A groundbreaking study published in 1972 by Yale University doctoral student Alfred McCoy. It was the first book to prove CIA and U.S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. Added chapters (in the May 2003 Revised Print) detail U.S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs. Continue article…
Tooltip Tags: drug trafficking
President Trump’s first steps to secure the U.S. borders as he promised during his run for the presidency were greeted by protest, demonstrations, and outrage. Yet the record has been clear for years that our country is at grave risk, not only from those who cross our porous borders to do us harm, but also from those who have turned a blind eye and refuse to see what has been occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In August 2014, Judicial Watch (J.W.) broke the story that Islamic terrorist groups, including ISIS and al-Qaeda, were operating in the Mexican border city, Juarez, and planning attacks against the United States and that Fort Bliss, the El Paso Army installation, was beefing up base security. Remarkably, the Department of Homeland Security failed to respond to the story itself and to direct inquiries from conservative, non-partisan Judicial Watch.
A few years earlier, at an El Paso meeting with border city mayors, DHS chief Janet Napolitano stated, “There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been.”
In a reproach to public concerns about cross-border terrorist activity and Republican opposition to the Obama administration’s lax border and illegal immigration policies, she asserted, “That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been.”
Clearly, it was politically inconvenient for Napolitano to admit that the southern border was compromised, serving as the nexus of drug cartels that control businesses worth hundreds of billions of dollars and of Islamic terrorist group operatives, as cogently detailed by Judicial Watch investigations.
Adding their voices to the politically correct chorus on border security were FBI director James Comey and Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke (D). In 2015, Comey responded to J.W.’s report by proclaiming it “nonsense.” He took a swipe at the government watchdog by complaining about the inconvenience it posed to his staff to chase down spurious charges. Congressman O’Rourke‘s comments arose from his background as a former El Paso city councilman, known for his boosterism of neighboring Juarez, Mexico, who had attempted to stop the Minuteman Project – a citizen effort dedicated to patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border – and had sponsored a resolution asking the federal government to end the prohibition of illegal drugs. Not surprisingly, O’Rourke responded to border security concerns with “[t]here has never been a terrorist organization or terrorist plot that has successfully entered this country through the southern border.”
The pushback from the FBI and other government officials was surprising, especially at a time when there were anti-ISIS investigations in all 50 states. According to a study from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, “As of the fall of 2015, U.S. authorities speak of some 250 Americans who have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State (ISIS) and 900 active investigations against ISIS sympathizers in all 50 states.”
A recently released report from the Texas Department of Public Safety in collaboration with other law enforcement and homeland security agencies confirms terrorist infiltration across the U.S.-Mexico border. It cites examples of jihadists who have crossed the border since 2012, including several who have used the opportunity to attempt travel to Syria to join ISIS.
In “The Sun City Cell,” a film produced by Judicial Watch in collaboration with Blaze TV, former military intelligence officer Chris Farrell exposes the fallacy of such denials as he reveals the underbelly of life at the southern border: an extensive narco-terrorist network with ties to cartels, gangs, jihadist groups, law enforcement, and politicians vying for money and power. Farrell has investigated the region for four years and conducted extensive interviews with law enforcement, government officials, civilians, and even sources with direct contact with cartel members. He reveals how unpatrolled remote farm roads, unguarded border areas, unsecured private airstrips, and hundreds of sanctuary cities amount to a border-jumper’s dream and an open invitation to criminals and terrorists.
Farrell, who currently serves as director of research and investigations for Judicial Watch, explains how the Juarez-El Paso corridor is a secure route for smuggling all kinds of contraband – money, drugs, people, weapons – with the express assistance of corrupt and incompetent government officials on both sides of the border. He describes how border-crossers can easily acquire new identities replete with fake documents and obtain training in language, culture, reconnaissance, and terrorist tactics. A symbiotic win-win relationship between the cartels and Islamists offers mutual assistance with counterfeiting expertise, drug-harvesting techniques, smuggling operations, and guerrilla warfare training.
According to Farrell and his informants, Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, the second largest binational metropolitan area on the Mexico-U.S. border, are inextricably linked cartel-run cities. They inhabit opposite sides of the Rio Grande and are connected by four international ports. Juarez, situated on the Mexico-U.S. border just south of El Paso with a population of 1.5 million, has been billed as “the world’s most violent city.” It is home to over 300 maquiladora manufacturing or export assembly plants employing over 250,000 workers, which means constant cross-border traffic, not all of it legitimate.
In direct contrast, El Paso, a city of 700,000, often referred to as “the safest city in America,” is an air, truck, and rail hub for commercial traffic. Its low crime rates belie the overriding presence and influence of the cartels. According to informants, the cartels control law enforcement and government officials and won’t tolerate any openly unlawful activity by its associates that could disrupt business in what is considered its operational base in the U.S.
According to an El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization report, in 2007, there were close to 23 million crossings by pedestrians, commuters, and commercial trucks between Juarez and El Paso. With the constant movement of people and goods back and forth, the area presents great opportunities for moving contraband, money, and people across the border.
The extent of the threat is exemplified by thwarted Chicago-area terrorist attacks planned by two wanted senior-level al-Qaeda officers who entered the U.S. from Juarez in 2009. According to Judicial Watch, Adnan el Shukrijuma, a commercial pilot and explosives expert billed as al-Qaeda’s #2 and “the next Mohammed Atta,” and Jaber Elbaneh, an associate of the Lackawanna Six terrorist cell that trained with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, easily entered the U.S. by avoiding established border crossings altogether. They flew unhindered from Juarez, Mexico to the Cielo Dorado Estates Airport, a private airfield eight miles across the border, a short distance from El Paso, Texas.
Once in El Paso, the pair met with Emad Karakrah, an ISIS operative and transportation and logistics expert involved in smuggling operations for the cartel, and Hector Pedroza Huerta, his longtime associate and an illegal alien with multiple arrests for intoxicated driving, to identify potential terrorist targets inside the United States. Together, they planned to attack Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios and the Sears Tower in Chicago.
After renting a U-Haul trailer and purchasing a step van, they acquired Tannerite, a binary explosive, legal for purchase in all 50 states and used for exploding targets in firearms practice, and C-4, a malleable plastic explosive used by the U.S. Armed Forces and acquired through access to Fort Bliss in El Paso. Karakrah and Huerta then drove to Chicago, where they were foiled by law enforcement.
Curiously, at the time of Karakrah’s and Huerta’s apprehension, the FBI did not publicize the thwarted attack or release any pertinent information. The perpetrators were remanded to county jails on lesser charges and soon released. Requests for information from the FBI and the Department of Justice went unanswered. It wasn’t until five years later that news of the foiled attack was revealed, when two unrelated arrests brought the situation to light.
On August 28, 2014, Karakrah was arrested in Chicago after leading the police on a high-speed chase while flying an ISIS flag out of the window of his car. When officers attempted to inspect his vehicle, he threatened to detonate an explosive device. A few weeks earlier, Huerta, his partner in crime, was arrested in El Paso for a third DWI.
After their arrests, it was revealed that both men, alleged smugglers of drugs and weapons, had partnered in a plan to commit the Chicago bombings at the behest of two of the FBI’s “most wanted” terrorists: Jaber Elbaneh and Adnan el Shukrijuma. Curiously, neither Karakrah nor Huerta faced federal charges for their respective roles in the failed plots. Remarkably, both men were released from custody in 2015 on plea deals, and their current whereabouts are unknown.
Surprisingly, the attempted bombing received little media attention. Instead of arresting Karakrah in 2009, the FBI enlisted him as a confidential informant. It is speculated that no federal action may have been taken for political reasons, either to maintain Obama’s charade that al-Qaeda had been defeated and that “ISIS is a J.V. team” or to avoid the embarrassment of revealing that people implicated in attacks were cooperating with the government.
In December 2014, Shukrajumah, who had left the country to avoid capture and questioning, was killed by the Pakistan Army. Possibly, as a top al-Qaeda leader and coordinator of terrorist operations wanted by the U.S. government, he represented too great a risk to future al-Qaeda operations.
Clearly, every part of the country is affected by the growing threat posed by cartels, terrorist networks, and criminals who traffic in drugs, humans, weapons, and money. This bad situation deteriorated further under Barack Obama’s lax border and immigration policies and his mandate to reduce the presence and authority of law enforcement and border and customs agencies.
The Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C. reported that under the Obama administration, the number of illegal aliens selected for deportation from the United States declined 34% between FY2011 and FY2013, and criminal arrests declined by 11% from FY2012 to FY2013. In 2012, Obama closed nine border stations: six in Texas and one each in California, Montana, and Idaho.
Fortunately, the days of Mexican drug cartels and terrorists being able to operate with impunity on both sides of the border may be over. In October 2016, presidential candidate Trump said, “I have a message for the drug dealers, for the gang members and the criminal cartels: your days are numbered.”
Hopefully, President Trump’s pledge and his recent executive orders to build a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border, end aid to sanctuary cities, and limit immigration are just the start of efforts to enforce immigration laws, secure the border, and put an end to this grave threat to the homeland.
The first indelible image of the war in Afghanistan for many Americans was probably that of CBS anchorman Dan Rather, wrapped in the voluminous drapery of a mujahedin fighter, looking like a healthy relative of Lawrence of Arabia (albeit with hair that seemed freshly blow-dried, as some viewers were quick to point out). From his secret mountainside “somewhere in the Hindu Kush,” Rather unloaded on his audience a barrowload of nonsense about the conflict. The Soviets, Rather confided portentously, had put a bounty on his head “of many thousands of dollars.” He went on, “It was the best compliment they could have given me. And having a price put on my head was a small price to pay for the truths we told about Afghanistan.”
Every one of these observations turned out to be entirely false. Rather described the government of Hafizullah Amin as a “Moscow-installed puppet regime in Kabul.” But Amin had closer ties to the CIA than he did to the KGB. Rather called the mujahedin the “Afghan freedom fighters … who were engaged in a deeply patriotic fight to the death for home and hearth.” The mujahedin were scarcely fighting for freedom, in any sense Rather would have been comfortable with, but instead to impose one of the most repressive brands of Islamic fundamentalism known to the world, barbarous, ignorant and notably cruel to women.
It was a “fact,” Rather announced, that the Soviets had used chemical weapons against Afghan villagers. This was a claim promoted by the Reagan administration, which charged that the extraordinarily precise number of 3,042 Afghans had been killed by this yellow chemical rain, a substance that had won glorious propaganda victories in its manifestation in Laos a few years earlier, when the yellow rain turned out to be bee feces heavily loaded with pollen. As Frank Brodhead put it in the London Guardian, “Its composition: one part bee feces, plus many parts State Department disinformation mixed with media gullibility.”
Rather claimed that the mujahedin were severely underequipped, doing their best with Kalashnikov rifles taken from dead Soviet soldiers. In fact the mujahedin were extremely well-equipped, being the recipients of CIA-furnished weapons in the most ” “expensive covert war the Agency had ever mounted. They did carry Soviet weapons, but they came courtesy of the CIA. Rather also showed news footage that he claimed was of Soviet bombers strafing defenseless Afghan villages. This footage was staged, with the “Soviet bomber” actually a Pakistani air force plane on a training mission over northwest Pakistan.
CBS claimed to have discovered in Soviet-bombed areas stuffed animals filled with Soviet explosives, designed to blow Afghan children to bits. These booby-trapped toys had in fact been manufactured by the mujahedin for the exclusive purpose of gulling CBS News, as an entertaining article in the New York Post later made clear.
Rather made his heroically filmed way to Yunas Khalis, described as the leader of the Afghan warriors. In tones of awe he normally reserves for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, Rather recalls in his book, The Camera Never Blinks Twice, “Belief in ‘right’ makes ‘might’ may have been fading in other parts of the world. In Afghanistan it was alive and well, and beating the Soviets.” Khalis was a ruthless butcher, with his troops fondly boasting of their slaughter of 700 prisoners of war. He spent most of his time fighting, but the wars were not primarily with the Soviets. Instead, Khalis battled other Afghan rebel groups, the object of the conflicts being control of poppy fields and the roads and trails from them to his seven heroin labs near his headquarters in the town of Ribat al Ali. Sixty percent of Afghanistan’s opium crop was cultivated in the Helmand Valley, with an irrigation infrastructure underwritten by USAID.
