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White-out: CIA, Drugs and the Press [Paperback]

Alexander Cockburn , Jeffrey St. Clair
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Dec 1999
An expose of the CIA's involvement in the drug trade and the media's silence on the issue.

Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; New edition edition (2 Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859842585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859842584
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 592,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Cockburn and St. Clair present a litany of CIA misdeeds, from the recruitment of Nazi scientists after WWII to the arming of opium traffickers in Afghanistan. All of this is extremely well documented ... a chilling history that many will take issue with of what the CIA has been up to in the past 50 years." - Kirkus "A solid, pitiless piece of muckraking, ... Cockburn and St. Clair raise troubling questions about the role of a largely secretive government agency in a democratic society." -- San Diego Union Tribune "A probing examination of the CIA's chilling history of coddling major drug traffickers, gangsters and Nazi psychopaths." -- Philadelphia Tribune "A convincing, well-researched, comprehensive condemnation of the CIA." -- Maximum Rock 'n Roll

About the Author

Alexander Cockburn is a columnist for The Nation, New York Press and a range of other newspapers. He is the author of Corruptions of Empire, Fate of the Forest (with Susanna Hecht), and The Golden Age Is In Us, all from Verso. Jeffrey St. Clair has written for The Nation and contributes to the newsletter CounterPunch. He is the publisher of Wild Forest Review.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating critique of US drug-running 5 Aug 2001
This fascinating book describes an international criminal conspiracy specialising in drug-running, union-busting and murder, the Central Intelligence Agency. The Agency is directly controlled by the US Government, starting with the Presidency, so the CIA's story reveals much of the USA's real foreign policy.
The authors document many CIA activities, including the following. In 1945, the Office of Strategic Services, the CIA's predecessor, got Mafioso 'Lucky' Luciano, the USA's premier gangster and drug trafficker, released from jail and protected him while he organised an enormous increase in the global heroin trade. The CIA then worked with the Mafia to break trade unions in the USA, Italy and France.
From the 1940s, CIA planes flew opium from Chiang Kai-Shek's Burmese bases for export to the USA. Protected by the CIA, the Burmese military dictatorship has turned Burma into the world's top producer of high-grade opium.
The CIA also organised drug smuggling from Latin America into the USA, using the services of, among others, Klaus Barbie, the Nazi 'Butcher of Lyons', whom they protected until 1983. In the 1980s, as part of Reagan's war against Nicaragua, the CIA protected the Contra supporters running the biggest drug sales operation in California, selling crack to buy weapons for the Contras. Recently the CIA created, and still fund, the heroin-producing and trafficking organisation, Taliban, who have turned Afghanistan into the world's leading supplier of raw opium.
In 1989, British Customs reported to British Intelligence allegations from several sources that the husband of Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto funded large heroin shipments from Pakistan to Britain and the USA. The Thatcher Government did nothing.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing 30 April 2003
"Down the decades the CIA has approached perfection in one particular art, which we might term the 'uncover-up.' This is a process whereby, with all due delay, the Agency first denies with passion, then concedes in profoundly muffled tones, charges leveled against it. Such charges have included the Agency's recruitment of Nazi scientists and SS officials; experiments on unwitting American citizens; efforts to assassinate Fidel Castro; alliances with opium lords in Burma, Thailand and Laos; an assassination program in Vietnam; complicity in the toppling of Salvador Allende in Chile; the arming of opium traffickers and religious fanatics in Afghanistan; the training of murderous police in Guatemala and El Salvador; and involvement in drugs-and-arms shuttles between Latin America and the US.... Charges are raised against the CIA. The Agency leaks its denials to favored journalists, who hasten to inform the public that after intense self-examination, the Agency has discovered that it has clean hands. Then, when the hubbub has died down, the Agency issues a report in which, after patient excavation the resolute reader discovers that, yes, the CIA did indeed do more or less exactly what it had been accused of."
Alexander Cockburn and
Jefferey St. Clair
From Chapter 15: "The Uncover-up"
A strange feeling came over me as I finished this book, which I could not put down when I picked it up until I spent an entire weekend devouring and digesting its contents until my eyes hurt. First was a complete and total numbing.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I take my cap off to both Cockburn and St. Clair 17 April 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic, though very disturbing. Before reading this book, I always knew that the CIA was an organisation that lied to it's citizens and to the whole world, for that matter, but this book truly reveals the vile nature of this relatively secretive U.S. agency.
The CIA after WW2 recruited Nazi scientists such as Werner von Braun (the architect of the V-2 rocket), the SS monster Klaus Barbie, known as "The Butcher of Lyon", wanted for his sadistic torture techniques and many others. The CIA worked tirelessly to bring misery and poverty to the people of Latin America by organising coups which installed right-wing dictators who raked in millions of dollars from selling cocaine and heroin, while 95% of the population was struggling to survive. All in the name of "protecting the world against the Commies". And of course they worked in close co-operation with the Sicilian Mafia, asking the mobsters to do their dirty work.
Using drug money made by selling "crack" cocaine on the streets of South Central Los Angeles by Nicaraguan and local drug-lords to fund the Contra rebels in Honduras, etc.
Oh, and of course we then have all of the "scientific" experiments carried out against mostly African-Americans up until the 1970's, where subjects were exposed to radiation and many types of experimental drugs. They even carried out experiments against U.S. soldiers in the South Pacific, for heaven's sake! After all these immoral experiments were carried out against the African-American population, it is no wonder that many do not trust the CIA or the U.S. government. Major U.S. newspapers and other media then have the NERVE to describe their perfectly understandable fear as "black paranoia!"
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