A black operation or black op is a covert operation by a government, a government agency, or a military organization. "Black" may be used as a generic term for any government activity that is hidden or secret. For example, some activities by military and spy agencies are funded by a classified "black budget," of which the details, and sometimes even the total, are hidden from the public and from most congressional oversight This can include activities by private companies or groups. A black operation typically involves activities that are highly clandestine and often outside of standard military/intelligence protocol or even against the law. Key features of a black operation are that it is clandestine, it has negative overtones, and it is not attributable to the organization carrying it out. The main difference between a black operation and one that is merely clandestine is that a black operation involves a significant degree of deception A single such activity may be called a "black bag operationThe following timeline describes just a few of the hundreds of atrocities and crimes committed by the CIA. (1)
CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: "We'll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us." The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination. These efforts culminate in a military coup, which installs a right-wing dictator. The CIA trains the dictator’s security apparatus to crack down on the traditional enemies of big business, using interrogation, torture and murder. The victims are said to be "communists," but almost always they are just peasants, liberals, moderates, labor union leaders, political opponents and advocates of free speech and democracy. Widespread human rights abuses follow.
This scenario has been repeated so many times that the CIA actually teaches it in a special school, the notorious "School of the Americas." (It opened in Panama but later moved to Fort Benning, Georgia.) Critics have nicknamed it the "School of the Dictators" and "School of the Assassins." Here, the CIA trains Latin American military officers how to conduct coups, including the use of interrogation, torture and murder.
The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (2) Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an "American Holocaust."
The CIA justifies these actions as part of its war against communism. But most coups do not involve a communist threat. Unlucky nations are targeted for a wide variety of reasons: not only threats to American business interests abroad, but also liberal or even moderate social reforms, political instability, the unwillingness of a leader to carry out Washington’s dictates, and declarations of neutrality in the Cold War. Indeed, nothing has infuriated CIA Directors quite like a nation’s desire to stay out of the Cold War.
The ironic thing about all this intervention is that it frequently fails to achieve American objectives. Often the newly installed dictator grows comfortable with the security apparatus the CIA has built for him. He becomes an expert at running a police state. And because the dictator knows he cannot be overthrown, he becomes independent and defiant of Washington's will. The CIA then finds it cannot overthrow him, because the police and military are under the dictator's control, afraid to cooperate with American spies for fear of torture and execution. The only two options for the U.S at this point are impotence or war. Examples of this "boomerang effect" include the Shah of Iran, General Noriega and Saddam Hussein. The boomerang effect also explains why the CIA has proven highly successful at overthrowing democracies, but a wretched failure at overthrowing dictatorships.
The following timeline should confirm that the CIA as we know it should be abolished and replaced by a true information-gathering and analysis organization. The CIA cannot be reformed — it is institutionally and culturally corrupt.
A front organization is any entity set up by and controlled by another organization, such as intelligence agencies, organized crime groups, banned organizations, religious or political groups, advocacy groups, or corporations. Front organizations can act for the parent group without the actions being attributed to the parent group.
Front organizations that appear to be independent voluntary associations or charitable organizations are called front groups. In the business world, front organizations such as front companies or shell corporations are used to shield the parent company from legal liability. In international relations, a puppet state is a state which acts as a front (or surrogate) for another state.
The culture we lost — Secretary of State Henry Stimson refuses to endorse a code-breaking operation, saying, "Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail."
COI created — In preparation for World War II, President Roosevelt creates the Office of Coordinator of Information (COI). General William "Wild Bill" Donovan heads the new intelligence service.
OSS created — Roosevelt restructures COI into something more suitable for covert action, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Donovan recruits so many of the nation’s rich and powerful that eventually people joke that "OSS" stands for "Oh, so social!" or "Oh, such snobs!"
Italy — Donovan recruits the Catholic Church in Rome to be the center of Anglo-American spy operations in Fascist Italy. This would prove to be one of America’s most enduring intelligence alliances in the Cold War.
OSS is abolished — The remaining American information agencies cease covert actions and return to harmless information gathering and analysis.
Operation PAPERCLIP – While other American agencies are hunting down Nazi war criminals for arrest, the U.S. intelligence community is smuggling them into America, unpunished, for their use against the Soviets. The most important of these is Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s master spy who had built up an intelligence network in the Soviet Union. With full U.S. blessing, he creates the "Gehlen Organization," a band of refugee Nazi spies who reactivate their networks in Russia. These include SS intelligence officers Alfred Six and Emil Augsburg (who massacred Jews in the Holocaust), Klaus Barbie (the "Butcher of Lyon"), Otto von Bolschwing (the Holocaust mastermind who worked with Eichmann) and SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny (a personal friend of Hitler’s). The Gehlen Organization supplies the U.S. with its only intelligence on the Soviet Union for the next ten years, serving as a bridge between the abolishment of the OSS and the creation of the CIA. However, much of the "intelligence" the former Nazis provide is bogus. Gehlen inflates Soviet military capabilities at a time when Russia is still rebuilding its devastated society, in order to inflate his own importance to the Americans (who might otherwise punish him). In 1948, Gehlen almost convinces the Americans that war is imminent, and the West should make a preemptive strike. In the 50s he produces a fictitious "missile gap." To make matters worse, the Russians have thoroughly penetrated the Gehlen Organization with double agents, undermining the very American security that Gehlen was supposed to protect.
Greece — President Truman requests military aid to Greece to support right-wing forces fighting communist rebels. For the rest of the Cold War, Washington and the CIA will back notorious Greek leaders with deplorable human rights records.
CIA created — President Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947, creating the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council. The CIA is accountable to the president through the NSC — there is no democratic or congressional oversight. Its charter allows the CIA to "perform such other functions and duties… as the National Security Council may from time to time direct." This loophole opens the door to covert action and dirty tricks.
Covert-action wing created — The CIA recreates a covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination, led by Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. According to its secret charter, its responsibilities include "propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, antisabotage, demolition and evacuation procedures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world."
Italy — The CIA corrupts democratic elections in Italy, where Italian communists threaten to win the elections. The CIA buys votes, broadcasts propaganda, threatens and beats up opposition leaders, and infiltrates and disrupts their organizations. It works -- the communists are defeated.
Radio Free Europe — The CIA creates its first major propaganda outlet, Radio Free Europe. Over the next several decades, its broadcasts are so blatantly false that for a time it is considered illegal to publish transcripts of them in the U.S.
Operation MOCKINGBIRD — The CIA begins recruiting American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda. The effort is headed by Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham is publisher of The Washington Post, which becomes a major CIA player. Eventually, the CIA’s media assets will include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service and more. By the CIA’s own admission, at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists will become CIA assets.
Iran – CIA overthrows the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil. The CIA replaces him with a dictator, the Shah of Iran, whose secret police, SAVAK, is as brutal as the Gestapo.
Operation MK-ULTRA — Inspired by North Korea’s brainwashing program, the CIA begins experiments on mind control. The most notorious part of this project involves giving LSD and other drugs to American subjects without their knowledge or against their will, causing several to commit suicide. However, the operation involves far more than this. Funded in part by the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, research includes propaganda, brainwashing, public relations, advertising, hypnosis, and other forms of suggestion.
Guatemala — CIA overthrows the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup. Arbenz has threatened to nationalize the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company, in which CIA Director Allen Dulles also owns stock. Arbenz is replaced with a series of right-wing dictators whose bloodthirsty policies will kill over 100,000 Guatemalans in the next 40 years.
North Vietnam — CIA officer Edward Lansdale spends four years trying to overthrow the communist government of North Vietnam, using all the usual dirty tricks. The CIA also attempts to legitimize a tyrannical puppet regime in South Vietnam, headed by Ngo Dinh Diem. These efforts fail to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese because the Diem government is opposed to true democracy, land reform and poverty reduction measures. The CIA’s continuing failure results in escalating American intervention, culminating in the Vietnam War.
Hungary — Radio Free Europe incites Hungary to revolt by broadcasting Khruschev’s Secret Speech, in which he denounced Stalin. It also hints that American aid will help the Hungarians fight. This aid fails to materialize as Hungarians launch a doomed armed revolt, which only invites a major Soviet invasion. The conflict kills 7,000 Soviets and 30,000 Hungarians.
Laos — The CIA carries out approximately one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections. The problem is the Pathet Lao, a leftist group with enough popular support to be a member of any coalition government. In the late 50s, the CIA even creates an "Armee Clandestine" of Asian mercenaries to attack the Pathet Lao. After the CIA’s army suffers numerous defeats, the U.S. starts bombing, dropping more bombs on Laos than all the U.S. bombs dropped in World War II. A quarter of all Laotians will eventually become refugees, many living in caves.
Haiti — The U.S. military helps "Papa Doc" Duvalier become dictator of Haiti. He creates his own private police force, the "Tonton Macoutes," who terrorize the population with machetes. They will kill over 100,000 during the Duvalier family reign. The U.S. does not protest their dismal human rights record.
The Bay of Pigs — The CIA sends 1,500 Cuban exiles to invade Castro’s Cuba. But "Operation Mongoose" fails, due to poor planning, security and backing. The planners had imagined that the invasion will spark a popular uprising against Castro -– which never happens. A promised American air strike also never occurs. This is the CIA’s first public setback, causing President Kennedy to fire CIA Director Allen Dulles.
Dominican Republic — The CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo, a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930. Trujillo’s business interests have grown so large (about 60 percent of the economy) that they have begun competing with American business interests.
