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maynard

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Posts: 1,154
Reply with quote  #151 
Music Video Codes By VideoCodeZone



We The People Website:
http://www.wethepeople.la/ciadrugs.htm




The CIA, the CONTRAS and the Crack Cociane Epidemic America's "Crack" Plague has roots in Nicaraguan War By Gary Webb

For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found...


WE THE PEOPLE







The WeThePeople CIA-drugs web site is dedicated to furthering debate on one of the most critical issues of our time: apparent U.S. government complicity in the crack cocaine epidemic that has decimated so many of our inner cities and destroyed countless lives.

To read the series that started it all, click on Dark Alliance.


Kevin Warren



WeThePeople Home Page Diana Forum New Financial Page Email

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT: POLITICS AND COVERT OPERATION POLICY IN THE DRUG WAR

THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE BUSH

The Bush Machine And The Drug Cartel

George Bush's Drugging Of America: How It Was Accomplished

George Bush's Phone Number Found In Drug Smuggler's Trunk

George Bush's Phone Number Found in Drug Smuggler's Trunk - Affidavit of Sam Dalton

Affidavit of Gene Tatum

Justice Department Memorandum
Identifies George Bush As Drug Trafficker

Cover Page Page One Page Two Page Three Page Four

KingPin Indictment Of George Bush

Conclusion

THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTOS
AL GORE AND HILLARY CLINTON POSE WITH DRUG TRAFFICKER JORGE CABRERA


VOLUME II OF CIA IG REPORT

CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST CIA/DOJ ON BEHALF OF
CRACK COCAINE VICTIMS

OLIVER NORTH DIARY ENTRY: $14 MILLION TO FINANCE CAME FROM DRUGS




DOCUMENTATION
The Investigation of Bradley Earl Ayers
Affidavit of Bradley Earl Ayers - Original Document

Since WeThePeople originally published the results of Bradely Earl Ayers investigation of CIA proprietary Southern Air Transport, the CIA itself has confirmed the results of his investigation in Volume II of its Inspector General's report. Yet more proof, if any were needed, that what the small army of former DEA, CIA, and FBI agents and whistlblowers has been saying is true: The CIA has been up to its neck in the drug trade for decades.

Verbatim from Volume II of the CIA's IG Report:

800. Background. Southern Air Transport (SAT) carried a variety of equipment, supplies and humanitarian aid for the FDN during the 1980s.

801. Allegations of Drug Trafficking. A January 21, 1987 memorandum from ADCI Robert Gates to Morton Abramowitz, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, stated that the U.S. Customs Service had advised CIA that the Customs office in New Orleans was investigating an allegation of drug trafficking by SAT crew members. The Gates memorandum noted that the source of the allegation was a senior FDN official. The memorandum indicated that the FDN official was concerned that "scandal emanating from Southern Air Transport could redound badly on FDN interests, including humanitarian aid from the United States."

802 .A February 23, 1991 DEA cable to CIA linked SAT to drug trafficking. The cable reported that SAT was "of record" in DEA's database from January 1985-September 1990 for alleged involvement in cocaine trafficking. An August 1990 entry in DEA's database reportedly alleged that $2 million was delivered to the firm's business sites, and several of the firm's pilots and executives were suspected of smuggling "narcotics currency."

803. Information Sharing with Other U.S. Government Entities. As previously noted, a January 21, 1987 memorandum from ADCI Robert Gates to Morton Abramowitz, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, reported that U.S. Customs had informed CIA that the Customs office in New Orleans was investigating an allegation of drug trafficking by SAT crew members.

General Khun Sa Names U.S. Officials Involved - Original Document Page1 - Page2
In Drug Trafficking: Ted Shackley and Richard Armitage
Top Secret CIA Drug Smuggling Operations
Oral Deposition of Richard Brenneke
THE COMPLETE TESTIMONY!
The Kerry Committee's Report
On Contra Cocaine Trafficking
Affidavit of Richard M. Taus - Original Document
Declaration of Rodney F. Stich
Amicus Curiae Brief - Rodney Stich
Affidavit of Gene Tatum
The Chronicles of Gene Tatum
Special Investigative Report
By Michael Montalvo, A Drug War POW
Affidavit Of Stephen Crittenden
Interview With Celerino Castillo
Testimony of Celerino Castillo - Link
The Oral Deposition of William Duncan
The Testimony of George Morales
The Affidavit of Edward P. Cutolo
Richard Secord vs. Leslie Cockburn et.al.
OLIVER NORTH DIARY ENTRIES
"Want A/C To Pick Up 1500 Kilos"
"14M To Finance Came From Drugs"
"DC-6...Used For Drug Runs Into U.S."
Confidential, Top Secret, and Declassified Information
DEA Sensitive
Barry Seal - The Spy Who Smuggled
Operation Whale Watch
Operation Watch Tower
The Pegasus File - Part One
The Pegasus File - Part Two
Assassination - By Order of the President
Executive Order 12333 - Excerpts
National Security Decision Directive 3
Crisis Pre-Planning Group - Page 1
Crisis Pre-Planning Group - Page 2
The Drugs/Violence Nexus
The Drug/Violence Nexus
By Prof. Paul Goldstein
Cocaine, Its Forms, Methods Of Use, And Pharmacology
Cocaine And Crime
Why The Drug War Will Never End
By Steven Jonas, M.D., M.P.H.

IMPORTANT NEWS STORIES

Gary Webb Speaks Out
Illnesses Linked To Cocaine Hit New Record
Inspector General's Report: The CIA-Contra Cocaine Connection
CIA Admits To Deal With Justice Department To Obstruct Justice
50 Years Of CIA Drug Dealing
Interview With Celerino Castillo - Wav File
Joe Madison And Dick Gregory Press Conference - Real Audio
Testimony Of Rep. Maxine Waters
Memorandum Of Understanding

HOT LINKS

Mena: Linda Ives And Jean Duffey's
Lonely Fight For Justice
Michael Ruppert Web Page Crack The CIA Coalition Narco News
Drug Money Times DEFRAUDING AMERICA
"The Book That Belongs On Top Of Every Bible"
De-Central Intelligence Agency Washington Post Special Report
On Drug Issues
Cocaine Import Agency Intelligence Services/Police (POLINTEL) DeepTimes News Service Mena Directory
National Security Archives Lisa Pease's Web Page The Michael Levine Web Page The Consortium
The C.I.A. & Drugs: Narco-colonialism in the 20th Century Serendipty Web Page



__________________
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
0
maynard

Registered:
Posts: 1,154
Reply with quote  #152 
California State University Northridge (CSUN) Professor of Communication Ben Attia's website:

http://speech.csun.edu/ben/news/cia/index.html


Cocaine Import Agency

In August of 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published a three-part investigation by Gary Webb into the U.S. government's links to the trade in crack cocaine in South Central Los Angeles. Webb's investigation uncovered links between the Central Intelligence Agency's covert war against Nicaragua and convicted Los Angeles drug dealer "Freeway" Ricky Ross, whom the Los Angeles Times in 1994 had dubbed the "one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine." (20 December 1994 p. A20)

The (admittedly sensationalized, but basically accurate) story generated much controversy, and heated denials from the mainstream media (in particular the local paper of record, whose editor Shelby Coffey III couldn't bear the thought of someone else beating his paper out on a major story in his own backyard). This vehement denegation, however, is largely inconsistent with the historical record (some of which has been, and continues to be, reported in these same papers).

This web site is part of a long-standing research project of mine. As a scholar working at the interstices of speech communication and cultural studies, I have been investigating the public discourse surrounding the "war on drugs" as an exercise in disciplinary social control. This site is a database of information, evidence, and other resources that have helped guide me in this research project, and will hopefully help others working along the same lines.

The 1997 CIA budget was 26.6 billion dollars. This year (1998) their budget is $26.7 billion. What the hell do we get for our money?



Obdisclaimer: The links below point to documents here and all over the web. My including a link to something, it should be obvious, does not necessarily mean that I endorse what you read there. And of course my opinions are solely my own, not the opinions of my employer, web provider, or therapist. Finally, any previously copyrighted material included on this site is there for fair use only.

        Visit the HyperNews Discussion Forum!
Post feedback on this site or post new resources!
       


Site Index:
The Scandal Unfolds: The San Jose Mercury News article and its aftermath.

  • Memorandum of Understanding between former CIA Director and Attorney General inserted into Congressional Record (07 May 1998) by Maxine Waters. This evidence that the CIA engineered a legal exemption from requirements to report drug smuggling suggests not only that the CIA director was well aware of such activity on the part of CIA assets but that he actively sought to keep this information away from public and legal scrutiny. [The relevant documents are also archived here.]

    See also Robert Parry's commentary on the above, from The Consortium 3:11 (01 June 1998), reprinted in the Antifa Bulletin (03 June 1998). Parry calls the memo "evidence of premeditation." Whether or not that will be the official conclusion of the Congressional investigation, there is little question that this marks a turning point in elite attitudes toward this story.

  • Written Statement of Celerino Castillo for the House Select Committee on Intelligence (27 April 1998): Former DEA Agent sets the record of CIA involvement in drug trafficking straight. [Mirrored here]

  • Gary Webb's new book Dark Alliance published by Seven Stories Press! On its heels comes Alexander Cockburn and Jeffery St. Clair's excellent book Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs, and the Press.

    Webb's book tour has drawn more attention to the story. Coupled with the Congressional investigation, there is some possibility that this story will finally get the media attention it deserves. What remains to be seen is whether this attention will result in sweeping government reform or whether the slight fractures produced in elite consensus will be managed with little impact on the underlying structures. In any case, here is some of the recent attention drawn to the story as a result of the book tour:

    • Chapter 1 of Webb's book (from the New York Times website; requires free registration. Chapter One of Whiteout is also available.

    • New! James Adams, "Moonlighting," New York Times (28 September 1998). Cowardly review of Webb's book and of Whiteout. I doubt the author read either book all the way through, for he simply replays the same tired old arguments that the mainstream media undermined the Webb story. (Note that this article also requires free registration.)

    • New! Robert Parry, "New York Times' New Contra Lies" The Consortium (01 October 1998). Excellent piece dissecting the above book review.

    • Nick Shou, "Rage Against the Webb," Orange County Weekly (12 June 1998).

             

    • Dark Alliance Book Tour information from High Times

    • Juan Gonzalez, "Crack-Contra Story Won't Die," New York Daily News (16 June 1998)

    • Steve Weinberg, "'Dark Alliance' reinforces Gary Webb's crack expose," Baltimore Sun (14 June 1998)

  • Alexander Cockburn, "South Africa'S Dirty Secrets Have Echoes," L.A. Times (21 June 1998). Editorial. Cockburn is the coauthor of the book Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs and the Press, soon to be published by Verso.

  • Michael Ruppert's CASEFILE: The CIA and Drugs
    Mike Ruppert is a former LAPD narcotics officer who has been investigating the CIA/drug connection for 18 years. You may have seen his lively exchange with former CIA Director John Deutch in South Central Los Angeles. His site publishes his newsletter addressing the scandal, links to further contra-cocaine information, and offers the following prediction:
    At minimum there will be a convoluted admission that CIA personnel were touched by drugs and some sacrifices will be offered. Other committees in Congress will start looking at CIA's usefulness. CIA will be disbanded and intelligence gathering placed in the Pentagon by the year 2004. NSA will reign supreme. Unrelated predictions: Clinton is toast. So is Gore. Beneficiaries of Clinton's demise are Colin Powell and George W. Bush.
  • Walter Pincus, "CIA Kept Ties With Alleged Traffickers," Washington Post (17 March 1998). Even long-time CIA advocate (well, sort of) Walter Pincus admits here that the Inspector General's report "clearing" the CIA of any wrongdoing is hogwash.

  • Nick Schou, "Secret Agent Men": More on Lister and his intelligence and corporate connections. Published in the Orange County Weekly (05 November 1997).

  • Nick Schou, "Tracks in the Snow": Schou uncovers new evidence about Ron Lister's connections to Blandon, responding to the Ceppos apology in the process. (LA/OC Weekly 22 May 1997). Schou writes:

    "This new information on Lister's ties to the shadowy world of covert operations falls just short of being the smoking gun that reporter Webb sought for his Dark Alliance series. But Lister's story does add weight to the very assertions that the mainstream press judged to be deficient in Webb's work. And it underscores the point that it is the CIA, not Webb, that still has the most to answer for on this matter."

  • San Jose Mercury News Editor Backpeddles! Editor Jerry Ceppos is now refuting the significance of the Webb series, and in a breach of every journalistic ethic I can think of, has turned on reporter Gary Webb. The mainstream media, of course, joined him in ridiculing Webb and have all but buried the story.

  • Interview with Gary Webb with the Revolutionary Worker (22 June 1997)

  • Dark Alliance: The August 1996 San Jose Mercury News exposé. This web site presents the evidence in a series of compelling articles, along with photographs and sound clips from testimony about the CIA's involvement in the crack trade in South Central. Now they have defaced every page on the site with a link to Ceppos' mea culpa, attempting to give the overall impression that the story was an error. Who knows how long before they take the entire web site offline.

  • Dark Alliance: A mirror and index to the above site which is a little easier to navigate. It contains some information not included above.

  • New Dope on the CIA-Crack Connection:
    From the LA Weekly (20 December 1996). Nick Schou discusses the mysterious Scott Weekly and his connections to Lister (the man who told DEA agents that he was untouchable because of his CIA connections).

    Also see Schou's excellent article "Who Is Ron Lister?", also from the Weekly (22 November 1996).

  • Contras Crop Up in L.A. Courts, by Kevin Uhrich for the LA Weekly. (04 October 1996). Uhrich digs through LA court documents and uncovers more evidence (none of which has been addressed specifically by any of the major papers).

  • Crackwatch, by Robert Knight. New URL! This site explaions the case of the disappearing graphic. Includes links to the following stories by Robert Knight and Dennis Bernstein, who have been following the CIA-Contra-Cocaine story for over ten years:

  • Closing the Loop on the Contra-CIA-Drug Connection, from Z Magazine (November 1996).

  • Leading Edge Research Projects' CIA-Cocaine site

  • SNOWBLIND: How Contras Corrupted the US Government. By Richard Bernstein and Robert Knight (21 November 1996)

  • Anatomy of a Coverup: Part II of above (28 November 1996). Also posted here.

  • Let's Make a Deal, by the same authors (December 1996)

  • Christopher Reed, "Dirty Hands," report on Contra Drug-Running by the Guardian (19 November 1996).

  • The CIA Drug Pipeline: How the US Government Spread Crack Cocaine in the Black Ghettos.
    Stories from the Final Call, the voice of the Nation of Islam.

  • America's Secret War: From Rachel's Weekly.

  • The Threat to Our Children, by Michael Rivero.

  • The Smuggler's Trail, from the LA Weekly (04 October 1996).

  • Tales of CIA Drug Link Pulse Through L.A.: From LatinoLink.

  • CRACKWATCH: A Secret History of the clandestine establishment of Narcocracy in the Americas. The CIA-contra-crack-cocaine connection, by Robert Knight. Discusses the case of the "disappearing graphic" (which appears above). NOTE: This site has been removed temporarily (at least I hope it's temporary).

  • Dark Alliance: Reprint of the SJMercury article with commentary from Arm the Spirit.

  • Netizen Special Report on the CIA/crack connection

  • CIA's Contras Linked to Crack Trade: nice summary of the San Jose Mercury News exposé

  • CIA under Pressure, from the Christian Science Monitor. Report on the SJMercury story.

  • Propaganda/Narco-Politics: collection of links on the Webb revelations from Disinformation

  • "CIA, Contras, and Crack," October editorial from the Christian Science Monitor.

  • How the CIA Created the Crack Epidemic, story from the Revolutionary Worker.

  • House Panel Hears Allegations: CNN Report (19 October 1996).

  • George Bush: Crack Kingpin of the 1980s, by Jefferey Steinberg for Executive Intelligence Review. Despite its impressive-sounding title, don't be fooled -- the EIR is is a Lyndon LaRouche-scam. The entire 116-page report can be ordered from Lyndon LaRouche's web site for a mere $100 (yeesh). Almost a buck a page -- what a deal, folks. Despite their inscrutable obsessions (which range from conspiracy theories involving the pope, the queen, and the kitchen sink to fearmongering about a Soviet nuclear strike in the 1980s to a 1985 report that warned that AIDS would prove more devastating than a full-scale nuclear war), however, LaRouche's hypothetical question is food for thought: "How many thousands of federal prisoners are doing former Vice President George Bush's prison-time?"


Official Denials: With the CIA investigating itself, is it any wonder that they can look at documents that say one thing and then officially conclude the exact opposite?

  • New! New CIA self-report released! Volume II: The Contra Story (08 October 1998): Another weak attempt to whitewash CIA involvement. Like Volume I, the report starts with the "Key Finding" that "No information has been found to indicate that CIA as an organization or its employees conspired with, or assisted, Contra-related organizations or individuals in drug trafficking to raise funds for the Contras or for any other purpose," yet later in this section admits that "CIA acted inconsistently in handling allegations or information indicating that Contra-related organizations and individuals were involved in drug trafficking. In some five cases, CIA pursued confirmation of allegations or information of drug allegations. In other acted to end a relationship after receiving drug trafficking allegations or information. In another six cases, CIA knowledge of allegations or information indicating that organizations or individuals had been involved in drug trafficking did not deter their useemployment by CIA. In other at least two of those cases, CIA did not act to verify drug trafficking allegations or information even when it had the opportunity to do so." And that is only the introduction! While the mainstream media is unlikely to look beyond the first sentence of the findings, there is little question that the evidence in this volume combined with what has already been admitted makes a compelling case for CIA malfeasance -- and this is just what CIA admits in their own report!

    • FAS has another copy of Volume II, along with some convenient links to damning admissions: Oliver North (as yet unnamed) essentially authorizing drug trafficking by Moises Nunez, CIA knowledge and lack of action regarding the drug trafficking activities of Ivan Gomez, and North's airline Southern Air Transport's involvement in money laundering.

    • Robert Parry, "CIA's Drug Confession," The Consortium (11 October 1998). Parry unpacks the most recent CIA admissions with his trademark even-handed clarity.

             

    • "CIA didn't always report contra drug-dealing," says the San Jose Mercury News (09 October 1998), in spite of editor Ceppos' weasly back-peddling last year.

  • CIA Clears Itself! Well, of course they do. This link is to "The California Story," Part 1 of a promised 2-part report of the Inspector General of the CIA (who later admitted to Congress that the details in the CIA report suggest the exact opposite of the parts of the "executive summary" leaked to newspapers prior to the full report. Is it any wonder the mainstream media never bothered to read the rest of the report? One journalist who did, long-time contra-coke muckraker Robert Parry, published "Contra Coke: Bad to Worse in the (16 February 1998) issue of the Consortium, which can be accessed at http://www.consortiumnews.com/ with a subscription. Parry points out glaring evidence in Inspector General Hitz's own report that the CIA obstructed major drug investigations, in one case returning tens of thousands of dollars in confiscated money to known drug traffickers.

  • Martha Honey, "Don't Ask Don't Tell," In These Times (17 May 1998) discusses the Hitz report and the government's basic acknowledgement of the fundamental facts -- the CIA was aware of the extensive contra drug trade. New! See also Peter Zirnite, "CIA Admits Knowing About Contra Drug Trafficking" (18 March 1998).

  • Maxine Waters Responds: Testimony of Rep. Maxine Waters Before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (16 March 1998). Waters takes apart the Inspector General's report piece by piece.

  • Pasadena Police Chief Finds no Link to Crack (12 February 1997).

  • Sherman's Contra-Diction: Sheriff Block makes a statement contradicting the file it is attached to, and the L.A. Weekly's Charles Rappleye points it out. (13 December 1996).

    Related Stories:

    • Sheriff Block's Investigation: The Executive Summary, which raises more questions then it answers with regard to Danilo Blandon, Ron Lister, et al. Archived at the Mercury News website. They have thoughtfully included a copy of the ten page document referred to by Attorney Harold Braun--handwritten notes by Ron Lister which may establish the CIA/DIA/cocaine connection.
    • Original LA Times report of Block's denials. (11 December 1996).
    • New York Times Report on Sheriff Block's Denials. (12 December 1996).
    • Investigation shows no CIA ties: Sheriff Block's denials reported uncritically by the Dallas Morning News (12 December 1996).
    • CIA and False Rumors: For the Omaha World Herald, Sherriff Block's denials should put this whole business to rest. (13 December 1996).

  • Amid Doubters, CIA Begins Crack Probe: From the LA Times (30 December 1996). Report on the CIA's investigation of itself; strangely Orwellian in its matter-of-fact discussion of CIA operatives stymied by an investigation of their own agency. A couple of gems are highlighted.

  • Contra Leaders Say CIA Not Involved. CNN Report (26 November 1996). Of course they do.

  • Deutch Confronts Angry L.A. Residents: CNN is kind enough to bring us video coverage of Deutch's confrontation with former LAPD officer Michael Ruppert, who has been trying to make information about CIA drug trafficking public for eighteen years. Deutch told Ruppert to bring his documents to the LAPD or to Congress (as if Ruppert hadn't thought of that in 18 years). Video clip requires an obscure Nutscrape video plugin called Vivo. Those less electronically indulgent among us can hear a brief wav file of Ruppert's statement. CNN's print story is here.

    Also:

  • CIA Says it Finds No Link after looking at evidence that provides one. (6 November 1996).

  • Top Ten Reasons to Believe the CIA, satire from the Nation (23 December 1996).

The Scandal and the Mainstream Media: How the corporate press is playing into the hands of the CIA by covering up the significance of these revelations.

  • Barbara Bliss Osborn, "Are You Sure You Want to Ruin Your Career? Gary Webb's fate a warning to gutsy reporters," Extra! (April 1998). Excellent piece by CSUN journalism professor Barbara Bliss Osborn discusses the impact of the mainstream media's treatment of Webb on investigative journalism. A sad postscript to the Ceppos backpeddling.

  • "CIA sabotage of book?" Michael Levine, a former DEA agent who made evidence of CIA obstructions of justice in major drug cases public in the 1980s, provides evidence of media tampering at Barnes and Noble. When I first received this post, I checked the bookstore website and found that it was indeed accurate; upon rechecking it now I see that Barnes and Noble has deleted the "ghost ISBN" from their online database. I wonder if they have an official explanation for this.... In any case, Levine's books are excellent exposes of CIA interference with DEA operations.

    • New! "Expert Witness": Mike Levine's website and radio show. Ever since his experience in the DEA, Levine has dedicated himself to exposing the fallacies of the "War on Drugs."
    • Mike Levine's Unofficial Webspace which includes links to his books and you can listen to his shows.

  • San Jose Mercury News Editor Backpeddles!
    On Sunday, 11 May 1997, Editor Jerry Ceppos published an "apology" to readers of the Mercury News for what he now calls a "seriously flawed" series. Click the link above to read his open letter, contradictory statements by him, and responses from both mainstream and alternative news sources.

  • Jill Stewart, "Bah Bah Bah: Sheeplike big-city papers still won't check out reporter Gary Webb's crack-Contra findings" New Times Los Angeles (05 June 1997), an excellent piece whose title says it all.

  • Fog Watch, by Edward S. Herman from Z Magazine (February 1997)

  • Pipe Dreams: The CIA, Drugs, and the Media, by Daniel Brandt and Steve Badrich. Terrific piece deconstructing the mainstream media "coverage." (NameBase NewsLine, No. 16, January-March 1997).

  • The Web that Gary Spun: Two-part story by Alicia C. Shepherd in the January/February 1997 issue of American Journalism Review. Gary Webb was presented the award for "Journalist of the Year" by Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists back in August (this is conveniently left out of the LA Times coverage of Webb's story, but some would argue the vehemence of their denunciation of Webb was due partially to this award). This link is a discussion of the controversy in the journalism community surrounding Webb's article; it raises some issues on all sides but largely seems to accept the establishment media's definition of terms. Features a great quote from Webb responding to the early media blackout: "a lot of newspapers--and TV particularly--they're just chickenshit."

  • The Los Angeles Times "Special Investigative Report" (20-22 October 1996): A hatchet job, plain and simple. Three-part series that is highly critical of Gary Webb's story. Includes plenty of race-baiting over how much more likely blacks are to "believe in conspiracies" than whites.

    The LA Times story appears authoritative, and unfortunately it has convinced many that this is all just conspiracy theory. But the claims of the Times are easily refuted. Consider the following:

  • The CIA And Crack: Original Washington Post coverup story (04 October 1996). Tiptoes around the allegations by pronouncing them "old news." This is true but even when the news was new the Post led the charge in covering it up. Now they've turned to a much more time-honored tradition of mainstream journalism: attacking the messenger.

  • Especially comical is CNN's 23 October hatchet job, entitled "CIA disavows crack connection; many skeptical." Quotes Senate testimony from Jack Blum as saying "No members of the staff of the CIA ... (were) in the cocaine business." (they even provide an audio file!) They had to search his prepared statement, which detailed heavy CIA participation in the illegal drug trade, for this moment of denegation. It is presented as authoritative and conclusive. Compare the complete statement of Blum with CNN's "sound bite." Then look up the word "propaganda."

  • Comments About Blum's Testimony from the cia-drugs list. (Note: I accidentally deleted the author of this document; if you wrote it and want credit let me know!) (16 February 1997)

  • Snow Job: Norman Solomon Lambasts the mainstream media coverage of the scandal. From the Jan 1997 issue of Extra!.

  • Reliable Sources: The Best and Worst of Journalism in 1996. Transcript from CNN Interactive, a group of lazy overpaid actors who play reporters on TV show their contempt for real journalism by putting Webb's series into their "worst of" category. Bozo prize goes to Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz's comment: "Let me just briefly say, Bernie, that the lasting damage here may be from the San Jose 'Mercury' news series on CIA and cocaine because even -- it shows that it's hard for good journalism to catch up with flawed journalism." Note: Now that CNN is charging for the transcripts they used to provide for free and disguising this as a "sneak preview of a premium service," the document is no longer online. Write them and tell them how you feel!

  • See also "Shadow of Journalistic Ethics": Larry Maddry declaims the Webb story as a "heinous" example of journalistic ethics. Too bad he didn't bother to look at the evidence for himself. (29 January 1997)

  • Crack Reporting: Editorial from The Nation about the mainstream media treatment of the story. (18 November 1996)

  • Mark Herman, "Media Circus." (24 September 1996)

  • Laurie Leibovich, "The Story Noone Wants to Hear" (20 September 1996)

  • A Kind of Justice: Idiotic editorial which compares belief in CIA cocaine smuggling with belief in OJ Simpson's innocence (as if the two had anything to do with each other), and blames it on Afrocentric "conspiracy theory." (06 February 1997)

  • Andrea Mitchell's NBC Report (27 September 1996): excerpts from an interview with John Kerry.

  • Accuracy In Media on Rampage: These self-appointed (and Coors-funded) guardians of the public sphere have not held back in their attacks on Webb and their contempt for journalism that exposes the workings of powerful institutions. This group reaffirms the mainstream media's lies and adds insult to injury by pretending to expose media bias:

  • CIA Was Embroiled In Contra Drug Fund, by Chris Bellamy for London's Independent. Report of a television documentary report on ITV. (12 December 1996) (is this metanews?)

  • Beta Journalism, by G. Beato. Discusses journalism on the web and tabloid TV. While this article makes some interesting points about web journalism, its author uncritically accepts the mainstream media's denunciation of Gary Webb, as if the fact that denials were printed in the L.A. Times alone makes them accurate.

  • White Media Discount CIA Failure: Dick Gregory calls for the abolition of the CIA.

  • Series Prompts Journalism Controversy. From the Mercury's web site; this page links to the relevant coverups in the mainstream media as well as offering an analysis and response.

  • True or False, Rumors Spread: Discussion of rumor and conspiracy theory in black culture; mentions Webb's story but fails to mention that the connection is based on evidence, not conspiracy. From the Boston Globe (22 December 1996).

  • Fantasy and Fact in Drug Problem: From the Tampa Tribune (23 December 1996), an editorial that calls the controversy "make-believe conspiracy theory."

  • Major Media Under Attack: discusses mainstream media's lynching of Gary Webb and internet junkies as "conspiracy theorists."

  • Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Blasts Media Coverage of CIA-Crack Allegations. Terrific report from FAIR. See also their collection of articles on the topic.

  • That Delusional Mindset: Nice post from Jim Naureckas on the media (non)coverage of the scandal.

  • Outside US, Drug Link is Big News: Nice piece from 17 December on the difference between the foreign press and the U.S. media reporting on the scandal.

  • Media Reactions to Webb, from Parascope.

  • "CIA, Crack, and Not-So-Crack Journalism," by Daniel Brandt (23 October 1996).

  • Cracks in the Story: Newsweek repeats the mainstream B.S. (11 November 1996)

  • The CIA, Drugs, and the Press: "Followup" from the Washington Post. More Gary Webb-bashing.

  • "A Furor over the CIA and Drugs," from the American Journalism Review.

  • Spooks Spooked: article from the Progressive Review pointing out clearly and concisely how the mainstream media is whitewashing the story.

  • Media Lies and Cover-Up: From The Consortium, exposing the Washington press' lame attempt to whitewash the story. Send a copy to the LA Times today and tell them to stop whitewashing it too!

  • Justice Department Investigation Begins: This brief CNN report of 23 September 1996 indicates the first sign that the government is looking into the CIA involvement in drug trafficking. Please note its blatant whitewashing of responsible parties (giving plenty of space to Oliver North's mendacious denials and not even pointing out that these denials are in obvious contradiction to what he testified during the Iran-Contra hearings).

  • Media War over CIA and Cocaine, also by Norman Solomon.

  • An Exercise in Obfuscation: Brief post discussing what's missing from the media coverage.

Interviews and Radio Broadcasts: These files require a RealAudio-capable browser to access.
  • Michael Levine Speaks (07 April 1998): Former DEA agent discusses the evidence. Levine is author of Deep Cover and Big White Lie, 2 books which expose CIA protection of drug kingpins under DEA investigation during the 1980s. See also CIA Admits To Deal With Justice Department To Obstruct Justice, which links to other interviews.

  • Drugs and the CIA: Dick Gregory and Dr.Joseph Lawrey (SCLC) Press Conference

  • Free Speech TV maintains several RealAudio broadcasts, such as:

    • Peter Dale Scott: Cocaine Politics The United States government has been involved in drug trafficking at least since the Vietnam War, according to this noted author and historian. Produced by Mike Thornton.
    • Corporate Media Cover for the CIA, part 1
      An interview with Norman Solomon of the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting on the backlash against the San Jose Mercury News story Dark Alliance, uncovering CIA involvement in the emergence of crack cocaine in the United States. Produced by Mike Thornton.
    • Corporate Media Cover for the CIA, part 2 Produced by Mike Thornton.
    • Gary Webb Interview An interview with the reporter who broke the Dark Alliance story in the San Jose Mercury News, uncovering CIA involvement in the drug trade. Mike spoke to Mr. Webb shortly after the story hit the streets, before the media firestorm ensued. Produced by Mike Thornton.
    • "CIA Crack Affects Nicaragua, Too" An interview with Georg Hodel, one of San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb¹s Nicaraguan sources for the Dark Alliance series. Produced by Mike Thornton.
    • Dr. Jocelyn Elders Drugs, AIDS, and the CIA Produced by Andrew Dieringer.
    • Michael Rupert: The CIA, Drugs, and Me An interview with a former LAPD narcotics officer who says he was solicited by the CIA to deal drugs. Produced by Glen Lynch.
    • Cover-Up: Behind Iran-Contra (excerpt) A tale of politics, drugs, hostages, weapons, covert operations, and the ultimate plan to suspend the U.S. Constitution. Produced by Barbara Trent.

  • Michael Ruppert Speaks! Cafe Luna Sol in LA. Warning: this is a 10-Meg non-streaming RealAudio file. (13 August 1997)

  • Peter Dale Scott talks to Jerry Brown on "We the People" (19 November 1996). Discusses the history of CIA drug trafficking and the sad state of American "intelligence." Scott is persuasive and eloquent both in his elaboration of CIA involvement in the cocaine trade and his defense of Webb's article. Listen from 05:28 on where he argues the story was "much more accurately and much more cautiously reported" by Gary Webb than by the New York Times and Washington Post. No longer online! Write Jerry Brown and tell him to put it back up!

  • The CIA's Complicity With Drug Lords: Real Audio file of a radio show from CounterSpin. (25 October 1996) Includes commentary from Robert Parry dissecting the media coverage and the "investigations." Fast forward to 07:24 to hear the story. At 14:40 hear Parry point out how Blum's testimony has been blatantly wrenched out of context by the mainstream mass media. After 17:20 there is a story about Afghanistan that mentions CIA support of the heroin trade as well.

  • Which Way LA (24 October 1996), from LA's KCRW, discusses the controversy. Some excellent comments from Ricky Ross' attorney and Nation writer Robert Parry destroy the L.A. Times coverup. No longer online Write KRCW and tell them you want it back online! For now you can read a report in the Christian Science Monitor congratulating host Warren Olney that mentions some of the questions he asked in this interview.

  • Listen to a CounterSpin Radio radio interview with Gary Webb (13 September 1996). Requires RealAudio. Fast forward to 08:20 to hear the interview.

  • RealAudio From Free Speech TV:

           

  • NPR report of 23 October 1996. Requires RealAudio.



__________________
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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(continued)

Other Recent Evidence: Besides the Webb Series.
The mainstream media responded only to the straw-man argument that the CIA directly dealt crack in South Central L.A. Looking at this evidence from a broader perspective uncovers CIA links to the cocaine trade throughout Central and South America. The following links help document CIA drug-related activity around the world.


What to Do? What some people are doing to make policy-makers pay attention, and how you can help.


A History of Drug Dealing: Evidence of CIA complicity in the international drug trade. While the mainstream media hatchet job has focused only on the most recent revelations, scholars have documented U.S. complicity in the drug trade for decades. While it may not be evidence of a "conspiracy" to destroy black America, there is no question that the result of U.S. policies have been precisely that.


Intelligence Links: Dealing drugs is just one of the many crimes the CIA has been extensively involved in. Among their other tasks are overthrowing popular governments, fixing elections, covering up human rights violations, assassinating political figures, and generally ensuring the worldwide dominance of U.S. business interests.

  • The 1998 CIA Budget is $26.7 billion (Released via FOIA 20 March 1998). That's $100 million higher than the 1997 CIA Budget of $26.6 billion. Are we getting our money's worth? The budget was declassified courtesy of a lawsuit by the Federation of American Scientists, which their website (accurately, in my mind) terms "one of the few notable intelligence reforms achieved since the end of the Cold War." How many schools could 26.7 billion dollars save in 1998?
  • Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 1999
    That wretched smell is your tax dollars going up in smoke. Be sure to check out the Senate Report too. (13 May 1998)

  • State Department Historical Advisory Committee annual report that without more declassification of CIA covert actions, the government's version of history would constitute "an official lie." !!! Well, this is really no surprise but having the State Department come out and say it is nice Thanks, FAS! (April 1998)

  • Jim Wolf, "CIA study blasts own Vietnam-era performance," Reuter's (09 June 1998)

  • Scathing Critique of CIA role in Bay of Pigs Declassified (22 February 1998)
  • My Case Against the CIA
    Former CIA officer Kenneth C. Stahl delivers an extensive and persuasive case against his former employer. Read his most recent letter to Bill Clinton.

  • Carla Anne Robbins, "At Secret Factory, CIA Edits Files for Public Consumption," Wall Street Journal (19 March 1998): Robbins discusses the boring labor involved in the active destruction of history.
  • Intelligence Research Tools
    Keep abreast of current developments from the following sites:

  • David Phinney, "CIA Toasts its 50th Birthday," from ABC News. One of the few mainstream media accounts of the CIA's 50th anniversary that is not utterly sycophantic; even quotes a CIA critic (a practice almost unheard of in the mainstream press, especially at such self-congratulatory rituals staged by overpaid blowhards as agency anniversaries.

  • Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990s
    Military briefing from Open Source Solutions, Inc., a high tech think tank for government spooks and their friends in the corporate world. There are tons of interesting documents, memos, and reports here that reveal both the paranoia of the intelligence elite and its unabashed equation of "freedom" with the unbridled expansion of monopoly capitalism.

    My favorite passage:

    Revolutionary Warfare Is Just That: Revolutionary. It Does Not Respond To Negotiation Or Reason As We Understand The Terms
    -- When Revolutionaries "Negotiate" They Do So To Buy Time And Improve Their Position
    -- Intelligence In The 1990'S Must Be Able To Document Revolutionary Deception In Terms Stark Enough To Support The Employment Of Force Where Appropriate
  • Council on Foreign Relations, "The Future of the CIA" (18 February 1997)

  • CIADRUGS.COM! A new website dedicated to exposing CIA drug trafficking.

  • CIA Misdeeds, from Ralph Nader's site.

  • Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since WWII
    Table of Contents for this excellent book by William Blum, detailing the history of US covert action.

  • Daniel Jeffreys, "I'm Guilty": Former CIA operative Julia B tries to quit the Agency, calling it "state-sponsored sadism." From the Independent (05 March 1997)

  • Lisa Haugaard, "Textbook Repression" Covert Action Quarterly (Summer 1997). CIA training manuals declassified and their implications discussed.

  • Philip Colangelo, "The Secret FISA Court: Rubber Stamping on Rights" Covert Action Quarterly (Summer 1995). FISA is a secret court that approves surveillance, wiretaps, and other covert activities within the US. They have been approving more and more domestic surveillance applications recently.

  • The CIA and the Third World: from Third World Traveler

  • CIA Covert Operations throughout the years. A brief historical account.

  • The CIA: Collection of links from the Serendipity home page.

  • The Octopus Conspiracy: Why the U.S. government spies on bank accounts, and the connection to drug money laundering. Journalists have already been murdered for trying to get this story out.

  • The De-Central Intelligence Agency, a site dedicated to ending the media blackout on the CIA's involvement in heroin and cocaine trafficking. Now mirrored here!

  • Life Without the Old CIA, by Robert Scheer

  • The Intelligence Connection, designed for the "incurably informed" by the De-Central Intelligence Agency.

  • Want More Information on CIA Covert Operations Domestically (in explicit violation of Federal Law)? Check out this site for details.

  • Confessions of a CIA Brat II, form SOURCES eJournal.

  • Hacking the CIA: This is what the CIA's home page looked like when it got hacked.

  • Cops Sell Crack: A California Court upheld a sting operation in which the polica actually manufactured and sold their own crack. Los Angeles Times (16 August 1997) Not totally relevant to this page but interesting.

  • Kill the Drug Addicts: Infoseek reviews Kyle Mills' Rising Phoenix, a Tom Clancy- and William Webster-approved dystopic fantasy of poisoning drug users to end the drug war. Also not fully relevant to the issue of the CIA and drugs but it is a useful and interesting peek into the dangerous mentality at work in U.S. public discourse about drugs.

  • Pictures of crack cocaine

       
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__________________
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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Posts: 1,154
Reply with quote  #154 
http://www.angelfire.com/id/ciadrugs/index.html
http://ciadrugs.homestead.com


<-- Click here for a printable black-on-white version of this  homepage

The C.I.A. 

Drugs

Narco-colonialism
in the 20th Century
CIA Lobby Seal
http://ciadrugs.homestead.com
Intro
Outline
Analysis
DEA Agents
Purpose
Contras
Download
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Links


Analyses
 
Crack the CIA Coalition Protest in Los Angeles, February, 1997
you may reach us at:
cia_drugs@hotmail.com
"For decades, the CIA, the Pentagon, and secret organizations like Oliver North's Enterprise have been supporting and protecting the world's biggest drug dealers.... The Contras and some of their Central American allies ... have been documented by DEA as supplying ... at least 50 percent of our national cocaine consumption. They were the main conduit to the United States for Colombian cocaine during the 1980's. The rest of the drug supply ... came from other CIA-supported groups, such as DFS (the Mexican CIA) ... [and] other groups and/or individuals like Manual Noriega." (Ex-DEA agent Michael Levine: The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic)



Former Congessional Investigator Jack Blum, on the structure of CIA narco-colonialism:
"For criminal organizations, participating in covert operations offers much more than money. They may get a voice in selecting the new government. They may get a government that owes them for help in coming to power. They may be able to use their connections with the United States government to enhance their political power at home and towave off the efforts of the American law enforcement community." (Prepared October 1996 statement of Jack Blum (former special counsel to the 1987 "Kerry" Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations) for the October 1996 Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s, Chaired by Senator Arlen Specter)


"We also became aware of deep connections between the law-enforcement community and the intelligence community. I, personally, repeatedly heard from prosecutors and people in the law-enforcement world that CIA agents were required to sit in on the debriefing of various people who were being questioned about the drug trade. They were required to be present when witnesses were being prepped for certain drug trials. At various times the intelligence community inserted itself in that legal process. I believe that that was an impropriety; that that should not have occurred."(Jack Blum, speaking before the October 1996 Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s, Chaired by Senator Arlen Specter). 
 
"In my 30-year history in the Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA." --Dennis Dayle, former chief of an elite DEA enforcement unit. FROM: Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Berkeley: U. of CA Press, 1991, pp. x-xi.


Taken alone, one CIA drug ring, that of Rafael Caro Quintero and Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo (two Contra supporters based in Guadalajara, Mexico) were known by DEA to be smuggling four tons A MONTH into the U.S. during the early Contra war. Other operations including Manuel Noriega (a CIA asset, strongman leader of Panama), John Hull (ranch owner and CIA asset, Costa Rica), Felix Rodriguez (Contra supporter, El Salvador), Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros (Honduran Military, Contra supporter, Honduras) along with other elements of the Guatemalan and Honduran military. Cumulatively, the aforementioned CIA assets were concurrently trafficking close totwo hundred tons a year or close to 70% of total U.S. consumption. All of these CIA assets have been ascertained as being connected to CIA via public documentation and testimony. -- from the outline section of this web site: (http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/outline.html)


"Here's my problem. I think that if people in the government of the United States make a secret decision to sacrifice some portion of the American population in the form of ... deliberately exposing them to drugs, that is a terrible decision that should never be made in secret." (Jack Blum, speaking before the October 1996 Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s, Chaired by Senator Arlen Specter).


"The CIA functionally gains influence and control in governments corrupted by criminal narco-trafficking. Politically, the CIA exerts influence by leveraging  narco-militarists and corrupted politicians...  This is really NEO-narco-colonialism, whereby local criminal proxies do the bidding of the patron government seeking expanded influence. But because of the quid-pro-quo of protecting the criminal proxies' illicit pipelines, the result is still a functional narco-colonialism, involving a narcotics commodity in the actual practical execution of policy, with the very different twist of covert action." -- from the analysis section of this web site: (http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/analysis.html)

 

 

 here



In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, material found on this website is reproduced without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only.











__________________
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard

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Posts: 1,154
Reply with quote  #155 

Top Intro DEA Agents Contras Analysis Patterns Links Books Home



In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, material found on this website is reproduced without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only.

The CIA & Drugs

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Top Intro DEA Agents Contras Analysis Patterns Links Books Home

General comments and disclaimers regarding the purpose of this website

Introduction:

  1. One of the more astounding revelations of the recent investigations was the secret 1981 agreement between the Dept. of Justice and the CIA that specifically released the CIA from the requirement that the Agency report any drug-related activities by its agents and operatives to DOJ.

  2. A group of U.S. Congressmen submitted this documentary history of CIA collusion with drug traffickers into the Congressional Record.

  3. Volume 2 of the CIA Inspector General's Report on Contra drug smuggling and CIA complicity was released late last fall (Fall '98), and is additionally available here with additional commentary here. The CIA's own Inspector General shows that from the very start of the US-backed war on Nicaragua the CIA knew the Contras were planning to traffic in cocaine into the US. It did nothing to stop the traffic and, when other government agencies began to probe, the CIA impeded their investigations. When Contra money raisers were arrested the Agency came to their aid and retrieved their drug money from the police. So, was the Agency complicit in drug trafficking into Los Angeles and other cities? It is impossible to read Hitz's report and not conclude that this was the case.

  4. Gary Webb (author of the Dark Alliance series and book) provides an excellent synopsis of the IG Report's contents, found here and here.

  5. The 1980's CIA collusion with allied drug traffickers lead to the formation of a protected narcotics pipeline, resulting an increase in supply and drop in price. Former DEA agents have repeatedly pointed out that 50%-70% of the cocaine entering the U.S. went via drug cartels that enjoyed CIA protection.

    1. "..Taken alone, one Contra drug ring, that of Rafael Caro Quintero and Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo (two Contra supporters based in Guadalajara, Mexico) were known by DEA to be smuggling four tons A MONTH into the U.S. during the early Contra war. Other operations including Manuel Noriega (a CIA asset, strongman leader of Panama), John Hull (ranch owner and CIA asset, Costa Rica), Felix Rodriguez (Contra supporter, El Salvador), Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros (Honduran Military, Contra supporter, Honduras) along with other elements of the Guatemalan and Honduran military. Cumulatively, the aforementioned CIA assets were concurrently trafficking close to two hundred tons a year or close to 70% of total U.S. consumption. All of these CIA assets have been ascertained as being connected to CIA via public documentation and testimony."
  6. The CIA Inspector General's 300 page report holds many revelations; however, it is was originally a 600 page document. Robert Parry (http://www.consortiumnews.com) did a story in the Fall of 1998 regarding the omitted sections of the report, particulary concerning a second CIA drug ring (distinct from the one examined in Dark Alliance) in South Central Los Angeles that existed between 1988 and 1991. And according to Parry, there was yet another drug ring in L.A. that remains classified, because it was run by a CIA agent who had participated in the Contra war. It remains classified purportedly because an ongoing CIA investigation devles further into the matter (leaving one to speculate whether the CIA will utter another word about this case).

  7. Looking back at the past 15 years, illicit cocaine trafficking saw a marked 90% decline in cocaine trafficking and consumption, noticably contemporaneous with the disbandment of the Contras and the end of the CIA's covert actions against Nicaragua.

  8. The analysis section of this web delves into the problem of CIA alliances with criminal enterprises, the problem of quid-pro-quo arrangements, and the resulting fallout from such relationships:

    1. "..If U.S. policy entails expanding the realm of U.S. influence, and it has to be done covertly, then the CIA readily opts to forge alliances with regional criminal enterprises. That's the way of covert action and warfare.

      But for the CIA to gain any level of influence, a quid-pro-quo arrangement is required. In exchange for that criminal enterprise working for the CIA in some capacity, the CIA has to somehow protect or promote a criminal enterprises' interests.

      Since the market for illicit narcotics is international, and the interests of the CIA is international, then the relationship is inevitable..."

      "..It doesn't take a genius to tell you that if specific drug pipelines are protected [by the CIA] from interdiction, the resulting increase in drug volume will see a commensurate increase in drug addiction in the U.S. ..."


    And now, onward through the fog:


Top Intro DEA Agents Contras Analysis Patterns Links Books Home

Evidence: Three DEA agents and their first-hand experiences:

  • Bradley Ayers & traces of drugs found on CIA-related airplanes in Miami, Florida.
  • In 1985 and 1986, Ayers surveilled airplanes (parked at Miami International Airport) belonging to two CIA-related airlines ("formerly owned" by the CIA) under contract with the Dept. of Defense to transport materiel for the Contras.
  • He repeatedly found traces of cocaine and marijuana inside the planes.
  • Ayers' findings became court evidence in a lawsuit by the airlines against a Miami TV station, and was found to be truthful and accepted as evidence.

  • Bradley Ayers' affidavit

  • Cellerino Castillo's surveillance of CIA/NSC airplanes in Panama.
  • Castillo gathered evidence during 1984 and 1985 that known traffickers, with multiple DEA files, piloted CIA- and NSC-owned airplanes, using two CIA and NSC hangars at an airbase in Central America.
  • These CIA-paid pilots obtained U.S. visas, despite their drug trafficking dossiers being in U.S. Gov't databases.
  • Some of the pilots were quite bold about their smuggling of drugs: Once stateside, some would use their CIA credentials to ward off U.S. Customs and DEA agents. Other pilots, Castillo noted, were more discrete.
  • "Hundreds of flights each week [through Ilopango] delivered cocaine to the buyers and returned with money headed for ... Panama."
  • "From Panama, the money was wired to a Costa Rican bank account held by the Contras" (Castillo, Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras, and the Drug War [Oakville, Ont.: Mosaic Press, 1994], 138-39)
  • "There is no doubt that they were running large quantities of cocaine into the U.S. to support the [Nicaraguan] Contras."
  • "We saw the cocaine and we saw boxes full of money. We're talking about very large quantities of cocaine and millions of dollars."
  • "...my reports contain not only the names of traffickers, but their destinations, flight paths, tail numbers, and the date and time of each flight." (1994 interview (How the Contras Invaded the United States, by Dennis Bernstein and Robert Knight, (c) 1996)
  • Micheal Levine, Latin American DEA operations
  • In Bolivia, Levine witnessed an Argentine-lead 'Cocaine Coup,' co-sponsored by the CIA. Along with help from the Argentinian military, the drug lords installed a narco-militarist regime, replacing the democratically elected moderate-socialist government. This spawned the cocaine boom of the 1980's, with the Bolivian-based "La Corporacion," the General Motors of cocaine, having total freedom to run Bolivia as a narco-colonial serf state.
  • Levine's infiltration into the Bolivian network of coca plantation kingpins was subverted by the CIA and his complaints were ignored by the DEA upper echalon.
  • He complained in a letter to NewsWeek magazine. For such a brazen act, he was suffered bureaucratic and procedural backlash, and was thereafter removed from his Bolivian assignment.
  • "In November of 1982....secret meetings had been called between DEA, the Department of Justice and the CIA to discuss whether or not [Bolivian officials responsible for flooding our streets with cocaine, who also happened to be CIA assets could be indicted] without jeopardizing CIA programs...

    "If any of the CIA assets were indicted, the Agency's role in the takeover of Bolivia by drug dealers, rapists and murderers - and perhaps their role in drug dealing too - might be revealed to the American people....

    "The result of the secret meetings ...was that there would be no indictment. The CIA's drug dealing assets would be permitted to continue their criminal ways unhindered by the war on drugs."

    "The CIA claimed that indicting these people would irreparably damage 'important programs.'"

    -- THE BIG WHITE LIE by Michael Levine, Pages 417-418, hard cover edition.

