CIA considered potential truth serum for terror suspects

ABC News | 11/13/2018 | Staff
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Shortly after 9/11, the CIA considered using a drug it thought might work like a truth serum and force terror suspects to give up information about potential attacks.

After months of research, the agency decided that a drug called Versed, a sedative often prescribed to reduce anxiety, was "possibly worth a try." But in the end, the CIA decided not to ask government lawyers to approve its use.

Existence - Drug - Research - Program - Medication

The existence of the drug research program — dubbed "Project Medication" — is disclosed in a once-classified report that was provided to the American Civil Liberties Union under a judge's order and was being released by the organization Tuesday.

The 90-page CIA report, which was provided in advance to The Associated Press, is a window into the internal struggle that medical personnel working in the agency's detention and harsh interrogation program faced in reconciling their professional ethics with the chance to save lives by preventing future attacks.

Doctors - Anything - ACLU - Attorney - Dror

"That doesn't mean that the doctors were sadistic or anything like that," said ACLU attorney Dror Ladin. "But it means they were complicit because this pseudo-scientific torture could not have happened without the doctors' participation."

Between 2002 and 2007, CIA doctors, psychologists, physician assistants and nurses were directly involved in the interrogation program, the report said. They evaluated, monitored and cared for 97 detainees in 10 secret CIA facilities abroad and accompanied detainees on more than 100 flights.

CIA - Justice - Department - Interrogations - CIA

The CIA ultimately decided against asking the Justice Department to approve drug-assisted interrogations, sparing CIA doctors "some significant ethical concerns," the report said. It had taken months for the Justice Department to sign off on brutal interrogation tactics, including sleep deprivation, confinement in small spaces and the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding. The CIA's counterterrorism team "did not want to raise another issue with the Department of Justice," the report said.

Before settling...
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