The Forbidden Apple of the US Press

Can’t Touch this…

On a beautiful sunny spring afternoon in 2006, I was sitting outside in the deck area of a neighborhood café in Alexandria with a friend who is a well-known journalist and an accomplished writer, for whom I happen to have the utmost respect. We were discussing the topical ‘Afghanistan & Terror Financing’ issue. Based on well-established trust between us my friend felt comfortable and open in sharing some ‘significant’ tidbits gathered from ‘credible’ sources within the CIA and DIA, and from British Intelligence officers. As I listened, the extent of credible information and documented incriminating evidence gathered excited me to the point where I had to stop this friend to ask:

‘When are you going to have this published?!’

The response was: ‘This was not the main topic I was investigating for my work. These ‘tidbits’ came to me as an ‘inevitable attachment’ due to relevancy…’

I had to stop the conversation again: ‘So? This is explosive. Even bigger than the main topic you’ve been chasing for the last year or so. No one has ever reported this, so you’ll be the first.’

My friend shook her/his head and said: ‘No one has done it because this topic is considered a ‘career ender.’ You know what happens to naïve reporters who actually try to get into this area, don’t you?’

Amazed by this line of reasoning and unable to really process it all I pressed harder: ‘What are you really afraid of?! Government interference? Classification?’
The answer that followed was even more amazing to me - due to my own naivety back then.

‘Government is the least of my worries. It’s the industry - the media. They go after anyone who dares touch this area - CIA, narcotics and terrorism. They will attack, label, and marginalize you, and before you know it your career as a reporter is over. For good.’

That day and in the days that followed I spent hours upon hours researching the topic; this ‘forbidden zone.’ I studied several cases where reporting on government-narcotics relationships, even though obtained and reported based on thoroughly documented credible sources and witnesses, had proven to be ‘career suicide.’ I met with several veteran DEA agents who presented me with even more cases and unreported criminal deeds, buried in the same journalistic ‘forbidden zone’ in the U.S. press. In the months and years that followed I paid much closer attention to reporting on current topics that skirt upon this forbidden area, and in my own time I analyzed and dissected these reports based on my own research and on information received from intelligence sources who are friends and members of my organization. And since I’ve been covering the U.S. MSM topic in ‘Dissecting the Mainstream Media’ series, I am going to present you with a few cases, reports, and analyses, and have your thoughts and views on this ‘Forbidden Apple of the U.S. Press.’


Gary Webb

In Part 3 of my ‘Dissecting the MSM’ series I discussed Gary Webb’s Dark Alliance series and its consequences in detail, so I won’t repeat the details here. If you haven’t read it I strongly encourage you to go back and do so. In 1996, after publishing his three-part investigative series, “Dark Alliance,” a thoroughly documented and diligently sourced story, he was attacked, ostracized, and pushed out of the media circle by his colleagues in the mainstream media. Despite the damning information contained in the content of the CIA IG Report, the corroborating findings of the DOJ IG Report, various congressional hearings and investigations filled with direct or indirect admissions, the MSM never eased up on its attacks and criticism of Webb’s report, until they successfully ended his career.

In a well-executed piece written by Barbara Osborn she sites the following exchange which took place between Post Dark Alliance Gary Webb and his supportive colleague Robert Parry:

    “…Gary Webb didn’t know what was at risk. When he first spoke with Bob Parry--the Associated Press reporter who, along with Brian Barger, broke the Contragate and Contra/drug stories--Webb thought Parry was being "overly cautious." "I thought he was being kind of foolish," Webb recalled, when Parry asked him: "Are you sure you want to ruin your career?"

Unfortunately Parry proved to be the ‘realist.’ He was proven right. After all, he had gone through a rough journey of his own during and after his solid reporting on Iran Contra - for taking a bite off the ‘forbidden apple’ of the U.S. mainstream media.


