Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Short History of the U.S. Government's Respect for Human Life, Part II

The following list comes from declassified documents, news reports, videos, the National Archives, and from the final report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments.

1944: A captain in the medical corps addresses an April 1944 memo to Col. Stanford Warren, head of the Manhattan Project's Medical Section, expressing his concerns about atom bomb component fluoride's central nervous system (CNS) effects and asking for animal research to be done to determine the extent of these effects: "Clinical evidence suggests that uranium hexafluoride may have a rather marked central nervous system effect ... It seems most likely that the F [code for fluoride] component rather than the T [code for uranium] is the causative factor ... Since work with these compounds is essential, it will be necessary to know in advance what mental effects may occur after exposure." The following year, the Manhattan Project would begin human-based studies on fluoride's effects (Griffiths and Bryson).

1944: The Manhattan Project medical team, led by the now infamous University of Rochester radiologist Col. Safford Warren, injects plutonium into patients at the University's teaching hospital, Strong Memorial (Burton Report).

1945: Continuing the Manhattan Project, researchers inject plutonium into three patients at the University of Chicago's Billings Hospital (Sharav).

1945: The U.S. State Department, Army intelligence and the CIA begin Operation Paperclip, offering Nazi scientists immunity and secret identities in exchange for work on top-secret government projects on aerodynamics and chemical warfare medicine in the United States ("Project Paperclip").

1945: Researchers infect 800 prisoners in Atlanta with malaria to study the disease (Sharav).

1945: "Program F" is implemented by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). This is the most extensive U.S. study of the health effects of fluoride, which was the key chemical component in atomic bomb production. (Griffiths and Bryson) One of the most toxic chemicals known to man, fluoride, it is found, causes marked adverse effects to the central nervous system but much of the information is squelched in the name of national security because of fear that lawsuits would undermine full-scale production of atomic bombs.

1946: Gen. Douglas MacArthur strikes a secret deal with Japanese physician Dr. Shiro Ishii to turn over 10,000 pages of information gathered from human experimentation in exchange for granting Ishii immunity from prosecution for the horrific experiments he performed on Chinese, Russian and American war prisoners, including performing vivisections on live human beings (Goliszek, Sharav). Male and female test subjects at Chicago's Argonne National Laboratories are given intravenous injections of arsenic-76 so that researchers can study how the human body absorbs, distributes and excretes arsenic (Goliszek).

1946: Continuing the Newburg study of 1945, the Manhattan Project commissions the University of Rochester to study fluoride's effects on animals and humans in a project codenamed "Program F." With the help of the New York State Health Department, Program F researchers secretly collect and analyze blood and tissue samples from Newburg residents. The studies are sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission and take place at the University of Rochester Medical Center's Strong Memorial Hospital (Griffiths and Bryson).

1946 - 1947: University of Rochester researchers inject four male and two female human test subjects with uranium-234 and uranium-235 in dosages ranging from 6.4 to 70.7 micrograms per one kilogram of body weight in order to study how much uranium they could tolerate before their kidneys become damaged (Goliszek).

1946: Six male employees of a Chicago metallurgical laboratory are given water contaminated with plutonium-239 to drink so that researchers can learn how plutonium is absorbed into the digestive tract (Goliszek).

1946: Researchers begin using patients in VA hospitals as test subjects for human medical experiments, cleverly worded as "investigations" or "observations" in medical study reports to avoid negative connotations and bad publicity (Sharav).

1946: The American public finally learns of the biowarfare experiments being done at Fort Detrick from a report released by the War Department (Goliszek).

1946 - 1953: The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission sponsors studies in which researchers from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Boston University School of Medicine feed mentally disabled students at Fernald State School Quaker Oats breakfast cereal spiked with radioactive tracers every morning so that nutritionists can study how preservatives move through the human body and if they block the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Later, MIT researchers conduct the same study at Wrentham State School (Sharav, Goliszek).

1946: Human test subjects are given one to four injections of arsenic-76 at the University of Chicago Department of Medicine. Researchers take tissue biopsies from the subjects before and after the injections (Goliszek).

