Making Afghanistan Safe for Heroin

US Media & The Perpetual Flip-Flopping on Drug-Related Stories

When I read Mizgin’s recent great post about Richard Armitage and his involvement in the Golden Triangle, I rolled my eyes.  “Some Daily Kos reader out there,” I thought, “is, at this very moment, shouting ‘conspiracy theory’ at their computer.” The “conspiracy theory” accusation comes up any time a journalist or a whistleblower points out that U.S. officials and agencies have been complicit in the global drug trade.  In fact, it has been an effective tool to try and silence truth tellers at least since Alfred McCoy was viciously attacked for writing the Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.  Never mind the fact that allegations against the Central Intelligence Agency or the State Department have often been vindicated with the passage of time.  It just can’t be true that America would support drug lords, can it?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a resounding YES, IT CAN.  American agencies, including the C.I.A. and the State Department, have given aid and comfort to international drug lords in the past and apparently continue to do so.  Just read what the New York Times reported on October 28th about Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a known drug dealer, being on the C.I.A. payroll:

The C.I.A.’s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power [Emphasis Added] to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.

Gee, do ya think? Any enterprising individual of reasonable intelligence, using a minimum of Google research skills, could have determined that the drug trade out of Afghanistan has skyrocketed since late 2001, shortly after the U.S. removed the Taliban from power and installed Hamid Karzai as its puppet.   If the Times had been a little bit bolder, they might have written something like this:

The C.I.A is complicit in the illegal drug trade in Afghanistan, but this should surprise no one, as a peek at the historical record demonstrates drug complicity has become routine.  Just look at these facts:

1950s, Southeast Asia: The C.I.A. supports the Kuomanting (KMT) drug running in Burma.

1960s-1970s, Vietnam-Laos: Richard Armitage, Ted Shackley and Thomas Clines finance a portion of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam through the Southeast Asian heroin trade.

1980s, Southwest Asia: The C.I.A. supports Afghan rebels, many of whom, along with the Pakistani ISI, are known to be deeply involved in opium and heroin trade.

1980s, Latin America: The U.S. backs Contras, even though cocaine turns out to be a key source of their funding, and Panama dictator Manuel Noriega, also tied to the drug trade. Also in this time period, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Agent Michael Levine claims Attorney General Edwin Meese blew the cover of a DEA team investigating drug corruption at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

1990s, Burma: DEA Agent Richard Horn, whose case was recently settled with the Justice Department, is spied on by the State Department and C.I.A., apparently because Horn was being too aggressive in trying to shut down the opium trade from Burma.

1996-2002: Sibel Edmonds testifies that criminal elements in Turkey tied to the drug trade, with knowledge and acquiescence of the State Department, bring drugs into the U.S. and Europe.

None of these past Agency misdeeds were mentioned by the Times to give its story context. The reason for these omissions is obvious: the Times or someone in the American government had an axe to grind either with the C.I.A. or the Karzai government itself, and the story was only trotted out because it was convenient for the moment.  A few months from now, if some really enterprising journalists accuse the U.S. government of aiding the Afghan opium trade, the major newspapers will likely ignore them, or, worse, accuse them of being conspiracy mongers.  This is exactly how our trusted mainstream press has treated C.I.A. drug stories in the past:  When it is convenient to promote one of their pet agendas, the establishment media admit the shocking facts.  Then, when it is no longer serving its purposes, the same press turns around and marginalizes anyone repeating the same.  Take the example of Oliver North, Gary Webb, and the Washington Post.

According to a 1998 book Whiteout by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, in order to torpedo Oliver North’s 1994 Virginia Senate candidacy, the Post published a hard-hitting article on October 22, 1994, entitled “North Didn’t Relay Drug Tips”.  The gist of the story (written by Lorraine Adams) was that while he was running the illegal Contra War from his post on the National Security Council, North failed to forward to the Drug Enforcement Agency the evidence that several members of the FDN (the main Contra organization) were involved in the cocaine business. North had claimed to have “turned over to the DEA all evidence of Contra drug running” during his Congressional testimony.  The Post found the story useful at the time, given the newspaper’s opposition to North’s candidacy.  However, two years later, when journalist Gary Webb and the San Jose Mercury News tied the Contras to a large crack cocaine ring in Los Angeles, the Post apparently forgot its own reporting, and (along with the New York Times and Los Angeles Times) ripped Webb’s career apart.  Cockburn and St. Clair wrote:

Friday, October 4 [1996] the Washington Post went to town on Webb and on the Mercury News. The onslaught carried no less than 5,000 words in five articles. The front page featured a lead article by Roberto Suro and Walter Pincus, headlined, “CIA and Crack: Evidence Is Lacking of Contra-Tied Plot.”

