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Mic Tyson
06-13-2008, 12:20 AM
Crack Cocaine to Finance the Contras

# On January 20, 1987, Joel Brinkley (special to the New York Times) reported. "Contra Arms Crew said To Smuggle Drugs" The 3rd secret had surfaced. Brinkley wrote: "Fed. Drug investigators uncovered evidence last fall that the American flight crews which covertly carried arms to the Nicaraguan rebels were smuggling cocaine and other drugs on their return trips back to the US. Administration Officials said today that when the crew members, based in El Salvador, learned that DEA agents were investigating their activities, one of them warned that they had White House protection. The Times then quoted an anonymous US official who said the crew member's warnings which came after DEA searched his San Salvador house for drugs, caused 'quite a stir' at Ilopango." Written Statement for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, April 27, 1998 of Celerino Castillo III (DEA, Retired), author of Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War
# "Webb's revelations detail how a group of rich, powerful Nicaraguans set up a massive and unstoppable flow of cocaine into South-Central LA beginning in 1982 in order to help finance the cash-poor, CIA-devised Contra war gainst the Sandinistas. Webb showed how Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes, a former Nicaraguan official with apparent ties to the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency, directed mountains of cocaine... Jill Stewart, "Just Another Big Embarassment Under Shelby", Phoenix New Times.

# Reporters Robert Barry and Brian Barger found that some contra troops were involved with shipments of cocaine sent to the United States through Costa Rica. AP wiere service refused to run the story, however it was accidentally sent to some foreign AP offices and then printed in most Spanish-speaking countries in the Western Hemisphere. Jake Sexton, "The Rewards of Responsible Journalism"

# Blandon Reyes, Oscar Danilo, a former Nicaraguan official with apparent ties to the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency, directed a massive and unstoppable flow of cocaine into South-Central LA beginning in 1982 in order to help finance the cash-poor, CIA-devised Contra war gainst the Sandinistas. Jill Stewart, "Just Another Big Embarassment Under Shelby", Phoenix New Times.

# Menesus, Norvin. Nicaraguan drug trafficker. Reported by LA times to have donated "no more than $50,000 of his street sales to the contras." Gene "Chip" Tatum, "LA Times 'spins' CIA Drug Involvement, Big Sky Patriot, November 6, 1996

# Bolivia's "cocaine coup" government of 1980-82 was the first in line filling the contra drug pipeline. But other contra-connected drug operations soon followed, including the Medellin cartel, the Panamanian government, the Honduran military and Miami-based anti-Castro Cubans. The contra-connected cocaine also moved through transshipment points in Costa Rica and El Salvador. [For details, see Robert Parry's Lost History; Cocaine Politics by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall; or Gary Webb's forthcoming book, Dark Alliance.] Robert Parry, "Contra-Cocaine: Evidence of Premeditation" The Consortium for Independent Journalism, a paid subscription service, Volume 3, No 11 (Issue 63) - June 1, 1998.

# October 22, 1982. The first publicly known case of contra cocaine shipments appeared in government files in a cable from the CIA's Directorate of Operations. The cable passed on word that U.S. law enforcement agencies were aware of "links between (a U.S. religious organization) and two Nicaraguan counter-revolutionary groups [which] involve an exchange in (the United States) of narcotics for arms." The material in parentheses was inserted by the CIA as part of its declassification of the cable. The name of the religious group remains secret. Robert Parry, "Contra-Cocaine: Evidence of Premeditation" The Consortium for Independent Journalism, a paid subscription service, Volume 3, No 11 (Issue 63) - June 1, 1998.

# Letter from the U.S: Anger over CIA and crack trade The series raised serious doubt about whether the CIA was actively involved in pushing crack into Los Angeles' black community, or whether it simply turned a blind eye to the contra operation. Webb's series sparked a ground swell of protest, and many black leaders, including black Democrats, demanded an investigation into the CIA-contra-crack connection.
# South Central residents condemn CIA's reported role. John Veit, DEA's finest details corruption
# Contra drug point of entry: Mena, Arkansas. At the height of activities, handled a night flight every five minutes, without lights. Bill Alexander, Democratic Congressman for Arkansas, stated that activities at Mena have been responsible for large volumes of drugs coming into his state. In spite of mounting evidence, however, Clinton, as Governor of the state, appears to have made no attempt to help with investigations by local prosecutors into the illegal activities there... Untitled material on Drug-running and ArkansasSite 1 or Site 2

