Project Paperclip - Recruitment of Germans
from MindControlForum Website
The following is a staff memorandum or other working document prepared for the members of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. It should not be construed as representing the final conclusions of fact or interpretation of the issues. All staff memoranda are subject to revision based on further information and analysis. For conclusions and recommendations of the Advisory Committee, readers are advised to consult the Final Report to be published in 1995.
TO: Members of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments
FROM: Advisory Committee Staff
DATE: April 5, 1995
RE: Post-World War II Recruitment of German Scientists - Project Paperclip
The Air Force's School of Aviation Medicine (SAM) at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas conducted dozens of human radiation experiments during the Cold War, among them flash-blindness studies in connection with atomic weapons tests, and data-gathering for total-body irradiation studies conducted in Houston. (These have been the subject of prior briefing books.)
Because of the extensive postwar recruiting of German scientists for the SAM and other U.S. defense installations, and in light of the central importance of the Nuremberg prosecutions to the Advisory Committee's work, members of the staff have collected documentary evidence about Project Paperclip from the National Archives and Department of Defense records.
(The departments of Justice and Defense, as well as the Archives staff, have provided substantial assistance in this effort.)
The experiments for which Nazi investigators were tried included many related to aviation research. These were mainly high-altitude exposure studies, oxygen deprivation experiments, and cold studies related to air-sea rescue operations.
This information about air crew hazards was important to both sides, and, of course, continued to be important to military organizations in the Cold War.
Background of Project Paperclip
Project Paperclip was a postwar and Cold War operation carried out by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA).1
[Operation Paperclip's code name was said to have originated because scientific recruits' papers were paperclipped with regular immigration forms. The JIOA was a special intelligence office reporting to the Director of Intelligence in the War Department, comparable to the intelligence chief of today's Joint Chiefs of Staff.]
Paperclip had two aims:
to exploit German scientists for American research
to deny these intellectual resources to the Soviet Union
At least 1,600 scientists and their dependents were recruited and brought to the United States by Paperclip and its successor projects through the early 1970s. The most famous of these was Wernher von Braun.
In recent years, it has been alleged that many of these individuals were brought to the United States in violation of American government policy not to permit the entrance of "ardent Nazis" into the country, that many were security risks, and that at least some were implicated in Holocaust-related activities.
The secondary literature on Paperclip includes Linda Hunt, Secret Agenda (1991) and Tom Bowers, The Paperclip Conspiracy (1989). The following is drawn from these sources and material retrieved from the National Archives and DOD files.
Nuremberg and Postwar Recruitment of Scientists
At the time of its inception, Paperclip was a matter of controversy in the War Department, as demonstrated by a November 27,1946 memorandum from General Groves, director of the Manhattan Project, relating to the bringing to the United States of the eminent physicist Otto Hahn.
Groves wrote that the Manhattan Project does not desire to utilize the services of foreign scientists in the United States, either directly with the Project or with any affiliated organization. This has consistently been my views.
I should like to make it clear, however, that I see no objection to bringing to the United States such carefully screened physicists as would contribute materially to the welfare of the United States and would remain permanently in the United States as naturalized citizens.
I strongly recommend against foreign physicists coming in contact with our atomic energy program in any way. If they are allowed to see or discuss the work of the Project the security of our information would get out of control. (Attachment 1)
Biomedical Scientists at American Facilities
A number of military research sites recruited Paperclip scientists with backgrounds in aeromedicine, radiobiology and ophthalmology.
These institutions included the SAM, where radiation experiments were conducted, and other military sites, particularly the Edgewood Arsenal of the Army's Chemical Corps.
The portfolio of experiments at the SAM was one that would particularly benefit from the Paperclip recruits.
Experiments there included total-body irradiation, space medicine and bed-rest studies, and flash-blindness studies. Herbert Gerstner,2 [The Committee has no documents at this time indicating that Dr. Gerstner engaged in human experimentation in Germany] a principal investigator in TBI experiments at the SAM, was acting director of the Institute of Physiology at the University of Leipzig; he became a radiobiologist at the SAM. (Attachment 2)
The Air Force Surgeon General and SAM officials welcomed the Paperclip scientists.