Ecuador — The CIA-backed military forces the democratically elected President Jose Velasco to resign. Vice President Carlos Arosemana replaces him; the CIA fills the now vacant vice presidency with its own man.
Congo (Zaire) — The CIA assassinates the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba. However, public support for Lumumba’s politics runs so high that the CIA cannot clearly install his opponents in power. Four years of political turmoil follow.
Dominican Republic — The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Juan Bosch in a military coup. The CIA installs a repressive, right-wing junta.
Ecuador — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows President Arosemana, whose independent (not socialist) policies have become unacceptable to Washington. A military junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing human rights.
Brazil — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart. The junta that replaces it will, in the next two decades, become one of the most bloodthirsty in history. General Castelo Branco will create Latin America’s first death squads, or bands of secret police who hunt down "communists" for torture, interrogation and murder. Often these "communists" are no more than Branco’s political opponents. Later it is revealed that the CIA trains the death squads.
Indonesia — The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Sukarno with a military coup. The CIA has been trying to eliminate Sukarno since 1957, using everything from attempted assassination to sexual intrigue, for nothing more than his declaring neutrality in the Cold War. His successor, General Suharto, will massacre between 500,000 to 1 million civilians accused of being "communist." The CIA supplies the names of countless suspects.
Dominican Republic — A popular rebellion breaks out, promising to reinstall Juan Bosch as the country’s elected leader. The revolution is crushed when U.S. Marines land to uphold the military regime by force. The CIA directs everything behind the scenes.
Greece — With the CIA’s backing, the king removes George Papandreous as prime minister. Papandreous has failed to vigorously support U.S. interests in Greece.
Congo (Zaire) — A CIA-backed military coup installs Mobutu Sese Seko as dictator. The hated and repressive Mobutu exploits his desperately poor country for billions.
The Ramparts Affair — The radical magazine Ramparts begins a series of unprecedented anti-CIA articles. Among their scoops: the CIA has paid the University of Michigan $25 million dollars to hire "professors" to train South Vietnamese students in covert police methods. MIT and other universities have received similar payments. Ramparts also reveals that the National Students’ Association is a CIA front. Students are sometimes recruited through blackmail and bribery, including draft deferments.
Greece — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the government two days before the elections. The favorite to win was George Papandreous, the liberal candidate. During the next six years, the "reign of the colonels" — backed by the CIA — will usher in the widespread use of torture and murder against political opponents.
Operation PHEONIX — The CIA helps South Vietnamese agents identify and then murder alleged Viet Cong leaders operating in South Vietnamese villages. According to a 1971 congressional report, this operation killed about 20,000 "Viet Cong."
Operation CHAOS — The CIA has been illegally spying on American citizens since 1959, but with Operation CHAOS, President Johnson dramatically boosts the effort. CIA agents go undercover as student radicals to spy on and disrupt campus organizations protesting the Vietnam War. They are searching for Russian instigators, which they never find. CHAOS will eventually spy on 7,000 individuals and 1,000 organizations.
Bolivia — A CIA-organized military operation captures legendary guerilla Che Guevara. The CIA wants to keep him alive for interrogation, but the Bolivian government executes him to prevent worldwide calls for clemency.
Uruguay — The notorious CIA torturer Dan Mitrione arrives in Uruguay, a country torn with political strife. Whereas right-wing forces previously used torture only as a last resort, Mitrione convinces them to use it as a routine, widespread practice. "The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect," is his motto. The torture techniques he teaches to the death squads rival the Nazis’. He eventually becomes so feared that revolutionaries will kidnap and murder him a year later.
Cambodia — The CIA overthrows Prince Sahounek, who is highly popular among Cambodians for keeping them out of the Vietnam War. He is replaced by CIA puppet Lon Nol, who immediately throws Cambodian troops into battle. This unpopular move strengthens once minor opposition parties like the Khmer Rouge, which achieves power in 1975 and massacres millions of its own people.
Bolivia — After half a decade of CIA-inspired political turmoil, a CIA-backed military coup overthrows the leftist President Juan Torres. In the next two years, dictator Hugo Banzer will have over 2,000 political opponents arrested without trial, then tortured, raped and executed.
Haiti — "Papa Doc" Duvalier dies, leaving his 19-year old son "Baby Doc" Duvalier the dictator of Haiti. His son continues his bloody reign with full knowledge of the CIA.
The Case-Zablocki Act — Congress passes an act requiring congressional review of executive agreements. In theory, this should make CIA operations more accountable. In fact, it is only marginally effective.
Cambodia — Congress votes to cut off CIA funds for its secret war in Cambodia.
Wagergate Break-in — President Nixon sends in a team of burglars to wiretap Democratic offices at Watergate. The team members have extensive CIA histories, including James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and five of the Cuban burglars. They work for the Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP), which does dirty work like disrupting Democratic campaigns and laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions. CREEP’s activities are funded and organized by another CIA front, the Mullen Company.
Chile — The CIA overthrows and assassinates Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist leader. The problems begin when Allende nationalizes American-owned firms in Chile. ITT offers the CIA $1 million for a coup (reportedly refused). The CIA replaces Allende with General Augusto Pinochet, who will torture and murder thousands of his own countrymen in a crackdown on labor leaders and the political left.
CIA begins internal investigations — William Colby, the Deputy Director for Operations, orders all CIA personnel to report any and all illegal activities they know about. This information is later reported to Congress.
Watergate Scandal — The CIA’s main collaborating newspaper in America, The Washington Post, reports Nixon’s crimes long before any other newspaper takes up the subject. The two reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, make almost no mention of the CIA’s many fingerprints all over the scandal. It is later revealed that Woodward was a Naval intelligence briefer to the White House, and knows many important intelligence figures, including General Alexander Haig. His main source, "Deep Throat," is probably one of those.
CIA Director Helms Fired — President Nixon fires CIA Director Richard Helms for failing to help cover up the Watergate scandal. Helms and Nixon have always disliked each other. The new CIA director is William Colby, who is relatively more open to CIA reform.
CHAOS exposed — Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh publishes a story about Operation CHAOS, the domestic surveillance and infiltration of anti-war and civil rights groups in the U.S. The story sparks national outrage.
Angleton fired — Congress holds hearings on the illegal domestic spying efforts of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence. His efforts included mail-opening campaigns and secret surveillance of war protesters. The hearings result in his dismissal from the CIA.
House clears CIA in Watergate — The House of Representatives clears the CIA of any complicity in Nixon’s Watergate break-in.
The Hughes Ryan Act — Congress passes an amendment requiring the president to report nonintelligence CIA operations to the relevant congressional committees in a timely fashion.
Australia — The CIA helps topple the democratically elected, left-leaning government of Prime Minister Edward Whitlam. The CIA does this by giving an ultimatum to its Governor-General, John Kerr. Kerr, a longtime CIA collaborator, exercises his constitutional right to dissolve the Whitlam government. The Governor-General is a largely ceremonial position appointed by the Queen; the Prime Minister is democratically elected. The use of this archaic and never-used law stuns the nation.
Angola — Eager to demonstrate American military resolve after its defeat in Vietnam, Henry Kissinger launches a CIA-backed war in Angola. Contrary to Kissinger’s assertions, Angola is a country of little strategic importance and not seriously threatened by communism. The CIA backs the brutal leader of UNITAS, Jonas Savimbi. This polarizes Angolan politics and drives his opponents into the arms of Cuba and the Soviet Union for survival. Congress will cut off funds in 1976, but the CIA is able to run the war off the books until 1984, when funding is legalized again. This entirely pointless war kills over 300,000 Angolans.
"The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence" — Victor Marchetti and John Marks publish this whistle-blowing history of CIA crimes and abuses. Marchetti has spent 14 years in the CIA, eventually becoming an executive assistant to the Deputy Director of Intelligence. Marks has spent five years as an intelligence official in the State Department.
"Inside the Company" — Philip Agee publishes a diary of his life inside the CIA. Agee has worked in covert operations in Latin America during the 60s, and details the crimes in which he took part.
Congress investigates CIA wrong-doing — Public outrage compels Congress to hold hearings on CIA crimes. Senator Frank Church heads the Senate investigation ("The Church Committee"), and Representative Otis Pike heads the House investigation. (Despite a 98 percent incumbency reelection rate, both Church and Pike are defeated in the next elections.) The investigations lead to a number of reforms intended to increase the CIA’s accountability to Congress, including the creation of a standing Senate committee on intelligence. However, the reforms prove ineffective, as the Iran/Contra scandal will show. It turns out the CIA can control, deal with or sidestep Congress with ease.
The Rockefeller Commission — In an attempt to reduce the damage done by the Church Committee, President Ford creates the "Rockefeller Commission" to whitewash CIA history and propose toothless reforms. The commission’s namesake, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, is himself a major CIA figure. Five of the commission’s eight members are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations, a CIA-dominated organization.
Iran — The CIA fails to predict the fall of the Shah of Iran, a longtime CIA puppet, and the rise of Muslim fundamentalists who are furious at the CIA’s backing of SAVAK, the Shah’s bloodthirsty secret police. In revenge, the Muslims take 52 Americans hostage in the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
Afghanistan — The Soviets invade Afghanistan. The CIA immediately begins supplying arms to any faction willing to fight the occupying Soviets. Such indiscriminate arming means that when the Soviets leave Afghanistan, civil war will erupt. Also, fanatical Muslim extremists now possess state-of-the-art weaponry. One of these is Sheik Abdel Rahman, who will become involved in the World Trade Center bombing in New York.
