International Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on Forei.

Counternarcotics strategy for the Western Hemisphere : a new direction? : joint hearing before the Subcommittees on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights and the Western Hemisphere of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congre online

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Online LibraryInternational Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on ForeiCounternarcotics strategy for the Western Hemisphere : a new direction? : joint hearing before the Subcommittees on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights and the Western Hemisphere of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congre → online text (page 1 of 18)
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, , ^ / COUNTERNARCOTICS STRATEGY FOR THE
\V] WESTERN HEMISPHERE: A NEW DIRECTION?



Y4.F76/1:C 83/5



Countemarcotics Strategs) for the U...

JOINT HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEES ON

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, INTERNATIONAL

ORGANIZATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

AND

THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



JUNE 22, 1994



Printed for Ihe use of the Committee on Foreign AfTairs







~\.



U.S. GOVER.N'.MK.NT l>KINTI.\G OFFICE '''>.

83-415 CC WASHINGTON : 199-1

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-046018-2



/



. , , / COUNTERNARCOTICS STRATEGY FOR THE
YO WESTERN HEMISPHERE: A NEW DIRECTION?



Y4.F76/1;C 83/5



Counternarcotics Strategy for the II...

JOINT HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEES ON

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, INTERNATIONAL

ORGANIZATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

AND

THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



JUNE 22, 1994



Printed for Ihe use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs




- - / 3



■^',..^..



U.S. GOVERNMK.NT PRINTI.NG OFFICE
83-^15 CC WASIU.NGTOX : 199-1

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington. DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-046018-2



y



COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana, Chairman



SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut

TOM LANTOS, California

ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey

HOWARD L. BERMAN, California

GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York

HARRY JOHNSTON, Florida

ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York

ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American

Samoa
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. MCKINNEY, Georgia
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
ERIC FINGERHUT, Ohio
PETER DEUTSCH, Florida
ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
DON EDWARDS, California
FRANK McCLOSKEY, Indiana
THOMAS C. SAWYER, Ohio
LUIS V. GUTIERREZ, Illinois



BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
JAN MEYERS, Kansas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DAVID A. LEVY, New York
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART, Florida
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California



Michael H. Van Duskn, Chief of Staff

RlCllAHI) J. GAliON, Minority Chief of Staff

Jo Webkk, Staff Associate

MiLAGROS MMVTINKZ, Staff Associate



(II)



Subcommittee on International Security, International Organizations and

Human Rights

TOM LANTOS, California, Chairman
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska

GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine

MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey

FRANK MCCLOSKEY, Indiana DAN BURTON, Indiana

THOMAS C. SAWYER, Ohio

Robert King, Staff Director

Michael Ennis, Republican Professional Staff Member

Theodore M. HIRSCH, Professional Sta/f Member

Beth L. PoissoN, Professional Staff Member

Andrea L. Nelson, Professional Staff Member



Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey, Chairman
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey

JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida

CYNTHIA A. McKlNNEY, Georgia CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina

PETER DEUTSCH, Florida ELTON GALLEGLY, California

ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland

Rob Henken, Staff Director

Dorothy Taft, Republican Professional Staff Member

ALAN FLEISCHMANN, Professional Staff Member

(III)



CONTENTS



WITNESSES

Page

Hon. Robert S. Gelbard, Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics Mat-
ters, U.S. Department of State 6

Hon. Thomas A. Constantine, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administra-
tion 11

Brian E. Sheridan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Drug Enforcement Policy

and Support, Department of Defense 14

APPENDIX

Prepared statements:

Hon. Robert G. Torricelli 49

Hon. Benjamin A. Oilman 51

Hon. Christopher H. Smith 52

Hon. Robert S. Gelbard 54

Hon. Thomas A. Constantine 65

Brian E. Sheridan 80

Responses by Department of State to additional questions submitted by the

subcommittees 98

The Heritage Foundation "Backgrounder", June 16, 1994, "How the Clinton
Administration is Abandoning the War Against Drugs", as submitted by

Hon. Manzullo 139

Letter from the Department of Justice dated July 14, 1994 concerning U.S.
decision to suspend certain forms of assistance to the aerial interdiction

programs of Colombia and Peru 165

An article "U.S. Takes New (Old) Path in Narcotics Battle", the Washington

Post, January 12, 1994, submitted by Hon. Donald A. Manzullo 189



(V)



COUNTERNARCOTICS STRATEGY FOR THE
WESTERN HEMISPHERE: A NEW DIRECTION?



WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 1994

House of Representatives,
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Subcommittees on International Security, Inter-
national Organizations and Human Rights, and on
the Western Hemisphere,

Washington, DC.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:05 p.m. in room
2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Tom Lantos (chairman
of the subcommittee) presiding.

Mr. Lantos. The Subcommittees on International Security,
International Organizations and Human Rights, and on the West-
ern Hemisphere will be in order.

We will be dealing this afternoon with the Western Hemisphere
drug strategy. Before calling on our witnesses, I want to recognize
the tremendous leadership shown on this issue by my good friend
and distinguished colleague from New Jersey, the chairman of the
Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. I will call on him in a
minute to make whatever opening statement he has.

I also want to acknowledge publicly the enormous contributions
to U.S. antidrug policy over the years of the ranking Republican
member of the full Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Gil-
man of New York.

These two leaders have done more than probably any others in
the Congress in dealing with this issue.

I am pleased that the President made a decision last night re-
garding the sharing of intelligence with Colombia and Peru. I
would have been more pleased had some of you gentlemen called
me a little earlier in the evening, but I was glad to learn about it —
even though I was sound asleep and not even thinking about the
Western Hemisphere drug strategy when the White House an-
nouncement reached me.

I would like to give as much time for your presentation and ques-
tions as possible, so I will defer making an opening statement.

I call on my friend from New Jersey, Chairman Torricelli.

Mr. Torricelli. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, very much for your
kind words and your leadership in bringing us this hearing today.

For 3 years the centerpiece of the U.S. drug war in the Andes
has been the use of military radars and spy planes to attack
narcotraffickers at their weakest point. That point is the air bridge
of small planes that links the coca leaf fields of Peru with the lab-
oratories of Colombia.

(1)



But barely a year after this air interception network began suc-
cessfully disrupting trafficking routes, the Pentagon abruptly
ceased the operation on May 1. With radar coverage suspended, Co-
lombian and Peruvian defense officials say that drug trafficking
flights have increased by at least 20 percent in the last month.

The Clinton administration announced yesterday that it will seek
a change in the law to eliminate concerns about liability suits from
families of traffickers shot down with the use of American-supplied
information. Regardless of the legitimacy of these legal concerns,
there is absolutely no justification for the manner in which the ini-
tial decision was implemented.

Peruvian and Colombian defense officials have weathered years
of protests by their own politicians who are opposed to allowing
U.S. aircraft and radars to operate in the Andes. Certainly they
were entitled to prior consultation or, at the very least, prior notifi-
cation before abruptly having cooperation suspended.

Over the past 3 years, I have made visits to Colombia and Peru
to ask for support of the U.S. -Andean air operations. I have done
so because this strategy is absolutely essential to interfere in the
flow of narcotics to the United States.

Virtually all the world's cocaine supply originates in the fields of
Peru and Bolivia. About 80 percent of the drugs pass through Co-
lombia for refining on their way north to the United States. Much
of this traffic is in small aircraft. In 1993 alone, 32 tons of cocaine
were seized in Colombia as a result of the sharing of American-sup-
plied information. Indeed, within the few days before the radars
were shut off, American-supplied information helped the Colom-
bians seize four drug planes.

It is difficult to believe that the decision to end military coopera-
tion with the Andean nations was based solely on legal concerns.
Indeed, if that were the case, the administration would have come
to Congress and asked for a change in the law before changing its
radar policy, rather than 6 weeks later on the eve of congressional
hearings at which the change was likely to be criticized.

The administration cannot send mixed signals to our allies on
such an important issue as the war on drugs. Nor can
narcotraffickers ever have any doubts about American resolve.

