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Ben Carson Calls For Using ‘Truth Serum’ To Interrogate Enemy Combatants

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Ben Carson Calls For Using ‘Truth Serum’ To Interrogate Enemy Combatants

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In an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, neurosurgeon and Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson suggested using sodium amytal — otherwise known as amobarbital — to interrogate enemy combatants and terrorist threats.

Sodium amytal is a barbiturate with similar properties to sodium thiopental, which slows the functioning of the brain and can be used in lethal injections in high enough doses. Both are have been categorized as “truth serums.”

Harlow began by asking Carson about Donald Trump’s stances on waterboarding and other methods of torture. She asked Carson if he agreed with Trump that “torture works.”

Carson responded that he believed that “there are a number of ways to extract information, including some medical ways of, you know, putting people into a less-than-conscious state, which allows information to be extracted much more humanely.”

A baffled Harlow asked for clarification.

“Well, the average person might understand it as truth serum, but you know there are ways where you decrease a person’s conscious defenses, and they might be more willing to give up information.”

Harlow prods again: “What is that? What is truth serum?”

“Sodium amytal, Carson responds. “But you know there are a variety of different things that can be used now, we’ve made advances in that kind of science.”

In a 1961 article by George Bimmerle, “’Truth’ Drugs In Interrogation,” since declassified, the author states that “In larger doses a barbiturate acts as an anesthetic, depressing the central nervous system as completely as a gaseous anesthetic does. In even larger doses barbiturates cause death by stopping respiration.”

A 2006 investigation into the interrogation of Jose Padilla, an accused terrorist, brought news that his interrogators lied and told him that a flu shot was in fact a shot of “truth serum,” of the same variety as sodium amytal.

In 2003, John Yoo, author of the so-called “Torture Memos,” sent word to the Pentagon that some forms of mind-altering drugs, including powerful antipsychotic medication, were acceptable to use during interrogations, as long as they did not “disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.”

The use of such drugs — or, in Padilla’s case, lying about the use of such drugs — is considered a serious breach of medical ethics.

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19 Comments

  1. Lynda Groom February 23, 2016

    Does he really believe that such a program has not been tried already?

    Reply
    1. JPHALL February 23, 2016

      He hasn’t a clue about anything in the mundane, non medical world.

      Reply
    2. FireBaron February 24, 2016

      Sure it was. We all saw it in movies with dialog like “Ve haf vays ov makink you talk.” Whatever these guys did, they are still protected under the auspices of the Geneva Convention, even if they refuse to recognize it. The other problem, as we have already seen, is individuals who have been subject to “enhanced interrogation” techniques cannot be brought before any military or civilian tribunal for justice to be done! Why? Because those same techniques that Woo touted as “legal” immediately render any testimony the suspects have provided as invalid for their own prosecution.
      Did these techniques result in any usable information that resulted in stopping terrorists attacks? Maybe – however as that information is classified, we will never know. Did these techniques result in us having a special class of prisoners who can never face trial, and their continued incarceration be considered questionable under all international treaties that we are signatories to? Definitely.
      So whenever I hear a clueless wonder like (Retired) Doctor Carson, or THE DONALD, or The Worthy Senator from Canada talk about using waterboarding, truth serums, or other methods of questionable information extraction, I have to wonder what in the hell happened to due process and the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. Hell, even Iran, with their kangaroo courts, don’t use torture to extract information!

      Reply
    3. jif6360 February 24, 2016

      With so many lies being told, the greatest danger comes from our own GOV. All candidate should be required to take a lie detector test. http://www.judicialimmunitynecessaryevil.com/petition.html

      Reply
      1. charleo1 February 24, 2016

        More easy answers, more flawed solutions. No one, not even those under suspicion of heinous crimes may be compelled to submit to lie detector exams. No, we’ll need to do the lie detecting ourselves. A good rule of thumb to use is, if what they’re saying makes no sense, sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a lie. Secondly, to look at your gov., our gov., the government of the United States as, “Our greatest danger,” is wrong to begin with, and muddle headed. Under the Constitution, the government is us. The greatest danger I see today, is our diminished believe in our own abilities to ultimately fix our broken, and money corrupted political system. Added to our delusional desires to think someone is going to come along, and magically fix it for us.

