Some information, news, analysis and commentary on this subject for further investigation.
To be convinced of any truth one must investigate and reflect for himself or herself …
[ see disclaimer in “about”]
Updated: Aug. 12, 2009
After the attacks of Sept. 11, President Bush signed a series of directives authorizing the Central Intelligence Agency to conduct a covert war against Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network, Al Qaeda. The directives empowered the agency to kill or capture Al Qaeda leaders.
The C.I.A. began jailing suspects in 2002, creating a detention and interrogation program from scratch to deal with so-called “high value detainees” of the war on terror. Its detention program for Al Qaeda leaders was the most secretive component of an extensive regime of detention and interrogation put into place by the United States government after the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan.
In its scramble to create a system, the agency made the momentous decision to use harsh methods that the government had long condemned. It borrowed its techniques from an American military training program modeled on the torture repertories of the Soviet Union and other cold-war adversaries, a lineage that would come to haunt the agency.
It located its overseas jails based largely on which foreign governments were most accommodating and rushed to relocate the prisoners when word of the sites leaked.
The C.I.A. operated its detention system under a series of secret legal opinions by agency and Justice Department lawyers. Those rules provided a legal basis for the use of questionable interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, which was used on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a high-level detainee believed to have helped plan the attacks of Sept. 11.
The prison network remained cloaked in secrecy until Mr. Bush confirmed its existence during a speech in September 2006: he announced that the 14 remaining inmates in C.I.A. prisons would be transferred to Guantánamo. When Mr. Bush signed the Military Commissions Act the following month, the White House released a statement calling the agency’s detention program “one of the most successful intelligence efforts in American history.” The act would “ensure that we can continue using this vital tool to protect the American people for years to come,” Mr. Bush said.
The C.I.A. interrogation techniques were fully confirmed by the Obama administration in April 2009, when they released Justice Department memos that authorized a range of brutal interrogation techniques, including forced sleeplessness and waterboarding.
Seven months after President Obama ordered the C.I.A. interrogation program closed, its fallout still commands attention. In August 2009, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is expected to decide whether to begin a criminal torture investigation. The Justice Department ethics office is expected to complete its report on the lawyers who pronounced the methods legal. And the C.I.A. will soon release the highly critical 2004 report on the program by the agency’s inspector general.
The C.I.A.’s interrogation program seemed to show early results with the capture of Abu Zubaydah in April 2002. Mr. Zubaydah, a close associate of Mr. bin Laden, had run Al Qaeda’s recruiting, bringing in young men from other countries to training camps in Afghanistan.
Mr. Zubaydah identified Jose Padilla, a low-level Qaeda convert who was arrested in May 2002 in connection with an effort to build a dirty bomb. He also helped identify Mr. Mohammed as a crucial figure in the 9/11 plot. Mr. Zubaydah was later flown to Thailand and held at the first of the “black sites,” the C.I.A. interrogation facilities for major Qaeda figures.
It was there that the agency would first try physical pressure to get information, including the near-drowning technique of waterboarding. The methods involved came from the military’s SERE training program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape), in which for decades American service members were given a sample of the brutal treatment they might face if captured. A small version of SERE had long operated at the C.I.A.’s Virginia training site known as The Farm.
Mr. Zubaydah was subjected to repeated waterboarding. Senior Federal Bureau of Investigation officials thought such methods unnecessary and unwise. Their agents got Mr. Zubaydah talking without using force and he revealed the central role of Mr. Mohammed in the 9/11 plot. They correctly predicted that harsh methods would darken the nation’s reputation and complicate future prosecutions. Many C.I.A. officials also voiced doubts, and the agency used contract employees with military experience for much of the work.
With Mr. Zubaydah’s case, the pattern was set. With a new prisoner, the interrogators would open the questioning. If officers believed the prisoner was holding out, paramilitary officers who had taken a crash course in the SERE techniques but who knew little about Al Qaeda would move in to manhandle the prisoner. Aware that they were on tenuous legal ground, agency officials at headquarters insisted on approving each new step — a night without sleep, a session of waterboarding, even a “belly slap” — in an exchange of encrypted messages. A doctor or medic was always on hand.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Within days of his capture, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was flown to Afghanistan and then to Poland, where the most important unit of the black sites was located.
Mr. Mohammed met his captors at first with cocky defiance, telling one veteran C.I.A. officer, a former Pakistan station chief, that he would talk only when he got to New York and was assigned a lawyer — the experience of his nephew and partner in terrorism, Ramzi Yousef, after Mr. Yousef’s arrest in 1995.
But the rules had changed, and the tough treatment began shortly after Mr. Mohammed arrived. By several accounts, he proved especially resistant, chanting from the Koran, doling out innocuous information or obvious fabrications. The Times reported in 2007 that the intensity of his treatment — various harsh techniques, including waterboarding, were used about 100 times over a period of two weeks — prompted worries that officers might have crossed the boundary into illegal torture.
The intelligence riches ultimately gleaned from Mr. Mohammed were reflected in the report of the national 9/11 commission, whose footnotes credit his interrogations 60 times for facts about Al Qaeda and its plotting — while also occasionally noting assertions by him that were “not credible.” The interrogations the commission cited began just 11 days after Mr. Mohammed’s capture and ended just days before its report was published in mid 2004. Mr. Mohammed claimed a role in a long list of completed and thwarted attacks. Human rights advocates have questioned some of his claims, including the beheading of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, suggesting that they may have been false statements made to stop the torture.
