#51336 Jul 23, 2013
And this is breaking news from the BBC today:
“The US will take control of about 8,000 British troops in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, later.
The move is part of a restructuring of Nato forces, with command and control in southern Afghanistan split into two.”
“Until now, UK forces took their orders from British Major General Nick Carter, who was in charge of operations in the south.
But the region is being split to make it more manageable.
Gen Carter will oversee Kandahar and Maj Gen Richard Mills, of the US Marine Corps, will command forces in Helmand.”
I guessing that “later” will likely be in the next month or so, just in time to pull another Air America special like they did in Southeast Asia, another opium production hub.
Then again, it could just be another coincidence.
Anybody see a pattern?????????? Just asking
#51337 Jul 23, 2013
CIA Plane crashes in mexico carrying 3.2 tons of cocaine
#51338 Jul 23, 2013
According to a series of groundbreaking reports by the San Jose Mercury News, for the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring, comprised of CIA and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents and informants, sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles.
Millions of dollars in drug profits were then funneled to the Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense (Nicaraguan Democratic Force), the largest of several anti-Communists commonly called the Contras. The 5,000-man FDN was created in mid-1981 and run by both American and Nicaraguan CIA agents in its losing war against Nicaragua's Sandinista government, the Cuban-supported socialists who had overthrown U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979.
This CIA-backed drug network opened the first pipeline between Columbia's cocaine cartels and the Black neighborhoods of Compton and Los Angeles, according to the Mercury News.
In time, the cocaine that flooded Los Angeles helped spark a "crack explosion" in urban America and provided the cash and connections needed for Los Angeles's gangs to buy Uzi sub-machine guns, AK-47 rifles, and other assault weapons that would fuel deadly gang turf wars, drive-by shootings, murders and robberies -- courtesy of the U.S. government, according to the article.
"While the FDN's war is barely a memory today, Black America is still dealing with its poisonous side effects. Urban neighborhoods are grappling with legions of homeless crack addicts. Thousands of young Black men are serving long prison sentences for selling cocaine -- a drug that was virtually unobtainable in Black neighborhoods before members of the CIA's army started bring it into South Central in the 1980s at bargain basement prices," wrote Mercury News reporter Gary Webb, in the first installment of the shocking series of reports.
Although the Mercury News details the activities of numerous Nicaraguan and American informants and ties involved in the drug-gun trade, three men are cited as key players: Norwin Meneses, a Nicaraguan smuggler and FDN boss; Danilo Blandon, a cocaine supplier, top FDN civilian leader in California, and DEA informant; and Ricky Donnell Ross, a South Central Los Angeles high school dropout and drug trafficker of mythic proportions, who was Mr. Blandon's biggest customer.
For years, writers, authors, activists, gang members and others have implicated the U.S. government in the deadly crack cocaine-gun trade.
According to the Mercury News article, for the better part of a decade, "Freeway Rick," as he was nicknamed, was unaware of his supplier's military and political connections.
But together, the trio was directly and indirectly responsible for introducing and selling crack cocaine as far away as Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Dayton and St. Louis.
Ricky Ross' street connections, ability to obtain cocaine at low prices and deals that allowed him to receive drugs from Contra-CIA operatives with no money upfront helped him to undercut other dealers and quickly spread crack. He also sold crack wholesale to gangs across the country, said the Mercury News report.
Most of the information surrounding the CIA's involvement in the crack trade came from testimony in the March drug trafficking trial of Mr. Ross, 36, who, along with two other men were convicted of cocaine conspiracy charges in San Diego.
#51341 Jul 23, 2013
#51342 Jul 23, 2013
Involvement of American Banks, CIA in Drug Trade
Money Laundering and the Global Drug Trade Fueled by Capitalist Elites
By Tom Burghardt
Global Research, July 21, 2010
When investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker broke the story four years ago that a DC-9 (N900SA)“registered to a company which once used as its address the hangar of Huffman Aviation, the flight school at the Venice, Florida Airport which trained both terrorist pilots who crashed planes into the World Trade Center, was caught in Campeche by the Mexican military … carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine destined for the U.S.,” it elicited a collective yawn from corporate media.
And when authorities searched the plane and found its cargo consisted solely of 128 identical black suitcases marked “private,” packed with cocaine valued at more than $100 million, the silence was deafening.
