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Posts: 1,194
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http://www.scribd.com/doc/117070568/US-Congresswoman-Maxine-Waters-Investigation-of-CIA-Contras-involvement-in-drug-sales-1996-2000 US Congresswoman Maxine Waters' Investigation of Contras involvement in drug sales
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022291453 Background on the Contra Crack Controversy
https://web.archive.org/web/20050420101319/http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/1998/06/cia.html A "Tainted Deal" between Director of Central Intelligence William Casey and U.S. Attorney General William French Smith allowed cocaine to flow unchecked into the United States
https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/cocaine/contra-story/01.gif Exhibit 1: U.S. Attorney General William French Smith replies to a still classified letter from DCI William Casey requesting exemption from reporting drug crimes by CIA agents,assets and contractors.
https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/cocaine/contra-story/13.gif Exhibit 2: DCI William Casey happily agrees with William French Smith and signs the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exempting his agency from reporting drug crimes. This agreement covered both the Latin American conflicts and Afghanistan war. It remained in effect until August, 1995 when it was quietly rescinded by Janet Reno. The 1995 revision of the DoJ-CIA MOU specifically includes narcotics violations among the lists of potential offenses by non-employees that must be reported to the Department Of Justice.

Exhibit 3: On February 8, 1985, Deputy Chief of DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy andReview (OIPR) from 1979 to 1991, A. R. Cinquegrana signed off on this letter approving the MOU. Mark M. Richard, Deputy Assistant Attorney General with responsibility for General Litigation and International Law Enforcement in 1982, states that he was unable to explain why narcotics violations were not on the list of reportable crimes except that the MOU had "other deficiencies, not just drugs."
https://web.archive.org/web/20070104000306/http://www.thememoryhole.com/kerry/ "Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy" a/k/a the Kerry Report Transcripts. The Full Report is now online here.
http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/17/world/cia-says-it-used-nicaraguan-rebels-accused-of-drug-tie.html On July 17, 1998 the New York Times ran this amazing front page CIA admission: "CIA Says It Used Nicaraguan Rebels Accused of Drug Tie." "The Central Intelligence Agency continued to work with about two dozen Nicaraguan rebels and their supporters during the 1980's despite allegations that they were trafficking in drugs.... The agency's decision to keep those paid agents, or to continue dealing with them in some less formal relationship, was made by top officials at headquarters in Langley, Va."
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2000/060800a.html CIA Admits Tolerating Contra- Cocaine Trafficking in 1980s—JUNE 8, 2000. Journalist Robert Parry reports on the CLOSE OUT OF HPSCI (Contra-Crack Investigation) hearings. Parry's complete coverage of CONTRA-CRACK is located here: http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/crack.html
http://www.alternet.org/story/9268/ LOYAL OPPOSITION: In Plain Sight: The CIA Keeps Getting Away With It By David Corn June 5, 2000. David Corn reports on the HPSCI Investigation close out of the CONTRA CRACK Investigation in JUNE, 2000.
http://www.narconews.com/darkalliance Read the original "Dark Alliance" series here. Reprinted with the permission of Gary Webb's family.
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/09/10-declassified-articles-cia-intelligence-journal Fri Sep. 19, 2014. As part of a recent FOIA lawsuit settlement, the CIA declassified hundreds [http://www.foia.cia.gov/collection/declassified-articles-studies-intelligence-cias-house-intelligence-journal] of internal newsletters called "Studies in Intelligence". Mother Jones found one referring to the Gary Webb smear campaign: "a ground base of already productive relations with journalists" helped "prevent this story from becoming an unmitigated disaster." The 6 page document referencing Webb and Dark Alliance can be found here: http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/DOC_0001372115.pdf
http://web.archive.org/web/20121025005853/http://www.fair.org/issues-news/contra-crack.html Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Complete coverage on how the establishments newspapers do damage control for the CIA
http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_24343140/ex-dea-officials-make-bombshell-allegations-about-kiki October 19, 2013. Former DEA Agents Hector Berrellez and Phil Jordan allege that the murder of DEA agent of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena was tied to CIA involvement. Berrellez was the lead agent in charge of "Operation Leyenda", the investigation of Camarena's murder. Phil Jordan was the former head of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC). Jordan and Berrellez were not the first to tie CIA to the killers of Camarena: http://www.scribd.com/doc/129497281/Lawrence-Victor-Harrison-Testimony-in-DEA-agent-Enrique-Camarena-Case-Ties-Contras-and-Drugs
http://www.esquire.com/features/pariah-gary-webb-0998 In September 1998, Legendary DEA agents Hector Berrellez and Mike Holm came forward to back the Dark Alliance story, but not in time to save the career of Gary Webb.
http://powderburns.org/testimony.html DEA agent Celerino Castillo III was the lead agent in charge of El Salvador and Guatemala when he witnessed drug trafficking committed by the Contras at Ilopongo airbase. Hangers 4 and 5 were owned by the NSC and the CIA. Every one of his reports was signed by DEA country attache Robert J. Stia. DEA agent Mike Levine http://www.scribd.com/doc/123124540/Collection-of-Essays-by-Retired-DEA-Agent-Mike-Levine also found his major investigations squashed by the intelligence community. CASTILLO AND LEVINE INSIST THAT THE CIA ACTIVELY RUNS DRUGS, NOT JUST LOOKING THE OTHER WAY
https://web.archive.org/web/20120208083401/http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/ Narco-Colonialism in the 20th Century. Excerpts of interviews with law enforcement investigators can be viewed here regarding Contra involvement in drugs.
http://consortiumnews.com/2014/09/26/the-ciamsm-contra-cocaine-cover-up/ September 26, 2014. The CIA/MSM Contra-Cocaine Cover-up: With Hollywood set to release a movie about the Contra-cocaine scandal and the destruction of journalist Gary Webb, an internal CIA report has surfaced showing how the spy agency manipulated the mainstream media’s coverage to disparage Webb and contain the scandal, reports Robert Parry.
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/25/managing-nightmare-cia-media-destruction-gary-webb/ September 25, 2014. Managing a Nightmare: How the CIA Watched Over the Destruction of Gary Webb By Ryan Devereaux.
http://www.amazon.com/review/REVFM3PIMTIUN Former CIA Officer from Central America, Robert D. Steele's Review of Dark Alliance: "With great sadness, I must conclude that this book is truthful, accurate, and explosive."
"I believe that beginning with Henry Kissinger, the NSC and the CIA have had a "eugenics" policy that considers the low-income blacks to be "expendable" as well as a nuisance, and hence worthy of being targeted as a market for drugs to pull out what income they do have."
"It is safe to say that all US Senators know the truth and have chosen to betray their Oaths of Office and their responsibility under Article 1 of the Constitution"

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

 LA DEA; 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  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998


Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #2 
CIA Ignored Tips Alleging Contra Drug Links, Report Says
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 3, 1998; Page A04

In September 1981, as the Reagan administration was approving a covert CIA program to finance anti-Sandinista exile organization attempts to overthrow the Nicaraguan government, "an asset" told the agency that one of the major contra rebel groups intended to sell drugs in the United States to pay its bills.
The cable described for CIA headquarters a July 1981 drug delivery from Honduras to Miami, including the names of those involved, and called it "an initial trial run" by members of the Nicaraguan Revolutionary Democratic Alliance. An earlier cable had said the rebels felt they were "being forced to stoop to criminal activities in order to feed and clothe their cadre."
Although the cables were circulated to the departments of State, Justice, Treasury and Defense and all U.S. intelligence agencies, the CIA neither followed up nor attempted to corroborate the allegations, according to a 450-page declassified version of a report by the CIA's inspector general released last month.
Nearly a decade after the end of the Nicaraguan war -- and after years of suspicions and scattered evidence of contra involvement in drug trafficking -- the CIA report discloses for the first time that the agency did little or nothing to respond to hundreds of drug allegations about contra officials, their contractors and individual supporters contained in nearly 1,000 cables sent from the field to the agency's Langley headquarters.
In a few cases, the report says, officials instructed the Drug Enforcement Administration to hold back inquiring about charges involving alleged drug dealers connected with the Nicaraguan rebels. The report also shows that at times, wide suspicions or allegations of drug trafficking did not disqualify individuals from being recruited for the CIA effort.
Looking back, Frederick P. Hitz, the now-retired CIA inspector general who supervised the report, said, "We fell down on accountability. . . . There was a great deal of sloppiness and poor guidance in those days out of Washington."
Hitz's report disclosed, however, that in 1982, after the CIA's covert support of the contras began, then-Reagan Attorney General William French Smith and CIA Director William J. Casey agreed to drop a previous requirement that agency personnel report information about alleged criminal activities when undertaken by persons "acting for" the CIA.
The Smith-Casey agreement covered those associated with the contra effort. The provision remained unchanged until 1995, the report said.
The report also said the CIA gave Congress "incomplete" briefings that "often lacked specific detail." Jack Blum, counsel for a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee that in the mid-1980s investigated contra drug activities, said after reading the report that many details were denied his panel. Instead, he said, "they put out stories that spun the facts against us," denying contra connections to drug activity.
Although the report contradicts previous CIA claims that it had little information about drug running and the contras, it does not lend any new support to charges of an alliance among the CIA, contra fund-raisers and dealers who introduced crack cocaine in the 1980s in south-central Los Angeles. Those charges created a national sensation during the summer of 1996 when they were published in a series of articles by the San Jose Mercury News.
The allegations, which were not substantiated by subsequent reporting by other newspapers, prompted a year-long CIA inquiry that produced two reports, including the one released last month. The first report found that there was no evidence to indicate that the CIA had any dealings with the California drug traffickers. The classified version of the second report, sent to Congress earlier this year, concluded that there was no evidence that the CIA "conspired with or assisted contra-related organizations or individuals in drug trafficking to raise funds for the contras or for other purposes."
However, the unclassified report provides a wealth of anecdotes indicating that the CIA routinely received allegations about drug trafficking links to the contras. Although the report does not specify in most cases whether the allegations proved accurate, it suggests that in many cases the charges were simply ignored or overlooked because of the priority to keep the contra effort going.
For example, a 1984 Defense Department attache report described Alan Hyde, a Honduran businessman, as "making much money dealing in 'white gold,' i.e. cocaine." A 1985 CIA cable quoted Hyde as boasting that he had a U.S. Customs Service agent "in his pocket" and friends in "Cosa Nostra." A July 1987 CIA cable reported that the Coast Guard had placed three ships owned by Hyde on suspected drug-smuggling lists.
However, after an early offer to help the CIA was turned down, in 1987 Hyde was enlisted to provide logistical support to the contras. A CIA cable from the field said none of the prior reports were "firm proof that is involved in smuggling or nefarious activities."
When questions were raised within the CIA about Hyde's background, a cable from the field argued that Hyde was being used for a short-term project that was an "operational necessity." This view was endorsed in a cable signed by the then-director of operations. A later cable said Hyde's role had been approved at the level of the deputy director of Central Intelligence, although the incumbent at that time, Robert M. Gates, told the inspector general he had no recollection of approving Hyde's employment.
The report contains a concluding item without comment. A March 11, 1993, cable discouraged counter-narcotics efforts against Hyde because "his connection to is well documented and could prove difficult in the prosecution stage."
There is no evidence in the report that the allegations against Hyde were proven accurate or that he was ever charged with a crime. Attempts to locate Hyde for comment for this article were unsuccessful.
The CIA report shows that the agency did not follow up on allegations of drug dealing involving individuals, the so-called "benefactors," who were part of former White House aide Oliver North's program to evade legal restrictions on U.S. military aid to the contras through a secret supply operation run from Ilopango air base in El Salvador.
An August 1985 CIA cable identified Carlos Alberto Amador, a veteran supply pilot for the contras, as someone who was to ferry planes from Miami to Colombia to be used in drug trafficking. A CIA headquarters cable nearly a year later attributed to a "DEA source" information that Amador was believed, as of April 1986, to have flown cocaine from San Salvador to Florida.
The 1986 cable noted that Amador, a Nicaraguan with a U.S. passport, has access to Hangar 4 at Ilopango, which was used by North's "benefactors." A DEA report in April 1986 noted that the DEA wanted San Salvador police to investigate Amador and the contents of Hangar 4.
After a U.S. Embassy official asked the CIA if it had any connection to Amador, CIA headquarters told its local station in San Salvador it "would appreciate Station advising not to make any inquiries to anyone re Hanger no. 4 at Ilopango since only legitimate . . . supported operations were conducted from this facility," according to the IG report.
The report also provides new allegations about rebels led by one of the best-known anti-Sandinistas, Eden Pastora. While the CIA has maintained that it cut off funding to Pastora in 1984 before his aides turned to drug dealers for financial and materiel support, the IG report indicates that Pastora's colleagues were suspected of involvement with drug dealers while the agency was supporting his operations. Pastora has denied knowledge of any funds coming to his rebel forces from drug traffickers.
A different problem was represented in the case of Juan Ramon Rivas, one of the first rebel fighters to enter Nicaragua in 1982. By 1986, he had created a 5,000-person task force in the north and in March 1988 was selected as rebel chief of staff in the area. In November of that year, however, a DEA report identified Rivas as a fugitive from a Colombian prison who had been arrested on a drug charge.
Rivas, a former member of the Nicaraguan National Guard, acknowledged to DEA officials that after the Sandinistas took power in 1979, he went to Colombia and became involved in the drug trade. He told officials he was prepared to resign from the rebels if his past drug activities would be politically damaging to the cause.
The CIA decided, however, that he remain at his post. A CIA lawyer said agency regulations "focus solely on individuals currently in narcotics trafficking. . . . What we have here is a single, relatively petty transgression in a foreign country that occurred a decade ago and that is apparently of no current interest to DEA."
In the end, Hitz's report does not make it easy to sort out who is to blame. It consists of more than 1,000 items containing unsourced allegations about hundreds of individuals and companies, and none reaches a conclusion.
Hitz said his aim in the report was "to try to find out what was on the written record . . . and not develop any cases to bring to closure. . . . This is grist for more work, if anyone wants to do it."
Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

CIA Said to Ignore Charges of Contra Drug Dealing in '80s
By James Risen
New York Times
October 10, 1998

