Rumors Persist That The CIA Helps Export Opium From Afghanistan

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Kit O'Connell via,

Despite billions spent to eradicate opium crops in Afghanistan, the crop is more popular than ever there, leading many to wonder whether some U.S. forces may actually be encouraging its growth and the heroin it later becomes.

In July, the Centers for Disease Control warned of record-breaking numbers of heroin deaths in the United States. “Heroin use more than doubled among young adults ages 18–25 in the past decade,” the CDC reported.

In the same month, it was reported that opium production is stronger than ever in Afghanistan, which now produces 90 percent of the world’s supply of the plant that’s refined to create heroin. This rise in production would have been impossible prior to the U.S.-led invasion, and it comes despite some $8.4 billion spent in counternarcotics efforts by the U.S., specifically designated to wipe out opium production in Afghanistan.

In fact, as Global Post reported in October, under the watchful eye of the U.S., opium use expanded to new parts of Afghanistan and growers now make use of modern, advanced agricultural technologies.

With photos circulating in 2010 that show U.S. soldiers patrolling opium fields, questions remain about what America’s real involvement may be in the opium trade. As Abby Martin noted in a 2014 investigation for Media Roots, while the Taliban had all but eradicated opium, it began to thrive just months after American forces replaced the Taliban-led government in 2001.

Martin noted that the CIA has long been tied to the global drug trade, where it’s accused of putting more effort into controlling rather than eradicating illicit substances. She added,

“Circumstantial evidence aside, there is no conclusive proof that the CIA is physically running opium out of Afghanistan. However, it’s hard to believe that a region under full US military occupation – with guard posts and surveillance drones monitoring the mountains of Tora Bora – aren’t able to track supply routes of opium exported from the country’s various poppy farms (you know, the ones the US military are guarding).”

According to a January report from Mother Jones, the DEA agent formerly in charge of the agency’s efforts in Afghanistan reported repeated conflict between DEA eradication efforts and CIA agents:

“[Edward] Follis says the DEA and CIA often bumped heads in Afghanistan. … While hinting that the CIA sometimes turned a blind eye to the Afghan drug trade, Follis won’t get into specifics. In his book, [‘The Dark Art: My Undercover Life in Global Narco-Terrorism,’] he writes, ‘Almost everywhere in the world I worked, I had static with the CIA. We’re often working the same terrain, but with different legal and moral parameters … They exist completely in the shadows.’”

Among the groups profiting off the Afghan opium trade — and the failed efforts to eradicate it — is the mercenary group Academi, better known by its former name, Blackwater. In April, RT reported that Academi earned $569 million from counternarcotics contracts in Afghanistan.

“[T]he notorious company has been the biggest beneficiary of counternarcotics expenditure in the war-torn country,” RT wrote.

Watch “The Worst Narco-State in History? After 13-Year War, Afghanistan’s Opium Trade Floods the Globe” below:

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Chupacabra-322's picture

Rumors? Nigga please.

Overfed's picture

Yeah. How about telling us something we don't know.

willwork4food's picture

Old shit different day.

I did this job for this one military girl a while back and she absolutely bought the anti-drug .gov official story hook-line & sinker. With a straight face she actually said they were there to offer classes to the Afghans about growing other crops-like corn instead. LMFAO

Latina Lover's picture

Anyone remember Iran Contra? 

Of Course the CIA is dealing Heroin. 

How else is it possible for Afghanistan to have record crops of Poppies? Do you believe that the reason the crops are not eradicated is because the USSA wants to win the 'hearts and minds' of the Afghani farmers? LMAO!

Never One Roach's picture

What's the EFT for Opium?  Sounds promising.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture



Throughout the Soviet occupation of Afganastan opium production flourished; then with their ouster and subsequent rise of the Taliban

it's estimated that production dropped by 90+%, and remained that low until---what?---yes, then US invasion and voila! the smack train

is back on the tracks.  We're #1, we're #1, we're--aww, fuck it.

RichardParker's picture

Apparently opium is the perfect crop to grow in war zones.  Anyone have access to this article?


Manthong's picture

At least we can be pretty confident that Air America has upgraded from surplus C-47’s to surplus C-130’s.

