The White House revealed yesterday that the Centeral Intelligence Agency has uncovered new details of its own experiments with exotic drugs from 1953 to 1964.
In what appeared to be a pre-emptive announcement to the press, the White House released a letter from CIA Director Stansfield Turner to Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, briefly describing the new evidence found in CIA files.
The White House did not release any detailed information on the new discoveries, however, and what it did release added very little to the documented history of CIA drug experimentation - including the administration of drugs like LSD to unwritting human guinea pigs - revealed by Sen. Frank Church's (D-Idaho) investigation of the agency.
The Senate Intelligence Committee plans to hold public hearings on the ne information next week, probably on Wednesday or Friday, and the skimpy outline of facts released yesterday could blossom into substantial new revelations.
The newly discovered documents reported by Turner are financial records of MK-ULTRA, a supersecret CIA research and development program involving exotic drugs and their possible uses for intelligence or military purposes.
The CIA files describing MK-ULTRA were destroyed in 1973 at the suggestion of then-Director Richard Helms, according to testimony before the Church committee.
But a continuing search through CIA files has discovered records on disbursements made for MK-ULTRA, according to Turner's letter to Inouye.
Turner's letter numerated these activities for which money was apparently disbursed:
Testing of drugs on American citizens without their knowledge, in cases beyond those already revealed.
Research on the surreptitious administration of drugs.
Research on a knockout or "K" drug, including tests on "advanced cancer patients."
Experiements using drug addicts or alcoholics.
A possibly illegal payment to a "private institution."
All of these except the "K" drug were discussed in the Church committee's final report in April 1976. The committee found that MK-ULTRA gave LSD to unwitting subjects (one of whom, Dr. Frank Olson, ditd as a result), used private institutions clandestinely to conduct research, and used prisoners and patients as subjects.
The committee found that the CIA went to great lengths to conceal the MK-ULTRA project because of its sensitivity.
In his letter Turner said that the newly found financial records don't present "a complete picture" but "provide more detail than was previously available."
Turner said he wanted to testify about this material to the intelligence committee "in keeping with the President's commitment to disclose any errors of the intelligence community which are uncovered."
Jody Powell, Carter's press secretary, said the material was released quickly to head off any charge that the administration was trying to hide new information.
Powell said the resignation this week of E. Henry Knoche, deputy director of central intelligence, had nothing to do with the newly discovered MK-ULTRA financial records.
On another CIA matter, Powell denied that Carter has offered the deputy's job to Prof. Lyman B. Kirkpatrick of Brown University, a former executive director of the CIA. The New York Times reported Thursday that he had been offered the job. Asked if Kirkpatrick would be offered it later, Powell replied, "Not that I know of, no."