CIA Drug Trafficking in Inner City America

Nixon’s “War on Drugs”

President Richard Nixon invented the war on drugs as a political tool to target his opposers, who were mainly black people. John Ehrlichman, a former Nixon aid told Dan Baum in an interview the following: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” [1]

“War on Drugs” Under Reagan

Under Reagan’s presidency in the early 1980s, penalities became harsher and the budget of the FBI’s drug enforcement unit rose from 8 million to 95 million. [2]

The CIA Drug Trafficking

In the 1980s, during Reagan’s presidency, a drug operation run by Ricky Donnell Ross sold crack cocain to street gangs of Los Angeles and the money was funneled to the CIA run Latin American guerrilla army, the Contras. Ross converted cocain sold to him by members of the Contras into crack and sold it mostly to black communities. The Contras used the money to fund their war in Nicaragua. [3] This influx of crack cocain into America fueled the crack epidemic, during which the incarceration of black people skyrocketed, police brutality against the black community increased, and as a result, many black people died. [4]
National Security aid Oliver North helped run the Contra war, along with other Reagan administration operations. Information in North’s notebooks indicates that he knew about the Contra ties to drug trafficking. [5] An investigation led by Senator John Kerry concluded that “senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems.” [6] Fred Hitz, the CIA’s Inspector General, conducted an investigation and refuted the claim that CIA officials were aware of or had any intentional ties to the drug trafficking of their Nicaraguan allies. [7]

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