Charles A. Morgan III
Charles A. Morgan III is an American psychiatrist who has studied posttraumatic stress disorder. He is a researcher with the National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder whose has worked on how stress interacts with the neurobiological basis of hardiness and resilience.
Morgan has been a faculty member at Yale University and the National Center for PTSD.
Morgan has written over 100 peer reviewed science papers about PTSD and the nature of acute stress on human cognition and military performance. Morgan's research has been conducted, in part, at military training sites (such as Survival School) because, unlike traditional laboratory settings, these venues offer an opportunity to evaluate the impact of realistic stress SERE. Survival School is a formal type of military training designed to prepare individuals to survive in the wild and to adhere to the US military code of conduct if captured by enemy forces.
“How did something used as an example of what an unethical government would do become something we do?”
According to a 2015 report solicited by the American Psychological Association, and written by David H. Hoffman and other colleagues at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, Dr. Morgan was a contract worker for the CIA in the early 2000s. Morgan was interviewed for this report. According to Hoffman, et al., Dr. Morgan worked under CIA psychologist Kirk Hubbard in the Agency's Research and Analysis Branch of the CIA’s Operational Assessment Division, which the report describes as focused on psychological assessment of spies and potential spies.
- Department of Psychiatry. "Yale School of Medicine". Yale University. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Anthony P. Doran; Gary Hoyt; Charles A. Morgan III (2006-08-18). Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Training: Preparing Military Members for the Demands of Captivity. Chapter 11 of Military Psychology: Clinical and Operational Applications, Guiford Publications. ISBN 978-1-57230-724-7. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
Allen D. Leth, Jr. (2009). "The relationship between Post Traumatic Stress and physical fitness and the impact of Army fitness policy on Post Traumatic Stress prevention". U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
Dr. Charles Morgan III, a leading scientist in the field of PTSD, has identified a lack of information in the area of preventing PTSD and has plans to conduct research in this area as well as several planned studies to determine methods of prevention for PTSD (National Center for PTSD).
- Charles A. Morgan III; Sheila Wang; John Mason; Steven M. Southwick; Patrick Fox; Gary Hazlett; Dennis S. Charney; Gary Greenfield (2001). Steven Hyman (ed.). Hormone Profiles i nHumans Experiencing Military Survival Training. in Stress and the Brain: The Science of Mental Health, Routledge. ISBN 978-0-8153-3752-2.
- Amanda O'Donnell; Charles A. Morgan; Emil Jovanov; Frank Andrasik; Michael C. Prevost; David J. Blower (October 2002). "The Warfighter's Stress Response: Telemetric and Noninvasive Assessment". Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-09-26.
- Scott Shane (2007-06-03). "Soviet-Style 'Torture' Becomes 'Interrogation'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
- David H. Hoffman; Danielle J. Carter; Cara R. Viglucci Lopez; Heather L. Benzmiller; Ava X. Guo; S. Yasir Latifi; Daniel C. Craig (2015-09-04). Report to the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture (PDF). Sidley Austin LLP. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Kaye, Jeffery (September 27, 2009). "Smoking Gun on CIA Torture Conspiracy? Human Experimentation Central to EIT Program". pubrecord.org. The Public Record. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
One of the authors of these reports, Charles A. Morgan III, M.D., who has identified himself in certain settings as a 'Senior Research Scientist' on the CIA’s Behavioral Science Staff, has criticized my coverage of CIA experiments on the psychological and physiological effects of SERE training upon human subjects. While he could not specify what aspects of this coverage he felt were 'inaccurate and misleading,' he did insist: 'The research conducted by our research team at the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not, and never has been, conducted for any other purpose than to help us understand the pathophysiology of stress disorders and we might better help in the treatment of veterans.' In making his mea culpa, Dr. Morgan never mentions that some of this research was funded (over $400,000) by the Army and the Office of Naval Research. He doesn’t mention his acquaintance with “great people who do military interrogations.” He also forgets to cite his book contribution, where he states (emphasis added): 'The SERE training environment affords the military services the opportunity to collaborate with various other government agencies in exploring old and new techniques in gathering human intelligence.' Of course, he neither confirms nor denies his affiliation with the CIA, an affiliation which I have traced to the CIA’s Science and Technology directorate, through his association (large PDF) with the Intelligence Technology Innovation Center, which is 'a research organization under the CIA’s authority' that 'answers directly to the CIA’s Science and Technology directorate.' But most of all, Dr. Morgan’s arrows fall way short of his target, as I have never accused him of personal involvement in the reverse-engineering of SERE techniques for use in the torture program. What is disturbing is his seeming lack of concern over the possibility that the research he helped conduct was either used to further experiments upon torture victims in the CIA’s clandestine prisons, or contrariwise, was withheld from Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who relied upon CIA advice concerning the effects of techniques derived from the SERE schools. What is indisputable is that by virtue of his position, Dr. Morgan had access to CIA officials just at the time that another department of the CIA, one to which he is affiliated, was, according to the CIA’s own Office of Inspector General Report (large PDF) involved in vetting the SERE techniques for use in interrogations. The other department was the Office of Technical Services (OTS), part of the CIA’s Science and Technology Directorate.
Kaye, Jeffery (September 25, 2009). "CIA/SERE Experiments Evidence of Attempt to Mislead on OLC Torture Memos". pubrecord.org. The Public Record. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
The researcher, Charles A. Morgan III, has identified himself, in certain settings, as a CIA behavioral scientist...The 'CIA Experiments' article described some of the research Dr. Morgan and his associates have conducted using SERE trainees, many of them Special Forces personnel. (Professor O’Hara cites one of Morgan's articles himself – see footnote 9 to his paper.) In a June 2000 article, 'Assessment of Humans Experiencing Uncontrollable Stress: The SERE Course,' in Special Warfare (PDF), Morgan and his Special Operations psychologist co-author cite 'recorded changes in cortisol levels' among individuals subjected to SERE techniques as 'some of the greatest ever documented in humans.' As Professor O’Mara notes in his own essay, a 'substantial increase in cortisol levels has a deleterious effect on memory.' The same article described testosterone levels falling in male subjects to below castration levels. Another article by Morgan and his team looked at dissociative psychological effects of SERE techniques upon human subjects. (Dissociation produces symptoms such as depersonalization, derealization, psychic or emotional numbing, and general cognitive confusion.) Results: In study 1, 96% of subjects reported dissociative symptoms in response to acute stress. Total scores, as well as individual item scores, on the dissociation scale were significantly lower in Special Forces soldiers compared to general infantry troops. In study 2, 42% of subjects reported dissociative symptoms before stress and 96% reported them after acute stress.