CIA Drug Trafficking

CIA Drug Trafficking

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Encyclopedia
A few sources indicate the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

(CIA) might have been involved in several drug trafficking operations. The claims go that the CIA worked with groups which it knew were involved in drug trafficking, so that these groups would provide them with useful intelligence and material support, in exchange for allowing their criminal activities to continue, and impeding or preventing their arrest, indictment, and imprisonment by U.S. law enforcement agencies.

CIA and Kuomintang opium smuggling operations


In order to provide covert funds for the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT) forces loyal to General Chiang Kai-Shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

, who were fighting the Chinese communists under Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

, the CIA helped the KMT smuggle opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Burma to Bangkok, Thailand, by providing airplanes owned by one of their front businesses, Air America.

Afghanistan (Soviet Union)




The CIA supported various Afghan rebel commanders, such as Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is an Afghan Mujahideen leader who is the founder and leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party and paramilitary group. Hekmatyar was a rebel military commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and was one of the key figures in the civil war that followed the...

, who were fighting against the government of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and the forces of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 which were its supporters. Historian Alfred W. McCoy stated that:

Mexico


According to Peter Dale Scott
Peter Dale Scott
Peter Dale Scott is a Canadian born, former English professor at the University of California, Berkeley, a former diplomat and a poet....

, the Dirección Federal de Seguridad
Dirección Federal de Seguridad
The Dirección Federal de Seguridad was a Mexican intelligence agency. Created in 1947 under Miguel Alemán Valdés with "the duty of preserving the internal stability of Mexico against all forms subversion and terrorist threats", it was merged into the Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional ...

 was in part a CIA creation, and "the CIA's closest government allies were for years in the DFS". DFS badges, "handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers, have been labelled by DEA agents a virtual 'license to traffic.'" Scott says that "The Guadalajara Cartel
Guadalajara Cartel
The Guadalajara Cartel was a Mexican drug cartel which was formed in the 1980s by Rafael Caro Quintero, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo in order to ship heroin and marijuana to the United States...

, Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s, prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nassar (or Nazar) Haro, a CIA asset."

Iran Contra Affair



Released on April 13, 1989, the Kerry Committee report
Kerry Committee report
The Kerry Committee report were hearings chaired by Senator John Kerry which found the United States Department of State had paid drug traffickers. Some of these payments were after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges or while traffickers were...

 concluded that members of the U.S. State Department "who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking... and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers."

In 1996 Gary Webb
Gary Webb
Gary Webb was a Pulitzer prize-winning American investigative journalist.Webb was best known for his 1996 "Dark Alliance" series of articles written for the San Jose Mercury News and later published as a book...

 wrote a series of articles published in the San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
The San Jose Mercury News is a daily newspaper in San Jose, California. On its web site, however, it calls itself Silicon Valley Mercury News. The paper is owned by MediaNews Group...

, which investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras who had smuggled cocaine into the U.S. which was then distributed as crack cocaine into Los Angeles and funneled profits to the Contras. The CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the large shipments of drugs into the U.S. by the Contra personnel and directly aided drug dealers to raise money for the Contras. Although he heavily implied CIA involvement Webb never claimed to have made a direct link between the CIA and the Contras. Moreover Webbs articles were heavily attacked by many media outlets who questions the validity of his claims, althought the unusual response lead some to question if the CIA was involved. Regardless despite what many believed at the time it is extremely unlikely that the CIA was responsible for the crack epidemic entirely.

In 1996 CIA Director John M. Deutch
John M. Deutch
John Mark Deutch is an American chemist and civil servant. He was the United States Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1995 and Director of Central Intelligence from May 10, 1995 until December 15, 1996...

 went to Los Angeles to attempt to refute the allegations raised by the Gary Webb
Gary Webb
Gary Webb was a Pulitzer prize-winning American investigative journalist.Webb was best known for his 1996 "Dark Alliance" series of articles written for the San Jose Mercury News and later published as a book...

 articles, and was famously confronted by former Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

 officer Michael Ruppert
Michael Ruppert
Michael C. Ruppert is an American author, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer, and investigative journalist and peak oil theorist....

