Chapter 3. U.S. Policy Towards International Production and Trafficking in Illegal Drugs


143. Memorandum from the Assistant to the President (Moynihan) to Attorney General Mitchell

Moynihan argued that the United States could cripple international heroin trafficking in 1-2 years through diplomatic initiatives with economic inducements. He also argued that the U.S. foreign policy establishment had never taken heroin trafficking seriously.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics I. No classification marking. Copies were sent to Ehrlichman, Chris Miller, and Haig. Moynihan’s memorandum to the Attorney General was not attached.


144. Memorandum from the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of State Rogers and Attorney General Mitchell

The President directed Rogers and Mitchell to study the problem of international trafficking in heroin.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, SOC 12-5 US. Confidential. In a September 30 memorandum to Kissinger, the President’s Assistant Ehrlichman stated: “The President has decided to fully implement Pat Moynihan’s proposal to attack the heroin problem. This means taking a hard line with France and Turkey.” (Ibid.)


145. Memorandum from Alexander Haig of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Haig informed Kissinger that President’s Assistant for Urban Affairs Moynihan wanted to set up a special project group in the White House to deal with international heroin trafficking.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics I. No classification marking. Kissinger wrote the following note on the memorandum: “Where do we stand? If no action, let’s take it over.”


146. Memorandum From Acting Secretary of State Richardson and Attorney General Mitchell to President Nixon

In response to the President’s request, Richardson and Mitchell submitted under a covering memorandum an 18-page analysis of international trafficking in heroin, current methods to suppress it, and additional recommendation actions.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, SOC 11-5 US. Confidential. Redrafted by Levitsky (S/S).


147. Memorandum from Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon

Rogers reported that he had appointed Harry Schwartz as his Special Assistant for Narcotics Matters.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, President’s Evening Reading: Lot File 74 D 164. Secret.


148. Memorandum For the Record

In a meeting of senior officials, the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger re-affirmed the President’s conviction that heroin trafficking must be stopped at the nation’s shores. Administration officials considered the joint report from Secretary of State Rogers and Attorney General Mitchell and reported on their current efforts. The group constituted themselves as a Task Force under Department of State leadership.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics I. Confidential. Sent for information.


149. Memorandum For the Record

The memorandum communicated the record of first meeting of the Task Force on Heroin Trafficking.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 357, Narcotics I. Confidential. Sent for information. Drafted by Downey. Tab A was attached but not published.


150. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for Urban Affairs (Moynihan) to President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Moynihan was critical of the task force report on heroin prepared by the Department of State, and suggested that he be sent as an envoy to the Presidents of France and Turkey.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics I. Confidential. Moynihan added a postscript noting that “Turkey was co-pilot’ with USA on air pollution” in the NATO Committee on Challenges of Modern Society and that “Ingersoll should accompany me.” Haig wrote the following note at the bottom of the page: “Haig discussed w/Moynihan 6 Nov. He agrees with HAK psn that he not be US negotiator or Rep & that we pursue as outlined. AH”


151. Telegram 188129 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey

The Department transmitted a message from President Nixon to Turkish Prime Minister Demirel that expressed concern about international heroin trafficking and its domestic effects within the United States.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files1967-69, INCO-DRUGS 17 US. Confidential; Priority; Limdis. Drafted by Schwartz, Cash, and Charles R. Hartley (NEA/UR) on November 4; cleared by Rockwell and Kissinger; and approved by U. Alexis Johnson, Brown (S/S) and Kissinger.


152. Telegram 191974 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Burma

The telegram transmitted an oral message for the Burmese Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding President Nixon’s concern about international narcotics trafficking.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, INCO-DRUGS ASIA SE. Confidential. Repeated to Bangkok and Vientiane. Drafted by William W. Thomas, Jr. (EA) on November 7, cleared in EA, S/NM, and AID, and approved by Schwartz.


153. Telegram 7775 From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State

Ambassador Handley reported that he had delivered the President’s message to Turkish Prime Minister Demirel and presented him with a proposal to eradicate poppy production. Demirel agreed to study the problem.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files1967-69, INCO-DRUGS 17 US. Confidential; Priority; Limdis.


154. Telegram 7825 From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State

Ambassador Handley proposed a strategy for the United States to secure Turkish cooperation in the elimination of opium production.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, INCO-DRUGS 17 US. Confidential; Priority; Limdis.


155. Memorandum From Helmut Sonnenfeldt of the National Security Council staff to President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Sonnenfeldt provided an account of what had been accomplished since the Heroin Traffic Task Force meeting and requested that Kissinger convene another meeting of the Task Force.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics I. Sent for action. Kissinger approved the recommendation on November 21. The memorandum to the Deputy Attorney General was attached but not published.


156. Letter From French President Pompidou to President Nixon

Pompidou responded to Nixon’s message on curbing international opium trafficking.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, INCO-DRUGS 17 US. No classification marking. Nixon and Pompidou apparently did not discuss narcotics when the French President visited Washington March 23-26, but Rogers and French Foreign Minister Shuman did on February 25, 1970, see Document 164.