But now a Bloomberg Markets magazine report,“Wachovia’s Drug Habit,” reveals that drug traffickers bought that plane, and perhaps fifty others,“with laundered funds they transferred through two of the biggest banks in the U.S.,” Wachovia and Bank of America.
The Justice Department charge sheet against the bank tells us that between 2003 and 2008, Wachovia handled $378.4 billion for Mexican currency exchanges,“the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history.”
“A sum” Bloomberg averred, equal to one-third of Mexico’s current gross domestic product.”
Since 2006, some 22,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence. Thousands more have been wounded, countless others “disappeared,” torture and illegal imprisonment is rampant.
In a frightening echo of the Reagan administration’s anti-communist jihad in Central America during the 1980s, the Bush and now, Obama administration has poured fuel on the fire with some $1.4 billion in “War on Drugs” funding under Plan Mérida. Much of that “aid” is destined to purchase military equipment for repressive police, specialized paramilitary units and the Mexican Army.
There is also evidence of direct U.S. military involvement. In June, The Narco News Bulletin reported that “a special operations task force under the command of the Pentagon is currently in place south of the border providing advice and training to the Mexican Army in gathering intelligence, infiltrating and, as needed, taking direct action against narco-trafficking organizations.”
One former U.S. government official told investigative journalist Bill Conroy,“‘Black operations have been going on forever. The recent [mainstream] media reports about those operations under the Obama administration make it sound like it’s a big scoop, but it’s nothing new for those who understand how things really work’.”
But, as numerous investigations by American and Mexican journalists have revealed, there is strong evidence of collusion between the Mexican Army and the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels. A former Juarez police commander told NPR in May that “the intention of the army is to try and get rid of the Juarez cartel, so that [Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman] Chapo’s [Sinaloa] cartel is the strongest.”
The cosy relations among the world’s biggest banks, drug trafficking organizations and the U.S. military-intelligence apparatus is not however, a new phenomenon. What is different today is the scale and sheer scope of the corruption involved. As Michel Chossudovsky points out,
“This trade can only prosper if the main actors involved in narcotics have “political friends in high places.” As legal and illegal undertakings are increasingly intertwined, the dividing line between “businesspeople” and criminals is blurred. In turn, the relationship among criminals, politicians and members of the intelligence establishment has tainted the structures of the state and the role of its institutions, including the military.”(The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century, Montreal:Global Research, 2010, pp. 195-196)
#51347 Jul 23, 2013
Greasing the Wheels
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODOC) state in their 2010 Annual Report that “money-laundering is the method by which criminals disguise the illegal origins of their wealth and protect their asset bases in order to avoid suspicion of law enforcement and to prevent leaving a trail of incriminating evidence,” and that financial institutions, particularly U.S. and European banks are key to efforts to choke-off illicit profits from the grisly trade.
The trouble is these institutions, along with U.S. intelligence agencies, are the problem.
UNODOC estimate that profits derived from narcotics rackets amount to some $600 billion annually and that up to $1.5 trilliondollars in drug money is laundered through seemingly legitimate enterprises.
Part of the fallout from capitalism’s economic meltdown has been that “drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis,” The Observer disclosed late last year.
Antonio Maria Costa, UNODOC’s director, told the British newspaper he saw evidence that proceeds from the illicit trade were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year and that “a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.”
The UN drugs chief said that in “many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital.” And with markets tanking and major bank failures nearly a daily occurrence,“liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor.”
According to Costa,“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.”
Web of Corruption
Although the UN’s top anti-narcotics official declined to identify either the countries or banks that have benefited from the murderous trade, a web of corruption envelops the entire financial sector of the capitalist economy as the quest for “liquid assets” trumps everything.
Martin Woods, once director of Wachovia’s anti-money-laundering unit in London told Bloomberg,“It’s the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy.” Woods told the magazine he “quit the bank in disgust” after executives “ignored his documentation that drug dealers were funneling money through Wachovia’s branch network.”
Despite warnings from the Treasury Department since 1996 that Mexican currency exchanges were laundering drug money through U.S. banks,“Wachovia ignored warnings by regulators and police, according to the deferred-prosecution agreement,”Bloomberg reported.
“As early as 2004, Wachovia understood the risk,” the bank admitted in court.“Despite these warnings, Wachovia remained in the business.”
At the bank’s anti-money laundering unit in London, Woods and his counterpart Jim DeFazio in Charlotte, NC told Smith “they suspected that drug dealers were using the bank to move funds.”