Robert Parry

More or less a decade earlier another major case involving a direct government and narcotics relationship had emerged. In 1985, Robert Parry as an AP reporter teamed up with Brian Berger and broke the Iran Contra Affair. He later exposed Oliver North’s involvement in the scandal while reporting for Newsweek. For his impeccable investigative journalism he won a Polk Award, and became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

You would think a reporter with Parry’s credentials and solid track record would be revered and fought over by publishers in the U.S. mainstream media, no? Not so fast. First, this is what happened at the Associated Press where Parry broke the Contra scandal:

    In late 1985, Parry teamed up with another reporter to report on a detailed and documented expose of drug-trafficking involving the Nicaraguan Contras. However, the AP editors blocked the story. Later Parry found out that his boss was regularly in touch with Oliver North and that he was conferring with him on a regular basis. Parry left the Associated Press.

And let’s read Parry’s own words gathered from an interview he gave on what took place at Newsweek:

    ,“As for my hiring at Newsweek, I think it resulted from how poorly the magazine had done on the scandal to that point. That said, Newsweek never liked the story and wanted it put to rest as soon as possible. Editor Maynard Parker was very sympathetic to the neoconservatives and became my nemesis. Evan felt that my presence so angered Parker that I had become an obstacle for Evan's plans for the Washington bureau.”

Here is more:

    “Though my finished article contained new information about the CIA’s relationship with Manuel Contreras, Chile’s intelligence chief and a key Letelier murder suspect, Maynard Parker and other Newsweek editors killed the story. I was told that Parker made some disparaging comment about me being “out to get” Bush.”

Of course, once again putting integrity in journalism first, Parry left Newsweek in 1990.

The Contra Scandal, especially the related Government-Narcotics relationship, was treated as an absolute ‘Forbidden Apple’ by the MSM. Webb and Parry were not the only ones; there were others. Here is another example involving reporter Ray Bonner and the New York Times - cited by Parry during an interview:

    ,“There were a number of journalists in the field in Central America, who were doing courageous work, people like Ray Bonner of the New York Times, who had been digging into the human rights problems in El Salvador, in particular. And he was—his career was very badly damaged, and he was made a sort of an example of what happens to you if you go into these areas too aggressively. Some reporters said that they were warned off from going after the North story, because that was seen as a career-ender.”

And of course Time Magazine as always, as an inseparable member of the MSM gang, followed the same trend:

    “In the fall of 1987, Time assigned a staff reporter to assemble any evidence that the Oliver North network supplying guns to the Contras was also bringing cocaine into the U.S. The reporter found serious evidence, and wrote it up. As the former Time reporter explained to Extra!, after the article was written and rewritten, finally, a senior editor told the reporter to give up on the story. "The senior editor leveled with me," the reporter told Extra!. "His words were: Time is institutionally behind the Contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you'd have no trouble getting it in the magazine.'"

Here is a punchy and so very factual quote from Robert Parry:

    “It used to be that you were admired if you took on a tough story. Now you're portrayed as a nut."

That’s right. Thanks to the U.S. MSM even today many don’t know the facts involving the Contra Affair. Despite numerous reports, congressional investigations and statements, and tons of proven evidence, some people still consider the Iran Contra scandal a conspiracy theory or mere allegations, and those who had dared to touch it as ‘nuts.’ They owe their ignorance to the mainstream media.

The Walsh Report, the Independent Counsel for the Iran Contra Scandal, began it’s conclusion with this paragraph:

    “The underlying facts of Iran/contra are that, regardless of criminality, President Reagan, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, and the director of central intelligence and their necessary assistants committed themselves, however reluctantly, to two programs contrary to congressional policy and contrary to national policy. They skirted the law, some of them broke the law, and almost all of them tried to cover up the President's willful activities.”

The establishment did not have to concern itself with reports such as the Walsh Report or others produced by various IGs and Congress. These reports, the surfacing of facts exposing our Government’s direct hand in narcotics and illegal arms trade, did not matter a bit. Neither did they have to pay much attention to a handful of true investigative journalists who were determined and capable of informing the masses with their reporting. Of course not. Their extension, the United States Press, made certain that any concerns would be taken care of, thus the ‘real’ stories were quashed and blacked out, and those who dared to touch them were quickly attacked, labeled, marginalized, and ‘taken out.’


