Schaffer Online Library of Drug Policy

Sign the Resolution
Contents | Feedback | Search
DRCNet Home
| Join DRCNet
DRCNet Library | Schaffer Library

Historical References

General Histories | Ancient History | 1800-1850 | 1860 | 1870 | 1880 | 1890
1900 | 1910 | 1920 | 1930 | 1940 | 1950 | 1960 | 1970 | 1980 | 1990

header graphic
Table of Contents


Accompanied by Frank Laubinger, Office of Technical Services; Al Brody, Office of Inspector General; Ernest Mayerfield, Office of General Counsel; and George L. Cary, Legislative Counsel

Admiral TURNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to begin by thanking you and Senator Kennedy for having a joint hearing this morning. I hope this will expedite and facilitate our getting all the information that both of your committees need into the record quickly.

I would like also to thank you both for prefacing the remarks today by reminding us all that the events about which we are here to talk are 12- to 24-years old. They in no way represent the current activities or policies of the Central Intelligence Agency.

What we are here to do is to give you all the information that we now have and which we did not previously have on a subject known s Project MKULTRA, a project which took place from 1953 to 1964. It was an umbrella project under which there were numerous subprojects for research, among other things, on drugs and behavioral modification. What the new material that we offer today is a supplement to the considerable material that was made available in 1975, during the Church committee hearings, and also to the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research.

At that time, the CIA offered up all of the information and documents it believed it had available. The principal one available at that time that gave the greatest amount of information on this subject was a report of the CIA's Inspector General written in 1963, and which led directly to the termination of this activity in 1964, 13 years ago.

The information available in 1975 to the various investigating groups was indeed sparse, first because of the destruction of material that took place in 1973, as detailed by Senator Kennedy a minute ago, with the concurrence of the then Director of Central Intelligence and under the supervision of the Director of the Office of Technical Services that supervised Project MKULTRA.


The material in 1975 was also sparse because most of the CIA people who had been involved in 1953 to 1964 in this activity had retired from the Agency. I would further add that I think the material was sparse in part because it was the practice at that time not to keep detailed records in this category.

For instance, the 1963 report of the Inspector General notes:

Present practice is to maintain no records of the planning and approval of test programs.

In brief, there were few records to begin with and less after the destruction of 1973.

What I would like to do now, though, is to proceed and let you know what the new material adds to our knowledge of this topic, and I will start by describing how the material was discovered and why it was not previously discovered. The material in question, some seven boxes, had been sent to our Retired Records Center outside of the Washington area. It was discovered that as the result of an extensive search by an employee charged with the responsibility for maintaining our holdings on behavioral drugs and for responding to Freedom of Information Act requests on this subject.

During the Church committee investigation of 1975, searches for MKULTRA-related material were made by examining both the active and the retired records of all of the branches of CIA considered likely to have had an association with MKULTRA documents. The retired records of the Budget and Fiscal Section of the branch that was responsible for such work were not searched, however. This was because the financial paper associated with sensitive projects such as MKULTRA were normally maintained by the branch itself under the project title, MKULTRA, not by the Budget and Fiscal Section under the project title, MKULTRA, not by the Budget and Fiscal Section under a special budget file.

In the case at hand, however, this newly located material had been sent to the Retired Records Center in 1970 by the Budget and Fiscal Section of this branch as part of its own retired holdings. In short, what should have been filed by the branch itself was filed by the Budget and Fiscal Section, and what should have been filed under the project title, MKULTRA, was filed under budget and fiscal matters. The reason for this departure from the normal procedure of that time is simply not known, and as a result of it, however, the material escaped retrieval and destruction in 1973, as well as discovery in 1975.

The employee who located this material did so by leaving no stone unturned in his efforts to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request, or several of them, in fact. He reviewed all of the listings of material of this branch, stored at the Retired Records Center, including those of the Budget and Fiscal Section, and thus discovered the MKULTRA-related documents, which had been missed in the previous searches.

In sum, the agency failed to uncover these particular documents in 1973, in the process of attempting to destroy them. It similarly failed to locate them in 1975, in response to the Church committee hearings. I am personally persuaded that there is no evidence of any attempt to conceal this material during the earlier searches. Moreover, as we will discuss as we proceed, I do not believe the material itself is such that


there would be a motive on the part of the CIA to withhold this, having disclosed what it did in 1975.

Next, let me move to the nature of this recently located material. It is important to remember what I have just noted, that these folders that were discovered are finance folders. The bulk of the material in them consists of approvals for the advance of funds, vouchers, and accountings and such, most of which are not very informative as to the nature of the activities that they were supporting. Occasional project proposals or memoranda commenting on some aspect of a subproject are scattered throughout this material. In general, however, the recovered material does not include overall status reports or other documents relating to operational considerations, or to the progress on various subprojects, though some elaboration of the activities contemplated does appear from time to time.

There are roughly three categories of projects. First, there are 149 MKULTRA subprojects, many of which appear to have some connection with research into behavioral modification, drug acquisition and testing, or administering drugs surreptitiously. Second, there are two boxes of miscellaneous MKULTRA papers, including audit reports and financial statements from intermediary funding mechanisms used to conceal CIA sponsorship of various research projects.