In his dispatches from the front Rather did mention the local opium trade, but in a remarkably disingenuous fashion. “Afghans,” he said, “had turned Darra into a boom town, selling their home-grown opium for the best available weapons, then going back into Afghanistan to fight.”
Now Darra is a town in northwest Pakistan where the CIA had set up a factory to manufacture Soviet-style weapons that it was giving away to all Afghan comers. The weapons factory was run under contract to Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI). Much of the opium trucked into Darra from Afghanistan by the mujahedin was sold to the Pakistani governor of the northwest territory, Lieutenant General Fazle Huq. From this opium the heroin was refined in labs in Darra, placed on Pakistani army trucks and transported to Karachi, then shipped to Europe and the United States.
Rather belittled the Carter administration’s reaction to the Soviet-backed coup in 1979, charging that Carter’s response had been tepid and slow in coming. In fact, President Carter had reacted with a range of moves that should have been the envy of the Reagan hawks who, a couple of years later, were belaboring him for being a Cold War wimp. Not only did Carter withdraw the United States from the 1980 Olympics, he slashed grain sales to the Soviet Union, to the great distress of Midwestern farmers; put the SALT II treaty hold; pledged to increase the US defense budget by 5 percent a year until the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan; and unveiled the Carter doctrine of containment in southern Asia, which CIA historian John Ranelagh says led Carter to approve “more secret CIA operations than Reagan later did.”
Carter later confessed in his memoirs that he was more shaken by the invasion of Afghanistan than any other event of his presidency, including the Iranian revolution. Carter was convinced by the CIA that it could be the start of a push by the Soviets toward the Persian Gulf, a scenario that led the president to seriously consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
Three weeks after Soviet tanks rolled into Kabul, Carter’s secretary of defense, Harold Brown, was in Beijing, arranging for a weapons transfer from the Chinese to the CIA-backed Afghani troops mustered in Pakistan. The Chinese, who were generously compensated for the deal, agreed and even consented to send military advisers. Brown worked out a similar arrangement with Egypt to buy $15 million worth of weapons. “The US contacted me,” Anwar Sadat recalled shortly before his assassination. “They told me, ‘Please open your stores for us so that we can give the Afghans the armaments they need to fight.’ And I gave them the armaments. The transport of arms to the Afghans started from Cairo on US planes.”
But few in the Carter administration believed the rebels had any chance of toppling the Soviets. Under most scenarios, the war seemed destined to be a slaughter, with civilians and the rebels paying a heavy price. The objective of the Carter doctrine was more cynical. It was to bleed the Soviets, hoping to entrap them in a Vietnam-style quagmire. The high level of civilian casualties didn’t faze the architects of covert American intervention. “I decided I could live with that,” recalled Carter’s CIA director Stansfield Turner.
Prior to the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan barely registered as a topic of interest for the national press, surfacing in only a handful of annual newspaper stories. In December 1973, when détente was near its zenith, the Wall Street Journal ran a rare front-page story on the country, titled “Do the Russians Covet Afghanistan? If so, It’s Hard to Figure Why.” Reporter Peter Kann, later to become the Journal’s chairman and publisher, wrote that “great power strategists tend to think of Afghanistan as a kind of fulcrum upon which the world balance of power tips. But from close up, Afghanistan tends to look less like a fulcrum or a domino or a steppingstone than like a vast expanse of desert waste with a few fly-ridden bazaars, a fair number of feuding tribes and a lot of miserably poor people.”
After the Soviet Union invaded, this wasteland swiftly acquired the status of a precious geopolitical prize. A Journal editorial following the Soviet takeover said Afghanistan was “more serious than a mere stepping-stone” and, in response, called for stationing of US troops in the Middle East, increased military outlays, expanded covert operations and reinstatement of draft registration. Drew Middleton, then a New York Times Defense Department correspondent, filed a tremulous post-invasion analysis in January 1980: “The conventional wisdom in the Pentagon,” he wrote, “is that in purely military terms, the Russians are in a far better position vis-à-vis the United States than Hitler was against Britain and France in 1939.”
The Pentagon and CIA agitprop machine went into high gear: on January 3, 1980, George Wilson of the Washington Post reported that military leaders hoped the invasion would “help cure the Vietnam “never again’ hangover of the American public.” Newsweek said the “Soviet thrust” represented “a severe threat” to US interests: “Control of Afghanistan would put the Russians within 350 miles of the Arabian Sea, the oil lifeline of the West and Japan. Soviet warplanes based in Afghanistan could cut the lifeline at will.” The New York Times endorsed Carter’s call for increased military spending and supported the Cruise and Trident missile programs, “faster research on the MX or some other mobile land missile,” and the creation of a rapid deployment force for Third World intervention, calling the latter an “investment in diplomacy.”
In sum, Afghanistan proved to be a glorious campaign for both the CIA and Defense Department, a dazzling offensive in which waves of credulous and compliant journalists were dispatched to promulgate the ludicrous proposition that the United States was under military threat. By the time Reagan assumed office, he and his CIA director William Casey saw support for their own stepped-up Afghan plan from an unlikely source, the Democrat-controlled Congress, which was pushing to double spending on the war. “It was a windfall [for the Reagan administration],” a congressional staffer told the Washington Post. “They’d faced so much opposition to covert action in Central America and here comes the Congress helping and throwing money at them, putting money their way and they say, ‘Who are we to say no?’ ”
As the CIA increased its backing of the mujahedin (the CIA budget for Afghanistan finally reached $3.2 billion, the most expensive secret operation in its history) a White House member of the president’s Strategic Council on Drug Abuse, David Musto, informed the administration that the decision to arm the mujahedin would misfire: “I told the Council that we were going into Afghanistan to support the opium growers in their rebellion against the Soviets. Shouldn’t we try to avoid what we’d done in Laos? Shouldn’t we try to pay the growers if they will eradicate their opium production? There was silence.”
After issuing this warning, Musto and a colleague on the council, Joyce Lowinson, continued to question US policy, but found their queries blocked by the CIA and the State Department. Frustrated, they then turned to the New York Times op-ed page and wrote, on May 22, 1980: “We worry about the growing of opium in Afghanistan or Pakistan by rebel tribesmen who apparently are the chief adversaries of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. Are we erring in befriending these tribes as we did in Laos when Air America (chartered by the Central Intelligence Agency) helped transport crude opium from certain tribal areas?” But Musto and Lowinson met with silence once again, not only from the administration but from the press. It was heresy to question covert intervention in Afghanistan.
Later in 1980, Hoag Levins, a writer for Philadelphia Magazine, interviewed a man he identified as a “high level” law enforcement official in the Carter administration’s Justice Department and quoted him thus: “You have the administration tiptoeing around this like it’s a land mine. The issue of opium and heroin in Afghanistan is explosive … In the State of the Union speech, the president mentioned drug abuse but he was very careful to avoid mentioning Afghanistan, even though Afghanistan is where things are really happening right now … Why aren’t we taking a more critical look at the arms we are now shipping into gangs of drug runners who are obviously going to use them to increase the efficiency of their drug-smuggling operation?”
The DEA was well aware that the mujahedin rebels were deeply involved in the opium trade. The drug agency’s reports in 1980 showed that Afghan rebel incursions from their Pakistan bases into Soviet-held positions were “determined in part by opium planting and harvest seasons.” The numbers were stark and forbidding. Afghan opium production tripled between 1979 and 1982. There was evidence that by 1981 the Afghan heroin producers had captured 60 percent of the heroin market in Western Europe and the United States (these are UN and DEA figures).
In 1971, during the height of the CIA’s involvement in Laos, there were about 500,000 heroin addicts in the United States. By the mid- to late 1970s this total had fallen to 200,000. But in 1981 with the new flood of Afghan heroin and consequent low prices, the heroin addict population rose to 450,000. In New York City in 1979 alone (the year that the flow of arms to the mujahedin began), heroin-related drug deaths increased by 77 percent. The only publicly acknowledged US casualties on the Afghan battlefields were some Black Muslims who journeyed to the Hindu Kush from the United States to fight on the Prophet’s behalf. But the drug casualties inside the US from the secret CIA war, particularly in the inner cities, numbered in the thousands, plus untold social blight and suffering.
Since the seventeenth century opium poppies have been grown in the so-called Golden Crescent, where the highlands of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran all converge. For nearly four centuries this was an internal market. By the 1950s very little opium was produced in either Afghanistan or Pakistan, with perhaps 2,500 acres in these two countries under cultivation. The fertile growing fields of Afghanistan’s Helmand Valley, by the 1980s under intensive opium poppy cultivation, were covered with vineyards, wheat fields and cotton plantations.
In Iran, the situation was markedly different in the early 1950s. The country, dominated by British and US oil companies and intelligence agencies, was producing 600 tons of opium a year and had 1.3 million opium addicts, second only to China where, at the same moment, the western opium imperialists still held sway. Then, in 1953, Mohammed Mossadegh, Iran’s nationalist equivalent of China’s Sun Yat-sen, won elections and immediately moved to suppress the opium trade. Within a few weeks, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was calling Mossadegh a madman, and Dulles’s brother Allen, head of the CIA, dispatched Kermit Roosevelt to organize a coup against him. In August 1953 Mossadegh was overthrown, the Shah was installed by the CIA, and the oil and opium fields of Iran were once again in friendly hands. Production continued unabated until the assumption of power in 1979 of the Ayatollah Khomeini, at which point Iran had a very serious opium problem in terms of the addiction of its own population. Unlike the mujahedin chieftains, the Ayatollah was a strict constructionist of Islamic law on the matter of intoxicants: addicts and dealers faced the death penalty. Opium production in Iran dropped drastically.
In Afghanistan in the 1950s and 1960s, the relatively sparse opium trade was controlled by the royal family, headed by King Mohammed Zahir, The large feudal estates all had their opium fields, primarily to feed domestic consumption of the drug. In April 1978 a populist coup overthrew the regime of Mohammed Daoud, who had formed an alliance with the Shah of Iran. The Shah had shoveled money in Daoud’s direction – $2 billion on one report – and the Iranian secret police, the Savak, were imported to train Daoud’s internal security force. The new Afghan government was led by Noor Mohammed Taraki. The Taraki administration moved toward land reform, hence an attack on the opium-growing feudal estates. Taraki went to the UN, where he requested and received loans for crop substitution for the poppy fields.
Taraki also pressed hard against opium production in the border areas held by fundamentalists, since the latter were using opium revenues to finance attacks on the Afghan central government, which they regarded as an unwholesome incarnation of modernity that allowed women to go to school and outlawed arranged marriages and the bride price.
By the spring of 1979 the character of Dan Rather’s heroes, the mujahedin, was also beginning to emerge. The Washington Post reported that the mujahedin liked to “torture their victims by first cutting off their noses, ears and genitals, then removing one slice of skin after another.” Over that year the mujahedin evinced particular animosity toward westerners, killing six West Germans and a Canadian tourist and severely beating a US military attaché. It’s also ironic that in that year the mujahedin were getting money not only from the CIA but from Libya’s Moammar Qaddaffi, who sent $250,000 in their direction.
In the summer of 1979, over six months before the Soviets moved in, the US State Department produced a memorandum making clear how it saw the stakes, no matter how modern-minded Taraki might be, or how feudal the mujahedin: “The United States’ larger interest … would be served by the demise of the Taraki-Amin regime, despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan.” The report continued, “The overthrow of the DRA [Democratic Republic of Afghanistan] would show the rest of the world, particularly the Third World, that the Soviets’ view of the socialist course of history as being inevitable is not accurate.”
Hard pressed by conservative forces in Afghanistan, Taraki appealed to the Soviets for help, which they declined to furnish on the grounds that this was exactly what their mutual enemies were waiting for.
