and the politics of drugs
Peter Dale Scott
Those struggling to solve America's drug problems are accustomed
to talk of "demand side" and "supply side" solutions.
This language reflects a bureaucratic perspective: it tends to project
the problem, and focus alleged "solutions", on to others, often
on to remote and deprived populations. On the supply side, eradication
programs are designed for the mountains of Burma or the Andes. On the
demand side, increasing funds are allocated for the arrest and imprisonment
(and less often, the treatment) of the substance abusers, often ethnic
and from the inner cities.
Increasingly, however, researchers are becoming aware of a third aspect
to the problem: protected intelligence-drug connections. Within the U.S.
governmental bureaucracy itself, intelligence agencies and special warfare
elements have recurringly exploited drug traffickers and their corrupt
political allies for anti-Communist and anti-subversive operations, often
but not always covert, in other parts of the world. History suggests that
this third aspect of the drug problem, the protected intelligence-drug
connection, or what I call government-drug symbiosis, has been responsible
for the biggest changes in the patterns and level of drug-trafficking.
Thus, at least in theory, it also presents the most hopeful target for
No one now disputes that in the immediate post-war period CIA assistance
to the Sicilian mafia in Italy, and the Corsican mafia in Marseille, helped
consolidate and protect the vast upsurge of drug trafficking through those
two areas. No one disputes either that a heroin epidemic in the U.S. surged
and then subsided with our Vietnamese involvement and disengagement.
But the same upsurge of protected drug-trafficking was visible in the
1980s, when the United States received more than half of its heroin from
a new area: the Afghan-Pakistan border, from drug-trafficking mujaheddin
who were the backbone of the CIA's covert operations in Afghanistan.
Published U.S. statistics estimate that heroin imports from the Afghan-Pakistan
border, which had been insignificant before 1979, accounted for 52 percent
of U.S. imported heroin by 1984.1
In the same period, at least a fifth of America's cocaine, probably
more, was imported via Honduras, where local drug-traffickers, and their
allies in the corrupt Honduran armed forces, were the backbone of the
infra-structure for Reagan's covert support of the contra forces
in that country.2
These specific facts are not contested by historians, and even CIA veterans
have conceded their agency's role in the genesis of the post-war
problem. Nevertheless, there is an on-going and steadfast denial on the
part of U.S. administrations, the press, and the public. The public's
denial is psychologically understandable: it is disconcerting to contemplate
that our government, which we expect to protect us from such a grave social
crisis, is actually contributing to it.
This denial is sustained by the general silence, and the occasional uncritical
transmission of government lies, in our most responsible newspapers of
It is further reinforced by a small army of propagandists, who hasten
to assure us that today "the CIA's part in the world drug trade
seems irrelevant"; and that to argue otherwise is "absurd."4
Because of such resolute denial, this most serious of public crises is
barely talked about. Yet the problem of a U.S.-protected drug traffic
endures. Today the United States, in the name of fighting drugs, has entered
into alliances with the police and armed forces of Colombia and Peru,
forces conspicuous by their alliances with drug-traffickers in counterinsurgency
operations. It is now clear that at least some of the U.S. military efforts
and assistance to these countries has been deflected into counterinsurgency
campaigns, where the biggest drug traffickers are not the enemy, but allies.
Realists object that it is not the business of the U.S. to reform drug-corrupted
regimes in other countries, such as Pakistan or Peru. Unfortunately U.S.
overt and covert programs in such countries are usually large enough to
change these societies anyway, if only to reinforce and harden the status
quo. At the same time they affect the size and structure of the drug traffic
itself. In the post-war years, when the drug-financed China Lobby was
strong in Washington, and the U.S. shipped arms and Chinese Nationalist
troops into eastern Burma, opium production in that remote region increased
almost fivefold in fifteen years, from less than 80 to 300-400 tons a
year. Production doubled again in the 1960s, the heyday of the Kuomintang-CIA
alliance in Southeast Asia.5
Drug alliances confer protection upon designated traffickers, and such
conferred protection centralizes, rationalizes, and further empowers the
traffic. When one American representative of the CIA-linked Cali cartel
was arrested in 1992, the DEA said that this man alone had been responsible
for from 70 to 80% of U.S. cocaine imports (an estimate probably exaggerated
but nonetheless instructive).6
It is true that this man, like many others, was ultimately arrested by
the U.S. Government. But in many if not most such cases, key men like
General Noriega are only arrested after U.S. policy priorities have changed,
and de facto alliances made with new drug figures. In short, up to now
the U.S. Government, along with other governments, has done far more to
increase the global drug traffic, than it has to diminish it.
