The following article, by Jeffrey Steinberg, appeared as the lead article of an in-depth feature in the Sept. 13, 1996 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Former President George Bush, while serving as vice president in the Ronald Reagan administration in 1981-89, presided over a Nicaraguan Contra apparatus that was responsible for flooding the streets of Los Angeles' South Central district with crack cocaine, and fueling a murderous cycle of gang violence. This is the most startling conclusion to be drawn from a three-part series of articles published in California's San Jose Mercury on Aug. 18-20, 1996.
[Editor's note, added in 2001: The following articles from the Aug. 18-20, 1996 San Jose Mercury series can be downloaded from the newslibrary.com archive for a small fee:
'Crack' Plague's Roots Are in Nicaragua War; Colombia-Bay Area Drug Pipeline Helped Finance CIa-Backed Contras '80s Effort to Assist Guerrillas, Left Legacy of Drugs, Gangs in Black L.A.
Testimony Links U.S. to Drugs-Guns Trade; Dealers Got Their 'Own Little Arsenal'
S.F. Drug Agent Thought She Hit on Something Big; As Trail Got Warm, Her Superiors Took Her Off the Case
Odd Trio Created Mass Market for 'Crack'; L.A. Dealer Might Get Life; Officials Quiet About Role of Nicaraguans
War on Drugs' Unequal Impact on U.S. Blacks; Contra Case Illustrates the Discrepancy: Nicaraguan Goes Free; L.A. Dealer Faces Life
This Time the Victims Were Americans; Another CIA Disgrace: Helping The Crack Flow]
Based on a review of court records, recently declassified federal government documents, and eyewitness reports, Mercury reporter Gary Webb provided a detailed account of how the Nicaraguan Democratic Forces (FDN, the Contras) financed their 1980s war against the Sandinista regime in Managua, through a cocaine pipeline that went from Colombia, to the San Francisco Bay area, to the streets of Los Angeles, placing crack cocaine and guns into the hands of the Crips and the Bloods urban gangs. All the time that this crack epidemic was being unleashed by the Contras, Vice President Bush was the man in charge of the Reagan administration's Central America program, overseeing all of the activities of the CIA, the Pentagon, and every other government intelligence agency. Some of Bush's most immediate subordinates, including his National Security Adviser Donald Gregg, National Security Council staffer Lt. Col. Oliver North, and "ex"-CIA officer Felix Rodriguez, were major players in the day-to-day cocaine-Contra operations.
Speaking to 1,000 people at the annual Labor Day conference of the Schiller Institute, in Reston, Virginia on Aug. 31, Lyndon LaRouche asked: "How many thousands of federal prisoners are doing former Vice President George Bush's prison-time?"
LaRouche told the audience that he intends to make the Bush crack cocaine issue a centerpiece of the 1996 Presidential race between President Bill Clinton and his Republican challenger, Bob Dole. "Would a President Bob Dole, or a President Bill Clinton crack down on the greatest U.S. drug-trafficking kingpin of the 1980s?" LaRouche asked.
The answer may be forthcoming far quicker than either Dole or Bush would care to think. Already, as the result of wide public exposure of the San Jose Mercury charges, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) have called for a full federal investigation of the Contra-crack connections. Senator Boxer, on Aug. 28, wrote to CIA head John Deutch, asking him to investigate the Mercury allegations, which emphasized the role of the CIA, in directing the FDN. On Sept. 4, Deutch wrote Boxer, that he had ordered the Agency's Inspector General to conduct an internal review of the allegations, and report back to him within 60 days--i.e., before the Nov. 5 national elections.
The Webb stories, while revealing devastating new documentation about the filthy underbelly of the 1980s covert wars in Central America, failed to complete the picture by tracing the command of the Central America program all the way to the top--to the Office of the Vice President. What you are about to read redresses that flaw, in an otherwise critical new contribution to the mounting body of evidence that it was George Bush who presided over the most devastating drug epidemic to beset any nation since the British Opium Wars against China during the last century.
The new evidence of the Bush Contra apparatus role in unleashing the crack epidemic and the accompanying urban gang wars, is but the latest piece, of a far bigger picture of Bush sponsorship of a global series of covert wars and other clandestine programs--all funded by government-protected illegal narcotics sales.
Prior to the Mercury series, there was already massive evidence that the Bush-North Contra apparatus was involved in flooding the United States with cocaine, through Mena, Arkansas and other locations, and repeated efforts by Congressional committees and honest agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement agencies to investigate, were systematically suppressed for "national security" reasons.
The afghansi mujahideen, for example, the nominally Islamic army deployed in a decade-long war against the Soviet Red Army in Afghanistan, was financed, to a great extent, by the buildup of a massive opium and heroin trade from the Golden Crescent. At points during the height of the afghansi operations in the mid-1980s, over 50% of the heroin sold illegally on the streets of the United States and Europe, came from Afghanistan.
In Mexico, President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, a Bush clone, was responsible for a drug cartel near-takeover of Mexico; and President Bush personally ordered the overthrow of Gen. Manuel Noriega in Panama, in order to turn control over that country, especially its banking system, to the Cali Cartel.
In recent weeks, Bob Dole has accused President Clinton of abandoning the war on drugs of the Republican administrations in the 1980s. Considering that Dole is running as the candidate of the George Bush-dominated Republican Party, these attacks are the height of hypocrisy. This EIR report sets the record straight.