Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Cracktoberfest Part Two: How The CIA Became Drug Dealers

Cracktoberfest Part Two: How The CIA Became Drug Dealers

Tue, 04 Oct 2022 04:00

Robert and Prop talk about the CIA's secret heroin program and the beginning of the Ollie North saga.

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Your family's health is a top priority. That's why we are conducting research with the goal of helping people who have COVID-19 stay out of the hospital and feel better faster. Learn more at slash radio. That's slash radio. Welcome back to behind the Hood Politics Basterds. Um, that's the one. That is the one. So we left off talking about Gary Webb's Dark Alliance Artifull series. And the primary gotcha that the story had was that it connected two right wing drug dealing Nicaraguaans to the FDN, which is a group of what the Reagan administration called Freedom Fighters, fighting against the left wing government of Nicaragua. And it showed that these guys tied to the FDN had somewhat inexplicably escaped prosecution for a weird number of crimes, all involving cocaine while they were moving about your cocaine into the US. And boy, that seems a little bit sketchy, right? Hmm. Now, this is the point again where we have to start talking about Nicaraguan history. So I'm going to, I'm going to peel us back a little bit from the swing in 80s. Well, from the swing in 90s, I guess, too. Yeah. To the also swinging 1960s. This is the, this is the intersection of the two other episodes we've done. Here's where it enters. Yeah. Yeah, this is where it intersects with all, well, all in all it's coming up, but this is the bad story towards what all these winds up doing in the Iowa because I started on the right episodes. Yeah. Because our episode starts in Iran. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So starting in 1936, Nicaragua is run by a family called the Somoza, so it's one of these dictatorship families. It's essentially like royalty, right? Like that's what it is. They are right wing. They exist to help a lot of different foreign companies extract Nicaragua and wealth, and hand some of it to them while none of it goes to the people. And they're in power for 43 years. And the last Somoza who is in power is on Estesio Somoza, who's around from 1967-1979. He is the dictator. In total, again, the Somozas are there for like half a century. So you might think about the Somozas as kind of like the Assad's, right? And Estesio is a little bit like Bashar, and that he is groomed to inherit the kingdom. Yeah. Now, like most dictators, Somoza assassinated political rivals, which included newspaper editors and people who attempted to engage in Nicaragua's free and open elections in a way that he didn't like. As the Times wrote in a contemporary article, quote, the machinery of government was essentially geared to building up and ensuring the perpetuation of the family's wealth and power. As a result, the Somozas not only control much of the Nicaraguan economy with interest in construction, shipping airlines, television, and newspapers, farming, fishing, breweries, and mining, but the president's uncle's brother, cousin, sons, and nephews occupy key posts throughout the administration. It's a kleptocracy, right? We're all familiar with this thing. And eventually, people really don't like is when a specific family or a few families of assholes take all of the money and run everything and murder anyone who talks bad about it. Eventually, across the board in every culture and time, people don't like this. People really don't like that. And in Nicaragua, once the people decided they had had enough of this, there's a revolution and a group of leftists known as the Sandinistas, starting as these kind of guerrilla fighters and whatnot, overthrow his ass and take power themselves. Now, these guys are leftists, right? So being leftists, being leftists in Nicaragua, what is a country you're probably going to want to have a good relationship with Cuba, right? Yes. Pretty natural. Cuba has a similar history of this kleptocratic dictator getting overthrown by a left-wing revolution, right? Cuba's familiar, you know, friendly ideologically. They've got access to weapons and stuff through the Soviet Union sometimes. And it's close. And it's pretty close. All of which is real good for the Sandinistas. So any normal person would be like, well, yeah, of course, they're kind of cozy up with Cuba. The US security establishment loses their god damned minds when this happens in like 1979. They don't see this as like, well, yeah, they just overthrew this government who was friendly with, I mean, the US had a mixed relationship with Somoza. It's not entirely like, but anyway, yeah, we just overthrown this dictator. These guys are our best friends in the area. They can give us the stuff we need to help kind of rebuild and take our country back. The US security establishment, these paleo conservatives who were fucking taken over with the Reagan administration are like, this is communism taking hold in America's backyard. It's happening. One of the things people will talk about in this period, there's this domino theory, right? That's why we be at NOM. People are so fucking committed. It's same thing with Korea. This idea that like, well, if you let one country become communist, then everyone around them will fall, which a couple of things. Number one, I don't think this is actually true of state communism. But if there's an ideology that's so attractive that once one country does it, everyone around them starts doing it, perhaps that's a good thing. Maybe it's not that bad. Or maybe that's not the way it works because that's not the way it works, right? Yes. Famously, Vietnam, the communist one, and you know what didn't happen is all of Southeast Asia do exactly the same thing as Vietnam. Now, in a lot of ways, actually, Vietnam became a stabilizing force because they're the ones who move into fucking Cambodia and stuff after the Kymaroo's lose their mind. So it's one of those things where the actual lived history shows that this is a terrible way to think of things because it leads you to commit to stuff like the Vietnam War, which is a fucking disaster. And it's not accurate because countries can have left-wing regimes go into place. And Vietnam, big trading partner with the US, biased weapons and stuff from us now. It's not, you know, it's fine. It's not contagious. But it's not contagious. It's fine. It's fine. Yeah. Nothing about this theory of how domino, like this, nothing about this is right. And by 1980, it's obvious to everyone that it's not right because there's a lot of, again, Vietnam are the ones who put it into the fucking Kymaroo's. Whatever. So the Reagan administration doesn't take it this way. And they're like, no, no, no, we were never, the only thing that was wrong about Vietnam is that we didn't stay in their long enough. Right? No, we just left early. So if the American public would have been chill and just let us do this shit, we'd be eye. Yeah. And again, this is not to whitewash anybody involved. It's just to point out that the theory of fucking, the domino theory is fucking nonsense. And they know it at this point. So that's the justification for why we are need to back the group of kind of right wing militias that start forming up in Nicaragua after the sand needs to take over. Yeah. This is not a lot of guys. There's a really just a handful of