    Later, Levine infiltrated a major Mexican drug ring. Levine was targeting highly-placed Mexican officials, only to find that his cover had been blown by U.S. Department of Justice (under Reagan's then-Attorney General, Edwin Meese). Levine was lucky: a fellow DEA agent, "Kiki" Camerena, was found tortured and executed by Mexican drug lords, his identity revealed as a result of the DoJ's indescretion.
  • "For decades, the CIA, the Pentagon, and secret organizations like Oliver North's Enterprise have been supporting and protecting the world's biggest drug dealers.... The Contras and some of their Central American allies ... have been documented by DEA as supplying us with at least 50 percent of our national cocaine consumption. They were the main conduit to the United States for Colombian cocaine during the 1980's. The rest of the drug supply for the American habit came from other CIA-supported groups, such as DFS (Mexican CIA), the Shan United Army in the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia, or any of a score of other groups and/or individuals like Manual Noriega." (The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic, 1993)
  • "I personally hit the top of the drug world, dealt with the top traffickers in the world posing as a criminal ... and in every case found these traffickers in bed with our Central Intelligence Agency. Exactly as Senator Al D'Amato said, 'We're in bed with these guys.' ... We still are. But its worse than that." (From a 1995 radio interview)

  • "..[W]e penetrated what was about to become the biggest drug dealing corporation on the face of the earth and the case was killed by Central Intelligence. I documented that. They supported ex-Nazis like Klaus Barbi, Argentine mass murderers in the take-over of Bolivia." -- from radio Interview
    Other material from Michael Levine:
      "..I, Michael Levine, twenty-five year veteran undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, given the mandate of the Supreme Court's Machain Decision and in fulfillment of my oath to the U.S. government and its taxpayers to arrest and seize all those individuals who would smuggle or cause illegal drugs to be smuggled into the United States or who would aid and abet drug smugglers, do hereby volunteer my services to any sovereign, democratic nation who files legal Drug Trafficking charges against Colonel Oliver North and any of his cohorts; to do everything in my power including kidnapping him, seizing his paper shredder, reading him his constitutional rights and dragging his butt to wherever that sovereignty might be ... to once-and-for-all stand trial for the horrific damages caused to my country, my fellow law enforcement officers, and to my family..."
  • Other DEA agents:

  • Dennis Dayle, former chief of an elite DEA enforcement unit: "In my 30-year history in the Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA." -- FROM: Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Berkeley: U. of CA Press, 1991, pp. x-xi.
    Celerino Castillo stated that together with 3 other ex-DEA agents, they were willing to testify in Congress regarding their direct knowledge of CIA involvement in international drug trafficking. Castillo estimates that approximately 75%(!) of narcotics entered the U.S. with the acquiescence or direct participation of U.S. and foreign CIA agents. (August 13, 1996 San Diego Union-Tribune, regarding Rep. Robert Toricelli's proposed subcommittee on the intelligence community and human rights violations in Guatemala and Central America).
    Declassified DEA Report of Investigation (February 13, 1990, Page 4 of 7) File Title: REDACTED
    "23. [Redacted] had learned that the reporter from Vera Cruz (FNU) Velasco before his death (1985) was allegedly developing information that, using the DFS as cover, the CIA established and maintained clandestine airfields to refuel aircraft loaded with weapons which were destined for Honduras and Nicaragua.
    24. Pilots of these aircraft would allegedly load up with cocaine in Barranquilla Colombia and in route to Miami, Florida, refuel in Mexico at Narcotic trafficker-operated and CIA-maintained airstrips."
    This is from a 1987 DEA report, regarding the LA drug ring covered by the Dark Alliance series and book. In 1987, the DEA sent undercover informants inside this drug operation, and they interviewed one of the principals of this organization, namely Ivan Torres. And this is what he said. He told the informant:
    "The CIA wants to know about drug trafficking, but only for their own purposes, and not necessarily for the use of law enforcement agencies. Torres told DEA Confidential Informant 1 that CIA representatives are aware of his drug-related activities, and that they don't mind. He said they had gone so far as to encourage cocaine trafficking by members of the contras, because they know it's a good source of income. Some of this money has gone into numbered accounts in Europe and Panama, as does the money that goes to Managua from cocaine trafficking. Torres told the informant about receiving counterintelligence training from the CIA, and had avowed that the CIA looks the other way and in essence allows them to engage in narcotics trafficking."
    This is a DEA report that was written in 1987, when the contra operations were still on going. Another member of this organization affiliated with a San Francisco connection, said in 1985 to the CIA:
    "Cabezas claimed that the contra cocaine operated with the knowledge of, and under the supervision of, the CIA. Cabezas claimed that this drug enterprise was run with the knowledge of CIA agent Ivan Gómez."


    Top Intro DEA Agents Contras Analysis Patterns Links Books Home

    The U.S. Department of Justice, the CIA, the Contras, Mexican Narcocrats, and the torture-murder of a DEA agent:

    "I personally am convinced that the Justice Department is against the best interests of the United States in terms of stopping drugs... What has a DEA agent who puts his life on the line got to look forward to? The U.S. Government is not going to back him up. I find that intolerable." -- United States Congressman Larry Smith, speaking on the floor of Congress.
    Again, to focus the blame upon the CIA is to actually miss a more important point, that collusion with narco-militarists and narco-facilitators is actually a function of policy, and extends far beyond simple corruption (greed). Many writers have looked into the guns-for-drugs barter arrangments of the Contras and have looked no farther. But the truth goes much deeper, and brings us to the underpinning reality of Narco-colonialism: The U.S. two-party system seeks to expand its influence and control as far as it can, with whatever means it can. In the case of Mexico, U.S. politicians saw to it that Mexican politicians corrupted by narco-dollars were protected from DEA sting operations.
    Ex-DEA agent Michael Levine recounts the interference from the DoJ he experienced when he was working in an undercover infiltration of the Mexican cartel:
    "...I was heading up a deep cover sting operation. I was posing as a ... mafia don. [O]n videotape as part of the deep cover operation we ... had the body guard of the incoming president of Mexico, Carlos Salinas, promising me a wide open Mexico once [Salinas was] elected... a wide open Mexico for drug trafficking. Also on camera is the grandson of an ex-president... This is in 1987 ... I was plugged into a pipeline right into Southern California. The deal was 15 tons of cocaine bought in Bolivia, trans- shipped across Mexico. This was a pipeline! And I was literally renting the Mexican army. Now that videotape went to the Attorney General of the United States..."

    "...Well, that videotape went to the Attorney General of the United States, after which I was told he telephoned the Attorney General of Mexico... Now mind you, our investigation was going into the Attorney General of Mexico's office, right into the top of the Mexican goverment!

    And [then-Attorney General] Edwin Meese warned him about... blew our cover... blew the cover of a deep cover investigation. I was horrified but I couldn't write it until I had some substantiantion of this. It was then substantiated by Elaine Shannon, a Newsweek journalist and written about in her book so I put it in my book. When you have the head of the Justice Department blowing the biggest drug case in DEA's history for political reasons who do you turn to?" -- Radio Interview with Michael Levine

    But to really appreciate the underpinning pattern, consider the case of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena. In 1985 Camarena was working "deep cover" and had infiltrated the inner ranks of the Mexican cartel. Evidently, Camarena's cover identity was blown, and Camarena's body was recovered after he was tortured and murdered by members of the Mexican cartel. The investigation into Camarena's muder was obstructed by both the CIA and the DOJ.

    Michale Levine has gone on the record describing the circumstances surrounding, and obstruction of justice after, Camarena's murder:

    These were people [associates of Carlos Salinas] who were also linked... and we linked them to the murderers of Enrique "Qui Qui" Camarena, a DEA agent who was tortured to death. -- Radio Interview with Michael Levine
    "..Undercover DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena was tortured to death slowly by professionals. Every known maximum-pain technique, from electric shocks to his testicles to white hot rods inserted in his rectum, was applied. A doctor stood by to keep him alive. The heart of the thirty-seven year old father of two boys refused to quit for more than twenty-four hours. His cries, along with the soft-spoken, calm voices of the men who were slowly and meticulously savaging his body, were tape-recorded.

    Kiki, one of only three hundred of us in the world (DEA agents on foreign assignment), had been kidnapped in broad daylight from in front of the U.S. Consular office in Guadalajara, Mexico by Mexican cops working for drug traffickers and, apparently, high level Mexican government people whose identities we would never know. They would be protected by people in our own government to whom Kiki's life meant less than nothing.

    When teams of DEA agents were sent to Mexico, first, to find the missing Kiki, then to hunt for his murderers, they were met by a the stone wall of a corrupt Mexican government that refused to cooperate. To the horror and disgust of many of us, our government backed down from the Mexicans; other interests, like NAFTA, banking agreements and the covert support of Ollie North's Contras, were more important than the life of an American undercover agent. DEA agents were ordered by the Justice Department, to keep our mouths shut about Mexico; an order that was backed up by threats from the office of Attorney General Edwin Meese himself. Instead of tightening restrictions on the Mexican debt, our Treasury Department moved to loosen them as if to reward them for their filthy deed. As an added insult Mexico was granted cooperating nation in the drug war status, giving them access to additional millions in American drug war funds and loans.

    Somehow a CIA — unaware that their own chief of Soviet counter intelligence, Aldrich Ames, was selling all America's biggest secrets to the KGB for fourteen years with all the finesse of a Jersey City garage sale — was able to obtain the tape-recordings of Kiki's torture death. No one in media or government had the courage to publicly ask them explain how they were able to obtain the tapes, yet know nothing of the murder as it was happening; no one had the courage to ask them to explain the testimony of a reliable government informant, (during a California trial related to Camarena's murder), that Kiki's murderers believed they were protected by the CIA. Nor did our elected leaders have the courage to investigate numerous other reports linking the CIA directly to the murderers..." -- from Michael Levine's article "I volunteer to kidnap Oliver North" (see also Oliver North)


    "..[Camarena] was a DEA agent working on high level drug investigations. He was stationed in Guadalajara, Mexico and his investigations were taking him right into the Contra resupply lines that is the Contras trafficking in drugs with the support of the Hondurans, the Mexicans, and everybody else and Enrique was down there working this case with an informer and suddenly he's arrested in broad daylight by Mexican police. He's take to a ranch of a top Mexican criminal and slowly tortured to death over a 24 hour period.

    And later what is... what's found is Enrique [Camarena] was investigating Mata Bellastaros and Mata Bellasteros' partner Felix Guillardo and Mata Bellastaros, by the way, was on the State Department payroll... in spite of .. being a documented heavy drug trafficker. His airline that we knew was used to traffic drugs, was used on the US government payroll to fly these Contra resupply mission. So here's this murderer who was later convicted of murdering... or conspiring to murder Kiki Camarena and he was on the US government payroll in spite of the fact that the DEA called him a drug trafficker, in spite of the fact that Kiki Camarena was investigating him. Now here's Kiki Camarena investigating the Oliver North supply line and he's tortured to death.

    Now "mysteriously," and I put that in quotes, Central Intelligence weeks later comes up with that tape recording and no one in our government sought to question how they came up with it. Three years later a high level drug tafficker turned informant named Victor Harrison testifies that the people who murdered Kiki Camarena believed they were protected by Central Intelligence. I, in Operation Trifecta, we uncovered links between the people that we were dealing with and Guillardo who was believed to be the mastermind behind the murder of Kiki Camerena. ...[T]his videotape was given to the Attorney General of the United States who blew our cover.

    These revelations of the role of the U.S. Department of Justice in obstructing Camarena's murder investigation lead to something of a rebellion within the ranks of the DEA, and affected the subsequent Mexican Presidency of Carlos Salinas.

    When Salinas came to power in 1988, relations with the United States had already been rocked by the murder three years earlier of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena. Salinas took several steps: In 1989, his government arrested kingpin Miguel Angel Felix-Gallardo; sentenced the alleged killers in the Camarena case; seized record amounts of cocaine; and signed a new treaty, pledging to join with the United States in fighting traffickers.

    However, Salinas himself later fled into exile due to his involvement in an assassination of a political opponent as well as the massive looting of the Mexican state treasury that lead to the collapse of the Mexican economy. Mexico's monetary collapse required an infusion of $100's of billions from the U.S. Treasury. In his wake, Salinas has been exposed for heavy ties with the Mexican cartel, which is only part of the overall pattern of a massive Salinas family kleptocracy.

    See also:

    PBS Frontline: Murder, Money and Mexico: The Rise and Fall of the Salinas Brothers
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/mexico/




Top Intro DEA Agents Contras Analysis Patterns Links Books Home

Congressional testimony and documents.

    Despite the fact that the 1986 "Kerry Report," the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, skirted as much as it investigated, what evidence the Kerry Report found is astonishing enough. A synopsis of the Kerry Report highlights the drug-related findings.
    Ten years later, Jack Blum (former Chief Counsel to John Kerry's Subcommittee on Narcotics and Terrorism in 1996 Senate Hearings), supplied a prepared statement and testified before Sen. Arlen Specter's Senate committee. Jack Blum was generally careful in what he said, and where he directed blame. Blum maintains that he found no evidence that the CIA directly trafficked drugs during Iran-Contra, only that the CIA protected those who did traffic the drugs. Even so, what he did say was astonishing in its implications and scope.
"We don't need to investigate [the CIA's role in Contra drug trafficking]. We already know. The evidence is there." Jack Blum, former Chief Counsel to John Kerry's Subcommittee on Narcotics and Terrorism in 1996 Senate Hearings
"If you ask: In the process of fighting a war against the Sandinistas, did people connected with the US government open channels which allowed drug traffickers to move drugs to the United States, did they know the drug traffickers were doing it, and did they protect them from law enforcement? The answer to all those questions is yes." (Jack Blum, chief investigator for the Kerry Senate subcommittee, after years of investigation and access to classified information.)
"For criminal organizations, participating in covert operations offers much more than money. They may get a voice in selecting the new government. They may get a government that owes them for help in coming to power, They may be able to use their connections with the United States government to enhance their political power at home and to wave off the efforts of the American law enforcement community." (Blum has said something quite significant here. The CIA functionally gains control of governments corrupted by criminal narco-trafficking, and can exert influence by leveraging narco-militarists and corrupted politicians. It's fascinating that Blum basically described the Opium Wars of the 19th century. What Blum is saying is that narco-colonialism is alive and well and residing centrally at CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia.)
"I think that among the other things you should be looking at is a review of the relationship in general between covert operations and criminal organizations. The two go together like love and marriage. And it's a problem which really has to be understood by this committee. Criminal organizations are perfect allies in a covert operation. If you sent me out of the country to risk my life for the government to do something as a spy in a foreign land, I would think criminals would be my best ally. They stay out of reach of the law, they know who the corrupt government officials are, and they have them on the payroll. They'll do anything I want for money. It's a terrific working partnership. The problem is that they then get empowered by the fact that they work with us." (Jack Blum)
"Here's my problem. I think that if people in the government of the United States make a secret decision to sacrifice some portion of the American population in the form of exposing them, let's say, deliberately exposing them to drugs, that is a terrible decision that should never be made in secret." (Jack Blum)
"When people who are engaged in an operation say, 'We're going to look the other way; we're not going to do anything,' interfere in the law enforcement process to protect people who are running the operationand, in that process of interference, permit drugs to flow in, you have an extraordinarily serious problem." (Jack Blum)
"There was a judgment call here, and that judgment call erred so far on the wrong side of where judgment should have been that we wound up with a terrible problem. And that terrible problem was a de facto result that I was describing, that is, where many people did suffer as a consequence. And I started to say, when DEA allows a controlled delivery of drugs, there is a furious debate. Those controlled deliveries are monitored because DEA says our job is to prevent it from coming in, and if it escapes on the street, for any reason, we've blown it.

And that kind of standard is really the kind of standard that should have, I think, been applied here. And maybe you can give me and maybe we would both agree that there is some dreadful circumstance where this should have occurred and been allowed to occur and so on, and I probably could be convinced in the right set of circumstances. But the problem was that that issue wasn't put that way, and the sensitivity to what was going on was simply missing." (Jack Blum)

"I do think it [was] a terrible mistake to say that 'We're going to allow drug trafficking to destroy American citizens' as a consequence of believing that the contra effort was a higher priority." - Sen. Robert Kerrey (D-NE)










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A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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Evidence: Senate Iran-Contra & Dark Alliance Hearings:
The Contras (A quick review of Iran-Contra)

Obsessed with overthrowing the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua, Reagan administration officials tolerated and protected drug trafficking as long as the traffickers gave support to the Contras.

In response to the most recent allegations about CIA and Contra drug-running, the CIA has suddenly developed amnesia, feigning ignorance of widespread Contra drug running. CIA defenders continue the lie by claiming it was a few rogue Contra supporters operating outside of the knowledge and the employ of the CIA. Here the CIA and their media defenders caught in a CONTRAdiction:

    Just one CIA drug ring, that of Rafael Caro Quintero and Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo (two Contra supporters based in Guadalajara, Mexico) were known by DEA to be smuggling four tons A MONTH into the U.S. during the early Contra war. Other operations including Manuel Noriega (Panama), John Hull (Costa Rica), Felix Rodriguez (El Salvador), Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros (Honduras) along with elements of the Guatemalan and Honduran military. Cumulatively, the aforementioned CIA assets were concurrently trafficking close to two hundred tons a year or close to 70% of total U.S. consumption. All of these CIA assets have been ascertained as being connected to CIA via public documentation and testimony.
    Gary Webb (author of the Dark Alliance series and book) provides an excellent synopsis of the Inspector General's report on CIA complicity with the Contra drug trafficking, found here and here.

  • CIA origin of the Contras:

  • The CIA and NSC tried to publicly distance themselves from the corrupt contra leadership, but the Contras were little more than a CIA-run proxy army from the onset. Oliver North's contra laison, Robert Owen, described contra leader Adolfo Calero as "..a creation of the USG [U.S. Government] and so he is the horse we chose to ride.."
  • "Without the Honduran military there would have been no Contras." - Lt. Col. Oliver North. (North later intervened to get an absurdly lenient sentence for General Jose Bueso-Rosa, a Honduran general who had been convicted of smuggling tons of cocaine into the U.S. as part of a plot to finance an assassination of the Honduran president.)
  • Obsessed with overthrowing the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua, Reagan administration officials tolerated drug trafficking as long as the traffickers gave support to the contras. In 1989, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations (the Kerry committee) concluded a three-year investigation by stating: "There was substantial evidence of drug smuggling through the war zones on the part of individual Contras, Contra suppliers, Contra pilots, mercenaries who worked with the Contras, and Contra supporters throughout the region. ... U.S. officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war efforts against Nicaragua. ... In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter. ... Senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems." ("Kerry Report": Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, a Report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations, 1989, pp. 2, 36, 41)
  • Iran-Contra insiders:

  • Jesus Garcia, who worked with Lt. Col. Oliver North's operations, said, "It is common knowledge here in Miami that this whole Contra operation was paid for with cocaine. ... I actually saw the cocaine and the weapons together under one roof, weapons that I (later) helped ship to Costa Rica." (December 1986 interview with Robert Knight and Dennis Bernstein, Contragate/Undercurrents) (How the Contras Invaded the United States, by Dennis Bernstein and Robert Knight, 1996, Part One: Wars go better with coke)
  • How widespread was the trafficking?

  • A Senate committee memorandum clearly stated "a number of individuals who supported the Contras and who participated in contra activity in Texas, Louisiana, California and Florida, as well as in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, have suggested that cocaine is being smuggled in the U.S. through the same infrastructure which is procuring, storing and transporting weapons, explosives, ammunition and military equipment for the Contras from the United States." (Robert Knight and Dennis Bernstein , Contragate/Undercurrents, Newsday, March 31, 1987: re: Eight-page June 25, 1986, Select House Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control) (How the Contras Invaded the United States, by Dennis Bernstein and Robert Knight, 1996, Part One: Wars go better with coke)
  • CIA knowledge (admitted acquiescence) of Contra drug running:

  • "With respect to (drug trafficking by) the Resistance Forces ... it is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people."(Iran-Contra testimony of Central American Task Force Chief, Alan Fiers, in sworn deposition to the Congressional Iran-Contra committees, August 5, 1987, 100-11, pp. 182-183.)
  • "We knew that everybody around [Contra leader Eden] Pastora was involved in cocaine ... His staff and friends (redacted), they were drug smugglers or involved in drug smuggling." (Iran-Contra deposition of Central American Task Force Chief Alan Fiers, Appendix B, Vol. 3 pp. 1121 - 1230. Also North Diary page Q1704, March 26, 1984, 'Pastora revealed as drug dealer.')
  • CIA complicity in protection of drug runners:

  • "When this whole business of drug trafficking came out in the open in the Contras, the CIA gave a document to Cesar, Popo Chamorro and Marcos Aguado, too..."

    "..They said this is a document holding them harmless, without any responsibility, for having worked in U.S. security..." (Former ARDE Contra leader Eden Pastora, Nov. 26, 1996, speaking before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s, Chaired by Senator Arlen Specter)

  • CIA continued protection of, and collaboration with, the same drug runners:

  • "..Pastora noted that the trio has been able to cross U.S. borders freely since then but are barred from entering Costa Rica. Records show the Costa Rican government accused them of cocaine trafficking for the Contras." (Gary Webb & Thomas Farragher, San Jose Mercury News/Mercury News Washington Bureau, "Ex-Contras: We saw no CIA link to drugs; One acknowledges payment from dealer," Published: Nov. 27, 1996)
  • In July 1989, Oliver North and other major contragate figures were barred from Costa Rica.

  • The order was issued by none other than Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. Then-President Arias was acting on recommendations from a Costa Rican congressional commission investigating drug trafficking. The commission concluded that the contra re-supply network in Costa Rica which North coordinated from the White House doubled as a drug smuggling operation.

    The narcotics commission started probing the contra network centered around the northern Costa Rican ranch of US-born John Hull because of "the quantity and frequency of the shipment of drugs that passed through the zone." North's personal notebook mentioned "the necessity of giving Mr. Hull protection." (San Juan Star, Puerto Rico, 7/22/89).

    In 1989, after the Costa Rica government indicted Hull for drug trafficking, a DEA-hired plane clandestinely and illegally exfiltrated the CIA operative to Miami, via Haiti. The US repeatedly thwarted Costa Rican efforts to extradite Hull back to Costa Rica to stand trial. (Martha Honey and David Myers, "U.S. Probing Drug Agent's Activities in Costa Rica," San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 1991. )

    Investigators held North responsible for Gen. Manuel Noriega's participation in the contra supply network, which opened the door to at least seven pilots who trafficked in drugs while supplying arms to the contras. "These requests for contra help were initiated by Colonel North to General Noriega," the commission reported. "They opened a gate so their henchmen could utilize [Costa Rican] territory for trafficking in arms and drugs." (Tico Times, Costa Rica, 7/28/89).

    Barred from Costa Rica along with North were Maj. Gen. Richard Secord, former National Security Advisor John Poindexter, former US Ambassador to Costa Rica, Lewis Tambs, and former CIA station chief in Costa Rica, Joseph Fernandez. The Costa Rican congress later ratified the permanent implementation of the bannings.

    In Costa Rica, which served as the "Southern Front" for the contras (Honduras being the Northern Front), there were several different CIA-contra networks involved in drug trafficking. In addition to those servicing the Meneses-Blandon operation detailed by the Mercury News, and Noriega's operation, there was CIA operative John Hull, whose farms along Costa Rica's border with Nicaragua were the main staging area for the contras.

    Hull and other CIA-connected contra supporters and pilots teamed up with George Morales, a major Miami-based Colombian drug trafficker who later admitted to giving $3 million in cash and several planes to contra leaders. (Martha Honey, Hostile Acts: U.S. Policy in Costa Rica in the 1980s, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994.)

    Another Costa Rican-based drug ring involved a group of Cuban Americans whom the CIA had hired as military trainers for the contras. Many had long been involved with the CIA and drug trafficking. They used contra planes and a Costa Rican-based shrimp company, which laundered money for the CIA, to move cocaine to the U.S. (Martha Honey, Hostile Acts: U.S. Policy in Costa Rica in the 1980s, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994.)

  • The Miami Police Department investigations revealed:

  • A City of Miami Police Intelligence Report dated September 26, 1984, states that money to support Contras being illegally trained in Florida "comes from narcotics transactions." Every page of that document is stamped: "Record furnished to George Kosinsky, FBI." Justice Department head Janet Reno, then Florida's chief prosecutor, apparently saw no reason to investigate further.
    Immense Contra Drug ring in Los Angeles:

    According to a year-long investigation by SAN JOSE (California) MERCURY NEWS reporter Gary Webb, (using court records, declassified documents, undercover audio tapes, and files retrieved via the Freedom of Information Act) the Contras (FDN) solved their financial problems by opening the first direct pipeline from the Colombian cocaine cartels to black gangs --the Crips and the Bloods -- on the streets of Los Angeles.

    Federal and local drug-enforcement agencies investigated this Contra drug ring. An Oct. 23, 1986, affidavit (Thomas Gordon, a former Los Angeles County sheriff's narcotics detective) identifies Contra supporter and former Nicaraguan Samoza government official Danilo Blandon as "the highest-ranking member of this organization" and describes an immense drug network involving more than 100 Nicaraguan Contra sympathizers who were selling cocaine "mainly to blacks living in the South-Central Los Angeles area."

  • The affidavit indicates that DEA and FBI informants were inside Blandon's drug ring for several years before the sheriff department performed a sweep of raids on the drug trafficking empire Oct. 27, 1986.(San Jose Mercury News, Oct. 3, 1996 Affidavit: Cops knew of drug ring Document sheds light on Contra-cocaine link By Gary Webb and Pamela Kramer)

  • Other police documents indicated that the total volume of cocaine moved by Danilo Blandon's operations was 100 kilos (220 lbs.) per week or nearly SIX TONS PER YEAR. This is an astonishing volume when considering the fact that the total illicit cocaine volume in the 1980's averaged out to 50 tons per year (based upon a U.S. 1980's total of 500 tons for the decade, where the trend was upward throughout the decade). That's 12% of the total illicit cocaine traffic in the U.S., which corresponds with the testimony of several key figures in the L.A. drug ring.

  • Other narcotics reports suggest the volume was upwards to 200 kilos per week!

  • A great deal of this increasingly cheap high-volume cocaine was converted into ultra-addictive ready-made freebase 'crack' cocaine, kick-starting and fueling the crack cocaine epidemic in L.A.

  • The San Jose Mercury Dark Alliance series specifically cites Blandon and his associates Edwin Meneses and Freeway Rick as the tripartite Typhoid Mary of crack cocaine.

  • When Blandon was finally arrested in October 1986, after Congress resumed funding for the Contras, and he admitted to crimes that have sent others away for life, the Justice Department turned him loose on unsupervised probation after only 28 months behind bars and has paid him more than $166,000 since.

  • According to a legal motion filed in a 1990 police corruption trial: In the 1986 raid on Blandon's money-launderer, the police carted away numerous documents purportedly linking the U.S. government to cocaine trafficking and money-laundering on behalf of the Contras. CIA personnel appeared at the sheriff's department within 48 hours of the raid and removed the seized files from the evidence room. This motion drew media coverage in 1990 but, at the request of the Justice Department, a federal judge issued a gag order barring any discussion of the matter.

  • Blandon subsequently became a full-time informant for the DEA. When he testified in 1996 as a prosecution witness, the federal prosecutors obtained a court order preventing defense lawyers from delving into Blandon's ties to the CIA.

  • Though Meneses is listed in the DEA's computers as a major international drug smuggler and was implicated in 45 separate federal investigations since 1974, he lived openly and conspicuously in California until 1989 and never spent a day in a U.S. prison. The DEA, U.S. Customs, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement have complained that a number of the probes of Meneses were stymied by the CIA or unnamed "national security" interests.



  • Gary Webb, "'Crack' Plague's Roots Are in Nicaragua War; Colombia- Bay Area Drug Pipeline Helped CIA-Backed Contras '80s Efforts to Assist Guerillas Left Legacy of Drugs, Gangs in Black L.A.," SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS August 18, 1996, pg. 1A;

    Gary Webb, "Testimony Links U.S. to Drugs-Guns Trade; Dealers Got 'Their Own Little Arsenal,'" SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS August 18, 1996, pg. 17A.

    Gary Webb, "Odd Trio Created Mass Market for 'Crack'; L.A. Dealer Might Get Life; Officials Quiet About Role of Nicaraguans," SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS August 19, 1996, pg. 1A.

  • And: Gary Webb, "S.F. Drug Agent Thought She Hit on Something Big; As Trail Got Warm, Her Superiors Took Her Off the Case," SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS August 19, 1996, pg. 10A.
  • A Senate investigator found:

  • In the spring of 1986, John Mattes, a former Miami-based Federal Public Defender, began working with Senator John Kerry's office to investigate the contra drug connection. "What we investigated and uncovered," Mattes recalls, "was the very infrastructure of the network that had the veil of national security protecting it, so that people could load cannons in broad daylight, in public airports, on flights going to Ilopango Airport, where in fact the very same people were bringing narcotics back into the U.S., unimpeded."
  • CIA control:

  • The CIA had control over almost all aspect of the illicit Contra resupply operation. "CIA officers in Central America were charged with obtaining clearances for these flights from the Honduran military. As a result, CIA officers in Central America began learning about the contractors who were making NHAO's deliveries.." (Chapter 21 "CIA Subject #1," Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters, Volume I: Investigations and Prosecutions, Lawrence E. Walsh, Independent Counsel, pg. 299 - http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/index.html)
    In 1989, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations (the Kerry committee) concluded a three-year investigation by stating: "There was substantial evidence of drug smuggling through the war zones on the part of individual Contras, Contra suppliers, Contra pilots mercenaries who worked with the Contras, and Contra supporters throughout the region.... U.S. officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war efforts against Nicaragua.... In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. govemment had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter.... Senior U S policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems." (Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, a Report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and Intemational Operations, 1989)

    White House Protection of in-coming drug flights by freezing Customs:

    "We ran into another procedure which was extremely troubling. There was a system for stopping Customs inspections of inbound and outbound aircraft from Miami and from other airports in Florida. People would call the Customs office and say, 'Stand down. Flights are going out. Flights are coming in.'

    We tried to find out more about that and were privately told, again by Customs people who said "Please don't say anything," that the whole thing was terribly informal and there was no real way of determining the legitimacy of the request to stand down, or the legitimacy of what was on the plane and going out to people in the field. That I found to be terribly troubling, and it's a matter that you all should be looking at very carefully." (taken from Jack Blum's testimony before Congress)

    See Above: The U.S. Department of Justice, the CIA, the Contras, Mexican Narcocrats, and the torture-murder of a DEA agent

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Lt. Col. Oliver North's Notebooks and other funny things about Ollie North's out-of-control "Enterprise." Note that a good deal of evidence regarding White House knowledge of CIA and Contra drug running probably was destroyed. As Col. North (currently an MSN commentator!) readily admitted in Senate testimony, he destroyed all manner of incriminating evidence by shredding documents while Congressional Iran-Contra investigators reviewed documents in an adjacent room. His notebooks have been released in two forms, with different redactions and declassifications. What Lt. Col. North left us to pick through are hints as to the scope of corruption in Lt. Col. North's "Enterprise:"

  • Notes of Col. Oliver North, July 12, 1985:

  • --mtg. tonight w/Dick/Rafael/Tom w/Romero FDN Log Chief
    --[CIA Subject #1] discussions re Supermarket
    --HO [Honduran] Army plans to sieze all mat'l when supermarket
    comes to bad end
    --$14M to finance came from drugs
    --[Subject #1] expects HOAF [Honduran Airforce] to sieze the
    supermarket's assets when the supermarket folds.
    --[Subject #1] likes light A/C [aircraft] ASAP
    --Doesn't like goons [slang term for C-47]
    --Should get CASA 212's
    (CIA Subject #1: of Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters, Volume I: Investigations and Prosecutions, Lawrence E. Walsh, Independent Counsel - http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/index.html)
    Note: "Dick = Richard Secord; Rafael = Rafael Quintero, ex-CIA, old associate of Secord; Tom = Thomas Clines, ex-CIA, old associate of Secord; CIA Subject #1 = senior field officer, Cent. Amer., served with Clines and Secord in covert operations in Laos. The supermarket assets at the time were $17 million." - pp's. 298 & 299, Chapter 21 )
  • On Aug. 9, 1985, North was informed that one of the resupply planes being used by Mario Calero, the brother of Adolfo Calero, leader of the FDN (the largest Contra group), was being used for drug runs into the U.S. Mario Calero was part owner of a drug-trafficking airline, Hondu Carib. Hondu Carib's first owner was a Contra pilot (Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics, 57-58; cf. Celerino Castillo, 175).
  • A subsequent August 9, 1985 memo to Robert Owens, North notes that a "DC-6 which is being used for runs [to supply the Contras] out of New Orleans is probably used for drug runs into the US."
  • On Feb. 10, 1986, Owen informed North that a plane being used to run materials to the Contras was previously used to run drugs, and that the CIA had chosen a company whose officials had a criminal record. The company, Vortex Aviation, was run by Michael Palmer, one of the biggest marijuana smugglers in U.S. history, who was under indictment for 10 years of trafficking in Detroit at the same time he was receiving more than $300,000 in U.S. funds from a State Department contract to ferry "humanitarian" aid to the Contras.
  • In 1985, Lt. Col. Oliver North suggested that $1.5 million in drug money, generated in a joint NSC/CIA/DEA sting of Medellin cartel and Sandinista leaders, be provided to the Contras. The sting, targetting Medellin drug lord Jorge Luis Ochoa and Sandinista official Federico Vaughn, was orchestrated by the White House using trafficker-turned-DEA informant Barry Seal. North's suggestion was rejected by the DEA, but it emphasizes a peculiar presumption that Seal's drug profits from the sting would be used to fund North's illegal operations. (DEA Testimony before House Subcommittee on Crime, July 28, 1988) (SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, "Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy", December 1988: A Report on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Drug Trafficking)
  • DIACSA: The Contras laundered Oliver North's Enterprise money using a cocaine trafficker:

  • During 1984 and 1986, the Contras and the U.S. Department of State chose DIACSA, a Miami-based company that was already documented in on-line U.S. Government databases as a center of operations for it's drug trafficking owners. DIACSA's owners would ultimately be indicted and convicted for cocaine trafficking.
  • Through DIACSA, the Contras laundered bank deposits arranged by Lt. Col. Oliver North. The Contras used DIACSA for "intra-account transfers" in order to conceal the fact that some funds were through deposits arranged by Oliver North. (Iran-Contra testimony of Adolfo Calero, Appendix B Volume 3, p. 176)

  • DIACSA's president, Alfredo Caballero, was a business associate of Floyd Carlton -- a pilot who flew cocaine for Panama's drug-trafficking General Manuel Noriega. Carlton testified against Noriega in Noriega's trial. (See also section on Noriega)

  • Despite readily available federal data on DIACSA's drug-trafficking activities, the State Department selected DIACSA for aircraft parts supply to the Contras. Despite repeated warnings from Senator John Kerry and the inevitible indictments of DIACSA's principles for drug trafficking and money laundering, the State Department continued to make payments to DIACSA, totaling $41,120.90. (GAO Analysis, NHAO Accounts, provided to Subcommittee September, 1988: Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy chaired by Senator John F. Kerry)
  • The 1986 case of Honduran General Jose Bueso Rosa:

  • The White House and CIA protected a Honduran narco-militarist who planned to use his drug profits to finance the assassination of the president of Honduras (Honduras was the main Contra and CIA base of operations for the covert war against Sandinista-led Nicaragua; evidently Honduran President Roberto Suazo Cordova was not being sufficiently cooperative to suit the CIA and the Contras).

  • Bueso was involved in a conspiracy to import 345 kilos of cocaine into Florida -- with a street value of $40 million. But because he had been a key Contra liaison in Honduras for the CIA and the Pentagon, North, Clarridge, and others in the Reagan administration brought considerable pressure into the trial to reduce Bueso's sentence (As Francis J. McNeil, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research noted, in 1986, eight top officials, led by North, persuaded a federal judge to grant a lenient sentence to Honduran Gen. Jose Bueso-Rosa).

  • In an e-mail and later declassified memo, Lt. Col. Oliver North said that U.S. officials would "cabal quietly to look at options: pardon, clemency, deportation, reduced sentence." The objective was to seek leniency for the general in order to keep "Bueso from spilling the beans," otherwise Gen. Bueso might start "singing songs nobody wants to hear" about the Contras. In the end, Bueso served less than five years in a white-collar "Club Fed" prison in Florida.


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    The San Francisco Frogmen: A Nicaraguan Contra drug ring smuggles cocaine from ships via SCUBA gear. The U.S. Department of Justice, at the request of the CIA, returns monetary proceeds from drug running to the Contra smugglers.

    "This case gets it nickname from swimmers who brought cocaine ashore on the West Coast from a Colombian vessel in 1982-1983. It focused on a major Colombian cocaine smuggler, Alvaro Carvajal-Minota, who supplied a number of West Coast smugglers. It was alleged, but never confirmed, that Nicaraguan citizen Horacio Pereira, an associate of Carvajal, had helped the Nicaraguan resistance. Pereira was subsequently convicted on drug charges in Costa Rica and sentenced to twelve years imprisonment. Two other Nicaraguans, Carlos Cabezas and Julio Zavala, who were among the jailed West Coast traffickers convicted of receiving drugs from Carvajal, claimed long after their conviction that they had delivered large sums of money to resistance groups in Costa Rica and that Pereira, who was not charged in the case, has said the profits from the drug sale would finance resistance activities." [State Department Document #5136c, July 26, 1986]
    "We knew about the connection between the West Coast cocaine trade and the Contras. There was an astonishing case called the "Frogman (sp) Case." In that case -- I believe it was in that case -- the United States attorney for San Francisco, a man by the name of Russonello (sp), returned $35,000 of cocaine proceeds, voluntarily, to the Contras, when it had been seized as the proceeds of drug trafficking. And we found that absolutely astonishing. I know of no other situation where the Justice Department was so forthcoming in returning seized property." (from Jack Blum's testimony before Senator Arlen Specter's investigative committee)
    "After the trial, the U.S. government returned $36,020 seized as drug money to one of the defendants, Zavala, after he submitted letters from Contra leaders claiming the funds were really their property. The money that was returned had been seized by the FBI after being found in cash in a drawer at Zavala's home with drug transaction letters, an M-1 carbine, a grenade, and a quantity of Cocaine." [San Francisco Examiner, March 16, 1986.]
    The Subcommittee found that the Frogman arrest involved cocaine from a Colombian source, Carvajal-Minota. In addition, Zavala and Cabezas had as a second source of supply, Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica associated with the Contras. FBI documents from the Frogman case identify the Nicaraguans as Horacio Pereira, Troilo Sanchez and Fernando Sanchez.Pereira was convicted on cocaine charges in Costa Rica in 1985 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. An important member of the Pereira organization was Sebastian "Huachan" Gonzalez, who also was associated with ARDE in Southern Front Contra operations. Robert Owen advised North in February 1985, that Gonzalez was trafficking in cocaine. Jose Blandon testified that Eden Pastora knew that Gonzalez was involved in drug trafficking while he was working with ARDE. Gonzalez later left the Contra movement and fled from Costa Rica to Panama, where he went to work for General Noriega. [November 8, 1982, FBI teletype from San Francisco to Director, U.S. v. Zavala, et al., CBS Evening News, June 2, 1986., Iran/Contra Testimony of Robert Owen, May 14, 1987, Exhibit RWO 7, p. 801., Blandon, Part 2, pp. 132-133.]


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    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
    0
    maynard

    Registered:
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    Reply with quote  #157 
    (continued)

    The classic case of Panamanian general Manuel Noriega.

  • For a period spanning three decades, Manuel Noriega was known to be involved in drug trafficking. And for more than a decade, Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega was a highly paid CIA asset and collaborator, despite knowledge by U.S. drug authorities as early as 1971 that the general was heavily involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.
  • "Noriega facilitated "guns-for-drugs" flights for the Contras, providing protection and pilots, as well as safe havens for drug cartel otficials, and discreet banking facilities. U.S. officials, including then-ClA Director William Webster and several DEA officers, sent Noriega letters of praise for efforts to thwart drug trafficking (albeit only against competitors of his Medellin Cartel patrons). The U.S. government only turned against Noriega, invading Panama in December 1989 and kidnapping the general once they discovered he was providing intelligence and services to the Cubans and Sandinistas. Ironically drug trafficking through Panama increased after the US invasion." (John Dinges, Our Man in Panama, Random House, 1991; National Security Archive Documentation Packet The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations.)
    "The second man who turned up on our screen very big time was General Noriega. And as you'll recall -- press accounts have said it, the government has made this public -- so I'm not saying anything that's classified, Noriega was on our payroll. The accounts we heard were that he was getting paid some $200,000 a year by the United States government. At the time that was going on, virtually everybody who dealt with him knew he was in the drug business. It was an open secret. In fact, it was so open, it appeared on the front page of the New York Times in June of 1986. I testified about it in a closed session of the Foreign Relations Committee in 1986.

    We have, as the absolute low point of the contra war, Ollie North having a meeting with General Noriega, and he recorded that meeting in great detail in his notebooks, in which he's bargaining with Noriega. Noriega says to him, I've got this terrible public relations problem over drugs, what can you do to help me? Here's what I'll do to help you; I'll assassinate the entire Sandinista leadership, I'll blow up buildings in Managua. Ollie doesn't call the cops; what Ollie does is he goes back to Poindexter, and Poindexter says, "Gee, that's a little bit extreme. Can't you get him to tone it down? Go back and meet with him again." Which Ollie does.

    When our committee asked the General Accounting Office to do a step-by-step analysis of just who in our government knew that General Noriega was dealing drugs and when they knew it and what they did to act on that knowledge, the administration told every agency of the government not to cooperate with GAO, labeled it a national security matter, and swept it into the White House and cloaked it in executive privilege. That investigation never went forward, should have gone forward. I was very much dismayed. Our committee subpoenaed Ollie North's notebooks, and the history of those notebooks is quite astonishing. Not many people realize this, but the Senate never got a clean copy of those notebooks. North's lawyers were permitted to expurgate sections of the notebooks based on, quote, "relevance." Our committee subpoenaed those notebooks and we engaged in a 10-month battle to get them, and ultimately, the investigation ended, the subcommittee's mandate ended, we never got them." (from Jack Blum's testimony before Senator Arlen Specter's investigative committee)



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      CIA alliances in Haiti:

      In the 1980s to early 199Os, the CIA worked to keep the corupt Haitian military and political leadership in power. As usual, the CIA turned a blind eye to their clients' drug trafficking. In 1986, the Agency added some more names to its payroll by creating a new Haitian organization, the National Intelligence Service (SIN). SIN was purportedly created to fight the cocaine trade, though SIN officers themselves engaged in the trafficking, a trade aided and abetted by some of the Haitian military and political leaders.

    "We had problems in Haiti, where friends of ours -- that is, intelligence sources in the Haitian military -- had turned their facilities, their ranches and their farms over to drug traffickers. Instead of putting pressure on that rotten leadership of the Haitian military, we defended them. We held our noses, we looked the other way, and they and their criminal friends distributed, through a variety of networks, cocaine in the United States -- in Miami, in Philadelphia, New York and parts of Pennsylvania." - (Jack Blum in testimony before Congress)


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    The Honduran military:

    "Honduras was another country that was key for the Contras. Honduras was the base of contra operations. Most of the contra supplies came through Honduras. We wanted to do nothing to embarrass the Honduran military. Ramon Matta Ballesteros, a member of a gang that was involved in the Camarena murder, went to Honduras and found refuge there. He was walking the streets of Tegulcigalpa openly and publicly. The response of the United States government was to close the DEA office in Honduras and move the agent stationed there to Guatemala. We took testimony from that DEA agent. He said it made no sense. The drug trafficking was going on in Honduras, and the Honduran military were at the center of it.

    When the war ended, almost the minute the war ended, to our credit, the administration arranged the midnight extradition of Mr. Matta Ballesteros, who is currently serving a life term in American prisons. The response of the Honduran military was to allow a mob to burn down a portion of the U.S. facilities in Tegulcigalpa.

    But we sat by, as long as they were helping us, and allowed them to carry on their illegal business." (Jack Blum in testimony before Sen. Arlen Specter)




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    Analyses:

    This author's overview of modern narco-colonialism.

    Another analysis concludes that the cumulative effect of protecting the Bolivian and Contra cocaine pipelines essentially kick-started the crack-cocaine epidemic of the early 1980's.

    Jack Blum was the lead investigator into the Iran-Contra affair; he delved substantially into the bizarre quagmire of covert operations during the 1980's investigations. In 1996, Mr. Blum provided a prepared statement as well as testified before a Senate subcomittee investigating CIA complicity with Contra drug trafficking. Both transcripts are quite revealing for what they do say and what they don't say.

    During the Vietnam War, Alfred McCoy went right were the action was, into the midst of a covert war where controlling the opium fields was part of the CIA's covert war strategy.



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    Patterns of complicity:

    The pattern of U.S. narco-colonial complicity and/or protection of drug running rackets went beyond the CIA and included the Department of Justice. The patterns also continue, with notable examples from Burma, Peru and Venezuela, in addition to a continuation of playing underground games in Colombia and Central America.

    Burma (Myanmar): The CIA leaves tell-tale signs of its activities.

    MOGE is a joint oil drilling venture of the narco-militarist regime and Unocal. There are allegations that MOGE is being used by the fascist regime to launder their narco-profits. This has resulted in a major share-holder's lawsuit to unveil the truth.

    In the fall of 1995 and later, in 1996, Richard Horn, a DEA agent, filed two separate lawsuits against top former State Dept. and CIA officers based in Burma, contending that they acted to thwart his antidrug mission in the Southeast Asian nation.

    In addition to his evidence that the CIA had thwarted DEA anti-drug efforts in Burma, Horn alleges that he was lied to, electronically surveilled, and finally kicked out of Burma - not by the narco-fascist Burmese government but by U.S. officials who explained that his anti-drug campaign should be sacrificed in in favor of other diplomatic objectives. (see also http://www.TheNation.com/issue/961216/1216bern.htm)

    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/burma01.html
    "...But for reasons that remain unclear, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department had other ideas. D.E.A. Sensitive e-mails state that former C.I.A. chief of station Arthur Brown "destroyed this project in one swift move." According to the e-mails, Brown delivered an early version of the Wa proposal -- signed by Lu -- to SLORC military intelligence officer Col. Kyaw Thein. When Thein threatened to pick up Lu once more and teach him a lesson in respect, Horn was able to intervene temporarily. In Horn's view, the C.I.A. destroyed a unique opportunity for a dramatic drug eradication program in the poppy fields of the world's biggest heroin producer. (Horn, now a D.E.A. group supervisor in New Orleans, is suing the C.I.A., claiming it illegally surveilled his residence in Rangoon to gain information about his plans, which the C.I.A. went on to foil.) ... In September 1993, Horn was forced out of the country by the State Department under pressure from the C.I.A..."

    Int'l Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions Update: Burma/USA: Unocal Shareholder Can Go Ahead With Call For Drug Laundering Investigation, SEC Says

    See also:
    A history of the CIA's activities in the golden triangle
    The CIA in Laos: Vietnam-era collusion with a drug trafficking army

    See also these metacrawler queries, which will deliver a rich set of further links:
    burma + CIA + DEA + lawsuit
    burma+opium+MOGE+Unocal
    Unocal+MOGE+SEC+Union
    Geopolitical+Drugwatch+Paris

    Venezuela and 22 tons of cocaine: The CIA bungles an ostensibly legitimate anti-drug operation.

    From 1987 to 1991, a team of CIA agents officially collaborated with a Venezuelan general to import nearly 22 tons (20,000 kilo's) of cocaine, over the objections of the DEA! Nearly all of the cocaine made its way onto the streets without interdiction. This incident was, at the time, officially dismissed as an "aberration" resulting from poor decision making by a CIA agent. AAt the same time a CIA director was issuing blanket denials of CIA involvement in cocaine trafficking, this story was making breaking 1996 headlines as a Miami Grand Jury was hearing evidence in the case.

    The CIA and Venezuelan military had placed a spy in the ranks of a Colombian drug cartel and had attempted winning the confidence of drug lords by handling shipments ultimately totaling 22 tons.

    All this was done under the aegis of the CIA's Venezuelan counter-narcotics force. Whether the debacle had in its basis a legitimate anti-narcotics purpose, it does reveal a great deal in the way the Agency typically applies its craft. There's a very telling comment in the New York Times article: "..[s]uch programs fall under the banner of 'liaison relationships' with foreign intelligence agencies, and rarely if ever does the C.I.A. willingly report on these relationships to Congress."

    see:
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/venezuela01.html
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/venezuela02.html
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/venezuela03.html
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/venezuela04.html
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/venezuela05.html
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/venezuela06.html
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/venezuela07.html


    Peru's Cocaine "Rasputin:"

    Peru has become a classic Latin "Narcocracy." The CIA, as usual, is plying the local political terrain for whatever leverage it can acquire, leading to the CIA keeping a known narco-militarist on the CIA payroll. Here we see Clinton's DEA chief (Drug Enforcement Agency within the U.S. Dept. of Justice) turning a blind eye towards the drug-running activities of a CIA asset:

    The whole story:
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/peru01.html
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/peru02.html
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/peru03.html
    http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/peru04.html

    [Peru's 115,300 hectares of coca estimated by the USG annual crop survey in 1995 is nearly 60 percent of the world total, and provides raw material for about 80 percent of all cocaine consumed in the U.S. This is an increase of 6% over the 1994 coca cultivation estimate. (UNITED STATES STATE DEPARTMENT NARCOTICS REPORT)

    Peru has been mainly an exporter of semifinished raw material (cocaine base) for processing in Colombia, but in 1995 there was evidence of more processing of cocaine hydrochloride in Peru for export to Mexico or other destinations, bypassing the historical Colombia connection.]

    Guatamala:

    Guatamala's emergence as a CIA-protected narcocracy pales in comparison to its long history of state violence and slow genocide of AmerIndian peasants. For the entirety of the 20th century, murderous regimes have been installed and supported by the U.S.A. Early in the 20th century, the U.S. Army made regular visits to Guatamala to put down populist rebellions. In the 1950's the U.S. Army invaded Guatamala to render a plantation state suitable for United Fruit Corp. While no U.S. invasion has ocurred since then, the US Army and CIA have been very active in training and supporting the narco-fascist military.

    Guatamalan death-squad leader on CIA payroll also trafficking

    But more fundamental to the problem is the structural dependence of Guatamala's economy upon narco-dollars, without which the small republic would find itself destabilized and a poor environment for foriegn corporations to operate their agricultural plantations.

    Guatamala's Coca-dollars & Government-sponsored death squads

    The CIA in Laos: Vietnam-era collusion with an opium-growing tribal army:

    The CIA has a history of owning up to its collusion with drug traffickers. This synopsis explains the contents of a 1972 CIA Inspector General's report. The report defended the CIA's acquiescence to the opium trafficking of the CIA-backed Hmong irregular army. Prof. Alfred McCoy went where the action was, and documented the CIA's role in heroin smuggling first hand.

    Most notable is the fact that the CIA's Vietnam-era proprietary airline "Air America" was used to actually transport raw opium. Yes, the CIA actually smuggled drugs. The CIA wasn't transporting the finished product (heroin), rather the CIA operatives were moving raw opium as part of supporting the Hmong irregular army. In order for the Hmong to continue to fight, the CIA saw to it that their raw opium arrived at the next trans-shipment point.

    The comic movie, "Air America" documents this, with information used from the first edition of the book by the same name (later editions of the book are missing the documentary evidence, including the testimony of former Air America pilots).

    A few of the principals prosecuted in the Iran-Contra affair, notably John Singlaub and Richard Secord, were also involved in the CIA's covert war in Laos. Secord was a commander in Air America.

    See also:
    A history of the CIA's activities in the golden triangle

    Mexico: Follow the Money & the Mexican Trade Surplus

    Again, going beyond simple corruption is a structural dependance upon narco-profits. Mexico's oligarchy, military and secret services are all corrupted by narco-profits, creating a situation whereby Mexico is both doomed to suffer the fate of a narcocracy as well as a kleptocracy.

    The CIA maintains the largest overseas station outside the United States in Mexico City, as does the FBI and DEA. The drug smuggling Mexican army, police, and high level politicians have been on the CIA payroll for more than 30 years. More than 90 percent of all illegal drugs transit though Mexico to the United States. The DEA estimates that illegal drugs amount to a $30 billion dollar trade surplus to Mexico with the United States.

    Mexico's external debt of more than $150 billion dollars, owed mostly to huge US money center banks such as Citibank, requires approximately $14 billion dollars a year to service the interest. In 1998, Citibank was found guilty of failing to report suspiciously large transactions, laundering millions of dollars for the Salinas brothers and Mexican cartels.

    The Mexican flow of narco-dollars only deferred the ultimate fate that Mexico's external debt would rapidly go into default and the nation functionally became insolvent. After the passage of NAFTA, Mexico essentially defaulted, its currency worthless and its treasury looted by PRI politicans. Under Pres. Bill Clinton's direction, the U.S. Treasury bolstered Mexico's currency to the tune of $130 billion dollars.

