Talk:CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking

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Why only Hitz report?[edit]

Wasn't this question investigated by Congressional committees in the 1980s also? And there are other reports on the Webb revelations too, including the Sherrif Block report. Also, Volume II of Hitz's report is mentioned here but not cited or quoted; there is a lot more information there worth pursuing.--csloat 17:28, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

power to ya commodore sloat, you are the first person to show an interest in this page, since I created. Please be my guest, and welcome. 18:47, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

To do[edit]

There's still a lot to do here. A summary of scholarly treatment of this issue belongs here; the studies of Peter Kornbluh and Peter Dale Scott are in many ways as important as the congressional hearings. Also, are there already articles on the CIA & heroin in southeast Asia, or the CIA and its LSD experiments in the 50s and 60s? I don't see any but I'm not sure what titles to look for. If not, perhaps this should evolve into a "CIA and drugs" article that includes that older information. (if so, more recent information about trafficking activities in Burma, Kosovo, and Afghanistan might be relevant as well).--csloat 05:52, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Also, are there already articles on the CIA & heroin in southeast Asia, or the CIA and its LSD experiments in the 50s and 60s?
This is out of the scope of the article. But there are books on CIA & heroin in southeast Asia, see Cia#Drugs_in_Asia, which you can expand. There are wikiarticles on the LSD experiments: Project_MKULTRA.
A summary of scholarly treatment of this issue belongs here; the studies of Peter Kornbluh and Peter Dale Scott are in many ways as important as the congressional hearings.
Agreed, albiet I have never read the book, so I am not much help... Travb (talk) 19:44, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Scott wrote a book (actually a couple books as I recall) on it. I don't think Kornbluh wrote a book, but he led the National Security Archive (at George Washington U; not the NSA of wiretapping fame) study on the topic and produced a packet of documents that eventually got put on the web - copy of Oliver North's notes acknowledging they knew about drug money, and so forth. Some day I'll look for the documents; I'm sure they're still up at somewhere.--csloat 02:39, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Someone needs to get Leslie Cockburns book Out of Control and expand the article based on it. LamontCranston (talk) 07:15, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

That's a very informative and well-researched book, but it came out at the beginning of the public's understanding of this episode; while it is a great source, I'd name "Cocaine Politics" by Marshall and Dale-Scott, and "Dark Alliance" by Gary Webb (and the follow-ups that critically examine the Webb reportage and backlash, such as the book "Kill the Messenger" by Nick Schou and the article "The Life and Times of Gary Webb" by renowned journalist Al Giordano) as more final and comprehensive accounts of the event. (talk) 04:53, 12 February 2012 (UTC)


I think that this page should be renamed to just Contras cocaine..., because it is not proven that the CIA was involved.--Atavi 18:38, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. It has been thoroughly documented (and, indeed, admitted by the CIA, including in sworn court testimony) that the CIA knew about the drug trafficking and allowed it to occur. This article is about the CIA connection here, not just about the Contras. And the contras were in fact an army created and funded by the CIA, so we really shouldn't pretend the two exist totally independently -- without the CIA there was no contra army.--csloat 21:42, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
You're right on all points, but I think that the title suggests that the CIA participated in the drug business actively, which isn't proven (which isn't to say it didn't happen).
--Atavi 03:20, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
If you mean did CIA agents actually deal drugs, you're right, though CIA assets certainly did (again, this has been admitted by the CIA itself). I agree in general though CIA involvement was indirect; the question is how to explain that in the title. "Contras and Cocaine" eliminates CIA;s role altogether, but the page seems to be about CIA involvement. How about "CIA involvement in cocaine trafficking"? The "in the US" part is pretty much redundant; there's little question about where the biggest market in the world is for the white powder...--csloat 22:35, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
I think we need Contras in the title as well. Perhaps "CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking". But the title you suggested is also good.
--Atavi 11:07, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

direct/indirect & whats the real crime[edit]

direct or makes a good story of course, mainly as it was the Reagans & Bushes that were involved in it all, and it somehow shows some serious hypocrisy coming from them & their just say no stance yet the the bigger crime is with tobacco, you can harp on the CIA all you want for dealing heroin and coke, only some were involved of course, and anyways they just follow orders from the higher intelligence networks, (which are themselves split on such issues somewhat, Kerry in skull and bones apparently against this type of thing, old man Bush in skull and bones all for it)... yet really the blatant dealing in a substance that kills near a half million americans every year, tobacco, was the greater crime, including thousands of birth defects and unborn infant fatalities each year. The hypocrisy on top of the hypocrisy.......special DEA agent: 00:58, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

When did the truth campaign start posting on the talk pages?Jeek X 05:39, 28 February 2007 (UTC)


I hereby dispute the factual accuracy of this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Which sentence do you dispute? I'm not being facetious; if you can't point to what you dispute and explain why, you can't expect the tag to stay on the article. This is actually one of the better documented articles; the sources are mostly the Associated Press and the US Government. Explain your specific dispute if you wish to dispute the article. csloat (talk) 18:49, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Dear IP130.88.199.20: Stating that you "hereby dispute the factual accuracy" of the article is not sufficient. As editor Commodore Sloat has indicated, if you find a statement in the article that is incorrect, you can discuss that statement here on this talk page. If another editor disagrees with your assessment, you would then have a dispute. Even then, a "dispute" tag on the article might not be appropriate. Tagging the article in the way you attempted to do is sometimes referred to as "drive-by tagging," and is generally not permitted. Instead of tagging the article, you may want to consider discussing the specific language of the article on the talk page, and citing reliable, previously published third party sources that show that the specific language is incorrect. Yours, Famspear (talk) 19:34, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

