[IWAR] CIA clears itself on crack cocaine

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Thu Dec 18 1997 - 09:19:16 PST

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                       CIA clears itself of role in crack cocaine
          Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1997 The Associated Press
       SAN JOSE, Calif. (December 18, 1997 06:36 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net)
       -- The CIA spent a year and interviewed several hundred people before
       concluding it had no link to crack cocaine sales in the United States,
       the San Jose Mercury News reported Thursday.
       Former CIA Director John Deutch ordered the inquiry after an August 1996
       series in the California newspaper.
       The series concluded that a San Francisco Bay area drug ring sold
       cocaine in South Central Los Angeles, then funneled profits to the
       Contras for the better part of a decade. The series traced the drugs to
       dealers who were also leaders of a CIA-run guerrilla army in Nicaragua.
       The reports generated widespread anger in the black community toward the
       CIA, as well as numerous federal investigations into whether the CIA
       took part in or countenanced the selling of crack cocaine to raise money
       for Contras.
       The investigations never found that the CIA had any link to drug
       dealing. Several newspapers also disputed the Mercury News report.
       Some former intelligence officers questioned the agency's effort, the
       Los Angeles Times reported.
       "Their interview with me was simply to go through the motions of
       touching all the bases," the Times quoted former CIA officer Donald H.
       Winters as saying. "They started off by saying they had no substantive
       evidence that any of the allegations in the San Jose article had any
       Unidentified sources close to the CIA investigation said it was the
       agency's most extensive internal investigation, including several
       hundred interviews and the review of 200,000 pages of documents, the
       Mercury News said.
       It was not clear whether or when the public would see any of the CIA
       In an open letter to readers in May, the newspaper's executive editor,
       Jerry Ceppos, admitted the series had shortcomings.
       Reporter Gary Webb, who researched and wrote the series, was transferred
       to a smaller bureau 10 months after the series was published. He
       resigned from the newspaper last week.

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