El Salvador — An idealistic group of young military officers, repulsed by the massacre of the poor, overthrows the right-wing government. However, the U.S. compels the inexperienced officers to include many of the old guard in key positions in their new government. Soon, things are back to "normal" — the military government is repressing and killing poor civilian protesters. Many of the young military and civilian reformers, finding themselves powerless, resign in disgust.
Nicaragua — Anastasios Samoza II, the CIA-backed dictator, falls. The Marxist Sandinistas take over government, and they are initially popular because of their commitment to land and anti-poverty reform. Samoza had a murderous and hated personal army called the National Guard. Remnants of the Guard will become the Contras, who fight a CIA-backed guerilla war against the Sandinista government throughout the 1980s.
El Salvador — The Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, pleads with President Carter "Christian to Christian" to stop aiding the military government slaughtering his people. Carter refuses. Shortly afterwards, right-wing leader Roberto D’Aubuisson has Romero shot through the heart while saying Mass. The country soon dissolves into civil war, with the peasants in the hills fighting against the military government. The CIA and U.S. Armed Forces supply the government with overwhelming military and intelligence superiority. CIA-trained death squads roam the countryside, committing atrocities like that of El Mazote in 1982, where they massacre between 700 and 1000 men, women and children. By 1992, some 63,000 Salvadorans will be killed.
Iran/Contra Begins — The CIA begins selling arms to Iran at high prices, using the profits to arm the Contras fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. President Reagan vows that the Sandinistas will be "pressured" until "they say ‘uncle.’" The CIA’s Freedom Fighter’s Manual disbursed to the Contras includes instruction on economic sabotage, propaganda, extortion, bribery, blackmail, interrogation, torture, murder and political assassination.
Honduras — The CIA gives Honduran military officers the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual – 1983, which teaches how to torture people. Honduras’ notorious "Battalion 316" then uses these techniques, with the CIA’s full knowledge, on thousands of leftist dissidents. At least 184 are murdered.
The Boland Amendment — The last of a series of Boland Amendments is passed. These amendments have reduced CIA aid to the Contras; the last one cuts it off completely. However, CIA Director William Casey is already prepared to "hand off" the operation to Colonel Oliver North, who illegally continues supplying the Contras through the CIA’s informal, secret, and self-financing network. This includes "humanitarian aid" donated by Adolph Coors and William Simon, and military aid funded by Iranian arms sales.
Eugene Hasenfus — Nicaragua shoots down a C-123 transport plane carrying military supplies to the Contras. The lone survivor, Eugene Hasenfus, turns out to be a CIA employee, as are the two dead pilots. The airplane belongs to Southern Air Transport, a CIA front. The incident makes a mockery of President Reagan’s claims that the CIA is not illegally arming the Contras.
Iran/Contra Scandal — Although the details have long been known, the Iran/Contra scandal finally captures the media’s attention in 1986. Congress holds hearings, and several key figures (like Oliver North) lie under oath to protect the intelligence community. CIA Director William Casey dies of brain cancer before Congress can question him. All reforms enacted by Congress after the scandal are purely cosmetic.
Haiti — Rising popular revolt in Haiti means that "Baby Doc" Duvalier will remain "President for Life" only if he has a short one. The U.S., which hates instability in a puppet country, flies the despotic Duvalier to the South of France for a comfortable retirement. The CIA then rigs the upcoming elections in favor of another right-wing military strongman. However, violence keeps the country in political turmoil for another four years. The CIA tries to strengthen the military by creating the National Intelligence Service (SIN), which suppresses popular revolt through torture and assassination.
Panama — The U.S. invades Panama to overthrow a dictator of its own making, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the CIA’s payroll since 1966, and has been transporting drugs with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972. By the late 80s, Noriega’s growing independence and intransigence have angered Washington… so out he goes.
Haiti — Competing against 10 comparatively wealthy candidates, leftist priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide captures 68 percent of the vote. After only eight months in power, however, the CIA-backed military deposes him. More military dictators brutalize the country, as thousands of Haitian refugees escape the turmoil in barely seaworthy boats. As popular opinion calls for Aristide’s return, the CIA begins a disinformation campaign painting the courageous priest as mentally unstable.
The Gulf War — The U.S. liberates Kuwait from Iraq. But Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, is another creature of the CIA. With U.S. encouragement, Hussein invaded Iran in 1980. During this costly eight-year war, the CIA built up Hussein’s forces with sophisticated arms, intelligence, training and financial backing. This cemented Hussein’s power at home, allowing him to crush the many internal rebellions that erupted from time to time, sometimes with poison gas. It also gave him all the military might he needed to conduct further adventurism — in Kuwait, for example.
The Fall of the Soviet Union — The CIA fails to predict this most important event of the Cold War. This suggests that it has been so busy undermining governments that it hasn’t been doing its primary job: gathering and analyzing information. The fall of the Soviet Union also robs the CIA of its reason for existence: fighting communism. This leads some to accuse the CIA of intentionally failing to predict the downfall of the Soviet Union. Curiously, the intelligence community’s budget is not significantly reduced after the demise of communism.
Economic Espionage — In the years following the end of the Cold War, the CIA is increasingly used for economic espionage. This involves stealing the technological secrets of competing foreign companies and giving them to American ones. Given the CIA’s clear preference for dirty tricks over mere information gathering, the possibility of serious criminal behavior is very great indeed.
Haiti — The chaos in Haiti grows so bad that President Clinton has no choice but to remove the Haitian military dictator, Raoul Cedras, on threat of U.S. invasion. The U.S. occupiers do not arrest Haiti’s military leaders for crimes against humanity, but instead ensure their safety and rich retirements. Aristide is returned to power only after being forced to accept an agenda favorable to the country’s ruling class.
In a speech be fore the CIA celebrating its 50th anniversary, President Clinton said: "By necessity, the American people will never know the full story of your courage."
Clinton’s is a common defense of the CIA: namely, the American people should stop criticizing the CIA because they don’t know what it really does. This, of course, is the heart of the problem in the first place. An agency that is above criticism is also above moral behavior and reform. Its secrecy and lack of accountability allows its corruption to grow unchecked.
Furthermore, Clinton’s statement is simply untrue. The history of the agency is growing painfully clear, especially with the declassification of historical CIA documents. We may not know the details of specific operations, but we do know, quite well, the general behavior of the CIA. These facts began emerging nearly two decades ago at an ever-quickening pace. Today we have a remarkably accurate and consistent picture, repeated in country after country, and verified from countless different directions.
The CIA’s response to this growing knowledge and criticism follows a typical historical pattern. (Indeed, there are remarkable parallels to the Medieval Church’s fight against the Scientific Revolution.) The first journalists and writers to reveal the CIA’s criminal behavior were harassed and censored if they were American writers, and tortured and murdered if they were foreigners. (See Philip Agee’s On the Run for an example of early harassment.) However, over the last two decades the tide of evidence has become overwhelming, and the CIA has found that it does not have enough fingers to plug every hole in the dike. This is especially true in the age of the Internet, where information flows freely among millions of people. Since censorship is impossible, the Agency must now defend itself with apologetics. Clinton’s "Americans will never know" defense is a prime example.
Another common apologetic is that "the world is filled with unsavory characters, and we must deal with them if we are to protect American interests at all." There are two things wrong with this. First, it ignores the fact that the CIA has regularly spurned alliances with defenders of democracy, free speech and human rights, preferring the company of military dictators and tyrants. The CIA had moral options available to them, but did not take them.
Second, this argument begs several questions. The first is: "Which American interests?" The CIA has courted right-wing dictators because they allow wealthy Americans to exploit the country’s cheap labor and resources. But poor and middle-class Americans pay the price whenever they fight the wars that stem from CIA actions, from Vietnam to the Gulf War to Panama. The second begged question is: "Why should American interests come at the expense of other peoples’ human rights?"
The CIA should be abolished, its leadership dismissed and its relevant members tried for crimes against humanity. Our intelligence community should be rebuilt from the ground up, with the goal of collecting and analyzing information. As for covert action, there are two moral options. The first one is to eliminate covert action completely. But this gives jitters to people worried about the Adolf Hitlers of the world. So a second option is that we can place covert action under extensive and true democratic oversight. For example, a bipartisan Congressional Committee of 40 members could review and veto all aspects of CIA operations upon a majority or super-majority vote. Which of these two options is best may be the subject of debate, but one thing is clear: like dictatorship, like monarchy, unaccountable covert operations should die like the dinosaurs they are. CIA DRUG TRAFFICKING
By David Guyatt
In April 1998, Celerino Castillo, a former top-level Drug Enforcement Agency operative, provided sensitive, first-hand testimony to the US Senate House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He told the Senators of his direct personal knowledge of massive CIA complicity in the drug trade.
Castillo, one of the top DEA agents operating in Southern and Central America from 1984 to 1990, would later become the DEA's "Lead Agent" in war-torn El Salvador. Here, he came into daily contact with dozens of CIA "contract" employees and "assets" engaged in smuggling drugs from Columbia to the United States. Compiling a large dossier of evidence of these illegal activities, Castillo was frustrated by his bosses in Washington who refused to act. Castillo eventually decided he could not keep his silence on such a serious matter. His explosive book, Powerburns, is exclusively available from Mike Ruppert's website, www.copvcia.com
The CIA's involvement in the drug trade was to generate funds to pay for the Nicaraguan based Contras charged with toppling the leftist government of El Salvador. This followed Congress' refusal in 1982 to support the CIA backed Contra forces. Known as the "Boland amendment," after Senator Edward Boland - Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee - this piece of legislation pulled the plug on US financing for the war. The move forced CIA Director, Bill Casey, to find other shady means of finance. Responsibility for this was turned over to Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council. The international network of free-wheeling money-hungry CIA operatives employed by Col. North would later be dubbed the "Enterprise."
