Guantanamo Bay prisoners were interrogated while being dosed up on ‘mind altering drugs’, according to a secret Pentagon report released under Freedom of Information laws.
The two-year probe by the Pentagon’s inspector general into the use of anti-psychotic medication during interrogations revealed detainees inside the U.S. military’s facility in Cuba were forcibly injected with powerful sedatives used in psychiatric hospitals.
‘Certain detainees, diagnosed as having serious mental health conditions being treated with psychoactive medications on a continuing basis, were interrogated,’ the inspector general concludes in the report.
But the investigation, conducted in 2008-2009 at the request of Congress, could not prove the anti-psychotic medication was dished out by interrogators specially to wring more information out of prisoners.
The Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale said in a statement on Thursday that no drugs were given to detainees to facilitate interrogation.
The 41-page report, obtained this week by website Truthout two years after it was requested, says many of the prisoners were given a relatively cheap, hard-boiled anti-psychotic drug called Haldol.
The product, first marketed in the 1960’s, is commonly used in psychiatric hospitals and emergency rooms and has a long list of side effects including depression, muscle contractions and suicidal behaviour.
The sedative can also cause heart attacks.
One unnamed inmate told the inspector general he was given mysterious red and blue pills while on his way to Guantanamo from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2002.
‘At the time they said it was some candy,’ he said, according to Wired.
After eating the ‘candy,’ the prisoner said he felt in a ‘state of delusion’ for several days.
In other cases, prisoners were given a flu shot but told they were being injected with ‘truth serum’, in what the report labels a ‘deliberate ruse’.
Prisoners were rarely told what drugs they were being given or for what purpose it was being administered, the report found.
The revelations have raised questions about whether the medication could have resulted in prisoners making falsely incriminating statements.
Defending the drugging of inmates, the former commander of the Joint Medical Group at Guantanamo said in the report that ‘some detainees were involuntarily medicated to help control serious mental illnesses.’
The inspector general added that an ethics committee had approved the policy.