Friday, August 6, 2010

American Torture Program - ABC News - 1979

The film depicts CIA and USA Army history of experiments with LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide ) in unwitting human beings. ABC News correspondent Paul Altmeyer talks about the harmful effects of the drug, the victims of the experiments and the doctors involved. One of the best known cases is that of Frank Olson, a chemist employed by the Army Chemical Corp whose life ended in a fall through the10th floor window of Statler Hilton Hotel in New York. Alice Olson, Frank Olson's wife, visited Dr. Sidney Gottieb, the CIA man who administered the drug. Robert V. Lashbrook, Assistant Chief of the Chemical Branch, was in the room when the incident occurred. The Army Chemical Corp was also working with CIA and then went on on its own. Another victim was Harold Blauer, a tennis player, who was admitted at the Psychiatric Institute and Hospital in New York with a depression and was given five mescaline derivatives which were injected and tested secretly by the Army Chemical Corps. After the fifth injection he died. In this piece, Paul Altmeyer looks at 5000 documents which are released by the army. Blauer's daughter, Elizabeth, talks about the death. Research conducted at the Tulane Medical Center by chief researcher Dr. Russell included among others, a project in which electrodes were implanted in the brain of a woman and she was given LSD. She became agitated and cried. Paul questions Dr. Russell about LSD. Another case is that of James Thornwell, a black American soldier to whom LSD was given in France when he came under suspicion of having stolen documents. He was secretly given LSD for several days by his interrogators during which time he was forced to undergo aggressive questioning, replete with racial slurs and threats. He speaks about his experiences.
The video at:

US Government Archive number for this video is 170.110 (DBVT)