Former Scotland Yard investigator Woods, said he “spotted illegible signatures and other suspicious markings on traveler’s checks from Mexican exchange companies,” and that he sent copies of his report to the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority, the DEA and U.S. Treasury Department.
But rather than being rewarded for his diligence, Woods told Smith “his bosses instructed him to keep quiet and tried to have him fired.” In one meeting,“a bank official insisted Woods shouldn’t have filed suspicious activity reports to the government, as both U.S. and U.K. laws require.”
#51348 Jul 23, 2013
Meanwhile, on the American side of the pond, 21-year FBI veteran DeFazio said “he told bank executives in 2005 that the DEA was probing the transfers through Wachovia to buy the planes.” The bank ignored his warnings and continued along on their merry way until their indictment.
The law enforcement veteran told Bloomberg,“I think they looked at the money and said,‘The hell with it. We’re going to bring it in, and look at all the money we’ll make’.”
The former Scotland yard investigator added,“If you don’t see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 22,000 people killed in Mexico, you’re missing the point.”
But Wachovia wasn’t the only large financial institution “missing the point.” Bloomberg also revealed that Bank of America and the London-based “HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank by assets,” American Express Bank, Banco Santander SA, Citigroup Inc., as well as “the world’s largest money transfer firm,” Western Union were also up to their eyeballs in dubious transactions.
In 1994 for example, American Express paid $14 million to settle with the federal government after “two employees were convicted in a criminal case involving drug trafficker Juan Garcia Abrego.”
Yet between 1999-2004, Bloomberg reported “the bank failed to stop clients from laundering $55 million of narcotics funds, the bank admitted in a deferred-prosecution agreement in August 2007 … and paid $65 million to the U.S. and promised not to break the law again.” Charges were dismissed a year later under terms of the agreement.
And back in 2004, The Independent disclosed that “HSBC, the UK’s largest bank, have been slammed for lax money-laundering procedures in a report by a US Senate subcommittee.”
Journalists Hugh O’Shaughnessy and Paul Lashmar revealed that “the UK-based multinational stands accused of laxity in the fight against money laundering, drug trafficking, corruption and terrorism, notably in the oil-rich African state of Equatorial Guinea.”
“In one of the few cases” when the scandal-plagued and now-shuttered Riggs Bank “seems to have properly followed US anti-money-laundering legislation,” Riggs formally asked HSBC and a Spanish bank, Banco Santander,“to divulge the identities of the owners of two companies that kept accounts with them and that were receiving suspicious wire transfers totalling in excess of $35m (£20m). The banks refused to say who the owners were.”
Bloomberg disclosed that “federal agents caught people who work for Mexican cartels depositing illicit funds in Bank of America accounts in Atlanta, Chicago and Brownsville, Texas, from 2002 to 2009.” Authorities contend that “Mexican drug dealers used shell companies to open accounts at London-based HSBC.”
Nevertheless, neither bank were accused of wrongdoing by the federal government and both firms denied any involvement in money laundering schemes.
Fallout? What Fallout!
“If Wells Fargo keeps its pledge,” Bloomberg reports, then “according to the agreement [the federal government will] drop all charges against the bank in March 2011.”
Why might that be? Large banks are immune from vigorous prosecution for violating the Bank Secrecy Act “by a variant of the too-big-to-fail theory.”
Veteran Senate investigator Jack Blum, who led probes into the Iran-Contra drug connection and the CIA’s favorite shadow bank during the 1980s, the Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCCI) toldBloomberg,“the theory is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for big banks.”
“There’s no capacity to regulate or punish them because they’re too big to be threatened with failure,” Blum says.“They seem to be willing to do anything that improves their bottom line, until they’re caught.”
Meanwhile as the bodies pile up, there’s no jail time for executives and the assets of firms that could charitably be described as part of a “continuing criminal enterprise” haven’t been seized; only a slap on the wrist and a promise to “do better next time.”
#51349 Jul 23, 2013
No, please, don't fall asleep yet...Libby and Magruder just pulled in from Watergate!!!!!!!!
#51350 Jul 23, 2013
Dick, this is just what you wanted...it is gonna change your whole life!!!!!
Then Gerry and Betty can come in, play golf, drop pills and booze like there is no tomorrow. Then we can open a clinic for addicts just like us... gotta help us poor, incompetent, out of control souls...won't that be marvelous!!!!!! And we get a Library too? We just love the American way of life.
