As of 2007, not a single U.S. government researcher had been prosecuted for human experimentation, and many of the victims of U.S. government experiments have not received compensation, or in many cases, acknowledgment of what was done to them
In 1957, with funding from a CIA front organization, Dr. Ewan Cameron of the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal, Canada began MKULTRA Subproject 68. His experiments were designed to first “depattern” individuals, erasing their minds and memories—reducing them to the mental level of an infant—and then to “rebuild” their personality in a manner of his choosing. To achieve this, Cameron placed patients under his “care” into drug-induced comas for up to 88 days, and applied numerous high voltage electric shocks to them over the course of weeks or months, often administering up to 360 shocks per person. He would then perform what he called “psychic driving” experiments on the subjects, where he would repetitively play recorded statements, such as “You are a good wife and mother and people enjoy your company”, through speakers he had implanted into blacked-out football helmets that he bound to the heads of the test subjects (for sensory deprivation purposes). The patients could do nothing but listen to these messages, played for 16–20 hours a day, for weeks at a time. In one case, Cameron forced a person to listen to a message non-stop for 101 days. Using CIA funding, Cameron converted the horsestables behind Allen Memorial into an elaborate isolation and sensory deprivation chamber which he kept patients locked in for weeks at a time. Cameron also induced insulin comas in his subjects by giving them large injections of insulin, twice a day for up to two months at a time. Several of the children who Cameron experimented on were sexually abused, in at least one case by several men. One of the children was filmed numerous times performing sexual acts with high-ranking federal government officials, in a scheme set up by Cameron and other MKULTRA researchers, to blackmail the officials to ensure further funding for the experiments.
The frequent screams of the patients that echoed through the hospital did not deter Cameron or most of his associates in their attempts to depattern their subjects completely
The CIA leadership had serious concerns about their unethical and illegal behavior, as evidenced in a 1957 Inspector General Report, which stated:
Precautions must be taken not only to protect operations from exposure to enemy forces but also to conceal these activities from the American public in general. The knowledge that the agency is engaging in unethical and illicit activities would have serious repurcussions in political and diplomatic circles …—1957 CIA Inspector General Repor
Between 1960 and 1971, the Department of Defense funded non-consensual whole body radiation experiments on poor, black cancer patients, who were not told what was being done to them. Patients were told that they were receiving a “treatment” that might cure their cancer, but in reality the Pentagon was attempting to determine the effects of high levels of radiation on the human body. One of the doctors involved in the experiments, Robert Stone, was worried about litigation by the patients, so he only referred to them by their initials on the medical reports. He did this so that, in his words, “there will be no means by which the patients can ever connect themselves up with the report”, in order to prevent “either adverse publicity or litigation”.
In 1950, in order to conduct a simulation of a biological warfare attack, the US Navy used airplanes to spray large quantities of the bacteria Serratia marcescens - considered harmless at this time - over the city of San Francisco, California, which caused numerous citizens to contract pneumonia-like illnesses, and killed at least one person. The family of the man who was killed sued for gross negligence, but a federal judge ruled in favor of the government in 1981. Serratia tests were continued until at least 1969.
From 1913 to 1951, Dr. Leo Stanley, chief surgeon at the San Quentin Prison, performed a wide variety of experiments on hundreds of prisoners at San Quentin. Many of the experiments involved testicular implants, where Stanley would take the testicles out of executed prisoners and surgically implant them into living prisoners. In other experiments, he attempted to implant the testicles oframs, goats, and boars into living prisoners. Stanley also performed various eugenics experiments, and forced sterilizations on San Quentin prisoners. Stanley believed that his experiments would rejuvenate old men, control crime (which he believed had biological causes), and prevent the “unfit” from reproducing
In August 2010, the U.S. weapons manufacturer Raytheon announced that it had partnered with a jail in Castaic, California in order to use prisoners as test subjects for a new non-lethal weapon system that “fires an invisible heat beam capable of causing unbearable pain.”
In a series of studies which were published in the medical journal Pediatrics, researchers from the University of California Department of Pediatrics performed experiments on 113 newborns ranging in age from 1 hour to 3 days, where they studied changes in blood pressure and blood flow. In one of the studies, researchers forced a catheter through the babies’ umbilical arteries and into theiraortas, and then submerged their feet in ice water. In another of the studies, they strapped 50 newborn babies to a circumcision board, and then turned them upside down so that all of their blood rushed into their heads
In the 2000s, artificial blood was transfused into research subjects across the United States without their consent by Northfield Labs. Later studies showed the artificial blood caused a significant increase in the risk of heart attacks and death
Another of the MKULTRA subprojects, Operation Midnight Climax, consisted of a web of CIA-run safehouses in San Francisco, Marin, and New York which were established in order to study the effects of LSD on unconsenting individuals. Prostitutes on the CIA payroll were instructed to lure clients back to the safehouses, where they were surreptitiously plied with a wide range of substances, including LSD, and monitored behind one-way glass. Several significant operational techniques were developed in this theater, including extensive research into sexual blackmail, surveillance technology, and the possible use of mind-altering drugs in field operations.
tagged as: politics. government. medical ethics. medical testing. human experimentation.