Someday a brave soul or souls is going to write a comprehensive history of the CIA and the drug trade. It won’t be pretty. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
In what can only be called a federal judicial miracle, retired Mexican General Salvador Cienfuegoes is being set free in the United States and permitted to return to Mexico. Just last month, Cienfuegos was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport when he was visiting LA on vacation. The charges? That when he was serving as Mexican Defense Minister, which is the second highest position within the Mexican government, Cienfuegos was conspiring with Mexican drug lords in return for bribes.
Cienfuego’s arrest generated the standard drug war hoopla in the mainstream press to which we have all become accustomed during the last several decades. The Washington Post called it a “turning point” in the war on drugs (one of many “turning points” in the drug war over the years). The New York Times stated, “The news not only casts a pall over Mexico’s fight against organized crime, but also underscores the forces of corruption that touch the highest levels of the government.”
But then yesterday, U.S. officials suddenly announced that they had decided to drop the charges and permit Cienfuegos to return to Mexico.
What gives with that? Don’t these guys want to “win” the war on drugs? How do they expect to do that if they are dropping drug war charges against people at the top who they say are involved in the drug trade?
The speculation is that the Mexican government put so much pressure on U.S. officials to drop the charges that the U.S. finally had to relent. People are saying that Mexico was threatening to ban the DEA from operating in Mexico.
But there is another possible explanation for the sudden dismissal of charges: The CIA. It’s entirely possible that Cienfuegos played hardball by promising to reveal CIA complicity in the drug trade if he were ever bought to trial. Given the overwhelming power of the CIA within the federal governmental structure, it would not have been difficult for the CIA to bring the necessary pressure to bear to have the charges against Cienfuegos dismissed.