U.S. Soldiers Subjected to Extreme Interrogation — i.e., Torture

CIA’s Project ARTICHOKE involved extreme methods of interrogation — “enhanced interrogation” — these included hypnosis, forced morphine addiction, drug withdrawal, the use of chemicals and electroshock aimed at inducing amnesia. The experiments induced paranoia and hallucinations in U.S. soldiers who were the unwitting guinea pigs. As Linda Hunt states, the experiments were conducted despite the fact that Edgewood scientists already knew LSD could cause serious physical reactions in humans. Furthermore, British experiments had shown that

during acute LSD intoxication the subject is a potential danger to himself and to others; in some instances a delayed and exceptionally severe response may take place and be followed by serious after effects. . .”

Army Psychiatrist James S. Ketchum, served at Edgewood Arsenal from 1956 to 1976 where he became the military’s leading expert in secret Cold War psychochemical experiments on thousands of healthy soldiers. The goal of the experiments was to incapacitate the mind in preparation for psychochemical warfare. His colleagues were Dr. Van Murray Sim an internist who had set up the Medical Research Volunteer Program and founded Edgewood Arsenal’s psychochemicals research.

Sim, the “Mengele of Edgewood” was reckless and egocentric; he self-tested the drugs — including LSD, psilocybin, and VX. Ketchum criticized his “hare-brained experiments” and his “lack of scientific (and ethical) judgment” went on to conduct “practical” interrogation experiments overseas. (Raffi Khatchadourian. Operation Delirium, New Yorker series, Dec. 2012) Colonel Douglas Lindsey who replaced Sim as chief medical officer in 1959 was hardly less eccentric or reckless. The drugs were being tested for use in “psychochemical warfare” — whose goal was to incapacitate mental function.

At least one thousand soldiers were given up to twenty doses of LSD to test the drug as a possible interrogation weapon. (Secret Agenda; See, Declassified Edgewood document AD351962; See also CIA Mind-Control Experiments)  The soldiers were used as guinea pigs and the experiments and the harm they produced remained secret for forty years, until the Gulf War ended.