ACCESSION NUMBER:323977 FILE ID:LEF319 DATE:01/26/94 TITLE:CIA DISCLOSES ROLE IN WAR AGAINST DRUGS (01/26/94) TEXT:*94012619.LEF CIA CHIEF SAYS AGENCY ENGAGED IN ANTIDR CIA DISCLOSES ROLE IN WAR AGAINST DRUGS (Woolsey says agency works with DEA, FBI) nrb (630) (Spanish coming) By Norma Romano-Benner USIA Staff Writer WASHINGTON -- The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), normally the silent hand of the U.S. government, plays an active role in the war against drugs, working with fellow agencies to "disrupt and dismantle the entire chain of drug trafficking." In open testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Jan. 25, CIA Director R. James Woolsey said his agency "plays a constructive role around the world in countering the flow of illegal drugs into this country." Woolsey said the CIA focuses its efforts "on obtaining the information necessary for disrupting and dismantling the entire chain of drug trafficking -- transportation, finances, and chain of command.... We do this against traffickers both in Latin America and in the Far East." He said that the CIA and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) provided "essential intelligence support" leading to the discovery of Colombia's Medellin cartel leader Pablo Escobar. Escobar was gunned down in early December as he attempted to flee from his hideaway in Medellin. The challenge posed by the expanding drug trafficking network worldwide, Woolsey added, "cannot be met by targeting one sector alone, nor can it be accomplished by one agency alone. "Our intelligence work in support of law enforcement efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) will continue because we believe that only through coordinated efforts can we hope to defeat this cancer on our society." Woolsey reminded the senators that counternarcotics work still faces hazards, including the temptation of bribery and extortion. "In this field we can never guarantee to you that we and the other U.S. agencies involved will never be betrayed by those who assist us in, say, Latin America or Asia," he said. "Part of the unfortunate reality of the counternarcotics business is that local foreign officials sometime succumb to the lure of drug money. Moreover, American officials -- ours and those of other agencies -- are not always correct in the difficult judgments that must be made in this complex area." Like narcotics trafficking, and despite the end of the Cold War, Woolsey said terrorism and political instability worldwide continue to pose a threat to the national security of the United States. 1 "Progress is occurring, but it is spotty," he said. "Local strife in Somalia and Haiti and the tragedy in Bosnia continue to threaten stability in those countries and nearby regions." On the positive side, Woolsey noted, "the political, security and economic pictures are generally in the range from light gray to bright" in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, and Europe. He warned that terrorism remains a problem and is not confined to the Middle East. "It's still being used in Latin America and in Western Europe," he said. "Terrorism has not abated. There were 427 terrorist incidents worldwide last year compared to 362 in 1992. Indeed, terrorist incidents could increase as a result of growing ethnic, religious, and regional conflicts throughout the globe." To fight terrorism, Woolsey pledged the cooperation of the intelligence community. "We will continue to support the FBI and the Justice Department here at home as well as foreign intelligence organizations abroad, in combatting terrorism. "Our work must often be done out of the glare of publicity, and you will rarely find us speaking out about the successes we've had in disrupting or foiling terrorist plots. This is because we need to protect those who would provide us with vital information and to protect methods critical to us if we're to continue to keep Americans out of harm's way." NNNN .