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Monday, January 12, 2009

Vets Sue for testing

Vietnam Vets Sue CIA for Secret Drug Experiments on GIs
By Jeff Stein January 7, 2009 2:59 PM Comments (0)
A Vietnam veterans group is suing the CIA for "thousands of secret experiments to test toxic chemical and biological substances under code names such as MKULTRA.," its attorneys said today.The suit was filed in federal court in northern California on behalf of the Washington-based Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc., and six aging veterans with multiple diseases and ailments "tied to a diabolical and secret testing program, whereby U.S. military personnel were deliberately exposed, by government and military agencies, to chemical and biological weapons and other toxins without informed consent," the Morrison & Foerster law firm said in a press release.The firm said the alleged CIA research program was launched in the early 1950s and continued through at least 1976 at the Edgewood Arsenal and Fort Detrick, Md., as well as universities and hospitals across the country contracted by the CIA.Defendants include the CIA, the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense and various government officials responsible for these agencies. "The CIA secretly provided financing, personnel, and direction for the experiments, which were mainly conducted or contracted by the Army," the suit says.According to the veterans, the experiments, conducted over a 25 year period, included:· the use of troops to test nerve gas, psychochemicals, and thousands of other toxic chemical or biological substances, and ... the insertion of septal implants in the brains of subjects in ... mind control experiments that went awry, leaving many civilian and military subjects with permanent disabilities;· the failure to secure informed consent and other widespread failures to follow the precepts of U.S. and international law regarding the use of human subjects, including the 1953 Wilson Directive and the Nuremberg Code;· a ... refusal by the DoD, the CIA, and the Army to ... locate the victims of their ... experiments or to provide health care or compensation to them;· the destruction by the CIA of evidence and filesThe plaintiffs have scheduled a news conference Wednesday at the San Francisco offices of the Morrison & Foerster firm.UPDATE: CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf said the agency would have no comment "on specific matters before the court."But, she added, "CIA activities related to MK-ULTRA have been thoroughly investigated, and the CIA fully cooperated with each of the investigations. In addition, tens of thousands of pages from documents related to the program have been declassified and released to the public.
"MK-ULTRA was investigated in 1975 by the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee, and in 1977 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research," Harf added.Several books have been written about the CIA drug experiments, which began with a Korean War-era mind-control race with Soviet and Chinese scientists. The idea was to create an American version of "The Manchurian Candidate," or drug-controlled assassin.
Tags: Army, CIA, Defense Department, drug experiments, Manchurian Candidate, MKULTRA, Morrison & Foerster, Vietnam Veterans of America