In September 1979 Taraki was killed in a coup organized by Afghan military officers. Hafizullah Amin was installed as president. He had impeccable western credentials, having been to Columbia University in New York and the University of Wisconsin. Amin had served as the president of the Afghan Students Association, which had been funded by the Asia Foundation, a CIA pass-through group, or front. After the coup Amin began meeting regularly with US Embassy officials at a time when the US was arming Islamic rebels in Pakistan. Fearing a fundamentalist, US-backed regime pressing against its own border, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in force on December 27, 1979.
Then began the Carter-initiated CIA buildup that so worried White House drug expert David Musto. In a replication of what happened following the CIA-backed coup in Iran, the feudal estates were soon back in opium production and the crop-substitution program ended.
Because Pakistan had a nuclear program, the US had a foreign aid ban on the country. This was soon lifted as the waging of a proxy war in Afghanistan became prime policy. In fairly short order, without any discernible slowdown in its nuclear program, Pakistan became the third largest recipient of US aid worldwide, right behind Israel and Egypt. Arms poured into Karachi from the US and were shipped up to Peshawar by the National Logistics Cell, a military unit controlled by Pakistan’s secret police, the ISI. From Peshawar those guns that weren’t simply sold to any and all customers (the Iranians got 16 Stinger missiles, one of which was used against a US helicopter in the Gulf) were divvied out by the ISI to the Afghan factions.
Though the US press, Dan Rather to the fore, portrayed the mujahedin as a unified force of freedom fighters, the fact (unsurprising to anyone with an inkling of Afghan history) was that the mujahedin consisted of at least seven warring factions, all battling for territory and control of the opium trade. The ISI gave the bulk of the arms – at one count 60 percent – to a particularly fanatical fundamentalist and woman-hater Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who made his public debut at the University of Kabul by killing a leftist student. In 1972 Hekmatyar fled to Pakistan, where he became an agent of the ISI. He urged his followers to throw acid in the faces of women not wearing the veil, kidnapped rival leaders, and built up his CIA-furnished arsenal against the day the Soviets would leave and the war for the mastery of Afghanistan would truly break out.
Using his weapons to get control of the opium fields, Hekmatyar and his men would urge the peasants, at gun point, to increase production. They would collect the raw opium and bring it back to Hekmatyar’s six heroin factories in the town of Koh-i-Soltan.
One of Hekmatyar’s chief rivals in the mujahedin, Mullah Nassim, controlled the opium poppy fields in the Helmand Valley, producing 260 tons of opium a year. His brother, Mohammed Rasul, defended this agricultural enterprise by stating, “We must grow and sell opium to fight our holy war against the Russian nonbelievers.” Despite this well-calculated pronouncement, they spent almost all their time fighting their fellow-believers, using the weapons sent them by the CIA to try to win the advantage in these internecine struggles. In 1989 Hekmatyar launched an assault against Nassim, attempting to take control of the Helmand Valley. Nassim fought him off, but a few months later Hekmatyar successfully engineered Nassim’s assassination when he was holding the post of deputy defense minister in the provisional post-Soviet Afghan government. Hekmatyar now controlled opium growing in the Helmand Valley.
American DEA agents were fully apprised of the drug running of the mujahedin in concert with Pakistani intelligence and military leaders. In 1983 the DEA’s congressional liaison, David Melocik, told a congressional committee, “You can say the rebels make their money off the sale of opium. There’s no doubt about it. These rebels keep their cause going through the sale of opium.” But talk about “the cause” depending on drug sales was nonsense at that particular moment. The CIA was paying for everything regardless. The opium revenues were ending up in offshore accounts in the Habib Bank, one of Pakistan’s largest, and in the accounts of BCCI, founded by Agha Hasan Abedi, who began his banking career at Habib. The CIA was simultaneously using BCCI for its own secret transactions.
The DEA had evidence of over forty heroin syndicates operating in Pakistan in the mid-1980s during the Afghan war, and there was evidence of more than 200 heroin labs operating in northwest Pakistan. Even though Islamabad houses one of the largest DEA offices in Asia, no action was ever taken by the DEA agents against any of these operations. An Interpol officer told the journalist Lawrence Lifschultz, “It is very strange that the Americans, with the size of their resources, and political power they possess in Pakistan, have failed to break a single case. The explanation cannot be found in a lack of adequate police work. They have had some excellent men working in Pakistan.” But working in the same offices as those DEA agents were five CIA officers who, so one of the DEA agents later told the Washington Post, ordered them to pull back their operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the duration of the war.
Those DEA agents were well aware of the drug-tainted profile of a firm the CIA was using to funnel cash to the mujahedin, namely Shakarchi Trading Company. This Lebanese-owned company had been the subject of a long-running DEA investigation into money laundering. One of Shakarchi’s chief clients was Yasir Musullulu, who had once been nabbed attempting to deliver an 8.5-ton shipment of Afghan opium to members of the Gambino crime syndicate in New York City. A DEA memo noted that Shakarchi mingled “the currency of heroin, morphine base, and hashish traffickers with that of jewelers buying gold on the black market and Middle Eastern arms traffickers.”
In May 1984 Vice President George Bush journeyed to Pakistan to confer with General Zia al Huq and other ranking members of the Pakistani regime. At the time, Bush was the head of President Reagan’s National Narcotics Border Interdiction System. In this latter function, one of Bush’s first moves was to expand the role of the CIA in drug operations. He gave the Agency primary responsibility in the use of, and control over, drug informants. The operational head of this task force was retired Admiral Daniel J. Murphy.
Murphy pushed for access to intelligence on drug syndicates but complained that the CIA was forever dragging its feet. “I didn’t win,” he said later to the New York Times. “I didn’t get as much effective participation from the CIA as I wanted.” Another member of the task force put it more bluntly, “The CIA could be of value, but you need a change of values and attitude. I don’t know of a single thing they’ve ever given us that was useful.”
Bush certainly knew well that Pakistan had become the source for most of the high-grade heroin entering Western Europe and the United States and that the generals with whom he was consorting were deeply involved in the drug trade. But the vice president, who proclaimed later that “I will never bargain with drug dealers on US or foreign soil,” used his journey to Pakistan to praise the Zia regime for its unflinching support for the War on Drugs. (Amid such rhetorical excursions he did find time, it has to be said, to extract from Zia a contract to buy $40 million worth of gas turbines made by the General Electric Co.)
Predictably, through the 1980s the Reagan and Bush administrations went to great lengths to pin the blame for the upswing in Pakistani heroin production on the Soviet generals in Kabul. “The regime maintains an absolute indifference to any measures to control poppy,” Reagan’s attorney general Edwin Meese declared during a visit to Islamabad in March 1986. “We strongly believe that there is actually encouragement, at least tacitly, over growing opium poppy.”
Meese knew better. His own Justice Department had been tracking the import of drugs from Pakistan since at least 1982 and was well aware that the trade was controlled by Afghan rebels and the Pakistani military. A few months after Meese’s speech in Pakistan, the US Customs Office nabbed a Pakistani man named Abdul Wali as he tried to unload more than a ton of hash and a smaller amount of heroin into the United States at Port Newark, New Jersey. The Justice Department informed the press that Wali headed a 50,000-member organization in northwest Pakistan – but Deputy Attorney General Claudia Flynn refused to reveal the group’s identity. Another federal official told the Associated Press that Wali was a top leader of the mujahedin.
It was also known to US officials that people on intimate terms with President Zia were making fortunes in the opium trade. The word “fortune” here is no exaggeration, since one such Zia associate had $3 billion in his BCCI accounts. In 1983, a year before George Bush’s visit to Pakistan, one of President Zia’s doctors, a Japanese herbalist named Hisayoshi Maruyama was arrested in Amsterdam packing 17.5 kilos of high-grade heroin manufactured in Pakistan out of Afghan opium. At the time of his arrest he was disguised as a boy scout.
Interrogated by DEA agents after his arrest, Maruyama said that he was just a courier for Mirza Iqbal Baig, a man whom Pakistani customs agents described as “the most active dope dealer in the country.” Baig was on close terms with the Zia family and other ranking officials in the government. He had twice been a target of the DEA, whose agents were told not to pursue investigations of him because of his ties to the Zia government. A top Pakistani lawyer, Said Sani Ahmed, told the BBC that this was standard procedure in Pakistan: “We may have evidence against a particular individual, but still our law-enforcing agencies cannot lay hands on such people, because they are forbidden to act by their superiors. The real culprits have enough money and resources. Frankly, they are enjoying some sort of immunity.”
Baig was one of the tycoons of the Pakistani city of Lahore, owning cinemas, shopping centers, factories and a textile mill. He wasn’t indicted on drug charges until 1992, after the fall of the Zia regime, when a US federal court in Brooklyn indicted him for heroin trafficking. The US finally exerted enough pressure on Pakistan to have him arrested in 1993; as of the spring of 1998 he was in prison in Pakistan.
One of Baig’s partners (as described in Newsweek) in his drug business was Haji Ayub Afridi, a close ally of President Zia, who had served in the Pakistani General Assembly. Afridi lives thirty-five miles outside Peshawar in a large compound sealed off by 20-foot-high walls topped with concertina-wire and with defenses including an anti-aircraft battery and a private army of tribesmen. Afridi was said to be in charge of purchasing raw opium from the Afghan drug lords, while Baig looked after logistics and shipping to Europe and the United States. In 1993 Afridi was alleged to have put out a contract on the life of a DEA agent working in Pakistan.
Another case close to the Zia government involved the arrest on drug charges of Hamid Hasnain, the vice president of Pakistan’s largest financial house, the Habib Bank. Hasnain’s arrest became the centerpiece of a scandal known as the “Pakistani League affair.” The drug ring was investigated by a dogged Norwegian investigator named Olyvind Olsen. On December 13, 1983 Norwegian police seized 3.5 kilos of heroin at Oslo airport in the luggage of a Pakistani named Raza Qureishi. In exchange for a reduced sentence Qureishi agreed to name his suppliers to Olsen, the narcotics investigator. Shortly after his interview with Qureishi, Olsen flew to Islamabad to ferret out the other members of the heroin syndicate. For more than a year Olsen pressured Pakistan’s Federal Investigate Agency (FIA) to arrest the three men Qureishi had fingered: Tahir Butt, Munawaar Hussain, and Hasnain. All were associates of Baig and Zia. It wasn’t until Olsen threatened to publicly condemn the FIA’s conduct that the Agency took any action: finally, on October 25, 1985 the FIA arrested the three men. When the Pakistani agents picked up Hasnain they were assailed with a barrage of threats. Hasnain spoke of “dire consequences” and claimed to be “like a son” to President Zia. Inside Hasnain’s suitcase FIA agents discovered records of the ample bank accounts of President Zia plus those of Zia’s wife and daughter.
Immediately after learning of Hasnain’s arrest, Zia’s wife, who was in Egypt at the time, telephoned the head of the FIA. The president’s wife imperiously demanded the release of her family’s “personal banker.” It turned out that Hasnain not only attended to the secret financial affairs of the presidential family, but also of the senior Pakistani generals, who were skimming money off the arms imports from the CIA and making millions from the opium traffic. A few days after his wife’s call, President Zia himself was on the phone to the FIA, demanding that the investigators explain the circumstances surrounding Hasnain’s arrest. Zia soon arranged for Hasnain to be released on bail pending trial. When Qureishi, the courier, took the stand to testify against Hasnain, the banker and his co-defendant hurled death threats against the witness in open court, prompting a protest from the Norwegian investigator, who threatened to withdraw from the proceedings.
Eventually the judge in the case clamped down, revoking Hasnain’s bail and handing him a stiff prison term after his conviction. But Hasnain was just a relatively small fish who went to prison while guilty generals went free. “He’s been made a scapegoat,” Munir Bhatti told journalist Lawrence Lifschultz, “The CIA spoiled the case. The evidence was distorted. There was no justification in letting off the actual culprits who include senior personalities in this country. There was evidence in this case identifying such people.”