In addition to discussion of the reasons behind the administra-
tion's recent actions, we are today seeking clarification of the ad-
ministration's new proposal. I will be particularly interested to
learn whether our allies in South America have been consulted and
how soon information-sharing can resume.

It appears that information-sharing will not resume until the law
is changed unless, in the interim, Peru and Colombia agree not to
shoot down planes identified by U.S. radars. Given the fact that
both governments rejected this proposal last week, it appears we
could be giving several more weeks of radar-free skies to drug traf-
fickers.

This has not been a good chapter in our relations with Latin
America nations nor in our fight against narcotraffickers. It is time
for the Pentagon to accept that no matter how reticent their co-
operation may be, the civilian leadership of this government is in-
sisting that our military forces be part of the interdiction of
narcotraffickers.



I recognize this is not the reason why many people join the U.S.
mihtary, but it is nevertheless the policy of this government that
those forces will be used for what is clearly now identified as a na-
tional security priority.

Finally, I want to say, as an attorney, I recognize the caution of
members of my profession and their respect for the law, but cancel-
ing cooperation and interdiction of narcotraffickers because of the
potential liability is to treat the flow of cocaine as a victimless
crime. The only liability for the U.S. Government is not families of
narcotraffickers lost in shoot-downs; how about the liability to the
hundreds or thousands of people who are exposed to cocaine flow-
ing into the United States because of these interruptions in Amer-
ican narcotrafficking policy?

That, too, deserves consideration.

Mr. Chairman, I look forward to exploring these issues further.
Thank you and your subcommittee for your cooperation in bringing
this to us today.

Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much. Chairman Torricelli.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Torricelli appears in the appen-
dix.]

Mr. Lantos. Before turning to Congressman Oilman, let me
thank the staff that prepared this hearing, Beth Ford of the full
committee; Alan Fleischmann, Rob Henken, and Jody Beverly of
the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; Andrea Nelson, Jon
Peterson and Jo Weber of the Subcommittee on International Secu-
rity, International Organizations and Human Rights.

Congressman Oilman.

Mr. Oilman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Lantos, I commend you for holding this hearing today;
such a hearing is certainly long overdue. I particularly want to wel-
come our witnesses, Mr. Constantine, the new Director of DEA; Mr.
Oelbard, Director of our international efforts; and Mr. Sheridan
from the Office of Defense.

It is ironic that its purpose is to inquire if there is a new direc-
tion in the Western Hemisphere counternarcotics strategy. Oiven
the events of the past few weeks, there is a new direction, and that
has been downward and backward.

In its comprehensive strategy released in February, the adminis-
tration outlined three critical international objectives: strengthen-
ing international cooperation; assisting other nations to destroy
trafficking organizations; and increasing the costs and risks to traf-
fickers. Those are commendable.

Then came the annual certifications, and that was a positive
step; and I want to commend this year's certification process, which
makes it looks as if we would have a serious international narcotics
effort. Since then, however, Mr. Chairman, it seems that the ad-
ministration's plan has been simply to wave the white flag on
drugs, especially since May 1 when the administration stopped
sharing intelligence on drug trafficking with two of the heaviest
producers, Colombia and Peru. That certainly is a wrong policy, the
wrong action, and produced the wrong results.

I am pleased about the new direction calling for reinstatement of
a full sharing of drug intelligence with both Colombia and Peru.
The traffickers were exploiting the intelligence blackout to send



narcotics northward while the administration was conducting legal
seminars.

The anti-intelligence action was a betrayal of our allies. For more
than 4 years, our Nation prodded and pushed Latin neighbors to
do more about drugs, often at great personal risk to themselves.
The way the intelligence cutoff was handled raised questions about
the seriousness and steadfastness of our commitments and our pur-
poses.

Someone certainly should be looking at how this occurred, espe-
cially since I understand the assets that were shut down in the
source countries were not moved to better cover end-game oper-
ations, for example, particularly in Mexico. We need to know how
long and where our detection and monitoring assets flew and what
the results were. In shutting down that intelligence system, the ad-
ministration literally opened the skies to the traffickers from South
America to the Rio Grande.