1947: Col. E.E. Kirkpatrick of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) issues a top-secret document (707075) dated Jan. 8. In it, he writes that "certain radioactive substances are being prepared for intravenous administration to human subjects as a part of the work of the contract" (Goliszek).

1947: Col. E.E. Kirkpatrick of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) issues a top-secret document (707075) dated Jan. 8. In it, he writes that "certain radioactive substances are being prepared for intravenous administration to human subjects as a part of the work of the contract" (Goliszek).

1947: A secret AEC document dated April 17 reads, "It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans that might have an adverse reaction on public opinion or result in legal suits," revealing that the U.S. government was aware of the health risks its nuclear tests posed to military personnel conducting the tests or nearby civilians (Goliszek).

1947: The CIA begins studying LSD's potential as a weapon by using military and civilian test subjects for experiments without their consent or even knowledge. Eventually, these LSD studies will evolve into the MKULTRA program in 1953 (Sharav).

1947: (1947 - 1953) The U.S. Navy begins Project Chatter to identify and test so-called "truth serums," such as those used by the Soviet Union to interrogate spies. Mescaline and the central nervous system depressant scopolamine are among the many drugs tested on human subjects (Goliszek).

1948: Based on the secret studies performed on Newburgh, N.Y. residents beginning in 1945, Project F researchers publish a report in the August 1948 edition of the Journal of the American Dental Association, detailing fluoride's health dangers. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) quickly censors it for "national security" reasons (Griffiths and Bryson).

1950: The CIA and later the Office of Scientific Intelligence begin Project Bluebird (renamed Project Artichoke in 1951) in order to find ways to "extract" information from CIA agents, control individuals "through special interrogation techniques," "enhance memory" and use "unconventional techniques, including hypnosis and drugs" for offensive measures (Goliszek).

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1950 - 1953: The U.S. Army releases chemical clouds over six American and Canadian cities. Residents in Winnipeg, Canada, where a highly toxic chemical called cadmium is dropped, subsequently experience high rates of respiratory illnesses (Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

1950: In order to determine how susceptible an American city could be to biological attack, the U.S. Navy sprays a cloud of Bacillus globigii bacteria from ships over the San Francisco shoreline. According to monitoring devices situated throughout the city to test the extent of infection, the eight thousand residents of San Francisco inhale five thousand or more bacteria particles, many becoming sick with pneumonia-like symptoms (Goliszek). At least one death is known.

1950: Dr. Joseph Strokes of the University of Pennsylvania infects 200 female prisoners with viral hepatitis to study the disease (Sharav).

1950: Doctors at the Cleveland City Hospital study changes in cerebral blood flow by injecting test subjects with spinal anesthesia, inserting needles in their jugular veins and brachial arteries, tilting their heads down and, after massive blood loss causes paralysis and fainting, measuring their blood pressure. They often perform this experiment multiple times on the same subject (Goliszek).

1950: Dr. D. Ewen Cameron, later of MKULTRA infamy due to his 1957 to1964 experiments on Canadians, publishes an article in the British Journal of Physical Medicine, in which he describes experiments that entail forcing schizophrenic patients at Manitoba's Brandon Mental Hospital to lie naked under 15- to 200-watt red lamps for up to eight hours per day. His other experiments include placing mental patients in an electric cage that overheats their internal body temperatures to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and inducing comas by giving patients large injections of insulin (Goliszek).

1950: Department of Defense begins plans to detonate nuclear weapons in desert areas and monitor downwind residents for medical problems and mortality rates.

1950 - 1953: An array of germ warfare weapons is allegedly used against North Korea. Accounts claim that there were releases of feathers infected with anthrax, fleas and mosquitoes dosed with Plague and Yellow Fever, and rodents infected with a variety of diseases. The Eisenhower administration later pressed Sedition Charges against three Americans who published charges of these activities. However, none of those charged were convicted.

1951: The U.S. Navy's Project Bluebird is renamed Project Artichoke and begins human medical experiments that test the effectiveness of LSD, sodium pentothal and hypnosis for the interrogative purposes described in Project Bluebird's objectives (1950) (Goliszek).

