San Francisco Chronicle
The CIA's Drug-Dealing Role

RELATED STORIES:

DEA AGENT CONFIRMS
PRNewsire Sept. 23, 1996

CHARGES AGAINST CIA
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 23, 1996

CIA UNDER PREASURE
Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 21, 1996

CIA ON DEFENSIVE
Reuter, Sept. 18, 1996

CIA COKE RING FUELS ANGER
Knight Ridder, Sept. 13, 1996

BACKGROUND
CIA Drug Link Known For Years

THE POLITICS OF HEROIN
CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade

A 1991 interview with Alfred McCoy


POWDERBURNS: Cocaine, Contras And The Drug War
By Celerino Castillo III
and Dave Harmon (Review)


DEA'S FINEST DETAILS CORRUPTION
By John Veit (Shadow #35)

GUATEMALAN DEATH-SQUAD
Kingpin Linked To Cia, Drug Trade

By John Veit
(High Times, July, 1995)


Arm Yourself


BIBLIOGRAPHY


Online Drug Policy Library
Constitution of the United States
The Bill of Rights
Against the "War on Drugs"
A Dangerous Policy
Drug High
How Has the "War on Drugs" Failed?"
The Duplicity of the War on Drugs
Seizing Drugs, Seizing Property
Abolish the Drug Laws?
A Losing Battle
Marijuana, a Signal of Misunderstanding
Nicotine Is More Addictive Than Heroin
Addictive Properties of Nicotine
Marijuana and Immunity:
Health Aspects of Cannabis:
Legalize it NOW:
Introduction to the Hoover Resolution.
The Hover Resolution
The Heidelberg Declaration
September 21, 1996

AS I SEE IT
By Cynthia Tucker

DRUGS? They want to talk about drugs in America?

Before this sordid tale is finished with the telling, both Bob Dole, who injected rising drug use among adolescents into the presidential campaign, and Bill Clinton, who couldn't resist saying something back, may regret getting mired in the subject of illegal narcotics.

Before this political season is over, each man may be forced to talk about an ugly chapter in the history of urban drug use that they would rather not confront: a scheme in which Latin American smugglers sold drugs in the American ghetto and used the profits to fund anti-Communist guerrillas in Nicaragua, all with the tacit approval of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). You haven't heard Dole or Clinton bring that up, have you?

The story-reported by the San Jose Mercury News in a series called "Dark Alliance" and supported with exhaustive detail and volumes of documents-has set off a clamor for an investigation. The call has even been joined by retired Army General Barry McCaffrey, the Clinton administration's drug czar. The furor could force the Dole and Clinton campaigns to say something sensible about illegal narcotics in America, after all.

There will be no admissions from Spy Central, of course. They will never admit that their obsession with enemies abroad allowed them to acquiesce to a scheme which ensnared thousands of their own citizens in the violence soaked web of crack cocaine. The renegades at the CIA have always operated in the shadows, beyond the reach of the laws which govern the rest of us. That does not seem to change-no matter how many times a president or a Senate committee promises to rein them in.

But there need not be any admission of culpability from the CIA for the nation's leaders to acknowledge what those at ground zero of the crack epidemic have known all along: The socalled war on drugs has always been a war on the vulnerable black and brown poor. It did not take a major newspaper's account of the cynical exploitation of America's ghettos by Nicaraguan anti-Communists and their CIA handlers to tip us off to the simple truth that American lawmakers are much more interested in locking up black men than in reducing drug use. That is self-evident.

This much we knew long before the Mercury News gave us the rest of the ugly story: The laws governing powdered cocaine, which is used and sold largely by whites, and crack cocaine, used and sold largely by blacks, are very different. It takes 100 times as much powdered co caine to land you in jail as it does crack.

As a consequence of those disparate laws, thousands of young black men and women have been locked away for long stretches while their white peers get probation. It is because of the absurd "war on drugs" that on~third- begin one-third -of all black men in their 20s are under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system-in jail, on parole or on probation.

It is too late to save some of the young black men who were sucked into the violence spawned by the crack trade. They took too easily to dealing drugs and killing; they belong in prison. But there are countless black men and women who have committed no violent crimes who can still be salvaged with low-cost drug treatment programs. They do not belong in prison for succumbing to a drug pushed on them by the CIA protected operatives who flooded Los Angeles with cocaine so cheap any fool could buy it. And many fools did.

This "war on drugs" was always a phony way to make politicians look like they were protecting us from criminals. Instead the racist drug war manufactured criminals where none had been before.

Cynthia Tucker is editorial page editor of the Atlanta Constitution.



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