The EyeOpener- Morbid Addiction: CIA & the Drug Trade

The Modern-Day British East India Company: The CIA

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Just as the British Empire was in part financed by their control of the opium trade through the British East India Company, so too has the CIA been found time after time to be at the heart of the modern international drug trade. From its very inception, the CIA has been embroiled in the murky underworld of drug trafficking.

There are billions of dollars per year to be made in keeping the drug trade going, and it has long been established that Wall Street and the major American banks rely on drug money as a ready source of liquid capital. With those kinds of funds at stake, it is unsurprising to see a media-government-banking nexus develop around the status quo of a never-ending war on drugs - aided, abetted and facilitated by the modern-day British East India Company, the CIA.

This is our EyeOpener Report by James Corbett presenting the history, documented facts, and cases on the CIA’s involvement and operations in the underworld of drug trafficking, from the Corsican Mafia in the 1940s through the 1980s Contras to the recent Zambada Niebla Case today.

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*The Transcript for this video is now available at Corbett Report: Click Here

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The EyeOpener-White Gold: Heroin & the Destabilization of Afghanistan

The Power(s) Behind Afghan Heroin & the Real Profiteers of the International Drug Trade 

The idea that the drug trade in Afghanistan is enabled and protected by western interests for their own benefit is by no means a new or controversial idea. After all, we are talking about the third most lucrative commodity in the world behind oil and the arms trade. However, the media coverage of this issue involving hundreds of billions of dollars is another story. James Corbett brings to you questions and points not dared to be raised by the media and pseudo alternatives alike.

This is our EyeOpener Video Report by James Corbett on Afghanistan’s White Gold for boilingfrogspost.com

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Gimme a Break: The CIA Asset Turned Taliban Bodyguard Assassin?!

Spin the Spin to Get the Spun Story Un-Spun

additup I said I was not going to waste time writing about the Ahmed Wali Karzai assassination story and let the stenographers in our media spread the preapproved nonsense. I wrote my piece and provided you with my own humble two cents, and I was ready to move on:

…on the other hand, once things sour, when those liabilities begin to surpass the asset and the profits, you’ll see the media rush and begin swarming around the no-longer-a-favorite Kingpin. Then comes a short period of silence, and after that Bam: You have an assassinated, murdered, suicide-d, or disappeared Old Kingpin case. Alas; no surprise there since this is how these Kingpins ultimately meet their end- this one ‘supposedly’ by the currently fashionable enemy: the Taliban. I promise you won’t be hearing a single word about this in a few days and forever-The Langley Way.

           

The entire scenario of a Taliban-Turned confidante bodyguard didn’t sit well with me; way too Langley. When you get a chance read a bit about the assassination of Vietnam’s Diem Brothers, and then you’ll understand what I mean when I say ‘Too Langley.

Anyhow, this morning I read the following headline: Bodyguard Who Killed Karzai’s Brother Was Trusted CIA Contact : [Read more...]

The Assassination of Afghan Kingpin Karzai: A Case of Langley Liabilities Exceeding Its Asset?

Time to Look at the New Heirs ala CIA

ahmedkarzaiThere is no point in wasting too many words and space rehashing what every media outlet has been reporting and recounting on the assassination of Afghan Heroin Kingpin Ahmed Wali Karzai. The US media began reporting on the Kingpin, his heroin network and operations, his shady deals and even shadier connections over two years ago. This is how it always goes when the relationship between Kingpins like Karzai starts souring with their masters in Langley:

For years, or actually decades, while the relationships are prosperous and mutually beneficial, these Kingpins are miraculously shielded from the media; here and abroad. No matter how much evidence and legitimate reports from even more legitimate sources come available you can’t get the media to even mention Kingpins like Karzai; that is, when the Langley bosses see that their assets surpass all the negative liabilities. On the other hand, once things sour, when those liabilities begin to surpass the asset and the profits, you’ll see the media rush and begin swarming around the no-longer-a-favorite Kingpin. Then comes a short period of silence, and after that Bam: You have an assassinated, murdered, suicide-d, or disappeared Old Kingpin case. Alas; no surprise there since this is how these Kingpins ultimately meet their end- this one ‘supposedly’ by the currently fashionable enemy: the Taliban. I promise you won’t be hearing a single word about this in a few days and forever-The Langley Way.

CIAThat’s right. This is why I am not going to sit here and type away on this particular Kingpin; the Old Kingpin. While the media is busy getting the readers’ and listeners’ and watchers’ attention on the assassination of the Old Kingpin, Langley is busy installing their already groomed and prepared new Kingpin; while  no one is looking. Instead I am busy looking at several likely candidates; the possible new heirs to the Old Kingpin. I have a fairly short but fairly solid list. Today I’ll provide you with one from that list, in an attempt to get you to look at a possible new Kingpin the Media-Langley duo doesn’t want you to be looking at.

Langley’s “Chubby” Protégé: Hamed Wardak

GWarAbout two years ago while no one was really looking at the people Langley didn’t want them to look at, I wrote a piece called: In the Name of a General, His Son, a Spook & the Godmother of Neocons. Please take some time and read the entire piece (it is fairly long and comprehensive) in order to get the entire picture on this potential Kingpin. Here are a few excerpts from what I wrote on Hamed Wardak:

Once upon a time there was an Afghani general named Abdul Rahim Wardak. He had studied in both US and Egyptian military schools before joining the army in Afghanistan. In the 1980s, a few years after he joined the army, he decided to defect and joined the Mujahideen movement. We don’t know exactly who in the United States gave him the order to defect, because no one is willing to go on record. However, we know very well that due to their fight against the Communist Soviet Union, the Mujahideen were significantly financed, armed, and trained by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, along with several other not as significant nations. We also know that back then, when we were supporting, financing, training and cheering for the Mujahideen as ‘freedom fighters,’ those labeled today as terrorist evil-doer radicals, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, were viewed and treated as our allies and entourage. 

Our General Wardak disappeared from the Afghan scene at the beginning of the civil war in the 1990s. He brought his family to the United States where he settled comfortably with enough wealth from undetermined sources, and he enrolled his son, Hamed, in Georgetown University.

Hamed Wardak, a quite chubby and ambitious young man, arrived at Georgetown University, and by the time he got to his senior level he was taken under the wings of one of his professors as her protégé. That professor was none other than our Jeane Kirkpatrick, the proud Godmother of the Neocons. Our savvy readers will understand that this was not due to chance and Hamed’s stars being all aligned. After all, his General father had done his job well serving Kirkpatrick’s and other Neocons’ foreign policy objectives at all costs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As mentioned earlier, his General father was flown to the US several times and coached by this crowd to give speeches before the US Congress to obtain funds for their overt and covert operations involving the Saudis, Pakistanis and Taliban. So no, these relationships don’t evaporate and disappear. Wardak and his family were accommodated quite well after they were brought to the US, and the Neocons’ future plans for Afghanistan would have plenty of roles for the Wardak family to fill.

Wardak Junior was a known figure among the radical pro-Taliban sympathizers in Washington DC circles. Here are a few quotes from an excellent piece written on the Wardak(s) and Karzai(s): …

The Karzai brothers took a great interest in Wardak Junior, and he enjoyed the benefits of the Karzais’ flashy and high-flying friends. After the September 11 Terror Attacks, the Karzais made Hamed the Vice President of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, which was founded by Mahmood Karzai. As I mentioned briefly in my piece, our Neocon Ex-Congressman Don Ritter happens to be the co-founder of this organization. Hamed was also appointed to an advisor’s post with President Karzai’s first Finance Minister, Ashraf Ghani. No small accomplishment for the barely 30 year old Hamed!

