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The CIA in Columbia: Bush Revisits Iran-Contra?
January 23, 2002
by Faun Otter

For some reason, our always-probing US media have hardly mentioned the rising toll of murdered civilians in Colombia, the heart of Latin America's cocaine exporting region. The BBC report that the right wing hit teams, the AUC, are led by medellin drug lords such as Jose Rodriguez Gacha and Fidel Castano. The AUC sign up anyone who wants to grab a gun and slaughter people that they brand "guerrillas." Their recruits are a mixture of local warlords, drugs traffickers and disaffected members of the security forces, ominously similar to the Contras under Reagan.

The paramilitaries have experienced tremendous growth under Bush's chum, president Andres Pastrana. This is due in part to their links to the Colombian army. As their numbers have swollen, so have the number of massacres and murders of left-wing intellectuals, union workers, human rights activists and journalists.

For anyone who has read about the CIA supervised methods of suppressing peasant populations, the AUC's procedures are chillingly familiar -

"The death squads arrive in communities in areas of guerrilla influence with a list in hand. The list contains names of suspected guerrilla sympathisers. All those on the list are killed, usually in front of their families and in a most gruesome manner." [Source]

The parrots may squawk, "September eleventh changed everything!" But clearly, it didn't change CIA procedures in our southern neighbor's homelands. We still have people slaughtered for getting in the way of our covert foreign policies. The classic example of our thug-based foreign interference was the massacre of 800 civilians in El Mozote. Never heard of it? Start your search engine and plug in El Mozote along with the name Bonner.

You may not be aware but the CIA have a legal requirement to report criminal actions by their operatives. You also may not be aware that under Reagan, the CIA persuaded Attorney General French Smith to grant them a secret waiver that exempted them from the legal duty of reporting drug crimes by their foreign assets.

How are we hiding the financing of Colombia's drug cartel death squads with US money? Its the big lie (as usual) we are told that the money is for an ANTI-drug effort! We are supplying several hundred military advisers to train three elite battalions of the Colombian army. We have sent dozens of Super Huey and Black hawk helicopters and an unknown number of delightfully benign sounding "private contract pilots and technical crews" AKA the CIA's hit men.

The price tag (paid in US dollars from you and me, the tax payers) - $1,600,000,000. But that is spread over two years. Gosh, what a deal! If you ever see our press cover this, it may be dubbed "Plan Colombia" and you'll hear about the laudable stated goal of wiping out half of the coca fields within five years. The vast majority of the money is to be expended on a military incursion into the guerilla haven in southern Colombia. That is where about half the country's coca can be found, much of the affect land only recently converted to this crop.

So let me see, the "leftist" rebels have half the cocaine and the CIA's buddies have about half. So where is a military attack focussed? The coke fields that are in competition with the CIA. Plan Colombia won't cut drug use in the US but it should push up the price of cocaine and make coke dealing more profitable.

Listen to these words from Marc Cooper in The Nation:

"The Indian communities have been caught in the crossfire and have lost much of their traditional leadership in the bloodshed."

This last paragraph could describe the cocaine coup in Bolivia, the Contras, death squads in El Salvador or Nicaragua. It all starts to sound the same. As the public are distrcated by Enron and the war on empty caves, are Otto Reich and his friends supervising the drug supplier's death squads under the pretence of fighting 'leftist' guerillas? There are just a few too many Iran-Contra players being brought in by the Bush regime for this possibility to be ignored.

If you want to learn more about CIA involvement in the drug trade, read any of these texts:

"Lost History" by Robert Parry - PBS and AP investigative journalist shows the rest of the media how research used to be done in the good old days. Excellent use of published government papers.

"Barry and the boys" by Daniel Hopsicker - NBC news producer digs into the files on murdered super drug dealer Barry Seal... and finds he was a CIA agent and member of the same air guard unit as Lee Harvey Oswald. Keep a vomit bag handy, this reveals more than you want to know about the crime family we call an intelligence agency.

"Cocaine Politics" by Peter Scott and Jonathan Marshall - with sources as indisputable as grand jury indictments, this is well documented evidence of narcotics being an instrument of our foreign policy.

"Dark Alliance" by Gary Webb - investigates the LA crack market and CIA/NSC use of drug dealers to secretly fund ring wing Latin American guerillas. The original story broke in the San Jose Mercury News. This is the follow up book with new info on DEA and FBI turf wars over drug dealer arrests - and none arrests, as you will be dismayed to learn.

"Firewall" by Lawrence Walsh - watch as GWB's handlers in the Enron crisis attempt the same old ploy they used for Reagan during Iran-Contra, namely building a "firewall" of plausible deniability around their boss. Walsh is, as with the other authors, a reliable source. He was the independent counsel in the government investigation.

If you want to buy any of these books, be sure to use the DU bookstore link to Amazon. It helps pay for this den of free thought. The other way to check this accuracy of these stories would be to wait 12 years for the Bush regime's papers to be released..... Oh, sorry. That's doesn't work anymore now the selected president and his men have placed their papers above the law.

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