Secret Human Experimentation at CIA

The recent Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments provides informative new background material on the abuse of classification for non-national security purposes, the practice of active public deception, and the continuing conflict between secrecy and environmental laws. The impressive report also makes a number of interesting observations about the role of the CIA in human experimentation programs including the following: * "The CIA indicated that it is currently performing classified human research projects. The agency informed the ... Committee that all human subjects are informed of the CIA's sponsorship and of the specific nature of the study in which they are participating, even if the general purposes of the research are classified." (p. 686). * "The CIA... reported that it was unable to retrieve any records of its participation in the midcentury DOD panels that met in secret to discuss, among other things, human experiments" (p. 646). "The Advisory Committee recommends... that the CIA's record-keeping system be reviewed to ensure that records maintained by that agency are accessible upon legitimate request from the public or governmental sources." (p. 837).* "The Advisory Committee recommends that all records of the CIA bearing on programs of secret human research, such as MKULTRA and the related CIA human behavior projects from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, including Bluebird, Artichoke, MKSEARCH, MKDELTA, Naomi, Chance, Often, and Chickwit, become a top priority for declassification review with the expectation that most, if not all, of these documents can be declassified and made available to the public." (p. 838).The 925 page Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (stock number 061-000-00-848-9) can be purchased for $44 from the Government Printing Office at (202)512- 1800.

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