By Ed Rippy 4/4/02

Note: Because some passages from the report contain text inserted by the CIA in brackets ([]), text inserted by the author (for clarity) is in braces ({}) throughout.

In 1996 Gary Webb, then an investigative reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, published an expose of the CIA's protection of cocaine (and crack) smuggling into South Central Los Angeles. It was a bombshell, and after an initial silence provoked a relentless attack from the rest of the 'establishment' media. Ultimately the Merc backed away from the story and transferred Webb -- a top-flight investigator -- to a backwater, assigning him an endless stream of stories like the death of a police horse and computer classes in summer school. Webb quit.1

But the story didn't die. The Merc had put most of the documentary evidence on its Website, and it was too much to ignore. The CIA had to respond.

It did so with an Inspector General's (IG) report (classified, of course). But it also released an unclassified version, which, though tedious, reveals much to the persistent reader. Let's take a look.

The first issue is, what was the Agency legally required to report? US law requires that the CIA report "any information, allegations, or complaints" of criminal activity by "Government officers and employees." The White House, DOJ and CIA fine-tuned the meaning of this law in a series of (Presidential) Executive Orders (EOs) and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), culminating in a 1981 EO (#12333) and a 1982 MOU between Attorney Gen'l (AG) Smith and Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Casey. The EO defined "employee" as "a person employed by, assigned to or acting for an agency within the Intelligence Community." The MOU narrowed this definition to "a staff employee or contract employee of the Agency" -- omitting those who were "acting for" it as long as they weren't staff or (overt) contractors. The report adds, "The effect of this omission was to move persons 'acting for,' but not employed by or assigned to, CIA from the 'employee' to the 'non-employee' category for crimes reporting purposes." Adolfo Chamorro, logistics chief of one of the Contra groups, is a good example. (There was a list of specific crimes by such people which the CIA did have to report, but it did not include drug smuggling). Regarding these non-employees, the MOU continued:

"{Existing US law} provides that 'when requested by the Attorney General, it shall be the duty of any agency or instrumentality of the Federal Government to furnish assistance to him for carrying out his functions under [the Controlled Substances Act] . . . .' Section 1.8(b) of Executive Order 12333 tasks the Central Intelligence Agency to 'collect, produce and disseminate intelligence on foreign aspects of narcotics production and trafficking.' Moreover, authorization for the dissemination of information concerning narcotics violatons [sic] to law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Justice, is provided by sections 2.3(c) and (i) and 2.6(b) of the Order. In light of these provisions, and in view of the fine cooperation the Drug Enforcement Administration has received from CIA, no formal requirement regarding the reporting of narcotics violations has been included in these procedures."

First, it says the CIA has a "duty" to assist the AG "when requested" -- but makes no request! Next, it says the EO "tasks" CIA with unspecified narcotics intelligence gathering and dissemination (to whom?) Finally, it states that there is "no formal requirement" to report drug smuggling -- a loophole the Contras and their "benefactors" flew tonnes of cocaine through for years. It was not until 1995 that the MOU was revised so that "assets and independent contractors are again considered 'employees' for crimes reporting purposes. Further, narcotics violations are included among the list of 'non-employee' crimes that must be reported to DoJ"2

What did this mean in practice? According to the report's "Executive Summary:"

"CIA had no published regulations or policies that addressed CIA employees' contacts with individuals or companies that were known or suspected to have been involved in drug trafficking, unless they were part of a counternarcotics operation or program. The Contra program was not such an operation or program.

"CIA had no regulations or policies regarding CIA's responsibilities to identify and pursue allegations or information indicating that organizations or individuals were involved in drug trafficking.

"CIA had no regulations or policies that required that information be requested from DEA, the Customs Service, or U.S. Government entities, other than the FBI, regarding individuals or entities of whom CIA had knowledge of drug allegations or information.

"ADCI {Acting Director of Central Intelligence} Gates' April 1987 memorandum stating that it was imperative that CIA avoid involvement with individuals in Central America who were even suspected of narcotics trafficking was not issued in any form that would advise Agency employees generally of this policy."

As a result,

"CIA acted inconsistently in handling allegations or information indicating that Contra-related organizations and individuals were involved in drug trafficking. In some cases, CIA pursued confirmation of allegations or information of drug allegations. In other cases, CIA knowledge of allegations or information indicating that organizations or individuals had been involved in drug trafficking did not deter their use by CIA. In other cases, CIA did not act to verify drug trafficking allegations or information even when it had the opportunity to do so. In still other cases, CIA deemed the allegation or information to be unsubstantiated or not credible. . . .

