Operation Paperclip offshoots: LSD & Torture experiments

CIA officials were particularly interested in importing Nazi doctors and chemists with experience in “scientific” interrogation techniques—“modifying behavior through covert means” –a euphemism for torture. That goal came into being with – ARTICHOKE, MK-ULTRA, BLUEBIRD– using dangerous psychoactive chemicals to brainwash, incapacitate and control.

In the 1950s Edgewood’s research focus shifted to psychoactive chemical warfare; Nazi physicians and chemists from Operation Paperclip worked jointly with American medical scientists. American soldiers were subjected to mind-control experiments testing a myriad of psychoactive drugs, including the hallucinogen LSD, which was surreptitiously put in the beverages of unsuspecting soldiers, often with terrifying consequences. They were also subjected to electroshock and behavior control techniques; and some had electrodes implanted in their brains. These experiments were conducted with utter disregard for their humanity.  (Read Chemical & Biological Experiments on Soldiers)

In his book, A Terrible Mistake (2009) Hank Albarelli cites a top secret report (1949) issued by the director of research at Edgewood Arsenal where numerous government LSD experiments were conducted, urged the army to “do everything possible to launch field experiments” using LSD. Mounting evidence points to the disastrous consequences of an LSD “field experiment” in 1951 which had been falsely blamed on tainted bread. (Read Pont-Saint-Esprit; see French Documentary film, Le Pain du Diable)

In the mid-1950s, Fritz Hoffmann ordered a large supply of LSD from Sandoz Co. in Basle, Switzerland; on several occasions he also met with Sandoz officials and with Harvard’s Dr. Henry Beecher, a covert CIA academic. (Read CIA Mind Control) Hoffmann ordered hundreds of rhesus monkeys shipped to Fort Detrick’s Special Operations Division where they were fed “a steady diet of psychotropic drugs” to study various stages of induced “psychotic behavior.” These experiments quickly evolved into human experiments conducted on U.S. service personnel at Ft. Detrick and federal prisons. A former researcher is quoted saying:

I don’t know which was more frightening, one of the monkeys pumped-up on a cocktail of psychedelics or one of the drugged, out-of-control inmates at Atlanta’s federal penitentiary.” (Albarelli. CIA’s Denial of Protecting Nazis: A Blatant Lie, 2010)

In 1953, the CIA extended its psychoactive chemical experiments to civilian populations. MK-ULTRA, the code name for clandestine CIA LSD experiments, were conducted not only at Top Secret military bases, but at 88 non-government institutions – including universities, hospitals, and prisons. The experiments were conducted on thousands hundreds of unwitting subjects. Annie Jacobsen reported that between 1946—1950s:

the CIA, Army, Air Force and Naval Intelligence ran one of the most nefarious, classified enhanced interrogation programs of the Cold War. The work took place inside a clandestine facility in the American zone of occupied Germany, called Camp King. The facility’s chief medical doctor was Dr. Walter Schreiber, former Surgeon General of the Third Reich who was secretly brought to America — to work for the U.S. Air Force in Texas — his position [at Camp King] was filled with another Paperclip asset, Dr. Kurt Blome, former Deputy Surgeon General of the Third Reich; the man in charge of the Nazi’s program to weaponize bubonic plague.” (Jacobsen, Operation Paperclip, 2014).

Jacobsen reproduces a 1953 secret memo sent by CIA Director Allen Dulles to Richard Helms, the new chief of Foreign Intelligence, and Frank Wisner, CIA Deputy Director stating: 

“In our conversation of 9 February 1951, I outlined to you the possibilities of augmenting the usual interrogation methods by the use of drugs, hypnosis, shock, etc., and emphasized the defensive aspects as well as the offensive opportunities in this field of applied medical science. The enclosed folder, ‘Interrogation Techniques,’ was prepared in my Medical Division to provide you with a suitable background.”

Dulles went on to explain that Camp King was the perfect overseas location for these radical interrogation trials because foreign governments “permitted certain activities which were not permitted by the United States government (i.e. anthrax etc.).” Jacobsen notes that the activities at Camp King have never been fully accounted for by either the DoD or the CIA. (Read CIA Torture Experiments)

In 1953-1954, Hoffmann participated in covert drug experiments conducted by the Army and CIA in Panama and Haiti. Hank Albarelli quotes a former Army intelligence officer who observed:

The activities that couldn’t be conducted in Maryland at [Fort] Detrick or Edgewood [Arsenal], things nobody could get away with in the United Sates, were done in Panama and Haiti because there were no regulatory or legal obstacles in either country. The only potential problems were of a moral nature and those were always put or pushed aside.” (CIA Denial A Blatant Lie, 2010)

This shows that the recently uncovered immoral Guatemala syphilis experiments fall within a pattern of government-sponsored experimental abuse of off-shore populations, rather than an isolated incident. (Read Unethical U.S. Cold War Experiments)

In 1961, following nearly 15 years of employment with the U.S. Army and the CIA, Fritz Hoffmann left his government job and accepted an academic appointment as an assistant professor at the University of Delaware. Aiding him in this career move was Dr. James Moore, a covert CIA consultant. (Albarelli. CIA’s Denial of Protecting Nazis is Blatant Lie)