The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade

Alfred W. McCoy, Author Lawrence Hill Books $32.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55652-125-6
Nearly 20 years ago, McCoy wrote The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia , which stirred up considerable controversy, alleging that the CIA was intimately involved in the Vietnamese opium trade. In the current volume, a substantially updated and longer work, he argues that pk the situation basically hasn't changed over the past two decades; however the numbers have gotten bigger. McCoy writes, ``Although the drug pandemic of the 1980s had complex causes, the growth in global heroin supply could be traced in large part to two key aspects of U.S. policy: the failure of the DEA's interdiction efforts and the CIA's covert operations.'' He readily admits that the CIA's role in the heroin trade was an ``inadvertent'' byproduct of ``its cold war tactics,'' but he limns convincingly the path by which the agency and its forebears helped Corsican and Sicilian mobsters reestablish the heroin trade after WW II and, most recently, ``transformed southern Asia from a self-contained opium zone into a major supplier of heroin.'' Scrupulously documented, almost numbingly so at times, this is a valuable corrective to the misinformation being peddled by anti-drug zealots on both sides of the aisle. First serial to the Progressive. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Hardcover - 634 pages - 978-1-55652-126-3
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