KLA, Narcotics, and the U.S. MSM

Remember our military intervention in Kosovo during 1998-1999 in order to stop what was referred to as ‘ethnic cleansing’? Our main ally, partner, over there was the Kosovo Liberation Army, a Kosovar Albanian guerilla group which sought the independence of Kosovo from Yugoslavia in the 90s. Up until 1998 the U.S. regarded the KLA as a terrorist group. Then, before the actual NATO-U.S. military intervention, while preparing for that ‘intervention,’ as U.S. Intelligence started establishing its intimate relationship with the KLA in the background, KLA’a terrorist label came off the U.S. government list. In effect our government ‘de-terroristed’ the KLA and cultivated ‘mutually beneficial’ diplomatic relations with KLA leaders.

Here are some excerpts from one of the very few articles printed by the U.S. MSM mentioning this, and ironically it is from the Washington Times, in May 1999:

    “Last year, while State Department officials labeled the KLA a terrorist organization, saying it bankrolled its operations with proceeds from the heroin trade and from loans from known terrorists like bin Laden, the department listed the group as an "insurgency" organization in its official reports. The officials charged that the KLA used terrorist tactics to assault Serbian and ethnic Albanian civilians in a campaign to achieve independence.”

James Bissett, Former Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania, wrote the following:

    " early as 1998, the Central Intelligence Agency assisted by the British Special Armed Services were arming and training Kosovo Liberation Army members in Albania to foment armed rebellion in Kosovo. The hope was that with Kosovo in flames NATO could intervene ..."

Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, published extensively sourced and documented analyses of KLA as a gangster and terrorist entity, and its close ties to the CIA. The following except refers to what followed the State Department’s ‘de-terrorization’ of KLA:

    “While KLA leaders were shaking hands with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at Rambouillet, Europol (the European Police Organization based in the Hague) was "preparing a report for European interior and justice ministers on a connection between the KLA and Albanian drug gangs."

Chossudovsky provides report after report from the DEA and Europol, Germany’s Federal Criminal Agency and reports from Belgrade, establishing KLA as a high profile global narcotics and money laundering cartel:

    “The proceeds of the narcotics trade has enabled the KLA to rapidly develop a force of some 30,000 men. More recently, the KLA has acquired more sophisticated weaponry including anti-aircraft and anti-armor rockets. According to Belgrade, some of the funds have come directly from the CIA "funneled through a so-called "Government of Kosovo" based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Washington office employs the public-relations firm of Ruder Finn--notorious for its slanders of the Belgrade government".”

    “75% of the heroin entering Western Europe is from Turkey. And a large part of drug shipments originating in Turkey transits through the Balkans. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), "it is estimated that 4-6 metric tons of heroin leave each month from Turkey having [through the Balkans] as destination Western Europe." A recent intelligence report by Germany's Federal Criminal Agency suggests that: "Ethnic Albanians are now the most prominent group in the distribution of heroin in Western consumer countries."

He then provides an excellent overview for this entire picture:

    “Remember Oliver North and the Contras? The pattern in Kosovo is similar to other CIA covert operations in Central America, Haiti and Afghanistan where "freedom fighters" were financed through the laundering of drug money. Since the onslaught of the Cold War, Western intelligence agencies have developed a complex relationship to the illegal narcotics trade. In case after case, drug money laundered in the international banking system has financed covert operations.”

