“There is no doubt in my mind there is a complicity in the flow of drugs into this country.”
– Sen. John Kerry.
This article is intended to be an easy introduction for the uninitiated. Many other websites already exist that talk about the evidence of such a scandal. George Washington University’s National Security Archive has excellent resources. But I wanted to create something easily digestable. So here it is…
1. Documents relating to the John Kerry Senate Investigation into CIA-Cocaine allegations
2. Video of Robert Bonner, ex-DEA head, on 60 Minutes, admitting the CIA sold drugs in the US
3. Oliver North’s handwritten notes, written during Iran-Contra hearings, which state a certain CIA plane was used for drug runs.
4. Video and documents relating to Mena, Arkansas, an airforce airfield allegedly instrumental in bringing the drugs into the US.
5. Recent allegations of continued drug smuggling by the CIA and other US government agencies.
6. Why would they do such a thing?
Gary Webb, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, rose to fame (some would say infamy) through a series of articles for the San-Jose Mercury News that connected the CIA, drug dealers, the rise of crack cocaine, anti-communist Contras in Latin America, and the Iran Contra scandal.
Iran Contra was about selling weapons to Iran to create a large slush fund in order to fight communism without Congress approval or oversight. The CIA evidently did the same thing with Cocaine.
1. SENATE INVESTIGATION
Senator Kerry led a Senate investigation to determine the validity of Webb’s reports. It found “individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking…” and “one or another agency in the U.S. government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter.”
“The Subcommittee found that the Contra drug links included:
- Involvement in narcotics trafficking by individuals associated with the Contra movement.
- Participation of narcotics traffickers in Contra supply operations through business relationships with Contra organizations.
- Provision of assistance to the Contras by narcotics traffickers, including cash, weapons, planes, pilots, air supply services and other materials, on a voluntary basis by the traffickers.
- Payments to drug traffickers by the US State Department of funds authorized by the Congress for humanitarian assistance to the Contras, in some cases after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges, in others while traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies.”
Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy chaired by Senator John F. Kerry
For a thorough reading of Kerry’s Investigation (including PDFs), please check the excellent report from The Memory Hole: “Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy” a/k/a the Kerry Report Transcripts.
.EX-DEA / CIA / MILITARY SPEAKING UP
2. EX-DEA HEAD ADMITS CIA COCAINE TRADE
Ex-DEA agents, ex-CIA agents, pilots, and law enforcement have all come forward to talk about it.
Robert Bonner, former head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, was questioned by Mike Wallace for a 1993 “60 Minutes” report.
60 Minutes: We understand what you’re saying. A ton of cocaine was smuggled into the United States of America….in cooperation with the CIA?
Bonner: That’s exactly what appears to have happened.
3. OLIVER NORTH’S HANDWRITTEN NOTES FROM THE IRAN-CONTRA INVESTIGATION
“Honduran DC-6 which is being used for runs out of New Orleans is probably being used for drug runs into US”
– LtCol Oliver North 09Aug85
More documents can be found at The National Security Archive’s Oliver North File: diaries, email, and memos on the Kerry Report, Contras and Drugs. The National Security Archive is run by George Washington University.
4. MENA AIRPORT FIELD, ARKANSAS
There have been countless allegations that Mena airport (Arkansas) had been a hotbed of drug trafficking via military planes. This is an entire story in itself. Here is a documentary – it seems hokey at first, but it contains many first-person interviews, audio recordings, and mainstream press on the subject.
When questioned about Mena, Bill Clinton (the Governor of Arkansas at the time), claimed it was a Federal issue (i.e. “it is not my operation”).
5. RECENT EVIDENCE OF DRUG SMUGGLING
A plane used by the CIA to take “enemy combatants” to Guantanamo went down in Mexico in 2008. The plane contained 5.5 tons of cocaine. The story is still developing, with zero mainstream American press (Mexican press has been covering it though).
WHY DID IT ALL HAPPEN?
The answer lies in this Realplayer interview, one of the most damning pieces of evidence that high-level government officials knew what was going on. The government truly believed that the negatives of selling drugs to American citizens was outweighed by the positives of funding anti-communism efforts. And I’m sure, selling to mainly black communities made the negatives a little easier to deal with….and even more covert. A win-win proposition indeed.
- The Memory Hole: “Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy” a/k/a the Kerry Report Transcripts.
- National Security Archive: Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations (run by George Washington University)
- “Dark Alliance,” by Gary Webb
UPDATE: The disparate sentencing between powder cocaine and crack cocaine was reduced in the United States. 1 gram of crack cocaine was equal to 100 grams of powder cocaine according to previous sentencing guidelines. The U.S. Sentencing Commission, after a review, deemed that discrepancy too great in December of 2007.
PBS has a great review and video – except for the fact that the PBS show does not mention that black communities were specifically targeted by the CIA for their cocaine-selling operations. (Based on arguments by a former DEA agent, the CIA knowingly transported and sold the cocaine, they knew the cocaine would be turned in crack, and they knew the medical and social effects of crack.)