I ought to be outraged at the revelations contained in the Sept. 1 Insight article "CIA, Contras and cocaine linked to L.A. gangs," by Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News. Having studied the Central Intelligence Agency's drug trafficking, I am no longer surprised by it. However, I am surprised by the lack of reaction of the public and the press to this unacceptable governmental criminal activity.
The details of the current story are not much different from past stories, such as those related in the book Compromised:Clinton, Bush, and the CIA by Terry Reed and John Cummings, and Cocaine Politics: Drug Armies and the CIA in Central America, by Jonathan Marshall and Peter Dale Scott.
One common thread to the newspaper articles is the perspective that drug trafficking is a past CIA transgression, the assumption being that the current version could not be a participant. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that any administration has taken any action to curb the abuses of this corrupt, immoral agency. Another common thread is the high level of protection afforded these traffickers as a result of their work for the CIA.
This particular story stated that "federal prosecutors obtained a court order preventing defense lawyers from delving into his (the defendant's) ties to the CIA."
The author also said that agents from four organizations--the Drug Enforcement Agency, U. S. Customs, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office and California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement--"have complained that investigations were hampered by the CIA or unnamed `national security' interests." The reality is that the power of the federal government to conceal the truth about drug trafficking cannot be adequately conveyed in one paragraph.
The American public should be outraged at the continuing drug trafficking by the CIA and other military intelligence organizations. The power of these organizations may exceed the power of the executive branch, making it difficult for any elected administration to curb the abuses of this entrenched and clearly corrupt bureaucracy.
The pressure applied by an outraged American public is the necessary first step. Just as our outrage at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, put our elected officials on notice, we must apply an even greater pressure on our "secret government."
Laws should be passed that ensure that any government employee (or contract agent) who conspires to facilitate large-scale drug trafficking using protections afforded by his or her position within the government should face no less than the death penalty or life imprisonment.
The politically popular war on drugs cannot be won when it is being fought between and among powerful governmental agencies.