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(en) CIA Delays Report on its Drug Smuggling

From Tom Burghardt <tburghardt@igc.apc.org>
Date Mon, 6 Apr 1998 17:54:38 -0700 (PDT)
Cc amanecer@aa.net, ara@web.net, ats@locust.etext.org, bblum6@aol.com, mnovickttt@igc.org, nattyreb@ix.netcom.com, pinknoiz@ccnet.com, sflr@slip.net

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

                           * CIABASE *
                    E-mail: rmcgehee@igc.org
                    - Friday, 3 April 1998 -
                        By Ralph McGehee
           Source: PeaceNet Conf., alt.politics.org.cia
     The CIA has not yet (as of noon 4/3/98) released its
600-page report on this activity to Congress as promised by IG
Hitz -- will there be a  declassified as well as classified
version -- what is the holdup?
     The 13 April 1998 issue of The Nation contains more
information on CIA Inspector General Hitz's report on its drug
smuggling. He reports that in 1982, the Justice Department and
the CIA hammered out an agreement  by which there was no
requirment for the Agency to inform law enforcement of 
allegations of drug trafficking [by their agents and assets]. I
was surprised  to learn that this accord stayed in place until
     In 1991 the CIA began searching for justification for its
existence and  established operational centers for
counternarcotics, counterterrorism and counterintelligence.
     The CIA's Counternarcotics Center coordinated the operations
of the Department of Defense and the law enforcement agencies.
     What a sweet setup -- it was coordinating all anti-drug
efforts of the  U.S. government -- including its own pro- and
counter- narcotics ops?
Ralph McGehee
     dci webster launched 3 unique centers for
     counterintelligence,  counternarcotics and counterterrorism.
     washington times 5/9/91 a11
     central america,  81-96 jack blum testified the justice
     department blocked kerry subcommittee's inquiry in late
     1980s into allegations CIA intervened in court cases, "to
     help people who helped them in covert wars." william weld,
     then assistant attorney general in charge was an "absolute
     stone wall who systematically tried to discredit the kerry
     investigation by preventing u.s. attorneys from cooperating
     with them. panama, haiti, and honduras were countries where
     the reagan adm was aware intel officers were tolerating drug
     dealing by local citizens. washington post 10/24/96 a18
     47-96  paper by william blum, "the CIA and drugs." "in a
     30-year history in the drug enforcement adm and related
     agenices, the major targets of my investigations almost
     invariably turned out to be working for the CIA. dennis
     dayle, former chief of an elite dea enforcement unit." paper
     covers oscar blandon and juan norwin meneses - both
     nicaraguan. brief history includes: 47-51 france; early 50s,
     southeast asia; 1950s to early 1970s, indochina; 1973-80,
     australia; 1970s and 80s, panama; 1980s, central america;
     80s to early 9os, afghanistan; and, mid-80s to early 90s,
     haiti. sources listed. paper 11/15/96
     80-98  CIA acknowledged that cocaine traffickers played a
     significant early role in the nicaraguan contra movement and
     it intervened to block an image-threatening 1984 federal
     inquiry into a cocaine ring with suspected links to the
     contras. CIA also admitted that it received intel from a
     law-enforcement agency as early as 1982 that a u.s.
     religious group was collaborating with the contras in a
     guns-for-drugs op. the admissions are buried in a 1/29/98
     report. in the report's volume one, entitled "the california
     story," CIA inspector general hitz reasserts CIA contentions
     that key figures from the crack ring did not have direct
     ties to the CIA and that their donations to the contra cause
     were relatively small. toward the end of the report, the CIA
     includes broad admissions that many of webb's contentions
     were not only true, but understated the contra-cocaine
     connection. the consortium 2/16/98
     90-97  alleged CIA link could tangle miami drug trial. u.s.
     prosecutors say subject helped smuggle drugs into the u.s.
