Drug Wars: Drug Enforcement as Counterinsurgency:

by Jonathan Marshall: Cohan & Cohen Publishers, Forestville CA, Library of Congress Cataloging- in-Publication Data: pages 29 - 57:

pg 29: Narcotics & Communism: The dreaded 'heroin epidemic' of 1969 and 1970. It was the answer to a central dilemma: the exhaustion of the cold war. The popular image of Communist subversion - its poisoning of minds with enticing propaganda - has a counterpart in the image of the drug pusher enslaving America's youth with alluring poisons of the body. Both entail a fall from grace, a loss of reason and will, a disruption of social bonds. Viewed this way, narcotics enforcement is an essential element of the nation's defense against hostile attempts to undermine the physical and moral strength of our population. As President Ford once declared, "all nations of the world - friend and adversary alike - must understand that America considers the illegal export of opium to the country a threat to our national security." Harry Anslinger, who led the FBN from its founding in 1930 until 1962, championed this outlook. "Reefers and propaganda," he declared,"...go hand in hand." He warned Americans to "be on guard against the use of drugs as a political weapon by the Communists" who "may try to make narcotics of new 'sixth' column to weaken and destroy selected targets in the drive for world domination."

page 30: China: 1949: main source of Southeast Asia heroin 1970 "opium is cultivated in vast quantities in China 1971 following President Nixon's announcement of his forthcoming mission to China, The State Department was claiming "There is no reliable evidence that the Communist Chinese have ever engaged in or sanctioned the illicit export of opium or its derivates." Indeed, the White House instructed executive agencies to beware of Communist dope stories, alleging that they originated in the propaganda mills of Taiwan. Secretary of State George Shultz: called potent propaganda against the Soviets "Evil Empire" 1984:...smuggling massive amounts of drugs into Western nations may serve their broader goal of attempting to weaken the fabric of Western democratic society.

page 31: July 1984: Reagan, North, Nicaraguan, Colombian cocaine : DEA sting, Interior Minister Thomas Borge, and Defense Minister Humberton Ortega. 1984: Senator Paula Hawkins, R. FL, whose constituents included large numbers of anti-Communist Cuban exiles, said "It is not enough for them to maim a generation of American

page 32 children, for they use the blood money from their drug sales to create mayhem throughout the Western hemisphere." American cocaine users, she insisted, "must realize that they are tools in a geopolitical movement designed to perpetuate totalitarianism in Nicaragua and to spread Marxist insurgency throughout Latin America." In 1984, a US indictment claims that they bought 1,400 kilos of cocaine into Nicaragua, storing it at the LosBrasiles Air Force Base. ...one Nicaraguan government official implicated by a DEA sting was housed in the US embassy in 1985... 1988, DEA Administrator John Lawn was willing to describe Nicaragua as largely untouched by drugs....anti- Castro sources claimed that Fidel Castro personally discussed guns for drugs trades with Jack Ruby, the Dallas killer of Lee Harvey Oswald...

page 33 Through the 1970's US prosecutors and drug agents heard from reliable informants that Havana was taking a share of profits in return for providing traffickers a haven and transfer station for drug shipments originating in Colombia. In 1982, a federal grand injury in Miami indicted four senior Cuban officials and 10 others of conspiring "to use Cuba as a loading station and source of supplies for ships transporting "Quaaludes and marijuana to the southeastern United States.".

page 34 ..The deep and tragic irony is that Washington itself has done as much as any government to promote the growth of the world drug trade. The CIA, joined the drug war in 1969 by order of President Nixon. Under President Bush, the newly formed Counternarotics Center has become

