There is a fascinating history of mad, bad and deeply unethical medical and scientific research. From experiments in Nazi Germany to the Tuskegee study in the USA where African American men were left untreated for syphilis so that the progression of the disease could be monitored. The study was only halted in 1972.
I just came across Operation Midnight Climax, which back in the 1950s used prostitutes on the CIA’s payroll to lure ‘clients’ back to a location where they were covertly given a range of substances including LSD so that the effects could be studied on non-consenting subjects. This was part of Project MKULTRA, the CIA’s mind control and chemical interrogation research programme.
Unfortunately, this kind of stuff does fuel the (more loony) conspiracy theorists and prove many of their theories right. Its also important to question the ethics of the individuals involved in this including the scientists and medical doctors. It being a State-run programme should not absolve them of their responsibilities. Of course this isn’t a thing of the past as doctors and scientists have been involved in the torture or ill-treatment of ‘enemy combatants’ in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.
But also, what of the women? Where are their voices in this? Their sexual exploitation was being done by the US Government. Just as ‘Comfort Women‘ were being shipped to ‘service’ soldiers by the Japanese Government during WWII and countless other examples of State sanctioned sexual exploitation of women.
The disclosures have rightly exposed this deeply unethical covert research. But how about some justice for the women used in this way by the CIA. I’m a little concerned that they’ll just get glamourised for TV….