This morning, the administration is said to be seeking a legisla-
tive fix to close the opening they created. Will that be in the crime
bill that is now in conference? If not, how and when, in what man-
ner will the administration act? I hope we can fully pursue that in
this hearing.

Besides shutting down intelligence, the administration has pro-
posed major cuts in the office of Drug Czar Lee Brown; it has gone
along with the cuts in the State Department budget for inter-
national narcotics matters, as well as cuts in the Department of
Education drug education budget. That pretty much speaks for it-
self.

I regret to note that in my years of working in our war against
narcotics, as a cofounder of the House Select Committee on Narcot-
ics and of our House Narcotics Caucus, and having worked with
five previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican,
this administration certainly doesn't have the best record on nar-
cotics control, possibly the worst.

If I were a teacher and the administration's narcotics people
were in my classroom, I guess I would be forced as we neared mid-
term exams, not to give a passing grade on this subject. I hope we
will be able to turn all that around.

We are here to be of help with our administration people. All we
want to see from the administration people is a steadfastness of
purpose in ridding our Nation and the world of the narcotics prob-
lems.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much. Congressman Oilman.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Oilman appears in the
appendix.]

Mr. Lantos. Congressman McCloskey.

Mr. McCloskey. I have nothing, sir.

Mr. Lantos. Congressman Manzullo.

Mr. Manzullo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Even though I am not a member of either subcommittee, how-
ever, I am a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Mr. Lantos. We are very happy to have you sit with us.

Mr. Manzullo. Thank you. I represent the 16th Congressional
District of Illinois, which includes the city of Rockford. Last year



Rockford gained the unfortunate distinction of leading the State of
Illinois in per capita crime rate. Much of this can directly be laid
at the feet of growth of gangs from larger urban areas expanding
their territory to small-or medium-sized cities, such as Rockford, in
the American heartland.

These gangs are the tentacles of drug distribution networks that
originate, to a large degree, from Latin America. This hearing is es-
pecially timely because what happens overseas in the drug war af-
fects constituents in the 16th district, especially our kids.

In reading several news accounts, I share your deep concern, Mr.
Chairman, over the confusion by this administration in committing
sufficient resources to fighting the war on drugs on all fronts.

Our counternarcotics policy must be an integrated comprehensive
strategy. We need drug eradication and interdiction outside our
borders, tough law enforcement and swift prosecution inside our
country, and drug rehabilitation and education. Subtract resources
from any of these components and that is like sounding a retreat
on the drug war.

For all the talk by this administration about fighting crime, the
President sends mixed signals to Congress. One minute, we loudly
hear of the immediate need for 100,000 cops on the beat. However,
the next day, I read, buried in huge budget documents, a request
to cut the Drug Enforcement Agency by nearly $2 million.

No new DEA agents have been hired since 1992. One of those
agents could have been assigned to help Rockford with its growing
drug problem. Fortunately, the Appropriations Committee last
week added $22 million to the President's meager request, includ-
ing $5 million for 132 new DEA agents.

It is unfortunate when I receive things like this in the office from
the Heritage Foundation saying how the Clinton administration is
abandoning the war against drugs.

Totaled together, the President's 1995 budget request for inter-
national antidrug programs is $428 million, which is $96 million
less than 1993. In addition, the administration appears to endorse
previously failed drug crop institution programs in Latin America
instead of true eradication efforts.

Mr. Chairman, the drug war has not failed. We have not really
begun to fight on all levels. Now is not the time to withdraw from
the battle. It is time to get the DEA and our friends in
counternarcotics operations in Latin America the support they need
to complete this job.

It is my understanding from reading today's Washington Post
that the administration will begin sharing intelligence with Colom-
bia and Peru once we approve legislation authorizing the use of
force to bring down suspected drug-running planes. That is all well
and good, but what do we do in the meantime? We cannot fight a
war without good intelligence. Let's fight the war on all fronts.

Mr. Chairman, I look forward to the testimony of the witnesses
before us this afternoon.

Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much.

We have a vote going on. The subcommittees will be in recess for
10 minutes.

[Recess.]

Mr. Lantos. The subcommittees will resume.



Congressman Smith, do you have an opening statement?

Mr. Smith. I would like to make it part of the record.

