Table of Contents
TESTIMONY OF ADM. STANSFIELD TURNER,
DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
Accompanied by Frank Laubinger, Office of Technical Services; Al Brody, Office of
Inspector General; Ernest Mayerfield, Office of General Counsel; and George L. Cary,
Admiral TURNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to begin by
thanking you and Senator Kennedy for having a joint hearing this morning. I hope this will
expedite and facilitate our getting all the information that both of your committees need
into the record quickly.
I would like also to thank you both for prefacing the remarks today by reminding us all
that the events about which we are here to talk are 12- to 24-years old. They in no way
represent the current activities or policies of the Central Intelligence Agency.
What we are here to do is to give you all the information that we now have and which we
did not previously have on a subject known s Project MKULTRA, a project which took place
from 1953 to 1964. It was an umbrella project under which there were numerous subprojects
for research, among other things, on drugs and behavioral modification. What the new
material that we offer today is a supplement to the considerable material that was made
available in 1975, during the Church committee hearings, and also to the Senate
Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research.
At that time, the CIA offered up all of the information and documents it believed it had
available. The principal one available at that time that gave the greatest amount of
information on this subject was a report of the CIA's Inspector General written in 1963,
and which led directly to the termination of this activity in 1964, 13 years ago.
The information available in 1975 to the various investigating groups was indeed sparse,
first because of the destruction of material that took place in 1973, as detailed by
Senator Kennedy a minute ago, with the concurrence of the then Director of Central
Intelligence and under the supervision of the Director of the Office of Technical Services
that supervised Project MKULTRA.
The material in 1975 was also sparse because most of the CIA people who had been involved
in 1953 to 1964 in this activity had retired from the Agency. I would further add that I
think the material was sparse in part because it was the practice at that time not to keep
detailed records in this category.
For instance, the 1963 report of the Inspector General notes:
Present practice is to maintain no records of the planning and approval
of test programs.
In brief, there were few records to begin with and less after the destruction of 1973.
What I would like to do now, though, is to proceed and let you know what the new material
adds to our knowledge of this topic, and I will start by describing how the material was
discovered and why it was not previously discovered. The material in question, some seven
boxes, had been sent to our Retired Records Center outside of the Washington area. It was
discovered that as the result of an extensive search by an employee charged with the
responsibility for maintaining our holdings on behavioral drugs and for responding to
Freedom of Information Act requests on this subject.
During the Church committee investigation of 1975, searches for MKULTRA-related material
were made by examining both the active and the retired records of all of the branches of
CIA considered likely to have had an association with MKULTRA documents. The retired
records of the Budget and Fiscal Section of the branch that was responsible for such work
were not searched, however. This was because the financial paper associated with sensitive
projects such as MKULTRA were normally maintained by the branch itself under the project
title, MKULTRA, not by the Budget and Fiscal Section under the project title, MKULTRA, not
by the Budget and Fiscal Section under a special budget file.
In the case at hand, however, this newly located material had been sent to the Retired
Records Center in 1970 by the Budget and Fiscal Section of this branch as part of its own
retired holdings. In short, what should have been filed by the branch itself was filed by
the Budget and Fiscal Section, and what should have been filed under the project title,
MKULTRA, was filed under budget and fiscal matters. The reason for this departure from the
normal procedure of that time is simply not known, and as a result of it, however, the
material escaped retrieval and destruction in 1973, as well as discovery in 1975.
The employee who located this material did so by leaving no stone unturned in his efforts
to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request, or several of them, in fact. He
reviewed all of the listings of material of this branch, stored at the Retired Records
Center, including those of the Budget and Fiscal Section, and thus discovered the
MKULTRA-related documents, which had been missed in the previous searches.
In sum, the agency failed to uncover these particular documents in 1973, in the process of
attempting to destroy them. It similarly failed to locate them in 1975, in response to the
Church committee hearings. I am personally persuaded that there is no evidence of any
attempt to conceal this material during the earlier searches. Moreover, as we will discuss
as we proceed, I do not believe the material itself is such that
there would be a motive on the part of the CIA to withhold this, having disclosed what it
did in 1975.
Next, let me move to the nature of this recently located material. It is important to
remember what I have just noted, that these folders that were discovered are finance
folders. The bulk of the material in them consists of approvals for the advance of funds,
vouchers, and accountings and such, most of which are not very informative as to the
nature of the activities that they were supporting. Occasional project proposals or
memoranda commenting on some aspect of a subproject are scattered throughout this
material. In general, however, the recovered material does not include overall status
reports or other documents relating to operational considerations, or to the progress on
various subprojects, though some elaboration of the activities contemplated does appear
from time to time.
There are roughly three categories of projects. First, there are 149 MKULTRA subprojects,
many of which appear to have some connection with research into behavioral modification,
drug acquisition and testing, or administering drugs surreptitiously. Second, there are
two boxes of miscellaneous MKULTRA papers, including audit reports and financial
statements from intermediary funding mechanisms used to conceal CIA sponsorship of various
Finally, there are 33 additional subprojects concerning certain intelligence activities
previously funded under MKULTRA but which have nothing to do either with behavioral
modifications, drugs or toxins, or any closely related matter.