page 36 the central clearinghouse for international drug intelligence. A classified memorandum of understanding between the DEA and CIA gives CIA primary responsibility for the use of foreign drug informants. DEA agents grumbled about "past lack of interest and present ineffectiveness" in the battle against drugs. The CIA was "present at the creation" of most of the major post World War II drug production centers and trafficking syndicates. Its material support and political protection nurtured the great heroin and cocaine empires whose power today rivals that of many governments. Without critical American aid they might have remained limited, regional gangs; with it, they forged truly international production and smuggling networks. Syndicates in Sicily, (Sicilian Mafia), Marseilles, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central America, and Afghanistan. The CIA's parent and sister organizations, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), cultivated the leaders of the Italian Mafia - one of the great drug syndicates of all times - during World War II. Earl Brennan, head of OSS intelligence for the Italian Mediterranean theater, recruited heavily from the New York and Chicago underworlds and kept in touch with Sicilian Mafia leaders exiled by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. OSS operatives not only freed Mafia leaders from Sicilian prisons and conspired with them to suppress the burgeoning Italian Communist Party but even toyed for a while with Mafia-sponsored plans to secede from the rest of Italy. {Navy - Charles "Lucky" Luciano - Meyer Lansky, Joe Adonis, and Frank Costello, Mafia used government sanction to crush its rivals in the union movement.}

page 37 Deported to Italy, Luciano proceeded to build an enormous heroin empire. First he diverted supplies from the legal market; then he developed connections in Lebanon and Turkey that supplied morphine base to labs in Sicily and Marseilles. Politically, this same alliance cemented the control of corrupt but anti-Communist Christian Democratic leaders in Sicily and southern Italy. Much blood flowed to achieve that goal; in 1947-48, US intelligence officers allegedly helped the Mafia seize total power on the island by massacring several hundred leftists. Former CIA operative Miles Copeland claims that "had it not been for the Mafia the Communists would by now be in control of Italy." The CIA pursued much of the same strategy in France. It sent funds to the heroin-smuggling Corsican underworld of Marseilles to assist its battle with Communist unions for control of the city's docks in 1947. (The CIA's top Corsican agent in that struggle was reportedly implicated in a massive opium smuggling ring from Laos into Vietnam in the mid - 1960s) By 1951, the Corsicans and Luciano had pooled their forces to dominate the heroin market. Corsican master chemists would dominate the world heroin trade until the breaking of the "French Connection" in the early 1970's.

page 38 Rise of the Golden Triangle: Along with these two pillars of the post-World War II heroine market, the CIA helped establish a third in the "Golden Triangle," the mountainous border region of Laos, Burma, Thailand and China's Yunnan Province where opium poppies grow in astonishing abundance. The leader of this vast supply of opium, morphine, & heroin is Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. With the victory of the Chinese Communist revolution in 1949, his heroin empire folded, but a new one emerged after Nationalists (KMT) forces under the command of General Li Mi fled from Yunnan into the wild Shan States of eastern Burma. By 1951, if not earlier, they began receiving arms, ammunition and other supplies via CIA airlift to facilitate their abortive efforts to rekindle an anti-Communist resistance in China. Repelled from China with heavy losses, the KMT settled down with the local population to organize and expand the lucrative opium trade from Burma and northern Thailand. In this endeavor, they continued to enjoy support both from the CIA and its "assets" in the Thai military and police, who convoyed the drugs to Thai ports. By 1972, the KMT controlled fully 80 percent of the Golden Triangle's enormous opium trade. The CIA's relationship to these drug merchants - and to corrupt Laotian, Thai and Vietnamese political and military leaders - attracted little attention until the early 1970's. In 1966, Harrison Salisbury noted the rise of heroin production in the region and added: US aid & CIA have a deeper interest in the opium business than in the Communist business. In the center of the whole trade is a hardy band of Chinese Nationalist troops who were flown to China's Yunnan province border years ago in one of the early CIA operations.. 1970 Christian Science Monitor reported: "Clearly the CIA is cognizant of, if not party to, the extensive movement of opium out of Laos. ...By the end of 1970, 30,000 American servicemen in Vietnam were addicted to Heroin. The full story did not break until 1972, when Yale University doctoral candidate Alfred McCoy published his trailblazing study, "The politics of Heroin" in Southeast Asia. The CIA's efforts to quash the book brought McCoy's expose national publicity and only strengthened his thesis: that Cold War politics and American covert operations had fostered a heroin boom in the Golden Triangle. CIA claims since President Nixon declared his "war on drugs" priorities have changed. Evidence suggests otherwise: After the fall of South Vietnam, the CIA and the National Security Agency expanded their facilities in Bangkok and Chiang Mai in northern Thailand to monitor military and political activity in Vietnam, Laos, Southern China and northern Burma. The smugglers were natural allies. DEA agents who served in Southeast Asia in the late 1970's & 1980's said they frequently discovered that they were tracking heroin smugglers who were on the CIA payroll. When the story finally leaked, Senator Charles Percy commented, "Apparently CIA agents are untouchable - however serious their crime or however much harm is done to society. Last year (1974) we learned that the President of the United States himself is not above the law. Yet apparently CIA agents are untouchable. 1977: Thai General Kriangsak Chamanand, graduate of the National Defense University in the United States, had served as a "key link" in CIA covert operations during the Vietnam War, including the use of Thai mercenaries to fight the "secret war" in Laos.