Finally, there are 33 additional subprojects concerning certain intelligence activities previously funded under MKULTRA but which have nothing to do either with behavioral modifications, drugs or toxins, or any closely related matter.

We have attempted to group the activities covered by the 149 subprojects into categories under descriptive headings. In broad outline, at least, this presents the contents of these files. The following 15 categories are the ones we have divided these into.

First, research into the effects of behavioral drugs and/or alcohol. Within this, there are 17 projects probably not involving human testing. There are 14 subprojects definitely involving testing on human volunteers. There are 19 subprojects probably including tests on human volunteers and 6 subprojects involving tests on unwitting human beings.

Second, there is research on hypnosis, eight subprojects, including two involving hypnosis and drugs in combination.

Third, there are seven projects on the acquisition of chemicals or drugs.

Fourth, four subprojects on the aspects of the magician's art, useful in covert operations, for instance, the surreptitious delivery of drug-related materials.

Fifth, there are nine projects on studies of human behavior, sleep research, and behavioral change during psychotherapy.

Sixth, there are projects on library searches and attendants at seminars and international conferences on behavioral modifications.

Seventh, there are 23 projects on motivational studies, studies of defectors, assessments of behavior and training techniques.

Eighth, there are three subprojects on polygraph research.

Ninth, there are three subprojects on funding mechanisms for MKULTRA's external research activities.


Tenth, there are six subprojects on research on drugs, toxins, and biologicals in human tissue, provision of exotic pathogens, and the capability to incorporate them in effective delivery systems.

Eleventh, there are three subprojects involving funding support for unspecified activities conducted with the Army Special Operations Division at Fort Detrich, Md. This activity is outlined in Book I of the Church committee report, pages 388 to 389. (See
Appendix A, pp. 68-69).

Under CIA's Project MKNAOMI, the Army assisted the CIA in developing, testing, and maintaining biological agents and delivery systems for use against humans as well as against animals and crops.

Thirteenth, there are single subprojects in such areas as the effects of electroshock, harassment techniques for offensive use, analysis of extrasensory perception, gas propelled sprays and aerosols, and four subprojects involving crop and material sabotage.

Fourteenth, one or two subprojects on each of the following: blood grouping research; controlling the activities of animals; energy storage and transfer in organic systems; and stimulus and response in biological systems.

Finally, 15th, there are three subprojects canceled before any work was done on them having to do with laboratory drug screening, research on brain concussion, and research on biologically active materials.

Now, let me address how much this newly discovered material adds to what has previously been reported to the Church committee and to Senator Kennedy's Subcommittee on Health. The answer is basically additional detail. The principal types of activities included in these documents have for the most part been outlined or to some extent generally described in what was previously available in the way of documentation and which was supplied by the CIA to the Senate investigators.

For example, financial disbursement records for the period of 1960 to 1964 for 76 of these 149 subprojects had been recovered by the Office of Finance at CIA and were made available to the Church committee investigators. For example, the 1963 Inspector General report on MKULTRA made available to both the Church Committee and the Subcommittee on Health mentions electroshock and harassment substances, covert testing on unwitting U.S. citizens, the search for new materials through arrangements with specialists in hospitals and universities, and the fact that the Technical Service Division of CIA had initiated 144 subprojects related to the control of human behavior.

For instance also, the relevant section of a 1957 Inspector General report was also made available to the Church committee staff, and that report discusses the techniques for human assessment and unorthodox methods of communication, discrediting and disabling materials which can be covertly administered, studies on magicians' arts as applied to covert operations, and other similar topics.

The most significant new data that has been discovered are, first, the names of researchers and institutions who participated in


MKULTRA projects, and second, a possibly improper contribution by the CIA to a private institution. We are now in the possession of the names of 185 nongovernment researchers and assistants who are identified in the recovered material dealing with these 149 subprojects.

There are also names of 80 institutions where work was done or with which these people were affiliated. The institutions include 44 colleges or universities, 15 research foundation or chemical or pharmaceutical companies or the like, 12 hospitals or clinics, in addition to those associated with the universities, and 3 penal institutions.

While the identities of some of these people and institutions were known previously, the discovery of the new identities adds to our knowledge of MKULTRA.

The facts as they pertain to the possibly improper contribution are as follows. One project involves a contribution of $375,000 to a building fund of a private medical institution. The fact that that contribution was made was previously known. Indeed, it was mentioned in the 1957 report of the Inspector General on the Technical Service Division of CIA that supervised MKULTRA, and pertinent portions of this had been reviewed by the Church committee staff.

The newly discovered material, however, makes it clear that this contribution was made through an intermediary, which made it appear to be a private donation. As a private donation, the contribution was then matched by Federal funds. The institution was not made aware of the true source of the gift. This project was approved by the then Director of Central Intelligence and concurred in by CIA's top management including the then General Counsel, who wrote an opinion supporting the legality of the contribution.

The recently discovered documents also give greater insight into the scope of an unwitting nature of the drug testing, but contribute little more than that. We now do have corroborating information that some of the unwitting drug testing was carried out in what is known in the intelligence trade as safe houses in San Francisco and in New York City, and we have identified that three individuals were involved in this undertaking, whereas we previously reported there was only one person.

