2003: VA 90-day national “stand down” for all human subject research

In 2003, the Veterans Affairs ordered a 90-day national “stand down” for all human subject research activities “in response to the death of subjects”; as well as use of “unqualified researchers.” In January 2004, the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) initiated a review of all Defense Department human subjects protection policies, according to a Department of the Navy (DoN) slide presentation “Human Research Protection Program” at a DoD Training Day on Nov. 14, 2006.

In 2004, the Army began investigating reports from FBI agents that the military was abusing prisoners in Guantanamo. The Navy presentation framed the problem within the historical context of US governmental “non-compliance” with human subjects research protections, including CIA “Mind Control Experiments – LSD, MKULTRA, MKDELTA (1950-1970s) ”strongly suggesting that serious noncompliance issues prompted the review. DDR&E “Threatened to terminate all DoD human subject research on 31 Dec 04.” Slide 29 specifies that “research with POWs or detainees is prohibited.” (DON slides) Neither DoD officials nor Maj. Gen. Ronald Sega who was the DDR&E would comment on the 2004 review. (TruthOut, 2010)