Department of Defense Reveals Forced Drugging of Detainees


A report from the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Defense, obtained by Truthout under a Freedom of Information Act request, confirms that detainees in the custody of the U.S. military were drugged with antipsychotic and other medications that “could impair an individual’s ability to provide accurate information.” Detainees were also subjected to “chemical restraints,” and lied to about the nature of the medications being administered.

Report → Related Items:
DoD Report Reveals Some Detainees Interrogated While Drugged, Others “Chemically Restrained” (Truthout)
US Forcibly Injected Gitmo Detainees With ‘Mind Altering Drugs’ (

Note from Kermit Cole, “In the News” editor;
Reading this, and the above articles and interviews covering it, I am struck by the illuminating parallels with what ordinary citizens face in pursuit of questions of “truth,” “lies,” and “reality” once these concepts are pursued though a medicalized framework. Medical ethicists speak of the need to join with a patient’s “story” in the interest of providing ethical medical care: how much harder it is when the “story” is part of the diagnosis and, especially, under suspicion.
This is an old story that has played out in hospitals, gulags, and now enemy combatant detention centers. It is not less important for the fact that it is ongoing. I look forward to the discussion about it here.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Every instance of forced drugging, whether it be in Gitmo, or in the general ‘mental health system’, is an instance of the political abuse of psychiatry.

    It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there were and probably still are psychiatrists working in the interrogation programs.

    Psychiatrists willing to use government force have an uncanny ability to sleep at night after dishing out torture. And an uncanny disrespect for the human right of people to own their own bodies.

    People are just bags of flesh, brains in vats, to be drugged to these people. People willing to engage in forced psychiatry don’t view their forced subjects as equal human beings deserving of dignity and human rights.

    This is a good instance of reporting.

    For people who don’t want to be in an elderly nursing home, people who don’t want to be in a psychiatric facility, children who don’t want to be in foster ‘care’, and people who don’t want to interrogated at gitmo, there’s always raping their brain to shut them up and make them pliable, thanks to our friends in psychiatry.

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