The U.S., Drug-Trafficking and Counterinsurgency in Peru
Today one of the most glaring and dangerous examples of a CIA-drug alliance
is in Peru. Behind Peru's president, Alberto Fujimori, is his chief
adviser Vladimiro Montesinos, the effective head of the National Intelligence
Service or SIN, an agency created and trained by the CIA in the 1960s.7
Through the SIN, Montesinos played a central role in Fujimori's "auto-coup",
or suspension of the constitution, in April 1992, an event which (according
to Knight-Ridder correspondent Sam Dillon) raised "the specter of
drug cartels exercising powerful influence at the top of Peru's government."8
Recently Montesinos has been accused of arranging for the bombing of an
opposition television station, while in August 1996 an accused drug trafficker
claimed that Montesinos had accepted tens of thousands of dollars in payoffs.9
In the New York Review of Books, Mr. Gorriti spelled out this CIA-drug
collaboration more fully.
"In late 1990, Montesinos also began close co-operation with the
CIA, and in 1991 the National Intelligence Service began to organize a
secret anti-drug outfit with funding, training, and equipment provided
by the CIA. This, by the way, made the DEA...furious. Montesinos apparently
suspected that the DEA had been investigating his connection to the most
important Peruvian drug cartel in the 1980s, the Rodr'iguez-L'opez
organization, and also links to some Colombian traffickers. Perhaps not
coincidentally, Fujimori made a point of denouncing the DEA as corrupt
at least twice, once in Peru in 1991, and the second time at the Presidential
summit in San Antonio, Texas, in February . As far as I know, the
secret intelligence outfit never carried out anti-drug operations. It
was used for other things, such as my arrest."
New York Review of Books, June 25, 1992, 20.
Others have pointed to the drug corruption of Peru's government,
naming not only Montesinos, but the military establishment receiving U.S.
Charges that the Peruvian army and security forces were continuing to
take payoffs, to protect the cocaine traffickers that they were supposed
to be fighting, have led at times to a withholding of U.S. aid.11
Such charges against Fujimori, Montesinos, and the Peruvian military are
completely in line with what we know about Peru over the last two decades.
In the 1980s the same Peruvian drug-trafficking organization, that of
Reynaldo Rodr'iguez L'opez, incorporated into itself several
generals of the Peruvian Investigative Police (PIP), at whose headquarters
Rodr'iguez L'opez maintained an office, and also the private
secretary to the Peruvian Minister of the Interior.12
Before that senior PIP officials and Army generals were controlled by
the Paredes family organization, described by a DEA analyst as then "the
biggest smuggling organization in Peru and possibly in the world."13
In the words of James Mills, the Paredes were part of the established
Peruvian oligarchy that goes back to the Spanish vice-royalty, an oligarchy
which "controlled not only the roots of the cocaine industry but,
to a large extent, the country itself."14
Other observers have given a much more marginal account of cocaine's
role in Peruvian society. Patrick Clawson and Rensselaer Lee estimated
that "nearly all Peruvian cocaine base and hydrochloride is sold
to Colombians who fly in payments and fly out product." In their
words, "As a $1.3 billion industry, coca accounted for 3.9% of the
1992 $33 billion GNP"; and furthermore was "of shrinking importance."15
But at about the time this book was published, it was reported that Peruvian
police had seized a single shipment of 3.5 tons of pure cocaine belonging
to the Lopez-Paredes branch of the family. This single shipment was worth
$600 million; and members of this cartel later admitted to having shipped
more than ten tons (worth about $1.8 billion) to Mexico in the previous
The San Francisco Chronicle also reported from Mexican officials that
"Vladimiro Montesinos... and Santiago Fujimori, the president's
brother, were responsible for covering up connections between the Mexican
and Peruvian drug mafias."17
It is evident that Clawson and Lee had seriously underestimated the role
of cocaine in the Peruvian economy and polity.