different bands of right wing, you know, revolutionaries. A lot of them are trained by the CIA and getting aid from the CIA. So the CIA has dudes in there who were helping to like train these guys up and kind of broadly, these different groups are known as the Contras, which I think I don't think I need to explain why they're called it like that's why they're called the Contras is because they're against the fucking the, the St. Anastas. Yes. So 1981, which is the same year that crack made its debut in the West Coast. Members of the Nicaragua Revolutionary Democratic Alliance were meeting with CIA officers to plot the overthrow of their new government. One of these officers sent a cable to CIA headquarters to explain that the nation's new allies had opted to quote, engage in drugs muggling to the United States in order to finance its anti-Sandanese to operations. An initial trial run had taken place in July of that year with cocaine being flown from to Miami from Nicaragua via plane. Now this cable, this is not like a, hey, great, our plan worked cable, right? This is framed as a warning. So they're not saying, hey, this is awesome. They're saying, hey, by the way, you should know Nicaraguan revolutionaries are smuggling cocaine in the United States and we have evidence that this plane got sent there, right? It's, it's basically allegations of a wrong doing within the intelligence establishment of an ally of the CIA. So of course, the CIA does not do anything about these allegations, right? Because they are fine with it or at least there's factions. The CIA is not a monolith. There's people who, which is not to say that there's people who don't like it because they're good people. They don't like it because of other reasons. But there's broadly speaking, because we're, we'll talk about this more later, but the CIA is kind of having a culture crisis in this period too due to this is some shit that's happened in the 70s. And so there's two big broad groups within the agency at this point that are kind of opposed to each other. One of them are what the other group kind of call derogatory the desk jockies. And they're the people who are like, shit can be done remotely. We don't need to have fucking, we shouldn't be sending in people and specialists. We shouldn't be putting boots on the ground. Right? Like there's other ways to influence shit. Like that's how we'll do it. And then there's the, um, the cowboys, right? And I think it's obvious. The cowboys are the guys who want to do like James Bond shit, right? Yes. They want to be machine gunning people and like having, yeah, like those are the two different kind of factions within the CIA. And they are. So again, this, this warning isn't like someone being coy. It's someone in the agency who's like, I don't think this is good. And other people in the agency are like, yeah, we're not going to do shit about that, right? Like that's what's happening here. Yeah. And you know, uh, how much was, how many moving parts was happening in the story around this time? It's like some fools just didn't even know she was going on. You'll say, and it's also, we'll talk about this more. It's a strategic decision to make sure some fools don't know what's going on. Because you want people who are honestly ignorant that you can trot out to answer questions, right? Exactly. Exactly. So there are other allegations that start to filter out around the same time. Five members of a group called Adrin ADRE in. It's, it's an acronym. Um, this is like a right wing group are accused of working directly with Jorge Morales, who's a major drug trafficker. Adrin is this kind of democratic alliance. That's what they're framed as, right? As democratic so that the San and East is aren't whatever. Um, who'd carried out the mission are disbanded in like 1982. But a lot of the core people there join the FDN, which we've talked about before. That's the Nicaraguan Democratic force, which makes up the core of the Contras. Four of the five Adrin members who had worked directly with cocaine smuggler Charles Morales or Jorge Morales remain associated with him and the CIA until 1987, right? So when we're talking about the kind of links, it's not as simple as like this organization. It's not always as simple as this organization has this relationship with the CIA. It's, well, these guys are in this organization that's backed by the CIA and they know this guy and then they leave to this other organization that's also backed by the CIA and they take their connection with him there, right? And he's moving cocaine and like they're getting money through it. So in the summer of 1984, Marta Healy, who was a wealthy Nicaraguan exile, she had she supported Samoza. She was a big fan of that dictator. She holds a meeting at her home in Miami with two Contra representatives and or Hamarales, who by this point is under indictment in the United States. I'm going to quote from the Washington Post here. The Contra representatives were Octaviano Cesar and Adolfo Popo Chamorro. He Lee's ex-husband, both were working with Eden Pastora, a maverick revolutionary trying to open a southern front and the Contra's guerrilla war from a base in Costa Rica in addition to the Contra's based in Honduras on Nicaragua's northern border. The CIA had run out of money to support either group of Contras and Congress refused to provide more until the next year. Despite their rift with the spy agency, Chamorro and Cesar said they asked the CIA official if they could accept the offer of airplanes and cash from the drug dealer, Morales. I called our contact at the CIA. Of course I did. Chamorro said recently, the truth is we were still getting some CIA money under the table. They said Morales was fine. Yes, I was like, yes, like please, if y'all, I don't know what order y'all here in these episodes. I keep going back to that. But like at this time, this will be two and then yours will be three and four and then. Okay, cool. So then so then y'all will see as we as we as this episode unfolds or this series unfolds, has he saying, yeah, I know the CIA is, you know, you know, you're money from them. We're not like we're not supposed to be funding them yet. Like this, like this is all under the table. Yeah, this is illegal. Like get you into legal as fuck. Yes, America has and literally made laws that said, hey, you can't fund them. Yeah, all right. And they're sitting down like, no, we can't have money. Yeah, so it's fine. But we're not supposed to be paying them anyway. No. So I mean, what the difference is that they pass back and crack and you know, or go ahead and go away. This happens. It's like there's this lady and she's rich and she's got some money and maybe she gets kicked some money on the side by the CIA to help fund these guys at a private party at her house. And you know, that's the way all this flows. Again, it's never as they, they, like these guys are one of the things you have to keep in mind. And we'll talk about this in our Oliver and North episodes, prop. Yes. A lot of this is being done like the drug business. And I'm talking about outside of the drugs. I'm talking about the funding of militants where you've got all these different streams and you want a lot of shit done in cash and and your land laundering and filtering. One of the main differences is that because these guys are the government, they're all much worse at it than people in the drug game are. Right. Which is why we know all of this, right? Because they, they do the thing that Stringer Bell says you don't ever do is they take, they all take notes on their criminal conspiracy. I just don't understand like how y'all just writing all this shit down. Well, I mean, it's because they a lot most of the, you have to, one thing you have to keep in mind. And this is again, something I think that folks on the left don't think about enough when they think about why the CIA is the way it isn't what it does. There's a lot of people, there's people, particularly at the top who are like soulless nightmare bureaucrats, but a lot of them believe in what they're doing. A lot of the CIA agents believe their fighting communism. They're doing, and so they're, they're taking notes and writing it down because they don't think they're doing anything wrong. And they think that as government employees, you are supposed to document the good things that you're doing. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, US officials who took part in joint CIA contra operations argued against the version of events that I have just related to you without actually refuting it, right? Because they specifically can't argue against the facts. They just argue that this does not mean that the CIA had any role in the drug trade. Dwayne Clarege at the time, the head of the CIA's Latin American division said that he quote, certainly never dealt with Popo Chamorro. But might have met him and definitely didn't know nor Morales. When Congress investigated this in 1987, the CIA claimed that just after this meeting, they decided never to work again with coast or recon based contras because they figured out that we're involved in the coke industry. So once it comes out that there's these, these very clear ties are like, oh, and then we decided not to work with them anymore. Yeah. I really know that dude. But he looks, yeah, actually, so we bounced. Yeah. So I was like, no, once I found out, I was like, no, I got to go. Word. Yeah. Yeah. Which again, the CIA are liars. It is literally their job, right? They are the CIA. No, it should be surprised by this. But it's worth delving into precisely why they decided to get involved in cocaine. Now, as we're going to discuss later, the agency has a long history of using drug money to fund their sketchy black ops shit. They much preferred to get cash directly from the federal government. The CIA doesn't like doing sketchy drug things to fund stuff. Because that's a lot harder than the Congress just saying. Here's billions of dollars to sketchy shit, right? The CIA was way happier after, for example, 9-11 when suddenly they just get this like pile of funds. That's much better than doing fucking the coke dealing. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It is. They have a fucking lot older than a lot of the people alive, you know, making these decisions on the ground when the contract comes up. The CIA has a very long history of funding their operations with drug money. So obviously, when Reagan took office, he called the death squatters of the Contras the moral equivalent of the founding fathers. And he made the argument again that like you've got to stop the spread of communism by supporting anti-communist insurgencies. This becomes known as the Reagan doctrine, which is just a repackaged fucking what you will call it. Moro. No, the things that fall over. Yeah. I mean, it's that too. It is kind of a continuation of Monroe doctrine, but it's a domino theory. Right? Domino theory. It's just a repackaging of that. And he does all over. He does argue for direct open aid rather than drug, like trying to fund the shit through drug money. Reagan and the CIA want this shit to come straight through Congress. Yeah. But after he gets elected in 1980, the GOP, like he has those first couple of years, which is when a lot of this stuff starts to ramp up, right? And the CIA is pumping a lot of money into the Contras. But then in 1982, the Republicans lose the Senate and the House in the midterms. It goes really fucking badly for them. And they immediately stick a big rubber, why did I say a big rubber, rubber cock in the in the Reagan White House? They they immediately decide to like, stime the Reagan White House. And they pass something called the Bolsheviks. I don't know. I was. The immediate my the way I wrote this at like three in the morning. They know the line as I originally wrote it was they immediately stuck a big rubber cock in the Reagan White House by pages plugged up. I'm going to be honest with you. We just would a big old rubber. I'm sure I had a bit to extimp on this, but I have forgotten what that was. Oh my lord. But your theories to us on Twitter. I would love to know. Oh man, this is so great. I mean, I think I meant like they fucked they fucked the Reagan White House. That's a bad way to do it. What you wrote. God. What a man. What a tragic fuck up I am. So the Bolin Amendment. The Bolin, yeah, we go and extimp it. Yeah, we'll talk about that more later. But basically for now, it restricts the activity of the CIA and the DOD and foreign wars, the Department of Defense. So the amendment is written with the Nicaragua with Nicaragua specifically in mind. And it makes it harder to fund things. And the justification for this is again, the fact that at the time, the justification as they're passing the Bolin Amendment is that contra funding comes in large part from the Nicaragua cocaine trade. And this is as we talk about in part one, 82. This is when the crack epidemic starting, right? So that's all very much tied into this. And yeah, this is the stew of affairs that in 1985, which is the first year that the big study on crack, babies is published, we get the Iran contrast candle. And we're going to talk about that in your episodes, prop. Yeah. Which you're going to start hearing tomorrow. I am going to peel back from that for now. So again, we're a little bit not completely going along chronologically here because a ran contra deserves to be talked about separately. We're going to get to that in the next couple of episodes. What I want to talk about now on our show is the CIA's history, dealing drugs to support their black ops because this is fucking cool shit. Actually, yes. But you know what else is cool shit, prop? Oh, man, tell me what else? The products and services that support this podcast, less than 20% of which are the CIA. I'm trying to tell you, man. And maybe not much less. I'm going to be honest with you. I mean, it might be a percentage of rubber Reagan clogging cocks, maybe. Well, and look, you know, there's a lot of things that the CIA gets their hands and including the VP. Well, actually, it was the FBI who created that. No, those people. Yeah, I was like, yeah, it is fun that they just get to do all that kind of shit. Anyway, it's it's good reason to take flight at that job. Look, nobody nobody's going to try to sell you a mattress to fund the CIA. You're good on that one. And now a word from our sponsor better help. Mental health problems are obviously really tough and it can get easy to just sort of set yourself on the mindset that things are bad. They're going to stay that way. But that's not the way it has to be. 