Such were the men to whom the CIA was paying $3.2 billion a year to run the Afghan war, and no person better epitomizes this relationship than Lieutenant General Fazle Huq, who oversaw military operations in northwest Pakistan for General Zia, including the arming of the mujahedin who were using the region as a staging area for their raids. It was Huq who ensured that his ally Hekmatyar received the bulk of the CIA arms shipments, and it was also Huq who oversaw and protected the operations of the 200 heroin labs within his jurisdiction. Huq had been identified in 1982 by Interpol as a key player in the Afghan-Pakistani opium trade. The Pakistani opposition leaders referred to Huq as Pakistani’s Noriega. He had been protected from drug investigations by Zia and the CIA and later boasted that with these connections he could get away “with blue murder.”
Like other narco-generals in the Zia regime, Huq was also on close terms with Agha Hassan Abedi, the head of the BCCI. Abedi, Huq and Zia would dine together nearly every month, and conferred several times with Reagan’s CIA director William Casey. Huq had a BCCI account worth $3 million. After Zia was assassinated in 1988 by a bomb planted (probably by senior military officers) in his presidential plane, Huq lost some of his official protection, and he was soon arrested for ordering the murder of a Shi’ite cleric.
After Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was deposed, her replacement Ishaq Khan swiftly released Huq from prison. In 1991 Huq was shot to death, probably in revenge for the cleric’s death. The opium general was given a state funeral, where he was eulogized by Ishaq Khan as “a great soldier and competent administrator who played a commendable role in Pakistan’s national progress.”
Benazir Bhutto had swept to power in 1988 amid fierce vows to clean up Pakistan’s drug-sodden corruption, but it wasn’t long “before her own regime became the focus of serious charges. In 1989 the US Drug Enforcement Agency came across information that Benazir’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, may have been financing large shipments of heroin from Pakistan to Great Britain and the United States. The DEA assigned one of its agents, a man named John Banks, to work undercover in Pakistan. Banks was a former British mercenary who had worked undercover for Scotland Yard in big international drug cases.
While in Pakistan, Banks claims he posed as a member of the Mafia and that he had met with Bhutto and her husband at their home in Sind. Banks further claims that he traveled with Zadari to Islamabad, where he secretly recorded five hours of conversation between Zadari, a Pakistani air force general and a Pakistani banker. The men discussed the logistics of transporting heroin to the US and to Britain: “We talked about how they were going to ship the drugs to America in a metal cutter,” Banks said in 1996. “They told me that the United Kingdom was another area where they had shipped heroin and hashish on a regular basis.” The British Customs Office had also been monitoring Zadari for dope running: “We received intelligence from about three or four sources, about his alleged involvement as a financier,” a retired British customs officer told the Financial Times. “This was all reported to British intelligence.” The customs official says his government failed to act on this report. Similarly, Banks asserts that the CIA halted the DEA’s investigation of Zardari. All this emerged when Bhutto’s government fell for the second time, in 1996, on charges of corruption lodged primarily against Zardari, who is now in prison for his role in the murder of his brother-in-law Murtaza. Zardari also stands accused of embezzling more than $1 billion in government funds.”
In 1991 Nawz Sharif says that while he served as prime minister he was approached by two Pakistani generals – Aslam Beg, chief of staff for the army, and Asad Durrani, head of the ISI – with a plan to fund dozens of covert operations through the sale of heroin. “General Durrani told me, ‘We have a blueprint ready for your approval,’ Sharif explained to Washington Post reporter John Ward Anderson in 1994. “I was totally flabbergasted. Both Beg and Durrani insisted that Pakistan’s name would not be cited at any place because the whole operation would be carried out by trustworthy third parties. Durrani then went on to list a series of covert military operations in desperate need of money.” Sharif said that he rejected the plan, but believes it was put in place when Bhutto resumed power.
The heroin crisis then and now is a direct consequence of the Military-Industrial Complex. During the 1970’s, around the same time during the Vietnam War, heroin made its way to the United States from the Golden Triangle which became an epidemic. It was estimated that more than 200,000 people in New York City alone were using heroin. At one point in time, you were able to find used syringes on public playgrounds. Now, heroin from Afghanistan has made its way back to the U.S. Heroin is profitable as much as it is strategic; it is also used as a weapon against Chinese, Iranian and Russian populations which has led to addiction, crime and helped spread diseases such as AIDS. Heroin is now affecting the United States, the CIA’s very own territory. Not that the CIA really cares who it effects when you closely examine their history of drug trafficking with the Iran-Contra Scandal or the Golden Triangle during the Vietnam War as author and activist William Blum noted in his book Rogue State,
“The CIA flew the drugs all over Southeast Asia, to sites where the opium was processed into heroin, and to trans-shipment points on the route to Western customers.”
The impact of the first Afghan war (1978-92) on Pakistan’s addiction rates was even more drastic than the surge in heroin addiction in the US and Europe. Before the CIA program began, there were fewer than 5,000 heroin addicts in Pakistan. By 1996, according to the United Nations, there were more than 1.6 million. The Pakistani representative to the UN Commission on Narcotics, Raoolf Ali Khan, said in 1993 that “there is no branch of government where drug corruption doesn’t pervade.” As an example he pointed to the fact that Pakistan spends only $1.8 million a year on anti-drug efforts, with an allotment of $1,000 to purchase gasoline for its seven trucks.
By 1994 the value of the heroin trade in Pakistan was twice the amount of the government’s budget. A Western diplomat told the Washington Post in that year that “when you get to the stage where narco-traffickers have more money than the government it’s going to take remarkable efforts and remarkable people to turn it around.” The magnitude of commitment required is illustrated by two episodes. In 1991 the largest drug bust in world history occurred on the road from Peshawar to Karachi. Pakistani customs officers seized 3.5 tons of heroin and 44 tons of hashish. Several days later half the hashish and heroin had vanished along with the witnesses. The suspects, four men with ties to Pakistani intelligence, had “mysteriously escaped,” to use the words of a Pakistani customs officer. In 1993 Pakistani border guards seized 8 tons of hashish and 1.7 tons of heroin. When the case was turned over to the Pakistani narcotics control board, the entire staff went on vacation to avoid being involved in the investigation. No one was disciplined or otherwise inconvenienced and the narco-traffickers got off scot free. Even the CIA was eventually forced to admit in a 1994 report to Congress that heroin had become the “life blood of the Pakistani economy and political system.”
In February 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev pulled the Soviet troops out of Afghanistan, and asked the US to agree to an embargo on the provision of weapons to any of the Afghan mujahedin factions, who were preparing for another phase of internecine war for control of the country. President Bush refused, thus ensuring a period of continued misery and horror for most Afghans. The war had already turned half the population into refugees, and seen 3 million wounded and more than a million killed. The proclivities of the mujahedin at this point are illustrated by a couple of anecdotes. The Kabul correspondent of the Far Eastern Economic Review reported in 1989 the mujahedin’s treatment of Soviet prisoners: “One group was killed, skinned and hung up in a butcher’s shop. One captive found himself the center of attraction in a game of buzkashi, that rough-and-tumble form of Afghan polo in which a headless goat is usually the ball. The captive was used instead. Alive. He was literally torn to pieces.” The CIA also had evidence that its freedom fighters had doped up more than 200 Soviet soldiers with heroin and locked them in animal cages where, the Washington Post reported in 1990, they led “lives of indescribable horror.”
In September 1996 the Taliban, fundamentalists nurtured originally in Pakistan as creatures of both the ISI and the CIA, seized power in Kabul, whereupon Mullah Omar, their leader, announced that all laws inconsistent with the Muslim Sharia would be changed. Women would be forced to assume the chador and remain at home, with total segregation of the sexes and women kept out of hospitals, schools and public bathrooms. The CIA continued to support these medieval fanatics who, according to Emma Bonino, the European Union’s commissioner for humanitarian affairs, were committing “gender genocide.”
One law at odds with the Sharia that the Taliban had no apparent interest in changing was the prophet’s injunction against intoxicants. In fact, the Taliban urged its Afghan farmers to increase their production of opium. One of the Taliban leaders, the “drug czar” Abdul Rashid, noted, “If we try to stop this [opium farming] the people will be against us.” By the end 1996, according to the UN, Afghan opium production had reached 2,000 metric tons. There were an estimated 200,000 families in Afghanistan working in the opium trade. The Taliban were in control of the 96 percent of all Afghan land in opium cultivation and imposed a tax on opium production and a road toll on trucks carrying the crop.
In 1997 an Afghan opium farmer gave an ironic reply to Jimmy Carter’s brooding on whether to use nuclear weapons as part of a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Amhud Gul told a reporter from the Washington Post, “We are cultivating this [that is, opium] and exporting this as an atom bomb.” CIA intervention had worked its magic once again. By 1994, Afghanistan, according to the UN drug control program had surpassed Burma as the world’s number one supplier of raw opium.1
The heroin epidemic today resembles the days when “Crack cocaine” became the major drug that destroyed communities across the United States and other parts of the world including the Caribbean that began in the early 1980’s. The Crack epidemic coincidentally began around the same time when the Iran-Contra Scandal was being exposed. U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and New York City experienced a rise in crime and disease.
According to an NBC affiliate report, state officials were set to declare a “public health emergency” in New Haven, Connecticut over the rise of heroin use which has resulted in two deaths:
Officials in New Haven on Friday were set to address a public health emergency declaration brought on by a rash of heroin overdoses in the city beginning Thursday. New Haven police said emergency responders saw at least 15 overdoses since Thursday afternoon, and possibly up to 22. At least two people have died. The city is warning residents that there is a batch of tainted, life-threatening heroin on the streets
In the suburbs of Long Island, NY, heroin use is an increasing problem. According to www.suburbanheroin.com a website devoted to the heroin epidemic on Long Island states that in 2012 – 2013 more than 242 people died from heroin use. Long Island is home to some of the wealthiest communities in New York State which goes to show that heroin is affecting all neighborhoods rich and poor. The NBC news report said that the CDC admitted that heroin has become an epidemic since 2002. In turn the number of heroin addicts in the US has increased dramatically. Is there a relationship?
“There were 189,000 heroin users in the US in 2001, before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan. By 2016 that number went up to 4,500,000 (2.5 million heroin addicts and 2 million casual users). Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the US-NATO War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares in 2016. (One hectare equals approximately 2.5 acres). Ironically, the so-called US eradication operation in Afghanistan has cost an estimated $8.5 billion in American taxpayer funds since the US-NATO-Afghan war started in October 2001.” ( See the article by Sibel Edmonds, August 22, 2017)
Now the question is why heroin use has dramatically increased since 2002? Maybe the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 after the September 11th attacks under the Bush regime had something to do with it? The main-stream media (MSM) establishment mouthpiece The Washington Post admitted in 2006 that heroin production in Afghanistan “broke all records” while under U.S. occupation:
Opium production in Afghanistan, which provides more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin, broke all records in 2006, reaching a historic high despite ongoing U.S.-sponsored eradication efforts, the Bush administration reported yesterday.
In addition to a 26 percent production increase over past year — for a total of 5,644 metric tons — the amount of land under cultivation in opium poppies grew by 61 percent. Cultivation in the two main production provinces, Helmand in the southwest and Oruzgan in central Afghanistan, was up by 132 percent
Washington claims that Mexico is the source of the heroin that is flooding U.S. streets “with 10,500 hectares under poppy cultivation in 2012” while Afghanistan had “224,000 hectares” according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in a 2014 report but the numbers tell a different story. Mexico’s heroin trade is small in comparison although it has been increasing its production capabilities.
However, not only heroin from Afghanistan is the major source for U.S. citizens, “BigPharma”, or the ‘corporate drug dealers’ who sell “legal drugs” also have a hand in the epidemic because they produce and sell ‘Opioids’ such asOxyContin and Percocet which is similar to heroin. Opioid medications are normally used as painkillers for broken bones, lacerations or post-surgery pain. However, abusing Opioids can also lead to heroin use.