The response of many Americans to the CIA's drug-symbiosis in Peru
is to object that the alternative power base, the revolutionary Sendero
Luminoso, is even more ruthless and bloodthirsty. Such would-be realists
should listen to the arguments of Gorùriti and others that what
the U.S. is doing now in Peru, as earlier in China, Laos, and Vietnam,
only plays into the revolutionaries' hands.18
Symbiosis in Mexico, Colombia, and Elsewhere
It is important to stress that the CIA-drug symbiosis described by Gustavo
Gorriti is not anomalous, but paradigmatic of the way the U.S. is consolidating
its power and its allies in parts of the Third World where drugs are a
part of the de facto political power structure. In the name of law and
freedom, alliances have been made for decades with criminals and dictators.
Now, in the name of fighting drugs, U.S. funds are channelled to those
whose political fates are allied with those of the drug traffickers. These
funds will, paradoxically, strengthen the status both of these traffickers
and of the social systems in which they form a constituent element.
In Mexico, for example, the CIA's closest government allies were
for years in the DFS or Direcci'on Federal de Seguridad, whose badges,
handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers, have been labelled by
DEA agents a virtual "license to traffic."19
Like the SIN in Peru, the DFS was in part a CIA creation; and the CIA
presence in the DFS became so dominant that some of its intelligence,
according to the famous Mexican journalist Manuel Buend'ia, was seen
only by American eyes.20
The Guadalajara Cartel, 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.21
Under these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that members of the
Guadalajara Cartel became prominent among the drug-trafficking supporters
of the CIA's Contra operation.22
Throughout Central America, and most notoriously in Panama, Honduras,
and Guatemala, the CIA recruited assets from the local Army G-2 intelligence
apparatus, who recurringly were also involved in drug-trafficking. Manuel
Noriega, the most famous example, was already a CIA asset when he was
promoted to become Panama G-2 Chief, as the result of a military coup
assisted by the U.S. Army.23
Later, when Noriega became Panama's effective ruler, his drug networks
doubled as Contra support operations, while Noriega himself was shielded
for years by the CIA from DEA investigations.24
In Honduras in 1981, the CIA similarly exploited the drug contacts of
the Honduran G-2 Chief, Leonidas Torres Arias. (The most notorious of
these, the Honduran Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros, was simultaneously a
member of Mexico's Guadalajara Cartel. His airline SETCO, under investigation
by DEA and Customs for drug-trafficking, was chartered by first CIA and
then the State Department to fly supplies to the main Contra camps in
The CIA was able to recruit both assets and Contra supporters from the
drug-tainted Guatemalan G-2 as well.26
One sees elsewhere this recurring pattern of CIA collaboration with intelligence
and security networks who are allied with the biggest drug-traffickers,
not opposed to them. In Colombia, U.S. funds have gone to the Colombian
Army and National Police, both of which forces have collaborated with
paramilitary death squads financed by the drug cartels, against their
mutual enemy, the left-wing guerrillas.27
In Colombia and in Guatemala as in Peru and Mexico, U.S.-assisted campaigns
of repression, nominally against drugs, have in fact been deflected into
counterinsurgency operations, mis-named as anti-drug operations to secure
the support of the U.S. Congress.
In Colombia, according to authors Andrew and Leslie Cockburn,
"U.S. officials...knew that millions of dollars of U.S. aid money,
earmarked for the war on drugs, was being used instead to fight leftist
guerrillas and their supporters. When [drug] cartel-financed paramilitary
forces entered the town of Segovia in November 1988, the military stood
by and watched. As Colombian Professor Alejandro Reyes remembered, "They
killed forty-three people, just at the center of town. Anybody who was
close to that place was shot. They were defenceless people, common people
of the town....[I]t was a kind of sanction against the whole town for
their political vote..." Forty-three people had been killed for voting
the wrong way....In 1989...the U.S. shipped $65 million of military equipment
to Colombia. The Colombian chief of police politely pointed out that the
items received were totally unsuitable for a war against the traffickers.
They were, however, suitable for counterinsurgency. U.S. military equipment
turned up in...Puerto Boyaca. [This was a region irrelevant to the drug
traffic, but where the drug cartels' death squads were being trained]....