We also know that some unwitting testing took place on criminal sexual psychopaths confined at a State hospital, and that additionally research was done on a knockout or K drug in parallel with research to develop painkillers for cancer patients.

These, then, are the principal findings identified to date in our review of this recovered material. As noted earlier, we believe the detail on the identities of researchers and institutions involved in CIA sponsorship of drug and behavioral modification research is a new element and one which poses a considerable problem. Most of the people and institutions involved were not aware of CIA sponsorship. We should certainly assume that the researchers and institutions which cooperated with CIA on a witting basis acted in good faith and in the belief that they were aiding their Government in a legitimate and proper purpose.

I believe that we all have a moral obligation to these researchers and institutions to protect them from any unjustified embarrassment


or damage to their reputations which revelation of their identities might bring. In addition, I have a legal obligation under the Privacy Act not to publicly disclose the names of the individual researchers without their consent.

This is especially true, of course, for those researchers and institutions which were unwitting participants in CIA sponsored activities.

Nonetheless, Mr. Chairman, I certainly recognize the right and the need of both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research to investigate the circumstances of these activities in whatever detail you consider necessary. I am providing your committee with all of the documentation, including all of the names, on a classified basis. I hope that this will facilitate your investigation while still protecting the individuals and the institutions involved.

Let me emphasize again that the MKULTRA events are 12 to 24 years in the past, and I assure you that CIA is in no way engaged in either witting or unwitting testing of drugs today.

Finally, I am working closely with the Attorney General on this matter. We are making available to the Attorney General whatever materials he may deem necessary to any investigations that he may elect to undertake. Beyond that, we are also working with the Attorney General to determine whether it is practicable from this new evidence to identify any of the persons to whom drugs were administered, but we are now trying to determine if there are adequate clues to lead to their identification, and if so how best to go about fulfilling the Government's responsibilities in this matter.

Mr. Chairman, as we proceed with that process of attempting to identify the individuals and then determining what is our proper responsibility to them, I will keep both of these committees fully advised. I thank you, sir.

Senator INOUYE. Thank you very much, Admiral Turner. Your spirit of cooperation is much appreciated. I would like to announce to the committee that in order to give every member an opportunity to participate in this hearing, that we would set a time limit of 10 minutes per Senator.

Admiral Turner, please give this committee the genesis of MKULTRA. Who or what committee or commission or agency was responsible for dreaming up this grandiose and sinister project, and why was it necessary? What is the rationale or justification for such a project and was the President of the United States aware of this?

Admiral TURNER. Mr. Chairman, I am going to ask Mr. Brody on my right, who is a long-time member of the CIA to address that in more detail. I believe everything that we know about the genesis was turned over to the Church committee and is contained in that material. Basically, it was a CIA-initiated project. It started out of a concern of our being taken advantage of by other powers who would use drugs against our personnel, and it was approved in the Agency. I have asked the question you just asked me, and have been assured that there is no evidence within the Agency of any involvement at higher echelons, the White House, for instance, or specific approval. That does not say there was not, but we have no such evidence.


Mr. Brody, would you amplify on my comments there, please?

Mr. BRODY. Mr. Chairman, I really have very little to add to that. To my knowledge, there was no Presidential knowledge of this project at the time. It was a CIA project, and as the admiral said, it was a project designed to attempt to counteract what was then thought to be a serious threat by our enemies of using drugs against us. Most of what else we know about is in the Senate Church committee report.

Senator INOUYE. Are you suggesting that it was intentionally kept away from the Congress and the President of the United States?

Admiral TURNER. No, sir. We are only saying that we have no evidence one way or the other as to whether the Congress was informed of this particular project. There are no records to indicate.

Senator INOUYE. Admiral Turner, are you personally satisfied by actual investigation that this newly discovered information was not intentionally kept away from the Senate of the United States?

Admiral TURNER. I have no way to prove that, sir. That is my conviction from everything I have seen of it.

Senator INOUYE. Now, we have been advised that these documents were initially discovered in March of this year, and you were notified in July of this year, or June of this year, and the committee was notified in July. Can you tell us why the Director of Central Intelligence was notified 3 months after its initial discovery, why the delay?

Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir. All this started with several Freedom of Information Act requests, and Mr. Laubinger on my left was the individual who took it upon himself to pursue these requests with great diligence, and got permission to go to the Retired Records Center, and then made the decision to look not only under what would be the expected subject files, but through every file with which the branch that conducted this type of activity had any conceivable connection.

Very late in March, he discovered these seven boxes. He arranged to have them shipped from the Retired Records Center to Washington, to our headquarters. They arrived in early April. He advised his appropriate superiors, who asked him how long he thought it would take him to go through these and screen them appropriately, clear them for Freedom of Information Act release.

There are, we originally estimated, 5,000 pages here. We now think that was an underestimation, and it may be closer to 8,000 pages. He estimated it would take about 45 days or into the middle of May to do that. He was told to proceed, and as he did so there was nothing uncovered in the beginning of these 149 cases that appeared particularly startling or particularly additive to the knowledge that had already been given to the Church committee, some details, but no major revelations.

