Were the CIA and the U.S. government responsible for devastating American communities by supporting drug traffickers?
There is an epidemic of cocaine, heroin, and other drug use in America, and many other drugs are being shipped into the US in greater numbers than ever before. Are the United States government and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to blame for flooding American communities with cocaine in the 1970’s by covertly supporting the Latin American drug trade?
Many retired employees of the CIA, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and police, in addition to numerous investigative journalists, believe this to be the truth, and that various U.S. government and CIA officials should be held accountable and even tried.
A 25-year veteran of the DEA and author of the book, Triangle of Death, Michael Levine claims the CIA played a key role in allowing the trafficking of drugs, particularly cocaine, into the U.S. from Latin America. Acting as a deep undercover agent for many years of his life, Levine found through first-hand experience that the CIA knew that drugs were being smuggled onto the streets of U.S. cities but did nothing about it. He claims that the Agency even leaked undercover DEA operations to the drug cartels, as he explains in the video below.
Former DEA head John Lawn, testified that Oliver North, Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who in the 1980’s served on the National Security Council staff at the White House, and other officials, “created a privatized contra network that attracted drug traffickers looking for cover for their operations, then turned a blind eye to repeated reports of drug smuggling related to the contras, and actively worked with known drug smugglers such as Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.” Lawn swore under oath that North himself had prematurely leaked a DEA undercover operation, jeopardizing agents’ lives, for political advantage in an upcoming Congressional vote on aid to the contras. (Source)
Oliver North, of course, denied any knowledge of the contras involvement in the drug trafficking trade. During the Iran-Contra Congressional Hearing in 1987, when allegations first began, North stated during his opening statement:
“Some said I was second only in power to the President of the United States, and others that I condoned drug trafficking to generate funds for the contras, or that I personally ordered assassinations, or that I was conducting my own foreign policy. It has even been suggested that I was the personal confidant of the President of the United States. These, and many other stories, are patently untrue.” (Source)
On the Fox News political program Hannity and Colmes, North reclaimed:
“The fact is nobody in the government of the United States, going all the way back to the earliest days of this under Jimmy Carter, ever had anything to do with running drugs to support the Nicaraguan resistance. Nobody in the government of the United States. I will stand on that to my grave.” (Source)
In the video, Levine refers to North’s diary, which was not presented in front of the Congressional Hearing. North’s diaries, e-mail, and memos were made public by the National Security Archive much later, in February 2004. The documents revealed:
Mr. North’s diary entries, from the reporter’s notebooks he kept in those years, noting multiple reports of drug smuggling among the contras. A Washington Post investigation published on 22 October 1994 found no evidence he had relayed these reports to the DEA or other law enforcement authorities.
Memos from North aide Robert Owen to Mr. North recounting drug-running “indiscretions” among the contras, warning that a known drug-smuggling airplane was delivering taxpayer-funded “humanitarian aid” overseen by Mr. North.
Mr. North’s White House e-mails recounting his efforts to spring from prison a Honduran general who could “spill the beans” on the secret contra war, even though the Justice Department termed the Honduran a “narcoterrorist” for his involvement in cocaine smuggling and an assassination plot.
Mr. North’s White House e-mails and diary entries on his personal meeting on 22 September 1986 with Noriega, following up Noriega’s offer to “take care of” the Sandinista leadership if the White House would help “clean up his image.” (Source)
What is it about the government and its agents and employees that they can lie to us with impunity, but we risk being sent to jail if we lie to them?
The presentation above also features Gary Webb, an investigative reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and author of Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Cocaine Explosion.
Nearly a decade after the Iran-Contra Congressional Hearing, through a series of articles published in 1996, Webb created uproar in Southern California communities when he also alleged that the CIA had connections to a drug ring reaching into California.
In his published works, Webb alleged that the CIA and many U.S. government officials, including Oliver North, were fully aware that the contras were funneling cocaine into the U.S. He believed that the ties between the two organizations were so close, the contras could be called a CIA ‘subsidiary’ due to the frequency of their meetings with CIA operatives. Webb’s articles were criticized, his career destroyed, and he became the target of government retribution. His death in 2004 was officially deemed a suicide.
Oliver North is now a regular presence in mainstream media on the Fox News Channel documentary series, “War Stories with Oliver North,” and other appearances as an expert pundit. The drug war has certainly taken a quantum leap since the 1970’s, and has become a regular feature of our lives, but as many people around the world struggle for its end, the truth about its inception continues to be exposed.