WASHINGTON -- Despite requests for information from Congress, the CIA repeatedly ignored or failed to investigate allegations of drug trafficking by the anti-Sandinista rebels of Nicaragua in the 1980s, according to a newly declassified internal report.
In a blunt and often critical report, the CIA's inspector general determined that the agency "did not inform Congress of all allegations or information it received indicating that contra-related organizations or individuals were involved in drug trafficking."
Beginning in 1986, the subject of contra drug trafficking became a focus for critics of the Reagan administration's policy toward Nicaragua who charged that the CIA was shielding drug smugglers to protect its anti-Communist covert action program in Nicaragua. That year Congress imposed a fund cutoff for any contra group that had members involved in drug trafficking. Despite that ban, the CIA failed to tell Congress about allegations it had received against at least eight individuals with contra ties.
During the time the ban on funds was in effect, the CIA informed Congress only about drug charges against two other contra-related people. In addition, the agency failed to tell other executive branch agencies, including the Justice Department, about drug allegations against 11 contra-related individuals or entities.
The report quotes many active and retired CIA officers who served in Central America as saying they either did not hear or did not believe allegations of drug trafficking involving the contra rebels, with whom they worked closely. It also makes clear that the agency did little or nothing to investigate most of the drug allegations that it heard about the contras and their supporters.
In April 1987, the acting director of central intelligence, Robert Gates, wrote in a memorandum that it was "absolutely imperative that this agency and our operations in Central America avoid any kind of involvement with individuals or companies that are even suspected of involvement in narcotics trafficking." The CIA investigation that began almost a decade later, however, found no evidence that the memorandum was distributed to anyone other than Gates' deputy for operations, Clair George.
The new study is the second volume of the CIA's internal investigation prompted by a 1996 series of articles in The San Jose Mercury-News, which claimed that a "dark alliance" between the CIA, the contras and drug traffickers had helped finance the contra war with millions of dollars in profits from drug smuggling. The series also alleged that this network was the first to introduce crack cocaine into South Central Los Angeles. The first volume of the CIA inspector general's report, issued in January, dealt primarily with the specific allegations raised by the Mercury-News series and dismissed the newspaper's central findings.
But the second volume is the result of a broader inquiry into long- unresolved questions about the contra program and drug trafficking. In all, the inspector general's report found that the CIA had received allegations of drug involvement by 58 contras or others linked to the contra program. These included 14 pilots and two others tied to the contra program's CIA-backed air transportation operations.
The report indicates that information linking the contras to drugs began to emerge almost as soon as the contras came into existence -- and before it became publicly known that the CIA was supporting their effort to overthrow the Marxist-led government in Managua. In September 1981, as a small group of rebels was being formed from former soldiers in the National Guard of the deposed Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, a CIA informant reported that the leadership of the fledgling group had decided to smuggle drugs to the United States to support its operations. Eight months later, another report indicated that one prominent leader of the group, Justiniano Perez, was a close friend of a known trafficker.
The agency's response also set something of a pattern. "No information has been found to indicate any action to follow up or corroborate the allegations," the report said. Similarly, it said, it found no information that the CIA followed up on FBI information about the Perez matter.
The omissions of information were often glaring. In 1986, for example, Alan Fiers, then chief of the CIA's Central American task force dealing with the contras, responded to questions raised by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., about specific contra members and contra-related companies. According to the report, Fiers responded to Kerry's questions about a contra logistics coordinator named Felipe Vidal by providing a sheet of information about his convictions for illegal possession of firearms in the 1970s, but without any mention of Vidal's arrests and conviction for drug trafficking.
The report said that in at least six instances, the CIA knew about allegations regarding individuals or organizations but that knowledge did not deter it from continuing to employ them. In some other cases, the agency decided the allegations were not substantiated.
Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company


C.I.A. Says It Used Nicaraguan Rebels Accused of Drug Tie
Published: July 17, 1998
The Central Intelligence Agency continued to work with about two dozen Nicaraguan rebels and their supporters during the 1980's despite allegations that they were trafficking in drugs, according to a classified study by the C.I.A.
The new study has found that the agency's decision to keep those paid agents, or to continue dealing with them in some less formal relationship, was made by top officials at headquarters in Langley, Va., in the midst of the war waged by the C.I.A.-backed contras against Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista Government.
The new report by the C.I.A.'s inspector general criticizes agency officials' actions at the time for the inconsistent and sometimes sloppy manner in which they investigated -- or chose not to investigate -- the allegations, which were never substantiated by the agency.
The inspector general's report, which has not yet been publicly released, also concludes that there is no evidence that any C.I.A. officials were involved in drug trafficking with contra figures.
''The fundamental finding of the report is that there is no information that the C.I.A. or C.I.A. employees ever conspired with any contra organizations or individuals involved with the contras for purposes of drug trafficking,'' a United States intelligence official said.
The new report is the long-delayed second volume of the C.I.A.'s internal investigation into possible connections between the contras and Central American drug traffickers. The investigation was originally prompted by a 1996 series in The San Jose Mercury-News, which asserted that a ''dark alliance'' between the C.I.A., the contras and drug traffickers had helped finance the contra war with profits from drug smuggling.
The second volume dismisses those specific charges, as did the first volume, released in January.
The series charged that the alliance created a drug trafficking network that introduced crack cocaine into South Central Los Angeles. It prompted an enormous outcry, especially among blacks, many of whom said they saw it as confirmation of a Government-backed conspiracy to keep blacks dependent and impoverished.
The Mercury-News subsequently admitted that the series was flawed and reassigned the reporter.
In the declassified version of the C.I.A.'s first volume, the agency said the Mercury-News charges were baseless and mentioned drug dealers who had nothing to do with the C.I.A.
But John M. Deutch, the Director of Central Intelligence at the time, had also asked the inspector general to conduct a broader inquiry to answer unresolved questions about the contra program and drug trafficking that had not been raised by The Mercury-News. Frederick Hitz, then the C.I.A.'s inspector general, decided to issue a second, larger report to deal with those broader issues.
Many allegations in the second volume track closely with charges that first surfaced in a 1987 Senate investigation. The C.I.A. is reluctant to release the complete 500-page second volume because it deals directly with contras the agency did work with.
According to the report, C.I.A. officials involved in the contra program were so focused on the fight against the Sandinistas that they gave relatively low priority to collecting information about the possible drug involvement of contra rebels. The report concluded that C.I.A. officers did report on drug trafficking by the contras, but that there were no clear guidelines given to field officers about how intensively they should investigate or act upon the allegations.
In all, the C.I.A. received allegations of drug involvement against about 50 contras or supporters during the war against the Sandinistas, the report said. Some of the allegations may have been specious, the result of Sandinista propaganda, American intelligence officials said.
It could not be determined from the C.I.A.'s records how many of the 50 cases were fully investigated. But the agency continued to work with about two dozen of the 50 contras, according to American intelligence officials familiar with the report. They said the report had found that the agency was unable to either prove or disprove the charges, or did not investigate them adequately.
American intelligence officials, who provided information about the report, declined to identify the individual contras who were the subjects of the drug allegations. But they did say that in addition to individual cases, the report found that drug allegations had been made against one contra organization, a group known as 15th of September. That group was formed in 1980 and was disbanded in January 1982.
The C.I.A.'s decision to classify this second volume has already been met with criticism in Congress. Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, who led a 1987 Congressional inquiry into allegations of contra drug connections, wrote a letter Thursday to the Director of Central Intelligence, George J. Tenet, asking that the report be immediately declassified.
Mr. Kerry, who has reviewed the second volume of the inspector general's report, said he believed that C.I.A. officials involved in the contra program did not make a serious effort to fully investigate the allegations of drug involvement by the contras.
''Some of us in Congress at the time, in 1985, 1986, were calling for a serious investigation of the charges, and C.I.A. officials did not join in that effort,'' Mr. Kerry said. ''There was a significant amount of stonewalling. I'm afraid that what I read in the report documents the degree to which there was a lack of interest in making sure the laws were being upheld.''


CIA Knew of Contra Plan to Sell Drugs in U.S.
Walter Pincus, Washington Post
Published 4:00 am, Wednesday, November 4, 1998
Nearly a decade after the end of the Nicaraguan war -- and after years of suspicions and scattered evidence of Contra involvement in drug trafficking -- the CIA report discloses that the agency did little or nothing to respond to hundreds of drug allegations about Contra officials, their contractors and supporters contained in nearly 1,000 cables sent from the field to the agency's headquarters.
In a few cases, the report says, officials instructed the Drug Enforcement Administration to hold back inquiring about charges involving alleged drug dealers connected with the Nicaraguan rebels.


Drug Dealer Reportedly Aided Contras
Nicaragua: Rebel leaders say the CIA gave permission to accept airplanes, cash from narcotics trafficker. Spy agency denies account.
In the early summer of 1984, a wealthy Nicaraguan exile invited two representatives of the Contras fighting Managua's leftist government to her Miami home. Her aim was to broker a deal with a Colombian businessman that would help fill the rebels' empty coffers.
The hostess was Marta Healy, and the businessman was George Morales--a champion powerboat racer, socialite and big-league drug trafficker under indictment in the United States.

The Contra representatives were Octaviano Cesar and Adolfo "Popo" Chamorro, Healy's ex-husband. Both were working with Eden Pastora, a maverick revolutionary trying to open a southern front in the Contras' guerrilla war from a base in Costa Rica, in addition to the Contras based in Honduras on Nicaragua's northern border. The CIA had run out of money to support either group of Contras, and Congress refused to provide any more until the following year.
Despite their rift with the spy agency, Chamorro and Cesar said, they asked a CIA official if they could accept the offer of airplanes and cash from the drug dealer, Morales. "I called our contact at the CIA, of course, I did," Chamorro said recently. "The truth is, we were still getting some CIA money under the table. They said he was fine."
U.S. officials, including the man who oversaw the Contra operation at the CIA, dispute the rebel leaders' account that they notified the agency about Morales' offer. Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, who at the time was head of the CIA's Latin America division and is now retired, said he "certainly never dealt with Popo Chamorro," although he may have met him, and never knew Morales. The CIA told Congress in 1987 that it concluded in November 1984--or just a few months after the Miami meeting--that it could not resume aid to the Costa Rican-based Contras or have other dealings with them because "everybody around Pastora was involved in cocaine."
The Morales case, as retold with new details in recent interviews with participants, seems to remain the best-documented example of a Contra group cooperating with a drug trafficker and receiving substantial aid in return. According to Pastora and Chamorro, Morales--who was convicted in 1986 of drug trafficking and died in prison in 1991--contributed at least two airplanes and $90,000 to the Pastora group, known by its Spanish initials ARDE.
In sworn testimony to a congressional inquiry headed by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in the late 1980s, and in a separate court case before he died, Morales said he gave the airplanes and cash to the Contras because he was promised by Chamorro that the Contras would use their influence with the U.S. government to help with his legal problems. Although imprisoned, he told the Kerry committee that he had in fact received some legal help, but he did not specify what that was.
Morales offered Pastora's fighters, who were stuck in remote jungle areas in Costa Rica south of Nicaragua that could only be resupplied by air, a deal that seemed too good to be true: a DC-3 airplane he had stashed in Haiti, to carry weapons and other materiel, along with cash for guns, boots and uniforms.

The money was vital because Pastora's troops, unwilling to join a CIA-engineered Contra umbrella organization in Honduras north of Nicaragua, were about to disband. Pastora said the CIA had cut off his funding in May 1984.
In desperation, Pastora turned to his second-in-command, Chamorro, and Cesar, who spoke flawless English, to scour for funds.
So the meeting set up by Healy with a wealthy, potential patron seemed heaven-sent, Chamorro and Cesar said. In return for his gifts, Chamorro and Cesar said, Morales asked for a face-to-face meeting with Pastora. They denied that drug trafficking was discussed.
But a July 26, 1986, State Department report to Congress said intelligence reports offered a different account. The report said an unidentified senior member of Pastora's organization had agreed to allow Morales to use Contra facilities "in Costa Rica and Nicaragua to facilitate the transportation of narcotics."
While it is unclear how much of that deal was implemented, there are signs that it went forward. In court testimony in 1990, Fabio Ernesto Carrasco, a Colombian drug trafficker turned government witness with immunity from prosecution, testified he had paid "millions" of dollars to Cesar and Chamorro from 1984 to 1986. Orders to make the payments, he said, came from his boss, Morales. Morales also told the Kerry committee that he sent $4 million to $5 million in drug profits to Contra groups.
Independent evidence is not available to substantiate that Morales sent such large amounts of money or that the funds were used for the Contra cause.

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

 LA DEA; 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  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998


Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #3 

EXTRA! June 1987
Washington's Worst Kept Secret: The Contra Drug Connection

Since 1985 reports linking contra arms suppliers to cocaine smuggling have run in progressive publications and a few mainstream outlets. But CBS West 57th's well-documented segment on the CIA-contra-drug connection (April 6) was the first serious network probe.

The segment featured interviews with CIA contract employees who flew weapons shipments to the contras in Honduras and back-loaded cocaine and marijuana. Mike Tolliver, convicted drug smuggler and part-time CIA pilot, told of flying 25,000 pounds of pot to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.

The Contragate plot thickened in Newsday (April 17) with an expose on Manzer al-Kassar, a Syrian drug smuggler who ran guns for Lt. Col. Oliver Norths's supply network, Achille Lauro hijacker Abu Abass, and for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Newsday piece was picked up a few big dailies, but not by the New York Times, Washington Post or the three networks. At the Times, former editor Abe Rosenthal ruminated on the op-ed page(March 15) about how it's time for America to step up the war against drug abuse: "The cheapest and most efficient method of stopping foreign drugs flowing into the country is at the source, not at our borders," says Rosenthal.

Hard to do when the CIA has been supporting dope peddlers for decades. Abe's former colleague, C.L. Sulzberger, knew it. Sulzberger became indignant when poet Allen Ginsberg accused the CIA of smuggling heroin during the Vietnam War. April 11, 1978, Sulzberger wrote: "I fear I owe you an apology. I have been reading a succession of pieced about CIA involvement in the dope trade in Southeast Asia and I remember when you first suggested I look into this I though you were full of beans. Indeed you were right."