The rest is history.  Webb was destroyed, which ultimately led to his suicide years later.  In the meantime, the U.S. Congress did nothing, which is something it is accustomed to doing in cases involving accusations of Executive Branch malfeasance.  Two years after Webb’s Dark Alliance series, the C.I.A. Inspector General actually released a report admitting aspects Contra drug running, but this report was barely covered by the same newspapers that had eviscerated the story in the first place.

The press gets away with their perpetual flip-flopping on drug-related issues for a simple reason: The “C.I.A. drug trade complicity” tale is not the kind of story the average citizen wants to believe.  This topic is a taboo because the public has been trained to have a visceral reaction to drugs.  Ever since propaganda films like Reefer Madness were released at the beginning of the 20th Century, drug dealers have been made out to be public enemy number one and are hated perhaps even more than terrorists.  Recreational drugs are often portrayed as a weapon of mass destruction on America’s youth.  It just can’t be possible that our trusted officials -- like Orrin Hatch, to cite one example, -- would rail against drugs, claiming they endanger our children on the one hand, while moving in Congress to quash any attempt to hold federal agencies accountable for working with the pimps and pushers on the other. 

Wake up, America.  Our government’s acquiescence in the global drug trade is not just possible; it is an important part of our nation’s post-World War II history.  Obama’s surge in Afghanistan is doomed to failure, in part because our intelligence agencies are fostering the same poppy trade that helps finance our enemies, the Taliban.  We know it is doomed because all of the other C.I.A. drug operations have ended in similar catastrophes.  Of course, the one “success” the U.S. government could point to, if it were willing to admit the facts of its drug alliances, is the defeat of the Soviet Army in Afghanistan.  However, given what happened over a decade later on September 11, 2001, that “success” looks like an awful “short-sightedness” and “long-term failure”.  

It is sad to think how many of our young men and women are dying, or are permanently scarred, mentally or physically, in the false belief that they are engaged in some higher moral battle to bring democracy and an end to the heroin trade in Afghanistan.  Until the public realizes the truth about the dark history of U.S. intelligence agencies and drugs, such illusions about the morality of America’s endless wars will continue.


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  1. but obama sais that this is justice. that this is honor- that the golden eagle is the scion of decency and truth and light in the world…….no drugs[god help us]to addle our righteous thought, no lies nor cheats nor cowards nor abject pudgyfingered murderers could possibly dwell under the flap of old glory!!! He got a peace prize.From Nobel! Richard Armitage is a GOOD guy…don’t I know that?…..and so is Oliver North and robert gates and…C O G dosn’t exist, and osama bought down the towers dragging us against our will to a JUST war and……how could anyone think otherwise. This is terrible. We must take our pill right now and avoid such thinking.

  2. I’ve added this post to my collection on the derogatory use of the term “conspiracy theory“.

  3. I’ll repeat the comment in an earlier post:

    “Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations’ drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.

    Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.

    This will raise questions about crime’s influence on the economic system at times of crisis. It will also prompt further examination of the banking sector as world leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, call for new International Monetary Fund regulations. Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. “In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor,” he said.

    Some of the evidence put before his office indicated that gang money was used to save some banks from collapse when lending seized up, he said.

    “Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities… There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.” Costa declined to identify countries or banks that may have received any drugs money, saying that would be inappropriate because his office is supposed to address the problem, not apportion blame. But he said the money is now a part of the official system and had been effectively laundered.

    “That was the moment [last year] when the system was basically paralysed because of the unwillingness of banks to lend money to one another. The progressive liquidisation to the system and the progressive improvement by some banks of their share values [has meant that] the problem [of illegal money] has become much less serious than it was,” he said.

    The IMF estimated that large US and European banks lost more than $1tn on toxic assets and from bad loans from January 2007 to September 2009 and more than 200 mortgage lenders went bankrupt. Many major institutions either failed, were acquired under duress, or were subject to government takeover.
    Rajeev Syal
    The Observer, Sunday 13 December 2009

    “Gangs are now believed to make most of their profits from the drugs trade and are estimated to be worth £352bn, the UN says. They have traditionally kept proceeds in cash or moved it offshore to hide it from the authorities. It is understood that evidence that drug money has flowed into banks came from officials in Britain, Switzerland, Italy and the US.

