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Gangsta Banksters, Afghanistan & Drugs -- Just When You Thought You Couldn’t Hate Them Any More Deeply ...

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(567 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

Sometimes I come across an electrifying article that inspires simultaneous dread, enlightenment and validation. An article providing that AHA moment, confirming my worst suspicions and connecting some troubling, global-big-picture dots. Dots-connecting that the pen-flashlight narrow, manipulatively selective, milli-second illuminations by Western corporate media don’t begin to help ordinary Americans or other Westerners achieve.

The last article that gave me the big AHA moment was by Ellen Brown in Asia Times entitled “Libya All About Oil, Or Central Banking?” Ms. Brown revealed that Libya it turns out is a threat to all those private international banksters out there because it, and Gaddafi, had the AUDACITY to establish a state-owned banking system. The outrageousness of such a legitimate act of economic independence!!!! Off with their heads!! (Which apparently is happening, since Geneva Conventions stopped mattering long ago and we are backing some unknown barbaric entities over there, but this is the era of “pragmatism” a/k/a America so on the wrong side of history, but as long as the media calls our convenient proxies the good guys who seriously gives a shit any more? Might, after all, makes right. Gangsta rules.)

Anyway, re Libya and the banksters, it would seem the US government along with NATO were and are certainly willing to offer up the lives of their sons and daughters, and their toolboxes of massive weaponry to strong-arm, shake down, whatever, little Libya into bankster subservience, or at the very least kill and displace thousands and thousands in trying. Oil companies and bankers. The magical “US interests” and/or the "NATO stabilization" bullshit that cause millions to die.

Corporate cronyism demands massive, gratuitous (well, not to the Banksters) war-mongering, violent intimidation along with ultimate, fascistic land and resource grabbing. Mr. “Days Not Weeks for the Libyan Humanitarian Intervention” a/k/a “Say Anything” Obama and the other two Trojan Horse government branches of corporatism will clearly do all they can to help the banksters and their economic world domination and exploitation agendas.

Aha! So every nook and cranny of the globe must suffer the banksters’ economic terrorism or suffer first US along with NATO’s military terrorism. And instead of the nauseating evil of this Libyan realpolitick being reported by our media, it is all wrapped up and ribboned, a/k/a propagandized, as a “humanitarian intervention.”

NOW TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CUZ THERE IS YET ANOTHER SOCIOPATHIC SUB-BASEMENT OF BANKSTER/US GOVERNMENT DEPRAVITY TO FATHOM.

The Gangsta Banksters, again militarily enabled by their crony US Government, are hip deep in promoting drug trafficking and laundering drug money.

“Shhhhhhhhhhh.” It is one damn, massive little secret, is it not?

Jeremy Hammond, an independent political analyst, has written a startling expose entitled “The Afghan Drug Trade and the Elephant in the Room” The money (pun intended) statements that Hammond makes in this article:

According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa, drug money was used to help prop up the U.S. economy following the 2008 financial crisis. "In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital," Costa has said. "In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor." The UNODC found evidence that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities," Costa said, and there were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way.

In other words, big money interests and power players within the United States have a financial interest in the preservation of the global drug trade, and U.S. policies and foreign interventions have often historically been aligned with that goal – including in present day Afghanistan.

While on one hand helping to dispel certain persistent myths about the Afghan drug trade, on the other hand, the authors of the FP article nevertheless effectively argue in favor of maintaining this status quo. More serious – and less hypocritical – analysis of the global drug trade will be required if the international community ever hopes to tackle the Afghan opium problem.

Hammond supplies some real historical background of the US military's relationship to the drug trade in Afghanistan that defies the disinforming mythmaking of our government and corporate media, especially that it is ONLY the Taliban producing, trafficking and profit-making from Afghanistan opium.

As the CIC report also points out, after the Taliban banned and effectively reduced opium production in 2001, "The locus of production moved to the territory controlled by the warlords" – that is, the "pro-drug dealing warlords aligned with the United States and its coalition allies." After the U.S. overthrew the Taliban, opium production once again soared to record levels. The CIC report adds, "At present, insurgents appear to be capturing only a small share of those trafficking revenues."

The authors, in their FP article, praise the fact that "The DEA and military … try to selectively disrupt the traffickers who are linked most closely to the insurgency." They also observe, in challenging the notion that "American Drug Addicts are Supporting the Taliban", that the principle markets for the Afghan opium trade are in Asia and Europe and that the U.S. "consumes only about 5 percent of the world’s illegal opium, and most of that comes from Colombia and Mexico."