Extra! March/April 1988

Media Censor CIA Ties With Medellin Drug Cartel

A key money-launderer for the Medellin cocaine cartel told Congress in February that he worked with the Central Intelligence Agency, but this information was not reported by the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the three major networks, even though all covered the hearings.

In testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations, Ramon Milian Rodriguez acknowledged that he laundered more than $3 million for the CIA after his indictment on drug charges in 1983. New York Times correspondent Elaine Sciolino failed to mention this in her coverage of Rodriguez's testimony, which was broadcast live on CNN (2/11/88).

Sciolino's page 6 article ("Accountant Says Noriega Laundered Billions," 2-12-88) did not contain the letters CIA or the words "Central Intelligence Agency," even though Rodriguez had described his participation in CIA anti-Castro operations. He said he was trained in money laundering by men whose names he never learned, and later he delivered cash to the families of Watergate burglars. This did not interest The Times, which focused primarily on Rodriguez's account of Noriega's dealings with the Medellin cartel.

As chief accountant for the Colombian drug cartel, Rodriguez laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in cocaine profits through US banks in Panama. Although Sciolino noted that the cartel had $11 billion in assets in the US in 1983, she did not mention Rodriguez's testimony about meeting secretly with people who worked for US banks but were not on the official employment roll. Rodriguez named Citicorp and the Bank of America as two banks he dealt with this way.

Buried in the middle of Sciolino's article was Rodriguez's admission that he transferred money to the Nicaraguan contras through a Costa Rican "shrimp processing" Warehouse. This company was among the hundreds of dummy corporations Rodriguez claimed he set up to funnel the cartel's cocaine profits. But The Times and most other media (the Boston Globe is an exception) neglected to mention that Rodriguez's shrimp processing firm, Frigorificos de Puntarenas, received $237,000 from the State Department's Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Organization (NHAO). During the hearings Senator John Kerry (D-MA) noted the company's receipt of NHAO funds. NHAO was supposed to deliver $27 million in so-called humanitarian assistance to the contras in 1985, but a subsequent congressional audit could not account for $17 million of the money. (Sciolino did not return five phone calls from Extra!)

While the contra drug link was tucked away on page 6, the same edition of The Times featured a front page above-the-fold article by James LeMoyne ("Military Officers in Honduras are Linked to the Drug Trade," 2-12-88) which quoted unnamed "American officials" claiming that the Medellin drug cartel "has close ties with Fidel Castro . . . and to some Sandinista officials in Nicaragua." No evidence to support this allegation was provided by LeMoyne who wrote: "American officials said they fear that Honduran Army officers profiting from drugs might be willing to make a deal to end or limit Honduran support for the American-backed contras in Nicaragua." Make a deal with whom? Why would Honduran military officers cease aiding the contra when their support for the contras virtually assured that US drug enforcement agents would keep their distance? If anything, the Senate hearings on narco-terrorism indicate that the contras have been the meal ticket for drug traffickers.

The Washington Post (2/12/88) included this politically delicate aspect of Rodriguez's testimony in its headline: "Drug Money Alleged to Go to Contras." But Joe Pichirallo's page 30 article tiptoed around CIA involvement with Rodriguez. The Post also failed to mention Rodriguez's assertion that he worked with US banks, and it did not include his statement about laundering moneyfor the CIA after his drug indictment. This omission was egregious in view of the fact that Senator Kerry questioned Rodriguez in detail about an accounting sheet which a federal prosecutor submitted as evidence at his trail:

Senator Kerry: What does your accounting show with respect to the CIA?

Ramon Rodriguez: It shows that I received a shipment of three million and change sometime in the middle of the month.

At the end of the hearing the Post's Pichirallo asked chief counsel Jack Blum why the CIA would use Rodriguez to funnel money after he'd been indicted. Blum responded that such a time would be ideal, since US government investigators cannot approach a defendant after he has been indicted. Extra! later asked Pichirallo why Rodriguez's testimony about moving dirty money for the CIA was excluded from the Post, but he was not forthcoming: "It is my policy never to discuss anything I do."

To its credit Newsday (2/12/88) reported the CIA's money shipment through Rodriguez and the cartel's $10 million gift to the contras, the elementary facts of the story which were not printed in the "newspaper of record."


EXTRA!, July/August 1988
Nicaragua's Drug Connection Exposed as Hoax

On July 28 the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, chaired by Congressman William Hughes (D-NJ), held the first of a series of hearings into whether Reagan administration officials condoned drug smuggling and other criminal activities to further its Central America policy. Among other things, the panel sought to determine if top leaders of the Colombian cocaine cartel escaped arrest because the much ballyhooed "war on drugs" took a back seat to a covert operation designed to discredit the Nicaraguan government-this at a time when the administration was seeking additional aid to the contras.

CBS Evening News (7-28-88), the only major network to cover the proceedings, reported on the testimony of DEA agent Ernest Jacobsen, who said that White House officials undermined a DEA probe of the Colombian cocaine kingpins by blowing an undercover informant's cover when they leaked information in an attempt to link Nicaragua to the drug trade.

The case against the cartel had been engineered by Barry Seal, a convicted drug dealer turned informant who worked closely with Vice President George Bush's anti-drug task force in Washington.

But the 1984 investigation got derailed when Seal told his handlers that cocaine was being trans-shipped through Nicaragua with the permission of high-level government officials. In an effort to frame the Sandinistas, the CIA installed a hidden camera in Seal's C-130 cargo plane(the same plane, incidentally, that later crashed in Nicaragua leading to the capture of Eugene Hasenfus in October 1986). Seal took a blurry snapshot which purported to show himself with a high-level Nicaraguan official named Federico Vaughn, and a Colombian drug czar unloading bags ofcocaine at an airstrip in Nicaragua.

CBS obtained pages from Col. Oliver North's diary revealing that the former National Security Council aid communicatedfrequently with the CIA about the sting operation in the weeksbefore the photo was leaked to the press despite objections fromthe DEA. The Nicaragua drug story first appeared in the WashingtonTimes (7-17-84) and was immediately given big play by all the majorpapers, wire services and TV networks. President Reagan displayed Seal's photo in a nationally televised speech in March 1986.

But the media showed much less interest when subcommittee chairman Hughes recently disclosed he had new evidence that the entire Sandinista connection was a US intelligence fabrication. Particularly suspicious is the role of Federico Vaughn, the supposed Sandinista official, who appears to have been a US spy all along. An AP dispatch (Omaha World-Herald, 7-29-88) disclosed that subcommittee staffers called Vaughn's phone number in Managua and spoke to a "domestic employee" who said the house had been "continuously rented" by a US embassy official since 1981.

The unnamed embassy official, according to Hughes, was among the group of US officials recently expelled by the Nicaraguan governement after a violent political demonstrations in July. No word of the Hughes hearings appeared in the Washington Post or the New York Times. Instead the Times ran a brief item in its Sunday national edition (7-31-88) quoting President Reagan's weekly radio broadcast about how Sandinista officials are still involved in drug trafficking.



EXTRA! October/November 1989
Censored News: Oliver North & Co. Banned from Costa Rica

Few individuals fascinate the US media like Ollie North. Few subjects grab more media attention than drugs. Few democracies win more media praise than Costa Rica. Put these three into a single scandal and it spells Front Page News, right? Wrong. What it spells is C-E-N-S-O-R-S-H-I-P.

In July, North and other major contragate figures were barred from Costa Rica. The order was issued by none other than Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. 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 drugsthat passed through the zone." North's personal notebook mentioned" the necessity of giving Mr. Hull protection." (San Juan Star,Puerto Rico, 7/22/89).

Investigators held North responsible for Gen. Manuel Noriega's participation in the contra supply network, which opened thedoor to at least seven pilots who trafficked in drugs whilesupplying 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 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. This winter Costa Rica's congress will vote on the permanent implementation of the bannings. In an interview with Extra!, Costa Rican Minister of Information, Jorge Urbina, stated: "I can assure you that the recommendations will pass nearly unanimously."

The Costa Rican government inquiry confirmed information aboutcontra/drug links developed by independent journalists, lawyers,and a US Senate subcommittee. Ollie North's notebooks contain dozens of references to contra-related drug trafficking, includinga July 12, 1985 entry: "$14 million to finance came from drugs." When high-ranking officials of the "Just Say No"administration are banned-due to drug links-from the country US editorial writers hail as Central America's leading democracy, one might have expected major coverage. One would have been wrong. Although a lengthy Associated Press wire report (7/22/89) carried the story into virtually every newsroom in the US, major media largely ignored the story or, like the Washington Post and Miami Herald, relegated it to "in Brief" sections. The New York Time sand the three major TV networks failed to mention it at all.

During a period when drug coverage reached hysterical proportions, when Oliver North made news by lecturing campus audiences on the evils of drugs and pledging to do anti-drug work in serving out his criminal sentence of 1500 hours of community service, most media could not find space to mention the Costa Rica bannings. Even when President Bush, 17 other heads of state, and many dozens of US reporters journeyed to Costa Rica in October to celebrate "100 years of democracy," the story failed to attractinterest.

It wasn't for lack of knowledge; FAIR provided information about developments in the case to many national media (who'd already received the original AP story). FAIR's Steve Rendall later contacted the three TV networks, New York Times, and Washington Post to ask why the story had been buried or ignored. Journalists offered no real answers.

Typical was the response from Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, who stated, "Just because a congressional commission in Costa Rica says something, doesn't mean it's true." Ironically, through all the years that wildly false statements by US officials on Central America have received prominent uncritical coverage, these same media have responded to FAIR's complaints thusly: "When leaders of a democracy make statements, it's news and we have tocover it. We aren't ruling on whether it's true or not."

If, as a media consumer, you would like your own explanations as to why the following national media have buried the story, you could contact their foreign desks. You might also ask your local media. (Final action on the bannings by Costa Rica's congress is expected in February.)

Extra!, November/December 1991
Time Suppresses Contra Drug Story

As Time magazine's resident expert on narcotics trafficking, Elaine Shannon was a predictable choice for the New York Time Book Review (7/28/91) to critique the book, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall. Predictably, she slammed the book, whose central thesis is that the U.S.-backed Nicaraguan contras "trafficked extensively in cocaine while the CIA, National Security Council, and Justice Department ignored the evidence."

In her review, the Time magazine correspondent poked fun at Scott and Marshall for believing that media timidity had helped the CIA's alliance with drug dealers: " believe that the 'establishment media' have not pursued the story strenuously enough because their practitioners are 'reluctant to find themselves at odds with the government."

A farfetched notion on the part of conspiracy-minded authors? Consider how Time handled the contra/cocaine story. In the fall of 1987, Time assigned a staff reporter to assemble any evidence that the Oliver North network supplying guns to the contras was also bringing cocaine into the U.S. The reporter found serious evidence, and wrote it up. As the former Time reporter explained to Extra!, after the article was written and rewritten, finally, a senior editor told the reporter to give up on the story. "The senior editor leveled with me," the reporter told Extra! "His words were: Time is institutionally behind the contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you'd have no trouble getting it in the magazine.'"



EXTRA!Update, October 1996
Exposed: The Contra-Crack Connection

The wave of crack addiction that crippled inner-city neighborhoods across the country in the '80s had its roots in the CIA's efforts to fund the secret contra war against Nicaragua, according to an investigative report by the San Jose Mercury News' Gary Webb (8/18-20/96).

The story of the year? Not according to the New York Times, which has so far ignored the Mercury News' well-documented revelations. The major TV networks gave it no coverage. A few dailies prominently reprinted Webb's work (like the Seattle Times, 8/22/96), or ran an Associated Press account summarizing his findings (e.g., Chicago Tribune, 8/21/96). But there is little sign that the expose has prompted much digging from other reporters--or much outrage on the nation's editorial pages.

Webb's evidence is as persuasive as his conclusions are disturbing. (You can read the stories themselves at http://www.sjmercury.com/drugs/start.htm.) Exhibit A is Oscar Danilo Blandon, a cocaine trafficker and federal informant who told a federal courtroom that " whatever we were running in L.A., the profit was going to the contra revolution." Blandon's claim is backed up by an L.A. Sheriff's Department affidavit, a federal parole report, an FBI memo and other official documents.

Webb connects Blandon and Norwin Meneses, his boss in the operation, to top contra leaders like Enrique Bermudez and Adolfo Calero "There is a saying that the ends justify the means," Blandon testified. "And that's what Mr. Bermudez told us in Honduras, OK?"

Law enforcement agents told the Mercury News (8/18/96) that the CIA squelched investigations against the Meneses/Blandon operation in the name of "national security." Federal prosecutors who used the trafficker as an informant obtained a court order preventing defense attorneys from inquiring about Blandon's ties to the CIA.

But even more startling are the revelations about Blandon's distributor, "Freeway" Ricky Donnell Ross. Ross was no minor drug pusher, but the main supplier of crack for the Crips and Bloods gangs in L.A. "If there was a criminal mastermind behind crack's decade-long reign, if there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was Freeway Rick," the L.A. Times reported two years ago (12/20/94).

Ross became the dominant supplier in L.A.--and much of the country--because of his ability to undersell other dealers. "Whathe had, and they didn't," Webb reported (8/19/96), "was Danilo Blandon, a friend with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of high-grade cocaine."

Would there have been an explosion of crack addiction in urban ghettos if the CIA's war against Nicaragua hadn't provided Ross with an"inexhaustible supply" of cocaine? Would it have assumed the same epidemic proportions? In the wake of the Mercury News series, these are open questions--questions that reporters at every major news outlet ought to be trying to answer.