     while his boss, a general also now wanted on u.s. drugs
     charges, allegedly worked for CIA. adolfo romero gomez
     charged. centerpiece of the indictment charges romero was
     that his boss, gen. ramon guillen davila, who later claimed
     to be a CIA operative, smuggled up to 22 tons of cocaine
     into the u.s. while he was chief of venezuela's national
     guard anti-drug bureau between 1987 and 1991. the former
     head of venezuela's national guard has acknowledged that he
     helped ship 2.3 tons of cocaine through venezuela, but he
     said it was part of an op sanctioned by the CIA that
     targeted colombian drug cartel leaders. reuter 9/15/97
     central america,  81-98  CIA clears self of drug charge.
     report quotes blandon claiming no tie to the CIA but said he
     gave the contras about $40,000 and that his partner meneses
     gave a similar amount. in 82, blandon met with contra
     leaders in honduras - later he was detained at the
     tegucigalpa airport by honduran officials who discovered he
     was carrying $100,000. contras interceded, winning his
     release and the return of the drug money cash. blandon says
     he attended a summit of contra leaders in florida in 83 and
     financially assisted eden pastora. the contra war and the
     drug trade existed in all-too-close proximity. discussion of
     the "frogman" case. the CIA intervened in a law-enforcing
     matter to smother an embarrassing exposure of the
     contra-drug link. blandon and meneses did sell millions in
     drugs specifically for the contras. the nation 3/9/98 24
     venezuela,  85-96  a former head of venezuela's CIA-financed
     anti-drug agency, gen. ramon guillen davila, was indicted by
     a federal grand jury on charges he plotted to smuggle
     cocaine into the us. it widely reported three years ago that
     the CIA let guillen smuggle some cocaine into the us over
     the objections of the u.s. drug enforcement adm. CIA denied
     the reports. guillen said his venezuelan national guard
     anti-narcotics unit sent about 4,100 pounds of cocaine to
     the us with the knowledge of the CIA and the dea to help
     u.s. officials snare drug traffickers. but law-enforcement
     officials said guillen's unit shipped as much as 22 tons of
     cocaine into the us during the period when he headed it,
     between 1987 and 1991. officials said CIA agents working
     with guillen approved the delivery of one and possibly two
     cocaine shipments totaling more than a ton, which were
     smuggled into the united states. purported motive was to
     help gather intel about drug-smuggling networks and
     strengthen position of a key confidential informant within
     colombia's drug cartels. cocaine was not supposed to reach
     u.s. users but it often did. no CIA officials were charged
     in the indictment. ap 11/21/96
     venezuela,  87-96  gen ramon guillen davila, the head of the
     venezuelan national guard for four years and once CIA's most
     trusted man in that country, indicted on drug trafficking
     charges. he is charged with smuggling as much as 22 tons of
     cocaine into the u.s. while chief of the guard's anti-drug
     bureau between 87-91. as head of the anti-drug unit he
     worked closely with dea and CIA. washington post 11/24/96
     venezuela,  93  gen guillen davila behind shipment of
     cocaine into u.s. discovered by dea. dea investigation
     showed CIA helped venezuelan officers run a profitable coke
     op. in 12/89 CIA officer mark mcfarlin and his boss jim
     campbell, cos, asked dea to allow hundreds pounds cocaine
     into u.s. to help gather info on colombia's drug lords. dea
     officer annabelle grimm refused. guillen's agents got drugs
     from colombia and stored them in a CIA truck at CIA-funded
     counternarcotics center near caracas. several caches flown
     to u.s. mcfarlin told guillen venezuelan secret police unto
     scheme. dea finally stopped shipment of 3,373 lbs cocaine.
