cj#390> CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic


Richard Moore

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Date:         Wed, 3 Jan 1996
Sender:       Activists Mailing List <•••@••.•••>
From:         Larry + Jennie <•••@••.•••>
Organization: InterAccess,Chicagoland's Full Service Internet Provider
Subject:      DEA agent on CIA Cocaine

Excerpt from:
"The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic"
by former DEA undercover investigator Michael Levine.

Allow me to quote the first-hand account of this dedicated and
decorated drug-fighter, Michael Levine:

By the evening of July 17, it was clear that the primary goal
of the revolution was the protection and control of Bolivia's
cocaine industry.  All major drug traffickers in prison were
released, after which they joined the neo-Nazis in their rampage
(exiled Nazis like Klaus Barbie were killing civilians to
overthrow the Bolivian government).  Government buildings were
invaded and trafficker files were either carried off or burned.
Government employees were tortured and shot, the women tied and
repeatedly raped by the paramilitaries and the freed traffickers.
The revolutionaries next turned to crushing the national strike.
(pg. 58)

Ostensibly to show the United States that the new government was
tough on drug dealers, but actually to eliminate competition and
streamline and improve cocaine production, Arce-Gomez drew up a
list of 140 small and midlevel drug dealers who were to be
suppressed (killed or jailed).  This campaign, put in the hands
of the Fiances of Death, resulted in massive drug seizures.
Cocaine valued in the billions of dollars in the U.S. market was
stored in the Bolivian national bank vaults.  (pg. 59-60)

The reports about the Cocaine Coup coming into DEA were mind-blowing,
particularly for five street agents stationed in Bolivia.  Although
the DEA suits supposedly had no idea who Roberto Suarez was until
he was close to taking over the country, Suarez had a copy of each
of their personnel files, including intimate personal histories,
photos, and medical histories of their families. (pg.61)

Levine then talked to an Argentinian known as the "Doctor," someone
Levine considered the best source of information about the "overlapping
worlds of espionage and international crime," trying to sort out why
the CIA supported the Cocaine Coup:
        The Doctor smiled politely again.  "They (the Gasser family)
have been a behind-the-scenes power in Bolivia for many years.  Have
you heard of the World Anti-Communist League?"
        I (Levine) felt like a dunce.  "No."
        "This is an organization strongly supported by the CIA.  The
elder Gasser -- the father of Jose, I think Erwin is his name -- is a
key member of this organization.  Senor Gasser is also the man who
financed the 1971 coup putting General Banzer in power...this coup,
by the way, was strongly backed by the CIA.  This was the beginning of
coaine's rise to prominence in the Bolivian economy."
        "Yes," I said, trying not to look too stunned.
        "So with the Gassers supporting this last coup, I would say
your...assumption...may have a certain amount of validity."
        "That the CIA is behind it?" I said, my heart beating faster.
        "Well, of course Argentina backed the coup to the hilt,
supported it, took part in it; we were the first to recognize the new
government; we are granting them emergency loans.  We wouldn't have
done anything without at least some words of encouragement from your
government.  As a matter of fact, we have information that a group of
10 of your private banks headed by Bank of America postponed Bolivia's
loan repayments, giving the new government a chance to consolidate its
power base and its new cocaine economy."
        I felt like crying.
        The Doctor continued.  "And, of course, many of the same players
from the Banzer coup are involved in this one, including Herr (Klaus)
Barbie and General Banzer himself."
        "Oh yes.  You know who he is?"
        I nodded.
        "Well, in 1971 he used the name Klaus Altmann.  He worked for
General Banzer as a security advisor -- in fact, he reorganized the
secret police.  I believe he now has similar duties for Arce-Gomez."
        I could think of nothing to say.  "What this Bolivian is
saying can be very embarrassing to your country and mine," were
Mario's words.  He had been ready to kill Hurtado.  The Doctor
waited for me to speak.
        "Why?" I finally asked.
        "Why?"  the Doctor looked puzzled.
        "Why...why would the CIA back this?"
        "Aside from the obvious and most probable -- that the newly
elected government was leftist -- I think I have an interesting
theory about an added incentive."  He was smiling a Cheshire smile.
"You presidential elections are at the end of this year, true?"
        "Well you know President Carter isn't very popular with
your associates."
        "I don't get it." What I really meant was that I didn't
want to believe it.  Most of the CIA agents I knew were passionate
in their anti-Carter sentiments.  Carter and his CIA director,
Admiral Stansfield Turner, had reduced the agency's manpower
dramatically.  I was not a great admirer of Carter, either.
I thought his drug policies were idiotic and bad for our country.
A statement by his drug policy adviser, Dr. Peter Bourne, that
cocaine was "the most benign" of the illicit drugs and the birth
of the term "recreational drug use" had gone a long way, I
thought, towards giving Americans license to indulge, and were
key factors contributing to the massive surge in demand for
cocaine and the disastrous effects on our nation that soon
followed.  But to help drug dealers take over Bolivia to
defeat President Carter seemed bizarre.
        "Sure," said the Doctor.  "How popular is he going to
look with your people if he loses a whole country to drug dealers?"
        "I don't buy it," I said.
        The Doctor chuckled.  "It's an interesting theory though,
isn't it?"
        Was the Doctor's theory believable?  Eleven years laer,
news of the "October Surprise" came out -- the allegation that
the CIA and the Reagan election committee conspired to delay
the release of American hostages in Iran to ensure Carter's
defeat in the 1980 elections.  This was going on at exacatly
the time that the new-Nazis in Bolivia were on their rampage
of torture, rape, and murder.  In addition, as I have learned,
Gasser, Suarez, and three other traffickers met with Arce-Gomez
and members of the Argentine and Bolivian military on June 17,
1980 to plan the coup, and a tape-recording of that meeting was
given to the CIA by one of the Argentines present. (pg.74-76)

