Return to ned Productions. This page has been accessed by . Last updated . This page has been accessed 1,612 times since the 7th August 1998. .


     ------------------------------------------------------------------



                     The Duplicity of the War on Drugs



     ------------------------------------------------------------------



       "The first casualty when war comes is the truth." - Sen. Hiram

                               Johnson - 1917



     The intent of this essay is to demonstrate that the War on Drugs

     [under the Reagan/Bush administrations] was America's first great

     psy-war campaign perpetrated against its own people and that such

     abuse of power is likely to happen again. To demonstrate that

     psychological warfare techniques were employed requires

     understanding subtle sequences of disparate, but related, events.

     It involves asking questions as to the motivations, skill,

     expertise and knowledge of those involved.



     At the height of the war on drugs, President George Bush held up a

     bag of cocaine in his first televised speech to the nation in

     September 1989. In December 1989, George Bush ordered the invasion

     of Panama to overthrow its narco-militarist dictator, Gen. Manuel

     Noriega. In the July 16, 1990 Newsweek, the scope of the war on

     drugs seemed ready to expand from Panama into future military

     actions against the powerful Colombian drug cartels. At face

     value, indeed the war on drugs seemed to be stemming the flow of

     cocaine into the United States. However, as a matter of fact, for

     the whole decade of the 1980's, casual and popular use of cocaine

     fell out of favor, and overall use steadily decreased. Yet as

     overall American consumption of cocaine in the mid '80's dwindled,

     the Reagan and Bush administrations were calling for an escalation

     in fighting drugs, declaring that America was awash in illegal

     drugs. The 1980's was a remarkable decade in international events:

     the Cold War was coming to an end, and the U.S.

     military-industrial complex was facing spending cuts, with myriad

     economic ramifications. The U.S. had gone through its longest

     period of peace since the end of World War I, and many Americans

     were calling for a Peace Dividend. While it may seem coincidental

     that the war on drugs was contemporaneous with the end of the Cold

     War and was punctuated by the Iran-Contra affair, a closer look at

     the war on drugs reveals disturbing patterns.



     Critics of the Cold War have long pointed out that the Cold War

     was a convenient vehicle for the military-industrial complex to

     acquire an increasing share of the federal budget, regardless of

     the decline in threat posed by the Soviet Union. The war on drugs,

     it has been noted, arrives with all the familiar rubrics of

     constant threat and ceaseless terror. The difference being it is

     an internal war.



     Other Western countries have drug addiction problems addressed by

     doctors and treatment clinics, but only the U.S. has a war on

     drugs. As ex-DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent Michael

     Levine has commented, "with the fade of communism (the Pentagon

     and CIA) are building a pretext for maintaining their budgets."

     (Esquire, March 1991, pg. 136) Indeed, after Iraq invaded Kuwait

     in August 1990, the rhetoric of the war on drugs changed, with the

     Bush administration declaring victory in the war against drugs

     late that year. Only mere coincidence, or had the Bush

     administration found it no longer needed the War on Drugs, having

     found the Butcher of Bagdhad?



     During the Reagan years, as the Cold War started to wind down, the

     administration was pursuing the Contra covert war in Central

     America against Nicaragua and the leading Marxist Sandinista

     party. While this covert war was being waged by the CIA and the

     U.S.-supported Nicaraguan Contras, there were reports, as early as

     1986, of the CIA and Contras being involved in drugs-for-guns

     barter arrangements. There is a wealth of evidence there was an

     even more unseemly side to the already patently corrupt

     Iran-Contra affair. Investigations paralleling the Iran-Contra

     hearings have delved further into the accumulated evidence of

     Contra involvement in drugs-for-guns deals and alleged monetary

     transfers to the Contras from the drug cartels. It has been

     documented by Senator John Kerry's Congressional Committee

     investigation that while the interdiction efforts were increased,

     illegal drugs, especially cocaine, were being smuggled into the

     U.S. by CIA-Contra airplanes and boats under the cover of

     gun-running operations.



     The Colombian cartels, confronted by the escalation of the "War on

     Drugs," were able to continue trafficking despite increased U.S.

     interdiction efforts. The corresponding increases in interdiction

     efforts and the increased availability of cocaine has not escaped

     the mention of Princeton University Prof. Ethan Nadalmann:

     "Indeed, if (the interdiction and enforcement) efforts have

     accomplished anything in recent years, it has been to make

     marijuana more expensive and scarcer and to make cocaine cheaper,

     more potent, and more available." (Foreign Policy Magazine, Summer

     1988)



     The Nicaraguan Contra civilian leadership chose their base in

     Miami in the 1980's, where the cocaine cowboys were already

     established and renowned during the 1970's for the violence that

     is associated with the illegal cocaine trade. Southern Air

     Transport (S.A.T.), a ClA-affiliated freight airline operating out

     of Miami has been implicated in drug-running, evidence of which

     comes from many sources. Notably, in Congressional testimony Wanda

     Palacio, an FBI informant, has stated that she witnessed drugs

     being exchanged for guns on an S.A.T. plane in Barranquila,

     Colombia.



     Corroborating this testimony is an Associated Press story of Jan.

     21, 1987, which states the October 1986 S.A.T. plane crash in

     Nicaragua revealed flight logs indicating that the pilot, Wallace

     Sawyer Jr., had been flying from Barranquila, Colombia to Miami,

     Florida in early October 1985. Eugene Hasenfus, an Air America

     veteran and sole survivor of that crash, filed suit against White

     House National Security Council (NSC) aide Richard Secord and

     S.A.T. for expenses and damages, claiming S.A.T. and Secord were

     his employers. Secord in turn contends that Mr. Hasenfus' real

     employer was Ronald Reagan and the actual chain of command was

     Reagan-Poindexter-North-Secord.



     Then there were the allegations coming from Costa Rica regarding

     White House involvement in the drug trade. The Central American

     country of Costa Rica lies on Nicaragua's Southern border, which

     made Costa Rica strategically important during the Contra

     insurgency in Nicaragua. In that time, the Northern region of

     Costa Rica bordering with Nicaragua was the site of extensive CIA

     and Contra activity. In the wake of the Iran-Contra affair, White

     House NSC staff members Lt. Col. Oliver North, John Poindexter,

     and Richard Secord were banned-for-life from entering Costa Rica

     in 1989, after the Costa Rican legislature implicated the NSC

     staff members in guns and drug smuggling. Former Contra leader

     Eden Pastora has said "I knew that much of what went through (CIA

     operative John Hull's northern Costa Rica ranch's) airstrips was

     related to narcotics trafficking" as part of a "Colombia-Costa

     Rica, Costa Rica-Miami connection." (Cockburn, p. 177) These

     White-House NSC members, along with John Hull, were indicted in a

     Costa Rican court as accessories to murder in the La Penca bombing

     and assassination attempt on Eden Pastora, which resulted in the

     death of an American journalist. North, Poindexter and Secord were

     never extradicted or arraigned in Costa Rica.