Legal Justifications and Challenges
Since its inception, the C.I.A. interrogation and detention program has been a subject of intense debate at the highest levels of American government.
A fierce dispute erupted between the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. over interrogation practices during the spring and summer of 2002; the F.B.I. officials objected to the harsh treatment and later withdrew from the questioning of Mr. Zubaydah. Senior White House officials played a central role in deliberations about whether the C.I.A. could legally use the techniques. The meetings were led by Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, and attended by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Attorney General John Ashcroft and other top Bush administration officials.
At one point that summer, current and former intelligence officials have said, C.I.A. lawyers ordered that the use of such techniques by C.I.A. personnel be suspended until the Justice Department formally authorized them. That authorization came in a secret memo dated Aug. 1, 2002, written by John Yoo, a legal advisor in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, and signed by Jay S. Bybee, head of the office.
After Mr. Bybee and Mr. Yoo left the Justice Department, the new head of the office, Jack L. Goldsmith, advised government departments not to rely on that opinion, which was formally withdrawn in June 2004. After the C.I.A. raised further questions about the legality of its interrogation methods, Mr. Goldsmith’s successor, Steven G. Bradbury, issued new opinions approving harsh methods in 2005.
In June 2006, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which sets out a minimum standard for the treatment of captured fighters and others in conflicts that do not involve nation states, should apply to all detainees. The Military Commission Act of 2006 made illegal several broadly defined abuses of detainees, while leaving it to the president to establish specific permissible interrogation techniques. In July 2007, an executive order signed by Mr. Bush allowed the C.I.A. to use some methods banned for military interrogators but which the Justice Department determined were not violations of the Geneva Conventions.
On his second full day in office in January 2009, President Barack Obama instructed officials not to rely on any opinions on interrogation issued by the Justice Department since 2001. The executive order ended the secret overseas prisons, banned coercive interrogation methods and set a year timeline for closing the Guantánamo Bay detention camp.
Assessments and Disclosures
Confirmation of previous reporting about harsh C.I.A. interrogation tactics was provided by a long-secret report prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which reached the public in April 2009, and from the release of long-secret Bush administration legal memos.
On April 16, a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the A.C.L.U. led to the release of the 2002 and 2005 memos by the Bush administration Office of Legal Counsel signed by Mr. Bybee and Mr. Bradbury. In dozens of pages of dispassionate legal prose, the methods approved by the Bush administration for extracting information from senior operatives of Al Qaeda are spelled out in careful detail — including a previously unknown tactic: the C.I.A. proposed exploiting Mr. Zubaydah’s fears by placing him in a box with insects.
President Obama said that C.I.A. officers who were acting on the Justice Department’s legal advice would not be prosecuted, but left open the possibility that anyone who acted without legal authorization could still face criminal penalties. The three Bush administration lawyers who signed the interrogation memos — Mr. Yoo, Jay S. Bybee and Steven G. Bradbury — are the subject of a coming report by the Justice Department’s ethics office that officials say is very critical of their work. The office has the power to recommend disbarment or other professional penalties or, less likely, to refer cases for criminal prosecution.
One of the four secret legal memos that Mr. Obama ordered released was a 2005 Justice Department document, which was made public on April 2, 2009. It disclosed that C.I.A. interrogators used waterboarding 266 times on the two key Al Qaeda prisoners, far more than had been previously reported. Agency officers used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 against Mr. Zubaydah. They used waterboarding 183 times in March 2003 against Mr. Mohammed.
A New York Times article, published April 22, 2009, reported how a series of high-level meetings in 2002 led to an official embracing of harsh interrogation methods — without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers. The extraordinary consensus was possible largely because no one involved — not the top two C.I.A. officials pushing the program, not the senior aides to Mr. Bush, not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees — investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.
No one was aware, for example, that the SERE methods had wrung false confessions from Americans. No one knew that some veteran trainers from the SERE program itself had warned in internal memorandums that, morality aside, the methods were ineffective. Nor were most of the officials aware that the former military psychologists who played a central role in persuading C.I.A. officials to use the harsh methods had never conducted a real interrogation, or that the Justice Department lawyer most responsible for declaring the methods legal had idiosyncratic ideas that even the Bush Justice Department would later renounce.
The consensus of top administration officials about the C.I.A. interrogation program, which they had approved without debate or dissent in 2002, began to fall apart the next year. Acutely aware that the agency would be blamed if the policies lost political support, nervous C.I.A. officials began to curb its practices much earlier than most Americans know: no one was waterboarded after March 2003, and coercive interrogation methods were shelved altogether in 2005.
A turning point came on May 7, 2004, the day the C.I.A. inspector general, John L. Helgerson, completed a devastating report. In thousands of pages, it challenged the legality of some interrogation methods, found that interrogators were exceeding the rules imposed by the Justice Department and questioned the effectiveness of the entire program.