We have attempted to group the activities covered by the 149 subprojects into categories
under descriptive headings. In broad outline, at least, this presents the contents of
these files. The following 15 categories are the ones we have divided these into.
First, research into the effects of behavioral drugs and/or alcohol. Within this, there
are 17 projects probably not involving human testing. There are 14 subprojects definitely
involving testing on human volunteers. There are 19 subprojects probably including tests
on human volunteers and 6 subprojects involving tests on unwitting human beings.
Second, there is research on hypnosis, eight subprojects, including two involving hypnosis
and drugs in combination.
Third, there are seven projects on the acquisition of chemicals or drugs.
Fourth, four subprojects on the aspects of the magician's art, useful in covert
operations, for instance, the surreptitious delivery of drug-related materials.
Fifth, there are nine projects on studies of human behavior, sleep research, and
behavioral change during psychotherapy.
Sixth, there are projects on library searches and attendants at seminars and international
conferences on behavioral modifications.
Seventh, there are 23 projects on motivational studies, studies of defectors, assessments
of behavior and training techniques.
Eighth, there are three subprojects on polygraph research.
Ninth, there are three subprojects on funding mechanisms for MKULTRA's external research
Tenth, there are six subprojects on research on drugs, toxins, and biologicals in human
tissue, provision of exotic pathogens, and the capability to incorporate them in effective
Eleventh, there are three subprojects involving funding support for unspecified activities
conducted with the Army Special Operations Division at Fort Detrich, Md. This activity is
outlined in Book I of the Church committee report, pages 388 to 389. (See Appendix A, pp. 68-69).
Under CIA's Project MKNAOMI, the Army assisted the CIA in developing, testing, and
maintaining biological agents and delivery systems for use against humans as well as
against animals and crops.
Thirteenth, there are single subprojects in such areas as the effects of electroshock,
harassment techniques for offensive use, analysis of extrasensory perception, gas
propelled sprays and aerosols, and four subprojects involving crop and material sabotage.
Fourteenth, one or two subprojects on each of the following: blood grouping research;
controlling the activities of animals; energy storage and transfer in organic systems; and
stimulus and response in biological systems.
Finally, 15th, there are three subprojects canceled before any work was done on them
having to do with laboratory drug screening, research on brain concussion, and research on
biologically active materials.
Now, let me address how much this newly discovered material adds to what has previously
been reported to the Church committee and to Senator Kennedy's Subcommittee on Health. The
answer is basically additional detail. The principal types of activities included in these
documents have for the most part been outlined or to some extent generally described in
what was previously available in the way of documentation and which was supplied by the
CIA to the Senate investigators.
For example, financial disbursement records for the period of 1960 to 1964 for 76 of these
149 subprojects had been recovered by the Office of Finance at CIA and were made available
to the Church committee investigators. For example, the 1963 Inspector General report on
MKULTRA made available to both the Church Committee and the Subcommittee on Health
mentions electroshock and harassment substances, covert testing on unwitting U.S.
citizens, the search for new materials through arrangements with specialists in hospitals
and universities, and the fact that the Technical Service Division of CIA had initiated
144 subprojects related to the control of human behavior.
For instance also, the relevant section of a 1957 Inspector General report was also made
available to the Church committee staff, and that report discusses the techniques for
human assessment and unorthodox methods of communication, discrediting and disabling
materials which can be covertly administered, studies on magicians' arts as applied to
covert operations, and other similar topics.
The most significant new data that has been discovered are, first, the names of
researchers and institutions who participated in
MKULTRA projects, and second, a possibly improper contribution by the CIA to a private
institution. We are now in the possession of the names of 185 nongovernment researchers
and assistants who are identified in the recovered material dealing with these 149
There are also names of 80 institutions where work was done or with which these people
were affiliated. The institutions include 44 colleges or universities, 15 research
foundation or chemical or pharmaceutical companies or the like, 12 hospitals or clinics,
in addition to those associated with the universities, and 3 penal institutions.
While the identities of some of these people and institutions were known previously, the
discovery of the new identities adds to our knowledge of MKULTRA.
The facts as they pertain to the possibly improper contribution are as follows. One
project involves a contribution of $375,000 to a building fund of a private medical
institution. The fact that that contribution was made was previously known. Indeed, it was
mentioned in the 1957 report of the Inspector General on the Technical Service Division of
CIA that supervised MKULTRA, and pertinent portions of this had been reviewed by the
Church committee staff.
The newly discovered material, however, makes it clear that this contribution was made
through an intermediary, which made it appear to be a private donation. As a private
donation, the contribution was then matched by Federal funds. The institution was not made
aware of the true source of the gift. This project was approved by the then Director of
Central Intelligence and concurred in by CIA's top management including the then General
Counsel, who wrote an opinion supporting the legality of the contribution.
The recently discovered documents also give greater insight into the scope of an unwitting
nature of the drug testing, but contribute little more than that. We now do have
corroborating information that some of the unwitting drug testing was carried out in what
is known in the intelligence trade as safe houses in San Francisco and in New York City,
and we have identified that three individuals were involved in this undertaking, whereas
we previously reported there was only one person.
We also know that some unwitting testing took place on criminal sexual psychopaths
confined at a State hospital, and that additionally research was done on a knockout or K
drug in parallel with research to develop painkillers for cancer patients.