The online news source The Huffington Post published an article titled ‘Ron Paul Had Accurate Conspiracy Theory: CIA Was Tied To Drug Traffickers’ highlights what the former Libertarian Presidential nominee Dr. Ron Paul said on the involvement of the CIA in the drug trade which was not a “Conspiracy Theory” but a fact when taking into consideration the Iran-Contra Scandal:
In 1988, while running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket, he highlighted yet another conspiracy theory, and this one doesn’t collapse under investigation: The CIA, Paul told a gathering of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, was involved in trafficking drugs as part of the Iran-Contra debacle.
Drug trafficking is “a gold mine for people who want to raise money in the underground government in order to finance projects that they can’t get legitimately. It is very clear that the CIA has been very much involved with drug dealings,” Paul said. “The CIA was very much involved in the Iran-Contra scandals. I’m not making up the stories; we saw it on television. They were hauling down weapons and drugs back. And the CIA and government officials were closing their eyes, fighting a war that was technically illegal”
The Taliban banned the production of opium in 2000. The War in Afghanistan was mainly about producing opium which did end up in the streets of Iran, Russia and China. According to a Pravda report in 2015 by William Edstrom titled ‘Heroin Dealer in Chief. Afghanistan, Source of 90% of The World’s Heroin’ stated the impact of Afghanistan’s opium production on neighboring countries:
Afghanistan, source of 90% of Earth’s heroin, ended 90% of Earth’s heroin problems when Taliban outlawed opium in 2000. The reason for War in Afghanistan was because Taliban outlawed opium growing which ended economic wars (opium wars) against Iran, Russia and China
The heroin epidemic is now affecting cities and towns across the U.S. Edstrom estimates that 165,000 American’s will die from the heroin epidemic in the next 10 years:
The War in Afghanistan began as an opium war against Iran, Russia and China, the tables are turning into an opium war against Americans on track to kill 165,000 Americans (2016-2026). Americans, 5% of Earth’s population, take 60% of painkillers on Earth
The death rate could go much higher considering the increasing level of poverty in the U.S. especially in the inner cities where the highest unemployment rates is among the 18-34 year olds. Many young adults will unfortunately turn to the drug trade whether they sell or use as hope fades for the lack of jobs or opportunities.
Fox News had a segment with Geraldo Rivera that shows how the U.S. government (in this case, the U.S. Marines) is involved in Afghanistan’s heroin production with Washington’s approval, of course.
Heroin is a valuable commodity as long as the War on Drugs remains in effect, that’s why Obama extended the Afghan mission until 2017, for the next U.S. elected president to occupy the White House. If it’s Hillary Clinton, U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan indefinitely. Trump might do the same, but that still remains to be seen. On July 7th, 2015 NBC reported on Afghanistan’s opium production and where they stand in terms of world supply
“According to the United Nations, the war-torn nation provides 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium poppy, the bright, flowery crop that transforms into one of the most addictive drugs in existence.”NBC also quoted John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction who did say that “Afghanistan has roughly 500,000 acres, or about 780 square miles, devoted to growing opium poppy. That’s equivalent to more than 400,000 U.S. football fields — including the end zones.”
That’s a large amount of land devoted to opium production which provides an opportunity for the CIA to cash in on the illegal drug trade for their secret covert operations (which avoids public scrutiny) and re-establish a drug trade route to target the populations of China, Iran and Russia.
As long as the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan continues under the guise of establishing a democratic government, the flow of heroin will continue unabated. One question we should ask is “who owns the planes and the ships that transport 90% percent of the world’s heroin from Afghanistan to the rest of the world in the first place? It sure isn’t the Taliban.
Despite president Trump’s announced US troop withdrawals, the Afghan opium trade continues to be protected by US-NATO occupation forces on behalf of powerful financial interests. Afghanistan’s opium economy is a multibillion dollar operation which feeds the surge of the US heroin market which is currently the object of debate and public concern. It should be noted that the relationship between the surge in Afghanistan’s opium production and the US opioid crisis is more complex.
Chronological History of Events Regarding to the War in Afghanistan
“Terrorizing the Populace”: Report Finds CIA-Backed Death Squads in Afghanistan Committing War Crimes, Atrocities
(a.k.a. the Cocaine Import Agency or the Clandestine Illuminati Assassins) was setup by Allen Dulles, an agent of the Rothschilds, and serves as the enforcement arm of the deep state to this day. Of the 17 intelligence agencies of the U.S., anything “international” is the CIA’s concern, including currency wars, market wars, banking wars, cyber wars, and the wars on drugs and terrorism, but former CIA turned whistleblower, Kevin Shipp says the CIA is the “central node” of the shadow government and controls all of other 16 intelligence agencies despite the existence of the DNI. The CIA (1) propagandizes and brainwashes its citizenry through media and other mind control methodology; (2) provokes chaos and conflict in the U.S. and throughout the world by creating the illusion that our enemy is one another; uses blackmail to control globalist mercenaries (ISIS was created by the CIA), politicians, media, the military industrial complex, and other intelligence agents with pedophilia, murder, satanic rituals, etc. until they are easily controlled. It has positioned itself to be a higher authority than Congress, the President, or We the People and can act in secrecy in all of its affairs.
“I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.” –US President Harry S. Truman, 1961
The Central Intelligence Agency portrays itself as a protector of Americans and their freedoms. It claims to act in the best interests of the people and their government. The reality, of course, is very different. The CIA has a long history of violent anti-democratic behaviour around the world, and even in the US itself.
The CIA overrides all other intelligence agencies because it can always pull the “international security” card from its sleeve and trump the lesser agencies which only have the lower priority “national security.”When Reagan started the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with executive order 12333 in 1981, it was essentially an overthrow of the existing National Security Agency (NSA) which had always been a military organization run by a high-ranking officer. The DNI’s principle job is defined as overseeing the CIA and by doing so, the DNI is actually the head of all other intelligence agencies. But note, the DNI only “oversees” the CIA, it does not “control” the CIA. (Source) Typically, the DNI, such as James Clapper, are wolves guarding the hen house.
Anything “international” is the CIA’s concern, including currency wars, market wars, banking wars, cyber wars, and the wars on drugs and terrorism. Since Obama’s rewritten NDAA allows the military to target American citizens as domestic terrorists and enemy combatants, there are no limits for the CIA at this point. Everyone is considered a terrorist until proven innocent according to the Patriot Act. The CIA can label anyone, or any agency or company as an “international security” threat, even without evidence. This came about because the CIA split into three factions that act as double and triple agents, spying on everyone for profit as intelligence mercenaries. America is surrounded by CIA control and the Washington D. C. is besieged with CIA swamp monsters. (Source)
Everything the CIA does is illegal, which is why the government provides it with an impenetrable cloak of secrecy. While mythographers in the information industry portray America as a bastion of peace and democracy, CIA officers manage criminal organizations around the world.
The CIA is populated with the same kind of people, but without any of the constraints. The CIA officer who created the Phoenix program, Nelson Brickham, told me this about his colleagues: “I have described the intelligence service as a socially acceptable way of expressing criminal tendencies. A guy who has strong criminal tendencies but is too much of a coward to be one, would wind up in a place like the CIA if he had the education.” Brickham described CIA officers as wannabe mercenaries “who found a socially acceptable way of doing these things and, I might add, getting very well paid for it.”
The CIA dedicates a huge portion of its budget figuring how to select, control, and manage its own work force. It begins with instilling blind obedience. Most CIA officers consider themselves to be soldiers. The CIA is set up as a military organization with a sacred chain of command that cannot be violated. Somebody tells you what to do, and you salute and do it. Or you’re out.
Other systems of control, such as “motivational indoctrination programs”, make CIA officers think of themselves as special. Such systems have been perfected and put in place over the past seven decades to shape the beliefs and responses of CIA officers. In exchange for signing away their legal rights, they benefit from reward systems – most importantly, CIA officers are immune from prosecution for their crimes. They consider themselves the Protected Few and, if they wholeheartedly embrace the culture of dominance and exploitation, they can look to cushy jobs in the private sector when they retire.
The CIA’s executive management staff compartments the various divisions and branches so that individual CIA officers can remain detached. Highly indoctrinated, they blindly obey on a “need to know” basis. This institutionalized system of self-imposed ignorance and self-deceit sustains, in their warped minds, the illusion of American righteousness, upon which their motivation to commit all manner of crimes in the name of national security depends. That and the fact that most are sociopaths.
It’s a self-regulating system too. As FBN Agent Martin Pera explained, “If you’re successful because you can lie, cheat, and steal, those things become tools you use in the bureaucracy.”
The CIA doesn’t do anything unless it meets two criteria. The first criterion is “intelligence potential.” The program must benefit the CIA; maybe it tells them how to overthrow a government, or how to blackmail an official, or where a report is hidden, or how to get an agent across a border. The term “intelligence potential” means it has some use for the CIA. The second criterion is that it can be denied. If they can’t find a way to structure the program or operation so they can deny it, they won’t do it. Plausible denial can be as simple as providing an officer or asset with military cover. Then the CIA can say, “The army did it.”
Since 1973, the CIA has been in control of US narcotics intelligence worldwide. Over the course of its 70-year reign of terror, the CIA has overthrown countless governments, started innumerable wars, costing millions of innocent lives (ETK comment: credible estimates range from 6 to 30 million killed), and otherwise subverted and sabotaged friends and foes alike. Despite all this murder and mayhem, it has only lost around 100 officers.
CIA officers exist near the pinnacle of the Brotherhood. Blessed with fake identities and bodyguards, they fly around in private planes, live in villas, and kill with state-of-the-art technology. They tell army generals what to do. They direct Congressional committees. They assassinate heads of state and murder innocent children with impunity and with indifference. Everyone to them, but their bosses, is expendable.
The American empire consists of hundreds of military bases and a CIA station in every country. The CIA is not a law enforcement agency. It’s our Mafia operating in foreign nations.
… The (controlled) media is the reason why the public can’t see the CIA clearly for what it is: a criminal conspiracy on behalf of wealthy capitalists… I refer to the CIA as the organized crime branch of the US government. Nowhere is that more evident than in how it controls international drug networks. The CIA is the most corrupting influence in the United States.
If we were allowed to understand the CIA, we’d realize it’s a criminal organization that is corrupting governments and societies around the world. It’s murdering civilians who haven’t done anything wrong.
In Afghanistan, CIA officers manage the drug trade from their hammocks in the shade. Opium production has soared since they purchased the government in 2001. They watch in amusement as addiction rates soar among young people whose parents have been killed and whose minds have been damaged by15 years of US aggression. They don’t care that the drugs reach America’s inner cities.
…. The CIA plays the same role in Afghanistan that the Gestapo and SS Einsatzgruppen performed in France in World War Two- terrorizing the urban resistance and partisan bands in the countryside by targeting their friends and families. The CIA’s objective is to rip apart the poor and working class families and, in the process, unravel the fabric of Afghan society, until the Afghan people accept American domination. They don’t care how long it takes either. Afghanistan is a means to get at Russia, similar to how Nixon played the China Card in Vietnam.
…. The Afghan people hate the Americans more and more, year after year. And that makes the CIA happy, in so far as it spells protracted war and increased profits for its sponsors in the arms industry.
Afghan anger means more resistance. And more resistance provides a neat pretext for the eternal military occupation of a disposable nation strategically located near Russia and China.
The Taliban will never surrender, and, for the CIA, that means victory in Afghanistan. But it also means spiritual defeat for America, as it descends ever further into the black hole of self-deception, militarism, and covert operations.