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<>A Mass Grave In Afghanistan Raises Questions
<> How the Bush administration tried to cover up mass murder
Fresh Air, NPR, July 23, 2009
Dr. Jennifer Leaning, Nathaniel Raymond and Dr. Nizam Peerwani of Physicians for Human Rights discuss with Terry Gross their investigation of the alleged massacre of hundreds or possibly thousands of Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners at Dasht-i-Leili in Afghanistan in December 2001
<> What It’s Like to Discover a Mass Grave: Jennifer Leaning, MD
“…In November 2001, as many as 2,000 Taliban prisoners are believed to have been killed in container trucks by US-allied Afghan troops and buried in a mass grave in Dasht-e Leili, Afghanistan. These Afghan troops were operating jointly with American forces, who were allegedly present at the scene of the crime. PHR investigators discovered the mass grave in 2002. (More…)
And in August 2009 the USA public relations
nightmare when the warlord himself …..
as an article title reports below:
Notorious Afghan warlord (Dostom) returns to help
Friday, July 10, 2009
A NATION CHALLENGED: THE CAPTIVES; Prison Packed With Taliban Raises Concern
By CARLOTTA GALL with MARK LANDLER Published: Saturday, January 5, 2002
Study Hints at Mass Killing of the Taliban
By CARLOTTA GALL Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2002
Saturday 22 August 2009
A plane flies over an electrical fence at Bagram prison in Afghanistan. (Photo: Getty Images)
Legal black holes such as Bagram are the physical manifestation of the “state of exception” beloved of leaders throughout history.
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) demanded that the Obama administration release information on 600 detainees held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. The request mirrors that made to the Bush administration seven years before, regarding the men held in Guantánamo Bay.
The continued use of secret prisons to hold detainees – some not captured in the Afghan conflict, but brought to Bagram from elsewhere – seems contrary to the announcement of 23 January 2009 when the Obama administration, fresh into office, declared that the indefinite detention of foreign prisoners at Guantánamo Bay would end. In April, the CIA announced that it had ceased operating its network of secret prisons. Publicly at least, it seemed that the extraordinary powers claimed for the president following 11 September 2001 had been a historical anomaly, gone with Bush and his cabal.
But while the US has publicly declared a commitment to the rule of law and the closure of Guantánamo Bay, existing “black sites” like Bagram airbase and other secret locations around the world, particularly the Horn of Africa, are expected to grow. The work of organisations like the ACLU, Amnesty International and Reprieve to gain information on such places and provide legal help to detainees will become even more difficult. No detainee at Bagram has yet gained access to a US court.
Has Obama simply adopted a doctrine of the Bush administration, or does the ongoing existence of secret prisons and extralegal detention reveal something more about the limits of law itself? Jurists in the early 20th century, much like their Roman predecessors, were much preoccupied by the conditions under which the law could be suspended to preserve it. Europe was a very different place to the heavily regulated, legally dense creation of the past 40 years. In times of war, it is generally agreed that the executive branch of government could adopt emergency powers to suspend the normal legal order. The rationale is to deal with a crisis effectively, defeat the enemy or quickly distribute aid and supplies. In such a “state of exception”, as investigated by Italian theorist Giorgio Agamben, normal legal rules are superseded by facts of life. The distinction between legal rule and bare necessity becomes blurred.
In a time of emergency, the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt wrote, “sovereign is he who decides on the state of exception”. No sooner had Hitler come to power than he declared personal liberties contained in the constitution of the Weimar republic to be suspended, to bring about the Third Reich. His decree was never repealed, and so the entire 12 years of his rule was, in legal terms, a state of exception during which his word was law. The definition of a sovereign, for Schmitt, is the legal power to suspend legality itself.
Interest in Schmitt was understandably renewed following the declaration by the US president George W Bush in November 2001 that “enemy combatants” would be detained without access to normal courts. The ordinary laws of war would not apply to them. This decision fitted Schmitt’s concept of sovereign power to the letter. But in Agamben’s reading, this is not simply a particular doctrine adopted by the Nazis and the Bush administration. Rather it is inherent in the structure of sovereignty and law. For Agamben, the “state of exception” is in fact the normal situation. The power to create legal black holes is not so much an abuse of executive power; it is something built into the nature of executive power itself.
We can think of examples closer to home. Northern Ireland was governed from the moment of its creation in 1922 with the aid of the Special Powers Act, a set of executive measures that later gave the authority for internment in 1971. The lineage from the Defence of the Realm Act 1914, via the Special Powers Act and the Prevention of Terrorism Acts to the contemporary raft of counter-terrorist legislation of the past decade is easy to trace. At all points the executive has reserved the power to decide on enemies or threats to the normal order, people who are designated as outside the sphere of law, and therefore subject to detention, torture, or even death.
The secret prison is, like the concentration camp, the physical manifestation of the state of exception, a place where law cannot penetrate. But those subject to such powers are not limited to the detainees of the “war on terror”, against whom torture and extra-judicial imprisonment are said to be not only justified, but necessary. The paradigm provides a different way of thinking about, for example, the unlawful detention and violent removal of immigration detainees from the UK, under the powers invested in the secretary of state. It also offers insight into the deployment of counter-terrorist powers by the police against civil protests in our cities and at climate camp.