U.S. helicopters were used in anti-guerrilla bombing campaigns, where,
unfortunately, many of the victims were civilians. The State Department
knew that too."28
This hypocrisy of "anti-drug campaigns" dates back to 1974,
the year when Congress cut back U.S. aid programs to repressive Latin
American police forces, and then beefed up so-called anti-narcotics aid
to the same forces by about the same amount.29
To keep the aid coming, corrupt Latin American politicians helped to invent
the spectre of the drug-financed "narco-guerrilla", a myth discounted
by careful and dispassionate researchers like Rensselaer Lee.30
U.S. military officers were equally cynical. Col. John D. Waghelstein,
writing in the Military Review, argued that the way to counter "those
church and academic groups that have slavishly supported insurgency in
Latin America" was to put them "on the wrong side of the moral
issue", by creating "a melding in the American public's
mind and in Congress" of the alleged narco-guerrilla connection.31
The actual result of such propagandizing is to sanction the role of drug
traffickers and their allies in U.S. counterinsurgency efforts, and thus
further to strengthen the status of the drug cartels in the countries
Two recent indictments by the U.S. Department of Justice reinforce the
general paradigm of CIA-created intelligence networks that reinforce their
local power and influence by major involvement in drug trafficking. In
March 1997 Michel-Joseph Francois, the CIA-backed police chief in Haiti,
was indicted in Miami for having helped to smuggle 33 tons of Colombian
cocaine and heroin into the United States. The Haitian National Intelligence
Service (SIN), which the CIA helped to create, was also a target of the
Justice Department investigation which led to the indictment.32
A few months earlier, General Ramon Guillen Davila, chief of a CIA-created
anti-drug unit in Venezuela, was indicted in Miami for smuggling a ton
of cocaine into the United States. According to the New York Times, "The
CIA, over the objections of the Drug Enforcement Administration, approved
the shipment of at least one ton of pure cocaine to Miami International
Airpost as a way of gathering information about the Colombian drug cartels."
One official said that the total amount might have been much more than
The information about the drug activities of Guillen Davila and Francois
had been published in the U.S. press years before the indictments. It
is possible that, had it not been for the controversy aroused by the Contra-cocaine
stories in the August 1996 San Jose Mercury, these two men and their networks
might have been as untouchable as Miguel Nassar Haro and the DFS in Mexico,
or Montesinos and the Peruvian SIN in Peru.
and Drug Traffickers in Asia: Washington, Afghanistan, and BCCI
The same U.S.-right wing-drug symbiosis has prevailed for decades in Asia.
Former top DEA investigator in the Middle East, Dennis Dayle, told an
anti-drug conference that "in my 30-year history in the Drug Enforcement
Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations
almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA."34
The biggest recent CIA-drug story in Asia has centered on the Bank of
Credit and Commerce International, or BCCI. The President until 1993 of
America's traditional ally Pakistan, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, was the man
who as finance minister granted special tax status for the CIA and drug-linked
BCCI, the bank of his close friend Agha Hasan Abedi. Ghulam Ishaq Khan
also served as Chairman of Abedi's BCCI Foundation, an ostensible
charity that in fact fronted for BCCI's concerted efforts to make
Pakistan a nuclear power.35
BCCI's involvement in drug money-laundering, drug-trafficking, and
related arms deals is now common knowledge; but the U.S. Government has
yet to admit and explain why BCCI's owner Abedi met repeatedly, as
reported by Time and NBC, with CIA officials William Casey and Robert
BCCI became close to the CIA through its deep involvement in the CIA-Pakistan
operation in Afghanistan.37
This in itself was a drug story: by their aid in the 1980s Pakistan and
the CIA built up their previously insignificant client, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar,
to a position where he could become, "with the full support of ISI
[Pakistani intelligence] and the tacit tolerance of the CIA...Afghanistan's
leading drug lord."38
BCCI was in a position to launder much of the drug proceeds.39
Inside Pakistan in the 1980s, the CIA's man for the Afghan arms-and-drugs
support operation, banked and even staffed through BCCI, was the North-West