A fun time will be had by all...just think of it. Bet you can't wait.
#51351 Jul 23, 2013
#51352 Jul 23, 2013
Hmmmm. I wonder if there are just many elitists who through greed just mess everything up for the rest and....they come from both parties........Just saying....
#51353 Jul 23, 2013
One of the liberals finest is at it again. GO WEINER GO! LMFAO
Weiner still in NYC race despite improper messages
#51356 Jul 24, 2013
Thompson Challenges Obama Administration’s Rewrite of Coal Regulation.
New federal rule could cost 220,000 jobs in the Appalachia region alone.
WASHINGTON, D.C.– The House Natural Resources Committee yesterday held an oversight hearing on the status of the Obama Administration’s rewrite of a sweeping coal regulation known as the Stream Buffer Zone Rule, during which U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson questioned Joseph Pizarchik, director of Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), on the lack of transparency governing of the rulemaking process and the potential for huge economic losses under the new regulation.
“This entire process has lacked transparency and failed to even consider the full impact that this regulation will have upon local economies in Pennsylvania and across the country,” Thompson stated.
For more than two years, the committee has conducted an ongoing investigation into the Obama Administration’s rewrite of the rule. The OSM is the chief federal office in charge of the rule’s rewrite.
The committee released a report on the issue last year, which detailed the rushed and unorthodox rulemaking process at the OSM, including attempts to conceal the rule’s full economic impacts. Specifically, the report found that between 133,441 and 273,227 jobs are at risk as a result of this proposed rule with between 55,120 and 79,870 losses in direct mining jobs. Furthermore, the report found that as many as 220,000 jobs are at risk in the Appalachia region alone as a consequence of the proposed rule.
“The conduct of OSM is emblematic of the Obama Administration’s complete disregard for the health of our economy,” Thompson added.“This White House will stop at no end to bend the rules and assault the coal industry along with the millions of jobs it supports.”
The Interior Department has largely stonewalled the committee’s investigation into the rewrite of the coal regulation and failed to comply with multiple subpoenas for specific documents.
Thompson pressed Pizarchik on the OSM’s “plan for seeking input from state cooperating agencies between now and the time the stream protection rule’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is published for public comment in 2014.”
Pizarchik, the chief officer in charge of the rewrite, which began in 2008, stated he does not believe there have been any contacts during the last year with states or other cooperating agencies.
DOI regulations require that OSM collaborate “to the fullest extent possible” with all cooperating agencies, including states.
“Have the cooperating agencies been provided with the new draft alternatives that OSM is considering?” Thompson added. Pizarchik was unaware of any such communications.
DOI regulations also require that OSM collaborate with cooperating agencies “at the earliest possible time,” so that all stakeholders can evaluate the rule and consider possible alternatives.
#51358 Jul 24, 2013
#51359 Jul 24, 2013
Fossil fuel is killing the planet and the people.
There is no such thing as clean coal,lets look for more alternative energy which is out there and cleaner.......
Look at all the companies that went overseas to create that garbage to avoid EPA standards. Let the laid off workers find other work like everyone else is doing.
I want my kids and grandkids enjoy clean air and make it a cleaner planet....coal is nasty and kills 22,000 people a year and causes health problems for another 125,000 mostly the young and elderly.
Shut all the coal burning plants down. Look what happened at Allentown,Pa....all outdated steel mills putting all that poison in the air...that was 40 years ago....it was a great start to eliminate all that poison into the air. Lets keep closing these poison factories down and have clean air and help out the planet at the same time.
#51360 Jul 24, 2013
God forbid one of your kids or grandkids have to make an emergency trip to the hospital that is powered by coal. You say coal kills 22,000/yr but I wonder how many lives are saved by the energy it creates. You might as well say stop car production too or at least driving them killers on the road. Matter of fact lets all live in a plastic bubble and hope for the best.
#51363 Jul 24, 2013
once we shut down this coal burning poison plants..the healthcare of everyone will improve. plus the poor people that died of black lung mining this poisonous material.
#51364 Jul 24, 2013
Or everyone lives longer costing us more....
#51366 Jul 25, 2013
I support Mark Kessler
Since: Jul 12
#51368 Jul 25, 2013
Try to cut back on the Limbaugh nut juice. Tea bags sure love that, drip drio drip.
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