Episode 92: CIA’s Drug Secrets

This episode is brought to you by El Yucateco

On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we explore a conspiracy theory about the CIA. Many people claim that the CIA helped to start the crack cocaine epidemic in South Central LA, and we do the research, so you don’t have to! In 1979, the Sandinista National Liberation Front toppled the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Debayle. The United States government was in the middle of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and they feared that the Russians would take control of the country. So, what was the best solution? Well, the Reagan administration started funding and arming groups opposed to the Sandinistas. These groups were called the Contras (shot for counterrevolutionaries).

The CIA had imbedded agents working with the Contras and had several Contras on their payroll, and what came out in 1996 by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist named Hank Webb was quite shocking. In his series called “Dark Alliance,” he shows that the Contras were smuggling tons of cocaine in the US to sell in the inner cities as a way to fund their war. And the CIA knew it. And the CIA didn’t stop it. In fact, a senate committee headed by John Kerry uncovered this as a truth but had to bury it since it was top secret information at the time.

What happened next is the most confusing part of the conspiracy. Hank Webb, the journalist who uncovered all of this was smeared by most newspapers in the country, discredited, and had his reputation stripped. He resigned from the newspaper where he broke the story, unable to find meaningful work, and was found dead on December 10th, 2004. It was a suicide according to official reports. He shot himself in the head. Twice. Sound fishy? We thought so. Tune in and hear about the CIA, a drug kingpin named Freeway Ricky Ross, reporters who admitted that they were told to undo Webb’s story, and even the classic Air America smuggling operation the CIA ran during the Vietnam war in Laos.

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