     Evidence of White House premeditated involvement in drug

     trafficking is provided by examining the unusual covert action

     background of key Iran-Contra players, dating back to American

     involvement in Laos. Air America - the CIA's Thailand-based

     Vietnam-era airline - was notorious for its participation in

     heroin trafficking as a part of funding and supporting the CIA's

     secret war in Laos during the Vietnam war. This profound bit of

     history has been the focus of much commentary by historians, and

     has been confirmed by many sources. (Regarding the recent

     controversial August 1990 comic movie, "Air America", former Air

     America pilot Jack Smith spoke out on Entertainment Tonight,

     substantiating the movie's essential truths.)



     Since controlling the Laotian opium fields determined who would

     control Laos, the CIA put all of its support behind their chosen

     drug lord, Vang Pao, and the amount of opiates that came out of

     Laos tripled. As it turns out, Richard Secord (CIA Special

     Operations Group Deputy Wing Commander in Laos), Lt. Col. Oliver

     North, Richard Armitage, and John Singlaub were all veterans of

     the secret war in Laos (Cockburn). The presence of several Laos

     secret-war veterans who emerged as key NSC players in Iran-Contra

     exceeds the realm of mere coincidence. In the October 1986 S.A.T.

     plane crash which yielded Eugene Hasenfus and the U.S. Government

     embarrassment, an old Air America operations manual was found.

     (Cockburn p. 221)



     Public record documents that General Manuel Noriega was on the CIA

     payroll in the early to mid 1970's, as well as the 1980's. An

     important point mostly ignored in the mainstream press, however,

     is the Congressional testimony by George Bush's own NSC advisor,

     Donald Gregg, that George Bush (then Pres. Gerald Ford's CIA

     Director) met with Noriega and other Panamanian officials sometime

     in 1976. This meeting with Noriega took place well after Noriega

     had been implicated in the intelligence community as a drug

     trafficker in the DEA's June 1975 DeFeo report. Meeting with a

     foreign official, CIA Director George Bush would have been fully

     briefed on Noriega's dossier. Later, Jimmy Carter's CIA director,

     Adm. Stansfield Turner, ended payments to Noriega; however,

     Noriega's CIA pay checks resumed when Reagan/Bush took office in

     l980. (1990 PBS Frontline on Noriega)



     It is interesting to note at this point that George Bush was the

     Drug Czar during his tenure as Vice President under Pres. Ronald

     Reagan. In NSC memos discovered in the-Iran-Contra investigation,

     it has been revealed that George Bush's NSC advisor Donald Gregg

     was aware early on of Contra involvement in the drug trade.



     Could ex-CIA chief George Bush, at that point Vice President and

     Drug Czar, be unaware of such goings-on when his reporting

     subordinate was quite aware of Contra involvement in the drug

     trade?



     And the pattern continues: During the first two years of the Bush

     presidency, William Bennett, Bush's first Drug Czar, was

     criticized by members of Congress for his apparent indifference to

     Federal judicial and legal loopholes which permitted U.S.

     companies to export unusual volumes of cocaine processing

     chemicals to Latin American countries harboring cocaine production

     laboratories. Mr. Bennett had been an outspoken proponent of

     escalating the war on drugs, and yet on this important front of

     anti-drug policy, Mr. Bennett was apparently negligent. (Rolling

     Stone, "Between the Lines", October - November 1990)



     It's doubtful that the concurrence of the Contra war in Nicaragua

     with the emergence of crack cocaine were mere coincidences. It has

     been long aknowledged that heroin's prominence and availability

     during the Vietnam war was contributed by the trafficking of

     opiates in Laos and Southeast Asia. Sadly, covert wars and drug

     trafficking go hand in hand.



     Ex-CIA field officer John Stockwell has commented, "We cannot

     forget the Senate Kerry Committee findings of cocaine smuggling on

     ClA/Contra aircraft, the DEA reports on the number of prosecutions

     in which the CIA has intervened to block prosecution of drug

     smugglers, the note that escaped Lt. Col. Oliver North's shredder

     that $14 million of drug money had gone to the Contras, or the

     CIA's 20-odd-year relationship with Manuel Noriega." (Austin

     American Statesman, op-ed editorial) Nor has this escaped the

     comment of ex-DEA agent Michael Levine: "God knows how many secret

     elements are out there working under the guise of the drug war.

     Oliver North was the latest example. His operation was hip-deep in

     Contra drug smuggling. He was banned from Costa Rica for his

     involvement with drug runners. The DEA documented fifty tons of

     Contra coke that was being routed into the U.S. by a Honduran

     connection. An agent bought two kilos in Lubbock, Texas, and made

     the arrest. The CIA comes quickly to the rescue. A closed hearing

     is held. Case dismissed." (Esquire, March 1991, p 136)



     Leslie Cockburn has documented that since drug trafficking was

     facilitated via an unhindered CIA-Contra network unencumbered by

     increased U.S. border interdiction efforts, the effect was "...

     involvement of the CIA and the related White House covert

     operations network in drenching America in cocaine and other

     narcotics ..." (Cockburn, p.187) And since overall cocaine use

     declined in the '80's, it was the cheaper and more-addictive Crack

     cocaine that came into prominence. As the shipments of South

     American marijuana declined as a result of increased interdiction

     efforts, cheap cocaine came to the fore to replace marijuana as

     the drug of choice for drug users and drug smugglers alike.



     Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State George Schultz, Reagan's former

     U.N. Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, conservative economist Milton

     Friedman, and columnist and editor of the National Review, William

     F. Buckley, Jr., all sharply departed from the administration's

     anti-drug cant by arguing the brief for decriminalization of

     drugs. At the height of the war on drugs rhetoric, these orthodox

     conservatives apparently intentionally diverted the course of the

     drug war rhetoric by proposing the opposite extreme of what the

     Bush administration was promoting. What could prompt a handful of

     GOP party loyalists to not only depart from lip-syncing the party

     line, but also to voice an opinion 180 degrees opposite of the

     Bush administration's declared policies? Was there something about

     the war on drugs that bothered them, that would lead them to

     propose something radically different?



     Surely the knowledge of the Contra drug smuggling of the late

     1980's and the emergence of crack cocaine in 1985 would have led

     the Reagan-Bush administration to anticipate the wave of cheaper

     drugs and drug-related violence similar to what occurred in Miami

     in the l970s, the difference being that crack cocaine is

     appropriate for down-scale markets (i.e. poorer neighborhoods).