But most major news outlets seem prepared to let the new evidence get thrown away with yesterday's newspapers--the same approach they have taken to past revelations of the contras' involvement in cocaine trafficking. The contra/cocaine connection was exposed by the Associated Press' Robert Parry and Brian Barger as early as 1985 (12/20/85); further substantiation appeared in such disparate outlets as the San Francisco Examiner (3/16/86,6/23/86), In These Times (12/10/86) and CBS's West 57th (4/6/87,7/11/87). The New York Times, the most powerful paper in the U.S.and one that can be counted on to protect what it sees as the establishment, did worse than ignore these reports: It went out of its way to discredit them, with a series of articles that appeared in July 1987 (7/13/87, 7/16/87, 7/20/87). The message of these articles was direct, and dishonest: "Investigators, including reporters from major news outlets, have tried without success to find proof of . . . allegations that military supplies may have been paid for with profits from drug smuggling," the Times' Keith Schneider reported on July 20, 1987.

The "reporters from major news outlets" couldn't have been trying very hard: The Reagan State Department itself acknowledged a year earlier that at least one contra leader had received money and warplanes from a Columbian drug trafficker. But in a 1987 interview, the Times' Schneider revealed that he had more on his mind than journalism when he wrote two of the dismissive stories.

"This story can shatter a republic," Schneider told In These Times (8/5/87). "I think it is so damaging, the implications are so extraordinary, that for us to run the story, it had better be based on the most solid evidence we can amass." Gary Webb's Mercury News reporting has provided solid evidence that the contras were not just involved with the cocaine trade, they were major players in it. But the New York Times still seems to be more worried about shattering republicsthan reporting the truth.

If you'd like to ask the New York Times why it hasn't followed up on the latest contra/cocaine evidence, the address is 229 W.43rd St., New York, NY 10036 (phone: 212-556-7356; fax:212-556-3690; online: http://www.nytimes.com).

Postscript: Since the publication of this Extra!Update report, the NewYork Times has briefly mentioned the Mercury Newsfindings. The Los Angeles Times and the WashingtonPost have published long articles critical of the Mercury Newsseries. The Mercury has refuted some of the other papers' allegations on their website.



Extra! January/February 1997

Snow Job
The Establishment's Papers Do Damage Control for the CIA

By Norman Solomon

The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies--all this is indispensably necessary.

--George Orwell, 1984

For several weeks after a series last August in the San Jose Mercury News (8/18-20/96) linked the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras with the importation of cocaine into poor black areas of Los Angeles, major news outlets did scant reporting on the story. But in early autumn, near silence gave way to a roar from the country's three most influential urban dailies--the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times--which is still reverberating in the national media's echo chamber.

The first New York Times article on the subject (9/21/96) foreshadowed much that was to follow. Headlined "Inquiry Is Ordered Into Reports of Contra Cocaine Sales in U.S.," the news story focused on assurances from Central Intelligence Agency director John Deutch and unnamed "former senior CIA officials" that the Mercury News assertions were groundless. "I regard these allegations with the utmost seriousness," Deutch said. "They go to the heart and integrity of the CIA enterprise."

Not only did Deutch contend that "the agency never had any relationship" with Nicaraguan drug traffickers Oscar Danilo Blandon and Norvin Meneses--the Times also reported the reassuring news that "former senior CIA officials involved in the contra operations said this week that they had never heard of" Blandon or Meneses. None of the article's dozen paragraphs included any suggestion that the CIA might be a dubious touchstone for veracity. The notion that the CIA's internal probe held a key to unlocking the story's mysteries was to be oft-repeated.

Yet the uproar over the Mercury News series, written by reporter Gary Webb, continued to grow. Denials from the CIA carried little weight with much of the public, particularly African-Americans outraged by the series. Protests mounted in cities from Los Angeles to Washington, and members of the Black Congressional Caucus demanded federal investigations.

October brought a fierce counterattack from the Washington Post, the New York Times and L.A. Times, all of which published lengthy news articles blasting the Mercury News series. In the process, a number of recurrent debunking themes quickly gained the status of media truisms.

"Last month," Newsweek reported in November (11/11/96), "the Merc started getting trashed -- by its peers. In turn, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and New York Times poked holes in the story, exhaustively and mercilessly."

In his role as the Post's in-house media critic, Howard Kurtz took numerous swipes at Webb that grew increasingly dismissive; one item(10/28/96), headed "A Webb of Conspiracy," ended with the smug one-liner, "Oliver Stone, check your voice mail." Liberal columnist Mary McGrory, based at the Post, echoed what she was hearing all around her in an Oct. 27 piece:
"The San Jose story has been discredited by major publications, including the Post."

By November, a clear orthodoxy had taken hold. Certain de rigueur phrases began appearing in news articles: "Many of the series' conclusions have been widely challenged" (Washington Post, 11/6/96); "media critics and other newspapers have questioned the Mercury News' findings" (AP in New York Times, 11/7/96).

Under the headline "CIA Chief Denies Crack Conspiracy," the New York Times (11/16/96) indicated that reputable media outlets--and reputable spooks--had rejected the Mercury News series: "Agency officials said they had no evidence of any such plot. Other news organizations were not able to confirm the plot. Still, the rumor mill continued to grind, seemingly unstoppable."

The next day, Times columnist Maureen Dowd took the company line: "Mr. Deutch and investigators for several major newspapers have found no evidence to support the conspiracy theory that grew out of a series in the San Jose Mercury News suggesting a CIA role in the spread of crack in America's inner cities."

Suspect Sources

But what exactly in the San Jose Mercury News stories was refuted by these "major newspapers"? To a notable degree, the establishment papers relied for their debunking of the Mercury News on the CIA's own obligatory denials. As journalist Marc Cooper pointed out in the weekly New Times Los Angeles (10/31/96), "Regarding the all-important question of how much responsibility the CIA had, we are being asked to take the word of sources who in a more objective account would be considered suspects."

In the New York Times' full-page magnum opus on the controversy (10/21/96), reporter Tim Golden drew extensively on interviews with nameless sources such as "government officials with access to intelligence reports," not to mention "more than two dozen current and former rebels, CIA officials and narcotics agents, as well as other law-enforcement officials and experts on the drug trade."

The Times seemed eager to take at face value the statements at CIA headquarters that the agency didn't know Blandon from Adam: "Although he claimed to have supplied several thousand pounds of cocaine to one of the biggest crack dealers in Southern California, officials said the CIA had no record of Mr. Blandon before he appeared as a central figure in the series in the Mercury News." As in the earlier Times report(9/21/96) featuring the same CIA disclaimers, there was not the slightest hint that such denials might be self-serving.

The Los Angeles Times was on the same track in its lengthy three-day series. "CIA officials insist they knew nothing about Meneses' and Blandon's tainted contributions to Calero or other contra leaders," the newspaper reported (10/21/96). One of the officials quoted in support of the claim that the CIA had drug-free hands was Vincent Cannistraro--identified by the newspaper only as a "former CIA official."

In fact--though the L.A. Times could spare none of the article's several thousand words to let readers know--Cannistraro was in charge of the CIA's contra activities during the early 1980s. After moving to the National Security Council in 1984, he became a supervisor of covert aid to Afghanistan's mujahedeen guerrillas, whose involvement in the opium trade made Afghanistan and Pakistan two of the world's main suppliers of heroin
(The Nation, 11/14/88).

If the L.A. Times had been willing to share such relevant details, it would have provided readers with a much better basis for evaluating Cannistraro's testimonial to CIA integrity: "There's no tendency to turn a blind eye to drug trafficking. It's too sensitive. It's not a fine line. It's not a shaded area where you can turn away from the rules."

The L.A. Times was following in the footsteps of less august media outlets that used a deceptively identified Cannistraro to attack the Mercury News series. The right-wing Washington Times (9/12/96) quoted him as saying that the series "doesn't have any elements of authenticity."

And former Washington Times reporter Michael Hedges wrote a Scripps-Howard News Service article (Memphis Commercial Appeal, 9/29/96) that called Cannistraro a "retired CIA counterterrorism and Latin America expert" and quoted him as declaring: "I have personal knowledge that the CIA knew nothing about these guys . These charges are completely illogical."

Besides self-serving denials, journalistic critics of the Mercury News offered little to rebut the paper's specific pieces of evidence--including Blandon's own testimony and law enforcement documents and comments (8/18/96)--indicating that Meneses and Blandon may have been protected by federal agents.

Whose Army?

Judging the Mercury News series invalid, the preeminent denouncers frequently berated the newspaper for failing to prove what Webb never claimed. The Washington Post, for instance, devoted paragraph after paragraph of its Oct. 4 barrage to illuminating what Webb had already acknowledged in his articles--that while he proves contra links to major cocaine importation, he can't identify specific CIA officials who knew of or condoned the trafficking.

Many critics took issue with Webb's references to the contras as "the CIA's army." The Washington Post's Kurtz, for example, complained (10/2/96) that "Webb's repeated use of the phrase 'the CIA's army'...clearly suggests that the agency was involved." In fact, referring to the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN) as the CIA's army is solid journalism, highlighting a relationship that is fundamentally relevant to the story. The army was formed at the instigation of the CIA, its leaders were selected by and received salaries from the agency, and CIA officers controlled day-to-day battlefield strategies. One former contra leader, Edgar Chamorro, has said that the FDN's leaders were "nothing more than the executioners of the CIA's orders" (Nicaragua: The Price of Intervention, Peter Kornbluh; see also Extra! interview with Chamorro, 10-11/87).

Yet the newsroom culture of denial grew so strong that one Washington Post article, by Marc Fisher (11/7/96), seemed to dispute that the CIA and the contras had any ties at all: "On WRC, Joe Madison droned on as he has for weeks about the supposed CIA-contra connection."

In its big blast at the Mercury News series, the New York Times (10/21/96) tried a semantic maneuver to distance the CIA's army from the CIA. The newspaper acknowledged that Meneses and Blandon "traveled once to Honduras to see the FDN's military commander, Enrique Bermudez." But the Times quickly added: "Although Mr. Bermudez, like other contra leaders, was often paid by the CIA, he was not a CIA agent."

It was classic sleight-of-hand at the keyboard, as columnist Murray Kempton pointed out (Newsday, 10/23/96): "The maintenance of such distinctions without any essential difference is one of the more cunning of the infinite devices the agency employs on obfuscation. The CIA identifies highly placed foreign hirelings not as 'agents' but as 'assets.'" Just such obfuscation helped many journalists to assert that the Mercury News series had been debunked and that the CIA was unfairly implicated.

Dubious Debunkings

The most potentially damaging charge made by the establishment papers is that Webb greatly exaggerated the amount of crack profits going to the contras, which he reported as being "millions" of dollars. "According to law enforcement officials, Blandon sold $30,000 to $60,000 worth of cocaine in two transactions and delivered the money to Meneses for shipment to the contras," the Washington Post reported (10/4/96). "Meneses was indeed a financial contributor to the contras," the L.A. Times reported (10/21/96), "but his donations to the rebel cause amounted to no more than $50,000, according to two men who knew him at the time." These estimates quickly became enshrined as journalistic fact. They were even given credence by an editorial in The Nation (11/18/96): Blandon and Meneses' contributions to the contra cause "may have been $50,000," David Corn wrote.

Yet the Mercury News' higher estimates are better sourced than the debunkers' low numbers. In contrast to the Mercury News--which had drawn on sworn grand jury and court testimony to calculate that millions of crack dollars flowed to the contras--the Post and L.A. Times attributed their much smaller estimates to unnamed sources, variously described as "law enforcement officials" (Washington Post, 10/4/96), "a contra supporter and a business partner who sold drugs with Blandon" (L.A. Times, 10/20/96) and "associates in drug trafficking in Los Angeles" (L.A. Times, 10/21/96).

Nor do the claims by the Washington Post (10/4/96) and New York Times (10/21/96) stand up that the funneling of crack money to the contras ended early in the 1980s. Pete Carey, a reporter assigned by the Mercury News to do a reassessment of the paper's own reporting (10/13/96), presented fuller documentation: "A 1986 Los Angeles County sheriff's affidavit for searches of the homes and business of Blandon and members of his drug ring shows that the contra connection lasted into the mid-1980s. In the 1986 affidavit, three confidential informants said that Blandon was still sending money to the contras."

The establishment papers' orthodoxy also insists that "Freeway" Ricky Ross, the contact who distributed Blandon's cocaine in the form of crack, was not a key player in the drug's proliferation. The Washington Post declared that Ross' activities were incidental to the spread of crack; using identical language in a pair of news articles (10/4/96, 10/12/96), the Post insisted that available data "point to the rise of crack as a broad-based phenomenon driven in numerous places by players of different nationalities." The New York Times (10/21/96) concluded rather cryptically that "several experts on the drug trade said that although Mr. Ross was indeed a crack kingpin, he was one of many."

But two years ago--before the public learned that much of his cocaine was supplied by smugglers connected to the contras--the same man was the subject of a 2,400-word Los Angeles Times news article (12/20/94) that portrayed him as central to the spread of crack cocaine. "If there was an eye to the storm," the article began, "if there was a criminal mastermind behind crack's decade-long reign, if there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was Freeway Rick." The headline? "Deposed King of Crack; Now Free After 5 Years in Prison, This Master Marketer Was Key to the Drug's Spread in L.A."

The article reported that as far as crack went, "Ross did more than anyone else to democratize it, boosting volume, slashing prices and spreading disease on a scale never before conceived." He became "South-Central's first millionaire crack lord," the newspaper reported. "While most other dealers toiled at the bottom rungs of the market, his coast-to-coast conglomerate was selling more than 500,000 rocks a day, a staggering turnover that put the drug within reach of anyone with a few dollars."

In a remarkable display of subservience to prevailing orthodoxy, the same reporter who wrote those words, Jesse Katz, went on to write a front-page article for the L.A. Times(10/20/96) that reads like a show-trial recantation. Ross now was one of many "interchangeable characters," who was "dwarfed" by other dealers. "How the crack epidemic reached that extreme, on some level, had nothing to do with Ross," Katz reported. The L.A. Times reporter did not explain how his reporting on Ross two years earlier could have been so inaccurate.

Evidence Ignored

While the Mercury News series could arguably be faulted for occasional overstatement, the elite media's attacks on the series were clearly driven by a need to defend their shoddy record on the contra-cocaine story--involving a decade-long suppression of evidence (Extra!, 6/87, 3-4/88). The Washington Post was typical. "When Brian Barger and I wrote the first story about contra-cocaine smuggling for the Associated Press in December 1985 (12/20/85)," Robert Parry recalls, "the Post waited a week, added some fresh denials and then stuck the story near the back of the national news section."