…Read more HERE
The Deep State’s enormous spying powers are supposedly being used to protect the American people and their freedoms from the threat of terrorism. But American freedom is hardly protected when the target of the spying includes the American people as a whole, in contravention of the Fourth Amendment, which states that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”
Supposedly the intelligence apparatus is watching us for our own good. But who is watching the watchers? The intelligence community, after all, operates in secrecy, without even Congress, let alone the public at large, being aware of many of their actions, which extend way beyond illegal spying to include torture in contravention of U.S. laws, assassinations without due process, and the toppling of foreign governments without a congressional declaration of war. Do such extra-constitutional actions by the Deep State-controlled intelligence apparatus really protect American security and liberty, or do they have the opposite effect? Please keep these questions in mind as we survey some examples of the Deep State’s intelligence arm in action:
• Deep State-backed jihadists — In the name of fighting communism, the “intelligence community” literally armed, funded, and trained Osama bin Laden and other jihadists in Afghanistan who later became enemies of the United States. And in the name of fighting terrorism, this practice of aiding and abetting jihadists has continued to the present day, and has even included support for terrorists led by al-Qaeda. Seriously. For example, an explosive 2012 document from the DIA exposed several stunning facts about what the Deep State was up to in Syria. For one, it shows the Deep State knew that the insurgency in Syria was being led by al-Qaeda — and that the administration was supporting that insurgency anyway. “The Salafist [extreme Islamist sect], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” admitted the report, dated August 12, 2012. It also admitted that “Western powers,” certainly including the Obama administration in power at the time, support that al-Qaeda-led opposition.
The memo goes on to outline a plan to create an Islamic State in Eastern Syria based on extreme fundamentalist Islamism. “There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist [fundamentalist Islam] principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor) and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime,” the document declares. That is also exactly what happened when ISIS declared the establishment of its “caliphate” in Eastern Syria and parts of Iraq. In short, the memo offers smoking-gun proof that creating a “Salafist principality” in Eastern Syria was a policy goal of the Deep State.
• Assassination and mass murder — Islamic terrorism has been the key justification for a development that first became public under the George W. Bush administration: the deliberate assassination of individuals declared to be “militants” or “terrorists.” Murder is the correct term, because the victims have usually never even been charged with a crime, much less convicted by a jury in a court of law. There are also no current wars legally declared by Congress that might be cited to justify the assassination spree.
So extreme have the developments become that a former senior intelligence official told the Washington Post that the CIA had been turned into “one hell of a killing machine.” A former leader of the CIA and NSA was caught on video in 2014 casually bragging and making jokes in public about how the “intelligence community” murders people without charges or convictions or a declaration of war. “We kill people based on metadata,” gloated former CIA and NSA boss Hayden at the 2014 Johns Hopkins University’s Foreign Affairs Symposium. Some of the victims include U.S.-born American-citizen children such as Nawar al-Awlaki, eight, and Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, 16, who were killed in separate strikes.
It is today public knowledge that the CIA has murdered thousands of people around the world using missiles fired from drones. Between 2009 and 2015, the Obama White House estimated that 2,436 people were killed in drone strikes. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism recorded 2,753. Under President Trump, drone strikes are up over 400%.
This CIA’s omnipotent power to assassinate people came into existence without even the semblance of a constitutional amendment. It was ostensibly enacted by Congress and later acceded to by the Supreme Court. What some American fail to realize is that the US government’s power to assassinate extends to assassinating American citizens, just like it does with Russian citizens under their national security state.1
• Kidnapping and torture — Both are illegal under state and federal law, with no exemptions for Deep State intelligence functionaries. In 2009, an Italian court convicted (in absentia) 23 CIA agents for kidnapping Egyptian dissident Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr off the streets of Milan in a 2003 incident. After grabbing him and stuffing him in a van, the CIA sent him to Egypt for interrogation and torture there. He reportedly endured electrical shock torture, emerging permanently disabled. And who could forget the horrifying pictures that have emerged from Iraq and the CIA’s sprawling network of secret prisons — pictures that have now been plastered across newspaper stands worldwide, making America look like a nation of savage barbarians running wild? Confirmed torture methods by the CIA, the DIA, and other Deep State agencies have included waterboarding and beatings, among other horrors.
• Overthrowing governments — The CIA has a long history of overthrowing foreign governments, without any semblance of a constitutional declaration of war from Congress. From Iran and Guatemala to Congo and the Dominican Republic, the CIA has played a key role in overthrowing several governments where its involvement is publicly known — and probably dozens more where the CIA’s role is still hidden. Foreign Policy estimates the number of governments overthrown by the CIA at seven. That does not include numerous other operations where the U.S. government — or at least the Deep State — used military intervention, assassination, or covert backing for insurgencies. That also does not take into account interventions where there was no regime change but where other goals were pursued.
It’s well known that when the CIA selects agents or people to run militias or secret police units in foreign nations, it subjects its candidates to rigorous psychological screening. John Marks in The Search for the Manchurian Candidate told how the CIA sent its top psychologist, John Winne, to Seoul to “select the initial cadre” for the Korean CIA. “I set up an office with two translators,” Winne told Marks, “and used a Korean version of the Wechsler.” CIA shrinks gave the personality assessment test to two dozen military and police officers, “then wrote up a half-page report on each, listing their strengths and weaknesses. Winne wanted to know about each candidate’s ability to follow orders, creativity, lack of personality disorders, motivation – why he wanted out of his current job. It was mostly for the money, especially with the civilians.”
In this way, the CIA recruits secret police forces as assets in every country where it operates, including occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. In Latin America, Marks wrote, “The CIA…found the assessment process most useful for showing how to train the anti-terrorist section. According to results, these men were shown to have very dependent psychologies and needed strong direction.”
• False flags — In some cases, elements of the Deep State have even shown that they are not above using “false flags” to carry out their agenda. Documents from the U.S. Defense Department on Operation Northwoods, for example, outlined a proposed plot in the early 1960s to have the CIA or other Deep State agencies perpetrate terrorist attacks against American or Cuban civilians or military targets and to blame it on the Castro regime. One scenario involved shooting down an airliner. Another involved bombings in Miami. Yet another would have sunk a boat filled with refugees fleeing Castro’s tyranny. “The desired resultant from the execution of this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government of Cuba and to develop an international image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western Hemisphere,” the document states. The plan was ultimately rejected by then-President John F. Kennedy, but the fact that it was developed at all is very revealing. Ironically, it was the U.S. government and the Deep State behind the Deep State who put Castro in power to begin with, according to the U.S. ambassador to Cuba at the time, Earl Smith, who even wrote a book about it.
• Mind control — Under the guise of keeping up with communist brainwashing techniques, the CIA also engaged in horrific experiments related to mind control. Among other tactics, federal officials used LSD and mind-altering chemicals, surviving files from the CIA’s Project MKUltra show. According to congressional investigations and testimony from victims, the experiments also included hypnosis, sexual abuse, and torture. Then-CIA boss Richard Helms reportedly tried to obstruct congressional investigations by ordering all MKUltra documents destroyed. Still, at least two congressional committees investigating MKUltra uncovered horrifying experiments often performed on unwitting victims — including individuals confined in mental institutions and even children. The CIA also uses the mass media (including television, movies, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, records, video games and the internet) to control the way the masses think by funding the companies, paying, bribing, blackmailing, or whatever ways necessary.
• Drug trafficking — The CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking has long been an open secret. More than a few officials, drug lords, and analysts have even said the CIA and other secretive agencies actually run the global trade in narcotics. Former DEA chief Robert Bonner, during an explosive interview with CBS, revealed that his agency had caught the CIA unlawfully importing a ton of cocaine into the United States in cooperation with the Venezuelan government. More recently, a Mexican official accused the CIA of “managing” the global drug trade. “It is impossible to pass tons of drugs or cocaine to the U.S. without some grade of complicity of some American authorities,” observed Mexican President Felipe Calderón in a 2009 interview with the BBC. And an explosive 2014 investigation by the Mexican newspaper El Universal revealed that for over a decade, the U.S. government had a secret agreement with the ruthless Mexican Sinaloa cartel that allowed it to operate with impunity and ship drugs into America at will. One of the first systematic treatments of CIA drug dealing was renowned historian Alfred W. McCoy’s 1972 book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia. In 1996, Pulitzer prize-winning reporter, Gary Webb, reintroduced the story of the CIA’s involvement in the importation of cocaine into the U.S. (See more HERE)
In books and articles, Peter Dale Scott explained “(s)ince at least 1950 there has been a global CIA-drug connection operating more or less continuously” to this day.
“The global drug connection is not just a lateral connection between CIA field operatives and their drug-trafficking contacts.”
“It is more significantly a global financial complex of hot money uniting prominent business, financial and government, as well as underworld figures,” a sort of “indirect empire (operating alongside) existing government.”
“(G)overnments themselves, and the links they develop with major traffickers, are the key both to the drug-trafficking problem and to its solution.”
• Gun trafficking — Even CNN has reported on the CIA involvement in gun running with their involvement in smuggling guns that ultimately armed al Qaeda:
Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret. CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.
In 2013, it was reported that the CIA had been in direct “consultation” with the Qatari Monarchys’ network of arms smugglers – run primarily from the Emir’s palace in Doha. Both the CIA and Qatari intelligence were involved in an operation to ship arms stockpiles from “rebels” in Libya; to the “rebels” in Syria: both varieties of which are inextricably linked to Al Qaeda affiliates and radical Salafi-Jihadi militants.
Washington Times journalists Robert Farago and Ralph Dixon cite a “CIA insider” to make the claim that Operation Fast and Furious was a Central Intelligence Agency-orchestrated program to arm the Sinaloa drug cartel, a group that was also given the green light to fly tons of cocaine into the United States.
• Sex & Child trafficking — In 2016, the United Nations released a report that highlighted the fact that human trafficking takes place in almost every country in the world. They discovered that there are at least 500 global trafficking routes used by those who deal in people’s lives. It also showed that there has been a huge rise in human trafficking in the last few years, much of this due to the volume of migrants leaving war-torn countries; many made war-torn following the actions of the CIA.
Paul Bonacci exposed how government agents ran a sex trafficking ring that supplied the elite, such as those that attend the infamous Bohemian Grove retreat; it was there that he was forced to sodomize another boy who had just been shot dead or be killed himself. Over the years, former FBI agent Ted Gunderson and many other investigators have shone a light on the likes of the CIA’s MKUltra program. Under the umbrella of MKUltra, children were relentlessly tortured using rape and physical abuse until the desired result was achieved; the fracture of their minds.
Another recent example of this trade is Jeffrey Epstein, an extremely degenerate multi-millionaire who had his own private island which was nicknamed “Orgy Island” by the media when his VIP ring was exposed. In spite of mountains of evidence of rape of at least 40 young girls, Epstein was given a sweetheart deal that kept him in a luxury private wing of a prison for only 13 months in which he had work leave for 12 hours per day, six days a week. Alexander Acosta., US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, who responded to questions about Epstein during his interview with President Donald Trump’s transition team: “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.”
Former CIA agent/counterintelligence operative turned whistleblower John Kiriakou exposed agency wrongdoing in his book titled “Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror.” He was the first CIA officer to be imprisoned for revealing classified information. He accused the CIA of child trafficking, supplying children to wealthy pedophiles globally in exchange for information the agency sought. The Deep State itself consist of paedophiles and Luciferians / Satanists who have diabolical needs that are met by these “services”.
• Media manipulation — The intelligence component of the Deep State has also been caught using propaganda and manipulation of the media — against Americans. One stunning example revealed in declassified documents was the CIA’s Project Mockingbird (also known as Operation Mockingbird). According to official documents, the scheme, launched in the early 1950s, aimed to hijack the U.S. media to parrot CIA propaganda. Though many of the documents are heavily redacted, it is clear that the CIA program was wildly successful in recruiting globalist pseudo-journalists to do the Deep State’s bidding. Among the names mentioned in the documents are Joseph Harsch of the Christian Science Monitor; Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines; Walter Lippman of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate; and more. William F. Buckley, founder of the neocon journal National Review, was also a CIA lackey.
Veteran German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, author of the 2014 book Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists) revealed how under the threat of job termination he was routinely compelled to publish articles written by intelligence agents using his byline. “I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service,” Ulfkotte explained in a recent interview with Russia Today. “German Journo: European Media Writing Pro-US Stories Under CIA Pressure,” RT, October 18, 2014.
In Lars Schall interviews Doug Valentine, he asks “How important is mainstream media for the public perception of the CIA?