The rest of the book details Levine's career troubles for
trying to bust CIA-supported drug smuggling and money-laundering
involving Bolivia, Panama and Mexico.  He lost.  The drug
businessmen and the spooks won.

Also read Michael Levine's "Deep Cover."


Date:         Wed, 3 Jan 1996
Sender:       Activists Mailing List <•••@••.•••>
From:         Larry + Jennie <•••@••.•••>
Organization: InterAccess,Chicagoland's Full Service Internet Provider
Subject:      Jim Norman on CIA Cocaine

This is an excerpt text of the James Norman article for the
December 1995 issue of Media Bypass magazine.

by James Norman

          Rumors of CIA involvement in drug trafficking go back
to before the Vietnam war, with heroin trade from Laos' Golden
Triangle. But in the late '70s or early '80s, the agency virtually
took over and nationalized the wholesale importation of
cocaine into this country through obscure airfields like the
one at Mena, Ark., on the grounds that it was the only way to
control the drug trade. In other words: "If you can't lick them, join
them." The operation was soon generating vastly more money than ever
imagined - which has come back to line the pockets of top
government officials from the
*Reagan*, *Bush* and *Clinton*
administrations. The money-laundering operations have likewise
drawn in major banks and brokerage houses. By some accounts,
the revenues still run upwards of $7 billion a year.

        Details of government involvement in this society-
wrecking drug trade are now emerging from various sources.
Bits and pieces emerged during the Iran-Contra and Iraqgate
hearings of the 1980s, which produced a million pages of
documents but only a handful of indictments, and fewer
convictions. Perhaps the biggest fish caught was Reagan Defense
Secretary Caspar Weinberger, charged with lying to Congress.
He was pardoned by President George Bush just as Bush was
leaving office in 1992. Curiously, Weinberger's right-hand-man
through most of that period was would-be presidential contender
Gen. Colin Powell, who Weinberger had brought up to be a top
military advisor, out of Casey's intelligence empire where he is
said to have served with the NSA and to have been intimately
familiar with the drug and arms flow.

        There is also a growing court record of sworn testimony
in the wrongful prosecution case of former CIA contract pilot
Terry Reed. Reed claims in his book, "Compromised: Clinton,
Bush and the CIA" that Bill Clinton, while governor of
Arkansas, was well aware of the drug trafficking there but
played along with the game to earn himself the status of an
"approved" candidate for the presidency. With that would come
plenty of financing.

        Another source now openly discussing the massive drug
business is retired Navy Lt. Commander Alexander Martin.
Martin was, in effect, the chief accountant for the Reagan/Bush
drug operations run by Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, through an
obscure arm of the White House National Security Council
called the Natinal Programs Office. In a radio interview with talk
show host Tom Valentine last July, Martin spoke not only of
drugs and money, but death. "Out of roughly 5,000 of us who
were originally involved in Iran-Contra, approximately 400,
since 1986, have committed suicide, died accidently or died of
natural causes. In over half those deaths, official death
certificates were never issued. In 187 circumstances, the bodies
were cremated before the families were notified." Martin then
said he was lying low.

        Not low enough. In late October, Martin was arrested
and jailed without bond in Broward County, Fla., for supposed
violation of his probation on  a 1990 bad-check charge. Such
small-time charges are a common device used to squelch and
discredit former players in this government-run drug and arms

        Corruption. Most Americans like to think their
government is somehow immune to the kinds of bribery and
abuse of public power rampant in "Third World" countries. The
emerging reality is that the exact opposite is true. The more
wealth and power at stake, the greater the incentive to subvert
and corrupt. Sources say the dark truths predicted to be unveiled
by P.P. Willie will be utterly damning.


Transcribed and first posted to Internet by
Ken Cook


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
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