He and his associates proceeded with deliberateness, but not a great sense of urgency. There were other interfering activities that came and demanded his time also. He was not able to put 100 percent of his time on it, and there did not appear to be cause for a great rush here. We were trying to be responsive to the Freedom of Information Act request within the limits of our manpower and our priorities.


In early June, however, he discovered two projects, the one related to K drugs and the one related to the funding at the institution, and realized immediately that he had substantial new information, and he immediately reported this to his superiors.

Two actions were taken. One was to notify the lawyers of the principal Freedom of Information Act requestor that we would have substantial new material and that it would be forthcoming as rapidly as possible, and the second was to start a memorandum up the chain that indicated his belief that we should notify the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence of this discovery because of the character at least of these two documents.

As that proceeded up from the 13th of June, at each echelon we had to go through the legal office, the legislative liaison office and at each echelon about the same question was asked of him: Have you gone through all of this, so that when we notify the Senate Select Committee we do not notify half of the important revelations and not the other half? The last thing I want, Mr. Chairman, is in any way to be on any topic, give the appearance on any topic of being recalcitrant, reluctant, or having to have you drag things out of me, and my subordinates, much to my pleasure, had each asked, have you really gone through these 8,000 pages enough to know that we are not going to uncover a bombshell down at the bottom?

By late June, about the 28th, this process reached my deputy. He notified me after his review of it on the 7th of July, which is the first I knew of it. I began reading into it. I asked the same probing question directly. I then notified my superiors, and on the 15th delivered to you my letter letting you know that we had this, and we have been working, many people, many hours since then, to be sure that what we are telling you today does include all the relevant material.

Senator INOUYE. I would like to commend Mr. Laubinger for his diligence and expertise, but was this diligence the result of the Freedom of Information Act or could this diligence have been exercised during the Church hearings? Why was it not exercised? Admiral TURNER. There is no question that theoretically this diligence could have been exercised at any time, and it may well be that the Freedom of Information Act has made us more aware of this. Would you speak for yourself, please.

Mr. LAUBINGER. I really don't attribute it, Senator, to diligence so much as thoroughness. If you can imagine the pressures under an organization trying to respond, which I think the CIA did at the time of the Church committee hearings, the hallways of the floor I am on were full of boxes from our records center. Every box that anyone thought could possibly contain anything was called up for search. It was one of a frantic effort to comply.

When the pressure of that situation cools down, and you can start looking at things systematically, you are apt to find things that you wouldn't under the heat of a crash program, and that is what happened here.

Senator INOUYE. Thank you very much. Senator Kennedy?

Senator KENNEDY. Admiral Turner, this is an enormously distressing report that you give to the American Congress and to the American people today. Granted, it happened many years ago, but what we are


basically talking about is an activity which took place in the country that involved the perversion and the corruption of many of our outstanding research centers in this country, with CIA funds, where some of our top researchers were unwittingly involved in research sponsored by the Agency in which they had no knowledge of the background or the support for.

Much of it was done with American citizens who were completely unknowing in terms of taking various drugs, and there are perhaps any number of Americans who are walking around today on the east coast or west coast who were given drugs, with all the kinds of physical and psychological damage that can be caused. We have gone over that in very careful detail, and it is significant and severe indeed.

I do not know what could be done in a less democratic country that would be more alien to our own traditions than was really done in this narrow area, and as you give this report to the committee, I would like to get some sense of your own concern about this type of activity, and how you react, having assumed this important responsibility with the confidence of President Crater and the overwhelming support, obviously, of the Congress, under this set of circumstances.

I did not get much of a feeling in reviewing your statement here this morning of the kind of abhorrence to this type of past activity which I think the American people would certainly deplore and which I believe that you do, but could you comment upon that question, and also perhaps give us what ideas you have to insure that it cannot happen again?

Admiral TURNER. Senator Kennedy, it is totally abhorrent to me to think of using a human being as a guinea pig and in any way jeopardizing his life and his health, no matter how great the cause. I am not here to pass judgment on my predecessors, but I can assure you that this is totally beyond the pale of my contemplation of activities that the CIA or any other of our intelligence agencies should undertake.

I am taking and have taken what I believe are adequate steps to insure that such things are not continuing today.

Senator KENNEDY. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

Admiral TURNER. I have asked for a special report assuring me that there are no drug activities extant, that is, drug activities that involve experimentation. Obviously, we collect intelligence about drugs and drug use in other countries, but there are no experimentations being conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency, and I have had a special check made because of another incident that was uncovered some years ago about the unauthorized retention of some toxic materials at the CIA. I have had an actual inspection made of the storage places and the certification from the people in charge of those that there are no such chemical biological materials present in our keeping, and I have issued express orders that that shall not be the case.

Beyond that, I have to rely in large measure on my sense of command and direction of the people and their knowledge of the attitude I have just expressed to you in this regard.

Senator KENNEDY. I think that is very commendable.

Admiral TURNER. Thank you, sir.

Senator KENNEDY. I think it is important that the American people understand that.


