Pubdate: Sun, 25 Oct 1998
Date: 10/25/1998
Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: James Lafferty

To the Editor:

The level of naivete evident in James Adams's review of "Dark Alliance:
The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion," by Gary Webb, and
"Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press," by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey
St. Clair (Sept. 27), is shocking.

Adams faults Webb, on no fewer than three occasions, for failing to
secure confirmation of his charges against the C.l.A. from the C.I.A.,
or other branches of American intelligence. At one point he complains
that "it matters little" to Webb and others "that the C.l.A.'s own
inspector general said he found no evidence to support allegations of
agency involvement in or knowledge of the drug trafficking in the
United States."

Is Adams really so unaware of the workings of the C.I.A. or the other
branches of American intelligence that he thinks they would confirm
Webb's charges? Of course the C.l.A. denies any wrongdoing. Of course
"it is difficult to find a single source inside any branch of American
intelligence that can support the charge of actual C.l.A. involvement
in the smuggling."

In point of fact, it should matter little to Webb---and to
Adams---that the Central Intelligence Agency has denied involvement in
the drug trade. One need only look back to the C.I.A.'s role in Cuba
or Vietnam or Chile or Afghanistan or dozens of other countries over
the years to understand how truth is discovered in such matters.

At first, the C.I.A. always denies the sordid charges.

Then, after the passage of many years, investigations are reopened in
the light of "new evidence." Finally, the truth comes out and is
printed on the back pages of the same newspapers that, when the
charges were first denied, carried the denials on their front pages.

I would suggest that Adams and the rest of the nation stay

Los Angeles