[snip]

It’s a familiar pattern (during the Soviet-Afghan war, for example, the principle beneficiary of U.S. financing for the mujahedeen was Afghanistan’s leading drug lord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar), yet the authors carry on as thought the U.S. was serious about fighting the drug problem in Afghanistan.

This is a logical absurdity. It is axiomatic that if we are actually serious about tackling the destructive Afghan opium trade, we must recognize and confront the uncomfortable and inconvenient truth, as Professor Peter Dale Scott argues persuasively in his book "American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan", that the U.S. itself plays a central role in the global drug trade.

And the problem goes well beyond the historical fact that the U.S. has frequently aligned itself with drug traffickers and turned a blind eye to their activities. The U.S. economy itself is addicted to drugs. As Professor Scott notes in his book, "A Senate staff report has estimated 'that $500 billion to $1 trillion in criminal proceeds are laundered through banks worldwide each year, with about half of that amount moved through United States banks.’ The London Independent reported in 2004 that drug trafficking constitutes 'the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade.’"

A more recent report by the same House subcommittee, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, offered a slightly revised estimate of $500 to $1.5 trillion dollars laundered through the global financial system each year. "The failure of U.S. banks to take adequate steps to prevent money laundering through their correspondent bank accounts is not a new or isolated problem," the report stated. "It is longstanding, widespread and ongoing."

Indeed, the London Guardian just reported a case-in-point on how cocaine smugglers in Mexico had laundered money "through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo", which "became a beneficiary of $25bn in taxpayers’ money" following the 2008 stock market crash. This case represents "only the tip of an iceberg", the Guardian notes.

$25 billion of taxpayer money went to Wells Fargo, which inherited Wachovia with its cocaine smuggling clientele. Wonder what wholesome Lizzie Warren would think about all of this nightmare? I'll lay odds the oh so powerful powers that be would and will do anything to keep her away from it.

All that posturing about a “war on drugs” by our sham government reps? Drug trafficking and money laundering is profit-making. To psychopathic corporatism, morality has no place. Ergo, to the US government, evilly exploiting its -- our? -- military to enable evil, I say again, morality has no place. It wasn’t that long ago I would assume this would be too much of a moral challenge even for the Bush regime. But, no. And, repeat, not for the precious Obama regime, either.

Eradication of poppy crops Hammond reveals has not been successful for all these years. Yet, that fight has resulted in horrifying violence and deaths among US soldiers as well as Afghan policemen. Afghanistan provides 90% of the world population’s heroin production. And we couldn’t begin to impact that after 10 years of fighting over there? Wow. That's because what our government says it is intending to do or pretending to do and what it is actually doing, so often, especially during these dark and dirty Bush/Obama years, don't mesh.

Now we have selective eradication of insurgent poppy crops and that enables the pro-government war lords to have their monopoly, as the international banksters enjoy their profit-making from the laundering end of it. And the mandate for the war on drugs? The human toll of drug addiction? Well, since law and empathy do not seem to matter so much any more, what the hey?

We’ve entered even deeper into the corporatism heart of darkness, folks.

Oil, armaments and drugs. Hot commodities. The world's three largest according to Mr. Hammond. Why would morality and legality and empathy and a long-term sensibility of human, environmental and geo-political consequences impact corporate cronyism profit-making addictions? Human welfare? Not worthy of consideration.

One comment Hammond makes is particularly poignant and reminds us of the tragic human dimension of drug trafficking:

But what they neglect to mention [the FP authors] is the untold number of soldiers sent to Afghanistan who have become drug addicts. Despite the claims of the U.S. government that it is actively engaged in trying to curtail the drug trade in Afghanistan, heroin is readily available to U.S. troops, including just outside of the Bagram military base. It’s a problem nobody seems to want to talk about, but indications are that drug use and addiction among soldiers is a serious problem, just as it was for veterans of the Vietnam war, thanks in no small part to the CIA’s role in protecting and participating in the drug trade in the Golden Triangle.

So soldiers that don't die in Afghanistan have a good shot at becoming heroin addicts along with the millions globally purchasing the life-destroying drug. So it goes. But, again, as long as the war profiteers make their trillions, anything goes.

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Submitted by Hugh on

It is an interesting disconnect that Afghanitan is the world's largest producer of opium. We have a 100,000+ army there. We have a War on Drugs. And complete silence emanates from the government, the military, and the media concerning Afghanistan and drugs.

Hugh

Submitted by libbyliberal on

and it confirmed some of my suspicions and shocked me with even more extreme gangsterism going on. I kept wondering what was happening with that 90% drug supplying statistic.