In March 1951, the school's Commandant, O.O. Benson Jr., wrote to the Surgeon General to seek more first-class scientists and highly qualified technologists from Germany. The first group of Paperclip personnel contained a number of scientists that have proved to be of real value to the Air Force. The weaker and less gifted ones have been culled to a considerable extent.
The second group reporting here in 1949 were, in general, less competent than the original paperclip personnel, and culling process will again be in order. (Attachment 3)
General Benson's adjutant solicited resumes from a Paperclip prospect list, including a number of radiation biology and physics specialists. The qualifications of a few scientists were said to be known, so curricula vitae were waived.
The adjutant wrote, also in March 1951:
"In order to systematically benefit from this program this headquarters believes that the employment of competent personnel who fit into our research program is a most important consideration."
The Head-Hunting Competition with the Soviet Union
Official U.S. government policy was to avoid recruitment of "ardent Nazis."
Many of the Paperclip scientists were members of Nazi organizations of one sort of another. The documentary record indicates, however, that many claimed inactive status or membership that was a formality, according to files in the National Archives.
The director of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency, Navy Captain Bosquet N. Wev, bluntly put the case for recruitment in a April 27,1948 memo to the Pentagon's Director of Intelligence:
"Security investigations conducted by the military have disclosed the fact that the majority of German scientists were members of either the Nazi Party or one or more of its affiliates.
These investigations disclose further that with a very few exceptions, such membership was due to exigencies which influenced the lives of every citizen of Germany at that time."
Wev was critical of over-scrupulous investigations by the Department of Justice and other agencies as
reflecting security concerns no longer relevant with the defeat of Germany, and "biased considerations" about the nature of his recruits' fascist allegiances. (Attachment 5)
The possibility of scientists being won to the Soviet side in the Cold War was, according to Captain Wev, the highest consideration.
In a March 1948 letter to the State Department, Wev assessed the prevailing view in the government:
"[R]esponsible officials... have expressed opinions to the effect that, in so far as German scientists are concerned, Nazism no longer should be a serious consideration from a viewpoint of national security when the far greater threat of Communism is now jeopardizing the entire world.
I strongly concur in this opinion and consider it a most sound and practical view, which must certainly be taken if we are to face the situation confronting us with even an iota of realism.
To continue to treat Nazi affiliations as significant considerations has been aptly phrased as 'beating a dead Nazi horse'."
In his April 27,1948 report to his superiors, he again cited the Soviet threat:
In light of the situation existing in Europe today, it is conceivable that continued delay and opposition to the immigration of these scientists could result in their eventually falling into the hands of the Russians who would then gain the valuable information and ability possessed by these men.
Such an eventuality could have a most serious and adverse affect on the national security of the United States.
Hubertus Strughold and the SAM
Perhaps the most prominent of the Paperclip physicians was Hubertus Strughold, called "the father of space medicine" and for whom the Aeromedical Library at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine was named in 1977.
During the war, he was director of the Luftwaffe's aeromedical institute; a Strughold staff member was acquitted at Nuremberg on the grounds that the physician's Dachau laboratory was not the site of nefarious experiments.
Strughold had a long career at the SAM, including the recruitment of other Paperclip scientists in Germany. His background was the subject of public controversy in the United States. He denied involvement with Nazi experiments and told reporters in this country that his life had been in danger from the Nazis.
A citizen for 30 years before his death in 1986, his many honors included an Americanism Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
An April 1947 intelligence report on Strughold stated:
"[H]is successful career under Hitler would seem to indicate that he must be in full accord with Nazism."
However, Strughold's colleagues in Germany and those with whom he had worked briefly in the United States on fellowships described him as politically indifferent or anti-Nazi.
In his application to reside in this country, he declared:
Further, the United States is the only country of liberty which is able to maintain this liberty and the thousand-year-old culture and western civilization, and it is my intention to support the United States in this task, which is in danger now, with all my scientific abilities and experience.
In a 1952 civil service form, Strughold was asked if he had ever been a member of a fascist organization.
His answer: "Not in my opinion."
His references therein included the Surgeon General of the Air Force, the director of research at the Lovelace Foundation in New Mexico, and a colleague from the Mayo Clinic. (Attachment 9)
In September 1948, Strughold was granted a security certificate from the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency director, Captain Wev, who in the previous March had written to the Department of State protesting the difficulty of completing immigration procedures for Paperclip recruits.