    As usual, there are narco-facilitators who, unsurprisingly, find friends in the CIA. Attempts by Mexican journalists to unravel the Mexican oligarchy's structural dependence upon narco-colonial tactics and functional basis as a narcocracy, in addition to the usual web of government corruption and collusion with drug traffickers, have met with tragedy. Just like DEA agents who have penetrated into the higher government ranks of the narco-profits food-chain, journalists who start publicly exposing this perverted and corrupt system are murdered.

    A group of U.S. Congressmen submitted this documentary history of CIA collusion with drug traffickers into the Congressional Record.


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    Links:


    Gary Webb's Dark Alliance website:
    http://www.shineon.org/garywebb/

    http://www.parascope.com/mx/articles/garywebb/garyWebbSpeaks.htm



    Prof. Peter Dale Scott
    http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~pdscott/index.html


    Cocaine Importation Agency (exhaustive):
    http://speech.csun.edu/ben/news/cia/main.html


    We The People:
    http://www.wtp.org/
    http://www.anaserve.com/~wethepeople/


    Crack the CIA Coalition:
    http://www.radio4all.org/crackcia/


    Michael Levine's pages:
    http://www.radio4all.org/expert
    http://www.shineon.org/levine/index.html

    Disinformation
    http://www.disinfo.com
    disinfo.com's "US Gov't Drug Running Capers" page



    Michael Rupert's home page:
    http://www.copvcia.com
    http://www.copvcia.com/Links.htm


    Consortium News:
    http://www.consortiumnews.com
    http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/crack.html


    The Duplicity of the War on Drugs:
    http://www.magnet.ch/serendipity/wod/dupl_con.html
    Serendipity CIA-Drugs Home Page:
    http://www.magnet.ch/serendipity/cia.html


    Defrauding America:
    http://www.copi.com/defrauding_america/default.htm
    http://www.copi.com/defrauding_america/chp_18.htm


    Drugs & the CIA:
    http://www.netti.fi/~makako/mind/cia_drug.txt


    Chapter 5 of Book: Intelligence Operations since World War II
    The CIA: Cocaine Importing Agency
    http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/jphuck/BOOK3Ch5.html

    Other links:
    Pink Noise Studios
    Common Sense Almanac
    Terry Pascher's homepage:
    http://gozips.uakron.edu/~pascher/


    READING LIST ON INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES & POLITICAL REPRESSION: http://noel.pd.org/topos/perforations/perf2/reading_list.html

    Government Manipulation and Distortion of History, Part II, Louis Wolf: http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/sixties/
    HTML_docs/Texts/Scholarly/Wolf_Distortion_02.html


    The African American Center For Social Justice
    3870 Crenshaw Blvd.,
    Suite 370 Los Angeles, CA 90008


    Parascope's page on CIA-Drugs

    COINTELPRO: Internal Pogroms & psy-war tactics used against the U.S. populace by its own government

    Top Intro DEA Agents Contras Analysis Patterns Links Books Home

    Recommended Books:

    Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall (1991);

    The Politics of Heroin (originally published in 1972 as The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, and reissued in greatly revised and expanded format in 1991) -- by Alfred McCoy ;

    The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic, by former top DEA agent Michael Levine (1993);

    Powderburns - Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War, by former DEA agent Celerino "Cele" Castillo III ;

    The Great Heroin Coup - Drugs, Intelligence, & International Fascism, Henrik Krueger, translated from the original German by Jerry Meldon, foreword by Peter Dale Scott, South End Press, Box 68 Astor Station, Boston MA 02123, Copyright (c) 1980 ;

    The CIA, a forgotten history, by William Blum, Zed Books Ltd, London, Copyright (c) 1986 ;

    Deep Cover: The Inside Story of How DEA Infighting, Incompetence, and Subterfuge Lost Us the Biggest Battle of the Drug War, by former top DEA agent Michael Levine, New York: Delacorte Press, 1990.

    "C.I.A.: Cocaine In America?" by Former CIA agent -- by Ken Bucchi, Shapolsky Publishers ;

    The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence, & International Fascism, by Danish journalist Henrik Kruger (1980);

    The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA, by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Kwitny (1987);

    Inside The Shadow Government, by The Christic Institute, The Christic Institute, Washington D.C., Copyright (c) 1988 ;

    Out Of Control - The Story of the Reagan Administration's Secret War in Nicaragua, the Illegal Arms Pipeline, and the Contra Drug Connection, by Leslie Cockburn, Atlantic Monthley Press, New York, Copyright (c) 1987 ( So far this book has only been published this one time. This story is the result of Cockburn's investigations for CBS news and parts also show up in her Public Broadcast System special: "Drugs, Guns, and the CIA") ;

    "The Culture of Terrorism." Noam Chomsky, 1978, South End Press. A brilliant polemic which argues that behind Iran-Contragate is a
    relentless drive for world power by the U.S. government.

    "Packaging the Contras: A Case of CIA Disinformation." Edgar Chamorro, 1987, Institute for Media Analysis. ($5.00 +1.00 S/H to 145 W. 4th St., N.Y., N.Y. 10012) A former Contra leader reveals how the CIA created the image of the Contras as the "democratic alternative."

    "Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement." Ward Churchill & Jim Vander Wall, 1988, South End Press. A chilling account of the murderous tactics used aginst non-white political activists. 500 pages and an extensive index and footnotes.

    "COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States." Ward Churchill & Jim Vander Wall, 1989, South End Press. Actual FBI documents and commentary make a strong case for convincing skeptics. Replaces the "Counter-intelligence" book previously issued by the NLG.

    "COINTELPRO: The FBI's Secret War on Political Freedom." Nelson Blackstock, 1976, Vintage Books. The FBI's campaign to infiltrate and disrupt the Socialist Workers Party; good overview of the other Bureau investigations of additional left organizations.

    October Surprise, by Barbara Honegger, Tudor Publishing Co., New York and Los Angeles Copyright (c) 1989

    "In Search of Enemies." John Stockwell, 1978, W.W. Norton. The former head of the CIA's Angolan Task Force criticizes the Agency's role in the country.

    "Blowback: The First Full Account of America's Recruitment of Nazis, and its Disastrous Effect on Our Domestic and Foreign Policy."
    Christopher Simpson, 1988, Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The title says it all.

    "Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Reagan Administration: The Role of Domestic Fascist Networks in the Republican Party and their Effect on U.S. Cold War Politics." Russ Bellant, 1988, Political Research Associates. What the Blowback crowd did with their spare time after the OSS/CIA recruited them to the U.S. $6.50 from Political Research Associates, Suite 205, 678 Mass. Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139.

    "Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League." Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, 1986, Dodd, Mead. Traces role of anti-Semites and neo-Nazis sheltered by CIA in private covert action and propaganda wars around the world and how they network through WACL.

    "Labyrinth" Taylor Branch and Eugene M. Propper, 1983, Penguin. The story of the search for the assassins of Orlando Letelier.

    "Secret Agenda, Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA." Jim Hougan, 1984, Random House. One of many books exploring the CIA's role in Watergate.

    "Search for the Manchurian Candidate." John P. Marks, 1979, Quadrangle Press. The history of the CIA's drug and behavior control programs.

    "Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD and the Sixties Rebellion." Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain, 1985, Grove Press. The CIA thought LSD would revolutionize the spy trade...nobody's perfect.

    "The Mind Manipulators." Alan W. Scheflin and Edward M. Opton, Jr., 1978, Paddington Press, distributed by Grosset & Dunlap. Reviews behavior modification experiments by the CIA and the Army.

    "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" Peter Matthiessen, 1983, Viking Press. The story of how the FBI targeted the American Indian Movement.

    "Voices from Wounded Knee." Told by the participants and residents of Wounded Knee. 1976, Akwesasne Notes (a Native American newspaper published from the Mohawk Nation, Rooseveltown, New York 13683). An account of the occupation at Wounded Knee, with some details on FBI presence on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

    "It Did Happen Here: Recollections of Political Repression in America." Bud Schultz and Ruth Schultz, 1989, University of California Press. With their own words, victims of political repression in the U.S. discuss their lives and their battles. A powerful indictment of the
    myth of equal justice under law in the U.S.

    "Liberty Under Siege: American Politics 1976-1988" Walter Karp, 1988, Henry Holt & Co. Reviewing this book, Bill Moyers quipped it was "like a cold shower on the morning after. Here, finally, is a reveille for reality, a call to stop this long intoxication with illusion and look at what has been happening to our republic."




    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    http://www.parascope.com/mx/articles/garywebb/garyWebbSpeaks.htm



    Gary Webb Speaks: A ParaScope Special Report
    Investigative journalist Gary Webb speaks to a packed house on the CIA's connection to drug trafficking, and the failure of the media to expose the truth.

    by Charles Overbeck
    Matrix Editor
    easterisle@aol.com

    When the Nicaraguan contras began to covertly fund their war against the Sandanistas by selling drugs and guns to California street gangs, the Central Intelligence Agency turned a blind eye. While black neighborhoods were being ravaged by the crack cocaine plague, CIA operatives actively participated in this devastating drug explosion, protected from prosecution by a secret agreement between the Department of Justice and the CIA. The bastards knew it was happening, and they did nothing to stop it. Once again, human rights and human life took a back seat to "national security" considerations.

    Nevertheless, thanks to investigative journalists like Bob Parry and Gary Webb, the story got out. When Webb's "Dark Alliance" series was released on the Internet by the San Jose Mercury News, the scandal ripped across USENET and the Web like a wildfire. Yet three years later, we're still fighting to get all the answers from a government that would prefer to flush the whole matter as quickly as possible.

    On January 16, 1999, Webb spoke to a packed house at the First United Methodist Church in Eugene, Oregon. Approximately 300 people listened with rapt attention as Webb recounted his investigation of the CIA's connections to contra drug trafficking. Webb's presentation was followed by an intense question-and-answer session, during which he candidly answered questions about the "Dark Alliance" controversy, his departure from the San Jose Mercury News, and CIA/contra/crack secrets that still await revelation.

    It was a fascinating exchange packed with detailed information on this developing case. Webb spoke eloquently, with the ease and confidence of an investigator who has spent many long hours researching his subject, and many more hours working to share this information with the public. ParaScope operatives were fortunate to be in attendance, and we've prepared the following roundup for those who haven't had an opportunity yet to hear Webb speak.

    Links to .WAV-format sound clips are inserted below adjacent to their corresponding text. Click the 11-kHz version for optimal clarity; click the 5-kHz version if you're on a slow connection.



    photo series
    Transcript: Gary Webb Speaks on CIA Connections to Contra Drug Trafficking (and Related Topics)

    Date: January 16, 1999
    Time: 7:30 p.m.
    Location: First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St., Eugene, Oregon
    Sponsored By: Eugene Media Action; Eugene PeaceWorks; Hungry Head Books; The Committee in Solidarity With Central American Peoples; Support Coalition International.


    Gary Webb: I look like an idiot up here with all these mikes, the CIA agents are probably behind one or the other... [laughter from the audience]. It's really nice to be in Eugene -- I've been in Madison, Wisconsin talking about this, I've been in Berkeley, I've been in Santa Monica, and these are sort of like islands of sanity in this world today, so it's great to be on one of those islands.

    One of the things that is weird about this whole thing, though, is that I've been a daily news reporter for about twenty years, and I've done probably a thousand interviews with people, and the strangest thing is being on the other side of the table now and having reporters ask me questions. One of them asked me about a week ago -- I was on a radio show -- and the host asked me, "Why did you get into newspaper reporting, of all the media? Why did you pick newspapers?" And I really had to admit that I was stumped. Because I thought about it -- I'd been doing newspaper reporting since I was fourteen or fifteen years old -- and I really didn't have an answer.

    So I went back to my clip books -- you know, most reporters keep all their old clips -- and I started digging around trying to figure out if there was one story that I had written that had really tipped the balance. And I found it. And I wanted to tell you this story, because it sort of fits into the theme that we're going to talk about tonight.

    I think I was fifteen, I was working for my high school paper, and I was writing editorials. This sounds silly now that I think about it, but I had written an editorial against the drill team that we had for the high school games, for the football games. This was '71 or '72, at the height of the protests against the Vietnam War, and I was in school then in suburban Indianapolis -- Dan Quayle country. So, you get the idea of the flavor of the school system. They thought it was a cool idea to dress women up in military uniforms and send them out there to twirl rifles and battle flags at halftime. And I thought this was sort of outrageous, and I wrote an editorial saying I thought it was one of the silliest things I'd ever seen. And my newspaper advisor called me the next day and said, "Gosh, that editorial you wrote has really prompted a response." And I said, "Great, that's the idea, isn't it?" And she said, "Well, it's not so great, they want you to apologize for it." [Laughter from the audience.]

    I said, "Apologize for what?" And she said, "Well, the girls were very offended." And I said, "Well, I'm not apologizing because they don't want my opinion. You'll have to come up with a better reason than that." And they said, "Well, if you don't apologize, we're not going to let you in Quill & Scroll," which is the high school journalism society. And I said, "Well, I don't want to be in that organization if I have to apologize to get into it." [More laughter from the audience, scattered applause.]

    Gary Webb photo They were sort of powerless at that point, and they said, "Look, why don't you just come down and the cheerleaders are going to come in, and they want to talk to you and tell you what they think," and I said okay. So I went down to the newspaper office, and there were about fifteen of them sitting around this table, and they all went around one by one telling me what a scumbag I was, and what a terrible guy I was, and how I'd ruined their dates, ruined their complexions, and all sorts of things... [Laughter and groans from the audience.] ...and at that moment, I decided, "Man, this is what I want to do for a living." [Roar of laughter from the audience.] And I wish I could say that it was because I was infused with this sense of the First Amendment, and thinking great thoughts about John Peter Zenger and I.F. Stone... but what I was really thinking was, "Man, this is a great way to meet women!" [More laughter.]

    And that's a true story, but the reason I tell you that is because it's often those kinds of weird motivations and unthinking consequences that lead us to do things, that lead us to events that we have absolutely no concept how they're going to turn out. Little did I know that twenty-five years later, I'd be writing a story about the CIA's wrongdoings because I wanted to meet women by writing editorials about cheerleaders.

    But that's really the way life and that's really the way history works a lot of times. You know, when you think back on your own lives, from the vantage point of time, you can see it. I mean, think back to the decisions you've made in your lifetimes that brought you to where you are tonight, think about how close you came to never meeting your wife or your husband, how easily you could have been doing something else for a living if it hadn't been for a decision that you made or someone made that you had absolutely no control over. And it's really kind of scary when you think about how capricious life is sometimes. That's a theme I try to bring to my book, Dark Alliance, which was about the crack cocaine explosion in the 1980s.



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    So for the record, let me just say this right now. I do not believe -- and I have never believed -- that the crack cocaine explosion was a conscious CIA conspiracy, or anybody's conspiracy, to decimate black America. I've never believed that South Central Los Angeles was targeted by the U.S. government to become the crack capitol of the world. But that isn't to say that the CIA's hands or the U.S. government's hands are clean in this matter. Actually, far from it. After spending three years of my life looking into this, I am more convinced than ever that the U.S. government's responsibility for the drug problems in South Central Los Angeles and other inner cities is greater than I ever wrote in the newspaper.

    But it's important to differentiate between malign intent and gross negligence. And that's an important distinction, because it's what makes premeditated murder different from manslaughter. That said, it doesn't change the fact that you've got a body on the floor, and that's what I want to talk about tonight, the body.

    Many years ago, there was a great series on PBS -- I don't know how many of you are old enough to remember this -- it was called Connections. And it was by a British historian named James Burke. If you don't remember it, it was a marvelous show, very influential on me. And he would take a seemingly inconsequential event in history, and follow it through the ages to see what it spawned as a result. The one show I remember the most clearly was the one he did on how the scarcity of firewood in thirteenth-century Europe led to the development of the steam engine. And you would think, "Well, these things aren't connected at all," and he would show very convincingly that they were.

    In the first chapter of the book on which the series is based, Burke wrote that "History is not, as we are so often led to believe, a matter of great men and lonely geniuses pointing the way to the future from their ivory towers. At some point, every member of society is involved in that process by which innovation and change come about. The key to why things change is the key to everything."


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    What I've attempted to demonstrate in my book was how the collapse of a brutal, pro-American dictatorship in Latin America, combined with a decision by corrupt CIA agents to raise money for a resistance movement by any means necessary, led to he formation of the nation's first major crack market in South Central Los Angeles, which led to the arming and the empowerment of LA's street gangs, which led to the spread of crack to black neighborhoods across the country, and to the passage of racially discriminatory sentencing laws that are locking up thousands of young black men today behind bars for most of their lives.

    But it's not so much a conspiracy as a chain reaction. And that's what my whole book is about, this chain reaction. So let me explain the links in this chain a little better.

    Gary Webb photo The first link is this fellow Anastasio Somoza, who was an American-educated tyrant, one of our buddies naturally, and his family ruled Nicaragua for forty years -- thanks to the Nicaraguan National Guard, which we supplied, armed, and funded, because we thought they were, you know, anti-communists.

    Well, in 1979, the people of Nicaragua got tired of living under this dictatorship, and they rose up and overthrew it. And a lot of Somoza's friends and relatives and business partners came to the United States, because we had been their allies all these years, including two men whose families had been very close to the dictatorship. And these two guys are sort of two of the three main characters in my book -- a fellow named Danilo Blandón, and a fellow named Norwin Meneses.

    They came to the United States in 1979, along with a flood of other Nicaraguan immigrants, most of them middle-class people, most of them former bankers, former insurance salesmen -- sort of a capitalist exodus from Nicaragua. And they got involved when they got here, and they decided they were going to take the country back, they didn't like the fact that they'd been forced out of their country. So they formed these resistance organizations here in the United States, and they began plotting how they were going to kick the Sandanistas out.



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    At this point in time, Jimmy Carter was president, and Carter wasn't all that interested in helping these folks out. The CIA was, however. And that's where we start getting into this murky world of, you know, who really runs the United States. Is it the president? Is it the bureaucracy? Is it the intelligence community? At different points in time you get different answers. Like today, the idea that Clinton runs the United States is nuts. The idea that Jimmy Carter ran the country is nuts.

    In 1979 and 1980, the CIA secretly began visiting these groups that were setting up here in the United States, supplying them with a little bit of money, and telling them to hold on, wait for a little while, don't give up. And Ronald Reagan came to town. And Reagan had a very different outlook on Central America than Carter did. Reagan saw what happened in Nicaragua not as a populist uprising, as most of the rest of the world did. He saw it as this band of communists down there, there was going to be another Fidel Castro, and he was going to have another Cuba in his backyard. Which fit in very well with the CIA's thinking. So, the CIA under Reagan got it together, and they said, "We're going to help these guys out." They authorized $19 million to fund a covert war to destabilize the government in Nicaragua and help get their old buddies back in power.




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    Soon after the CIA took over this operation, these two drug traffickers, who had come from Nicaragua and settled in California, were called down to Honduras. And they met with a CIA agent named Enrique Bermúdez, who was one of Somoza's military officials, and the man the CIA picked to run this new organization they were forming. And both traffickers had said -- one of them said, the other one wrote, and it's never been contradicted -- that when they met with the CIA agent, he told them, "We need money for this operation. Your guy's job is to go to California and raise money, and not to worry about how you did it. And what he said was -- and I think this had been used to justify just about every crime against humanity that we've known -- "the ends justify the means."

    Gary Webb photo Now, this is a very important link in this chain reaction, because the means they selected was cocaine trafficking, which is sort of what you'd expect when you ask cocaine traffickers to go out and raise money for you. You shouldn't at all be surprised when they go out and sell drugs. Especially when you pick people who are like pioneers of the cocaine trafficking business, which Norwin Meneses certainly was.



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    There was a CIA cable from I believe 1984, which called him the "kingpin of narcotics trafficking" in Central America. He was sort of like the Al Capone of Nicaragua. So after getting these fundraising instructions from this CIA agent, these two men go back to California, and they begin selling cocaine. This time not exclusively for themselves -- this time in furtherance of U.S. foreign policy. And they began selling it in Los Angeles, and they began selling it in San Francisco.

    Sometime in 1982, Danilo Blandón, who had been given the LA market, started selling his cocaine to a young drug dealer named Ricky Ross, who later became known as "Freeway" Rick. In 1994, the LA Times would describe him as the master marketer most responsible for flooding the streets of Los Angeles with cocaine. In 1979, he was nothing. He was nothing before he met these Nicaraguans. He was a high school dropout. He was a kid who wanted to be a tennis star, who was trying to get a tennis scholarship, but he found out that in order to get a scholarship you needed to read and write, and he couldn't. So he drifted out of school and wound up selling stolen car parts, and then he met these Nicaraguans, who had this cheap cocaine that they wanted to unload. And he proved to be very good at that.

    Now, he lived in South Central Los Angeles, which was home to some street gangs known as the Crips and the Bloods. And back in 1981-82, hardly anybody knew who they were. They were mainly neighborhood kids -- they'd beat each other up, they'd steal leather coats, they'd steal cars, but they were really nothing back then. But what they gained through this organization, and what they gained through Ricky Ross, was a built-in distribution network throughout the neighborhood. The Crips and the Bloods were already selling marijuana, they were already selling PCP, so it wasn't much of a stretch for them to sell something new, which is what these Nicaraguans were bringing in, which was cocaine.

    This is where these forces of history come out of nowhere and collide. Right about the time the contras got to South Central Los Angeles, hooked up with "Freeway" Rick, and started selling powder cocaine, the people Rick was selling his powder to started asking him if he knew how to make it into this stuff called "rock" that they were hearing about. This obviously was crack cocaine, and it was already on its way to the United States by then -- it started in Peru in '74 and was working its way upward, and it was bound to get here sooner or later. In 1981 it got to Los Angeles, and people started figuring out how to take this very expensive powdered cocaine and cook it up on the stove and turn it into stuff you could smoke.

    When Ricky went out and he started talking to his customers, and they started asking him how to make this stuff, you know, Rick was a smart guy -- he still is a smart guy -- and he figured, this is something new. This is customer demand. If I want to progress in this business, I better meet this demand. So he started switching from selling powder to making rock himself, and selling it already made. He called this new invention his "Ready Rock." And he told me the scenario, he said it was a situation where he'd go to a guy's house, he would say, "Oh man, I want to get high, I'm on my way to work, I don't have time to go into the kitchen and cook this stuff up. Can't you cook it up for me and just bring it to me already made?" And he said, "Yeah, I can do that." So he started doing it.

    So by the time crack got ahold of South Central, which took a couple of years, Rick had positioned himself on top of the crack market in South Central. And by 1984, crack sales had supplanted marijuana and PCP sales as sources of income for the gangs and drug dealers of South Central. And suddenly these guys had more money than they knew what to do with. Because what happened with crack, it democratized the drug. When you were buying it in powdered form, you were having to lay out a hundred bucks for a gram, or a hundred and fifty bucks for a gram. Now all you needed was ten bucks, or five bucks, or a dollar -- they were selling "dollar rocks" at one point. So anybody who had money and wanted to get high could get some of this stuff. You didn't need to be a middle-class or wealthy drug user anymore.

    Suddenly the market for this very expensive drug expanded geometrically. And now these dealers, who were making a hundred bucks a day on a good day, were now making five or six thousand dollars a day on a good day. And the gangs started setting up franchises -- they started franchising rock houses in South Central, just like McDonald's. And you'd go on the streets, and there'd be five or six rock houses owned by one guy, and five or six rock houses owned by another guy, and suddenly they started making even more money.

    Gary Webb photo And now they've got all this money, and they felt nervous. You get $100,000 or $200,000 in cash in your house, and you start getting kind of antsy about it. So now they wanted weapons to guard their money with, and to guard their rock houses, which other people were starting to knock off. And lo and behold, you had weapons. The contras. They were selling weapons. They were buying weapons. And they started selling weapons to the gangs in Los Angeles. They started selling them AR-15s, they started selling them Uzis, they started selling them Israeli-made pistols with laser sights, just about anything. Because that was part of the process here. They were not just drug dealers, they were taking the drug money and buying weapons with it to send down to Central America with the assistance of a great number of spooky CIA folks, who were getting them [audio glitch -- "across the border"?] and that sort of thing, so they could get weapons in and out of the country. So, not only does South Central suddenly have a drug problem, they have a weapons problem that they never had before. And you started seeing things like drive-by shootings and gang bangers with Uzis.

    By 1985, the LA crack market had become saturated. There was so much dope going into South Central, dope that the CIA, we now know, knew of, and they knew the origins of -- the FBI knew the origins of it; the DEA knew the origins of it; and nobody did anything about it. (We'll get into that in a bit.)

    But what happened was, there were so many people selling crack that the dealers were jostling each other on the corners. And the smaller ones decided, we're going to take this show on the road. So they started going to other cities. They started going to Bakersfield, they started going to Fresno, they started going to San Francisco and Oakland, where they didn't have crack markets, and nobody knew what this stuff was, and they had wide open markets for themselves. And suddenly crack started showing up in city after city after city, and oftentimes it was Crips and Bloods from Los Angeles who were starting these markets. By 1986, it was all up and down the east coast, and by 1989, it was nationwide.

    Today, fortunately, crack use is on a downward trend, but that's something that isn't due to any great progress we've made in the so-called "War on Drugs," it's the natural cycle of things. Drug epidemics generally run from 10 to 15 years. Heroin is now the latest drug on the upswing.

    Now, a lot of people disagreed with this scenario. The New York Times, the LA Times and the Washington Post all came out and said, oh, no, that's not so. They said this couldn't have happened that way, because crack would have happened anyway. Which is true, somewhat. As I pointed out in the first chapter of my book, crack was on its way here. But whether it would have happened the same way, whether it would have happened in South Central, whether it would have happened in Los Angeles at all first, is a very different story. If it had happened in Eugene, Oregon first, it might not have gone anywhere. [Restless shuffling and the sounds of throats being cleared among the audience.] No offense, but you folks aren't exactly trend setters up here when it comes to drug dealers and drug fads. LA is, however. [Soft laughter and murmuring among the audience. Eugene is generally known for at least one drug "trend": a remarkably tolerant, common-sense attitude toward medicinal, industrial and recreational uses of marijuana.]

    You can play "what if" games all you like, but it doesn't change the reality. And the reality is that this CIA-connected drug ring played a very critical role in the early 1980s in opening up South Central to a crack epidemic that was unmatched in its severity and influence anywhere in the U.S.

    One question that I ask people who say, "Oh, I don't believe this," is, okay, tell me this: why did crack appear in black neighborhoods first? Why did crack distribution networks leapfrog from one black neighborhood to other black neighborhoods and bypass white neighborhoods and bypass Hispanic neighborhoods and Asian neighborhoods? Our government and the mainstream media have given us varying explanations for this phenomenon over the years, and they are nice, comforting, general explanations which absolve anyone of any responsibility for why crack is so ethnically specific. One of the reasons we're told is that, well, it's poverty. As if the only poor neighborhoods in this country were black neighborhoods. And we're told it's high teenage unemployment; these kids gotta have jobs. As if the hills and hollows of Appalachia don't have teenage unemployment rates that are ten times higher than inner city Los Angeles. And then we're told that it's loose family structure -- you know, presuming that there are no white single mothers out there trying to raise kids on low-paying jobs or welfare and food stamps. And then we're told, well, it's because crack is so cheap -- because it sells for a lower price in South Central than it sells anywhere else. But twenty bucks is twenty bucks, no matter where you go in the country.

    Gary Webb photo So once you have eliminated these sort of non-sensical explanations, you are left with two theories which are far less comfortable. The first theory -- which is not something I personally subscribe to, but it's out there -- is that there's something about black neighborhoods which causes them to be genetically predisposed to drug trafficking. That's a racist argument that no one in their right mind is advancing publicly, although I tell you, when I was reading a lot of the stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times, they were talking about black Americans being more susceptible to "conspiracy theories" than white Americans, which is why they believe the story more. I think that was sort of the underlying current there. On the other hand, I didn't see any stories about all the white people who think Elvis is alive still, or that Hitler's brain is preserved down in Brazil to await the Fourth Reich... [laughter from the audience] ...which is a particularly white conspiracy theory, I didn't see any stories in the New York Times about that... [Click here for an in-depth examination of coverage by the New York Times, the Washington Post and the LA Times.]

    The other more palatable reason which in my mind comes closer to the truth, is that someone started bringing cheap cocaine into black neighborhoods right at the time when drug users began figuring out how to turn it into crack. And this allowed black drug dealers to get a head start on every other ethnic group in terms of setting up distribution systems and trafficking systems.

    Now, one thing I've learned about the drug business while researching this is that in many ways it is the epitome of capitalism. It is the purest form of capitalism. You have no government regulation, a wide-open market, a buyer's market -- anything goes. But these things don't spring out of the ground fully formed. It's like any business. It takes time to grow them. It takes time to set up networks. So once these distribution networks got set up and established in primarily South Central Los Angeles, primarily black neighborhoods, they spread it along ethnic and cultural lines. You had black dealers from LA going to black neighborhoods in other cities, because they knew people there, they had friends there, and that's why you saw these networks pop up from one black neighborhood to another black neighborhood.

    Now, exactly the same thing happened on the east coast a couple of years later. When crack first appeared on the east coast, it appeared in Caribbean neighborhoods in Miami -- thanks largely to the Jamaicans, who were using their drug profits to fund political gains back home. It was almost the exact opposite of what happened in LA in that the politics were the opposite -- but it was the same phenomenon. And once the Miami market was saturated, they moved to New York, they moved east, and they started bringing crack from the east coast towards the middle of the country.

    So it seems to me that if you're looking for the root of your drug problems in a neighborhood, nothing else matters except the drugs, and where they're coming from, and how they're getting there. And all these other reasons I cited are used as explanations for how crack became popular, but it doesn't explain how the cocaine got there in the first place. And that's where the contras came in.



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    One of the things which these newspapers who dissed my story were saying was, we can't believe that the CIA would know about drug trafficking and let it happen. That this idea that this agency which gets $27 billion a year to tell us what's going on, and which was so intimately involved with the contras they were writing their press releases for them, they wouldn't know about this drug trafficking going on under their noses. But the Times and the Post all uncritically reported their claims that the CIA didn't know what was going on, and that it would never permit its hirelings to do anything like that, as unseemly as drug trafficking. You know, assassinations and bombings and that sort of thing, yeah, they'll admit to right up front, but drug dealing, no, no, they don't do that kind of stuff.

    Unfortunately, though, it was true, and what has happened since my series came out is that the CIA was forced to do an internal review, the DEA and Justice Department were forced to do internal reviews, and these agencies that released these reports, you probably didn't read about them, because they contradicted everything else these other newspapers had been writing for the last couple of years, but let me just read you this one excerpt. This is from a 1987 DEA report. And this is about this drug ring in Los Angeles that I wrote about. In 1987, the DEA sent undercover informants inside this drug operation, and they interviewed one of the principals of this organization, namely Ivan Torres. And this is what he said. He told the informant:



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    "The CIA wants to know about drug trafficking, but only for their own purposes, and not necessarily for the use of law enforcement agencies. Torres told DEA Confidential Informant 1 that CIA representatives are aware of his drug-related activities, and that they don't mind. He said they had gone so far as to encourage cocaine trafficking by members of the contras, because they know it's a good source of income. Some of this money has gone into numbered accounts in Europe and Panama, as does the money that goes to Managua from cocaine trafficking. Torres told the informant about receiving counterintelligence training from the CIA, and had avowed that the CIA looks the other way and in essence allows them to engage in narcotics trafficking."

    Gary Webb photo This is a DEA report that was written in 1987, when this operation was still going on. Another member of this organization who was affiliated with the San Francisco end of it, said that in 1985 -- and this was to the CIA -- "Cabezas claimed that the contra cocaine enterprise operated with the knowledge of, and under the supervision of, the CIA. Cabezas claimed that this drug enterprise was run with the knowledge of CIA agent Ivan Gómez."

    Now, this is one of the stories that I tried to do at the Mercury News was who this man Ivan Gómez was. This was after my original series came out, and after the controversy started. I went back to Central America, and I found this fellow Cabezas and he told me all about Ivan Gómez. And I came back, I corroborated it with three former contra officials. Mercury News wouldn't put it in the newspaper. And they said, "We have no evidence this man even exists."

    Well, the CIA Inspector General's report came out in October, and there was a whole chapter on Ivan Gómez. And the amazing thing was that Ivan Gómez admitted in a CIA- administered polygraph test that he had been engaged in laundering drug money the same month that this man told me he had been engaged in it. CIA knew about it, and what did they do? Nothing. They said okay, go back to work. And they covered it up for fifteen years.



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    So, the one thing that I've learned from this whole experience is, first of all, you can't believe the government -- on anything. And you especially can't believe them when they're talking about important stuff, like this stuff. The other thing is that the media will believe the government before they believe anything.

    This has been the most amazing thing to me. You had a situation where you had another newspaper who reported this information. The major news organizations in this country went to the CIA, they went to the Justice Department, and they said, what about it? And they said, oh, no, it's not true. Take our word for it. And they went back and put it in the newspaper! Now, I try to imagine what would happen had reporters come back to their editors and said, look, I know the CIA is involved in drug trafficking. And I know the FBI knows about it, and I've got a confidential source that's telling me that. Can I write a story about that? What do you think the answer would have been? [Murmurs of "no" from the audience.] Get back down to the obit desk. Start cranking out those sports scores. But, if they go to the government and the government denies something like that, they'll put it in the paper with no corroboration whatsoever.

    And it's only since the government has admitted it that now the media is willing to consider that there might be a story here after all. The New York Times, after the CIA report that came out, ran a story on its front page saying, gosh, the contras were involved in drugs after all, and gosh, the CIA knew about it.

    Gary Webb photo Now you would think -- at least I would think -- that something like that would warrant Congressional investigation. We're spending millions of dollars to find out how many times Bill Clinton had sex with Monica Lewinsky. Why aren't we interested in how much the CIA knew about drug traffic? Who was profiting from this drug traffic? Who else knew about it? And why did it take some guy from a California newspaper by accident stumbling over this stuff ten years later in order for it to be important? I mean, what the hell is going on here? I've been a reporter for almost twenty years. To me, this is a natural story. The CIA is involved in drug trafficking? Let's know about it. Let's find out about it. Let's do something about it. Nobody wants to touch this thing

    (continued)

    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

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    (continued)

    And the other thing that came out just recently, which nobody seems to know about, because it hasn't been reported -- the CIA Inspector General went before Congress in March and testified that yes, they knew about it. They found some documents that indicated that they knew about it, yeah. I was there, and this was funny to watch, because these Congressmen were up there, and they were ready to hear the absolution, right? "We had no evidence that this was going on..." And this guy sort of threw 'em a curve ball and admitted that it had happened.





    graphic
    The DOJ/CIA "Memorandum of Understanding"

    Memo From Attorney General William French Smith to DCI William Casey
    Letter dated February 11, 1982, regarding the DOJ/CIA Memorandum of Understanding.

    Memo From Casey to French
    Letter dated March 2, 1982 -- Memorandum of Understanding regarding "Reporting and Use of Information Concerning Federal Crimes."

    For more info, see related article at Consortium News.

    One of the people said, well geez, what was the CIA's responsibility when they found out about this? What were you guys supposed to do? And the Inspector General sort of looked around nervously, cleared his throat and said, "Well... that's kind of an odd history there." And Norman Dix from Washington, bless his heart, didn't let it go at that. He said, "Explain what you mean by that?" And the Inspector General said, well, we were looking around and we found this document, and according to the document, we didn't have to report this to anybody. And they said, "How come?" And the IG said, we don't know exactly, but there was an agreement made in 1982 between Bill Casey -- a fine American, as we all know [laughter from the audience] -- and William French Smith, who was then the Attorney General of the United States. And they reached an agreement that said if there is drug trafficking involved by CIA agents, we don't have to tell the Justice Department. Honest to God. Honest to God. Actually, this is now a public record, this document. Maxine Waters just got copies of it, she's putting it on the Congressional Record. It is now on the CIA's web site, if you care to journey into that area. If you do, check out the CIA Web Site for Kids, it's great, I love it. [Laugher from the audience.] I kid you not, they've actually got a web page for kids.

    The other thing about this agreement was, this wasn't just like a thirty-day agreement -- this thing stayed in effect from 1982 until 1995. So all these years, these agencies had a gentleman's agreement that if CIA assets or CIA agents were involved in drug trafficking, it did not need to be reported to the Justice Department.



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    So I think that eliminates any questions that drug trafficking by the contras was an accident, or was a matter of just a few rotten apples. I think what this said was that it was anticipated by the Justice Department, it was anticipated by the CIA, and steps were taken to ensure that there was a loophole in the law, so that if it ever became public knowledge, nobody would be prosecuted for it.

    The other thing is, when George Bush pardoned -- remember those Christmas pardons that he handed out when he was on his way out the door a few years ago? The media focused on old Caspar Weinberger, got pardoned, it was terrible. Well, if you looked down the list of names at the other pardons he handed out, there was a guy named Clair George, there was a guy named Al Fiers, there was another guy named Joe Fernández. And these stories sort of brushed them off and said, well, they were CIA officials, we're not going to say much more about it. These were the CIA officials who were responsible for the contra war. These were the men who were running the contra operation. And the text of Bush's pardon not only pardons them for the crimes of Iran-contra, it pardons them for everything. So, now that we know about it, we can't even do anything about it. They all received presidential pardons.

    So where does that leave us? Well, I think it sort of leaves us to rely on the judgment of history. But that is a dangerous step. We didn't know about this stuff two years ago; we know about it now. We've got Congressmen who are no longer willing to believe that CIA agents are "honorable men," as William Colby called them. And we've got approximately a thousand pages of evidence of CIA drug trafficking on the public record finally.

    That said, let me tell you, there are thousands of pages more that we still don't know about. The CIA report that came out in October was originally 600 pages; by the time we got ahold of it, it was only 300 pages.



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    One last thing I want to mention -- Bob Parry, who is a fine investigative reporter, he runs a magazine in Washington called I.F. Magazine, and he's got a great website, check it out -- he did a story about two weeks ago about some of the stuff that was contained in the CIA report that we didn't get to see. And one of the stories he wrote was about how there was a second CIA drug ring in South Central Los Angeles that ran from 1988 to 1991. This was not even the one I wrote about. There was another one there. This was classified.

    Gary Webb photo The interesting thing is, it was run by a CIA agent who had participated in the contra war, and the reason it was classified is because it is under investigation by the CIA. I doubt very seriously that we'll ever hear another word about that.

    But the one thing that we can do, and the one thing that Maxine Waters is trying to do, is force the House Intelligence Committee to hold hearings on this. This is supposed to be the oversight committee of the CIA. They have held one hearing, and after they found out there was this deal that they didn't have to report drug trafficking, they all ran out of the room, they haven't convened since.



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    So if you're interested in pursuing this, the thing I would suggest you do is, call up the House Intelligence Committee in Washington and ask them when we're going to have another CIA/contra/crack hearing. Believe me, it'll drive them crazy. Send them email, just ask them, make sure -- they think everybody's forgotten about this. I mean, if you look around the room tonight, I don't think it's been forgotten. They want us to forget about it. They want us to concentrate on sex crimes, because, yeah, it's titillating. It keeps us occupied. It keeps us diverted. Don't let them do it.

    Thanks very much for your attention, I appreciate it. We'll do questions and answers now for as long as you want.

    [Robust applause.]


    A C T I O N   A L E R T

    Call or write the House Intelligence Committee and tell them
    to hold more CIA/contra/crack hearings IMMEDIATELY!!!

    House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
    H405 Capitol Building, U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, D.C. 20515
    Phone: 202-225-4121           Fax: 202-225-1991


    Committee Members:

    Rep. Porter J. Goss (Committee Chair): porter.goss@mail.house.gov
    Rep. Charles F. Bass: cbass@mail.house.gov
    Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert: rep.boehlert@mail.house.gov
    Rep. Michael N. Castle: delaware@mail.house.gov
    Rep. Jim Gibbons: mail.gibbons@mail.house.gov
    Rep. Jerry Lewis: Phone: (202) 225-5861; Fax: (202) 225-6498
    Rep. Bill McCollum: bill.mccollum@mail.house.gov
    Rep. Bud Shuster: Phone: (202) 225-2431; Fax: (202) 225-2486
    Rep. C. W. Bill Young: Phone: (202) 225-5961; Fax: (202) 225-9764
    Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.: bishop.email@mail.house.gov
    Rep. Norm Dicks: Phone: (202) 225-5916; Fax: (202) 226-1176
    Rep. Julian C. Dixon: Phone: (202) 225-7084; Fax: (202) 225-4091
    Rep. Ike Skelton: ike.skelton@mail.house.gov
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi: sf.nancy@mail.house.gov


    photo series

    Question and Answer Session

    Gary Webb: I've been instructed to repeat the question, so...

    Voice From the Audience: You talked about George Bush pardoning people. Given George Bush's history with the CIA, do you know when he first knew about this, and what he knew?

    Gary Webb: Well, I didn't at the time I wrote the book, I do now. The question was, when did George Bush first know about this? The CIA, in its latest report, said that they had prepared a detailed briefing for the vice president -- I think it was 1985? -- on all these allegations of contra drug trafficking and delivered it to him personally. So, it's hard for George to say he was out of the loop on this one.

    I'll tell you another thing, one of the most amazing things I found in the National Archives was a report that had been written by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa -- I believe it was 1987. They had just busted a Colombian drug trafficker named Allen Rudd, and they were using him as a cooperating witness. Rudd agreed to go undercover and set up other drug traffickers, and they were debriefing him.



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    Now, let me set the stage for you. When you are being debriefed by the federal government for use as an informant, you're not going to go in there and tell them crazy-sounding stories, because they're not going to believe you, they're going to slap you in jail, right? What Rudd told them was, that he was involved in a meeting with Pablo Escobar, who was then the head of the Medellín cartel. They were working out arrangements to set up cocaine shipments into South Florida. He said Escobar started ranting and raving about that damned George Bush, and now he's got that South Florida Drug Task Force set up which has really been making things difficult, and the man's a traitor. And he used to deal with us, but now he wants to be president and thinks that he's double-crossing us. And Rudd said, well, what are you talking about? And Escobar said, we made a deal with that guy, that we were going to ship weapons to the contras, they were in there flying weapons down to Columbia, we were unloading weapons, we were getting them to the contras, and the deal was, we were supposed to get our stuff to the United States without any problems. And that was the deal that we made. And now he double-crossed us.

    So the U.S. Attorney heard this, and he wrote this panicky memo to Washington saying, you know, this man has been very reliable so far, everything he's told us has checked out, and now he's saying that the Vice President of the United States is involved with drug traffickers. We might want to check this out. And it went all the way up -- the funny thing about government documents is, whenever it passes over somebody's desk, they have to initial it. And this thing was like a ladder, it went all the way up and all the way up, and it got up to the head of the Criminal Division at the Justice Department, and he looked at it and said, looks like a job for Lawrence Walsh! And so he sent it over to Walsh, the Iran-contra prosecutor, and he said, here, you take it, you deal with this. And Walsh's office -- I interviewed Walsh, and he said, we didn't have the authority to deal with that. We were looking at Ollie North. So I said, did anybody investigate this? And the answer was, "no." And that thing sat in the National Archives for ten years, nobody ever looked at it.

    Voice From the Audience: Is that in your book?

    Gary Webb: Yeah.

    Voice From the Audience: Thank you.

    Audience Member #1: Well, first of all, I'd like to thank you for pursuing this story, you have a lot of guts to do it.

    [Applause from the audience.]

    Gary Webb: This is what reporters are supposed to do. This is what reporters are supposed to do. I don't think I was doing anything special.

    Audience Member #1: Still, there's not too many guys like you that are doing it.

    Gary Webb: That's true, they've all still got jobs.

    [Laughter, scattered applause.]

    audience member Audience Member #1: I just had a couple of questions, the first one is, I followed the story on the web site, and I thought it was a really great story, it was really well done. And I noticed that the San Jose Mercury News seemed to support you for a while, and then all the sudden that support collapsed. So I was wondering what your relationship is with your editor there, and how that all played out, and when they all pulled out the rug from under you.

    Gary Webb: Well, the support collapsed probably after the LA Times... The Washington [Post] came out first, the New York Times came out second, and the LA Times came out third, and they started getting nervous. There's a phenomenon in the media we all know, it's called "piling on," and they started seeing themselves getting piled on. They sent me back down to Central America two more times to do more reporting and I came back with stories that were even more outrageous than what they printed in the newspaper the first time. And they were faced with a situation of, now we're accusing Oliver North of being involved in drug trafficking. Now we're accusing the Justice Department of being part and parcel to this. Geez, if we get beat up over accusing a couple of CIA agents of being involved in this, what the hell is going to happen now? And they actually said, I had memos saying, you know, if we run these stories, there is going to be a firestorm of criticism.

    So, I think they took the easy way out. The easy way out was not to go ahead and do the story. It was to back off the story. But they had a problem, because the story was true. And it isn't every day that you're confronted with how to take a dive on a true story.

    They spent several months -- honestly, literally, because I was getting these drafts back and forth -- trying to figure out how to say, we don't support this story, even though it's true. And if you go back and you read the editor's column, you'll see that the great difficulty that he had trying to take a dive on this thing. And he ended up talking about "gray areas" that should have been explored a little more and "subtleties" that we should have not brushed over so lightly, without disclosing the fact that the series had originally been four parts and they cut it to three parts, because "nobody reads four part series' anymore." So, that was one reason.

    The other reason was, you know, one of the things you learn very quickly when you get into journalism is that there's safety in numbers. Editors don't like being out there on a limb all by themselves. I remember very clearly going to press conferences, coming back, writing a story, sending it in, and my editor calling up and saying, well gee, this isn't what AP wrote. Or, the Chronicle just ran their story, and that's not what the Chronicle wrote. And I'd say, "Fine. Good." And they said, no, we've got to make it the same, we don't want to be different. We don't want our story to be different from everybody else's.

    And so what they were seeing at the Mercury was, the Big Three newspapers were sitting on one side of the fence, and they were out there by themselves, and that just panicked the hell out of them. So, you have to understand newspaper mentality to understand it a little bit, but it's not too hard to understand cowardice, either. I think a lot of that was that they were just scared as hell to go ahead with the story.

    Audience Member #1: Were they able to look you in the eye, and...

    Gary Webb: No. They didn't, they just did this over the phone. I went to Sacramento.

    Audience Member #1: When did you find out about it, and what did you...

    Gary Webb: Oh, they called me up at home, two months after I turned in my last four stories, and said, we're going to write a column saying, you know, we're not going ahead with this. And that's when I jumped in the car and drove up there and said, what the hell's going on? And I got all these mealy-mouthed answers, you know, geez, gray areas, subtleties, one thing or another... But I said, tell me one thing that's wrong with the story, and nobody could ever point to anything. And today, to this day, nobody has ever said there was a factual error in that story.

    [Inaudible question from the audience.]

    Gary Webb: The question was, the editors are one thing, what about the readers? Um... who cares about the readers? Honestly. The reader's don't run the newspaper.

    [Another inaudible question from the audience regarding letters to the editor and boycotts of the newspaper.]

    Gary Webb: Well, a number of them did, and believe me, the newspaper office was flooded with calls and emails. And the newspaper, to their credit, printed a bunch of them, calling it the most cowardly thing they'd ever seen. But in the long run, the readers, you know, don't run the place. And that's the thing about newspaper markets these days. You folks really don't have any choice! What else are you going to read? And the editors know this.

    When I started in this business, we had two newspapers in town where I worked in Cincinnati. And we were deathly afraid that if we sat on a story for 24 hours, the Cincinnati Inquirer was going to put it in the paper, and we were going to look like dopes. We were going to look like we were covering stuff up, we were going to look like we were protecting somebody. So we were putting stuff in the paper without thinking about it sometimes, but we got it in the paper. Now, we can sit on stuff for months, who's going to find out about it? And even if somebody found out about it, what are they going to do? That's the big danger that everybody has sort of missed. These one-newspaper towns, you've got no choice. You've got no choice. And television? Television's not going to do it. I mean, they're down filming animals at the zoo!

    [Laughter and applause.]

    Audience Member #2: I assume you have talked to John Cummings, the one that wrote Compromised, that book?

    Gary Webb: I talked to Terry Reed, who was the principal author on that, yeah.

    Audience Member #2: Well, that was a well-documented book, and I had just finished reading this when I happened to look down and see the headlines on the Sunday paper. And he stated that Oliver North told him personally that he was a CIA asset that manufactured weapons.

    Gary Webb: Right.

    Audience Member #2: When he discovered that they were importing cocaine, he got out of there. And they chased him with his family across country for two years trying to catch him. But he had said in that book that Oliver North told him that Vice President Bush told Oliver North to dirty Clinton's men with the drug money. Which I assumed was what Whitewater was all about, was finding the laundering and trying to find something on Clinton. Do you know anything about that?

    Gary Webb: Yeah, let me sum up your question. Essentially, you're asking about the goings-on in Mena, Arkansas, because of the drug operations going on at this little air base in Arkansas while Clinton was governor down there. The fellow you referred to, Terry Reed, wrote a book called Compromised which talked about his role in this corporate operation in Mena which was initially designed to train contra pilots -- Reed was a pilot -- and it was also designed after the Boland Amendment went into effect to get weapons parts to the contras, because the CIA couldn't provide them anymore. And as Reed got into this weapons parts business, he discovered that the CIA was shipping cocaine back through these weapons crates that were coming back into the United States. And when he blew the whistle on it, he was sort of sent on this long odyssey of criminal charges being filed against him, etcetera etcetera etcetera. A lot of what Reed wrote is accurate as far as I can tell, and a lot of it was documented.

    There is a House Banking Committee investigation that has been going on now for about three years, looking specifically at Mena, Arkansas, looking specifically at a drug trafficker named Barry Seal, who was one of the biggest cocaine and marijuana importers in the south side of the United States during the 1980s. Seal was also, coincidentally, working for the CIA, and was working for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    I don't know how many of you remember this, but one night Ronnie Reagan got on TV and held up a grainy picture, and said, here's proof that the Sandanistas are dealing drugs. Look, here's Pablo Escobar, and they're all loading cocaine into a plane, and this was taken in Nicaragua. This was the eve of a vote on the contra aid. That photograph was set up by Barry Seal. The plane that was used was Seal's plane, and it was the same plane that was shot down over Nicaragua a couple of years later that Eugene Hasenfus was in, that broke open the whole Iran-contra scandal.

    The Banking Committee is supposed to be coming out with a report in the next couple of months looking at the relationship between Barry Seal, the U.S. government and Clinton's folks. Alex Cockburn has done a number of stories on this company called Park-On Meter down in Russellville, Arkansas, that's hooked up with Clinton's family, hooked up with Hillary's law firm, that sort of thing. To me, that's a story people ought to be looking at. I never thought Whitewater was much of a story, frankly. What I thought the story was about was Clinton's buddy Dan Lasater, the bond broker down there who was a convicted cocaine trafficker. Clinton pardoned him on his way to Washington. Lasater was a major drug trafficker, and Terry Reed's book claims Lasater was part and parcel with this whole thing.

    (continued)


    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    Voice From the Audience: Cockburn's newsletter is called CounterPunch, and he's done a good job of defending you in it.

    Gary Webb: Yeah, Cockburn has also written a book called Whiteout, which is a very interesting look at the history of CIA drug trafficking. Actually, I think it's selling pretty well itself. The New York Times hated it, of course, but what else is new?

    Audience Member #2: Well I just wanted to mention that he states also -- I guess it was Terry Reed who was actually doing the work -- he said Bush was running the whole thing as vice president.

    Gary Webb: I think that George Bush's role in this whole thing is one of the large unexplored areas of it.

    Audience Member #2: Which is why I think Reagan put him in as vice president, because of his position with the CIA.