CIA Involvement and Knowledge

# "Are CIA Hands Clean?" That's what many shocked Americans have asked after reading the San Jose Mercury News' explosive series of article that questioned the agency's role in America's so-called War on Drugs. The Mercury News investigation claimed that the CIA supported a drug pipeline from Colombia, South America the the San Francisco area that may have financed the Nicaraguan Contras by selling tons of cocaine.
# Feb 11, 1982, Attorney General William French Smith grants an exemption sparing the CIA from a legal requirement to report on drug smuggling by agency assets. This occurred only two months after President Reagan authorized covert CIA support for the Nicaraguan contra army and some eight months before the first known documentary evidence revealing that the contras had started collaborating with drug traffickers. The exemption suggests that the CIA's tolerance of illicit drug smuggling by its clients during the 1980s was official policy anticipated from the outset, not just an unintended consequence followed by an ad hoc cover-up. The exemption had been secretly engineered by CIA Director William J. Casey according to a letter placed into the Congressional Record by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., on May 7, 1998, which establishes that Casey foresaw the legal dilemma which the CIA would encounter should federal law require it to report on illicit narcotics smuggling by its agents. The narcotics exemption is especially noteworthy in contrast to the laundry list of crimes which the CIA was required to disclose.. The CIA's inspector general Frederick P. Hitz confirmed that long-held suspicion in an investigative report issued on Jan. 29, 1998. The Clinton administration quietly rescinded Casey's narcotics exemption in 1995. Robert Parry, "Contra-Cocaine: Evidence of Premeditation" The Consortium for Independent Journalism, a paid subscription service, Volume 3, No 11 (Issue 63) - June 1, 1998.

# General Pual F. Gorman, head of the U. S. Southern Command, acknowledged in 1984 that "substantial evidence links drugs, money and arms networks in Central America. The fact is, if you want to go into the subversion business, collect intelligence, and move arms, you deal with drug movers." Jerry Meldon, Contra-Crack Guide: Reading between the lines," in The Consortium (paid internet service)

# In 1984, the CIA intervened with the Justice Department to block a criminal investigation into a suspected contra role in a San Francisco-based drug ring. Robert Parry, "Contra-Cocaine: Evidence of Premeditation" The Consortium for Independent Journalism, a paid subscription service, Volume 3, No 11 (Issue 63) - June 1, 1998.

# In December 1985, Brian Barger and I wrote the first news article disclosing that virtually every Nicaraguan contra group had links to drug trafficking. In that Associated Press dispatch, we noted that the CIA knew of at least one case of cocaine profits filtering into the contra war effort, but that DEA officials in Washington claimed they had never been told of any contra tie-in. The Casey exemption explains why that was possible. After the AP story ran, the Reagan administration attacked it as unfounded and the article was largely ignored by the rest of the Washington press corps. But it did help spark an investigation by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who over the next two years amassed substantial evidence of cocaine smuggling in and around the contra war. Still, the Reagan and Bush administrations continued to disparage Kerry's probe and its many witnesses. Robert Parry, "Contra-Cocaine: Evidence of Premeditation" The Consortium for Independent Journalism, a paid subscription service, Volume 3, No 11 (Issue 63) - June 1, 1998.

# Ross, Ricky. Los Angeles drug dealer, supplied by Blandon Reyes with smuggled contraband powder, quickly capitalized on existing heavy street use of PCP, heroin, and other durgs in South Central LA to introduce a cheap new drug known as crack..."not only did the CIA know that its Contras were unleshing a virulent drug in America's ghettos via Blandon and Ross, but the agency allowed it to happen because it needed the money to fund Ronald Reagan's war against socialism." Jill Stewart, "Just Another Big Embarassment Under Shelby", Phoenix New Times.

# I was a 25 year veteran, highly decorated international deep cover agent, who witnessed, first hand, how the CIA, State Department and the Department of Justice teamed up to kill every major international drug case I was involved in, for political and economic reasons. At the same time our politicians and bureaucrats lied to the American people and taxed them hundreds of billions of dollars to fight drugs. I was a witness to the highest kind of treason imaginable committed by our government's covert agencies, politicans and bureaucrats, against their own people. After my brother, a heroin addict for 25 years, committed suicide and my son, a highly decorated New York City police officer was killed by crack addicts during a holdup, I had experienced enough. I decided I would use whatever talents God gave me and training the government gave me, against the criminals responsible for the immense and deadly fraud known as "The War on Drugs." You can read the truth in my books, my articles and hear it on my radio show. Mike Levine

# Tatum, Gene "Chip". "During a four month period in 1985, as a CIA operative under the direct control of Oliver North, I delivered over two tons of cocaine to various airfields in Honduras. Gene "Chip" Tatum, "LA Times 'spins' CIA Drug Involvement, Big Sky Patriot, November 6, 1996

# Ricky Donnell Ross arrested while picking up $1 million worth of cocaine in LA. Ross, Los Angeles drug dealer, supplied by Blandon Reyes with smuggled contraband powder, had quickly capitalized on existing heavy street use of PCP, heroin, and other durgs in South Central LA to introduce a cheap new drug known as crack..."not only did the CIA know that its Contras were unleshing a virulent drug in America's ghettos via Blandon and Ross, but the agency allowed it to happen because it needed the money to fund Ronald Reagan's war against socialism." Jill Stewart, "Just Another Big Embarassment Under Shelby", Phoenix New Times. Washington Post's rebuttal: Roberto Suro and Walter Pincus, "The CIA and Crack: Evidence is Lacking of Alleged Plot." Friday, October 4, 1996, p. A01, Washington Post. "if Freeway Ricky Ross had become a born-again Christian and gone to build Habitat for Humanity Houses, crack would still have happened."