The staff believes this trail should be followed with more research before conclusions can be drawn about the Paperclip scientists and human radiation experiments.
That the standard for immigration was "not an ardent Nazi" is troubling; in Strughold's case, investigators had specifically questioned his credentials for "denazification."
It is possible that still-classified intelligence documents could shed further light on these connections. Staff is attempting to identify sites that may continue to hold this material. The Department of Defense has supplied a number of documents and the Central Intelligence Agency has been asked to search its files.
Staff has been sifting declassified files at the National Archives and plans to inspect further classified files on this subject.
In 1946, as US military was hunting down Nazi war criminals, a special intelligence office called the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) instigated a plan to recruit German scientists into American research programs.
These intellectual resources were valuable to the States- and securing them meant that the Soviets could not.
Operation Paper Clip was born - a code name said to have originated because an immigration form (holding the unspoken promise of problem-free naturalization) was attached to the papers of each scientific recruit. Under the auspices of this and similar projects that succeeded it, lasting until the early 1970's, at least 1600 scientists and their families were quietly brought to the USA and given citizenship.
American government policy stated that 'ardent Nazis' and war criminals were not allowed to enter the country, and the project was, not surprisingly, the source of some controversy. Conveniently - according to files in the National Archives - most of the Paper Clip scientists had been affiliated to Nazi organizations as a mere formality, and were politically inactive.
In a letter to the State Department in April 1948, the director of JIOA, Captain Bosquet N. Wev, outlined the prevailing view of officialdom:
'In so far as German scientists are concerned, Nazism no longer should be a serious consideration from a viewpoint of national security when the far greater threat of Communism is now jeopardizing the entire world.'
Paper Clip was considered a resounding success.
The recruits were made welcome at number of military research sites, including the Air Force's School of Aviation Medicine (SAM), at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, where radiation experiments were conducted.
According to the government's own investigative body, the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments:
'Experiments at SAM included total-body irradiation, space-medicine and bed-rest studies, and flash blindness studies… in connection with atomic weapons tests and data gathering for total-body irradiation studies conducted in Houston.'
Hubertus Strughold, who had a laboratory at Dachau, began his US career at SAM, and is now known as 'the father of space medicine'.
His chief subordinates at Dachau are widely believed to have been directly involved in 'aviation medicine' experiments - inhumanely conducted studies of high-altitude exposure, resistance to the cold oxygen deprivation and the like - giving rise to repeated allegations that these medical atrocities were sanctioned by Strughold.
Many Nazi war criminals managed to avoid prosecution for their crimes, but some were successfully tried at Nuremberg for experiments related to aviation research. The results of such experiments would be extremely useful in the protection of air crewmen.
In March 1951, General O.O. Benson Jr., the Commandant at SAM, wrote to the Surgeon General requesting another shipment of 'first-class scientists and highly qualified technologists from Germany,' since 'the first group of Paper Clip personnel contained a number of scientists that have proved to be a real value to the Air Force'.
The scientific community was not the only faction to benefit form the 'brain drain' at the close of WWII. Hitler's master spy Reinhard Gehlen became an important part of America's intelligence community and recruited others for a small overseas espionage group that helped nurse the CIA into existence.
Although Gehlen promised not to recruit anyone who had been involved with the SS or the Gestapo, according to experts Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen,
'he immediately broke his official word, hiring at least six SS and Sicherheitdienst veterans. And America's intelligence elite looked the other way.
Two of Gehlen's notorious post-war signings were Dr Franz Alfred Six and Emil Augsburg, SS intelligence veterans involved in the mass extermination of Jews. They were both fugitive war criminals.'
The US Army's Counter Intelligence Corps later arrested Six.
They caught up with Augsburg too - and hired him. Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, also assisted Gehlen for a while in his espionage work for the USA, and even spent some time living there. As Vankin and Whalen note, in an atmosphere of cold war paranoia US officials 'found expedient soul mates in Nazi scientists and SS officers they recruited.
After all, Nazi Germany's fascists were vehemently opposed to communism, too.
On 17 June 1925, still reeling from a senseless war that had decimated a generation, most of the earth's most powerful countries decided they no longer wanted to live in a world of madmen.
They signed the Geneva Protocol, outlawing biological and chemical warfare.