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Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at slash behind. Oh, we are B-A-Q. That's how you spell back when you're feeling saucy. So again, if you have any analysis on what's going on, Robert, please, please. He's feeling Randy. Some of us are artists. So he honestly, honestly, he's quite a word Smith and I still and also as just stated, I think Randy needs to come back as I agree as an adjective. Randy and so I've made a big change. I think now that we've come back from break, I can talk about this because this is going to affect everybody both in my personal life and who listens to the podcast. I've decided I'm going to start using the phrase cash money more often, particularly when people do something that's not cool. I'm going to be like, that's not very cash money of you. I like that. That's not very cash money, Sophie. Now, what is your definition of that? Because my definition of that is not what you think it is. When you say cash money, I think of like Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj. That was like cash money millionaires. That's like a that title's been taken is what I'm telling you. You really rained on my parade here, Sophie, and that's not very cash money of you. Wow. Wow. He used it. I agree. It's incredible. So let's talk about the CIA's history of selling drugs. There we go. From 1947 to 1951 in France, the CIA sent weapons and money to Corsican criminal syndicates so that they would use violence and murder to take control of labor unions in Corsica from the Communist Party. 40% right after World War One ends. Huh? Or were they sent them? Huh? They sent them cash money. They did send them cash money and cash gunnets. Anyway, these Corsicans wound up in total control of the city's docs. And when you run the docs, what what happens when you can run the docs? Who remembers the wire season two, right? You can move a shitload of Yale, right? You can get that fucking blow rolling. It's very easy. So yeah, well, not just blow. This is actually not blow in this case. But the CIA is like, hey, we just funded these violent right wing gangs to murder all of the labor unions in order to take control of these docs. What if we started moving a shitload of heroin? What if we partnered with the Italian mob to move a bunch of heroin through these docs? And then we made Marseille, the heroin capital of all of Europe and maybe the world for a while, right? So the CIA is doing this specifically because there's a lot of fucking money in that and they've just become an agency. They want to get that black budget rolling. They got government. They got fucking Patrice Lamumba to murder in the Congo. They got all these things to do. We got a lot of crime in a do and we need to run our crime syndicate in the same way crime syndicates run. They crime syndicate. Yeah. Because there are literal business partners. Yes. I cannot stress this enough behind the bastards listeners. These are the angel investors. Honestly, the heroin trade that starts up in the late 40s, early 50s. It's kind of the same thing. It's like, okay, this is going on before the CIA gets involved, but it's a little bitty. It's like Facebook looking at Instagram and going like, yeah, we're going to buy this and make it big. That's what's happening here. And I mean, I want to apologize to the CIA actually. It's really unfair of me to compare them to Mark Zuckerberg. So I do feel bad about that. That's a little bit unfair. Just kind of brutal. Just lowering the. I'm not apologizing. Because I that was a joke apology anyway. So Marseille gets its first heroin lab at that same time, that same year, the nationalist Chinese army, which is a right wing military force in China, fighting in that whole thing, which the CIA had helped to build an arm becomes the primary opium distributor for the golden triangle, right, which is this chunk of Southeast Asia that at that point is the source of the world's largest source of opium. So they've got again, when I say they're running this, they are controlling everything from supply through the nationalist Chinese army, which they have an interest in to smuggling, which the fucking mafia that they have an interest in is is doing to distribution, which they run the fucking docs, right, or at least their people do, right? Yes. So in order to make this even more direct and obvious, the CIA uses air America, which is an airline they own to fly the drugs through Burma, Thailand, Lao, etc. Right. And into other places, right. So again, this isn't just like they have an interest. They're not just helping like a Nicaragua. They're helping shit along, right. They're smooth things. They're making problems go away. At this point, they're just straight up loading drugs with hair or loading planes with heroin, right? Like just what they're logo on the side. This is just this is also a big part of why they're doing this is this is how they're funding this nationalist Chinese force. They're funding, right? Like this is how they're funding. I think a lot of operation gladio, which we'll talk about one day, all of this drug money is being sprinkled out along a bunch of stuff. But so things this does make a lot of money for their black ops, but things don't go really well for the nationalist Chinese army. That if you might notice, that's not who winds up winning that that whole conflict. And over the next 20 years, the US steadily increased a series of disastrous military commitments in the region, which is Vietnam, Korea, all that good stuff is kind of what happens after this this this false apart. So while many US soldiers became heroin, heroin addicts during their tours, that's a big thing that happens in Vietnam, right? You've got all these soldiers go into the golden triangle where the CIA had been moving heroin out of in order to fund the nationalist Chinese army. Now that's not a factor so much, but you've got a shitload of US and other foreign soldiers in Southeast Asia fighting. A lot of them are getting hurt and they're being given opium. And when the morphine runs out, when the docs aren't going to give them anymore of that, well, they're in the heroin capital of the world. And the CIA was not just kind of a passive like overseer of that. They operated a lab in Laos that refined heroin for profit. The heroin that was being sold to US soldiers who came back to the United States addicted by the time we pulled out of the region under Nixon, Southeast Asia was the source of 70% of the world's opium and the primary material driver of the US heroin market. And the CIA had never not been involved, right? They were they were they were guys every step of the way. Now we could talk about Afghanistan and heroin and how boy, howdy, the same thing happened there a few decades later. Huh, that's wild. But I think the point is made. The CIA does not what they're not doing. They're not introducing drugs to populations in a concerted manner. The drugs are not being used consciously as weapons. The drugs are being produced and brought into places in order to buy weapons that they then give to people who do other series of crimes. The fact that populations are getting addicted and stuff is kind of a byproduct of the fact that they're trying to fund all of these revolutions and assassinations. So obviously all this shit we've talked about doesn't work out great in China where they don't win. Doesn't work out great in Southeast Asia where again, things tend to be pretty disastrous for US interests during this period. But stuff had worked out really well in France for a while. The CIA had gotten their way there and they'd funded a bunch of shady shit with the stuff they were moving through Marseille. And the drugs again, even