Hamed Wardak’s most productive venture in tapping into the US Defense Sector Pot(s) of Gold began with joining a Washington DC contracting firm, Technologists Inc., founded by Aziz Azimi, who happened to be a very close buddy of Qayum Karzai…

Our General Wardak was promoted and taken back to Afghanistan to serve in Karzai’s regime as the Minister of Defense. Was he given citizenship when he was brought back to the US to settle? No one is really talking. Did anyone in Afghanistan question having US citizens in their quasi democratic government posts? No one in the US media is reporting. If you are trusted within the Afghan Diaspora in the DC area you’ll hear hushed comments about Wardak, his corrupt practices, and the rumors, fairly consistent rumors, of his close connections to the poppy world.

Back to Wardak Junior in Washington DC; With his dad now in Afghanistan as the Defense Minister, and with his Karzai partners and friends, he was busy running from one pot of gold to another: …

Okay, enough excerpts for a bit of background, but as I mentioned you need to read the entire piece here to get the entire picture. Now let’s get a more up-to-date report on where Hamed Wardak is today and what he’s been doing.

A few months after my coverage of Wardaks-Karzai-Ritter the media began taking  notice of Langley’s “Chubby Boy” Hamed Wardak:

A major investigation has been launched into contracts awarded by coalition forces in Afghanistan that are worth hundreds of millions of pounds. The probe into construction and logistics contracts of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) has been ordered by Major General Nick Carter, commander of Isaf forces in the south of the country.

Members of prominent Afghan families, including Hashmat and Ahmed Wali Karzai, brothers of President Karzai, and Hamed Wardak, the son of the Defence Minister, Rahim Wardak, are among those accused of controlling private security firms benefiting from lucrative security contracts by paying off the Taliban. [Read more...]

Obama Administration’s Neocon Easter

Resurrecting the Neocons: Marc Grossman in … Richard Perle & Douglas Feith in Queue

Grossman215Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has chosen a new special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan: a long-time controversial neocon, a man who has been famous for parading as a foreign agent in the lobby circuit, the scandalous former diplomat Marc Grossman. The not-so-gradual resurrection of the old neocon cabal under the Obama administration, led by Hillary Clinton, should not come as a surprise. According to Washington insiders, Richardl Perle and Douglas Feith have been consulted more than a few times in their ‘unofficial’ capacity, but are not far down in the queue to receive ‘official’ acknowledgement. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; at least to those who’ve been following the steady momentum building at the Obama White House towards a soon-to-come Neocon Easter.

Hillary Clinton appointed Dennis Ross as Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia; a man well-known as a hard-core neocon,  Paul Wolfowitz’ protégé, cofounder of the AIPAC sponsored Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and one of the loudest advocates for the Israel lobby. A man who is known to consider himself more Israeli than American; a Jewish American who is known to have spent ‘a lot of time’ in Israel to find his real identity-nationality.

KaganWe had Frederick Kagan, a neocon of choice for Mr. Obama, who was hired to manage General Petraeus on Afghanistan. A man whose father was born into a Jewish family in Lithuania; a man cherished by his bosses at the American Enterprise Institute; a man who authored the book, While America Sleeps, arguing in favor of a large increase in military spending and warned of future threats, including the imaginary WMD program in Iraq. We are talking about the man who was one of the main signatories of Project for the New American Century manifesto - the Neocon Bible. The man who was one of the Bush-Cheney administration’s favorite masterminds when it came to perpetual wars. [Read more...]

Weekly Round Up for January 9

Obama’s Whistleblower-Hunt, ‘Rent-A-Generals’ Industry, A Great Example of Intentionally Awful Journalism, One-Tip-Based Terror Watch List & More!

NYA belated happy new year to all our readers and friends here at Boiling Frogs Post. As you can tell I am just coming up for air. The holiday season happens to be the busiest time for my part-time work which involves a retail business, and my full-time motherhood task which has gotten at least three-fold harder during this not-so-terrible-twos stage. You see I say harder, but I’ll never call it ‘terrible’ because despite the tasking aspect it still remains the best and most rewarding role I’ve ever had; ever. My daughter is now 2.5 years old, and I’m happy to report: she is outspoken, highly opinionated, and on her way to becoming a real activist. She is already stopping those engaged in littering in their tracks for an earful lecture, and orders them to stop, ‘Go home, time out, and take bath!’ I am sharing a few of her recent pictures here. Many of you know all about my ‘no venture into my private life’ over here at BFP…except for an occasional relevant experience(s), or, like these here and the ones from last year to mark a new year at Boiling Frogs Post. Again, Happy New Year.

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For the past two months I’ve been collecting and saving lots of articles to share with you here at BFP. The collection kept getting larger, the list of links grew longer, and I kept falling behind and unable to post regular BFP Round Ups. Some of those articles were time sensitive so they got discarded as ‘stale and no longer relevant’. Some are still sitting on the list waiting for the addition of my comments and analyses. And here are a few important and interesting ones from the past few weeks without much need for added sound bites:

Obama’s Whistleblower-Hunt: Whistleblowers Long for Bush-Cheney Era Leniency?

OBYou thought the Bush-Cheney administration was bad? Think again; especially if you happen to be a whistleblower. Despite its awful record, the current administration witch-hunt like pursuit of whistleblowers and truth-tellers has many whistleblowers and truth-telling advocates longing for the Bush era climate. After all, everything is relevant, right? There was the bad, now it is the worse, or probably worst ever. Despite all the threats and muscle-flexing not a single whistleblower, including myself, got arrested or even pursued criminally under the previous regime. With Obama the era of threats has changed into an era of Punishment-Imprisonment and in some cases even torture. Here is one of the latest:

Former CIA officer indicted for leaks to reporter 
Peter Haldis, RCFP

A former CIA officer was indicted last month for allegedly providing a New York Times reporter with classified information. He is the latest in a string of leakers prosecuted by the Obama administration.

Jeffrey Sterling, 43, of O’Fallon, Mo., was indicted on 10 counts, including six counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and one count of obstruction of justice. He was arrested Thursday in St. Louis.Sterling was indicted Dec. 22, 2010, and the indictment was unsealed Thursday.

Sterling is the fifth leaker to be prosecuted by the Obama administration. The others include: former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake, who allegedly sent classified information to an unknown newspaper reporter; Stephen Kim, a former Department of State analyst who allegedly leaked an intelligence report to an unidentified reporter; Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army private alleged to have leaked classified information to Wikileaks; and Shamai Leibowitz, a former FBI linguist who was convicted in May 2010 of charges related to the leaking of classified information to an unidentified blogger and sentenced to 20 months in prison.

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 ‘Rent-A-Generals’ Consulting Firms: An Industry in Its Own

genLast month I came across the following coverage at War Is Business by Corey Pein. This Monday Peter and I will be interviewing Mr. Pein, meanwhile if you haven’t seen this great website check it out now, and put it in your ‘Favorite’ list of websites. I am really looking forward to this interview, too many topics of interest to cover!

‘Rent-A-Generals’ & ‘the Militarization of Economy’ 
By Corey Pein, War Is Business

This man is William B Burdeshaw, a retired US Army Brigadier General and founder of what the Boston Globe, in its must-read investigation of rampant corruption in Pentagon procurement, calls “one of the oldest ‘rent-a-general’ consulting firms” in the country.

His company, Burdeshaw Associates Ltd, is essentially a fixer for corporations looking to land military contracts. The firm is apparently so good at this, its influential “associates”—mostly retired, high-ranking officers—can sell the Pentagon things it didn’t even know it needed.

