Is the CIA helping itself to the Afghan heroin harvest?

Nick Possum
Whispers from the Mean Streets
October 22, 2007

No names, no pack drill, like we used to say in the army, but I had a client who wanted me to look into some aspects of the world heroin trade.

I googled a bit, and made a few phone calls and began to have disturbing suspicions.

Since the fall of the Taliban regime, which had seriously honoured an agreement to close down the trade, heroin production in Afghanistan has surged. In 2006 there was a 50 per cent increase in the poppy harvest and it created a new record for world production, my contact in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime told me. Afghanistan now accounts for 92 per cent of the world’s illicit production. She expected it would take another leap upwards this year.

So where is the stuff ending up? So far, not in Australia, but that’s only a matter of time. Once again, the streets of Western Europe and Russia are awash with the stuff and that fact got me thinking about the CIA.

The espionage game provides a powerful motive, superbly trained teams and the perfect cover for large-scale drug smuggling. It’s hardly a secret that, in the past, the CIA has partaken of the feast and, collectively, it couldn’t give a damn if the stuff gets dumped on the despised nations of ‘Old Europe’.

The US clandestine agencies are a sprawling brotherhood of silence and trust. And it isn’t just the huge bureaucracy of the CIA itself. Now, there’s also a freelance parallel universe of ‘special forces’ and ‘security contractors’ – created by the neocons for their War on Terror – doing everything from assassinations to ‘interrogation’. No mainstream politician wants to know what these people are doing in their name.

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