CIA and Crack Cocaine
The Pendulum Swings Back Toward DEA
15 Nov 1966 -LikeClarence Thomas, Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald proved that not all African-American leaders truly 'lead' black people. Exit conversations coming out of Friday's South Central Los Angeles town hall meeting with CIA Director John M. Deutch say McDonald was the wrong person to coordinate the meeting. Her frail hold on events contributed to near chaos at times. People were angrier after the meeting than before. In every respect the gathering intended by McDonald to convince her constiuents that the CIA was their friend did just the opposite.
Deutch also proved unequal to the task of quieting community anger and suspicion. This was apparently due to his mistaken belief, or McDonald's bad counsel, that the mere attendance of so high-ranking an Administration official would be viewed with awe and appreciation, not criticism and hostility. Clearly stunned by his negative reception, Deutch often looked from side-to-side toward his African-American hosts either for an understanding of why the audience appeared almost unmanageable, or seeking a bail-out when a red-hot rivet was thrown his way. Frequent heckling and accusations forced Deutch to be a man of few words and limited response. Most of the audience, African-Americans in particular, pre-understood that a non-minority would have difficulty communicating with a culture he has remained aloof from, and took advantage of his natural ignorance... further evidence that a community-raised African-Americans in law enforcement are desperately needed.
A handful of self-acclaimed "grass roots" church and community 'leaders' who's media stars rose after the Rodney King Riot sat silently, (some have said "cowardly"), in the front row watching, listening and taking notes for their Sunday sermons. At no time did any attempt to assist McDonald in controlling the rising temper of discussion. No doubt each will compete in the coming weeks before Deutch completes his internal investigation to be the 'true voice' of the community. Hopefully, for Deutch's sake, he will realize that these self-serving voices, who live in Los Angeles' wealthiest suburbs, understand the community less than the career Washingtonians who visit briefly and only then, after a crisis.
Deutch deferred a primary area of responsibility for crack cocaine to the Drug Enforcement Administration when he pointed out that Blandon was"a DEA, not CIA, informant." Many folks left the meeting wondering out loud if DEA had a role in crack cocaine introduction and spread.
The most notable event occurred when a man, who claimed to be a former Los Angeles Police Department narcotics officer, stated that for the"past eighteen years" he has tried to make city leaders aware of"agency" involvement in community drug availability. He claimed to have"extensive reports" and"documents" in his possession proving"high-level" drug operations, three of which he cited their alleged"agency code names."
Others used the microphone to promote their own (request for federally funded) programs or demand community-based jobs. Some raised subjects that were so far off-subject or incoherent Director Deutch could only shake his head in bewilderment. It was apparent McDonald forgot to inform Deutch, a man she holds in tremendous respect and admiration, of an affinity many in poor communities have for patronizing tangential concepts that are best ignored in the cheaply and hastily-printed conspiracy pamphlets that seem to endlessly circulate low-income neighborhoods rambling neo-Marxian explanations as to why some in America are 'have's' and others are 'have-not's.'
Except for the outburst of a man who was never provided a microphone, one serious fact was almost completely ignored in the entire proceeding: Regardless who sponsored crack cocaine growth in poor communities during the early 80's no one was forced to inject, ingest or inhale it or any other drug. Those who sold and used drugs did so on their own volition. Only one observer, far in the rear of the auditorium, put blame for inner-city addiction on the shoulders of those who used drugs. He shouted,"That's why they call it 'Dope'". He was quickly threatened by two anti-CIA advocates standing next to him. Also neglected was the issue of parental responsibility. One woman who cried almost uncontrollably blamed everyone but herself for her child's drug abuse.