Here is an explosive article exposing the relationship between the CIA and the KLA before the NATO bombing. Not only that, the article exposes a very familiar figure: William Walker, the head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to monitor the ceasefire in Kosovo in 1998-1999. Walker was nominated by Madeleine Albright, American Secretary of State. Guess what? A decade earlier, in 1988, Mr. Walker was the American Ambassador to El Salvador when Washington was helping the government there suppress leftist rebels, ‘while supporting the contra guerrillas’ against the government in Nicaragua. Coincidence? Not. This is the same Walker who served as Elliott Abrams’ Deputy Assistant Secretary for ‘Central American Affairs’ and accompanied him to all those Contra related meetings. During the investigation of the Iran-Contra Affair several felony charges were brought against Abrams by the special prosecutor, but he was not indicted because he entered into a plea agreement, had a conviction without imprisonment, and eventually was pardoned by President Bush.

Now back to the article for a few excerpts:

    “AMERICAN intelligence agents have admitted they helped to train the Kosovo Liberation Army before Nato's bombing of Yugoslavia . The disclosure angered some European diplomats, who said this had undermined moves for a political solution to the conflict between Serbs and Albanians. Central Intelligence Agency officers were ceasefire monitors in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, developing ties with the KLA and giving American military training manuals and field advice on fighting the Yugoslav army and Serbian police.”

And this on William Walker:

    “Walker, who was nominated by Madeleine Albright, the American secretary of state, was intensely disliked by Belgrade… Some European diplomats in Pristina, Kosovo's capital, concluded from Walker 's background that he was inextricably linked with the CIA. The picture was muddied by the continued separation of American "diplomatic observers" from the mission. The CIA sources who have now broken their silence say the diplomatic observers were more closely connected to the agency.”

    “Several Americans who were directly involved in CIA activities or close to them have spoken to the makers of Moral Combat, a documentary to be broadcast on BBC2 tonight, and to The Sunday Times about their clandestine roles. Walker dismissed suggestions that he had wanted war in Kosovo, but admitted the CIA was almost certainly involved in the countdown to airstrikes.”

And here is the real punch line on this entire article: This article, this news, was not published in the U.S. MSM. This was reported by the Sunday Times in March 2000. These facts, revelations, and scandalous ties were never truly touched by the U.S. MSM. There was an ‘action alert’ issued by FAIR in 1999 on Time Magazine’s censorship of the established facts and evidence on the ‘Real’ KLA, under the title ‘Time Magazine Ignores KLA Drug Charges’ and subtitle ‘Are editors following Contra tradition?’:

    “Time magazine's May 17 issue ran a feature on the funding of the Kosovo Liberation Army, titled "A Fighting Chance," suggesting that the KLA is sustained by donations from ethnic Albanians outside of Kosovo. The article reports that the Republic of Kosova Fund holds "more than $33 million" in a bank in Albania, yet in a graphic titled "How the KLA Gets Its Money," Time cheerfully reports that the KLA gets its money from "fund raisers, mailings and other sources." What "other sources"? Bake sales? Time doesn't say.”

    “Fortunately, there has been some investigation into the question. The London Times on March 24 cited an intelligence report that indicated as much as half of the funding for the KLA's guerrilla war comes from drug proceeds. And the San Francisco Chronicle on May 5 reported that European and U.S. law enforcement groups see officers of the KLA as "a major force in international organized crime, moving staggering amounts of narcotics through an underworld network that reaches into the heart of Europe."”

Here is how FAIR appropriately questioned Time’s motives and drew an even more appropriate parallel to show the ‘real’ reason:

    “Why didn't Time mention the ongoing international investigations of the KLA's suspected role in the heroin trade? A look back at Time's Iran-Contra coverage sheds some light.”
    “In a 1987 investigation into allegations of drug-smuggling by the Nicaraguan Contras, Time staff writer Laurence Zuckerman found serious evidence of Contra-cocaine links, but his story was never run. Why not? A senior editor acknowledged to Zuckerman: "Time is institutionally behind the contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you'd have no trouble getting it in the magazine."”

