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CIA and Drugs in South-Central L.A.

September 03, 1996

Regarding "As Drug Debate Rages, Dealer to be Sentenced," Aug. 23, and "Sentencing of L.A. Drug Dealer Ross Postponed," Aug. 24:

I am an African American who grew up in South-Central Los Angeles. Ever since the beginning of the crack epidemic, black residents have questioned the plausibility of our community's ability to cultivate, process, transport and distribute the massive amount of drugs that have flooded our neighborhoods. We also understood that the proliferation of semiautomatic weapons was of foreign origin. Up to now, these ideas were always ridiculed by the majority of whites.

Your Aug. 23 article validates the suspicions of blacks whose communities have been devastated by the illegal narcotics trade. The article reports suggestions that the cocaine plague in South-Central is directly linked to Nicaraguan drug dealers and the Central Intelligence Agency. It is unfortunate that whites generally ignore the charges of institutional racism leveled at the U.S. government by many of its black citizens. It is our hope that these revelations will lead to more acceptance of our point of view from the larger community.

KYNDALL BROWN

Los Angeles

* I clearly remember during the Iran-Contra hearings a man waving a big sign and being physically ejected from the chambers. That sign read, "Tell them about the drugs."

Yes, as scholar Richard Millett says, the CIA drug connection has "come up over and over," but I strongly disagree with him that logically you can't come to the conclusion that they sponsored and encouraged it. With so much smoke, I'd think that U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff would allow questions of the agency's culpability in flooding our streets with crack cocaine. Looks like fire to me.

MICHELLE PHILLIPS

Los Angeles

* You published a very interesting letter ("Declassifying CIA Documents," from CIA Public Affairs Director Dennis R. Boxx, Aug. 20). On the same day news sources were connecting the CIA with gangs, drugs and the Contras.

Boxx touched upon enough scary subjects. Are we to imagine that the 1954 U.S.-backed coup which deposed the elected government of Guatemala will be fully explained? How will they justify our affront to a sovereign nation? What will they have us believe about our training of an army to invade Cuba?

Imagine, if you can, over 40 million "secret" documents from when the CIA was established in 1948 through 1971. How many more millions have been secreted in the past 25 years? What kind of game is this? It is written somewhere that people love the dark rather than the light because their deeds are evil. Might such apply to much that is covert?

MICK MANDEVILLE

San Gabriel

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