Read Globe reporter Bryan Bender describe how Burdeshaw cleverly wrung $109 million from the Pentagon for the firm’s client, Northrop Grumman, which wanted to build a remote-controlled helicopter called the Fire Scout. [Read more...]

Central Asia Militants: A Rhetorical Question of Funding & Sponsors

Central Asian Militants, Pan-Turkic Aims & Mysterious Financiers

armsI just finished reading an interesting article at Asia Times on the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which is characterized by some as Central Asia's most aggressive militant group. The main focus of the article is placed on the status, recent expansion and transformation of IMU: The IMU is no longer a small band of militants focused on taking down the Uzbek regime and replacing it with an Islamic state. Today, it has a much wider reach and more ambitious goals, and has underlined its revival with attacks that suggest a presence across a wide swathe of South and Central Asia.

Considering my own focus, which I am sure many of you are pretty familiar with by now, the following bits and pieces, none of which happen to receive any elaboration or even a slight explanation by the author, deserve the real attention: [Read more...]

Weekly Round Up for October 17

The ‘Obvious’ Silence of the Times, China’s Pipelineistan War, Mujahedin’s Penetration of Tajikistan

The other day our friend Metem brought to my attention a story that had made it to the Project Censored list, ‘US Funds & Supports Taliban.’ Here are two excerpts from the introduction which are related to our coverage of the mysterious helicopter activities in northern Afghanistan.

NYT1017In a continuous flow of money, American tax dollars end up paying members of the Taliban and funding a volatile environment in Afghanistan. Private contractors pay insurgents with the hope of attaining the very safety they are contracted to provide. Concurrently, US soldiers pay at checkpoints run by suspected insurgents in order to get safe passage. In some cases, Afghan companies run by former Taliban members, like President Hamid Karzai’s cousin, are protecting the passage of American soldiers. The funding of the insurgents, along with rumors of American helicopters ferrying Taliban members in Afghanistan, has led to widespread distrust of American forces. In the meantime, the US taxpayer’s dollar continues to fund insurgents to protect American troops so they can fight insurgents.

Ahmad Rate Popal is a grand example of how those who controlled Afghanistan under Taliban rule are still controlling Afghanistan today and being paid by US tax dollars. Popal, who served as interpreter at one of the ruling Taliban’s last press conferences, is greatly increasing his wealth through the US war in Afghanistan. In 1988, he was charged with conspiring to import heroin into the United States. He was released from prison in 1997. Popal’s cousin is Afghanistan’s President Karzai. Popal and his brother Rashid (who pleaded guilty in 1996 to a separate heroin charge) control the Watan Group in Afghanistan, which is a consortium engaged in many different fields of business. One of Watan’s enterprises is to protect convoys of Afghan trucks heading from Kabul to Kandahar, carrying American supplies. Popal is one example of the virtual carnival of improbable characters and shady connections, with former CIA officials and ex-military officers in Afghanistan joining hands with former Taliban members and mujahideen to collect US government funds in the name of the war effort.

Okay, that’s what the article is about but it isn’t what got my attention. Here is what I’m getting at:

An example of these contracts are those granted to the NCL Holdings in Afghanistan run by Hamed Wardak, the young American son of Afghanistan’s current defense minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak. NCL is a small firm that was awarded a US military logistics contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite the fact that the firm only operates in Afghanistan, Wardak incorporated NCL in the United States early in 2007, due to his connections there.

On NCL’s advisory board is Milton Bearden, a well-known former CIA officer who in 2009 was introduced by Senator John Kerry as “a legendary former CIA case officer and a clearheaded thinker and writer.” Bearden is an incredible asset to a small defense contracting firm. Wardak was able to get a contract for Host Nation Trucking despite having no apparent trucking experience. The contract is aimed at handling the bulk of US trucking in Afghanistan, bringing supplies to bases and remote outposts throughout Afghanistan. At first the contract was small, but very quickly it expanded by 600 percent, making it a gargantuan contract worth $360 million. NCL had struck pure contracting gold. These profits, which only go to a very select and well-connected portion of the Afghan people, build a large amount of distrust from Afghan citizens toward American troops and those connected to them.

And, this is the part where Project Censored for whatever reason didn’t go one step further:

Since our initial search of corporate media coverage on this issue in February 2010, finding zero coverage at that time, both the New York Times and the Washington Post have covered part of the story on their front pages. Both mentioned President Hamid Karzai’s cousin, and both acknowledged that in all likelihood money is making its way to the Taliban. Neither paper mentioned the US connection, Milton Bearden. The Washington Post covered the story on March 29, 2010, and mentioned the Nation magazine article. The New York Times story came out on June 6, 2010, acknowledging the corruption, but included the news that President Obama was addressing the issue with President Karzai. That the two stories came out two months apart, and that the US links are left out, led to the decision at Project Censored to keep this important story in the top censored stories list for the year.

Way back when, I wrote a couple of pieces on a few of these personalities that have been totally, and intentionally, overlooked by the mainstream media and  the like. Do you remember our piece on General Wardak, his son Hamed Wardak, ex CIA operative with a fairly dubious history, and an ex- congressman in the ‘laundering’ business? Let me refresh your memory:

RittAs the bodies in Afghanistan are piling up and the number of wounded keeps escalating, while Washington is buzzing with the long-known but selectively-buried corrupt and criminal past and present of our installed government officials there, some are cashing in on both sides, and some are paving the way to the next pot(s) of gold reserved for carpetbaggers and war-profiteers in every war or conflict. In this game there always are a few known names and faces who are publicized and who draw the spotlight, and there are those who enjoy operating and profiting quietly without drawing deserved attention and needed scrutiny. That’s how Washington’s war and conflict machine works, and that’s’ the way our foreign policy decisions are influenced and made. I am going to introduce one such character as an introduction to my upcoming longer story on this same topic. Ladies and gentlemen please meet our Neocon Ex Congressman, Don Ritter, and be informed of his new lucrative ‘Laundering Business’ in Afghanistan.

Let’s go back to Mr. Ritter’s entrepreneurial ventures in Afghanistan. His self aggrandizing website has this to say:

“Don is the U.S. investor and Chairman of the U.S. – Afghan company that built and operates the most modern laundry and dry cleaning plant in the region to serve the population of Kabul and execute military and government contracts. He is also currently engaged in building a mountain lodge tourism industry in the Panjshir Valley, a mini-mill for steel products for the Afghan construction boom in Herat, a business development services company in Kabul and an Afghan-American prime contractor to compete for large construction contracts.”

For the real juice on Mr. Ritter’s business dealings, my highly informed sources point me to Afghanistan’s current Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak. The Afghan diaspora in DC name Wardak as one of the key figures in the highly lucrative Poppy & heroin market; albeit in hushed voices. I can’t fathom the feasibility and profitability of a laundry and dry-cleaning business in Afghanistan owned and operated by a Neocon former congressman. What is Mr. Ritter ‘laundering?’

Please do me a favor and read the brief piece here

After that piece I wrote a much longer related piece (okay, much much longer; the usual ‘Sibel length’!) which introduced you further to General Wardak, his son-Hamed Wardak, and Ex CIA operative, Milton Bearden. Again, a few excerpts follow:

BeardOnce upon a time there was man named Milton Bearden, commonly referred to as Milt. He spent his early years in the state of Washington where his father worked on the Manhattan Project. After a few years with the US Air Force he joined the CIA in 1964.

