Table of Contents
PROJECT MKULTRA, THE CIA'S PROGRAM OF
RESEARCH IN BEHAVIORAL MODIFICATION
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 1977
SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE,
AND SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH
AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
OF THE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES
The committees met, pursuant to notice, at 9:07 a.m. in room 1202, Dirksen Senate Office
Building, Senator Daniel K. Inouye (chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence)
Present: Senators Inouye (presiding), Kennedy, Goldwater, Bayh, Hathaway, Huddleston,
Hart, Schweiker, Case, Garn, Chafee, Lugar and Wallop.
Also present: William G. Miller, staff director, Select Committee on Intelligence; Dr.
Lawrence Horowitz, staff director, Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research; and
professional staff members of both committees.
Senator INOUYE. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is meeting
today and is joined by the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research chaired by
Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania.
Senator Hathaway and Senator Chafee are members of both committees. We are to hear
testimony from the Director of Central Intelligence, Adm. Stansfield Turner, and from
other Agency witnesses on issues concerning new documents supplied to the committee in the
last week on drug testing conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency.
It should be made clear from the outset that in general, we are focusing on events that
happened over 12 or as long as 25 years ago. It should be emphasized that the programs
that are of greatest concern have stopped and that we are reviewing these past events in
order to better understand what statutes and other guidelines might be necessary to
prevent the recurrence of such abuses in the future. We also need to know and understand
what is now being done by the CIA in the field of behavioral research to be certain that
no current abuses are occurring.
I want to commend Admiral Turner for his full cooperation with this committee and with the
Subcommittee on Health in recognizing that this issue needed our attention. The CIA has
assisted our committees and staffs in their investigative efforts and in arriving at
remedies which will serve the best interests of our country.
The reappearance of reports of the abuses of the drug testing program and reports of other
previously unknown drug programs and projects for behavioral control underline the
necessity for effective oversight procedures both in the executive branch and in the
Congress. The Select Committee on Intelligence has been working very closely with
President Carter, the Vice President, and Admiral Turner and his associates in developing
basic concepts for statutory guidelines which will govern all activities of the
intelligence agencies of the United States.
In fact, it is my expectation that the President will soon announce his decisions on how
he has decided the intelligence agencies of the United States shall be organized. This
committee will be working closely with the President and Admiral Turner in placing this
new structure under the law and to develop effective oversight procedures.
It is clear that effective oversight requires that information must be full and
forthcoming. Full and timely information is obviously necessary if the committee and the
public is to be confident that any transgressions can be dealt with quickly and
One purpose of this hearing is to give the committee and the public an understanding of
what new information has been discovered that adds to the knowledge already available from
previous Church and Kennedy inquiries, and to hear the reasons why these documents were
not available to the Church and Kennedy committees. It is also the purpose of this hearing
to address the issues raised by any additional illegal or improper activities that have
emerged from the files and to develop remedies to prevent such improper activities from
Finally, there is an obligation on the part of both this committee and the CIA to make
every effort to help those individuals or institutions that may have been harmed by any of
these improper or illegal activities. I am certain that Admiral Turner will work with this
committee to see that this will be done.
I would now like to welcome the most distinguished Senator from Massachusetts, the
chairman of the Health Subcommittee, Senator Kennedy.
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. We are delighted to
join together in this very important area of public inquiry and public interest.
Some 2 years ago, the Senate Health Subcommittee heard chilling testimony about the human
experimentation activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Deputy Director of the
CIA revealed that over 30 universities and institutions were involved in an
"extensive testing and experimentation" program which included covert drug tests
on unwitting citizens "at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and
foreign." Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to
"unwitting subjects in social situations."
At least one death, that of Dr. Olson, resulted from these activities. The Agency itself
acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the
monitoring were not qualified scientific observers. The tests subjects were seldom
accessible beyond the first hours of the test. In a number of instances, the test subject
became ill for hours or days, and effective followup was impossible.
