by Alex Newman
28 July 2012
The Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement in
drug trafficking is back in the media spotlight after a spokesman for the
violence-plagued Mexican state of Chihuahua became the latest high-profile
individual to accuse the CIA, which has been linked to narcotics trafficking
for decades, of ongoing efforts to “manage the drug trade.”
infamous American spy agency refused to
In a recent interview, Chihuahua state spokesman Guillermo Terrazas
told Al Jazeera that the CIA and other
international “security” outfits "don't fight drug traffickers."
Instead, Villanueva argued, they try to control
and manage the illegal drug market for their own benefit.
"It's like pest control companies, they only
control," Villanueva told the Qatar-based media outlet last month at his
office in Juarez. "If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If
they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs."
Another Mexican official, apparently a mid-level
officer with Mexico’s equivalent of the U.S. Department of “Homeland
Security,” echoed those remarks, saying he knew that the allegations against
the CIA were correct based on talks with American agents in Mexico.
"It's true, they want to control it," the
official told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity.
Credibility issues with employees of the
notoriously corrupt Mexican government aside, the latest accusations were
hardly earth shattering - the American espionage agency has been implicated
in drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Vietnam to Latin America and
everywhere in between.
Similar allegations of drug running have been
made against the CIA for decades by former agents, American
officials, lawmakers, investigators, and even drug traffickers themselves.
Some of the most prominent officials to level charges of CIA drug
trafficking include the former head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA), Robert Bonner.
During an interview with CBS (below video),
Bonner accused the American “intelligence” outfit of unlawfully importing a
ton of cocaine into the U.S. in collaboration with the Venezuelan
Even the New York Times eventually covered part of the scandal in a piece
entitled "Anti-Drug Unit of C.I.A. Sent Ton of Cocaine to U.S. in 1990."
And the agency’s Inspector General, Frederick
Hitz, was eventually forced to concede to a congressional committee that
the CIA has indeed worked with drug traffickers and obtained a waiver from
the Department of Justice in the 1980s allowing it to conceal its
contractors’ illicit dealings.
An explosive investigation by reporter Gary Webb dubbed the “Dark
Alliance” also uncovered a vast CIA machine to ship illegal drugs into the
U.S. to fund clandestine and unconstitutional activities abroad, including
the financing of armed groups. Webb eventually died under highly suspicious
circumstances - two gunshots to the head, officially ruled a “suicide.”
Responding to Webb’s discoveries, top officials and even lawmakers
eventually acknowledged that the CIA almost certainly had a role in illegal
"There is no question in my mind that people
affiliated with, or on the payroll of, the CIA were involved in drug
trafficking," explained U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) after the Dark
Top-level Mexican officials have suggested
complicity by U.S. officials in drug trafficking as well - even recently.
“It is impossible to pass tons of drugs or
cocaine to U.S. without some grade of complicity of some American
observed Mexican President Felipe Calderon in a 2009
interview with the BBC.
Last year, an
explosive report in the Washington
Times, citing a CIA source, speculated that the agency may be deliberately
helping certain Mexican cartels to beat out others for geopolitical
According to the sources, the intelligence
outfit might have also played a key role in the now-infamous Fast and
Furious scandal, which saw the federal government
providing thousands of
high-powered weapons to Mexican cartels.
Shortly before that, The New American
reported on federal court filings by a
top Sinaloa Cartel operative that shed even more insight on the U.S.
government’s role in drug trafficking.
The accused “logistical coordinator” for the
cartel, Jesus Vicente “El Vicentillo” Zambada-Niebla, claimed
that he had an agreement with top American officials:
In exchange for information on rival
cartels, the deal supposedly gave him and his associates immunity to
import multi-ton quantities of drugs across the border.
“Indeed, United States government agents
aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel,” the court filing states.
Zambada-Niebla is currently being held in
federal prison, but
he argues that he is innocent because he had approval
from - and collaborated with - U.S. agencies in his illegal drug-trafficking
Another expert who spoke with Al Jazeera, a university professor, also
indicated that the American federal government was deeply involved in the
drug trafficking business. He said the drug war was an “illusion" aimed at
justifying control of populations and intervention in Latin America. As
evidence, he pointed to the fact that one of the top drug kingpins in the
world - billionaire “El Chapo” of the Sinaloa cartel - operates openly and
Numerous drug bosses and American officials have made similar claims,
alleging that the U.S. government in essence controls at least some of the
According to former DEA operative and
whistleblower Celerino Castillo, American federal authorities have
training members of the brutal Los Zetas cartel in Texas.
CIA and DEA insider Phil Jordan, meanwhile,
publicly claimed last year that
Obama administration was selling
military-grade weaponry to the deadly organization through a front company
in Mexico. And with the Fast and Furious scandal, it emerged that the
Obama administration was using tax money to arm Mexican cartels, then
exploiting the ensuing violence to attack the
The President and his Department of Justice have been engaged in a cover-up
since whistleblowers first exposed the scheme more than a year ago, leading
Congress to hold disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.
Another congressional investigation being
obstructed by the Justice Department surrounds
DEA drug-money laundering
operations revealed in an explosive New York Times article late last year.
"While the quality of the involvement of the
CIA and other security agencies may be debatable, it is impossible to
excise the blame from America,"
noted an analysis about the latest
allegations published by Catholic Online.
"If the CIA is part of the problem, then it
will only be one more sign of the corruption and evil that pervades
American and Mexican politics and holds hostage millions of innocents."
Some 50,000 people have died just in recent
years as part of Mexico’s U.S. government-backed “war on drugs,” and anger
south of the border continues to build.
But even as Latin American leaders
openly debate legalization and threaten to defect from the controversial
“war,” the Obama administration has promised to continue showering taxpayer
money on regimes that expand the battle.
Meanwhile, as the bloodshed continues to spiral out of control, the U.S.
border remains virtually wide open
on purpose, according to experts.
And despite tens of billions spent on the
endless “war,” numerous
analyses indicate that the flow of illegal drugs
into America is actually growing - not to mention consumption.
By contrast, Portugal, which legalized all drugs
about a decade ago, has seen
declining rates of addiction, drug
abuse, and crime.
In the United States, pressure is still growing on both sides of the aisle
to reform or end the unconstitutional federal drug war once and for all,
with polls showing rapidly declining support among voters. Over a dozen
states have already
nullified some unconstitutional federal statutes
marijuana as well.
How long the "war" will go on, however, may
depend on the federal government’s ability to continue borrowing funds to