North's drug trafficking activities remained mostly unreported for years, until a series of explosive articles were published in the San Jose Mercury News during August 1996. The newspaper, well regarded for its high standard of journalism, ran a three-day explosive series called The Dark Alliance. This alleged the explosion of crack cocaine use in Los Angeles during the 1980's, was caused by Nicaraguan drug barons closely connected to the Contra forces. More important was the implication that the CIA knowingly protected these individuals. The series, written by ace-reporter, Gary Webb, following a yearlong intensive investigation, caused shock-waves throughout the nation.
Denying the charges, the CIA set its own bevy of tame reporters against Webb and his newspaper. Inside a year, Webb's shaken editor retracted the story and threw the reporter to the wolves, saying he had all along been worried by Webb's lack of "corroboration." Conjuring up the bad days of Soviet media manipulation, Webb was sent to a small, back-woods office of the newspaper to be forgotten. Contemptuous of his treatment he resigned and went to work for the US Congress.
Over two years later, the CIA admitted the reporter had been accurate when it was forced to disclose it had a "secret" arrangement with the US Justice Department. This agreement ensured that drug traffickers deemed to be "assets" or "contract employees" of the CIA would not be charged. The agreement had it roots in 1954, when the Justice Department agreed that the CIA, were free to decide if any illegal activities of its agents were subject to prosecution.
If the Contra drug scandal had been the only time the CIA had been deeply entangled in narcotics trafficking, the Agency might have escaped with censure, but it wasn't. Even before the CIA was founded in 1947, its predecessor, the Office of Strategic Service (OSS) already had grimy hands. This arose from a private agreement between Allen Dulles, later to become Director of the CIA, and a group of Nazi SS thugs seeking to escape war crimes trials at the end of WW11. SS General Karl Wolff held a series of secret meetings with Dulles, who was then Swiss "Station Chief" for the OSS. The two men thrashed out an agreement - against the direct, written orders of President Roosevelt. This gave the SS group freedom from prosecution in return for agreeing to secretly work for American intelligence against the Russians in the cold war.
Since it was impossible for the OSS to fund this secret network, Dulles agreed the Nazi's would finance themselves from their vast stocks of Morphine, plundered gold and a mass of counterfeit British bank-notes. These were smuggled to Austria in the last days of the war and hidden. They were later sold on the black market and the proceeds used to finance the black SS-OSS network. The subterfuge was so successful that it would later become an irresistible method of underwriting "off-the-books" CIA black operations.
By the time the Vietnam War was in full swing, the CIA and its Vietnamese underlings were busily peddling huge amounts of Heroin from the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia. Historically, the French controlled the Opium trade in this part of the world. After WW11 it was agreed that members of the underworld would manage Opium smuggling on behalf of 2eme Bureau of French Military Intelligence. This was the top secret project known as Operation X, sanctioned at the highest levels. Raw opium was cultivated by the Hmong hill tribes and then trucked to Saigon. Here it was turned over to the Binh Xuyen bandits for distribution throughout the City. At this point, members of the Corsican underworld took their share of the drugs, shipping them to Marseilles and then to America. This smuggling route later became known as the "French Connection." Captain Savani of 2eme supervised the entire arrangement.
With the embarrassing defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the French began to withdraw her forces from Indochina. This resulted in top CIA operative, Major General Edward Lansdale being sent to Saigon. A year earlier, during a fact finding mission to the region, Lansdale had learned of the existence of Operation X. There now ensued a power struggle between the remnants of 2eme, along with their Corsican gangsters and Lansdale's American team under the watchful eye of CIA director, Allen Dulles. Open battles were fought in the streets and Lansdale, more than once came close to death. However, the die had been cast. The French were "out" and the Americans were "in," and the Opium trade began to rapidly grow.
Years after the Vietnam War was over, the CIA remained the principal beneficiary of Heroin shipments from the Golden Triangle. This fact emerged during the latter part the 1980's by Colonel Bo Gritz. Possessing a truly remarkable daredevil record, Gritz is a legend in the Special Forces community. Sylvester Stallone modelled himself on Gritz in the gutsy Hollywood smash hit "First Blood."
During 1989, Gritz along with two others travelled to the wild and remote region of Shanland, located in Northern Burma. The Shan people live under the jurisdiction of warlord Khun Sa, whose 10,000 strong army run the Golden Triangle Opium business. The warlord told Gritz during a meeting that the government of America bought his entire annual Opium production totalling 900 tonnes in 1989 alone. Three years later, in 1992, production had leapt to 3,000 tonnes.
Astonished at these revelations, Gritz arranged to return for a second meeting with Khun Sa five months later. On this occasion, he videotaped the meeting with the wily warlord, who had agreed to name names. Khun Sa revealed that the US government official he dealt with was Richard Armitage, the US Assistant Secretary of Defence. Khun Sa said that Armitage, in turn, used the services of a "traffic manager," who he named on camera as Santos Trafficante - the notorious "Boss" of Florida's Mafia.
A decade earlier and thousands of miles away another strongman was laying the groundwork that would, one day, elevate him to the presidential palace. Amongst many other suspect attributes, Panama's Colonel Manuel Noriega, was on payroll and acknowledged as an "asset," of the CIA. In 1975, he was closely involved in Operation Watch-Tower, a CIA run series of missions. Watch-Tower was pure "black ops," dedicated to shipping massive quantities of Cocaine from Bogata, Columbia, to Panama and onward to the United States for distribution. Directed by the CIA's ace field agents, Edwin Wilson and Frank Terpil, the operation was also supported by Israel's secretive foreign intelligence service, Mossad.
Two Watch-Tower missions were commanded by Colonel Edward P. Cutolo, the commanding officer of 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. In February and March 1976, Cutolo and his men secretly entered Columbia where they placed a series of three electronic aircraft beacons. These were designed to enable CIA piloted aircraft to safely navigate from Bogata, to Panama. Over a total of 51 days, 70 "high performance aircraft" flew along this route. All were crammed full of cocaine. Safely landing at Panama's Albrook Air Station, the aircraft discharged their loads into the care of then Colonel Manuel Noriega, the CIA's Edwin Wilson and Israeli Mossad operative, Michael Harari.
Wilson later told Colonel Cutolo that Watch-Tower had to remain secret as otherwise it would "undermine present government interests." He added, "there are similar operations being implemented elsewhere in the world" including the "Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia and Pakistan." The profits from the sale of narcotics, Wilson continued to explain "was laundered through a series of banks" in Panama, Switzerland and the United States. From there the funds usually found their way to those military forces fighting communism.
Cutolo later grew suspicious and began to investigate the background of these missions. Fearing for his life, he prepared and signed an affidavit intimately detailing the various missions he commanded. Cutolo was later murdered. Four other Special Forces senior officers, close friends of Cutolo, believed he had been killed because he was getting too close to those high-level government officials who authorised the Watch-Tower missions. Cutolo had been told that the CIA's Bill Casey and Robert Gates, as well as Vice President George Bush were implicated in these matters. All four officers commenced their own investigation. One by one they all died under mysterious circumstances.
Despite the end of the cold war and the global collapse of communism, the drug trade continues to grow and develop. This casts considerable doubt on the rationale that the CIA got its hands dirty in order to fight the peril of communist. In his book The Third Option, former CIA black operative Ted Shackley - one of those also "fingered" by the Golden Triangle warlord, Khun Sa, for his role in the narcotics business - argues that "low intensity" conflict will continue throughout the world for the foreseeable future. This, Shackley maintains, is because the military-industrial complex has a blueprint for survival that depends on warfare. Narcotics, it seems, is part of this equation.
Prof. Alfred W. McCoy
The standard textbook on the global narcotics traffic is Prof. Alfred McCoy's The Politics of Heroin - CIA Complicity in the Global Drugs Trade. As an undergraduate at Yale University, McCoy set off in 1971, to Southeast Asia to investigate the global heroin trade. He interviewed Hmong hill tribesmen in Laos, through to General Maurice Belleux, former Head of French Military Intelligence in Indochina, and numerous other intelligence operatives, too. McCoy gathered irrefutable evidence that implicated the CIA in the narcotics trade. He now speculates that the CIA and the American ruling class that control them, had no qualms about hooking untold numbers of American citizens on Heroin. The addict population, mostly black, Hispanic and the poorer classes, daily "strung-out" on drugs meant they weren't involved in domestic US politics, or worse, rioting against the status quo.
Laundering drug money
The huge volume of cash generated by the drugs trade amounts to well over one trillion dollars a year. Inevitably, this finds its way into the global banking system. As often as not, both major and minor banks are keen to accommodate this business because of the generous commissions they can earn. The most notorious of all was the London based Bank for Credit & Commerce International, which had exceptionally close links to the CIA. During the 1980's, together with numerous respectable banks, the BCCI targeted Panama - a centre for laundering cocaine profits. BCCI's Vice President, Alaudin Shaik told the Panama branch manager, Daniel Gonzalez "The Panama operation should do all it can to increase deposits." This, Shaik, added, "would mean bringing in cash deposits from drugs."
