06-26-2008, 12:31 PM
History of Department of Defense Human Experiments
(Researcher or Guinea Pig)
1833 - Dr. William Beaumont, an Army surgeon physician, pioneers gastric medicine with his study of a patient with a permanently open gunshot wound to the abdomen and writes a human medical experimentation code that asserts the importance of experimental treatments, but also lists requirements stipulating that human subjects must give voluntary, informed consent and be able to end the experiment when they want. Beaumont's Code lists verbal, rather than just written, consent as permissible.
1900 - U.S Army doctors working in the Philippines infect five Filipino prisoners with plague and withhold proper nutrition to create Beriberi in 29 prisoners; four test subjects die.
Under commission from the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Walter Reed goes to Cuba and uses 22 Spanish immigrant workers to prove that yellow fever is contracted through mosquito bites. Doing so, he introduces the practice of using healthy test subjects, and also the concept of a written contract to confirm informed consent of these subjects. While doing this study, Dr. Reed clearly tells the subjects that, though he will do everything he can to help them, they may die as a result of the experiment. He pays them $100 in gold for their participation, plus $100 extra if they contract yellow fever.
1918 - In response to the Germans' use of chemical weapons during World War I, President Wilson creates the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) as a branch of the U.S. Army. Twenty-four years later, the CWS began performing mustard gas and lewisite experiments on over 4,000 members of the Armed Forces in order to "test the efficacy of gas masks and protective clothing". Some test subjects don't realize they are volunteering for chemical exposure experiments, like 17-year-old Nathan Schnurman, who in 1944 thinks he is only volunteering to test "U.S. Navy summer clothes".
(1920-1930's) - The U.S. Army also deployed mustard gas against anti-US protesters in Puerto Rico and the Philippines in the 1920s and 1930s
1931 - Cornelius Rhoads, a pathologist from the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, purposely infects human test subjects in Puerto Rico with caner cells; 13 of them die. Though a Puerto Rican doctor later discovers that Rhoads purposely covered up some of details of his experiment and Rhoads himself gives a written testimony stating he believes that all Puerto Ricans should be killed, he later goes on to establish the U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah and Panama, and is named to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, where he begins a series of radiation exposure experiments on U.S. soldiers and civilian hospital patients.
1942 - The United States creates Fort Detrick, a 92-acre facility, employing nearly 500 scientists working to create biological weapons and develop defensive measures against them. Fort Detrick's main objectives include investigating whether diseases are transmitted by inhalation, digestion or through skin absorption; of course, these biological warfare experiments heavily relied on the use of human subjects.
U.S. Army and Navy doctors infect 400 prison inmates in Chicago with malaria to study the disease and hopefully develop a treatment for it. The prisoners are told that they are helping the war effort, but not that they are going to be infected with malaria. During Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors later cite this American study to defend their own medical experiments in concentration camps like Auschwitz.
In an experiment sponsored by the U.S. Navy, Harvard biochemist Edward Cohn injects 64 inmates of Massachusetts state prisons with cow's blood.
Merck Pharmaceuticals President George Merck is named director of the War Research Service (WRS), an agency designed to oversee the establishment of a biological warfare program.
1944 - As part of the Manhattan Project that would eventually create the atomic bomb, researchers inject 4.7 micrograms of plutonium into U.S. soldiers at the Oak Ridge facility, 20 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn.
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. 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.
1945 - Continuing the Manhattan Project, researchers inject plutonium into three patients at the University of Chicago's Billings Hospital. 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.
(1945-1955) In Newburgh, N.Y., researchers linked to the Manhattan Project begin the most extensive American study ever done on the health effects of fluoridating public drinking water.
1946 - At the close of World War II, the US Army put on its payroll, Dr. Shiro Ishii, the head of the Imperial Army of Japan's Bio Warfare Unit 731, a biological warfare unit disguised as a water purification unit. Dr. Ishii had deployed a wide range of biological and chemical agents against Chinese and Allied troops. He also operated a large research center in Manchuria, where he conducted Bio Weapons Experiments on Chinese, Russian and American prisoners of war. Ishii infected prisoners with tetanus; gave them typhoid-laced tomatoes; developed plague-infected fleas; infected women with syphilis; performed dissections on live prisoners; and exploded germ bombs over dozens of men tied to stakes. In a deal hatched by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Ishii turned over more than 10,000 pages of his "research findings" to the US Army, avoided prosecution for war crimes and was invited to lecture at Ft. Detrick, the US Army Bio Weapons Center in Frederick, Maryland.
Patients in VA Hospitals are used as guinea pigs for medical experiments. In order to allay suspicions, the order is given to change the word "experiments" to "investigations" or "observations" whenever reporting a medical study performed in one of the nation's veteran's hospitals.
(1946-1953) Atomic Energy Commission sponsored study conducted at the Fernald school in Massachusetts. Residents were fed Quaker Oats breakfast cereal containing radioactive tracers.
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".
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.