Pretty hard-hitting piece, right? Can anyone question its validity? I certainly can’t see how. One more time the U.S. MSM showed it’s claws when it came to their ‘forbidden apple,’ - CIA and its narcotics and laundering deeds…


Afghanistan & Heroin: The journey from Freedom Fighters to Fanatic Villains

I invite anyone who is interested in understanding the axis of U.S. Government, mainstream media, and our foreign policy involving unholy alliances to look at the last three decades of U.S. media coverage of Afghanistan’s Taliban-Al Qaeda, previously known and promoted as ‘Afghan Freedom Fighters’ and the Mujahidin.
In the 1980s the U.S. government supported the Afghan resistance forces, the Mujahidin, today known as Taliban and Al Qaeda, in the fight against the Soviet occupation. The CIA worked through Pakistan military intelligence (ISS) and worked with these guerilla groups who were close to the ISS.

In his well-researched book, The Politics of Heroin, Professor Alfred McCoy documents the parallel increase in Heroin production in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the 1980s when the U.S. Government collaborated and supported the Mujahidin directly and indirectly. While in 1979 Pakistan had a small and local opium trade and produced no heroin, by 1981, according to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith, Pakistan emerged as the world's leading supplier of heroin, became the supplier of nearly 60% of U.S. heroin supply, and took over major sections of the market in Europe.

    “Who were the manufacturers? They were all either military factions connected with Pakistan intelligence, CIA allies, or Afghan resistance groups connected with the CIA and Pakistan intelligence. In May of 1990, ten years after this began, the Washington Post finally ran a front page story saying high U.S. officials admit that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar [leader of the Hezbi-i Islami guerilla group], and other leaders of the Afghan resistance are leading heroin manufacturers. This had been known for years, reported in the Pakistan press, indeed in 1980 reported in McClean's magazine. In fact in 1980 a White House narcotics advisor, Dr. David Musto of Yale University, went on the record demanding that we not ally with Afghan guerilla groups that were involved in narcotics.”

McCoy also documents interesting phenomena involving the DEA operations and actions (or inaction) in Afghanistan during the 80s:

    “During the 1980's from the time that heroin trade started, there were 17 DEA agents based in Pakistan. They neither made nor participated in any major seizures or arrests. At a time when other police forces, particularly Scandinavian forces, made some major seizures and brought down a very major syndicate connected with former president Zia ul-Haq of Pakistan.”

In an excellent article published by FAIR David Gibbs provides the following documented facts and analyses:

    “Despite CIA denials of any direct Agency support for Bin Laden’s activities, a considerable body of circumstantial evidence suggests the contrary. During the 1980s, Bin Laden’s activities in Afghanistan closely paralleled those of the CIA. Bin Laden held accounts in the Bank for Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), the bank the CIA used to finance its own covert actions (London Daily Telegraph, 9/27/01). Bin Laden worked especially closely with Hekmatyar--the CIA’s favored Mujahiddin commander (The Economist, 9/15/01). In 1989, the U.S. shipped high-powered sniper rifles to a Mujahiddin faction that included bin Laden, according to a former bin Laden aide (AP, 10/16/01).”

Now let’s go back and search U.S. press coverage of Afghanistan’s ‘Freedom Fighters’ during the 80s and try to find any coverage related to these U.S. backed and supported operations’ intersection with the global narcotics trade. Are there any? I’m afraid we know the answer to this question. Here is further coverage based on the report by FAIR:

    “The press coverage of this era was overwhelmingly positive, even glowing, with regard to the guerrillas’ conduct in Afghanistan. Their unsavory features were downplayed or omitted altogether. While some newspapers favored some restraint in the degree of U.S. military support for the Mujahiddin (notably the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post) and others (like the Wall Street Journal) favored a more open-ended policy, these differences were only matters of degree. Virtually all papers favored some amount of U.S. military support; and there was near unanimous agreement that the guerrillas were "heroic," "courageous" and above all "freedom fighters."”

    “According to the L.A. Times (6/23/86): "The Afghan guerrillas have earned the admiration of the American people for their courageous struggle.... The rebels deserve unstinting American political support and, within the limits of prudence, military hardware."”