Frontier Provincial Governor, General Fazle el-Haq (or Huq), who continued
to run the local drug trade with ISI.40
Haq and BCCI President Abedi met regularly with the then President of
Pakistan, General Zia; Zia and Abedi in turn would meet regularly to discuss
Afghanistan with CIA Chief William Casey.41
BCCI corruption was not confined to Asia. It extended also to the notorious
CIA-Noriega alliance in Panama, and in the 1990s to the drug-corrupted
military leaders in Guatemala that the U.S. turned to lead the war on
drugs in that country.42
BCCI, along with the United States Government's Overseas Private
Investment Corporation (OPIC), even played a role in the supply of arms
and trainers to the Colombian drug cartels' death squads in Puerto
Boyaca, mentioned above.43
It would be wrong to blame this pervasive drug corruption on BCCI alone,
or to expect that the exposure in 1991 of BCCI, which was only achieved
after great opposition and obstruction in Washington, will make the problem
go away. BCCI was just one major player in a complex multinational intelligence
game of drug-trafficking, arms sales, banking, and corruption. Other CIA-linked
and drug-linked banks, to which BCCI can be connected, such as the Castle
Bank in the Bahamas, the World Finance Corporation in Miami, and the Nugan
Hand Bank in Australia, have risen and fallen before BCCI's spectacular
demise, and we should expect more such scandals in the future.44
It is the same with the drug traffic itself. As long as we do not address
the root problem of governmental drug connections that make and break
the kingpins, traditional law enforcement will continue to be ineffective.
The kingpin is dead; long live the kingpin.
Protection for Drug Traffickers in the United States
These gray alliances between law enforcement and criminal elements lead
to protection for drug-traffickers, not just abroad, but at home. Drug-traffickers
who are used as covert assets abroad also are likely to be recruited as
informants or other assets in the U.S. Thus for example, a syndicate headed
by Bay of Pigs veteran Guillermo Tabraue was able to earn $80 million
from marijuana and cocaine trafficking from 1976 to 1987, while Tabraue
simultaneously earned up to $1,400 a week as a DEA informant.
Vastly under-reported in the U.S. press are the number of cases where
indicted drug-traffickers, because of their intelligence connections,
are allowed to escape trial in U.S. courts, or else have their charges
or sentences reduced. Usually the public learns of these cases only by
accident. In one case a U.S. Attorney in San Diego protested publicly
when he was ordered by the CIA to drop charges against a drug-trafficking
CIA client in Mexico (the head of the corrupt DFS mentioned earlier),
who had been indicted for his role in what was described as America's
largest stolen-car ring. Despite public support for his honesty, the U.S.
Attorney was fired.45
After a DEA undercover agent retired and went public, he revealed that
in 1980 a top Bolivian trafficker arrested by him was almost immediately
released by the Miami U.S. Attorney's office, without the case being
presented to the grand jury. This was two weeks before the infamous Cocaine
Coup in Bolivia, financed by the trafficker's family and organization,
which briefly installed the drug-traffickers themselves in charge of law
enforcement in that country.46
These anecdotal stories, which are numerous, are tiny when compared to
the U.S. governmental protection and cover-up of BCCI's involvement
in drug-trafficking and money-laundering.47
To its credit, the CIA knew of BCCI's illegal activities as early
as 1979, and started distributing information to the Justice Department
and other agencies in 1983. After an unrelated investigation in Florida,
two of BCCI's units pleaded guilty to drug money-laundering in 1990,
and five of its executives went to jail. But a senior Justice Department
official took the unusual step of requesting the Florida Banking Commissioner
to allow BCCI to stay open.48
For over three years between 1988 and 1991, the Justice Department "repeatedly
requested delays or halts to action by the Senate concerning BCCI, refused
to provide assistance to the [Kerry] Subcommittee concerning BCCI, and,
on occasion, made misleading statements to the Subcommittee concerning
the status of investigative efforts concerning BCCI."49
New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau in this period was also openly
critical of the pointed lack of co-operation from the Justice Department.50
BCCI's drug-related crimes cannot be separated from its other illegal
activities, notably arms-trafficking and the corruption of public officials.