in places where, you know, Vietnam doesn't work out. We lose. See, I still makes a fuckload of money, which they use to do a fuckload of shady stuff. And it's money that can't that they can deny, right? So they don't have to admit they've used it for anything. They don't have to account for it. A lot of it presumably winds up padding pockets and stuff. It's not like congressional money, which there's a little bit more strings attached to. So when the Reagan administration to get back to the Boland amendment, when the Reagan administration is like, boy, Congress does not want to give us the money we need to overthrow governments and destroy socialist movements. The CIA is like, hey guys, we know how to make money. Hey, we know how to do that kind of shit. Yeah. Or about a room. Yeah. Now, of course, that is where we get all the north, where we get a ran contra. We're going to talk about that more later on. I do want to note a couple of things about Oli that we don't get into in your episodes. Yeah. Please do. One of which kind of makes the point of how incest US, the US ruling class really is. We've just talked about the Samozes. Oli North, who goes to the US Naval Academy because he's a fancy boy to become an officer, is close classmates with future Navy Secretary and Senator Jim Webb. They're boxing buddies and Webb, of course, is a major political figure during all of the stuff that we're talking about is happening. So, I don't know, that's, that's nifty. I also wanted to talk. We don't talk much, we don't talk in your episodes about Randy Herrett, do we? No, we don't. Yeah. Okay. So, Randy, in Vietnam, Oliver North serves as a platoon commander. He wins a couple of different awards for gallantry under fire. He is a pretty good actual like combat soldier from everything I have read. But he's also going to wind up lying when, when the stuff you talk about in your episodes happens, breaks and Iran contra happens. He's going to wind up needing to puff his background up because he's dealing with a lot of criticism. And I want to quote from a 1987 Washington Post article on North that comes after the Iran contra stuff breaks. He was aggressive. When instinct told him to take cover, he charged. He reminded machine gunner Randy Herrett of a Viking berserker, a fighter who would go against extreme odds and battle until he dropped. Now, that sounds like badass, right? That makes him sound cool. Yes. Yes. If you don't know who Randy Herrett is, at least. So the Washington Post is just talking to this guy and being like, boy, Randy sure loves him. In 1970, Randy Herrett participated in the Sontang massacre in which a five man marine hunter killer patrol gunned down seven women and nine children. They reported these dead women and children as Viet Cong who had been killed in a firefight. They were court martialed over this eventually. And all in all, if blew down to be a character witness to his buddy slash mass murderer Randy. And then of course, when all he gets in trouble, Randy goes in front of the media to do the same thing. He was free to do that despite murdering a bunch of people because he'd been acquitted. Now, he gets acquitted. The other guy's in his unit. Two of them gets five year sentences and one gets sentenced to life. So again, this happened, right? This is a massacre he and his boys do. None of them actually serve much time though because the major a major general reduces their sentences to less than a year, which is pretty fucked up. But whatever. Anyway, all in North, a good man, real allie allie. I just wanted to get over that stuff a bit because you can't not read about allie north while you're reading about how the CIA and the crack stuff happens. And that brings us to an important point, which we do talk about in your episodes. This is not just the CIA. Right? No. Gary Web's articles focus on the CIA. The NSC, the National Security Council, just as bad, just as involved in this specific shit. Right? Yeah. Now, in brief, the guy running the NSC, Bob McFarlane, has centralized a lot of intelligence, like collection. And allie North is the guy who's in kind of the center of this. Point man. Yeah. Yeah. So, anyway, that's probably allie winds up working well ahead of like any of this stuff like happening in 1981. Right? This is kind of right as the crack trade is sort of starting and the contras are funding themselves. Yeah. And allie builds a really personal relationship with a lot of these contras. He does a lot of training and advising to them himself. And whenever opportunities pop up, he's rabid in urging the president to throw down with these folks. At one point in North Korean freighter of guns is headed to Nicaragua to arm the government's forces, the Sandinistas, because obviously North Korea, Sandinistas have some interest in common. The CIA and the NSC guys are all debating what to do. So like they've got this. This is a sovereign nation. North Korea is allowed to go and sell guns to Nicaragua. Right? Again, not a fan in North Korea, bad government, but this is a thing we do this. Why wouldn't they be allowed to? They're a country too. So they're selling guns to the Sandinistas and the CIA and the NSC are like, well, shit, we're not like we can't let this like what do we what can we do to stop this? Allie's suggestion is let's attack the freighter. Let's attack the freighter of a sovereign nation, steal their guns and give their guns to the countries. Other people are like, Allie, that's literally just piracy. Like that's just being a pirate. Yeah. Yeah. We're not a war. They take a war. Yeah. Number two. Yeah, that's this is a problem. If we do this, Allie, there will be consequences if we just attack one of their boats. So nothing happens. Allie gets overruled because people are like, that's kind of crazy. All of our north, like you're kind of a maniac here. Maybe calm the fuck down. Yeah. But Allie builds a really good relationship with Ronald Reagan. And the way he does this is he's incredible at lying. He lies about he gets Reagan to believe that he's run a special operations training detachment in his like during Vietnam and he was basically coordinating special forces. And right, this is the time predator comes out. Right. Yeah. All of these movies lionizing the seals and the green berets are coming out in this period. Special forces is sexy. Ronnie's a movie guy. So Allie is like, yeah, I was running special forces and stuff. See that? No, hey, see that movie with the movie we were like, Rambo. Yeah. See that movie we were like, you know, I don't know. SwarしNigger. Yeah. I was I was in the shit man. I was over there, bro. Those movies are out me in the homies. Yeah. That's what he's telling. Reagan. Yeah. Essentially. Yeah. And Reagan is a guy who's very vulnerable to stories. Again, he's an actor, right? Like this is the kind of brain that actors have. That's not a good or it's a bad thing in Ronnie's case, but it's just a thing. He's a he's a story and he just gets enraptured by all of her north. One of North's NSC colleagues later called Allie was about 30 to 50 percent bullshit. He was notorious for constantly exaggerating his role in things. He was always coming from a meeting with the vice president. We checked once and he hadn't been to see the vice president at all. Wow. And one of the interesting things and we're talking about Allie. We're talking in your episodes about a ran contra. This is about the other smuggling he was into. That's not the