In the annals of secret CIA history, there are likely stories and subjects that we’d rather not broach in the open.
We as citizens tacitly allow the CIA to do pretty much whatever it takes to keep America safe. We understand that their work is often done in the shadows, with consequences that we as average Americans would rather not learn how to cope with. It’s dirty work at times, but that may just be what it takes to keep our nation safe and prosperous.
Every now and then, however, a tidbit of information about the CIA’s inner workings wriggles it’s way into the mainstream culture. Often, these revelations leave us bewildered and a little nervous, and this week’s news is no exception.
THE CIA contemplated giving Al-Qaeda terror suspects a “truth serum” to force them into revealing information about potential attacks, in the wake of 9/11.
Newly declassified documents show interrogators discussed using a drug on Abu Zubaydah, who was believed to have been involved in the planning of the atrocity, says Sky News.Trending:
The agency decided that a drug called Versed, a sedative often prescribed to reduce anxiety, was “possibly worth a try” after months of research.
But in the end, the CIA decided against asking government lawyers to approve its use.Advertisement - story continues belowThe drug research programme, dubbed “Project Medication”, is mentioned in a once-classified CIA report.
The 90-page document was given to the American Civil Liberties Union under a judge’s order and publicly released yesterday.
The CIA had actually considered a few more sinister means of coercing their prisoners as well.
Before settling on Versed, the report said researchers studied records of old Soviet drug experiments as well as the CIA’s discredited MK-Ultra programme from the 1950s and 1960s.
These involved human experimentation with LSD and other mind-altering drugs on unwitting individuals as part of a long search for some form of truth serum.Advertisement - story continues below
These experiments were widely criticised and, even today, some experts doubt an effective substance exists.
“But decades later, the agency was considering experimenting on humans again to test pseudo-scientific theories of learned helplessness on its prisoners,” Ladin added.
Concerns over the ethics of so-called truth serums have been raging for decades, ever since the idea of such drugs was popularized by comic books and espionage novels.