Milt was CIA’s chosen man for their operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In fact, from 1986 to 1989, when our country was supporting the Mujahideen, he was one of their main men on the ground, working with this coalition of the Taliban, the Saudis and their main man Bin Laden, and the Pakistani ISI. The Director of the CIA, William Casey, was the one who appointed Milt Bearden for this task. Here is Milt’s own words describing his importance in a not very unusual ex-CIA conceited manner:

Milt’s cushy CIA retirement and all those glowing medals must not have been enough, for he then engaged in frenzied marketing and self promotion to get himself entrenched in almost all major US networks and newspapers as a consultant, writer, advisor, and of course as a trusted source - a CIA source to provide quotes and information for scripts at the snap of a finger. He coauthored a book with New York Times reporter James Risen called The Main Enemy. Whether this kind of business arrangement, where a commonly used source partners up with a reporter, presents a conflict of interest or even could be called incestuous, is everyone else’s call.

Most interestingly Mr. Bearden seemed to have lured in the American mainstream media by presenting himself as an outspoken critique of the Bush White House Intelligence policies after the September 11 terrorists’ attack. He suddenly became a major spokesperson on ‘how we created this monster called Osama Bin Laden,’ and the nasty radical Taliban. And the mainstream media couldn’t get enough of him. Ironically, he happened to be the man after William Casey and Neocons’ Jeane Kirkpatrick’s own hearts in creating the Bin Laden monster, bolstering the radical Taliban brand of Islamism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and kosherizing all dirty deeds as means to justify the end(s). He didn’t get those medals or promotions for nothing!

Our General Wardak disappeared from the Afghan scene at the beginning of the civil war in the 1990s. He brought his family to the United States where he settled comfortably with enough wealth from undetermined sources, and he enrolled his son, Hamed, in Georgetown University.

The Karzai brothers took a great interest in Wardak Junior, and he enjoyed the benefits of the Karzais’ flashy and high-flying friends. After the September 11 Terror Attacks, the Karzais made Hamed the Vice President of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, which was founded by Mahmood Karzai. As I mentioned briefly in my piece, our Neocon Ex-Congressman Don Ritter happens to be the co-founder of this organization. Hamed was also appointed to an advisor’s post with President Karzai’s first Finance Minister, Ashraf Ghani. No small accomplishment for the barely 30 year old Hamed!

Hamed Wardak’s most productive venture in tapping into the US Defense Sector Pot(s) of Gold began with joining a Washington DC contracting firm, Technologists Inc., founded by Aziz Azimi, who happened to be a very close buddy of Qayum Karzai. Here is a further detail on this by e-Ariana:

“Hamed Wardak’s new alliances proved extraordinarily advantageous as George W. Bush launched his “war on terror,” particularly with Khalilzad and Strmecki enjoying direct access to Vice-President Dick Cheney’s office.”

Do you want to check out the kind of contracts, the kind of millions, we are talking about with Technologists Inc.? Here is one for you:

Technologists, Inc., Rosslyn, Va., was awarded on Jan. 5, 2009, a $96,090,519 firm fixed price contract for the construction of an Afghanistan National Police National Training Center. Work will be performed in Maydan Wardak, Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by Mar. 31, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Oct. 1, 2008, and 13 bids were received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Afghanistan, is the contracting activity (W917PM-09-C-0005).

That’s right. Just one of these contracts is worth nearly $100 million for connected Afghan carpetbaggers cashing in on wars suffered by ordinary American tax payers and US soldiers.

Here is one of our characters who hasn’t made an appearance for several pages: Milt Bearden, the EX-CIA Rambo in Afghanistan in the 80s, the US media darling on Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taliban…you name it, the shrewd self promoter with books and movies:

Milt Bearden must have been pretty familiar with our General Wardak since he was on the ground in Afghanistan serving his masters at the CIA and the Whitehouse, including the great advocator of ‘use any means,’ our Godmother of Neocons, Jeane Kirkpatrick. Operation Cyclone must certainly have brought him in contact with involved Taliban Generals, including our General, Osama Bin Laden, and other key ISI operators, and his dealings must certainly have included the major heroin operations tapped into to further fund these ‘freedom fighters.’ In fact, our Spook dealt extensively with Hekmatyar, who is considered one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Heroin Operator in Afghanistan - which supplies 90% of the world’s Heroin:

One U.S. official who had considerable dealings with Mr. Hekmatyar was Milt Bearden, who during the Soviet occupation ran the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's covert program in Afghanistan. He says Mr. Hekmatyar struck him as "quirky and paranoid."

Thus, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that our Ex-Spook took an interest in our General’s son, and translated this interest into a close business partnership when our young and chubby Hamed Wardak got closer and closer to big Pots of Gold in Washington DC and his father made it to the Defense Minister position in Afghanistan.

After Hamed Wardak left Technologists Inc. to go further in tapping the US Defense Contractor Gold Pots, and to set up various other front businesses in Afghanistan, many of which happen to be in security sectors, he formed a new front organization, Campaign for a US-Afghan Partnership. Guess who he appointed as the top man for the Board of this ambigious organization? That’s right, none other than our ex-spook, media supplier, Milton Bearden. Check out his glowing background listed on Hamed Wardak’s organization’s website: click here. What exactly this organization does, no one really knows, which should go as another credit to our Mr. Bearden’s CIA background in keeping things convoluted and secretive.

Rumors from the Ex-CIA community in the DC area point to another highly lucrative Wardak company paid by US tax payers, NCL, in Kabul, and hint that their buddy Milt may have been playing a major role there. Because of Mr. Bearden’s cozy relationships no one in the media has been looking for these deeper engagements and lucrative partnerships between him and Hamed Wardak.

You can read the entire piece on Bearden-Wardak and more here. Come on Project Censored! Why not talk about this ex spook’s intimate relationship with the New York Times?! Not only has he been their revered source, but he is the partner of their top reporter. How could James Risen partner up with him (financially, in the publicity arena…), and still he and others use Bearden as their valued source and in many cases as their only source?! As for The Washington Post: this would fall within the coverage area of our infamous Walter Pincus. Yes, I’m talking about the long ago exposed Pincus from Operation Mockingbird, and the father of Pincus Junior who happens to be an attorney for the infamous Black Water (aka XE and several other nicknames).

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Operation Tajikistan

OpTajLast week I wrote a piece on the latest developments in Central Asia and the Caucasus which briefly covered the  Mysterious Helicopter Activities in Northern Afghanistan. Using a tad of common sense we checked out the strategically important neighbors in this region where these officially denied (vehemently, that is) mysterious activities took place, and one of the three countries of interest was Tajikistan. Here are a few related articles dealing with our topic and Tajikistan.

Also last week Asia Times ran the following convoluted piece on Tajikistan. The piece is filled with speculations, interpretations, and even wild guesses:

Tajikistan struggles to quell militants

As Tajik government forces continue a security sweep to crush armed groups in the eastern mountains after losing 25 soldiers in an ambush, analysts are divided on the reasons for this resurgence in militant activity.

Enquiries by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) indicate that the resistance is coming from local paramilitary forces led by guerrilla leaders from Tajikistan's 1992-97 civil war.

Claims by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, IMU, a militant group allied with the Taliban, that it was behind the attack are probably not entirely accurate but may contain a grain of truth, as the IMU has contacts with the Tajik groups and may have sent emissaries to encourage them to rise up.

And here is another opinion: [Read more...]