page 41 1970's CIA immunized Latin American smugglers in no fewer than 27 federal drug cases. "A former DEA operations chief recalls that starting with CIA directors William Colby and George Bush, the Agency regularly poached from both the DEA's pool of informants and investigative targets. "When the DEA arrested these drug traffickers," he stated, "they used the CIA as protection and because of their CIA involvement they were released. This amounted to a license to traffic for life because even if they were arrested in the future, they could demand classified documents about their prior CIA involvement and would have to be let go. The CIA knew full well that their assets were drug traffickers.": narcotics syndicate blessed and protected by the CIA: the Direccion Federal de Seguridad (DFS), a powerful internal security agency sometimes compared to a joint CIA and FBI. In 1985, US investigators discovered that DFS agents handled security for many of Mexico's most notorious smugglers. "Every time we grab someone, they're carrying a card from the DFS" complained one drug agent.

page 42 DFS masterminded the infamous "Guadalajara Cartel" which shipped more Colombian cocaine into the US than any other syndicate. Mexican trafficker Carlos de Herrera called the DFS one of the "most strong mafias in Mexico." The agency, he testified, "had a ranch specially built just to grow marijuana..." When DEA agents led Mexican Federal Judicial Police (rivals of the DFS) to the ranch, they seized 10,000 tons of marijuana, worth more than $5 billion, and detained more than 5,000 field workers. It gave a new meaning to the word agribusiness. DFS chief Miguel Nazar Haro on CIA payroll for a decade, 1982 indicted for running enormous stolen car ring from the US into Mexico CIA intervened National security, successor Jose Antonio Zorrilla, took vast amounts of money from the drug lords to protect their interests, while maintaining close contact with the CIA station in Mexico City.

