Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Congress Must Take over CIA-Contra Inquiry

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Congress Must Take over CIA-Contra Inquiry

Article excerpt

Asking the CIA to investigate itself is hardly the way to conduct a serious inquiry into allegations that the agency might have been linked to drug traffickers in the 1980s.

Several senior lawmakers, including Sens. Bob Kerry, Democrat from Nebraska, and Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, are rightly suggesting that Congress take over this inquiry. It grew out of a recent San Jose (Calif.) Mercury series purporting to show that a Contra-connected drug ring sold cocaine and weapons to street gangs in South-Central Los Angeles and used the profits to help finance the CIA-controlled Contra in Nicaragua.

The series' claim that Contra-connected drug trafficking also led to the explosion of crack cocaine in this country has touched off controversy and has yet to be proved. Some argue that crack was a factor in Los Angeles before men with ties to the Contras began trafficking in drugs. But that argument seems to miss the point. If activities by these traffickers added to, rather than caused, the problems, that doesn't make the matter any less serious. …

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