        Reply
        1. jif6360 February 24, 2016

          First of all I was being sarcastic.secondly your GOV foreign policy might be getting us in another war. Finialy, your right the system is broken. Fixing it might be as simple as appointing a good Supreme Court justice.
          https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=lA_Yl_JCdFg#

          Reply
          1. charleo1 February 24, 2016

            Sarcasm is a tricky thing, is it not? Now I don’t know if you talking about MY gov. getting us in another war, or something else. As far as the Supreme Court being the answer. Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out in his majority brief both blessing, and condemning the ACA as Constitutional. And I paraphrase here: We live in a democracy. It is not the Court’s business to save the American People from themselves.

            Reply
          2. jif6360 February 24, 2016

            OK, our government. Democracy: hear where we defer in opinion. Yes we have the right to vote, but this vote is meaningless if we have no voice to challenge dicisions made.with no voice there is no transparency. Note we have the greatest foundation of government, there is no better in the world. The Supreme Court plays a major role in how our law are imply and this could play a big part in saving American.

            Reply
          3. charleo1 February 24, 2016

            Well said. I imagine we agree on quite a lot, you, and I.

            Reply
  2. The lucky one February 24, 2016

    Carson is on to something. Let’s inject all the candidates with his “truth serum” and ask them how they would handle the country’s problems. The only one whose answers would be even remotely like the BS they spew daily would be Sanders. Oh wait the article said ” slows the functioning of the brain”. Better hold off on that if it slowed the functioning of the GOP brains they wouldn’t be able to stop drooling long enough to speak.

    Reply
  3. charleo1 February 24, 2016

    Good novice answer Ben. Because novices are definitely ‘in’ on the denial prone Right. Where far too many are convinced there must be a very simple, easy and cheap way to solve all our problems. First, we must stop being so darn politically correct all the time. We should stop calling terrorist extremist, terrorist extremist, for their terroristic extremism, and start calling them Muslims. That way we put the entire Muslim World, all 1.5 billion of them on notice we understand exactly who we’re at war with, who we’re banning from the country, and who among the human population we, the U.S. with our big powerful honking military, and nuclear weapons, is aiming to sooner or later kill.

    Secondly, we need more people with no experience! The little-er the better. It’s, it’s, so Sarah Palin-like. Irresistible, empty headed, and cheap too! Truth serum! Now why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Because politicians are all idiots, while non-politicians are all geniuses.

    Reply
  4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 24, 2016

    Ben needs to be checked to see if he’s a member of the human race. Only a multi-footed sentient being from another planet is capable of shooting itself multiple times in the foot, and still be able to walk upright and speak as though the loss of feet is a trivial matter.

    As such, this would disqualify said sentient being from being a candidate.

    On the matter of a truth serum, it should be administered on Ben to have him disclose who altered his mind in such a devastating manner, and why he willingly submitted to such an alteration.

    Thank you, Ben, for providing so much comedy relief on the campaign trail. You’re just the guy to provide me a sufficient supply of chuckles as I prepare for the rest of the day.

    Reply
  5. latebloomingrandma February 24, 2016

    Yet another example of Republican Christian values.
    But wait, I forgot, he is anti abortion, otherwise known as pro-life.

    Reply
    1. Independent1 February 25, 2016

      Which is a GOP misnomer for pro-fetus. (Once the fetus is out of the womb – all bets are off – it becomes survival of the fittest (financially.)

      Reply
  6. Budjob February 24, 2016

    I think a better purpose would be to administer it to politicians,including you Ben!

    Reply
  7. dpaano February 24, 2016

    Personally, I’d like to give some of that stuff to the GOP nominees so they’ll ALL quit lying and tell the people the truth about how they are going to screw up our entire democracy!!!

    Reply
    1. jif6360 February 24, 2016

      When I think about this election I see tricky Dick waving his hand, I’m not a crook

      Reply
      1. dpaano February 24, 2016

        You’ve got a point there!!!

        Reply
  8. 1standlastword February 24, 2016

    I’ve noticed how much less coverage Carson gets lately so I think I’ll save my critique for the white guys and the ones who look like white guys!

    One caveat to future black aspirants for POTUS on the GOP side….don’t bother–your roots aren’t there!!

    Reply

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