     CIA claimed bad judgement and poor management. campbell
     retired and mcfarlin resigned. time 11/29/93 35
     george bush first gained responsibility for antidrug efforts
     in 1/76 when he became dci. pres ford had ordered the CIA to
     assume a major role on the war on drugs in 75. CIA used
     electronic surveillance in domestic ops. the CIA intervened
     in numerous drug cases in order to maintain secrecy its ops
     and agents. rafael alarcon rcvd CIA leniency. alarcon former
     head of chile drug enforcement and moonlighted in drug
     traffic. in april 74 alarcon indicted for conspiracy to
     smuggle drugs. he extradited to the us in 9/74 and plead
     guilty to reduced charges apparently because of CIA
     concerns. frank matthews and 9 others severed from drug
     indictment because of CIA concerns. gustav guerra-montenegro
     a suspected drug dealer's indictment dropped because of CIA
     concerns. puttaporn khramkhruan of thailand had charges
     dropped because of CIA concerns. this and other examples of
     CIA involvement with drug cases and smugglers given in the
     nation 9/3/88 149,165-6,168-9
     venezuela,  93  gen guillen davila behind shipment of
     cocaine into u.s. discovered by dea. dea investigation
     showed CIA helped venezuelan officers run a profitable coke
     op. in 12/89 CIA officer mark mcfarlin and his boss jim
     campbell, cos, asked dea to allow hundreds pounds cocaine
     into u.s. to help gather info on colombia's drug lords. dea
     officer annabelle grimm refused. guillen's agents got drugs
     from colombia and stored them in a CIA truck at CIA-funded
     counternarcotics center near caracas. several caches flown
     to u.s. mcfarlin told guillen venezuelan secret police unto
     scheme. dea finally stopped shipment of 3,373 lbs cocaine.
     CIA claimed bad judgement and poor management. campbell
     retired and mcfarlin resigned. time 11/29/93 35
     afghanistan,  97  afghan fields already grow half of the
     world's 1998 opium. opium was a minor afghan crop until war
     and drought disrupted supplies from the golden triangle in
     the 1970s. washington times 11/30/97 a11
     central america,  80-98  per the inspector general's report,
     CIA maintained contact with drug traffickers supporting
     contra nicaraguan rebels in the 1980s. "dozens of people and
     a number of companies..." were involved in drug trafficking.
     that trafficking involved bringing drugs into the u.s. the
     information, will be detailed in a 600-page classified
     report scheduled to be sent to congress later this month.
     the ig also said that under an agreement in 1982 between
     then-attorney general william french smith and the CIA,
     agency officers were not required to report allegations of
     drug trafficking involving non-employees -- defined as
     meaning paid and non-paid "assets [meaning agents], pilots
     who ferried supplies to the contras, as well as contra
     officials and others." this policy was modified in 1986 when
     CIA was prohibited from paying "u.s. dollars" (emphasis
     added) to any individual or company found to be involved in
     drug dealing. rep. dicks, ranking democrat on the intel
     panel, called for more hearings, including possible
     testimony from oliver l. north. washington post 3/17/98 a12
     central america, contras,  86-96  celerino castillo iii, a
     former agent of dea said that while assigned to ilopango air
     force base in el salvador in 1986, he saw covert CIA agents
     loading planes with cocaine destined for the u.s. he logged
     in his journal the amounts of cocaine, identification
     numbers of the planes and even the names of pilots. he sent
     cables to dea hqs informing them of the heavy flow of drugs
     through ilopango. [this was] an op run by lt. col. oliver
     north and by max gomez, alias felix rodriguez, a veteran of
     the CIA bay of pigs invasion of cuba and a friend of
     then-vice president george bush. castillo expressed alarm to
     dea official john marsh and to u.s. air force col. james
     steele, a u.s. military adviser in el salvador who
     supervised the CIA op. he also warned u.s. ambassador edwin
     g. corr. "i was told my career would end because i was
     "stepping on a white house operation." "i continued to write
     reports but they disappeared into the black hole" at dea
     hqs. "the evidence is there. i have the case file numbers,
     names and dates." people's weekly world 9/28/96
     central america, guatemala,  50-96  jack blum's paper. those
     of us involved in the senate investigation were aware of the
     contra connection to the west coast cocaine trade. when we
     tried to pursue the investigation, the justice department
     criminal division, then headed by bill weld, fought giving
     us access to essential records and to witnesses in
     government custody. the justice department did everything
     possible to block our investigation. it moved prisoners to
     make them inaccessible, instructed justice employees not to
     talk to us, punished an assistant u.s. attorney for passing
     information to the subcommittee. a review of the history of
     covert operations in the caribbean and south and central
     america shows a 40-year connection between crime and covert
     ops that has repeatedly blown back on the united states.
