Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair take the revelations of the links between the Central Intelligence Agency, the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Los Angeles crack market that journalist Gary Webb exposed in 1996--revelations that are the basis of Webb's book Dark Alliance
--and use them as a springboard for a tale of the U.S. government's involvement with the illegal drug trade that extends much further back than Webb's tale.
The specific revelations are not, perhaps, entirely new; many know, for example, that even before there was a CIA, the WWII-era Office of Strategic Services enlisted the aid of gangster "Lucky" Luciano in arranging support among the Sicilian Mafia for the American invasion of Italy, or that the CIA was actively involved in the Southeast Asian opium trade during the Vietnam War. But Cockburn and St. Clair persuasively argue that the traditional explanation for such events--"rogue elements"--is deliberately misleading, and that the mainstream "liberal" press plays an active role in this obfuscation (noting, for example, that Webb's three biggest attackers were the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post). By providing an overarching narrative rather than treating these incidents as isolated, the authors present a damning indictment of the CIA--but one that fully admits that the agency was not acting on its own, but was merely fulfilling the mandates of the American government. --Ron Hogan
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Cockburn and St. Clair present a litany of CIA misdeeds, from the recruitment of Nazi scientists after WWII to the arming of opium traffickers in Afghanistan. All of this is extremely well documented ... A chilling history that many will take issue with of what the CIA has been up to in the past 50 years.”—KIRKUS
“A solid, pitiless piece of muckraking, ... Cockburn and St. Clair raise troubling questions about the role of a largely secretive government agency in a democratic society.”—San Diego Union Tribune
“A probing examination of the CIA’s chilling history of coddling major drug traffickers, gangsters and Nazi psychopaths.”—Philadelphia Tribune
“A convincing, well-researched, comprehensive condemnation of the CIA.”—Maximum Rock 'N Roll