"CIA's actions in response to information received from law enforcement agencies that indicated a possible drug trafficking connection by air services companies and individual crew members were inconsistent. Despite such information, several pilots and one mechanic continued to be associated with their companies in support of the Contra program. . . .

"Allegations and information indicating drug trafficking by 25 Contra-related individuals was shared in a variety of ways with other Executive branch agencies, including law enforcement agencies as formal intelligence reports, cables and briefings in Washington, D.C., and the field. However, no information has been found to indicate that any U.S. law enforcement entity or Executive branch agency was informed by CIA of drug trafficking allegations or information concerning 11 Contra-related individuals and assets."3

Here are some examples of how the CIA handled information or allegations of drug running by "non-employees:"

(Moises Nunez owned or managed two seafood companies in Costa Rica and one in Miami.)

"On March 25, 1987, CIA questioned Nunez about narcotics trafficking allegations against him. Nunez revealed that since 1985, he had engaged in a clandestine relationship with the National Security Council (NSC). Nunez refused to elaborate on the nature of these actions, but indicated it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of the specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC. Nunez refused to identify the NSC officials with whom he had been involved.

"Headquarters cabled in April 1987 that a decision had been made to 'debrief' Nunez regarding the revelations he had made. The next day however, a Headquarters cable stated that 'Headquarters has decided against . . . debriefing Nunez.' The cable offered no explanation for the decision."4

Since the DCI sits on the NSC, CIA Headquarters certainly didn't need to ask Nunez whether he were working for the NSC or not. Whichever the case, Headquarters didn't want the local officers questioning his activities, effectively endorsing his "NSC card." Oliver North, as we recall, ran the Iran/Contra/guns/drugs racket as an NSC staffer. Elsewhere in the report, we read about Jose Davila, a Contra leader with many associations to known drug dealers:

"In view of Davila's associations, he was interviewed by CIA Security. CIA Security believed his denials of involvement of drug trafficking were highly questionable. On November 3, 1987, Headquarters advised that {CIA Central American Task Force Chief Alan} Fiers had briefed SSCI {Senate Select Committee on Intelligence} Senators Bradley and Cohen and SSCI Staff members on October 14, 1987 regarding the problems associated with Davila. Fiers reportedly had stated that the Agency had no narcotics-related information regarding Davila other than his unfavorable interviews with Security. According to the Headquarters cable, it was the conclusion of the SSCI staffers that to cease contact with an individual solely on the basis of a security interview would be premature and ill advised.

"No information has been found to indicate that CIA took any further action to attempt to resolve the drug trafficking issues relating to Davila."

In short, if Davila was dealing drugs, they didn't want to know. The IG quotes Fiers: "our druthers would be to continue to use him" -- and they did.5

Regarding Carlos Alberto Amador, a pilot for the Contras during the 1980s, the report states:

"A June 1986 cable to Headquarters requested information concerning Carlos Amador. According to the cable, an Embassy officer who served as the point of contact for the regional DEA officer requested any information concerning Amador. According to the cable, the regional DEA representative said that Amador was suspected of being heavily involved in narcotics smuggling. Also according to the cable, the DEA representative had explained that:

Amador is a Nicaraguan who has a US passport, operates out of Costa Rica, allegedly is helping the Contras, frequently flies into Ilopango airport in San Salvador, and carries unspecified official credentials. No information was provided as to why Amador is suspected of narcotics trafficking. The Embassy officer said that if Amador is connected to [CIA], [DEA] will leave him alone, but if not they intend to go after him.

". . . An April 1986 cable responded to the April 1986 cable that had connected Amador to probable movement of cocaine to Grand Cayman and south Florida. The cable stated

. . . that the only thing Amador ... transported during these flights [from Ilopango in late 1984] was military supplies. [It has been] reported that Amador did fly into Ilopango several times during 1985 in light twin engine aircraft on trips from [the U.S.] to either Costa Rica or Panama. [There were suspicions that] . . . Amador was involved with narcotics.

"The cable also stated:

would appreciate {the local CIA} Station advising [DEA] not to make any inquiries to anyone re Hanger [sic] no. 4 at Ilopango since only legitimate . . . . supported operations were conducted from this facility."6

We shall read more about Hangars Four and Five in Celerino Castillo's account. In June another cable repeated the request from the Embassy, as well as the offer to leave Amador alone if he were "connected to CIA."

