Comments: Right on Time

Oh, the hypocrisy of it all! It's only been their number 1 cash crop since the beginning of time. We're either "winning hearts and minds" by destroying their crops or blowing everyone in the vicinity of selected people away with predator drone strikes, sure to make friends anywhere. They are well aware that the U.S. is their biggest market. Would someone please remind me why Al-Qaieda attacked us, anyway? Did it have anything to do with corruption and hypocrisy?

Posted by knowdoubt at October 28, 2009 02:55 PM

Knowdoubt is really exagerating a little bit.
The CIA didn't even exist at the beginning of time. Then again, the US government got involved in drug trafficking even before the CIA existed. See The Strenth of the Wolf, The Secret History of America's War on Drugs, Doug Valentine, 2004).

After our Southeast Asian wars made us big players in the international heroin trade, the CIA did take the lead. Alfred McCoy broke that story almost four decades ago, which is almost like the beginning of time I guess. (See The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, McCoy, 1972). But of course no one believed McCoy, though Papa Sulzberger at the NY Times later admitted he should have believed it. In 2003, McCoy reissued his book in expanded form under a slightly new name, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, which added chapters on Afghanistan, Central America, and Colombia because business has been so good for "the smart guys at the Agency," as someone quotable has called them. Alexander Cockburn and Peter Dale Scott also have written books on this subject for anyone looking for winter reading material, but as Allen Dulles once cynically said to some members of the Warren Commission, almost nobody in the US other than a few professors reads, so maybe that's not likely.

Any mention of the CIA and drugs always reminds me of Gary Webb, may he rest in peace. Webb did some good investigative jouralism and wrote some serialized articles that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News when newspaper articles first began to appear online back in 1997. The CIA didn't like Webb's articles at all, especially because they could be read all over the place via the new medium of the internet, and it mobilized its vast media contacts, which promptly denounced Webb's articles as scurilous and false, probably without even reading them. Webb was soon thereafter demoted by his paper and his career as a journalist was ruined, though his articles formed the basis of the book Dark Alliance that joined the other unread tomes mentioned above.

Ultimately, Webb committed suicide, apparently finding no consolation in the fact that the CIA's inspector general subsequently issued an equally unread report which confirmed the heart of his contentions, which actually makes them exceptionally good by industry standards without even considering factors like courage and difficulty.

Shortly before he killed himself, Webb told an interviewer:

"If we had met five years ago, you wouldn’t have found a more staunch defender of the newspaper industry than me . . . I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, and judging journalism contests . . .

"And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I’d enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn’t been, as I’d assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job . . . The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn’t written anything important enough to suppress."

To use the words of Charles Sanders Pierce, Gary Webb was treated with a cruelty less brutal but more refined than being hunted like a wolf.

A link for the interested is below:

http://www.laweekly.com/2004-12-16/news/gary-webb-rip/2

Posted by N E at October 28, 2009 05:48 PM

Is anyone surprised? CIA has been running drugs since I can remember, Nicaragua ( California gangs and Columbian drug cartel---Gary Webb report), El Salvador, Haiti etc etc......
And if Castro's sister can be recruited ( for whatever) why not Karzai's brother?
I still remember Amy Carter getting arrested for a sit-in to prvent CIA recruiting students at her university. Strange, the MSM mocked her for reading books at state fundctions ( her father was the president and she was just a little girl) but I am sure she was reading books about how to be a responsible citizen! MSM has no such credit to its name.

Posted by Rupa Shah at October 28, 2009 05:56 PM

As if the CIA's drug running was not sickening enough, they have not been held accountable for other equally horrible activities....

"Lawyer: CIA kept detainees alive to keep torturing them"
here
http://rawstory.com/2009/10/lawyer-cia-prevented-prisoner-deaths-prolong-torture/

Posted by Rupa`Shah at October 28, 2009 06:24 PM

NE, Actually, I was referring to the natives (their #1 cash crop). But, that is certainly an interesting take on the matter. I often wondered how the drug lords could manage to keep it (drugs) illegal and thus keep enjoying the enormous profits to be made by its illegality. Sure, the DEA has an enormous budget that they need to keep secure and so exert their influence to justify their useless existence, but I had overlooked the CIA need for income too and the "extra" financing income provided by the lucrative drug trade.

