Kerry Committee report

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The Kerry Committee report was the final report of an investigation by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations into the possible role of the Nicaraguan Contras in drug trafficking. The Sub-Committee was chaired at the time by Senator John Kerry, so that the report is often referred under his name. The report was released on April 13, 1989,[1] and concluded that "individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking...and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers.[2]


Press accounts concerning links between the Contras and drug traffickers, which began with a December 1985 story by the Associated Press, led to a review by the United States Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice and relevant U.S. intelligence agencies in 1986.[3] In April 1986, the State Department informed Congress that it had "evidence of a limited number of incidents in which known drug traffickers tried to establish connections with Nicaraguan resistance groups."[3]

Hearings begin[edit]

In April 1986, John Kerry and Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, proposed that hearings be conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding charges of Contra involvement in cocaine and marijuana trafficking. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the Republican chairman of the committee, agreed to conduct the hearings.

Kerry's findings[edit]

The Kerry Committee report found that "the Contra drug links included...payments to drug traffickers by the U.S. State Department of funds authorized by the Congress for humanitarian assistance to the Contras, in some cases after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges, in others while traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies."[3] The US State Department paid over $806,000 to known drug traffickers to carry humanitarian assistance to the Contras.[2]


Almost a decade later, the CIA inspector general would release a study confirming the conclusions of the Kerry Committee report.[4][clarification needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Kornbluh (January–February 1997). "Anatomy of a Story, Crack the Contras and the CIA: The Storm Over Dark Alliance". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved April 22, 2006.  Hosted on National Security Archives
  2. ^ a b Cockburn, Alexander; Jeffrey St Clair (October 1, 1999). Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press. Verso. ISBN 1-85984-258-5. 
  3. ^ a b c "Selections from the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy chaired by Senator John F. Kerry". HTML. Retrieved April 21, 2006. 
  4. ^ Corn, David (16 July 2001). "Defining John Kerry". The Nation. [dead link]

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]