, who testified that he had witnessed it occurring.

Venezuelan National Guard Affair



The CIA - in spite of objections from the Drug Enforcement Administration, allowed at least one ton of nearly pure cocaine to be shipped into Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport , also known as MIA and historically Wilcox Field, is the primary airport serving the South Florida area...

. The CIA claimed to have done this as a way of gathering information about Colombian drug cartels. But the cocaine ended up being sold on the street.

In November 1996 a Miami jury indicted former Venezuelan anti-narcotics chief and longtime CIA asset, General Ramon Guillen Davila, who was smuggling many tons of cocaine into the United States from a Venezuelan warehouse owned by the CIA. In his trial defense, Guillen claimed that all of his drug smuggling operations were approved by the CIA.

Haiti


According to unnamed sources in the mid 1980s, the CIA created a unit in Haiti, whose purported purpose was anti-drug activity, but was in reality "used as an instrument of political terror", and was heavily involved in drug trafficking. The members of the unit were known to torture supporters of Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a Haitian former Catholic priest and politician who served as Haiti's first democratically elected president. A proponent of liberation theology, Aristide was appointed to a parish in Port-au-Prince in 1982 after completing his studies...

, and threatened to kill the local head of the DEA. According to one U.S. official, the unit was trafficking drugs and never produced any useful drug intelligence.

Panama



In 1989, the United States invaded Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

 as part of Operation Just Cause, which involved 25,000 American troops. Gen. Manuel Noriega
Manuel Noriega
Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno is a Panamanian politician and soldier. He was military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989.The 1989 invasion of Panama by the United States removed him from power; he was captured, detained as a prisoner of war, and flown to the United States. Noriega was tried on...

, head of government of Panama, had been giving military assistance to Contra groups
Contras
The contras is a label given to the various rebel groups opposing Nicaragua's FSLN Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction government following the July 1979 overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle's dictatorship...

 in Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 at the request of the U.S.—which, in exchange, allowed him to continue his drug-trafficking activities—which they had known about since the 1960s. When the DEA tried to indict Noriega in 1971, the CIA prevented them from doing so. The CIA, which was then directed by future president George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

, provided Noriega with hundreds of thousands of dollars per year as payment for his work in Latin America. However, when CIA pilot Eugene Hasenfus
Eugene Hasenfus
Eugene H. Hasenfus is a United States citizen who was alleged by Nicaragua Sandinista authorities to be employed by the U.S...

 was shot down over Nicaragua by the Sandinistas, documents aboard the plane revealed many of the CIA's activities in Latin America, and the CIA's connections with Noriega became a public relations
Public relations
Public relations is the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc....

 "liability" for the U.S. government, which finally allowed the DEA to indict him for drug trafficking, after decades of allowing his drug operations to proceed unchecked. Operation Just Cause, whose ostensible purpose was to capture Noriega, pushed the former Panamanian leader into the Papal Nuncio where he surrendered to U.S. authorities. His trial took place in Miami, where he was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Noriega's prison sentence was reduced from 30 years to 17 years for good behavior. After serving 17 years in detention and imprisonment, his prison sentence ended on September 9, 2007. He was held under U.S. custody before being extradited to French custody where he was sentenced to 7 years for laundering money from Colombian drug cartels.

See also

  • War on Drugs
    War on Drugs
    The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government, with the assistance of participating countries, intended to both define and reduce the illegal drug trade...

  • MKULTRA
  • Air America
  • War crimes committed by the United States
    War crimes committed by the United States
    The United States of America has been accused of committing war crimes at various points throughout its history. Most, but not all contemporary war crimes are defined by the International Criminal Court , the Geneva Conventions, and the associated laws of war under international law...

  • CIA and Contras cocaine trafficking in the US

External links


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