It’s the most critical feature. Guy Debord said that secrecy dominates the world, foremost as secret of domination. The media prevents you from knowing how you’re being dominated, by keeping the CIA’s secrets. The media and the CIA are same thing.
What FOX and MSNBC have in common is that, in a free-wheeling capitalist society, news is a commodity. News outlets target demographic audience to sell a product. It’s all fake news, in so far as each media outlet skews its presentation of the news to satisfy its customers. But when it comes to the CIA, it’s not just fake, it’s poison. It subverts democratic institutions.
Any domestic Phoenix-style organization or operation depends on double-speak and deniability, as well as official secrecy and media self-censorship. The CIA’s overarching need for total control of information requires media complicity. This was one of the great lesson defeat in Vietnam taught our leaders. The highly indoctrinated and well rewarded managers who run the government and media will never again allow the public to see the carnage they inflict upon foreign civilians. Americans never will see the mutilated Iraqi, Afghani, Libyan, and Syrian children killed by marauding US mercenary forces and cluster bombs.
On the other hand, falsified portrayals of CIA kidnappings, torture, and assassinations are glorified on TV and in movies. Telling the proper story is the key. Thanks to media complicity, Phoenix (the Phoenix Program) has already become the template for providing internal political security for America’s leaders.
Much more on the history of the CIA’s manipulation of the media in this article: The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know
• Mass surveillance — In the mid-1970s, Inslaw, Inc., a small Washington D.C. software development company, created for the a highly efficient, people-tracking, computer program known as Prosecutor’s Management Information System (Promis). Inslaw’s principal owners, William Anthony Hamilton and his wife, Nancy Burke Hamilton, later sued the United States Government (acting as principal to the Department of Justice) for not complying with the terms of the Promis contract and for refusing to pay for an enhanced version of Promis once delivered. This allegation of software piracy led to three trials in separate federal courts and two congressional hearings. PROMIS was used by the CIA and several other agencies, including Mossad, as a frontrunner to some of their more intelligent tracking systems such as that developed by William Binney.
As the dark side of the US government ramped up its surveillance of every form of electronic communication in the 1990s, they quickly ran into a data storage and extraction problem—the size and magnitude of coordinating trillions of phone calls and emails with people tracking databases became overwhelming. Social Media had not yet been invented but the exponential growth of the internet itself demanded a totally new paradigm of dealing with massive data interaction. After being hired by AT&T to revamp their growing email system, a small company named Leader Technologies of Columbus, Ohio saw the problem and began to devise a new database management system that would become the backbone of search engines. Leader integrated voice, streaming media and data systems for collaboration and decision making in a unique way that used far less resources than file based database systems, and it became the perfect vehicle for social media networking and, interestingly, NSA spying. Leader Tech spent more than $10 million and 145,000 man-hours to invent this technology and get it patented. The Deep State stole this technology and gave it to Google, Cisco, IBM, Facebook, and the NSA in order to facilitate Orwellian surveillance on a massive scale.
Free access to this software is the primary reason why all major social media companies now act as spies for big government. They got a major leg up on the competition by being given free access to this dynamic stolen technology. When Michael McKibben led Leader Tech’s team to develop this original software they designed it to have a configurable sliding scale on privacy so that companies that purchased it could determine how much privacy they would allow their users to have.
- Joel Skousen, in his weekly World Affairs Brief, covers ore on this. Get a free copy or sign up for $48/per year for weekly information from one of the world’s best analysis on what is really going on in the world.
- The entire timeline of the stolen Leader Technologies software along with details are found at the website Facebook Coverup.
In Wikileaks Vault 7 leak, the documents reveal how the CIA spies on their intelligence partners around the world, including FBI, DHS and the NSA, to covertly collect data from their systems. The CIA offers a biometric collection system—with predefined hardware, operating system, and software—to its intelligence liaison partners around the world that helps them voluntary share collected biometric data on their systems with each other. But since no agency share all of its collected biometric data with others, the Office of Technical Services (OTS) within CIA developed a tool to secretly exfiltrate data collections from their systems.
Dubbed ExpressLane, the newly revealed CIA project details about the spying software that the CIA agents manually installs as part of a routine upgrade to the Biometric system. The leaked CIA documents reveal that the OTS officers, who maintain biometric collection systems installed at liaison services, visit their premises and secretly install ExpressLane Trojan while displaying an “upgrade Installation screen with a progress bar that appears to be upgrading the biometric software.”
“It will overtly appear to be just another part of this system. It’s called: MOBSLangSvc.exe and is stored in \Windows\System32,” leaked CIA documents read.
“Covertly it will collect the data files of interest from the liaison system and store them encrypted in the covert partition on a specially watermarked thumb drive when it is inserted into the system.”
No doubt, the CIA has implemented similar software for computer updates intended to track every computer in the world. Televisions, smartphones and even anti-virus software are all vulnerable to CIA hacking, according to the WikiLeaks documents. The capabilities described include recording the sounds, images and the private text messages of users, even when they resort to encrypted apps to communicate.
While many of the attack technologies had been previously discussed at cybersecurity conferences, experts were startled to see evidence that the CIA had turned so many theoretical vulnerabilities into functioning attack tools against staples of modern life. These include widely used Internet routers, smartphones, and Mac and Windows computers.
In the case of a tool called “Weeping Angel” for attacking Samsung SmartTVs, WikiLeaks wrote, “After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on, In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.” The CIA reportedly also has studied whether it could infect vehicle control systems for cars and trucks, which WikiLeaks alleged could be used to conduct “nearly undetectable assassinations.” Journalist Michael Hastings death, who was investigating the CIA, seems a likely case where this technology was used.
And a specialized CIA unit called the Mobile Devices Branch produced malware to control and steal information from iPhones, which according to WikiLeaks were a particular focus because of the smartphone’s popularity “among social, political diplomatic and business elites.” The agency also targeted popular phones running Google’s Android, the world’s leading mobile operating system.
• Working with criminals — From its inception, the CIA has worked with criminals who are willing to carry out their clandestine and evil activities for immunity, money, and power. For instance, the CIA recruitment (via its JIOA) and support for Nazi war criminals after the end of World War II, called Operation Paperclip, led to a MK-Ultra mind control, the biowarfare labs, and other human experimentation and nefarious government programs. The CIA hired one of America’s premier drug traffickers in the 1950s and 1960s, Santo Trafficante, in which he was allowed to import tons of narcotics into America, and many other drug traffickers have worked with or for the CIA such as Pablo Escobar.
• Secretly recruits academics — Through academic conferences where unsuspecting scientists, doctors, and other top researchers assemble, the CIA is typically there looking and recruiting them to defect to one of their controlled countries where they can control and manage their inventions and developments. Likewise, their investment arm, In-Q-tel, also invests in American technologies to control them for their own benefits.
In short, the “intelligence” apparatus, run by leading agents of the Deep State behind the Deep State, has been doing practically whatever it wishes to do, with no transparency or accountability. And it now seems to have its sights set on undermining both the elected president, and the Constitution.
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A dirty offshore bank that the CIA used to run guns to Hussein, finance Osama bin Laden, move money in the illegal Iran-Contra operation and carry out other “agency” black ops. The Bushes also benefited privately; one of the bank’s largest Saudi investors helped bail out George W. Bush’s troubled oil investments.
BCCI was founded in 1972 by a Pakistani banker, Agha Hasan Abedi, with the support of Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and head of the United Arab Emirates. Its corporate strategy was money laundering. It became the banker for drug and arms traffickers, corrupt officials, financial fraudsters, dictators and terrorists.
The CIA used BCCI Islamabad and other branches in Pakistan to funnel some of the $2 billion that Washington sent to Osama bin Laden’s Mujahadeen to help fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. It moved the cash the Pakistani military and government officials skimmed from U.S. aid to the Mujahadeen. It also moved money as required by the Saudi intelligence services.
The BCCI operation gave Osama bin Laden an education in offshore black finance, which he would put to use when he organized the jihad against the United States. He would move money through the Al-Taqwa Bank, operating in offshore Nassau and Switzerland with two Osama siblings as shareholders.
At the same time, BCCI helped Saddam Hussein, funneling millions of dollars to the Atlanta branch of the Italian government-owned Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), Baghdad’s U.S. banker, so that from 1985 to 1989 it could make $4 billion in secret loans to Iraq to help it buy arms.
U.S. congressman Henry Gonzalez held a hearing on BNL in 1992 during which he quoted from a confidential CIA document that said the agency had long been aware that the bank’s headquarters was involved in the U.S. branch’s Iraqi loans.
Kickbacks from 15 percent commissions on BNL-sponsored loans were channeled into bank accounts held for Iraqi leaders via BCCI offices in the Caymans as well as in offshore Luxembourg and Switzerland. BNL was a client of Kissinger Associates, and Henry Kissinger was on the bank’s international advisory board, along with Brent Scowcroft, who would become George Bush Sr.’s national security advisor. That connection makes the Bush administration’s surprise and indignation at “oil for food” payoffs in Iraq seem disingenuous.
Important Saudis were influential in the bank. Sheik Kamal Adham, brother-in-law of the late Saudi King Faisal, head of Saudi intelligence from 1963 to 1979, and the CIA’s liaison in the area, became one of BCCI’s largest shareholders. George Bush Sr. knew Adham from his time running the CIA in 1975.
Another investor was Prince Turki bin Faisal al-Saud, who succeeded Adham as Saudi intelligence chief. The family of Khalid Salem bin Mahfouz, owner of the National Commercial Bank, the largest bank in Saudi Arabia, banker to King Fahd and other members of the ruling family, bought 20 percent to 30 percent of the stock for nearly $1 billion. Bin Mahfouz was put on the board of directors.
The Arabs’ interest in the bank was more than financial. A classified CIA memo on BCCI in the mid-1980s said that “its principal shareholders are among the power elite of the Middle East, including the rulers of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, and several influential Saudi Arabians. They are less interested in profitability than in promoting the Muslim cause.”
The Bushes’ private links to the bank passed to Bin Mahfouz through Texas businessman James R. Bath, who invested money in the United States on behalf of the Saudi. In 1976, when Bush was the head of the CIA, the agency sold some of the planes of Air America, a secret “proprietary” airline it used during the Vietnam War, to Skyway, a company owned by Bath and Bin Mahfouz. Bath then helped finance George W. Bush’s oil company, Arbusto Energy Inc., in 1979 and 1980.
When Harken Energy Corp., which had absorbed Arbusto (by then merged with Spectrum 7 Energy), got into financial trouble in 1987, Jackson Stephens of the powerful, politically connected Arkansas investment firm helped it secure $25 million in financing from the Union Bank of Switzerland. As part of that deal, a place on the board was given to Harken shareholder Sheik Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, whose chief banker was BCCI shareholder Bin Mahfouz.
Then, in 1988, George Bush Sr. was elected president. Harken benefited by getting some new investors, including Salem bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s half brother, and Khalid bin Mahfouz. Osama bin Laden himself was busy elsewhere at the time — organizing al Qaeda.
The money BCCI stole before it was shut down in 1991 — somewhere between $9.5 billion and $15 billion — made its 20-year heist the biggest bank fraud in history. Most of it was never recovered. International banks’ complicity in the offshore secrecy system effectively covered up the money trail.
But in the years after the collapse of BCCI, Khalid bin Mahfouz was still flush with cash. In 1992, he established the Muwafaq (“blessed relief”) Foundation in the offshore Channel Islands. The U.S. Treasury Department called it “an al Qaeda front that receives funding from wealthy Saudi businessmen.”
When the BCCI scandal began to break in the late 1980s, the Sr. Bush administration did what it could to sit on it. The Justice Department went after the culprits — was virtually forced to — only after New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau did. But evidence about BCCI’s broader links exist in numerous U.S. and international investigations. Now could be a good time to take another look at the BCCI-Osama-Saddam-Saudi-Bush connection.
The Above is from “The BCCI Game: Banking on America, Banking on Jihad” by investigative journalist Lucy Komisar in the book “A Game as Old as Empire,” published by Berrett-Koehler.