# August 1996 Gary Webb, writes "Dark Alliance" series in the San Jose Mercury News which claimed evidence of direct CIA involvement with contra drug operation. Central finding: "After being instrucgted by a CIA agent to raise money in California for the Contras, two Contra drug dealers began selling vast amounts of cocaine in inner-city Los Angeles, primarily to the Crips and Bloods. Some of the profits went to pay for the CIA;s covert war against the Sandinistas...The drug ring's main customers, the LA gangs, introduced crack to more than 110 cities across the U. S. by the end of the 1980's." The series was later attacked by the Washington Post, and New York Times, and Gary Webb was forced out of his job. Jake Sexton, "The Rewards of Responsible Journalism";

# May 14, 1986, I spoke to Jack O'Conner DEA HQS Re: Matta- Ballesteros. (NOTE: Juan Ramon Matta-Ballesteros was perhaps the single largest drug trafficker in the region. Operating from Honduras he owned several companies which were openly sponsored and subsidized by C.I.A.) Written Statement for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, April 27, 1998 of Celerino Castillo III (DEA, Retired), author of Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War
# Early part of 1986, I received a telex/cable from DEA Costa Rica. SA Sandy Gonzales requested for me to investigate hangers 4 and 5 at Ilopango. DEA Costa Rica had received reliable intelligence that the Contras were flying cocaine into the hangars. Both hangers were owned and operated by the CIA and the National Security Agency. Operators of those two hangars were, Lt. Col. Oliver North and CIA contract agent, Felix Rodriguez, "a.k.a." Max Gomez. (See attached letter by Bryan Blaney (O.I.C.), dated March 28, 1991). Written Statement for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, April 27, 1998 of Celerino Castillo III (DEA, Retired), author of Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War

Attempted Assassination of DEA Agent
# Aug. 24, 1989, Because of my information, the U.S. Embassy canceled Guatemalan Military, Lt. Col. Hugo Francisco Moran-Carranza, (Head of Interpol and Corruption) U.S. visa. He was documented as a drug trafficker and as a corrupt Guatemalan Official. He was on his way to a U.S. War College for one year, invited by the CIA. Between Aug. 1989 and March 06, 1990, Col. Moran had initiated the plan to assassinate me in El Salvador and blame it on the guerrillas. On March 06, 1990, I traveled to Houston to deliver an undercover audio tape on my assassination. The Houston DEA S.A Mark Murtha (DEA File M3-90-0053) had an informant into Lt. Col. Moran. Written Statement for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, April 27, 1998 of Celerino Castillo III (DEA, Retired), author of Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War
Senate Hearings

# In Aug. 1986, The Kerry Committee requested information on the Contra pilots from the DEA. The Department Of Justice flatly refused to give up any information. October 15, 1986, Asst. Atty. Gen. Mark Richard testified before the Kerry Committee, that he had attended a meeting with 20 to 25 officials and that the DEA did not want to provide any of the information the committee had requested on the Contra involvement in drug trafficking. Written Statement for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, April 27, 1998 of Celerino Castillo III (DEA, Retired), author of Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War
# Coverup. October 22, 1987, I received a call from DEA HQS Everett Johnson, not to close Contra files because some committee was requesting file. If you have an open file, you do not have access to the files under Freedom of Information Act. Written Statement for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, April 27, 1998 of Celerino Castillo III (DEA, Retired), author of Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War
# Hearings chaired by Sen. John kerry, D-Mass, result in Senate Foreign Relations Report, 1989. Jerry Meldon, Contra-Crack Guide: Reading between the lines," in The Consortium (paid internet service)

# In April 1989, when Kerry released a lengthy report detailing multiple examples of how the contra war supplied cover for major drug trafficking operations, the nation's most prestigious newspapers -- The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times -- published only brief, dismissive accounts. Robert Parry, "Contra-Cocaine: Evidence of Premeditation" The Consortium for Independent Journalism, a paid subscription service, Volume 3, No 11 (Issue 63) - June 1, 1998.