In 1987, the House Narcotics Committee, chaired by Rep. Charles Rangel (D.-N.Y.), investigated contra-drug allegations and found a "need for further congressional investigation." The Washington Post (7/22/87)distorted reality with the headline "Hill Panel Finds No Evidence Linking Contras to Drug Smuggling"--and then refused to publish Rangel's letter correcting the record (Extra!, 10-11/87).

Later that year, Time magazine staff writer Laurence Zuckerman was assigned to work with an investigative reporter on contra-cocaine allegations. They found serious evidence of the link, but the story Zuckerman wrote was obstructed by higher-ups (Extra! , 11-12/91). A senior editor acknowledged to Zuckerman: "Time is institutionally behind the contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you'd have no trouble getting it in the magazine."

Two years later, the Senate subcommittee chaired by John Kerry released a scathing condemnation of U.S. government complicity with drug trafficking by the contras. "When this important report was issued in April 1989, the Post buried the information in a scant 700-word article on page A20," Parry remembers (The Consortium, 10/28/96). "And most of that story, by Michael Isikoff, was devoted to Republican criticisms of Kerry, rather than to the serious evidence of contra wrongdoing. Other establishment publications took the cue that it was safe to mock Kerry. Newsweek dubbed him a 'randy conspiracy buff.'"

In July 1989, White House operative Oliver North, National Security Adviser John Poindexter, U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica Lewis Tambs, CIA station chief Joseph Fernandez and other contragate figures were barred from Costa Rica--on orders of that country's president, Oscar Arias, who acted on recommendations from a Costa Rican congressional commission investigating drug trafficking. The commission concluded that the contra resupply network in Costa Rica, which North coordinated from the White House, doubled as a drug smuggling operation.

A big story? Not at all. Although AP sent out a dispatch (7/22/89), the New York Times and the three major TV networks failed to mention it; the Washington Post ran the news as a short back page item. When FAIR's Steve Rendall called the Post to find out why, reporter Walter Pincus--who later co-wrote the Post's 1996 attack on the San Jose Mercury News-made no apologies. "Just because a congressional commission in Costa Rica says something, doesn't mean it's true," Pincus said (Extra!, 10-11/89).

In late 1996, one of the basic pretensions threading through much of the coverage by the Washington Post, New York Times and L.A. Times was the notion that contra participation in drug trafficking is old news--a particularly ironic claim coming from newspapers that went out of their way to ignore or disparage key information during the 1980s. The Post's ombudsman, Geneva Overholser, was on target (11/10/96) when she re-raised the question of the U.S. government's relationship to drug smuggling and noted that the three newspapers "showed more passion for sniffing out the flaws in San Jose's answer than for sniffing out a better answer themselves."

Citing "strong previous evidence that the CIA at least chose to overlook contra involvement in the drug trade," Overholser found "misdirected zeal" in the Post's response to the Mercury News series: "Would that we had welcomed the surge of public interest as an occasion to return to a subject the Post and the public had given short shrift. Alas, dismissing someone else's story as old news comes more naturally."

A more pointed observation came from Robert Parry: The irony of the Post's big Oct. 4 story "was that the newspaper was finally accepting the reality of contra cocaine trafficking, albeit in a backhanded way." The Post "had long pooh-poohed earlier allegations that the contras were implicated in drug shipments."

A Dirty, Dangerous World

What explains these elite media outlets' shameful record of suppressing evidence that the CIA's contra army was involved in the drug trade--and attacking those who dared to report the story? In the case of the New York Times and the Washington Post, part of the explanation is that the papers had lent their editorial prestige to the contra cause. By the late 1980s, both papers had endorsed military aid to the contras--though sometimes grudgingly. In February 1988, a pair of pro-contra aid Post editorials (2/3/88, 2/5/88) bracketed a crucial vote in Congress; the pre-vote editorial observed approvingly that "a carrot-and-stick combination has moved the Sandinistas." There was no discernible concern that the military "stick" was being used to take the lives of civilian peasants in the Nicaraguan countryside.

At all three papers, the attitudes of owners and top management set the tone and impose the constraints within which journalists work. Dennis McDougal, a former L.A. Times staffer, described the paper's editor, Shelby Coffey III, this way (New Times Los Angeles, 9/19/96): "He is the dictionary definition of someone who wants to protect the status quo. He weighs whether or not an investigative piece will have repercussions among the ruling elite, and if it will, the chances of seeing it in print in the L.A. Times decrease accordingly."

The New York Times and Washington Post have an even closer relationship to the nation's elites, with connections to the CIA that go back nearly to the agency's founding. In a piece on the CIA and news media written for Rolling Stone two decades ago (10/20/77), Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein wrote that "the agency's relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. From 1950 to 1966, about 10 CIA employees were provided Times cover under arrangements approved by the newspaper's late publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy--set by Sulzberger--to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible."

Bernstein's former employer, the Washington Post, was also useful to the CIA; Bernstein quoted a CIA official as saying of the Post's late owner and publisher, "It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from."

Descendants of these publishers still run their respective papers, and the attitude that they have an obligation to provide covert help to the CIA persists to the present era. In 1988, Post owner Katharine Graham, Phil's widow, gave a speech at the CIA's Langley, Va. headquarters. "We live in a dirty and dangerous world," Graham told agency leaders (Regardie's Magazine,1/90). "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."

Readers, in turn, can decide how much faith to put in news outlets whose owners embrace such a philosophy.

Research Assistance: Steve Rendall

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

 LA DEA; 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  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998


Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #4 
“Because of Webb’s work the CIA launched an Inspector General investigation that named dozens of troubling connections to drug runners. That wouldn’t have happened if Gary Webb hadn’t been willing to stand up and risk it all.”
Senator John Kerry (LA Weekly, May 30, 2013)

"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 DEA CENTAC.(Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies,and the CIA in Central America, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991, pp. x-xi.)

"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, The Washington Post (1996).

"our covert agencies have converted themselves to channels for drugs."
--Senator John Kerry, 1988

"It is clear that there is a network of drug trafficking through the Contras...We can produce specific law-enforcement officials who will tell you that they have been called off drug-trafficking investigations because the CIA is involved or because it would threaten national security."

--Senator John Kerry at a closed door Senate Committee hearing

"...officials in the Justice Department sought to undermine attempts by Senator Kerry to have hearings held on the allegations."
-Jack Blum, investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee

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 at CIA Headquarters

"We were complicit as a country, in narcotics traffic at the same time as we're spending countless dollars in this country as we try to get rid of this problem. It's mind-boggling.
I don't know if we got the worst intelligence system in the world, i don't know if we have the best and they knew it all, and just overlooked it.
But no matter how you look at it, something's wrong. Something is really wrong out there."
-- Senator John Kerry, Iran Contra Hearings, 1987

"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 helped ship to Costa Rica." --Oliver North employee Jesus Garcia December, 1986

"I have put thousands of Americans away for tens of thousands of years with less evidence for conspiracy than is available against Ollie North and CIA people...I personally was involved in a deep-cover case that went to the top of the drug world in three countries. The CIA killed it."
Former DEA Agent Michael Levine - CNBC-TV, October 8, 1996

"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..."

--Eden Pastora, Former ARDE Contra leader - November 26, 1996, speaking before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on alleged CIA drug trafficking to fund Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s

"I believe that elements working for the CIA were involved in bringing drugs into the country," "I know specifically that some of the CIA contract workers, meaning some of the pilots, in fact were bringing drugs into the U.S. and landing some of these drugs in government air bases. And I know so because I was told by someo f these pilots that in fact they had done that."

– Retired DEA agent Hector Berrellez on PBS Frontline. Berrellez was a supervisory agent on the Enrique Camarena murder investigation

"I do think it 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."
Senator Robert Kerrey (D-NE)

A Sept. 26, 1984, Miami police intelligence report noted that money supporting contras being illegally trained inFlorida "comes from narcotics transactions." Every page of the report is stamped: "Record furnished toGeorge Kosinsky, FBI." Is Mr. Kosinsky's number missing from (Janet) Reno's rolodex?

– Robert Knight and Dennis Bernstein, 1996 . Janet Reno was at that time (1984), the Florida State prosecutor.----on Sept. 13, 1996, the nation's highest law enforcement official, Attorney General Janet Reno, stated flatly that there's "no evidence" at this time to support the charges. And a week earlier, on Sept. 7, director of Central Intelligence, John Deutch, stated his belief that there's "no substance" to allegations of CIA involvement.

"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 Americanallies ... 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) ... other groups and/or individuals like Manual Noriega."

-- Michael Levine, The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic

"To my great regret, the bureau (FBI) has told me that some of the people I identified as being involved in drug smuggling are present or past agents of the Central Intelligence Agency."

--Wanda Palacio’s 1987 sworn testimony before U.S. Sen. John Kerry's Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics and International Terrorism.

“I sat gape-mouthed as I heard the CIA Inspector General, testify that there has existed a secret agreement between CIA and the Justice Department, wherein "during the years 1982 to 1995, CIA did not have to report the drug trafficking its assets did to the Justice Department. To a trained DEA agent this literally means that the CIA had been granted a license to obstruct justice in our so-called war on drugs; a license that lasted - so CIA claims -from 1982 to 1995, a time during which Americans paid almost $150 billion in taxes to "fight" drugs.God, with friends like these, who needs enemies?”

- Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, March 23, 1998.

CIA ADMITS TO DEAL WITH JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.“The CIA finally admitted, yesterday, in the New York Times no less, that they, in fact, did "work with" the Nicaraguan Contras while they had information that they were involved in cocaine trafficking to the United States. An action known to us court qualified experts and federal agents as Conspiracy to Import and Distribute Cocaine—a federal felony punishable by up to life in prison. To illustrate how us regular walking around, non CIA types are treated when we violate this law, while I was serving as a DEA supervisor in New York City, I put two New York City police officers in a federal prison for Conspiracy to distribute Cocaine when they looked the other way at their friend's drug dealing. We could not prove they earned a nickel nor that they helped their friend in any way, they merely did not do their duty by reporting him. They were sentenced to 10and 12 years respectively, and one of them, I was recently told, had committed suicide.”

- Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, September, 1998 from the article “IS ANYONE APOLOGIZING TO GARY WEBB?”

“After five witnesses testified before the U.S. Senate, confirming that John Hull—a C.I.A. operative and the lynch-pin of North's contra resupply operation—had been actively running drugs from Costa Rica to the U.S."under the direction of the C.I.A.," Costa Rican authorities arrested him. Hull then quickly jumped bail and fled to the U.S.—according to my sources—with the help of DEA, putting the drug fighting agency in the schizoid business of both kidnapping accused drug dealers and helping them escape…. The then-President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias was stunned when he received letters from nineteen U.S. Congressman—including Lee Hamilton of Indiana, the Democrat who headed the Iran-contra committee—warning him "to avoid situations . . .that could adversely affect our relations."

-Former DEA Agent Michael Levine, September, 1998 from the article “I Volunteer to Kidnap Oliver North”

"Drug trafficking has permeated all political structures and has corrupted federal, state, and local officials. It has deformed the economy. It is a cancer that has generated financial and political dependence, which instead of producing goods, has created serious problems ultimately affecting honest businessmen. The Attorney General's office is unable to eradicate drug trafficking because government structures at all levels are corrupted."

-- Eduardo Valle, former adviser, Attorney General in Mexico

Dennis Dayle, former head of DEA's Centac, was asked the following question: "Enormously powerful criminal organizations are controlling many countries, and to a certain degree controlling the world, and controlling our lives.Your own U.S. government to some extent supports them, and is concealing this fact from you."Dennis Dayle's answer:
"I know that to be true. That is not conjecture. Experience, over the better part of my adult life, tells me that that is so. And there is a great deal of persuasive evidence.

"He (Former Congressman Bill Alexander - D. Ark.) made me privy to the depositions he took from three of the most credible witnesses in that project, which left absolutely
no doubt in my mind that the government of the United States was an active participant in one of the largest dope operations in the world.."

Former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson

The Contras moved drugs not by the pound, not by the bags, but by the tons, by the cargo planeloads”

--Jack Blum, investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, testimony under oath on Feb. 11, 1987

“… he was making millions, 'cos he had his own source of,… avenue for his own,..heroin.I'm sure we all knew it, but we tried to monitor it, because we controlled most of the pilots you see. We're giving him freedom of navigation into Thailand, into the bases, and we don't want him to get involved in moving, you know, this illicit traffic--O.K., silver bars and gold, O.K., but not heroin. What they would do is, they weren't going into Thailand, they were flying it in a big wet wing airplane that could fly for thirteen hours, a DC-3, and all the wings were filled with gas. They fly down to Pakse, then they fly over to Da Nang, and then the number two guy to President Thieu would receive it.”

–CIA Officer Anthony (“Tony Poe”) Poshepny May 17, 1988 PBS Frontline episode “Guns, Drugs, and the CIA”

(Poshepny was a legendary covert operations officer who had supervised the CIA’s secret war in Northern Laos during the 1960s and early 1970s. In the interview, Poshepny stated that the CIA had supplied air transport for the heroin shipments of their local ally, General Vang Pao, the only such on-the-record confirmation by a former CIA officer concerning agency involvement in the narcotics trade.)

"It is … believed by the FBI, SF, that Norwin Meneses was and still may be, an informant for the Central Intelligence Agency."
--CIA OIG report on Contra involvement in drug trafficking (ChIII, Pt2).
(Norwin Meneses was issued a visa and moved freely about the United States despite being listed in more than40 drug investigations over the two previous decades and being listed in an active indictment for narcotics. He has never been prosecuted in this country.)

“There is secret communication between CIA and members of the Congressional staff - one must keep in mind that Porter Goss, the chairman, is an ex CIA official- indicating that the whole hearing is just a smoke and mirror show so that the American people - particularly the Black community - can "blow off some steam"without doing any damage to CIA. The CIA has been assured that nothing real will be done, other than some embarrassing questions being asked.”


