Barbara Boxer's letter to CIA director John Deutch

Text published: August 29, 1996

The Honorable John M. Deutch
Director of Central Intelligence
Washington, DC 20505

Dear Dr. Deutch:

I am writing to ask that you investigate allegations about CIA involvement in the illegal drug trade. A three-part series published last week by the San Jose Mercury News charges that the CIA tolerated, if not promoted, crack cocaine sales as a means to finance Nicaraguan revolutionaries in the early 1980s.

Specifically, by Mercury News charges that the Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense FDN--the largest of the groups known collectively as the Contras--raised millions by selling cocaine to drug dealers in California at the same time that the crack epidemic was beginning. Federal, state and county law enforcement agencies investigating California's largest crack cocaine rings have complained that their operations were mysteriously thwarted. Several people close to the investigations have openly speculated that the CIA had compromised their investigations in an effort to sustain the Contras.

As you know, this is not the first time allegations of this kind have surfaced. For over a decade, rumors of a Contra-CIA cocaine connection have persisted. I believe that these questions can be put to rest only by a candid and thorough investigation of the facts. I urge you to conduct such an investigation and make your findings public.

Although the tragic situation described in this series of articles predates your leadership of the CIA, we must continue to insist that the whole truth be known. Crack cocaine has destroyed countless lives, and even the notion that the U.S. Government was involved in trafficking is sickening.

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to your timely response.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator