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Home > Whiteout: the CIA, drugs and the press.

Cockburn, Alexander and St. Clair, Jeffrey (1998) Whiteout: the CIA, drugs and the press. London: Verso.

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair excavate the CIA's 50-year-long intimacy with criminal organizations and drug trafficking. They describe how midwives around the infant Agency's cradle in 1947 included Nazi doctors fresh from Dachau, Sicilian gangsters and Chinese opium traders. Five years later, CIA officers were paying prostitutes in New York and San Francisco to slip LSD and other drugs to their clients while the Agency’s Peeping Toms sat behind one-way mirrors drinking in the scene.

By the late 1960s the CIA’s own secret war in Laos ensured that a steady supply of heroin was entering the veins of US servicemen in Vietnam. In 1979 the Agency started to mount the biggest operation in its history, bolstering the opium lords of Afghanistan, who responded gratefully by escalating their shipments of opium, duly processed into heroin for the US and European markets.

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