As far as the public hearing the truth ... there seems a "what happens in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, wherever ... stays in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc". If you can't CONTROL something, if it is horrifyingly out of control, then the alternative is to at least control insanely the cover up and get your hit of power and control from that and become more and more disconnected from honesty and justice.

Also, with the Obama administration, there seems more of a moral obtuseness even than with Bush and its shadowy mendacity. Obama administration seems to be even more shameless in cherrypicking CONVENIENT moral stances and in your face defying and ignoring other obvious moral callings.

Immorality ... can have such a steep and slippery slope. And the more the moral compromise the stronger the bond with the colluders. Even the perpetrators with their victims. Like priests with their child sexual victims.

While writing the above blog I couldn't help but keep thinking of that Canadian documentary The Corporation and how it emphasized how the corporation as a "legal person" had the personality profile of a psychopath. As psychopaths continue on unrestrained the moral crimes become more and more insanely horrifying.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

And one I'm going to share with many people! Keep up all the great work you're doing!

Time for Real Change

Submitted by libbyliberal on

dots-connecting with obama is so necessary and not being done by our corporate media. they are trying to erase between the dots, in fact. the age of disinformation! we gotta grassroots saturate the country with truth.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

Submitted by lambert on

... ran across the same interconnections in housing money. She had developed software that tracked the inflows and outflows of money into urban neighborhoods; an early GIS, IIRC. Can't have that, you know!

The money-laundering is definitely a great nexus to keep tugging at; this story has surfaced periodically, but never gets any traction. I wonder if there is a researcher following it...

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by libbyliberal on

of power and control and faux-dignity -- look I am rich so I can do what I want unquestioned and how dare anyone come after me because that would be dangerous, well, maybe to a country half awake.

Money brings power and lack of money brings primal sense of powerlessness.

Remember when church was laundering money for mob. Probably still is. That confused Catholic guilt ... let it be an amoral win/win for the church and the gangster rat bastards sharing the benefits of blood money! Tony Soprano is small potatoes in comparison.

Thanks, lambert. "money laundering" ... certainly an issue worth watching and learning about. Where the BIG PAYOFFS are.

WE GOTTA HELP UP THE TRACTION FACTOR!

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

Submitted by Lex on

What with a new job and a nine week old puppy, i haven't had much time to keep up on the news. I would have missed Jeremy's piece.

He and i have had long and detailed, private conversations about the drug trade and the US's historic involvement...up to the present day in Afghanistan. Jeremy knows his stuff better than most anyone else.

There's never any official talk about where the real drug money ends up, and it's not in the pockets of Afghan producers or street dealers in Berlin or New York. It's in the pockets of those who facilitate the international movement of narcotics...and those who clean the money. Suitcases full of $100 bills don't do anyone much good. But once that money gets cleaned, it can buy yachts and purchase investment products.

Another thing. 20 years from now we'll find out that the CIA pumped Afghan heroin into Iran for its destabilization efforts. Iran has one of the highest opium addiction rates in the world.

i'm confident in that prediction. Let's face it, the CIA has been in the drug business since its formation. And it has a very long history (some even admitted) of involvement with Afghan opium production.

“Don’t believe them, don’t fear them, don’t ask anything of them” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Submitted by libbyliberal on

what kind of dog? Dogs rule! They should rule!

Lex, tx. I am so glad I discovered Jeremy Hammond and want to stay clued in to him! Glad to hear your acquaintance and endorsement!

So saturated with criminality this government is. There is a new shamelessness present too, with the Obama administration. A laziness and a talk to the hand fascism about not even the pretense of accountability to the citizenry. Just some lazy fog machine rhetoric at election time.

Evil has been around but the scope of its institutionalization in terms of America is beyond sobering.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

Submitted by Lex on

She's a shepherd/lab mix. She looks like a shepherd but for floppy ears and a lab tail (and so far exhibits none of the sloping back of a shepherd that contributes so much to hip dysplasia). From what we know, she's now a little over 9 weeks old. Got her from a nearby shelter.

Cute, appears to be pretty damned smart, and full of 9 week old puppy energy. She's a full time job all by herself!

Yes, Jeremy is not only a very, very good analyst, he's kept long and detailed track of the worldwide "war" on drugs. This is an issue on which he's got deep knowledge.

In another comment you talked about how long this has been going on under our noses. It's a shame that we can pretty much assume that where the CIA is, there too is a significant node of the drug trade.