    Gary Webb: Well, you know, that whole South Florida Drug Task Force was full of CIA operatives. Full of them. This was supposed to be our vanguard in the war against cocaine cartels, and if those Colombians are to be believed, this was the vehicle that we were using to ship arms and allow cocaine into the country, this Drug Task Force. Nobody's looked at that. But there are lots of clues that there's a lot to be dug out.

    Audience Member #3: Thank you, Gary. I lost my feature columnist position at my college paper for writing a satire of Christianity some years ago, and...

    Gary Webb: That'll do it, yeah. [Laughter from the audience.]

    audience member Audience Member #3: And I lost my job twice in the last five years because of my activism in the community, but I got a job [inaudible]. But my question is, I knew someone in the mid-'80s who said that he was in the Navy, and that he had information that the Navy was involved in delivering cocaine to this country. Another kind of bombshell, I'd like to have you comment on it, I saw a video some years ago that said the UFO research that's being done down in the southwest is being funded by drug money and cocaine dealings by the CIA, and that there are 25 top secret levels of government above the Top Secret category, and that there are some levels that even the president doesn't know about. So there's another topic for another book, I just wanted to have you comment...

    Gary Webb: A number of topics for another book. [Laughter from the audience.] I don't know about the UFO research, but I do know you're right that we have very little idea how vast the intelligence community in this country is, or what they're up to. I think there's a great story brewing -- it's called the ECHELON program, and it involves the sharing of eavesdropped emails and cell phone communications, because it is illegal for them to do it in this country. So they've been going to New Zealand and Australia and Canada and having those governments eavesdrop on our conversations and tell us about it. I've read a couple of stories about it in the English press, and I read a couple of stories about it in the Canadian press, but I've seen precious little in the American press. But there's stuff on the Internet that circulates about that, if you're interested in the topic. I think it's called the ECHELON program.

    audience member Audience Member #4: I'm glad you brought up James Burke and his Connections, because there are a lot of connections here. One I didn't hear too much about, and I know you've done a lot of research on, was how computers and high tech was used by the Crips and Bloods early on. I lived in south LA prior to this, knew some of these people, and you're right, they had virtually no education. And to suddenly have an operation that's computer literate, riding out of Bakersfield, Fresno, on north and then east in a very quick period -- I'm still learning the computer, I'm probably as old as you are, or older -- so I'd like to hear something on that. The whole dislocation of south LA that occurred -- the Watts Festival, the whole empowerment of the black community was occurring beginning in the late '60s and into the early '70s and mid-'70s, and then collapses into a sea of flipping demographics, and suddenly by 1990 it is El Salvadoran-dominated. And that's another curious part of this equation as we talk about drugs.

    Gary Webb: Well, that's quite a bevy of things there. As far as the sophistication of the Crips and the Bloods, the one thing that I probably should have mentioned was that when Danilo Blandón went down to South Central to start selling this dope, he had an M.B.A. in marketing. So he knew what he was doing. His job for the Somoza government was setting up wholesale markets for agricultural products. He'd received an M.B.A. thanks to us, actually -- we helped finance him, we helped send him to the University of Bogata to get his M.B.A. so he could go back to Nicaragua, and he actually came to the United States to sell dope to the gangs. So this was a very sophisticated operation.

    One of the money launderers from this group was a macro-economist -- his uncle, Orlando Murillo, was on the Central Bank of Nicaragua. The weapons advisor they had was a guy who'd been a cop for fifteen years. They had another weapons advisor who had been a Navy SEAL. You don't get these kinds of people by putting ads in the paper. This is not a drug ring that just sort of falls together by chance. This is like an all-star game. Which is why I suspect more and more that this thing was set up by a higher authority than a couple of drug dealers.

    audience member Audience Member #5: Hi Gary, I just want to thank you for going against the traffic on this whole deal. I'm in the journalism school up at U. of O., and I'm interested in the story behind the story. I was hoping you could share some anecdotes about the kind of activity that you engaged in to get the story. For example, when you get off a plane in Nicaragua, what do you do? Where do you start? How do you talk to "Freeway" Ricky? How do you go against a government stonewall?

    Gary Webb: The question is, how do you do a story like this, essentially. Well, thing I've always found is, if you go knock on somebody's door, they're a lot less apt to slam it in your face than if you call them up on the telephone. So, the reason I went down to Nicaragua was to go knock on doors. I didn't go down there and just step off a plane -- I found a fellow down in Nicaragua and we hired him as a stringer, a fellow named George Hidell who is a marvelous investigative reporter, he knew all sorts of government officials down there. And I speak no Spanish, which was another handicap. George speaks like four languages. So, you find people like that to help you out.

    With these drug dealers, you know, it's amazing how willing they are to talk. I did a series while I was in Kentucky on organized crime in the coal industry. And it was about this mass of stock swindlers who had looted Wall Street back in the '60s and moved down to Kentucky in the '70s while the coal boom was going on, during the energy shortage. The lesson I learned in that thing -- I thought these guys would never talk to me, I figured they'd be crazy to talk to a reporter about the scams they were pulling. But they were happy to talk about it, they were flattered that you would come to them and say, hey, tell me about what you do. Tell me your greatest knock-off. Those guys would go on forever! So, you know, everybody, no matter what they do, they sort of have pride in their work... [Laughter from the audience.] And, you know, I found that when you appeared interested, they would be happy to tell you.

    The people who lied to me, the people who slammed doors in my face, were the DEA and the FBI. The DEA called me down -- I wrote about this in the book -- they had a meeting, and they were telling me that if I wrote this story, I was going to help drug traffickers bring drugs into the country, and I was going to get DEA agents killed, and this, that and the other thing, all of which was utterly bullshit. So that's the thing -- just ask. There's really no secret to it.

    audience member Audience Member #6: I'd like to ask a couple of questions very quickly. The first one is, if you wouldn't mind being a reference librarian for a moment -- there was the Golden Triangle. I was just wondering if you've ever, in your curiosity about this, touched on that -- the drug rings and the heroin trade out of Southeast Asia. And the second one is about the fellow from the Houston Chronicle, I don't remember his name right off, but you know who I'm talking about, if you could just touch on that a little bit...

    Gary Webb: Yes. The first question was about whether I ever touched on what was going on in the Golden Triangle. Fortunately, I didn't have to -- there's a great book called The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, by Alfred McCoy, which is sort of a classic in CIA drug trafficking lore. I don't think you can get any better than that. That's a great reference in the library, you can go check it out. McCoy was a professor at the University of Wisconsin who went to Laos during the time that the secret war in Laos was going on, and he wrote about how the CIA was flying heroin out on Air America. That's the thing that really surprised me about the reaction to my story was, it's not like I invented this stuff. There's a long, long history of CIA involvement in drug traffic which Cockburn gets into in Whiteout.

    And the second question was about Pete Brewton -- there was a reporter in Houston for the Houston Post named Pete Brewton who did the series -- I think it was '91 or '92 -- on the strange connections between the S&L collapses, particularly in Texas, and CIA agents. And his theory was that a lot of these collapses were not mismanagement, they were intentional. These things were looted, with the idea that a lot of the money was siphoned off to fund covert operations overseas. And Brewton wrote this series, and it was funny, because after all hell broke loose on my story, I called him up, and he said, "Well, I was waiting for this to happen to you." And I said, "Why?" And he said, "I was exactly like you are. I'd been in this business for twenty years, I'd won all sorts of awards, I'd lectured in college journalism courses, and I wrote a series that had these three little letters C-I-A in it. And suddenly I was unreliable, and I couldn't be trusted, and Reed Irvine at Accuracy In Media was writing nasty things about me, and my editor had lost confidence in me, so I quit the business and went to law school."

    Brewton wrote a book called The Mafia, CIA and George Bush. It's hard to find, but it's worth looking up if you can find it. It's all there, it's all documented. See, the difference between his story and my story was, we put ours out on the web, and it got out. Brewton's story is sort of confined to the printed page, and I think the Washington Journalism Review actually wrote a story about, how come nobody's writing about this, nobody's picking up this story. Nobody touched this story, it just sort of died. And the same thing would have happened with my series, had we not had this amazing web page. Thank God we did, or this thing would have just slipped underneath the waves, and nobody would have ever heard about it.

    Audience Member #7: I'm glad you're here. I guess the CIA, there was something I read in the paper a couple of years ago, that said the CIA is actually murdering people, and they admitted it, they don't usually do that.

    Gary Webb: It's a new burst of honesty from the new CIA.

    audience member Audience Member #7: They'll murder us with kindness. In the Chicago police force, there were about 10 officers who were kicked off the police force for doing drugs or selling drugs, and George Bush or something... I heard that he had a buddy who had a lot of money in drug testing equipment, so that's one reason everybody has to pee in a cup now... [Laughter from the audience.] The other thing I found, there was a meth lab close to here, and somebody who wasn't even involved with it, he was paralyzed... And as you know, we have the "Just Say No to Drugs" deal... What do you think we can do to stop us, the People, from being hypnotized once again from all these shenanigans, doing other people injury in terms of these kinds of messages, at the same time they're selling. Because all this money is being spent for all this...

    Gary Webb: I guess the question is, what could you do to keep from being hypnotized by the media message, specifically on the Drug War? Is that what you're talking about?

    Audience Member #7: Yeah, or all the funds... like, there's another thing here with the meth lab, they say we'll kind of turn people in...

    Gary Webb: Oh yeah, the nation of informers.

    Audience Member #7: Yeah.

    Gary Webb: That's something I have to laugh about -- up until I think '75 or '76, probably even later than that, you could go to your doctor and get methamphetamine. I mean, there were housewives by the hundreds of thousands across the United States who were taking it every day to lose weight, and now all the sudden it was the worst thing on the face of the earth. That's one thing I got into in the book, was the sort of crack hysteria in 1986 that prompted all these crazy laws that are still on the books today, and the 100:1 sentencing ratio... I don't know how many of you saw, on PBS a couple of nights back, there was a great show on informants called "Snitch." [Murmurs of recognition from the audience.] Yeah, on Frontline. That was very heartening to see, because I don't think ten years ago that it would have stood a chance in hell of getting on the air.



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    What I'm seeing now is that a lot of people are finally waking up to the idea that this "drug war" has been a fraud since the get-go. My personal opinion is, I think the main purpose of this whole drug war was to sort of erode civil liberties, very slowly and very gradually, and sort of put us down into a police state. [Robust burst of applause from the audience.] And we're pretty close to that. I've got to hand it to them, they've done a good job. We have no Fourth Amendment left anymore, we're all peeing in cups, and we're all doing all sorts of things that our parents probably would have marched in the streets about.

    The solution to that is to read something other than the daily newspaper, and turn off the TV news. I mean, I'm sorry, I hate to say that, but that's mind-rot. You've got to find alternative sources of information. [Robust applause.]

    Voice From the Audience: How can you say that it was all a chain reaction, that it was not done deliberately, and on the other hand say it has at the same time deliberately eroded our rights?

    Gary Webb: Well, the question was, how can I say on one hand it was a chain reaction, and on the other hand say the drug war was set up deliberately to erode our rights. I mean, you're talking about sort of macro versus micro. And I do not give the CIA that much credit, that they could plan these vast conspiracies down through the ages and have them work -- most of them don't.

    What I'm saying is, you have police groups, you have police lobbying groups, you have prison guard groups -- they seize opportunities when they come along. The Drug War has given them a lot of opportunities to say, okay, now let's lengthen prison sentences. Why? Well, because if you keep people in jail longer, you need more prison guards. Let's build more prisons. Why? Well, people get jobs, prison guards get jobs. The police stay in business. We need to fund more of them. We need to give bigger budgets to the correctional facilities. This is all very conscious, but I don't think anybody sat in a room in 1974 and said, okay, by 1995, we're going to have X number of Americans locked up or under parole supervision. I don't think they mind -- you know, I think they like that. But I don't think it was a conscious effort. I think it was just one bad idea, after another bad idea, compounded with a stupid idea, compounded with a really stupid idea. And here we are. So I don't know if that answers your question or not...

    Audience Member #8: To me, the Iran-contra story was one of the most interesting and totally frustrating things. And the more information, the more about it I heard -- we don't know anything about it, I mean, if you look for any official data, they deny everything. And to see Ollie North, the upstanding blue-eyed American, standing there lying through his teeth, and we knew it... [Inaudible comment, "before Congress and the President"?] What galls me is that these people who are guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors are now getting these enormous pensions, and we have to pay for these bums. It sickens me!

    Gary Webb: Right.

    audience member Audience Member #8: And I actually have a question -- this is my question, by the way, I know you have a thousand other questions [laughter from the audience] -- but the one that stays with me, and has always bothered me, was the Christic Institute, and I thought it was fantastic. And they were hit with this enormous lawsuit, and they had to bail out. This needs to be ["rehired"?] because they knew what they were doing, they had all the right answers, and they were run out of office, so to say, in disgrace, because of this lawsuit.

    Gary Webb: The question was about the Christic Institute, and about how the Iran-contra controversy is probably one of the worst scandals. I agree with you, I think the Iran-contra scandal was worse than Watergate, far worse than this nonsense we're doing now. But I'll tell you, I think the press played a very big part in downplaying that scandal. One of the people I interviewed for the book was a woman named Pam Naughton, who was one of the best prosecutors that the Iran-contra committee had. And I asked her, why -- you know, it was also the first scandal that was televised, and I remember watching them at night. I would go to work and I'd set the VCR, and I'd come home at night and I'd watch the hearings. Then I'd pick up the paper the next morning, and it was completely different! And I couldn't figure it out, and this has bothered me all these years.

    So when I got Pam Naughton on the phone, I said, what the hell happened to the press corps in Washington during the Iran-contra scandal? And she said, well, I can tell you what I saw. She said, every day, we would come out at the start of this hearings, and we would lay out a stack of documents -- all the exhibits we were going to introduce -- stuff that she thought was extremely incriminating, front page story after front page story, and they'd sit them on a table. And she said, every day the press corps would come in, and they'd say hi, how're you doing, blah blah blah, and they'd go sit down in the front row and start talking about, you know, did you see the ball game last night, and what they saw on Johnny Carson. And she said one or two reporters would go up and get their stack of documents and go back and write about it, and everybody else sat in the front row, and they would sit and say, okay, what's our story today? And they would all agree what the story was, and they'd go back and write it. Most of them never even looked at the exhibits.

    Gary Webb photo And that's why I say it was the press's fault, because there was so much stuff that came out of those hearings. That used to just drive me crazy, you would never see it in the newspaper. And I don't think it's a conspiracy -- if anything, it's a conspiracy of stupidity and laziness. I talked to Bob Parry about this -- when he was working for Newsweek covering Iran-contra, they weren't even letting him go to the hearings. He had to get transcripts messengered to him at his house secretly, so his editors wouldn't find out he was actually reading the transcripts, because he was writing stories that were so different from everybody else's.

    Bob Parry tells a story of being at a dinner party with Bobby Inman from the CIA, the editor of Newsweek, and all the muckity-mucks -- this was his big introduction into Washington society. And they were sitting at the dinner table in the midst of the Iran-contra thing, talking about everything but Iran-contra. And Bob said he had the bad taste of bringing up the Iran-contra hearing and mentioning one particularly bad aspect of it. And he said, the editor of Newsweek looked at him and said, "You know, Bob, there are just some things that it's better the country just doesn't know about." And all these admirals and generals sitting around the table all nodded their heads in agreement, and they wanted to talk about something else.

    That's the attitude. That's the attitude in Washington. And that's the attitude of the Washington press corps, and nowadays it's even worse than that, because now, if you play the game right, you get a TV show. Now you've got the McLaughlin Group. Now you get your mug on CNN. You know. And that's how they keep them in line. If you're a rabble rouser, and a shit-stirrer, they don't want your type on television. They want the pundits.

    The other question was about the Christic Institute. They had it all figured out. The Christic Institute had this thing figured out. They filed suit in May of 1986, alleging that the Reagan administration, the CIA, this sort of parallel government was going on. Oliver North was involved in it, you had the Bay of Pigs Cubans that were involved in it down in Costa Rica, they had names, they had dates, and they got murdered. And the Reagan administration's line was, they're a bunch of left-wing liberal crazies, this was conspiracy theory. If you want to see what they really thought, go to Oliver North's diaries, which are public -- the National Security Archive has got them -- all he was writing about, after the Christic Institute's suit was filed, was how we've got to shut this thing down, how we have to discredit these witnesses, how we've got to get this guy set up, how we've got to get this guy out of the country... They knew that the Christic Institute was right, and they were deathly afraid that the American public was going to find out about it.

    I am convinced that the judge who was hearing the case was part and parcel to the problem. He threw the case out of court and fined the Christic Institute, I think it was $1.3 million, for even bringing the lawsuit. It was deemed "frivolous litigation." And it finally bankrupted them. And they went away.

    But that's the problem when you try to take on the government in its own arena, and the federal courts are definitely part of its own arena. They make the rules. And in cases like that, you don't stand a chance in hell, it won't happen.

    Voice From the Audience: But if you cannot get the truth in the courts, if you cannot write it in the papers, then what do you do?

    Gary Webb: You do it yourself. You do it yourself. You've got to start rebuilding an information system on your own. And that's what's going on. It's very small, but it's happening. People are talking to each other through newsgroups on the Internet. People are doing Internet newsletters.

    Voice From the Audience: Do you have a website?

    Emcee: Let's use the mike, let's use the mike.

    Gary Webb: The question is, do I have a website. No, I don't, but I'm building one.

    [Inaudible question from the audience.]

    Gary Webb: Well, let's let these people who have been standing in line...

    [Commotion, murmuring. Someone calls out, "Please use the mike."]

    Audience Member #9: When you mentioned prisons a moment ago, I couldn't help but remember that it is America's fastest-growing industry, the "prison industry" -- which is a hell of a phrase unto itself. But it seems that the CIA had people aligned throughout Central America at one point, and El Salvador, with the contras, and in Honduras and Nicaragua, and in Panama, Manuel Noriega...

    Gary Webb: Our "man in Panama," that's right.

    audience member Audience Member #9: Yeah. But something went wrong with him, and he got pinched in public. And I'm interested to know what you think about that.

    Gary Webb: The question is about Manuel Noriega, who was our "man in Panama" for so many years. What happened to Noriega is that -- I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that he was a drug trafficker, because we knew that for years. What it had to do with was what is going to happen at the end of this year, which is when control of the Panama Canal goes over to the Panamanians. If you read the New York Times story that Seymour Hersh wrote back in June of 1986 that exposed Noriega publicly as a drug trafficker and money launderer, there were some very telling phrases in it. All unsourced, naturally, you know -- unattributed comments from high-ranking government officials -- but they talked about how they were nervous that Noriega had become unreliable. And with control of the Panama Canal reverting to the Panamanian government, they were very nervous at the idea of having somebody as "unstable" as Noriega running the country at that point. And I think that was a well-founded fear. You've got a major drug trafficker controlling a major maritime thoroughway. I can see the CIA being nervous about being cut out of the business. [Laughter from the audience.]

    But I think that's what the whole thing with Noriega was about -- they wanted him out of there, because they wanted somebody that they could control a little more closely in power in Panama for when the canal gets reverted back to them.

    Audience Member #9: Was there much of a profit difference between Nicaragua and Panama as far as the drugs went?

    Gary Webb: Well, what Noriega had done was sort of create an international banking center for drug money. That was his part of it. Nicaragua was nothing ever than just a trans-shipment point. Central America was never anything more than a trans-shipment point. Columbia Peru and Bolivia were the producers, and the planes needed a place to refuel, and that's all that Central America ever was. The banking was all done in Panama.

    Audience Member #10: You talk about how they sat on their stories, the newspapers? Why did they suddenly decide to pursue the stories?

    Gary Webb: Which stories are these?

    Audience Member #10: The stories about the crack dealing and the CIA. Why did they suddenly decide that, well, actually...

    Gary Webb: The question was -- correct me if I'm wrong -- the question raised the fact that the other newspapers didn't do anything about this story for a while, and then after I wrote it they came after me. Is that what you're asking?

    Audience Member #10: Well, yeah, and then eventually the CIA admitted it... and I mean, why are people asking, it sat for a long time, and then suddenly everyone was on it. What was the turning point that made them decide to pursue it?

    Gary Webb: The turning point that made them decide to pursue the story was the fact that it had gotten out over the Internet, and people were calling them up saying, why don't you have the story in your newspaper? You know, I don't think the subject matter frightened the major media as much as the fact that a little newspaper in Northern California was able to set the national agenda for once. And people were marching in the streets, people were holding hearings in Washington, they were demanding Congressional hearings, you had John Deutch, the CIA director, go down on that surreal trip down to South Central to convince everyone that everything was okay... [Laughter from the audience.] And all of this was happening without the big media being involved in it at all. And the reason that happened was because we had an outlet -- we had the web. And the people at the Mercury News did a fantastic job on this website.



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    And so, news was marching on without them. There's a professor at the University of Wisconsin who's done a paper on the whole "Dark Alliance" thing, and her thesis is that this story was shut down more because of how it got out than for what it actually said. That it was an attempt by the major media to regain control of the Internet, and to suggest that unless they're the ones who are putting it out, it's unreliable. Which I think you see in a lot of stories. The mainstream press gladly promotes the idea that you can't believe anything you read on the Internet, it's all kooks, it's all conspiracy theorists... And there are, I mean, I admit, there are a lot of them out there, but it's not all false. But the idea that we're being taught is, unless it's got our name on it, you can't believe it. So they can retain control of the means of communication anyway.

    audience member Audience Member #11: You mentioned Iran-contra, which was private foreign policy in defiance of Congress, which means it was a high crime. From there, we get more drugs, we get erosion of civil liberties and the loss of the Fourth Amendment, which you mentioned. And we have to get that back, because without it, we're just commodities to one another. So what I'd like to ask you is, what are you working on now? And do you have your own journalistic chain of reaction? Are you going to be doing something that connects back to this?

    Gary Webb: The question is what am I doing now -- believe it or not, I'm working for the government. [Laughter from the audience.] I work for the California legislature, and I do investigations of state agencies. I just wrote a piece for Esquire magazine which should be out in April on another fabulous DEA program that they're running. Actually, part of it's based here in Oregon, called Operation Pipeline. That story is coming out in April, and Esquire told me they want me to write more stuff for them, they want me to do some investigative reporting for them, so I'll be working for them. And I'm putting together another book proposal, and a couple of other things. I'm not going to work for newspapers any more, I learned my lesson.

    audience member Audience Member #12: A year ago the editor of your newspaper was here to speak, sponsored by the University of Oregon School of Journalism. Before I got up here, I took a casual look around -- I don't know all of the members of the journalism faculty, but I didn't recognize any. We did have a student here who got up and asked a question. That leads to this question: I'd like, if you don't mind, to ask if there is someone from the University of Oregon journalism faculty here, would they mind being acknowledged and raising their hand?

    Gary Webb: All right, there's one back there.

    audience member Audience Member #12: There is one. Okay. [Applause from the audience.] I'm pleased to see it. There is that one person. My point is, I think much of what you've said this evening constitutes an indictment -- and a valid indictment -- of the university journalism programs in this country. [Applause.] Most Americans and I believe -- and I'm interested in your reaction -- that it reinforces that indictment when we see, to that person's credit, that she is the only faculty member from our school of journalism to hear you tonight.

    Gary Webb: I think the general question was about the state of the journalism schools. The one thing journalism schools don't teach, by and large, is investigative reporting. They teach stenography very well. That's why I consider most of journalism today to be stenography. You go to a press conference, you write down the quotes accurately, you come back, you don't provide any context, you don't provide any perspective, because that gets into analysis, and heavens knows, we don't want any analysis in our newspapers.

    But you report things accurately, you report things fairly, and even if it's a lie you put it in the newspaper, and that's considered journalism. I don't consider that journalism, I consider that stenography. And that is the way they teach journalism in school, that's the way I was taught. Unless you go to a very different journalism school from the kinds that most kids go to, that's what you're taught. Now, there are specialized journalism schools, there are master's programs like the Kiplinger Program at Ohio State, that's very good.

    So, I'm not saying that all journalism schools are bad, but they don't teach you to be journalists. They discourage you from doing that, by and large. And I don't think it's the fault of the journalism professors, I just think that's the way things have been taught in this country for so long, that they just do it automatically. I'd be interested in hearing the professor's thoughts about it, but that's sort of the way I look at things. I spent way too many years in journalism school. I kind of got shed of those notions after I got out in the real world.

    [End of transcript.]



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    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

    Registered:
    Posts: 1,154
    Reply with quote  #161 
    http://www.expertwitnessradio.org/

    Michael Levine, called "America´s top undercover cop for 25 years" by 60 Minutes, is the host of THE EXPERT WITNESS RADIO SHOW heard in New York City on 99.5 FM and Los Angeles on 90.7 FM.

    Mike is a veteran of 25 years of covert and deep cover operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration and one of its most highly decorated officers. He is also a world-recognized court-qualified expert witness, trial consultant and lecturer in all matters relating to human intelligence, covert operations, narcotics trafficking, police procedures, RICO and conspiracy investigations and the use of force and has testified as an expert in over 500 civil and criminal trials internationally and domestically.

    As an author, Mike´s books include the New York Times best-seller Deep Cover; national best-seller The Big White Lie; fact-based fiction Triangle of Death and the community anti-drug plan Fight Back.

    He is also a contributor to the Cato Institutes After Prohibition. His biography, Undercover was written by Donald Goddard and published by Times Books in 1988. Most recently his essay Mainstream Media, The Drug War's Shills appears in Into the Buzzsaw, edited by Kristina Borjesson.

    His articles and interviews on the drug war have been published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Esquire, Utne Reader and The Journal of Crime, Law and Social Change, Reason, Spin, Curio, Exxtra and many other newspapers and magazines throughout the US, Europe and South America.

    As a lecturer, he has appeared before government sponsored conferences in Europe and South America, corporate groups such as The World Presidents Organization, educational institutions, as well as law enforcement agencies throughout the world. In 1998, he was invited to address the United Nations conference on Drugs and Minorities. And in 1999 he was invited to speak before the Cato Institute´s conference on Drug Policy.

    Mike has served as consultant and on-air expert for various national television programs in both Spanish and English, including 60 Minutes, Crossfire, MacNeil Lehrer News Hour, Good Morning America, the Crier Report, Twentieth Century, Rivera Live and Contrapunto and Mike Wallace´s Twentieth Century production Losing the Drug War seen on the History Channel.

    Most recently Mike has signed on with Aaron Spelling Productions as a Technical Advisor to a forthcoming television series KINGPIN.




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    How Close Is America´s Armageddon - Part II - Broadcast November 10, 2003
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    Fundraiser - Broadcast October 20, 2003
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    Tosh Plumlee Interview - Part V - Broadcast September 14, 2003
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    (continued)


    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
    0
    maynard

    Registered:
    Posts: 1,154
    Reply with quote  #162 
    (continued)

    Live John Kelley Interview - Broadcast September 08, 2003
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    Special Release: Dirty Cops Part IV - Broadcast September 04, 2003
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    2003-09-03-DirtyCops-PartIII - Broadcast September 03, 2003
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    Special Release: Dirty Cops Part II - Broadcast September 02, 2003
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    Special Release: Dirty Cops Part I - Broadcast September 01, 2003
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    Miquel Rodriguez Bonus No. 1 - Broadcast August 12, 2003
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    Miguel Rodriguez Interview Part I - Broadcast August 11, 2003
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    George The Mooney Bush - Broadcast August 01, 2003
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    The Kill Zone - Broadcast July 21, 2003
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    Abuse Your Illusions Part II - Broadcast July 14, 2003
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    Guest Donald Bains - Broadcast June 02, 2003
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    CIA Mind Control - Part II - Broadcast May 19, 2003
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    Hillary, Please Stop Conning Us! - Broadcast February 10, 2003
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    The New Homeland Security - Broadcast February 03, 2003
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    Interview with Don Henke - Broadcast December 23, 2002
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    Message to Dr. Kissinger - Broadcast December 09, 2002
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    Dennis Dayle Part II - Broadcast November 18, 2002
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    Aukai Collin Interview Part II - Broadcast October 07, 2002
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    Secret History of The FBI - Broadcast July 15, 2002
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    Bay of Camels II - Broadcast July 08, 2002
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    First Warning - Vol I - Broadcast January 01, 2002
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    Older Shows



    Silence Of The Lambs:
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    by Greg Palast
      Here's how the president of the United States was elected: In the months leading up to the November balloting, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, ordered local elections supervisors to purge 64,000 voters from voter lists on the grounds that they were felons who were not entitled to vote in Florida. (READ MORE)
      Listen to The Related Show


    THE PREDICTION - 2003
    Expert Witness Radio Show Premium for
    Special WBAI Fund-Raiser Show
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    by Michael Levine
      On September 4th, 2001, during an Expert Witness Radio show aired at 7:00 p.m., producer Kristina Borjesson uttered the words: "We should not be surprised when they blow up the World Trade Center." One week later that is precisely what happened! (READ MORE)


    THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR - 2002
    How New York Times "Shills" Help Keep Us at 9/11
    by Michael Levine
      On Sunday, September 8, 2002, the New York Times in a front page article entitled "Feeling Secure, U.S. Failed to Grasp bin Laden Threat," by Patrick E. Tyler, did its absolute best to keep America and, by proxy, the rest of the world, as vulnerable to terrorist attacks as we were on September 10th, 2001. (READ MORE)


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    by Michael Levine
      Two months ago, June of 2002, the heads of the FBI and Justice Department proclaimed to America, through every mainstream media loudspeaker that would broadcast their words - which was most of them - that they had just arrested a "high ranking Al Quaeda terrorist" and thwarted a plot to explode a "dirty bomb" in a large American city. The truth was that the entire story was bullshoot and everyone responsible for putting it out did so with the conscious purpose of conning the American people.(READ MORE)


    Real Experts Agree: TIPS Program Will Make America More Vulnerable to Terrorism Than Ever Before
    by Michael Levine
      The Bush administration, in yet another ill-advised reaction to 9/11, is about implement a program to recruit 1 in 24 Americans as "citizen spies." The program, called "TIPS," (Terrorism Information and Prevention System) will result in the US having a higher percentage of citizen informants than the former East Germany. (READ MORE)


    Law Enforcement Experts - The Underused Defense Weapon
    by Michael Levine
      During my 25-year career in Law Enforcement, working for four Federal law enforcement agencies - IRS Intelligence, BATF, Customs and DEA - I never lost a prosecution case. Here´s the "secret" to my success:... (READ MORE)


    Mainstream Media the Drug War Shills
    by Michael Levine
    (unedited draft of essay now in INTO THE BUZZSAW,
    Prometheus Press, edited by Kristina Borjesson)
      Everything you need to know about mainstream media's vital role in perpetuating our nation's three-decade, trillion dollar War on Drugs despite overwhelming evidence that it is a fraud you can learn by watching a Three Card Monty Operation...(READ MORE)


    I Volunteer to Kidnap Ollie North
    by Michael Levine - ©1992
      We Americans have no idea how the image of our great country has suffered throughout the world as a result of our leader´s so-called war on drugs. I just returned from an international drug symposium under the auspices of the OGD... (READ MORE)


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    by Michael Levine
      On April 1, 1992, a House committee chaired by Congressman John Conyers Jr., declared that U.S. Customs and other Federal law enforcement agencies are poorly trained, badly supervised and that there is... (READ MORE)


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    by Michael Levine
      On Saturday, June 8, 1968, I witnessed violent death. It wasn't the first time, it wouldn't be the last. Yet the images of that day festered in my memory for three decades. It wasn´t until recently that I understood why. (READ MORE)


    KING RAT
    by Michael Levine
      "I´m looking for Mike Levine, ex-DEA," said the man´s voice. "How´d you get this number?" I said. It was close to midnight and my wife and I were in a San Francisco hotel on business. (READ MORE)


    The Emperor is Butt Naked!
    by Michael Levine
      "At this moment the next big and terrible secret that our CIA and some of their shills in congress and the media are scrambling to keep under wraps is that for the past eight years, they have been protecting and covering up for yet another world class drug trafficker while he and his family amassed a colossal fortune by flooding American cities with drugs. (READ MORE)



    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

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    Reply with quote  #163 

    August 17, 2005 -- An interesting footnote to WMR's Aug. 16 story (below) on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accusing the DEA of conspiring against him. It turns out that Bush's chief instigator in Caracas, Ambassador William Brownfield, a Texas native, is married to the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador, Kristie Kenney. Ecuador is home to a regional DEA/U.S. military base at Manta, which handles a large part of U.S. counter-narcotics activities in the greater Andean region, including areas along the Colombian-Venezuelan border. Brownfield was Political Adviser for the U.S. Southern Command in Panama during George H. W. Bush's 1989 invasion to overthrow Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega (Operation Just Cause). Kenney is known for grossly interfering in the internal political affairs of Ecuador. Before assuming the Quito post in September 2002, Kenney served since late 2001 as Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. Her husband also served in the State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.

    brownfield.jpg (17981 bytes) kenney.jpg (20874 bytes)

    Bush's dynamic duo in Latin America (Brownfield and Kenney): Chavez has a valid point about a conspiracy against him by phony U.S. drug agents


    August 16, 2005 -- Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is claiming U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in his country are involved in espionage and narcotics trafficking. DEA and U.S. State Department counter-narcotics contracts in Latin America are now being used to recruit mercenaries for Iraq. Chavez is blowing the whistle on a return to the Iran-contra days of U.S. involvement in covert activities, mercenaries, and narcotics and weapons smuggling in Latin America. These activities now involve Iraq. Venezuelan authorities are now investigating the activities of DEA agents attached to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas and their diplomatic immunity has been revoked by the Venezuelan government. Now comes word that Ecuador's Minister of Information Mauricio Gandara has ordered an immediate investigation into the activities of U.S. firm EPI Security and Investigation in recruiting activities at the U.S. counter-narcotics base at Manta, Ecuador. EPI Security has, according to Bogota's El Tiempo and Mexico City's La Jornada, been involved in recruiting 1,000 former Colombian military and police personnel for contract work in occupied Iraq. Many of the former policemen and military members were trained by U.S. Special Forces in Latin America, including by trainers from the infamous School of the Americas (now Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), once based in Panama and now in Fort Benning, Georgia. Three other U.S. mercenary companies are also reportedly active in recruiting at the Manta airbase. They are Dyncorp, Blackwater, and Halliburton. EPI Security, headed by a former US Air Force officer and former Dyncorp official named Jeffrey Shippy, also maintains a representative in Baghdad and an office in Bogota.

    Manta.jpg (1238 bytes)

    U.S. counter-narcotics base at Manta, Ecuador used to recruit mercenaries for Iraq


    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

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    Reply with quote  #164 
    U.S. Agrees With Posada Claim That Extradition to Cuba Would Violate Convention Against Torture
    By Bill Weaver,
    Posted on Mon Aug 29th, 2005 at 11:48:55 PM EST
                            By Bill Weaver and Irasema Coronado

    Luis Posada Carriles appeared in court today to begin making his case for asylum to stay in the United States. . .        

    Luis Posada Carriles appeared in court today to begin making his case for asylum to stay in the United States.  Stronger and more assertive than at his July hearing, he spoke in a voice that revealed his age but barely hid the ferocity that has fueled his life as perhaps the most prolific terrorist in the western hemisphere.  Spittle frequently fell from his mouth, even though he incessantly dabbed his lips with a napkin; the consequence of would-be assassins’ bullets to his face in Guatemala City in 1991.  When the Department of Homeland Security attorneys entered the courtroom, Posada immediately moved over to accommodate their chairs; the gracious host making room at his table for guests.  Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit and wearing headphones for translation purposes, he answered Judge William Abbott’s questions politely, precisely, and firmly.  Abbott asked Posada if his asylum application was a true account of the incidents and information it related.  Posada, clad in a bullet proof vest under his prison issue, answered in a loud voice, "Yes sir, of course."

    Outside, protestors chanted, calling for Posada’s extradition to Cuba or Venezuela and hung pictures of the 73 victims of Cubana Flight 455, blown up on October 6, 1976, by Posada, fellow terrorist Orlando Bosch, and two of Posada’s employees.  Two sisters of Raymond Persaud, a Cubana Airlines bombing victim, begged to be let into the hearing to see the man who had destroyed their brother, but seats were only available to the media.  While the U.S. Government denies any involvement in the Cubana bombing, evidence indicates that the Director of Central Intelligence at the time of the bombing, George H.W. Bush, was aware of the conspiracy and that he did nothing to warn the Cubans.

    While picketers on the street blared their message of remembrance for the slain through microphones, in the courtroom chief government attorney, Gina Garrett-Jackson, announced in an opening statement that the government would not contest Posada’s claim that his extradition to Cuba would violate the Convention Against Torture.  The CAT treaty, among other things, prohibits the extradition or return, or "refouler," of people to countries where it is more likely than not that the extradited person will be subjected to torture.  Ratified by the United States in 1994, and supported with enabling statutes, the Bush Administration, through Garrett-Jackson, was only too glad to publicly imply that Posada’s extradition to Cuba would result in his torture.  This is the same Administration that kidnapped Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, from New York and flew him manacled and gagged to the Middle East to be delivered to the Syrian government for months of torture.  Justified in these acts by an assertion that Arar was an associate of known members of al Qaeda, it nonetheless turned out that Arar had no association whatsoever with terrorists.  In similar disregard for law, Bush has sent suspected terrorists to Uzbekistan, where torture of prisoners is commonplace, and interrogators sometimes boil their captives to death. The Bush Administration has carried out dozens of these "extraordinary renditions," the kidnapping and delivery for torture of persons to third countries, and seems little concerned about the CAT on those occasions.  In this case, however, a known terrorist who has engaged in numerous violent and deadly acts against civilian targets is nevertheless afforded meticulous protection under the CAT, protection that Maher Arar, who was no terrorist at all, was denied.

    Although for naught, Posada came prepared, with witnesses at the ready to explain why CAT would prevent a refouler to Cuba. Posada had friends prepared to testify that his extradition to Cuba would result in his torture by the Castro regime, and Mr. René Cruz, who claimed to have been imprisoned in Cuba from 1962-1979 after capture during the Bay of Pigs invasion, was clearly upset at Posada’s predicament.  He told us that he visited with Posada yesterday and that gaining entry to the facility was "como un circo" [like a circus], and that "Seria una ingratitud del gobierno de los estados unidos" [it would be churlish of the United States to deny Posada asylum] since "El ha estado a la disposición de todos en las fuerzas armadas, el fue oficial del ejercito Americano" [He has been at the disposal of the U.S. armed forces and was an officer in the U.S. Army].  

    With extradition to Cuba predictably off the table, Posada must now convince Judge Abbott that extradition to Venezuela is also a violation of CAT.  But government counsel was decidedly coy on this point.  Addressing the requested extradition of Posada by Venezuela, Ms. Garrett-Jackson carefully chose her words, explaining that the government "reserved" its position concerning the Venezuelan request for extradition until the Departments of State and Justice could be consulted and the testimony and application of Mr. Posada evaluated.  But the tone was quite different from what one would expect in a normal adversarial action, where government attorneys usually strongly reject substantive defense contentions.  In this case, the government opted for badminton over hard ball, which left the distinct impression that recent contretemps with Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, may impact the government’s decision concerning Posada’s extradition.  Cruz scoffed at the idea that Posada could or should be extradited to Venezuela, describing Hugo Chavez as "la primera dama de Cuba" [the first lady of Cuba] and "¿Has visto un enamoramiento como el del Cuba y Venezuela?"  [Have you ever seen such a love affair as the one between Cuba and Venezuela?]

    Still, with little other choice, Posada’s attorneys conceded that he was illegally in the United States and that he was deportable on those grounds, if no other. Judge Abbott then asked if the government had a preference as to where Mr. Posada would be deported, if it ever came to that, and the government admitted that if deportation is made it should be to Venezuela.  

    As we filed out of the courtroom, Posada turned to look at the exiting crowd and flashed an enormous smile, a smile that René Cruz returned and saluted with his right hand. Cruz then looked to us and asked, "A quien se lo van a mandar?"  The answer is probably no one; there is little chance that Bush will send Posada into the hands of the very kinds of people he and his family revile and have fought against for decades; Posada is their employee, their spirit, their friend.

    January 31, 2002
    Granma

    Orlando Bosch’s terrorist curriculum vitae

    • To refresh Otto Reich’s memory

    Few terrorists in history have achieved as high a level of criminal activity as Orlando Bosch.


    September 11, 1980: Murder of Félix García Rodríguez, Cuban diplomat to the United Nations

    In 1968, his fame was so great that, while under arrest for a bazooka attack on a Polish freighter, the city of Miami proclaimed Orlando Bosch Day, in support of that "exemplary" anti-Castro fighter. The pace of the attacks he carried out consisted of a campaign of terror aimed at scaring the Miami community, and raising money for "the cause" – including, of course, the terrorist leader’s bank account.

    Unfortunately, his fellow Miami Cuban Otto Reich, now the White House’s top man in Latin America – who helped Bosch escape from Venezuelan justice and find refuge in the United States – seems to have lost his memory. He declared at a Senate hearing, with apparent candidness, that he was unaware of his friend Orlando Bosch’s terrorist past.

    That declaration notwithstanding, dozens and dozens of terrorist attacks are attributed to Orlando Bosch and the gangs he led. Perhaps this "black list" will refresh the memory of George W. Bush’s close collaborator.

    January 8, 1968: A bomb explodes in a suitcase in Havana

    January 25, 1968: Bombs placed in various commercial establishments in the United States

    February 1, 1968: Mexican Consulate in Miami bombed

    February 2, 1968: Bomb placed in British consul’s house in Miami

    March 12, 1968: Bomb placed in restaurant belonging to Cuban immigrants in the United States

    March 13, 1968: Bomb placed in Chilean Consulate in the United States

    April 2, 1968: Bomb placed in pharmaceutical company in United States

    April 22, 1968: Bomb placed in Mexican Consulate, United States

    April 22, 1968: Bomb placed in Spanish Tourism Office in the United States

    May 5, 1968: British ship Greenwood bombed in the United States

    May 25, 1968: Bomb placed aboard the Japanese ship Aroka Maru in the United States

    June 21, 1968: Bomb placed in Spanish Tourism Office in the United States

    June 23, 1968: Bomb placed in Mexican Tourism Office in the United States

    June 27, 1968: Bomb explodes in the garage of Mexican consul to the United States

    July 4, 1968: Bomb placed in Cuban Consulate in Canada

    July 4, 1968: Bomb placed in Canadian Tourism Office in United States

    July 7, 1968: Bomb placed in Japanese Tourism Office in the United States

    July 11, 1968: Bomb explodes near Cuban Mission to the UN, causing damage to the Yugoslavian mission

    July 11, 1968: Bomb placed aboard the Japanese ship Michagesan Maru in Mexico

    July 14, 1968: Bomb placed in Mexican Tourism Office in the United States

    July 15, 1968: Bomb discovered in a French government office in the United States

    July 16, 1968: Bomb discovered in the Mexican Consulate, United States

    July 17, 1968: Bomb placed in Cuban diplomat’s home in the United States

    July 19, 1968: Bomb placed in French Tourism Office in the United States

    July 19, 1968: Bomb placed in Shell Petroleum Company building in England

    July 19, 1968: Bomb placed in Japanese travel agency in the United States

    July 26, 1968: Bomb placed in Mexican Tourism Office in the United States

    July 31, 1968: Bomb placed in British Consulate in United States

    August 3, 1968: Bomb placed in British bank in the United States

    August 5, 1968: Bomb placed in offices of the Communist Party in the United States

    August 7, 1968: Bomb placed aboard the Bahamas ship Caribbean Venture in the United States

    August 9, 1968: Mexican representatives in the United States bombed

    August 9, 1968: Bomb placed in Mexican consul’s home in Miami

    September 11, 1968: Bomb placed aboard British ship in Mexico

    September 16, 1968: Bomb explodes aboard the Spanish ship Satrustegui in Puerto Rico

    September 16, 1968: Bazooka attack on Polish ship in Miami

    September 17, 1968: Bomb placed aboard Mexican airplane in United States

    September 19, 1968: Bomb placed in home of Mexican consul to the United States

    October 18, 1968: Bomb placed in Canadian travel agency

    October 20, 1968: Gas bomb placed in a theater where a Cuban actress was performing

    October 24, 1968: Attempts to assassinate Cuban ambassador to the UN

    July 26, 1969: Bomb placed in Mexican Tourism Office in the United States

    August 6, 1969: Bomb placed in British-owned Shell Oil offices in the United States

    August 6, 1969: Bomb placed in Air France offices in the United States

    In 1972, Bosch traveled to Chile with his friend Guillermo Novo Sampol and puts himself at the disposal of General Augusto Pinochet’s fascist junta. He subsequently participated in a series of attacks on prominent Chileans in exile.

    In 1974, Bosch created the terrorist organization called Cuban Action, with the support of the Chilean junta and Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza’s secret police.

    January 21, 1974: Bomb placed in Cuban diplomatic office in Canada

    January 21, 1974: Bomb placed in Cuban diplomatic office in Argentina

    January 21, 1974: Bomb placed in Cuban diplomatic office in Peru

    January 21, 1974: Bomb placed in Cuban embassy in Mexico

    February 13, 1974: Bomb placed in Cuban embassy in Madrid

    April 4, 1974: Prensa Latina representatives bombed in Mexico

    October 1, 1974: Bomb placed in Panamanian embassy in Caracas

    October 30, 1974: Bomb placed in Venezuelan-Cuban Friendship Institute in Venezuela

    November 11, 1974: Bomb placed in hotel where Cuban officials were staying in the United States

    March 19, 1974: Assassination of General Carlos Prats, former officer of the Chilean Armed Forces, and his wife, in Argentina

    May 10, 1975: Attempt in Rome to kill Bernardo Leighton, vice president of the Chilean Democratic Party in exile, and his wife

    July 1975: Shots fired on the resident of a Cuban official in the United States

    August 3, 1975: Assassination attempt on Cuban Ambassador Emilio Aragonés, in Argentina

    November 17, 1975: Bomb placed in Venezuelan tourism company, in Venezuela

    November 30, 1975: Bomb placed in USSR commercial office in Mexico

    March 1976: Bosch is arrested by Costa Rican police for suspicion of trying to assassinate exiled Chilean leader Andrés Pascal Allende

    September 21, 1976: Assassination of Orlando Letelier, former Chilean ambassador to the United States, and his secretary Ronnie Moffitt

    In 1976, Bosch founded the Command of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU), most of whose members had worked for the CIA. He ordered another series of attacks.

    June 6, 1976: Bomb placed in Cuban diplomatic mission at the UN

    July 1, 1976: Bomb placed in Cuban-Costa Rican cultural center in Costa Rica

    July 8, 1976: Bomb placed in Cuban mission in Spain

    September 7, 1976: Bomb placed in Cubana de Aviación warehouse in Kingston, Jamaica

    July 10, 1976: Bomb placed in Cubana de Aviación office in Barbados

    July 11, 1976: Bomb placed in Air Panama offices in Colombia

    July 23, 1976: Attempt to kidnap Cuban consul in Mérida, Mexico, resulting in the death of Cuban fishing technician D’Artagnan Díaz Díaz

    September 8, 1976: Kidnapping of two Cuban diplomats in Argentina

    September 9, 1976: Bomb placed in Guyanese embassy in Trinidad and Tobago

    September 18, 1976: Bomb placed in Cubana de Aviación office in Panama

    October 6, 1976: Mid-flight explosion of a Cubana de Aviación passenger plane, causing the deaths of all 73 persons on board

    As a result of the plane bombing, Bosch was arrested in Venezuela and accused of masterminding the horrible crime. Nevertheless, from his cell he continued to dream up and order other attacks, against Venezuelan targets, in order to pressure the Venezuelan justice system to let him go.

    March 30, 1977: Bomb placed in Venezuelan Consulate in Puerto Rico

    August 30, 1977: Bomb placed aboard a Venezuelan airplane in Miami

    December 23, 1977: Bomb placed in Viasa airline office, United States

    December 30, 1977: Bomb placed in Venezuelan Consulate in Puerto Rico

    In 1978, also from his cell, he ordered attacks on Mexican interests, in response to the measures taken by that government following the death of Cuban fishing technician D’Artagnan Díaz Díaz.

    February 7, 1978: Bomb placed in Mexican Consulate in the United States

    February 7, 1978: Bomb placed aboard the Mexican ship Azteca, resulting in two deaths and seven injuries

    Later, still from his cell, he directed and maintained the actions of Omega-7, consisting of a long chain of terrorist attacks.

    September 9, 1978: Bomb placed in Cuban mission at the UN

    October 5, 1978: Bomb placed across from Madison Square Garden, where Cuban boxers were supposed to fight

    October 6, 1978: Bomb placed in offices of Girasol tourism company, belonging to the Socialist Party of Puerto Rico

    October 6, 1978: Bomb placed in offices of Antillana tourism company of Puerto Rico

    October 6, 1978: Bomb placed in offices of the Record Public Service company, owned by a Cuban immigrant in Puerto Rico

    October 23, 1978: Bomb placed in La Prensa newspaper in the United States

    November 18, 1978: Bomb threats made against TWA, due to its flights to Cuba

    December 28, 1978: Bomb placed in office of Varadero Travel in Puerto Rico

    December 29, 1978: Bomb placed in Cuban mission at the UN

    December 29, 1978: Bomb placed in Lincoln Center, New York

    March 26, 1979: Bomb placed in TWA offices at New York’s JFK Airport

    March 26, 1979: Bomb placed in office of Weehawken company of New Jersey, headed by Cuban Eulalio J. Negrín, a member of the Committee of 75, which was negotiating with Cuba

    April 4, 1979: Murder of Carlos Muñoz Varela, member of the Antonio Maceo Brigade and director of Varadero Travel in Puerto Rico

    November 25, 1979: Eulalio J. Negrín murdered

    September 11, 1980: Murder of Félix García Rodríguez, Cuban diplomat to the United Nations

    In 1987, thanks to Otto Reich, Bosch was freed and entered the United States, where he was granted asylum and even a presidential pardon.

    By the start of the 1980s, the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) was in existence, and its leader, Jorge Mas Canosa, directed counterrevolutionary and terrorist attacks.

    Once he took refuge in the United States, Bosch continued advising the most fanatical elements of the Miami mafia. Even within the terrorist gang directed by Luis Posada Carriles that planned to assassinate Fidel Castro in Panama, there are several of the old terrorist’s friends. Gaspar Jiménez Escobedo, Pedro Remón and Guillermo Novo Sampol were guilty of numerous terrorist actions against Cuba and other countries, among them the machine-gunning of Félix García Rodríguez in New York; the killing of Cuban fishing technician D’Artagnan Díaz Díaz by terrorist Gaspar Jiménez Escobedo; and the kidnapping of two diplomats in Argentina.

    What a bad memory Mr. Reich has, after so many years of collaboration with the CIA and the CANF!



    http://www.independence.net/orlandobosch/


    Hypocrisy Rules in Posada Case
    By Bill Weaver,
    Posted on Sat Jun 25th, 2005 at 08:14:16 PM EST
                            George Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and high level staff from various agencies sat around the large oval mahogany table, a gift from Richard Nixon to the United States, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. . .        

    George Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and high level staff from various agencies sat around the large oval mahogany table, a gift from Richard Nixon to the United States, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. They were assessing the recent crises and the effectiveness of the intelligence community and the problems of a prying Congress, civil libertarians, and bad publicity. They especially lamented how outdated legal strictures were impeding the execution of policy. One complained that people do “not understand that intelligence problems must be treated in a special category,” and that present exigent circumstances require relaxing legal standards, for “[i]t has always been the case in history where vital interests are involved,” that the president has the power to take whatever action is necessary to safeguard the country. It is noted, as it has been many times since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, that “Lincoln suspended certain rights [and] we have had emergency laws . . . There are many examples.” Speaking of civil liberties, Bush said “[w]e have gone too far at this business” and Secretary Rumsfeld agreed “entirely with all that has been said” and griped that because of an overly deferent attitude toward civil liberties “[w]e are being forced to give up sensitive information in order to prosecute” terrorists.

