Human rights violations by the CIA
- 1 General principles
- 2 Torture and rendition
- 3 Police training
- 3.1 General Accounting Office investigation
- 3.2 Legislative exemptions to the prohibition on U.S. assistance to foreign police
- 3.3 U.S. assistance provided to foreign police
- 4 Human experimentation
- 5 See also
- 6 References
In 2003, Patricia Derian, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights in the Carter Administration wrote, "Through these U.S. military and intelligence agencies the United States government is sending a dangerous and double message. If this continues, it will subvert our entire human rights policy."
In understanding the CIA's role in human rights, there are challenging problems of ethics. John R. Stockwell, a CIA officer who left the Agency and became a public critic, said of the CIA field officers: "They do not meet the death squads on the streets where they are actually chopping up people or laying them down on the street and running trucks over their heads. The CIA people in San Salvador meet the police chiefs, and the people who run the death squads, and they do liaise with them, they meet them beside the swimming pool of the villas. And it is a sophisticated, civilized kind of relationship. And they talk about their children, who are going to school at UCLA or Harvard and other schools, and they do not talk about the horrors of what is being done. They pretend like it is not true."
Florencio Caballero, a former Honduran Army interrogator, said that he had been trained by the Central Intelligence Agency, which the New York Times confirmed with US and Honduran officials. Much of his account was confirmed by three American and two Honduran officials, and may be the fullest given of how army and police units were authorized to organize death squads that seized, interrogated and killed suspected leftists. He said that while Argentine and Chilean trainers taught the Honduran Army kidnapping and elimination techniques, the CIA explicitly forbade the use of physical torture or assassination.
Caballero described the CIA role as ambiguous. "Caballero said his superior officers ordered him and other members of army intelligence units to conceal their participation in death squads from CIA advisers. He added that he was sent to Houston for six months in 1979 to be trained by CIA instructors in interrogation techniques. "They prepared me in interrogation to end the use of physical torture in Honduras – they taught psychological methods", Mr. Caballero said of his American training. "So when we had someone important, we hid him from the Americans, interrogated him ourselves and then gave him to a death squad to kill."
Torture and rendition
Following the September 11 attacks, the CIA engaged in the torture of detainees at CIA-run black sites and sent detainees to be tortured by friendly governments in a manner contravening both US and international law.
The existence of black sites was first published by The Washington Post in November 2005 following reports by human rights NGOs. US President George W. Bush acknowledged the existence of secret prisons operated by the CIA during a speech on 6 September 2006.
Administration officials, including Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, as well as prominent legal scholars such as Alan Dershowitz, publicly defended and justified the use of torture against terrorism suspects.
In May 2018, The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the countries of Romania and Lithuania were involved in torture activities perpetrated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The two countries were found to have run "black site" torture rooms and detention facilities therefore committing grave human rights abuses. In Romania, the secret facility was located at Northern Bucharest. In Lithuania, the black site was a guesthouse in the capital city of Vilnius which operated as early as 2002. In December 2014, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence filed a report which included torture details involving Saudi Arabian nationals Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri suspected of masterminding the bombing of the US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole in Yemen and Abu Zubaydah, an alleged Al Qaeda terrorist. The European tribunal said the "two high-value prisoners" were "subjected to maltreatment and arbitrary incarceration at the CIA black site. Hence, the Lithuania and Romanian governments violated the Eastern Convention of Human Rights' ban on torture. Authorities in Lithuania also permitted the transport of Zubaydah to a secret prison in Afghanistan for additional abuse. In a separate decision, the European court learned Romania was knowledgeable of Nashiri's torture by the CIA in its own country.
There are balancing assertions that CIA personnel attempted to minimize abuses by foreign governments who practiced torture before any involvement with CIA. There is evidence that CIA has funded academic research, unwitting in some cases, which was then used to develop harsh interrogation techniques.
Enhanced interrogation techniques
From 2002-2007, as part of the War on Terror, CIA personnel employed so-called "Enhanced interrogation techniques", a variety of coercive and abusive interrogation techniques that are widely judged to constitute torture. Various officials of the George W. Bush administration have argued that "harsh" techniques such as waterboarding are not torture, or the end objectives of the War against Terror justify those means. There has been considerable domestic and international protest against these practices. The United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Torture, Human Rights Watch, and American legal scholars have called for the prosecution of Bush administration officials who ordered torture, conspired to provide legal cover for torture, and CIA and DoD personnel and contract workers who carried it out.
