implanted electrodes in brains of unsuspecting soldiers, suit alleges
of military veterans are suing to get the CIA to come clean about allegedly
implanting remote control devices in their brains.
known that the CIA began testing substances like LSD on soldiers beginning
in the 1950s but less is known about allegations that the agency implanted
electrodes in subjects.
lawsuit (.pdf) claimed that the CIA intended to design and test septal
electrodes that would enable them to control human behavior. The lawsuit
said that because the government never disclosed the risks, the subjects
were not able to give informed consent.
Price, one plaintiff in the lawsuit, believes that MRI scans confirm that
the CIA placed a device in his brain in 1966.
one point, Bruce was ordered to visit a building with a chain link fence
that housed test animals, including dogs, cats, guinea pigs and monkeys.
After reporting, Bruce was strapped across his chest, his wrists, and
his ankles to a gurney. Bruce occasionally would regain consciousness
for brief moments. On one such instance, he remembers being covered with
a great deal of blood, and assumed it was his own, but did not really
know the source. Also portions of his arms and the backs of his hand were
blue. His wrist and ankles were bruised and sore at the points where he
had been strapped to the gurney. Bruce believes that this is the time
period during which a septal implant was placed in his brain.
to a 1979 book by former State Department intelligence officer John Marks,
CIA and the Search for the Manchurian Candidate, an internal 1961 memo
by a top agency scientist reported that "the feasibility of remote
control of activities in several species of animals has been demonstrated...
Special investigations and evaluations will be conducted toward the application
of selected elements of these techniques to man."
CIA pursued such experiments because it was convinced the Soviets were doing
the same," The
Washington Post's Jeff Stein noted.
Magistrate Judge James Larson ruled that the CIA must produce records
and testimony regarding the experiments conducted on thousands of soldiers
from 1950 through 1975.
CIA has already claimed that some documents are protected under the state-secrets
privilege, but Larson said the agency needs to be more specific," Courthouse
News Service reported.
CIA insisted discovery was unwarranted in its case, because it never funded
or conducted drug research on military personnel.
court rejects the conclusion that the CIA necessarily lacks a nexus to
Plaintiffs' claims, and orders the CIA to respond in earnest" to
the veterans' requests, "particularly because defendants have presented
evidence that would appear to cast doubt on that conclusion," he
Larson ruled that the CIA did not have to produce records about devices
implanted in some of the subjects.
P. Erspamer, lead attorney for the veterans, told The Washington Post that
he is still pursuing the CIA for implanting devices in his clients' brains.
"There is no question that these experiments were done but defendants
say that they used private researchers and test subjects drawn from prisons,
hospitals and nursing homes as subjects, not active duty military [personnel],"
Erspamer said. "CIA said it had no one knowledgeable on this topic."
noted that papers filed in the case describe "electrical devices implanted
in brain tissue with electrodes in various regions, including the hippocampus,
the hypothalamus, the frontal lobe (via the septum), the cortex and various
lot of this
work was done out of Tulane University using a local state hospital
and funding from a cut-out (front) organization called the Commonwealth
Fund," he said.
"We tried to get
docs from Tulane, but they told us that they were destroyed in the hurricane