Mind Control & Propaganda

1977 Senate Hearing on MKUltra

D. Cooperation And Competition Among The Intelligence Community Agencies And Between These Agencies And Other Individuals And Institutions

1. Relationships Among Agencies Within the Intelligence Community

Relationships among intelligence community agencies in this area varied considerably over time, ranging from full cooperation to intense and wasteful competition. The early period was marked by a high degree of cooperation among the agencies of the intelligence community. Although the military dominated research involving chemical and biological agents, the information developed was shared with the FBI and the CIA. But the spirit of cooperation did not continue. The failure by the military to share information apparently breached the spirit, if not the letter, of commands from above.

As noted above, the Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence was briefed on the proposed operational testing of LSD under Project THIRD CHANCE, and expressed concern that the project had not been coordinated with FBI and CIA. Despite this request, no coordination was achieved between the Army and either of these agencies. Had such cooperation been forthcoming, this project may have been evaluated in a different light.

The competition between the agencies in this area reached bizarre levels. A military officer told a CIA representative in confidence about the military's field testing of LSD in Europe under Project THIRD CHANCE, and the CIA promptly attempted to learn surreptitiously the nature and extent of the program. At roughly the same time Mr. Helms argued to the DDCI that the unwitting testing program should be continued, as it contributed to the CIA's capability in the area and thus allowed the CIA "to restrain others in the intelligence community (such as the Department of Defense) from pursuing operations. [130]

The MKNAOMI program was also marked by a failure to share information. The Army Special Forces (the principal customer of the Special Operations Division at Fort Dietrick) and the CIA rather than attempting to coordinate their efforts promulgated different requirements which varied only slightly. This apparently resulted in some duplication of effort. In order to insure the security of CIA operations, the Agency would request materials from SOD for operational use without fully or accurately describing the operational requirements. This resulted in limitations on SOD's ability to assist the CIA.

2. Relationship Between the Intelligence Community Agencies and Foreign Liaison Services

The subjects of the CIA's operational testing of chemical and biological agents abroad were generally being held for interrogation by foreign intelligence or security organizations. Although information about the use of drugs was generally withheld from these organizations, cooperation with them necessarily jeopardized the security of CIA interest in these materials. Cooperation also placed the American Government in a position of complicity in actions which violated the rights of the subjects, and which may have violated the laws of the country in which the experiments took place.

Cooperation between the intelligence agencies and organizations in foreign countries was not limited to relationships with the intelligence or internal security organizations. Some MKULTRA research was conducted abroad. While this is, in itself, not a questionable practice, it is important that such research abroad not be undertaken to evade American laws. That this was a possibility is suggested by an ARTICHOKE memorandum in which it is noted that working with the scientists of a foreign country "might be very advantageous" since that government "permitted certain activities which were not permitted by the United States government (i.e., experiments on anthrax, etc.)." [131]

3. The Relationships Between the Intelligence Community Agencies and Other Agencies of the U.S. Government

Certain U.S. government agencies actively assisted the efforts of intelligence agencies in this area. One form of assistance was to provide "cover" for research contracts let by intelligence agencies, in order to disguise intelligence community interest in chemical and biological agents.

Other forms of assistance raise more serious questions. Although the CIA's project involving the surreptitious administration of LSD was conducted by Bureau of Narcotics personnel, there was no open connection between the Bureau personnel and the Agency. The Bureau was serving as a "cut-out" in order to make it difficult to trace Agency participation. The cut-out arrangement, however, reduced the CIA's ability to control the program. The Agency could not control the process by which subjects were selected and cultivated, and could not regulate follow-up after the testing. Moreover, as the CIA's Inspector General noted: "the handling of test subjects in the last analysis rests with the [Bureau of Narcotics] agent working alone. Suppression of knowledge of critical results from the top CIA management is an inherent risk in these operations." [132] The arrangement also made it impossible for the Agency to be certain that the decision to end the surreptitious administration of LSD would be honored by the Bureau personnel.

The arrangement with the Bureau of Narcotics was described as "informal." [133] The informality of the arrangement compounded the problem is aggravated by the fact that the 40 Committee has had vir

apparent unwillingness on the part of the Bureau's leadership to ask for details, and the CIA's hesitation in volunteering information. These problems raise serious questions of command and control within the Bureau.

4. Relationships Between the Intelligence Community Agencies and Other Institutions and Individuals, Public and Private

The Inspector General's 1963 Survey of MKULTRA noted that "the research and development" phase was conducted through standing arrangements with "specialists in universities, pharmaceutical houses, hospitals, state and federal institutions, and private research organizations" in a manner which concealed "from the institution the interests of the CIA." Only a few "key individuals" in each institution were "made witting of Agency sponsorship." The research and development phase was succeeded by a phase involving physicians, toxicologists, and other specialists in mental, narcotics, and general hospitals and prisons, who are provided the products and findings of the basic research projects and proceed with intensive testing on human subjects." [134]

According to the Inspector General, the MKULTRA testing programs were "conducted under accepted scientific procedures... where health permits, test subjects are voluntary participants in the programs." [135] This was clearly not true in the project involving the surreptitious administration of LSD, which was marked by a complete lack of screening, medical supervision, opportunity to observe, or medical or psychological follow-up.

The intelligence agencies allowed individual researchers to design their project. Experiments sponsored by these researchers (which included one where narcotics addicts were sent to Lexington, Kentucky, who were rewarded with the drug of their addiction in return for participation in experiments with LSD) call into question the decision by the agencies not to fix guidelines for the experiments.

The MKULTRA research and development program raises other questions, as well. It is not clear whether individuals in prisons, mental, narcotics and general hospitals can provide "informed consent" to participation in experiments such as these. There is doubt as to whether institutions should be unwitting of the ultimate sponsor of research being done in their facilities. The nature of the arrangements also made it impossible for the individuals who were not aware of the sponsor of the research to exercise any choice about their participation based on the sponsoring organization.

Although greater precautions are now being taken in research conducted on behalf of the intelligence community agencies, the dilemma of classification remains. The agencies obviously wished to conceal their interest in certain forms of in order to avoid stimulating interest in the same areas by hostile governments. In some cases today contractors or researchers wish to conceal their connection with these agencies. Yet the fact of classification prevents open discussion and debate upon which scholarly work depends.

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