The two most conspicuous abstentions were the ever-independent United States and imperial Japan. Japan, in fact, was so impressed by the fact that chemical and biological warfare was considered dangerous enough to ban that it immediately stepped up its research.
The guiding force behind the Japanese effort was a young doctor named Shiro Ishii.
Ishii had graduated from the Department of Medicine at Kyoto University in 1920 and gone straight into the Japanese Imperial Army. In the late 1920s he was sent to Europe and the United Sates for two years to study the state of Western biological research.
Soon after his return Japan invaded and conquered Manchuria (in what is now China). Ishii and his team had a literal theatre of operations.
In 1936 Emperor Hirohito's seal was affixed to a document that established Ishii's Manchuria-based 'Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kuantung Army ' (changed to Unit 731 in 1941). The name was a masterpiece of hubris. In fact, the extremely well funded 'department' specialized in epidemic-causing toxins like anthrax, cholera, tetanus, botulism, meningitis, tuberculosis and bubonic plague.
A constant supply of test victims was provided courtesy of the occupying Japanese Army.
At first they were mostly Chinese and Russian, but once WWII began these were joined with specimens labeled 'American', 'British', and 'Australian'. But the staff at Unit 731 had their own special name for the men, women and children they vivisected, almost invariably without anesthetic.
They called them 'marutas' : logs.
The horrors of Unit 731 were unimaginable. Apart from the physical torture suffered by captives before they were killed, there were countless instances of emotional and mental cruelty. In one case, a Japanese doctor vivisected an un-anaesthetized pregnant woman whom he himself had impregnated.
One Unit 731 staffer recently tried to justify his actions:
"Of course there were experiments on children. But probably their fathers were spies."
The extreme de-humanization existed outside the army as well.
Civilian Japanese doctors would regularly practice surgery techniques on healthy prisoners of war. In one case, eight American servicemen were killed in one day on the operating table at the anatomy department of Kyushu University. They were taken apart bit by bit: first a lung, then a bit of liver, then part of a brain; until finally they died.
Ishii's primary interest was not surgery but large-scale biological warfare. He was developing and testing diseases on his 'marutas' with the goal of delivering a fatal does to the enemy whilst learning to treat it in his own men. Throughout the war, Ishii had disease-infected animals (usually fleas) dropped on Chinese towns, where there were several outbreaks of bubonic plague as a result.
His plans extended to the United States. In December 1944, 200 balloon bombs were sent using prevailing air currents from Japan to the Western United States, killing seven people in Montana and Oregon. It is likely these balloons were testing the route for bacterial bombs.
As the war was drawing to a close, Ishii had one last bit of insanity up his sleeve. Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night would send plague-laden suicide bombers to San Diego, where the plague would be released and the entire Western seaboard infected. The date of the attack was scheduled for 22 September 1945.
The war in the Pacific ended in August 1945. The cover-up began almost immediately. Ishii was declared dead and a mock funeral was held in his home town. Although he and his staff had destroyed some of the evidence against them before the end of the war, they had plenty of information left to barter.
Under the advice of scientists from Fort Detrick, Maryland (the US Army's own bacterial and chemical research unit), General Douglas MacArthur radioed Washington, recommending that Unit 731 scientists be granted immunity in exchange for their data.
The reply from the committee for the Far East was:
"The value of Japanese BW [Biological Warfare] data is of such importance to national security as to far outweigh the value accruing from war crime prosecution."
To its credit, the State Department was against the plan, if only because it might later embarrass the United Sates.
Not a single member of Unit 731 was prosecuted for war crimes by the United States. The only ones to be prosecuted were twelve who were caught by the Soviets in China: their well-documented trial in 1949 was suppressed by the United Sates and regarded as Soviet propaganda.
In spite of articles in 1946 in both the New York Times and the Pacific Stars and Stripes (the official newspaper of the US Army) the government refused to admit that Americans had been the victims of Unit 731, let alone that Ishii was cooperating with the United States.
There were rumors throughout the 1950s that not only had Ishii lectured at Fort Detrick, he had also gone to Korea to help the American war effort. There was certainly some familiar-looking evidence.
According to Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen:
"On an April night in 1952 an American F-82 fighter was spotted flying over a Chinese village near the Inner Mongolian border. With the break of day, residents were greeted by an infestation of more than seven hundred voles.