For years the CIA has used corruption of foreign officials to further
its aims; and this has fostered a climate of corruption by other entities,
such as BCCI. The size of the BCCI scandal and cover-up raises questions
as to whether (with or without CIA connivance) BCCI, having corrupted
senior public figures in such countries as Argentina, Brazil, the Congo,
Guatemala, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, and Peru (to name only a few), may
not have also managed to corrupt major figures in the U.S. as well.
As noted by many observers, BCCI and its American allies have prospered
through strong financial and other connections to Presidents Carter, Reagan,
Bush, and Clinton. Many of these were orchestrated for BCCI by the Arkansas
investment banker Jackson Stephens, a backer in turn of Presidents Carter,
Bush, and Clinton.51
The CIA's world-wide penchant for political influence may help explain
why it "seems to have protected BCCI and its backers for well over
Since the demise of BCCI, such influential connections to Clinton have
been continued by Stephens and his close investment allies Mochtar and
James Riady. In addition the Riadys' Lippo Bank in Hong Kong was
at one point scheduled to buy out the bankrupt BCCI branch in Hong Kong,
where the Burma drug lord Khun Sa was rumoured to have deposited hundreds
of millions of dollars. The deal went sour, and the BCCI branch was bought
instead by the Australian Alan Bond. After Bond in turn went bankrupt,
the Lippo Bank bought from him the old Hong Kong BCCI bank building, which
it now occupies.53
The root problem however is the U.S. decision to play Realpolitik in regions
where the reality of right-wing power is its grounding in the resources
of the drug traffic. Alternatives to this easy route of drug traffic symbiosis
and co-dependency are not easy, but they must be turned to. The government
strategy of global Realpolitik has helped to expand the global drug traffic
to the point where the strategy itself, strengthening the flow of drugs
from one CIA-protected network to another around the world, has become
a more genuine threat to the real security of the domestic United States,
than the enemies it allegedly opposes. The United States certainly does
not control these dangerous allies it has strengthened and in some cases
invented. The problem of disengagement from such world-wide alliances
is complex, and disengagement by itself will not bring an end to the traffic
which U.S. policies have fostered. But it is clearly time, with a new
Administration and a new post-Cold War global environment, for a decisive
repudiation to drug alliances, and a move towards new global strategies.
What Can Be Done?
What can be done to stop this governmental protection of drug-traffickers?
In the short run we need an explicit repudiation of former drug-linked
strategies, and an admission that they have been counter-productive. This
might take the form of an explicit directive from the Clinton Administration,
that old strategies to shore up corrupt right-wing governments abroad,
like Peru's, must be clearly subordinated to the new domestic priority
of reducing this nation's drug problems.
More specifically, the misnamed "War on Drugs", a pernicious
and misleading military metaphor, should be replaced by a medically and
scientifically oriented campaign towards healing this country's drug
sickness. The billions that have been wasted in military anti-drug campaigns,
efforts which have ranged from the futile to the counter-productive, should
be re-channelled into a public health paradigm, emphasizing prevention,
maintenance, and rehabilitation programs. The experiments in controlled
de-criminalization which have been initiated in Europe should be closely
studied and emulated here.54
The root cause of the governmental drug problem in this country is the
National Security Act of 1947, and subsequent orders based on it. These
in effect have exempted intelligence agencies and their personnel from
the rule of law, an exemption which in the course of time has been extended
from the agencies themselves to their drug-trafficking clients. This must
cease. Either the President or Congress must proclaim that national security
cannot be invoked to protect drug-traffickers. This must be accompanied
by clarifying orders or legislation, discouraging the conscious collaboration
with, or protection of, criminal drug-traffickers, by making it clear
that such acts will themselves normally constitute grounds for prosecution.
Clearly a campaign to restore sanity to our prevailing drug policies will
remain utopian, if it does not contemplate a struggle to realign the power
priorities of our political system. Such a struggle will be difficult
and painful. For those who believe in an open and decent America, the
results will also be rewarding.
1. U.S., General Accounting Office, Drug Control: U.S. Supported Efforts
in Burma, Pakistan, and Thailand, GAO/NSIAD-88-94, February 1988, 12;
cited in Peter Dale Scott, "Cocaine, the Contras, and the United
States: How the U.S. government has augmented America's drug crisis",
Crime, Law and Social Change, 16 (1991), 97-131 (98). (In 1979, the first
year of the CIA's Afghan operation, the number of drug-related deaths
in New York City rose by 77 percent.) New York Times, May 22, 1980; Alfred
W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
(New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991), 437.