     While the mass media increasingly emphasized minority drug use and

     drug-related crimes in the mid- to late-1980's, the CIA and

     Contras freely smuggled cheap and potent crack cocaine for

     down-scale markets while border interdiction efforts escalated,

     increasingly limiting drug cartel trafficking to less bulky and

     more easily smuggled cocaine.



     This suggests that the Reagan administration, with prescience and

     malice aforethought, conspired in feeding Americans both the

     cocaine and the cocaine hysteria, and that psy-war intrigues have

     now become tools to manipulate American politics (remember the use

     of disinformation in the Reagan years).



     Looking at the accumulated evidence that the Contras and the CIA

     engaged in cocaine smuggling to fund the covert war in Nicaragua,

     suspicion arises concerning the apparent coincidence that

     CIA-Contra drug smuggling was contemporaneous with the "war on

     drugs". From a CIA covert action in Latin America the cocaine has

     made its way NORTH (ala Oliver North) to the American consumer,

     who is consistently portrayed as African-American by the mass

     media, even though the majority of cocaine consumption is by

     whites. The disturbing prospect arises that this "war on drugs"

     was nothing more than CIA-style psychological warfare which sought

     to acquire as much as possible of the sum total of our civil

     liberties while particularly targeting minorities.



     Even though overall cocaine use steadily decreased throughout the

     past decade, our government and press declared a drug epidemic

     requiring a crackdown, while the Reagan administration's covert

     war pumped crack cocaine into the inner cities, thus further

     destabilizing ommunities already afflicted by poverty and

     violence. If one assumes that the Reagan-Bush administration

     understood the consequences of CIA and Contras smuggling cheap and

     potent cocaine into America unhindered, then one should look at

     the effects this activity had directly upon the poverty-stricken

     communities afflicted by the drug trade. The drug trade directly

     exacerbated the effects of inner-city crime and made the cities

     increasingly unstable and unsafe.



     If the ghetto drug dealers are the young capitalists who could,

     under better circumstances, become community leaders, the influx

     of cheap cocaine and the increasing poverty makes these possible

     ghetto leaders emerge faster as outlaws, the result being that

     they are eliminated. What better way to undermine your enemies?

     What better way to fund covert actions? And what better way to

     grandstand about crime, morality, and values?



     THE WAR ON DRUGS, THE MEDIA, AND RACE



     But as the White House covert war went about poisoning Americans

     with drugs, the burden of addiction belonged to a relatively small

     number of Americans, and the media reported the melodrama of a war

     waged by politicians and policemen - not by scientists and

     doctors. All too frequently the rhetoric of the war against drugs

     played to the prejudices and fears of a society beset by racial

     frictions.



     One need not look far to see the pattern of miscasting the focus

     of the war on drugs on African-Americans. Almost every time one

     opens up one of the major weekly magazines, or watches network

     news, the story of the war on drugs is supplemented with pictures

     of African-Americans being arrested by the police. At times, the

     script of the war on drugs is insidious, as in a Dec. 3, 1990 TIME

     Magazine article on the war on drugs: "Recognizing that the war on

     drugs has singled out the poor, Bennett has urged state and

     federal authorities to come down harder on middle-class users. He

     considers 'casual' drug users 'carriers' who are even more

     infectious than addicts because they suggest to young people 'that

     you can do drugs and be O.K.'" (pg. 48)



     In this article, the assumption is made that middle-class users

     are "casual" users and the poor are the "addicts." While Bennett

     admits to bias against the inner-city poor, immediately adjacent

     to this paragraph is a photograph of a downcast black woman in

     handcuffs with the caption "... the myth is that drug use is

     primarily a ghetto habit." Every photograph in the article is of

     African-Americans - dead, imprisoned, or injecting drugs. Nowhere

     in the article are to be found photographs of white drug users. On

     pages 46 and 47 of the TIME article, the charts show that as

     crack-cocaine prices decreased during the 1980's arrests increased

     - again making the association with more affordable drugs and

     crime.



     However, no charts are to be seen indicating the decrease in

     overall drug use throughout the decade. But again, on page 46,

     TIME makes the association between "hard-core addiction," poverty,

     and race: "While the U.S. has made significant progress in curbing

     casual drug use, it has made far less headway on the problems that

     most trouble the public, hard-core addiction and drug-related

     violence. Last year the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated

     that the number of current users of illegal drugs had fallen to

     14.5 million from 23 million in 1985. But while there was a

     dramatic decrease in the number of occasional users, the number of

     people who used drugs weekly or daily (292,000 in 1988 vs. 246,000

     in 1985) had escalated as addiction to crack soared in some mainly

     poor and minority areas.



     Now in examining these statistics, the article does mention that

     in the period 1985 - 1990 there were 8,500,000 fewer users of

     illegal drugs, but between 1985 and 1988, there were 46,000 more

     daily and weekly users of drugs, which TIME, again, attributes to

     crack. The TIME article attributes the upward trend, which differs

     from the downward trend by 2 orders of magnitude. to "crack ... in

     some mainly poor and minority areas."



     The bias of the TIME article is clear: Even though the increase in

     frequent users is a mere 0.5% of the overall decline in drug use,

     TIME blurs the distinctions between kinds of illegal drugs and the

     difference between drug use and drug abuse. Without even backing

     up these claims with any statistics, TIME exaggerates the increase

     in frequent drug use and portrays minorities and ever-cheaper

     crack cocaine as the source of the presumed drug scourge. The TIME

     article admits that whites account for 69% of cocaine users. but

     buries that important little factoid in the middle of the article

     and doesn't even delve into cocaine use by whites. Might drug

     consumption be the same for both whites and blacks of the same

     socio-economic groups? One study indicated that drug use is higher

     among white high school students, for the very simple reason that

     the white teenagers have more money to spend on drugs than black

     teenagers. It is disturbing that the media consistently break down

     drug use and abuse statistics into racial groups rather than

     economic groups. Black community leaders have decried the apparent

     media bias in over-reporting "drug-related" crimes in black

     communities and under-reporting the illicit drug trade in white

     communities. They note that when the economics of the illegal drug

     trade is analyzed it is readily apparent that black communities

     could not possibly be the locus of America's drug trade, for the

     very simple reason that these communities do not have the kind of

     disposable income required to support America's illicit drug

     habit.



