Did the CIA Actually Sell Crack in the 1980s? | The War On Drugs

The rumours have circulated for decades. Did the CIA flood the inner cities of the US with crack cocaine in the 1980s? Was the American government actually responsible for the crack epidemic?

Often dismissed as a conspiracy theory, but passionately believed by huge sections of the population – the idea that US intelligence agencies knowingly protected drug traffickers and played a role in bringing cocaine into the US is one of the most often repeated stories of the War on Drugs.

But what is the truth to these allegations? It turns out the real story is perhaps even stranger than the street-level gossip.

This is how one reporter exposed a web of CIA cover-ups, and how the rest of the media destroyed him for doing so.

Supreme Court Justices Make a Surprising Proposal in Torture Case

Twenty years after the Sept. 11 attacks, three justices said it was time to hear from the first detainee subjected to brutal interrogation by the C.I.A.

WASHINGTON — Twenty years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Supreme Court on Wednesday found itself struggling to address two issues stemming from that period: torture and government secrecy. Before the justices were done for the day, the proceedings had taken a surprising turn.

The basic question for the justices was whether the government could invoke national security to block testimony by two C.I.A. contractors who were instrumental in the brutal interrogations of the detainee known as Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded more than 60 times and is being held without charge at Guantánamo Bay.

Abu Zubaydah sought to subpoena the contractors in connection with a Polish criminal investigation. The inquiry was prompted by a determination by the European Court of Human Rights that he had been tortured in 2002 and 2003 at secret sites operated by the C.I.A., including one in Poland.

The United States government invoked the state secrets doctrine to bar the contractors from testifying in an apparent effort to avoid formally admitting what is common knowledge: that Poland was host to one of the so-called black sites.

Three justices proposed a novel solution: Why not let Abu Zubaydah himself testify in connection with the Polish inquiry? By allowing him to describe what he had endured, the justices suggested, the court could sidestep the question of whether the government had to allow the C.I.A. contractors to appear.

“Why doesn’t he testify?” Justice Stephen G. Breyer asked Abu Zubaydah’s lawyer. “He was there. Why doesn’t he say this is what happened?”

The lawyer, David F. Klein, said that was not possible. “He has been held in Guantánamo incommunicado,” Mr. Klein said of his client.

In the argument’s final minutes, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch urged the government’s lawyer to allow Abu Zubaydah to testify.

“Why not make the witness available?” Justice Gorsuch asked Brian H. Fletcher, the acting United States solicitor general. “What is the government’s objection to the witness testifying to his own treatment?”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor pursued the point. “Are you going to let him testify as to what happened to him?” she asked.

Mr. Fletcher would not give a direct answer. “I’m not prepared to make representations for the United States, especially on matters of national security,” he said.

But he promised to give the court a more considered response, presumably in a letter, after consulting with other government officials.

Justice Gorsuch seemed exasperated by the government’s position.

This case has been litigated for years and all the way up to the United States Supreme Court,” he said, “and you haven’t considered whether that’s an off-ramp that the government could provide that would obviate the need for any of this?”

Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, participating in the argument remotely after testing positive for the coronavirus last week, asked the last question, and it was an even more fundamental one. It concerned the status of the 2001 law that approved going to war against those responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or A.U.M.F.

Is the United States still engaged in hostilities for purposes of the A.U.M.F. against Al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations?” he asked, seeking to get at whether the United States still has a basis for holding Abu Zubaydah.

Mr. Fletcher said yes. “That is the government’s position,” he said, “that notwithstanding withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, we continue to be engaged in hostilities with Al Qaeda and therefore that detention under law of war remains proper.”

Most of Wednesday’s argument was devoted to an exploration of whether the government could invoke the state secrets doctrine to bar the C.I.A. contractors, James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, from testifying about the torture of Abu Zubaydah, whose real name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn.

He was the first prisoner held by the C.I.A. after the Sept. 11 attacks to undergo so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, which were based on a list of suggestions drawn up for use on him by Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jessen, both psychologists. It is undisputed that Abu Zubaydah was tortured at one or more black sites, and the justices frequently used the word “torture” to describe what he had endured.