1951: The U.S. Army secretly contaminates the Norfolk Naval Supply Center in Virginia and Washington, D.C.'s National Airport with a strain of bacteria chosen because African-Americans were believed to be more susceptible to it than Caucasians. The experiment causes food poisoning, respiratory problems and blood poisoning (Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

1951 - 1952: Researchers withhold insulin from diabetic patients for up to two days in order to observe the effects of diabetes; some test subjects go into diabetic comas (Goliszek).

1951 - 1956: Under contract with the Air Force's School of Aviation Medicine (SAM), the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston begins studying the effects of radiation on cancer patients -- many of them members of minority groups or indigents, according to sources -- in order to determine both radiation's ability to treat cancer and the possible long-term radiation effects of pilots flying nuclear-powered planes. The study lasts until 1956, involving 263 cancer patients. Beginning in 1953, the subjects are required to sign a waiver form, but it still does not meet the informed consent guidelines established by the Wilson memo released that year. The TBI studies themselves would continue at four different institutions -- Baylor University College of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine -- until 1971 (U.S. Department of Energy, Goliszek).

1951: American, Canadian and British military and intelligence officials gather a small group of eminent psychologists to a secret meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Montreal about Communist "thought-control techniques." They proposed a top-secret research program on behavior modification -- involving testing drugs, hypnosis, electroshock and lobotomies on humans (Barker).

1951: Department of Defense begins open air tests using disease-producing bacteria and viruses. Tests last through 1969 and
there is concern that people in the surrounding areas have been exposed.

1952: Military scientists use the Dugway Proving Ground -- which is located 87 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah -- in a series of experiments to determine how Brucella suis and Brucella melitensis spread in human populations. Today, over a half-century later, some experts claim that we are all infected with these agents as a result of these experiments (Goliszek).

1952: In a U.S. Department of Denfense-sponsored experiment, Henry Blauer dies after he is injected with mescaline at Columbia University's New York State Psychiatric Institute (Sharav).

1952: At the famous Sloan-Kettering Institute, Chester M. Southam injects live cancer cells into prisoners at the Ohio State Prison to study the progression of the disease. Half of the prisoners in this National Institutes of Health-sponsored (NIH) study are black, awakening racial suspicions stemming from Tuskegee, which was also an NIH-sponsored study (Merritte, et al.).

1953 - 1970: The CIA begins project MKNAOMI to "stockpile incapacitating and lethal materials, to develop gadgetry for the disseminations of these materials, and to test the effects of certain drugs on animals and humans." As part of MKNAOMI, the CIA and the Special Operations Division of the Army Biological Laboratory at Fort Detrick try to develop two suicide pill alternatives to the standard cyanide suicide pill given to CIA agents and U-2 pilots. CIA agents and U-2 pilots are meant to take these pills when they find themselves in situations in which they (and all the information they hold in their brains) are in enemy hands. They also develop a "microbioinoculator" -- a device that agents can use to fire small darts coated with biological agents that can remain potent for weeks or even months. These darts can be fired through clothing and, most significantly, are undetectable during autopsy. Eventually, by the late 1960s, MKNAOMI enables the CIA to have a stockpile of biological toxins -- infectious viruses, paralytic shellfish toxin, lethal botulism toxin, snake venom and the severe skin disease-producing agent Mircosporum gypseum. Of course, the development of all of this "gadgetry" requires human experimentation (Goliszek).

1953 - 1974: CIA Director Allen Dulles authorizes the MKULTRA program to produce and test drugs and biological agents that the CIA could use for mind control and behavior modification. MKULTRA later becomes well known for its pioneering studies on LSD, which are often performed on prisoners or patrons of brothels set up and run by the CIA. The brothel experiments, known as "Operation Midnight Climax," feature two-way mirrors set up in the brothels so that CIA agents can observe LSD's effects on sexual behavior. Ironically, governmental figures sometimes slip LSD into each other's drinks as part of the program, resulting in the LSD psychosis-induced suicide of Dr. Frank Olson indirectly at the hands of MKULTRA's infamous key player Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. Of all the hundreds of human test subjects used during MKULTRA, only 14 are ever notified of the involvement and only one is ever compensated ($15,000). Most of the MKULTRA files are eventually destroyed in 1973 (Elliston; Merritte, et al.; Barker).