..and where is the picture of Hillary with green make-up and her flying monkey looking at those boy-lovers through a crystal ball?


palmereldritch's picture

And so the death and history repeats forward

6. While serving as a legal Associate at the Wall Street law firm of Cahill, Gordon, Sonnett, Rheindle and Ohio under partner Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines directed the Phoenix Project in Vietnam, in 1974 and 1975, which carried out the secret mission of assassinating members of the economic and political bureaucracy inside Vietnam to cripple the ability of that nation to function after the total US withdrawal from Vietnam. This Phoenix Project, during its history, carried out the political assassination, in Vietnam, of some 60,000 village mayors, treasurers, school teachers and other non-Viet Cong administrators. Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines financed a highly intensified phase of the Phoenix project, in 1974 and 1975, by causing an intense flow of Vang Pao opium money to be secretly brought into Vietnam for this purpose. This Vang Pao opium money was administered for Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines by a US Navy official based in Saigon's US office of Naval Operations by the name of Richard Armitage. However, because Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Armitage knew that their secret anti-communist extermination program was going to be shut down in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand in the very near future, they, in 1973, began a highly secret non-CIA authorized program Thus, from late 1973 until April of 1975, Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Armitage disbursed, from the secret, Laotian-based, Vang Pao opium fund, vastly more money than was required to finance even the highly intensified Phoenix Project in Vietnam. The money in excess of that used in Vietnam was secretly smuggled out of Vietnam in large suitcases, by Richard Secord and Thomas Clines and carried into Australia, where it was deposited in a secret, personal bank account (privately accessible to Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Secord). During this same period of time between 1973 and 1975, Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines caused thousands of tons of US weapons, ammunition, and explosives to be secretly taken from Vietnam and stored at a secret "cache" hidden inside Thailand.

The "liaison officer" to Shackley and Clines and the Phoenix Project in Vietnam, during this 1973 to 1975 period, from the "40 Committee" in the Nixom White House was one Eric Von Arbod an Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs. Von Arbod shared his information about the Phoenix Project directly with his supervisor Henry Kissinger.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Why doesn't someone ask our illustrious AG why, how and where does all the heroin come from? Shouldn't she know and know how to stop it? With all the power and might of the US DOJ thsi should be child's play. Miz Lynch? Uh, Miz Lynch???

weburke's picture

One fine day, perhaps already, the elites will be poisoning their products, including heroin, cocaine, pot.

RafterManFMJ's picture

They poisoned quite a bit of industrial alcohol during prohibition without notice, poisoning and maiming thousands.  But that's cool, because prohibition.

Murder is fucking fun when you're a government goon.


"Before hospital staff realized how sick he was—the alcohol-induced hallucination was just a symptom—the man died. So did another holiday partygoer. And another. As dusk fell on Christmas, the hospital staff tallied up more than 60 people made desperately ill by alcohol and eight dead from it. Within the next two days, yet another 23 people died in the city from celebrating the season.

Doctors were accustomed to alcohol poisoning by then, the routine of life in the Prohibition era. The bootlegged whiskies and so-called gins often made people sick. The liquor produced in hidden stills frequently came tainted with metals and other impurities. But this outbreak was bizarrely different. The deaths, as investigators would shortly realize, came courtesy of the U.S. government."

UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

Ever wonder why the CIA has its own fleet of drones? Or why before that, it ran a "rendition" program. Now you know.

VinceFostersGhost's picture



We have priciples......unless we can make a little hush cash on the side.


Now shut the hell up....or we're gonna raise gas taxes on your asses.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

Are you crazy!?!  We've got fucking corruption in FIFA--yes! FIFA.  Get your priorities in order man!

SixIsNinE's picture

and the Phoenix program landed back home here in the USA :


The Phoenix Has Landed: a New Introduction


July 3, 2014

Ten years after the publication of The Phoenix Program, I wrote a series of articles on the subject for Counterpunch magazine. The Clinton administration had popularized neoliberalism, hammered labor through NAFTA, and dismantled welfare. Conservatives were speaking of a “new American century” based on belligerent nationalism. The time seemed right to warn of the dangers.

