[back] Genocide   [back] Cocaine

[It has been estimated that  50,000 Nicaraguan men, women and children were killed in U.S. sponsored terror conducted by the CIA backed right-wing Contra forces, also responsible for creating the US crack epidemic starting in Los Angeles, as documented by Gary Webb.]

[2004] Barren Justice 

Articles re CIA war
Secret Third World Wars by John Stockwell

CIA Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare A tactical manual for the revolutionary. First published by the Central Intelligence Agency and distributed to the Contras in Central America

[2003] Nicaragua 1981-1990 by William Blum

[1996] The CIA, Contras, Gangs, and Crack by William Blum


[1995] The Crimes of Mena By Sally Denton and Roger Morris Seal's operations at Mena and other bases were involved in the export of guns to Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, and Brazil, as well as to the Contras, and the importation of cocaine from Colombia to be sold in New York, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and other cities, as well as in Arkansas itself.

Nicaragua 1981-1990. Destabilization in slow motion by William Blum

Ollie North


See: Gary Webb  Cocaine El Salvador   Mena  Phoenix programme  Communism  Cocaine

[2003] Killing Hope. U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II by William Blum
[1999] Dark Alliance by Gary Webb
 Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & "Project Truth" by Robert Parry
[1994] Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA by Terry Reed, John Cummings.
[1994] Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War by Celerino Castillo & Dave Harmon
[1991]  Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America by Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall
The Iran-Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in Reagan Era by Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott, Jane Hunter

There was a massive flow of drugs through the CIA/contra aircraft into the United States, where they had clearances to land at Air Force and National Guard bases without being inspected by customs. Senator Kerry's investigation revealed this and there are dozens of cases where people in the contra program, including Adolfo Calero's brother-in-law, were caught smuggling cocaine into this country, using informal "national security" passes or telephone numbers from the White House to get themselves cleared when FBI or Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers caught them. This is nothing new. DEA records have been made public revealing that the CIA intervened on behalf of drug dealers at least two dozen times during the 1970s. Secret Third World Wars by John Stockwell

The most important effect of the Reagan policy was the tremendous destruction it wreaked on Nicaragua ... Approximately 30,000 Nicaraguans were killed and tens of thousands others were wounded, a death total higher in per capita terms than that suffered by the United States in the Civil War, World War One, World War Two, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined.---In the Name of Democracy, U.S. Policy Toward Latin America in the Reagan Years, Thomas Carothers, p107

They chose to use the drug Scopolamine, which also went by the nickname "Burundanga" or "the Voodoo drug". The drug is extracted from the pods of a flowering shrub that grows in remote regions of South America. In its processed, powdered form, Scopolamine is "void of smell, void of taste". When properly administered "it causes absolute obedience" without this being "observable by others". Importantly, the target will not recall any of the events that occurred during the period they were under the spell of the drug. 
In outlining these details, Tatum adds that it is important to administer the drug in the correct dosage, for he has known targets to die from too high a dose. Others have "remained under the influence of Burundanga for up to three weeks". Precise dosage can be achieved by liquid ingestion, the powder being readily soluble. Ingestion via cigarettes is also an optimum method of ingestion. It is fast-acting and takes no more than 20 minutes to work.
    Tatum states that X was invited to spend a relaxing weekend at a luxury hotel as a guest of his friend George Bush. His host for the weekend was a trusted 18-year veteran field-intelligence officer. The evening started with cocktails and was followed by a fine meal. "'Nothing but the best' were the orders."
    Following the meal, he was ushered into the suite of a "blonde bombshell" supplied by the CIA. Mr X had already ingested a dose of Burundanga during pre-dinner cocktails. X was gallant with the blonde as they both moved into the bedroom where video cameras were already set up in one corner. In short order, the blonde had X standing naked in front of her and began to indulge his desires. All the while, the video cameras whirred. Slowly stripping off, the "blonde" revealed his manhood in all its glory. Mr X was instructed to reciprocate the favour and perform fellatio. He obliged, his intimate activities recorded at 24 frames a second on videotape. Tatum says the male prostitute was hired from a bar in New York and killed that same evening.
    Two weeks later, X - wholly unaware of the events of that evening - was visited in Nicaragua. He was presented with a copy of the video footage, along with instructions. Tatum says that X can never allow that video to be seen: "Not only does it reveal his homosexuality, but it also reveals his bestiality and satanic worship rituals." As frame after frame flicked by, X reportedly wept, forced to watch himself kill his homosexual "lover" and then engage in the most grisly cannabalistic ritual imaginable. Neutralised, Mr X became a leading member of the Nicaraguan government a few short weeks later. THE PEGASUS FILE by David G. Guyatt