A patchwork article[edit]

This article is basically a patchwork, putting together information from the Kerry Committee report from 1989, the Gary Webb claims from 1996-98, and some general stuff from Allegations of CIA drug trafficking, derived from Alfred W. McCoy, Peter Dale Scott, and so on. The article is generally chronological, but has no real organization otherwise, picking out things here and there without even attempting to connect them.

The chronology is also marred in many places. For example, the Gary Webb and Investigation sections are hopelessly scrambled. Immediately after this, there is a section on the contents of the CIA OIG report, followed by a section on the testimony of Frederick Hitz, the CIA OIG, to the House Special Permanent Committee on Intelligence in March 1998. Yet the OIG report discussed was released in October 1998, months after Hitz's testimony. This error seems to come from Cockburn and St. Clair's book Whiteout (p. 387), which is cited several times in the article.

The section Contents of the Report is in fact an inaccurate summary of pp. 387-388 of Whiteout. Not a good passage to cite from Whiteout; these pages have several other problems in addition to the chronological one. Regardless of errors, the section consists of Cockburn and St. Clair's analysis and claims about just ONE paragraph, paragraph 623 of Part II of the report. Why should this one paragraph be chosen out of the eleven hundred plus paragraphs of Part II for a whole paragraph of discussion, and everything else ignored? Why is there no summary of the report's conclusions? Why should Part I of the report be utterly ignored?

For now I don't even want to bother with fixing things in the article. I do suggest that the separate article on the Kerry Committee Report could profitably be merged here. It's only a couple of paragraphs, and the information it contains is already in this article, for the most part. If anyone thinks this is workable, let me know and I'll give it a shot. Not really a big deal. This article has been here since 2006, and another 9 years of gathering dust won't make any difference. Rgr09 (talk) 14:28, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

@Rgr09: This is one of those articles I look at frequently, but feel stuck as to where to go with it given the vast number of inter-related articles that touch on the subject matter. In the discussion at Talk:Allegations of CIA drug trafficking#Iran-Contra section, I mentioned creating CIA involvement with drug traffickers that would put CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking and Allegations of CIA drug trafficking. In turn, you suggested to that Allegations of CIA involvement in drug trafficking replace Allegations of CIA drug trafficking.
Similar to your suggestion, what do you think about creating Allegations of CIA involvement in drug trafficking and merging material from CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking and Allegations of CIA drug trafficking? If we did that, all of the related claims of McCoy, Scott, Webb, and others that cover the various geographic regions (e.g. Far East, Mexico, Central America, etc.) could be mentioned as well as the various investigations that touched on those allegations (i.e. the Kerry Report, the DOJ/OIG report, and the CIA report). I think this would cut down on the redundancies and make the subject matter easier to follow. - Location (talk) 00:17, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

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Possible merger with Gary Webb article[edit]

Large parts of the article on Gary Webb were recently moved into this article. I agree that the two articles have a lot in common, but I don't agree mass copying or even partial merging is a good solution, and I've reverted the changes. The emphasis and much of the content of the two articles is simply too different. It is MUCH better to do changes here paragraph by paragraph, leaving the article in a much less disturbed, much more coherent state after each edit. I will try to contribute more here in the near future, more or less along these lines.

For the future, however, I believe that rather than moving a lot more content to this article, the current content here may instead best be merged somewhere else. It is largely a ragbag collection of information taken from other articles, which is often better covered elsewhere. Rgr09 (talk) 23:54, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

There should be an article on Wikipedia discussing this topic. If not here, where? I don't think you can tell the tale of this controversy without discussing Gary Webb's allegations and resulting investigations in detail. Nooneisneutral (talk) 07:32, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Allegations of CIA drug trafficking is a reasonable place. (unsigned comment by Rgr09)
Allegations of CIA drug trafficking links to this article as a Main Article. Nooneisneutral (talk) 09:56, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
If the material duplicated from Gary Webb is removed, the content in this article is just two or three articles by Barger and Parry and the Kerry Committee report; the material on the Kerry Committee is redundantly covered in several other articles as well as here, and consists of a paragraph or two. There simply isn't that much to this. Allegations of CIA drug trafficking is a short article that could easily hold all of this. The whole idea of "CIA involvement" in drugs comes from this set of claims and the earlier claims popularized in Alfred W. McCoy's book that the CIA was complicit in heroin trafficking. Merging these articles was under discussion last year, as you can see above. Rgr09 (talk) 11:18, 23 September 2016 (UTC)\
Before I added material from Gary Webb, this article already mentioned Gary Webb and the CIA investigation, including details not found in Gary Webb. I didn't add new subjects to this article, merely more details. Nooneisneutral (talk) 13:14, 23 September 2016 (UTC)