These, then, are the principal findings identified to date in our review of this recovered
material. As noted earlier, we believe the detail on the identities of researchers and
institutions involved in CIA sponsorship of drug and behavioral modification research is a
new element and one which poses a considerable problem. Most of the people and
institutions involved were not aware of CIA sponsorship. We should certainly assume that
the researchers and institutions which cooperated with CIA on a witting basis acted in
good faith and in the belief that they were aiding their Government in a legitimate and
I believe that we all have a moral obligation to these researchers and institutions to
protect them from any unjustified embarrassment
or damage to their reputations which revelation of their identities might bring. In
addition, I have a legal obligation under the Privacy Act not to publicly disclose the
names of the individual researchers without their consent.
This is especially true, of course, for those researchers and institutions which were
unwitting participants in CIA sponsored activities.
Nonetheless, Mr. Chairman, I certainly recognize the right and the need of both the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific
Research to investigate the circumstances of these activities in whatever detail you
consider necessary. I am providing your committee with all of the documentation, including
all of the names, on a classified basis. I hope that this will facilitate your
investigation while still protecting the individuals and the institutions involved.
Let me emphasize again that the MKULTRA events are 12 to 24 years in the past, and I
assure you that CIA is in no way engaged in either witting or unwitting testing of drugs
Finally, I am working closely with the Attorney General on this matter. We are making
available to the Attorney General whatever materials he may deem necessary to any
investigations that he may elect to undertake. Beyond that, we are also working with the
Attorney General to determine whether it is practicable from this new evidence to identify
any of the persons to whom drugs were administered, but we are now trying to determine if
there are adequate clues to lead to their identification, and if so how best to go about
fulfilling the Government's responsibilities in this matter.
Mr. Chairman, as we proceed with that process of attempting to identify the individuals
and then determining what is our proper responsibility to them, I will keep both of these
committees fully advised. I thank you, sir.
Senator INOUYE. Thank you very much, Admiral Turner. Your spirit of
cooperation is much appreciated. I would like to announce to the committee that in order
to give every member an opportunity to participate in this hearing, that we would set a
time limit of 10 minutes per Senator.
Admiral Turner, please give this committee the genesis of MKULTRA. Who or what committee
or commission or agency was responsible for dreaming up this grandiose and sinister
project, and why was it necessary? What is the rationale or justification for such a
project and was the President of the United States aware of this?
Admiral TURNER. Mr. Chairman, I am going to ask Mr. Brody on my right,
who is a long-time member of the CIA to address that in more detail. I believe everything
that we know about the genesis was turned over to the Church committee and is contained in
that material. Basically, it was a CIA-initiated project. It started out of a concern of
our being taken advantage of by other powers who would use drugs against our personnel,
and it was approved in the Agency. I have asked the question you just asked me, and have
been assured that there is no evidence within the Agency of any involvement at higher
echelons, the White House, for instance, or specific approval. That does not say there was
not, but we have no such evidence.
Mr. Brody, would you amplify on my comments there, please?
Mr. BRODY. Mr. Chairman, I really have very little to add to that. To my
knowledge, there was no Presidential knowledge of this project at the time. It was a CIA
project, and as the admiral said, it was a project designed to attempt to counteract what
was then thought to be a serious threat by our enemies of using drugs against us. Most of
what else we know about is in the Senate Church committee report.
Senator INOUYE. Are you suggesting that it was intentionally kept away
from the Congress and the President of the United States?
Admiral TURNER. No, sir. We are only saying that we have no evidence one
way or the other as to whether the Congress was informed of this particular project. There
are no records to indicate.
Senator INOUYE. Admiral Turner, are you personally satisfied by actual
investigation that this newly discovered information was not intentionally kept away from
the Senate of the United States?
Admiral TURNER. I have no way to prove that, sir. That is my conviction
from everything I have seen of it.
Senator INOUYE. Now, we have been advised that these documents were
initially discovered in March of this year, and you were notified in July of this year, or
June of this year, and the committee was notified in July. Can you tell us why the
Director of Central Intelligence was notified 3 months after its initial discovery, why
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir. All this started with several Freedom of
Information Act requests, and Mr. Laubinger on my left was the individual who took it upon
himself to pursue these requests with great diligence, and got permission to go to the
Retired Records Center, and then made the decision to look not only under what would be
the expected subject files, but through every file with which the branch that conducted
this type of activity had any conceivable connection.
Very late in March, he discovered these seven boxes. He arranged to have them shipped from
the Retired Records Center to Washington, to our headquarters. They arrived in early
April. He advised his appropriate superiors, who asked him how long he thought it would
take him to go through these and screen them appropriately, clear them for Freedom of
Information Act release.
There are, we originally estimated, 5,000 pages here. We now think that was an
underestimation, and it may be closer to 8,000 pages. He estimated it would take about 45
days or into the middle of May to do that. He was told to proceed, and as he did so there
was nothing uncovered in the beginning of these 149 cases that appeared particularly
startling or particularly additive to the knowledge that had already been given to the
Church committee, some details, but no major revelations.
He and his associates proceeded with deliberateness, but not a great sense of urgency.
