Why do many people believe that the US Government introduced Crack to the Ghettos?

Many people, not just Black Panthers-esque activists, casually mention “the US Government introduced crack into the ghettos in the 1980s” as though it’s not even a wild theory - just like it’s a no-brainer.

I’ve heard this from a lot of people - it seems that many believe this.

Why? What’s this based on?

It’s a fringe belief.

Like many fringe beliefs, you have kooks out there who believe it. It’s not different than people who believe that white (or Jewish) doctors introduced AIDS to the black community, or any of the many other consipracy theories out there.

Zev Steinhardt

Not entirely fringe, Zev; it originally came from a source that was credible enough to launch a CIA investigation of the matter. In 1996, the San Jose Mercury News ran a doozy: the “Dark Alliance” series of article that stated that cocaine was “virtually unobtainable” in black neighborhoods until the CIA and the Contra began importing it to South Central LA to fund the war in Nicaragua. The CIA characterizes the allegations like this:

The CIA put together a 17 man team to investigate these allegations, and very long story very short, declared them to be baseless.* Here are links to the overview and the report itself:



*except for this little curiosity from the conclusion:

It’s not just inner-city blacks who believe this. Many militia-type guys believe that the CIA is mixed up with drug smuggling, too. Either doing the actual smuggling, or offering protection services for the smugglers. The story, as it was told to me, was that in the late 70’s or early 80’s the CIA set up a drug smuggling operation as a cover for an intelligence gathering operation. When they realized how much money could be made in that business, they decided to keep the operation running “off the books.”

I’m not saying that I believe this, mind you, but many people do.

The simplified version is false. But the longer tale contains a lot of truths. The Reaganites deliberately ignored the growing crack problem, believing that anything that messes up inner city folk is a good thing. Forgetting, of course, that anything that hits the inner city soon moves into the suburbs. So now we can’t build jails fast enough.

The 2nd part, about various nasty branches actively being involved in drug running has been well documented. That was a big part of the Contra side of Iran-Contra. ("Hey Boy Scouts, our guest speaker is unrepentant former drug ring operator Ollie North to give a lecture on morality. Let’s all give him a big Scout welcome!)

A similar story is that the government deliberately spread/started the AIDS epidemic. But that really only involved the first form of lousy ethics, not the 2nd.

What is the real question here?

Did the “CIA” or the american “Goverment” deliberately introduce crack and AIDS?

Why? To step on the blacks in America?

I can easily believe Reagan’s administration didn’t give a shit about AIDS. And I can also believe that the CIA thought that the traffic of cocaine was a cash-cow moneymaker that they could use without Congressional oversight.

That said: WHY?

Just to ravage the black community?

No. They didn’t give a shit about AIDS because it didn’t affect them as God-fearing Christians. Simplistically—this wasn’t their problem. AIDS was just speeding homosexuals to hell. Shortsighted—to say the least.

Crack—that’s a “black problem” and the money to be made in its traffic is incredible, so if the CIA took advantage, why not? The powers that be just said: fuck ‘em. Again, shortsighted.

But to blame a “Government Conspiracy” for this seems to exemplify the prevalent attitude that “I’m not responsible if I can blame someone else; I’m the victim here”.

I’m a victim and I want recompense.

But deliberate spiteful and malicious action by the “government” to…insert your own adjective… as to why you aren’t the successful person you fantasize about, look at your own actions first.

ftg wrote

How can you possibly claim this? Have you forgotten the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reagan created, and it’s cabinet-level leader (the “Drug Czar”)? Have you forgotten mandatory minimum drug sentences? Federal sentence guidelines? Just Say No (which was invented when Nancy Reagan was talking to kids about drugs in an Oakland inner-city school)? How can you possibly claim that Reagan “ignored the problem”, when ironically many of his detractors claim he was overbearing on the issue?

Then it shouldn’t be hard for you to give a cite.

Yes, a cite that Ollie North was somehow involved in moving drugs into the US (in large quantities as you imply, no less) will be nice.

Since “AIDS was invented by the US government” was brought up, there’s now a very strong case to be made that that rumor was created by the KGB. Yevgeni Primakov 'fessed up to it in 1991 and 1992 and Vasili Mitrokin, a defector who had worked in the KGB archives for decades before defecting, produced evidence of such in his excellent book-slash-memoir.

“Just Say No” always seemed to concentrate more on bored middle class teenagers being tempted to try -gasp!- marijuana, than any serious, hardcore drug addiction.

Oh, and I’d just like to add that I’m NOT buying into the whole conspiracy theory here. Just pointing out that JSN always seemed (at least to me) a classic case of style over substance.

Yes, let’s not forget “zero tolerance” either. You can say that many of Reagan’s policies on drugs were too simplistic or shortsighted, but to say he did 'nothing" is ludicrous. His only major fuck-up was believing that hitting the supply would kill demand, but he’s hardly the only president to believe in that theory.

Lets not forget his Federal Drug Free work place. But he is a Republican so he can only be interested in rich WASP business owners at the expense of blacks :rolleyes:

Now I’m gonna find a fed job so I can get in on the free drugs :smiley:

Because it’s easier to blame someone else than yourself.

(emphasis added)

This is a false statement.

In GQ, no less.

Shame on you.

Unless, of course, you have some citation to offer in support of this claim?

  • Rick

…is the widespread suspicion that the CIA used a private airstrip in Mena, Arkansas to send secret flights to Nicaragua. It was often alleged, that the return trips included cargoes of cocaine.
Anyway, one of the pilots was a man named Booby Seals?..he died under mysterious circumstances, as did others. Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas while this was going on…he never mentioned anything about this.
It is a short stretch to suppose that the CIA actually had a hand in importing illegal drugs…but stranger things have happened.

About what? That someone, somewhere died? That some people, somewhere, suspected that at some point in time the CIA was using a private airstrip to allegedly fly in cocaine? Which part of this falls under the usual duties of the Governor of a state?

Booby Seals are the small round fabric pads lactating women put in their bras.

Barry Seal was a drug kingpin who was said to be involved with the CIA and drugs in Central America and was murdered later.

Bill Clinton never said anything about it because, as everyone knows, he was neck deep in free blow.