extent. Like that's why I'm getting into this. Yeah. The executive secretary of the NSC Rodney McDaniel described North as a man of tremendous energy whose real talent despite his action hero image was bureaucracy. He had quote a good voice. No self doubts at all. He never thought about a thing. Yeah. Yeah. He was full of shit and felt great about it. Yeah. And knowing how many moving parts all this it has and what he had to oversee, there's no way he's not like a human Excel spreadsheet. No, because it's too much to keep, it's too much to keep organized. Yeah. And he's Allie is particularly committed to the contrast. Yeah. Right. The stuff is that's that he gets involved with in Iran. That secondary to what is his real motivation, which is helping these guys. Yeah. I don't know if that's because he was tied to them and it was a career thing or if he was he's legitimately a true believer and sympathize with him. But North is really the driver of the whole administration's policy towards them. And when Reagan takes office, there's like 500 contras. Yes. Right. Very few of these dudes not really a movement. No. By the time North is in his first year at the NSC, there were like five or six thousand up, right? And of course they now and now I should say this, they're almost never very good. They're about bad, not a good, the urgent group. They're really an ineffective amount of combat sense. Yeah. Not a money we legally and illegally pumped down there. Yeah. I'm saying over the amount of time that we was there, they was better on the video game than they was. We did not get much. Yeah. Yeah. So North throws himself into the contra program in the book Land Slide Jane Maier and Doyle McManus, right? North's five years at the NSC were composed of manic days, weekends at his desk and vacations not taken. On the fifth birthday of his daughter Dornan, one friend recalled, she called him three times at seven o'clock at eight o'clock and at nine o'clock. And in essence said, Daddy, when are you coming home? And Ollie said, don't worry, honey. Daddy's coming home as soon as he can. I've just got to finish this work. By the time he got home, she was already asleep, but he was willing to take time to get the job done. Not everyone admired this trait. He was always scheduling meetings on Sundays just to distress everyone else. CIA analyst John Horton Grumble. Others worried less about his workaholic devotion than his manic intensity. I used to keep Ollie out of Reagan's office because he was dangerous. Michael Deaver recalled, he scared me. He'd fly to Beirut, be back 24 hours later and brief the president. Reagan loved him, loved the style. And again, there's factions in here, right? Everybody's not on the same fucking index. So we're condensing a lot here. But as the years go by, despite all this money, despite the spite of how many of these fucking dudes there are, shit doesn't go well. The war, they don't take any cities. They don't take any serious territory. They're not winning battlefield victories. And Congress keeps stopping the administration from sending the money. They develop all sorts of fucked up workarounds at one point they get the Saudi royal family to cough up a bunch of money. They convince the Israelis to send them arms. But it's not enough. And of course, that that brings us to Iran Contra, but it also brings us to another series of decisions that Ollie North makes outside of Iran Contra that are maybe sketchier. And we're going to talk about that. But first prop products, props, services, maybe I can't guarantee anything. I'm not the president. But you're not on the North, man. You're not delivering drugs. I'm going to twist some arms. I've been I've been arming some militant groups in the jungle that I'm hoping will be advertising on our on our podcast soon. So check out for that. Not really sure which jungle I just been dropping drop in cash. Just along the equator. One of these soon what happens. Yes. All right, here's ads. And now a word from our sponsor better help. Mental health problems are obviously really tough and it can get easy to just sort of set yourself on the mindset that things are bad. They're going to stay that way. But that's not the way it has to be. 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Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at slash behind. So we're back. And there you go. We have through this meandering story, the machinery of a ran-contress we'll talk about is starting up in this period. But Ollie, separately from anything that's going on in Iran is trying to figure out how do I keep getting money to my guys. And the most obvious way to do that is cocaine. A good example of this is the case of Carlos Albert Amador, a former pilot for the Southern Front Contras who flew secret missions for years out of the Ilopango Air Base in San Salvador. In 1985, the DEA becomes aware that that this guy Amador is also transporting huge amounts of cocaine to Miami via Costa Rica. A CIA cable at the time quoted a DEA source who quote stated that Amador was probably picking up cocaine and San Salvador to fly to Grand Cayman and then to South Florida. So the DEA, their job is to stop drugs from entering the country, right? That's what the DEA is supposed to do. Again, not an agency I like, but they actually want to take this guy down. They want to stop this guy because he's moving blow into the country and their job is to stop this guy. So they announced their intent through the different kind of connections that law enforcement has that like we are going to have local police and this is like in because he's flying out of San Salvador. We're going to have local police in San Salvador look into this guy and we're going to help them and this is going to be we're going to try and like bust this and stuff this, right? But the hanger in San Salvador that Amador is flying out is hanger number four. You want to know who owns hanger number four? Who owns hanger number four? Oli North. That's right, baby. Oli North is the guy through the NSA, right? Is the guy who controls hanger four? Amador has to ask permission in order to use it. Which he gets? I'm going to quote from a write up by PBS here. When the CIA headquarters responded to the cable, this is from the DEA asking can we go after this guy? It told its local station that it would appreciate station advising DEA not to make any inquiries to anyone. Are hanger number four at Ilopango. Since only legitimate supported operations were conducted from this facility. Now, since we know Amador was flowing flying cocaine out of this facility and only supported operations were conducted from this facility, what does that mean? What does that mean? I wonder. Hey, look, everybody, when you when you all research to do your background checks on all the hangers, just skip number four because it's already cool. Yeah, number five. Look into that shit. It's like mom number five. You want to be involved in that? One, two, three, five. Yeah. Do all the streets are you well before it's cool to worry about it. Anyway, I think it would be so funny. And like I'm imagining like an SNL style, like round table sort of just stupid like weekly office meeting. And it's like the NSC CIA, DEA, right? And Oliver North, they're just sitting down going through like line items. Just like, well, we got anything from DA. He's like, yeah, actually, man, we noticed this plane coming in from South Salvador and I was carrying a jug of stuff in Florida. So I should let her cocaine that shit, a little cocaine in that thing. So I think we got a guy we're probably going to announce on Monday, you know, that this is the guy's face and we're looking for him. You guys cool with that? And then the CIA going, yeah, wait, what? Yeah, that's actually going to be a problem. Yeah, wait, wait, nah. And they're like, what? What? Huh? You know what I'm saying? And it's full like, yeah, it's in hanger number four. You guys know hanger number four is it's that guy's weight. What? Yeah. No, it's not my will. Yeah. Wait, number four in Florida. Yeah. Oh no, no, no, yeah, don't go in there. Yeah. Yeah. No, I don't know, man. I think that's mine. But yeah, we're going to take down crime. Wait, what? Like everybody like, no, you can't know. This gets to one of the things, one of the things that's important, I understand about the US security establishment, right? Is that again, kind of it's often framed as this, there's, there's this unified conspiracy to like do all of this fucked up shit. No, these guys a lot of them hate each other because their, their interests are contra to each other, right? Yes. Yes. The deep, a lot of the information we have about how the CIA and the NSC helped fuel the crack epidemic and how they brought drugs in and to the United States. A lot of that comes from DEA agents who like some of them wrote books, some of those books are questionable. Yeah. But like, it's a bunch of DEA agents go and like, blow the whistle on this not because they're heroic individuals, but because their careers and success relies on bringing in cocaine and the CIA was stopping them for busting people. They just didn't resources. It takes time and money to track to figure out who's doing it, where the, where like they spend resources and sometimes even lives. Yeah. Going after this stuff and then kind of at like the last moment get told, no, no, no, don't go do that. This guy's one ours. Yeah. Yeah. You're at the street level. Yeah. You're in shootouts. Yeah. Undercoons friends. That happens to somebody like again, and you're like, but you get why they're angry. Yes. You try to get the shit off the street. You're in shootouts with these dudes. And then you're like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You to plug. You didn't tell me the whole time you to plug. Yeah. Oh yeah. That was us. Sorry about your best friend, but like, yeah, that's been us the whole time. Anyway. So good job. Good job. Yeah. You got a great great work catching our guy. We thought he was like pretty well, but no, you you found up. We just locked up a thousand melanated people. You're doing a great job. Now of course the CIA denies any of this field agent needs in IEVES, who we're going to hear about a little later, tells PBS, you know, later when this article I just quoted from his written that there is no way that the CIA would ever have overruled the DEA on something like this. Quote, this is this is from Nebes. I was given cart blotch to do my job. I never once did anybody say anything to me about anything I was doing that was nothing but supportive. There was no interference. There was no there was no overriding priority. There was no competition. There was no anything except for support of the DEA's mission. And that's a fact. That's a DEA guy being like, no, there was never nothing like a or sorry. So that's a CIA giving like, no, there was never anything but support for the CIA. We never did anything like that. DEA agent Hector Bareilles, who was also a field agent in the area at the same time, says this is bullshit. Well, I know specifically that some of the CIA contract workers, meaning some of the pilots, were in fact bringing drugs into the US and landing some of these drugs in the government air bases. I know so because I was told by some of these pilots that in fact they had done that. I was like, I'm telling you, you're just saying, hey, what you got in there? What you got in there? What you got in there playing, I'll bring it in. Oh, that's cocaine. Wait, well, cocaine. CISS, fine coke. CIS, send me down there. You know, let me just hang out a few weeks since Alvador took the kids back in. So now I'm on my way back. Yep. Yep. Now we're going to hear a number of very entertaining denials from CIA just over the course of this in the next episode that I do. But one of the best comes from the specific story, the tale of Oli North's hanger, former US assistant secretary of state for international narcotics matters. Jonathan Weiner, whiner, told PBS if it's your job to check out food at the supermarket, you're not worrying about the person who's supposed to be stalking the shelves. It's not your job. Right. That's why he's saying, no, there was no conspiracy here. Right. Like they just, you just miss stuff. Right. If you're as the CIA, we didn't know this guy was flying crack. He cocaine. He was also flying other stuff for us. And we just didn't realize he was flying cocaine out of the same facility that he was flying guns for us from. Right. Yeah. We, and we are job. It's the CIA. We're not a drug addiction agency. It's not our job to know about that. How could we have possibly been aware? Right. That's literally what he's saying. How was I supposed to know that other? How could I have known? It wasn't guns. Yeah. Yeah. Now there's a box that said guns and it was a box that said other. Mm-hmm. I'm looking for a gun box. What did you expect from me? We are, we are here for the seafood. The beef? That's somebody else's department. Yeah. How could I know that there's beef there just because it's next to the seafood and both of them are very clearly visible in the hangar that I own? That's okay. This is not the only fun Ollie North plot that involves moving hell a blow. Jose Bueso Rosa was a general from Honduras who'd helped make things easier for the Contras because again, a lot of the Contras are based out of Honduras and based out of Costa Rica because it's easier because the Sandinistas are pretty good at keeping their own ground. Anyway, he had also, while he was helping out the Contras and giving them space to operate in, shipped a truly titanic amount of cocaine into the United States. And again, he's like running the Honduran military. That's Bueso Rosa, which is getting funding from the United States. In 1984, he's caught trying to assassinate the president of Honduras, a plot which was meant to be funded with $40 million in cocaine sales to the United States. When this guy gets fucking caught, Ollie North starts reaching out to people above him in the White House to beg for him to get leniency to be like, please push on Honduras to not punish this guy. And guess what, Jose? Yeah, well, because he's going to talk. And guess what, Rosa, who has shipped a shitload of cocaine into the United States, $10 million worth and tried to kill the president of his country. Guess what his, guess what his sentence is? Five years at Club Fed. Five years, baby. That's right, baby. Listen, listen, listen. And now think about this. If you watch the narcos on Netflix, if you probably will ask a bar, this is all happening at the same time. You in Colombia. It's not like you don't know all his shit. So you like, man, I ain't worried at all sending something to cap, like, yes, we sending this to Miami. What they gonna say? Yep, yep. Yeah. Now, thanks to the fact that we know all of this, by the way, almost of this information comes from the fact that Ollie North kept a diary, which is now to classify it and where all of this is written in in his attempt to protect Bueso. We know he urged other US officials to quote cabal quietly all these words to secure him a pardon. Now, North's focus here was nothing to do with, with loyalty. Again, Rosa knew a lot about the CIA's funding and arming of the contras and Ollie wrote specifically that he was worried about Rosa spilling the beans of the war and the narcotics funding behind it. He wrote this in a diary that we heard this. Dear diary, not a conspiracy theory, just a guy taking notes on his crimes. Dear diary, today was a very interesting day. My connect and Honduras tried to kill his president. Now that he's faced a trial, I'm worried he's going snitch. So I'm wishing on a star day. He doesn't tell everybody about the crimes our country has committed in cooves with him. Are you there? God, it's me, Ollie. No, dear everything that's happening to me. Ollie, let me write out the crimes I'm committing into tail. Now, everything that's happening here is a big old deal for Ollie North, right? He has staked his career on the contras. It's also a huge deal for people in Nicaragua. It is intermittently kind of a distraction for other people in the security agencies, right? The CIA had Casey, the the NSC had McFarlane. They support the contras generally, but there's also times where they're like, look, we got other shit to do and like we like we can't be focusing entirely on this stuff. So while this is all going on and this is the period that the Contra stuff is starting to spin up and at the early stages, that's more on McFarlane and Casey's side than North. He's going to be central to this, but he's managing Contra shit, right? So he doesn't come in quite yet or he's not at least as involved in it yet. We'll get to that in your episodes. Yeah. But one of the things that's happening big picture here is that there's this constant kind of trickle of stories coming out in Nicaragua, coming out about US support for the Contras, coming about how bad they are, crimes they've committed, villages they've executed, all sorts of fucked up shit. And one of the things that's happening is that Reagan always very into the Contras never loses his luster for these American founding fathers like dudes. Yes. But the smart guys, largely his chief of staff, Donald Reagan, recognize that the Contras are fucking losing proposition for the Reagan administration. They can see in the polls every time he talks about the Contras, his support goes down. Right? So that's kind of what's happening as the Reagan administration starts to encounter other issues and realize that it's bigger fish to fry, which leads us into all of the stuff around kidnapped Americans and the Rang Contra, which we're going to talk about tomorrow on hood politics bastards behind. So gear up, get ready to listen to hear stories from some of your favorite Reagan administration. Prop, not only are we going to get a little bit more Ollie North, we're going to hear from Secretary of State George Schultz, future Theranos board member, Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger. What a name. And of course everybody's favorite guy with a name you didn't think was his real name until you learned that it was John Point Dexter. John Point Dexter is a real name. You did just call him Point Dexter. Yo, it's about to get so. Yeah, you were standing on the wall like you was Point Dexter. That's right. You know that one, right? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Do you really? No. I made a decision when you started doing the references that I wasn't going to get to try to try to hold up under scrutiny. I shattered. I shattered like the wall underneath. I love it because I what kid? What teenager has not pretended and bull grown adult has not pretended to know the obscure band you're talking about. Sure. Yeah. We are absolutely. We are talking dire straits or strokes or whatever. Yeah, we're sure bands. Yeah. You have you have milk a multiple times. Nave some bands that I was like, nope. Nope. There's there's there's too many bands. Look, yeah. Too many bands. Yeah, we got to got to trim it down to four. Yes. I was giving you a little bust a move. Bust a little young MC, bust a move. Ah, you standing on the wall like you was point dexter. Dexter, they function. Now I have heard of her. The guy who does the first hip hop. Yeah, cool. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. Cool. Yes. I think for a cracked article that I wrote, which is the nerdiest way to know. Yeah. I was like, wow, don't do. Okay. You told me off the hard. Okay. That damn it. Prop speaking of hip hop history. Yes. Let's talk about your pluggables. Yes. Yeah. prop hip I got some new music out right now. Super delps called the soil EP. That's a part of the terraform. Whole universe of poetry and and send a music universe of poetry, short story. It's a book. It's also a coffee, which important for Hispanic heritage or Latino heritage month. The black and brown unity, you know, coming out of when you look at the the queen mother on the cover of the coffee can. That's a indigenous woman and an African woman. You know, I'm saying black, brown unity. You know, I'm trying to say and prop hip hop little politics. It's all up in there. You know, I'm saying we out, we out, we out, we out this man. You know, I'm saying I couldn't even finish the slang reference. You know, I'm saying port core outside. Anyway. Well, check out prop check out terraform, check out props, coffee, check out hood politics tomorrow. When we talk about Iran, Contra for two days, and then we will be concluding with an episode of bastards your fifth episode of our shows for the week, where we will talk about what happens after Iran Contra, what happens after Gary Webb's dark alliance series breaks into the mainstream and all of the fucked up fuckery that follows. You can find me. I have a book called After the Revolution, Google it with AK Press and you'll find my publisher's website or just type it into Amazon or whatever the fuck and you can buy copies of it. Bye. When I tested positive for COVID, I didn't know what to do at first. Then I learned about the active six research study. I enrolled in the study from the comfort of home. Study medications were shipped to me and I took surveys online. I hope this research will help find treatment options so my family and others in my community can stay safe and healthy. More research is needed to help people with COVID-19. Learn how you can take part in research to help protect the health of your family and community. Visit slash radio. That's slash radio. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fry True Crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out speaker from I Heart. I was working and accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with speaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let speaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's spru. I'm Moaraka and I'm back with season three of my podcast Mo Bituaries. I've dug up even more stories about the people and things that fascinate me from the fruit that once scandalized. The shape of the banana made it taboo. To the band that played second banana to the Beatles. They were lucky to come in second and the truth is they only came in second for about two months. Listen to Mo Bituaries on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.