2. Scott, "Cocaine", 99.
3. Discussion, with examples of such lies, in Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan
Marshall, Cocaine Politics (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California
Press, 1991), 172-85, especially at 177-78; cf. 179-81; see also Joel
Millman, "Narco-Terrorism: A Tale of Two Stories", Columbia
Journalism Review, (September-October 1986), 50-51; Rolling Stone, September
10, 1987; Mark Hertsgaard, On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency
(New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1988), 314-15, etc.
4. Michael Massing, New York Review of Books, December 3, 1992, 10; Nation,
December 2, 1991.
5. Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin (New York: Lawrence Hill Books,
1991), 162; Alfred W. McCoy, with Cathleen B. Read and Leonard P. Adams
II, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (New York: Harper & Row,
1972), 12 H6; both citing New York Times, September 17, 1963, 45.
6. San Francisco Chronicle, April 29, 1993, A14. For the links between
the Cali cartel, the Colombian, and the U.S. Government, see Scott and
Marshall, 79-103, especially 81-94.
7. Wall Street Journal, January 28, 1997 (Montesinos); James Mills, The
Underground Empire (New York: Dell, 1986), 809 (CIA).
8. San Jose Mercury News, April 19, 1992.
9. Wall Street Journal, January 28, 1997. The trafficker, detained in
prison, later recanted his story. According to an Op-ed in the New York
Times by Gustavo Gorriti, a leader among the Peruvian intellectuals forced
into exile, "Mr. Montesinos built a power base and fortune mainly
as a legal strategist for drug traffickers. He has had a close relationship
with the C.I.A., and controls the intelligence services, and, through
them, the military." New York Times, December 27, 1992.
10. Washington Post, May 10, 1992, A32 (Montesinos); Jonathan Marshall,
Drug Wars (Berkeley: Eclipse Books, 1991), 24-26; Wall Street Journal,
November 29, 1991; Washington Post, February 28, 1993 (military).
11. New York Times, November 11, 1991, A6; September 28, 1993.
12. Scott and Marshall, 191.
13. Mills, The Underground Empire, 877.
14. Mills, The Underground Empire, 585; Scott and Marshall, 83-84.
15. Patrick L. Clawson and Rensselaer W. Lee III, The Andean Cocaine Industry
(New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996), 31, 181.
16. Economist, May 13, 1995, 44; San Francisco Chronicle, August 17, 1996;
cf. Mills, 877-79.
17. San Francisco Chronicle, August 17, 1996.
18. New York Times, December 27, 1992. See also Progressive, May 1992,
25; Nation, March 30, 1992, 401.
19. Scott and Marshall, 34-39, quoting Elaine Shannon, Desperados, 179.
20. Manuel Buend'ia, La CIA en Mexico (Mexico City: Oceano, 1983),
21. Scott and Marshall, Cocaine Politics, 35-41.
22. Scott and Marshall, 41; Peter Dale Scott, "Letter to the ARRB
[Assassination Records Review Board]." Prevailing Winds (Santa Barbara,
CA), 3 [Spring 1996], 40-43.
23. Scott and Marshall, 65.
24. Scott and Marshall, 68-72.
25. Scott and Marshall, 55-58.
26. Celerino Castillo, Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras, and the Drug War
(Oakville, Ont.: Mosaic Press, 1994), 126, etc.
27. Peter Dale Scott, "Colombia: America's Dirtiest War on Drugs",
Tikkun (May June 1997), 27-31; Jonathan Marshall, Drug Wars (Forestville,
CA: Cohan and Cohen, 1991), 17-21; Scott and Marshall, 89; Rensselaer
Lee, White Labyrinth, 117-18.
28. Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of
the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship (New York: HarperCollins, 1991),
268-69. See also Marshall, 17-21. For the covert assistance of the Israel
and U.S. governments, see Cockburn and Cockburn, 212-13, 264-79.
29. Michael Klare and Cynthia Arnson, Supplying Repression (Washington:
Institute for Policy Studies, 1981), 23; Marshall, 13-15.