Torture and harsh imprisonment accusations (as well as documented examples) were not limited to the recent War on Terror. Yuri Nosenko, a Soviet KGB defector, was held in stark conditions of solitary confinement in a clandestine CIA facility in the continental US from 1966 to 1969.
Waterboarding is a method that gives the subject the sensation of drowning, and may cause permanent damage to the lungs and other parts of the body. Some individuals being waterboarded, who may have had preexisting cardiac or respiratory disease, have died under the method.
Finding of War Crimes culpability
In 2007, Red Cross investigators concluded in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency's interrogation methods for high-level al Qaeda prisoners constituted torture which could make the Bush administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to the book ""Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals,"" by Jane Mayer a journalist for The New Yorker.
According to the book, the report of the International Committee of the Red Cross found that the methods used on Abu Zubaydah, the first major al Qaeda figure captured by the United States, were "categorically" torture, which is illegal under both United States law and international conventions to which the U.S. is a party. A copy of the report was given to the CIA in 2007. For example, the book states that Abu Zubaydah was confined in a box "so small he said he had to double up his limbs in the fetal position" and was one of several prisoners to be "slammed against the walls," according to the Red Cross report. The CIA has admitted that Abu Zubaydah and two other prisoners were waterboarded, a practice in which water is poured on the nose and mouth to create the sensation of suffocation and drowning.
Training in torture
On 24 January 1997, two CIA manuals were declassified in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Baltimore Sun in 1994. The first manual, "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation", dated July 1963, is the source of much of the material in the second manual. The second manual, "Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual - 1983", was used in at least seven U.S. training courses conducted in Latin American countries, including Honduras, between 1982 and 1987. Both manuals deal exclusively with interrogation and have an entire chapter devoted to "coercive techniques." These manuals recommend arresting suspects early in the morning by surprise, blindfolding them, and stripping them naked. Interrogation rooms should be windowless, soundproof, dark and without toilets. Suspects should be held incommunicado and should be deprived of any kind of normal routine in eating and sleeping. The manuals describe coercive techniques to be used "to induce psychological regression in the subject by bringing a superior outside force to bear on his will to resist."
While the US manuals contained coercive measures, they did not rise to the level of what is generally defined as torture. Torture, however, has been culturally a part of authoritarian South American governments, especially in 1973–1983 (Dirty War). Argentina had learned such methods from the French in Operation Charly and its secret services trained the personnel of other South American countries. It is not clear to what extent field personnel and leadership of agencies of the Federal government of the United States (notably the CIA, Defense and State Departments, AID) were aware of this, condoned it, or actively assisted it.
In 2007, the chief Argentinian interrogator, Ernesto Guillermo Barreiro, was arrested in the United States. It is not clear whether he will be deported, held, or extradited. The other two arrested were Peruvians, Telmo Ricardo Hurtado and Juan Manuel Rivera Rondon, accused of having participated in the massacre of 69 peasants in an Andean village in 1985, when President Alan García was trying to suppress the Maoist Shining Path guerrilla movement. Garcia was the President of Peru again from 2006 to 2011.
CIA involvement ranged from no knowledge, to knowledge but no participation, to knowledge with the suggestion that less brutal techniques were appropriate, to participation or observation.
Rendition and disappearance
Extraordinary rendition is the process of clandestinely moving a prisoner from where he was captured, to an interrogation center in a country not subject to US law regarding extreme methods of interrogation. Some reports indicate CIA personnel operated the prison and performed the interrogations, while others state that while the CIA delivered the prisoner, third-country intelligence personnel did the actual interrogation. The Wikipedia Category:Black sites details the list of known or suspected black sites where CIA prisoners may be detained. Known or suspected aircraft used to transport prisoners are in Rendition aircraft.
A claim that the black sites existed was made by The Washington Post in November 2005 and before by human rights NGOs. US President George W. Bush acknowledged the existence of secret prisons operated by the CIA during a speech on 6 September 2006. 