157. Telegram 16094 From the Embassy in Thailand to the Department of State

The Embassy reported on the Thai Government’s commitment to the eradication of narcotics trafficking and also analyzed the obstacles hindering the Thai effort.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, INCO DRUGS 17 THAI. Confidential. Repeated to Rangoon and Vientiane.


158. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Kissinger recommended that Nixon receive the Turkish Ambassador after receiving the Turkish Government’s response to Ambassador Handley’s next approach.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics I. Confidential. Sent for action. According to a notation Kissinger made on the memorandum, the President approved the recommendation.


159. Memorandum from the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Kissinger characterized French cooperation on the heroin trafficking problem as “outstanding” following the Nixon-Pompidou exchange of messages and provided examples of improved cooperation.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics I. Confidential. Sent for information.


160. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs (Johnson)

Kissinger relayed the President’s approval of the Department of State’s plan to ask the Turkish Government to destroy its present opium crop in return for financial inducements. Kissinger notified the Department that Assistant to the President Haldeman’s assistant, EGIL KROGH, would now supervise U.S. Government efforts to eliminate Turkey’s illegal opium production.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, INCO-DRUGS 17 US-TUR. Confidential.


161. Telegram 0378 From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State

Ambassador Handley described a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Demirel on opium production and conveyed President Nixon’s concerns about heroin addiction in the U.S.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, INCO-DRUGS TUR. Confidential; Limdis. Repeated to Paris.


162. Telegram 1682 From the Embassy in France to the Department of State

The Embassy in France provided guidance on the problem of heroin trafficking in France in advance of the visit to Washington of French President Pompidou.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, INCO-DRUG S FR. Confidential. Pass to BNDD and Moynihan.


163. Memorandum of Conversation

In a meeting with French Foreign Minister Schumann, Secretary of State Rogers emphasized President Nixon’s strong personal interest in narcotics control.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, SOC 11-5. Confidential. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room of the White House and began at 11:45 a.m. Drafted by Long.


164. Telegram 1466 From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State

Ambassador Handley criticized tactics used by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs that he believed imperiled cooperation with the Turkish Government on destruction of the opium crop.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, INCO-DRUGS TUR. Confidential; Limdis.


165. Telegram 42685 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey

The Department instructed Ambassador Handley to put into effect a plan to collect Turkey’s opium output to prevent diversion to the heroin market.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files1970-73, INCO-DRUGS TUR. Confidential; Priority; Limdis. Repeated to Paris for Cusack. Drafted by Hartley and Schwartz on March 20; cleared by Davies, Cash, Ingersoll, AID, and William Watts of the NSC staff; and approved by Richardson.


166. Memorandum of Conversation

The memorandum recorded the conversation between Secretary of State Rogers and Turkish Ambassador Esenbel on control of the Turkish opium crop.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, INCO-DRUGS 17 US-TUR. Confidential. The meeting was held in Rogers’ office at 3 p.m. Drafted by Cash.


167. Telegram 1957 From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State

Turkish Prime Minister Demirel told Ambassador Handley that the Turkish Government could not plow under the current opium crop because it would lead to civil disturbance and create public support for more planting.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files1970-73, INCO-DRUGS TUR. Confidential; Limdis. Repeated to Paris.


168. Memorandum From Helmet Sonnenfeldt of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Sonnenfeldt provided Kissinger with talking points for a meeting of the Heroin Task Force and included a recommendation by President’s Assistant for Urban Affairs Moynihan to replace Ambassador Handley if Turkey planted an opium crop in the fall.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics II. Confidential. Sent for information. A notation on the memorandum indicates that Kissinger saw it. Tab B is Document 167. Tabs C and D were attached but not published.


169. Telegram 68968 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey

Under Secretary of State Richardson told Ambassador Handley that the Department of State was “on the spot” to produce results on suppression of the Turkish opium crop.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, INCO-DRUGS TUR. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by Schwartz, cleared by Eliot, and approved by Richardson.


170. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Richardson) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Richardson reported that the best strategy was to pursue Turkish opium suppression in a multilateral setting and that the matter should be raised at an ad hoc meeting of the CCMS.

Source: National Archives, Central Files 1970-73, INCO-DRUGS TUR. Confidential. Copies were sent to Finch and Moynihan.


171. Memorandum From Arthur T. Downey of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Downey provided a briefing memorandum and talking points for Kissinger to use at an upcoming Heroin Task Force meeting.

Source: Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics II. Sent for information. Tab A is Document 170. The covering memorandum of May 21 from Sonnenfeldt to Kissinger was attached but not published. Tab B was not attached. Tab C was attached but not published.


172. Memorandum From Arthur T. Downey of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Downey transmitted to Kissinger under a covering memorandum a summary record of the June 9 Heroin Task Force meeting.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics II. Confidential; Sensitive. Sent for information. A copy was sent to Saunders. Kissinger wrote the following note at the bottom of the page: “ What conclusion did you reach or may I not know? HK.”