In contemporary sovereignty there is always a hint of dictatorship in the power to decide who is outside the law. It is against this that those who believe in the rule of law, civil liberties, human rights and equality must struggle.
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This is a moderated forum. It may take a little while for comments to go live. Be civil and on-topic, don’t threaten or advocate violence, please keep it under 300 words. Thanks for participating.
Mon, 08/24/2009 – 16:06 — Anonymous (not verified)
NOBODY has the right to violate other people’s human rights, especially not governments.
Mon, 08/24/2009 – 19:38 — Anonymous (not verified)
Perhaps one of the clearest indices that America has not quite descended into fascism, is the existence and work of the ACLU. Bravo! Having said that, perhaps one of the surest signs that America has degenerated into fascism, is that despite what the ACLU may do, fascist institutions such as Bagram Air Base continue to operate with impunity, with no end in sight. Quite simply, the fascist paradigm seems to operate transparently, on a meta level in America. What we have is an operational fascism, without the appearance, or the classic visible regalia of fascism. The ruling elites, the Pentagon and their politicians, both Bush and Obama, know in advance that anything the ACLU may do, that the buck stops clearly at Supreme Court of the United States. Fail safe fascism, made to order. A bona fide majority of criminals and torturers at the highest levels of the state! –(Jill Bains).
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<> CIA drug trafficking
# 1 Vietnam Era
# 2 Soviet Afghanistan
# 3 Iran Contra Affair
# 4 Venezuelan National Guard Affair
<> Drugs trade the ‘third largest economy’
[That’s worldwide!!!!!] [and if your add alcohol, tobacco, gambling, prostitution, and pornography, then the largest by far ]
<> Drugs, thugs and bugs
search that one!
>>> Some more books on the CIA and Drugs connection >>>
<> Dark Alliance : The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion by Gary Webb
…drug trial turned into a massive conspiracy involving the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, L.A. and Bay Area crack cocaine dealers, and the Central Intelligence Agency. For several years during the 1980s, Webb discovered, Contra elements shuttled thousands of tons of cocaine into the United States, with the profits going toward the funding of Contra rebels attempting a counterrevolution in their Nicaraguan homeland. Even more chilling, Webb quickly realized, was that the massive drug-dealing operation had the implicit approval–and occasional outright support–of the CIA, the very organization entrusted to prevent illegal drugs from being brought into the United States.
<>Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press by Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair
The specific revelations are not, perhaps, entirely new; many know, for example, that even before there was a CIA, the WWII-era Office of Strategic Services enlisted the aid of gangster “Lucky” Luciano in arranging support among the Sicilian Mafia for the American invasion of Italy, or that the CIA was actively involved in the Southeast Asian opium trade during the Vietnam War. But Cockburn and St. Clair persuasively argue that the traditional explanation for such events–“rogue elements”–is deliberately misleading, and that the mainstream “liberal” press plays an active role in this obfuscation (noting, for example, that Webb’s three biggest attackers were the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post). By providing an overarching narrative rather than treating these incidents as isolated, the authors present a damning indictment of the CIA–but one that fully admits that the agency was not acting on its own, but was merely fulfilling the mandates of the American government. –Ron Hogan –
“This is largely a story of criminal conduct, much of it by the Central Intelligence Agency. It is a story of how many in the US press have been complicit in covering the Agency’s tracks. When compelled to concede the Agency’s criminal activities such journalists often take refuge in the notion of ‘rogue agents’ or, as a last resort, of a ‘rogue agency.’ we do not accept this separation of the CIA’s activities from the policies and directives of the US government. Whether it was Truman’s meddling in China, which created the Burmese opium kings; or the Kennedy brothers’ obsession with killing Fidel Castro; or Nixon’s command for ‘more assassinations’ in Vietnam, the CIA has always been the obedient executor of the will of the US government, starting with the White House.”…From the Preface
Chapter One of WHITEOUT sets the theme and tone of the entire book via describing the career assassination attempts on Gary Webb, an investigative journalist for the San Jose Mercury News who uncovered unavoidable proof of the CIA’s involvement in the Nicaraguan Contra drug trade of the 80’s. They, with the help of the CIA, deliberately planted tons of cocaine into the Black communities of Los Angeles which became converted and marketed in its cheap, hard rock form–ushering in the Crack era from which the whole of Black America has never recovered…
But the core of “Whiteout” has a more historical perspective, as the authors set out to review the underside of the history of the CIA and its precursor, the OSS. And an ugly picture it is, too, as we see these agencies:
-recruiting the Mafia to assassinate foreign leaders.
-recruiting Nazi scientists to conduct experiments (often on blacks) in torture and mind control.
-helping war criminal Klaus Barbie escape Europe, and justice, to become a South American drug lord, arms dealer and apparent CIA operative.
-allying with the opium and heroin traders of Southeast Asia.
<>Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America by Peter Dale Scott
This important, explosive report forcefully argues that the “war on drugs” is largely a sham, as the U.S. government is one of the world’s largest drug pushers. The authors unearth close links between the CIA and Latin American drug networks which provide U.S. covert operations with financing, political leverage and intelligence….
