DOD retracts statement that it gave Yale $1.8M for Green Beret training

By JIM SHELTON | The New Haven (Conn.) Register | Published: February 22, 2013

NEW HAVEN - The Department of Defense has retracted an earlier statement about awarding a $1.8 million grant to a Yale School of Medicine psychiatrist who wants to establish a center on campus to teach interviewing techniques to Green Berets.

“After a review of the facts, we have determined the information initially provided to and released by this office concerning a center of excellence for operational neuroscience was incorrect,” said Ken McGraw, deputy public affairs officer for U.S. Special Operations Command, in an email to the Register Friday.

“U.S. Special Operations Command has not and will not provide Yale funds to establish a USSOCOM Center for Excellence for Operational Neuroscience,” McGraw indicated. “We sincerely apologize for any problems, concerns or confusion releasing the erroneous information has caused Yale, its student body and the citizens of New Haven.”

The military’s statement comes amid growing controversy over Dr. Charles Morgan’s proposal to create such a center. The plan would have called for local immigrants to be used as test subjects to help train small groups of military personnel.

Thursday evening, the dean of the medical school, Robert J. Alpern, released a statement saying that the proposal, which had not been formally submitted, was on hold.

“Members of the Yale and New Haven communities have raised concerns about a possible center for operational neuroscience that was reported in the press. In light of the issues raised, we are not moving forward on any such center until we have fully investigated all these issues,” Alpern’s statement said.

The statement concluded by noting, “It is a very important value of both the Yale School of Medicine and the broader University that all research participants, including all members of the New Haven community, are given the highest respect and protected from any unethical treatment,”

A public speak out against the idea of a training center on campus is set for Friday afternoon.