Nacro-Terrorism for Uncle Sam
According to US law, the CIA budget is subject to legislative approval. In order to bypass the scrutiny and effort of such procedure, the CIA has been known to seek additional funds through narcotics trafficking. The CIA’s status as narco-terrrorists began early in its existence according to researcher Paul Berez,
“[I]n 1950 the CIA regrouped what remained of the defeated ‘Nationalist Chinese Army’ (KMT) along the Burma-Chinese border for an invasion of southern China, in an effort to draw Chinese troops away from the Korean front. After a few disastrous incursions into Yunan province, in which a number of CIA advisers were killed, this idea was wisely abandoned but the proxy army was maintained as a buffer between China and Southeast Asia. Only partly funded by the CIA, this ‘Yunan Anti-Communist National Salvation Army,’ soon turned to its traditional means of support, the opium trade and looting. It invaded Burma’s opium-rich Shan states, and imposed an opium tax on all hill tribe farmers, regardless of whether they grew opium or not. The CIA did more than just allowing this to happen. Burmese military sources even claimed ‘that much of the KMT opium was flown from MongHast in unmarked C-47s flying to Thailand and Taiwan.’ These C-47s were part of the private airforce which the CIA used to supply the KMT and other proxy armies with weapons.” (45)
Following World War II, the United States took control over much of Southeast Asia from Japan and Britain. With it, it took over the opium-producing region of known as the ‘Golden Triangle’ and began benefiting from the narcotics trade. According to William Blum:
“During the US military involvement in Vietnam and Laos, the CIA worked closely with certain tribal peoples and warlords engaged in opium cultivation… Air America pilots were once again flying opium and heroin throughout the area to serve the personal and entrepreneurial needs of the CIA’s various military and political allies… The operation was not a paragon of discretion. Heroin was refined in a laboratory on the site of CIA headquarters in northern Laos. After two decades of Ameri[k]an military intervention, Southeast Asia had become the source of 70 percent of the world’s illicit opium and the major supplier for Ameri[k]a’s booming heroin market.” (46)
In 1996, the San Jose Mercury News printed an article researched and written by Gary Webb which implicated the CIA in trafficking cocaine from the Contras. A link was made between the CIA using drug money to fund anti-Sandinista terrorism and the crack-cocaine epidemic that began in cities around the United States. Cocaine was allegedly flown into the US by members of the CIA network, sold at wholesale prices to people like “Freeway” Ricky Ross and distributed as crack throughout urban areas, particularly in Black communities. Webb was initially discredited in the media and pushed to resign at the San Jose Mercury News. In 2004, he died of a gunshot wound to the head in what was declared a suicide. (47) (48) (49) Published less than two months before, his last feature article discussed the funding and development of ‘first-person shooter’ video games by the US military. (50)
An International Practitioner of Torture
Another tactic in the CIA’s terrorist toolkit has been torture. Beginning in 1976, the US and CIA launched Operation Condor, a plan to help coordinate the monitoring, detainment and torture of dissidents by the comprador dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. (51) Such programs continue today. Recently, it has been widely reported that the CIA maintains a series of secret prisons in countries around the world. A program of “extraordinary rendition” detains “terrorist suspects” and transports them across international borders for violent, extra-legal interrogations, torture and imprisonment. (52) In some cases, innocent people have been kidnapped from the street, held for months and later released without recourse. (53) In 2005, an Italian court issued EU-wide arrest warrants for 22 suspected CIA members for kidnapping a Muslim in 2003. (54) CIA torture sites may still be operating in dozens of countries.
45. Berez, Paul. “The CIA’s Addiction to Drugs.” Converge. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Nov. 2011. <http://www.converge.org.nz/pirm/cia.htm>.
46. Blum, William. Rogue state: a guide to the world’s only superpower. Monroe: Common Courage Press, 2000. p 292-293. Print.
47. Schou, Nick. “Cia And Crack Cocaine, The truth in `Dark Alliance’.” The Los Angeles Times. N.p., 18 Aug. 2006. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://articles.latimes.com/2006/aug/18/opinion/oe-schou18>.
48. Torres, Juan Gonzalez & Joseph. “Investigative Reporter Gary Webb Who Linked CIA to Crack Sales Found Dead of Apparent Suicide.” Democracy Now!. N.p., 13 Dec. 2004. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://www.democracynow.org/2004/12/13/investigative_reporter_gary_webb_who_linked>.
49. Thieme, Richard. “My Last Talk with Gary Webb .” Counterpunch. N.p., 12 Dec. 2004. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/12/14/my-last-talk-with-gary-webb/>.
50. Webb, Gary. “The Killing Game.” Sacramento News and Review. N.p., 14 Oct. 2004. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <www.newsreview.com/sacramento/killing-game/content?oid=31755>.
51. Herman, Edward S.. The real terror network terrorism in fact and propaganda. 1 ed. Boston: South End Press, 1983. p. 69-73. Print.
52. Khan, Azmat. “Documents Reveal Secrets of CIA Rendition Program | Iraq / War on Terror | FRONTLINE | PBS.” PBS. N.p., 1 Sept. 2011. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/iraq-war-on-terror/documents-reveal-secrets-of-cia-rendition-program/>.
Horton, Scott. “New CIA Docs Detail Brutal “Extraordinary Rendition” Process.” The Huffington Post. N.p., 28 Aug. 2009. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/28/new-cia-docs-detail-bruta_n_271299.html>.
53. Priest, Dana. “Wrongful Imprisonment: Anatomy of a CIA Mistake.” The Washington Post. N.p., 4 Dec. 2005. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/03/AR2005120301476.html>.
54. “EU-wide warrant over ‘CIA kidnap’.” BBC News. N.p., 23 Dec. 2005. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4555660.stm>.