1953: The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) sponsors iodine studies at the University of Iowa. In the first study, researchers give pregnant women 100 to 200 microcuries of iodine-131 and then study the women's aborted embryos in order to learn at what stage and to what extent radioactive iodine crosses the placental barrier. In the second study, researchers give 12 male and 13 female newborns under 36 hours old and weighing between 5.5 and 8.5 pounds iodine-131 either orally or via intramuscular injection, later measuring the concentration of iodine in the newborns' thyroid glands (Goliszek).

1953: Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson issues the Wilson memo, a top-secret document establishing the Nuremberg Code as Department of Defense policy on human experimentation. The Wilson memo requires voluntary, written consent from a human medical research subject after he or she has been informed of "the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment." It also insists that doctors only use experimental treatments when other methods have failed (Berdon).

1953: As part of an AEC study, researchers feed 28 healthy infants at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine iodine-131 through a gastric tube and then test concentration of iodine in the infants' thyroid glands 24 hours later (Goliszek).

1953 - 1957: Eleven patients at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are injected with uranium as part of the Manhattan Project (Sharav).

1953: In an AEC-sponsored study at the University of Tennessee, researchers inject healthy two- to three-day-old newborns with approximately 60 rads of iodine-131 (Goliszek).

1953: Newborn Daniel Burton becomes blind when physicians at Brooklyn Doctors Hospital perform an experimental high oxygen treatment for Retrolental Fibroplasia, a retinal disorder affecting premature infants, on him and other premature babies. The physicians perform the experimental treatment despite earlier studies showing that high oxygen levels cause blindness. Testimony in Burton v. Brooklyn Doctors Hospital (452 N.Y.S.2d875) later reveals that researchers continued to give Burton and other infants excess oxygen even after their eyes had swelled to dangerous levels (Goliszek, Sharav).

1953: The CIA begins Project MKDELTA to study the use of biochemicals "for harassment, discrediting and disabling purposes" (Goliszek).

1953: A 1953 article in Clinical Science describes a medical experiment in which researchers purposely blister the abdomens of 41 children, ranging in age from eight to 14, with cantharide in order to study how severely the substance irritates the skin (Goliszek).

1953: The AEC performs a series of field tests known as "Green Run," dropping radiodine 131 and xenon 133 over the Hanford, Wash. site -- 500,000 acres encompassing three small towns (Hanford, White Bluffs and Richland) along the Columbia River (Sharav).

1953: In an AEC-sponsored study to learn whether radioactive iodine affects premature babies differently from full-term babies, researchers at Harper Hospital in Detroit give oral doses of iodine-131 to 65 premature and full-term infants weighing between 2.1 and 5.5 pounds (Goliszek).

1953: U.S. military releases clouds of zinc cadmium sulfide gas over Winnipeg, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, the Monocacy River Valley in Maryland, and Leesburg, Virginia. Their intent is to determine how efficiently they could disperse chemical agents.

1953: Joint Army-Navy-CIA experiments are conducted in which tens of thousands of people in New York and San Francisco are exposed to the airborne germs Serratia marcescens and Bacillus glogigii.

1954: The CIA begins Project QKHILLTOP to study Chinese Communist Party brainwashing techniques and use them to further the CIA's own interrogative methods. Most experts speculate that the Cornell University Medical School Human Ecology Studies Program conducted Project QKHILLTOP's early experiments (Goliszek).

1954 - 1975: U.S. Air Force medical officers assigned to Fort Detrick's Chemical Corps Biological Laboratory begin Operation Whitecoat -- experiments involving exposing human test subjects to hepatitis A, plague, yellow fever, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, rickettsia and intestinal microbes. These test subjects include 2,300 Seventh Day Adventist military personnel, who choose to become human guinea pigs rather than potentially kill others in combat. Only two of the 2,300 claim long-term medical complications from participating in the study ("Operation Whitecoat".)

1954: In a general memo to university researchers under contract with the military, the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army asserts the human experimentation guidelines -- including informed, written consent -- established in the classified Wilson memo (Goliszek).

1955: The Tampa Bay area of Florida experienced a sharp rise in Whooping Cough cases, including 12 deaths, after a CIA test where a bacteria withdrawn from the Army's Chemical and Biological Warfare arsenal was released into the environment. Details of the test are still classified.