     According to a 1989 National Bureau of Economic Research survey,

     two-thirds of all inner city male youth, both black and white,

     believe that they can make more money from crime than from

     legitimate work - double the percentage of a survey conducted 10

     years earlier. But since young minority males have been

     disproportionately targeted by the war on drugs, they are the ones

     serving increasingly long prison sentences for drug offenses.



     Minority leaders understand all too well that casting their

     communities as major centers of the drug trade perpetuates the

     notion that minority neighborhoods are plagued by poor

     welfare-dependant rabble who waste public assistance on instant

     gratification rather than attempting to better themselves. In

     media over-emphasis upon inner-city drug problems, people in

     minority neighborhoods are disproportionately portrayed as threats

     and dangers to society. Taxpayer anger and resentment, already

     expressed in disastrous cuts in social and education programs, is

     further inflamed and aggravated by media images of minorities

     engaged in violence and self-destructive behaviors.



     DISMANTLING THE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT RACE



     Even though the association between crime and poverty have been

     long established, the media report crime rates and social problems

     as though the white majority and racial minorities are on an equal

     socio-economic playing field. Reporting these statistics according

     to race, the media represents by default that crime and other

     social problems are correlated with race. But if the media were

     really interested in a fair and unbiased presentation of crime in

     America the media would ask whether a significant difference

     exists between the crime rates and public assistance incidences of

     both impoverished minorities and poverty-stricken whites. It may

     be more revealing to compare economic groups rather than racial

     groups, since the comparison would reveal a stronger relationship

     between social problems and economic strata as opposed to social

     problems and race. One would think it incumbent upon the media to

     inquire as to whether whites living in poverty behave any

     differently than their minority counterparts who find themselves

     in equal economic straits.



     The media persist in reporting the relatively higher public

     assistance and incarceration rates of the minority populace

     beleaguered by poverty as though economics has nothing to do with

     social problems, leaving the audience to assume that the

     overriding contributing factor to crime and dependence upon public

     assistance is race. When one takes into account the acknowledged

     fact that a vastly greater proportion of minorities than whites

     live in poverty, a lower crime rate will be attributed to the

     total white populace since poor, middle class and wealthy whites

     are lumped into the wealthier white majority. The adverse effects

     of poverty (i.e. crime, drug abuse, etc.) will be more pronounced

     for minorities as a whole, when statistics are broken down

     strictly by race, failing to factor in economic status. So by

     token of their relative wealth, whites are portrayed by the media

     as somehow more virtuous than minorities even though the media

     never addresses the obvious question as to whether economically

     disadvantaged whites are as likely as to be welfare mothers,

     pregnant teens, drug dealers or absentee fathers. While there is

     no doubt that serious problems afflict minority communities, and

     these problems are not to be downplayed for the sake of opposing

     government policy, the question remains whether it is accurate or

     fair to emphasize race when so many other conspicuous variables

     are involved.



     In the sensationalism of the war on drugs, if one cannot "just say

     no" then one is lacking in moral capacity, and, since the venal

     media declares that all inner-city crimes have become drug-related

     crimes, premature death is then the inevitable result of the

     idleness and hedonism of the darker races. The perception that

     welfare dependence fosters idleness, drug use, and violence in

     turn leads to the conclusion that welfare recipients are taking

     advantage of other citizens and offering nothing in return, which

     of course absolves the middle-class of obligations in the form of

     taxes and concern for fellow citizens. Those who wish they didn't

     feel pangs of conscience about the socioeconomic distances between

     the inner city and the suburbs can be comforted by media

     double-think about race - believing that the segments of society

     most plagued by violent crime, poor health, shortened life span,

     and poor education are the most deserving of such circumstances.

     Indeed, poor whites exhibit greater high school drop-out rates

     than do poor blacks.



     In letting misconceptions about race justify repudiation of

     responsibility for the barriers and poverty experienced by

     minorities, responsibility is ultimately relegated to minority

     children who had no say about the world into which they were born.

     How often have we heard the sentiment expressed that "they have

     more children than they can afford?" In the rhetorical

     manipulation of resentment against "welfare mothers," their

     children are bestowed a heritage as society's "excess baggage,"

     despite the fact that single women (and men) are denied access to

     federal welfare, and the reason federal welfare is grudgingly

     disbursed is to give succor to the children in poverty who are

     blameless for the circumstances into which they were born. But

     despite glaring inaccuracies in their rhetoric conservative

     politicians (most notably Ronald Reagan) exploited an existing

     substrate of prejudice by using anecdotal rhetorical ploys like

     "welfare mothers," a hot-button image that became a metaphor for

     the oft-depicted absentee fathers, pregnant teens, high drop-out

     rates, crime, vagrant hedonism, etc. - phenomena that in the minds

     of the middle class become indistinguishable from race.



     The media is complicit in promulgating this image, neglecting to

     mention that the majority of welfare recipients are white, failing

     to examine the incidence of the same social problems amongst white

     counterparts of poor minorities, and conveniently forgetting the

     effects of America's historic racial legacy that impacts minority

     communities to this day. The media reinforce the assumption middle

     class "news consumers" harbor that the disproportionate burden of

     poverty upon minorities is an artifact of some imagined lack of

     industry on the part of an ethnic minority.



     Federal assistance in the form of Aid to Families with Dependent

     Children, by the way, is capriciously withdrawn if the woman tries

     to budget costs by cohabiting with a man who may or may not be the

     children's father, or who may or may not even be the woman's

     lover. In a country with a 50% divorce rate, when presented the

     choice between her children's well being and a potential male

     partner whose presence entails forfeiture of AFDC (provided he

     cannot stay one step ahead of welfare investigators) the woman is

     compelled to choose against marriage and for the children if his

     income is less than the monthly AFDC check.



     Barely maintaining some modicum of objectivity, the mass media

     have obsequiously followed the government's script of the war on

     drugs. Having saturated the public with images of

     African-Americans indulging in drug use or being arrested by the

     police, the media still neglect to even mention that the majority

     of illegal drug consumers are white or that the majority of the

     illicit drug trade occurs in white communities. If media intent is

     to be judged by its actions, I am inclined to think the media

     expect the "news consumer" to infer that the overriding factors

     contributing to violence in the inner city are drugs and race,

     that the worsening appearance of the inner city is a result of an

     indigenous idleness and amoral hedonism rewarded and reinforced by

     what is in fact paltry federal assistance to poor families.



     But even though the children in impoverished minority

     neighborhoods are future citizens and are blameless for their

     parent's econoinic situation, it is anticipated they will

     ultimately repeat the cycle of welfare dependency, which in effect

     justifies denying them, their parents, and their communities

     desperately needed funds. This self-fulfilling prophecy relegates

     America's children to a category where nothing is owed to them in

     the form of education, health care or respect, since conventional

     wisdom expects them to be another generation of social parasites.