The first of these articles, “Rob Simmons, the CIA, and the Issue of War Crimes in Vietnam: The Spook Who Would Be a Congressman,” appeared in November 2000.

As a CIA advisor to the Special Branch of the South Vietnamese Police, Simmons managed a secret interrogation center and a vast informant network in order to identify and locate members of the Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI). Simmons then mounted paramilitary and psychological warfare operations against suspected “secret agents” who were administering the revolution in Phú Yên Province.

The people Simmons spied on, harassed, kidnapped, interrogated, and assassinated were civilians protected under the Geneva Conventions. He worked with the Phoenix program and what he did, in my opinion, amounted to war crimes.

Simmons, however, represented the nation’s renewed, aggressive spirit, and longing to rid itself of the Vietnam Syndrome. He was elected to Congress in November 2000 and quickly became a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, as well as chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment.

My second article, “Fragging Bob: Bob Kerrey, CIA War Crimes, and the Need for a War Crimes Trial,” appeared in May 2001. The piece followed revelations that former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey, as a member of a Navy SEAL team on a Phoenix mission in South Vietnam in 1969, participated in the killing of a dozen women and children in Thanh Phong village. Kerrey claimed the civilians were caught in a crossfire, but their bodies were found grouped together, as if they had been rounded up and executed.

Kerrey told the New York Times, “Standard operating procedure was to dispose of the people we made contact with. Kill the people we made contact with, or we have to abort the mission.”

According to the rules of land warfare, what Kerrey and his SEAL unit did was unlawful and amounted to a war crime. But again, in the spirit of the times, his crimes were rationalized away.

The articles about CIA officer Simmons and Navy SEAL Kerrey contrasted the stated purpose of the Phoenix program, which was to protect the people from terrorism, with its operational reality—the pacification of the South Vietnamese population through terrorism, through the same tactics employed by the Gestapo and Einsatzgruppen in the Second World War.

Created by the CIA in 1967 and headquartered in Saigon, the Phoenix program coordinated all military, police, and intelligence agencies in South Vietnam in pursuit of civilian members of the VCI. To this end the CIA created Intelligence and Operations Coordinating Centers (IOCCs) at region, province, and district levels. A particular IOCC would amass data on suspects in its area of operations, through informants and the CIA’s brutal interrogation centers, and then mount targeted operations using police, regular military, and special operations forces, as well as the CIA’s notorious counterterror teams.

To facilitate this sweeping method of population control, every citizen’s biographical data was fed into a computer at the Phoenix Directorate in Saigon. The Directorate was managed by a senior CIA officer whose job was to funnel information on top-ranking members of the VCI to the CIA station, where the staff attempted to turn these people into penetration agents who could report on the enemy’s strategies, plans, and allies in North Vietnam.

Any South Vietnamese citizen could become a VCI suspect based on the word of an anonymous informant. The suspect was then arrested, indefinitely detained in a CIA interrogation center like the one that Congressman Rob Simmons managed, and tortured until he or she (in some cases children as young as twelve) confessed, informed on others, died, or was brought before a military tribunal for disposition.

At the height of the program, Phoenix managers imposed quotas of eighteen hundred “neutralizations” per month on the CIA officers and soldiers in the field. The unstated intention was to corrupt the system, and the CIA succeeded in this effort. Crooked security officers, policemen, politicians, and racketeers began to extort loyal civilians as well as enemy agents. As one CIA officer put it, Phoenix was “a very good blackmail scheme for the central government. ‘If you don’t do what I want, you’re VC.’”

Warning: America’s democratic institutions are on the brink of being similarly corrupted, and for the same insidious purpose: the political control of its citizens through terrorism, on behalf of the rich military-industrial-political elite who rule our society.

Indeed, America’s security forces were always aware of the domestic applications of the Phoenix, and the program has not only come to define modern American warfare, it is the model for our internal “homeland security” apparatus as well. It is with the Phoenix program that we find the genesis of the paramilitarization of American police forces in their role as adjuncts to military and political security forces engaged in population control and suppression of dissent.