2007 status of ghost detainees
A 50-page Human Rights Watch report, "Ghost Prisoner: Two Years in Secret CIA Detention," contains a detailed description of a secret CIA prison from a Palestinian former detainee who was released from custody the previous year. Human Rights Watch has also sent a public letter to U.S. President George W. Bush requesting information about the fate and whereabouts of the missing detainees.
"President Bush told us that the last 14 CIA prisoners were sent to Guantanamo, but there are many other prisoners 'disappeared' by the CIA whose fate is still unknown," said Joanne Mariner, terrorism and counterterrorism director at Human Rights Watch. "The question is: what happened to these people and where are they now?"
In early September 2006, 14 detainees were transferred from secret CIA prisons to military custody at Guantánamo Bay. In a televised speech on 6 September 2006, President Bush announced that with those 14 transfers, no prisoners were left in CIA custody.
Before 1973, Administrations were principally concerned with a Communist threat of subversion, to be met with host country internal security forces such as the police. Police and military roles were blurred. US assistance to foreign police began in the 1950s, and increased in the early 1960s when the Kennedy administration became concerned about growing communist insurgent activities and established a public safety program within the Agency for International Development (AID) to train foreign police. By 1968 the United States was spending $60 million a year to train police in 34 countries in areas such as criminal investigation, patrolling, interrogation and counterinsurgency techniques, riot control, weapon use, and bomb disposal The United States also provided weapons, telecommunications, transportation, and other equipment. In the early 1970s, the Congress became concerned over the apparent absence of clear policy guidelines and the use of program funds to support repressive regimes that committed human rights' abuses. As a result, "the Congress determined that it was inadvisable for the United States to continue supporting any foreign police organizations". Both the CIA and military intelligence with Counterintelligence Force Protection Source Operations may have intelligence collecting relationships with local police.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security, under the Department of State representatives at any embassy is expected to be aware of all contacts between US personnel and local law enforcement organizations. The 1973 legislation significantly limited police training of all sorts, partially in response to human rights concerns.
The majority of this training went to Latin America, but some did go to countries elsewhere in the world, according to Senator Alan Cranston, especially those with narcotics or terrorism problems. Cranston cited six reasons why the Congress, in 1974, banned police training, after learning of training and equipping "police in Iran, Vietnam, Brazil, and other countries were involved in torture, murder, and the suppression of legitimate political activity":
First, training was provided to so-called friendly anti-Communist regimes, without regard to whether they were dictatorships or not.
Second, law enforcement efforts were subordinated to U.S. counterinsurgency goals. As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted, U.S. training included such topics as counterinsurgency techniques, weapons use, and Communist ideology. This also meant, in practice, reinforcing the control of recipient countries' militaries over the police.
Fourth, U.S. intelligence agencies were given an important role in the development and execution of these programs.
Fifth, police training was not placed in the broader context of administration of justice, with its emphasis on judicial and prison reform.
And, finally, human rights was rarely a factor in policy considerations at the time.
Cranston went on to say,
This ban remained virtually ironclad until 1985, when Congress authorized the President to support `programs to enhance investigative capabilities conducted under judicial or prosecutorial control' in functioning democracies in the Western hemisphere.
As a result, the Department of Justice—together with the State Department and the Agency for International Development—established the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program ICITAP. Operational responsibility was left entirely to ICITAP under the supervision of officials in the Deputy Attorney General's office, with policy guidance provided by the Department of State.
In principle, training and assistance to police, as opposed to military organization, is against US law, but the relevant law allows Presidential waiver of most provisions. A GAO report
... provides information on (1) the legislative authority for providing assistance to foreign law enforcement agencies and personnel, (2) the extent and cost of U.S. activities, and (3) experts' opinions on the management of these programs.
General Accounting Office investigation
In 1973 and 1974, the Congress enacted legislation forbidding U.S. agencies from using foreign economic or military assistance funds to assist foreign police, but it subsequently granted numerous exemptions to permit assistance in some countries and in various aspects of police force development, including material and weapons support, force management, narcotics control, and counterterrorism tactics. The 1974 prohibition did not apply to the use of other funds by agencies such as the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) or United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to train or assist foreign law enforcement personnel.
