The French Connection Revisited: The CIA, Irving Brown, and Drug Smuggling as Political Warfare
Douglas Valentine - January 2010
When they hear the words “the French Connection,” most people think of the 1971 Gene Hackman movie, in which a rough and tumble New York City detective corralled a group of Mafia heroin traffickers in January 1962, but failed to capture the suave, insouciant Frenchman who was their source of supply. Indeed, most people think of “the French Connection” as an action-adventure story-not as an example of political warfare. But, in fact, the French Connection is a keyhole through which to view the CIA’s use of the underworld in its larger strategy of political and psychological warfare.
Simply stated, this secret war is a function of American capital’s use of organized criminals in the employ of its private police force, the CIA, to smash Communism everywhere; to suppress labor and undesirable minorities at home; and to expand its influence worldwide, at the expense of unfriendly and friendly foreign nations alike.
Indeed, based on four newly discovered documents, generated by the defunct Federal Bureau of Narcotics (1930-1968), it is now evident that the U.S. government, through the CIA, has historically employed drug smugglers to effect its unstated domestic agenda.1 The French Connection is a prime example, and a principal player in that sordid episode was labor leader Irving Joseph Brown, the American Federation of Labor’s chief overseas representative from 1945 until 1962.
Tags: CIA Drugs