If nothing else, the turbulent meeting clearly indicated a need to establish intelligence gathering 'centers' in crime deluged communities that can collect and report factually on serious problems such as drugs, gangs, and organized crime activity. The understandable question is, which agency should operate a network of information-gathering centers. Most community police departments, like the L.A.P.D., lack social objectivity because of racial, regional and other factors that are swayed by biases or prejudices of local commanders. DEA and State police supervisors guided by asset-forfeiture goals render themselves useless against drug distribution networks, like crack cocaine, that are operated by literally thousands of low-level entrepreneurs. CIA is ineligible because its Charter prohibits domestic intel-ops. The Bureau is largely thought of as being a 'commercial' agency that survives only because it is believed to often sponsor criminal activity in order to justify public need for an FBI to combat it. In its almost 90-year existence, the Bureau has failed miserably in its mission to eradicate organized crime in the United States... frequently using criminals as allies.
The only agency that could do the job on a national level would be a new Department devoted solely to gathering information on organized urban crime. Information gathered would be distributed to the appropriate 'top-down' law enforcement agency for immediate resolution. Oversight would be needed to ensure that 'immediacy' is not re-channeled by bureaucrats who hold self-serving 'Big Picture' agendas that delay arrests or permit extended criminal activity ostensibly to net 'bigger fish', but in reality limit operations to specific criminals solely to acquire their assets for inter-department or personal use... how many DEA agents are driving vehicles or have acquired land or other property once owned by drug dealers?
A fact remains undisputed in the origin and spread of crack cocaine: it began its rise South Central Los Angeles where the local DEA office appeared unable... or unwilling... to quickly gain an upper hand. If, as some assert, the CIA was involved somehow, it should have been impossible for the Agency to operate such a massive effort without someone, somewhere in DEA becoming aware of it. After all, DEA is in the single-mission business of discovering who is behind drug production and distribution.
John Deutch passed the buck on Blandon. Subsequent inquiries will inevitably lead to DEA. And, if some of the questions or topics raised by those in the audience who are conducting their own wide-ranging investigations are any indication where some inquires may lead, we can all be assured that Los Angeles-based DEA agents -- those whose material assets rose during the Eighties in disproportion to fully accountable and ethical income -- will be the first ones subjected to public scrutiny and the perils of the pendulum now swinging back toward DEA.
22 Nov 1996 - FTS Wire LATE EDITION DEA Watch received a fax this eveningconcerning Congressperson Juanita Millender-McDonald. This fax, on official stationery and utilizing polite yet typical doublespeak phraseology common in Legislative correspondence, expressed"deep regret" for DEA Watch'seditorial that sought to accurately describe the recent event of Ms. McDonald's South Central L.A. sponsorship.
The letter 'exonerated' CIA while at the same time described "Freeway" Rickey Ross as a"victim of powerful, hostile forces at work to chemically enslave entire communities."
DEA Watch agrees, in part, with this assessment. We regret that Mr. Ross was sentenced to a lifetimein jail. It is DEA Watch's opinion that the proper sentence for Mr. Ross would have beenTEN lifetimesUNDER a jail.
Rickey Ross, his confederates, supporters and sympathizers do not deserve America's regret. Any American who uses or distributes illegal drugs warrants America's disgust, condemnation and most severe punishment.
DEA Watch will 'politely' reply to this letter. In our reply we will return our expression of regret that any American accepts the criminal opportunity to use or sell illegal drugs. But, we will make our"personally offended" correspondent aware that although the Drug Enforcement Administration -- albeit currently under compromised leadership -- is devoted to reducing... strike that...eliminating illegal drugs from American soil, its dedicated personnel cannot be all places at once. We will also point out that any drugs that succeed in seeping across our borders or are manufactured on the homefront fall within the patriotic responsibility of every American to avoid, resist, report, abstain... in short, "Just Say NO!"
DEA Watch will conclude its reply with a message to Ross's supporters and family...
The CIA did not (allegedly) cause Rickey Ross to end up in jail.
The American public did not sentence Rickey Ross to jail.
Rickey Ross sentenced himself.
Doing or dealing drugs is a career decision...
where doyou want to spend your career?
Sooner or later, every bad guypays the piper.
Your thoughts are invited.
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