No government agency is in charge of calculating the cost. However, the General Accounting Office identified 125 countries that received U.S. training and assistance for their police forces during fiscal year 1990 at a cost of at least $117 million.
During fiscal year 1990 at a cost of about $117 million, the GAO estimated the major programs were: U.S. programs providing :
- United States Department of State(DOS)International Narcotics Control($45 million) Antiterrorism Assistance ($10 million)
- Department of Justice ICITAP ($20 million)
Current and former State Department and other government officials, and academic experts who have been involved in assistance to foreign police forces, stated that the U.S. government lacks: a clear policy, or program objectives, on the role of U.S. assistance to police forces in the new and emerging democracies, a focal point for coordination and decision-making, and a means for determining whether individual programs and activities support U.S. policy or contribute to overall U.S. interests.
They noted that each program is managed individually, and the only place that coordination is occurring is at the U.S. embassy in the country.
Scope and methodology on investigation on CIA training assistance
The US General Accounting Office obtained information on CIA training and assistance provided to foreign law enforcement personnel, reviewed the legislative authority for providing this training and assistance, and identified efforts to coordinate these activities. They did not review program implementation in recipient countries. They interviewed officials and obtained records from AID and the Departments of State, Justice, and Defense, in Washington, D.C.; reviewed legislation and agency legal opinions on foreign police assistance; interviewed academic and legal experts on current U.S. assistance to foreign police; and reviewed literature published on foreign police assistance and AID's public safety program.
Legislative exemptions to the prohibition on U.S. assistance to foreign police
Congressionally approved exemptions generally authorize activities that benefit a specific U.S. goal, such as countering the terrorist threat to U.S. citizens overseas or combating drug trafficking. Exemptions were also extended by:
- The International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1981 – for Haiti
- International Security and Development Assistance Authorizations Act of 1983 – antiterrorism program to allow training in relation to aviation security, crisis management, document screening techniques, facility security, maritime security, protection for VIPs, and handling of detector dogs.
- International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1985 – El Salvador & Honduras
It also expanded the judicial reform program and the police training exemption to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1988 the Congress further expanded the judicial reform program to allow police assistance to promote investigative and forensic skills, develop law enforcement training curricula, and improve administration and management of law enforcement organizations. This act specifically prohibited the Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. armed forces from providing training under this program.
Maritime subjects were exempted from the section 660 prohibition, as well as the prohibition for any country that has a long-standing democratic tradition, does not have armed forces, and does not engage in a consistent pattern of gross violations of human rights. The act permitted such countries to receive any type of police assistance.
- International Narcotics Control Acts
This series of acts approved certain police assistance activities in Latin America and the Caribbean for narcotics control purposes. The 1988 act expanded DOD's role and allowed it to provide training and weapons and ammunition in fiscal years 1989 and 1990 to foreign police units that are specifically organized for narcotics enforcement in eligible countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This act also allowed economic support funds to be provided to Colombian police for the protection of judges, government officials, and members of the press against narco-terrorist attacks. The 1989 Act extended DOD's authority to train police units in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru in fiscal year 1990, if the units are only for narcotics enforcement. It also allowed DOD to provide, in addition to weapons and ammunition, other defense articles such as helicopters, vehicles, radios, and personnel gear. The 1990 act authorized DOD to continue to train and equip police forces in the Andean region.
- Urgent Assistance for Democracy in Panama Act of 1990 – after the U.S. invasion of Panama, the Congress significantly enhanced the U.S. role in the development of the new police force in Panama. T.
- The Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act for 1991 – Eastern Caribbean exemption
Other exceptions to police assistance prohibition
In addition to the exemptions previously discussed, there are other authorities that waive the prohibition on assistance to police forces of foreign countries. For example, the President may authorize foreign assistance when `it is important to the security interests of the United States'. This allows the President to waive any provision of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, including section 660.
U.S. assistance provided to foreign police
This aims to improve foreign governments' antiterrorist capabilities to better protect U.S. citizens and interests. In 1990, the U.S. provided assistance to 49 countries at a cost of nearly $10 million. Sixty-two percent of the funds were spent in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe, and less than $500,000 was used to purchase equipment. The Department of State manages the program and contracts with other U.S. government agencies, state or local police departments, and private firms to conduct the training. The Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and the U.S. Marshals Service are regular trainers. In compliance with legislative requirements, most training takes place in the United States.