Mr. Fletcher said Abu Zubaydah’s treatment was not a secret but that its location was. “Our nation’s covert intelligence partnerships depend on our partners’ trust that we will keep those relationships confidential,” he said.

That trust would be broken, he said, by confirming or denying the existence of an alleged C.I.A. facility in Poland.

That gave rise to a semantic puzzle. Was it possible to allow testimony from the contractors about what had happened but not where?

Chief Justice John G. Roberts said it seemed that the contractors could talk about many things other than the location of the events.

Mr. Fletcher disagreed. “You can’t take the location out of this proceeding because the whole point of the proceeding is to get evidence for a Polish investigation,” he said.

Mr. Klein, a lawyer for Abu Zubaydah, said he did not seek testimony about Poland, as a prosecutor there already had the relevant information. Rather, Mr. Klein said, he sought to provide the prosecutor with information about his client’s treatment by asking the contractors a series of questions.

“What happened inside Abu Zubaydah’s cell between December 2002 and September 2003?” he asked, giving the dates during which his client was understood to be held in Poland.

  • “How was Abu Zubaydah fed?
  • What was his medical condition?
  • What was his cell like?
  • And, yes, was he tortured?”

Justice Elena Kagan sketched out what she suggested was a gap in Mr. Klein’s argument.

The government has “conceded that Abu Zubaydah was tortured, but, because of relations with allies with cooperating intelligence services, they won’t say where it happened,” she said. “And you’re here saying: I need to know when it happened, and to know when it happened, the government would essentially be saying where it happened too.”

Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian, was captured in Pakistan in March 2002 and was initially thought be a high-level member of Al Qaeda. A 2014 report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said “the C.I.A. later concluded that Abu Zubaydah was not a member of Al Qaeda.”

What Really Happened in Afghanistan: Marianne Williamson in conversation with author Sarah Chayes

Subscribe to Marianne’s Substack, TRANSFORM: MarianneWilliamson.Substack.com

REFLECTIONS ON AFGHANISTAN: Williamson and Chayes discuss Chayes’ article “The Ides of August,” about her experiences working as a reporter and special counsellor to the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the war in Afghanistan.

Learn more about Sarah: https://www.sarahchayes.org/

Read “The Ides of August”: https://www.sarahchayes.org/post/the-…

Read Sarah’s books: On Corruption in America: And What Is at Stake: https://bookshop.org/books/on-corrupt…

Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security https://bookshop.org/books/thieves-of…

 

The Afghan people hated the Taliban but they were thankful for ridding the country of the war lords.

President Karzia is responsible for bringing the taliban to Afghanistan.

The CIA allied itself with the war lords that the Afghan people hated.

The war lords took over the provincial governments and corruption was rampant.

The US allowed Karzai’s corruption.  When one of his staff was caught accepting bribes, it turned out to be the bag man transporting money from the CIA to Karzai.

We trained guerilla fighters to fight a conventional war dependent on our military equipment rather than a guerilla war.

The corruption and failure of Afghanistan is a mirror of American corruption.

Why is Pakistan considered an ally, given that we didn’t trust them not to tip off Osama bin Ladie and  they armed the Taliban with military aid that the US provided them.

Did the CIA Actually Sell Crack in the 1980s? | The War On Drugs

The rumours have circulated for decades. Did the CIA flood the inner cities of the US with crack cocaine in the 1980s? Was the American government actually responsible for the crack epidemic?

Often dismissed as a conspiracy theory, but passionately believed by huge sections of the population – the idea that US intelligence agencies knowingly protected drug traffickers and played a role in bringing cocaine into the US is one of the most often repeated stories of the War on Drugs.

But what is the truth to these allegations? It turns out the real story is perhaps even stranger than the street-level gossip.

This is how one reporter exposed a web of CIA cover-ups, and how the rest of the media destroyed him for doing so.