    Despite the subject matter and the people involved, this discussion was not a recent one; it occurred on January 13, 1977, during the last National Security Council meeting of President Gerald Ford’s administration. The same players as almost thirty years ago, with the addition of George Junior, are still at it, still working outside of law and diplomacy, still contemptuous of allies and their own citizens. Recent disclosures show an arrogance that is difficult to imagine, with numerous CIA employees violating law with impunity and living lavishly on taxpayer money at the same time.

    Since Operation Northwoods, a stunning plan in the early 1960s that in part proposed for the United States government to carry out terrorist attacks against its own citizens, U.S. intelligence agencies have been seemingly willing to sacrifice countless innocent lives in their blind efforts to oust Cuban leader Fidel Castro and destroy leftist sentiment in Central and South America. There is an unbroken line of allegiance to this position leading directly from George Junior and Senior, Dick Cheney, and Don Rumsfeld back to the 1950s. A few miles away from where this is being written, Luis Posada sits in an immigration detention center. He is the living embodiment of a fifty-year-old misguided policy that was and is willing to sacrifice the innocent for an ideology. Posada’s career is the career of sordid U.S. policy in Latin America, and he is a reminder that the excuses for aggression may change, but the underlying motivations remain the same. Posada was not a renegade or a convenient partner for U.S. policy; he was U.S policy.

           

    William Cooper, the operations manager for the Iran-Contra debacle, listed Posada, under the alias "Ramon," right after "Home," on his "frequently used phone numbers" list. Posada, who was the "support director" for the operation went by the codename "Caretaker," and tellingly, since Posada and his pals had no use for diplomacy, the Department of State was pegged with the codename "Wimp." The "U.S. Government," meaning the executive branch (Ronald Reagan, Ollie North and company), on the other hand was labelled with virility; it was called "Playboy." This attitude, the disdain for diplomacy and the love of violence as a means to change, makes the U.S. shake with hypocrisy and is a betrayal to its citizens. George W. Bush continues the legacy of violence over negotiation, counting on the forgetfulness of nations and people to avoid embarrassments of the past. But Posada has lived long enough to complete the circle of embarrassment and make the U.S. Government face its own past. The U.S. has encouraged terrorism as an expedient substitute for diplomacy and the rule of law. But here in the U.S., in holding Posada captive, we are holding ourselves captive, we are pressed to face the truth of our past . Many people would rather face death than be made to face the truth, and so Posada is stowed away in El Paso, with Bush Junior and Senior, and Cheney and Rumsfeld hoping he will die before reaching sunlight again. El Paso is a good place to lose people; it always has been. Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe says in The High Window, "Nobody came in, nobody called, nothing happened, nobody cared whether I died or went to El Paso." Posada didn't die, but he did go to El Paso, and there are many who hope he never makes it out.



    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

    Registered:
    Posts: 1,154
    Reply with quote  #165 
    Ex-CIA op would be sent to Venezuela if no asylum
                                                   
    Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:24 PM ET11
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
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    EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) - A U.S. immigration judge ruled on Monday that if an asylum-seeking former CIA operative from Cuba is deported, he would be sent to Venezuela -- where he has been charged in connection with the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner -- and not returned to his Communist homeland.

    The decision by U.S. Immigration Judge William Abbott came in advance of a hearing on the asylum application of 77-year-old Luis Posada Carriles, which was expected to last three to five days.

    Posada, who has admitted working against Cuban President Fidel Castro and to a role in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, has been wanted in Venezuela since escaping from prison there in 1985.

    He is accused of plotting the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. The Venezuelan government has asked the United States for his extradition. Posada has denied involvement in the bombing and is seeking asylum in the United States. The U.S. hearing related to his immigration status and did not address the criminal charges he faces in Venezuela.

    The case has placed President George W. Bush's administration in a difficult position as it tries to balance its support among the politically powerful anti-Castro Cuban-American community with its global campaign against terrorism.

    Left-wing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his ally Castro say Posada is a terrorist and accuse Washington of protecting the Cuban exile because of his past with U.S. intelligence agencies.

    Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, head of the 34-member regional body, told Venezuelan state television that Washington should hand Posada over to Venezuela if he took part in the attack that killed 73 people.

    "If they is enough proof against him, then extradition should proceed. He should be extradited to Venezuela to face justice," Insulza said according to state-run ABN news agency.

    Posada was arrested in May in Miami and moved to El Paso, Texas, for detention after he illegally entered the United States on the Texas-Mexico border. His attorneys have not contested that Posada entered the United States illegally.

    Venezuela's demand for his extradition from the United States has strained already tense relations between the world's No. 5 oil exporter and its biggest energy client.

                                                                                                   

                                                    © Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    News


    U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee - Larry E. Craig, Chairman - Jade West, Staff Director
    March 31, 1999
    The Kosovo Liberation Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Group with Terror, Drug Ties?
    From 'Terrorists' to 'Partners'

    On March 24, 1999, NATO initiated air attacks on Yugoslavia (a federation of two republics, Serbia and Montenegro) in order to impose a peace agreement in the Serbian province of Kosovo, which has an ethnic Albanian majority. The Clinton Administration has not formally withdrawn its standing insistence that Belgrade sign the peace agreement, which would entail the deployment in Kosovo of some 28,000 NATO ground troops -- including 4,000 Americans -- to police the settlement. But in recent days the Clinton public line has shifted to a demand that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic halt the offensive he has launched in Kosovo, which has led to a growing humanitarian crisis in the region, before there can be a stop to the bombing campaign.

    One week into the bombing campaign, there is widespread discussion of options for further actions. One option includes forging a closer relationship between the United States and a controversial group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a group which has been cited in unofficial reports for alleged ties to drug cartels and Islamic terrorist organizations. This paper will examine those allegations in the context of the currently unfolding air campaign.

    Results of Week One

    The air assault is a product of a Clinton policy, which for months has been directed toward intervention in Kosovo, in either the form of the use of air power or of the introduction of a peacekeeping ground force -- or of air power followed by a ground force. [For details on the turbulent history of Kosovo and of the direction of Clinton policy leading to the current air campaign, see: RPC's "Senate to Vote Today on Preventing Funding of Military Operations in Kosovo: Airstrikes Likely This Week," 3/23/99; "Bombing, or Ground Troops -- or Both: Clinton Kosovo Intervention Appears Imminent," 2/22/99; and "Bosnia II: The Clinton Administration Sets Course for NATO Intervention in Kosovo," 8/12/98.] Just hours before the first bombs fell, the Senate voted 58 to 41 (with 38 Republicans voting in the negative) to authorize air and missile strikes against Yugoslavia (S. Con. Res. 21). The Senate then approved by voice vote a second resolution expressing support for members of the U.S. Armed Forces engaged in military operations against Yugoslavia (S. Res. 74).

    Prior to the air campaign, the stated goal of Clinton policy, as noted above, was Belgrade's acceptance of the peace agreement signed by the Kosovo Albanian delegation (which included representatives of the KLA) on March 17. Now, more than a week into the air campaign, that goal appears even more elusive as the NATO attack has rallied Serbian resistance to what they see as an unjustified foreign aggression.

    Since the NATO bombing campaign began, Serbian security forces also have intensified an offensive in Kosovo that began as the airstrikes appeared inevitable. According to numerous media reports, tens of thousands of Albanians are fleeing the Serb army, and police forces and paramilitary groups that, based on credible allegations, are committing widespread atrocities, including summary executions, burnings of Albanian villages, and assassination of human rights activists and community leaders. Allied officials have denounced the apparently deliberate forced exodus of Albanian civilians as ethnic cleansing and even genocide. But according to some refugee accounts, the NATO bombing is also a factor in the exodus: "[M]ost residents of the provincial capital say they are leaving of their own accord and are not being forced out at gunpoint, as residents of several western cities and villages in Kosovo say has been happening to them. . . . Pristina residents who made it to Macedonia said their city is still largely intact, despite the targeting of ethnic Albanian businesses by Serbian gangs and several direct hits from NATO air strikes in the city center" ["Cause of Kosovar Exodus from Pristina Disputed: Serbs Are Forcing Exit, Some Claim; Others Go on Own," Washington Times, 3/31/99].

    At the same time, the Clinton Administration, consistent with its track record on Kosovo, has ignored credible but unconfirmed evidence from sources not connected to Milosevic's Serbian government that the NATO campaign has resulted in far more civilian damage than has been acknowledged.

    Making Things Worse?

    The Clinton Administration and NATO officials flatly reject any suggestion that their policy has exacerbated an already bad situation on the ground in Kosovo. With neighboring Albania and Macedonia in danger of being destabilized by a flood of refugees, questions are being raised about NATO's ability to continue the campaign unless positive results are evident soon:

    "With critics arguing that the NATO campaign has made things worse, the alliance must slow the Serbs' onslaught or watch public support and alliance unity unravel. U.S. and NATO officials angrily rebutted the critics, arguing that Mr. Milosevic, the Serbian leader, and his forces were already on the rampage before NATO strikes began." ["NATO Is Set to Target Sites in Belgrade," Wall Street Journal, 3/29/99]

    If the immediate NATO goal has now shifted to stopping the Serb offensive in Kosovo, observers point to three likely options [WSJ, 3/29/99]:

    "Option One is to continue the air campaign, increasingly targeting Serb frontline troops [in Kosovo], but it could be days before the onslaught is really slowed." This option, which NATO has already begun to implement, is likely to entail greater risk to NATO aircraft and crews, due to the lower and slower flightpaths needed to deliver tactical strikes. Still, most observers doubt the offensive can be halted with air power alone. Late reports indicate increased bombing of targets in Belgrade, the capital of both the Yugoslav federation and the Serbian republic.

    "Option Two is to start considering intervening on the ground." In recent days, the Clinton Administration has begun to shift its position on NATO ground troops from a categorical assurance that ground troops would go in only to police a peace settlement to hints that they might, depending on some unspecified "conditions," be introduced into a combat environment. For example, in comments on March 28, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Henry Shelton suggested that certain "assessments" had been made, but that there was as yet no political agreement on ground troops:

    "There have been assessments made, but those assessments were based on varying conditions that existed in Kosovo... At this point in time, there are no plans per se to introduce ground troops." [NBC's "Meet the Press," 3/28/99]

    "Option Three: arming the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army to carry the war on the ground while NATO continues it from the air." This option, which would make NATO the overt air force of the KLA, would also dash any possibility of a solution that would not result in a change in Balkan borders, perhaps setting off a round of widespread regional instability. Clinton Administrations officials have begun to suggest that independence may now be justified in view of the Serb offensive. The KLA has been explicit in its determination to not only achieve an independent Kosovo but to "liberate" Albanian-inhabited areas of Montenegro (including the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica), Macedonia (including the Macedonian capital, Skopje), and parts of northern Greece; most of these areas were in fact annexed to Albania under Axis occupation during World War II. (For a visual representation of the areas claimed by the KLA, see the map at the website of the pro-KLA Albanian-American Civic League at http://www.aacl.com

    Note that arming and training the KLA, as called for in Option Three, would highlight serious questions about the nature of the KLA and of the Clinton Administration's relationship with it.

    The KLA: from 'Terrorists' to 'Partners'

    The Kosovo Liberation Army "began on the radical fringe of Kosovar Albanian politics, originally made up of diehard Marxist-Leninists (who were bankrolled in the old days by the Stalinist dictatorship next door in Albania) as well as by descendants of the fascist militias raised by the Italians in World War II" ["Fog of War -- Coping With the Truth About Friend and Foe: Victims Not Quite Innocent," New York Times, 3/28/99]. The KLA made its military debut in February 1996 with the bombing of several camps housing Serbian refugees from wars in Croatia and Bosnia [Jane's Intelligence Review, 10/1/96]. The KLA (again according to the highly regarded Jane's,) "does not take into consideration the political or economic importance of its victims, nor does it seem at all capable of seriously hurting its enemy, the Serbian police and army. Instead, the group has attacked Serbian police and civilians arbitrarily at their weakest points. It has not come close to challenging the region's balance of military power" [Jane's, 10/1/96].

    The group expanded its operations with numerous attacks through 1996 but was given a major boost with the collapse into chaos of neighboring Albania in 1997, which afforded unlimited opportunities for the introduction of arms into Kosovo from adjoining areas of northern Albania, which are effectively out of the control of the Albanian government in Tirana. From its inception, the KLA has targeted not only Serbian security forces, who may be seen as legitimate targets for a guerrilla insurgency, but Serbian and Albanian civilians as well.

    In view of such tactics, the Clinton Administration's then-special envoy for Kosovo, Robert Gelbard, had little difficulty in condemning the KLA (also known by its Albanian initials, UCK) in terms comparable to those he used for Serbian police repression:

    " 'The violence we have seen growing is incredibly dangerous,' Gelbard said. He criticized violence 'promulgated by the (Serb) police' and condemned the actions of an ethnic Albanian underground group Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Serb targets. 'We condemn very strongly terrorist actions in Kosovo. The UCK is, without any questions, a terrorist group,' Gelbard said." [Agence France Presse, 2/23/98]

    Mr. Gelbard's remarks came just before a KLA attack on a Serbian police station led to a retaliation that left dozens of Albanians dead, leading in turn to a rapid escalation of the cycle of violence. Responding to criticism that his earlier remarks might have been seen as Washington's "green light" to Belgrade that a crack-down on the KLA would be acceptable, Mr. Gelbard offered to clarify to the House Committee on International Relations:

    "Questioned by lawmakers today on whether he still considered the group a terrorist organization, Mr. Gelbard said that while it has committed 'terrorist acts,' it has 'not been classified legally by the U.S. Government as a terrorist organization.' " [New York Times, 3/13/98]

    The situation in Kosovo has since been transformed: what were once sporadic cases of KLA attacks and often heavy-handed and indiscriminate Serbian responses has now become a full-scale guerrilla war. That development appeared to be a vindication of what may have been the KLA's strategy of escalating the level of violence to the point where outside intervention would become a distinct possibility. Given the military imbalance, there is reason to believe the KLA -- which is now calling for the introduction of NATO ground troops into Kosovo [Associated Press, 3/27/99] -- may have always expected to achieve its goals less because of the group's own prospects for military success than because of a hoped-for outside intervention: As one fighter put it, "We hope that NATO will intervene, like it did in Bosnia, to save us" ["Both Sides in the Kosovo Conflict Seem Determined to Ignore Reality," New York Times, 6/22/98].

    By early 1999, the Clinton Administration had completely staked the success of its Kosovo policy on either the acceptance by both sides of a pre-drafted peace agreement that would entail a NATO ground occupation of Kosovo, or, if the Albanians signed the agreement while Belgrade refused, bombing of the Serbs. By committing itself so tightly to those two alternatives, the Clinton Administration left itself with as little flexibility as it had offered the Albanians and the Serbs.

    At that point for the Administration, cultivating the goodwill of the KLA -- as the most extreme element on the Albanian side, and the element which had the weapons capable of sinking any diplomatic initiative -- became an absolute imperative:

    "In order to get the Albanians'... acceptance [of the peace plan], Ms. Albright offered incentives intended to show that Washington is a friend of Kosovo...Officers in the Kosovo Liberation Army would . . . be sent to the United States for training in transforming themselves from a guerrilla group into a police force or a political entity, much like the African National Congress did in South Africa." [New York Times, 2/24/99]

    The Times' comparison of treatment of the KLA with that of the African National Congress (ANC) -- a group with its own history of terror attacks on political opponents, including members of the ethnic group it claims to represent -- is a telling one. In fact, it points to the seemingly consistent Clinton policy of cultivating relationships with groups known for terrorist violence -- not only the ANC, but the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) -- in what may be a strategy of attempting to wean away a group from its penchant for violence by adopting its cause as an element of U.S. policy.

    By the time the NATO airstrikes began, the Clinton Administration's partnership with the KLA was unambiguous:

    "With ethnic Albanian Kosovars poised to sign a peace accord later Thursday, the United States is moving quickly to help transform the Kosovo Liberation Army from a rag-tag band of guerrilla fighters into a political force. . . . Washington clearly sees it as a main hope for the troubled province's future. 'We want to develop a good relationship with them as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,' deputy State Department spokesman James Foley said. 'We want to develop closer and better ties with this organization.'

    "A strong signal of this is the deference with which U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright treats the Kosovar Albanians' chief negotiator Hashim Thaci, a 30-year-old KLA commander. Albright dispatched her top aide and spokesman James Rubin to Paris earlier this week to meet with Thaci and personally deliver to him an invitation for members of his delegation to visit the United States. Rubin, who will attend the ceremony at which the Kosovar Albanians will sign the accord, is expected to then return to Washington with five members of the delegation, including Thaci. Thaci and Rubin have developed a 'good rapport' during the Kosovo crisis, according to U.S. officials who note that Thaci was the main delegate they convinced to sign the agreement even though the Serbs have refused to do so. [ . . . ]

    " '[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political actor we would like to see them become.' Foley stressed that the KLA would not be allowed to continue as a military force but would have the chance to move forward in their quest for self government under a 'different context.' 'If we can help them and they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think it's nothing that anybody can argue with.' "

    Such an effusive embrace by top Clinton Administration officials of an organization that only a year ago one of its own top officials labeled as "terrorist" is, to say the least, a startling development.

    Even more importantly, the new Clinton/KLA partnership may obscure troubling allegations about the KLA that the Clinton Administration has thus far neglected to address.

    Charges of Drugs, Islamic Terror -- and a Note on Sources

    No observer doubts that the large majority of fighters that have flocked to the KLA during the past year or so (since it began large-scale military operations) are ordinary Kosovo Albanians who desire what they see as the liberation of their homeland from foreign rule. But that fact -- which amounts to a claim of innocence by association -- does not fully explain the KLA's uncertain origins, political program, sources of funding, or political alliances.

    Among the most troubling aspects of the Clinton Administration's effective alliance with the KLA are numerous reports from reputable unofficial sources -- including the highly respected Jane's publications -- that the KLA is closely involved with:

    • The extensive Albanian crime network that extends throughout Europe and into North America, including allegations that a major portion of the KLA finances are derived from that network, mainly proceeds from drug trafficking; and

    • Terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Ladin -- who has vowed a global terrorist war against Americans and American interests.

    The final two sections of this paper give samples of these reports. (Many of these reports are available in full at http://www.siri-us.com, the website of an independent think tank called the Strategic Issues Research Institute of the United States, under "Background Issues".) In presenting samples of such reports for the consideration of Republican Senators and staff, RPC does not claim that these reports constitute conclusive evidence of the KLA's drug or terror ties. Nor are these reports necessarily conclusive as to the policy advisability of the Clinton Administration's support for that organization. They do, however, raise serious questions about the context in which decisions regarding American policy in the Balkans are being made by the Clinton Administration.

    All of these sources are unclassified and unconnected to official agencies of the U.S. government, although some quote sources in intelligence agencies. Possible objections could be raised that the relevant U.S. government agencies may not have made available similar reports concerning the KLA. While it is not possible to discuss, in the context of this paper, what information is or is not available from classified sources, the author of this paper offers what he regards as two helpful observations. First, one should recognize that the absence of reporting on a given topic may indicate that the information has not been obtained, assembled, or disseminated by the agencies in question, but not necessarily that it does not exist. That is, silence by official sources does not constitute disproof of unofficial sources. The second and more troubling observation is that the Clinton Administration has demonstrated, to an unprecedented degree, an unfortunate tendency -- in some cases possibly involving an improper politicization of traditionally non-political government agencies -- to manage or conceal inconvenient information that might call into question some of its policies. Examples of this tendency include:

    China espionage: Numerous critics have faulted the Clinton Administration's less-than-forthcoming attitude towards the investigation of possible negligence regarding Chinese theft of U.S. nuclear secrets; obstruction efforts may have included misuse of the classification process. [For details, see RPC's "Contradictions Abound: Did the Administration Respond 'Vigorously' to Chinese Nuclear Espionage?" 3/24/99; "The Public Record: China's Theft of U.S. Nuclear Secrets," 3/12/99; and "Commentators Hit Clinton Administration on Nuclear Technology Theft and Suspicious China Ties," 3/12/99.] The effectiveness of the current Kosovo crisis in getting the China espionage scandal off Page 1 has not gone unnoticed: "In the days leading up to the initiation of hostilities with Serbia, it had become increasingly apparent that the usual administration damage control techniques (official denials, misleading statements, obstruction of inquiries, attacks on the accusers, etc.) were not working in the face of cascading revelations that the Clinton team had abysmally failed to address [Chinese] penetration of America's nuclear weapons laboratories.... The only option: change the subject, regardless of the cost in American lives, national treasure, and long-term interests" [Frank Gaffney, Jr., Center for Security Policy, "Hidden Trigger on Guns of Intervention?" Washington Times, 3/30/99].

    Mexico drug certification: The Clinton Administration has consistently certified that Mexican authorities are cooperating with U.S. anti-drug efforts -- despite strong evidence to the contrary. [See, for example, Los Angeles Times, 3/25/99; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/27/99; and The San Francisco Chronicle, 2/26/99].

    Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia: The Clinton Administration concealed its active cooperation with the Iranians for arms shipments to the Muslim fundamentalist regime of Alija Izetbegovic in Bosnia in violation of the United Nations arms embargo on the former Yugoslavia. [For details on the Clinton Administration's active connivance with the Iranians, see RPC's "Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base," 1/16/97.] This track record undermines the Clinton Administration's insistence that Russia, as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, is obligated to observe the same embargo with respect to Serbia [as stated by State Department spokesman James Rubin, daily briefing, March 24, 1999].

    Eradication of the Serbs in Krajina: The Clinton Administration has stalled efforts to investigate what has been called the "biggest ethnic cleansing" of the Balkan wars, one which the Clinton Administration may itself have helped to facilitate:

    "Investigators at the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague have concluded that the Croatian Army carried out summary executions, indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations and 'ethnic cleansing' during a 1995 assault that was a turning point in the Balkan wars, according to tribunal documents. The investigators have recommended that three Croatian generals be indicted, and an American official said this week that the indictments could come within a few weeks. . . . Any indictment of Croatian Army generals could prove politically troublesome for the Clinton Administration, which has a delicate relationship with Croatia, an American ally in preserving the peace in Bosnia with a poor human rights record. The August 1995 Croatian offensive, which drove some 100,000 Serbs from a large swath of Croatia over four days, was carried out with the tacit blessing of the United States by a Croatian Army that had been schooled in part by a group of retired American military officers. Questions still remain about the full extent of United States involvement. In the course of the three-year investigation into the assault, the United States has failed to provide critical evidence requested by the tribunal, according to tribunal documents and officials, adding to suspicion among some there that Washington is uneasy about the investigation. Two senior Canadian military officers, for example, who were in Croatia during the offensive, testified that the assault, in which some 3,000 shells rained down on the city of Knin over 48 hours, was indiscriminate and targeted civilians. . . . A section of the tribunal's 150-page report is headed: 'The Indictment. Operation Storm, A Prima Facie Case.': 'During the course of the military offensive, the Croatian armed forces and special police committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law, including but not limited to, shelling of Knin and other cities,' the report says. 'During, and in the 100 days following the military offensive, at least 150 Serb civilians were summarily executed, and many hundreds disappeared.' The crimes also included looting and burning, the report says." ["War Crimes Panel Finds Croat Troops 'Cleansed' the Serbs," New York Times, 3/21/99]

    The Krajina episode -- the largest in the recent Yugoslav wars, at least until this week in Kosovo -- exposes the hypocrisy of the Clinton claims as to why intervention in Kosovo is a humanitarian imperative:

    "Within four days, the Croatians drove out 150,000 Serbs, the largest [until this week] ethnic cleansing of the entire Balkan wars. Investigators in the Hague have concluded that this campaign was carried out with brutality, wanton murder, and indiscriminate shelling of civilians. . . . Krajina is Kosovo writ large. And yet, at the same time, the U.S. did not stop or even protest the Croatian action. The Clinton Administration tacitly encouraged it." [Charles Krauthammer, "The Clinton Doctrine," Time magazine, 4/5/99]

    In short, the absence of official confirmation of the reports cited below can hardly be considered the last word in the matter. And given this Administration's record, one might treat with some degree of skepticism even a flat denial of KLA drug and terror ties -- which thus far has not been offered. As the Clinton Administration searches for new options in its Kosovo policy, these reports about KLA should not be lightly dismissed.

    Reports on KLA Drug and Criminal Links

    Elements informally known as the "Albanian mafia," composed largely of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, have for several years been a feature of the criminal underworld in a number of cities in Europe and North America; they have been particularly prominent in the trade in illegal narcotics. [See, for example,"The Albanian Cartel: Filling the Crime Void," Jane's Intelligence Review, November 1995.] The cities where the Albanian cartels are located are also fertile ground for fundraising for support of the Albanian cause in Kosovo. [See, for example, "Albanians in Exile Send Millions of Dollars to Support the KLA," BBC, 3/12/99.]

    The reported link between drug activities and arms purchases for anti-Serb Albanian forces in Kosovo predates the formation of the KLA, and indeed, may be seen as a key resource that allowed the KLA to establish itself as a force in the first place:

    "Narcotics smuggling has become a prime source of financing for civil wars already under way -- or rapidly brewing -- in southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, according to a report issued here this week. The report, by the Paris-based Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues, or Geopolitical Observatory of Drugs, identifies belligerents in the former Yugoslav republics and Turkey as key players in the region's accelerating drugs-for-arms traffic. Albanian nationalists in ethnically tense Macedonia and the Serbian province of Kosovo have built a vast heroin network, leading from the opium fields of Pakistan to black-market arms dealers in Switzerland, which transports up to $2 billion worth of the drug annually into the heart of Europe, the report says. More than 500 Kosovo or Macedonian Albanians are in prison in Switzerland for drug- or arms-trafficking offenses, and more than 1,000 others are under indictment. The arms are reportedly stockpiled in Kosovo for eventual use against the Serbian government in Belgrade, which imposed a violent crackdown on Albanian autonomy advocates in the province five years ago." ["Separatists Supporting Themselves with Traffic in Narcotics," San Francisco Chronicle, 6/10/94]

    At the same time, many Albanians in the diaspora have made voluntary contributions to the KLA and are offended at suggestions of drug money funding of that organization:

    "Nick Ndrejaj, who retired from the real estate business, lives on a pension in Daytona Beach, Fla. But the retiree has managed to scrape up some money to send to the Kosovo Liberation Army, the rebel force that is opposing Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic. 'It's hard, but we have had to do this all our lives,' says the elderly man. Mr. Ndrejaj is one of many Albanians in America who are sending all they can spare to aid their beleaguered compatriots in central Europe. The disaster in Kosovo is uniting the minority into a major fund-raising and congressional lobbying effort. [ . . . ]

    "Typical of the donors is Agim Jusufi, a building superintendent on Manhattan's West Side. Mr. Jusufi gets a weekly paycheck. He describes himself as an ordinary 'working man.' However, he has donated $5,000 to the KLA. 'It is always stressed that we should donate when we can,' he says, 'We are in a grave moment, so we are raising money.' Jusufi bridles over reports that drug money funds the KLA. There has been an Albanian organized-crime element involved in the drug trade for decades. But, he says, in this country, the money comes from hard-working immigrants. 'We have canceled checks to prove it,' he says. " ["Pulling Political and Purse Strings," Christian Science Monitor, 3/31/99]

    Without access to the KLA's ledgers, it is hard to estimate what part of the group's funds might come from legitimate sources and what part from drugs. One unnamed intelligence source puts the percentage of drug money in the KLA's coffers at one-half ["Drugs Money Linked to the Kosovo Rebels," The Times (London), 3/24/99]. The following is a sample of the reports linking the KLA to funding by narcotics-smuggling crime organizations:

    "The Kosovo Liberation Army, which has won the support of the West for its guerrilla struggle against the heavy armour of the Serbs, is a Marxist-led force funded by dubious sources, including drug money. That is the judgment of senior police officers across Europe. An investigation by The Times has established that police forces in three Western European countries, together with Europol, the European police authority, are separately investigating growing evidence that drug money is funding the KLA's leap from obscurity to power. The financing of the Kosovo guerrilla war poses critical questions and it sorely tests claims to an 'ethical' foreign policy. Should the West back a guerrilla army that appears to be partly financed by organised crime? Could the KLA's need for funds be fuelling the heroin trade across Europe? . . . As well as diverting charitable donations from exiled Kosovans, some of the KLA money is thought to come from drug dealing. Sweden is investigating suspicions of a KLA drug connection. 'We have intelligence leading us to believe that there could be a connection between drug money and the Kosovo Liberation Army,' said Walter Kege, head of the drug enforcement unit in the Swedish police intelligence service. Supporting intelligence has come from other states. 'We have yet to find direct evidence, but our experience tells us that the channels for trading hard drugs are also used for weapons,' said one Swiss police commander. . . . One Western intelligence report quoted by Berliner Zeitung says that DM900 million has reached Kosovo since the guerrillas began operations and half the sum is said to be illegal drug money. In particular, European countries are investigating the Albanian connection: whether Kosovan Albanians living primarily in Germany and Switzerland are creaming off the profits from inner-city heroin dealing and sending the cash to the KLA. Albania -- which plays a key role in channelling money to the Kosovans -- is at the hub of Europe's drug trade. An intelligence report which was prepared by Germany's Federal Criminal Agency concluded: 'Ethnic Albanians are now the most prominent group in the distribution of heroin in Western consumer countries.' Europol, which is based in The Hague, is preparing a report for European interior and justice ministers on a connection between the KLA and Albanian drug gangs. Police in the Czech Republic recently tracked down a Kosovo Albanian drug dealer named Doboshi who had escaped from a Norwegian prison where he was serving 12 years for heroin trading. A raid on Doboshi's apartment turned up documents linking him with arms purchases for the KLA." ["Drugs Money Linked to the Kosovo Rebels," The Times (London), 3/24/99]

    "Western intelligence agencies believe the UCK [KLA] has been re-arming with the aid of money from drug-smuggling through Albania, along with donations from the Albanian diaspora in Western Europe and North America. . . . Albania has become the crime capital of Europe. The most powerful groups in the country are organized criminals who use Albania to grow, process, and store a large percentage of the illegal drugs destined for Western Europe. . . . Albania's criminal gangs are actively supporting the war in Kosovo. Many of them have family links to Albanian groups in Kosovo and support them with arms and other supplies, either out of family solidarity or solely for profit. These links mean the UCK fighters have a secure base area and reasonably good lines of communiction to the outside world. Serb troops have tried to seal the border but with little success." ["Life in the Balkan 'Tinderbox' Remains as Dangerous as Ever," Jane's Intelligence Review, 3/1/99]

    "Drugs traffickers in Italy, in Germany, in Spain, in France, and in Norway: Kosovo Albanians. The men from the Special Operations Section [ROS] of the carabinieri [i.e., Italian national police], under the leadership of General Mario Mori, have succeeded in neutralizing a fully fledged network of Albanian drugs traffickers. The leader of this network is a certain Gashi Agim, aged 33, originally from Pristina, the capital of the small region that is being torn apart by the struggle between on the one hand the local population, 90 percent of whom are of Albanian ethnic origin and who are calling for independence from Serbia, and [the Yugoslav government] on the other . . . Gashi was arrested early this summer along with 124 drugs traffickers. 'Milan at this juncture has become a crossroads of interests for many fighting groups,' a detective with the ROS explained. 'These groups include also the Albanians from Kosovo who are among the most dangerous traffickers in drugs and in arms. . . . The war in Kosovo has partly slowed down the criminals' business because many Albanians have been forced to take care of their families. Some of them are activists in the armed movement of the KLA fighters and have gone home to fight. They feel Albanian. They are fighting to achieve annexation to Albania. And it is precisely there that at least a part of the sea of money that the Albanian drugs traffickers have amassed is reported to have ended up, to support the families and to fund both certain political personalities and the anti-Serb movement. In spring, a number of Albanian drugs traffickers actually went as far as to take part in the organization of a rally in favor of independence for Kosovo. . . . Drugs, arms, and the Koran: Could this be the murderous crime mix of the next few years?" ["Albanian Mafia, This Is How It Helps The Kosovo Guerrilla Fighters," Corriere della Sera (Milan, Italy), 10/15/98]

    "A group of Kosovo Albanians smuggling arms back to their troubled province were among 100 people arrested in a massive, countrywide anti-drug operation in Italy, police here said Tuesday. All the 100 -- 90 of whom were arrested in Italy, the rest in other European countries -- face weapons charges related to international drug trafficking. Anti-Mafia prosecutors in Milan, who conducted the operation with paramilitary police units, identified eight criminal structures active on an international scale. One hundred kilos (220 pounds) of heroin and cocaine was seized in the bust across several Italian regions. Investigators said the groups used Milan as a base, with cafes, restaurants, garages and other firms acting as fronts. The Kosovar Albanian gang allegedly used drug money to buy the weapons in Italy, which were then sent to Kosovo where a three-month conflict is pitting Serbian forces against armed ethnic Albanians seeking independence. Another separate group of Egyptians with links to Calabrian and Albanian gangs were arrested on suspicions of laundering money through Switzerland for use by fundamentalists in Egypt." ["Major Italian Drug Bust Breaks Kosovo Arms Trafficking," Agence France-Presse, 6/9/98]

    "The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) has claimed responsibility for more than 50 attacks on Serbs and Albanians loyal to the Belgrade government, but little is known about the separatist group. . . . Details of the KLA, which the United States calls a terrorist organization, are sketchy at best. Western intelligence sources believe there are no more than several hundred members under arms with military training. Serbian police estimate there are at least 2,000 well-armed men. The KLA is said to rely heavily on a huge network of informers and sympathizers, enabling it to blend easily among the population. The Western sources also believe the core of the organization consists of Albanians who fled into exile in the 1970s and based their operation in Switzerland, where its funding is gathered from all over the world. 'If the West wants to nip the KLA in the bud, all it has to do is crack down on its financial nerve center in Switzerland,' one source said. Part of the funding, this source believes, comes from the powerful Albanian mafia organizations that deal in narcotics, prostitution and arms smuggling across Europe. The KLA has admitted having training bases in northern Albania, which the Albanian government does not condone but is powerless to stop." ["Speculation Plentiful, Facts Few About Kosovo Separatist Group," Baltimore Sun, 3/6/98]

    "The bulk of the financing of the UCK [KLA] seems to originate from two sources: drug-related operations and Kosovo Albanian emigres in the West. The former Yugoslavia has always been on the main European drug transit route. With the break-up of that country, the route has been somewhat modified; West-Europe-bound narcotics now enter Macedonia and Albania and are then distributed towards Western Europe through Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Croatia." [Jane's Intelligence Review, "Another Balkans Bloodbath? -- Part One," 2/1/98]

    "Socially organized in extended families bound together in clan alliances, Kosovar Albanians dominate the Albanian mafia in the southern Balkans. Other than Kosovo, the Albanian mafia is also active in northern Albania and western Macedonia. In this context, the so-called 'Balkan Medellin' is made up of a number of geographically connected border towns . . . . If left unchecked, this growing Albanian narco-terrorism could lead to a Colombian syndrome in the southern Balkans, or the emergence of a situation in which the Albanian mafia becomes powerful enough to control one or more states in the region. In practical terms, this will involve either Albania or Macedonia, or both. Politically, this is now being done by channelling growing foreign exchange (forex) profits from narco-terrorism into local governments and political parties. In Albania, the ruling Democratic Party (DP) led by President Sali Berisha is now widely suspected of tacitly tolerating and even directly profiting from drug-trafficking for wider politico-economic reasons, namely the financing of secessionist political parties and other groupings in Kosovo and Macedonia." ["The Balkan Medellin," Jane's 3/1/95; Albanian then-president Berisha lost power in 1997 and is now a known KLA patron in northern Albania.]

    Reports on Islamic Terror Links

    The KLA's main staging area is in the vicinity of the town of Tropoje in northern Albania [Jane's International Defense Review, 2/1/99]. Tropoje, the hometown and current base of former Albanian president Sali Berisha, a major KLA patron, is also a known center for Islamic terrorists connected with Saudi renegade Osama bin-Ladin. [For a report on the presence of bin-Ladin assets in Tropoje and connections to anti-American Islamic terrorism, see "U.S. Blasts' Possible Mideast Ties: Alleged Terrorists Investigated in Albania, Washington Post, 8/12/98.]

    The following reports note the presence of foreign mujahedin (i.e., Islamic holy warriors) in the Kosovo war, some of them jihad veterans from Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan. Some of the reports specifically cite assets of Iran or bin-Ladin, or both, in support of the KLA. To some, "mujahedin" does not necessarily equal "terrorists." But since the foreign fighters have not been considerate enough to provide an organizational chart detailing the exact relationship among the various groups, the reported presence of foreign fighters together with known terrorists in the KLA's stronghold at least raises serious questions about the implications for the Clinton Administration's increasingly close ties to the KLA:

    "Serbian officials say Mujahideen have formed groups that remained behind in Bosnia. Groups from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Chechnya are also involved in Albanian guerrilla operations. A document found on the body of Alija Rabic, an Albanian UCK member killed in a border crossing incident last July, indicated he was guiding a 50-man group from Albania into Kosovo. The group included one Yemeni and 16 Saudis, six of whom bore passports with Macedonian Albanian names. Other UCK rebels killed crossing the Albanian frontier have carried Bosnian Muslim Federation papers." [Jane's International Defense Review, "Unhealthy Climate in Kosovo as Guerrillas Gear Up for a Summer Confrontation," 2/1/99]

    "Mujahidin fighters have joined the Kosovo Liberation Army, dimming prospects of a peaceful solution to the conflict and fuelling fears of heightened violence next spring.. . . . Their arrival in Kosovo may force Washington to review its policy in the Serbian province and will deepen Western dismay with the KLA and its tactics. . . . 'Captain Dula', the local KLA commander, was clearly embarrassed at the unexpected presence of foreign journalists and said that he had little idea who was sending the Mujahidin or where they came from; only that it was neither Kosovo nor Albania. 'I've got no information about them,' Captain Dula said. 'We don't talk about it.' . . . American diplomats in the region, especially Robert Gelbard, the special envoy, have often expressed fears of an Islamic hardline infiltration into the Kosovo independence movement. . . . American intelligence has raised the possibility of a link between Osama bin Laden, the Saudi expatriate blamed for the bombing in August of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and the KLA. Several of Bin Laden's supporters were arrested in Tirana, the Albanian capital, and deported this summer, and the chaotic conditions in the country have allowed Muslim extremists to settle there, often under the guise of humanitarian workers. . . . 'I interviewed one guy from Saudi Arabia who said that it was his eighth jihad,' a Dutch journalist said." ["U.S. Alarmed as Mujahidin Join Kosovo Rebels," The Times (London), 11/26/98]

    "Diplomats in the region say Bosnia was the first bastion of Islamic power. The autonomous Yugoslav region of Kosovo promises to be the second. During the current rebellion against the Yugoslav army, the ethnic Albanians in the province, most of whom are Moslem, have been provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries. They are being bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters, or Mujahadeen, who infiltrate from nearby Albania and call themselves the Kosovo Liberation Army. US defense officials say the support includes that of Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi terrorist accused of masterminding the bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. A Defense Department statement on August 20 said Bin Laden's Al Qa'ida organization supports Moslem fighters in both Bosnia and Kosovo. . . . The KLA strength was not the southern Kosovo region, which over the centuries turned from a majority of Serbs to ethnic Albanians. The KLA, however, was strong in neighboring Albania, which today has virtually no central government. The crisis in Albania led Iran to quickly move in to fill the vacuum. Iranian Revolutionary Guards began to train KLA members. . . . Selected groups of Albanians were sent to Iran to study that country's version of militant Islam. So far, Yugoslav officials and Western diplomats agree that millions of dollars have been funnelled through Bosnia and Albania to buy arms for the KLA. The money is raised from both Islamic governments and from Islamic communities in Western Europe, particularly Germany. . . . 'Iran has been active in helping out the Kosovo rebels,' Ephraim Kam, deputy director of Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, said. 'Iran sees Kosovo and Albania as containing Moslem communities that require help and Teheran is willing to do it.' But much of the training of the KLA remains based in Bosnia. Intelligence sources say mercenaries and volunteers for the separatist movement have been recruited and paid handsome salaries. . . . The trainers and fighters in the KLA include many of the Iranians who fought in Bosnia in the early 1990s. Intelligence sources place their number at 7,000, many of whom have married Bosnian women. There are also Afghans, Algerians, Chechens, and Egyptians." ["Kosovo Seen as New Islamic Bastion," Jerusalem Post, 9/14/98]

    ". . . By late 1997, the Tehran-sponsored training and preparations of the Liberation Army of Kosovo (UCK -- Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosoves -- in Albanian, OVK in Serbian), as well as the transfer of weapons and experts via Albania, were being increased. Significantly, Tehran's primary objective in Kosovo has evolved from merely assisting a Muslim minority in distress to furthering the consolidation of the Islamic strategic axis along the Sarajevo-to-Tirane line. And only by expanding and escalating subversive and Islamist-political presence can this objective be attained. . . In the Fall of 1997, the uppermost leadership in Tehran ordered the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] High Command to launch a major program for shipping large quantities of weapons and other military supplies to the Albanian clandestine organisations in Kosovo. [The supreme Iranian spiritual leader, the Ayatollah] Khamene'i's instructions specifically stipulated that the comprehensive military assistance was aimed to enable the Muslims 'to achieve the independence' of the province of Kosovo. . . . [B]y early December 1997, Iranian intelligence had already delivered the first shipments of hand grenades, machine-guns, assault rifles, night vision equipment, and communications gear from stockpiles in Albania into Kosovo. The mere fact that the Iranians could despatch the first supplies within a few days and in absolute secrecy reflect extensive advance preparations made in Albania in anticipation for such instructions from Tehran. Moreover, the Iranians began sending promising Albanian and UCK commanders for advanced military training in al-Quds [special] forces and IRGC camps in Iran. Meanwhile, weapons shipments continue. Thus, Tehran is well on its way to establishing a bridgehead in Kosovo. . . The liberation army was to be only the first phase in building military power. Ultimately, the Kosovo Albanians must field such heavy weapons as tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery, and rocket launchers, if they hope to evict the Serbian forces from Kosovo. . . . The spate of UCK terrorism during the Fall of 1997, . . . should be considered intentional provocations against the Serbian police aimed to elicit a massive retaliation that would in turn lead to a popular uprising. Thus, the ongoing terrorism campaign in Kosovo should be considered the initial phases in implementing the call for an uprising. Iran-sponsored activists have already spread the word through Kosovo that the liberation war has already broken out. If current trends prevail, the increasingly Islamist UCK will soon become the main factor in overturning the long-term status quo in the region. Concurrently, the terrorist activities have become part of everyday life throughout Kosovo. Given the extent of the propaganda campaign and the assistance provided by Iran, the spread of terrorism should indeed be considered the beginning of an armed rebellion that threatens a major escalation." ["Italy Becomes Iran's New Base for Terrorist Operations," by Yossef Bodansky, Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy (London), February 1998. Bodansky is Director of the House Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. This report was written in late 1997, before the KLA's offensive in early 1998.]



    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    Kosovo "freedom fighters" financed by organised crime

    By Michel Chossudovsky
    10 April 1999

    Michel Chossudovsky is a Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and author of The Globalization of Poverty, Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms, Third World Network, Penang and Zed Books, London, 1997. He has submitted this article to the World Socialist Web Site and we are presenting it for the information of our readers.

    Also in Serbo-Croatian

    Heralded by the global media as a humanitarian peace-keeping mission, NATO's ruthless bombing of Belgrade and Pristina goes far beyond the breach of international law. While Slobodan Milosevic is demonised, portrayed as a remorseless dictator, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is upheld as a self-respecting nationalist movement struggling for the rights of ethnic Albanians. The truth of the matter is that the KLA is sustained by organised crime with the tacit approval of the United States and its allies.

    Following a pattern set during the War in Bosnia, public opinion has been carefully misled. The multibillion dollar Balkans narcotics trade has played a crucial role in "financing the conflict" in Kosovo in accordance with Western economic, strategic and military objectives. Amply documented by European police files, acknowledged by numerous studies, the links of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to criminal syndicates in Albania, Turkey and the European Union have been known to Western governments and intelligence agencies since the mid-1990s.

    " ... The financing of the Kosovo guerrilla war poses critical questions and it sorely tests claims of an "ethical" foreign policy. Should the West back a guerrilla army that appears to partly financed by organised crime."[1]

    While KLA leaders were shaking hands with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at Rambouillet, Europol (the European Police Organization based in The Hague) was "preparing a report for European interior and justice ministers on a connection between the KLA and Albanian drug gangs."[2] In the meantime, the rebel army has been skilfully heralded by the global media (in the months preceding the NATO bombings) as broadly representative of the interests of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

    With KLA leader Hashim Thaci (a 29 year "freedom fighter") appointed as chief negotiator at Rambouillet, the KLA has become the de facto helmsman of the peace process on behalf of the ethnic Albanian majority and this despite its links to the drug trade. The West was relying on its KLA puppets to rubber-stamp an agreement which would have transformed Kosovo into an occupied territory under Western Administration.

    Ironically Robert Gelbard, America's special envoy to Bosnia, had described the KLA last year as "terrorists". Christopher Hill, America's chief negotiator and architect of the Rambouillet agreement, "has also been a strong critic of the KLA for its alleged dealings in drugs."[3] Moreover, barely a few two months before Rambouillet, the US State Department had acknowledged (based on reports from the US Observer Mission) the role of the KLA in terrorising and uprooting ethnic Albanians:

    " ... the KLA harass or kidnap anyone who comes to the police, ... KLA representatives had threatened to kill villagers and burn their homes if they did not join the KLA [a process which has continued since the NATO bombings]... [T]he KLA harassment has reached such intensity that residents of six villages in the Stimlje region are "ready to flee."[4]

    While backing a "freedom movement" with links to the drug trade, the West seems also intent in bypassing the civilian Kosovo Democratic League and its leader Ibrahim Rugova who has called for an end to the bombings and expressed his desire to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Yugoslav authorities.[5] It is worth recalling that a few days before his March 31 Press Conference, Rugova had been reported by the KLA (alongside three other leaders including Fehmi Agani) to have been killed by the Serbs.

    Covert financing of "freedom fighters"

    Remember Oliver North and the Contras? The pattern in Kosovo is similar to other CIA covert operations in Central America, Haiti and Afghanistan where "freedom fighters" were financed through the laundering of drug money. Since the onslaught of the Cold War, Western intelligence agencies have developed a complex relationship to the illegal narcotics trade. In case after case, drug money laundered in the international banking system has financed covert operations.

    According to author Alfred McCoy, the pattern of covert financing was established in the Indochina war. In the 1960s, the Meo army in Laos was funded by the narcotics trade as part of Washington's military strategy against the combined forces of the neutralist government of Prince Souvanna Phouma and the Pathet Lao.[6]

    The pattern of drug politics set in Indochina has since been replicated in Central America and the Caribbean. "The rising curve of cocaine imports to the US", wrote journalist John Dinges "followed almost exactly the flow of US arms and military advisers to Central America".[7]

    The military in Guatemala and Haiti, to which the CIA provided covert support, were known to be involved in the trade of narcotics into Southern Florida. And as revealed in the Iran-Contra and Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) scandals, there was strong evidence that covert operations were funded through the laundering of drug money. "Dirty money" recycled through the banking system--often through an anonymous shell company-- became "covert money," used to finance various rebel groups and guerrilla movements including the Nicaraguan Contras and the Afghan Mujahadeen. According to a 1991 Time magazine report:

    "Because the US wanted to supply the mujehadeen rebels in Afghanistan with stinger missiles and other military hardware it needed the full cooperation of Pakistan. By the mid-1980s, the CIA operation in Islamabad was one of the largest US intelligence stations in the World. 'If BCCI is such an embarrassment to the US that forthright investigations are not being pursued it has a lot to do with the blind eye the US turned to the heroin trafficking in Pakistan', said a US intelligence officer.[8]

    America and Germany join hands

    Since the early 1990s, Bonn and Washington have joined hands in establishing their respective spheres of influence in the Balkans. Their intelligence agencies have also collaborated. According to intelligence analyst John Whitley, covert support to the Kosovo rebel army was established as a joint endeavour between the CIA and Germany's Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) (which previously played a key role in installing a right-wing nationalist government under Franjo Tudjman in Croatia).[9] The task to create and finance the KLA was initially given to Germany: "They used German uniforms, East German weapons and were financed, in part, with drug money".[10] According to Whitley, the CIA was subsequently instrumental in training and equipping the KLA in Albania.[11]

    The covert activities of Germany's BND were consistent with Bonn's intent to expand its "Lebensraum" into the Balkans. Prior to the onset of the civil war in Bosnia, Germany and its Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher had actively supported secession; it had "forced the pace of international diplomacy" and pressured its Western allies to recognize Slovenia and Croatia. According to the Geopolitical Drug Watch, both Germany and the US favoured (although not officially) the formation of a "Greater Albania" encompassing Albania, Kosovo and parts of Macedonia.[12] According to Sean Gervasi, Germany was seeking a free hand among its allies "to pursue economic dominance in the whole of Mitteleuropa."[13]

    Islamic fundamentalism in support of the KLA

    Bonn and Washington's "hidden agenda" consisted in triggering nationalist liberation movements in Bosnia and Kosovo with the ultimate purpose of destabilising Yugoslavia. The latter objective was also carried out "by turning a blind eye" to the influx of mercenaries and financial support from Islamic fundamentalist organisations.[14]

    Mercenaries financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had been fighting in Bosnia.[15] And the Bosnian pattern was replicated in Kosovo: Mujahadeen mercenaries from various Islamic countries are reported to be fighting alongside the KLA in Kosovo. German, Turkish and Afghan instructors were reported to be training the KLA in guerrilla and diversion tactics.[16]

    According to a Deutsche Press-Agentur report, financial support from Islamic countries to the KLA had been channelled through the former Albanian chief of the National Information Service (NIS), Bashkim Gazidede.[17] "Gazidede, reportedly a devout Moslem who fled Albania in March of last year [1997], is presently [1998] being investigated for his contacts with Islamic terrorist organizations."[18]

    The supply route for arming KLA "freedom fighters" are the rugged mountainous borders of Albania with Kosovo and Macedonia. Albania is also a key point of transit of the Balkans drug route which supplies Western Europe with grade four heroin. Seventy-five percent of the heroin entering Western Europe is from Turkey. And a large part of drug shipments originating in Turkey transits through the Balkans. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), "it is estimated that 4-6 metric tons of heroin leave each month from Turkey having [through the Balkans] as destination Western Europe."[19] A recent intelligence report by Germany's Federal Criminal Agency suggests that: "Ethnic Albanians are now the most prominent group in the distribution of heroin in Western consumer countries."[20]

    The laundering of dirty money

    In order to thrive, the criminal syndicates involved in the Balkans narcotics trade need friends in high places. Smuggling rings with alleged links to the Turkish State are said to control the trafficking of heroin through the Balkans "cooperating closely with other groups with which they have political or religious ties" including criminal groups in Albanian and Kosovo.[21] In this new global financial environment, powerful undercover political lobbies connected to organized crime cultivate links to prominent political figures and officials of the military and intelligence establishment.

    The narcotics trade nonetheless uses respectable banks to launder large amounts of dirty money. While comfortably removed from the smuggling operations per se, powerful banking interests in Turkey but mainly those in financial centres in Western Europe discretely collect fat commissions in a multibillion dollar money laundering operation. These interests have high stakes in ensuring a safe passage of drug shipments into Western European markets.