page 43 The untouchable DFS. one DEA agent said of the CIA "They don't give a damn. They turn their heads the other way. They see their task as much more important than ours." "The CIA protected that agency for so long, they didn't want their connection with the DFS to ever go away, and the DFS just got out of hand." said DEA investigator James Kuydendall. When DEA agent Camarena was killed in Mexico did forces shift enough for the CIA to begin adding drug enforcement to its agenda in Mexico. CIA was implicated for protecting Mexico's leading drug lords in return for their financial support the Nicaraguan Contras. Whenever the CIA engages in Third World paramilitary operations, there will almost surely be found an explosion in drug smuggling by local partisans - not only to finance the cause, but also to take advantage of the protection and secrecy by the US in the name of "national security" The Nicaraguan Contras were no exception....It was Senator Kerry's subcommittee in a 1,166 page report in April 1989, to long after the high point to make any political difference US Contra Cocaine Trade. US senior policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems. pg 44 The head of the CIA's Central America Task Force confessed during congressional hearings in 1987, "With respect to (drug trafficking by) the Resistance Forces...it is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people. knowledge did not stop US aid from flowing directly to the resistance forces. Kerry's committee discovered that State Department contracts worth $806,000 went to only four aid conduits "owned and operated by narcotics traffickers. SETCO Air, Honduran cargo firm - hired by State Department to transport goods 1983 - 1986 owned by billionaire Ramon Matta Ballesteros, one of the biggest traffickers of all time. Matta made his fortune by connecting the Colombian cocaine producers with the CIA-DFS protected Guadalajara Cartel in Mexico. arrested 1988 Honduran military was the Contras, cocaine traffickers so blind eye, DEA closed station. Honduras became booming center for multi-ton loads of Colombian cocaine. four tons (8,000) 1987 largest seizure of cocaine in US history to that time. "only 1/5 of all US cocaine moved through Honduras." Matta, wanted in US for murder of DEA agent Camarena lived charmed life, entertaining high-level officials, directing far-flung criminal network from his lavish mansion in Tegucigalpa. 1988 after Contra exposed did US drug agents force his extradition. CIA's man in Panama - General Manual Noriega. Noriega received Washington's financial and diplomatic support for a good fifteen years while his name was showing up for drug crimes on intelligence files. Agent US Defense Intelligence Agency in 1959, CIA's payroll in 1967, 1968, Noriega took charge of Panama's intelligence service, In 1976, CIA Director George Bush paid Noriega $110,000 a year for these services Payments to Noriege, suspended in the Carter years, resumed in 1981 when President Reagan took office. At their peak, in 1985, Noriega collected $200,000 from the CIA In 1988, the Reagan administration approved his indictment on drug charges, as Contra broke, Noriega became a public liability. CIA Director William Casey was the Reagan administration's staunchest defender of Noriega. Even after Casey's death, the Agency refused to make available its file on Noriega to the DEA or the US Attorney who brought the indictment against him. Afghanistan: Holly Warriors & Heroin: While the CIA was shipping more than a billion dollars worth of arms into Afghanistan, the guerrillas it backed helped to boost the country's opium production from 250 tons in 1982 to 800 tons in 1989. The region supplied most of the heroin for the infamous "Pizza Connection," a Sicilian Mafia network, busted by DEA in 1984, by 1985, as much as 62 percent of all American heroin came from Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 1985 The State Department never mentioned Afghanistan in its annual narcotics report. In 1986, all of a sudden, the department acknowledged that Afghanistan was "probably the world's largest producer of opium for export" and "the poppy source for a majority of the Southwest Asian heroine found in the US and 80 % of the heroin & morphine in Europe. As to possible rebel involvement in the traffic, it stated only: "The Mujahideen organizations have condemned opium production and use." Helmand, a province on Afghanistan's southern border with Pakistan, ruled by Nasim, deputy defense minister of the Afghan Interim Government. His awesome opium farms, stretching colorfully for miles, were watered by a pre-war irrigation project built by US taxpayers' expense to make the Helmand Valley the bread basket of Afghanistan. In 1989, Nasim entered into negotiations with Robert Oakley, the American ambassador in Pakistan, to curb opium production in return for millions of dollars in aid payments. Washington turned him down but continued to finance and arm him indirectly through his Islamic Revolutionary Movement By 1989, Pakistan had 100 heroin labs near the border with Afghanistan. Spring 1989 Newsweek revealed that the CIA had used an obscure Lebanese-controlled currency firm in Zurich, Shakarchi Trading, to channel aid to the Afghan rebels. The DEA investigated the same firm for "mingling the currency of heroin, morphine, base, ahassish traffickers with that of jewelers buying gold on the black market and Middle East arms traffickers.

page 54: Drugs & Covert Intelligence Networks: late Florida attorney Paul Helliwell, former head of OSS wartime intelligence in China - In 1951 he help set up Sea Supply Corp, a front used to run supplies to the nationals in Chinese revolution, it also ran the opium out of the hill country to Bangkok. . laundered CIA funds through the Bahamas based Castle Bank. Castle Bank catered to the tax-evasions set - notably several leading American gangsters with interests in Las Vegas. But it also did mysterious transactions with a Cayman Island firm, ID Corp. ID's sole owner, the American Shig Katayama, because known as one of the key facilitators of Lockheed Corp's huge payoffs to Japanese politicians in return for airplane contracts. Of Katayama one Japanese journalist charged, "his real job (in the early 1950s) was to handle narcotics for the US intelligence work. Lockheed disbursed money to the politicians through the rightish "wire-puller" Yoshio Kodama, who enjoyed unsurpassed influence in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. During World War II Kodama proved himself a gifted smuggler and procurement specialists for the Japanese navy, on whose behalf he traded opium and heroin for scarce raw materials. Arrested after VJday as a class A war criminal suspect, Kodama was released from prison in 1948 and quickly recruited by the CIA, which used him, among others purposes, when it needed leverage over politicians in Tokyo. International currency dealer Deak & Co. , Founded by OSS veteran Nicholas Deak, used by CIA to finance covert operations including 1953 overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq. Saigon, Vietnam, Mafia Boss E. Howard Hunt & veteran of CIA plots to assassinate Fidel Castro looking for new sources of heroin following loss of resources following the loss of European suppliers because of the French Connection - Deak & Co., called "Black Bank of Asia." . 1984, Colombian cocaine traffickers, Lockheed bribe funds to top Japanese officials, Ron Pulger Frame, carried money for Nugan Hand Bank of Australia, whose principals specialize in moving drugs, hot money and arms around the world.