The CIA begins its study of LSD as a potential weapon for use by American Intelligence. Human subjects (both civilian and military) are used with and without their knowledge.
1949 - Intentional release of radiodine 131 and xenon 133 over Hanford, Washington in Atomic Energy Commission field study called "Green Run."
(1949-1953) - Atomic Energy Commission studies of mentally disabled school children fed radioactive isotopes at Fernald and Wrentham schools.
1950 - the US Navy sprayed large quantities of serratia marcescens, a bacteriological agent, over San Francisco, promoting an outbreak of pneumonia-like illnesses and causing the death of at least one man, Ed Nevins.
(1950-1953) - the US Army released chemical clouds over six US and Canadian cities. The tests were designed to test dispersal patterns of chemical weapons. U.S. Army records noted that the compounds used over Winnipeg, Canada, where there were numerous reports of respiratory illnesses, involved cadmium, a highly toxic chemical.
1951 - Chinese Premier Chou En-lai charged that the US Military and the CIA had used bio-agents against North Korea and China. Chou produced statements from 25 US Prisoners of War backing him his claims that the US Military had dropped anthrax contaminated feathers, mosquitoes and fleas carrying Yellow Fever and propaganda leaflets spiked with cholera over Manchuria and North Korea.
The US Army secretly contaminated the Norfolk Naval Supply Center in Virginia with infectious bacteria. One type was chosen because blacks were believed to be more susceptible than whites. A similar experiment was undertaken later that year at Washington, DC's National Airport. The bacteria was later linked to food and blood poisoning and respiratory problems.
(1951-1960) - University of Pennsylvania under contract with U.S. Army conducts Psychopharmacological Experiments on hundreds of Pennsylvania prisoners.
1952 - Henry Blauer injected with a fatal dose of mescaline at New York State Psychiatric Institute of Columbia University. U.S. Department of Defense, the sponsor, conspired to conceal evidence for 23 years.
1953 - The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) sponsors 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.
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.
(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 to take these pills when they find themselves in situations in which they 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.
(1953-1970): U.S. Army experiments with LSD on soldiers at Fort Detrick, Maryland
(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.
The CIA begins Project MKDELTA to study the use of biochemicals "for harassment, discrediting and disabling purposes".
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.
(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.
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.
(1956-1957) - U.S. Army covert biological weapons researchers release mosquitoes infected with yellow fever and dengue fever over Savannah, Ga., and Avon Park, Fla., to test the insects' ability to carry disease. After each test, Army agents pose as public health officials to test victims for effects and take pictures of the unwitting test subjects. 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.
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.
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.
(1958-1962) - 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"
1962 - The U.S. Army's Deseret Test Center begins Project 112. This includes SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense), which exposes U.S. Navy and Army personnel to live toxins and chemical poisons in order to determine naval ships' vulnerability to chemical and biological weapons. Military personnel are not test subjects; conducting the tests exposes them. Many of these participants complain of negative health effects at the time and, decades later, suffer from severe medical problems as a result of their exposure.
1964 - (1964 - 1968) The U.S. Army pays $386,486 (the largest sum ever paid for human experimentation) to University of Pennsylvania Professors Albert Kligman and Herbert W. Copelan to run medical experiments on 320 inmates of Holmesburg Prison to determine the effectiveness of seven mind-altering drugs. The researchers' objective is to determine the minimum effective dose of each drug needed to disable 50 percent of any given population (MED-50). Though Professors Kligman and Copelan claim that they are unaware of any long-term effects the mind-altering agents might have on prisoners, documents revealed later would prove otherwise.
1965 - The US Army and the Dow Chemical Company injected dioxin into 70 prisoners (most of them black) at the Holmesburg State Prison in Pennsylvania. The prisoners developed severe lesions which went untreated for seven months. A year later, the US Army set about the most ambitious chemical warfare operation in history.
The Department of Defense uses human test subjects wearing rubber clothing and M9A1 masks to conduct 35 trials near Fort Greely, Ala., as part of the Elk Hunt tests, which are designed to measure the amount of VX nerve agent put on the clothing of people moving through VX-contaminated areas or touching contaminated vehicles, and the amount of VX vapor rising from these areas. After the tests, the subjects are decontaminated using wet steam and high-pressure cold water.
As part of a test codenamed "Big Tom," the Department of Defense sprays Oahu, Hawaii's most heavily populated island, with Bacillus globigii in order to simulate an attack on an island complex. Bacillus globigii causes infections in people with weakened immune systems, but this was not known to scientists at the time.
1966 - U.S. Army introduces bacillus globigii into New York subway tunnels in field study.
(1966-1972) the United States dumped more than 12 million gallons of Agent Orange (a dioxin-powered herbicide) over about 4.5 million acres of South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The government of Vietnam estimate the civilian casualties from Agent Orange at more than 500,000. The legacy continues with high levels of birth defects in areas that were saturated with the chemical. Tens of thousands of US soldiers were also the victims of Agent Orange.
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