"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.""We don't need to investigate . 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

“Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the Department of Justice at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the Los Angeles Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities.According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central Los Angeles,around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Volume II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the Department of Justice, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles.”

--U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters – October 13. 1998, speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives.

“My knowledge of all this comes from my time as British Ambassador in Uzbekistan. I … watched the Jeeps … bringing the heroin through from Afghanistan, en route to Europe. I watched the tankers of chemicals roaring into Afghanistan.

The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government – the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect.” --Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray,2007


This war with China … really seems to me so wicked as to be a national sin of the greatest possible magnitude, and it distresses me very deeply. Cannot any thing be done by petition or otherwise to awaken men’s minds to the dreadful guilt we are incurring? I really do not remember, in any history, of a war undertaken with such combined injustice and baseness. Ordinary wars of conquest are to me far less wicked, than to go to war in order to maintain smuggling, and that smuggling consisting in the introduction of a demoralizing drug, which the government of China wishes to keep out, and which we, for the lucre of gain, want to introduce by force; and in this quarrel are going to burn and slay in the pride of our supposed superiority. — Thomas Arnold to W. W. Hull, March 18, 1840


"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.

"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."


"(US ATTORNEY WILLIAM) Weld claims he followed up with an investigation. But there is, however, no record that while Weld was the chief prosecutor for the U.S., that so much as one Contra-related narcotics trafficker was brought to justice."
--John Mattes, special counsel to Sen. John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics.

(When the FBI was notified) "in fact they didn't want to look at the contras. They wanted to look at us and try to deter us from our investigation. We were threatened on countless occasions by FBI agents who told us that we'd gone too far in our investigation of the contras."
--John Mattes, special counsel to Sen. John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics.

"There would appear to be substance to the allegations," "potential official involvement in...gunrunning and narcotics trafficking between Florida and Central and South America." "that the Justice Department either attempted to slow down or abort one of the ongoing criminal investigations."
---House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime chairman William Hughes (D-N.J.) 1987 press conference

"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."

"what we investigated, which is on the record as part of the Kerry committee report, is evidence that narcotics traffickers associated with the Contra leaders were allowed to smuggle over a ton of cocaine into the United States. Those same Contra leaders admitted under oath their association and affiliation with the CIA."
--John Mattes, attorney, former federal public defender, counsel to John Kerry's senate committee

"we knew everybody around Pastora was involved in cocaine... His staff and friends... were drug smugglers or involved in drug smuggling."
--CIA Officer Alan Fiers

(At Ilopango) "the CIA owned one hangar, and the National Security Council ran the other."
"There is no doubt that they were running large quantities of cocaine into the U.S. to support the 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."
--DEA Agent Celerino Castillo III said he detailed Contra drug activities in Official DEA reports, each signed by DEA Country attache Bob Stia.

an eight-page June 25, 1986, staff memorandum clearly stated that "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."
----March 31, 1987 Newsday article

"What we investigated and uncovered, 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."
--John Mattes, attorney, former federal public defender, special counsel to Sen. John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics.

"Imagine this, here you have Oliver North, a high-level official in the National Security Council running a covert action in collaboration with a drug cartel,"

"That's what I call treason we'll never know how many kids died because these so-called patriots were so hot to support the contras that they risked several generations of our young people to do it."

"As a key member of the joint committees, he (HENRY HYDE) certainly played a major role in keeping the American people blindfolded about this story," Levine said. "There was plenty of hard evidence. … The totality of the whole picture is very compelling. This is very damning evidence. ...

(FBI Agent Mike Foster) "Foster said it (CONTRA DRUG TRAFFICKING) would be a great story, like a grand slam, if they could put it together. He asked the DEA for the reports, who told him there were no such reports. Yet when I showed him the copies of the reports that I had, he was shocked. I never heard from him again."

---Celerino Castillo III describes his meeting with FBI agent Mike Foster, who was assigned to Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh.

"My god," "when I was serving as a DEA agent, you gave me a page from someone in the
Pentagon with notes like that, I would've been on his back investigating everything he did from the minute his eyes opened, every diary notebook, every phone would have been tapped, every trip he made."

--Michael Levine (DEA retired) read Oliver North's diary entries, finding hundreds of drug references. Former Drug Enforcement Administration head John Lawn testified that Mr. North himself had prematurely leaked a DEA undercover operation, jeopardizing agents’ lives, for political advantage in an upcoming Congressional vote on aid to the contras (p.121).

"In my book, Big White Lie, I that the CIA stopped us from indicting the Bolivian government at the same time contra assets were going down there to pick up drugs. When you put it all together, you have much more evidence to convict Ollie North, Dewey Clarridge and all the way up the line, than they had in any John Gotti case." _MIKE LEVINE, (DEA RETIRED)

"With respect to the Resistance Forces...it is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people."
--CIA Central American Task Force Chief Alan Fiers, Testimony at Iran Contra hearings

"The government made a secret decision to sacrifice a part of the American population for the contra effort,"

-- Washington attorney Jack Blum before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1996. Blum had been special counsel to Sen. John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics.

(Reagan administration officials were) "quietly undercutting law enforcement and human-rights agencies that might have caused them difficulty," "Policy makers absolutely closed their eyes to the criminal behavior of the contras."
-- Washington attorney Jack Blum before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1996.

"For some reason, Webb's piece came up, and I asked the guys (Undercover narcs), 'So, what do you think? Is what Webb wrote about the CIA true?'" "And they all turned to me and said," Of course it is.'
--Writer Charles Bowden describes the reaction of drug agents during an interview, September, 1998

"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 other thing that John found out over time -- and the seeds of that were so very early -- was the drug traffickers were moving dope to the United States under cover of the Contra war, and that the Contra movement, the infrastructure supporting the Contras, was infested by drug traffickers.

In fact, later on, we found one of the drug traffickers who Oliver North and the NSC was working with to provide support to the Contras -- and we even got money ultimately from the State Department to support the Contras -- was moving marijuana by the ton into the state of Massachusetts, into New Bedford. It wasn't the only place he was moving dope. But it was one of the places.

So the disorder caused by the war was bringing dope into this country. Now, 10 years later, the Central Intelligence Agency inspector general investigated all of this, and found that the particular allegations and things that Kerry had looked at -- there was substantial evidence for every one of them. There was a huge amount of drugs relating to that Contra infrastructure. …"

-Jonathan Winer, former chief counsel to the Kerry committee (1985-1994), former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement

I remember Dick Cheney attacking John Kerry in 1986 for things John Kerry was saying about the Contras and the NSC and Oliver North. Every single thing John Kerry said was true. The attacks were aggressive, and were based on hopes, wishes, and politics -- partisan politics, not reality. John Kerry's reality was proven -- and it was proven -- when the plane went down in Nicaragua, and it turned out that that was tied to the National Security Council, and money out of Saudi Arabia, and money from the Iranians, and ultimately, as we showed, related in part to narcotics money, at least in other elements of the Contra infrastructure.

There were a lot of people who were mad at John Kerry for having been right. The Reagan administration was, of course, furious. They didn't want him anywhere near the Iran-Contra investigation, because he knew too much and he was too effective. That's what I believe it was about.
-Jonathan Winer, former chief counsel to the Kerry committee (1985-1994), former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement

"What we didn't know was, the time that John Kerry made the decision not to go after Oliver North and to go after the other violations of law that we saw, that Oliver North was going after John Kerry. If you look at Oliver North's diaries, North had people calling him up, and giving him detailed information on every aspect of our investigation. Week after week, month after month, in 1986, Oliver North's diaries have references to John Kerry. North understood that the Kerry investigation was a real risk to his ability to continue to engage in the illegal activity he was engaging in."
-Jonathan Winer, former chief counsel to the Kerry committee (1985-1994), former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement


“It was I who directed the investigation into the death of Camarena” “During this investigation, we discovered that some members of a U.S. intelligence agency, who had infiltrated the DFS (the Mexican Federal Security Directorate), also participated in the kidnapping of Camarena. Two witnesses identified Felix Ismael Rodriguez. They (witnesses) were with the DFS and they told us that, in addition, he (Rodriguez) had identified himself s “U.S. intelligence.”

--EX DEA AGENT HECTOR BERRELLEZ October, 2013. Berrellez lead the murder inestigation "Operation Leyenda"" into the death of DEA agent ENRIQUE "KIKI" CAMARENA

“Caro Quintero had billions of dollars stashed in secret bank accounts in Luxembourg and in Switzerland,” “The one in Luxembourg had $4 billion and the other one had even more.”
“To my knowledge they were never confiscated,”
--EX DEA AGENT HECTOR BERRELLEZ, Forbes Magazine December 5, 2013

“In interrogation room, I was told by Mexican authorities, that CIA operatives were in there. Actually conducting the interrogation. Actually taping Kiki.”
--Phil Jordan (DEA-RET.), former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) October, 2013

"The CIA was the source. They gave them to us," "Obviously, they were there. Or at least some of their contract workers were there."
-EX-DEA Agent Hector Berrellez (COPIES of the audio taped torture session were provided to DEA within a week)

“The CIA ordered the kidnapping and torture of ‘Kiki’ Camarena, and when they killed him, they made us believe it was Caro Quintero in order to cover up all the illegal things they were doing (with drug trafficking) in Mexico” “The DEA is the only (federal agency) with the authority to authorize drug trafficking into the United States as part of an undercover operation”.

“The business with El Bufalo (RAFAEL CARO QUINTERO's RANCH) was nothing compared with the money from the cocaine that was being sold to buy weapons for the CIA”.
--Phil Jordan (DEA-RET.), former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) October, 2013

"I know and from what I have been told by a former head of the Mexican federal police, Comandante (Guillermo Gonzales) Calderoni, the CIA was involved in the movement of drugs from South America to Mexico and to the U.S.,"
--Phil Jordan (DEA-RET.), former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) October, 2013

He (Mexican Judicial Police Officer Guillermo Gonzalez Calderoni) told me: ‘Hector, get out of this business because they’re going to fuck you over. The CIA is involved in that business about ‘Kiki’. It’s very dangerous for you to be in this.’ He gave me names, among them that of Felix, and details and everything, but when my bosses found out, they took me out of the investigation and sent me to Washington.
"He told me, 'Your government did it,' "
--EX DEA AGENT HECTOR BERRELLEZ October, 2013. Calderoni was killed in in McAllen Texas in 2003. His murder remains unsolved.

"Back in the middle 1980's, the DFS, their main role was to protect the drug lords,"
"Upon arrival we were confronted by over 50 DFS agents pointing machine guns and shotguns at us--the DEA. They told us we were not going to take Caro Quintero," "Well, Caro Quintero came up to the plane door waved a bottle of champagne at the DEA agents and said, 'My children, next time, bring more guns.' And laughed at us."
--EX DEA AGENT HECTOR BERRELLEZ October, 2013. (Caro Quintero allegedly carried DFS credentials during the escape flight piloted by a CIA Contractor.)

"Our intelligence agencies were working under the cover of DFS. And as I said it before, unfortunately, DFS agents at that time were also in charge of protecting the drug lords and their monies,"
"After the murder of Camarena, (Mexico's) investigation pointed that the DFS had been complicit along with American intelligence in the kidnap and torture of Kiki. That's when they decided to disband the DFS."

"I know what these men are saying is true, that the Contras were trafficking in drugs while the CIA looked the other way, because I served in the trenches of Latin America for six years when this was going on,"
--EX DEA agent Celerino Castillo III, October, 2013.

“I don’t know of any DEA administrator that I worked for who would have sanctioned cocaine smuggling into the United States in the name of national security, when we are out there risking our lives,”
--Phil Jordan

“Kiki said, ‘That’s horseshit. You’re lining your pockets,’” “He could not believe that the U.S. government could be running drugs into the United States.”
-Phil Jordan

"the use of a drug dealer’s property by the CIA for the purpose of helping the Contras didn’t sit well with the DEA agents."
“That’s the way we’re brought up, so to speak,” he said. “When we see someone running drugs, we want to bust them, not work with them.”
--Phil Jordan

“The Contras were running drugs from Central America and the Contras were providing drugs to street gangs in Los Angeles. That’s your connection.”
--Hector Berrellez

"We've been attacked for this, and our credibility has been questioned, by people who were not involved in the investigation and had no first-hand knowledge of what took place then or what is happening now."
-Phil Jordan

“We’re not saying the CIA murdered Kiki Camarena,” Jordan said. But the “consensual relationship between the Godfathers of Mexico and the CIA that included drug trafficking” contributed to Camarena’s death, he added.
“I don’t have a problem with the CIA conducting covert operations to protect the national security of our country or our allies, but not to engage in criminal activity that leads to the murder of one our agents,”
--Phil Jordan

"We have people in the U.S. witness protection program who say they are willing to give additional statements under oath to a federal agent or federal prosecutor concerning these details," ....I am not an active federal agent, so I can't take the allegations into an indictment process, but interested agents and prosecutors can do this. We're waiting."
-Hector Berrellez

--------------From "The Pariah" by Charles Bowden, Esquire Magazine, September, 1998

"When the Big Dog gets off the porch, watch out."
"The CIA's mission is to break laws and be ruthless. And they are dangerous."

--EX DEA Agent Mike Holm, September, 1998, Esquire Magazine article "The Pariah" by Charles Bowden

"stand down because of national security."

--DEA agent Mike Holm (Holm's superiors at DEA's reaction to reports that Southern Air Transport, a CIA-contracted airline, was landing planeloads of cocaine at Homestead Air Force)

"There ain't no fucking drug war," he says now. "I was even called un-American. Nobody cares about this shit.
"As I read (about Gary Webb), I thought, This shit is true,"

--Hector Berrellez checked into a blank schedule for one year after being transferred to Washington DC desk job. He had ordered a criminal investigation of the CIA and drug trafficking. His informants were "reporting strange fortified bases scattered around Mexico, ...and, his informants told him, the planes were shipping drugs." Berrellez went to Mexico City to meet with his DEA superiors and American-embassy staff, mentioned the reports and was told, Stay away from those bases; they're our training camps, special operations"

"Remarks made by retired Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Phil Jordan and those of other retired DEA agents do not reflect the views of the Drug Enforcement Administration,"
-- DEA statement, 2014

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

 LA DEA; 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  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998


Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #5 
Powderburns Book- Forward by Mike Levine (DEA Retired)


By Michael Levine

Now that you've read this far I advise you to cancel any appointments you may have scheduled during the next several hours. You are not going to be able to put this book down. It will mesmerize you, enrage you and change your attitude toward the people in government whom we have entrusted with our safety and security. Most importantly it will give you information that has been kept from you;information you have a right to, because you have paid for it with your taxes, and,as many like me have done, with the blood and misery of your loved ones and friends. There are several important facts that you must keep in mind as you read.