page 56 Its network included prominent CIA veterans, US military intelligence and special operations experts, and members of the Australian underworld. Reporter Jonathan Kwitny suggests that Nugan Hand might have been expanded under CIA arrangement to replace its failing Caribbean front banks, including Castle Bank in the late 1970's. A decade later, several American covert operations veterans in Nugan Hand's milieu, including Richard Second and Thomas Clines, would become implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal. Narcotics Agents, CIA agents: DEA takes over police training and assistance programs from the Office of Public Safety and the State Department's narcotics section, functioned as CIA fronts from their inception. The longtime head of OPS was former CIA counterintelligence specialist Byron Engle. The CIA used OPS to supply credentials to its overseas agents. CIA appointed OPS to assign Green Beret instructors to teach foreign police students to build and set off bombs. CIA used its opium and arms smuggling front Sea Supply Corp., to train paramilitary Thai Border Patrol Police under Gen. Phan Sriyanon. The CIA molded the BPP into a asset beholden to Washington, rather than the Thai government. Before long, Thailand had "one of the highest ratios between policemen & citizens of any country in the world. Phao was also the most notorious Thai drug smuggler of his era. The contacts he established through the CIA's Sea Supply Corp. with the KMT opium traffickers allowed him to sew up a near monopoly on Burmese opium exports. His border police BPP escorted drug caravans from the frontier through to Bangkok. A 1957 coup unseated Phao, but the CIA continued to aid the BPP under OPS cover. in early 1970s, as noted above, a CIA employee in this program was caught smuggling a load of opium into the United States. The Justice Department dropped charges in order to protect the operations cover. embarrassment didn't prevent US narcotics aid from flowing to the BPP to make up for the loss of the OPS program in 1974. The political fruits of that aid ripened in bloody military coup October 6, 1976 - led in part by Gen. Kriangsak, protector of the KMT drug lords. BPP units, backed by OPS trained and INC supplied elements of the Bangkok police, burst into Thammasat University to crush student demonstrators. Thousands of students were killed, most journalists, scholars, and intellectuals were also rounder up and put in prison. "The Washington Post" observed "Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, no one in the Ford administration has been heard to utter a single public word of regret for the demise of Thai democracy." US reward to new regime was to give BPP five helicopters - supposedly to fight drugs. US intelligence reports several years later indicate the BPP still protect Leading traffickers using official vehicles to transport heroin south to Bangkok. The KMT opium warlord Tuan Shi-wen said BPP totally corrupt and responsible for the transportation of narcotics. DEA agents who considered the BPP still to be "a wholly owned subsidiary of the CIA," could only despair at their futility of their job. They had every reason to despair further in 1987, when the Pentagon pretended to do its part in the war on drugs by dispatching a Special Forces team to train the BPP in what could only have been counterinsurgency tactics. The CIA undercover use of narcotics agencies and programs did not become a significant public issue until 1975, when the Rockefeller Commission revealed that the CIA had infiltrated agents into the BNDD

