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Postre: US: Allegations of CIA Drug Trafficking; on Alfred McCoy (Randy Black, US) (John Eipper, USA, 12/27/09 8:24 am)
Randy Black writes: When John Torok took issue (26 December) with Tim Brown's analysis of drug issues as they related to Southeast Asia, John cited Philippines expert and historian Alfred McCoy's 1970s book The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia. I attempted to examine Dr. McCoy's claims and his charges as they relate to the deeper issues of truth, bigotry and politics. I found that Professor McCoy (U of Wisconsin-Madison) is viewed by other experts on these matters as a racist (against the Hmong), a person who spent very little time in the region during that era (two weeks), did not speak any of the local languages and refused repeated invitations to be escorted back to the scene of his flawed allegations to learn more about the facts of the matters. Regarding Prof. McCoy's The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, one authority stated: My concern then was not for Vang Pao (Hmong, Maj. General in Royal Lao Army) but for McCoy as a scholar who did not flinch from making sweeping generalizations about the involvement in heroin trafficking in Laos by military leaders in that country during the Vietnam War in order to discredit the CIA and those involved with its operations there. "McCoy did not speak any local languages and could not communicate directly with his informants, spent only two weeks in Laos, visited a total of one Hmong village, and talked only to informants and Lao military leaders in the safety of Vientiane, the capital. His 'facts' were all second-hand, based on what other people told him and much of what he was told was further based on suspicion rather than confirmed evidence. "I informed McCoy that in all my 20 years of living in Laos, I had not seen many of the things he alleged to have occurred in areas inhabited by the Hmong. For sure, they did grow and trade in opium--a practice that had been going on for generations and was not illegal in that country at the time. However, there certainly was no heroin manufacturing and distribution, as the Hmong did not know how to turn opium into heroin. I offered to take McCoy back to Laos to research the issue more professionally, with me acting as interpreter and guide as I speak five languages. He told me that he was 'not interested' in my proposal, because the Hmong and Laos were not his 'area of expertise,' adding that his expertise was only in the Philippines. I was surprised that McCoy as a scholar was not interested in the truth, and was content with hear-says as his main sources of information. For his part, Professor McCoy denies ever meeting Dr. Lee and denies being a racist. Source: Dr Gary Yia Lee, Scholar-in-Residence, Center for Hmong Studies, Concordia University, St. Paul 275 North Syndicate Street St. Paul, Minnesota 55104 www.csp.edu/hmongcenter From: http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=6376 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vang_Pao http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/1795/%20alfred_mccoy_on_the_cia_s_road_to_abu_ghraib JE comments: Should he be a self-Googler (and who isn't?), I suspect we'll hear from the Real [Alfred] McCoy in rebuttal. Stay tuned.