     same history will show that the ops in the region were, for
     the most part, moral and political failures. other ops in
     asia and europe have had similar consequences -- the worst
     in the narcotics area. many historical details. jack blum
     central america, panama, nicaragua,  81-96  oliver north
     advocated helping panamanian strongman manuel noriega clean
     up his drug-tainted image in return for noreiga-backed
     sabotage in nicaragua. the nation 10/21/96 7
     colombia,  97  the u.s., fearful that marxist guerrillas
     allied with drug traffickers pose a growing threat to
     colombia, is loosening restrictions on aid to colombian
     armed forces, withheld for years because of the military's
     human rights record. a unique agreement worked out last
     summer -- and heavily debated -- permits u.s. aid, expected
     to total about $37 million in fiscal 1998, to be used by the
     colombian military for counterinsurgency as part of a larger
     program to fight drugs. the aid can be used only in a
     specifically defined geographic area called "the box," whose
     exact boundaries are classified but which covers roughly the
     southern half of the country. critics say the move brings
     the u.s. closer to a vicious, multi-sided political conflict
     that is decades old and has cost thousands of lives. the
     colombian army and right-wing paramilitary groups it
     sponsors have been implicated in scores of civilian
     massacres, disappearances and cases of torture. leaders of
     the army-backed pm groups have been implicated in
     large-scale drug trafficking, yet have not been singled out
     as targets of the anti-drug efforts. washington post
     12/27/97 a1
     mexico, central america,  80-97  suggestion that william
     weld be named ambassador to mexico seems more than absurd.
     william weld, is a man accused -- by a us senator -- of
     cover-up and obstruction of justice in the drug war. the
     boston globe said: "weld [a top figure in edwin meese's
     justice department during iran-contra scandal] was a major
     part of a system that looked the other way from drug thugs
     who were deemed helpful in subverting and fighting
     leftists..." op-ed by michael levine a retired dea officer
     with 25 years service and author of deep cover and the big
     white lie. levine hosts wbai's "the expert witness" show on
     wednesdays, on 99.5 fm radio. op-ed. washington weekly
     nicaragua,  94  oliver north sacrificed antidrug effort when
     it benefitted contras. in 88, dea officials testified how
     they believed north compromised drug investigation. when
     briefed north developed hypothetical plan using barry seal -
     that would swing congressional vote in favor of contras.
     leak, that appeared in washington times, destroyed op but
     linked sandinistas to drug but there was no such evidence of
     that link. north also tried to get leniency for "a serious
     international terrorist," honduran general jose bueso rosa -
     a contra supporter who pleaded guilty in plotting to smuggle
     cocaine to u.s. to finance the assassination of the
     democratically elected president of honduras. gen. released
     from jail. the nation 6/13/94 820,1
     peru,  70-94  on 4/5/92, almost two years after he was
     elected president of peru, alberto fujimori dissolved
     parliament and seized dictatorial powers. mastermind behind
     conspiracy is vladimiro montesinos. for over two decades,
     montesinos has operated from shadows. narco-lawyer, traitor,
     human rights violator, former soldier, spy, he has
     mesmerized fujimori and used close links to drug trafficking
     organizations, then CIA, to become not only country's de
     facto drug czar, but perhaps most powerful person in peru.
     CIA given lead role in drug war by montesinos and new
     anti-drug unit did not catch traffickers or cocaine. its
     members, trained and equipped by CIA, used for other
     purposes - overthrow of democracy, etc. p55. covert action
     information bulletin (now covert action quarterly) summer 94
     beginning pg 4
     peru,  80-96  clinton's drug czar gen. barry mccaffrey met
     with his peruvian counterpart captain vladimiro montesinos.
     montesinos has a long career in the "drug war." after being
     recruited as a CIA informant when he was a young army
     officer he later became an attorney for drug barons in the
     70's, and in 80's a real estate/land trafficker working with
     alberto fujimori. both montesinos and fujimori were close to
     the u.s. embassy in lima participating in the peruvian-north
     american institute. by 1990, montesinos was already working
     at the national intel services (sin - the peruvian CIA).
     demetrio chavez penaherrera, better known as el vaticano,
     testified that he was paying montesinos $50,000 per month in
     exchange for protection from maoist guerrillas. a few days
     later he was taken to the navy base in callao, tortured and
     drugged in prison by sin until he recanted. peru people's
     movement (mpp), 10/96. lquispe nyxfer.blythe.org 11/3/96
                              * * *
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