Another ‘Viable’ Candidate Bites the Dust …

Maksim Bakiyev: A Groomed Puppet Who Never Came to Be King

STBakKyrgyzstan’s Wanted Fugitive: Maksim Bakiyev. The story is more or less the same - the one that has been repeating itself for many decades.  The one based on a script written by the very same conductors who wrote the ones before, and who will probably be writing the ones to come (yes, they’re blessed with longevity; a curse for the rest of us). The location - always a resource rich country or one strategically crucial to resource rich countries. A viable candidate (sometimes candidates) chosen based on the exact same set of criteria - such as degree of corruptibility, and degree of atrocity or criminal tendencies. The grooming and training locations also are the same: the United States of America or the proxy brother, The United Kingdom. The supporting actors are a combination of old timers, think World Bank or IMF, and newer ones with even fancier names, such as XYZ Democratization and Development Fund, posing as well-intentioned NGOs. Okay, enough with the details, since we are very familiar with this repeating script and its consistent execution - collectively known and referred to as United States Foreign Policy.

The Bakiyev ‘Groom & Plant’ script, like almost all its predecessors, contains the same good ole classical elements: strategically important Central Asian nation, vital US fuel supply artery to keep the war machines humming and destroying in Afghanistan, major artery for transportation of heroin, puppet NATO partnership & the same-o-same-o big bad Russians to compete with, dozens of US NGO’s planted to serve you-know-who’s interests (here is a hint: not the people of Kyrgyzstan nor the American people), a staged and orchestrated revolution by our State Department - named after a innocently beautiful flower - to overthrow the guy who was closer to China & Russia, planting a new corrupt despot clan all carrying the same last name-Bakiyev. Then taking the son, the prince, Maksim Bakiyev, under ‘the mighty’ wings and starting his grooming and training here in the United States, helping the new groomed prince set up companies to corrupt & embezzle, and actually having our CIA operator(s) and politicians partner up with him in these enterprises - allocating  US financial experts, politicians,  and operators to execute a massive embezzlement scheme by the ‘groomed & planted’ prince, later to become a wanted fugitive ‘groomed but no longer planted’ prince with at least $70 million to be rescued and brought under protection…

CilBasically, with the Bakiyev story we have another all too familiar foreign policy and practices abroad scenario repeating itself. Before I get into that way too familiar story I want to revisit a couple of old ‘groom & plant’ examples I have covered here at Boiling Frogs post, starting with a ‘groomed & planted, and later protected’ Former Prime Minister of Turkey, Ms. Tansu Ciller as a perfect example of a Middle Eastern leader who was selected, declared ‘viable,’ supported, promoted, installed, and protected by our foreign policy script writers:

1. Ms. Ciller completed her advanced degrees in the United States – M.S. from the University of New Hampshire and PhD from the University of Connecticut. During this extended period while she resided in the US we had ample time and opportunity to train and mold her for the leadership position in Turkey.

2. Ms. Ciller was granted citizenship in the United States. In order to keep this fact from tarnishing her image during her candidacy campaign in Turkey and afterwards, we designated her US citizenship status ‘Classified and Top Secret’ on the grounds of Sensitive Diplomatic Relations. To this date, despite all attempts, Turkish authorities have been unable to have these files opened.

3. Ms. Ciller and her husband Ozer Ciller were closely involved with certain CIA operations prior to and after her return to Turkey, and their intimate relationship continued throughout her tenure as Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey. In fact, the CIA’s Roger Tamraz (see BCCI) was their partner in two front companies: ‘Emperyal’, which acquired and operated six (6) Casinos in Turkmenistan, and, ‘Lapis,’ involved with the oil pipeline project.

4. Ms. Ciller and her husband, before being considered ‘viable’ by us, already had an established shady financial past, including involvement in an embezzlement scandal connected to the collapse of ‘Istanbul Bankasi’, one of Turkey’s largest private banks. This along with involvements fortified Ms. Ciller’s qualification criteria when compared to competing applicants.

5. Ms. Ciller understood and participated in Turkey’s important strategic and operational role in the supply and transportation of heroin. She skillfully and very aggressively combined and furthered the marriage between the state military-police-intelligence and the underground heroin industry. Her notoriety even reached the German Courts, where she was accused of supporting and protecting the drug mafia – active not only in Turkey but elsewhere, including Europe and Central Asia.

6. Ms. Ciller played a direct role in scandals involving corruption, embezzlement, and state sponsored terrorism and narcotics operations. The best known scandal, one of her masterpieces, is known as ‘Susurluk’. Ciller and her husband – who is known for his mafia links and dealings, were directly implicated in Susurluk. The high profile kept by Ms. And Mr. Ciller during these scandals and their handling of them afterwards significantly bolstered their ‘value’ and ‘viability’ for us.

7. Ms. Ciller’s ‘known’ wealth is confirmed to be over $50 million, all of which was gained after she became a ‘’viable’ candidate supported directly by the US. A large portion of her investments and accounts are in the United States.

BhuttoZAnd here is our second example with the almost exact same script, a ‘groomed & planted, and many times rescued’ puppet(s) in Pakistan. I am making that ‘puppet’ plural since the same script happens to extend to the spouse who currently rules, kinda! And here is the list for the Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Ms. Benazir Bhutto:

.

1. Ms. Bhutto obtained her bachelor degree in the United States – BA from Radcliffe College at Harvard University. Later she attended Oxford University in the UK where she pursued International Law and Diplomacy. She spent a total of eight years in the US and UK – 1969-1977. Again, this time spent ‘abroad’ was ideal for the satisfactory grooming of Ms. Bhutto for ‘installment.’

2. Ms. Bhutto was granted British Citizenship and maintained her dual citizenship throughout her career as a candidate and later as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Her husband, the current President of Pakistan, also received British citizenship and has maintained his dual citizenship to date. The perceived conflict of interest back in her home country did not prove to be an obstacle for ‘us’ or the Bhuttos, thanks to our PR and global image projection activities.

3. Ms. Bhutto and her husband maintained intimate relationships with the underground economy and high level players of the heroin pipeline. Ms. Bhutto was a close ally, protector, and intimate friend of convicted Pakistani Drug Baron and Former Parliamentarian, Ayub Afridi, who like Bhutto, was given protection and safe haven in Dubai, one of our closest allies. These relationships and direct connections, some of which were directly inherited from her father, significantly bolstered Ms. Bhutto’s value for us and our British counterparts.

4. Ms. Bhutto and her husband proved to be desirably ambitious and admirably skilled in using their power, position, and connections, together with our protection, to misuse their proceeds of corruption and embezzlements to accumulate great wealth. Today her husband, who inherited this wealth, is the fifth richest man in Pakistan with a net worth of nearly $2 billion. As confirmation of their successful accumulation of wealth, in the 90s Ms. Bhutto and her husband purchased a 20-bedroom mansion in Surrey, England. They were known for their proficiency in receiving ‘kickbacks.’ Just the kickbacks they received from Swiss Cargo Inspection Companies alone were worth $12 million, which they stashed wisely in offshore companies in Swiss bank accounts.

5. Ms. Bhutto’s Bill of Mental Health was not of much interest. However, she was permitted to transfer credits from her husband, Mr. Ali Asif Zardari. His is a far more interesting mental health record, made all the more interesting since she pledged to place him in an official position of power. He and his ‘mental health’ conditions proved to be extremely useful in ‘necessary’ operations involving murder, drug smuggling, corruption, and embezzlement, thus our making an exception for Ms. Bhutto was justified in this particular case.