First, that the crimes and atrocities described so vividly in these in these pages,were committed by U.S. government officials using taxpayer dollars, or people under their protection, and that, for the most part, the victims of these crimes are the very people who paid those taxes: the American people.

Second, that this first-hand account was written by Celerino "Cele" Castillo, a highly decorated veteran of two wars - Vietnam and the War on Drugs; a man who has often risked his life to fulfill his oath to protect the American people and uphold their laws, and that Celerino Castillo is a consummate professional investigator who documents everyone of his claims - - often using electronic recording devices - - so that they serve as evidence in any court in the world.

Third, that everything you are about to read was first turned over to the upper management of DEA (The Drug Enforcement Administration), the FBI and the State Department for these agencies to take appropriate action to stop The Oliver North/Contra operations drug smuggling activities and that no action or investigation was ever undertaken.

Fourth, that Cele Castillo persisted in pushing for an investigation spite of a warning from a U. S. Ambassador to back off the investigation because it was a White House Operation, and inspite of being place under a malicious Internal Affairs investigation--DEAs classic method of silencing its outspoken agents - - that would help destroy his marriage and career and almost cost him his life.

Finally, that Cele turned over all his evidence to Special Prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh’s office - - then investigation Oliver North and the Contras - -and when it was clear that no investigative action would ever be taken pursuant to that evidence, and, in fact m that the Special Prosecutors final report failed to even mention the drug allegation, did Cele write this book.

When I wrote Deep Cover and The Big White Lie detailing my own deep cover experiences in South America,people were astounded by the revelations. They found it impossible to believe that their own government could tax them hundreds of billions of dollars to fight drugs and at the same time support and protect the biggest drug dealers in the world as they poisoned our children.

It was the most despicable kind of treason. I, like many millions of Americans, was affected personally; my son Keith Richard Levine, a 27year old New York City police officer, was murdered by crack addicts when, while off- duty, he tried to stop and armed robbery they were committing to support their addiction; my brother David, a life-long drug addict, ended his misery at 34 years of age by suicide. Our nation, thanks in large part to these criminals now has a homicide rate exceeding 25,000 per year, much of it drug related, and, according to some economists, our economy is impacted by this drug plague by as much a trillion dollars a year. Is it conceivable that so many members of our legislative, judicial and law enforcement branches of government betrayed us? No it’s not conceivable, but all those who read this book will find it undeniable.

In my books articles and media appearances I told of deep cover cases from Bangkok to Buenos Aires, that were destroyed by the covert agencies of my own government; cases that would have exposed people; who had been given a license to sell massive amounts of drugs to Americans in return for their support of Oliver North’s contras. I could easily prove that these investigations were intentionally destroyed and that our cover was blown by our own government, but I only had circumstantial evidence linking the events to the Contras.

Celerino Castillo, as you will see in these pages, had the smoking gun.

At that time, had Cele come forward with his story, I believe the public’s reaction to our joint testimony would have forced our elected officials into taking the action against North and others, that they were so desperately afraid of taking. But at that time, Cele was just fighting for his family, his career and his life.

Wherever I went, people asked, “If this is true, why aren't any other government agents saying what you are?” I was a lone voice. From the moment my first book was published i began receiving - - and still receive - - letters from both federal and local law enforcement officers, government informants and contract pilots for both DEA and CIA, with their own horror stories to tell indicating that our covert agencies and state Department were sabotaging the drug war, and that when honest officers tried to do something about it, their lives and jobs were threatened, yet none would go public with their stories. They were afraid. I pointed out to all who would listen that even our highest government officials are afraid to confront the criminals in government.

During the years J Edgar Hoover ran the FBI, eight Presidents were aware that he was running a political police force, in violation of every law of the land, yet they kept their silence and did nothing to stop him. They were terrified of his secret files and the revelations they might contain. It took almost twenty years after his death before the truth finally surfaced. If one man could intimidate eight Presidents, can you imagine the kind of club the CIA has over the heads of our current crop of political leaders? How else can you explain the difference between their rhetoric and their actions, or lack thereof?

Senator John Kerry, a Democrat, spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars investigating the drug running activities of Oliver North’s Nicaraguan Contra effort and came to the same conclusions that Cele and I did as DEA agents in the field. He said, “Our covert agencies have converted themselves to channels for drugs ... they have perverted our system of justice”. An outraged Senator Alphonse D'amato, a Republican, found it mind boggling, that while we taxed Americans more than $ 100 billion to fight drugs, we were in bed with the biggest drug dealers in the world.

All the outrage and oratory not withstanding, none of the evidence that the led to those statements was ever presented to a grand jury of American citizens, and not one single indictment of a U.S. laws relating to narcotics trafficking was ever forthcoming. Nor was there ever any house - cleaning of the agencies involved. Many of these criminals in government are still, in fact, criminals in government, and as this book goes to press there is evidence that their crimes continue.

It is also important for the reader to keep in mind, that to prove a government official guilty of violations of the Federal Drug Conspiracy laws, isa relatively easy task for a professional narcotics investigator. One would only have to prove that he or she knew of drug trafficking activity and failed to take appropriate action. In one case I was involved in, for example, A new York City police detective was convicted of violation of the Federal Conspiracy statutes and sentenced to 8 years in prison, for not taking appropriate action against dope-dealing friend of his. We could not even prove that he had profited from his crime.

The DEA’s files are full of similar cases. The law is exactly as President Bush once said: All those who look the other way are as guilty as the drug dealer. The Kerry commission amassed impressive evidence that Oliver North and others had violated our drug trafficking laws; they reviewed North’s 543 pages of personal notes relating to drug trafficking activity, which - - even after North blacked out many incriminating statements - - included notations like, $14 million to finance came from drugs; they learned that North had attempted to get leniency for General Bueso-Rosa (convicted of an assassination paid for with 700 pounds of cocaine distributed in the U.S.); they found evidence, such as North’s cash purchase of a car from a $15.000 cash slush fund he kept in a closet, and his interest in a multi-million dollar Swiss bank account, indicating that North, with no other source of income than his military pay check, may have profited financially from drug trafficking activities, yet none of this evidence was ever fully investigated by professional narcotics investigators, nor presented to a grand jury of American citizens as it should have been, or as it would have been had North not been given the phony Teflon shield of National Security and the protection of a President.

The evidence - - and the above is only a small sampling of what is available - -is enough to enrage career narcotic enforcement officers who have sent so many to jail for so much less. And when you add the evidence so powerfully presented in this book, what is already known about North and his Contra operation, you will understand why Cele Castillo put his career and life at risk to try and break through that shield, and why he continues to risk himself to his day. In Senator Kerry’s final report he stated,

Those U.S. officials who turned a blind eye to General Noriega, who intervened on behalf of General Bueso-Rosa and who adamantly opposed the investigations of foreign narcotics figures by honest,hardworking law enforcement officials, must also hear the responsibility for what is happening in the streets of the U.S. today. By the time you finish this book you will know that his accusation is aimed squarely at Oliver North, Presidents Reagan and Bush, and other high government officials, yet, and it bears repeating, none of the evidence provoking that statement was ever presented to a grand jury of American citizens. What else but fear can account for this failure on the part of our leaders to take appropriate action. A failure that local cops or DEA agents would have gotten them arrested and prosecuted, along with the people they were protecting. Jack Blum, special counsel for the Kerry commission, resigned his post, stating, I am sick to death of the truths I cannot tell.

But Cele Castillo, as you will soon know, is not afraid and never has been. In these pages he will reveal to you some of the most devastating of those truths. I now welcome Cele Castillo, a true American hero, to the front lines of his third and perhaps most important war -a war against the criminals within his own government.

Powderburns Introduction by Author Dave Harmon


Dear General Noriega:... Your long-standing support of the Drug Enforcement Administration is greatly appreciated... Thank you very much for the autographed photograph. I have had it framed and it is proudly displayed in my office…. That letter was written in March, 1984 by DEA Administrator Francis M. Mullen,Jr. to Panamanian strongman General Manuel Noriega, who, four years later,was indicted on drug trafficking charges in the United States. In December, 1989,15 American soldiers, part of an invading force of 10,000, were killed trying to hunt down Noriega and haul him back to the U.S. The man whose autographed portrait once hung on the DEA Administrators wall was now, in the words of the U.S. military, a cocaine snorting, voodoo worshiping alcoholic despot who entertained prostitutes and wore red underwear.Such are the ironies of the drug war.These pages contain one DEA agent’s account of America’s longest, most frustrating war. Celerino “Cele” Castillo III spent a dozen years battling the drug cartels, a menace that General Paul C. Gorman, former head of the U.S. Southern Command in Panama, called more successful at subversion in the United States than any that are centered in Moscow.This book reveals why, after more than 20 years and billions of dollars, the drug war has failed miserably. Why DEA cannot rid the streets of pushers, why it cannot dent the burgeoning coca economy in South America, why its much - ballyhooed interdiction efforts are swatted aside like gnats by the cartels.

Put simply, when U.S. foreign policy and U.S. drug policy collide, drug policy yields every time.
People like Manuel Noriega are treasured for their strategic importance, their long-standing support, and their democratic ideals,however superficial, while their back-door deals with drug traffickers are conveniently ignored. And while Communist regimes around the world have withered and collapsed under their own weight, the cartels grow stronger.No one knows this better than Cele Castillo. For every small victory during his DEA Career, a crushing defeat followed. As a Vietnam veteran, he knew all too well the disillusionment that accompanies messy wars led by vacillating politicians. He shrugged off the frustrations and stubbornly fought on. Then, in Central America, he stumbled upon the Contra resupply operation, a covert network guided by Lt. Col. Oliver North. Castillo’s investigation of the Contra operation revealed the deepest secret of the Iran-Contra Affair: the Contras;drugs-for-guns connection. Castillo’s investigation unearthed enough evidence to merit a full-scale investigation, yet none occurred. His superiors told Castillo point-blank to leave the Contra-drug connection alone. A committee, headed by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, concluded: ... “it is clear that individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking, the supply network of the Contras was used by drug trafficking organizations, and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers.” Yet the Kerry committee’s findings were ignored by the White House,and neither the Congressional Iran- Contra committees nor the Iran- Contra special prosecutor was fit to delve into the third secret of the Iran- Contra Affair.Throughout his DEA career, Castillo kept detailed journals which provide the basis for the dates, names, places, and DEA file numbers cited in this book. Conversations quoted in these pages were reconstructed to the best of Castillo’s recollection. DEA rejected repeated efforts to obtain Castillo’s reports and cables from Central America. The material, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Information and Privacy: “is not appropriate for discretionary release”. Likewise, large Portions of North’s diaries were censored before they were turned over to the government, including many sections adjacent to drug references. For example, North’s June 26, 1984 entry by DEA- followed by two blocks of deleted text. Important questions remain: Who in the government knew about the Contras drug ties? Why were Castillo’s reports ignored? And what did North, now a candidate for the United States Senate, know about the drug activities within the network he steered from Washington?
The truth lies somewhere beneath a quashed investigation, a belligerent bureaucracy and a censor’s pen.

McAllen, June 15, 1994


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

 LA DEA; 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  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998


Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #6 
Kerry Aide Jonathan Winer: Jackie Kennedy Intervened in BCCI Investigation




The U.S. Attorney General refused to prosecute on the Federal Level. John Kerry was forced to take the BCCI case to NY state prosecutor Robert Morganthau for state prosecution.
Kerry staffers returned home TO FIND THEIR JOBS ELIMINATED.

Senator John Kerry's Aide. Jonathan Winer interview: Jackie Kennedy tried to squash BCCI Investigation.
see also:

There was a phone call from Jackie Kennedy to the senator's (John Kerry) office, correct? Do you remember that incident?

I remember John talking to us after it happened. He felt badly. He thought the world of Jackie Kennedy, thought she was a wonderful human being. He admired her. He had affection and respect for her, and all those all those things. To have her say, "Why are you doing this to my friend Clark Clifford?" was painful. You know, he shook his head. It wasn't a location he particularly wanted to be in.

But he didn't tell us to stop. He said, "You do what you have to do." The hearings continued, and the investigations continued until we'd found out as much as we possibly could. That's what happened.

--Jonathan Winer was U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters 1994-1999. He previously worked as counsel to Sen John Kerry (D-MA) advising on foreign policy issues 1983 to 1997

This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 6/20/2003.

Kerry's investigation, launched in 1988, helped to close the bank three years later, but not without upsetting some in Washington's Democratic establishment. Prominent BCCI friends included former Defense Secretary Clark Clifford, former President Jimmy Carter, and his budget director, Bert Lance. When news broke that Clifford's Washington bank was a shell for BCCI -- and how the silver-haired Democrat had handsomely profited in the scheme -- some of Kerry's Senate colleagues grew icy.

"What are you doing to my friend Clark Clifford?" more than one Democratic senator asked Kerry. Kerry's aides recall how Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Pamela Harriman, a prominent party fund-raiser, called on the senator, urging him to not to pursue Clifford.

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

 LA DEA; 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  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998


Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #7 

Mike Levine & Gary Webb - The Big White Lie + Dark Alliance= CIA drug cartel (Posted by EX DEA Mike Levine) Montel Williams show

Mike Levine at Mike Savage's "Savage Nation" Exposes "The Big White Lie" CIA sabotage of DEA
Mike Levine, one of DEA's most decorated undercover agents reveals the inside story of Operation Hun, the dream undercover assignment turned nightmare that blew the lid off CIA sabotage of the drug war. to Mike Savage's Paul Revere Society, an audience of 5000 at the Marin County Civic Auditorium.