P.S. Thanks for bringing up the Gary Webb story, it's worth repeating and wondering why we allow our society to destroy those heroes who do the most and take the biggest risks to save our freedoms. Whistleblowing will get you not honored and thanked but destroyed here.

Posted by knowdoubt at October 29, 2009 07:07 AM

I must re-set my watch; I thought this revelation was ahead of schedule.

Posted by DavidByron at October 29, 2009 09:33 AM

The question that occurred to me as I was reading the NY Times "revelation" (attributed in the story to "current and former [US] government officials) of the open secret that Karzai's brother is on the CIA payroll and involved in the drug trade (what a shocker!): Why is the US Government deliberately leaking this long-standing open secret now on the front page of the New York Times/Pravda?

Are the allegations true? Undoubtedly. But why are they being made public and official now?

Because the Karzai Afghan puppet show isn't working well enough for US interests? So now the US public needs to be shown the "beat the bad puppet" Punch and Judy show in preparation for... what? Dumping Karzai or just chastening him to become a better puppet?

Posted by Steve in Los Angeles at October 29, 2009 09:54 AM

N E, I think you're being very unfair to the CIA and to Our Government. We don't understand the eleven-dimensional chess game that these dedicated public servants must play in order to make the world safe for freedom. But nooooo, you left-wing extremists just have to jump all over them, being judgmental and critical. Besides, you have to give them time. Surely, comrades, you do not wish Bush back?

Posted by Duncan at October 29, 2009 09:54 AM

Who gives a f--k about his brother? What's Karzai's connection? Well, we probably know the answer to that.

Yes, Gary Webb, rest in peace.

Posted by catherine at October 29, 2009 10:50 AM

There's an article on the BBC website today about a scientist attacking Britain's phony rating of drugs. Creating a fear of drugs allows the government to make certain drugs illegal, more illegal, more profitable (especially if government agencies target competing criminal cartels). The drugs still come into the country, in our case the USA, where they are generally distributed to poorer, darker people. These people's lives are negatively impacted, some go to jail, some are victims of crime, some die of drug abuse. Those who go to jail provide work for the prison industry. Unemployed people provide a pool of potential workers that keep the value of labor down. Stir in a little racism to further divide the hoi polloi. Despair breeds more drug-taking. Profits increase.

I'm reading an account of Japan's conquest of China. When Japan invaded China along with the army and administrators came Japanese gangsters and secret police. The opium and heroin trade provided not only profits but a means to further pacify the population. The drug trade was in some instances extensions of Japanese corporations. Not surprisingly, after WWII gangsters like Yushio Kodama became fixtures in MacArthur's occupation bureaucracy in Japan.

The world is run by gangsters. Barbara Bush is just Ma Barker with a better silver setting.

Posted by Bob In Pacifica at October 29, 2009 11:02 AM

Bob In Pacifica:

The Japanese were just following the British example from the Opium Wars back in the mid 19th century, an example of free trade obtained by superior weaponry, with the result that China was reduced to the miserable, ruinous existence of a nation of addicts. Some New Englanders made fortunes on the opium trade, such as one Captain Forbes. After the slave trade there were still seafaring fortunes to be made.

Macarthur and his intelligence chief Willoughby were out-and-out fascists. Fascists and gangsters seem to get along.

I don't know much about Ma Barker, but she was probably less repressed than Barbara Bush. The strangest thing I ever read about the Bush family was that after W's sister died in childhood, they didn't have a funeral for her. Apparently that was too much direct contact with grief for the Bushes, so they played tennis instead to ease their pain (which I assume was real). Twisted.

Posted by N E at October 29, 2009 01:34 PM

Bob In Pacifica:

The Japanese were just following the British example from the Opium Wars back in the mid 19th century, an example of free trade obtained by superior weaponry, with the result that China was reduced to the miserable, ruinous existence of a nation of addicts. Some New Englanders made fortunes on the opium trade, such as one Captain Forbes. After the slave trade there were still seafaring fortunes to be made.

Macarthur and his intelligence chief Willoughby were out-and-out fascists. Fascists and gangsters seem to get along.

I don't know much about Ma Barker, but she was probably less repressed than Barbara Bush. The strangest thing I ever read about the Bush family was that after W's sister died in childhood, they didn't have a funeral for her. Apparently that was too much direct contact with grief for the Bushes, so they played tennis instead to ease their pain (which I assume was real). Twisted.

Posted by N E at October 29, 2009 01:34 PM