Of the voles who survived both the night cold and ravaging cats, many 'were sluggish or had fractured legs'. A test on one dead vole showed it was infected with the plague."
The US government did its best to kill the rumors.
In the 1950s, it even resorted to charges of treason against some American civilians who had dared to imply that the government might be using technology originating from Unit 731. The charges were thrown out for lack of evidence.
The cover-up continues. In 1987, US and British veterans of the Manchuria campaign were told there was 'no evidence' for claims that Unit 731 experimented on them. And as recently as 1989, a British book was published in the United Sates minus one chapter freely available in the British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand editions. The chapter was called 'The Korean War'.
What of the men of Unit 731? Ishii died of throat cancer at the age of 67 in 1959.
Others went on to exalted positions in post-war Japan: Governor of Tokyo, president of the Japanese Medical Association and head of the Japanese Olympic Committee. The leader of the team in charge of inflicting frostbite and vivisecting went on to a lucrative career in the frozen fish industry.
In 1975, the United Sates finally signed the Geneva Protocol.
Prisons have long been a popular testing ground in America.
Between 1963 and 1973 Dr Heller, an award winning medical scientist, ran a series of experiments on inmates at the Oregon State Prison in order to assess the effect of radiation on sperm production. Another test involving radiation and reproduction was conducted in Washington sate.
Prisoners in Pennsylvania were used to test the effects of radiation on human skin. Inmates in Illinois drank water laced with radium. Prisoners in Utah had their blood removed, irradiated and re-injected. And the tests were not confined to radiation.
Just on example: starting in 1944, hundreds of prisoners at Illinois Statesville Prison were given malaria in a project designed to develop a prevention or cure for the disease that was disabling Allied forces in the Pacific.
According to the government's own report:
"It is difficult to overemphasize just how common the practice [of experimenting on prisoners] became in the United States during the post-war years. Researchers employed prisoners as subjects in a multitude of experiments that ranged in purpose from a desire to understand the cause of cancer to a need to test the effects of a new cosmetic.
After the Food and Drug Administration's restructuring of drug-testing regulations in 1962 prisoners became almost the exclusive subjects in non-federally funded Phase-1 pharmaceutical trials designed to test the toxicity of new drugs.
By 1972, FDA officials estimated that more than 90% of all investigational drugs were first tested on prisoners."
In at least one case, Upjohn and Parke-Davis built and maintained a large Phase-1 testing facility on the grounds of the State Prison of Southern Michigan.
Prison testing has more or less been abandoned since the late 1970s, not so much for humanitarian reasons but because the tests were coming under too much scrutiny.
And it was becoming easier to employ two other sources of human experimental material: students and the poor.
The poor have a history of being subjected to government-run experiments.
Amongst the most infamous was the Tuskegee Study of the early 1930s, in which 412 African-American sharecroppers suffering from syphilis were identified by the US Public Health Service but were not informed of their condition.
For forty years - even after penicillin was discovered to treat syphilis - US PHS doctors observed the effects of the disease taking its course, from blindness and paralysis to dementia and death.
Not that treatment was any safer. Woe betide anyone who checked into a research hospital in the middle of the century.
At various institutions across the United Sates, Canada and the United Kingdom, patients were injected with plutonium without their knowledge, given radioactive 'cocktails' or subjected to full body radiation. In one particularly appalling test, radioactive sodium was injected directly into the placentas of 270 pregnant women at Hammersmith Hospital in England.
The adverse results of these experiments varied from amputation to birth defects to death.
Early in 1963 the Atomic Energy Commission held a conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, for scientists studying the effects of radiation on reproduction. It was the height of the cold war and there were questions that needed to be answered.
Questions like the one asked by scientists at an AEC meeting in Washington in 1955:
"How many bombs can we detonate without producing a race of monsters?"
And questions like the one posed in 1949 by an Air Force colonel who enquired how safe nuclear-powered planes would be for his airmen's 'family jewels'. NASA wanted to know about the effects of solar radiation on astronauts. And the CIA wanted to know about everything.
Dr Carl G. Heller recalled what happened:
"A given group at Fort Collins was working on mice and another group was working on bulls, and than they extrapolated the data from bulls and mice to man.
I commented one day to Dr [Paul] Henshaw, who was then… with the AEC, that if they were so interested in [what would happen to] man, why were they fussing around with mice and beagle dogs and canaries and so on?
