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Monday, March 18, 2013

The CIA, James Holmes, MKULTRA, and truth-serum torture

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 


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 


In 1947, the US Navy Project Chatter, borrowing from Nazi 

studies, moved on to experiments with mescaline as a truth 


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 


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 


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 


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 2ndAmendment, 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.

Na├»ve 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 


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 


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?

Jon Rappoport
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