    British bankers would want to see any evidence that Costa has to back his claims. A British Bankers’ Association spokesman said: “We have not been party to any regulatory dialogue that would support a theory of this kind. There was clearly a lack of liquidity in the system and to a large degree this was filled by the intervention of central banks.”

  4. Bill Bergman says:

    Here are two references from the Walsh ‘final report’ on the Iran/contra affair that may provide some helpful perspective.

    “Finally, large sums of cash were traced in connection with a North-directed hostage-rescue operation using two Drug Enforcement Agency agents detailed to him. This operation, which did not come to fruition, was to have included bribes and hostage-ransom payments, funded largely by a contribution from H. Ross Perot. North continued to use these DEA agents in other operations involving large amounts of cash, making them subject to investigative scrutiny, but no prosecution resulted.”


    “The Cash: The DEA Hostage-Rescue Operation
    The largest lump sum of cash North is known to have handled was $200,000 provided to him in May 1985 for a hostage-rescue effort. Ross Perot provided the money for the operation, which North conducted with two Drug Enforcement Agents temporarily detailed to the NSC staff.
    In all, Perot made available $1.3 million for this operation. In addition to the previously mentioned $200,000 which was paid to a DEA informant, Perot provided another $100,000 through the FBI, and $1 million for a hostage-ransom payment that was never made.”

  5. Bill Bergman says:

    Here are two references from the Walsh ‘final report’ on the Iran/contra affair that may provide some helpful perspective. They both come from Chapter 14, “Other Money Matters: …”

    “Finally, large sums of cash were traced in connection with a North-directed hostage-rescue operation using two Drug Enforcement Agency agents detailed to him. This operation, which did not come to fruition, was to have included bribes and hostage-ransom payments, funded largely by a contribution from H. Ross Perot. North continued to use these DEA agents in other operations involving large amounts of cash, making them subject to investigative scrutiny, but no prosecution resulted.”


    “The Cash: The DEA Hostage-Rescue Operation
    The largest lump sum of cash North is known to have handled was $200,000 provided to him in May 1985 for a hostage-rescue effort. Ross Perot provided the money for the operation, which North conducted with two Drug Enforcement Agents temporarily detailed to the NSC staff.
    In all, Perot made available $1.3 million for this operation. In addition to the previously mentioned $200,000 which was paid to a DEA informant, Perot provided another $100,000 through the FBI, and $1 million for a hostage-ransom payment that was never made.”

  6. @BillBergman: Thank you for the links!

  7. With regard ‘crimes influence on the economy in times of crises'[above] and the idea of major money entering the ‘legal’ stream under cover of catastrophe, there is a major piece by EP Heidner, 28 june 2008,titled

    Collateral Damage: US Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11,2001
    that discusses this .
    Quote.” This article provides research into the early claims by Dick Eastman, Tom Flocco V.K.Durham and Karl Schwarz that the September 11th attacks were meant as a cover-up for financial crimes being investigated by the office of Naval Intelligence[ONI] whose offices in the Pentagon were destroyed on Sept.11th.2001. After six years of research, this report presents corroborating evidence which supports their claims, and proposes a new rationale for the september 11th attacks. The hypothesis of this report is: the attacks were intended to cover-up the clearing of $240billion dollars in securities covertly created in September 1991 to fund a covert economic war against the Soviet Union, during which ‘unknown’ western investors bought up much of the Soviet industry, with a focus on oil and gas. The 911 attacks also served to derail multiple Federal investigations away from crimes associated with the 1991 covert operation”.

    Obviously more was gained by others involved in this horrendous event at other levels [ongoing war profiteering ][Patriot act etc], but in terms of this discussion, intravenous money wash into a system under crises does not appear unknown.

  8. Wake up, America. Our government’s acquiescence in the global drug trade is not just possible; it is an important part of our nation’s post-World War II history.

    I beg to differ.

    There are many instances of CIA connected people who knew, or were a part of, the drug trafficking since the China days who were instrumental in the “war on drugs” mentality and legislation: George Bush in Congress with the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 and Rockefeller with his drug laws in NY. Both had long-standing and deep CIA connections and participated in the same secret societies.

