Newly declassified documents have revealed crimes the US CIA conducted.
The CIA appeared to torture and experiment on suspects without their consent.
Gross violation of medical ethics allowed the agency to conduct what amounted to "human experimentation" on people who became test subjects without consent.
"Crime one was torture. The second crime was research without consent in order to say it wasn't torture," Nathaniel Raymond, a former war-crimes investigator within Physicians for Human Rights and currently a researcher within Harvard University's Humanitarian Initiative claimed.
According to the documents, a long-standing policy against allowing people to become unwitting medical or research subjects remained in place and under the purview of the director of the CIA even as the agency began slamming people into walls, beating them intensely, exposing them to prolonged periods of sleep deprivation, performing repeated sessions of waterboarding, and conducting other heinous forms of psychological and physical abuse.
The document details agency guidelines-first established in 1987 during the presidency of Ronald Reagan but subsequently updated-in which the CIA director and an advisory board are directly empowered to make decisions about programs considered "human subject research".
The entire 41-page CIA document exists to instruct the agency on what Executive Order 12333 permits and prohibits, after legislative action in the 1970s curbed intelligence powers in response to perceived abuses - including the CIA's old practice of experimenting on human beings through programs like the infamous MK-Ultra project, which, among other things, dosed unwitting participants with LSD as an experiment.
Steven Aftergood, an expert on the intelligence agencies within the Federation of American Scientists, said that these men who were tortured by the agency were, in fact, being studied by medical professionals to see how they would respond to such treatment. In addition to the inherent crime of that abuse, they were also unwitting subjects who never gave their informed consent to be studied in this way. "There is a disconnect between the requirement of this regulation and the conduct of the interrogation program," Aftergood explained.