    The Albanian connection

    Arms smuggling from Albania into Kosovo and Macedonia started at the beginning of 1992, when the Democratic Party came to power, headed by President Sali Berisha. An expansive underground economy and cross border trade had unfolded. A triangular trade in oil, arms and narcotics had developed largely as a result of the embargo imposed by the international community on Serbia and Montenegro and the blockade enforced by Greece against Macedonia.

    Industry and agriculture in Kosovo were spearheaded into bankruptcy following the IMF's lethal "economic medicine" imposed on Belgrade in 1990. The embargo was imposed on Yugoslavia. Ethnic Albanians and Serbs were driven into abysmal poverty. Economic collapse created an environment which fostered the progress of illicit trade. In Kosovo, the rate of unemployment increased to a staggering 70 percent (according to Western sources).

    Poverty and economic collapse served to exacerbate simmering ethnic tensions. Thousands of unemployed youths "barely out of their teens" from an impoverished population, were drafted into the ranks of the KLA ...[22]

    In neighbouring Albania, the free market reforms adopted since 1992 had created conditions which favoured the criminalisation of state institutions. Drug money was also laundered in the Albanian pyramids (ponzi schemes) which mushroomed during the government of former President Sali Berisha (1992-1997).[23] These shady investment funds were an integral part of the economic reforms inflicted by Western creditors on Albania.

    Drug barons in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia (with links to the Italian Mafia) had become the new economic elites, often associated with Western business interests. In turn the financial proceeds of the trade in drugs and arms were recycled towards other illicit activities (and vice versa) including a vast prostitution racket between Albania and Italy. Albanian criminal groups operating in Milan, "have become so powerful running prostitution rackets that they have even taken over the Calabrians in strength and influence."[24]

    The application of "strong economic medicine" under the guidance of the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions had contributed to wrecking Albania's banking system and precipitating the collapse of the Albanian economy. The resulting chaos enabled American and European transnationals to carefully position themselves. Several Western oil companies including Occidental, Shell and British Petroleum had their eyes riveted on Albania's abundant and unexplored oil-deposits. Western investors were also gawking Albania's extensive reserves of chrome, copper, gold, nickel and platinum.... The Adenauer Foundation had been lobbying in the background on behalf of German mining interests.[25]

    Berisha's Minister of Defence Safet Zoulali (alleged to have been involved in the illegal oil and narcotics trade) was the architect of the agreement with Germany's Preussag (handing over control over Albania's chrome mines) against the competing bid of the US led consortium of Macalloy Inc. in association with Rio Tinto Zimbabwe (RTZ).[26]

    Large amounts of narco-dollars had also been recycled into the privatisation programmes leading to the acquisition of state assets by the mafias. In Albania, the privatisation programme had led virtually overnight to the development of a property owning class firmly committed to the "free market". In Northern Albania, this class was associated with the Guegue "families" linked to the Democratic Party.

    Controlled by the Democratic Party under the presidency of Sali Berisha (1992-97), Albania's largest financial "pyramid" VEFA Holdings had been set up by the Guegue "families" of Northern Albania with the support of Western banking interests. VEFA was under investigation in Italy in 1997 for its ties to the Mafia which allegedly used VEFA to launder large amounts of dirty money.[27]

    According to one press report (based on intelligence sources), senior members of the Albanian government during the presidency of Sali Berisha including cabinet members and members of the secret police SHIK were alleged to be involved in drugs trafficking and illegal arms trading into Kosovo:

    (...) The allegations are very serious. Drugs, arms, contraband cigarettes all are believed to have been handled by a company run openly by Albania's ruling Democratic Party, Shqiponja (...). In the course of 1996 Defence Minister, Safet Zhulali [was alleged] to had used his office to facilitate the transport of arms, oil and contraband cigarettes. (...) Drugs barons from Kosovo (...) operate in Albania with impunity, and much of the transportation of heroin and other drugs across Albania, from Macedonia and Greece en route to Italy, is believed to be organised by Shik, the state security police (...). Intelligence agents are convinced the chain of command in the rackets goes all the way to the top and have had no hesitation in naming ministers in their reports.[28]

    The trade in narcotics and weapons was allowed to prosper despite the presence since 1993 of a large contingent of American troops at the Albanian-Macedonian border with a mandate to enforce the embargo. The West had turned a blind eye. The revenues from oil and narcotics were used to finance the purchase of arms (often in terms of direct barter): "Deliveries of oil to Macedonia (skirting the Greek embargo [in 1993-4] can be used to cover heroin, as do deliveries of kalachnikov rifles to Albanian 'brothers' in Kosovo".[29]

    The Northern tribal clans or "fares" had also developed links with Italy's crime syndicates.[30] In turn, the latter played a key role in smuggling arms across the Adriatic into the Albanian ports of Dures and Valona. At the outset in 1992, the weapons channelled into Kosovo were largely small arms including Kalashnikov AK-47 rifles, RPK and PPK machine-guns, 12.7 calibre heavy machine-guns, etc.

    The proceeds of the narcotics trade has enabled the KLA to rapidly develop a force of some 30,000 men. More recently, the KLA has acquired more sophisticated weaponry including anti-aircraft and anti-armor rockets. According to Belgrade, some of the funds have come directly from the CIA "funnelled through a so-called 'Government of Kosovo' based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Washington office employs the public-relations firm of Ruder Finn--notorious for its slanders of the Belgrade government".[31]

    The KLA has also acquired electronic surveillance equipment which enables it to receive NATO satellite information concerning the movement of the Yugoslav Army. The KLA training camp in Albania is said to "concentrate on heavy weapons training--rocket propelled grenades, medium caliber cannons, tanks and transporter use, as well as on communications, and command and control". (According to Yugoslav government sources).[32]

    These extensive deliveries of weapons to the Kosovo rebel army were consistent with Western geopolitical objectives. Not surprisingly, there has been a "deafening silence" of the international media regarding the Kosovo arms-drugs trade. In the words of a 1994 Report of the Geopolitical Drug Watch: "the trafficking [of drugs and arms] is basically being judged on its geostrategic implications (...) In Kosovo, drugs and weapons trafficking is fuelling geopolitical hopes and fears"...[33]

    The fate of Kosovo had already been carefully laid out prior to the signing of the 1995 Dayton agreement. NATO had entered an unwholesome "marriage of convenience" with the mafia. "Freedom fighters" were put in place, the narcotics trade enabled Washington and Bonn to "finance the Kosovo conflict" with the ultimate objective of destabilising the Belgrade government and fully recolonising the Balkans. The destruction of an entire country is the outcome. Western governments which participated in the NATO operation bear a heavy burden of responsibility in the deaths of civilians, the impoverishment of both the ethnic Albanian and Serbian populations and the plight of those who were brutally uprooted from towns and villages in Kosovo as a result of the bombings.

    Notes:

    1. Roger Boyes and Eske Wright, Drugs Money Linked to the Kosovo Rebels, The Times, London, Monday, March 24, 1999.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Philip Smucker and Tim Butcher, "Shifting stance over KLA has betrayed' Albanians", Daily Telegraph, London, 6 April 1999
    4. KDOM Daily Report, released by the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, Office of South Central European Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, December 21, 1998; Compiled by EUR/SCE (202-647-4850) from daily reports of the US element of the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission, December 21, 1998.
    5. "Rugova, sous protection serbe appelle a l'arret des raides", Le Devoir, Montreal, 1 April 1999.
    6. See Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, Harper and Row, New York, 1972.
    7. See John Dinges, Our Man in Panama, The Shrewd Rise and Brutal Fall of Manuel Noriega, Times Books, New York, 1991.
    8. "The Dirtiest Bank of All," Time, July 29, 1991, p. 22.
    9. Truth in Media, Phoenix, 2 April, 1999; see also Michel Collon, Poker Menteur, editions EPO, Brussels, 1997.
    10. Quoted in Truth in Media, Phoenix, 2 April, 1999).
    11. Ibid.
    12. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 32, June 1994, p. 4
    13. Sean Gervasi, "Germany, US and the Yugoslav Crisis", Covert Action Quarterly, No. 43, Winter 1992-93).
    14. See Daily Telegraph, 29 December 1993.
    15. For further details see Michel Collon, Poker Menteur, editions EPO, Brussels, 1997, p. 288.
    16. Truth in Media, Kosovo in Crisis, Phoenix, 2 April 1999.
    17. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 13, 1998.
    18. Ibid.
    19. Daily News, Ankara, 5 March 1997.
    20. Quoted in Boyes and Wright, op cit.
    21. ANA, Athens, 28 January 1997, see also Turkish Daily News, 29 January 1997.
    22. Brian Murphy, KLA Volunteers Lack Experience, The Associated Press, 5 April 1999.
    23. See Geopolitical Drug Watch, No. 35, 1994, p. 3, see also Barry James, in Balkans, Arms for Drugs, The International Herald Tribune, Paris, June 6, 1994.
    24. The Guardian, 25 March 1997.
    25. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, La crisi albanese, Edizioni Gruppo Abele, Torino, 1998.
    26. Ibid.
    27. Andrew Gumbel, The Gangster Regime We Fund, The Independent, February 14, 1997, p. 15.
    28. Ibid.
    29. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No. 35, 1994, p. 3.
    30. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 66, p. 4.
    31. Quoted in Workers' World, May 7, 1998.
    32. See Government of Yugoslavia at http://www.gov.yu/terrorism/terroristcamps.html.
    33. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 32, June 1994, p. 4.

    Recent articles by Chossudovsky:

    On Yugoslavia:
    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/62/022.html

    On the Brazilian financial crisis:
    http://wwwdb.ix.de/tp/english/special/eco/6373/1.html

    On global poverty and the financial crisis:
    http://www.transnational.org/features/chossu_worldbank.html
    http://www.transnational.org/features/g7solution.html
    http://www.twnside.org.sg/souths/twn/title/scam-cn.htm
    http://www.interlog.com/~cjazz/chossd.htm
    http://www.heise.de/tp/english/special/eco/
    http://heise.xlink.de/tp/english/special/eco/6099/1.html#anchor1


    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    jkmcalister

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    Reply with quote  #168 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maynard
    A 1991 deposition from a top IRS criminal investigator

    http://prorev.com/wwduncan.htm

    One of the great myths of the Clinton scandals is that Mena -- the major Contra training, supply, and drug running headquarters -- was a myth. One of those with solid evidence to the contrary is William Duncan, the former Special Operations Coordinator for the Southeast Region of the Criminal Investigation Division, Internal Revenue Service. In 1991, Duncan (who had lost his job trying to get to the bottom of the Mena story) gave a deposition to a joint investigation conducted by Rep. William Alexander and the Arkansas attorney general's office, represented by Winston Bryant. Here are some excerpts from the deposition -- giving a vivid snapshot of what was going on and what honest investigators such as Duncan and Arkansas state trooper Russell Welch were up against.

    Q. Would you state your name, age, and address, please?
    A. William C. Duncan, age forty-four, 513 Pine Bluff Street, Malvern, Arkansas.

    * * * * *

    Q. You were a criminal investigator for the U.S. Treasury Department?
    A. Yes, perpetually from December of '73 through June 16, 1989.

    Q. And as a criminal investigator for the Treasury Department, did you have occasion to investigate matters surrounding activities in Mena, Arkansas?
    A. Yes, I did.

    * * * * *

    Q. Would you describe the nature of your instructions and the manner in which you carried out those instructions as they relate to activities surrounding the Mena Airport matter?
    A. I was assigned to investigate allegations of money laundering in connection with the Barry Seal organization, which was based at the Mena, Arkansas airport.

    Q. And can you -- how long a duration were you involved in this investigation?
    A. I received the first information about Mena and illegal activities at the Mena Airport in April of 1983, in a meeting in the U.S. Attorney's Office, Fort Smith, Arkansas. Asa Hutchinson was the U.S. Attorney then. Also present at that meeting was Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Jim Stepp, S-T-E-P-P.

    Q. Did you discover what you believed to be money laundering?
    A. Yes, I did.

    Q. Who was the object of your investigation, and what institution?
    A. Rich Mountain Aviation, Incorporated based at the Mena Airport. Barry Seal was not actually a target. We had targeted the employees and cohorts of his which operated out of the Mena Airport.

    * * * * *

    Q. What did you do with the evidence of money laundering that you gathered from your investigation?
    A. Presented it to the United States Attorney's Office, Western Judicial District, Fort Smith, Arkansas.

    Q. And what were your recommendations to the U.S. Attorney?
    A. That those individuals and corporation -- the corporation be prosecuted for violations of the money laundering statutes, also there were some perjury recommendations and some conspiracy recommendations.

    Q. Did you present to the U. S. Attorney a list of prospective witnesses to be called?
    A. Yes, I did.

    Q. For a grand jury?
    A. Yes.

    Q. And do you have the names of those witnesses?
    A. There were a variety of witnesses. There were some 20 witnesses. He called three witnesses. The witnesses including -- included the law enforcement personnel who had participated in the investigations, Barry Seal, members of his organization, people who were involved in the money laundering, and various financial institution officers who had knowledge.

    Q. Mr. Duncan, the money laundering to which you refer, did that arise out of an alleged drug trafficking operation managed from the Mena, Arkansas airport?
    A. It did.

    Q. And it has been alleged that the Central Intelligence Agency had some role in that operation. Is that the same operation that you investigated?
    A. Yes.

    Q. And when you submitted the witnesses, the names of the prospective witnesses to the U. S. Attorney in Arkansas, are you referring to Mr. -- what was the name of the U. S. Attorney?
    A. Asa Hutchinson.

    Q. Asa Hutchinson. And what was his reaction to your recommendations?
    A. It had been my experience, from my history of working with Mr. Hutchinson, that all I had to do is ask for subpoenas for any witness and he would provide the subpoenas and subpoena them to a grand jury. His reaction in this case was to subpoena only three of the 20 to the grand jury.

    Q. Now, of the three witnesses, who were -- what was the nature of the evidence that would have been elicited from those witnesses?
    A. Direct evidence in the money laundering.

    Q. And did those witnesses testify for the grand jury?
    A. yes, they did.

    Q. Were you present at the time of the grand jury?
    A. No, I was not.

    Q. You were not?
    A. I was in the witness room, but I was not in the grand jury.

    Q. I see. What was the result of the testimony given by the three witnesses to the grand jury?
    A. As two of the witnesses exited, one was a secretary who had received instructions ~~~ and I think on some occasions had discussed with Barry Seal, the methodology. She was furious when she exited the grand jury, was very upset, indicated to me that she had not been allowed to furnish her evidence to the grand jury. ~~~ She was the secretary for Rich Mountain Aviation, who participated in the money laundering operation upon the instructions of Hampton, Evans.

    * * * * *
    Q. And what did she say about the evidence that she was allowed to give the grand jury as it might have been different from the evidence that you wanted her to give to the grand jury?
    A. She basically said that "she was allowed to give her name, address, position, and not much else.

    * * * * *

    Q. And there were two other witnesses, I believe you made reference to, did you talk with them?
    A. I talked to another one, his name was Jim Nugent, who was a Vice-president at Union Bank of Mena, who had conducted a search of their records and provided a significant amount of evidence relating to the money laundering transactions. He was also furious that he was not allowed to provide the evidence that he wanted to provide to the grand jury.

    Q. And was there a third witness?
    A. There was a third witness, I don't recall her name off-hand. She was an officer at one of the financial institutions in Mena, and she did not complain to me.

    * * * * *

    Q. What was the result of the grand jury inquiry into the money laundering investigation which you had conducted?
    A. There were never any money laundering indictments.

    Q. There was no indictment?
    A. No.

    Q. Did you have occasion to talk to any of the jurors that were impaneled on the grand jury that heard the evidence?
    A. At a later date, I came in contact with the deputy foreman of the grand jury, who had previously given testimony to an investigator for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, concerning her frustrations as the deputy foreman of the grand jury.

    * * * * *

    Q. And could you relate to us any other conversation you might have had with her concerning her appearance before the grand jury?
    A. Well, she was perpetually involved in the grand jury as it heard evidence concerning the Barry Seal matter, and she related to me the frustrations of herself and the entire grand jury because they were not allowed to hear of money laundering evidence.

    Q. Do you recall any statements that she made to you concerning that grand jury, her service on the grand jury?
    A. .She stated to me that they specifically asked to hear the money laundering evidence, specifically asked that I be subpoenaed, and they were not allowed to have me subpoenaed.

    * * * * *

    Q. Mr. Duncan, are you saying that the grand jury that was impaneled to hear your investigation, hear evidence of the investigation that you had conducted for the U.S. Treasury as a special investigator, was compromised?
    A. The evidence was never presented to the grand jury. The evidence gathered during that investigation was never presented to the grand jury.

    * * * * *

    Q. There were no indictments?
    A. Never any indictments.

    Q. There were no prosecutions?
    A. None.

    Q. In effect, the evidence that you gathered has not been acted on by the U. S. Attorney's Office?
    A. Not to my knowledge.

    Q. Did you complain to your superior?
    A. Yes.

    Q. What was his name?
    A. Paul Whitmore, Chief of Criminal Investigation. I also complained to my group managers, Tim Lee, Charles Huckaby and Max Gray.

    Q. And what did they -- what was their response?
    A. They were very frustrated, also. Mr. Whitmore, in fact, made several trips to Fort Smith, Arkansas to complain to the U. S. Attorney's Office.

    Q. Did he relate to you the conversation he had had with the U. S. Attorney?
    A. On several occasions, and also related to me that the U.S. Attorney wrote him a letter telling him not to come to his office anymore complaining, that that was unprofessional behavior.

    Q. What was the conclusion of Mr. Whitmore concerning your investigation and the manner in which it was handled by the U. S. Attorney in Arkansas?
    A. That there was a coverup.

    Q. Are you saying -- do you agree with his-with Mr. Whitmore's conclusion?
    A. Absolutely.

    Q. Are you stating now under oath that you believe that the investigation in and around the Mena Airport of money laundering was covered up by the U. S. Attorney in Arkansas?
    A. It was covered up,

    Q. Would you state that succinctly for the record in your own words, so that we might -- to have the benefit of how you would state your opinion and conclusions as a result of your activities as a special investigator -- as to this investigation?
    A. I was involved from April of 1933, really to this date, in gathering information, gathering evidence, until 1987-1988. I, on a perpetual basis, furnished all the evidence, all the information to the U. S. Attorney's Office. In January of 1986, a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney from Miami, I believe, who was a money laundering specialist, came to Fort Smith, met with then U. S. Attorney Fitzhugh and myself and drafted a series of indictments. I think there were 29 indictments, charging the aforementioned individuals and Barry Seal, as I recall, as an unindicted co-conspirator in the money laundering scheme. At that point in time I had every indication that the cases would go to the Grand Jury, that the evidence would be presented to a grand jury. We experienced a variety of frustrations, mid '85 on, not able to obtain subpoenas for witnesses we felt were necessary. I had some direct interference by Mr. Fitzhugh in the investigative process. Specifically he would call me and interrupt interviews, tell me not to interview people that he had previously told me were necessary to be interviewed.

    Q. Did you have any interferences or interruptions from anyone within the U. S. Treasury Department that would interfere with your investigation?
    A. They interfered with my testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime.

    Q. Would you tell us about that?
    A. In late December of 1987, I was contacted by Chief Counsel for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Hayden Gregory, who told me that they were looking into the reason why no one was indicted in connection with the Mena investigations. The Internal Revenue service assigned to me disclosure litigation attorneys, which gave me instructions which would have caused me to withhold information from Congress during my testimony and to also perjure myself.

    Q. And how did you respond to the Treasury Department?
    A. Well, I exhibited to them that I was going to tell the truth in my testimony. And the perjury, subornation of perjury resulted in an -- resulted because of an allegation that I had received, that Attorney General Edwin Meese received a several hundred thousand dollar bribe from Barry Seal directly. And they told me to tell the Subcommitte on Crime that I had no information about that.

    Q. What is this about Meese? Where did you get that information?
    A. I received that from Russell Welch, the State Police investigator.

    * * * * *

    Q. (BY MR. ALEXANDER) Mr. Duncan, prior to your resignation from the Department of Treasury, do you recall any other conversations you may have had with your superiors concerning the investigation of Mena?
    A. With respect to what?

    Q. With respect to the manner in which the case was attempting to be covered up?
    A. We had continuing discussions because none of us, my managers nor myself, had ever experienced anything remotely akin to this type of interference. I had a very good working relationship with all the Assistant United States Attorneys and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western Judicial District, never any problems. The office was open to me, and I visited with them every time I was in Fort Smith. And we couldn't understand why there was this different attitude. I had found Asa Hutchinson to be a very aggressive U.S. Attorney in connection with my cases, then all of a sudden, with respect to Mena, it was just like the information was going in but nothing was happening over a long period of time. Mr. Hutchinson did not directly interfere as did Mr. Fitzhugh. But just like with the 20 witnesses and the complaint, I didn't know what to make of that. Alarms were going off. And as soon as Mr. Fitzhugh got involved, he was more aggressive in not allowing the subpoenas and in interfering in the investigative process. He was reluctant to have the State Police around, even though they were an integral part of the investigation. For instance, when the money laundering specialist was up from Miami, Mr. Fitzhugh left Mr. Welch in the hall all day until late in the afternoon and refused to allow him to come in. We were astonished that we couldn't get subpoenas. We were astonished that Barry Seal was never brought to the grand jury, because be was on the subpoena list for a long time. And there were just a lot of investigative developments that made no sense to us. One of the most revealing things, I suppose, was that we had discussed specifically with Asa Hutchinson the rumors about National Security involvement in the Mena operations. And Mr. Hutchinson told me personally that he had checked with a variety of law enforcement agencies and people In Miami, and that Barry Seal would be prosecuted for any crimes in Arkansas. So we were comfortable that there was not going to be National Security interference.

    * * * * *

    Q. Did you ever talk to a Mary Ann Curtin?
    A. Yes, I did.

    Q. What was her job?
    A. She was the disclosure litigation attorney in Washington assigned to counsel me, provide legal advice with respect to my testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime.

    Q. What was her advice to you?
    A. Told me not to offer any opinions, even if specifically asked for my opinion by the Subcommitte on Crime. Told me not to volunteer any information. Basically did not want me saying anything that would reflect badly on the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western Judicial District of Arkansas.

    Q. What was your conclusion from her instructions to you?
    A. It made no sence for me not to give full and complete testimony to the subcommittee on Crime.

    Q. Mr. Duncan, do you get the impression that she was ordering you to cover up the investigation?
    A. Absolutely.

    Q. If you were asked to state that in your own words, what would you say?
    A. I would say that we had conducted textbook investigations of all the individuals at Mena, there were a variety of legal issues involved, which I had always had them in loop on. We had proceeded very soundly. There was nothing for us to be ashamed of. The investigations were thorough, to the extent that we could conduct the investigation without subpoenas. And I would have thought that the Internal Revenue Service would have wanted a complete disclosure to Congress about the problems that we encountered, but quite the opposite was true. They obviously did not want any negative testimony coming from me concerning the U.S. Attorney's Office. At one point when we were arguing about the Meese allegation, she told me that she had discussed my frustrations with the personal assistant to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who was Larry Gibbs at the time, and the personal assistant's name was Bryan Sloan. And that Bryan Sloan told her, "Bill is just going to have to get the big picture."

    * * * *

    FURTHER EXAMINATION BY MR. BRYANT:

    Q. Bill, let me ask you a few questions. I want to take you back to your investigation at the Mena Airport. How many federal agencies were involved in that investigation at the time you first went there?
    A. I was aware that U.S. Customs Service was involved..I was aware that the FBI was involved, the Drug Enforcement Administration. Those were federal agencies. The Arkansas State Police was involved. The Polk County Sheriffs Office was involved and also the Louisiana State Police was involved in investigating a link between Louisiana and Arkansas.

    Q. In your opinion, were those agencies actively involved in the investigation of the Mena operation and specifically Barry Seal at that time?
    A. Actively involved since at least 1982.

    Q. And when did you first go to Mena?
    A. In May of 1983.

    Q. And after you were involved in the investigation, when did you make your presentation to the U.S. Attorney for the grand jury laundering allegation that you had prepared?
    A. The reports, the prosecutorial reports went to Mr. Fitzhugh in December of 1985.

    Q. At that particular time were all federal agencies still actively involved in investigating the Barry Seal matter or had they--had their interest cooled, or how would you describe it?
    A. It was a very strange thing, because we were dealing with allegations of narcotics smuggling, massive amounts of money laundering. And it was my perception that the Drug Enforcement Administration would have been very actively involved at that stage, especially along with the Arkansas State Police. But DEA was conspicuously absent during most of that time. The FBI appeared on the scene intermittently. Usually when Russell and I were going to conduct some credible interviews, Tom Ross, from the Hot Springs FBI Office, would suddenly appear on the scene. He would make some trips to Baton Rouge with us. U.S. Customs was conspicuously absent, also. It was primarily just Russell Welch and myself.

    Q. Regarding the allegations of drug running and weapons running and any other things that you might have heard, what information do you have to, number one, substantiate that there might have been drugs brought to the Mena Airport?
    A. We were receiving information from a variety of sources that Barry was doing some work for the United States Government, but that be was smuggling on the return trips for himself. We knew from his modus operandi in Louisiana that he many times dropped the rugs in remote areas and retrieved them with helicopters. He had helicopters in the hangers at Mena and a variety of aircraft, smuggling type aircraft on the ground in Mena. And we heard, you know, all the time that he was making on return trips -- Terry Capeheart, a Deputy at Polk County Sheriff's Department, had received information from an informant on the inside at Rich Mountain Aviation that drugs were actually brought into Rich Mountain Aviation, and on one occasion guarded with armed guards around the aircraft.

    * * * * *

    Q. What specific physical evidence did you observe at the Mena Airport that would indicate to you, that in your professional opinion, drugs were brought to Mena or that Mena was being used as a base for drug smuggling?
    A. primarily I was reviewing evidence gathered by the law enforcement agencies, surveillance logs, their representations to me. I was focusing on the money laundering and financial analysis end of it, and did not conduct a lot of physical surveillance myself. But we had a lot of intelligence reports and surveillance reports of various airplanes in there being refueled, leaving in the middle of the night, N numbers being changed, typical modus operandi of a smuggling. We also had testimony that his aircraft had been plumbed with longer range tanks and bladders, that illegal cargo doors had been installed in the aircraft. And there was a lot of evidence of that. And I was seeing on some of the cashier's checks, Barry Seal's name on cashier's checks. The secretary ~~~ stated that when Barry would come in in his airplanes, the next morning many times there would be stacks of cash to be taken to the bank and laundered.

    Q. In connection with your investigation into the laundering activities, what -- how much money was laundered in your opinion through the Mena bank?
    A. At the time we couldn't proceed any further because of the lack of subpoenas. I would have to review the records, which the Internal Revenue Service has now. But it seems like there was a quarter of a million dollars, $300,000, something like that that we had documented, that had been laundered through the Mena banks, just the Mena banks.

    Q. And when you say "laundered," what specifically do you mean; what happened?
    A. They were obtaining cashier's checks in amounts of $10,000 or less at a variety of financial institutions in Mena and some further north from Mena or sometimes different tellers in the same banks to avoid preparation of the Currency Transaction Report. Kathy Corrigan testified that her instructions ~~~ were, that they were to do this to avoid the Internal Revenue Service knowing about the money and to avoid payment of taxes on the money.

    Q. Now, are you saying the' someone from Rich Mountain Aviation would appear at a local bank with $10,000 or less in cash, and then give that to the bank in exchange for a cashier's check, was that the typical arrangement, or what was the typical arrangement?
    A. They would go with, say, $9,500, or they might go with $30,000, but they would break it up in increments of $10,000 or less. And on one occasion Freddie Hampton personally took a suitcase full of money, I think it was seventy some thousand dollars, into this bank officer, and the testimony of the tellers revealed that the bank officer went down the teller lines handing out the stacks of $10,000 bills and got the cashier's checks. Those cashier's checks, in that instance, went to Aero House of Houston for the building of Barry Seal's hanger. This, as I recall, was November of '82.

    Q. Do you have any doubt in your mind that Mena was used as a base for drug operation. headed by Barry Seal?
    A. Do I have any personal doubt?

    Q. Do you have any personal doubt in your mind that that is not the case -- that that was not the case?
    A. I very much believe that was the case.

    Q. You had an occasion to interview Mr. Seal yourself, did you not?
    A. That's correct.

    Q. Now, when was this?
    A. This was December of '85.

    Q. Was this prior to the laundering grand jury or after?
    A. After.

    Q. After. Was there any particular reason why Barry Seal was not called to testify at the grand jury?
    A. I never received an explanation from the U.S. Attorney's Office as to why he was not called. Because we were given assurances that he would be called to the grand jury. He was on the witness list, and I issued him a subpoena at the time I interviewed him for appearance at the grand jury. You've already stated you, as a law enforcement official did not testify?
    A. That's correct.

    Q. Did any law enforcement official testify before the grand jury, to your knowledge?
    A. It's my understanding that Larry Carver with DEA testified before the grand jury sometime maybe in '87 or '88. Russell Welch testified before the grand jury, and also Terry Capaheart testified before the grand jury.

    * * * * *

    Q. In your professional opinion as a law enforcement official with extensive experience, is that -- wouldn't it be highly unusual in extreme cases where law enforcement officials who investigated the case would not be called to testify?
    A. Every grand jury case that was ever presented where I conducted the investigation, I was the law enforcement officer who summarized the evidence before the grand jury. I find it highly unusual.

    Q. And isn't it highly unusual that Barry Seal was not called to testify in view that he was - - in view of the fact that he was the principal involved in the investigation?
    A. We found it highly unusual.

    Q. You had an opportunity to interview Mr. Seal. Did Mr. Seal make any admissions regarding drug operations that he headed?
    A. I would have to review a copy of that transcript. he basically admitted that he had been a smuggler, that he had smuggled drugs. he told -- he said that he told the people at Rich Mountain Aviation that they were guilty of money laundering and should be prepared to plead guilty to it. That he provided instructions to them that resulted in them getting involved in money laundering. "Not to put his business on the street," I think is the way he put it.

    * * * *

    Q. Mr. Duncan, we've talked about -- you have testified that a one Barry Seal, in your judgment, laundered money from -- that was derived from the sale of drugs --
    A. Yes.

    Q. -- in several banks in and around Mena, Arkansas. He had to get those drugs -- "he," Barry Seal, , had to get those drugs from somewhere. Do you know the source of those drugs?
    A. The specific drugs in the Mena operation?

    Q. Well, Barry Seal got drugs that he sold for money. Are those the drugs that came to Mena from Central America?
    A. I don't have direct evidence of that.

    Q. Do you have any evidence as to where Barry Seal might have gotten the drugs that he sold for money that was laundered at Mena?
    A. I believe that he testified that he had a history of smuggling narcotics, marijuana and cocaine, from Central America.

    Q. Did Barry Seal have a connection with the so-called Mena operation, drug smuggling operation?
    A. The evidence that we have indicates that his entire base of operation moved from Baton Rouge to the Mena Airport in approximately 1982, late 1982.

    Q. Mr. Richard Brennecke testified earlier today that he was a former contract employee with the CIA, and that as a pilot he transported guns and munitions from Mena, Arkansas to Panama. And that on the same airplane returned with a cargo of drugs, mostly cocaine but some marijuana, that was brought back to Mena and delivered to one Hampton, Freddie Hampton, and to representatives of the Gotti New York crime syndicate operation, the Mafia from New York. Do you know whether or not any of those drugs that were described by Mr. Brenneke went to Mr. Seal as well and were sold in the United States in exchange for the money that he laundered at Mena?
    A. I have no personal knowledge of that.

    FURTHER RE-EXAMINATION BY MR. BRYANT:

    Q. Even though, while you do not have personal knowledge of that, Bill, would Mr. Brenneke's scenario, based on what you personally know happened at Mena, be consistent?
    A. What Mr. Brenneke has related concerning the Mena operation would be consistent with testimony from a variety of individuals and additional information that we received concerning the method of operation at Rich Mountain Aviation. For instance, Kathy Corrigan related that on numerous occasions they would be forced to stay inside their offices because airplanes would land and strange faces would be around, Central American or Mexican, Spanish origin folks would be around that they had not seen before. But on those occasions they were given instructions by Hampton and/or Joe Evans to stay in the office and make no contact with those individuals. Airplanes landing in the middle of the night, hanger doors opening, the airplanes going in, then leaving out before daylight, numerous, dozens and dozens of accounts like that. Great secrecy surrounding the entire operation at Rich Mountain Aviation.

    Q. So if everything that Mr. Brenneke stated regarding his relationship with the Mena operation were true, it would fit into the overall picture as you understand the situation at Mena, would it not?
    A. Yes, It would. With respect to the training at Nella, we had numerous reports of automatic weapons fire, of people in camouflage in the middle of night, low intensity landing lights around the Nella Airport, twin-engine airplane traffic in and about the Nella Airport. Reports as far as 30 something miles away of non-American type of troops in camos moving quietly through streams with automatic weapons, numerous reports like that from a variety of law enforcement sources. Also, reports that -- from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission people that they found vast quantities of ammunition hulls secreted in shacks around the Nela Airport. On one occasion the Game and Fish officer was warned away from the Nella Airport by someone who purported to be an FBI agent and exhibited a badge, On and on and on.

    Q. Regarding the Nella Airport, have you been there personally?
    A. Yes, I have.

    Q. And so there is another airport not far from the Mena Airport?
    A. Yes, there is, approximately ten miles north.

    Q. And would there be any other reason for the Nella Airport other than clandestine activities, paramilitary training, use by planes to bring in drugs, illegal contraband and so forth?
    A. Not to my knowledge. There are no hangers out there. The type of reports that we had from individuals living around the airport would indicate that type of an operation. Some of those people said that there were frequent visits by people from Rich Mountain Aviation basically asking what they were seeing and hearing. There was a large expenditure of money in preparation of the strip by Freddie Lee Hampton. The type of expenditure that you wouldn't make just for an out-of-the-way little country airport.

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    Bombing of Cuban Jetliner
    30 Years Later

    New Documents on Luis Posada Posted as Texas Court Weighs Release from Custody

    Colgate Toothpaste Disguised Plastic Explosives in 1976 Terrorist Attack

    Confessions, Kissinger Reports, and Overview of Posada Career Posted

    National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 202

    Edited by Peter Kornbluh and Yvette White

    For more information contact
    Peter Kornbluh - 202/994-7116 - peter.kornbluh@gmail.com

    Posted - October 5, 2006

    This November 5, 1976, report from FBI director Clarence Kelly to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger suggested that Posada had attended meetings in Caracas where the plane bombing was planned.

    Related postings

    June 9, 2005
    The Posada File, Part II

    Posada Boasted of Plans to "Hit" Cuban Plane

    May 10, 2005
    Luis Posada Carriles:
    The Declassified Record

    CIA and FBI Documents Detail Career in International Terrorism; Connection to U.S.


    In the news

    "Castro Foe Puts U.S. in an Awkward Spot"
    By Marc Lacey
    The New York Times
    October 8, 2006

    "U.S. to extend Posada detention"
    By Frances Robles
    The Miami Herald
    October 7, 2006

    "Documentos incriminan a Posada Carriles"
    By Rui Ferreira
    El Nuevo Herald
    October 7, 2006

    "Cuba: 30 a0Š9os despu¨¦s de ataque a avi¨®n piden justicia"
    By Andrea Rodriguez
    El Nuevo Herald
    October 7, 2006

    "Test on Terrorism"
    By Peter Kornbluh
    The Nation
    October 2, 2006

    "Twilight of the Assassins"
    By Ann Louise Bardach
    The Atlantic Monthly
    November 2006

    "In 30-Year-Old Terror Case, a Test for the U.S."
    By Manuel Roig-Franzia
    The Washington Post
    October 5, 2006

    "Case of Cuban Exile Could Test the U.S. Definition of Terrorist"
    by Tim Weiner
    The New York Times
    May 9, 2005

    "Papers connect exile to bomb plot"
    by Oscar Corral
    Miami Herald
    May 10, 2005

    "Documentos vinculan a Posada con ataque"
    por Oscar Corral
    Miami Herald via elnuevoherald.com
    May 10, 2005

    Washington D.C., October 5, 2006 - On the 30th anniversary of the first and only mid-air bombing of a civilian airliner in the Western Hemisphere, the National Security Archive today posted on the Web new investigative records that further implicate Luis Posada Carriles in that crime of international terrorism. Among the documents posted is an annotated list of four volumes of still-secret records on Posada's career with the CIA, his acts of violence, and his suspected involvement in the bombing of Cubana flight 455 on October 6, 1976, which took the lives of all 73 people on board, many of them teenagers.

    The National Security Archive, which has sought the declassification of the Posada files through the Freedom of Information Act, today called on the U.S. government to release all intelligence files on Posada. "Now is the time for the government to come clean on Posada's covert past and his involvement in international terrorism," said Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Archive's Cuba Documentation Project. "His victims, the public, and the courts have a right to know."

    Posada has been in detention in El Paso, Texas, for illegal entry into the United States, but a magistrate has recommended that he be released this week because the Bush administration has not certified that he is a terrorist.

    Among the documents posted today are four sworn affidavits by police officials in Trinidad and Tobago, who were the first to interrogate the two Venezuelans--Hernan Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo--who were arrested for placing the bomb on flight 455. (Their statements were turned over as evidence to a special investigative commission in Barbados after the crime.) Information derived from the interrogations suggested that the first call the bombers placed after the attack was to the office of Luis Posada's security company ICI, which employed Ricardo. Ricardo claimed to have been a CIA agent (but later retracted that claim). He said that he had been paid $16,000 to sabotage the plane and that Lugo was paid $8,000.

    The interrogations revealed that a tube of Colgate toothpaste had been used to disguise plastic explosives that were set off with a "pencil-type" detonator on a timer after Ricardo and Lugo got off the plane during a stopover in Barbados. Ricardo "in his own handwriting recorded the steps to be taken before a bomb was placed in an aircraft and how a plastic bomb is detonated," deputy commissioner of police Dennis Elliott Ramdwar testified in his affidavit.

    The Archive also released three declassified FBI intelligence reports that were sent to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger after the bombing. The updates, classified "secret" and signed by director Clarence Kelly, focused on the relations between the FBI legal attach¨¦ in Caracas, Joseph Leo, Posada, and one of the Venezuelans who placed the bomb on the plane, to whom Leo had provided a visa. One report from Kelly, based on the word of an informant in Venezuela, suggested that Posada had attended meetings in Caracas where the plane bombing was planned. The document also quoted an informant as stating that after the plane went into the ocean one of the bombers placed a call to Orlando Bosch, the leading conspirator in the plot, and stated: "a bus with 73 dogs went off a cliff and all got killed."

    Another State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research report to Kissinger, posted again today, noted that the CIA had a source in Venezuela who had overheard Posada saying "we are going to hit a Cuban airplane" and "Orlando has the details" only days before the plane was blown up off the coast of Barbados.

    Both Bosch and Posada were arrested and imprisoned in Venezuela after the attack. Posada escaped from prison in September 1985; Bosch was released in 1987 and returned to the United States illegally. Like Posada, he was detained by immigration authorities; over the objections of the Justice Department, which determined he was a threat to public security, the first President Bush's White House issued him an administrative pardon in 1990.

    Still-secret intelligence documents cited in the file review released today suggest that the CIA assigned several cryptonyms to Posada when he was working for them, first as an operative and trainer in demolitions and later as an informant based in the Venezuelan secret police service DISIP. In 1965 he was assigned the codename "AMCLEVE-15." In 1972 he "was given a new crypt CIFENCE-4," according to a still-unreleased CIA document, and later referred to as "WKSCARLET-3."


    Documents
    Note: The following documents are in PDF format.
    You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

    House Select Committee on Assassinations, LUIS POSADA CARRILES, ca. 1978

    In 1978, investigators for a special committee investigation into the death of President John F. Kennedy conducted a comprehensive review of CIA, FBI, DEA and State Department intelligence files relating to the life, operations and violent activities of Luis Posada Carriles. The committee examined four volumes containing dozens of secret memos, cables and reports, dating from 1963 to 1977, relating to Posada's employment by the CIA, his efforts to overthrow the Castro government, his transfer to Venezuela, and his involvement in the bombing of Cubana flight 455. Investigators for the committee were able to take notes on the documents and compile this list, which was declassified by the CIA as part of the Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board work in the late 1990s. The annotated list of documents represents a rare but comprehensive overview of Posada's relations with U.S. intelligence agencies and his career in violence. The National Security Archive is seeking the full declassification of documents through the Freedom of Information Act.

    State Department, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Memorandum, "Castro's Allegations," October 18, 1976

    The first report to Secretary of State Kissinger from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research on the bombing of Cubana Airlines Flight 455 details Cuba's allegation that the CIA was involved in the bombing and provides an outline of the suspects' relationship to the U.S. The report notes that a CIA source had overheard Posada prior to the bombing in late September 1976 stating that, "We are going to hit a Cuban airliner." This information was apparently not passed to the CIA until after the plane went down. (This document was originally posted on May 18, 2005.)

    FBI, Letter to Kissinger, [Regarding Special Agent Leo], October 20, 1976

    This report to Secretary of State Kissinger from Clarence M. Kelly, director of the FBI, explains the association between Joseph S. Leo, Special Agent and Legal Attach¨¦ in Caracas, to the suspects of the Cubana Airlines Flight 455 bombing. Investigators found Leo's name among the possessions of Hernan Ricardo Lozano, one of the suspects implicated in the bombing. The report notes that there were at least two contacts between Lozano and Leo in the weeks leading up to the bombing.

    FBI, Letter to Kissinger, [Regarding Contact with Bombing Suspects], October 29, 1976

    The second report to Secretary of State Kissinger from Clarence M. Kelly, director of the FBI, provides additional information regarding the relationship between Special Agent Leo and the Cubana Airlines bombing suspects. The report details Leo's contacts with Lozano and Posada going back to the summer of 1975, and notes that Leo suspected Posada and Hernan Ricardo Lozano of acts of terrorism, but still granted Ricardo's request for a visa to the United States.

    FBI, Letter to Kissinger, [Regarding Ricardo Morales Navarette], November 5, 1976

    A third report to Secretary of State Kissinger from Clarence M. Kelly, director of the FBI, relays information from a confidential FBI source that the bombing of the Cubana Airlines flight was planned in Caracas, Venezuela by Luis Posada Carriles, Frank Castro, and Ricardo Morales Navarrete. The source states that the group had made previous unsuccessful attempts to bomb Cuban aircraft in Jamaica and Panama. Shortly after the plane crashed, bombing suspect Hernan Ricardo Lozano telephoned Bosch stating, "a bus with 73 dogs went off a cliff and all got killed." The source also states that anti-Castro Cuban exiles working with the Chilean National Directorate for Intelligence (DINA) carried out the assassination of Orlando Letelier in Washington, DC on September 21, 1976.

    Statements to Police in Trinidad and Tobago

    Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of National Security, October 27, 1976, [Randolph Burroughs deposition regarding Hernan Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo]

    Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Randolph Burroughs' report notes that Hernan Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo checked into the Holiday Inn Hotel near the airport in Port-of-Spain under the names Jose Garcia and Freddy Perez on the day of the crash. Burroughs' report also states that Hernan Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo originally said that they knew nothing about the Cubana airlines plane crash when he approached them for questioning at their hotel on the morning of October 7, 1976.

    Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of National Security, October 27, 1976, [Oscar King deposition regarding Hernan Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo]

    Corporal Oscar King of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service attended the interviews with Freddy Lugo and Hernan Ricardo Lozano. His statement records Lozano saying that Freddy Lugo boarded the plane with two cameras and that on his arrival in Barbados he only had one camera. Lozano further states that he is sure that the bomb was inside of the other camera.

    Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of National Security, October 26, 1976, [Gordon Waterman deposition regarding Hernan Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo]

    Trinidad and Tobago Senior Superintendent of Police Gordon Waterman's written deposition attests to statements made by Hernan Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo while the two were detained by the Criminal Investigation Department in Port-of-Spain. According to Waterman's report, Lozano states that he and Lugo are paid members of the CIA. (He later retracted that statement.) Prior to admitting that he and Lugo bombed the plane, Lozano tells Deputy Commissioner Ramdwar, "If you use your police brain, it would be clear to you who bombed the plane."

    Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of National Security, October 26, 1976, [Dennis Elliott Ramdwar deposition regarding Hernan Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo]

    Trinidad and Tobago Deputy Commissioner of Police Dennis Ramdwar led the inquiries regarding the crash of Cubana Airline Flight 455. In his written statement he notes that Freddy Lugo initially denied knowledge of the crash. Eight days later, Lugo tells Ramdwar that he is convinced that Lozano placed the bomb on the aircraft. He states that Ricardo told him twice that he was going to blow up a Cubana aircraft as the two were headed to the airport prior to the bombing. In a separate interview, Lozano gives Ramdwar details of how a "certain chemical is filled in a tube of Colgate toothpaste after the toothpaste is extracted" to construct the bomb.

    Contents of this website Copyright 1995-2006 National Security Archive. All rights reserved.
    Terms and conditions for use of materials found on this website.

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    Posada is target of new criminal probes

    BY ALFONSO CHARDY AND JAY WEAVER
    jweaver@MiamiHerald.com
    Posada
    Posada

    One of the first things the businessman noticed about Luis Posada Carriles was that he spoke funny. Posada, who mumbled because of an old bullet wound in his jaw, frequently visited the businessman's Guatemala utility company in 1997 to meet with two co-workers.

    The businessman grew suspicious after one of the workers told him about Cuban exile plans to assassinate Fidel Castro and after a Venezuelan politician confided that Posada, a CIA-trained explosives expert, was a ``very dangerous individual.''

    Concerned that Posada was using his utility business to plot illicit activities, the businessman hid a transmitter in an office and overheard the two co-workers talk with Posada about placing a ''putty-like explosive'' in the shoes of Central Americans paid to pose as tourists on trips to Cuba.

    Soon afterward, the businessman became a ''confidential source'' for the FBI's investigation into bombs that exploded at Cuban tourist sites in 1997, killing an Italian and wounding seven others.

    The businessman, a Cuban-American engineer who set up the utility company in Guatemala City in 1996, could turn out to be the central figure in the Justice Department's rekindled criminal investigation of Posada. The probe is back on track -- despite the fact that the FBI field office in Miami destroyed evidence in 2003 about the initial Cuba bombing case.

    Federal grand juries in New Jersey and Texas are investigating the secret activities of Posada, 78, who is detained at an immigration facility in El Paso, Texas. The Texas probe focuses on whether he lied about how he sneaked into the country. The New Jersey investigation, aided by the FBI in Miami, is zeroing in on his role as the alleged mastermind of the dozen tourist-site bombings in Cuba that investigators think were financed by Cuban exiles in Union City, N.J.

    Either of the probes could lead to the first indictment of Posada in the United States.

    An insight into the Justice Department's case can be found in a 10-page affidavit obtained by The Miami Herald. In the June 10, 2005, sworn statement, FBI special agent Thomas H. Rice portrayed Posada as a dangerous man bent on killing Castro and spreading terror on the communist-run island to destroy its tourism economy.

    ''The FBI is unable to rule out the possibility that Posada poses a threat to the national security of the United States,'' Rice wrote.

    Among the evidence cited in the sworn statement:

    6¦1 In late August 1997, the businessman at the Guatemala utility company said he and a co-worker discovered ''what appeared to be explosive materials'' in the firm's office, where Posada regularly met with two other workers.

    The businessman later told the FBI that the materials consisted of 22 transparent plastic tubes filled with a tan substance. They were labeled with the name of the manufacturer and ``explosivos de alto poder, extremadamente peligrosos'' -- high-power explosives, extremely dangerous.

    6¦1 The businessman said he found funnels in the office that he thought were used to mix explosive materials with liquid inside shampoo bottles. He also found a diaper that may have been used to absorb the liquid in the bottles and yield the explosives.

    The businessman then found a carrying case containing a note in Spanish, which said, ''The tyrant has to be eliminated, regardless of how many others are killed.'' Also found in the case: a note pad with Posada's name written on the first page.

    6¦1 During the FBI's investigation of the 1997 Cuba bombings, agents collected records showing about $19,000 in wire transfers from the United States to ''Ramon Medina,'' one of Posada's aliases, in El Salvador and Guatemala between Oct. 30, 1996, and Jan. 14, 1998.

    The FBI agent specifically refers to an Aug. 25, 1997, fax intercepted by the businessman's co-worker at the Guatemala utility company.

    The cryptic fax is signed Solo. Investigators think Posada sent the fax from El Salvador to the utility company, addressed to two alleged co-conspirators who worked there.

    Handwritten in Spanish, it refers to Western Union wire money transfers totaling $3,200 from four men in Union City to pay a ``hotel bill.''

    It also alludes to some previous discussion Solo had about the need for publicity for certain actions. But there is no mention of Posada or bombings.

    ''As I explained to you, if there is no publicity, the work is useless,'' Solo wrote, adding: ``The American newspapers don't publish anything that hasn't been confirmed. I need all the information regarding the discotheque in order to try to confirm it. If there is no publicity, there will be no payment. I'll be awaiting news today, tomorrow I'll be leaving for two days.''

    Since the fax became public in 1998, after it was reported first in The Miami Herald and then in The New York Times, it has come to be seen as a crucial document in the current investigation. It was included in the hundreds of pages turned over May 19 to the El Paso court considering Posada's custody.

    In New Jersey, three of the people mentioned in the fax -- Abel Hern¨¢ndez, Rub¨¦n Gonzalo and his son, Jos¨¦ -- have been approached by FBI agents and subpoenaed by the federal grand jury in Newark. Authorities wanted to know whether they helped finance the Cuba bombings.

    Attorney Gilberto Garcia, who represents the three men and two other Cuban exiles also subpoenaed by the grand jury, said none had any role in the bombings.

    ''My clients had no knowledge about the financing of the bombings,'' Garcia said. ``They had no participation.''

    Nevertheless, Garcia said two of the five refused to testify and invoked their right against self-incrimination -- then prosecutors excused them. Two others agreed to provide information to prosecutors, and one actually testified before the grand jury. Those three said they had not been involved in the bombings.

    Garcia said his clients' names on the Solo fax were ``misappropriated.''

    ''Someone was sending these money transfers to Guatemala using their names,'' he said.

    Although Posada was suspected as the mastermind of the bombings, he was never charged in the initial probe, largely because federal investigators insist that the Cuban government failed to help them build a case against him. But the federal case was reactivated after Posada, a Cuban-born Venezuelan citizen, sneaked into the United States last year.

    The U.S. attorney's offices in Newark and El Paso declined to comment.

    Eduardo Soto, Posada's attorney, said his client has not received a so-called target letter from federal authorities alleging that he is a suspect in a crime. Soto said his client did not lie about his entry into the country and was not involved in the Cuba bombings.

    In El Paso, three Cuban exiles from Miami -- Jos¨¦ Pujol, Rub¨¦n L¨®pez Castro and Ernesto Abreu -- have refused to testify, and at least two of them, Pujol and L¨®pez Castro, are facing prosecution.

    The current Newark investigation has gained momentum as the FBI pieces together evidence -- including the fax allegedly sent by Posada listing suspected U.S. co-conspirators involved in the financing of the bombing campaign.

    The government has stepped up its effort to keep Posada in detention because the federal judge in El Paso has set a Feb. 1 deadline for the Justice Department to demonstrate why he shouldn't be released in the United States, since he cannot be deported.

    The reason: No country has offered to take him. Also, an immigration judge has ordered that he not be sent back to Cuba or Venezuela.

    Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Ch¨¢vez accuse Posada of masterminding the 1976 bombing attack that brought down a Cuban airliner, killing 73 people.

    Both leaders have used Posada as a propaganda weapon against the United States, which was embarrassed by his illegal entry into the country in the post-9/11 climate when anti-terrorism defenses were supposed to be tighter. Castro and Ch¨¢vez have accused federal officials of coddling a ``terrorist.''

