26 April 2012

1960s Acetic Anhydride: Opium to Heroin


The Last Phoenix by Carl Douglass, 1997, Excerpts

Acetic anhydride: the chemical use to convert opium to heroin, shipped in military holds that were as untouchable as the diplomatic pouch. The bags were discretely labeled and handled. The chemical was transported in flour sacks marked with the large lettered logo C.A.R.E., and accompanied by a statement “Gift of the Generous American People.” In the course of their business arrangement, the generous American people shipped in thousands of pounds of the valuable chemical which was then transported by US Army trucks over GVN highways without VC attack and transshipped across the borders of Viet Nam, Laos, and Burma without Pathet Lao, police or customs agent impediment. A considerable amount of money changed hands; large profits were realized; and triumph of international relations of sorts resulted when a common language and purpose [money] was involved.

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