Mr. Lantos. Without objection.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Smith appears in the appendix.]

Mr. Lantos. Before turning to our distinguished witnesses, let
me just make two observations.

I identify myself in very strong measure with the comments of
my distinguished colleague and friend. Chairman Torricelli. But I
would like to observe that some of the comments from the Repub-
lican side would make it appear that we have had a brilliant and
successful antidrug strategy for 12 years, and suddenly in the last
18 months we have fallen down on the job and the record will sure-
ly not support that.

The drug problem in the United States did not begin on January
20 of 1993, and our antidrug strategy with respect to the hemi-
sphere did not begin, whatever it is, 16 months ago. Just as the
whole drug problem is not a partisan problem, I would hope that
my colleagues will approach it in a somewhat less partisan fashion
than what we have seen in the last few minutes.

We will ask our distinguished witnesses to make concise opening
statements. Your prepared presentations will be entered in the
record in their entirety.

We will first hear from the Assistant Secretary for International
Narcotics Matters, the Honorable Robert Gelbard. Mr. Secretary,
the floor is yours. We appreciate your concise approach at the out-
set, so we can get to questions. There will be plenty of questions.

STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ROBERT S. GELBARD, AS-
SISTANT SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS
MATTERS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Mr. Gp:lhahi3. Thank you very much, Chairman Lantos, Chair-
man Torricelli, Congressman Smith. I appreciate the opportunity to
appear before you today with Mr. Constantine and Mr. Sheridan.

Let me thank you from the outset for agreeing to reschedule this
hearing. I understand the demands on the committee's time and
the problems caused by a last-minute postponement. I hope by the
end of today's hearing we will all agree that we were better served
by waiting this past week.

As you requested Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit my full
prepared statement for the record.

Mr. Lantos. Without objection.

Mr. Gklhakd. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I want
to talk today about perceptions. I ask you to take a step back and
look at the world through the eyes of the narcotics trafficker. Un-
fortunately, it doesn't look so bad. Some trends are moving his way.

In some countries, including our own, the trafficker is once again
hearing the sweet, to him, and misleading sounds of debate over
legalization. In Colombia, the Prosecutor General Gustavo de Greiff
has negotiated soft deals with leaders of the Cali cartel, sometimes
bargaining away evidence that we have provided in the process.

In Bolivia, evidence is now coming to light that the previous gov-
ernment was deeply penetrated by traffickers.

Closer to home, last year, the budget of every



Mr. Lantos. May I stop you there? You said deeply penetrated.
How high was it penetrated?

Mr. Gelbard. Mr. Chairman, I was Ambassador to Bolivia dur-
ing the time of much of that government. Certainly members of the
cabinet, some members of the cabinet were involved, and at my in-
sistence, the President of Bolivia fired the Minister of the Interior,
Mr. Capobianco, who was deeply involved in accepting trafficker
money, as was the head of the national police; and we believe there
are others. This is currently an issue under investigation by the
Bolivian Congress, so I would rather not enter into any specifics on
this, respecting their prerogatives.

Mr. Lantos. Thank you.

Mr. Gelbard. Last year, the budget of every U.S. Government
agency dedicated to international counternarcotics was dramati-
cally reduced. My own Bureau's budget dropped 30 percent, with
even deeper cuts to military and economic support funds support-
ing our counternarcotics efforts.

We are reducing staff at several narcotics affairs sections over-
seas. This year's budget picture is no brighter. Thanks in part to
the efforts of some members of this committee, the House appro-
priation for international counternarcotics restores some of last
year's cuts. The Senate bill, however, leaves us at last year's skele-
ton level, well below the President's request.

Mr. Chairman, let me be blunt. I cannot do the job that you ex-
pect of me and the Secretary of State asked of me if I do not have
adequate resources. If we take another year of major funding cuts,
then something has to go. Perhaps we will slash the sustainable
development programs in the Andes and close other programs alto-


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Online LibraryInternational Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on ForeiCounternarcotics strategy for the Western Hemisphere : a new direction? : joint hearing before the Subcommittees on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights and the Western Hemisphere of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congre → online text (page 1 of 18)