Wednesday, February 5, 1997

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  • The CIA and the Global Drug Trade

    Last year’s revelations in the San Jose Mercury News about the role
    of the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contra rebels in California’s crack-
    cocaine trade in the 1980s highlighted the CIA’s relations with
    illegal narcotic traffickers. But CIA alliances with international
    narcotics traffickers is nothing new. Professor Alfred McCoy of the
    University of Wisconsin-Madison argues in his acclaimed book, The
    Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, that
    CIA alliances with illegal drug production and distribution has
    been an integral part of the agency’s efforts to maintain US
    power abroad.

    Today, we are joined by Professor McCoy for a historical review of
    the CIA’s role in the international drug business, from Turkey,
    Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia, to Honduras and


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