     MINORITIES AND VOTING



     Martin Luther King III, the son of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.,

     has said the reason Dr. King was assassinated was that Dr. King

     was asking for redistribution of wealth and power (remember that a

     1979 Congressional Committee determined that there were indeed

     conspiracies to kill Martin Luther King and JFK). It has been

     argued that the real enemies of U.S.-based multinational monied

     interests are minorities who have been denied equal educational

     access in the past, who are in dire need of infusions of public

     money into their school systems, and who, once educated, would

     start voting in increasing numbers in favor of greater social

     programs and a redistribution of power in America.



     How valuable is education in drawing a person into political or

     civic life? Politicians are well aware of the correlation between

     the likelihood of voting and economic and educational background.

     Politicians know even though more than half of the total

     electorate, voting and nonvoting, makes less than $30,000 per year

     family income, more than half of the votes actually cast are by

     voters with family incomes greater than $30,000 per year, skewing

     election results according to higher income and education. If

     American education were to improve across the board, one might

     assume that whether or not incomes showed a corresponding

     improvement, voting rates would increase most in those sectors

     currently receiving inferior education.



     The media provide the easy explanation for inner city violence as

     the result of drugs, which reinforces the Calvinist notion that

     minority neighborhoods are plagued by welfare dependent rabble who

     presumably lack the motivation to better themselves and waste

     public assistance on instant gratification. This also fuels tax

     payer anger and resentment, justifying repudiation of

     responsibility for the general plight of minorities. In this

     double-think, minorities become undeserving of desperately needed

     tax dollars, education, health care, etc., and deserving of more

     prisons, longer prison sentences, and shorter life span. Under the

     doctrine that the poor should be motivated by the unremitting spur

     of their poverty while the wealthy should be motivated by the

     opportunity to acquire yet more wealth, those who are most

     educated, wealthy, and politically involved owe nothing to the

     segments of society who have sacrificed the most for America's

     perceived wealth. After all, if we were to better educate

     minorities resulting in their voting in increasing numbers,

     consider the political ramifications if they did not also realize

     commensurate increases in income or opportunities (I'm certain

     conservative policy analysts are well aware of the implications

     inherent in a more democratic society).



     American demographers predict current ethnic minorities will

     constitute the majority some time next century, so it's not hard

     to imagine why the right wing has sought to undermine, distance,

     and alienate them from the electoral process. Were education

     reform finally delivered to all Americans under the principle that

     society should deliver the education necessary for democratic

     rule, then candidates of both political parties would have to vie

     for those precious voter market shares by focusing on real issues,

     which is contrary to the nature of the media contests necessarily

     funded by monied interests who want to retain the status quo.



     THE WAR ON DRUGS AND POLITICIANS



     While the media can be accused of complicity in the exaggerations

     and myths of the war on drugs by failing to report actual drug-use

     trends, many politicians are guilty of outright malfeasance in

     cynically manipulating war on drugs rhetoric. Boston University

     President John Silber in response to questions on why he didn't

     announce his crime-control plans in a mostly black Boston

     neighborhood said "Well, I will tell you something about that

     area. There is no point in my making a speech on crime control to

     a bunch of addicts." His comment was in reference to the

     predominantly African-American neighborhood of Roxbury, Mass. He

     later recanted his remark after a widespread outcry ensued.



     President Bush in his September 1989 televised speech to the

     nation, attempted to escalate the rhetoric of the war on drugs by

     holding up a bag of cocaine purchased from a Washington, D.C.

     resident in Lafayette Park - just across the street from the White

     House. It was a stage prop to signify how the scourge of drugs had

     pervaded society, and that the plague of drug dealers had finally

     washed up upon the innocent shore of the White House lawn. This

     was exposed for the fraud it was when it leaked out that DEA

     agents had to lure the drug dealer to Lafayette Park in order to

     have the arrest occur across the street from the White House. When

     George Bush was caught by reporters in his little cocaine-bag

     trick, his response was, "I don't understand - I mean, has

     somebody got some advocates here for this drug guy?" Bush's little

     cocaine-bag trick was analogous to the larger intrigue apparently

     perpetrated by the CIA and the media: the most easily scapegoated

     elements of society were fair game in an attempt to justify

     prolonging the military-industrial complex and expanding the scope

     of America's internal security apparatus. This media image

     confirms the worst that can be imagined by the middle class about

     the neighborhoods populated by racial groups whose plight would

     otherwise demand more state charity - as opposed to an escalation

     of the war on drugs which will further enrich the coffers of the

     military and police agencies.



     He thought he was playing to a willing audience, very much in the

     same manner Ronald Reagan demonstrated gutter-level ethics by

     using cryptoracist rhetorical ploys like "welfare mothers." In the

     supply-side logic of Reaganomics, the poor should be motivated by

     the unremitting spur of their poverty and the wealthy should be

     motivated by the opportunity to acquire yet more wealth. The media

     have conveyed, for mass consumption, the Calvinist fallacy that

     drug-use and poverty are the products of laziness and immorality

     and the appointments and comforts of the consumer life-style are

     symbols of American virtue.



     THE WAR ON DRUGS AND LAW AND ORDER



     Naturally, the cities of America, which witnessed

     prohibition-related violence in the 1920's and 30's, bear the

     costs of similar violence today, as poverty continues to take its

     toll on a growing underclass. The conditions of chronic poverty

     (remember, 20 million people in America suffer from hunger) only

     aggravates the human desires for escapist self-intoxication, and

     intensifies criminal greed modeled after and justified by Donald

     Trump, Samuel Pierce, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Oliver North,

     or corrupt military contractors. The rule of law breaks down

     slowly in a spiral that starts from the top.



     In states like Florida, tougher anti-drug legislation has resulted

     in astonishing numbers of first-time drug offenders serving

     increasingly longer mandatory sentences, thereby pressing the

     early release of inmates convicted of violent crimes. The

     statistics are breathtaking in that they demonstrate how obviously

     misguided the current drug strategy has become.



     George Bush's current Drug Czar, Bob Martinez, during his 1986 -

     1990 tenure as Florida's governor managed to push through tough

     legislation that entailed mandatory one-year to three-year prison

     terms for persons convicted of selling drugs near college

     campuses, public parks, or using, buying, or selling drugs near or

     in housing projects.