Col North and Iran-Contra drugs
The lead man in the covert Contra affair was former Marine Colonel, Oliver North. Testimony provided to the US Senate showed North knew drug money was a major factor in the supply of weapons to the Contra forces. Although most of his papers and diaries were shredded, North's notebook remained intact. Investigators found a number of entries of interest. One states "14M to finance came from drugs." This refers to $14 million earmarked for financing weapons for the Contra's. In another entry, North refers to a DC9 aircraft being used for weapons "runs" that is also "probably being used for drug runs into the US."
Pan Am 103 a drugs pipeline?
The downing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, had numerous drug connections, according to many investigators. The Pan Am flights out of Frankfurt were a regular pipeline for carrying drugs into America, using Samsonite suitcases. The DEA has typified these as "sting" operations. Others are not so sure. This writer has learned from a confidential but informed source that a number of Samsonite suitcases were purchased from a shop in Wilmslow. These were marked with discrete symbols assisting identification at a distance by baggage handlers at British, American and European airports. The suitcases, bought by a senior member of a major London based criminal gang, were to carry drugs. The gang had high level protection from British and American intelligence as well as certain senior police officers, it is alleged. Although a prolonged investigation into these matters was undertaken by British authorities, it was later covered-up.
BACKGROUND TO US INVOLVEMENT IN DOPE TRAFFICKING
The history of how the US became involved in narcotics trafficking dates back more than a 150 years. Prominent families of great wealth – often members of secret societies such as Yale’s “secretive Order of the Skull and Bones - pounced on the Opium trade to generate wealth and influence. One of the founder families of the Skull and Bones were the Russells. To this day, the Russell Trust is the legal entity of the Order of the Skull and Bones.
In 1823, Samuel Russell established “Russell and Company. He acquired his Opium supplies in Turkey and smuggled it to China aboard fast Clippers. By 1830, Russell bought-out the Perkins Opium syndicate of Boston and established the main Opium smuggling enterprise to Connecticut. His man in Canton, was Warren Delano Jr., grandfather of Franklin Roosevelt who was US President during the WW11 years. Other Russell partners included the Coolidge, Perkins, Sturgis, Forbes and Low families.
By 1832, Samuel Russell’s cousin, William Huntington, formed the first US chapter of the Order of the Skull and Bones. He attracted membership to the Order from the most powerful and influential American families. These membership roster read like a Who’s Who of America: Lord, Whitney, Taft, Jay, Bundy, Harriman, Weyerhauser, Pinchot, Rockerfeller, Goodyear, Sloane, Simpson, Phelps, Pillsbury, Perkins, Kellogg, Vanderbilt, Bush, and Lovett – to name some of the more prominent. Significantly, Skull and Bonesmen have always had a very close and enduring association with the US intelligence community. Former US President and Bonesman, George Bush, was a one time Director of Central Intelligence. Interestingly, the by-product of Opium, Heroin, was a trade name of the Bayer Company – still a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry – that launched its highly addictive product in 1898.
The intelligence connection unsurprisingly dates back to Yale College, where four Yale graduates formed part of the “Culper Ring” – one of the first US intelligence operations established in great secrecy by George Washington to gather vital intelligence on the British throughout the War of Independence. By 1903, Yale’s Divinty School had established a number of schools and hospitals throughout China. Mao Zedong was a member of the staff. By the 1930’s such was the clout of Yale’s Chinese connection that US intelligence called on “Yale in China” to assist them in intelligence operations.Historically, Heroin and Cocaine were legally available to purchase but were outlawed by the League of Nations – the forerunner to the United Nations – and the USA in the 1920’s. Following prohibition consumption of these drugs began to spiral. Even so, the wars years 1939-46 saw addiction virtually eradicated in Europe and North America – a happy state of affairs that would not last long.
THEN ALONG CAME THE VIETNAM WAR
Indochina, historically under French control was captured by the Japanese during WW11. At the conclusion of the war, France regained control over Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. But independence movements had begun fighting to evict the French. This ultimately resulted in the Vietnmin orchestrated battle of Dien Bien Phu which resulted in French defeat and eventual withdrawal from Indochina. They were to be immediately replaced the United States.
In the interim, the French had developed a wide-ranging intelligence apparatus throughout the region. This was financed by Opium. Maurice Belleux, former head of SDECE, the French equivalent of the CIA, confirmed this during a remarkably frank interview with historian, Prof Alfred McCoy. Belleux told McCoy that “French military intelligence had all their covert operations from the control of the Indochina drug trade.” This covered the French Colonial war from 1946 through to 1954.
Bellereux revealed how this worked. French paratroopers fighting with hill tribes scattered throughout the region, collected raw Opium and transported it aboard French military aircraft to Saigon. Here, it was handed over to the Sino-vietnamese Mafia for distribution. Also heavily engaged in the Opium traffic were Corsican crime syndicates that shipped the Opium to Marseilles for refining into Heroin. From here it was distributed to Europe and the United States – becoming known as “The French Connection.” It was a case of the underworld working hand in glove with French government – both of whom benefited financially from the joint arrangement. The shared profits were channelled through Central bank accounts under French Military intelligence control. The SDECE master-spy closed his interview by stating that he believed the CIA “had taken over all French assets and were pursuing something of the same policy.”
The words ‘Vietnam war’ are something of a misnomer. More correctly, the US involvement in the entire region should be called the Southeast Asia war. While the fighting in Vietnam reached the media on a daily basis, the secret war in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand remained secret and continued right through the nineteen eighties. This was the CIA’s own hot little war, fought with the assistance of local tribesmen and “off the books,” American soldiers and airmen, who once captured were abandoned by a chillingly ungrateful and cynical secret government.
The American military strategy in Vietnam was unique. Although American military superiority gave them the ability to win the war in approximately one year, they were expressly forbidden from doing so by US foreign policy makers. This doctrine was spelled out in National Security Council Memorandum 68 – which was the template for the “cold war.” This was the same policy that forbade Allied victory in Korea, as explained by Colonel Phillip Corso, former Head of Special Projects Branch/Intelligence Division/Far East Command, in testimony to Congress in 1996. Upon returning from Korea, Corso was assigned to the Operations Coordinating Board of the White House National Security Council, and discovered the “No Win” policy. He was appalled by it.
But if winning militarily was not a US objective, securing control of the regions Opium production most certainly was. Little time passed before the CIA had a stranglehold on the Opium trade. This resulted in a massive increase in Opium production followed by a surge in Heroin addiction in North America and Western Europe. Paralleling this was a enormous growth in Heroin addicts amongst US combat troops in Vietnam. Fully one third of all combat forces were hooked on “China White” – courtesy of the men from Spooksville, Virginia.
Drug dealing was rampant amongst South Vietnamese military commanders. One of the principal figures was General Dang Van Quang – the Military and Security Assistant to President Nguyen Van Thieu. Quang developed a network of dope trafficking via Vietnamese Special Forces operating in Laos.
Laos - a CIA fiefdom - was a principal Opium producer under the nominal control of General Vang Pao – leader of the Meo tribesman fighting the CIA’s secret war. Vang Pao would collect raw Opium grown throughout Northern Laos and transport it aboard the CIA’s “Air America” helicopters to Long Thien. A massive, sprawling US built complex, Long Thien was known as “Spook Heaven” by some, or “Alternate 20” by others. It was here that General Pao’s raw Opium was processed into top grade No 4 China White heroin. At this point, direct CIA involvement in the “product” ceased. Meanwhile, the CIA provided Vang Pao with his own airline known to insiders as “Air Opium,” that would transport it to Saigon, landing at the giant US military Ton Sohn Nut Air Base. Thereafter part of the bulk was divvied up among Quang’s network for sale to US servicemen hooked on the drug. The rest was shipped to the Corsican syndicate in Marseilles for delivery to Cuba – a transhipment point controlled by Mafia boss Santos Trafficante - and thence to the United States. A regular variation of the delivery route occurred when sealed bags of Heroin were stitched inside the dead bodies of GI’s returning home for military burial.
Back at home, US policy makers didn’t give a flying damn about the growing drug problem among US servicemen. The view of disregard was best stated by Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy,” Kissinger told Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein. We may also pose a related chain of thought in this respect. If military men are “dumb, stupid animals” to be used and abused as “pawns” for foreign policy, are ordinary tax-paying citizens viewed any differently when it comes to the wholesale supply of Heroin to America’s inner cities? An addict population, arguably, more than adequately caters to one of requirements of NSC 68 – that of establishing “domestic tranquillity.” In any event, the proceeds from dope sales were laundered through the Nugan Hand bank in Australia and used to finance the CIA’s secret war throughout the region.
Following the US backed invasion of Cambodia in May 1970, another Heroin pipeline was established. Previously inaccessible regions of Cambodia ideal for Opium cultivation were immediately brought on-line. The smuggling pipeline was operated by the Vietnamese Navy who had established bases at Phonom Penh and throughout the Mekong river. Within a week of the Cambodian incursion, an armada of Vietnamese and US Navy craft – totalling 140 vessels – under the command of Captain Nyugen Thaanh Chau crossed into Cambodia. This was “hailed as a ‘tactical coup’ and a great ‘military humanitarian fleet,’” the armada immediately went to work smuggling “vast quantities of Opium and Heroin into South Vietnam.” Said to be the biggest pusher in South Vietnam, General Quang - following the US withdrawal from Vietnam – quietly relocated to Montreal, Canada, via the US Army’s military base, Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. Quang’s entry to Canada is said to have resulted from quiet but intense pressure from the United States government.