6. Ms. Bhutto exhibited great skills in ‘Multiple Image Projection’. With our direct backing and promotion she quickly sold her image as a needed progressive, democratic, and pro humanitarian leader for Pakistan. Just as quickly, at home in Pakistan, she was able to establishherself as equal to if not better than her dictatorial predecessors by sanctioning and carrying out extrajudicial killings, torture, persecution of religious minorities, and arbitrary detention. She also determinedly took extraordinary measures to muzzle the independent media. These skills were also applied to her utilization and exploitation of feministic support. At the same time she was portraying herself as a progressive and feminist example for ‘that’ part of the world, she was making deals and establishing close ties with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, notorious for their abuse of women…

Maksim Bakiyev: A Brief & MSM-Preferred Case Background

Let’s start with the commonly known, easily retrievable Wikipedia and mainstream media based background on Maksim Bakiyev and related recent news.

Who is Maksim Bakiyev? He is the 33 year old, fugitive, Kyrgyz businessman, the younger son of Kyrgyzstan’s former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Maksim currently lives in the United Kingdom - where he’s been granted residency and provided with protection (including for his embezzled millions). He studied legal law in Kyrgyzstan. According to his Wikipedia bio:

He received additional education on legal issues in Britain and the US. As a student, Maksim worked in a consultation firm, specializing in investment into emerging markets in Central Asia and the Middle East. Maksim was widely believed to be the richest man in Kyrgyzstan.

Hmmmmmm. What are the major information points missing here? What the heck did he really study in the US and Britain? Which universities? Was it Langley Campus? Where did he reside? McLean, Virginia? What was the name of this mysterious consulting firm specializing in investment into emerging markets in Central Asia & the Middle East? Was it one of James Baker’s firms? Or was it Henry Kissinger’s? Or, was it Carlyle? And, how did he become the richest man in Kyrgyzstan, from having nothing, in less than 5 years?

After skipping over all these important ‘missing links,’ we are fast forwarded to the latest presented by the media and here at Wikipedia:

Maksim was in charge of delivering fuel to the Manas International Airport, which also hosts a US airbase,[2] through Mina Corp. Maksim was appointed the head of Central Agency for Development in October of 2009. Since the 2010 overthrow he has been charged with embezzlement and abuse of power by the interim government. It is suspected that transferred about $35 million of a $300 million loan from Russia into his private bank accounts.[3] Prosecutors also allege that companies he owned almost $80 million in taxes on aviation fuel.

And finally, his latest and current status has been summed up below:

When the 2010 uprising took place, Bakiyev was headed to the US for a series of meetings in Washington.[5] However, he never showed up, and it is believed he spent his time in Latvia. In May Interpol posted Maxim Bakiyev as wanted on its website.

On June 13, 2010 Maksim was arrested in the UK when he landed at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire in a privately hired jet.[6] He is seeking asylum there, but the interim Kyrgyz government is demanding his extradition. A senior Kyrgyz official warned that the interim government would consider shutting down the Manas US airbase if Britain refuses to hand him over. [7] However, this was later denounced by president of Kyrgyzstan, Otunbaeva.

On June 18, 2010, it was reported that Bakiyev was granted temporary asylum in the UK, but this was later refuted by the UK Border Agency. [8] He does however have permission to stay pending consideration of request for asylum.

As you can see above, I highlighted another important missing link – a major point that has been so far glossed-over: This fugitive was initially headed to the US for a series of meetings in Washington. And these meetings were set up during and after the scandals involving him coming into the surface. Okay, at The State Department, CIA, and of course the not-so-visible agenda-setters at their companies, think tanks, and front NGOs? Then what happened? I guess  it was decided that he was too hot of a potato in too hot of an environment, so our State Department put a request to their counterparts in Britain to kindly ‘receive and harbor’ their ‘groomed & planted’ Kyrgyz prince…and they did.

So the above information is the sketch, the general story line on the ‘Bakiyev Story.’ Then, there are some additional juicy details and tidbits provided by a few, although still highly sanitized and consciously refrained from posing ‘the real’ questions. Let’s take a look at these and pose logical questions as we go.

Maksim Bakiyev & ‘Foreign’ Facilitated Embezzlement Schemes

So how did Maksim Bakiyev’s meager personal business grow into a major empire encompassing banking, oil, and telecommunication industries? We don’t have the complete answer to this question; not yet. Not with so much information still buried and ‘protected,’ and with only little sketchy details here and there. [Read more...]

Updates & Weekly Round Up for March 28

Today marks Boiling Frogs Post’s fifth month of operation, and the last day of our fundraising campaign. On behalf of our team members I want to thank all of you for your support, with a special thanks to 658 of you who donated to our cause. We may not have reached our benchmark for our desired objectives and planned expansion, but we have you and a good start, so we’ll continue as best as we can, and work toward those objectives.

I am thrilled to announce the addition of a new team member, Luke Ryland, a good friend and a partner whom I have known and worked with since 2006; please welcome Luke and here is his bio:

LukeRylandLuke Ryland is an independent political analyst and online journalist based in Australia. He has been an expert commentator on the Sibel Edmonds case and nuclear black market cases for various progressive radio shows and online publications. Mr. Ryland’s work focuses on the nuclear black market, the Turkish lobby in the US, the energy and geopolitical wars in Central Asia, and the corruption of US Congress. Mr. Ryland has an MBA and a Bachelors degree in Commerce from the University of Melbourne. Visit Luke Ryland’s website.

We recently published Luke Ryland’s expose on FBI documents confirming major criminal investigations of Turkish operatives and their US official friends in Chicago. And here is a link to a recent interview with Mr. Ryland conducted by Scott Horton of AntiWar.Org: Click here.

Starting this coming Wednesday I’ll be on the road for a few weeks, traveling for work and personal matters. I won’t be out of touch. We have three Boiling Frogs interviews, one of which will be posted every other week: Professor Francis Boyle, Naomi Wolf, and Peter Phillips. Meanwhile, Peter B Collins and I will find ways to overcome significant time zone differences and connection difficulties, and continue to conduct additional interviews. We will also have articles and analyses by our contributors, and of course Paul Jamiol’s great editorial cartoons.

Here is my list of noteworthy articles and links from this past week:

Let’s start with our President, since we’ve been keeping tabs on his changes on his promised changes. The following piece is also related to the Obama White House’s 180 degree turn on protection for national security whistleblowers, which we’ve been covering for over a week.

A little secret about Obama's transparency
Andrew Malcolm, LA Times

The current administration, challenged by the president to be the most open, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than Bush did.

The Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who denounced his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the most secretive in history, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than the Republican did.

Transparency and openness were so important to the new president that on his first full day in office, he dispatched a much-publicized memo saying: "All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA."
One of the exemptions allowed to deny Freedom of Information requests has been used by the Obama administration 70,779 times in its first year; the same exemption was used 47,395 times in Bush's final budget year.

An Associated Press examination of 17 major agencies' handling of FOIA requests found denials 466,872 times, an increase of nearly 50% from the 2008 fiscal year under Bush.

ObamaMar28We’ve been keeping tabs, and our list of ‘Bush-Like’ and ‘Worse-Than-Bush’ points has been expanding continuously. Mr. Obama’s love and usage of State Secrets Privilege, his position against government whistleblowers, his support for illegal domestic wiretapping, his passion for wars and drones, his kind-heartedness towards torturers & other criminals…During his first few months in office, a few of his previously duped supporters were too generous and maybe a bit too naïve to label him ‘Bush-Lite.’ How about now? Is it time to call the President ‘Bush-Dark’? You be the judge; what say you?

……………………………………….

 Karzai talks peace with militant group linked to Taliban
Deb Riechmann, AP

President Hamid Karzai held an unprecedented meeting yesterday with representatives of a major Taliban-linked militant group, boosting his outreach to insurgency leaders to end the eight-year war.

Less certain is whether the talks with the weakened Hizb-i-Islami faction represent a game-changer in the conflict, given its demand to rewrite the Afghan constitution and force a quick exit of foreign forces.