You know, much of the research which is our area of interest that was being done by the Agency and the whole involved sequence of activities done by the Agency, I am convinced could have been done in a legitimate way through the research programs of the National Institutes of Mental Health, other sponsored activities, I mean, that is some other question, but I think you went to an awful lot of trouble, where these things could have been.

Let me ask you specifically, on the followup of MKULTRA, are there now -- I think you have answered, but I want to get a complete answer about any experimentations that are being done on human beings, whether it is drugs or behavioral alterations or patterns or any support, either directly or indirectly, being provided by the Agency in terms of any experimentation on human beings.

Admiral TURNER. There is no experimentation with drugs on human beings, witting or unwitting, being conducted in any way.

Senator KENNEDY. All right. How bout the nondrug experimentation our Committee has seen -- psychosurgery, for example, or psychological research?

Admiral TURNER. We are continually involved in what we call assessment of behavior. For instance, we are trying to continually improve our polygraph procedures to, you know, assess whether a person is lying or not. This does not involve any tampering with the individual body. This involves studying records of people's behavior under different circumstances, and so n, but it is not an experimental thing. Have I described that accurately, Al?

Mr. BRODY. Yes.

Senator KENNEDY. Well, it is limited to those areas?

Admiral TURNER. Yes; it does not involve attempting to modify behavior. It only involves studying behavior conditions, but not trying to actively modify it, as was one of the objectives of MKULTRA.

Senator KENNEDY. Well, we are scarce on time, but I am interested in the other areas besides polygraph where you are doing it. Maybe you can either respond now or submit it for the record, if you would do that. Would you provide that for the record?

Admiral TURNER. Yes.

[The material on psychological assessments follows:]

Psychological assessments are performed as a service to officers in the operations directorate who recruit and/or handle agents. Except for people involved in training courses, the subjects of the assessments are foreign nationals. The assessments are generally done to determine the most successful tactic to persuade the subject to accept convert employment by the CIA, and to make an appraisal of his reliability and truthfulness.

A majority of the work is done by a staff of trained psychologists, some of whom are stationed overseas. The assessments they do may be either direct or indirect. Direct assessments involve a personal interview of the subject by the psychologist. When possible the subject is asked to complete a formal "intelligence test" which is actually a disguised psychological test. Individuals being assessed are not given drugs, nor are they subjected to physical harassment or torture. When operating conditions are such that a face-to-face interview is not possible, the psychologist may do an indirect assessment, using as source materials descriptions of the subject by others, interviews with people who know him, specimens of his writings, etc.


The other psychological assessments involve handwriting analysis or graphological assessment. The work is done by a pair of trained graphologists, assisted by a small number of measurement technicians. They generally require at least a page of handwritten script by the subject. Measurements are made of about 30 different writing characteristics, and these are charted and furnished to the graphologist for assessments.

The psychologists also give courses in psychological assessment to group of operations officers, to sharpen their own capabilities to size up people. As part of the training course, the instructor does a psychological assessment of each student. The students are writing participants, and results are discussed with them.

It is important to reiterate that psychological assessments are only a service to the operations officers. In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of the operations officer to decide how a potential agent should be approached, or to make a judgment as to whether any agent is telling the truth.

Admiral TURNER. The kind of thing we are interested in is, what will motivate a man to become an agent of the United States in a difficult situation. We have to be familiar with that kind of attitudinal response that we can expect from people we approach to for one reason or another become our spies, but I will be happy to submit a very specific listing of these.

Senator KENNEDY. Would you do that for the committee?

In the followups, in the MKSEARCH, in the OFTEN, and the CHICKWIT, could you give us also a report on those particular programs?

Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir.

Senator KENNEDY. Did they involve experimentation, human experimentation?

Admiral TURNER. No, sir.

Senator KENNEDY. None of them?

Admiral TURNER. Let me say this, that the CHICKWIT program is the code name for the CIA participation in what was basically a Department of Defense program. This program was summarized and reported to the Church committee, to the Congress, and I have since they have been rementioned in the press in the last 2 days here, I have not had time to go through and personally review them. I have ascertained that all of the files that we had and made available before are intact, and I have put a special order out that nobody will enter those files or in any way touch them without my permission at this point, but they are in the Retired Records Center outside of Washington, and they are available.

I am not prepared to give you full details on it, because I simply haven't read into that part of our history, but in addition I would suggest when we want to get into that we should get the Department of Defense in with us.

Senator KENNEDY. Well, you will supply that information to the Intelligence Committee, the relevant, I mean, the health aspects, obviously, and the research we are interested in?

Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir.

Senator KENNEDY. Will you let us know, Admiral Turner?

Admiral TURNER. I will be happy to.

See p. 169 for the material referred to.]

Senator KENNEDY. Thank you. I am running out of time. Do you support the extension of the protection of human subjects legislation to include the CIA and the DOD? You commented favorably on that


before, and I am hopeful we can get that on the calendar early in September, and that is our strong interest.

Admiral TURNER. The CIA certainly has no objection to that proposed legislation, sir. It is not my role in the administration to be the supporter of it or the endorser of it.

Senator KENNEDY. As a personal matter, since you have reviewed these subjects, would you comment? I know it is maybe unusual, but you can understand what we are attempting to do.

Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir.