Other experiments were equally offensive. For example, heroin addicts were enticed into
participating in LSD experiments in order to get a reward -- heroin.
Perhaps most disturbing of all was the fact that the extent of experimentation on human
subjects was unknown. The records of all these activities were destroyed in January 1973,
at the instruction of then CIA Director Richard Helms. In spite of persistent inquiries by
both the Health Subcommittee and the Intelligence Committee, no additional records or
information were forthcoming. And no one -- no single individual -- could be found who
remembered the details, not the Director of the CIA, who ordered the documents destroyed,
not the official responsible for the program, nor any of his associates.
We believed that the record, incomplete as it was, was as complete as it was going to be.
Then one individual, through a Freedom of Information request, accomplished what two U.S.
Senate committees could not. He spurred the agency into finding additional records
pertaining to the CIA's program of experimentation with human subjects. These new records
were discovered by the agency in March. Their existence was not made known to the Congress
The records reveal a far more extensive series of experiments than had previously been
thought. Eighty-six universities or institutions were involved. New instances of unethical
behavior were revealed.
The intelligence community of this Nation, which requires a shroud of secrecy in order to
operate, has a very sacred trust from the American people. The CIA's program of human
experimentation of the fifties and sixties violated that trust. It was violated again on
the day the bulk of the agency's records were destroyed in 1973. It is violated each time
a responsible official refuses to recollect the details of the program. The best safeguard
against abuses in the future is a complete public accounting of the abuses of the past.
I think this is illustrated, as Chairman Inouye pointed out. These are issues, are
questions that happened in the fifties and sixties, and go back some 15, 20 years ago, but
they are front page news today, as we see in the major newspapers and on the television
and in the media of this country; and the reason they are, I think, is because it just
continuously begins to trickle out, sort of, month after month, and the best way to put
this period behind us, obviously, is to have the full information, and I think that is the
desire of Admiral Turner and of the members of this committee.
The Central Intelligence Agency drugged American citizens without their knowledge or
consent. It used university facilities and personnel without their knowledge. It funded
leading researchers, often without their knowledge.
These institutes, these individuals, have a right to know who they are and how and when
they were used. As of today, the Agency itself refuses to declassify the names of those
institutions and individuals, quite appropriately, I might say, with regard to the
individuals under the Privacy Act. It seems to me to be a fundamental responsibility to
notify those individuals or institutions, rather. I think many of them were caught up in
an unwitting manner to do research for the Agency. Many researchers, distinguished
researchers, some of our most outstanding members of our scientific community, involved in
this network, now really do not know whether they were involved or not, and it seems to me
that the whole health and climate in terms of our university and our scientific and health
facilities are entitled to that response.
So, I intend to do all I can to persuade the Agency to, at the very least, officially
inform those institutions and individuals involved.
Two years ago, when these abuses were first revealed, I introduced legislation, with
Senator Schweiker and Senator Javits, designed to minimize the potential for any similar
abuses in the future. That legislation expanded the jurisdiction of the National
Commission on Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research to cover all federally
funded research involving human subjects. The research initially was just directed toward
HEW activities, but this legislation covered DOD as well as the CIA.
This Nation has a biomedical and behavioral research capability second to none. It has had
for subjects of HEW funded research for the past 3 years a system for the protection of
human subjects of biomedical research second to none, and the Human Experimentation
Commission has proven its value. Today's hearings and the record already established
underscore the need to expand its jurisdiction.
The CIA supported that legislation in 1975, and it passed the Senate unanimously last
year. I believe it is needed in order to assure all our people that they will have the
degree of protection in human experimentation that they deserve and have every right to
Senator INOUYE. Thank you very much. Now we will proceed with the
hearings. Admiral Turner?
[The prepared statement of Admiral Turner follows.]
Next: Prepared Statement of
CIA Director Stansfield Turner
Testimony of CIA Director