whether the prisoner was given a
choice or not. I don't know that he wasn't given a choice, but I don't
positively know that he was, and I classify that as an ambiguous
Senator INOUYE. Your time is up,
HUDDLESTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral Turner, you
stated in your testimony that you are convinced there was no attempt to
conceal this recently discovered documentation during the earlier
searches. Did you question the individuals connected with the earlier
search before you made that judgment?
TURNER. Yes; I haven't, I don't think, questioned everybody who
looked in the files or is still on our payroll who looked in the files
back in 1975, but Mr. Laubinger on my left is the best authority on this,
and I have gone over it with him in some detail.
HUDDLESTON. But you have inquired, you think, sufficiently to
assure yourself that there was no intent on the part of any person to
conceal these records from the previous committee?
TURNER. I am persuaded of that both by my questioning of people
and by the circumstances and the way in which these documents were filed,
by the fact which I did not and should have mentioned in my testimony,
that these were not the official files. The ones that we have received or
retrieved were copies of files that were working files that somebody had
used, and therefore were slipped into a different location, and again I
say to you , sir, I can't imagine their deliberately concealing these
particular files and revealing the other things that they did reveal in
1975. I don't see the motive for that, because these are not that damning
compared with the overall material that was
Senator HUDDLESTON. Is this the kind of
operation that if it were continuing now or if there were anything similar
to it, that you would feel compelled to report to the Select Committee on
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir. You mean,
if I discovered that something like this were going on without my
knowledge? Yes, I would feel absolutely the requirement to --
HUDDLESTON. But if it were going on with your knowledge, would
you report it to the committee? I assume you would.
TURNER. Yes. Well, it would not be going on with my knowledge,
but theoretically the answer is yes, sir.
HUDDLESTON. Well, then, what suggestions would you have as we
devise charters for the various intelligence agencies? What provision
would you suggest to prohibit this kind of activity from taking place?
Would you suggest that it ought to be specifically outlined in a statutory
charter setting out the parameters of the permissible operation of the
Admiral TURNER. I think that
certainly is something we must consider as we look at the legislation for
charters. I am not on the face of it opposed to it. I think we would have
to look at the particular wording as we are going to have to deal with the
whole charter issue as to exactly how precise you want to be in
delineating restraints and curbs on the intelligence
Senator HUDDLESTON. In the case of
sensitive type operations, which this certainly was, which might be going
on today, is the oversight activity of the agency more intensive now than
it was at that time?
Admiral TURNER. Much more so.
I mean, I have briefed you, sir, and the committee on our sensitive
operations. We have the Intelligence Oversight Board. We have a procedure
in the National Security Council for approval of very sensitive
operations. I think the amount of spotlight focused on these activities is
many, manyfold what it was in these 12 to 24 years
Senator HUDDLESTON. How about the record
Admiral TURNER. Yes; I can't imagine
anyone having the gall to think that he can just blithely destroy records
today with all of the attention that has come to this, and certainly we
are emphasizing that that is not the case.
HUDDLESTON. Admiral, I was particularly interested in the
activity that took place at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital at
Lexington, Ky., in which a Dr. Harris Isbell conducted experiments on
people who were presumably patients there. There was a narcotics
institution, I take it, and Dr. Isbell was, according to the New York
Times story, carrying on a secret series of correspondence with an
individual at the agency by the name of Ray. Have you identified who that
Admiral TURNER. Sir, I find myself in a
difficult position here at a public hearing to confirm or deny these names
in view of my legal responsibilities under the Privacy Act not to disclose
the names of individuals here.
I am just asking you if you have identified the person referred to in that
article as Ray. I am not asking you who he was. I just want to know if you
know who he is.
Admiral TURNER. No. I am sorry,
was this W-r-a-y or R-a-y?
Senator HUDDLESTON. It
is listed in the news article as R-a-y, in
Admiral TURNER. No, sir, we have not
Senator HUDDLESTON. So you have no
knowledge of whether or note is still a member of your staff or connected
with the Agency in any way. Have you attempted to identify him?