From APPENDIX B of the report:

"According to a November 22, 1983 DO {CIA Directorate of Operations} memorandum, OGC {CIA Office of the General Counsel} had asked for a search of DO records for information concerning Castro {a Cuban-born, naturalized US citizen who had served in the US army in the 1960s}. The memorandum noted that Castro was being prosecuted in Texas for drug trafficking, and DoJ had asked CIA about Castro's claims of affiliation with CIA. A handwritten, unsigned, undated note filed with the DO memorandum stated, '. . . DoJ is willing to drop [sic] if he was in fact associated [with] Agency.'"7

Regarding someone identified only as "a third CIA independent contractor:"

"In a January 1986 Security Officer's report, his responses to questions about drug trafficking were less than satisfactory. A February 28, 1996 memorandum from LA Division to the ADDO {CIA Associate Deputy Director for Operations} suggested that he be questioned again.

"According to a July 1995 report, he was questioned again in 1995 with similar results.

"He was questioned for a third time in 1996 with similar results. According to a report of the third round of questioning, the contract employee could provide no explanation for his lack of credibility in his answers. . .

"No information has been found to indicate any efforts by CIA to resolve or verify the drug trafficking issues that arose in the 1986, 1995 and 1996 questioning of this contractor. The Agency decided in March 1996 to end his employment.

"No information has been found to indicate that information relating to this independent contractor's possible involvement in drug trafficking was shared with other U.S. Government intelligence or law enforcement entities or the Congress."8

For over nine years after the first, "less than satisfactory," interview the CIA did nothing even to find out whether their contractor was dealing drugs. Finally it did another interview, which didn't help. Only after a third similar interview did it fire the contractor -- long after the Contra operation was over -- and it never investigated further or passed on any of its leads.

Now let's look at some of the information that the CIA didn't find:

First are the reports of DEA agent Celerino Castillo. Castillo had placed an informant at Ilopango Air Base in El Salvador. As the IG's report explains,

"Between 1981 and the 1984 congressional funding cutoff {to the Contras}, the Agency provided support services to the Contra program from the El Salvadoran air base at Ilopango--located a few miles to the east of San Salvador. Ilopango Air Base was controlled by the Salvadoran military but was used by CIA as a storage point and staging area for shipments of supplies to the Contras. . . .

"Following the 1984 congressional funding cutoff, supplies that remained at Ilopango were distributed to the Contras by CIA personnel. Thereafter, visits by CIA personnel to Ilopango occurred less frequently. Contra personnel, however, continued to visit Ilopango in connection with support being provided to the Contras by NHAO {Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office} and the Private Benefactors {unnamed people outside the US government, including many drug smugglers, as it turned out, who aided the Contras}."

The report cites two passages from Castillo's book Powderburns:

". . . On August 15, {1986} I met with Jack McCavett , the mild-mannered CIA station chief in El Salvador. Again, I repeated my evidence {of drug smuggling} against the Contras. McCavett denied any connection between the CIA and the Ilopango operation. . . .

"Three days later, McCavett called me into his office and pulled $45,000 in cash out of his desk drawer. 'I've got money left over from my budget I need to spend,' he said. 'Take this for your anti-narcotics group. Go buy them some cars.' McCavett didn't mention the Contras, but I suspected he was trying to buy me off. The CIA, to my knowledge, had never given the DEA this kind of gift."

The second refers to Randy Kapasar, a CIA agent in Guatemala:

"He knew I was investigating the Contras. I knew he was helping them. I expected him to deny my evidence of the Contras' narcotrafficking but he followed Sofi's {a Bay of Pigs veteran who laundered drug money for the Conras} reasoning: 'Cele, how do you think the Contras are gonna make money? They've got to run dope, that's the only way we can finance this operation.'"

However, the report also says, "Contrary to Castillo's claims, this {unnamed CIA} officer emphatically denies that he had any knowledge of Contra drug trafficking activities at Ilopango or elsewhere. . . . He also denies that he ever asked Castillo to back away from any narcotics investigation."9 It cites several other officers who were at Ilopango at various times and said they never noticed anything.