Inside the DEA Sting that blew the lid off CIA drug trafficking
The Big White Lie, by NY Times best selling author Michael Levine, is an insider's look at Operation Hun, the top-secret deep cover operation that rips the lid off CIA sabotage of the war on drugs. Levine, interviewed here on Good Morning America, tells of his undercover role posing as the lover and drug dealing partner of Sonia Atala, the woman Pablo Escobar named "The Queen of Cocaine."

Caught on Camera - 1990 - 1st time in history Drug War called fraud by DEA insider (fixed audio)
The publication of Deep Cover was kept as undercover as the life of the man who wrote it.
In March 1990, on the Phil Donahue Show, Michael Levine was the first high level DEA insider to call the entire drug war a fraud on national television. Captured here only on Youtube is an important part of its true history available nowhere else.

Mike Levine comments March 2014
Wrote two books describing how DEA undercover teams that did the unthinkable by penetrating to the very top of the drug world only to find themselves fighting for their own lives; we were threatening CIA assets who happened to be the biggest drug dealers on earth. : "Deep Cover" and "The Big White Lie, were written to prove this." The two have been optioned by everyone from Robert DeNiro to HBO Pictures, but never made into a movie. . . not yet anyway

Exclusive: On Camera DEA deep cover sting of Mexican Government--15 ton coke deal from-"Deep Cover"
Undercover DEA Agent, Mike Levine, exposes Mexican Drug War Fraud with Bill O'Reilly on Inside Edition. Real undercover video footage. This was the undercover sting operation whose cover was blown by the the US Attorney General; as covered in NY Times Best-seller "DEEP COVER." ON camera is Colonel Jaime Carranza, grandson of Mexican President who wrote the Mexican Constitution and a bodyguard for the then incoming president Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Chapter "Waiting for Trial" outs those US governmentofficials who acted to protect the murderers of DEA Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, while mainstream media and congress look the other way.

Mike Levine comments:

michaellevine53 2 years ago
In 1997, on my radio show ( see archives of Expert Witness Radio show), 4 agents with a combined 100 years experience in CIA, DEA and FBI predicted 9-11 and more terrorist acts and trafficking by DEA Informants and CIA agents to come; all due to the massive ineptitude and criminality that, due to the ease of media manipulation, was and continues to be hidden from America. Nothing has changed. Of course the drugs are still pouring in, the names of operations are unimportant.

michaellevine53 4 years ago
I retired in 1990. In answer to your second question: I wrote three books—DEEP COVER, THE BIG WHITE LIE and FIGHT BACK—that combined, in the opnion of many, indicate that not only can it not be won, but that it is only the American taxpayer who is conned into believing that it can be won. How? Read MAINSTREAM MEDIA THE DRUG WAR SHILLS.
michaellevine53 2 years ago
Absolutely! That IS the story of NY Times Bestseller Deep Cover... It, for example, exposes that Edwin Meece, the US AG blew the cover of Operation Trifecta a 15 ton cocaine deal which included top Mexican government military and political figures.. Reason: NAFTA was before the US congress, and there were many members of congress against it; can you imagine what would have happened if the events in DEEP COVER were public at that time? You can buy it for a buck or two on Amazon...

"CIA are drug smugglers." - Federal Judge Bonner, head of DEA- You don't get better proof than this (POSTED BY EX DEA MIKE LEVINE)
60 Minutes presses for the truth, and Robert C. Bonner, former federal judge and head of the DEA, calls the CIA "drug smugglers." This video is dedicated to all those lives lost in the War on Drugs, while the CIA betrayed us.

the full transcript is here:
Mike Levine Comments— michaellevine53 1 year ago
in reply to Ben Dover
my friend. Judge Bonner is still alive, so am I and so are the other DEA agents who appeared in the original 60 minute piece as witnesses detailing the case. the CIA agent who "masterminded" the smuggling of as much as 27 tons of cocaine into the US,(worse than Pablo Escobar) was named, and at the time was the CIA station chief of Venezuela. no one was prosecuted The reason i Posted it here is that , thanks to the use of taxpayer funds to manipulate media, few are aware of this scandal.
michaellevine53 2 years ago
The fact is that Bonner didn't take a bullet, he was just ignored. CIA director (then) Woolsey toured mainstream media making the false claim that the drug smuggling resulted from "a joint DEA CIA operation gone wrong." The fact is that DEA had no part in the operations which was, as the judge said,"CIA drug smuggling." 60 Minutes was the ONLY member of mainstream media to tell the truth.. The rest did their customary penguin walk. What a shame.
michaellevine53 1 year ago in reply to TheUnknownGrower
The whole investigation conducted by DEA, revealed that they were only caught for one ton, after they had gotten away with 26 tons over the previous year. Check out some of our radio shows. Bottom line is they smuggled more dope than the Medellin Cartel
michaellevine53 2 years ago
You've got to remember that during operation Trifecta (the deep cover operation in the book), Carlos Salinas de Gortari's bodyguard, on hidden video, promised me a wide open border to traffic drugs from Mexico into the US, if we completed the 15 ton drug deal we were in the midst of...NAFTA was then on the table before Congress... Ergo a lot of powerful people in our government that wanted the operation to fail before the American people became aware of it..That IS the real story in Deep Cover
michaellevine53 1 year ago in reply to Katie Nelson
Katie: My first lesson in this came, as I documented in THE BIG WHITE, when CIA betrayed both the American people and the Bolivian government that trusted us, by supporting the drug traffickers in the takeover of Bolivia in the now infamous Cocaine Coup. It was the bloodiest revolution in that poor country;s history and the beginning of the crack/cocaine epidemic in ours.
michaellevine53 2 years ago
I did my own investigation including interviews with DEA people involved, before I went public on my radio show - the Expert Witness Show in NYC. The investigation revealed that as much as 27 tons of cocaine were shipped into the US by CIA before they were finally caught by US Customs. The CIA chief who ran it was named by 60 Minutes. No one was either prosecuted or lost their jobs, except for the DEA people who blew the whistle. With "protectors" like this who needs enemies?
michaellevine53 2 years ago
The problem with answering your question is that it's the wrong question. It should by what logical reason would CIA have to be in bed with drug traffickers? First, is called "the junkie tax." CIA assets and black operations not funded by congress become self-funded via "licenses" to smuggle to the US. Two: There is no oversight of the CIA whatsoever, thus any "enterprising" officer can cut himself in on his asset's drug profits. If he get's caught, as in the 60 Minute piece, he's promoted.
michaellevine53 2 years ago
Where was congress? Great question. The book DEEP COVER was voted one of the most censored by the media books of the year, by BILL MOYERS "Project Censored." Off camera, Mr. Moyers told me it was "the best read and least talked about book between the beltways. (Wash. DC)." It was almost funny. Meaning Congress wanted badly to ignore the book and its charges... If we had a responsible Congress, there would be no CIA supported drug traffickers, and Mexico would not be in the fix its in now.
michaellevine53 1 year ago
Let's start by demanding indictments in THIS case; we have solid evidence and credible DEA witnesses including a federal judge. Why go off on a conspiratorial tangent if we can't get an indictment in a case of CIA getting caught actually smuggling massive amounts of cocaine into the nation they're supposed to protect? When I was boxing on a USAF boxing team my coach said "if you open a cut keep hitting it till they stop they fight or the guy bleeds all over you." I'm giving you the cut.

michaellevine53 2 years ago
In DEEP COVER, when you come to the part where the attorney general EDWIN MEECE, blows the cover of our undercover operation with a telephone call to the AG of Mexico (one of our targets) , WHILE the team was undercover in Bolivia, Panama and Mexico. Underline that passage, because the special interests have not changed.. Remember the book was a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller, and the charge would be libelous as hell were it not true. Then ask yourself why mainstream media ignored the claim.
michaellevine53 2 years ago
My friend, this video is only a short excerpt of an extensive investigation conducted by 6"60 minutes", which in turn was based on a joint secret investigation conducted by CIA and DEA internal security. Which resulted in Judge Bonner, the head of DEA making this statement... What more do you need? I suggest you read THE BIG WHITE LIE And DEEP COVER for even more detailed proof
michaellevine53 1 year ago in reply to Paul Rael
Mr. P: I may have a problem posting the entire show on youtube, but we have used the soundtrack on radio shows that you can find on the web site for The Expert Witness Radio show.. During these shows we discussed the findings that CIA, in fact, was caught smuggling lge quantities of cocaine that the people named in this brilliant investigative piece "should" have been indicted. If this is not enough I will have my producer and co-host digitize the 60 Minute piece and put it up on that site
michaellevine53 2 years ago
I wrote about Noriega in "Deep Cover"-- A DEA and Customs undercover team was dealing with his people in Panama while he was still a CIA asset and protected by CIA. I don't think you will believe what happened unless you read the book and understand that every event was documented by secretly recorded audio and video. The book was a NY Times bestseller and Congress just pretended it didn't exist. Sadly, nothing has changed.

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

 LA DEA; 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  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998


Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #8 

CIA Thugs, Drugs and Terrorism with True Crime Author Evan Wright

00:01 Welcome to Byliner with Walter Kirn.
00:30 Introducing Evan Wright.
01:12 Ricky Prado and the background of a CIA-Mafia connection.
02:26 The early days of cocaine in Florida--the mafia and Cuba.
08:14 Cocaine begins flooding Miami and the country.
09:13 Ricky and Albert Sanpedro form a bond and 'fraternity' over violence and drug dealing.
13:17 Ricky Prado becomes a hitman.
17:29 A C.I.A. recruit turns to the drug trade.
26:51 Ricky Prado goes to work for the CIA.
28:47 The rise and fall of Ricky Prado in the CIA.
32:29 Ricky Prado looks to cooperate with the Federal Investigators as the CIA stonewalls them.
36:17 Prado rises to the senior ranks of the CIA--Targeted Assassinations.
39:46 Cofer Black and Ricky Prado move to Blackwater and get dirty work done.
44:00 Still out there, and working for shadowy private firms.
45:40 Why does the CIA exist? To break laws.
48:28 Response to the book--from Prado himself.


Book Description
Publication Date: June 24, 2012
This is a story that the CIA will not want you to read. It will likely shake your faith in the highest levels of America’s national security establishment. And it will leave you feeling as if you are living not in the United States but in a seedy banana republic where there is no line between the good guys and the bad guys.

In “How to Get Away with Murder in America,” the celebrated journalist Evan Wright reveals the extraordinary story of Enrique “Ricky” Prado, an alleged killer for a major Miami drug trafficker who was recruited into the CIA. Despite a grand jury subpoena and a mountain of evidence unearthed by a federal task force, Prado was promoted into the agency’s highest echelons and charged with implementing some of the country’s most sensitive post-9/11 counterterrorist operations, including the agency’s secret “targeted assassination unit.” All while staying in close touch with his cocaine-trafficking boss and, evidence suggests, taking part in additional killings for him.

After Prado retired in 2004 at the rank of SIS-2—the CIA equivalent of a two-star general—he moved to a senior position at Blackwater, the private military contractor, where he continued to run the same, now-outsourced “death squad.” Contrary to government assurances that it was never actually activated, Wright reveals explosive testimony from one of the Blackwater assassins that Prado’s unit was indeed carrying out assigned killings. As a former military intelligence officer told Wright in 2011, “Private contractors are whacking people like crazy over in Afghanistan for the CIA.”

In “How to Get Away with Murder in America,” Wright discloses never-before-seen federal investigation files and lays out a mind-boggling and ultimately damning indictment of Ricky Prado and the intelligence community that embraced and empowered him. It is the deeply disturbing story of a criminal case abandoned because of CIA intervention, political maneuvering, and possibly corruption. Its cast includes Mafia capos, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former CNN host Rick Sanchez, and Prado’s longtime boss at the CIA and then Blackwater, J. Cofer Black, who is now a “special adviser” to presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Wright also delivers a stunning portrait of Prado’s childhood friend Albert San Pedro, a.k.a. “the Maniac,” the drug lord whom he served for years as loyal bodyguard and enforcer, as well as their longtime nemesis Mike Fisten, the detective who began pursuing them more than two decades ago and still hopes to put them both in prison for murder.

There are many conspiracies in Wright’s story, all of them unsettling. Did the CIA knowingly hire a suspected murderer with strong ties to drug traffickers? Or was the agency a stooge, infiltrated by an underworld hood described by one investigator as “technically, a serial killer”?

“How to Get Away with Murder in America” is likely to have serious repercussions for the U.S. national security establishment. And it will shake to the core your conceptions of government and justice in America.


Evan Wright is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards and the author of the bestselling “Generation Kill,” “Hella Nation,” and “American Desperado,” which he co-wrote with Jon Roberts. His reporting has also been included in “The Best American Crime Writing.” He co-wrote the HBO series “Generation Kill,” based on his book.
Web Documentary Explores CIA’s Cocaine Connections In The Eighties
June 11, 2014/0 Comments/in LIFE & CULTURE /by ServingDope.com Staff

Miami Dade Homicide detective Mike Fisten was part of the FBI/DEA task force CENTAC who tried to capture drug lord Alberto San Pedro and his bodyguard. Implicated in more than 7 murders, Prado was a CIA officer who later moved a privatized assassination program to the private sector firm Blackwater with the help of Cofer Black

Read about Miami Dade Homicide Detective Mike Fisten here:

read about cocaine cowboy Jon Roberts here:
"That story is absolutely true," "I pursued the CIA agent, but I was unable to get him."
-Detective Mike Fisten

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

 LA DEA; 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  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998


Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #9 
Key Figures In CIA-Crack Cocaine Scandal Begin To Come Forward
Posted: 10/10/2014 7:30 am EDT

Dark Alliance Drug lord Oscar Danilo Blandon was located in Managua and is talking ON THE RECORD.


Ryan Grim ryan@huffingtonpost.com

Kill The Messenger: How The Media Destroyed Gary Webb
Posted: 10/10/2014 8:47 am EDT


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

 LA DEA; 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  

"Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the DOJ at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the LA Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities. According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central L.A., around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Vol II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the DOJ, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles." Maxine Waters Oct, 1998

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