    I truly know that I could make a case before, oh let’s say, a Colombian or Mexican jury and convict many times over for genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and the peace. Let’s not gloss over the truth, specially on this site. It is outrageous that such a country could exist. It is fascism, there is no doubt in my mind.

    You mentioned the media:

    The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)
    MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who’s Who of journalism:

    Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
    William Paley (President, CBS)
    Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
    Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
    Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star)
    Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
    Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
    James Copley (Copley News Services)
    Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
    C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
    Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
    Associated Press
    United Press International
    Hearst Newspapers
    Newsweek magazine
    Mutual Broadcasting System
    Miami Herald
    Old Saturday Evening Post
    New York Herald-Tribune

    What media? The San Jose Mercury News? You must mean the organs of propaganda which spout crap at the American people everyday? Which manipulate and twist reality, obviously to any foreigner?

    If you’d like to see the evidence go here:

    Did you know that there are pictures of Bush and North in the “contra camps”, which were really coca paste processing labs, besides the coca leaf presses? Or that the man whose cocaine found during a mid-voyage inspection my father ordered thrown overboard and who tortured him for it was a Bush family business creation and partner: Pablo Escobar?

    And it’s not just the American “aristocrats” in the “intelligence” agencies which are into it.

    Evil motherfuckers.

  9. Of topic, but if anyone’s interested Sourcewatch has published the names of three alleged CIA rendition pilots.

  10. mcthorogood says:

    The “C.I.A. drug trade complicity” tale is not the kind of story the average citizen wants to believe.

    Instead of saying what the “average citizen wants to believe”, I would say what the “average citizen is conditioned to believe.” According to the A.C. Nielsen Co. the average citizen will spend 9+ years of his/her life watching T.V.

  11. mcthorogood says:


    Thanks for the links to the alleged CIA rendition pilots, and we should thank the Germans for the investigations at

  12. Thanks for remaining ever vigilant to expose the real villains behind this Sibel!!

    The drug trade has been growing out of control for generations, often by leaps and bounds yet people have been completely unaware of why this has been the case.

    And I am here to inform you that we now know the real cause….Ron Paul inadvertantly exposed the answer

    Our banks are part of a massive profiteering scam, known as the Federal Reserve, which has now been proven in court to be KEEPING banks afloat using the illegal drug trade.

    Liquidty, when banks go insolvent. The “Big Bankers” gather all their buddies together, those tied to AIPAC, Lockheed Etc., and they inject vast amounts of US TAX PAYERS dollars directly into the banks of the Federal Reserve.

    All of which is illegal proceeds, besides their overseas financial activities of course. Those hedge funds are in turn, financed by you, the tax slave to their massive bid rigging scheme!!

    Really you are witnessing nothing new, this system of financial fraud has been official ever since 1913 when the Federal Reserve was created. They couldn’t come up with a better cover plan so it was called “Liquidty”

    They could not find a better apparatus in 1792 either, and that is why our Central Bank finally got abolished. After it was gone, they brought the Zombie Bank back using a private Mafia: The U.S. Federal Reserve monster which now sucks up all the little slaves into a massive bubble. You see, technically those banks would have crashed and burned. If illegal drugs from the Bush/Clinton gangs had not been laundering the money right into their swiss accounts…

    A system that was such a mistake as this, the American people need to wake up to, in deciding once and for all if such a currency system is worth keeping it at all.

  13. This by Guardian UK: Drug Money saved Banks…

    Seat belts save lives, and drug saves banks, finances government ‘black operations,’ sustains installed puppet governments, helps purchase weapons thus helps sustain MIC…

  14. For the average American, I have two confirmed anecdotal accounts. The first regards a large successful bank in our town of 130,000 about 20 years ago. The Lewis State Bank decided to get out of the banking business when drug money started moving in. I had this from two sons of the former banking family. Second, I was speaking with people in their early thirties who had grown up children of hippie parents. They mentioned numerous opportunities to use meth, cocaine, and HEROIN. These are white educated folks. That’s just the surface.

  15. Voice From the Audience: You talked about George Bush pardoning people. Given George Bush’s history with the CIA, do you know when he first knew about this, and what he knew?

    Gary Webb: Well, I didn’t at the time I wrote the book, I do now. The question was, when did George Bush first know about this? The CIA, in its latest report, said that they had prepared a detailed briefing for the vice president — I think it was 1985? — on all these allegations of contra drug trafficking and delivered it to him personally. So, it’s hard for George to say he was out of the loop on this one.