<>Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb by Nick Schou
Schou personally knew Gary Webb, the reporter with the San Jose Mercury News whose 1996 series of articles linked the CIA to the nation’s crack-cocaine plague. Schou, who had spent eight years following a similar story, worried that Webb’s suicide in 2004 would cause reporters to shy away from uncovering government involvement in drug trafficking. Schou offers a portrait of a dogged reporter, a motorcycle-driving rebel who was occasionally arrogant and had a history of depression. But Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, also had a reputation for meticulous research. Schou retraces Webb’s exhaustive research, which connected crack cocaine sold on the streets of L.A and CIA operations in Nicaragua. Schou also recalls other reporters who faced attacks by the government, lack of support by editors, drug-possession setups, and death threats for investigating CIA involvement in drug trafficking. He also details the personal ruin Webb suffered when his series was greeted first with silence by the journalistic community and later attacked, a series that Schou maintains was on target. An impressive look at the intersection of clandestine government operations and a free press. Vanessa Bush
<>Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina by Peter Dale Scott
Peter Dale Scott’s brilliantly researched tour de force illuminates the underlying forces that drive U.S. global policy from Vietnam to Colombia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq. He brings to light the intertwined patterns of drugs, oil politics, and intelligence networks that have been so central to the larger workings of U.S. intervention and escalation in Third World countries through al liances with drug-trafficking proxies. The result has been a staggering increase in global drug traffic. Thus, the author argues, the exercise of power by cover t means, or parapolitics, often metastasizes into deep politics – the interplay of unacknowledged forces that spin out of the control of the original policy ini tiators. Scott contends that we must recognize that U.S. influence is grounded n ot just in military and economic superiority but also in so-called soft power. W e need a soft politics of persuasion and nonviolence, especially as America is e mbroiled in yet another disastrous intervention, this time in Iraq…..
….a brilliant account of a drug-trafficking empire. He shows how US protection for their drug-runner allies has led to the huge increase in drug trafficking in the last 50 years.
The US strategy of opposing national self-determination involves alliances with drug-traffickers like the Sicilian Mafia, the Triads in South-East Asia, the Contras in Nicaragua, the Kosovo Liberation Army in Europe, the death squads in Colombia and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. As President Johnson’s Secretary of State Dean Rusk said, the USA “should employ whatever means … arms here, opium there.”
From the 1870s to the 1960s, the British rulers of Malaya farmed the opium franchise to the Triads. The US state first copied this strategy in 1949, when it armed the defeated Kuomintang’s drug networks in Burma and Laos, after the victorious Chinese revolution began to eliminate Chinese opium, then the source of 85% of the world’s heroin.
The US state encouraged its allies to enrich themselves through drugs, while it blamed the communist enemy for the evils that its allies were committing. From 1949 until at least 1964, the US told the UN Narcotics Commission that China was responsible for drug imports into the USA. In fact, the drugs were trafficked from Burma and Thailand, under the protection of the Kuomintang troops backed by the CIA. The Hong Kong authorities stated that they “were not aware of a traffic in narcotics from the mainland of China through Hong Kong” but “quantities of narcotics reached Hong Kong via Thailand.”
The US state assaulted the whole region of South East Asia between 1950 and 1975, just as it is attacking the Middle East today. An earlier effort at regime change in Laos in 1959-60 was a disaster, putting drug traffickers in power. Opium production soared during the years of US intervention, the 1950s and 1960s, and plummeted in 1975 after the Vietnamese people kicked US forces out of the region.
US military interventions lead to bigger drug flows into the USA. After the US intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, the Afghani-produced proportion of heroin consumed in the USA went from zero in 1979 to 52% in 1984.
Later, the Taliban government cut opium production from 3,656 tons in 2000 (90% of Europe’s heroin supply) to 74 tons in 2001 (US State Department figures), wiping out 70% of the world’s illicit opium production. US forces, in alliance with a drug trafficking network, the Northern Alliance, defeated Al Qa’ida, another drug trafficking network. The US funded the Northern Alliance warlord and terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, making him the world’s biggest heroin trafficker.
Under US occupation, Afghan opium production has risen from 3,700 tons in 2002, to 3,400 tons in 2003, to 4,200 tons last year. The Financial Times wrote, “The U.S. and UN have ignored repeated calls by the international antidrugs community to address the increasing menace of Afghanistan’s opium cultivation.” It is now the world’s leading producer of illicit drugs, producing 90% of the heroin sold in Britain and Europe. President Karzai of Afghanistan has made Rashid Dostum, a warlord, drug runner and terrorist, his military chief of staff.
According to the Colombian government, the antigovernment guerrillas of FARC (the supposed target of the `war on drugs’) had 2.5% of Colombia’s cocaine trade; the government’s allies, the paramilitary death squads, had 40%. Drug production in Colombia and its drug imports to the USA have now doubled to a new record….