30. Scott and Marshall, 83-84, 95-98; Rensselaer Lee, The White Labyrinth,
106, 172-77, 218, and passim. One passionate advocate of the "narco-guerrilla"
hypothesis, the Peruvian Minister of the Interior in 1985, had a private
secretary who was a member of the Rodr'iguez-L'opez cartel.
31. Col. John. D. Waghelstein, Military Review, February 1987, 46-47;
quoted in Scott and Marshall, 198n; Marshall, 13.
32. San Francisco Chronicle, March 8, 1997, A10. Francois allegedly controlled
the capital, Port-au-Prince, with a network of hirelings who profited
on the side from drug-trafficking.
33. New York Times, November 23, 1996; see also Wall Street Journal, November
22, 1996. The total amount of drugs smuggled by Gen. Guillen may have
been more than 22 tons.
34. Scott and Marshall (paperback edition), x-xi.
35. Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne, The Outlaw Bank (New York: Random
House, 1993), 287-91; U.S. Cong., Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations,
The BCCI Affair, Report to the Committee by Senator John Kerry and Senator
Hank Brown, December 1992; 102nd Cong., 2nd Sess., Senate Print 102-140
(Washington: GPO, 1993; henceforth cited as Kerry-Brown Report), 67, 104-07.
36. Beaty and Gwynne, 306-08, 315-17, etc.; Kerry-Brown Report, 306-08.
37. Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of
BCCI, the World's Most Corrupt Financial Empire (Boston: Houghton
Mifflin, 1992), 131-34, 159-60, 430-31.
38. Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin (New York: Lawrence Hill Books,
1991), 449-50, etc. See also Wall Street Journal, May 1, 1992; Marshall,
39. Truell and Gurwin, False Profits, 160.
40. Beaty and Gwynne, 48-52, 294-95, 313-17. See also Marshall, 51-52.
41. Truell and Gurwin, False Profits, 133-34, 160.
42. Beaty and Gwynne, 208; Scott and Marshall, 188; see also Los Angeles
Times, September 19, 1991, A22.
43. Kerry-Brown Report, 69-70; Cockburn and Cockburn, 271-73.
44. For some of the links between Castle, WFC, Nugan Hand, and BCCI, too
complex to explore here, see Scott and Marshall, 92-93 (Castle/Nugan Hand);
Pete Brewton, The Mafia, CIA, and George Bush, 185 (WFC/BCCI); Kerry-Brown
Report, 127-31; Alan A. Block, Masters of Paradise (New Brunswick, NJ:
Transaction, 1991), 171, 191; Penny Lernoux, In Banks We Trust (New York:
Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984), 87; James Ring Adams and Douglas Frantz,
The Full Service Bank (New York: Pocket Books, 1992), 55 (Castle/Mercantile
Bank and Trust/ International Bank/ BCCI).
45. Scott and Marshall, 36. Other drug-traffickers who were also linked
to international smuggling of stolen cars include Norwin Meneses in Nicaragua
and Carlos Lehder in Colombia.
46. Michael Levine, Deep Cover (New York: Delacorte Press, 1990; Scott
and Marshall, 219).
47. Beaty and Gwynne, 323-44; Kerry-Brown Report, 185-239.
48. Beaty and Gwynne, 336-37; Kerry-Brown Report, 216-17; cf. 235.
49. Kerry-Brown Report, 237.
50. Beaty and Gwynne, 338.
51. Truell and Gurwin, False Profits, 365-67, 427-29; Beaty and Gwynne,
148-53 (Carter), 227-30 (Reagan-Bush). See also James Ring Adams and Douglas
Frantz, A Full Service Bank (New York: Pocket Books, 1992), 55-59 (for
BCCI's involvement with a major Clinton supporter). BCCI also had
links to the family of one Clinton Cabinet member, and the law firm of
another (Beaty and Gwynne, 227, 73).
52. Truell and Gurwin, 429.
53. Truell and Gurwin, 210, 365-66.
54. Eva Bertram, Morris Blachman, Kenneth Sharpe, Peter Andreas, Drug
War Politics: The Price of Denial (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University
of California Press, 1996), 204-27. See also Marshall, 63-67.