Senator KENNEDY. From your own experience in the agency, you can understand the value of it.

Just finally, in your own testimony now with this additional information, it seems quite apparent to me that you can reconstruct in very careful detail this whole project in terms of the responsible CIA officials for the program. You have so indicated in your testimony. Now with the additional information, and the people, that have been revealed in the examination of the documents, it seems to be pretty clear that you can track that whole program in very careful detail, and I would hope, you know, that you would want to get to the bottom of it, as the Congress does as well. I will come back to that in my next round. Thank you very much.

Senator INOUYE. Senator Goldwater?

Senator GOLDWATER. I have no questions.

Senator INOUYE. Senator Schweiker?

Senator SCHWEIKER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Admiral Turner, I would like to go back to your testimony on
page 12, where you discuss the contribution to the building fund of a private medical institution. You state, "Indeed, it was mentioned in a 1957 Inspector General report on the Technical Services Division of CIA, pertinent portions of which had been reviewed by the Church committee staff." I would like to have you consider this question very carefully. I served as a member o the original Church committee. My staffer did a lot of the work that you are referring to here. He made notes on the IG's report. My question to you is, are you saying that the section that specifically delineates an improper contribution was in fact given to the Church committee staff to see?

Admiral TURNER. The answer to your question is "Yes." The information that a contribution had been made was made available, to the best of my knowledge.

Senator SCHWEIKER. To follow this up further, I'd like to say that I think there was a serious flaw in the way that the IG report was handled and the Church committee was limited. I am not making any accusations, but because of limited access to the report, we have a situ-


ation where it is not even clear whether we actually saw that material or not, simply because we could not keep a copy of the report under the procedures we had to follow. We were limited by notetaking, and so it is rather ambiguous as to just what was seen and what was not seen. I certainly hope that the new Intelligence Committee will not be bound by procedures that restrict its ability to exercise effective oversight.

I have a second question. Does it concern you, Admiral, that we used a subterfuge which resulted in the use of Federal construction grant funds to finance facilities for these sorts of experiments on our own people? Because as I understand what you are saying, while the CIA maybe only put up $375,000, this triggered a response on the part of the Federal Government to provide on a good faith basis matching hospital funds at the same level. We put up more than $1 million of matching funds, some based on an allegedly private donation which was really CIA money.

Isn't there something basically wrong with that?

Admiral TURNER. I certainly believe there is. As I stated, the General Counsel of the CIA at that time rendered a legal opinion that this was a legal undertaking, and again I am hesitant to go back and revisit the atmosphere, the laws, the attitudes at that time, so whether the counsel was on good legal ground or not, I am not enough of a lawyer to be sure, but it certainly would occur to me if it happened today as a very questionable activity.

Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, I think those of us who have worked on and amended the Hill-Burton Act and other hospital construction assistance laws over the years, would have a rather different opinion on the legal intent or object of Congress in passing laws to provide hospital construction project money. These funds weren't intended for this.

It reminds me a little bit of the shellfish toxin situation which turned up when I was on the Church committee. The Public Health Service was used to produce a deadly poison with Public Health money. Here we are using general hospital construction money to carry on a series of drug experimentation.

Admiral TURNER. Excuse me, sir. If I could just be, I think, accurate, I don't think any of this $375,000 or the matching funds were used to conduct drug experiments. They were used to build the hospital. Now, the CIA the put more money into a foundation that was conducting research on the CIA's behalf supposedly in that hospital, so the intent was certainly there, but the money was not used for experimentation.

Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, I understand it was used for bricks and mortar, but the bricks were used to build the facility where the experiments were carried on; were they not?

Admiral TURNER. We do not have positive evidence that they were. It certainly would seem that that was the intent, but I do not want to draw inferences here --

Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, why else would they give this money for the building fund if the building was not used for a purpose that benefited the CIA program?

Admiral TURNER. I certainly draw the inference that the CIA expected to benefit from it, and some of the wording says the General


Counsel's opinion was that this was legal only if the CIA was going to derive adequate benefit from it, but, sir, there is no evidence of what benefit was derived.

Senator SCHWEIKER. There must have been some pretty good benefits at stake. The Atomic Energy Commission was to bear a share of the cost, and when they backed out for some reason or another, the CIA picked up part of their tab. So, at two different points there were indications that CIA decisionmakers thought there was great benefit to be derived from whatever happened within the brick and mortar walls of that facility.

Admiral TURNER. You are absolutely right. I am only taking the position that I cannot substantiate that there was benefit derived.

Senator SCHWEIKER. The agreement documents say that the CIA would have access to one-sixth of the space involved in the construction of the wing, so how would you enter into an agreement that specifically says that you will have access to and use of one-sixth of the space and not perform something in that space? I cannot believe it was empty.

Admiral TURNER. Sir, I am not disputing you at all, but both of us are saying that the inference is that one-sixth of the space was used, that experimentation was done, and so on, but there is no factual evidence of what went on as a result of that payment or what went on in that hospital. It is just missing. It is not that it didn't happen.

Senator SCHWEIKER. Admiral Turner, one other--

Senator KENNEDY. Would the Senator yield on that point?

