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12 September, 2008

CIA and Narco-trafficking

CIA and Heroin, Personal Story

In 1970, serving in Vietnam, I had transferred from the 199th Light Infantry Brigade based at Long Binh for extended tour of duty with the 330th Transportation Company located at Vung Tau. The US Army Airfield at Vung Tau was an advanced aircraft maintenance location, primarily, with a runway that could handle freight aircraft up the C-130. By far, however, it was mainly a service center for Helicopters needing advanced repairs, engine overhauls, rotor replacements, et cetera. Among other tasks, I worked airfield perimeter and flight line security. We had fully armed Cobra gunships for airfield protection that needed secured from possible sapper attack, particularly, as well as the more typical security needs. The period was from October of 1970 to November of 1971.

As an E-5, I had responsibility for men on the perimeter at times, at other times on the flight line. Perimeter duty in my sector was parallel to the landing and take off (main) runway. This was Vietnam approaching late stage conflict. Heroin addiction was estimated by myself and other non-commissioned officers to be about 30% of the US Forces enlisted men on this airfield. Our own company and it's platoons were about this average level of addicts as was our understanding this being the similar case of the other Army units located there.

Again and again, over this 13 month period, heroin ran out. It could not be missed when nearly a third our soldiers, a few hundreds of men, went into physical and mental symptom of withdrawal. It was not pretty. This was not the weak, comparatively speaking, heroin someone would needle. It was STRONG. It was smoked or 'snorted' up the nose. Intravenous use of this drug would have been almost instantly fatal. Tremendous quantity of the drug was consumed by these horrifically addicted men

Vung Tau could not be easily supplied with heroin on demand, without some serious interruptions, in the large quantities required to maintain the habits of hundreds of badly addicted soldiers by Viet Cong or North Vietnamese agents. The location was separated from the mainland by bracken marsh, accessed by a single causeway secured in multiple sectors with tightly controlled traffic having to pass American and Australian security checks. By sea would have been more likely, but here it is also problematic for the un-interrupted enemy supply of our soldiers with drugs. Vung Tau was highly secured by sea with armed patrol boats because of the high military value of its mission. It is a small area of land with essentially little coastline to secure. Security was tight. Interdiction would have been a near certainty, at least once in a while. It didn't happen.

The Viet Cong or North Vietnamese agents of course did not have air access to us. The CIA did.

It was nowhere near rocket science to note the (CIA airline) Air America flight that parked 1/4 mile away from every other aircraft, never came in to parking area. 3 people, armed, stayed with the aircraft, command staff car picked up 2 others. Luggage (nearly modern steamer trunks) for at least 10 (TEN) people was picked up by a 3/4 ton truck, with 2 persons riding with the baggage, 1 left guarding the aircraft. All airfield personnel were strictly instructed NEVER to approach the Air America flights. They never stayed more than several hours.

Bingo, heroin flush by that evening. Again and again. Every time the soldier's suppliers had run out of heroin, there was an Air America flight landed. Problem solved, the addicted soldiers were functional again.

After Vietnam I served with 19th Special Forces Group as an (11F40) Sergeant in Operations and Intelligence, working together with some of the best in the field, a position that eventually pointed to my later career as an Investigator in the field of Human Rights. I continued to follow the CIA in the available sources and have made some assessments, drawn some conclusions.

The covert, operational or 'black ops' sector itself of the CIA has been the source of major narco-trafficking or, there has been a highly organized rogue element within this sector where oversight is problematic. These people are in major international drug trafficking and their worldwide tracks are beginning to emerge over time, ever more circumstantially.

It had been established by the 1970s and reported on in media that the CIA had bought the loyalties of tribes in the so called 'Golden Triangle' opium producing region with cash for their crop, the most likely or closest proximity, raw base or source of the heroin in Vietnam. War zones with covert logistics for intelligence services are perfect opportunities to commercially process on large scale with no effective police oversight.

After Vietnam, and the loss of direct military backing in force for our covert agency and no longer in control of the necessary areas in the region, heroin waned and cocaine became big. One only has to look at the tracks of the graduates of the School of the Americas, and connect the dots. This is the CIA associated initial source of the leadership training that has today's Mexican Federal Police sometimes overwhelmed in pitched battles with drug lord militiamen that are now days professional commandos. Move south from there and you had Noriega, in Panama, same source of training and a CIA asset, became a major international narco-trafficker. South farther again and you have Uribe associated with right wing militias, CIA, School of the Americas training, all in the mix of Columbia, and drug trade and coca production is up there, eradication a farce. So FARC is involved too. Why wouldn't they be? It is a lucrative business.

Now the clincher. More than 90% of this years Heroin supplied to the world (90% TO THE WORLD) will come from poppies grown in Afghanistan. This is not just the Taliban folks, it is the CIA. The southwest of Afghanistan is the poppy region where the USA has taken a bit of a 'hands off' attitude and has done little to nothing to address the problem. In fact it was noted by one of our Senators in oversight hearings this is an opening we could have had towards constructive discussions with Iran: Our common interest in eradicating this crop.

Not going to happen until the CIA covert operations is brought under control. They have, or a rogue element within has been, personally enriching themselves for decades as international narco-traffickers, my assessment. All the while using our nation's 'Security' together with all of the power of the apparatus the term implies, to cover a rogue and criminal club within our ranks. C'est la vie.

Ron West

I stand by my story (above.) It takes an narco-trafficking intelligence agent to know a narco-trafficking intelligence agent: CIA narco-traffickers and narco-trafficking right wing Columbian death squads would certainly be in the business together to provide information to the USA as follows. Update from AP Wire...

Sep 12th, 2008 | WASHINGTON -- The United States expelled Venezuela's ambassador Friday as a diplomatic shoving match with leftist Latin American leaders intensified, and Washington accused two senior Venezuelan government officials of aiding drug traffickers in Colombia.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack condemned the expulsions this week of the American ambassadors to Venezuela and Bolivia. He said the United States would kick out the Venezuelan even though anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had seemingly beaten him to the punch by announcing Thursday night that he was yanking his ambassador.

"This reflects the weakness and desperation of these leaders," McCormack said of Chavez and the embattled Bolivian president, Evo Morales.

Morales began the diplomatic tit for tat by expelling the U.S. ambassador Wednesday. Chavez, who has been a political patron for Morales, followed suit Thursday.

"Clearly he's worried about his protege," McCormack said of Chavez.

Separately, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios and Henry de Jesus Rangel Silva, both high ranking Venezuelan intelligence officials. A former government minister, Ramon Emilio Rodriguez Chacin, was also named.

Treasury said Friday the three materially assisted the narcotics trafficking activities of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, describing the leftist group as a narco-terrorist organization.

At the State Department, McCormack said the sanctions had been in the works for some time and are unrelated to the diplomatic dispute.

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