There were other interfering activities that came and demanded his time also. He was not
able to put 100 percent of his time on it, and there did not appear to be cause for a
great rush here. We were trying to be responsive to the Freedom of Information Act request
within the limits of our manpower and our priorities.
In early June, however, he discovered two projects, the one related to K drugs and the one
related to the funding at the institution, and realized immediately that he had
substantial new information, and he immediately reported this to his superiors.
Two actions were taken. One was to notify the lawyers of the principal Freedom of
Information Act requestor that we would have substantial new material and that it would be
forthcoming as rapidly as possible, and the second was to start a memorandum up the chain
that indicated his belief that we should notify the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence of this discovery because of the character at least of these two documents.
As that proceeded up from the 13th of June, at each echelon we had to go through the legal
office, the legislative liaison office and at each echelon about the same question was
asked of him: Have you gone through all of this, so that when we notify the Senate Select
Committee we do not notify half of the important revelations and not the other half? The
last thing I want, Mr. Chairman, is in any way to be on any topic, give the appearance on
any topic of being recalcitrant, reluctant, or having to have you drag things out of me,
and my subordinates, much to my pleasure, had each asked, have you really gone through
these 8,000 pages enough to know that we are not going to uncover a bombshell down at the
By late June, about the 28th, this process reached my deputy. He notified me after his
review of it on the 7th of July, which is the first I knew of it. I began reading into it.
I asked the same probing question directly. I then notified my superiors, and on the 15th
delivered to you my letter letting you know that we had this, and we have been working,
many people, many hours since then, to be sure that what we are telling you today does
include all the relevant material.
Senator INOUYE. I would like to commend Mr. Laubinger for his diligence
and expertise, but was this diligence the result of the Freedom of Information Act or
could this diligence have been exercised during the Church hearings? Why was it not
exercised? Admiral TURNER. There is no question that theoretically this
diligence could have been exercised at any time, and it may well be that the Freedom of
Information Act has made us more aware of this. Would you speak for yourself, please.
Mr. LAUBINGER. I really don't attribute it, Senator, to diligence so much
as thoroughness. If you can imagine the pressures under an organization trying to respond,
which I think the CIA did at the time of the Church committee hearings, the hallways of
the floor I am on were full of boxes from our records center. Every box that anyone
thought could possibly contain anything was called up for search. It was one of a frantic
effort to comply.
When the pressure of that situation cools down, and you can start looking at things
systematically, you are apt to find things that you wouldn't under the heat of a crash
program, and that is what happened here.
Senator INOUYE. Thank you very much. Senator Kennedy?
Senator KENNEDY. Admiral Turner, this is an enormously distressing report
that you give to the American Congress and to the American people today. Granted, it
happened many years ago, but what we are
basically talking about is an activity which took place in the country that involved the
perversion and the corruption of many of our outstanding research centers in this country,
with CIA funds, where some of our top researchers were unwittingly involved in research
sponsored by the Agency in which they had no knowledge of the background or the support
Much of it was done with American citizens who were completely unknowing in terms of
taking various drugs, and there are perhaps any number of Americans who are walking around
today on the east coast or west coast who were given drugs, with all the kinds of physical
and psychological damage that can be caused. We have gone over that in very careful
detail, and it is significant and severe indeed.
I do not know what could be done in a less democratic country that would be more alien to
our own traditions than was really done in this narrow area, and as you give this report
to the committee, I would like to get some sense of your own concern about this type of
activity, and how you react, having assumed this important responsibility with the
confidence of President Crater and the overwhelming support, obviously, of the Congress,
under this set of circumstances.
I did not get much of a feeling in reviewing your statement here this morning of the kind
of abhorrence to this type of past activity which I think the American people would
certainly deplore and which I believe that you do, but could you comment upon that
question, and also perhaps give us what ideas you have to insure that it cannot happen
Admiral TURNER. Senator Kennedy, it is totally abhorrent to me to think
of using a human being as a guinea pig and in any way jeopardizing his life and his
health, no matter how great the cause. I am not here to pass judgment on my predecessors,
but I can assure you that this is totally beyond the pale of my contemplation of
activities that the CIA or any other of our intelligence agencies should undertake.
I am taking and have taken what I believe are adequate steps to insure that such things
are not continuing today.
Senator KENNEDY. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
Admiral TURNER. I have asked for a special report assuring me that there
are no drug activities extant, that is, drug activities that involve experimentation.
Obviously, we collect intelligence about drugs and drug use in other countries, but there
are no experimentations being conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency, and I have had
a special check made because of another incident that was uncovered some years ago about
the unauthorized retention of some toxic materials at the CIA. I have had an actual
inspection made of the storage places and the certification from the people in charge of
those that there are no such chemical biological materials present in our keeping, and I
have issued express orders that that shall not be the case.
Beyond that, I have to rely in large measure on my sense of command and direction of the
people and their knowledge of the attitude I have just expressed to you in this regard.
Senator KENNEDY. I think that is very commendable.
Admiral TURNER. Thank you, sir.
