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Comment: Grigg on this connection

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Grigg on this connection


McLaughlin also came to understand, from first-hand experience, that the Drug War has created an all-encompassing police state that targets not only the innocent public, but also law enforcement officers who become irritants to government-protected criminal cliques.

McLaughlin and three of his colleagues, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration, identified an east coast drug syndicate that was selling heroin and using the proceeds to fund a U.S.-supported political campaign in the Dominican Republic.

The syndicate was operated by leaders and activists in the Dominican Revolutionary Party (DRP) on behalf of its standard-bearer, Jose Francisco Pena-Gomez, who – according to a January 17, 1996 CIA memo obtained by McLaughlin – was the Clinton administration’s choice to occupy the National Palace in Santo Domingo. (Pena-Gomez, as it happens, lost the election.)

After McLaughlin’s squad learned that several suspects were to deliver $550,000 in drug proceeds at a March 28, 1996 DRP fundraiser in Manhattan, they contacted the DEA and arranged a sting operation intended to bring about several high-profile arrests, including that of Pena-Gomez himself.

At the last minute, the operation inexplicably fell apart. Pena-Gomez, who received a conveniently timed anonymous death threat, was taken into custody by the NYPD and spirited back to the Dominican Republic. At least some of the drug proceeds were given to then-Vice President Al Gore at a DNC fundraiser in Coogan’s Irish Pub in New York City’s Washington Heights.

McLaughlin points out that just prior to the sting operation, he had refused a demand from a CIA agent named Victoria Baylor that he provide the names of confidential informants within the Dominican drug network.