Check out the VICE World News playlist for global reporting you won’t find elsewhere: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Watch more from this series:

Operation Cyclone (Afghanistan)

In the West, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was considered a threat to global security and the oil supplies of the Persian Gulf.[10] Moreover, the failure to accurately predict Soviet intentions caused American officials to reappraise the Soviet threat to both Iran and Pakistan, although it is now known that those fears were overblown. For example, U.S. intelligence closely followed Soviet exercises for an invasion of Iran throughout 1980, while an earlier warning from Brzezinski that “if the Soviets came to dominate Afghanistan, they could promote a separate Baluchistan … [thus] dismembering Pakistan and Iran” took on new urgency.[11][5]

 

.. Of the seven mujahideen groups supported by Zia’s government, four espoused Islamic fundamentalist beliefs—and these fundamentalists received most of the funding.[10] Despite this, Carter has expressed no regrets over his decision to support what he still considers the “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan.[5]

 

.. Key proponents of the initial program were Texas Congressman Charlie WilsonMichael G. Vickers, a young CIA paramilitary officer; and Gust Avrakotos, the CIA’s regional head, who developed a close relationship with Wilson. Their strategy was to provide a broad mix of weapons, tactics, and logistics, along with training programs, to enhance the rebels’ ability to fight a guerilla war against the Soviets. Initially, to avoid detection of U.S. involvement, the program supplied the rebels only with Soviet-made weaponry. This plan was enabled by the tacit support of Israel, which had captured large stockpiles of Soviet-made weaponry during the Yom Kippur War and agreed to sell them to the CIA clandestinely, as well as Egypt, which had recently modernized its army with weapons purchased from Western nations, funneling the older Soviet-made arms to the mujahideen.[30][31] After 1985, as the Reagan administration announced that it would support anti-Soviet resistance movements globally (in what is now known as the Reagan Doctrine), there was no longer a need to obfuscate the origin of the weaponry; Pentagon senior official, Michael Pillsbury, successfully advocated providing U.S.-made weaponry, including large numbers of Stinger missiles, to the Afghan resistance.[32]

 

.. Reports show civilian personnel from the U.S. Department of State and the CIA frequently visited the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area during this time, and the US contributed generously to aiding Afghan refugees. CIA director William Casey secretly visited Pakistan numerous times to meet with the ISI officers managing the mujahideen,[39] and personally observed the guerrillas training on at least one occasion.[40] Coll reports that

Casey startled his Pakistani hosts by proposing that they take the Afghan war into enemy territory — into the Soviet Union itself. Casey wanted to ship subversive propaganda through Afghanistan to the Soviet Union’s predominantly Muslim southern republics. The Pakistanis agreed, and the CIA soon supplied thousands of Korans, as well as books on Soviet atrocities in Uzbekistan and tracts on historical heroes of Uzbek nationalism, according to Pakistani and Western officials.[40]

.. The U.S.-built Stinger antiaircraft missile, supplied to the mujahideen in very large numbers beginning in 1986, struck a decisive blow to the Soviet war effort as it allowed the lightly armed Afghans to effectively defend against Soviet helicopter landings in strategic areas. The Stingers were so renowned and deadly that, in the 1990s, the U.S. conducted a “buy-back” program to keep unused missiles from falling into the hands of anti-American terrorists. This program may have been covertly renewed following the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan in late 2001, out of fear that remaining Stingers could be used against U.S. forces in the country.[49]

.. The Stinger missiles supplied by the United States gave Afghan guerrillas, generally known as the Mujahideen, the ability to destroy the dreaded Mi-24D helicopter gunships deployed by the Soviets to enforce their control over Afghanistan. Three of the first four Stingers fired each took down a gunship. The guerrillas were now able to challenge Soviet control of the airspace above the battlefield.[50]

— CIA – Central Intelligence Agency

Reagan’s program assisted in ending the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan,[51][52] with the Soviets unable to quell the insurgency. On 20 July 1987, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country was announced pursuant to the negotiations that led to the Geneva Accords of 1988,[53] with the last Soviets leaving on 15 February 1989. Soviet forces suffered over 14,000 killed and missing, and over 50,000 wounded.[citation needed] The withdrawal helped precipitate the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself.[5]

 

.. The U.S. offered two packages of economic assistance and military sales to support Pakistan’s role in the war against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. The first six-year assistance package (1981–87) amounted to US$3.2 billion, equally divided between economic assistance and military sales. The U.S. also sold 40 F-16 aircraft to Pakistan during 1983–87 at a cost of $1.2 billion outside the assistance package. The second six-year assistance package (1987–93) amounted to $4.2 billion. Out of this, $2.28 billion were allocated for economic assistance in the form of grants or loan that carried the interest rate of 2–3 per cent. The rest of the allocation ($1.74 billion) was in the form of credit for military purchases. More than $20 billion in U.S. funds were funneled into the country to train and arm the Afghan resistance groups.[54]