Senator KENNEDY. I think it is important that the American people
You know, much of the research which is our area of interest that was being done by the
Agency and the whole involved sequence of activities done by the Agency, I am convinced
could have been done in a legitimate way through the research programs of the National
Institutes of Mental Health, other sponsored activities, I mean, that is some other
question, but I think you went to an awful lot of trouble, where these things could have
Let me ask you specifically, on the followup of MKULTRA, are there now -- I think you have
answered, but I want to get a complete answer about any experimentations that are being
done on human beings, whether it is drugs or behavioral alterations or patterns or any
support, either directly or indirectly, being provided by the Agency in terms of any
experimentation on human beings.
Admiral TURNER. There is no experimentation with drugs on human beings,
witting or unwitting, being conducted in any way.
Senator KENNEDY. All right. How bout the nondrug experimentation our
Committee has seen -- psychosurgery, for example, or psychological research?
Admiral TURNER. We are continually involved in what we call assessment of
behavior. For instance, we are trying to continually improve our polygraph procedures to,
you know, assess whether a person is lying or not. This does not involve any tampering
with the individual body. This involves studying records of people's behavior under
different circumstances, and so n, but it is not an experimental thing. Have I described
that accurately, Al?
Mr. BRODY. Yes.
Senator KENNEDY. Well, it is limited to those areas?
Admiral TURNER. Yes; it does not involve attempting to modify behavior.
It only involves studying behavior conditions, but not trying to actively modify it, as
was one of the objectives of MKULTRA.
Senator KENNEDY. Well, we are scarce on time, but I am interested in the
other areas besides polygraph where you are doing it. Maybe you can either respond now or
submit it for the record, if you would do that. Would you provide that for the record?
Admiral TURNER. Yes.
[The material on psychological assessments
Psychological assessments are performed as a service to officers in the
operations directorate who recruit and/or handle agents. Except for people involved in
training courses, the subjects of the assessments are foreign nationals. The assessments
are generally done to determine the most successful tactic to persuade the subject to
accept convert employment by the CIA, and to make an appraisal of his reliability and
A majority of the work is done by a staff of trained psychologists, some of whom are
stationed overseas. The assessments they do may be either direct or indirect. Direct
assessments involve a personal interview of the subject by the psychologist. When possible
the subject is asked to complete a formal "intelligence test" which is actually
a disguised psychological test. Individuals being assessed are not given drugs, nor are
they subjected to physical harassment or torture. When operating conditions are such that
a face-to-face interview is not possible, the psychologist may do an indirect assessment,
using as source materials descriptions of the subject by others, interviews with people
who know him, specimens of his writings, etc.
The other psychological assessments involve handwriting analysis or
graphological assessment. The work is done by a pair of trained graphologists, assisted by
a small number of measurement technicians. They generally require at least a page of
handwritten script by the subject. Measurements are made of about 30 different writing
characteristics, and these are charted and furnished to the graphologist for assessments.
The psychologists also give courses in psychological assessment to group of operations
officers, to sharpen their own capabilities to size up people. As part of the training
course, the instructor does a psychological assessment of each student. The students are
writing participants, and results are discussed with them.
It is important to reiterate that psychological assessments are only a service to the
operations officers. In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of the operations
officer to decide how a potential agent should be approached, or to make a judgment as to
whether any agent is telling the truth.
Admiral TURNER. The kind of thing we are interested in is, what will
motivate a man to become an agent of the United States in a difficult situation. We have
to be familiar with that kind of attitudinal response that we can expect from people we
approach to for one reason or another become our spies, but I will be happy to submit a
very specific listing of these.
Senator KENNEDY. Would you do that for the committee?
In the followups, in the MKSEARCH, in the OFTEN, and the CHICKWIT, could you give us also
a report on those particular programs?
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir.
Senator KENNEDY. Did they involve experimentation, human experimentation?
Admiral TURNER. No, sir.
Senator KENNEDY. None of them?
Admiral TURNER. Let me say this, that the CHICKWIT program is the code
name for the CIA participation in what was basically a Department of Defense program. This
program was summarized and reported to the Church committee, to the Congress, and I have
since they have been rementioned in the press in the last 2 days here, I have not had time
to go through and personally review them. I have ascertained that all of the files that we
had and made available before are intact, and I have put a special order out that nobody
will enter those files or in any way touch them without my permission at this point, but
they are in the Retired Records Center outside of Washington, and they are available.
I am not prepared to give you full details on it, because I simply haven't read into that
part of our history, but in addition I would suggest when we want to get into that we
should get the Department of Defense in with us.
Senator KENNEDY. Well, you will supply that information to the
Intelligence Committee, the relevant, I mean, the health aspects, obviously, and the
research we are interested in?
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir.
Senator KENNEDY. Will you let us know, Admiral Turner?
Admiral TURNER. I will be happy to.
[See p. 169 for the material referred to.]
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you. I am running out of time. Do you support the
extension of the protection of human subjects legislation to include the CIA and the DOD?
You commented favorably on that
before, and I am hopeful we can get that on the calendar early in September, and that is
our strong interest.
Admiral TURNER. The CIA certainly has no objection to that proposed
legislation, sir. It is not my role in the administration to be the supporter of it or the
endorser of it.
Senator KENNEDY. As a personal matter, since you have reviewed these
subjects, would you comment? I know it is maybe unusual, but you can understand what we
are attempting to do.
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir.
Senator KENNEDY. From your own experience in the agency, you can
understand the value of it.