In the 10-year continuous attack-"war" is what the World Court called it-that the United States waged on Nicaragua, Nicaragua did not commit one act of war against the United States. But instead of joining them in building the healthiest, most dynamic, most enthusiastic country in Central America, the U.S. spent over $1 billion to attack and destabilize the country. We set out systematically to create conditions where farmers could not get their produce to market, where children could not go to school, where women were terrified of being attacked, inside their homes as well as outside, where the hospitals were treating wounded people instead of sick people, where government administration ground to a halt, where the trucks didn't run, the bridges were blown up, the salaries weren't paid, and the infrastructure broke down. Eventually, of course, international capital was scared away and the country plunged into chaos and bankruptcy.
    We created the contra program beginning in about 1981. Here we go again, said Newsweek in November 1982, we have done this before; it has been a mistake before; once again we are supporting the wrong side. We had elected to support the only "truly evil, totally unacceptable faction in the Nicaraguan equation"-the remnants of Somoza's hated Guardia Nacional (National Guard). Using Argentine trainers at first, and then eventually CIA mercenaries, we armed and directed this small army from bases mostly in Honduras to attack inside Nicaragua and destabilize the country. They systematically blew up granaries, sawmills, bridges, government offices, schools, health centers, mines. They mined roads, ambushed trucks, and raided farms and villages. There is massive documentation of all this- because, as I said, the country was kept open for foreign witnesses to record what was happening.
    For the first few years, CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC, CBC all had crews in Managua, and when there would be atrocities they would rush to film them. We also had what eventually totalled thousands of witnesses for peace from this country, Canada, Europe, and Australia, going down and visiting or even living right in the Nicaraguan towns and villages with the people, and when there were atrocities they filmed and photographed and documented them.
    There was also direct U.S. military involvement in mining harbors, overflying the country, and blowing up installations in the ports. There were assassinations of hundreds of religious leaders, teachers, health workers, elected officials, and government administrators by U.S.-backed contrast CBS, NBC, and others have footage of all of this; Americas Watch and Witness for Peace have documented it. There was the admission by President Ronald Reagan in his national television debate with Walter Mondale in 1984 that the famous "assassination manual," used to train the contras, was the work of the CIA Station Chief in Tegucigalpa. On national television, Reagan acknowledged the CIA's involvement with the contras and in the plotting of assassinations.
    After that faux pas, the media asked for clarification from the White House on the President's policies. Did President Reagan in fact approve of assassinations, which had been declared at least officially taboo by President Gerald Ford in 1974? In an exercise of doublespeak, the White House said that the word "assassination" only applied to world leaders and chiefs of state. Murdering regional officials was not assassination. The policy, they said was unchanged.
    Terror has been a part of this program, terror as raw as anything that happens in the Middle East or elsewhere. The contras habitually went into villages and hauled families out of their homes. They forced children to watch while they castrated and killed their fathers, while they raped their mothers and slashed off their breasts, or they forced parents to watch while they mutilated the children.
    The New York Times has cited 45,000 as the number of people killed and wounded in this destabilization. This is nobody's propaganda. It was all documented and condemned by the World Court, by the Presbyterian Church, by the Methodist Church, by broad segments of the Catholic Church, and by thousands of witnesses who went down from other countries to see for themselves.
    Throughout, President Reagan remained unapologetic for this grotesque activity and President Bush continued the same policies. Reagan took pride in saying, "I am a contra. " He took pride in saying that these people were the moral equivalent of his founding fathers. And of course George Bush has never missed a chance to identify himself with the contras.  Secret Third World Wars by John Stockwell

The Iran-Contra scandal blared across American television and newspapers, but drug activity was rarely mentioned. The American public accepted the Reagan Administration's version of Iran-Contra, which maintained that weapons were covertly sold to Iran in order to generate funds for Contra mercenary soldiers seeking to overthrow the Nicaraguan Sandanista government. The money used by US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and his entourage from weapons sales to Iran to fund the Contras was a "drop in the bucket," according to Castillo. He told the SHADOW, "To the best of my knowledge, most of the money to fund the contras came through narcotics trafficking."
    Tim Ross, a twenty-one year veteran broadcaster for the BBC in Colombia, connected what he called "Ollie North's mob" to drug dealing in that country as well. Ross told the SHADOW that "In late '84, early '85, North brought five Afghani military advisers to Colombia on a speaking tour, three left, two stayed. The two that stayed were chemists who introduced heroin manufacturing to Colombia. He also brought in an Israeli agronomist who helped to cultivate opium poppies."
    Ross said that when he started investigating too deeply for North's comfort, however, he was summoned to the US Embassy in Bogota and told, "You're going to lay off this story or you are going to die" by an "ex-marine, the type of guy who used to cut Vietcong throats with his thumbnail." Ross ran the story anyway, detailing Colombia's growing heroin epidemic, but North told his superiors that the story was nothing more than "fabrications, including trumped-up fake Mexican file footage." DEA'S FINEST DETAILS CORRUPTION By John Veit

But what happened in and around that same time frame, was the development, secretly, of another part of the Central America story, which was, of course, the covert war in Nicaragua. And William Casey and Ronald Reagan began putting this operation together, and it involved building up this paramilitary group called the contras, and they were supposed to be seen as an indigenous fighting force, the American role was supposed to be minimized or hidden, again, and that was how it was going to be sold to the American people. It was a classic covert operation, and then it was a legal one at that time - it had been authorized under the finding provisions of the National Security Act. But there were problems with this war from very early on, and one of the problems was that the Contra's weren't very good at fighting - they would go into some villages in Northern Nicaragua and commit atrocities, which began filtering back also to Washington. Congress began hearing about them lining up people in villages and killing them. But it wasn't a very effective group in terms of like taking territory.
    And there was one story which I did later but goes back to this time, when the CIA, in 1982, prepared a plan - it was written by the head of military operations, named Rudy Enders, and Mr. Enders had this timetable, and it talked about how the Contras were going to grow at a certain rate and where they'd be at a certain date and they had them marching into Managua by the end of 1983 - and so this was the plan. The plan was to, well, officially even to Congress the White House was saying we have no intention of overthrowing the government of Nicaragua - we're simply trying to interdict weapons going to El Salvador. In their own files at CIA, the policy file for the Contra war contained this timetable to overthrow the government of Nicaragua. So this was their plan - except that it wasn't working. And so by early '83, it became clear even to people at CIA that the Contras weren't what they hoped they'd be cracked up to be, and they ended up looking at this and saying we're going to have to do some different things. [1993] Fooling America. A talk by Robert Parry

Part of this problem though was still that, the longer this thing dragged out, the harder it was to keep all these secrets - plus the Contras were still going out and killing people left and right. So Bill Casey was stuck with a bit of a problem. And he approached it - as he was a very - Bill Casey is often, I think, misperceived - he was a very smart man, and he was extremely committed ideologically to what he was doing, and he was a person who believed in making things happen - whatever the rules might be, or whatever the red tape might be. And so he sat down and developed some strategies in 1983 on what to do. One thing is they would need more time to train the Contras - they weren't going to work the way they were going. Secondly, they had to create the impression the Contras were better than they were, so people wouldn't get tired of supporting them in Congress. So they decided the CIA would have to start sending in its own people, its own specially-trained Latino assets to begin doing attacks which the Contras could then claim credit for, like blowing up Corinto where they blew up this oil depot in the little town of Corinto on the coast, they sabotaged some oil pipeline in Porto San Dino, and these were all being done now by the CIA except that after they'd be done the agency guys would call up the Contra spokesmen, in this case often Edgar Chimorro, and they'd get them out of bed and say, "Now you're going to put a news release out saying that you guys have done this." Now the reason of course for that was to create the impression in the United States, to fool the American public and the Congress, to make the American public think the Contras were really quite effective - that they were now running sea assaults on Nicaragua - pretty sophisticated stuff for a paramilitary force.
    And Casey had some other ideas. He also began to put together what became known later as the Psychological Operations Manual or the Assassination Manual, and he authorized that in the Summer of 1983, to be prepared - plus they prepared another little booklet on how if you're a Nicaraguan how you sabotage your own government - it was a delightful comic book which I later wrote about at AP - and it showed how you'd start off with, you know, calling in sick was one of the strategies to sabotage, and you'd build up to putting sponges in the toilet to make them back up, as if any of these things work in Nicaragua to begin with, and then they taught you how to make your own malatov cocktails, it was sort of - you graduated - you moved up in your sabotage - and they'd take these little comic books and the Contras were supposed to leave them behind wherever they'd go, so the people could then start calling in sick.
    So that was one of his ideas. The other one was to do this book - this very sophisticated book in many ways. It made reference to ancient scholars, and how you gave speeches, but the most interesting part was that there was a section about how the Contras should use 'selective use of violence' to 'neutralize civilian targets' that is civilian officials, judges, people of that sort. And the idea was, apparently, that you would kill these people or at least, you know, incapacitate them somehow, but what was the most remarkable thing about that point was that, when this was finally uncovered when I did a piece on this a year later or so, the CIA then argued, "Well, you don't understand. We were trying to get the contras to be selective in their violence against civilians, not indiscriminate." And that became actually the defense that was used by the CIA to explain why they were running this booklet.
    But anyway, these things were things that Casey put together in the summer of '83 but he had other plans, which is one section - one of the sections of my book deals with this most remarkable operation that he came up with at that time which is called the Public Diplomacy Apparatus. And what the Public Diplomacy Apparatus did was to make more systematic, to better staff, better finance this campaign to shape the reality that the American public would see. They had a phrase for it inside the administration. It was called 'perception management' and, with US. taxpayers dollars, they then went out and set up offices, mostly at the State Department - there was this Office of Public Diplomacy' for Latin America - but secretly it was being run out of the National Security Council staff. And the person who was overseeing it was a man named Walter Raymond. And Mr. Raymond had been a thirty- year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency and was the top propaganda expert for the agency in the world. He shipped it over to essentially run similar programs aimed at the American public. And overseeing all of this was the Director of Central Intelligence, William Casey.
    The documentation on this now is extremely strong and clear, that even on matters of personnel, as well as on matters of general strategy, Casey would be given reports, asked to provide assistance, he would help or his people would help arrange bringing in people to staff this office.
    They even turned to psychological warfare experts from Fort Bragg, who were brought up to handle the cable traffic coming in from Central America. And, as they say in their own documents, the purpose of these psychological warfare specialists was to identify exploitable themes that could be used against - with the American public - to excite the American public to be more and more angry about what was happening in Central America. [1993] Fooling America. A talk by Robert Parry

So, as we get into the mid-80's, we're now in a situation where it's getting touchier and touchier to do these stories, but Congress, because of the mining problems and because of the bad publicity that followed, the disclosure that the CIA was actually doing many of these things which the Contras had been claiming credit for, when that was exposed in 1984 - accidentally exposed by Barry Goldwater on the floor of the Senate - what happened on that case was that Goldwater had gotten drunk and had gone down to the Senate and started talking about how the US. was mining the harbors of Nicaragua. And Rob Simmons, who was then staff director for the Senate Intelligence Committee rushed onto the floor to grab this slightly drunken Senator and tell him that he wasn't supposed to say that and they - it was literally expunged from the Congressional Record, even though - this was before C- Span so you couldn't record it - it was expunged from the Congressional Record but a very diligent reporter, David Rodgers for the Wall Street Journal, happened to be in the press gallery and wrote it down so it ran in the Wall Street Journal and it got sort of out, and that contributed mightily to the problems that they had in continuing the war. So Congress stopped the funding for the Contras. [1993] Fooling America. A talk by Robert Parry

Immediately, and actually even before because they knew there was going to be a problem, the White House had this backup plan, and it was, of course, to have Ollie North become the point man. So North becomes, secretly, the point man. He is also being secretly supported by the CIA, and by the NSA, and by other US. intelligence services. That comes out much later. But Ollie North is now the man who is supposedly running everything but that's all secret too, at least from the American people. And he's arranging to get weapons and raise money, and they're doing their various things they did with Saudi Arabia and so forth, to get the money, and so we end up with a lot of us in Washington really sort of knowing about this. This isn't like, all that secret, you know. I'd met Ollie North in '83 and he was actually a source for many journalists because he would, as part of the deal he would tell you some sexy stuff about the Achilles Laurel or something, but you protect your source, so you wouldn't really write about him.
    But I was writing about him. And by the summer of 85 - by June of 85, I did the first story about Oliver North. And it was a very tepid story, I must say, looking back at it. I had gone to the White House with it and they had flatly denied it. They said it was completely wrong, completely opposite from the truth - and I at that point had still not caught on to how dishonest these people had gotten. So I sort of softened it, but I still put it out - we had this story out for AP about Ollie North, and how he was running this Contra support operation, and how the White House was saying it wasn't happening, and that led eventually over that summer to a few other stories appearing, and of course it was all denied and the pressure on the journalists was so intense that the other news organizations backed away - the New York Times backed away, the Washington Post backed away, and it was left strangely to the AP and to the Miami Herald which was also following it with Al Charty's work to pursue this story - and really the story of the decade, but no one wanted it. It was an amazing story - it was a story about a really remarkable character, with a remarkable support cast, I mean, you know it was better than Watergate in that sense - I mean, you had Fawn Hall as opposed to Martha Mitchell, I mean this was a much better story! You had this secret war being fought, you had the government lying through its teeth every time it turned around, but no one wanted the story. The price had gotten too high. [1993] Fooling America. A talk by Robert Parry

I was now working with Brian Barger who we had brought on at AP - to help on this story, and we did the Contra-drug story in December of 1985, which was really well received around town [he said sarcastically], and we then proceeded to follow the North network into early '86 and we wrote the first story that there'd actually been a federal investigation in Miami, of what we knew as the North network. It had been suppressed because you weren't supposed to investigate this because it wasn't happening anyway, and the US. attorney who make the mistake of trying to investigate this, or the assistant US. attorney ended up in Thailand, working on some heroin case, and the investigation went literally nowhere. [1993] Fooling America. A talk by Robert Parry

Quotes re chemical companies
[2004] Barren Justice  Francisco Gonzáles believes he lost his chance to be a father because of the pesticide DBCP. "I can't have children," says Gonzáles who began working in the banana plantations of Chinandega, Nicaragua, in 1975, when he was 20 years old. "It's very painful, you know, each one of us would like to have our own child, a child of our blood. But I was poisoned."
     In 1977, after learning that the chemical also caused workers at an Occidental Petroleum factory to become sterile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prohibited the use of DBCP in California. In 1979, the EPA banned DBCP in the continental United States.......
....however, chemical companies continued to export DBCP, possibly as late as the mid-1980s. .... following the US ban Dow Chemical, Shell Oil, Occidental Petroleum, and Amvac Chemical deliberately exported their existing DBCP inventory to Nicaragua, and Standard Fruit continued to use it on banana plantations. Nicaragua did not prohibit the use of DBCP until 1981.
   .....When the banana workers brought their cases against these corporations, they faced an even more formidable challenge: the American legal system. One of the most considerable impediments to compensation in U.S. courts is the legal doctrine of forum non conveniens or inconvenient forum. Under this doctrine, a case can be rejected by a court on the grounds that it would be more appropriate to hear it in another locale, such as the plaintiff's home country.
      Forum non conveniens was used against plaintiffs from the world's worst industrial accident in Bhopal, India, who sought to sue the U.S. corporation Union Carbide, now owned by Dow Chemical. The disaster killed 14,000 people and injured hundreds of thousands. In 1986, a federal court in New York rejected the case on the grounds that India would be a better forum for the lawsuit. Subsequently, little has come of the case in Indian courts.


(althouth ross was/is black)  Reagan

Gary Webb  Reagan