Powderburns gives considerably more detail:

"About this time, I {Castillo} recruited a Salvadoran who put the hard evidence I needed on the Contras at my fingertips. Hugo Martinez worked at Ilopango, writing flight plans for the private planes streaming in and out of the airport's civilian side. That included my flights in and out of the airport, and we talked frequently as my presence in El Salvador increased."10

"Suddenly, my reports contained not only the names of traffickers, but their destinations, flight paths, tail numbers, and the date and time of each flight. Hundreds of flights each week delivered cocaine to the buyers and returned with money headed for the great isthmus laundering machine in Panama. I could have started a weekly newsletter: Ilopango Doper. . . .

"The Contra planes flew out of hangars four and five, and Hugo could identify their planes by the black cross painted on their tail. The CIA owned one hangar, and the National Security Council ran the other."11

". . . Hugo had no trouble picking up incriminating information; many times pilots told him outright they were taking cocaine to the United States. The CIA had hired them, they boasted, and nobody could touch them. Hugo would quietly jot down their names after they left. Most of the time, Hugo simply poked his balding head into the planes as he made his rounds. When he spotted the tightly wrapped kilos, the pilot's name joined the others on his list. . . .

"When I ran Hugo's list of names through the computer, they all came back as narcotics traffickers in DEA's files. Little wonder the Contras used them, I thought. Nobody knew the terrain like drug pilots, and their dive-and-dump flying skills perfectly matched the job description for covert operations."12

"I wrote a string of reports on the Contras through the end of March {1986} with the stream of intelligence Hugo and Aparecio {another informant} generated."13

These reports seem to be part of what the CIA just couldn't find in its investigation. Perhaps an incident recounted in Castillo's book offers an explanation. Castillo had arranged a cocaine purchase from a new source (in order to arrest him). On meeting him, Castillo learned that he was a member of the Guatemalan Congress. After stalling, he took the case to Robert Stia, DEA attache to Guatemala:

". . . Stia called Larry Thompson, the third-ranking State Department official at the embassy, to ask how I should proceed {the top two officials were out of the country}. Stia returned with Thompson's instructions: Drop the pursuit. We were not there to embarrass the Guatemalan government, he said. We were there to help them."14

Ultimately Castillo spoke to the US Ambassador to El Salvador, Edwin Corr. He writes. "I'll never forget Corr's response. 'It's a White House operation, Cele. Stay away from it..'"15 According to Gary Webb in Dark Alliance, "'I certainly would not say that he did not go away with that impression,' Corr said elliptically, in a 1993 interview. He said he doubted using the words 'White House' in his conversation, however."16

Castillo persisted with his investigations and arrests. One raid uncovered a huge cache of weapons, radios, and even Jeeps at the house of William Brasher, a well-known smuggler. When Castillo arrived,

"The room was filled with enough firepower to arm a platoon. . . . A sniper rifle caught my eye first. It looked like a .50 caliber, with a scope big enough to peek into a window half way across town. U.S. military field radios sat atop cases of grenades and neatly packed C4 explosives. There was night vision equipment; M16s; helicopter helmets; Gerber combat knives; grenade launchers; compasses."17

"Aparecio ran a check on the license plates from Brasher's Jeeps. They came back registered to the U.S. Embassy.

"Corr. I thought back to our last conversation. It's a White House operation. I switched on one of the confiscated radios. It was tuned to the embassy frequency, and U.S. personnel chatted back and forth in English. Damn, I thought, they all looked me right in the eye and flat-out lied. . . ." (italics in original)

Determined to expose the operation, Castillo had scheduled a press conference. But then one of the Salvadoran lieutenants he was working with told him:

"'Col. Revelo just told me he received orders not to release the information to the press.'

"A long minute ticked away on the wall clock as I rocked in my chair. I felt I had been drilled in the chest with an icicle. Someone high in the chain of command had ordered Revelo, the chief of the national police, to cancel the press conference."18

Castillo again confronted Ambassador Corr:

"'Cele, it's a covert operation,' he said, holding his palms out."19 "'We were ordered to give them all the cooperation they needed,' Corr said, rising from his chair. The conversation was over."20 (italics in original)

Then US officials removed the evidence:

"Two days after the raid I returned to Guatemala City to write my report. As I copied down serial numbers, Aparecio called. 'Some people from the embassy just walked in and claimed the radios and license plates,' he said."21

Castillo had called in Richard Rivera, a US Customs agent in Mexico City, to trace the weapons and identify the seller. But the US government also quashed this inquiry:

"Before the weapons could be traced, Rivera called, distraught. Customs suddenly decided to switch jurisdiction for Central America from Mexico City to their Panama office. His bosses ordered Rivera to pack up his investigations from Central America, particularly anything related to the Iran-Contra Affair, and ship them to headquarters, marked 'Classified.' Rivera boxed his files and sent them to Washington. We never learned what, if anything, happened to the Brasher investigation."22

In his 1990 book Deep Cover former DEA agent Mike Levine describes a 1980 cocaine bust of almost 400 kilos, a record at the time, bought from the Roberto Suarez organization of Bolivia:

"That afternoon, in a Miami bank vault, I paid Alfredo 'Cutuche' Gutierrez and Jose Roberto Gasser, two of the biggest drug dealers in history, nine million dollars, after which they were both arrested. 'The biggest law-enforcement sting in history,' the media called it. . . .