Just finally, in your own testimony now with this additional information, it seems quite
apparent to me that you can reconstruct in very careful detail this whole project in terms
of the responsible CIA officials for the program. You have so indicated in your testimony.
Now with the additional information, and the people, that have been revealed in the
examination of the documents, it seems to be pretty clear that you can track that whole
program in very careful detail, and I would hope, you know, that you would want to get to
the bottom of it, as the Congress does as well. I will come back to that in my next round.
Thank you very much.
Senator INOUYE. Senator Goldwater?
Senator GOLDWATER. I have no questions.
Senator INOUYE. Senator Schweiker?
Senator SCHWEIKER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral Turner, I would like to go back to your testimony on page 12, where you discuss the contribution to the building
fund of a private medical institution. You state, "Indeed, it was mentioned in a 1957
Inspector General report on the Technical Services Division of CIA, pertinent portions of
which had been reviewed by the Church committee staff." I would like to have you
consider this question very carefully. I served as a member o the original Church
committee. My staffer did a lot of the work that you are referring to here. He made notes
on the IG's report. My question to you is, are you saying that the section that
specifically delineates an improper contribution was in fact given to the Church committee
staff to see?
Admiral TURNER. The answer to your question is "Yes." The
information that a contribution had been made was made available, to the best of my
Senator SCHWEIKER. To follow this up further, I'd like to say that I
think there was a serious flaw in the way that the IG report was handled and the Church
committee was limited. I am not making any accusations, but because of limited access to
the report, we have a situ-
ation where it is not even clear whether we actually saw that material or not, simply
because we could not keep a copy of the report under the procedures we had to follow. We
were limited by notetaking, and so it is rather ambiguous as to just what was seen and
what was not seen. I certainly hope that the new Intelligence Committee will not be bound
by procedures that restrict its ability to exercise effective oversight.
I have a second question. Does it concern you, Admiral, that we used a subterfuge which
resulted in the use of Federal construction grant funds to finance facilities for these
sorts of experiments on our own people? Because as I understand what you are saying, while
the CIA maybe only put up $375,000, this triggered a response on the part of the Federal
Government to provide on a good faith basis matching hospital funds at the same level. We
put up more than $1 million of matching funds, some based on an allegedly private donation
which was really CIA money.
Isn't there something basically wrong with that?
Admiral TURNER. I certainly believe there is. As I stated, the General
Counsel of the CIA at that time rendered a legal opinion that this was a legal
undertaking, and again I am hesitant to go back and revisit the atmosphere, the laws, the
attitudes at that time, so whether the counsel was on good legal ground or not, I am not
enough of a lawyer to be sure, but it certainly would occur to me if it happened today as
a very questionable activity.
Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, I think those of us who have worked on and
amended the Hill-Burton Act and other hospital construction assistance laws over the
years, would have a rather different opinion on the legal intent or object of Congress in
passing laws to provide hospital construction project money. These funds weren't intended
It reminds me a little bit of the shellfish toxin situation which turned up when I was on
the Church committee. The Public Health Service was used to produce a deadly poison with
Public Health money. Here we are using general hospital construction money to carry on a
series of drug experimentation.
Admiral TURNER. Excuse me, sir. If I could just be, I think, accurate, I
don't think any of this $375,000 or the matching funds were used to conduct drug
experiments. They were used to build the hospital. Now, the CIA the put more money into a
foundation that was conducting research on the CIA's behalf supposedly in that hospital,
so the intent was certainly there, but the money was not used for experimentation.
Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, I understand it was used for bricks and mortar,
but the bricks were used to build the facility where the experiments were carried on; were
Admiral TURNER. We do not have positive evidence that they were. It
certainly would seem that that was the intent, but I do not want to draw inferences here
Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, why else would they give this money for the
building fund if the building was not used for a purpose that benefited the CIA program?
Admiral TURNER. I certainly draw the inference that the CIA expected to
benefit from it, and some of the wording says the General
Counsel's opinion was that this was legal only if the CIA was going to derive adequate
benefit from it, but, sir, there is no evidence of what benefit was derived.
Senator SCHWEIKER. There must have been some pretty good benefits at
stake. The Atomic Energy Commission was to bear a share of the cost, and when they backed
out for some reason or another, the CIA picked up part of their tab. So, at two different
points there were indications that CIA decisionmakers thought there was great benefit to
be derived from whatever happened within the brick and mortar walls of that facility.
Admiral TURNER. You are absolutely right. I am only taking the position
that I cannot substantiate that there was benefit derived.
Senator SCHWEIKER. The agreement documents say that the CIA would have
access to one-sixth of the space involved in the construction of the wing, so how would
you enter into an agreement that specifically says that you will have access to and use of
one-sixth of the space and not perform something in that space? I cannot believe it was
Admiral TURNER. Sir, I am not disputing you at all, but both of us are
saying that the inference is that one-sixth of the space was used, that experimentation
was done, and so on, but there is no factual evidence of what went on as a result of that
payment or what went on in that hospital. It is just missing. It is not that it didn't
Senator SCHWEIKER. Admiral Turner, one other--
Senator KENNEDY. Would the Senator yield on that point?