And this is how we fund black site prisons and all sorts of off-the-books paramilitary operations. I've read reports that a great deal of the Afghan heroin transits into Europe through Kosovo...one of our fine products of liberation and democratization. I've even read unconfirmed (but believable) reports of US military transports carrying it in.

There is a reason why with a 100,000+ occupation force that a country producing 90% of the world's opium/heroin only sees 3% of the interdictions (according to the last UN report i saw). That defies the law of averages, but goes to the commonsense argument that it requires connections to move such vast quantities of illicit drugs across international borders.

As an aside, here's a link to the first of a three part piece i wrote about opium/heroin in Afghanistan:

http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2009/09...

(the others are linked below as related posts)

“Don’t believe them, don’t fear them, don’t ask anything of them” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Submitted by libbyliberal on

your part three should be revised with a graphic for twig's flower series, I am serious. The info about the poppy and its needs and status in Afghanistan is fascinating.

I loved your wrap up:

For every problem there are an infinite number of solutions and the problem of opium cultivation in Afghanistan is no different. Unfortunately, it appears the US has settled on the worst solution: lots of money for bullets and paramilitary drug war adventures. Until such time as our priorities for Afghanistan make sense in Afghanistan for Afghans and we focus our efforts on building the foundation of a stable society (food: politics starts at the breakfast table), we will reap only failure, violence and instability.

shepherd lab, sounds like a GREAT combo!!!!

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

the government couldn't possibly do anything worse, it does. (Maybe I should stop thinking that.) What a remarkable piece, connecting all these elements -- and it makes perfect sense.

They need to keep the drug trade going to continue their sham War on Drugs, the same way they need to piss off people in other countries sufficiently to "attack" us, keeping the War on Terror going. Over-simplified, but look at the enormous amount of $$$$ that gets spent on this baloney, while people here sleep on sidewalks or wherever.

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." -- Albert Einstein

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Bloomberg and Cuomo slashing public assistance, too. it is a nightmare! And there not being money is one thing, but when it is about money going to greedy insatiable gangsters ... gangsters in designer suits. Psychopaths.

Twig, do you check in or write for "sacramento for democracy"? John and Bill have an awesome website there. A lot of activism events I wish I were close enough to join in with, too.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

Submitted by libbyliberal on

I think it is one of those jarring stories, so threatening to "American exceptionalism". I do remember reading of it from time to time and waiting for something to come of it or to read more. Remember when the press got a hold of something and then prosecution happened. Remember when 60 Minutes showed up in your yard and that meant you were soon gonna be locked up? Now corporate media goes after convenient targets for the status quo and when horrifying crimes are unearthed by the non-traditional and non-compromised cyber media ... crickets on the part of law enforcement.

The bigger the outrages the harder it is for citizens to wrap their minds and hearts around the horror. Especially when nothing happens.

Here's Glen Ford calling it out at the end of 2009 and I read this I remember with horror and waited to hear more and mentions were few and far between even in cyber media, though there are so many amoral fresh hells with each passing day now. Ford mentions Afghanistan wedding parties weren't mistaken targets. We were just rubbing out enemies of the drug war lords over there, as unquestioning thug "muscle" for them. GANG loyalty. No wonder our soldiers are committing suicide in droves or going crazy. What happens in Afghanistan shouldn't stay in Afghanistan.

http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/americans-are-deeply-involved-afghan-drug-trade

When you think of the massiveness of the US prison population, and how many are in their for drug infractions, like minor marijuana infractions, and then you think of this institutionalized depravity being enabled by our CAPTURED ENABLING representatives. The drug mafia and its drug cronies -- money buys anything -- are calling the shots.

Look at the deaths in Mexico. Cavalierly labelled drug-related.

Mexico, the US, Afghanistan. NARCO states!

I'm calling for Obama's dumping as a candidate? Impeachment would be kind for what they all deserve. John Edwards said there were two Americas. Well, the privileged American class has taken their get out of jail free card, their you don't even have to worry about getting near a jail in fact here are millions of taxpayer dollars to keep doing and escalate the depraved criminal things you are doing GLOBALLY card and join forces with the devil.

No wonder Obama et al. are torturing whistleblowers, making extreme examples of them. They are willing to kill the messengers since steroidal lawlessness for governmental cronies is the American Way. They are so above the law they are getting nose bleeds, these rabid rat bastards.

This government as Bush's jumped the shark on having any basic respect for humanity. The media plays with impression management and citizens assume the ostrich position! This is industrial strength lawlessness.

We need R2P for ourselves as a nation! But that means the UN needs strength and integrity to help us and we are talking about international racketeers with their hands on weapons of mass destruction.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)