Senator SCHWEIKER. I understand that in the agency's documents on the agreement it was explicitly stated that one-sixth of the facility would be designated for CIA use and made available for CIA research are you familiar--

Mr. BRODY. Senator, as I recall, you are right in that there is a mention of one-sixth, but any mention at all has to do with planning. There are no subsequent reports as to what happened after the construction took place.

Senator SCHWEIKER. Admiral Turner, I read in the New York Times that part of this series of MKULTRA experiments involved an arrangement with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics to test LSD surreptitiously on unwitting patrons in bars in New York and San Francisco. Some of the subjects became violently ill and were hospitalized. I wonder if you would just briefly describe what we were doing there and how it was carried out? I assume it was through a safe house operation. I don't believe your statement went into much detail.

Admiral TURNER. I did mention the safe house operation in my statement, sir, and that is how these were carried out. What we have learned from the new documentation is the location and the dates at which the safe houses were run by the CIA and the identification of three individuals who were associated with running those safe houses. We know something about the construction work that was done in them because there were contracts for this. Beyond that, we are pretty much drawing inferences as to the things that went on as to what you are saying here.

Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, the subjects were unwitting. You can infer that much, right?

Admiral TURNER. Right.


Senator SCHWEIKER. If you happened to be at the wrong bar at the wrong place and time, you got it.

Mr. BRODY. Senator, that would be -- contacts were made, as we understand it, in bars, et cetera, and then the people may have been invited to these safe houses. There really isn't any indication as to the fact that this took place in bars.

Admiral TURNER. We are trying to be very precise with you, sir, and not draw an inference here. There are 6 cases of these 149 where we have enough evidence in this new documentation to substantiate that there was unwitting testing and some of that involves these safe houses. There are other cases where it is ambiguous as to whether the testing was witting or voluntary. There are others where it was clearly voluntary.

Senator SCHWEIKER. Of course, after a few drinks, it is questionable whether informed consent means anything to a person in a bar anyway.

Admiral TURNER. Well, we don't have any indication that all these cases where it is ambiguous involved drinking of any kind. There are cases in penal institutions where it is not clear whether the prisoner was given a choice or not. I don't know that he wasn't given a choice, but I don't positively know that he was, and I classify that as an ambiguous incident.

Senator INOUYE. Your time is up, Senator.

Senator Huddleston?

Senator HUDDLESTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Admiral Turner, you stated in your testimony that you are convinced there was no attempt to conceal this recently discovered documentation during the earlier searches. Did you question the individuals connected with the earlier search before you made that judgment?

Admiral TURNER. Yes; I haven't, I don't think, questioned everybody who looked in the files or is still on our payroll who looked in the files back in 1975, but Mr. Laubinger on my left is the best authority on this, and I have gone over it with him in some detail.

Senator HUDDLESTON. But you have inquired, you think, sufficiently to assure yourself that there was no intent on the part of any person to conceal these records from the previous committee?

Admiral TURNER. I am persuaded of that both by my questioning of people and by the circumstances and the way in which these documents were filed, by the fact which I did not and should have mentioned in my testimony, that these were not the official files. The ones that we have received or retrieved were copies of files that were working files that somebody had used, and therefore were slipped into a different location, and again I say to you , sir, I can't imagine their deliberately concealing these particular files and revealing the other things that they did reveal in 1975. I don't see the motive for that, because these are not that damning compared with the overall material that was provided.

Senator HUDDLESTON. Is this the kind of operation that if it were continuing now or if there were anything similar to it, that you would feel compelled to report to the Select Committee on Intelligence?

Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir. You mean, if I discovered that something like this were going on without my knowledge? Yes, I would feel absolutely the requirement to --


Senator HUDDLESTON. But if it were going on with your knowledge, would you report it to the committee? I assume you would.

Admiral TURNER. Yes. Well, it would not be going on with my knowledge, but theoretically the answer is yes, sir.

Senator HUDDLESTON. Well, then, what suggestions would you have as we devise charters for the various intelligence agencies? What provision would you suggest to prohibit this kind of activity from taking place? Would you suggest that it ought to be specifically outlined in a statutory charter setting out the parameters of the permissible operation of the various agencies?

Admiral TURNER. I think that certainly is something we must consider as we look at the legislation for charters. I am not on the face of it opposed to it. I think we would have to look at the particular wording as we are going to have to deal with the whole charter issue as to exactly how precise you want to be in delineating restraints and curbs on the intelligence activities.

Senator HUDDLESTON. In the case of sensitive type operations, which this certainly was, which might be going on today, is the oversight activity of the agency more intensive now than it was at that time?

Admiral TURNER. Much more so. I mean, I have briefed you, sir, and the committee on our sensitive operations. We have the Intelligence Oversight Board. We have a procedure in the National Security Council for approval of very sensitive operations. I think the amount of spotlight focused on these activities is many, manyfold what it was in these 12 to 24 years ago.

Senator HUDDLESTON. How about the record keeping?

Admiral TURNER. Yes; I can't imagine anyone having the gall to think that he can just blithely destroy records today with all of the attention that has come to this, and certainly we are emphasizing that that is not the case.