In the wake of September 11, 2001, my articles about the Phoenix program became more relevant than ever before. The third, “Homeland Insecurity,” appeared on October 1, 2001, and predicted that the government would establish Phoenix-style “extra-legal military tribunals that can try suspected terrorists without the ordinary legal constraints of American justice.”

The United States soon established detention centers at Guantánamo in Cuba, Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, and at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. And the CIA established “black sites” around the world

Divine Wind's picture




It is because of operations like these that I realistically do not see the U.S. moving to digital currencies anytime soon.

There are far to many cash-based operations underway funding of other activities that should not come under congressional scrutiny.

Digital cash leaves far to many footprints.


Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture



Well hell tangible cash leaves some footprints also, but even being caught red handed doesn't matter if the system

is corrupt and complicit.  Just pay the cursory, cost of doing business, fine and keep calm and carry on.  Going

digital won't cripple the folks that "matter" or the deep state.  That shit's for the "little people", to be sure all

the turnip blood is bottled and dispensed as deemed necessary.  Footprints only matter if they're looked at.

lesamourai's picture

This is largely true.  However once the 'product' hits the street the 'little people' need cash in order to buy it without leaving a digital trail.

chubbar's picture

The folks running the drugs are going to be the same ones who set up and control the flow of electrons that now represent your money. I don't think they will be that worried about "footprints". 

U4 eee aaa's picture

Two words:

Consultants fees

Put that on your digital statement. No one will be the wiser

TheReplacement's picture

Perhaps one faction is pushing digital because they know they cannot control the CIA faction unless that happens.  If they get close to digital expect a lot of dead bankers and pols.

opport.knocks's picture

Forget it - the parent company with the biggest market share has $18 Trillion in debt.

Cynicles's picture

18 is to US Debt as sub 7% is to unemployment

Urban Roman's picture

BAC. But I wouldn't trade 'em 'coz they have lots or other stuff that's not so great.

Drachma's picture

Contra, shmontra! Come on LL, don't you believe Geraldo when he tells you the US marines are 'victims of their own success' and that they must 'tolerate' the cultivation and that it just 'grinds at the gut' of the CO to have to 'watch over' as the 'Taliban' continue to grow this scourge at ever increasing quotas, lest they 'disappoint' the enemy and cause a 'security risk'.

A walk down memory lane:

Black hearts and twisted minds is all I see.

logicalman's picture

Interesting that when US was in SE Asia all the heroin came from there.

Coincidence? I don't think so.


gallistic's picture

The USA has also been getting some pretty good ROI on the billions invested in "Plan Colombia".

All that off the books money is good for the black budget.

rwe2late's picture

 don't forget

the USA Camp Bondsteel (aka Kosovo)

as a major crime hub serving Europe.

palmereldritch's picture

Probably GMO corn.

Push the poison

Paveway IV's picture

That can't be true. Let's check out some chart porn. Oh, that's most unfortunate.

Although you could have simply asked one of the several thousand U.S. and U.K. soldiers and marines unfortunate enough to have been sent to the hell-hole we created in Afghanistan. They could have told you exactly what we were doing there over a decade ago. In fact, they did - nobody listened.

  • DynCorp has the contract to train pedophile Afghani police and move drugs
  • Haliburton/KBR had the soldier electrocution showers of death contract
  • Blackwater/Academi/Xe had the contract to guard the CIA, the DEA or whatever other clowns the U.S. has running around there
Radical Marijuana's picture



"rumours ... leading many to wonder"

MY LINK to more stuff that anyone who bothers to investigate may find out regarding the bullshit-based, bankster benefiting, "War on (some) Drugs," which was mostly the war on marijuana, when that plant can be traced back by botany to the general area of Afghanistan roughly 80 million years ago: troops battle 10-ft Afghan marijuana

Ignatius's picture

Also, read Doug Valentine's books, The Strength of the Wolf and The Strength of the Pack.  Doug interviewed top people in the CIA, DEA, NBDD and the FBN and has them on tape.  The whole 'war on drugs' is a farce and illicit drug distribution is coordinated by the CIA.

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

Gotta secure "The Royals" revenue stream don'tcha know.