TURNER. Senator, we have a former employee whose first name is
Ray who may have had some connection with these
Senator HUDDLESTON. You suspect that
but you have not verified that at this time, or at least you are not in a
position to indicate that you have verified it?
TURNER. That is correct.
HUDDLESTON. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr.
Senator INOUYE. Senator
Senator WALLOP. Thank you, Mr.
Admiral Turner, not all of the -- and in no way trying to
excuse you of the hideous nature of some of these projects, but not all of
the projects under MKULTRA are of a sinister or even a moral nature. Is
that a fair statement?
Admiral TURNER. That is
Senator WALLOP. Looking down through some
of these 17 projects not involving human testing, aspects of the
magician's art, it doesn't seem as though there is anything very sinister
about that. Studies of human behavior and sleep research, library
searches. Now, those things in their way are still of interest, are they
not, to the process of intelligence gathering?
TURNER. Yes, sir. I have not tried to indicate that we either are
not doing or would not do any of the things that were involved in MKULTRA,
but when it comes to the witting or unwitting testing of people with
drugs, that is certainly verboten, but there are other
Senator WALLOP. Even with volunteer
patients? I mean, I am not trying to put you on the spot to say whether it
is going on, but I mean, it is not an uncommon thing, is it, in the
prisons of the United States for the Public Health Service to conduct
various kinds of experiments with vaccines and, say, sunburn creams? I
know in Arizona they have done so.
My understanding is, lots of that is authorized, but I am not of the
opinion that this is not the CIA's business, and that if we need some
information in that category, I would prefer to go to the other
appropriate authorities of the Government and ask them to get it for us
rather than to in any way--
Senator WALLOP. Well,
you know, you have library searches and attendants at the national
seminars. This is why I wanted to ask you if the bulk of these projects
were in any way the kinds of things that the Agency might not do now. A
President would not have been horrified by the list of the legitimate
types of things. Isn't that probably the case?
TURNER. Yes, sir.
Senator WALLOP. And if
it did in fact appear in the IG report, is there any reason to suppose
that the President did not know of this project? You said there was no
reason to suppose that he did, but let me reverse that. Is there any
reason to suppose that they did not?
Senator WALLOP. Well, you
know, I just cannot imagine you or literally anybody undertaking projects
of the magnitude of dollars here and just not knowing about it, not
informing your superior that
these were going on,
especially when certain items of it appear in the Inspector General's
report on budget matters.
Admiral TURNER. Well, I
find it difficult when it is that far back to hypothesize what the
procedures that the Director was using in terms of informing his superiors
were. It is quite a different climate from today, and I think we do a lot
more informing to day than they did back then, but I find it very
difficult to guess what the level of knowledge was.
WALLOP. I am really not asking you to second-guess it, but it
just seems to me that, while the past is past, and thank goodness we are
operating under different sets of circumstances, I think it is naive for
us to suppose that these things were conducted entirely without the
knowledge of the Presidents of the United States during those times. It is
just the kinds of research information that was being sought was vital to
the United States, not the means, but the information that they were
trying to find.
Admiral TURNER. I am sorry. Your
question is, was this vital? Did we view it as
Senator WALLOP. Well, your implication at
the beginning was that it was a response to the kinds of behavior that
were seen in Cardinal Mindszenty's trial and other things. I mean,
somebody must have thought that this was an important defensive reaction,
if nothing else, on the part of the United States.
TURNER. Yes, sir, I am sure they did, but again I just don't know
how high that permeated the executive branch.
WALLOP. But the kinds of information are still important to you.
I mean, I am not suggesting that anyone go back and do that kind of thing
again, but I'm certain it would be of use to you to know what was going to
happen to one of your agents assuming someone had put one of these things
into his bloodstream, or tried to modify his
Admiral TURNER. Absolutely, and you
know, we would be very concerned if we thought there were things like
truth serums or other things that our agents or others could be subjected
to by use or improper use of drugs by other powers against our people or
Senator WALLOP. Are there? I don't ask you
to name them, but are there such serums?
TURNER. I don't know of them if there are. I would have to answer
that for the record, sir.
Senator WALLOP. I would
[The material referred to follows.]
"Truth" Drugs in Interrogation
Reading CIA Director Stansfield Turner's