Scott illuminates the connection between American business interests and American foreign policy with a factual depth that leaves little room for doubt. Scott also documents the CIA involvement–often via drug proxies–in furthering covert American interests. The details and references contained within the text add immeasurably to what is already an incredibly valuable and insightful history……
<>The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade by Alfred W. McCoy
Nearly 20 years ago, McCoy wrote The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia , which stirred up considerable controversy, alleging that the CIA was intimately involved in the Vietnamese opium trade. In the current volume, a substantially updated and longer work, he argues that pk the situation basically hasn’t changed over the past two decades; however the numbers have gotten bigger. McCoy writes, “Although the drug pandemic of the 1980s had complex causes, the growth in global heroin supply could be traced in large part to two key aspects of U.S. policy: the failure of the DEA’s interdiction efforts and the CIA’s covert operations.” He readily admits that the CIA’s role in the heroin trade was an “inadvertent” byproduct of “its cold war tactics,” but he limns convincingly the path by which the agency and its forebears helped Corsican and Sicilian mobsters reestablish the heroin trade after WW II and, most recently, “transformed southern Asia from a self-contained opium zone into a major supplier of heroin.” Scrupulously documented, almost numbingly so at times, this is a valuable corrective to the misinformation being peddled by anti-drug zealots on both sides of the aisle. First serial to the Progressive.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title…..
CIA policy is indicted for protecting drug lords in the name of national security, and for directly contradicting Drug Enforcement Agency’s efforts to interdict major traffickers. Worse, he sees a growing tolerance for narcotics as an informal weapon of covert warfare whose trajectory now extends beyond Cold War confines. Considering the evidence amassed of at least indirect CIA complicity in a variety of hot spots, such conclusions are hardly overblown. However, his hope for both a reformed CIA and domestic War on Drugs are, it would seem, tenuous at best, given the global size of wealth and power that is at stake. As his book has shown, Cold War or no, the political economy of illegal narcotics, with its often useful underworld connections and expanded instruments of repression, is simply too powerful a tool for empire builders of any stripe to surrender…..
<> Robert Kaplan, a neo-con ideologue promoting the Bush pretexts for the war in Iraq, writes in 2004 Wall Street Journal article entitled “Indian Country,” “an overlooked truth about the war on terrorism” is that “the American military is back to the days of fighting the Indians.” He notes that Iraq, “is but a microcosm of the earth in this regard.”
His book, ‘Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground’ [President Bush reportedly read it], he is unabashedly for militant American empire, and points out that “‘Welcome to Injun Country’ was the refrain I heard from troops from Colombia to the Philippines, including Afghanistan and Iraq…. The War on Terrorism was really about taming the frontier.”
We read in the editorial review: “Welcome to Injun Country,” is the catchphrase Kaplan hears from all the U.S. soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors we meet. In the view of American troops, they are taming an “unruly” frontier in the tradition of General George Custer and, later, to the Native Americans whom the 7th Cavalry was sent out to pacify.”
<> It is noteworthy that ten days before the “Battle at Wounded Knee” in which the 7th USA Cavalry massacred 300 people over two-thirds of them women and children, L. Frank Baum the editor of the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer (and the famous author of the story “The Wizard of Oz” later made into the classic iconic film) urged the extermination of all native Americans, writing these memorable words: “The nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians…. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they should die than live miserable wretches that they are.” After the slaughter of Wounded Knee he approved it saying: “we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up … and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.”
[See L. Frank Baum’s Editorials on the Sioux Nation http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/hsmt/courses_reading/undergraduate/authority_of_nature/week_7/baum.pdf And: “Native Americans and weapons of mass destruction Part V, The Last Battle: Wounded Knee,” written 03/19/98,
and also The genocide of native Americans THE COLONISTS: From Columbus to Roosevelt, there’s only one word to describe the way white settlers in North America have treated their hosts, by Ben Kiernan, author of “The Pol Pot Regime” (Yale/ Silkworm, 1996), and Whitney Griswold Professor of History and Director of the Genocide Studies Programme at Yale University.
One book giving the human side on this American form of institutionalized, officially sponsored governmental terrorism, described by Stannard
[American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World, by David E. Stannard ]
as the greatest genocide in human history (a debatable point),
“Bury my heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown;
a very moving and factual book of living testimonials that shook me as a teenager, along the lines of
“Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” by James W. Loewen, a classic work which documents that, as one reviewer noted:
“Columbus was almost certainly not the first European to discover or colonize North America. He tortured and mutilated the native population of Haiti and eventually exterminated it by working the inhabitants to death searching for gold. All of these facts are available in the journals of Columbus and his colleagues. Prior to the arrival of white settlers, North America was thickly settled with tens of millions of Indian tribes that formed a complex civilization consisting of advanced agricultural techniques (guess where white settlers learned it from), trade, roads, villages, and government. The white settlers wiped out most of these people at first inadvertently by spreading disease, and then deliberately through wars of extermination. History text books often present Indians as sparse, primitive, violent (it was actually white people who scalped Indians), and inevitable victims of progress.”
<> Ever wonder why “Columbus Day” is not celebrated by the “Indians,” and the facts are hided from many people, see from among hordes other writings
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- (1986). Pirates and Emperors: International Terrorism in the Real World
- (1993). Year 501: The Conquest Continues
- (1994). Secrets, Lies, and Democracy
- on and on….
In Year 501: The Conquest Continues Chomsky says:
“…The Iberian empires suffered further blows as English pirates, marauders and slave traders swept the seas, perhaps the most notorious, Sir Francis Drake. The booty that Drake brought home “may fairly be considered the fountain and origin of British foreign investment,” John Maynard Keynes wrote: “Elizabeth paid out of the proceeds the whole of her foreign debt and invested a part of the balance…were the main foundations of England’s foreign connections.” In the Atlantic, the entire English operation prior to 1630 was a “predatory drive of armed traders and marauders to win by fair means or foul a chare of the Atlantic wealth of the Iberian nations”(Kenneth Andrews). The adventure who laid the basis for the merchant empires of the 17th-18th centuries “continued a long European tradition of the union of warfare and trade,” Thomas Brady adds, as “the European state’s growth as a military enterprise” gave rise to “the quintessentially European figure of the warrior-merchant.” Later, the newly consolidated English state took over the task of “wars for markets” from “the plunder raids of Elizabethan sea-dogs” (Christopher hill). The British East India Company was granted its charter in 1600, extended indefinitely in 1609, providing the Company with a monopoly over trade with the East on the authority of the British Crown. There followed brutal wars, frequently conducted with unspeakable barbarism, among the European rivals, drawing in native populations drove the Portuguese from the straits of Hormuz, “the key of all India,” and ultimately won that great prize. Much of the rest of the world was ultimately parcelled out in a manner that is well known. (p. 6)…
From mid-17th century, England was powerful enough to the Navigation Acts (1651, 1662), barring foreign traders from its colonies and giving British shipping “the monopoly of the trade of their own country” (imports), either “by absolute prohibitions” or “heavy burdens” on others (Adam Smith, who reviews these measures with mixed reservations and approval). The “twin goals” of these initiatives were “strategic power and economic wealth through shipping and colonial monopoly,” the Cambridge Economic History of Europe relates. Britain’s goal in the Anglo Dutch wars from 1650 to 1676 was to restrict or destroy Dutch trade and shipping and gain control over the lucrative slave trade. The focus was the Atlantic, where the colonies of the New World offered enormous riches. The Acts and wars expanded the trading areas dominated by English merchants, who were able to enrich themselves through the slave trade and their “plunder-trade with America, Africa and Asia” (Hill), assisted by “state-sponsored colonial wars” and the various devices of economic management by which state power has forged the way to private wealth and a particular from of development shaped by its requirements.
As Adam Smith observed, European success was a tribute to its mastery of the means and immersion in the culture of violence. “Warfare in India was still a sport,” John Keay observes: “in Europe it had become a science.” From a European perspective, the global conquests were “small wars,” and were so considered by military authorities, Groffrey Parker writes, pointing out that “Cortes conquered Mexico with perhaps 500 Spaniard; Pizarro overthrew the Inca empire with less than 200; and the entire Portuguese empire [from Japan to southern Africa] was administered and defended by less than 10,000 Europeans.” Robert Clive was outnumbered 10 to 1 at the crucial battle of plassey in 1757, which opened the way to the takeover of Bengal by the East India Company, then to British rule over India. A few years later the British were able to reduce the numerical odds against them by mobilizing native mercenaries, who constituted 90 percent of the British forces that held India and also formed the core of the British armies that invaded China in the mid-19th century, the failure of the North American colonies to provide “military force towards the support of Empire” was one of Adam Smith’s main reasons for advocating that British should “free herself” from them.
Europeans “fought to kill,” and they had the means to satisfy their blood lust. In the American colonies, the natives were astonished by the savagery of the Spanish and British. “Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the peoples of Indonesia were equally appalled by the all-destructive fury of European warfare,” Parker adds. Europeans ad put far behind them the days described by a 12th century Spanish pilgrim to Mecca, when “The warriors are engaged in their wars, while the people are at ease.” The Europeans may have come to trade, but they stayed to conquer: “trade cannot be maintained without war, not war without trade,” one of the Dutch conquerors of the East Indies wrote in 1614. Only China and Japan were able to keep the West out at the time, because “they already knew the rules of the game.” European domination of the world “ relied critically upon the constant use of force,” Parker writes: “It was thanks to their military superiority, rather than to any social, moral or natural advantage, that the white peoples of the world managed to create and control, however briefly, the first global hegemony in History.” The temporal qualification is open to question. (p. 7-8) .…
With some reason, Bismarck had described the Monroe Doctrine in 1898 as a “species of arrogance, peculiarly American and inexcusable.”
Wilson’s predecessor, President Taft, had foreseen that “the day is not far distant” when “the whole hemisphere will be ours in fact as, by virtue of our superiority of race, it already is ours morally.” Given the awesome power that the US had achieved by the mid-1940s, Washington saw no reason to tolerate any interference in “our little region over here” (Stimson).
In the global order of 1945, Haines continues, the goal was “to eliminate all foreign competition” from Latin America. The US undertook to displace its French, British, and Canadian rivals so as “to maintain the area as an important market for U.S. surplus industrial production and private investments, to exploit its vast reserves of raw materials, and to keep international communism out.” Here the term “communist” is to be understood in its usual technical sense: those who appeal to “the poor people [who] have always wanted to plunder the rich,” in John Foster Dulles’s phrase. Plans were similar for the Middle East, to which the US extended the Monroe Doctrine after World War II, with enormous consequences for southern Europe, North Africa, and the region itself. (P. 158) …
Quite generally, Haines observes, US leaders “opposed major industrialization plans of the Third World economies integrated “into their U.S.-dominated free trade system”; the concept of “mercantilist free trade” captures nicely the doctrinal framework. The US “tried to guide and control Brazilian industrial development for the benefit of private U.S. corporations and to fit Brazil into its regional economic plans.” The humanitarian Point Four program, which was to be “a model for all Latin America,” was designed “to develop larger and more efficient sources of supply for the American economy. As well as create expanded markets for U.S, exports and expanded opportunities for the investment of American capital.” (p. 159) …
The notions were refined in the Kennedy years, under the impetus of the president’s well-known fascination with unconventional warfare. US military manuals and “antiterrorism experts” of the period advocate “the tactic of intimidating, kidnapping, or assassinating carefully selected members of the opposition in a manner that will reap the maximum psychological benefit,” the objective being “to frighten everyone from collaborating with the guerrilla movement,” Respected American historians and moralists were later to provide the intellectual and moral underpinnings, notably Guenter Lewy, who explains in his much-admired history of the Vietnam war that the US was guilty of no crimes against “innocent civilians,” indeed could not be. Those who joined our righteous cause were free from harm’s way (except by inadvertence, at worst a crime of involuntary manslaughter). Those who failed to cooperate with the “legitimate government” imposed by US violence are not innocent, by definition; they lose any such claim if they refuse to fleet to the “safety” provided by their liberator: infants in a village in the Meking Delta of inner Cambodia, for example. They therefore deserve their fate.
Some lack innocence because they happened to be in the wrong place; for example, the population of the city of Vinh, “the Vietnamese Dresden,” Philip Shenon casually observes in a Times Magazine cover story in the belated victory of capitalism in Vietnam: it was “leveled by American B-52 bombers” because it was “cursed by location” and hence “was a natural target” for the bombers, much like Rotterdam and Coventry. This city of 60,000 was “flattened” in 1965, Canadian officials reported, while vast surrounding areas were turned into a moonscape. One could learn the facts outside the mainstream, where they were generally ignored, or even flatly denied; for example, by Lewy, who assures us, on the authority of US government pronouncements, that the bombing was aimed at military targets and damaged to civilians was minimal. (p. 242-243) …
The very idea of an American intellectual judging others on how they come to terms with their history is so astounding as to leave one virtually speechless. Who among us, from the earliest days, has failed to come to terms with the truth about slavery of the extermination of the native population? Can there by a resident of civilized New England, for example, who has not committed to memory the gruesome details of the first major act of genocide, the slaughter of the Pequot Indians in 1673, the remnants sold into slavery? Who has not learned the proud words of the 1643 Puritan account of these inspiring acts, describing the official dissolution of the Pequot nation by the colonial authorities, who outlawed even the designation Pequot “so that the name of the Pequot (as of Amalech) is blotted out from under heaven, there being not one that is, of (at least) dare call himself a Pequot”? surely every American child who pledges allegiance to our nation “under God” is instructed as to how the Puritans borrowed the rhetoric and imaginary of the Old Testament, consciously modeling themselves on His Chosen People as they followed God’s command, “smiting the Canaanites and driving them from the Promised Land” (Neil Salisbury). Who has not shown … while studying the chroniclers who extolled out revered forebears as they did they Lord’s work in accord with the admonitions of their religious leaders, fulfilling their “divine mission” with a pre-dawn surprise attack on the main Pequot village while most of the men were away, slaughtering women, children, and old men in true Biblical style? In their own words, the Puritans turned the huts into a “fiery Oven” in which the victims of “the most terrible death that may be” were left “frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same,” while the servants of the Lord “gave the praise thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them.” Can there be anyone who has not asked whether our history might offer some later resonance of this exultation over the extermination of those who had “exalted themselves in their great Pride,” arrogantly refusing to grant us what they have? (p.262-263) …. ”
<> Anti-Democratic Nature of US Capitalism is Being Exposed, Noam Chomsky
Bretton Woods was the system of global financial management set up at the end of the second World War to ensure the interests of capital did not smother wider social concerns in post-war democracies. It was hated by the US neoliberals – the very people who created the banking crisis writes Noam Chomsky.
Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit patrol through a poppy field May 1 near the town of Garmser, Afghanistan. Marines are not eradicating any poppies, which produce a resin that can be turned into heroin, but they have established a checkpoint near where Afghan farmers walk out to their fields. As about 10 men moved through, the troops belatedly identified two who they thought could be Taliban scouts. “It’s the world’s greatest guessing game,” said Staff Sgt. Tyree Adams.
<> Poppies for “Poppy” Bush (George HW Bush)
Let’s see now…
The Taliban in Afghanistan destroys their entire opium crop in January of 2001.
The United States bombs, attacks and has occupied Afghanistan since Oct 2001.
Now Afghanistan is the top heroin producer…
Hmmm…it’s not about controlling drug profits, or is it?
– From The Wilderness
Afghanistan: pipelines, poppies, al-Qaeda and control of Eurasia
<> Who benefits from the Afghan Opium Trade? by Michel Chossudovsky
<> The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade
Washington’s Hidden Agenda: Restore the Drug Trade by Michel Chossudovsky
<> And on and on …. (-) (-) (-) ( -) – (- ) *