The apparent face-value dichotomy between the CIA’s international, decades long dope trade and the Drug Enforcement Agencies (DEA) “war on drugs,” is illusory. During a radio interview in 1991, historian Alfred McCoy outlined what he called “… the institutional relationship between the DEA and the CIA.” Back in the 1930’s the forerunner of the DEA – the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was established to curtail the use and sale of narcotics. The FBN was the only US agency that had agents working in covert roles prior to WW11. With the arrival of WW11, key agents from the FBN were transferred to the newly established Office of Strategic Services (OSS) – fore-runner of the CIA – to teach OSS personnel the “clandestine arts.” This relationship continues to present times, McCoy states. The result is that where the CIA are running drug operations in various parts of the world, the DEA officially goes to sleep.
This has led to the realisation that the DEA is principally tasked with prohibiting the flow of drugs from other than CIA “approved” sources - and that successive US "war on drugs" programmes are, de facto, engaged in killing off the competition. Whether this is purposeful policy or not, the result is clearly the same. Taken to its logical conclusion, CIA approved and protected traffickers will increasingly gain greater and greater control over the global dope business, making the US government the biggest dope peddler in the world. Meanwhile, some believe this has already occurred and was always part of the long-term plans drawn up by covert policy planners, as they cast jealous eyes toward the planets raw materials – of which narcotics is one of the most profitable.
BUILDING MARKETS - ERADICATING COMPETITION
In 1973, President Richard Nixon declared his “war on drugs.” Heroin entering the United States was produced by two principal Opium monopolies: those controlled by the CIA in Southeast Asia, and from Turkey – a close US ally. Nixon’s “war on drugs” closed the Turkish connection that flowed through Marseilles under the control of the Corsican crime syndicates. This created an ever greater demand for Heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia – especially Burma.
Earlier, in 1949, the region became an armed redoubt for fleeing Chinese nationalist forces – under the command of Chiang Kai-Shek - following their rout by Mao’s Red Army. The CIA established a massive support operation that used these former Chinese forces to collect intelligence inside China, engage in pitched battles with communist forces and act as a “trip-wire” to a feared communist invasion of Southeast Asia. To finance this secret little war, the CIA required the type of black funds that come from the large scale sale of narcotics. It was here that the old OSS “China hands” did their duty, by turning the region into largest single Opium producer of the world, accounting for close to 1000 tons by 1961.
Today, the Burmese “growing fields” remain under the watchful control of the CIA backed warlord, Khun Sa. It is here that out story comes full circle. In Part One we revealed the contents of an affidavit signed by Colonel Cutolo regarding his direct knowledge and involvement of US military sanctioned Cocaine trafficking from Bogata, Columbia to Panama. The senior US Special Forces commanding officer of the entire region at that time was Colonel Bo Gritz. Gritz was one of those who quietly involved himself in the investigation of Cutolo’s death and those of other officers.
In 1978, Gritz, a long time campaigner for US Missing in Action/Prisoners of War (MIA/POWs) from the Vietnam era, was informed by Ross Perot that three American POWs were now held by Khun Sa and that the warlord had agreed to hand them over. Perot made arrangements to gain access to Khun Sa's headquarters in the remote hills of Shanland, via high level contacts in the Chinese government. Gritz knowing he could get in and out a lot faster by utilising his network of contacts in the region, set off with a few hand-picked ex Special Forces men.
It took Gritz and his team three days to negotiate their way through the wild and remote territory of Shanland. Eventually meeting with a bewildered Khun Sa, Gritz was told that there had never been any US POW's. However, during their conversation, Gritz asked why Khun Sa was so heavily involved in Opium, pointing out how many problems this caused for America. The reply was astonishing. Khun Sa stated that his entire Opium supply - 900 tons for 1989 - was bought by the US government. The warlord then stated he wanted to change production as he hated Opium, and if Gritz could get the US to provide just one tenth of what it spent in the war on drugs in the region, he would shift production to other crops.
Gritz took this suggestion back to the US government and was amazed to learn that the offer was spurned. The former Green Beret Colonel also discovered that he would become a target of US dirty tricks if he didn't back away from the Opium subject. Ignoring these threats, Gritz travelled back to Burma for a second meeting with Khun Sa, five months later. This time he took a video recorder and asked Khun Sa to name the names of those responsible on camera.
Khun Sa instructed his secretary to read the names from his diary, but stipulated that the names he was going to reveal were old ones and not those he was presently doing business with. The US government officer responsible for buying the Opium crop was Richard Armitage - a high level and well known administration official. Armitage was working, the secretary read, with an individual named Santos Trafficante, who operated as Armitage's "traffic manager." Gritz was well aware of who Trafficante was - the legendary Florida "Boss" of the Mafia.
During a 1991 lecture, Gritz pointed out the economics of Khun Sa's Heroin pipeline on the US government. The warlord was paid $300,000 per ton from the US government, but the product sold on the street for $1 million per pound. "No one wants him out of business," Gritz observed wryly.
Once more returning to America, Gritz attempted to get someone in the administration - including Vice President George Bush - to take note of his information. His approaches were forcefully spurned. As a gesture of goodwill to the US government, Khun Sa wrote a letter to President Bush offering him free and gratis one ton of No 4 pure Asian heroin. This was the warlords way of offering an incentive with the US to reach an agreement aimed at converting production from Opium to another crop. Bush didn't respond to the letter.
Disgusted, Gritz began actively campaigning to alert Americans just what their government were doing in their name. This eventually resulted in Gritz being arraigned on criminal charges for using a false passport during his visit to Burma. Pleading guilty to the charge, but pointing out that this was standard procedure in the world of "black operations," the jury found him innocent. Since that time Gritz has become an outspoken critic of successive governments - and their duplicitous, secret policies - and as a consequence has suffered at the hands of a wretchedly biased media.
Despite this, Gritz central story was not abandoned. Others had taken up the call from behind the scenes. Quiet investigations into the hidden activities of Richard Armitage, began in earnest. An immensely powerful "insider," Armitage had arranged for Colonel Dave Brown to been placed next to the president, as a military liaison, on a daily basis. The purpose of this move was in the words of one individual familiar with these events to "subtly influence his thinking daily." Moreover, "other actions of this type had been instituted in key departments and agencies."
THE SPY DRUG-MEISTER
With the president effectively muzzled, Armitage and his small coterie of Washington movers and shakers believed they were untouchable. To a large extent they were. Already the Assistant Secretary of Defence, Armitage was nominated, in February 1989, by a grateful President Bush to become Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs. This move was blocked and Armitage was, instead, nominated for the post of Secretary of the Army.
Behind the scenes, a virtual war was in progress as the department of Justice and the FBI fought to indict Armitage for his narcotics and other criminal activities. These measures were powerfully resisted by Attorney General Thornburg, a political appointee of President Bush. Significantly, however, Armitage was also under scrutiny by Federal Investigators working for the President's Commission on Organised Crime, with a focus on foreign organised criminal activity in gambling and drug trafficking.
This resulted from Armitage's close association with a Vietnamese female, Ngdyet Tui (Nanette) O'Rourke. The latter was at the centre of an extremely large scale gambling ring operated by US based Vietnamese. O'Rourke was awarded US citizenship, according to one source, under "highly suspect circumstances." She was also suspected of being a prostitute. As investigators developed their case, they came to believe that Armitage's association with O'Rourke dated back to his service in Vietnam, when he is thought to have operated a shady bar with her in Saigon. There were also suspicions that O'Rourke operated as Armitage's "courier."
Another source who was involved in these investigations noted that " nearly every Vietnamese woman involved in major gambling operations on the East Coast [of America] is married to an American who is either CIA or has connections to the agency," - including O'Rourke's husband. Meanwhile, yet another investigator who believed Armitage was "dirty" was frustrated in his investigations by Frank Carlucci, the Secretary of Defence, and other powerful patrons. In 1975 during Armitage's CIA tour in Vietnam, Carlucci was the no2 man in the CIA.
Because of the numerous high level obstructions, investigations into Armitage's criminal activities were curtailed, but not before some damaging information had been gathered. Not least of this was Armitage's special relationship with O'Rourke. Investigators discovered a photo, believed to have been taken professionally, showing a naked O'Rourke posing in her bedroom with a partly undressed Armitage. This, and other factors, led investigators and, in fact, some very influential political insiders, to conclude that O'Rourke was really working for North Vietnamese intelligence, and that the photo had been used to blackmail Armitage into becoming a spy
Such was the strength of the information developed on Armitage that he was forced to abandon his nomination for Secretary of the Army, and, in fact, all other official US government posts. Subsequently, Defence officials stated privately that Armitage will never again be permitted to darken the doors of the Department of Defence. Known as "Mr Phu" (literally meaning "Mr. Rich") amongst the Vietnamese community, Armitage, despite his disgrace was still able to count on the enormous power of his political patrons and avoided criminal prosecution. Knowing far too much about US government "dirt" during the previous three decades provided him with an instant "do not go to jail" card.
By 1992, the Opium crop from Khun Sa's region of the Golden Triangle had reached a staggering 300,000 tons. Whereas this had always been difficult to convey due to mountainous terrain, a high speed tarmac road had been built allowing trucks to move the drug at high speed to government run airports in Thailand. From here, refined Heroin is flown direct to the US and other western destinations.