HekmatyarIt is the first time that high-ranking representatives of the group, led by warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, have traveled to Kabul to discuss peace. The reconciliation offer from Hekmatyar contrasts with his reputation as a ruthless extremist.

Hekmatyar, who is in his 60s, was a major recipient of US military aid during the war against the Soviets in the 1980s but fell out of favor with Washington because of his role in the civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal. The US government declared Hekmatyar a “global terrorist’’ in February 2003, saying he participated in and supported terror acts committed by Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Unless that tag is removed, the designation could complicate any move by the United States to sign off on a deal, even though in recent years Hekmatyar has expressed a willingness to negotiate with the Karzai government. A spokesman for Hekmatyar said the delegation had lunch with Karzai at the presidential palace and planned to meet with him again.

Last January our team member duo, Liz Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, wrote an excellent piece on this opium dealing terrorist, who happened to get his grooming from our very own CIA. If you haven’t read the Gould-Fitzgerald piece titled ‘Apocalypse of the American Mind’, click here. Was he ever off the CIA list of ‘operators’? I for one would certainly doubt it.

………………………….

NATO rejects Russia's demand to destroy Afghan poppy fields
Deutsche Press-Agentur

NatoMar28 Brussels - NATO and Russia clashed on Wednesday over how to tackle the drug problem in Afghanistan, where Western nations have been fighting a Taliban-led insurgency for eight years.

The country is the world's largest producer of poppy seeds, a key ingredient in the manufacture of heroin. Russia is keen to pursue an aggressive eradication strategy, while Western allies fear that such an approach risks antagonizing the local population, who rely on selling poppy crops to survive.

The different points of view came to a head at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council attended by the head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Agency (FSKN), Victor Ivanov and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

'Afghan opiates led to the death of 1 million people by overdose in the last 10 years, and that is United Nations data. Is that not a threat to world peace and security?' Ivanov asked journalists after the meeting.

Russians know very well what this is about. After all, they used to be a major player in ‘this’ particular field, and now a bit grumpy because…their share of this pie has been significantly reduced? Certainly it’s not about a million+ deaths caused by ‘overdose;’ of that much I can assure you. So maybe our guys will let their guys have a bit more; like this maybe: [Read more...]

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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Podcast Show #14

The Boiling Frogs Presents Mizgin Yilmaz

BFP Podcast Logo

Mizgin Yilmaz provides us with an overview and background on the Kurdish Issue in Turkey, the origin of the conflict involving the Kurdish minority and Turkey’s central government, and the status and latest developments on the ‘Kurdish Initiative.’ She describes the depth and reach of the influential Turkish lobby in the United States, which is now ranked as the number one foreign group in spending on lobby activities here. She talks about the Turkish Deep State, Gladio, Grey Wolves and the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II, Turkey’s status as the top heroin trafficking nation worldwide, Fethullah Gulen’s Islamic movement and its headquarters here in the United States, and more!

MizginsDesk Mizgin Yilmaz is an analyst and activist who's been covering the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria, including events of concern to the the Human Rights Association (İnsan Hakları Derneği--İHD) in Turkey, the pro-Kurdish DTP (Democratic Society Party/Demokratik Toplum Partisi), and the PKK (Partiya Karkên Kurdistan/Kurdistan Worker's Party). She is fluent in Turkish, has a BA in history, and since 2005 has maintained a blog focusing on Kurdish issues, the Turkish Deep State, Turkey’s lobby in the US, and related developments and activities in Central Asia.

Here is our guest Mizgin Yilmaz unplugged!

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CIA to Dish out $3 Million to buy silence in Another Narco Scandal

The Mighty Agency on it’s Knees in a Legal Battle

CIAEmblemAfter 15 years of legal battles the CIA agrees to pay $3 million to a former DEA agent who accused a former CIA official of illegally eavesdropping on him as part of a joint CIA and State Department effort to thwart DEA’s anti-narcotics mission in Burma in the early 1990s.

Richard Horn was stationed in Burma in the early 1990s as the DEA country attaché to Burma, a nation that is ranked as one of the top opium poppy producing countries in the world. He was in charge of overseeing DEA’s mission in Burma involving eradication of the opium poppy, which is used to produce heroin.

Bill Conroy of Narco News covers the latest on State Secrets Privilege recipient Richard Horn. As always Conroy dares to dig and cover this significant story when the rest of the media stenographers are avoiding it like the plague and as they are told by their mighty government sources above.

The CIA’s efforts to undermine Horn’s work in Burma in getting that nation’s government to stem the flow of heroin to the United States should come as no surprise to those who are familiar with the “Agency’s” history. It seems the CIA, over the decades, has often found itself in the corner of narco-traffickers and thugs who support the Agency’s covert objectives in areas deemed critical to U.S. special interests – whether that be in Southeast Asia, Central Asia or Latin America.

The CIA list of hotshots involved in the case includes former CIA Director George Tenet and recently retired Acting CIA General Counsel John Rizzo. Tenet and Rizzo played major roles in setting up the legal basis to justify the CIA’s use of torture. Here is Mr. Rizzo in action during the agency’s cover up operation on torture:


Conroy sums up the latest status of the case and the potential deserved sanctions that may be brought against Tenet, Rizzo, and other current and former CIA culprits:

And now, as part of the Horn case filed in a Washington D.C. federal court, we find a U.S. District judge, former FISA court member Royce Lamberth, opening the door for sanctions to be brought (as a result of the fraud, or lie, perpetrated on the court) against Tenet and Rizzo — as well as several other current and former CIA officials, among whom is Robert Eatinger, the current Acting Deputy General Counsel for Operations in the CIA’s Office of General Counsel (OGC).

If Lamberth’s judicial opinions in the Horn case are allowed to remain in the court record — to be recalled and cited going forward by other lawyers, judges and academics — then untold damage could be done to the reputation of the CIA and its leadership. Those judicial opinions memorializing the CIA’s fraud on the court also would serve as a permanent reminder of the occasionally dubious credibility of the Agency’s pronouncements invoking national security and the state-secrets privilege.

As part of this article Conroy provides a complete timeline and background on Horn’s case, involved CIA culprits, and of course, the mind-boggling and nauseating conclusions and implications. I highly encourage you to read Bill Conroy’s A+ piece: Click Here. Afterwards we will have plenty to discuss over here, and plenty to show those who write off CIA’s long past and still present involvement in global Narco-Trafficking as fiction or conspiracy!

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Armitage- Part I: The Early Years & the Golden Triangle

Mizgin's Desk Reports

Mizginslogo2As mentioned earlier, Brent Scowcroft will be ending his nine-year reign as chairman of the American Turkish Council (ATC) and will be succeeded by former Bush administration Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage.

Armitage may be best remembered for leaking information to Robert Novak that exposed Valerie Plame as a covert CIA agent in a political scandal that became known as the Plame Affair. Selective amnesia on the part of the servile US mainstream media has repeatedly obscured Armitage's curriculum vitae, which goes back decades and begins during the Vietnam conflict.

Graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1967, Armitage served four tours of duty in Vietnam before leaving the military in 1973, when he joined the Defense Attache in Saigon. It was at this time that Armitage's association with the CIA began:

GoldenTriangleTheodore Shackley and Thomas Clines financed a highly intensified phase of the Phoenix Program, in 1974 and 1975, by causing an intense flow of Vang Pao opium money to be secretly brought into Vietnam for this purpose. This Vang Pao opium money was administered for Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines by a US Navy official based in Saigon's US office of Naval Operations by the name of Richard Armitage. However, because Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Armitage knew that their secret anti-communist extermination program was going to be shut down in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand in the very near future, they, in 1973, began a highly secret non-CIA authorized program. Thus, from late 1973 until April of 1975, Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Armitage disbursed, from the secret, Laotian-based, Vang Pao opium fund, vastly more money than was required to finance even the highly intensified Phoenix Project in Vietnam. [Read more...]

