According to a 25-year veteran of the DEA and author of the book, Triangle of Death, Michael Levine, the CIA played a pivotal role in enabling the trafficking of illegal drugs, especially cocaine, into the U.S. from Latin America.
While serving as an undercover DEA agent, Levine claims the CIA was aware of drugs being smuggled into major city streets but failed to act. He even said that the agency disclosed secret DEA activities to the drug cartels, as noted in the following video.
North denies accusations at Iran-Contra Congressional Hearing
This isn’t the first time a former DEA agent has made such claims. Former DEA head John Lawn, for instance, declared that Oliver North, a former United States Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who served on the National Security Council in the 1980s, “created a privatized contra network that attracted drug traffickers looking for cover for their operations.” They then ignored instances of drug smuggling linked to the contras, and even collaborated with drug smugglers like Manuel Noriega.
While under oath, Lawn said North disclosed secret DEA operations – putting the lives of various agents’ at risk – for political gain in a forthcoming Congressional vote to assist the contras.
Predictably, North denied accusations that the contras were involved in illegal drug trafficking. During the Iran-Contra Congressional Hearing in 1987, when such accusations first came to surface, North said in his opening statement:
“Some said I was second only in power to the President of the United States, and others that I condoned drug trafficking to generate funds for the contras, or that I personally ordered assassinations, or that I was conducting my own foreign policy. It has even been suggested that I was the personal confidant of the President of the United States. These, and many other stories, are patently untrue.”
Documents reveal CIA worked with drug smugglers
In the video, Levine refers to North’s diary, which was not presented during the Congressional Hearing. North’s diaries, e-mail, and memos were made public by the National Security Archive much later, in February 2004. The documents disclosed the following:
- Memos from North aide Robert Owen to Mr. North recounting drug-running “indiscretions” among the contras, warning that a known drug-smuggling airplane was delivering taxpayer-funded “humanitarian aid” overseen by Mr. North.
- Mr. North’s White House e-mails recounting his efforts to spring from prison a Honduran general who could “spill the beans” on the secret contra war, even though the Justice Department termed the Honduran a “narcoterrorist” for his involvement in cocaine smuggling and an assassination plot.
- Mr. North’s White House e-mails and diary entries on his personal meeting on 22 September 1986 with Noriega, following up Noriega’s offer to “take care of” the Sandinista leadership if the White House would help “clean up his image.”
Garry Webb, an investigative report for the San Jose Mercury News, first suggested that the contras may have been assisted, and even protected, by the CIA. Webb’s remarks triggered a wave of controversy in Los Angeles, especially among the African-American community, which led to four major investigations into his claims.Webb ended up resigning for unveiling the colonel’s true colors. Meanwhile, North serves as a political commentator for various news outlets