    I’ll tell you another thing, one of the most amazing things I found in the National Archives was a report that had been written by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa — I believe it was 1987. They had just busted a Colombian drug trafficker named Allen Rudd, and they were using him as a cooperating witness. Rudd agreed to go undercover and set up other drug traffickers, and they were debriefing him.

    Now, let me set the stage for you. When you are being debriefed by the federal government for use as an informant, you’re not going to go in there and tell them crazy-sounding stories, because they’re not going to believe you, they’re going to slap you in jail, right? What Rudd told them was, that he was involved in a meeting with Pablo Escobar, who was then the head of the Medellín cartel. They were working out arrangements to set up cocaine shipments into South Florida. He said Escobar started ranting and raving about that damned George Bush, and now he’s got that South Florida Drug Task Force set up which has really been making things difficult, and the man’s a traitor. And he used to deal with us, but now he wants to be president and thinks that he’s double-crossing us. And Rudd said, well, what are you talking about? And Escobar said, we made a deal with that guy, that we were going to ship weapons to the contras, they were in there flying weapons down to Columbia, we were unloading weapons, we were getting them to the contras, and the deal was, we were supposed to get our stuff to the United States without any problems. And that was the deal that we made. And now he double-crossed us.

    So the U.S. Attorney heard this, and he wrote this panicky memo to Washington saying, you know, this man has been very reliable so far, everything he’s told us has checked out, and now he’s saying that the Vice President of the United States is involved with drug traffickers. We might want to check this out. And it went all the way up — the funny thing about government documents is, whenever it passes over somebody’s desk, they have to initial it. And this thing was like a ladder, it went all the way up and all the way up, and it got up to the head of the Criminal Division at the Justice Department, and he looked at it and said, looks like a job for Lawrence Walsh! And so he sent it over to Walsh, the Iran-contra prosecutor, and he said, here, you take it, you deal with this. And Walsh’s office — I interviewed Walsh, and he said, we didn’t have the authority to deal with that. We were looking at Ollie North. So I said, did anybody investigate this? And the answer was, “no.” And that thing sat in the National Archives for ten years, nobody ever looked at it.

  16. Recently, the lame stream media reported that the biggest threat to the Mexican Marijuana cartel wasn’t the DEA or the Mexican Police(Most have them have been bought out by the cartels) but rather the growers in California who supply the Medical Marijuana clinics and dispensers where people can buy it for much cheaper than the Mexican product.

    Furthermore, in the Raich Case, the Superme Court ruled that despite the fact an individual grows marijuana for their own personal use, and having no intention to selling it across state lines, this is interstate commerce.

    So, makes you think if the “War on Drugs” is nothing more than eliminating competition in the growing and selling of drugs. And I thought all this time, “it was for the children”. Just say “no to drugs”. Hey right, “just say no to competitors who want to enter the field”.

  17. JohnyCanuck says:

    Re. this comment in the second to last paragraph: “our intelligence agencies are fostering the same poppy trade that helps finance our enemies, the Taliban.”

    Just as a matter of interest, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, says that the Taliban sympathizers only account for 10% of drug exports from Afghanistan, whereas Karzai’s people account for well over 50%. See this recent speech by Murray at the 7:20 mark:

  18. In America you can work for the drug companies?

  19. JamesLaffrey says:


    In your “Recent Posts” box on the right side of your web pages, you have “Podcast Show #15” listed. I suggest that you add to that line to tell visitors what that podcast is about, especially since it’s the excellent interview with Pepe Escobar.

    (former newspaper wire editor; former website publisher)

  20. Get caught with a little ‘wacky tobakky’ and you’ll do hard time.

    But if you’re one of those “Too Big to Fail” Wall Street banks that stole trillions and wrecked the economy, then drug dealing is OK and you won’t be investigated.

    Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor

    Drugs and crime chief says $352bn in criminal proceeds was effectively laundered by financial institutions

    The lesson is don’t fool around with drugs, since the major crime families, like the Bush’s and Clinton’s will use the power of the federal government to ruin your life…. as long as you’re not one of their buds running a Wall Street bank.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  21. I am non-violent and I do not suffer from addiction of any kind. I do not eat meat, drink milk or eat cheese. You cannot develop the government with hatred for the Government. These individuals do not take the time to communicate the injustice they have caused or their solution. Equality is the only measure for change and that is acceptable. While we are waiting maybe our Parents could be forced to directly communicate any information regarding improved levels of human mastery. Maybe a truthful explanation for the conductive resource yielding that mastery should be explained. After all this is the responsibility that keeps adults from committing suicide. Real communication has a very big impact on the conditioned elements orchestrated in the overrated, “emotions valued as numbers” scenario!?!?! We are all ugly enough without the Feds or the Gumball Machine that is our American prison system adopting us. “What the hell is that, I’m scared” isn’t anyway to grow people.

  22. zaknick — the link you provided to the Bush/North video is invalid ( got any others for it? Very interesting stuff in your other links.

    Sibel — great topic. I am passing around you and Peter’s BF interview with Mizgin. Peter Dale Scott talks about the “Deep State” as the cornerstone of his worldview, and even mentions that the expression originated in Turkey, but your telling of the Susurluk event opens a whole warehouse of mysteries to view. McCoy makes it clear that Turkey has been the hub of the opium trade from the earliest beginnings, and always has been the venue of the labs converting to heroin.

    I produced a placard for the street some years ago ( — photo at — in both cases click the image to expand) which packs in as much as will fit, but leaves out Iran/Contra which would require a whole placard to itself.

    McCoy makes the point that Naval Intelligence made a deal with Lucky Luciano to spring him from prison in Clinton NY if he would get the dons in Sicily to help us invade from N. Africa. They hated Mussolini anyway because he dissed them, then they him, then he hunted them down, driving them into the hills. So that was easy.

    After the war, Lucky became the lord of heroin in the Western Hemisphere, with his capital in Batista’s Havana. He sent Santo Trafficante’s whole family there to run it and the casinos. No wonder the mob and the CIA hated Castro for spoiling that “swell racket”.

    One small correction: Kuomintang, not Kuomanting. And it’s pronounced Guomindang for what that’s worth.


    I am writing to thank you for your past support of LEAP and to urge you to help us continue dismantling prohibition.

    Here’s what member support accomplished this year. LEAP’s 80 dedicated speakers:

    • Spoke at the National Conference of State Legislators in Philadelphia, which had four thousand attendees
    • Spoke to the European Parliament in Brussels and to the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV in Vienna
    • Presented at the “Tools to End the Drug War” conference at Yale University
    • Spoke at a press conference regarding protecting voter-enacted marijuana decriminalization before the Massachusetts legislature
    • Testified for a marijuana legalization bill in the California Assembly
    • Addressed the plenary session of the Symposium on Economic Crime with over a thousand attendees from 90 countries
    • Were quoted in a syndicated column in the San Francisco Chronicle
    • Were featured prominently in Nicholas Kristof’s op-ed on drug legalization in the New York Times
    • Appeared on CNN (twice), Al Jazeera and
    • Interviewed on NPR, WBAI, and CNN KSRO
    • Appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and Rolling Stone Magazine

    Our speakers have made 5,500 presentations, 1,056 of them this year alone, of which 352 were television appearances and radio interviews-a 68% increase over last year. In six years LEAP speakers have been mentioned in 1,226 newspaper articles and have published 552 op-eds and letters to the editors. 2009 has been the most expansive growth year in our history!

    LEAP appearances build momentum for change. Our presentations legitimize the discussion of legalized regulation of drugs, to the point where the media and increasing numbers of politicians feel safe in raising the issue. As a result, we have seen the general climate of drug policy reform change dramatically over the last year.

    From Mexico to Portugal, from Brazil to Canada, measures are being debated that would change drug policies. Courts are decriminalizing quantities of drugs that are for personal consumption. LEAP is actively promoting these changes in the 76 countries where we have members.

    For instance, former Chief Norm Stamper toured Australia for the month of October giving 75 presentations to the public, the media, ranking law-enforcement officials, and Members of Parliament.

    Also in October, LEAP was invited to present to the Brazilian Commission on Drugs and Democracy. Three days before I was to leave for Brazil they had a gang shoot-out in one of the Faveles of Rio de Janeiro that left 45 dead, seven buses burned, and a police helicopter shot from the sky, killing three officers. I first presented to 24 attendees at the Working Group of Brazilian Public Security and Law Enforcement Agents, which was creating a security recommendation document for the meeting of the Brazilian Commission on Drugs and Democracy. There was unanimous agreement with LEAP’s position that legalized regulation of drugs would end the violence.

    I presented to the Commission itself on the following day. The Commission’s topic, “How to reduce violence associated with drug sales and policy,” was addressed by my suggesting that legalized regulation of all drugs would end the violence, stop nearly all overdose deaths, greatly reduce diseases such as AIDS and Hepatitis, end the majority of criminal activities, and reduce drug addiction. After my presentation, 13 of the 18 commissioners stated that legalized regulation was the best solution, but that it was not politically feasible for Brazil until the United States decided in favor of such a policy. The Commission was especially interested in the possibility of mimicking the drug policies of Switzerland and Portugal.

    Fifteen years ago, Switzerland began treating heroin users by distributing heroin to them from clinics. The outcomes: no overdose deaths, new AIDS and Hepatitis infections dropped, causing Switzerland to have the lowest rates of any country in Europe, crime was cut by 60%, and new heroin users in Zurich decreased by 82%. Eight years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs and the possession of up to ten days supply. The results: a 25% decline in drug use among 13 to 15 year olds, a 22% decline in drug use among 16 to 18 year olds, a 52% decline in heroin overdose deaths, a 71% decline in HIV infections reported by drug users, and an overall decline in the use of every drug with the exception of marijuana. However, marijuana use in the rest of the European Union increased by four to five times what it did in Portugal.

    When I returned to the US, I left behind a new Brazilian chapter of LEAP with nine speakers and volunteers to book venues and translate LEAP’s materials to Portuguese.

    Here in the US, we had an excellent reception at the National Conference of State Legislators, where I successfully debated David Evans, special advisor to the Drug Free America Foundation. We played a crucial role in pushing back against an attempt to undermine the clear intent of Massachusetts voters, who last year passed a referendum decriminalizing up to an ounce of marijuana. We were invited onto a phone call with “drug czar” Gil Kerlikowske to share our concerns. He later told LEAP speaker Matt Fogg that he is aware of us – not surprisingly, since he specifically referred to our organization and the Washington Post op-ed by LEAP speakers Neill Franklin and Peter Moskos during a speech to the International Association of Chiefs of Police! We are getting under the skin of the decision-makers. And we are being quoted all over the press.

    Renowned author Misha Glenny wrote in an op-ed for the International Herald Tribune, “In the United States, the most effective group demanding change is Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or LEAP, which is made up of current and former police officers, including erstwhile operatives of the Drug Enforcement Agency.”

    Your support is crucial to our ability to continue our work. Donations from members and supporters make it possible for LEAP speakers to project LEAP’s credibility across the country and abroad. Every day, we move one step closer to achieving our goal of:

    Reducing death, disease, crime and drug addiction, while
    saving billions of tax dollars by ending drug prohibition

    Whether $25, $70, $100, $500 or more, made one time or by a monthly pledge, your gift makes it possible for LEAP to continue its vital and highly prized mission. For donations of $100, $250, $500 and more, there are a variety of ways to be recognized for your gift (see below).

    Just $70 will sponsor a speaker for a day’s worth of presentations at service organizations (e.g. Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs), colleges, and places of worship. On average, 80% of the audience participating in LEAP presentations becomes convinced of the correctness of our assertions.

    That’s because you can’t argue with the facts, especially when they’re delivered by our law enforcement speakers.

    But we can only do this with your help. You’ve brought us this far, standing shoulder to shoulder with our speakers. Please make a gift and accompany us in our journey through 2010.

    This year I’m asking you to dig even deeper. Together we can be heard above the clutter. As LEAP speakers say, we can build a driving force to tip the scales. Whether your gift is the same as last year or larger, every penny counts.

    I know money is tight. But, we have momentum on our side and with your help we can make tremendous progress this year. I’ve included information below detailing just some of the presentations we’ve made and the press we’ve received this year. I know you’ll be impressed with how well we’ve used your contribution.

    We need you now more than ever.

    Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.

    Yours truly,

    Jack A. Cole
    Executive Director

  24. 344thBrother says:

    Sibel, regarding Drone Strikes, you posted:

    “the campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan, which ironically began during the final months of the Bush administration”

    Believe me, I’m not cutting Bush the Butcher any slack here, but the drone strikes started up almost immediately after Obama mentioned Pakistan being our new enemy during one of his Pre Presidential debates! It appears that Obama was already the golden boy at that time and his comment about Pakistan kicked the whole drone attack campaign off.

    I don’t actually recall Bush saying much about Pakistan until after the first drone strikes took place. (Under Obama’s subliminal “Order”)?

    Peace on earth
    Dave Short
    Northern California

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