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How the US Drug Enforcement Agency became a global intelligence operation

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Monday, December 27, 2010

WASHINGTON – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been transformed into a global intelligence organisation with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics, and an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables.

Created in 1973, the DEA has steadily built its international turf, an expansion primarily driven by the multinational nature of the drug trade but also by forces within the agency seeking a larger mandate.

In far greater detail than previously seen, the cables, from the cache obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to some news organisations, offer glimpses of DEA agents balancing diplomacy and law enforcement in places where it can be hard to tell the politicians from the traffickers, and where drug rings are themselves mini-states whose wealth and violence permit them to run roughshod over struggling governments.

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This article was posted: Monday, December 27, 2010 at 2:39 am





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