International narcotics control
One of the objectives of the Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics Matters (INM) international narcotics control training program is to strengthen host country enforcement and interdiction capabilities. During fiscal year 1990, INM provided a minimum of $45 million in training and equipment to foreign police, principally in Mexico, Jamaica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Pakistan, Thailand, and Turkey. These are all narcotics producing and trafficking countries.
INM reimburses other U.S. government agencies, primarily the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Customs, and Coast Guard, to conduct the actual training. DEA provides narcotics investigative training, Customs teaches air, sea and land port search procedures, and Coast Guard teaches courses in maritime interdiction. Other agencies may also be requested to train on a reimbursable basis in areas where they have specific expertise. For example, DOD provides helicopter training to police in drug trafficking countries. Training is conducted both overseas and in the United States and is reviewed and approved by INM.
In addition, DOD used military assistance funds to train and equip narcotics enforcement police in several drug producing and trafficking countries. Documents provided by DOD show that in fiscal year 1990, DOD provided training and equipment with a value of at least $17 million to Mexico, $1.3 million to Bolivia, $10 million to Colombia, $1 million to Ecuador, and $1 million to Peru. DOD officials informed us that training and equipment valued at more than these amounts may also have been provided. However, documentation was not available at the Washington, D.C., agency headquarters level that specified the amounts for law enforcement activities. The equipment provided consisted of UH-1 helicopters and spare parts, ammunition, small arms, riot control equipment, radios, and miscellaneous personal gear.
Investigative and international police training
In FY1986, AID transferred funds to DOJ to design, develop, and implement projects to improve and enhance the investigative capabilities of law enforcement agencies in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. This was part of AID's effort to reform judicial systems. Using these funds, DOJ established the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP). Operating under State Department oversight, ICITAP has conducted criminal justice sector needs assessments in the region and has expanded its training to include basic police management and police academy development. In fiscal year 1990, ICITAP received $7 million from the Department of State for its regional program. It trained more than 1,000 students from the Caribbean, Central and South America and sponsored 7 conferences. Training includes police management, criminal investigation, crime scene search, and forensic medicine courses. Except for students sent to training programs in the United States, ICITAP training takes place overseas.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also provides limited training for foreign law enforcement officials. Each year approximately 100 international police officials attend the 11-week college level course at the FBI National Academy that includes studies on management and forensic sciences. The FBI pays for the training and subsistence, but does not pay for the students' transportation. Over the last 10 years, more than 1,100 foreign police officials from 89 countries have graduated from this course.
Using its own funds, the FBI created two training courses:
- Training for Mexican police to better assist the United States in its investigations. Mexican officers receive a 3-day course in basic law enforcement techniques to include crime scene management, collection and preservation of evidence, hostage negotiations, forensic science, and investigative techniques. Since 1987, over 400 Mexican border police have been trained. FBI officials stated that the FBI plans to establish a training school in Mexico during 1992 at an estimated cost of about $250,000 annually, excluding salaries.
- The second course developed by the FBI for foreign police was to provide mid-level management training for police officials from the Pacific Island nations. The 4-week course includes first-line supervision, investigative techniques, and hostage negotiations. During 1991, 52 students graduated from the course held in Guam at a cost to the FBI of about $35,000. About 50 students are expected to attend this course during the spring of 1992.
The FBI also provides other training and assistance to foreign police as requested, but the cost is unknown. For example, the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime provided training to Canadian police. The Criminal Investigative Division conducted a training seminar for officers from Italy's three national law enforcement agencies on the use of sensitive investigative techniques such as the operation of confidential sources, undercover operations, and electronic surveillance. The FBI also furnishes on-the-job assistance to governments who request help during particularly difficult or sensitive investigations.
Counterterrorism and military assistance
DOD supplies a limited amount of military training and assistance to police officials. During fiscal years 1986 and 1987, DOD trained and equipped the El Salvadoran and Honduran police to counter urban terrorist activities.
This assistance was authorized in response to the murder of U.S. Marines by terrorists in El Salvador and was managed and delivered by the U.S. Army Military Police. The assistance consisted of training in counterterrorism techniques and the supply of police vehicles, communications, weapons, and other equipment. This effort cost $19.8 million, of which $17 million was provided to El Salvador.