     But while the number of inmates convicted of drug offenses for the

     period 1985 - 1990 jumped 580% for simple possession and 700% for

     low-level drug activity (i.e. purchase/sale), the number of

     high-level drug traffickers (i.e. drug kingpins) remained constant

     in the 5-year period at 1,000 inmates. According to two FSU

     researchers, the majority of current arrestees have no prior

     criminal record. Despite Martinez's accomplishment of building

     more prisons in his 4-year tenure than were built in the previous

     two decades, Florida prison populations surged with first-time

     drug offenders serving mandatory sentences. The resulting

     overcrowding was eased via a variety of sentence- reductions and

     early-release programs, resulting in the duration of murder

     sentences dropping by 40%, robbery sentences dropping by 42

     percent, and overall prison sentences dropping by 38%. Florida,

     with all of its new laws and new prisons, now has its convicts

     serving the lowest percentage of their prison sentences in the

     country - 32.5%. (Mother Jones, July/August 1991) It seems that

     not only is the war on drugs biased and duplicitous, but is also

     stupid and lost.



     But in examining the relative performance of our system, the U.S.

     currently has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the

     world, exceeding South Africa's and the Soviet Union's. Indeed

     there are more American black males in prison than there are in

     college. In 1990, a Minnesota drug-enforcement law was found

     racially biased and unconstitutional by the Minnesota Supreme

     Court, because it imposed harsher penalties upon illicit users of

     crack cocaine (predominantly African-Americans) than consumers of

     more-expensive powdered cocaine (mostly caucasians). And note that

     crack cocaine is essentially the same as freebasing powdered

     cocaine - a practice popular among caucasian cocaine users. A

     similar existing Federal law imposes harsher sentences on

     crack-cocaine convictions than powdered-cocaine convictions.



     Looking back at the past decade, we find that the number of

     Americans in prison doubled from 500,000 to 1 million. that the

     majority of convicts are imprisoned for drug offenses (not violent

     crimes), and while 80% of drug users are white, and as of 1990,

     the majority of prisoners are black. More disturbing yet, 1 in 4

     black males in their twenties are incarcerated or on parole or

     probation, but 1 of 5 black males between the ages of 16 - 34 are

     in prison, or on parole or probation, which indicates that the

     broader age range finds young black males staying out of the

     criminal justice system, and that black males who came of age in

     the Reagan era were those most targeted by the war on drugs.

     Between 1985 and 1988, prosecutions of white juvenile drug

     offenders dropped 15 percent while jumping 88% for their minority

     counterparts. When assembled, these statistics have prompted many

     to call the government's war on drugs a "race war," never mind the

     long-acknowledged lopsided trend of minorities receiving harsher

     prison sentences than white counterparts convicted of equal

     crimes.



     With astonishing numbers of young minority males convicted of drug

     offenses paroled from crowded jails, the effect is not to jail

     them, but to bar them from voting and to further incumber them in

     finding employment or advancing themselves economically as a

     result of the stigma of their criminal records. But while drug

     treatment programs are eminently more humane and more economical

     (1/4th the cost of prisons), and realize vastly lower recitivism

     rates (1/4th the recidivism of prisons), the emphasis is not upon

     bettering the lives of citizens who run afoul of our drug laws,

     but to create a criminal justice debacle that will take years to

     rectify.



     But the racial aspects of the war on drugs are accompanied by an

     equally insidious specter: the steady erosion of our civil

     liberties. Under federal drug laws, agents can - without a formal

     court indictment - confiscate your home, car, and the funds with

     which you would retain an attorney so to defend yourself! And the

     government is not obliged to return that property if you are

     acquitted. Your lawyer may be subpoenaed to testify against you,

     so lawyer-client privilege is no longer inviolate.



     The Reagan and Bush era Supreme Court has upheld police powers to

     detain and interrogate travelers who bear a resemblance to "drug

     couriers," to engage in surveillance, including secretly taping

     conversations and sifting through garbage. An anonymous tip is now

     sufficient grounds for a search warrant, meaning the police no

     longer have to verify that their source is reliable. New

     anti-crime legislation entails granting the police the power to

     submit as admissible evidence any property gained as a result of

     entering your home without a warrant. The new legislation also

     includes extending mandatory death sentences to include drug

     convictions which do not involve a homicide, and to limit federal

     death sentence appeals thereby speeding executions. The U.S.

     Supreme Court has recently ruled that a mandatory life sentence

     for a first-time drug offender acting as a drug courier is not

     cruel and unusual punishment. But apart from the violence of the

     drug trade, the number of deaths attributed directly to illegal

     drugs in 1985 was 3,562, whereas 520,000 people die each year

     strictly from the health effects of our legal drugs, tobacco and

     alcohol.



     Even when the violence of the drug trade is taken into account,

     the figure surges up towards 15,000 deaths per year, which still

     pales in comparison to the violence and premature deaths

     attributed to alcohol. But even though no drug is as renowned for

     its association with violence and premature death as alcohol,

     surely Americans want to retain their freedoms to use and abuse

     alcohol. Indeed, given the well- known physically addictive nature

     of both cigarettes and alcohol, it is interesting to note that

     marijuana is not addictive. Strictly by virtue of marijuana's

     illegal status, it serves as a vertical marketing tool for other

     illicit - and addictive - drugs. One need to look no further for a

     finer example of the hypocrisy of our government's policies

     regarding substance abuse and addiction, than the unseemly spectre

     of our government's subsidies of the tobacco-growing industry. The

     cigarette manufacturers however, expect healthy profits, since the

     remaining market of addicted cigarette smokers will easily bear

     cigarettes manufacturers' price hikes.



     Indeed, in the face of a declining market of cigarette smokers in

     the U.S., our cigarette manufacturers are seeking new markets. So,

     in the course of recent trade negotiations with Thailand the U.S.

     government, apparently looking after the interests of U.S. tobacco

     growers, recently threatened to impose stiff trade penalties if

     the Thai government didn't ease its prohibition of tobacco use in

     that southeast Asian country.



     THE WAR ON DRUGS AND FREEDOM



     The current wave of drug testing via urine specimens by

     corporations will not detect occasional cocaine use but will

     detect occasional marijuana use - marijuana being the

     drug-of-choice for what the right wing considers political

     heretics. These are of course, the same liberal heretics,

     according to arch-conservatives like Jesse Helms, who want to give

     jobs away to blacks, who were unpatriotic spoiled brats who

     protested against the Vietnam War and used drugs, who allowed an

     epidemic of abortions, and who are responsible for the general

     decline of morality and patriotism in the country. And the drug

     testing ostensibly required to qualify for employment may be a

     cover for corporations and insurance companies to winnow out

     employees who are pregnant, have diabetes, etc., while providing

     no guarantee that the results of the tests will be applied

     equitably or fairly.