"Jose Roberto Gasser--the son of Erwin Gasser, powerful Bolivian industrialist and right-winger--was almost immediately released from custody by the Miami U.S. Attorney's office, without the case being presented to a grand jury. I was beside myself; there was more than enough evidence to indict him.

"A short time later--precisely as my South American informants predicted--Miami federal judge Alcee Hastings reduced Alfredo Gutierrez's bail from three to one million dollars. Gutierrez was allowed to post his bail and walk out of jail. In spite of my furious phone calls from Argentina begging DEA headquarters and the Miami office to put him under surveillance, nothing was done. Within hours he was on a plane back to Bolivia. The biggest drug sting in history was left without any defendants. . . .

"My sting operation never could have happened without help from an antidrug faction within the Bolivian government--a faction that Suarez's organization had to obliterate. . . . Within weeks of the Miami arrests, with the financing of the Suarez organization and Erwin Gasser, and the support of our CIA, a bloody coup was begun. . . . It ended with the Bolivian government coming under the complete control of the Suarez organization. Bolivia soon became the principal supplier of cocaine base to the then fledgling Colombian cartels, thereby making themselves the main suppliers of cocaine to the United States. And it could not have been done without the tacit help of DEA and the active, covert help of the CIA." (A footnote adds, "A State Department diplomat in La Paz, Bolivia, said that it was the first time in history that an entire government had been bought by drug dealers."23 (italics in original)

In late 1987, as part of an investigation, a "CIA pilot" named Jake flew with a DEA informant to Bolivia to inspect a cocaine distribution center, ostensibly for a major US drug buyer. Levine interviewed him about what he had seen:

"'I still don't believe what I saw,' he told me excitedly. 'I saw so much that, for a while, I didn't think they were going to let me out of there. . . .'

"'What exactly did you see?'

"'All told, we saw seven landing fields.'

"'How much coke, would you estimate?'

"Jake was thoughtful, 'I would say about five thousand kilos at each, maybe more. . . . I've been flying these missions into Colombia for years; this is the mother lode. . . .

'The Bolivians had a military-industrial setup that was right out of a West Point textbook. It's unbelievable. . . . It is without a doubt,' he said, 'the General Motors of Cocaine.'"24

Peter Dale Scott, a Professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley, and Jonathan Marshall, economics editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, reviewed the findings of Congressional investigations into the Contra affair headed by John Kerry in Cocaine Politics:

"Not until August 1987, in the midst of the Iran-Contra hearings, did Alan Fiers, head of the CIA's Central America Task Force, admit the problem went much deeper. 'With respect to [drug trafficking by] the Resistance Forces,' he testified, '. . . it is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people. . . .'"25

"On April 13, 1989, three years after its investigation began and six months after George Bush {Sr.} was elected President of the United States, The Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations finally confirmed what the administration, Congress, and much of the media had attempted to dismiss: the Contra-drug connection was real.

"The subcommittee's 144-page report . . . supplemented the subcommittee's four-volume hearing record with FBI and Customs Service documents, news stories, witness depositions, and a chronology of the investigation and attempts to interfere with it.

"The subcommittee, led by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, found that drug trafficking had pervaded the entire Contra war effort. 'There was substantial evidence of drug smuggling through the war zones on the part of individual Contras, Contra suppliers, Contra pilots, mercenaries who worked with the Contras, and Contra supporters throughout the region,' the subcommittee concluded. Far from taking steps to combat those drug flows, 'U.S. officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war efforts against Nicaragua,' the investigation showed."26

Central American cocaine trafficking in the 1980s is unique in that the CIA admits in an official report that it overlooked drug running by its proxy army and "benefactors" of that army, and that the DEA offered not to interfere with them. It makes a well-documented case study, but it is far from the whole story of the CIA and drugs. In The Politics of Heroin, Alfred W. McCoy, Professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, gives a synopsis of CIA support of the heroin trade since World War II:

"At the end of World War II, the possibility existed that heroin addiction might decline and eventually disappear as a major social problem in the United States. Heroin supplies were small, international criminal syndicates were in disarray, and the American addict population had declined to a level where treatment was finally possible. Within a decade, however, the illicit heroin industry had revived. By the early 1950s the global drug syndicates were again operating, Southeast Asia's poppy fields were expanding, and heroin refineries were again multiplying in both Marseille and Hong Kong. Many of the reasons for the revival of the illicit narcotics trade lie with the conduct of U.S. foreign policy and its covert action arm.

". . . From 1948 to 1950, the CIA allied itself with the Corsican underworld in its struggle against the French Communist Party for control over the strategic Mediterranean port of Marseille. With CIA support, the Corsicans overcame their rival and for the next quarter century used their control over the Marseille waterfront to dominate the export of heroin to the U.S. market.

"Simultaneously in Southeast Asia, The CIA ran a series of covert warfare operations along the China border that were instrumental in the creation of the Golden Triangle {Burma, Laos, and Thailand} heroin complex. In 1951, the Agency supported the formation of a Nationalist Chinese army for a covert invasion of southwestern China. When the invasion attempts failed in 1951-1952, the CIA installed Nationalist troops along the Burma-China border as a tripwire for an anticipated Communist Chinese invasion of Southeast Asia. Over the next decade, the Nationalist Army transformed Burma's Shan states into the world's largest opium producer.

"Applying the same tactics in Laos from 1960 to 1975, the CIA created a secret army of 30,000 Hmong tribesmen to battle Laotian Communists near the border with North Vietnam. Since the Hmong's main cash crop was opium, the CIA adopted a complicitous posture toward the traffic, allowing the Hmong commander, General Vang Pao, to use the CIA's Air America {a "proprietary" airline} to collect opium from his scattered highland villages. In late 1969, the CIA's various covert action clients opened a network of heroin laboratories in the Golden Triangle. In their first years of operation, these laboratories exported high-grade No. 4 {i.e., fully processed} heroin to U.S. troops fighting in Vietnam. After their withdrawal, the Golden Triangle laboratories exported directly to the United States, capturing one-third of the American heroin market.

"During the mid-1970s, the temporary success of some DEA operations in Turkey, Thailand, and Mexico cut the heroin flow into the United States, reducing the number of American addicts by more than half, from an estimated 500,000 to 200,000. In 1979, however, the CIA covert warfare operation in Afghanistan provided the support for a major expansion of the southern Asian drug trade. To support the Afghan resistance against the Soviet occupation, the CIA, working through Pakistan's intelligence, allied with Afghan guerrillas, notably Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who used the agency's arms, logistics, and support to become the region's largest drug lord. Within a year, a surge of southern Asian heroin had captured more than 60 percent of the American market, breaking the long drug drought and raising the addict population to its previous peak.

"From 1934 to 1970, the slow of League {of Nations} drug diplomacy had forced a gradual reduction in global opium production from 7,600 tons to only 1,000. In the following twenty years, however, the failure of the DEA's suppression efforts combined with CIA complicity in global traffic allowed world opium production to multiply fourfold to 4,200 tons by 1989. Significantly, some 3,000 tons, or 73 percent of the 1989 total, came from Southeast Asia, where the CIA had worked with the region's drug lords for twenty-four years. Most of the balance comes from southern Asian opium hills and heroin laboratories controlled by the CIA's Afghan guerrilla clients."27

(1) Gary Webb. Dark Alliance. New York: Seven Stories Press, 1998.
(10) Celerino Castillo. Powderburns. Buffalo, NY: Mosaic Press, 1994; p. 137
(11) ibid., p. 138
(12) ibid., p. 139
(13) ibid., p. 140
(14) ibid., p. 159
(15) ibid., p. 160
(16) Webb, op. cit., p. 257
(17) Castillo, op. cit., p. 163
(18) ibid., p. 165
(19) ibid., p. 166
(20) ibid., p. 167
(21) ibid., p. 168
(22) ibid., p. 181
(23) Michael Levine. Deep Cover. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1990, pp. 103f
(24) ibid., p. 99
(25) Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall. Cocaine Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991 pp. 8f
(26) ibid., pp. 9f
(27) Alfred W. McCoy. The Politics of Heroin. Brooklyn: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991, pp. 18f.