If Frank Carlucci - formerly No 2 in the CIA hierarchy - was one of Armitage's principal "protectors" during his "difficult" years, we can also legitimately ask who else might have been protecting the disgraced one time CIA officer. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, George Bush reigned as the CIA's No 1 honcho, following his appointment by President Gerald Ford as Director of Central Intelligence. This might make for a small world, but clearly a very dirty one, too.
In the final analysis, the CIA's ongoing activities on behalf of a small clique of powerful individuals clearly does amount to a secret government that uses democratic structures as a little more than a useful facade to hide behind. Drugs, a phenomenally profitably product have financed much of the secret governments secret activities. Weapons, too, are another useful and highly profitable tool extracted from the public purse. The over-riding yet covert policy, apparently, is to continually create nasty wars overseas and at the same time, keep the folks back home drugged up to their eyeballs. Or rather, those sections of society that are viewed as a bothersome adjunct to the self elected elite masters who rule from the shadows.
The kicker to the whole story, is not just that it's done in your name and the name of freedom and democracy - captivating slogans that mean less than nothing to those who utter them - but it's your money, your tax dollars, that continues to finance the entire scam. Maybe one reason why the slang term for drugs is dope?
DRUGS & THE MEDIA - THE UNMENTIONABLE SECRET
When Gary Webb, an enterprising and courageous investigative reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, published his story in 1996, powerful shock-waves rumbled east across America for the best part of a year. Webb had earlier spent a year peeling away the nasty secret of crack cocaine, and how it came to prominence in Los Angeles.
The three part article was titled “The Dark Alliance,” and named names – especially those who were formerly senior figures in the CIA backed Contra movement. Webb expected and received the whole-hearted support of his editor and fellow Mercury News reporters. The newspaper even dedicated a web-site to the series of article and published electronic copies of important corroborating documents. Meanwhile, the shock waves reached Washington. Unstoppable, they flowed onwards to Langley, Virginia.
In time, an even more disturbing counter shock wave rolled back westwards, from Washington DC picking up impetus from Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA. Gary Webb had uttered the unutterable. He had spoken a simple truth. A truth, moreover, that was already well known to a great many journalists, politicians, academics, military officers, intelligence personnel and other insiders for decades past. The truth spoken was that the Central Intelligence Agency had engaged in the wholesale distribution of illegal narcotics.
Within a year, Webb’s colleagues in the Mercury News reversed their earlier support and began to denounce him. Such was the power of the signal returning-back from the East Coast, that many of the Mercury News other journalists began to fear that their career advancement – especially to the more prestigious news corporations of America – may be ruined. It was a classic case of guilt by association. Worse still, Webb’s previously stalwart editor also denounced him and published an editorial in the Mercury News, saying the quality of Webb’s corroboration of the Dark Alliance series was poor. The clear message was that the truth that was spoken had, in fact, not been spoken. Orwell called this double-speak.
For daring to speak the truth, Webb was punished by being re-assigned to a small town, backwater office of Mercury News – far away from the limelight of head office. Webb kept his job, or, at least, a kind of living death voodoo concoction of a job. No one can blame Webb for accepting the posting. He has a family to feed and under the circumstances, his chances of securing another job elsewhere in the media were surely limited. The editor clearly also kept his job, but we can and must blame him for rendering journalistic integrity to Ceaser. Some of Webb’s erstwhile colleagues have meanwhile, no doubt moved on to higher and better positions in those all too desirable national news corporations. Here they may write copy all day, on any subject they choose, so long as it is not one of the unmentionable subjects. Without an independent and courageous Fourth Estate, there is no protection against the subtle and consistent campaign to destroy democracy in all but name.
When Webb first set out on his life-changing investigation, he was blissfully unaware of the enormous threat he would soon pose to the national security and political establishments of the United States. His story threatened to reveal a sinister policy that dated back to WW11: the covert US control of the global narcotics industry spanning four decades. This was just one of a great many unpalatable secrets that must not be told. There are many others.
Cutolo’s affidavit runs to 15 pages and 86 paragraphs. Dated 11 March 1980, it is witnessed by a notary. PFC William Tyree’s affidavit runs to 13 pages and 41 paragraphs. Dated 6 September 1990, it is witnessed by a notary. Paul Neri’s accompanying 5 page letter is undated and unsigned and was prepared prior to his death on 29 April 1990, from a long illness. Cutolo’s affidavit and Neri’s death-bed letter were forwarded by a friend who wished to remain anonymous. The friend sent an accompanying type-written letter consisting of one paragraph, neither signed nor dated. All documents are in this writer’s possession. Copies of Cutolo’s affidavit were given to Colonels A. J. “Bo” Baker, Hugh B. Pearce and James “Bo” Gritz.
Extracted from the Third Edition of “Defrauding America” by Rodney Stich (1998, Diablo Western Press, Inc) page 359.
The major film, “First Blood” starring Slyvester Stallone was modelled on Col. Bo Gritz.
The Yale material has been liberally extracted from Kris Millegan’s excellent essay “Everything you wanted to know about Skull and Bones but were afraid to ask.” Other first class material is available in Paul Goldstein’s and jeffrey Steinberg’s “George Bush, Skull and Bones and the New World Order.” Both are available on the internet only, so far as I am aware.
Paul DiRenzo interview with McCoy, November 1991.
For a detailed analysis of the connection between drugs and MIA/POWs see "Kiss the Boys Goodbye" by Jensen-Stevenson and Stevenson (Bloomsbury 1990).
See Corso’s 17 September 1996 testimony to the US House Subcommittee on Military Personnel. “The ‘No Win’ policy was contained in NSC 68, NSC 68/2, and NSC 135/3,” Corso told Congressmen, adding that “the basis for this policy was in directives ORE 750, NIE 2 2/1, 2/2, 10 and 11. We called it the ‘Fig leaf Policy.’”
Figures quoted by McCoy during his interview with Paul DiRenzio, 9 November 1991.
See “Kiss the Boys Goodbye – by Stevenson & Stevenson p97 (Futura 1990).
National Security Council memorandum 68. This document outlined the US requirement resulting in the cold war.
Confidential papers in this writers possession.
McCoy’s interview by radio host Paul DiRienzo, 9 November 1991.
Excerpted from a letter addressed to Senator Paul Laxalt dated 27 April 1987
I am reliably informed that Ross Perot was one of those who believed Armitage was a North Vietnamese spy.
The moral to Webb’s story is don’t expect the major media to inform you of what is really going on in the world. They won’t. To paraphrase Walter Mattheu’s one-liner uttered to perfection in the movie JFK: “These dogs don’t hunt.” Least-ways not anymore. The old media “blood-hound” is, today, curled up on a rug in front of the salary fire. His muscles have wasted, his belly is full and his nose has forgotten how to twitch – and his arm twitching dreams are of earlier days.
CIA Black Ops And The Drug Trade
In Afghanistan US/NATO put blame on Taliban for the poppy cultivation in Afghanistan for financing their resistance to allied forces. Ironically, it was only in Taliban era when the world had seen a sharp decline in opium crop in Afghanistan.
Taliban banned opium cultivation nationwide. A more important question is how and when this business of drug production and trafficking started in region?
CIA has been using drug money since long to generate money to support its operations all over the world. It did not start in Afghanistan it was brought here after experimenting somewhere else. This is something which is not a lead story in international media for obvious reasons despite the fact it is harming millions of lives around the globe.
1. CIA’s secret Operations
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on of the most active and dynamic intelligence setups in the world needs massive amount of money to carry on its clandestine operations all over the world. It has happened when CIA used local sources to conduct a coups, assassinations, regime change, etc. As US has a long history to support democracy by hook and crook measures, until and unless a dictator is ready to serve US interests to prolong its rule.
Operations like the one completed in Iran in 1953 to remove Prime Minister Mussadaq and backing Shah’s regime by using assets in civil society, or in Iraq in 1975 to arm Iraqi Kurds to destabilize Pre-Saddam in Iraq or more recently using its assets in Pakistan to pave the way of direct US intervention in Pakistan under pretext of hunting Al-Qaeda.
These kinds of operations need a lot of financial input. Usually CIA arranges revenue from its own means for this kind of operations where expenses can’t be predicted by any measure. Funds from Whitehouse always need a complete audit and detailed reports about usage of these funds. There are numerous occasions when CIA never shared details of operations with its own analytical wing nor with any other public office in Washington. Most of the time it is drug money that compensates these expenses.
CIA operations are not only single expenditure fulfilled by drugs there are also other deficiencies which are compensated with this money like financial institutes and banks in current financial crisis. UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa based in Vienna revealed that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiraled out of control last year.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that "inter bank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities," Costa was quoted as saying. There were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way."
It is not only CIA anymore in trade for using it as gold mine to finance its illegal operations all over the world but US economy also need some liquidity in its banks, it doesn’t matter if it is coming by drug trade.
2. Drug Production & Consumption
Afghanistan is the largest producer of heroin’s main ingredient; opium and opium is nothing new in this part of the world. In Afghanistan and FATA, Pakistan it is being produced since centuries; used as remedy for various diseases. Commercial production of opium began just during the Russian invasion in Afghanistan where it is estimated to produce some 8250 metric tons (Source: AmericanFreePress.net, November 24, 2008) of opium per year which makes 85% to 90% of the world's supply of opium. This also contributes towards Afghan warlords’ wealth directly. This is what CIA brought to the region: Opium production without a brand name obviously. Today’s world opium production map is as under;
Above: Demand and trafficking of drugs globally. US is one of very high concentration drug trafficking territory thanks to Regan’s National Security Council who turned a blind eye towards South American cocaine socking into US in 1980 when CIA was backing all the drug traffickers of Contra movements in Nicaragua.