     And despite the obvious drug scandal lurking behind Iran-Contra,

     no one in their right mind dare openly oppose the war on drugs for

     risk of being suspect as a heretic, liberal, or worse, a DRUG

     USER. In this political atmosphere reasoned debate about drugs is

     stifled and open dissent casts suspicion on anyone opposed to a

     governmental drive to acquire enhanced powers of repression and

     control. Too embarrassed to even utter a squeak of opposition to

     an obviously cynical abuse of our rights, the population is cowed

     into accepting the goverment's fear campaign and grows to regard

     the complaints of civil rights advocates as somehow either naive,

     liberal, fringe, militant, or radical.



     The scope of this impingement upon civil rights has extended to

     the criminalization of millennia-old American Indian ritual use of

     hallucinogenic peyote cactus buds in religious practice. The

     ritual use of hallucinogenic plants in the Native American Clourch

     was legal until recently, but now that religious freedom has been

     abrogated by the war on drugs.



     FREEDOM AND SECURITY



     The devastating violence of the Prohibition era finally prompted

     nullifying the Prohibition amendment; the rum-running gangster

     violence was far more devastating than the social costs associated

     with legal alcohol. The question is, what is it that is so

     different about other addictive drugs? If one were to compare the

     escalation of inner city violence associated with the illicit

     trade of highly addictive drugs, and the alternative of legalizing

     the drugs so that payment schedules would no longer be enforced

     with hand guns, it seems the choice would be for legalizing the

     drugs. While there would be some increase in drug use and

     addiction as a result of legalization, the destructive violence

     associated with the drug trade would be eliminated. In communities

     afflicted with drug abuse and paralyzed by poverty and violence,

     eliminating the violence is paramount. If the alternative of

     legalization entails a marginal increase in drug addiction and a

     decrease in drug-related violence, then it seems the truly

     rational alternative is to accept a few more addicts in return for

     fewer deaths.



     But in lieu of a rational discussion about the pro's and con's of

     legalization, we have been treated to a barrage of rhetoric and

     demagoguery. Rather than try to clarify the issue, rather than

     attempt to answer to the desperation of communities besieged by

     poverty and violence, our policitians lambast anyone who calls

     into question the failed policies that have lead to this awful

     situation. Repeatedly, I have observed politicians cloud the issue

     with rhetoric and polemics, refusing to discuss the benefits and

     trade-offs of legalization, annointing themselves sole purveyors

     of canonical truth. In the interest of the status quo (i.e.,

     minimal taxes for the rich and upper middle class in fortress

     suburbia), our politicians have scape-goated minorities so to

     justify denial of their plight or the need to spend the money

     required to extract them from the mire of inadequate education and

     health care. In the portrayal of the poor as deserving of their

     plight and undeserving of the assistance of society, the polity

     has been infected with the deadly pale cast of theocracy, thereby

     leaving us the lurid spectre of an increasingly violent society.



     It seems that the greatest threats to freedom in America are the

     habits of liberty, citizen responsibility and tolerance falling

     into disuse. If one turns on the T.V., the media promote the

     perception that T.V.'s. stereos, CD players. VCR's, fast food,

     microwave entrees, cars and expressways expand the scope of

     freedom that one may enjoy, while the same media has portrayed as

     threats to these freedoms tax-hungry liberals and

     welfare-dependent neighborhoods riddled with drug dealers. As the

     average American adult watches 30 hours per week of T.V., he is

     increasingly isolated from civic life and perceives his world via

     a one-way conversation with the sensationalist mass-media. In that

     one's Constitutional freedoms and social-contract obligations are

     replaced by consumer pseudo-freedoms, one's status as a consumer

     supplants one's status as a citizen. Political expression of

     anything other than what has been espoused by "experts" falls in

     the realm of the imprudent, and aspirations or opinions that

     counter the "conventional wisdom" are oddball, selfish, misguided,

     or misinformed. If not regarded as "normal," "bipartisan,"

     "acceptable," "efficient," "strong," or "tough," other ideas

     become regarded as anomalous. The labels "liberal," "weak,"

     "anti-family," etc., pre-empt any doubts or criticism of what the

     ivory tower technocrats and policy analyst priesthood has

     determined to be the final shining ultimate truth. And if

     confronted with evidence that casts doubt upon the wisdom or

     efficacy of current policy, the status quo is defended by either

     clouding the issue with some tangential matter or avoiding an

     honest response or concession with a reliable thought terminating

     cliche. Our politicians conduct opinion polls, much in the manner

     that marketing research is done for our clothes and our cars, to

     parade that ephemeral mandate of the people missing when 50% of

     the electorate didn't bother to vote (a viable well-funded

     organized third party could easily take advantage of such a large

     proportion of non-voters if they were convinced that voting would

     be in their best interest). In election time, emotional rhetorical

     "hot buttons" (i.e. drugs, flag desecration, Willie Horton. ACLU

     membership, reverse discrimination) are determined via marketing

     research to determine which voting blocks can be motivated to vote

     and which voting blocks can be alienated and dis-motivated into

     not voting.



     With costly media contests necessarily funded on both sides by

     monied interests, the republic comes to resemble an oligarchy,

     with each party becoming increasingly interchangable, offering

     safe opinions in return for the largesse of well-to-do political

     donors.



     The Democrats, nominal party of opposition in the past decade and

     presumably friends of civil liberties, have become timid and as a

     result Congress has abdicated more and more of its power to the

     executive branch, a capitulation with profound ramifications. The

     myriad voices that are necessary to democratic rule are

     homogenized into the incomprehensible circuitous babble of

     politicians who listen not to the electorate, but rather select

     the voters meeting the criteria of the political marketing

     surveys.



     But if the mass media were to offer its "consumers" an honest

     examination of what the war on drugs has so far entailed, how long

     would popular support last for an unjustifiable war on our civil

     rights? Under the pretense of fighting drugs and violence, the

     government has acquired enhanced police powers. A September 1989

     Washington Post opinion poll showed more than half the respondents

     were willing to "give up some freedoms" in order to fight the war

     on drugs - including informing on family members, universal

     mandatory drug testing, military involvement, etc. The cynicism of

     the war on drugs might have passed as a lesson in how absurd the

     rancor and rhetoric of democracy can get at times, but foremost it

     stands as an ominous milestone. When one accounts for the steady

     erosion of our civil rights, the Iran-Contra affair, the

     CIA-Contra intrigues, the widespread media complicity in promoting

     war on drugs rhetoric while ignoring the CIA-Contra involvement in

     the drug trade, the war on drugs has been immediately damaging to

     the habits of liberty and has sought to make the most basic tenets

     of our Constitution null and void.



