Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

CIA considered using ‘truth serum’ on terror suspects after 9/11

A new report outlines how the CIA considered using a drug called Versed on detainees in the years following 9/11.

Pixabay
  • The 90-page report was released to the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday.
  • It describes how the CIA researched past attempts by governments to find an effective 'truth serum', including the agency's infamous MK-Ultra program.
  • Ultimately, the agency decided not to ask the Justice Department to approve drug-assisted interrogations.

The CIA considered administering a 'truth serum' drug to terror suspects in the years following 9/11, according to a new report obtained by the Associated Press.

On Tuesday, the 90-page report was released to the American Civil Liberties Union under a judge's order.

"This document tells an essential part of the story of how it was that the CIA came to torture prisoners against the law and helps prevent it from happening again," said ACLU attorney Dror Ladin.

The report describes how CIA doctors, psychologists and other medical professionals considered using Versed, a sedative and hypnotic, to get suspects detained in secret facilities abroad to share information.

"Versed was considered possibly worth a trial if unequivocal legal sanction first were obtained," the report said. "There were at least two legal obstacles: a prohibition against medical experimentation on prisoners and a ban on interrogational use of 'mind-altering drugs' or those which 'profoundly altered the senses.'"

The CIA didn't think the drugs would act as an unfailing truth serum, but thought suspects might be more willing to open up under altered states of mind.

"Such drugs, although widely regarded as unreliable sources of "truth", were believed potentially useful as an "excuse" that would allow the subject to be more forthcoming while still saving face," the report states.

But in the wake of a months-long effort to get the Justice Department to approve harsh interrogation tactics like waterboarding and sleep deprivation, the CIA didn't want to "raise another issue" with the department, the report said. That decision spared CIA medical professionals from "some significant ethical concerns."

In considering the use of Versed on terror suspects, the CIA researched past attempts by governments to use truth serums in interrogations, including Soviet-era drug experiments and the agency's own MK-Ultra program, which infamously involved giving LSD and other drugs to unwitting participants.

Lawyers for the ACLU said it's important to demand the release of reports like the one issued Tuesday, especially considering President Donald Trump promised during his campaign that he'd approve tactics a "hell of a lot worse" than waterboarding if elected.

"This document tells an essential part of the story of how it was that the CIA came to torture prisoners against the law and helps prevent it from happening again," said ACLU attorney Dror Ladin.

Why torture backfires

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Sexual arousal and orgasm increase the number of white blood cells in the body, making it easier to fight infection and illness.

Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
Keep reading Show less

Education vs. learning: How semantics can trigger a mind shift

The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.

Education vs. learning: How semantics can trigger a mind shift | Gregg ...
Future of Learning
  • The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
  • Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
  • Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Keep reading Show less

Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
Personal Growth
  • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
  • New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
  • Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.
Keep reading Show less
Culture & Religion

How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast