Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
CIA Drug Scandal
Ronald J. Berger
During the cold war, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) cooperated with drug traffickers who assisted the United States in military and covert operations against Communist-aligned insurgents and governments around the world. This alliance with drug criminals immunized traffickers from law enforcement investigation and prosecution and contributed to the contraband that was imported into the United States, with devastating consequences for minority communities. CIA complicity in the global drug trade seems to have begun in the 1950s, when the agency collaborated with Corsican criminal syndicates in Marseilles, France, to curtail Communist influence on the city's docks at a time when the Corsicans were becoming the United States' leading supplier of heroin. During that decade, the CIA also supplied anti-Communist forces in Burma with arms and air logistics that they used to build a burgeoning trade in opium. One of the most well known cases of CIA complicity occurred during the Vietnam ...