Senator SCHWEIKER. I understand that in the agency's documents on the
agreement it was explicitly stated that one-sixth of the facility would be designated for
CIA use and made available for CIA research are you familiar--
Mr. BRODY. Senator, as I recall, you are right in that there is a mention
of one-sixth, but any mention at all has to do with planning. There are no subsequent
reports as to what happened after the construction took place.
Senator SCHWEIKER. Admiral Turner, I read in the New York Times that part
of this series of MKULTRA experiments involved an arrangement with the Federal Bureau of
Narcotics to test LSD surreptitiously on unwitting patrons in bars in New York and San
Francisco. Some of the subjects became violently ill and were hospitalized. I wonder if
you would just briefly describe what we were doing there and how it was carried out? I
assume it was through a safe house operation. I don't believe your statement went into
Admiral TURNER. I did mention the safe house operation in my statement,
sir, and that is how these were carried out. What we have learned from the new
documentation is the location and the dates at which the safe houses were run by the CIA
and the identification of three individuals who were associated with running those safe
houses. We know something about the construction work that was done in them because there
were contracts for this. Beyond that, we are pretty much drawing inferences as to the
things that went on as to what you are saying here.
Senator SCHWEIKER. Well, the subjects were unwitting. You can infer that
Admiral TURNER. Right.
Senator SCHWEIKER. If you happened to be at the wrong bar at the wrong
place and time, you got it.
Mr. BRODY. Senator, that would be -- contacts were made, as we understand
it, in bars, et cetera, and then the people may have been invited to these safe houses.
There really isn't any indication as to the fact that this took place in bars.
Admiral TURNER. We are trying to be very precise with you, sir, and not
draw an inference here. There are 6 cases of these 149 where we have enough evidence in
this new documentation to substantiate that there was unwitting testing and some of that
involves these safe houses. There are other cases where it is ambiguous as to whether the
testing was witting or voluntary. There are others where it was clearly voluntary.
Senator SCHWEIKER. Of course, after a few drinks, it is questionable
whether informed consent means anything to a person in a bar anyway.
Admiral TURNER. Well, we don't have any indication that all these cases
where it is ambiguous involved drinking of any kind. There are cases in penal institutions
where it is not clear whether the prisoner was given a choice or not. I don't know that he
wasn't given a choice, but I don't positively know that he was, and I classify that as an
Senator INOUYE. Your time is up, Senator.
Senator HUDDLESTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral Turner, you stated in your testimony that you are convinced there was no attempt
to conceal this recently discovered documentation during the earlier searches. Did you
question the individuals connected with the earlier search before you made that judgment?
Admiral TURNER. Yes; I haven't, I don't think, questioned everybody who
looked in the files or is still on our payroll who looked in the files back in 1975, but
Mr. Laubinger on my left is the best authority on this, and I have gone over it with him
in some detail.
Senator HUDDLESTON. But you have inquired, you think, sufficiently to
assure yourself that there was no intent on the part of any person to conceal these
records from the previous committee?
Admiral TURNER. I am persuaded of that both by my questioning of people
and by the circumstances and the way in which these documents were filed, by the fact
which I did not and should have mentioned in my testimony, that these were not the
official files. The ones that we have received or retrieved were copies of files that were
working files that somebody had used, and therefore were slipped into a different
location, and again I say to you , sir, I can't imagine their deliberately concealing
these particular files and revealing the other things that they did reveal in 1975. I
don't see the motive for that, because these are not that damning compared with the
overall material that was provided.
Senator HUDDLESTON. Is this the kind of operation that if it were
continuing now or if there were anything similar to it, that you would feel compelled to
report to the Select Committee on Intelligence?
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir. You mean, if I discovered that something like
this were going on without my knowledge? Yes, I would feel absolutely the requirement to
Senator HUDDLESTON. But if it were going on with your knowledge, would
you report it to the committee? I assume you would.
Admiral TURNER. Yes. Well, it would not be going on with my knowledge,
but theoretically the answer is yes, sir.
Senator HUDDLESTON. Well, then, what suggestions would you have as we
devise charters for the various intelligence agencies? What provision would you suggest to
prohibit this kind of activity from taking place? Would you suggest that it ought to be
specifically outlined in a statutory charter setting out the parameters of the permissible
operation of the various agencies?
Admiral TURNER. I think that certainly is something we must consider as
we look at the legislation for charters. I am not on the face of it opposed to it. I think
we would have to look at the particular wording as we are going to have to deal with the
whole charter issue as to exactly how precise you want to be in delineating restraints and
curbs on the intelligence activities.
Senator HUDDLESTON. In the case of sensitive type operations, which this
certainly was, which might be going on today, is the oversight activity of the agency more
intensive now than it was at that time?
Admiral TURNER. Much more so. I mean, I have briefed you, sir, and the
committee on our sensitive operations. We have the Intelligence Oversight Board. We have a
procedure in the National Security Council for approval of very sensitive operations. I
think the amount of spotlight focused on these activities is many, manyfold what it was in
these 12 to 24 years ago.
Senator HUDDLESTON. How about the record keeping?
Admiral TURNER. Yes; I can't imagine anyone having the gall to think that
he can just blithely destroy records today with all of the attention that has come to
this, and certainly we are emphasizing that that is not the case.