Tidbits Round Up-July 12


Pardoning Poppy-Kings, Obama’s New Veto Threat & More

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog regularly are familiar with cartoonist and activist Paul Jamiol. I really admire Paul’s astute observations and analytical mind, and of course his artistic capabilities. Last week Paul sent me a variation of a great cartoon he published in 2005, relevant to my new series ‘The Makings of a Police State,’ and kindly gave me permission to use it in my upcoming posts in the series. Here it is, isn’t it powerful? Thank you Paul!


I had the following comment on my ‘Introduction: The Makings of a Police State’ post:

    “…I'm off the belief that people don't really know because they aren't affected by this YET!! Notice I said yet. People do get motivated to do something about this when it either affects them or effects their friends or family…”

When I read it I slapped my forehead with the palm of my hand! I should have listed this as the number ONE reason/factor!!! How in the world did I miss that?! Especially since I happen to be a perfect example. Really. My wake up calls came when:

    Three FBI agents came to my house in February 2002 to confiscate my personal computer at home. What was I suspected of? Communicating FBI wrongdoings with the Senate Judiciary Committee; the committee responsible for DOJ-FBI oversight.

    When I was ordered to take a polygraph regarding my communications with the United States Congress on FBI matters that could arbitirarily be declared classified.

    When I had the honor of being slapped with the State Secrets Privilege; a privilege meant for kings and the despots - which was never passed as a law, thus is not even recognized as constitutional…

    When the US Congress was slapped with an after the fact retroactive classification on my case acting as a gag order on my…

What I am trying to say is this: the police state measures did affect me personally and overtly; I was a direct recipient of these measures so contrary to what I perceived to be my rights guaranteed under the Constitution of my country. They were eye-opening experiences for me, thus I began to actually see and hear, and realize. Who knows, maybe I would be among the blinded and deaf masses today if it weren’t for those experiences. So many people, our majority, are in exactly that position - they don’t see these measures affecting them. As the commenter emphasizes - not yet; when in fact they really are affected; they just don’t know it yet.

Since this commenter chose to post anonymously I am not able to give her/him the deserved recognition. Whoever he/she is - Thank You. This is exactly why I’m posting and sharing these thoughts and analyses; to have a forum where we learn from each other and expand our knowledge and understanding.

Here are a few recent developments:

While our administration keeps bombing Afghanistan in our war against…hmmmm…no one really knows, to achieve…hmmmm…no one has a clue on that either, our puppet government in Afghanistan has been busy releasing high-level heroin smugglers, the lords of the poppies, from it’s jails. Here is the latest:

    “Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned five heroin smugglers, at least one of them a relative of a man who heads Karzai's campaign for re-election next month… A source with knowledge of the case said one of those released was a close relative of Deen Mohammad, who is running Karzai's campaign for re-election in the August 20 presidential poll. The man was jailed for more than a decade in 2007 for smuggling more than 100 kg of heroin [Emphasis Added]. The source spoke to Reuters on condition that he not be identified.”

I guess with poppy production skyrocketing our puppet man Karzai and his poppy-lord clan is faced with a shortage of smugglers. They had to increase the number of their ‘operators’ to keep up with their poppy production. So they went through their list of convicts in prisons and released the best of the bunch they had rounded up a while back - when the production was small enough to be managed by the president’s inner circle clan. Why do I say ‘best of the bunch’? Let’s do a little math: the wholesale price for heroin today is estimated at around $70 per gram. $70 X 100000gr = $7000000; roughly $7 million. So, obviously these smugglers were not dealing in peanuts.

Speaking of Afghanistan, here is an interesting tidbit by Jeremy Scahill on the Obama Administration’s point man on Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke:

    “Last month Chevron was awarded the "Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Business Leadership" in "recognition of the company's global public health programs.

    While giving such an award to Chevron is perverse enough on its own, let's remember whom it is that the award is named after. Richard C. Holbrooke is currently the Obama administration's point man on Afghanistan and Pakistan with a substantial portfolio that includes areas of Chevron's current and, likely, future operations. Before becoming Obama's "Af/Pak" envoy, Holbrooke was the president and CEO of GBC, an organization he spent the past decade building. Holbrooke, who cut his teeth working for Henry Kissinger during Vietnam, has, for decades, marched back-and-forth over the golden bridge linking corporations and government. Chevron received the award in large part because it committed $30 million over three years to the GBC-affiliated Global Fund in 2008 while Holbrooke was GBC's president and CEO.”

And here is more on this mammoth conflict of interest:

    “…But for the State Department to allow Chevron to receive the "Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Business Excellence" at a ceremony which Ambassador Holbrooke personally attended at a time when Chevron is fighting desperately to convince members of the Obama administration and the Congress to take Chevron's side in a high stakes legal case is worthy of a Congressional inquiry.”

I guess the Chevron guys will find The Washington Post’s Saloon offerings for $25,000 a pop wayyyyy beneath them. Don’t you think? When these guys talk, they talk ‘millions,’ so they leave those meager influence purchasing transactions to the lobbyists of humbler companies, ey!

And finally, while all these little tidbits make their way into tiny publications our president is hard at work, trying to increase his secrecy level, classification authority, and his highness’ privileges never intended in our Constitution. This is the second time he is pointing his finger to ‘threaten’ the no-good-doers in Congress:

    “President Barack Obama has issued the second veto threat of his presidency, informing his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill that he would reject the House intelligence authorization bill because of provisions that he believes imperil the administration’s ability to guard national security secrets.

    In a Statement of Administration Policy dated Wednesday, the Office of Management and Budget objects to provisions in the legislation that would expand beyond the current “Gang of Eight” the number of lawmakers who must be notified of covert operations. The “Gang of Eight” includes Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the Intelligence committees.”

I wonder why he even bothers. Seriously. The lap puppies in Congress have been more than happy to oblige with all requests of secrecy and cover ups; under both the previous administration and his.

Do you remember how Senator Rockefeller was moaning and groaning once the NSA illegal wiretapping of Americans became public? How he and his colleagues whimpered and feigned outrage once this illegal operation was leaked? Rockefeller was one of the few people on the Intelligence Committee who was briefed about this illegal surveillance program three years prior to its public exposure in 2006. He and the other lapdogs knew all about it. What did he and the others do for three years while sitting on this information? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Sure, once they were caught with their pants down, they all played helpless victims of secrecy. They said they were all deeply troubled by this illegal program violating the people’s rights, but that they were sworn to secrecy by the President’s Men, thus their hands were tied and their lips remained sealed. Mr. Rockefeller, once he had finished with his dramatic performance portraying himself as the innocent helpless victim in this unconstitutional program, went back and bolstered that same illegal program. He was the lead man steering the Intelligence Committee to grant retroactive immunity to the participating telecom companies. That’s right; that’s how it works!

This scenario has been repeated over and over with the congressional lap-puppies. Rep. Pelosi and her deep knowledge of torture, including water boarding. Rep. Harman and her detailed knowledge of torture ...and so on and so on.

Mr. President, why bother? Really. If these lapdogs could keep their mouths shut so easily under the previous administration while they were the minority, now as your party members and lap-puppies they certainly will! No worries, we assure you there is no real need for your repeated veto threats.

Cartoon by Paul Jamiol