Markets for these drugs stretched world over from Western Europe to Far East, From Canada to Latin America and From China to Morocco, Africa. Profits related to this business also vary along with market’s location.
This business enriches not only the United States-friendly Afghan warlords but also elements of the Northern Alliance, the US key ally in the country. More disturbing is fact that this money also contributes in CIA’s operations against Pakistan as well.
3. Contra Movements (1980)
In Asia demand for heroin is more than any other drug but it is not the case world over. Cocaine is favorite drug which is consumed the most. Cocaine was nothing new in South American countries but it was only during Nicaraguan contra movements against the then dictator it got shoot up. It was again CIA’s regime change operation to bring "democracy" in Nicaragua. It was during this period when the whole region saw an unprecedented surge in cocaine trafficking in 1980. This has been investigated none other than but by CIA’s inspector general in later years.
Was CIA a part of this?
Answer is not only CIA was aiding these cocaine traffickers and money-launderers but Ronald Reagon’s National Security Council also turned a blind eye towards these drug trades despite the fact that later these very drug traffickers brought cocaine to mainland US. According to CIA’s inspector general report, published in online magazine The Consortium magazine, Oct. 15, 1998, it was Reagan’s National Security Council which cleared proven drug traffickers and CIA inspector general Frederick Hitz confirmed long standing.
Above: Armed men of Nicaragua insurgency during 1980, armed with CIA’s sport and financed by drug money.
Allegations of cocaine traffickers.
The NSC’s covert airline was the main transportation mean to do this trade in safest possible way.
Most stunning part of all this contra movements and CIA involvement is methods these movements used to dismantle the then Nicaraguan government including bombing and killing of civilians and CIA withheld all evidence of contra crimes from Justice Department, the Congress and even its own analytical division just to conceal its connection with drug traffickers.
As it is mentioned earlier that Afghanistan was not a hub of drug supply to world before Russian invasion in 1979. It was CIA once again to implement what it successfully implemented in Nicaragua in 1980. Now, Afghanistan is biggest contributor in drug production with its massive opium production.
Russian Afghan War (1979-1989)
CIA was not fully done with contra movements when Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979 threatening the region with her expansionist design to gain control over Afghanistan and Baluchistan province of Pakistan to reach Arabian Sea. Pakistan decided to confront Russia inside Afghanistan to thwart communist designs. CIA found an opportunity in Afghanistan to settle its long standing duel with Russian for global dominion, after initial successes by Afghan fighters. CIA once again brought tested formula of drug to finance this war which it used in South America with only difference in prescription where cocaine was replaced with heroin. Poppy cultivation was nothing new to Afghan but it was level of production and demand created by international traffickers in the world which shocked many in vicinity of these poppy fields.
Profit gained by these drugs was main driving force behind all this trade and with heroin it was much more than what it was with cocaine. Ironically US and Europe became biggest markets of heroin prepared produced in Afghanistan.
Regan’s administration is also a common factor in both Afghan heroin trade and contra cocaine traffickers. Role of CIA in first Afghan war was not overt as it could provoke Russians in more direct retaliation albeit Cuban missile crisis of 1960s. To avoid that kind of hostility it was more suitable for CIA to have silent links with Afghan warlords and providing sources to grow poppy. “By the end of Russian invasion in 1989 Afghanistan was second largest opium production spot with 1350 Metric ton after notorious Golden Triangle including countries like Laos, Thailand, Burma and Vietnam which was producing 2645 Metric ton at that time leaving Latin America way behind with just 112 Metric ton”, as per US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Pre and Post Taliban Era (1994-2001)
In 1994 unrest and lawlessness in Afghanistan gave rise to Taliban. Motivated with their strict religious background and education they put ban on all kinds of drugs in territory under their control but this was not the cure for chronically infected Afghan economy and society. Non availability of any job market and strong hold of Northern Alliance of Northern part of country remained biggest challenge to these efforts to cut down poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. But despite all the challenges Talibans were able to put a serious cut on opium.
Above: A price comparison between Cocaine and Heroin. Despite low price of Afghan opium street price in end market in US is many times more than cocaine’s price in same market.
production in Afghanistan by start of 2001 when they were about to capture Northern Alliance’s strong hold Mazar-e-Sharif but post 9/11 scenario not only changed the geopolitical dynamics of the whole world but also destroyed the efforts of Taliban to control opium production.
Above: In year 2001, just before US/NATO invasion into Afghanistan, Taliban were able to cut down opium production by a decisive margin. This was also one of core reasons against Taliban along with other excuses. After year 2002, when Taliban were removed from power there is a historical increase in opium production in Afghanistan, money is going to pentagon to carry on Afghan and Iraq war despite a historical recession in US. Recent Afghan Conflict (2002 – To date)
Afghanistan is leading opium production in world today but after the invasion of US in 2002 Afghanistan is also attributed to have largest heroin production in the world as well.
Without active support of Pentagon and CIA it is not possible to export drug prepared with more than 8000 metric tons of opium. US relations with Northern Alliance in Afghanistan after Taliban have given a free license to drug producers, traffickers. CIA and Pentagon both have their links to all these criminals in order to get supplies of the drugs and export it in US Army planes. It has been reported that CIA used US Army planes leaving Afghanistan carrying coffins which were filled with drugs instead of bodies.
To make sure undisturbed trade US appointed all Northern Alliance drug lords at key posts in Afghanistan and most prominent appointment was none other than President Hamid Karzai. Karzai’s brother, head of Kandahar's provincial council is proven drug trafficker facilitating the transportation of heroin from Kandahar eastward through Helmand and out across the Iranian border.
There is no reason to believe that CIA is not aware of this but as it is all one big enterprise where Karzai is also a partner so no danger to his brother.
Bush administration pushed the level of poppy cultivation to next level in Afghanistan just to keep Wall Streets alive in crisis. Many top Bush administration’s officials were worried about growing influence of countries in Golden Triangle (Loas, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma) in Russian and Chinese drug markets. Like Oil in Iraq this was just another opportunity for the Bush administration to have some quick bucks.
Blames for using drugs to fight with NATO and US forces is always put on Taliban. But looking at areas of Taliban’s active zones one can easily understand where all this poppy cultivation is taking place. Taliban put ban on poppy when they were incharge of majority of Afghan territories and Kabul, the capital. Afghanistan was suffering worst economic crisis at that time but Taliban never went to build their economy with heroin trade. Now it is just ridiculous to blame Taliban to have vast fields of poppy and having enough peace and time to grow and process it into heroin and then trade it in Pakistan and Iran to dens it to destinations in Eastern Europe. Below is map of Afghanistan indicating high poppy cultivation provinces and it is quite evident that Taliban dominant.
Above: Ahmed Wali Karzai, appointed by his brother, President Hamid Karzai, to represent Kandahar province in Kabul.
According to media reports he is main player in exporting heroin and opium to European countries through Turkmenistan.
Provinces like Kunar, Pektika,Paktya has low poppy cultivation and other provinces where all US/CIA supported warlords are holding key positions are growing most of opium crop. It was only after US invasion there was a 4400% increase in opium production.
US role in Afghan social debacle will go in history as described The Huffington Post on October 15, 2008 “When the history of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is written, Washington's sordid involvement in the heroin trade and its alliance with drug lords and war criminals of the Afghan Communist Party will be one of the most shameful chapters.”
5. Pakistan: Indirect Victim of the CIA’s Drug business
Almost the whole world is affected by this drug trade but countries which lie in routes of drug traffickers are worst effected after the original drug markets. Countries like Pakistan are paying a very high price for US/CIA drug trade as there is a constant increase in drug addiction in Pakistan. Iran is another country which happens to be in route of international drug traffickers so it is also facing problem of smuggling of heroin and morphine from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Turkey and Europe. After US invasion of Afghanistan this route has become active manifold then it was previously.
Effects of this trade are not limited to drug usage only but it destroys the social fabric in a society and gives rise to street crimes in order to get some cash to buy drugs from street market. A more horrible outcome is spread of HIV virus among addicted persons when they share the injection syringes. This threat is increasing with each passing day as number of HIV positive is increasing.
Another disastrous effect it brought to Pakistan and Afghanistan other neighbours is serious law and order situation in bordering area of each country with Afghanistan. Combating this evil trade is not possible until a holistic effort is made by international community in this regards but its chances are bleak as this trade is needed by global imperialism (Israel, US, UK) more than ever before to give some support to their dying economies.
Above: Pakistan has become main artery in heroin trafficking route and it has a lot of implication on Pakistani security. Level of drug addicted also increased over the year due to high availability of drugs in street market. Afghanistan is main producer but Pakistan us where most of drugs are seized.
Under current situation it is very important for countries like Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia to think about how to put jinni of drug back to the bottle before international drug mafia takes over these countries by destroying their social norms and values.
CIA not only has a long history of having links with traffickers but also encouraging the drug trade to get its own interests served. CIA always encourages this trade even if it affected its own citizens like in Contra movements of 1980.
Afghanistan became leader in opium production and main hub for providing heroin and its main ingredient to whole world. All this happened under the control of champion of human rights US and its intelligence setup mainly CIA.
Situation is becoming more and bleaker unless Pakistan, China, Russia, Iran and Afghanistan governments start thinking about this trade and its far reaching affects on US economy and CIA’s funding. It is time when the whole region should become equivocal against this trade and ask US to leave the region for greater good of the billions of people in region.