CLUELESS IN WASHINGTON

WHY WASN'T THE U.S. WARNED THAT MEXICO WAS ABOUT TO ARREST ITS OWN TOP DRUG FIGHTER FOR CORRUPTION?

No one in Washington expected the news. Bill Clinton's antidrug czar Barry McCaffrey heard it from the State Department, which had found out about it from reporters. The Drug Enforcement Administration was caught flat-footed, as was the CIA. At a press conference, a chagrined Attorney General Janet Reno said, "What I learned was at the point after the arrest was made."

The man arrested was McCaffrey's counterpart in Mexico, General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, a man of reputed honesty and heroism whose appointment only 10 weeks ago McCaffrey had praised effusively. That image began to fade on Feb. 6, when an informant...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!