The program funding was increased yearly due to lobbying by prominent U.S. politicians and government officials, such as Charles WilsonGordon HumphreyFred Ikle, and William Casey. Under the Reagan administration, U.S. support for the Afghan mujahideen evolved into a centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy, called the Reagan Doctrine, in which the U.S. provided military and other support to anti-communist resistance movements in Afghanistan, Angola, and Nicaragua.[citation needed]

The mujahideen benefited from expanded foreign military support from the United StatesSaudi ArabiaPakistan, United Kingdom and other Muslim nations. Saudi Arabia in particular agreed to match dollar for dollar the money the CIA was sending to the Mujahideen. When Saudi payments were late, Wilson and Avrakotos would fly to Saudi Arabia to persuade the monarchy to fulfil its commitments.[55]

Levels of support to the various Afghan factions varied. The ISI tended to favor vigorous Islamists like Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i-Islami and Haqqani. Some Americans agreed.[55][56] However others favored the relative moderates like Ahmed Shah Massoud. These included two Heritage Foundation foreign policy analysts, Michael Johns and James A. Phillips, both of whom championed Massoud as the Afghan resistance leader most worthy of US support under the Reagan Doctrine.[57][58][59]

After the withdrawal of Soviet troops, the U.S. shifted its interest from Afghanistan. American funding of Hekmatyar and his Hezb-i-Islami party was cut off immediately.[60] The U.S. also reduced its assistance for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.[citation needed]

In October 1990, U.S. President George H. W. Bush refused to certify that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear explosive device, triggering the imposition of sanctions against Pakistan under the Pressler Amendment (1985) to the Foreign Assistance Act (1961). This disrupted the second assistance package offered in 1987 and discontinued economic assistance and military sales to Pakistan with the exception of the economic assistance already on its way to Pakistan. Military sales and training programs were abandoned as well and some of the Pakistani military officers under training in the U.S. were asked to return home.[33]

As late as 1991 Charlie Wilson persuaded the House Intelligence Committee to continue the funding of the Mujahideen, providing them with $200 million for fiscal year 1992. With the matching funds from Saudi Arabia, this amounted to $400 million for that year. Afghan tribes were also delivered weapons which the United States captured from Iraq during the Gulf War.[61]

 

The U.S. government has been criticized for allowing Pakistan to channel a disproportionate amount of its funding to the controversial Hekmatyar,[62] whom Pakistani officials believed was “their man”.[63] Hekmatyar has been criticized for killing other mujahideen and attacking civilian populations, including shelling Kabul with American-supplied weapons, causing 2,000 casualties. Hekmatyar was said to be friendly with Osama bin Laden, founder of al-Qaeda, who was running an operation for assisting “Afghan Arab” volunteers fighting in Afghanistan, called Maktab al-Khadamat. Alarmed by his behavior, Pakistan leader General Zia warned Hekmatyar, “It was Pakistan that made him an Afghan leader and it is Pakistan who can equally destroy him if he continues to misbehave.”[64] The CIA and State Department have been criticized for publishing textbooks intended to indoctrinate children with racism and hatred towards foreigners and towards non-muslim Afghans.[62] The CIA and State Department have been criticized for their direct relationship with Hekmatyar, beyond ISI contact,[41][42] in spite of his being one of the leading heroin smugglers in the region.[65]

In the late 1980s, Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, concerned about the growing strength of the Islamist movement, told President George H. W. Bush, “You are creating a Frankenstein.”[66]

Others have asserted funding the mujahideen may have played a role in causing the September 11 attacks. A number of political commentators have described Al-Qaeda attacks as “blowback” or an unintended consequence of American aid to the mujahideen.[67]

Alleged connections of CIA assistance to Bin Laden[edit]

