In 2002, author Martin Lee wrote an article for Common Dreams: “Truth Serum and Torture.”
It could have been written yesterday, because now a Colorado judge has stated that, if James Holmes pleads not guilty by reason of insanity to the Aurora murders, state psychiatrists can subject him to drugs that will “help him remember his state of mind” at the time of the shootings. The drugging will reveal whether he really was insane that night last summer at the Aurora theater.
Well, when it comes to so-called truth drugs like sodium pentothal, sodium amatyl, scopolamine, mescaline, LSD, and hypnotic benzodiazepines, where are the pros with real experience?
At run-of-the-mill psychiatric wards? No. Those hacks in the Colorado state hospital system have rarely if ever tried out the drugs for the purpose of getting at the truth.
But the CIA has up-to-date interrogators around, and thousands of pages of MKULTRA (mind control) literature, that constitute the best experience in this dark art.
Therefore, it’s highly probable the CIA or their independent contractors will be sitting in on James Holmes’ drug-induced sessions, supervising them, giving advice. It’s the Ghostbusters motto: “Who ya gonna call?”
Martin Lee points out that, even before the CIA was created, its forerunner, the OSS, tried out a cannabis extract as a truth serum. This was back in the 1940s. Lee goes on to trace US intelligence-agency and military “leadership” in truth-drug testing.
In 1947, the US Navy Project Chatter, borrowing from Nazi studies, moved on to experiments with mescaline as a truth drug.
Shortly after its inception, in the late 1940s, the CIA used drugging with sedatives, plus hypnosis, to extract secrets from agents. This method, and barbiturates alternated with amphetamines, were soon rolled up into the infamous and overarching MKULTRA mind-control program, with its hundreds of sub-projects. MKULTRA was all about developing chemical means of eliciting truth from prisoners, along with creating unconscious assassins.
In the 1950s, the CIA employed LSD in Operation Artichoke. People don’t know or forget that, while LSD failed to qualify as a reliable truth serum, its use in very high doses produced extreme terror in people being interrogated. It was this effect, as straight-out torture, the CIA capitalized on. The idea was simple. Demand the truth and threaten with extreme-dose LSD as the alternative.
We shouldn’t discount the possibility that James Holmes, once he enters an insanity plea, and is sent away to a secure hospital for psychiatric eval, will be given drugs that produce the kind of mad panic that will convince him to say, in court, exactly what his handlers want him to say.
Back in 2002, Martin Lee wrote that William Webster, former head of the CIA and FBI, was recommending the use of truth drugs on terrorism suspects under US detention. This statement spurred a significant amount of media coverage at the time.
But in the ensuing years, very few people have bothered to ask the key question: Why should we assume that waterboarding and isolation tanks and sleep deprivation are the only torture methods the CIA/military are employing on these prisoners? What about the drugs?
In particular – because no drug has ever been found to reliably elicit the truth – what about the use of drugs to produce panic and wild terror, as a way to force people to tell what they know, or confess to what they’re told to.
It’s obvious, given the history, that US interrogators have, in fact, been using these drugs on detained terrorism suspects.
Lee ends his prescient article with a chilling quote from former CIA chief of counterterrorism, Vince Cannistraro, that reflects directly the James Holmes situation in 2013:
“Once you’ve used [truth drugs] for national security cases, then it becomes a standard. Sodium pentathol is not that effective, and so you have to use something stronger, It’s a short skip and a hop to LSD, or something worse.”
These drugs are certainly being used in national security cases. Therefore, as Cannistraro predicts, they are now entering the mainstream as the standard. The astonishing statement from the court judge in the James Holmes case, ordering his truth-drug interrogation, couldn’t be a clearer signal:
full-speed ahead in chemically inducing a suspect to give up his right not to incriminate himself;
forget the fact that such truth-drug interrogations are notoriously unreliable;
forget the damage suspects can incur from the effects of the drugs;
and most of all, forget the fact that, although truth drugs don’t work reliably, they can be used to create such terror that the suspect will do or say anything to escape more dosing.
Many people have observed that James Holmes already looks like a man who has been heavily drugged, while in custody.
Whatever Holmes knows about what happened last summer at the Aurora theater; whatever he doesn’t know; whatever role he played or didn’t play; whether he was in the theater doing the shooting or was the patsy set up by professionals to take the fall for the murders…
All of this can be twisted, on strong enough drugs, to cause him to say anything his handlers want him to say in court.
The psychiatrists who are working on Holmes will need advice on methods. They’ll go to, or be approached by, the people who have the track record, the history, the experience: the CIA.
And once that move is made, it will be very much like saying the Holmes case has national-security implications.
In so far as the Aurora murders have been used to try to snuff out the 2nd Amendment, the case is definitely the gun-grabbers’ version of national security. They want no mistakes in Holmes’ performance.
They want him to enter a plea of non-guilty by reason of insanity. Then they want him, after his stay in a mental hospital for”testing and observation,” to come back to court, and state that is now aware he killed and wounded many people. Then the State will dispose of him one way or another and he will never again see the light of day.
Naïve people place false barriers between the practice of psychiatry, institutional confinement, coerced admissions of guilt, torture, brain-twisting drugs, and the CIA’s MKULTRA. They swim together in the same stream far more often than Americans want to admit, or want to know about.
This horrendous stream flows through the James Holmes case.
Other than using drugs to force him to follow orders, what possible value can this “narcoanalytic review” have in a court of law? Think about it. If Holmes enters an insanity plea, thus triggering the ensuing truth-drug interrogation, he’ll already be stating he is crazy. So the drugs will be administered to a crazy man, on the premise that can he recall correctly, or reveal correctly, his state of mind at the time he committed murders.
Is there any defense lawyer in the country who couldn’t cast doubt on the reliability of such evidence?
No, the Holmes case is now being used to put straight-out drug-torture of defendants, in order to gain confessions, into the mainstream of American legal practice.
There is one more long-shot factor here. It’s nearly unthinkable, but it should be mentioned. Many people have found evidence that the Aurora murders were staged. Without recounting the details, suppose there is one more piece of stagework left: the truth drugs used on Holmes are shown to have created brain damage.
If Holmes’ lawyers claim that the prosecution irreparably destroyed their client, they can move for a mistrial.
Can you imagine the uproar, chaos, and destabilization that would result from a declaration of a mistrial, a no-verdict in the case, and Holmes walking out of prison? Or his remand to a psychiatric facility as a permanently damaged person – but without a guilty verdict?