1955: In U.S. Army-sponsored experiments performed at Tulane University, mental patients are given LSD and other drugs and then have electrodes implanted in their brain to measure the levels (Barker, "The Cold War Experiments").

1955 - 1957: In order to learn how cold weather affects human physiology, researchers give a total of 200 doses of iodine-131, a radioactive tracer that concentrates almost immediately in the thyroid gland, to 85 healthy Eskimos and 17 Athapascan Indians living in Alaska. They study the tracer within the body by blood, thyroid tissue, urine and saliva samples from the test subjects. Due to the language barrier, no one tells the test subjects what is being done to them, so there is no informed consent (Goliszek).

1955 - 1965: As a result of their work with the CIA's mind control experiments in Project QKHILLTOP, Cornell neurologists Harold Wolff and Lawrence Hinkle begin the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology (later renamed the Human Ecology Fund) to study "man's relation to his social environment as perceived by him" (Goliszek).

1955: Army Chemical Corps continues LSD research, studying its potential use as a chemical incapacitating agent. More than 1,000
Americans participate in the tests, which continue until 1958.

1956 - 1958: In Savannah, Georgia and Avon Park, Florida, the Army carried out field tests in which mosquitoes infected with yellow fever and dengue fever were released into residential neighborhoods from both ground level and from aircraft. Many people were swarmed by Mosquitoes, and fell ill, some even died. After each test, U.S. Army personnel posing as public health officials photographed and tested the victims. It is theorized that the mosquitoes were infected with a strain of Yellow Fever. However, details of the testing remain classified. These experiments result in a high incidence of fevers, respiratory distress, stillbirths, encephalitis and typhoid among the two cities' residents, as well as several deaths (Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

1957: The U.S. military conducts Operation Plumbbob at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Operation Pumbbob consists of 29 nuclear detonations, eventually creating radiation expected to result in a total 32,000 cases of thyroid cancer among civilians in the area. Around 18,000 members of the U.S. military participate in Operation Pumbbob's Desert Rock VII and VIII, which are designed to see how the average foot soldier physiologically and mentally responds to a nuclear battlefield ("Operation Plumbbob", Goliszek).

1957 - 1964: As part of MKULTRA, the CIA pays McGill University Department of Psychiatry founder Dr. D. Ewen Cameron $69,000 to perform LSD studies and potentially lethal experiments on Canadians being treated for minor disorders like post-partum depression and anxiety at the Allan Memorial Institute, which houses the Psychiatry Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. The CIA encourages Dr. Cameron to fully explore his "psychic driving" concept of correcting madness through completely erasing one's memory and rewriting the psyche. These "driving" experiments involve putting human test subjects into drug-, electroshock- and sensory deprivation-induced vegetative states for up to three months, and then playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements for weeks or months in order to "rewrite" the "erased" psyche. Dr. Cameron also gives human test subjects paralytic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy 30 to 40 times, as part of his experiments. Most of Dr. Cameron's test subjects suffer permanent damage as a result of his work (Goliszek, "Donald Ewan Cameron").

1957: In order to study how blood flows through children's brains, researchers at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia perform the following experiment on healthy children, ranging in age from three to 11: They insert needles into each child's femoral artery (thigh) and jugular vein (neck), bringing the blood down from the brain. Then, they force each child to inhale a special gas through a facemask. In their subsequent Journal of Clinical Investigation article on this study, the researchers note that, in order to perform the experiment, they had to restrain some of the child test subjects by bandaging them to boards (Goliszek).

1958: LSD is tested on 95 volunteers at the Army's Chemical Warfare Laboratories for its effect on intelligence.

1958: Approximately 300 members of the U.S. Navy are exposed to radiation when the Navy destroyer Mansfield detonates 30 nuclear bombs off the coasts of Pacific Islands during Operation Hardtack (Goliszek).

1958: The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) drops radioactive materials over Point Hope, Alaska, home to the Inupiats, in a field test known under the codename "Project Chariot" (Sharav).

1960: The Army Assistant Chief-of-Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) authorizes field testing of LSD in Europe and the Far East. Testing of the european population is code named Project THIRD CHANCE; testing of the Asian population is code named Project DERBY HAT.

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