Media Downplay the Story

# Gary Webb's August 1996 articles secured more attention than any other article in the Mercury News' history. One would think this would make him a hero, and that he would be treated as such by his paper, and the journalistic community as a whole. Not so. Jake Sexton, "The Rewards of Responsible Journalism"

# " Imagine this: you're an investigative reporter with nearly 20 years experience. You publish a multi-part investigative series in a reputable daily paper. The story electrifies the public and sends the country's premier newspapers scurrying to find fault with it. After exhaustive examination involving dozens of journalists at several major papers, the original story is found except for a few details and overstatements--to be basically sound. Yet you find yourself ostracized. Your follow-up stories go unpublished. After being transferred and taken off the investigative beat, you leave journalism." Barbara Bliss Osborn "Are You Sure You Want to Ruin Your Career?"

# Bob Parry, a former investigative reporter for the Associated Press and Newsweek who, with partner Brian Barger, broke the original Contra-cocaine stories on the East Coast in the 1980s, says Webb was wise to protect himself by sending his raw information directly to the public. Parry, who for years persisted on the Contra cocaine scandal--an explosive political story that top journalists did not want to belive and Washington officials took pains to cover up--as nearly ruined for his trouble and was smeared by Oliver North and many other then-top government officials. Jill Stewart, "Just Another Big Embarassment Under Shelby", Phoenix New Times.

CIA Self-examination
# CIA finds no evidenceOfficially, the CIA investigators say they found zero evidence to support the allegations raised in a controversial three-part series published in 1996 in the San Jose Mercury News.
# CIA Inquiry The department's inquiry has established that two CIA officers based in Caracas, Venezuela, tacitly approved at least some of the drug shipments, believing that they were part of a legitimate undercover investigation by the Venezuelan anti-drug squad. But in what one law enforcement source described as the "worst breakdown" in communications since the CIA became involved in anti-drug....
# According to the New York Times, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has completed a classified 500-page report confirming that it continued to work with about two dozen members and supporters of the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contra army in the 1980s after hearing charges that they were trafficking in drugs. Unnamed officials said the report shows that the CIA received allegations of drug trafficking activity by about 50 contras and contra supporters but continued to work with half of them; the CIA "was unable to either prove or disprove the charges, or did not investigate them adequately," the Times says. Former CIA director John Deutch ordered two reports on contra drug trafficking after an August 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News of San Jose, California, named a group of contra supporters who supplied cocaine to Los Angeles drug dealers in the early 1980s; the Los Angeles dealers have been linked to the explosion of crack use in the city. The series caused outrage in the local and national African-American communities. Mainstream US media then denounced the series as flawed; in May 1997 the Mercury News partly retracted the articles, and their author, Gary Webb, was forced out of the newspaper. The first report, released in January 1998, cleared the CIA of all responsibility for the contras' drug trafficking. "The fundamental finding of the [second, much longer] report is that there is no information that the CIA or CIA employees ever conspired with any contra organizations or individuals involved with the contras for purposes of drug trafficking," a unnamed "intelligence official" told the Times. The CIA is "reluctant" to declassify the report "because it deals directly with the contras the agency did work with," according to the Times. [NYT 7/17/98] Source: "New CIA Report Hedges on Contra-Crack Charges", Weekly News Update on the Americas, Issue #442, July 19, 1998, Nicaragua Solidarity Network of NY * 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012 * 212-674-9499 fax: 212-674-9139
# "We knew that this was a fact," former US ambassador to El Salvador Robert White told the Mexican daily newspaper La Jornada, referring to CIA collaboration with alleged drug traffickers, "but I'm happy that they finally admitted it." White, who served in El Salvador in the early 1980s, said it is ironic that after showing its tolerance for drug traffickers in the 1980s, the CIA now works in the US "war against drugs." [LJ 7/18/98, quotes retranslated from Spanish] Source: "New CIA Report Hedges on Contra-Crack Charges", Weekly News Update on the Americas, Issue #442, July 19, 1998, Nicaragua Solidarity Network of NY * 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012 * 212-674-9499 fax: 212-674-9139 Call for Regulation of CIA
# Drugs and the U. S. GovernmentC.I.A. support for the Nicaraguan contras has sparked sustained allegations, yet unconfirmed, of the agency's complicity in the Caribbean cocaine trade. Regulation of the C.I.A.'s covert operations might thus deny some future drug lord the political protection he needs to flood America with heroin or cocaine.

Class Action Against CIA
# In 1997, I joined DEA SA Richard Horn in a federal class action suit against the CIA. The suit is against the CIA and other federal agencies for spying on several DEA agents and other unnamed DEA employees and their families. United States District Court for The District of Columbia; Richard Horn vs. Warren Christopher, Civil Action No. 1:96CV02120 (HHG) January 30, 1994. Written Statement for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, April 27, 1998 of Celerino Castillo III (DEA, Retired), author of Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War

Guarded By Martyrs
06-13-2008, 12:54 PM
C.I.A. = Cocaine Import Agency