In fiscal year 1990, DOD spent $6.4 million in previously authorized but unused military assistance funds to purchase needed equipment and weapons for Panama's newly formed national police force. Items procured included police vehicles, communications equipment, small arms, and personal gear. This assistance was a one-time, emergency program.
DOD has an ongoing military assistance program to support Costa Rican police. In fiscal year 1990, DOD supplied $431,000 in military equipment and $232,000 in military training to the Costa Rican Civil Guard to help them carry out their responsibility to protect the border regions of the country. DOD provided equipment such as vehicles, personnel gear, and radios, and military training in areas such as coastal operations. Additionally, DOD conducted technical training courses in equipment maintenance and medical skills among others.
DOD, along with the United Kingdom, supports the Eastern Caribbean Regional Security System[failed verification] that was formed after the U.S. intervention in Grenada. The Security System is composed of a few permanently assigned military officers, but largely depends upon island nation police officers who can be called up for military duty in case of emergency. The United States equips and trains these personnel to prepare them for such an eventually. In fiscal year 1990, DOD provided $4.2 million in military assistance funds that were used to purchase equipment such as jeeps, small arms, uniforms, and communications gear. DOD also provided $300,000 for training in special operations, rural patrol, field survival, and surveillance, as well as technical courses in communications, navigation, maintenance, and medicine.
Difficulties in determining cost and extent of assistance
Since some agencies fund assistance out of their own budgets, without necessarily having a line item for police assistance, the GAO "could not accurately determine the extent or cost of assistance to foreign police" In the GAO estimates, "some double counting of students may be occurring and agencies may not be differentiating between assistance provided to police and assistance provided to the military." This might happen when "the agency supplying the training and the agency paying for the training may both include the trainees in their reporting systems, such as when ICITAP pays for students attending the FBI academy."
While the DOJ was asked to calculate information on its work with foreign police, it could not assign a dollar value to items including "travel expenses, salaries, and expendable items such as course materials." H. "Also, GAO could not always determine whether a student was a police officer or a military member because some agencies do not collect such data, DOD officials informed us that once they receive permission to train police in a specific activity they do not provide a further accounting breakdown. For example, training provided to the Eastern Caribbean Regional Security System was for law enforcement personnel, although a few trainees may have belonged to military organizations."
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Project MKULTRA, or MK-ULTRA, was the code name for a CIA mind-control research program that began in 1950, involved primarily with the experimentation of drugs and other "chemical, biological and radiological" stimuli on both willing and uninformed subjects.
In December 1974, The New York Times reported that the CIA had conducted illegal domestic activities, including experiments on U.S. citizens, during the 1960s. The report prompted investigations by both the U.S. Congress (in the form of the Church Committee) and a presidential commission (known as the Rockefeller Commission). The congressional investigations and the Rockefeller Commission report revealed that the CIA and the Department of Defense had in fact conducted experiments to influence and control human behavior through the use of psychoactive drugs such as LSD and mescaline and other chemical, biological, and psychological means. Experiments were often conducted without the subjects' knowledge or consent.
MK-ULTRA was started on the order of CIA director Allen Dulles, largely in response to alleged Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean use of mind-control techniques on U.S. prisoners of war in Korea. The goal of the experiments was to study mind-control in order to develop methods of interrogation and behavior modification and manipulation, as well as to develop a possible truth drug.
MK-ULTRA research ultimately proved useless to the CIA and they have abandoned the program. Because most MK-ULTRA records were deliberately destroyed in 1973 by order of then CIA Director Richard Helms, it is difficult if not impossible to have a complete understanding of the more than 150 individually funded research sub-projects sponsored by MK-ULTRA and related CIA programs.
Following the recommendations of the Church Committee, President Gerald Ford in 1976 issued the first Executive Order on Intelligence Activities which, among other things, prohibited "experimentation with drugs on human subjects, except with the informed consent, in writing and witnessed by a disinterested party, of each such human subject" and in accordance with the guidelines issued by the National Commission. Subsequent orders by Presidents Carter and Reagan expanded the directive to apply to any human experimentation.
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