Some have alleged that bin Laden and al Qaeda were beneficiaries of CIA assistance. This is challenged by experts such as Coll—who notes that declassified CIA records and interviews with CIA officers do not support such claims—and Peter Bergen, who argues: “The theory that bin Laden was created by the CIA is invariably advanced as an axiom with no supporting evidence.”[68][69] Bergen insists that U.S. funding went to the Afghan mujahideen, not the Arab volunteers who arrived to assist them.[69]

However, Sir Martin Ewans noted that the Afghan Arabs “benefited indirectly from the CIA’s funding, through the ISI and resistance organizations,”[70] and that “it has been reckoned that as many as 35,000 ‘Arab-Afghans’ may have received military training in Pakistan at an estimated cost of $800 million in the years up to and including 1988.”[71] Some of the CIA’s greatest Afghan beneficiaries were Arabist commanders such as Haqqani and Hekmatyar who were key allies of bin Laden over many years.[72][73] Haqqani—one of bin Laden’s closest associates in the 1980s—received direct cash payments from CIA agents, without the mediation of the ISI. This independent source of funding gave Haqqani disproportionate influence over the mujahideen.[48] Haqqani and his network played an important role in the formation and growth of al Qaeda, with Jalalhuddin Haqqani allowing bin Laden to train mujahideen volunteers in Haqqani territory and build extensive infrastructure there.[74]

 

63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read | Jesse Ventura | Talks at Google

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Jesse Ventura visited Google’s Santa Monica office on April 13, 2011 to discuss his new bestseller: “63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read.”

Iran says it has found a CIA informant who helped the US assassinate Qassem Soleimani and has sentenced him to death

Iran announced on Tuesday that it had convicted and planned to execute an Iranian citizen accused of helping the US to assassinate its revered Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The news was reported by Reuters, which cited a press conference aired on Iranian TV.

Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq, in January. He was famous in Iran for his role in leading foreign military operations for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. His killing pushed the US and Iran to the brink of war.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesman for Iran’s judicial service, said at the conference that officials had identified Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd as a culprit in Soleimani’s death.

Esmaili described him as a spy for the CIA and Israel’s Mossad security agency and said he had already been sentenced to death.

“Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, one of the spies for the CIA and the Mossad, has been sentenced to death,” Esmaili said, adding that he “shared information about the whereabouts of martyr Soleimani with our enemies.”

“He passed on security information to the Israeli and American intelligence agencies about Iran’s armed forces, particularly the Guards,” Esmaili said, according to Reuters.

The announcement took many by surprise, given its speed and timing — almost exactly six months after Soleimani died.

One security official told Insider that information made public by the US might have made it easy for Iran to identify any informants involved. The official, who works in the Persian Gulf, requested anonymity because he lacks permission to discuss Iran with the media.

“We knew the Pasdaran was looking at logistics and security offices for the leak, people who would have to know [Soleimani’s] movements as part of their work,” he said. Pasdaran is Persian slang for the Revolutionary Guard.

“If this is the Americans’ guy, they really f—ed him with releasing all the details on how they tracked Soleimanihow they always knew when he was on a plane, that a source had confirmed he was definitely on the flight and had disembarked,” he said, referring to US news reports at the time of the assassination that drew on inside information about how the strike was carried out.

Bloomberg News published such a story three days after the strike that cited two unnamed US officials. NBC News published a detailed account one week after the strike that cited multiple US officials with knowledge of the operation.

According to The Washington Post, President Donald Trump gave his own detailed account of the strike to a meeting of donors at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida not long afterward.

The Gulf-based source continued: “How hard is it to figure out everyone who knew exactly when Soleimani was there? Arrest everyone who knew and interrogate them until someone confesses.”

A NATO official who closely monitors Iran, also speaking anonymously, said that Iran’s behavior suggested that Mousavi-Majd could have been one of its own intelligence officials.

“This is how most countries would prefer to deal with catching a traitor in the security services,” he said.

You need to know what they gave up and when and how they were recruited as quickly as possible, then a fast, final trial to not embarrass the service.”

Mousavi-Majd has not been identified as a member of the Iranian intelligence services or the Guard, but the Persian Gulf source agreed that, from Iran’s official behavior, that appeared most likely.

“Who else would know where Soleimani was going to be? The guy didn’t use a travel agent,” he said. “And a fast, quiet trial because it was one of your own guys.