21 July 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact: Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
North American Truth and Accountability Commission Sets Sights on CIA and Pentagon Human Experimentation Programs
Florida –Organizers today announced the formation of the North American Truth and Accountability Commission for Human Experimentation (NATAC). The Commission, nearly 8 months in the making, was first proposed after a number of people had read the recently published book by H.P. Albarelli Jr., A TERRIBLE MISTAKE: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments. Albarelli’s book details a number of shocking human experiments conducted during the Cold War years. Following a number of meetings in Los Angeles and New York City to discuss both past and on-going human experiments sponsored by the government, it was proposed that a formal commission be formed to further research government-sponsored human experimentation in the United States and Canada and to advocate for the demise of all such programs.
Founding members of the Commission include: H.P. Albarelli Jr., investigative journalist and writer; Charles Bonner, Esq., attorney and author; Vincent Bugliosi, attorney and author; Bruce Caukin, activist and teacher; Judy L. Chucker, graduate student; Kelly Porter Franklin, full time researcher; Helen Garland, CEO, Earth Society; Thomas Kiely, New York talk show host; Dr. Lianne Leedom, psychiatrist and author; David Lincoln, geo-engineer and author; Steve Meyer, activist; Mark Crispin Miller, Professor at NYU and author; Edward Peck, former ambassador to Iraq; William Pepper, Human Rights Attorney; Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, author and talk show host; Jason Rimes, entrepreneur; Melissa Roddy, director of CONFLICT OF INTEREST, a series of short films on Afghanistan; Dr. Collin Ross, Founder and President of the Colin A. Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma; Connie Ruffley, CEO, United Republicans of California; Vera Hassner Sharav, M.L.S., Human Rights Advocate, founder and president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection; Lynn Schirmer, web designer; David Swanson, Founder, War is Crime; Jennifer Van Bergen, J.D., M.S.I.E., investigative journalist, author; Dr. Margot White, professor of bioethics, human rights activist, writer; and Richard Yensen, Ph.D. and Dr. Donna Dryer, Directors, Orenda Institute. The group sates that all Commissioners are drawn from all political viewpoints and many walks of life to provide the Commission with a depth of viewpoints and so to avoid the myopia, which too often accompanies investigations.
NATAC’s principle objectives are to research, investigate, present, examine, publicize, expose, and eventually, hopefully, to resolve the CIA’s and Department of Defense’s past and present illegal human experimentation programs involving North American citizens and military service men and women. By ‘resolve’ the Commission means “to reach closure on prior experimentation with unwitting humans by putting an end to all illegal and unethical human experimentation by government entities.”
NATAC will also explore and investigate human experiments conducted overseas by entities of the U.S. and Canadian governments, either jointly or separately, as well as investigating current torture activities and programs as related to experimentation.
Asked about the formation of the Commission, member and media relations contact for the group, Tom Kiely said, “The truth and accountability process, most notably and partially modeled on the successful efforts of South Africa, Latin America and Greensboro, North Carolina, is designed to examine and learn from a series of divisive and horrible events and incidents conducted in the past, and still conducted today, in order to build the foundation for a more ethical and humane future where human rights are regarded as essential to all facets of government operations.” Kiely stated, “The truth and reconciliation process, used extensively and quite successfully in countries where people experienced officially sanctioned trauma, has developed into an effective tool and strategy for dealing with war crimes, state sponsored torture, violence and other human rights abuses.”
The Commission’s approach seeks ‘restorative justice,’ which differs from the customary adversarial and retributive justice. The truth, accountability and reconciliation process seeks to heal by uncovering all pertinent facts, exposing lies, and allowing for acknowledgement, as well as appropriate private or public mourning, meaningful corrective action, restitution, and healing.
States the Commission’s charter: “By demanding accountability we bifurcate the role of individuals, who enabled human experimentation and torture for their own reasons, and confront their justification and immunization through government. We call into question the power of government to engage in acts, which violate the principles America was founded to affirm. Human experimentation and torture violate both our founding and our very humanity. By so doing the acts covertly carried out by the CIA and Pentagon, in coordination with and support of, select private entities and institutions, destroyed the integrity of American government, shredded the Constitution, violating the inborn rights of countless individuals. “
Said founding member H.P. Albarelli Jr.: “We, as a Commission, are ever mindful of the past and present horrors that have been and are committed in the name of the State. We are vehemently opposed to these horrors and do not see our opposition as being political or partisan in any way. I believe our opposition to human experimentation is a natural and proper human response that has nothing to do with political parties, religions, alliances, or beliefs. Reconciliation is a fundamental goal of the Commission, but before there can be reconciliation there must be truth, and then a sincere, serious, heartfelt intention on all sides to make things right by ensuring that such acts are never repeated.”
Commission spokesperson Melinda Pillsbury-Foster said, “The Commission's organizing committee is finalizing the form its inquiry will take, and the Commission will be active and proceeding with its work beginning August 1st. The Commission will then delve into the many specific instances where government-sponsored human experimentation has and is taking place for the purposes of naming those involved, and who have profited, provided cover, and other issues, which now remain unanswered.”
Participation and dissemination of information will take place through the Internet, allowing many more people to be involved through the website, which is located at: http://www.northamericantruth.org.