     As the U.S. Government has been deprived of the USSR as an enemy,

     our leaders must conjure up new threats so that we may require

     their leadership. The war on drugs ostensibly attacked drug use

     and abuse, but in the end it sought to acquire as much as possible

     the sum total of our civil rights. In selecting the most easily

     scapegoated elements of society and the poorly understood illness

     of drug addiction, the government rallies one group of people

     against another by offering protection from a government-

     proclaimed epidemic that would supposedly spread, if left

     unchecked, to the innocent realms beyond the inner cities.



     In offering protection from a social problem better addressed by

     doctors and education, the same government which promised to get

     big government off our backs has succeeded in expanding its

     available powers of repression and control and has scapegoated and

     marginalized a racial minority. If one were to watch the evening

     news in recent years, one might have drawn the conclusion that the

     greatest threat to our internal security was an epidemic of drug

     abuse and related violence, and the villains responsible for this

     awful plague were Narco-militarists in Central and South America,

     and the darker races in America's inner-cities. This widely

     broadcast notion set the precedent for further incursions upon

     privacy and civil rights in the future. But just as the Reagan

     administration was found to have violated its own declared policy

     of combating terrorism and terrorist attacks by dealing arms to

     declared terrorists, a deeper look into the war on drugs reveals a

     government partnership with drug traffickers while presumably

     fighting drugs.



     Massachusetts Institute of Technology Linguistics Professor Noam

     Chomsky has noted: "If the media proceed to expose the probable

     U.S. government complicity in the international drug racket, that

     will (cause the administration serious problems) given the effort

     to exploit the drug problem as an additional device to mobilize

     the public and bring it to accept the strengthening of state power

     and the attack on civil liberties that is yet another platform of

     the conservative agenda." (Culture of Terrorism, p. 186) President

     Dwight Eisenhower warned in his farewell address to the nation on

     January 17, 1961: "In the councils of government, we must guard

     against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought

     or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for

     the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

     But monied interests who buy the mass media have convinced many

     voters that taxes are being wasted on social programs presumably

     rewarding poverty and encouraging minority idleness leading to

     drug dependency and violence. It's the same monied interests

     benefiting from increased spending on the corrupt

     military-industrial complex at the expense of social programs,

     childhood nutrition, and education.



     In light of the Iran-Contra intrigues and the psychological

     warfare schemes of the war on drugs, it can be argued that

     Eisenhower's greatest fear has come true. We must heed the 1961

     omen and take care that we do not submit to a demagogue offering

     security in exchange for freedom, for we will find ourselves in a

     situation where we are neither secure nor free. Democracy only

     works if all the groups collectively welcome each other and accept

     each other's interests in addition to their own. Otherwise, the

     polity evolves into something other than democratic, and the

     buffer against turmoil that the habit of compromise provides is

     diminished.



     The only viable long-term alternative for the U.S. is to treat all

     of its people as though they are indeed citizens. The dangers of a

     selfish oligarchy using smoke and mirrors tactics is that the

     resulting mass alienation of the public from the democratic

     process leaves the republic vulnerable to the increasing incidence

     of demagoguery. It must be widely recognized that all Americans'

     destinies are intertwined and all are inexorably linked and

     responsible for one another. The alternative is reaping a crop of

     tragedy from the iniquities that have been sown, and that prospect

     could come sooner than we think.



     BIBLIOGRAPHY



     John Stockwell: Lecturer on CIA operations; former CIA field case

     officer



     Harpers Magazine: Editor Lewis Lapham's November 1989 rant about

     the dangers and hypocrisies of the war on drugs



     Associated Press, Jan. 21,1987



     Associated Press, Oct. 3, 1988



     Esquire Magazine, Michael Levine, March 1991



     Spin Magazine, Michael Levine, May I June 1991



     Foreign Policy Magazine, Prof Ethan Nadalman, Spring and Summer

     1988



     Newsday, June 28, 1987



     The Pittsburgh Press, May 12, 1988



     Rolling Stone, November issue, 1988



     Rolling Stone, Between the Lines. October -November 1990



     TIME Magazine, Dec 3, 1990



     Village Voice, Oct. 11, 1988



     Z Magazine, December 1990



     Mother Jones Magazine, July / August 1991, "Just Say Whoa! to

     George Bush's race-based war on drugs ..."



     Humanist Magazine, The Empowerment Project, June 1991



     Christopher Robbins: Air America, 1979 edition. Inexplicably

     Robbins has deleted from his 1988 edition of Air America many

     references and quotes that occurred in his original 1979 edition

     regarding direct CIA involvement in drug smuggling in Laos and

     Southeast Asia. Robbins became embroiled in controversy when he

     spoke out against the 1990 movie Air America, and was roundly

     criticized by former Air America pilot Jack Smith, ex-ClA agent

     John Stockwell, and journalist Andrew Cockburn.



     Alan Moore & Bill Sienkiewicz: Brought to Light, Eclipse Books



     Noam Chomsky: The Culture of Terrorism, South End Press



     Joy & Siegel Hackel: In Contempt of Congress, Institue for Policy

     Studies, 1987



     Avirgan, Tony & Honey: La Penca: Report of an Investigation



     Avirgan. Tony & Honey: La Penca: On Trial in Costa Rica



     William Blum: The CIA: A Forgotten History



     Marshall Scott and Hunter: The Iran-Contra Connection, South End

     Press



     CATO Institute: The Crisis in Drug Prohibition



     Michael Levine: Deep Cover, Delacorte Press, 1990



     Henrik Kruger: The Great Heroin Coup, South End Press



     Jonathan Kwitny: The Crimes of Patriots, Norton & Co.



     Alfred W. McCoy: The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, Harper

     & Row



     Leslie Cockburn: Out of Control, Atlantic Press



     Leslie Cockburn, CBS West 57th Street Programs: John Hull's Farm

     Bordering on War. June 25, 1987; The CIA Connection: Drugs for

     Guns, April 6,1987; CIA Front Dealing Drugs, July 11, 1987



     Leslie & Andrew Cockburn, PBS Frontline: Guns, Drugs & the CIA,

     May 17, 1988; Helena Kennedy & Richard Bradley, The Heart of the

     Matter, BBC TV



     Bill Moyers: "The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis",

     PBS, Bill Moyer's Journal, Nov. 4. 1987



     Charles Stuart: Murder on the Rio San Juan, PBS, Frontline, April

     19, 1988



     Barbara Trent & Gary Meyer: Cover-up: Behind the Iran-Contra

     Affair, NIPI Home Video



     The Shadow Government, Christic Institute Home Video



     PBS Frontline on Noriega - 1990



                               "ARM YOURSELF"



     ------------------------------------------------------------------