CIA considered use of anti-anxiety drug in terror suspect interrogations: report

CIA considered use of anti-anxiety drug in terror suspect interrogations: report
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The CIA considered the use of an anti-anxiety medication for use in questioning terror suspects about upcoming plans for attacks, according to an unreleased agency report.

The Associated Press, which obtained a copy of the document, reports that the agency considered the use of the drug Versed for use during terror suspect interrogations in 2002 but ultimately decided against asking government lawyers for permission to use it.

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A federal court ordered the 90-page CIA report, which details the existence of "Project Medication," to be provided to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which spent more than two years in court fighting the Obama and Trump administrations over it.

"Project Medication," the report states, was permanently shut down in early 2003 after the CIA decided against setting up another potential conflict with the Justice Department over the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, according to the AP.

The report states that prior to its closure, CIA researchers looked into old agency experiments with LSD during the 1950s and 1960s as well as experiments done by the Soviet Union, both of which were apparently in search of some kind of "truth serum," the AP reported.

“Versed was considered possibly worth a trial if unequivocal legal sanction first were obtained,” the report says, according to the AP. “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.’”

“At the beginning of 2003, the Office of Medical Services’ review, informally termed ‘Project Medication’ was shelved, never to be reactivated,” the report concludes.

The CIA declined to comment to the AP on the report, but in a court filing last year noted that it was not the “final official history, or assessment, of the program,” from the agency or the Office of Medical Service.