Below is from July 29, 1991 Time website titled ‘BCCI: The Dirtiest Bank of All‘
Nothing in the history of modern financial scandals rivals the unfolding saga of the Bank of Credit & Commerce International (B.C.C.I.), the $20 billion rogue empire that regulators in 62 countries shut down in July 1991 in a stunning global sweep. Never has a single scandal involved so much money, so many nations or so many prominent people.
Superlatives are quickly exhausted:
it is the largest corporate criminal enterprise ever, the biggest Ponzi scheme, the most pervasive money-laundering operation and financial supermarket ever created for the likes of Manuel Noriega, Ferdinand Marcos, Saddam Hussein and the Colombian drug barons.
B.C.C.I. even accomplished a Stealth-like invasion of the U.S. banking industry by secretly buying First American Bankshares, a Washington-based holding company with offices stretching from Florida to New York, whose chairman is former U.S. Defense Secretary Clark Clifford.
But B.C.C.I. is more than just a criminal bank.
From interviews with sources close to B.C.C.I., TIME has pieced together a portrait of a clandestine division of the bank called the “black network,” which functions as a global intelligence operation and a Mafia-like enforcement squad. Operating primarily out of the bank’s offices in Karachi, Pakistan, the 1,500-employee black network has used sophisticated spy equipment and techniques, along with bribery, extortion, kidnapping and even, by some accounts, murder.
The black network – so named by its own members – stops at almost nothing to further the bank’s aims the world over.
The more conventional departments of B.C.C.I. handled such services as laundering money for the drug trade and helping dictators loot their national treasuries.
The black network, which is still functioning, operates a lucrative arms-trade business and transports drugs and gold. According to investigators and participants in those operations, it often works with Western and Middle Eastern intelligence agencies. The strange and still murky ties between B.C.C.I. and the intelligence agencies of several countries are so pervasive that even the White House has become entangled.
As TIME reported earlier this month, the National Security Council used B.C.C.I. to funnel money for the Iran-contra deals, and the CIA maintained accounts in B.C.C.I. for covert operations.
Moreover, investigators have told TIME that the Defense Intelligence Agency has maintained a slush-fund account with B.C.C.I., apparently to pay for clandestine activities.
But the CIA may have used B.C.C.I. as more than an undercover banker:
U.S. agents collaborated with the black network in several operations, according to a B.C.C.I. black-network “officer” who is now a secret U.S. government witness. Sources have told investigators that B.C.C.I. worked closely with Israel’s spy agencies and other Western intelligence groups as well, especially in arms deals.
The bank also maintained cozy relationships with international terrorists, say investigators who discovered suspected terrorist accounts for Libya, Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization in B.C.C.I.’s London offices.
The bank’s intelligence connections and alleged bribery of public officials around the world point to an explanation for the most persistent mystery in the B.C.C.I. scandal:
why banking and law-enforcement authorities allowed the bank to spin out of control for so long.
In the U.S. investigators now say openly that the Justice Department has not only reined in its own probe of the bank but is also part of a concerted campaign to derail any full investigation.
Says Robert Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, who first launched his investigations into B.C.C.I. two years ago:
“We have had no cooperation from the Justice Department since we first asked for records in March 1990. In fact they are impeding our investigation, and Justice Department representatives are asking witnesses not to cooperate with us.”
B.C.C.I. was started in 1972 with the putative mission of becoming the Muslim world’s first banking powerhouse.
Though it was incorporated in Luxembourg and headquartered in London, had more than 400 branches and subsidiaries around the world and was nominally owned by Arab shareholders from the gulf countries, B.C.C.I. was always a Pakistani bank, with its heart in Karachi.
Agha Hasan Abedi, the bank’s founder and leader until his ouster last year, is a Pakistani, as are most of the bank’s former middle managers. And it was in Pakistan that the bank’s most prodigiously corrupt division was spawned.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the resulting strategic importance of neighboring Pakistan accelerated the growth of B.C.C.I.’s geopolitical power and its unbridled use of the black network. Because the U.S. wanted to supply the mujahedin rebels in Afghanistan with Stinger missiles and other military hardware, it needed the full cooperation of Pakistan, across whose border the weapons would be shipped.
By the mid-1980s, the CIA’s Islamabad operation was one of the largest U.S. intelligence stations in the world.
“If B.C.C.I. is such an embarrassment to the U.S. that forthright investigations are not being pursued, it has a lot to do with the blind eye the U.S. turned to the heroin trafficking in Pakistan,” says a U.S. intelligence officer.
The black network was a natural outgrowth of B.C.C.I.’s dubious and criminal associations.
The bank was in a unique position to operate an intelligence-gathering unit because it dealt with such figures as,
- Peruvian President Alan Garcia
- Daniel Ortega
- contra leader Adolfo Calero
- arms dealers like Adnan Khashoggi
Its original purpose was to pay bribes, intimidate authorities and quash investigations.
But according to a former operative, sometime in the early 1980s the black network began running its own drugs, weapons and currency deals.
“I was recruited by the black network in the early 1980s,” says an Arab- born employee who has ties to a ruling family in the Middle East and has told U.S. authorities of his role in running one of the black units.
“They came to me while I was in school in the U.S.; they spoke my language, knew all of my friends and gave me money. They told me they wanted me to join the organization, and described its wealth and political power, but at first they never said exactly what the organization did.”
This operative – call him Mustafa – underwent a year of training that began with education in psychology and the principles of leadership and proceeded into spycraft, with lessons in electronic surveillance, breaking and entering, and interrogation techniques.
“Then the nature of our advisers changed,” says Mustafa. “The pleasantness was gone, and we moved to Pakistan, where we trained with firearms.”
Mustafa’s first operational assignment took him to London.
“They gave us passports and identification, and we moved a shipment of (unidentified) goods. In England they had more I.D. waiting for us, because customs and immigration are strict, but when we moved many places, into India or China or Latin America, matters were taken care of, and we just slipped through borders. We would be met. It was always all arranged.”
A typical operation took place in April 1989, when a container ship from Colombia docked during the night at Karachi, Pakistan.
Black-unit operatives met the ship after paying $100,000 in bribes to Pakistani customs officials. The band unloaded large wooden crates from several containers.
“They were so heavy we had to use a crane rather than a forklift,” says a participant.
The crates were trucked to a “secure airport” and loaded aboard an unmarked 707 jet, where an American, believed by the black-unit members to be a CIA agent, supervised the frantic activity.
The plane then departed for Czechoslovakia, taking the place of a scheduled Pakistan International Airlines commercial flight that was aborted at the last minute by prearrangement.
The 707’s radar transponder was altered to beep out the code of a commercial airliner, which enabled the plane to overfly several countries without arousing suspicion.
“From Czechoslovakia the 707 flew to the U.S.,” said the informant, insisting that none of the black-unit workers had any knowledge of what was in the heavy wooden crates.
“It could have been gold. It could have been drugs. It could have been guns. We dealt in those commodities,” Mustafa told U.S. authorities.
Other informants with details about the black network have come forward as the banking disaster has unfolded.
“B.C.C.I. was a full-service bank,” says an international arms dealer who frequently worked with the clandestine bank units.
“They not only financed arms deals that one government or another wanted to keep secret, they shipped the goods in their own ships, insured them with their own agency and provided manpower and security. They worked with intelligence agencies from all the Western countries and did a lot of business with East bloc countries.”
In Lima, where a probe of B.C.C.I.’s stewardship of Peru’s central-bank funds is under way, local investigators are trying to trace what happened to money in an aborted B.C.C.I.-brokered deal to sell French-made Mirage jet fighters to the impoverished nation.
Sources in the clandestine arms trade say B.C.C.I. eventually sold the planes to Pakistan and India.
U.S. intelligence agencies were well aware of such activities.
“B.C.C.I. played an indispensable role in facilitating deals between Israel and some Middle Eastern countries,” says a former State Department official.
“And when you look at the Saudi support of the contras, ask yourself who the middleman was: there was no government-to-government connection between the Saudis and Nicaragua.”
As an equal-opportunity smuggler, the bank dealt in arms from many countries.
“It was B.C.C.I. that financed and brokered (Chinese) Silkworm missiles that went to Saudi Arabia,” the former official says, “and those were equipped with sophisticated Israeli guidance systems. When you couldn’t use direct government transfers or national banks, B.C.C.I. was there to hot- wire the connections between Saudi Arabia, China and Israel.”
The bank also helped transfer North Korean Scud-B missiles to Syria, a B.C.C.I. source told TIME.
Yet the bank’s arms business was benign compared with the black network’s other missions. Sources say B.C.C.I. officials, known as protocol officers, were responsible for providing a smorgasbord of services for customers and national officials: paying bribes to politicians, supplying “young beauties from Lahore,” moving drugs and expediting insider business deals.
When it came to recruiting and persuading, the black network usually got its way.
“We would put money in the accounts of people we wanted to seduce to work for us,” says Mustafa, “or we would use terror tactics,” including kidnapping and blackmail. “The Pakistanis were easy to terrorize; perhaps we might send someone his brother’s hand with the rings still on it.”
“We were after business cooperation or military or industrial secrets that we would use or broker, and we targeted generals, businessmen and politicians. In America it was easy: money almost always worked, and we sought out politicians known to be corruptible.”
The black network was the bank’s deepest secret, but rumors of its activities filtered through the bank’s managerial level with chilling effectiveness. Senior bankers voice fears that they will be financially ruined or physically maimed – even killed – if they are found talking about B.C.C.I.’s activities.
High-level bank officers know what happened to a Karachi-based protocol officer whom the black network suspected of unreliability last year.
“They found he had been trying to liquidate his assets and quietly sell his house,” says Mustafa. “So, first they killed his brother, and then they sent brigands to rape his wife. He fled to the U.S., where he is hiding.”
U.S. investigators confirm the account but have little hope he will volunteer any secrets if he is located.
Businessmen who pursued shady deals with B.C.C.I. are just as frightened.
“Look,” says an arms dealer, “these people work hand in hand with the drug cartels; they can have anybody killed. I personally know one fellow who got crossed up with B.C.C.I., and he is a cripple now. A bunch of thugs beat him nearly to death, and he knows who ordered it and why. He’s not about to talk.”
Currently the black units have focused their scrutiny and intimidation on investigators.
“Our own people have been staked out or followed, and we suspect tapped telephones,” says a New York law-enforcement officer.
The black unit’s mission eventually became the pursuit of power and influence for its own sake, but its primary purpose was to foster a global looting operation that bilked depositors of billions of dollars.
Price Waterhouse, the accounting firm whose audit triggered the worldwide seizure of B.C.C.I. assets earlier this month, says the disarray is so extreme that the firm cannot even put together a coherent financial statement. But investigators believe $10 billion or more is missing, fully half of B.C.C.I.’s worldwide assets.
How did it happen? B.C.C.I.’s corporate structure allowed the bank to operate virtually without regulation all over the world.
The bank’s organizational web consisted of dozens of shell companies, offshore banks, branches and subsidiaries in 70 countries. It was incomprehensible even to its own financial officers and auditors. The bank’s extensive use of unregulated Cayman Islands accounts enabled it to hide almost anything.
The bank’s complex organization and unique method of accounting – longhand in paper ledgers, written in Pakistan’s Urdu language – make it unlikely that most of the missing money will be traced. Nor is it likely that anyone will ever know just how much Abedi, who has incorporated a new bank, called the Progressive Bank, in Karachi, stole from the rest of the world.
B.C.C.I.’s downfall was inevitable because it was essentially a planetary Ponzi scheme, a rip-off technique pioneered by American flimflam man Charles Ponzi in 1920. B.C.C.I. gathered deposits, looted most of them, but kept enough new deposits flowing in so that there was always sufficient cash on hand to pay anyone who asked for his money.
During the years of its most explosive growth in the late 1970s and mid-1980s, B.C.C.I. became a magnet for drug money, capital-flight money, tax-evading money and money from corrupt government officials. B.C.C.I. quickly gained a reputation as a bank that could move money anywhere and hide it without a trace.
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