Originally, in More Deaths Than One, I had a war correspondent tell Bob some of his experiences. Since the speech did not add to the story, I killed it, but I am unkilling it here.
“I came here to Vietnam so early in the war that no American flags were being flown anywhere in the country; they were still keeping up the pretense that the United States was merely an advisor to the ARVN, in what was primarily a civil war.
“I was sending out competent, if uninspired articles, when I stumbled upon the story of a lifetime—the CSG was involved in the drug trade! The Combined Studies Group, as I’m sure you know, Bob, is the front under which the CIA is operating.
“I carefully researched the story, and discovered that the drug dealing had started out innocently enough, but that over the years the Agency’s role had increased dramatically.
“It all began when the Agency started to enlist the indigenous hill peoples, the Montagnards, in the fight against the North Vietnamese.
“The Montagnards hated all Vietnamese, who treated them as if they were less than human, but they had a special hatred for the Viet Cong, who demanded that they pay taxes, forced their young men to join their army, and stole their cash crop—opium.
“They were eager for the opportunity to kill the VC, but first they had to work their poppy fields and sell the crop. When the Agency agreed to buy their opium, saving them the trouble of smuggling it out of the country, the Montagnards agreed to join the South Vietnamese Army.
“The Agency sold the raw opium to the Union Corse—a world-wide crime syndicate from the island of Corsica, not far from Sicily. The Union Corse had massive refineries in Marseilles for turning the raw opium into heroin, and a vast network, probably the greatest in the world, for distributing the final product.
“Much of the Agency’s heroin found its way onto college campuses in the United States. Don’t you find it ironic, Bob, that those anti-war activists who think taking heroin is so hip and anti-establishment are, in actuality, funding the CIA’s clandestine operations around the world?”