    For his part, Posada has blamed Cuban agents for a 1990 assassination attempt in which he was shot through the jaw and chest in Guatemala.

    The Justice Department's renewed Cuba bombing probe was challenging at first because the FBI had destroyed some documents, such as Western Union cables and other case records, in the fall of 2003 -- after obtaining approval from the U.S. attorney's office in Miami.

    In the initial case, the Cuban government was cooperative with federal authorities. A team of FBI agents visited Cuban counterintelligence officials on the island in June 1998. The Castro government said it shared information on the tourist bombing attacks and other alleged Cuban exile terrorism activities during the 1990s.

    But ultimately, Cuban officials refused to allow FBI agents to talk with witnesses or suspects or to conduct forensic examinations of explosive materials recovered from the tourist-site bombings, according to federal authorities.

    The final breakdown came in September 1998, when a federal grand jury in Miami indicted 10 Cuban agents on charges of infiltrating South Florida to spy on the U.S. government and the Cuban-American community.

    One of the key pieces of evidence in the current Cuba bombing investigation is the mysterious fax signed Solo.

    The link between Posada and the fax was reported first in The Miami Herald on June 7, 1998. A New York Times article the following month said a Cuban-American businessman in Central America, Jorge ''Tony'' Alvarez, had discovered the fax in his office. Alvarez claimed it had been sent by Posada from El Salvador.

    The article also asserted that Posada acknowledged being the author of the fax, and an accompanying story quoted Posada as saying he was responsible for the bomb attacks at Cuban tourist sites, including the one that killed the Italian.

    ''We didn't want to hurt anybody,'' the story quoted Posada as saying. ``We just wanted to make a big scandal so that the tourists don't come anymore. We don't want any more foreign investment.''

    According to the story, Posada added: ``It's sad that someone is dead. But we can't stop. That Italian was sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time.''

    For investigators, Posada's statements amounted to a confession.

    Last year, prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office in Miami sent subpoenas to The New York Times and freelance writer Ann Louise Bardach, demanding the recordings and any other documents she might have that were connected to the interview. Lawyers sought to quash the subpoenas, and the government withdrew them.

    In October, the grand jury in Newark issued a new subpoena to Bardach. She said her Miami lawyer is preparing a response to quash it.

    Taken together, the fax, FBI witnesses and the tapes could be crucial pieces of evidence in any effort to indict Posada.

    In testimony to an immigration court in El Paso last year, Posada acknowledged that he had made those statements to Bardach -- but noted that he did not understand her questions and did not provide proper answers because his English was poor.

    In the end, the Cuban government arrested several of the bombers.

    And over the next decade, the tourism industry was far from disrupted. Travel to Cuba became all the more popular, with the total number of visitors doubling to more than two million last year.

     

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    Key events in the life of militant Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles

    6¦1 1961: Trained for CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion but was not involved in the assault.

    6¦1 1963-64: Served in U.S. Army.

    6¦1 1965-67: Worked for CIA Miami station on Cuba sabotage missions.

    6¦1 1969-74: Battled Cuban-backed rebels in Caracas as senior Venezuelan intelligence officer.

    6¦1 1974: Retired to head private security agency in Caracas.

    6¦1 1976: Arrested in connection with bombing of Cuban jetliner off Barbados.

    6¦1 1980: Acquitted in plane bombing but held because of retrial.

    6¦1 1985: Escaped from Venezuelan jail and appeared in El Salvador, helping contra rebels.

    6¦1 1990: Survived assassination attempt in Guatemala.

    6¦1 1998: Admitted to The New York Times a role in Cuban tourist bombings, but later retracted it.

    ?6?1 2000: Arrested and later convicted in Panama in plot to kill Fidel Castro.

    6¦1 2004: Relocated to Honduras after being pardoned and released in Panama.

    6¦1 2005: Sneaked into the United States and asked for asylum.

     

     

     

     

    Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles' CIA links 40 years ago in South Florida


    Global Research, July 1, 2006
    Miami Herald



    Posada's CIA ties uncovered in papers
    Details have emerged about Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles' CIA links 40 years ago in South Florida. One revelation: his tie to the agency's Miami bureau.

    achardy@MiamiHerald.com

    Nearly four years after the failed CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles continued to work for the spy agency, according to CIA files released to The Miami Herald.

    His job: ''Training Branch Instructor'' for its Miami station, which then was responsible for intelligence-gathering missions into Cuba. He was part of the covert JMWAVE -- the code name for the CIA Miami bureau, which at the time operated within the University of Miami.

    His tenure: March 26, 1965, to July 11, 1967.

    The revelation of Posada's ties to the CIA's operations in Miami was contained in documents requested by The Miami Herald as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

    Although some of Posada's CIA links were known previously, the CIA files released to the newspaper this month add detail about the Cuban militant's connections to America's storied and controversial spy agency.

    The information comes at a time that Posada, currently detained in El Paso, Texas, is seeking approval of his U.S. citizenship application on the ground that he served the CIA and the U.S. military.

    Posada, 78, has been held since immigration agents took him into custody in Miami last year after his surreptitious entry into the United States from Mexico. Posada was detained just hours after holding an ''invitation-only'' press conference at a West Miami-Dade County warehouse.

    Posada has been denied asylum, although an immigration judge in El Paso prohibited the government from deporting him to Cuba or Venezuela.

    Posada has been accused of blowing up a Cuban airliner in the Caribbean in 1976, bombing hotels in Cuba in 1997 and 1998, and conspiring to kill Cuban President Fidel Castro in Panama in 2000. He has denied all of the allegations.

    POSADA'S CLAIM

    Posada's lawyer, Eduardo Soto, told The Miami Herald on Friday that the CIA documents could help his client gain freedom because they confirm that he was a soldier and employee of the U.S. government for years.

    ''I believe it fortifies in some way his claim that he was not only a soldier of this country on the armed services, but served as an employee for the CIA,'' Soto said. ``That bodes well with respect to our request that he be placed at liberty.''

    Posada could be freed after a hearing July 6 in El Paso, although it's unlikely, since immigration officials are adamant about keeping him locked up.

    Soto said skills Posada developed while working for JMWAVE were later put to use to advance U.S. interests in Central America in the 1980s.

    In 1985, after Posada fled a Venezuelan jail where he was held in connection with the 1976 airliner attack, he turned up in El Salvador, working for a covert arms-resupply network for the Nicaraguan contras overseen by then National Security Council staff member Oliver North.

    Whether the newly released papers will help or hinder Posada in his quest for citizenship and freedom was unclear.

    Some of the documents contain references to potentially derogatory information suggesting that the CIA severed its relationship with Posada because of his alleged association with a known mobster and suspicions that his brother had links to Cuban intelligence.

    Soto said he did not believe that those references would affect his client's case. Soto denied that Posada had a relationship with a gangster or that his CIA assignments were compromised by his brother.

    REQUEST DENIED

    One document shows that Posada's request for a military reserve commission was denied in 1966. The document, dated April 5, 1972, said Army records showed that Posada's application for the commission was ''disapproved'' in September 1966 after an Army Intelligence Command background investigation.

    Although the reasons for the denial were contained in the original document, the copy given to The Miami Herald did not include them.

    Another document, undated but marked ''SECRET'' and titled Updated Biographic Data, said Posada's ''termination'' as a JMWAVE ''CI,'' or confidential informant, came on July 11, 1967.

    At the bottom of the document are handwritten notes listing references to Posada's contacts with his brother Roberto and the reputed gangster -- Frank ''Lefty'' Rosenthal. Another document says Posada believes that his other brother, Raul, is an engineer who ``works for the Cuban government.''

    The handwritten note about Roberto says ''suspect'' and ''Cuban I.S.,'' possibly a reference to intelligence service.

    Posada, in an interview in detention in El Paso last year, said he had ''no relation'' to Rosenthal but would not elaborate and declined to discuss family connections in Cuba.

    Many of the documents given to The Miami Herald were previously released by the CIA to the National Archives. Some are also available in the collection of the National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research institute and library at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

    Information in the documents was also shared with investigators from the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which in the 1970s reinvestigated President Kennedy's 1963 assassination. The committee probed whether organized crime, Cuban exiles or exile groups conspired to kill Kennedy.

    The committee concluded that exile groups were not involved in an assassination conspiracy, but did not rule out the possible role of individual exiles.

    The documents released did not show any connection between Posada and the assassination. Posada told The Miami Herald in El Paso last year that he was in Georgia on the day Kennedy was killed in Dallas.

    None of the documents contained specific details about Posada's duties for JMWAVE.

    Former Miami Herald Latin America editor Don Bohning, who researched JMWAVE for his recent book, The Castro Obsession, said JMWAVE directed exile attacks in Cuba until 1963 and then staged covert intelligence-gathering missions until it was deactivated in early 1968.


    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

    Registered:
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    Reply with quote  #170 

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/chile/story/0,,1818423,00.html

     

    U.S. asset involved in drug sales

    Pinochet and son deny selling cocaine to Europe and US

    ¡¤ Former aide says army built drugs laboratory
    ¡¤ Ex-dictator's son initiates legal action


    Jonathan Franklin in Santiago
    Wednesday July 12, 2006
    The Guardian


    Augusto Pinochet amassed a $26m (0„514m) fortune through cocaine sales to Europe and the US, the general's former top aide for intelligence has alleged.

    In testimony sent to Chilean Judge Claudio Pavez, Manuel Contreras alleges that Pinochet and his son, Marco Antonio, organised a massive production and distribution network in the mid-1980s.

    According to Contreras, once the former Chilean dictator's ally and now his bitter enemy, Pinochet ordered the army to build a clandestine cocaine laboratory in Talagante, a town 24 miles outside Santiago. There he had chemists mix cocaine with other chemicals to produce what Contreras described as"black cocaine" capable of being smuggled past drug agents in the US and Europe.



    Pinochet denied the charges. His son also denied the charges, and has initiated a libel action against the former head of intelligence whom he called "a liar" and "a monster". "There is a whole family affected, you understand, with this slander and defamation," he told a Santiago court

    The details of Contreras's testimony first appeared in Chile's La Naci¨®n newspaper. The Pinochet fortune, amassed during the dictator's 1973-1990 rule, is now estimated at $26m and is being investigated in Chile, the US and Europe.

    The mastermind behind the cocaine operation, alleges Contreras, was Eugenio Berr¨ªos, a renegade chemist used repeatedly by Pinochet's secret police, Dina, to run clandestine laboratory experiments.

    Earlier testimony and documents show that Berr¨ªos and the lab tested anthrax and botulism, and were able to produce the deadly gas sarin. The drug operation, says Contreras, was designed to raise cash for the dictator.

    Contreras is serving two jail terms for human rights violations. As the former director of Dina, he is accused of running death squad operations which led to the murders of an estimated 3,000 Chileans in the mid-1970s.

    Details of the cocaine operation came as part of an investigation into the murder of Colonel Gerardo Huber, a senior intelligence operative and close friend of Contreras. Huber was found murdered in the middle of an investigation that implicated the Chilean army in breaking a UN weapons embargo and sending arms to Croatia in 1991. Huber, who was expected to testify before Chilean judges, was kidnapped and his body dumped.

    With mounting evidence that Pinochet personally planned the 1992 execution of Huber, ex-allies such as Contreras have turned on Pinochet and now allege a stunning list of crimes and cover-ups.

    Chile's president, Michelle Bachelet, called on the courts to carry out further investigations.

    While allegations of cocaine sales are new, the alleged use of clandestine arms deals has been under investigation for two years in Chile. Investigators in Chile and Britain continue to look at the role of British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) in a number of payments to Pinochet advisers. Whether those fees were consultant fees or kickbacks is under investigation.

    In addition to the investigation for tax fraud and falsifying documents (passports), Pinochet also faces investigation for his role in "Operaci¨®n Colombo", an organised massacre of dozens of regime opponents by Dina in 1974 and 1975.

     

     

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50222-2004Jul14.html

     

     

    Riggs Bank Hid Assets Of Pinochet, Report Says
    Senate Probe Cites Former U.S. Examiner

    By Terence O'Hara and Kathleen Day
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Thursday, July 15, 2004; Page A01

    Riggs Bank courted business from former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and helped him hide millions of dollars in assets from international prosecutors while he was under house arrest in Britain, according to a report by Senate investigators.

    The report also says the top federal bank examiner in charge of supervising the District's largest bank kept details about Riggs's relationship with Pinochet out of the Riggs case file. That happened a few months before the examiner retired from the government and joined Riggs as a senior executive. The examiner, R. Ashley Lee, denied the allegations to Senate investigators.

    The Senate report also said Lee recommended, while still working for the government, that the bank not be punished for failing to take steps designed to prevent money laundering.

    The report, which includes the first account of Riggs's dealings with Pinochet, is the latest blow to an institution that once billed itself as "the most important bank in the most important city in the world." In May the bank agreed to pay $25 million in civil penalties for what federal regulators called "willful, systemic" violation of anti-money-laundering laws in its dealings with the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea. Several other federal investigations continue into the bank's activities, and Riggs has hired investment bankers to explore a sale of the company.

    Senate investigators, who spent more than a year looking into Riggs, found that the bank attempted to use offshore and other accounts that were misleadingly named to obscure their connection to Pinochet. In documents required by federal regulators, for example, the bank referred to Pinochet not by name but as "a retired professional" who held a "high paying position in public sector for many years."

    Senior bank officials, including former chairman and chief executive Joseph L. Allbritton, were part of an effort to win Pinochet's business and were familiar with the activities in his accounts, the former dictator's legal status and efforts to seize his assets around the world, the Senate report says.

    In addition to its account of Riggs's relationship with Pinochet, who was held in Britain after an indictment in Spain on charges of "crimes against humanity," the Senate report provides new details about Riggs's dealings with Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the dictator of Equatorial Guinea.

    "It's a sordid story of a bank with a prestigious name that blatantly ignored its obligations under anti-money-laundering laws," said Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), the ranking minority member of the subcommittee whose staff oversaw the investigation. "And it took our regulators five years to act in any substantive way. . . . They tolerated Riggs failures and tolerated their dysfunctional AML [anti-money-laundering] program."

    Riggs officials declined to discuss the Pinochet allegations. The bank said a written statement that it has taken steps to improve its compliance with federal bank regulations. "It is clear that Riggs did not accomplish all that it needed to," Riggs said. "Specifically, with respect to the improvements that were outlined by our regulators, we regret that we did not more swiftly and more thoroughly complete the work necessary to fully meet the expectations of our regulators. For this, the Bank accepts full responsibility."

    The report raised the possibility of further legal and regulatory problems for Riggs. But a former federal banking enforcement lawyer, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he did not have access to the examination reports and other source materials for the subcommittee's report, said such cases can be difficult for prosecutors because to be found guilty of criminal wrongdoing, a bank has to have known that a customer was using an account for illicit activity.

    The report by the Democratic minority staff of the permanent subcommittee on investigations provides new information about Lee's role as a federal examiner, which is already under investigation by the Treasury Department's inspector general.

    In interviews with subcommittee investigators, Lee denied that he prevented information about Riggs's relationship with Pinochet from being included in bank examination reports. Lee did not respond to requests for comment that were made through Riggs. Lee's lawyer, Gilbert Schwartz, who specializes in banking issues, declined through a spokesman to comment yesterday.

    But based on interviews with others, the report concludes that the top federal bank examiner at Riggs might have become "too close" to the bank to be an effective watchdog during his four years overseeing the bank, from 1998 to 2002, when Riggs was repeatedly failing to take steps required by laws designed to prevent money laundering.

    Yesterday a source with knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the inspector general has subpoenaed the bank's phone and meeting logs in an effort to determine, among other things, whether Lee attended meetings with his former agency since he joined Riggs -- which could be a violation of government ethics rules.

    The report found that Pinochet's deposits at Riggs varied from $4 million to $8 million, held in several personal and corporate accounts. A "senior delegation" of bank officials traveled to South America in 1996 to solicit business, including Pinochet's, the report said.

    Pinochet has been linked to corruption, illegal arms and drug trafficking, and the disappearance or murder of thousands of political opponents during his reign, which began with a 1973 coup and ended in 1990. Pinochet was found unfit to be extradited to stand trial in Spain in 2000 and was allowed to return to Chile, where he still lives.

    According to the report, in July 1996, about 18 months after opening a personal account at Riggs, Pinochet was indicted by Spain on charges of genocide, terrorism and torture against Spanish citizens during his rule. A Riggs subsidiary in the Bahamas then established two companies, Ashburton Co. Ltd. and Althorp Investment Co. Ltd., both putatively owned by trusts set up by Riggs.

    Nowhere on the trust or company documentation does Pinochet's name appear, though he and his family were the ultimate beneficiaries, according to investigators. Ashburton held the most Pinochet money; it had a $4.5 million balance when it was closed in 2002, the report said.

    The report said Riggs concealed its relationship with Pinochet from regulators. In 2000, when the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency asked for a list of clients' accounts controlled by foreign political figures, Pinochet's was not on the list. In 2001, an OCC examiner happened upon a report about Althorp and asked about the beneficial owner. The examiner was told, according to his notes from the time, that the account was for a "publicly known figure" and added that Riggs's chairman, Allbritton, "knows" the customer. Pinochet's name was never offered. Not until spring 2002 did the OCC discover the Pinochet accounts, when an examiner demanded an explanation for coded references to cashier's checks that had been mailed or delivered to Pinochet.

    The report states that Pinochet's account manager, Carol Thompson, sometimes spoke directly with Allbritton about Pinochet's accounts. According to OCC documents cited in the report, a Riggs officer told OCC examiners that "Mr. Pinochet has a relationship with the Chairman of Riggs."

    According to the report, Lee recommended to his superiors at the OCC that it not take action against Riggs in 2001, despite three successive examinations that detailed deficiencies in Riggs's adherence to rules designed to detect money laundering. Lee said that Riggs officers had promised to remedy the problems, but the report concludes that he did little to ensure that corrective actions were carried out.

    Two other bank examiners told Senate investigators that in 2002, a month before Lee was approached by Riggs about a job, he "specifically instructed" them not to include the Pinochet findings in the OCC's electronic database. Lee told the investigators that the examiners under him may have been "confused" about his instruction to ensure the privacy of the Pinochet matter. The examiners disputed that, saying Lee's instructions were "clear," the report says.

    The subcommittee report also laid out new details of Riggs's relationship with Equatorial Guinea and of transfers into the accounts controlled by the country's dictator of millions of dollars of deposits made by U.S. oil companies. The West African country's government has been cited by the State Department and various nongovernmental and human rights groups as one of the most corrupt in the world.

    A spokesman for Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), chairman of the investigations subcommittee, said Coleman agrees with the findings of the report but not a recommendation that oil companies be required to publicly disclose all payments to foreign companies or individuals. The spokesman said Coleman wants to hear from oil companies before endorsing that suggestion and therefore withheld his signature from the report.

    Coleman spokesman Tom Steward said, "We agree with 99.9 percent of the report."

    In addition to the Pinochet and Equatorial Guinea accounts, the subcommittee found others "equally troubling," including more than 150 Saudia Arabian accounts. The full Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, as part of a larger look into terrorist funding, is probing those accounts and has subpoenaed records from both the OCC and from Riggs.

    0„8 2004 The Washington Post Company

     

     

     

    osted on Mon, Sep. 18, 2006

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    CHILE

    Once-powerful Pinochet now a lonely man

    Poor health, accusations of corruption and the loss of immunity have taken a toll on 90-year-old dictator Augusto Pinochet.

    BY EDUARDO GALLARDO
    Associated Press

    Gen. Augusto Pinochet, once the all-powerful dictator of Chile, is a lonely man nowadays.

    When his former secret police chief shocked the nation in July by claiming Pinochet made part of his large fortune through drug trafficking, his lawyer and longtime supporter issued a denial, but other than his family, few Chileans came to his defense.

    Just five people showed up this month to mark the anniversary of a failed attempt on 90-year-old Pinochet's life. And on Sept. 11, the 33rd anniversary of the military coup against socialist President Salvador Allende, only two women appeared at his house for what used to be a day of great celebration for Pinochetistas.

    Before, Pinochet could count on legions of supporters to fend off his critics and paint him as the man who saved Chile from becoming another Cuba. Now, the only thing keeping him out of jail appears to be his poor health, which his doctors say includes diabetes, arthritis and mild dementia.

    ''Pinochet belongs to the past,'' Michelle Bachelet said as she campaigned to become Chile's first female president this year. Her right-wing rivals readily agreed, calling the aging, ailing dictator irrelevant to most Chilean voters.

    Even the courts have turned against him. This month the Supreme Court stripped him of immunity, paving the way to try him on charges involving torture and kidnapping at a secret detention center where hundreds of dissidents -- including Bachelet and her mother -- were held.

    It's a long fall for a man who for 17 years from his 1973 coup dominated every aspect of public life in Chile. According to an official report, 3,197 people were killed for political reasons during his rule, including more than 1,000 who remain unaccounted for today.

    Pinochet faces scores of criminal lawsuits for the human rights violations, but it's money, not human rights, that has isolated the general.

    ''Pinochet has been abandoned mainly because of the bank accounts,'' said political scientist Ricardo Israel. ``Many people were prepared to accept the large amount of people who were killed during his regime, but this situation of the money has been a very hard blow for him.''

    The jailed former spy chief, retired Gen. Manuel Contreras, maintains Pinochet made the money through arms and drugs trafficking, but he has provided no proof. Through his lawyers, Pinochet insists his money is the result of savings, donations and good investments.

    It has taken years for the dictatorship's darkest secrets to become public. Most of the killings occurred in the early years of his rule. But although democracy was restored in 1990, dissent for years remained muted.

    Even after he allowed the 1988 referendum that ended his reign, Pinochet's connection to those in power, especially in the military, made him untouchable -- until 1998, and his stunning arrest in London on an international warrant issued by Spanish judge Baltazar Garzon.

    ''There is a before-Garzon and an after-Garzon in efforts to bring justice in the human rights abuses in Chile,'' human rights lawyer Alfonso Insunza said.

    Human rights charges were filed against Pinochet in Chile after his return from London. Then, in 2004, it emerged from a U.S. Senate investigation that he had a fortune in foreign bank accounts. A Chilean judge estimated it at $28 million, and Pinochet was indicted for tax evasion.

    Now comes the biggest shock -- the claim that the money came from drugs and guns.

    The army commander, Gen. Oscar Izurieta, said he expects Pinochet to prove the fortune is legitimate, but that all the same the affair has done ''terrible damage'' to the military.

    Hermogenes Perez de Arce, a prominent newspaper columnist and former right-wing congressman, is one of the few who still defend Pinochet.

    ''Many right-wing people who supported him have abandoned him or openly adopted a language against him,'' Perez de Arce told The Associated Press. ``I say they were brainwashed.''

    He said Pinochet was a longtime hate figure to leftists worldwide and insisted the accusations of corruption and human rights violations are baseless.

    The victims of the dictatorship continue to seek justice, but the possibility of Pinochet going on trial appears remote, despite his being stripped of the immunity he enjoys as a former president in at least four indictments.

     

    Pinochet Tied to Cocaine Trade
    Chilean ex-dictator said to have over US$27 million in secret foreign accounts
    Antonio Jose Lopez Rengifo (proyecto)     Email Article  Print Article 
    Published 2006-07-13 17:59 (KST)   

    Juan Manuel Contreras, who was the head of the Chilean National Intelligence Directorate (DINA in Spanish) accused ex-ruler Augusto Pinochet of getting rich from the cocaine trade during a trial presided over by Chilean Prosecutor Claudio Pavez, the Chilean newspaper La Nacion reported late Sunday, July 9.

    The DINA was the secret police of dictator Pinochet, who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. The DINA and its members are accused of human rights abuses at home and abroad, such as the 1974 assassination of former Chilean Army Chief Carlos Prats in Argentina, and the 1976 assassination of the ex-Chilean Chancellor Orlando Letelier in Washington D.C.

    Contreras, who is serving a sentence in the Chilean Penal Cordillera prison because of human rights violations, sent a statement in writing a week ago to prosecutor Pavez in which he revealed that Pinochet's fortune is due to cocaine-trade activities and the misuse of the Chilean Army's reserve funds.

    Pavez is prosecuting the case of Gerardo Hurber, a Chilean army officer and DINA member who was murdered in February 1992 in the Chilean capital Santiago with a shot in the head.

    Hurber, who was investigated for arms smuggling to Croatia in 1991, was also a close friend to Contreras. Hurber had linked Pinochet and his family to trafficking of arms and drugs during the arms-smuggling-to-Croatia investigation.

    Moreover, Contreras's accusation reaffirm and revealed for the first time in writing since Chile's transition to democracy not only the enrichment of Pinochet and his family because of the cocaine trade, but also the fabrication of the cocaine in the Chilean Army's chemical complex in Talagante, 40 km. southwest of Santiago City.

    The accusation involved the Pinochet's younger son Marco Antonio, chemist Eugenio Berrios (an ex-DINA member murdered in 1993), businessman Edgardo Bathich, and the Syrian arms and drug trafficker Monser Al Kassar, who has also been linked to international terrorism.

    According to the accusation, the Chilean Army complex was built in the 1980s to manufacture a kind of cocaine known as "Black" or "Russian" cocaine, which is very difficult to detect by drug-sniffing dogs. The fabrication of the cocaine was authorized by Pinochet.

    The drug was sent to the U.S. and Europe, where Al Kassar distributed it and then sent the profits to several foreign accounts held by Pinochet.

    Reactions

    Pinochet's younger son, Marco Antonio, denied the accusation and filed a libel lawsuit against Contreras.

    The current Chilean Army Chief Oscar Izurieta dismissed the accusation, saying, "The only truth is the judicial truth and what the courts determine."

    Pinochet's lawyer Pablo Rodriguez described the accusation as an intent to destroy the historical image of Pinochet and his past military rule.

    Contreras's lawyer Fidel Reyes said "He (Contreras) has never said anything but the truth."

    Pinochet's fortune

    After a 2004 U.S. Senate investigation found Pinochet's secret account in the U.S.-based Riggs Bank, the Chilean authorities made their own investigation and the Chilean Prosecutor Carlos Cerda found out that Pinochet has secret foreign accounts estimated at over US$27 millions in U.S., Europe and tax havens worldwide.

     

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,409347,00.html

     

    Revealed: Pinochet drug smuggling link


    Special report: Pinochet on trial


    Hugh O'Shaughnessy
    Sunday December 10, 2000
    The Observer


    The Chilean army and secret police have spent almost two decades secretly flooding Europe and the US with massive shipments of cocaine. The trafficking began during the 17-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet and continues to this day, a year-long investigation for The Observer has established.

    Twelve tons of the drug, with a street value of several billion pounds, left Chile in 1986 and 1987 alone. The drugs, destined for Europe, have often been flown to Spanish territory by aircraft carrying Chilean-made arms to Iraq and Iran. Distribution to Britain and other European countries has been controlled by secret police stationed in Chilean embassies in Stockholm and Madrid.



    The revelations will come as an embarrassment to the Conservative Party, which criticised Pinochet's arrest in London in 1998 and backed his fight to avoid deportation to Spain on charges of murder and torture. The news will be particularly unwelcome to Lord Lamont, the former Chancellor, who was in Santiago last week to deliver a letter of support to the former dictator from Lady Thatcher.

    Under Conservative governments, large quantities of British arms were sold to Chile, and British firms such as Royal Ordnance collaborated with the development of Chile's weapons potential.

    There can be no doubt that Pinochet, whose power was absolute between the 1973 coup and his surrender in 1990, was a party to trafficking. He declared in October 1981: 'Not a leaf moves in Chile if I don't move it - let that be clear.'

    The secret police - originally known as the Dina and from 1977 as the SNI - was staffed by service personnel and helped Pinochet to torture and kill opponents.

    The Dina's former director, General Manuel Contreras, declared to the Chilean supreme court in 1998 that he undertook nothing without Pinochet's express permission.

    The huge profits from the drug deals went to enrich senior figures in Chile, with some going to finance the Dina/SNI operations.

    Pinochet, who is now fighting arrest on kidnapping and murder charges in Santiago, has not clarified how he and his wife, Lucia, had $1,169,308 (around 0„5730,000) in their account in the Riggs Bank in Washington on 1 March 1997. As commander-in-chief of the Chilean army, his annual salary in March 1997 was $16,000 (0„510,000).

    New evidence of Pinochet's collaboration with Colombian drug dealers, first sketched out last year in this writer's book, Pinochet: The Politics of Torture , has emerged in The Thin White Line , a new book by Rodrigo de Castro, a former international civil servant in Chile, and Juan Gasparini, an Argentine journalist. It quotes US court documents, Chilean police files and depositions by a former US marine involved in the trafficking.

    The former marine, Frankell Ivan Baramdyka, was extradited from Chile in May 1993 and convicted in southern California of narcotics offences. He worked for US intelligence in the early Eighties and was encouraged to traffic in drugs on condition that some of the profits went to the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua, who were being supported by President Ronald Reagan.

    Baramdyka has revealed how he first made contact with the Chileans in 1984 when, acting for Colombian cocaine producers, he delivered $2m to the Chilean consulate-general in Los Angeles. This was a payment for chemicals needed to make cocaine which had been supplied by the Chilean army.

    At the time Pinochet's younger son, Marco Antonio, was on the consulate-general's staff.

    After the US authorities raided his home in Los Angeles in 1985, Baramdyka fled to Santiago, where he set up a new trafficking operation. Later that year he was recruited by the Chilean secret police and was soon overseeing the army's drug-export activities. The operations included the dispatch of cocaine on flights taking Chilean arms to Iran or Iraq.


    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    joeb

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    Reply with quote  #171 

    Posted on Thu, Nov. 30, 2006

    COLOMBIA
    DEA data leaks by Colombian official alleged


    El Nuevo Herald

    The former director of Colombia's FBI, known as DAS, ordered that information compromising agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration be leaked to drug traffickers, former DAS official Rafael García has told government investigators.

    García, once chief of DAS' computer systems, confirmed to El Nuevo Herald in a telephone interview from prison that he has told Supreme Court investigators that Jorge Noguera ordered him to deliver the information to the traffickers.

    ''I carried the information in hard disks or in USB memory, per instructions from Noguera,'' said García, who this month was sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption.

    García has made several allegations against Noguera, who resigned from the DAS last year. Prosecutors are investigating Noguera, but he has been out of the country.

    According to García, he delivered the top-secret information to intermediaries for Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, an alleged trafficker and one of the top leaders of Colombia's illegal paramilitary groups.

    García said he specifically remembered delivering details of a vast operation being prepared by the DEA, together with Colombian antidrug agencies, to tap the telephones of drug traffickers.

    He delivered the information from late 2002 until late 2004, García said, when he was fired from the DAS on charges that he had deleted the records of drug traffickers from DAS computers.

    While testifying before the Supreme Court, García said that Noguera ''almost made me feel that [Colombian President Alvaro Uribe] knew of and approved what we were doing,'' according to records.

    Uribe has denied knowing of the alleged DAS corruption.

    Noguera, who is now in the United States, last week declared through his lawyer that he does not have the financial means to return to Colombia to face the charges filed by prosecutors on the basis of García's accusations.

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    maynard

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    Reply with quote  #172 
    crooked feds in bogota office

    http://www.narconews.com/bogota.

    largest traffickers, ie North Valley Cartel leaders were US in intel Assets:

    http://www.narconews.com/Issue49/article2965.html
    http://www.narconews.com/Issue49/article2989.html
    http://www.narconews.com/Issue50/article3011.html
    http://www.narconews.com/print.php3?ArticleID=3031〈=en


    http://narcosphere.narconews.com/node/1889

    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

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    Reply with quote  #173 
    http://www.iht.com/articles/1993/12/03/edlarry.php

    The CIA Drug ConnectionIs as Old as the Agency

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

    LONDON: Recent news item: The Justice Department is investigating allegations that officers of a special Venezuelan anti-drug unit funded by the CIA smuggled more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States with the knowledge of CIA officials - despite protests by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the organization responsible for enforcing U.S. drug laws.

    That is a huge amount of cocaine. But it was hardly a first for the CIA. The agency has never been above using individuals or organizations with known links to drug trafficking if it thought they could help it further its national security mission.

    Let us put the Venezuelan case in context: To protect its "assets" abroad, the CIA has ensured that the DEA's concerns outside the country were subordinated to its own. Until recently, no DEA country attaché overseas was allowed to initiate an investigation into a suspected drug trafficker or attempt to recruit an informant without clearance from the local CIA station chief. DEA country attachés are required to employ the standard State Department cipher, and all their transmissions are made available to the CIA station chief. The CIA also has access to all DEA investigative reports, and informants' and targets' identities when DEA activities outside the United States were involved.

    In Costa Rica, when the war against Nicaragua's Sandinista government was at its peak and cocaine was beginning to pour into the United States, the DEA attaché wanted to place cameras at clandestine airstrips from which he suspected drugs were being flown to the United States. The CIA resident gave him a list of airstrips on which he was not to place cameras. They were the strips into which the CIA was flying arms for the contras. Some were also strips from which the DEA agent suspected drugs were being flown to the United States.

    Shortly after the kidnapping and brutal murder of the DEA's Enrique Camarena in Mexico, Francis Mullen, the DEA administrator, was taken by the CIA station chief in Mexico City to Mexico's director of federal security, a man who, the station chief confided, was a CIA asset. The gentleman, Mr. Mullen told me, denied any knowledge of the affair. He was lying. A DEA investigation revealed that he had been connected - a man on the CIA payroll, no less - to the murder of a U.S. federal agent.

    CIA ties to international drug trafficking date to the Korean War. In 1949, two of Chiang Kai-shek's defeated generals, Li Wen Huan and Tuan Shi Wen, marched their Third and Fifth Route armies, with families and livestock, across the mountains to northern Burma. Once installed, the peasant soldiers began cultivating the crop they knew best, the opium poppy.

    When China entered the Korean War, the CIA had a desperate need for intelligence on that nation. The agency turned to the warlord generals, who agreed to slip some soldiers back into China. In return, the agency offered arms. Officially, the arms were intended to equip the warlords for a return to China. In fact, the Chinese wanted them to repel any attack by the Burmese.

    Soon intelligence began to flow to Washington from the area, which became known as the Golden Triangle. So, too, did heroin, en route to Southeast Asia and often to the United States.

    If the agency never condoned the traffic, it never tried to stop it, either. The CIA did, however, lobby the Eisenhower administration to prevent the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the DEA's predecessor, from establishing monitoring posts in the area to study the traffic. Today, the Golden Triangle accounts for about half the heroin in circulation in the world.

    During the Vietnam War, operations in Laos were largely a CIA responsibility. The agency's surrogate there was a Laotian general, Vang Pao, who commanded Military Region 2 in northern Laos. He enlisted 30,000 Hmong tribesmen in the service of the CIA.

    These tribesmen continued to grow, as they had for generations, the opium poppy. Before long, someone - there were unproven allegations that it was a Mafia family from Florida - had established a heroin refining lab in Region Two. The lab's production was soon being ferried out on the planes of the CIA's front airline, Air America. A pair of BNDD agents tried to seize an Air America.

    A pair of BNDD agents tried to seize an Air America DC-3 loaded with heroin packed into boxes of Tide soap powder. At the CIA's behest, they were ordered to release the plane and drop the inquiry.


                                                                                                                                                                                   
    (Page 2 of 2)

    The CIA was made officially aware of Manuel Antonio Noriega's involvement in the drug traffic in 1972, when Mr. Noriega was chief of intelligence of the Panama National Guard, and a promising CIA asset. The BNDD found evidence that Mr. Noriega was taking payoffs for allowing heroin to flow from Spain, through Panama City airport, and on to the United States. That information was part of a lengthy file on Mr. Noriega compiled by Jack Ingersoll, then chief of the BNDD.

    Mr. Ingersoll was aware of Mr. Noriega's ties to the CIA, as was President Richard Nixon. When Mr. Nixon ordered Mr. Ingersoll to Panama to warn the country's military dictator, General Omar Torrijos, about the activities of Mr. Noriega and General Torrijos's brother Moises, Mr. Ingersoll hoped that law enforcement was finally "beginning to get the upper hand in its ongoing struggle with the CIA." He was wrong. The Watergate break-in occurred shortly after his visit. Mr. Nixon needed CIA support; his enthusiasm for the drug war evaporated. Mr. Ingersoll's successors at the newly formed DEA - Peter Bensinger, Francis Mullen and John Lawn - all told me they never saw his file, although they had asked to see everything the DEA had on Mr. Noriega. The material has disappeared.

    Shortly after General Torrijos's death in a mysterious airplane crash, Mr. Noriega, with CIA assistance, took command of the Panama National Guard.

    No one in the Reagan administration was prepared to do anything about the Noriega drug connection. As Norman Bailley, a National Security Council staff member at the time, told me, "The CIA and the Pentagon were resolutely opposed to acting on that knowledge, because they were a hell of a lot more worried about trying to keep Panama on our side with reference to Nicaragua than they were about drugs." Nowhere, however, was the CIA more closely tied to drug traffic than it was in Pakistan during the Afghan War. As its principal conduit for arms and money to the Afghan guerrillas, the agency chose the Pakistan military's Inter-Services Intelligence Bureau. The ISI in turn steered the CIA's support toward Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Islamic fundamentalist. Mr. Hekmatyar received almost half of the agency's financial support during the war, and his fighters were valiant and effective. But many of his commanders were also major heroin traffickers.

    As it had in Laos, the heroin traffic blossomed in the shadows of a CIA-sustained guerrilla war. Soon the trucks that delivered arms to the guerrillas in Afghanistan were coming back down the Khyber Pass full of heroin.

    The conflict and its aftermath have given the world another Golden Triangle: the Golden Crescent, sweeping through Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of the former Soviet Union. Many of those involved in the drug traffic are men who were once armed, trained and financed by the CIA.

    The writer's latest book, "Black Eagles," deals with the CIA, cocaine traffic and Central America in the mid-'80s. He contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune.



    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

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    Reply with quote  #174 
    http://toshplumlee.info/

    FBI/DEA/CIA files on William Robert "Tosh" Plumlee


    The following FBI/DEA/CIA files were released between the years 1981 and 1999. These United States government files are placed here for review by professional researchers, law enforcement officials and by the general public. A responsible review of these documents should provide the reader with a clear picture of the covert background of Tosh Plumlee.
    A careful review of these documents will reveal that the United States Department of Justice has been guilty of obstruction of justice since 1963 and before.

    You will need a FREE to review these files!

    FBI FILES
    DESCRIPTION
    Initial written request for information under FOIA
    FBI Letter responding to Plumlee's request for information
    Cover page on information released by FBI
    The Tosh Plumlee - Johnny Rosselli Files Released 1993-1999
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    FBI News article
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    Plumlee - Rosselli Files
    Notice of voucher for expenses for Senate testimony
    Voucher for Tosh Plumlee appearing before Senate
    Letters from U.S. Senator Gary Hart and Telluride Journal
    FBI FOIA documents 1981 (no mention of Rosselli)
    FBI FOIA documents 1981 (no mention of Rosselli)
    FBI FOIA documents 1981 (no mention of Rosselli)
    FBI FOIA documents 1981 (no mention of Rosselli)
    FBI FOIA documents 1981 (no mention of Rosselli)
    FBI FOIA documents 1981 (no mention of Rosselli)
    FBI FOIA documents 1981 (no mention of Rosselli)
    FBI report that Plumlee arrested for hot checks
    FBI report that Plumlee arrested for hot checks
    FBI report that Plumlee arrested for hot checks
    FBI report that no bad checks were listed for Plumlee
    FBI list of all documents on Tosh Plumlee
    FBI list of all files on Plumlee (note files destroyed)
    FBI list of all files on Plumlee (note files destroyed)

    DEA FILES
    INFORMATION

    DEA Mexico OPS: These documents make reference to "Guatemalan Guerrillas" training at a ranch owned by Drug Lord CARO- Quintero in Vera Crus, Mexico. It was reported at the time this was a CIA training site where weapons were exchanged for drugs in support of the Contra effort in Nicaragua and Costa Rico. DEA Agent Enrique Camarena (KIKI) and his pilot found out about this operation known as "The CIA Thing" and were killed because of this knowledge. Plumlee and other American undercover pilots had flown into this ranch many times as reported in various sections within these documents and other news media leaks in Mexico and America. The operation was known as "AMSOG" and, as reported to Senator Gary Hart and his Senate investigators in early 1983, was an "illegal" smuggling operation through Mexico into the United States, supported by the US Military, Panama Southern Command.

     

    CIA FILES
    INFORMATION

    MASOG OMC: THUNDER OPS. CLASSIFICATION DATE: July 14, 1965... from CIA Washington, DC to SECSTATE Washington D.C... (declassified July 1997) Ref; "Top Secrete Operation" -- embedded within a section of a declassified document known as: (Rolling Thunder) note: declassified 32 years after the fact. (page one of one) ".... I have limited my approvals for operations inside the DRV FROM LAOS to small scale intelligence probes to determine popular attitudes and the recruitment of indigenous to provide intelligence and support to TEAMS sent in from LAOS..... With respect to: 'The broader object of a FULL SCALE RESISTANCE EFFORT'..."

    SPEAR OPS Document date: March 18, 1965 Declassified date: March 5,1998 Reference: Top Secret Western Hemisphere Political report on Bolivian Junta chiefs resignation: "...this document influenced the introduction of the Bolivian Drug Lords with CIA political and military influence in the region... a form of "destabilization" and inadvertently introduction of the future drug problem in Bolivia.
    This a brief INTEL report about two pilots that were down and captured, Shelton and Hedlicka, and held in a cave and the interrogation of the two pilots.... A "specialized" team was sent in to find these two captives but were intercepted and executed because they were dressed in civilian clothes. Ref; 1st Recon "swift and deadly". (see the patch in photo section of this site)
    OMC Ops Reference: Specialized Operations, Angola: "...civilian mercenaries engaged in these operations at request of CIA and Military OMC operations..."
    ROAM Ops Document date: April 20, 1961 Declassified date: June 1, 1998 Reference: document #141152 This document is in reference to two Bay of Pigs pilot "Crispin" and his flight from Boca Chica and various other coded ops (TIDE) (MADD) etc. note: "Crispin is one of the two pilots of the B-26 that crashed in Nicaragua and their remains removed from the wreckage in 1998 and returned to the families. Coded ops JMTIDE REDTIDE and MADD
    ROVER Ops (1) document reference number: #9699 Vietnam Prisons, Kompong Chnang Province date: August 5, 1971 declassified: August 19, 1979
    Rover Ops (2) Reference: POW Camp location: American civilian personal held... some in "caves".
    JUMPOPS: VC Policy Toward Treatment of Allied POW's in Military Region IV (3) page report. Date October 10, 1967: "makes reference to American prisoners being held as early as 1961 and 63."
    MADDOG OPS: (VIETNAM) Location of American POW camp in Bac Thei Province as of November 13. POW's being held in caves near Command Post, also includes map of location of this camp.
    MITA OPS: Spanish Text 2506 Brigade Document. Publication date: December 31, 1960 Declassified: June 1, 1998: Case number: #CSI-1998-0005: Release decision: RIFPUB Classification: U
    GUIANAS OPS: Intelligence Memorandum. Reference: The Guianas Development and Discord: Date: November, 30 1968: Release date: May 6, 1998: Case # F-1994-02314: "... American military personal were operating in this region in an intelligence "undercover" capacity refereed to as 'mercenaries'.
     

     





    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

    Registered:
    Posts: 1,154
    Reply with quote  #175 
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175225/

    Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Afghanistan as a Drug War

    A front-page New York Times article by Rod Nordland on the aftermath of a recent U.S. Marine offensive in Helmand Province, opium poppy-growing capital of the planet, began this way: “The effort to win over Afghans on former Taliban turf in Marja has put American and NATO commanders in the unusual position of arguing against opium eradication, pitting them against some Afghan officials who are pushing to destroy the harvest.”  Given the nature of Afghanistan -- the planet’s foremost narco-state -- such conundrums are only likely to multiply as war commander General Stanley McChrystal implements his strategy for pushing back the Taliban in southern Afghanistan and securing the embattled southern city of Kandahar and its environs.

    Since Afghanistan now grows the opium poppies that provide more than 90% of the world’s opium, the raw material for the production of heroin, it’s not surprising that drug-trade news and war news intersect from time to time.  More surprising is how seldom poppy growing and the drug trade are portrayed as anything but ancillary to our Afghan War.  Fortunately, TomDispatch regular Alfred McCoy has been focused on the drug trade -- and the American role in fostering it -- in Southeast, Central, and South Asia for a long time.  In the Vietnam era, the CIA actually tried to suppress his classic book (since updated with a chapter on Afghanistan), The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.  He’s been following the story ever since, and now for TomDispatch he offers what may be the first full-scale report that puts the drug trade in its proper place, right at the center of America’s 30-year war in Afghanistan.  It’s a grim yet remarkable story, full of surprises, that makes new sense of the bind in which the U.S. military now finds itself in that country.  (And check out the latest TomCast audio interview in which McCoy discusses just who is complicit in the Afghan opium trade by clicking here or, if you prefer to download it to your iPod, here.) Tom

    Can Anyone Pacify the World's Number One Narco-State?
    The Opium Wars in Afghanistan
    By Alfred W. McCoy

    In ways that have escaped most observers, the Obama administration is now trapped in an endless cycle of drugs and death in Afghanistan from which there is neither an easy end nor an obvious exit.

    After a year of cautious debate and costly deployments, President Obama finally launched his new Afghan war strategy at 2:40 am on February 13, 2010, in a remote market town called Marja in southern Afghanistan's Helmand Province. As a wave of helicopters descended on Marja's outskirts spitting up clouds of dust, hundreds of U.S. Marines dashed through fields sprouting opium poppies toward the town's mud-walled compounds.

    After a week of fighting, U.S. war commander General Stanley A. McChrystal choppered into town with Afghanistan's vice-president and Helmand's provincial governor. Their mission: a media roll-out for the general's new-look counterinsurgency strategy based on bringing government to remote villages just like Marja.

    At a carefully staged meet-and-greet with some 200 villagers, however, the vice-president and provincial governor faced some unexpected, unscripted anger.  "If they come with tractors," one Afghani widow announced to a chorus of supportive shouts from her fellow farmers, "they will have to roll over me and kill me before they can kill my poppy."

    For these poppy growers and thousands more like them, the return of government control, however contested, brought with it a perilous threat: opium eradication.

    Throughout all the shooting and shouting, American commanders seemed strangely unaware that Marja might qualify as the world's heroin capital -- with hundreds of laboratories, reputedly hidden inside the area's mud-brick houses, regularly processing the local poppy crop into high-grade heroin.  After all, the surrounding fields of Helmand Province produce a remarkable 40% of the world's illicit opium supply, and much of this harvest has been traded in Marja. Rushing through those opium fields to attack the Taliban on day one of this offensive, the Marines missed their real enemy, the ultimate force behind the Taliban insurgency, as they pursued just the latest crop of peasant guerrillas whose guns and wages are funded by those poppy plants. "You can't win this war," said one U.S. Embassy official just back from inspecting these opium districts, "without taking on drug production in Helmand Province."

    Indeed, as  Air Force One headed for Kabul Sunday, National Security Adviser James L. Jones assured reporters that President Obama would try to persuade Afghan President Hamid Karzai to prioritize "battling corruption, taking the fight to the narco-traffickers." The drug trade, he added, "provides a lot of the economic engine for the insurgents."

    Just as these Marja farmers spoiled General McChrystal's media event, so their crop has subverted every regime that has tried to rule Afghanistan for the past 30 years. During the CIA's covert war in the 1980s, opium financed the mujahedeen or "freedom fighters" (as President Ronald Reagan called them) who finally forced the Soviets to abandon the country and then defeated its Marxist client state.

    In the late 1990s, the Taliban, which had taken power in most of the country, lost any chance for international legitimacy by protecting and profiting from opium -- and then, ironically, fell from power only months after reversing course and banning the crop. Since the US military intervened in 2001, a rising tide of opium has corrupted the government in Kabul while empowering a resurgent Taliban whose guerrillas have taken control of ever larger parts of the Afghan countryside.

    These three eras of almost constant warfare fueled a relentless rise in Afghanistan's opium harvest -- from just 250 tons in 1979 to 8,200 tons in 2007.  For the past five years, the Afghan opium harvest has accounted for as much as 50% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and provided the prime ingredient for over 90% of the world's heroin supply.

    The ecological devastation and societal dislocation from these three war-torn decades has woven opium so deeply into the Afghan grain that it defies solution by Washington's best and brightest (as well as its most inept and least competent). Caroming between ignoring the opium crop and demanding its total eradication, the Bush administration dithered for seven years while heroin boomed, and in doing so helped create a drug economy that corrupted and crippled the government of its ally, President Karzai.  In recent years, opium farming has supported 500,000 Afghan families, nearly 20% of the country's estimated population, and funds a Taliban insurgency that has, since 2006, spread across the countryside.

    To understand the Afghan War, one basic point must be grasped: in poor nations with weak state services, agriculture is the foundation for all politics, binding villagers to the government or warlords or rebels. The ultimate aim of counterinsurgency strategy is always to establish the state's authority. When the economy is illicit and by definition beyond government control, this task becomes monumental. If the insurgents capture that illicit economy, as the Taliban have done, then the task becomes little short of insurmountable.

    Opium is an illegal drug, but Afghanistan's poppy crop is still grounded in networks of social trust that tie people together at each step in the chain of production.  Crop loans are necessary for planting, labor exchange for harvesting, stability for marketing, and security for shipment. So dominant and problematic is the opium economy in Afghanistan today that a question Washington has avoided for the past nine years must be asked: Can anyone pacify a full-blown narco-state?

    The answer to this critical question lies in the history of the three Afghan wars in which Washington has been involved over the past 30 years -- the CIA covert warfare of the 1980s, the civil war of the 1990s (fueled at its start by $900 million in CIA funding), and since 2001, the U.S. invasion, occupation, and counterinsurgency campaigns. In each of these conflicts, Washington has tolerated drug trafficking by its Afghan allies as the price of military success -- a policy of benign neglect that has helped make Afghanistan today the world's number one narco-state.

    CIA Covert Warfare, Spreading Poppy Fields, and Drug Labs: the 1980s

    Opium first emerged as a key force in Afghan politics during the CIA covert war against the Soviets, the last in a series of secret operations that it conducted along the mountain rim-lands of Asia which stretch for 5,000 miles from Turkey to Thailand. In the late 1940s, as the Cold War was revving up, the United States first mounted covert probes of communism's Asian underbelly. For 40 years thereafter, the CIA fought a succession of secret wars along this mountain rim -- in Burma during the 1950s, Laos in the 1960s, and Afghanistan in the 1980s. In one of history's ironic accidents, the southern reach of communist China and the Soviet Union had coincided with Asia's opium zone along this same mountain rim, drawing the CIA into ambiguous alliances with the region's highland warlords.

    Washington's first Afghan war began in 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded the country to save a Marxist client regime in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Seeing an opportunity to wound its Cold War enemy, the Reagan administration worked closely with Pakistan's military dictatorship in a ten-year CIA campaign to expel the Soviets.

    This was, however, a covert operation unlike any other in the Cold War years. First, the collision of CIA secret operations and Soviet conventional warfare led to the devastation of Afghanistan's fragile highland ecology, damaging its traditional agriculture beyond immediate recovery, and fostering a growing dependence on the international drug trade. Of equal import, instead of conducting this covert warfare on its own as it had in Laos in the Vietnam War years, the CIA outsourced much of the operation to Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), which soon became a powerful and ever more problematic ally.