Senator HUDDLESTON. Admiral, I was particularly interested in the
activity that took place at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital at Lexington, Ky., in
which a Dr. Harris Isbell conducted experiments on people who were presumably patients
there. There was a narcotics institution, I take it, and Dr. Isbell was, according to the
New York Times story, carrying on a secret series of correspondence with an individual at
the agency by the name of Ray. Have you identified who that person is?
Admiral TURNER. Sir, I find myself in a difficult position here at a
public hearing to confirm or deny these names in view of my legal responsibilities under
the Privacy Act not to disclose the names of individuals here.
Senator HUDDLESTON. I am just asking you if you have identified the
person referred to in that article as Ray. I am not asking you who he was. I just want to
know if you know who he is.
Admiral TURNER. No. I am sorry, was this W-r-a-y or R-a-y?
Senator HUDDLESTON. It is listed in the news article as R-a-y, in
Admiral TURNER. No, sir, we have not identified him.
Senator HUDDLESTON. So you have no knowledge of whether or note is still
a member of your staff or connected with the Agency in any way. Have you attempted to
Admiral TURNER. Senator, we have a former employee whose first name is
Ray who may have had some connection with these activities.
Senator HUDDLESTON. You suspect that but you have not verified that at
this time, or at least you are not in a position to indicate that you have verified it?
Admiral TURNER. That is correct.
Senator HUDDLESTON. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator INOUYE. Senator Wallop?
Senator WALLOP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral Turner, not all of the -- and in no way trying to excuse you of the hideous nature
of some of these projects, but not all of the projects under MKULTRA are of a sinister or
even a moral nature. Is that a fair statement?
Admiral TURNER. That is correct.
Senator WALLOP. Looking down through some of these 17 projects not
involving human testing, aspects of the magician's art, it doesn't seem as though there is
anything very sinister about that. Studies of human behavior and sleep research, library
searches. Now, those things in their way are still of interest, are they not, to the
process of intelligence gathering?
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir. I have not tried to indicate that we either are
not doing or would not do any of the things that were involved in MKULTRA, but when it
comes to the witting or unwitting testing of people with drugs, that is certainly
verboten, but there are other things.
Senator WALLOP. Even with volunteer patients? I mean, I am not trying to
put you on the spot to say whether it is going on, but I mean, it is not an uncommon
thing, is it, in the prisons of the United States for the Public Health Service to conduct
various kinds of experiments with vaccines and, say, sunburn creams? I know in Arizona
they have done so.
Admiral TURNER. My understanding is, lots of that is authorized, but I am
not of the opinion that this is not the CIA's business, and that if we need some
information in that category, I would prefer to go to the other appropriate authorities of
the Government and ask them to get it for us rather than to in any way--
Senator WALLOP. Well, you know, you have library searches and attendants
at the national seminars. This is why I wanted to ask you if the bulk of these projects
were in any way the kinds of things that the Agency might not do now. A President would
not have been horrified by the list of the legitimate types of things. Isn't that probably
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir.
Senator WALLOP. And if it did in fact appear in the IG report, is there
any reason to suppose that the President did not know of this project? You said there was
no reason to suppose that he did, but let me reverse that. Is there any reason to suppose
that they did not?
Admiral TURNER. No.
Senator WALLOP. Well, you know, I just cannot imagine you or literally
anybody undertaking projects of the magnitude of dollars here and just not knowing about
it, not informing your superior that
these were going on, especially when certain items of it appear in the Inspector General's
report on budget matters.
Admiral TURNER. Well, I find it difficult when it is that far back to
hypothesize what the procedures that the Director was using in terms of informing his
superiors were. It is quite a different climate from today, and I think we do a lot more
informing to day than they did back then, but I find it very difficult to guess what the
level of knowledge was.
Senator WALLOP. I am really not asking you to second-guess it, but it
just seems to me that, while the past is past, and thank goodness we are operating under
different sets of circumstances, I think it is naive for us to suppose that these things
were conducted entirely without the knowledge of the Presidents of the United States
during those times. It is just the kinds of research information that was being sought was
vital to the United States, not the means, but the information that they were trying to
Admiral TURNER. I am sorry. Your question is, was this vital? Did we view
it as vital?
Senator WALLOP. Well, your implication at the beginning was that it was a
response to the kinds of behavior that were seen in Cardinal Mindszenty's trial and other
things. I mean, somebody must have thought that this was an important defensive reaction,
if nothing else, on the part of the United States.
Admiral TURNER. Yes, sir, I am sure they did, but again I just don't know
how high that permeated the executive branch.
Senator WALLOP. But the kinds of information are still important to you.
I mean, I am not suggesting that anyone go back and do that kind of thing again, but I'm
certain it would be of use to you to know what was going to happen to one of your agents
assuming someone had put one of these things into his bloodstream, or tried to modify his
Admiral TURNER. Absolutely, and you know, we would be very concerned if
we thought there were things like truth serums or other things that our agents or others
could be subjected to by use or improper use of drugs by other powers against our people
Senator WALLOP. Are there? I don't ask you to name them, but are there
Admiral TURNER. I don't know of them if there are. I would have to answer
that for the record, sir.
Senator WALLOP. I would appreciate that.
[The material referred to follows.]
Drugs in Interrogation
Continue Reading CIA Director
Stansfield Turner's Testimony