Senator HUDDLESTON. Admiral, I was particularly interested in the activity that took place at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital at Lexington, Ky., in which a Dr. Harris Isbell conducted experiments on people who were presumably patients there. There was a narcotics institution, I take it, and Dr. Isbell was, according to the New York Times story, carrying on a secret series of correspondence with an individual at the agency by the name of Ray. Have you identified who that person is?

Admiral TURNER. Sir, I find myself in a difficult position here at a public hearing to confirm or deny these names in view of my legal responsibilities under the Privacy Act not to disclose the names of individuals here.

Senator HUDDLESTON. I am just asking you if you have identified the person referred to in that article as Ray. I am not asking you who he was. I just want to know if you know who he is.

Admiral TURNER. No. I am sorry, was this W-r-a-y or R-a-y?

Senator HUDDLESTON. It is listed in the news article as R-a-y, in quotations.

Admiral TURNER. No, sir, we have not identified him.

Senator HUDDLESTON. So you have no knowledge of whether or note is still a member of your staff or connected with the Agency in any way. Have you attempted to identify him?



Admiral TURNER. Senator, we have a former employee whose first name is Ray who may have had some connection with these activities.

Senator HUDDLESTON. You suspect that but you have not verified that at this time, or at least you are not in a position to indicate that you have verified it?

Admiral TURNER. That is correct.

Senator HUDDLESTON. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Senator INOUYE. Senator Wallop?

Senator WALLOP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Admiral Turner, not all of the -- and in no way trying to excuse you of the hideous nature of some of these projects, but not all of the projects under MKULTRA are of a sinister or even a moral nature. Is that a fair statement?

Admiral TURNER. That is correct.

Senator WALLOP. Looking down through some of these 17 projects not involving human testing, aspects of the magician's art, it doesn't seem as though there is anything very sinister about that. Studies of human behavior and sleep research, library searches. Now, those things in their way are still of interest, are they not, to the process of intelligence gathering?

Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir. I have not tried to indicate that we either are not doing or would not do any of the things that were involved in MKULTRA, but when it comes to the witting or unwitting testing of people with drugs, that is certainly verboten, but there are other things.

Senator WALLOP. Even with volunteer patients? I mean, I am not trying to put you on the spot to say whether it is going on, but I mean, it is not an uncommon thing, is it, in the prisons of the United States for the Public Health Service to conduct various kinds of experiments with vaccines and, say, sunburn creams? I know in Arizona they have done so.

Admiral TURNER. My understanding is, lots of that is authorized, but I am not of the opinion that this is not the CIA's business, and that if we need some information in that category, I would prefer to go to the other appropriate authorities of the Government and ask them to get it for us rather than to in any way--

Senator WALLOP. Well, you know, you have library searches and attendants at the national seminars. This is why I wanted to ask you if the bulk of these projects were in any way the kinds of things that the Agency might not do now. A President would not have been horrified by the list of the legitimate types of things. Isn't that probably the case?

Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir.

Senator WALLOP. And if it did in fact appear in the IG report, is there any reason to suppose that the President did not know of this project? You said there was no reason to suppose that he did, but let me reverse that. Is there any reason to suppose that they did not?

Admiral TURNER. No.

Senator WALLOP. Well, you know, I just cannot imagine you or literally anybody undertaking projects of the magnitude of dollars here and just not knowing about it, not informing your superior that


these were going on, especially when certain items of it appear in the Inspector General's report on budget matters.

Admiral TURNER. Well, I find it difficult when it is that far back to hypothesize what the procedures that the Director was using in terms of informing his superiors were. It is quite a different climate from today, and I think we do a lot more informing to day than they did back then, but I find it very difficult to guess what the level of knowledge was.

Senator WALLOP. I am really not asking you to second-guess it, but it just seems to me that, while the past is past, and thank goodness we are operating under different sets of circumstances, I think it is naive for us to suppose that these things were conducted entirely without the knowledge of the Presidents of the United States during those times. It is just the kinds of research information that was being sought was vital to the United States, not the means, but the information that they were trying to find.

Admiral TURNER. I am sorry. Your question is, was this vital? Did we view it as vital?

Senator WALLOP. Well, your implication at the beginning was that it was a response to the kinds of behavior that were seen in Cardinal Mindszenty's trial and other things. I mean, somebody must have thought that this was an important defensive reaction, if nothing else, on the part of the United States.

Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir, I am sure they did, but again I just don't know how high that permeated the executive branch.

Senator WALLOP. But the kinds of information are still important to you. I mean, I am not suggesting that anyone go back and do that kind of thing again, but I'm certain it would be of use to you to know what was going to happen to one of your agents assuming someone had put one of these things into his bloodstream, or tried to modify his behavior.

Admiral TURNER. Absolutely, and you know, we would be very concerned if we thought there were things like truth serums or other things that our agents or others could be subjected to by use or improper use of drugs by other powers against our people or agents.

Senator WALLOP. Are there? I don't ask you to name them, but are there such serums?

Admiral TURNER. I don't know of them if there are. I would have to answer that for the record, sir.

Senator WALLOP. I would appreciate that.

[The material referred to follows.]

Next: "Truth" Drugs in Interrogation
Continue Reading CIA Director Stansfield Turner's Testimony