    When the ISI proposed its Afghan client, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, as overall leader of the anti-Soviet resistance, Washington -- with few alternatives -- agreed. Over the next 10 years, the CIA supplied some $2 billion to Afghanistan's mujahedeen through the ISI, half to Hekmatyar, a violent fundamentalist infamous for throwing acid at unveiled women at Kabul University and, later, murdering rival resistance leaders. As the CIA operation was winding down in May 1990, the Washington Post published a front-page article charging that its key ally, Hekmatyar, was operating a chain of heroin laboratories inside Pakistan under the protection of the ISI.

    Although this area had zero heroin production in the mid-1970s, the CIA's covert war served as the catalyst that transformed the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands into the world's largest heroin producing region. As mujahedeen guerrillas captured prime agricultural areas inside Afghanistan in the early 1980s, they began collecting a revolutionary poppy tax from their peasant supporters.

    Once the Afghan guerrillas brought the opium across the border, they sold it to hundreds of Pakistani heroin labs operating under the ISI's protection.  Between 1981 and 1990, Afghanistan's opium production grew ten-fold -- from 250 tons to 2,000 tons. After just two years of covert CIA support for the Afghan guerrillas, the U.S. Attorney General announced in 1981 that Pakistan was already the source of 60% of the American heroin supply. Across Europe and Russia, Afghan-Pakistani heroin soon captured an even larger share of local markets, while inside Pakistan itself the number of addicts soared from zero in 1979 to 1.2 million just five years later.

    After investing $3 billion in Afghanistan's destruction, Washington just walked away in 1992, leaving behind a thoroughly ravaged country with over one million dead, five million refugees, 10-20 million landmines still in place, an infrastructure in ruins, an economy in tatters, and well-armed tribal warlords prepared to fight among themselves for control of the capital. Even when Washington finally cut its covert CIA funding at the end of 1991, however, Pakistan's ISI continued to back favored local warlords in pursuit of its long-term goal of installing a Pashtun client regime in Kabul.

    Druglords, Dragon's Teeth, and Civil Wars: the 1990s

    Throughout the 1990s, ruthless local warlords mixed guns and opium in a lethal brew as part of a brutal struggle for power.  It was almost as if the soil had been sown with those dragons' teeth of ancient myth that can suddenly sprout into an army of full-grown warriors, who leap from the earth with swords drawn for war.

    When northern resistance forces finally captured Kabul from the communist regime, which had outlasted the Soviet withdrawal by three years, Pakistan still backed its client Hekmatyar.  He, in turn, unleashed his artillery on the besieged capital.  The result: the deaths of an estimated 50,000 more Afghans. Even a slaughter of such monumental proportions, however, could not win power for this unpopular fundamentalist.  So the ISI armed a new force, the Taliban and in September 1996, it succeeded in capturing Kabul, only to fight the Northern Alliance for the next five years in the valleys to the north of the capital.

    During this seemingly unending civil war, rival factions leaned heavily on opium to finance the fighting, more than doubling the harvest to 4,600 tons by 1999. Throughout these two decades of warfare and a twenty-fold jump in drug production, Afghanistan itself was slowly transformed from a diverse agricultural ecosystem -- with herding, orchards, and over 60 food crops -- into the world's first economy dependent on the production of a single illicit drug. In the process, a fragile human ecology was brought to ruin in an unprecedented way.

    Located at the northern edge of the annual monsoon rains, where clouds arrive from the Arabian Sea already squeezed dry, Afghanistan is an arid land.  Its staple food crops have historically been sustained by irrigation systems that rely on snowmelt from the region's high mountains. To supplement staples such as wheat, Afghan tribesmen herded vast flocks of sheep and goats hundreds of miles every year to summer pasture in the central uplands. Most important of all, farmers planted perennial tree crops -- walnut, pistachio, and mulberry -- which thrived because they sink their roots deep into the soil and are remarkably resistant to the region's periodic droughts, offering relief from the threat of famine in the dry years.

    During these two decades of war, however, modern firepower devastated the herds, damaged snowmelt irrigation systems, and destroyed many of the orchards. While the Soviets simply blasted the landscape with firepower, the Taliban, with an unerring instinct for their society's economic jugular, violated the unwritten rules of traditional Afghan warfare by cutting down the orchards on the vast Shamali plain north of Kabul.

    All these strands of destruction knit themselves into a veritable Gordian knot of human suffering to which opium became the sole solution.  Like Alexander's legendary sword, it offered a straightforward way to cut through a complex conundrum. Without any aid to restock their herds, reseed their fields, or replant their orchards, Afghan farmers -- including some 3 million returning refugees -- found sustenance in opium, which had historically been but a small part of their agriculture.

    Since poppy cultivation requires nine times more labor per hectare than wheat, opium offered immediate seasonal employment to more than a million Afghans -- perhaps half of those actually employed at the time. In this ruined land and ravaged economy, opium merchants alone could accumulate capital rapidly and so give poppy farmers crop loans equivalent to more than half their annual incomes, credit critical to the survival of many poor villagers.

    In marked contrast to the marginal yields the country's harsh climate offers most food crops, Afghanistan proved ideal for opium.  On average, each hectare of Afghan poppy land produces three to five times more than its chief competitor, Burma.  Most important of all, in such an arid ecosystem, subject to periodic drought, opium uses less than half the water needed for staples such as wheat.

    After taking power in 1996, the Taliban regime encouraged a nationwide expansion of opium cultivation, doubling production to 4,600 tons, then equivalent to 75% of the world's heroin supply. Signaling its support for drug production, the Taliban regime began collecting a 20% tax from the yearly opium harvest, earning an estimated $100 million in revenues.

    In retrospect, the regime's most important innovation was undoubtedly the introduction of large-scale heroin refining in the environs of the city of Jalalabad.  There, hundreds of crude labs set to work, paying only a modest production tax of $70 on every kilo of heroin powder. According to U.N. researchers, the Taliban also presided over bustling regional opium markets in Helmand and Nangarhar provinces, protecting some 240 top traders there.

    During the 1990s, Afghanistan's soaring opium harvest fueled an international smuggling trade that tied Central Asia, Russia, and Europe into a vast illicit market of arms, drugs, and money-laundering.  It also helped fuel an eruption of ethnic insurgency across a 3,000-mile swath of land from Uzbekistan in Central Asia to Bosnia in the Balkans.

    In July 2000, however, the Taliban leader Mullah Omar suddenly ordered a ban on all opium cultivation in a desperate bid for international recognition.  Remarkably enough, almost overnight the Taliban regime used the ruthless repression for which it was infamous to slash the opium harvest by 94% to only 185 metric tons.

    By then, however, Afghanistan had become dependent on poppy production for most of its taxes, export income, and employment. In effect, the Taliban's ban was an act of economic suicide that brought an already weakened society to the brink of collapse. This was the unwitting weapon the U.S. wielded when it began its military campaign against the Taliban in October 2001.  Without opium, the regime was already a hollow shell and essentially imploded at the bursting of the first American bombs.

    The Return of the CIA, Opium, and Counterinsurgency: 2001-

    To defeat the Taliban in the aftermath of 9/11, the CIA successfully mobilized former warlords long active in the heroin trade to seize towns and cities across eastern Afghanistan.  In other words, the Agency and its local allies created ideal conditions for reversing the Taliban's opium ban and reviving the drug traffic. Only weeks after the collapse of the Taliban, officials were reporting an outburst of poppy planting in the heroin-heartlands of Helmand and Nangarhar. At a Tokyo international donors' conference in January 2002, Hamid Karzai, the new Prime Minister put in place by the Bush administration, issued a pro forma ban on opium growing -- without any means of enforcing it against the power of these resurgent local warlords.

    After investing some three billion dollars in Afghanistan's destruction during the Cold War, Washington and its allies now proved parsimonious in the reconstruction funds they offered. At that 2002 Tokyo conference, international donors promised just four billion dollars of an estimated $10 billion needed to rebuild the economy over the next five years. In addition, the total U.S. spending of $22 billion for Afghanistan from 2003 to 2007 turned out to be skewed sharply toward military operations, leaving, for instance, just $237 million for agriculture.  (And as in Iraq, significant sums from what reconstruction funds were available simply went into the pockets of Western experts, private contractors, and their local counterparts.)

    Under these circumstances, no one should have been surprised when, during the first year of the U.S. occupation, Afghanistan's opium harvest surged to 3,400 tons. Over the next five years, international donors would contribute $8 billion to rebuild Afghanistan, while opium would infuse nearly twice that amount, $14 billion, directly into the rural economy without any deductions by either those Western experts or Kabul's bloated bureaucracy.

    While opium production continued its relentless rise, the Bush administration downplayed the problem, outsourcing narcotics control to Great Britain and police training to Germany. As the lead agency in Allied operations, Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department regarded opium as a distraction from its main mission of defeating the Taliban (and, of course, invading Iraq). Waving away the problem in late 2004, President Bush said he did not want to "waste another American life on a narco-state.'' Meanwhile, in their counterinsurgency operations, U.S. forces worked closely with local warlords who proved to be leading druglords.

    After five years of the U.S. occupation, Afghanistan's drug production had swelled to unprecedented proportions.  In August 2007, the U.N. reported that the country's record opium crop covered almost 500,000 acres, an area larger than all the coca fields in Latin America. From a modest 185 tons at the start of American intervention in 2001, Afghanistan now produced 8,200 tons of opium, a remarkable 53% of the country's GDP and 93% of global heroin supply.

    In this way, Afghanistan became the world's first true "narco-state." If a cocaine traffic that provided just 3% of Colombia's GDP could bring in its wake endless violence and powerful cartels capable of corrupting that country's government, then we can only imagine the consequences of Afghanistan's dependence on opium for more than 50% of its entire economy.

    At a drug conference in Kabul this month, the head of Russia's Federal Narcotics Service estimated the value of Afghanistan's current opium crop at $65 billion.  Only $500 million of that vast sum goes to Afghanistan's farmers, $300 million to the Taliban guerrillas, and the $64 billion balance "to the drug mafia," leaving ample funds to corrupt the Karzai government in a nation whose total GDP is only $10 billion.

    Indeed, opium's influence is so pervasive that many Afghan officials, from village leaders to Kabul's police chief, the defense minister, and the president's brother, have been tainted by the traffic.  So cancerous and crippling is this corruption that, according to recent U.N. estimates, Afghans are forced to spend a stunning $2.5 billion in bribes. Not surprisingly, the government's repeated attempts at opium eradication have been thoroughly compromised by what the U.N. has called "corrupt deals between field owners, village elders, and eradication teams."

    Not only have drug taxes funded an expanding guerrilla force, but the Taliban's role in protecting opium farmers and the heroin merchants who rely on their crop gives them real control over the core of the country's economy. In January 2009, the U.N. and anonymous U.S. "intelligence officials" estimated that drug traffic provided Taliban insurgents with $400 million a year. "Clearly," commented Defense Secretary Robert Gates, "we have to go after the drug labs and the druglords that provide support to the Taliban and other insurgents."

    In mid-2009, the U.S. embassy launched a multi-agency effort, called the Afghan Threat Finance Cell, to cut Taliban drug monies through financial controls. But one American official soon compared this effort to "punching jello." By August 2009, a frustrated Obama administration had ordered the U.S. military to "kill or capture" 50 Taliban-connected druglords who were placed on a classified "kill list."

    Since the record crop of 2007, opium production has, in fact, declined somewhat -- to 6,900 tons last year (still over 90% of the world's opium supply). While U.N. analysts attribute this 20% reduction largely to eradication efforts, a more likely cause has been the global glut of heroin that came with the Afghan opium boom, and which had depressed the price of poppies by 34%. In fact, even this reduced Afghan opium crop is still far above total world demand, which the U.N. estimates at 5,000 tons per annum.

    Preliminary reports on the 2010 Afghan opium harvest, which starts next month, indicate that the drug problem is not going away. Some U.S. officials who have surveyed Helmand's opium heartland see signs of an expanded crop. Even the U.N. drug experts who have predicted a continuing decline in production are not optimistic about long-term trends. Opium prices might decline for a few years, but the price of wheat and other staple crops is dropping even faster, leaving poppies as by far the most profitable crop for poor Afghan farmers.

    Ending the Cycle of Drugs and Death

    With its forces now planted in the dragon's teeth soil of Afghanistan, Washington is locked into what looks to be an unending cycle of drugs and death. Every spring in those rugged mountains, the snows melt, the opium seeds sprout, and a fresh crop of Taliban fighters takes to the field, many to die by lethal American fire.  And the next year, the snows melt again, fresh poppy shoots break through the soil, and a new crop of teen-aged Taliban fighters pick up arms against America, spilling more blood. This cycle has been repeated for the past ten years and, unless something changes, can continue indefinitely.

    Is there any alternative? Even were the cost of rebuilding Afghanistan's rural economy -- with its orchards, flocks, and food crops -- as high as $30 billion or, for that matter, $90 billion dollars, the money is at hand. By conservative estimates, the cost of President Obama's ongoing surge of 30,000 troops alone is $30 billion a year. So just bringing those 30,000 troops home would create ample funds to begin the rebuilding of rural life in Afghanistan, making it possible for young farmers to begin feeding their families without joining the Taliban's army.

    Short of another precipitous withdrawal akin to 1991, Washington has no realistic alternative to the costly, long-term reconstruction of Afghanistan's agriculture. Beneath the gaze of an allied force that now numbers about 120,000 soldiers, opium has fueled the Taliban's growth into an omnipresent shadow government and an effective guerrilla army. The idea that our expanded military presence might soon succeed in driving back that force and handing over pacification to the illiterate, drug-addicted Afghan police and army remains, for the time being, a fantasy. Quick fixes like paying poppy farmers not to plant, something British and Americans have both tried, can backfire and end up actually promoting yet more opium cultivation. Rapid drug eradication without alternative employment, something the private contractor DynCorp tried so disastrously under a $150 million contract in 2005, would simply plunge Afghanistan into more misery, stoking mass anger and destabilizing the Kabul government further.

    So the choice is clear enough: we can continue to fertilize this deadly soil with yet more blood in a brutal war with an uncertain outcome -- for both the United States and the people of Afghanistan. Or we can begin to withdraw American forces while helping renew this ancient, arid land by replanting its orchards, replenishing its flocks, and rebuilding the irrigation systems ruined in decades of war.

    At this point, our only realistic choice is this sort of serious rural development -- that is, reconstructing the Afghan countryside through countless small-scale projects until food crops become a viable alternative to opium. To put it simply, so simply that even Washington might understand, you can only pacify a narco-state when it is no longer a narco-state.

    Alfred W. McCoy is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, which probes the conjuncture of illicit narcotics and covert operations over half a century. His latest book, Policing America's Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State, explores the influence of overseas counterinsurgency operations on the spread of internal security measures at home. To check out the latest TomCast audio interview in which McCoy discusses just who is complicit in the Afghan opium trade, click here or, if you prefer to download it to your iPod, here.

    Copyright 2010 Alfred W. McCoy


    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    The Afghan War: Spreading Democracy (and Heroin)

    by: http://www.truth-out.org/the-afghan-war-spreading-democracy-and-heroin65816Ryan Harvey, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis

    The Afghan War: Spreading Democracy (and Heroin)
    Ahmed Wali Karzai. (Photo: isafmedia / Flickr)

    Leaked documents reveal US and Afghan government collusion with major traffickers.

    Documents made public by WikiLeaks' latest file drop show that Afghan President Hamid Karzai pulled strings several times throughout early 2009 to free numerous drug traffickers with whom he had political or economic ties.

    The documents also show that US officials have held multiple high-level meetings with a man widely viewed as one of the country's major heroin dealers.

    That man is Ahmed Wali Karzai: He's the half-brother of President Karzai and has been investigated by numerous major newspapers for drug allegations.

    Referred to in many US documents as "AWK," Ahmed Wali Karzai, has long been on the radar of government officials and journalists for his off-the-books dealings with local warlords, traffickers, Taliban members and Afghanistan government officials.

    Now, previously secret US Embassy documents, made public by WikiLeaks, further these claims. The documents also show that the US has continued to consult with AWK on major infrastructure projects, security contracts and economic plans.

    One of the leaked documents is a report from a November 2009 meeting between AWK and the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry. In this document, Eikenberry describes Karzai as being, "... widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker." Nevertheless, he cautions that working with Karzai is a political necessity.

    In this meeting, Karzai calls for private "jihadi" mercenaries operating within the region to fall under his control; he also calls for major development projects to be initiated with his oversight. Eikenberry responds, "... given AWK's reputation for shady dealings, his recommendations for large, costly infrastructure projects should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism."

    He also notes that Karzai, "... is understood to have a stake in private security contracting ..." and "... both he and the governor have tried to exert control over how contracts are awarded in the province ... all of which could be a significant conflict of interest in the province."

    In another document, made public by WikiLeaks, there is a report from a February 2010 meeting with AWK in which, then-Deputy Ambassador to Afghanistan Francis Ricciardone says that Karzai, "... appears not to understand the level of our knowledge of his activities and that the coalition views many of his activities as malign."

    This new information linking the Karzai's with the heroin trade supplements previous reports on AWK's operations in Kandahar. It also further emphasizes the realities of the "dirty war" in Afghanistan.

    In 2008, The New York Times released reports that Ahmed Wali Karzai was extensively linked to the heroin trade. An investigative report, in late 2009, declared that Karzai was, "... a suspected player in the country's booming illegal opium trade."(1)

    The report also announced (citing, "current and former American officials") that Karzai, "... gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency and has for much of the past eight years."(2)

    According to The New York Times, the Bush White House said it, "... believes that Ahmed Wali Karzai is involved in drug trafficking," and, "Neither the Drug Enforcement Administration, which conducts counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan, nor the fledgling Afghan anti-drug agency, has pursued investigations into the accusations against the president's brother." (3)

    The Times article also extensively quotes a jailed, high-level Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informant, named Hajji Aman Kheri. "It's no secret about Wali Karzai and drugs," he told them. "A lot of people in the Afghan government are involved in drug trafficking."(4)

    Other examples of such immunity were recently made public by WikiLeaks as well.

    In April 2009, President Karzai pardoned five border policemen who were caught smuggling 124 kilograms of heroin in their patrol vehicles. They were sentenced to terms of 16 to 18 years each, only to be pardoned by President Karzai shortly after, "on the grounds that they were distantly related to two individuals who had been martyred during the civil war."

    Rumors in the US Embassy are that Karzai is also planning on pardoning several other men caught smuggling heroin. One man was a high-ranking police chief and nephew of a member of Parliament, who was caught ordering his men to smuggle heroin. Another man was a "priority DEA target."

    The same document says that Karzai tampered with the case of a narcotics trafficker whose father is a wealthy businessman and Karzai supporter. "Without any constitutional authority," the embassy cable says, "Karzai ordered the police to conduct a second investigation which resulted in the conclusion that the defendant had been framed."

    These documents come after controversy arose last year when former Afghan Defense Minister and current First Vice President Muhammad Fahim was selected as Karzai's running mate. CIA reports sent to the White House in 2002 suggested that Fahim was involved in narcotics trafficking and, though the White House avoided public criticism, they privately directed American military trainers to work with Fahim's subordinates only, but not with Fahim himself.

    President Karzai's other brothers have also made headlines this year for their secret dealings. Abdul Qayum Karzai mediated secret talks with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia. Mahmood Karzai has come under a federal investigation for tax evasion, racketeering and extortion.

    Don’t miss a beat - get Truthout Daily Email Updates. Click here to sign up for free.

    Now, documents leaked to the Guardian tell of Fahim's predecessor, former Afghan Vice-President Ahmed Zia Massoud, arriving in Dubai with 52 million dollars in cash and not needing to explain it. The reports outline the extent to which money has been smuggled out of Afghanistan by corrupt officials, and that Afghan officials have consistently lied about these "capital flights."

    Another major figure under suspicion for selling drugs happens to be one of the main men charged with stopping them. Former Counter-Narcotics Deputy Minister Muhhamad Daud Daud, who came out of the Mujahideen under Ahmad Shah Massoud and became one of Afghanistan's biggest military commanders, is also in the mix.

    While publicly assisting the US in counternarcotics policy, Daud Daud profits from the industry. According to The Guardian UK, "several western officials" allege that Daud Daud, "... has historical and family links to smuggling."(5)

    A 2009 investigation by the Canadian Globe and Mail, found evidence that Daud Daud was deeply involved in the heroin industry. This investigation tells of a man named Sayyed Jan. In the story, he was stopped by members of the Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan, with 183 kilograms of pure heroin in his car.(6)

    "The drug dealer was carrying a signed letter of protection from General Mohammed Daud Daud," the report says.(7)

    "That document, along with other papers and interviews with well-placed sources, show that General Daud has safeguarded shipments of illegal opiates even as he commands thousands of officers sworn to fight the trade," the investigation concludes.(8)

    According to the family members of the arrested trafficker, Jan paid General Daud Daud $50,000 to allow him to make a single trafficking run. Jan was later bribed out of prison and is believed to be once again leading his trafficking operation.

    This is a glimpse of how one smuggles heroin out of Afghanistan: Pay off the officials who are supposed to be stopping you. It's an open-secret in the world capital of heroin.

    "As of mid-February 2007," an internal military file from April 2007 states, "Afghan government officials working with eradication forces [are] accepting bribes from local farmers."(9)

    This report describes farmers paying between $750 and $1,000 per acre for protection from corrupt officials. This amount of money is not something the average farmer can afford to pay, thus, one can assume that these pay-offs are made by large landowners.(10)

    The document concludes that the police chief and "other provincial officials" are involved; and that Helmand provincial Governor Wafa was fully aware of the situation.(11)

    In July 2010, The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, issued a report stating, "... most experts we spoke with agree that corruption at all levels of government enables narcotics trafficking."(12)

    The report goes on to describe that members of the Afghan government have historically, "... rendered many aspects of the counternarcotics program useless, including using the eradication program as a means of extorting and by robbing alternative livelihood programs of resources intended for the Afghan farmer."(13)

    It also cites research which found, "... there is a growing belief in the south (of Afghanistan) that those working for the government are more actively involved in the trade in narcotics that the Taliban."(14)

    This study found that the vast majority of farmers understand the central government to be highly involved in the narcotics industry.

    This information is even more alarming when laid next the UN's own statistics on the Afghan heroin trade.

    As of 2009, the Taliban's share of opium-profits is estimated at 125 million dollars only. This means that the other 2 billion, 875 million dollars must go to either corrupt government officials or other warlords/drug networks.(15)

    The US is in the middle of a drug war, backing men whom they know to be warlords and heroin traffickers in exchange for their political cooperation against groups like the Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami and the Haqqani Network, which oppose the current Afghan government and the US presence that keeps it afloat.

    The US used this strategy in the 1980s as well, when it backed the Afghan Mujahideen rebels to combat Russia's bloody occupation. Its support for some of the most undemocratic and notorious warlords in the Mujahideen resulted in a decade of civil war that led to the Taliban's rise to power.

    And, as it did in the 1980s, when covert US government funding supported the anti-Soviet insurgency, the US is working with some of the most undemocratic and notorious warlords in the country.

    The blowback from such alliances today will probably be similar.


    1. Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti and James Risen, "Brother of Afghan Leader Said to Be Paid by CIA," New York Times, October 27, 2009.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Declan Walsh, "Afghan province to provide one-third of world's heroin," Guardian UK, June 14, 2006.
    6. Graeme Smith, "Afghan officials in drug trade cut deals across enemy lines," The Global and Mail, March 21, 2009.
    7. Ibid.
    8. Ibid.
    9. WikiLeaks, "Afghan Eradication Officials Accepted Bribes in Helmand Province."
    10. Ibid.11. Ibid.
    12. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, 111th Congress second session, "US Counternarcotics Strategy in Afghanistan," July 2010. 13. Ibid.
    14. Ibid.
    15. UN Office on Drugs and Crime, "Addiction, Crime and Insurgency, The Transnational Threat of Afghan Opium," October 2009.





    http://afghanistan.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/01/wikileaks-docs-show-us-frustration-on-karzais-prisoner-releases/

    The early and pre-trial release of prisoners by the Afghan government, at times with the intervention of the country's president, has frustrated U.S. officials, diplomatic documents released by WikiLeaks reveal.

    In one case, Afghan President Hamid Karzai used his authority to pardon
    five border police officers who were caught with 124 kilograms of heroin in
    their police vehicle, according to an August 2009 State Department cable
    published by WikiLeaks.

    The policemen, known as the Zahir Five, were tried and convicted at the
    Central Narcotics Tribunal, and sentenced to serve prison terms of 16 to 18
    years each. But Karzai pardoned them, "on the grounds that they were distantly related to two individuals who had been martyred during the civil war."

    The cable, signed by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry,
    documents two other cases in which Karzai exercised his influence on behalf of well-connected drug suspects or is believed to have done so.

    The issue is particularly senstitive since the United States has focused
    on decreasing the drug trade in Afghanistan; a significant part of its Afghan
    strategy.

    Afghan officials, including the spokesman for Karzai, refused to comment
    on the cable.

    In a second case, the cable alleges the president interfered in the narcotics case of Haji Amanullah, the son of a wealthy businessman and Karzai supporter. The document says that Karzai ordered, "without any constitutional authority," that police conduct a second investigation into the case, a probe that concluded that Amanullah had been framed. Karzai's chief of staff Mohammad Omar Daudzai told Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Frank Ricciardone that he was "ashamed" of the president for his interference in the Amanullah and Zahir Five cases.

    In a third case, the cable cites "credible, but unconfirmed intelligence" that Karzai had signed a letter pardoning a suspect named as Col. Jaweed, who is currently in prison after 26 kilograms of heroin belonging to him was found in a vehicle search. Jaweed is described as "the nephew of a powerful member of parliament." Daudzai "denied any significant pressure in this case."

    The document describes a fourth case, citing "unconfirmed intelligence"
    that the Afghan president was planning to release Ismal Safed, a drug
    trafficker serving a 19-year prison sentence who is described as "a priority
    DEA target." Daudzai told Ricciardone that Karzai would not pardon Safed, and that "Post's concerns about this case will reaffirm President Karzai's decision not to interfere."

    Narcotics are not the only area of concern to U.S. diplomats in this
    cable. In addition to the narco-trafficking pardons, Ricciardone and State
    Department legal advisor Harold Hongju Koh spoke with Afghan attorney
    general Ishaq Aloko expressing their concerns about the pre-trial releases of
    detainees. The embassy had previously expressed its concerns on this issue to Afghan national security adviser Zalmai Rassoul in spring of 2008.

    The detainees were held at the Afghan National Detention Facility (ANDF)
    after being transferred from the Bagram Theatre Internment Facility (BTIF).
    According to the cable, 150 detainees were released from ANDF without trial
    from spring of 2007 until July of 2009, including 29 detainees from the U.S.
    detention facility at Guantanamo. During that period, 629 detainees were
    transferred from BTIF, including 41 from Guantanamo.

    "Despite our complaints and expressions of concern to the [Government of
    the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan], pre-trial releases continue," the U.S.
    diplomatic cable said.




    A Brief Refresher on the Taliban's Worst-Kept Secret

    Wikileaks' papers are just the latest Afghan military shockers to surface. Remember Reagan and the Pakistani spooks?

    Fri Jul. 30, 2010 4:31 PM PDT

    The "most damning collection of data" in Wikileaks' massive trove of secret documents from Afghanistan are 180 files that show the Pakistani intelligence service helping Taliban insurgents in their fight against US forces. The documents are dark reading indeed: They describe Pakistani agents meeting directly with the Taliban, supporting commanders of the insurgency, and even training suicide bombers. But for anyone versed in the contemporary history of Afghanistan, they are hardly news. The Wikileaks data dump is just the tip of the iceberg; ISI black ops and double-crosses date back at least three decades. Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, is merely feeding a monster it helped create back in the 1990s—with the full knowledge of the United States. Indeed, in concert with the CIA, the Pakistani spy agency also helped create Al Qaeda, and continued to support it long after it had gone astray of US interests.

    That context is especially useful now. I explored the Taliban's history in my 2005 book The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11, which asked, did US 'allies' help make the attacks possible?" Most of what follows is adapted from that book.

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    After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Pakistani intelligence service became a key part of the CIA's strategy in the country, where a full-scale covert war was carried out under Ronald Reagan, with hundreds of millions in funding eventually provided by Congress.

    As meticulously described by Steve Coll in his Pulitzer Prize-winning 2005 book Ghost Wars, the covert operation took place under the zealous leadership of then-CIA Director William J. Casey, to whom Afghanistan represented an opportunity to fight the Soviets right on their own border. It was an opportunity for Pakistan, as well: As Soviet journalist Artyom Borovik wrote in his 1990 book The Hidden War, Pakistan's leader General Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq "saw in the Afghan conflict a unique opportunity to obtain a sharp increase in US military and financial aid to Pakistan. The Pakistani generals regarded the entrance of Soviet troops into Afghanistan as 'Brezhnev's gift.'" Over the next seven years, Reagan would engineer more than $7 billion in aid to Pakistan.

    The result was a deadly troika joining the Pakistani secret service, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda.

    Zia was more than willing to support Casey's strategy, which included both funding the Afghan mujahaddin and attracting an international force of Islamic militants to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. According to Ahmed Rashid's 2000 book Taliban, Pakistan issued standing orders to all its embassies to grant visas to anyone who wanted to come and fight with the mujahaddin. As a result, a growing force of Muslims from around the world gathered in camps in easternmost Afghanistan, just across the Pakistani border. These camps, Rashid notes, became "virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism."

    One of those in attendance was a wealthy Saudi named Osama Bin Laden. "I settled in Pakistan in the Afghan border region," he said in a 1998 interview with Agence France-Presse. "There I received volunteers who came from the Saudi kingdom and from all over the Arab and Muslim countries. I set up my first camp where these volunteers were trained by Pakistani and American officers. The weapons were supplied by the Americans, the money by the Saudis." Later, he said, "I discovered that it was not enough to fight in Afghanistan, but that we had to fight on all fronts, communist or western oppression."

    In his 1992 book Afghanistan The Bear Trap, Mohammad Yousaf, the ISI operations chief for the Afghanistan campaign, wrote that most of the US money and supplies for the militant forces were channeled right to the ISI, which then made the decisions as to which commanders in Afghanistan got what weapons. The ISI maintained four base commands within Afghanistan, and they in turn reached out to smaller units, organized around clans and villages.

    As reported in the Asian edition of the Financial Times, in the early 1980s, the ISI even "started a special cell for the use of heroin for covert actions"—initiated, according to the article, "at the insistence of the Central Intelligence Agency." This cell "promoted the cultivation of opium and the extraction of heroin in Pakistani territory as well as in the Afghan territory under mujahideen control for being smuggled into the Soviet controlled areas in order to make the Soviet troops heroin addicts. After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, the ISI's heroin cell started using its network of refineries and smugglers for smuggling heroin to the Western countries and using the money as a supplement to its legitimate economy. But for these heroin dollars, Pakistan's legitimate economy must have collapsed many years ago....Not only the legitimate State economy, but also many senior officers of the Army and the ISI benefited from the heroin dollars."

    By the time Mikail Gorbachev pulled Soviet forces out of Afghanistan in 1989, reports and complaints about the growing force of militant Islamic volunteers began to come back to the CIA. But with the Soviet withdrawal, and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union and demise of the Cold War, the United States lost all interest in Afghanistan. It left behind a heavily armed, heavily mined, and destitute country in a state of virtual anarchy. As the leaders of former mujaheddin factions fought one another for control, Afghan and Pakistani students were building a new political movement, which would call itself the Taliban. This movement grew up around the thousands of madrassahs, or religious schools, that had taken root within Pakistan along the northwestern Afghan border. The founders of the new Taliban had no trouble finding recruits in the madrassahs, and in the crowded refugee camps on the Afghan-Pakistani border, and they soon became a force to reckon with within the warring factions in Afghanistan.

    Among those keeping their eye on the growing Taliban movement was the ISI, long a major instrument of Pakistani foreign policy. The jihadists within the Pakistani government, and especially within the intelligence service, were unstinting in their support of the Taliban, and the ISI as a whole looked upon the Taliban with increasing favor. The ISI would be instrumental in bringing the Taliban to power, and would continue to provide them aid and advice in managing the country once they had assumed control. As Ahmed Rashid describes, it, at times, Afghanistan almost seemed to be an administrative appendage of Pakistan.

    At the same time, the cadre of militant Islamic guerrilla fighters who had converged from across the Islamic world were determined to maintain Afghanistan as a headquarters for future jihads. The time was ripe for the completion of what would prove a deadly troika joining the Pakistani secret service, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda.

     
     

    After detours to Saudi Arabia and the Sudan, Bin Laden and dozens of his supporters was back in to Afghanistan in 1996 to witness the triumph of the Taliban. Here, again, Pakistan played a decisive role. As the 9/11 Commission report acknowledged, "Though his destination was Afghanistan, Pakistan was the nation that held the key to his ability to use Afghanistan as a base from which to revive his ambitious enterprise for war against the United States." Pakistan would continue to be the source of madrassah-bred militants, and clearly hoped that the Taliban and its like "perhaps could bring order in chaotic Afghanistan and make it a cooperative ally."

    "It is unlikely," the Commission continues, "that Bin Laden could have returned to Afghanistan had Pakistan disapproved. The Pakistani military and intelligence services probably had advance knowledge of his coming, and its officers may have facilitated his travel... Pakistani intelligence officers reportedly introduced Bin Laden to Taliban leaders in Kandahar, their main base of power, to aid his reassertion of control over camps near Khowst, out of an apparent hope that he would now expand the camps and make them available for training Kashmiri militants" for Pakistan's ongoing standoff with India.

    Bin Laden himself acknowledged his debt to the ISI, which he surely must have had in mind when he told ABC, in a 1999 interview, "As for Pakistan, there are some governmental departments which, by the grace of God, respond to Islamic sentiments of the masses in Pakistan. This is reflected in sympathy and cooperation. However, some other governmental departments fell into the trap of the infidels. We pray to God to return them to the right path."

    Cementing his relationship with the new Taliban regime (to which he brought considerable monetary support), Bin Laden helped expand the jihadist training camps in the safe sanctuary of Afghanistan; these camps, according to US intelligence estimates, trained 10,000 to 20,000 fighters between his 1996 return and September 11, 2001.

    In February 1998, Bin Laden issued his famous fatwa. Less than six months later, on August 7, 1998, Al Qaeda carried out its most devastating terrorist attacks up to that time, on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, killing 224 and injuring more than 5,000. In the days following the embassy bombings, the CIA learned military and extremist groups would be gathering on August 20 at a camp near Khost in eastern Afghanistan. The reports said Bin Laden was expected. As Steve Coll recounts, this appeared to be the moment to respond with force to the embassy attacks and kill Bin Laden. The Clinton Administration planned a surprise cruise missile attack on the camp—but it turned out to be anything but a surprise. The US's Tomahawk missiles killed twenty-odd Pakistani jihad fighters, but Bin Laden and other leaders were not there. According to Coll, the ISI knew of the attacks, and there were suggestions that it had warned Bin Laden.

    At the time, the ISI was headed by Hamid Gul (who resurfaces in the WikiLeaks documents as a liaison between the ISI and the Taliban). By all appearances, Gul was dedicated to protecting the Taliban, which in turn maintained close ties with Al Qaeda. In his 2004 book Against All Enemies, former terrorism "czar" Richard Clarke writes, "I believed that if Pakistan's ISID [ISI] wanted to capture bin Laden or tell us where he was, they could have done so with little effort. They did not cooperate with us because ISID saw al Qaeda as helpful to the Taliban. They also saw al Qaeda and its affiliates as helpful in pressuring India, particularly in Kashmir. Some, like General Hamid Gul, ... also appeared to share bin Laden's anti-Western ideology."

    Yet when the United States repeatedly asked the ISI to provide Bin Laden's location for a US attack, Paskistani intelligence officers told the CIA that Al Qaeda no longer trusted them, so they could not pinpoint his whereabouts. According to Coll, "The Americans doubted this. . . . Pakistan's army and political class had calculated that the benefits they reaped from supporting Afghan-based jihadist guerrillas—including those trained and funded by Bin Laden—outstripped the costs, some of Clinton's aides concluded. As one White House official put it bluntly, 'Since just telling us to fuck off seemed to do the trick,' why should the Pakistanis change their strategy?" The CIA, in tracking Bin Laden, had desperately—and foolishly—turned to its old ally the ISI, which had been so useful during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

    But the situation a decade later was quite different. Now, the United States wanted the Pakistanis to help them quell the rise of Islamic extremism, rather than encourage it. Some lip service was given to cooperation on both sides. The Pakistani government wanted to preserve a decent relationship with the United States, especially in 1998, when it was conducting tests of nuclear weapons. But it never took any real action to limit the ISI's support of the Taliban or Al Qaeda. And the ISI, always an entity unto itself, did worse than nothing. There can be little doubt that many ISI operatives were functioning, in effect, as double agents, getting information from the CIA, and passing it on either directly to Bin Laden, or to the Taliban, which in turn informed Bin Laden. ISI operatives were clearly involved in destroying enemies that threatened the Taliban. In early 1999, after Abdul Haq, a respected anti-Soviet fighter and Pashtun warlord, became an independent voice and stood up against the Taliban, the ISI called on him and told him to shut up. Haq paid them no heed. On returning later, he found his children and wife murdered. Several sources trace the attack to the ISI. The ISI would subsequently be implicated in Haq's murder, as well as the murder of legendary Northern Alliance mujahedeen leader Ahmed Shah Massoud.

    When General Pervez Musharaff took power in a 1999 coup, he appointed as his new ISI chief Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmed. Always a strong supporter of the Taliban, Mahmoud himself soon found new meaning in religion and started calling himself a "born again Muslim." As Steve Coll writes, by the summer of 2000, the longstanding relationship between the ISI and the CIA had "turned icy."

    According to the 9/11 Commission report, based on testimony from Khalid ShEikh Mohammed and other captured operatives, a major strategy debate took place in the spring and summer of the 2001. The Taliban's debating partner was Al Qaeda, and subject was the wisdom of launching the planned direct attacks on the United States.

    As the Taliban leadership became aware of the attack plans, they initially opposed them. Their first priority was defeating the Northern Alliance, which continued to control portions of Afghanistan and launch attacks on the Taliban. They were depending on military equipment and support from Al Qaeda. An attack on the United States might be counterproductive in that it would draw the US into an Afghan conflict on the side of the Northern Alliance.

    Taliban leader Mullah Omar also opposed Bin Laden's plans on ideological grounds, preferring to attack Jews and not necessarily the United States. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed also subsequently claimed that Omar was under pressure from Pakistan to keep Al Qaeda operations inside Afghanistan. Matters came to a head at an Al Qaeda shura council meeting. While several top Al Qaeda leaders sided with the Taliban, Bin Laden overrode his opponents, asserting that Omar had no authority to stop jihads outside of Afghanistan's borders.

    Given the Taliban's intimate knowledge of the plan for the 9/11 attacks—the debate within the top ranks of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, a shura council meeting, and the suggestion Pakistan was pressuring Omar to keep Al Qaeda inside Afghanistan—it seems that the ISI must have known what was about to happen. It did nothing to warn its old friends in the CIA of the worst attack ever to take place on American soil.

    In a so-called ally, this was treachery of the highest order. Yet even in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and in the midst of the Afghanistan war, the ISI has clearly continued to support the Taliban, with relatively little resistance either from its own government or from the United States.

    As Peter Galbraith, former UN deputy special representative in Afghanistan, wrote earlier this week in the Guardian, "President Bush could have forced Pakistan to break the ISI-Taliban nexus but did not." Bush was dealing with President Pervez Musharraf who, Galbraith says, "as the country's military dictator, presumably did control the ISI. Bush, who liked to talk tough but rarely was, preferred to accept Musharraf's false assurance that Pakistan was not supporting the Taliban connection to the unpleasant task of having to put pressure on an ally."

    Obama, on the other hand, is dealing with a civilian government that has reason to genuinely hate the Taliban: President Asif Ali Zardari's wife, Benazir Bhutto, was murdered by Taliban-linked militants (possibly with the tacit complicity of ISI officials). But Galbraith believes that, "Zardari does not control the ISI."

    Statements from the Obama administration in response to the WikiLeaks documents seem not to acknowledge any gap between the Pakistani government and its rogue intelligence agency. Instead they emphasize positive developments in the relationship between the two countries—behaving, to all appearances, as if the past 30 years of history simply did not exist. According to a report in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, "US officials contend that in the past several months, Pakistan's stance has become much more nuanced than portrayed in the WikiLeaks reports." These unnamed officials claim that they are aware of past problems and that "everyone's eyes are wide open." They also insist, however, that "the two nations have made strides in deepening military and civilian ties... In return, the US has pledged billions of dollars in new military and civilian aid."

    This article is adapted from The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11: What the 9/11 Commission Report Failed to Tell Us, by James Ridgeway (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005).
     
     
    http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/07/wikileaks-taliban-afghanistan?page=2

    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

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    Reply with quote  #177 
     Need I say more?
    Thank you Wikileaks for making the point. 52 million cash.   USA Complicit in the heroin trade


    Cables Depict Afghan Graft, Starting at Top
     
    Ahmad Masood/Reuters
    JULY 28, 2004 | KABUL, AFGHANISTAN | President Hamid Karzai, center, and one of his vice presidents, Ahmed Zia Masoud, right, who was later accused of taking millions out of Afghanistan.
    <NYT_BYLINE>
     
    <NYT_TEXT><NYT_CORRECTION_TOP>

    This article is by Scott Shane, Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins.

    State's Secrets

    Day 5

    Articles in this series will examine American diplomatic cables as a window on relations with the rest of the world in an age of war and terrorism.

     

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    The Lede

    Updates on the reaction to the leak of diplomatic cables.

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    WASHINGTON — From hundreds of diplomatic cables, Afghanistan emerges as a looking-glass land where bribery, extortion and embezzlement are the norm and the honest official is a distinct outlier.

    Describing the likely lineup of Afghanistan’s new cabinet last January, the American Embassy noted that the agriculture minister, Asif Rahimi, “appears to be the only minister that was confirmed about whom no allegations of bribery exist.”

    One Afghan official helpfully explained to diplomats the “four stages” at which his colleagues skimmed money from American development projects: “When contractors bid on a project, at application for building permits, during construction, and at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.” In a seeming victory against corruption, Abdul Ahad Sahibi, the mayor of Kabul, received a four-year prison sentence last year for “massive embezzlement.” But a cable from the embassy told a very different story: Mr. Sahibi was a victim of “kangaroo court justice,” it said, in what appeared to be retribution for his attempt to halt a corrupt land-distribution scheme.

    It is hardly news that predatory corruption, fueled by a booming illicit narcotics industry, is rampant at every level of Afghan society. Transparency International, an advocacy organization that tracks government corruption around the globe, ranks Afghanistan as the world’s third most corrupt country, behind Somalia and Myanmar.

    But the collection of confidential diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of publications, offers a fresh sense of its pervasive nature, its overwhelming scale, and the dispiriting challenge it poses to American officials who have made shoring up support for the Afghan government a cornerstone of America’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.

    The cables make it clear that American officials see the problem as beginning at the top. An August 2009 report from Kabul complains that President Hamid Karzai and his attorney general “allowed dangerous individuals to go free or re-enter the battlefield without ever facing an Afghan court.” The embassy was particularly concerned that Mr. Karzai pardoned five border police officers caught with 124 kilograms (about 273 pounds) of heroin and intervened in a drug case involving the son of a wealthy supporter.

    The American dilemma is perhaps best summed up in an October 2009 cable sent by Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry, written after he met with Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president’s half brother, the most powerful man in Kandahar and someone many American officials believe prospers from the drug trade. (Mr. Karzai denies any involvement with narcotics trafficking.)

    “The meeting with AWK highlights one of our major challenges in Afghanistan: how to fight corruption and connect the people to their government, when the key government officials are themselves corrupt,” Ambassador Eikenberry wrote.

    American officials seem to search in vain for an honest partner. A November 2009 cable described the acting governor of Khost Province, Tahir Khan Sabari, as “a refreshing change,” an effective and trustworthy leader. But Mr. Sabari told his American admirers that he did not have “the $200,000-300,000 for a bribe” necessary to secure the job permanently.

    Ahmed Zia Massoud held the post of first vice president from 2004 to 2009; the brother of the Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, he was discussed as a future president. Last year, a cable reported, Mr. Massoud was caught by customs officials carrying $52 million in unexplained cash into the United Arab Emirates.

    A diplomatic cable is not a criminal indictment, of course, and in an interview Mr. Massoud denied taking any money out of Afghanistan. “It’s not true,” he said. “Fifty-two million dollars is a pile of money as big as this room.” Yet while his official salary was a few hundred dollars a month, he lives in a waterfront house on Palm Jumeirah, a luxury Dubai community that is also home to other Afghan officials. When a reporter visited the dwelling this year, a Rolls-Royce was parked out front.

    The cables describe a country where everything is for sale. The Transportation Ministry collects $200 million a year in trucking fees, but only $30 million is turned over to the government, according to a 2009 account to diplomats by Wahidullah Shahrani, then the commerce minister. As a result, “individuals pay up to $250,000 for the post heading the office in Herat, for example, and end up owning beautiful mansions as well as making lucrative political donations,” said Mr. Shahrani, who also identified 14 of Afghanistan’s governors as “bad performers and/or corrupt.”

    Then again, another cable reports “rumors” that Mr. Shahrani himself “was involved in a corrupt oil import deal.” He denied the rumors, saying that they were inventions by two rivals who were “among the most corrupt in Afghanistan,” the cable said.

    Pity the diplomat who must sort out whose version of reality to believe. One cable reported the American ambassador’s attempt to size up Mr. Shahrani, who later became the minister of mines. “Ambassador Eikenberry noted Shahrani’s extravagant home, suggesting that the Afghans knew best who is corrupt,” the cable said.

    The cables lay out allegations of bribes and profit-skimming in the organization of travel to Saudi Arabia for the hajj, or pilgrimage; in a scheme to transfer money via cellphones; in the purchase of wheat seed; in the compilation of an official list of war criminals; and in the voting in Parliament.

    Dr. Sayed Fatimie, the minister of health, told diplomats in January that members of Parliament wanted cash to confirm his appointment. “Expressing shock at the blatancy of these extortion attempts, Fatimie said MPs had offered their own votes and the votes of others they could purportedly deliver for $1,000 apiece,” a cable said.

    The case of the Kabul mayor, Mr. Sahibi, shows how complicated it can be to sort out corruption charges. A Jan. 7 cable signed by Ambassador Eikenberry gave an account sharply at odds with media reports, which treated the prosecution as a landmark in the campaign for honest government.

    The cable, referring to embassy interviews with Mr. Sahibi, said the charges against him were based on a decision to lease a piece of city property to shopkeepers. Three months after the lease was signed, another bidder offered $16,000 more. The “loss” of the potential additional revenue became the “massive embezzlement” described by prosecutors, the cable said.

    Mr. Sahibi told the Americans he had been summoned to appear in court on Dec. 7 to be assigned a hearing date. Instead, he said, he was given a four-year sentence and a $16,000 fine.

    As for the motive behind his prosecution, Mr. Sahibi said that in less than two years as mayor “he had found files for approximately 32,000 applicants who paid for nonexistent plots of land in Kabul.” He said he halted the program and “invalidated the illegal claims of some important people,” who took their revenge with the bogus criminal case.

    The embassy cable largely supported Mr. Sahibi’s version of events, saying that the mayor’s “official decision may have antagonized powerful people who then sought the power of the state to discredit him.” Far from being a blow against corruption, the cable suggested, the case was a travesty of justice.

    The widespread corruption is made possible in part by a largely unregulated banking infrastructure and the ancient hawala money transfer network that is the method of choice for politicians, insurgents and drug traffickers to move cash around the Muslim world.

    Last year, a cable signed by Ambassador Eikenberry said that the hawala favored by the Afghan elite, New Ansari, “is facilitating bribes and other wide-scale illicit cash transfers for corrupt Afghan officials” and providing financial services to narco-traffickers through front companies in Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates. He asked Washington to send more investigators and wiretap analysts to assist nascent Afghan task forces that were examining New Ansari.

    The anticorruption task forces already faced significant obstacles. For instance, Afghanistan’s interior minister asked that the American government “take a low profile on the New Ansari case” to avoid the perception that investigations were being carried out “at the behest of the United States.”

    Months later, when the New Ansari investigators carried out a predawn raid on the house of a top aide to President Karzai whom investigators heard soliciting a bribe on a wiretap, Mr. Karzai intervened to release the man from jail and threatened to take control of the anticorruption investigations. In November, the Afghan government dropped all charges against the aide.

    The resulting standoff between Kabul and Washington forced the Obama administration to take stock of its strategy: was trying to root out corruption, at the risk of further alienating Mr. Karzai, really worth it? And with American troops set to begin leaving Afghanistan next summer, and the American public having long ago lost the appetite for nation-building, was trying to root out corruption a Sisyphean task?

    In September, President Obama acknowledged the dilemma. “Are there going to be occasions where we look and see that some of our folks on the ground have made compromises with people who are known to have engaged in corruption?” he asked. “There may be occasions where that happens.”

    A February cable described exactly such a compromise, reporting on a police chief at a border crossing in southern Afghanistan, Col. Abdul Razziq, who was reputed to be corrupt — and good at his job.

    Western officials, it said, “walk a thin tightrope when working with this allegedly corrupt official who is also a major security stabilizing force.”

    <NYT_AUTHOR_ID>

    Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti reported from Washington, and Dexter Filkins from Kabul, Afghanistan. Andrew W. Lehren contributed reporting from New York.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/world/asia/03wikileaks-corruption.html?pagewanted=all


    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    maynard

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    Reply with quote  #178 

    Jailed drug baron was a 'CIA informer'

    • drug lord jailed in the US since 2008 was for years on the American payroll as an informer for the CIA and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    The New York Times, citing federal prosecutors and US officials, reported at the weekend that Hajji Juma Khan was paid lavishly to provide information on the Taliban, Afghan corruption and other drug traffickers, and was even brought secretly to the US at one point.

    The secret relationship, the paper said, illustrated how the war on drugs and the war on terrorism sometimes collide in Afghanistan, where drug traffickers, the government and the insurgency often overlap.

    Khan - said to be in his mid-50s - grew from a small-time drug peddler to a major trafficker in the early 2000s.

    He bought off the Taliban and corrupt Afghan officials to protect his expanding drug trade until he became one of the country's biggest drug lords, the Times said.

    At the same time, he became an informer for the CIA and the DEA, who were interested in Taliban and drug-trafficking operations respectively.

    In 2006, he was brought to the US to see whether his role as an informant could be taken to a higher level, a former US official said.

    He was not arrested because there were no charges pending against him there, and during the visit Khan took a side trip to New York for some sightseeing and shopping.

    Officials said it was unclear just how much intelligence Khan had provided on other drug traffickers and the Taliban leadership, but the relationship continued for some time after that.

    Everything changed in 2008, when anti-insurgency pressure eased and US forces shifted some of their attention to the rampant drug trafficking in Afghanistan.

    Some US officials said Khan had become too big a trafficker to be ignored, while others said he never provided breakthrough intelligence to his handlers.

    Khan was lured to the US in 2008 for another meeting with the DEA and even paid for his flight to Jakarta, where he was arrested instead and flown to the US.

    He is now involved in plea negotiations with US authorities.

    He was arrested under a 2006 narco-terrorism law that makes it easier to go after foreign drug traffickers who are not smuggling into the US but who can be shown to have ties to terrorist organisations, the Times said.

    Khan's lawyer denied to the newspaper that his client had ever supported the Taliban or worked for the CIA.

    A CIA spokesman said the agency "does not, as a rule, comment on matters pending before US courts".

    AFP
     
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/jailed-drug-baron-was-a-cia-informer/story-e6frg6so-1225970493928

    __________________
    A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

    DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


    L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


    "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


    We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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    snitchbuster13

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