BurningBetty's picture

"We tried burning them with white phosphorous -- it didn't work. We tried burning them with diesel -- it didn't work. The plants are so full of water right now ... that we simply couldn't burn them," he said."

And they made the whole world buy and believe that the Jews were burnt in heaps of 1000s on a regular fire, disintegrating every piece of bone into ash. While apparently not even white phosphorous and diesel could do the trick on mere plants. And while we are at it, for the first time in history, every law of physics took a break on the day of Sept. 11. 

A disguasting food for thought... 


Vincent.Vega's picture

It's like crystal meth did not prove efficient enough in killing American goyim, so to complete the mission, ZOG made sure to bring a peck of heroin from Afghanistan (through the world's biggest heroin trade hub, Camp Bondsteel in _Kosovo_), enough for everyone

Heroin Gains Popularity as Cheap Doses Flood the U.S.:


1) And a great while ago, when the world was full of wonders:

June 13, 2001

Taliban's Eradication of Poppies Is Convulsing Opium Market:


2) 2005, by Professor Michel Chossudovsky.

The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade

Washington's Hidden Agenda: Restore the Drug Trade:


3) 2012, By F. William Engdahl

Kosovo’s “Mafia State” and Camp Bondsteel: Towards a Permanent US Military Presence in Southeast Europe

Washington’s Bizarre Kosovo Strategy could destroy NATO:


4) 2014, by Washington's Blog

Drug War? American Troops Are Protecting Afghan Opium. U.S. Occupation Leads to All-Time High Heroin Production


5) 2015

Afghan Opium Harvesting Protected by British Occupation Forces

Opium Harvesting, c.200 metres from Camp Bastion Airfield Perimeter



cynicalskeptic's picture

It's just a coincidence that heroin was not all that plentiful around 2000 when the Taliban were running Afghanistan... and Americans were getting hooked on prescription Oxy.....   fast forward and after the US has been in Afghanistan for over a dozen years and Heroin is now an 'epidemic' in the US - and the substitute of choice for all the Oxy addicts who can't get any more after the crackdown on prescription drug abuse.....

Huxley got it wrong.... the masses are paying for their own SOMA to distract them from their crappy jobless lives - while making themselves liable to arrest as a criminal for using an illicit substance.....   TPTB profit from the drug sales while creating a permanent criminal class that can be arrested at will to fill prisons run for profit.....

what a mess.....

Papi_Al-Mahdi's picture


The primary reason the for the US invasion of Afganistan was the nose dive in production of Opium in 2001. Afghanistan produces most of the worlds Opium.

That drug money is a big card, low on the house of the fractional reserve global ponzi financial system.

The Taliban suddenly outlawed the farming of it and as you can see in this chart it fell to nothing. When that dries up overnight it creates a chain reaction and messes shit up.

The US Military invaded and promptly formented the environment to increase production and it is now at record levels, even higher than before the Taliban outlawed it.


Crash Overide's picture


HAHAHAHA that shit is fact and has been for a long time.

luckylongshot's picture

You are absolutely correct- a friend of mine worked for the CIA actually doing this.

piceridu's picture

If you want a better perspective on the War on Drugs and it's real effect. Watch this very entertaining podcast with Joe Rogan.

Dr. Carl Hart, Coumbia University professor, a leading authority on the psychological and psychiatric effects of dugs on humans, cuts through the propaganda and has a very different spin on the use of drugs.


silverer's picture

If it involves the potential for LOTS OF MONEY, then count the US in.

Freddie's picture

According to Dr. Jim Willie it is what keeps the big money center banks in business laundering the money.

How big is this drug business?  My guess is easily $500 billion a year and most of it is profit.

What happened during Vietnam War?  What caskets were stuffed with drugs? 

Which air force bases were used to run drugs?  Rammstein, Incirlik and probably during Nam it was Hawaii and California.

mbutler101's picture

They were flying drugs into the old Marine base at El Toro and when Colonel Sabow found out about it, he was going to blow the whistle so they blew his head off instead:

Normalcy Bias's picture

I'm shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED!!!

R.I.P. Gary Webb

Bernanke'sDaddy's picture

Amen to that. RIP Gary Webb.

Compare what he did to the drivel that passes for journalism today.