page 58: Anslinger subverted law enforcement to serve the ends of the CIA and Cold War politics. Garland Williams, head of the FBN's New York office & first agent sent overseas by the bureau, became chief of the Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps in 1940 and then Director of Special Training of the OSS, taught hundreds of agents, liaison to the British Special Operations Executive - W.W.II, Korean War commanded military intelligence group, 1960's retired from FBN, helped several African nations set up police & intelligence services, a job he could hardly have undertaken without CIA approval. OSS's successor, FBN agent Hank Manfredi doubled as a CIA agent in Rome. another Sal Vizzini assigned in Beirut - "As a narcotics agent I'd have a certain immunity from government surveillance. I'd have a cover within a cover, which was more than you could say for the CIA regulars on the seen." - worked Bangkok 1960 in plot to bomb a major KMT heroin manufacturer in Burma. George White, one of Anslinger's top men, cover within a cover, lieutenant colonel in OSS, narcotics agent and OSS veteran Charles (Cigars) Siragusa. operation ARTICHOKE whether an individual through drug control could be made to perform an assassination, involuntarily CIA justified such distasteful programs with the claim, advanced by counterintelligence chief James Angleton, that the Soviets and Chinese were developing similar drugs. Angleton was White's wartime college in OSS The CIA officer responsible for this tightly held program also recruited Mafia drug traffickers for the murder plots against Fidel Castro in 1960, the FBN was no stranger to those plots. In the summer of 1960 a CIA officer approached Charles Siragusa, by then deputy director of FBN and official liaison with the CIA, with the news of "assassination squad." "Since you have a lot of contacts with the under world", he told Siragusa, "we'd like you to put together a team to conduct a series of hits...There's some foreign leaders we'd like dead....the FBN official declined-peacetime-CIA found another channel page 60 Lucien Conein, French born, worked with Corsicans during WW II as an OSS agent in France & Indochina (with Paul Helliwell) and later in Vietnam where he became the CIA's liaison with the generals who murdered President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963. - Conein paid off friendly Vietnamese hill tribesmen with drugs they later sold to American troops 1971, Conein hired with CIA buddy and Castro assassination plotter E. Howard Hunt to help the Nixon White House with political dirty tricks. Watergate break-in made Hunt's operation too hot to handle, White house disposed by finding him a consulting job with the BNDD. Conein recruited former CIA agents from the Miami area during the 1960's to undertake "clandestine operations,", organizing an assassination program. frustrated by the big-time operators who were just too insulated to get to. we couldn't win, the way things were going. project named BUNCIN later DEACON, 1974 assassination equipment from firm connected with his OSS colleague Mitchel WerBell III. A Georgia based arms dealer who did business with alleged drug financier Robert Vesco, Werbell indicted and acquitted conspiracy to import marijuana, stated he does guns, revolutions, maybe even assassinations, - Warbell worked with secret anti-drug unit directed out of the White House, assisted Conein in "putting together assassination devices for the DEA." March 27, 1971, President Nixon ordered $100,000,000 be secretly budgeted for clandestine BNDD assassinations. Officials of the narcotics agency began talking of the need to establish "hit squads" and of aiming to disrupt the heroin trade with "150 key assassinations." The CIA, apparently, was willing to assist. The plots reached deep within the White House itself, which organized a secret unit under Howard Hunt and Gordan Liddy, mission administer "war on drugs." Hunt, the CIA veteran - turned - "Plumber" who employed Conein in 1971, recruited CIA trained Cuban exiles in late 1971 and spring of 1972 to "waste" Panamanian leader Gen. Omar Torrijos, targeted because of his independent, leftist political stance and his opposition to the administration's demand for a new 50-year lease on the Panama Canal. Hunt saw it as a change "to knock off a Communist drug dealer." Watergate break-in prevented the plot from fruition.

page 62 1989, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut called for reconsideration of Executive Order 12333, which prohibits ordering the killing of foreign enemies in all circumstances.....We have to begin to treat the Colombian drug cartel not just as a law enforcement target, but as another terrorist organization with which we are involved in a war . Directive signed by Reagan defined drug trafficking as a "national security" narcoterroism. Illustrations

page 74: Picture of George Bush: On the Home Front George Bush as UN Ambassador, member of Richard Nixon's pioneering Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Control, CIA Director during the administration of Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan's point man in the war on drugs, President George Bush's intimate knowledge of the history and practice of US drug policy spans the course of four different Republican administrations. In the picture, the President is holding up a bag of crack cocaine confiscated, for photo opportunity purposes, directly in front of the White House.