If they wanted to know about man, why not work on man?"
In October 1995, the US government's Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments published its final report.
The committee had been assembled by President Clinton after dogged investigative journalist Albuquerque Tribune reporter Eileen Welsome uncovered evidence of government-sponsored radiation tests on civilians.
Whilst ground-breaking and laudable, the committee's mandate was limited to government-funded tests between 1944 and 1974. Another problem was that it relied on self-reporting from various government agencies. The CIA, for example, claim they did only one tiny, innocuous test whereas the Department of Energy admits to 435 studies involving 16,000 subjects. Regardless, the range of admitted tests was astounding.
Given that much of this radiation testing was specifically intended to benefit the military, the average soldier did not fare much better than his civilian counter part. Between 1946 and 1963 over 200,00 GIs were ordered to watch nuclear bomb tests either in the Pacific or in Nevada.
One blast alone in the Marshall Islands was more than 1000 times the size of the Hiroshima bomb.
Even in death, citizens are not immune from government testing.
Project Sunshine, which started in 1955, was an international body-snatching program that secretly removed body parts from over 9000 corpses at 17 sites around the world and sent them to US laboratories for fallout resting. It was described by one sensitive American scientist as "a delicate problem of public relations, obviously"
Prisoners, rank-and-file military, the poor, pregnant women, the dead… Who had the government scientists left out (apart from white, middle-class males, of course)? How about children…
Tests on Children
Not surprisingly, scientists didn't run tests on their own children; they ran them on children in institutions and in reform schools.
During the 1950s and 60s, Willowbrook State School in New York, an institution for the severely mentally retarded, was the site of hepatitis testing. Each newly arrived child was systematically infected. The rationale was that these places offered regulated environments that were perfect for replicating lab conditions.
Oddly, even though private boarding schools also offered regulated environments, no one ever ran experiments there.
The government's human radiation committee looked at 21 cases of experimentation on children involving over 800 subjects, a number they themselves admit I just small proportion of what went on.
One of the cases they concentrated on was dietary research conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the staff of Walter E. Fernald School. A residential institute for boys.
Former residents, some of whom ended up there simply because their families didn't want them any more, describe the school as being dirty and brutal. In 1946, researchers set up a 'science club' at the school, enticing boys to join with such perks as a quart of milk a day and the occasional chance to leave the building.
In return, the boys were to eat a special 'rich' diet (breakfast food 'enriched' with radioactive iron) and to submit to regular blood tests. Letters to the boys' parents implied that the testing would improve their health. The research, along with a later experiment at the school involving calcium, was funded by the National Institute of Health, the Atomic energy Commission and the Quaker Oaks Company.
The government report ends its section on 'non-therapeutic' tests on children with:
"Today, fifty years after the Fernald experiments, there are still no federal regulations protecting institutionalized children from unfair treatment in research involving human subjects."
One ex-Fernald boy, Charlie Dyer, who has fathered two daughters with severe birth defects, said recently:
"Get to the truth fast before the government hides everything and you can't find nothing out. Because that's what the government does, putting it in boxes and crates and hiding everything from the public."
In October 1995, President Clinton promised to,
"make repartitions to Americans whose lives were damaged or cut short by these [human radiation] experiments".
Of course, it is up to the government (or government-appointed private contractors) to decide who has been 'damaged'.
So far, the vast majority of claims have not been approved. And there are almost no follow-up studies for people irradiated without their knowledge; so they are unlikely to even know what it is that is killing them, let alone that they are eligible for compensation.
The case of 4500 Utah and Nevada sheep, grazing downwind of nuclear test sites, which died 'mysteriously' in 1953 shows how willingly reparations are handed out. It took 39 years, much of it spent in court, for the government to be forced into paying compensation.
The presiding judge, A. Sherman Christensen, made a point of saying that the US government had lied, pressured witnesses and manipulated the processes of the court.
And yes, the tests never ended.
Ultimately, nothing is inconceivable.
All you have to do is look at Nazi Germany, Many machines have been built that have been engines of evil. Institutionalized evil. Pure Evil… You don't have to look too hard to imagine the horror that governments are capable of.
In the end, it's the power of the individual that will overcome the inherent evil of a monolith like a government run amuck.
A little healthy paranoia is good, I suppose.