And here the axis of U.S. Government-U.S. Press- and the information spin or black-out:

    “Another problem was direct manipulation of reporting by the U.S. government, which was supporting the Mujahiddin guerrillas during both the Carter and Reagan administrations. (Indeed, we now know that U.S. aid to the Mujahiddin was secretly begun in July 1979, six months before the Soviets invaded--International Politics, 6/00.) This press manipulation began early in the conflict. In January 1980, the New York Times (1/26/80) reported that the State Department had "relaxed" its accuracy code for reporting information on Afghanistan. As a result, the Carter administration generated "accounts suggesting Soviet actions for which the administration itself has no solid foundation."”

I am tempted to continue, keep going, and cover this same trend in a more current context, but I’ll limit myself to only highlights since this piece is already longer than what I intended it to be.

Afghanistan’s $40-50 billion worth of poppy production today is a gigantic leap from it’s approximately $5-10 billion before our invasion after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Similar to cases shown above our media’s selective coverage has been limiting it’s reporting to a few hundred million dollars of this industry which directly involves the Afghan farmers and warlords. Yet, uniformly missing from the coverage is the remaining $40+ billion! Based on numerous reports publicized by Europol, UN, and even our own State Department, over 90% of this industry is operated, managed and carried out by ‘others.’ These ‘others’ happen to include Turkey, Pakistan, and Albania; currently none of them on our ‘terrorist’ or ‘axis of evil’ list, thus the censored coverage.

As we can see, the U.S. press censorship trend when it comes to Government-Narcotics relationships has been replicated over and over: Contra-Cocaine, Cold War era Afghanistan-Heroin, KLA-Heroin, Post 911 Afghanistan-Heroin. This trend goes above and beyond the usual censorship and/or spins regularly exercised by our media. They seem to have collectively designated U.S. Government-Narcotics-Terrorist relations and operations as a ‘Forbidden Apple.’ Moreover, they seem to have been successful in ensuring the marginalization and downfall of any of their colleagues who have been bold and brave enough to take a bite of it. As stated by my good journalist friend ‘…can’t touch this.’

FB Like

Share This

This site depends….

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by SUBSCRIBING and/or DONATING.


  1. Imhotep says:

    After Tito died in 1980 the breakup of Yugoslavia over the next decade presented a major opportunity to eliminate a trade barrier and open up a new trade route.
    The chaos and divisiveness in the region was an opportunity that President Clinton successfully manipulated into a Macedonian oil & drug pipeline from the Black Sea to Albania.
    The impact of this new market downgraded the political and strategic importance of the Shan States, which was a major power shift in drug supply happening in the 1990's.
    In the spring of 2001 the Taliban destroyed the poppy (heroin) harvest.
    Some have blogged that 9-11 as a response was a good excuse to reverse that naive power move by the MSM labeled evil Taliban.
    The poppy trade has never been more robust since then under the tacit encouragement of US Policy.
    Over a trillion dollars comes out of the drug trade every year. Money that has been spent to control the financial interests, the world political process, and the MSM.
    Drugs and weapons are also intertwined with oil & gas. Not an easy Gordian Knot for anyone to cut.

    Keep up the great work Sibel !

  2. Metemneurosis says:

    As always thanks for the info Sibel. Great work.

  3. Metemneurosis says:

    On US involvement in Iran there's a good post at emptywheel.

    Gives a good overview of the recent history of government efforts at funding dissent.

  4. Anonymous says:

    With only 3 comments at this point, it seems that even the web readers are reluctant to go on record about this subject. I am not able to comment on any specific information or situation described here, because I am just a solitary, passive, citizen watchdog type with no first-hand knowledge or experience of any of these activities. But I do have a general comment. I have actually come across a number of publications dealing with CIA/US government involvement with drug running and/or runners as far back as 1994. Much of it comes from the "alternative" press with authors and publishers I have never heard of. It would be helpful to assess this kind of information to have some resource to acquire some specific background about the authors and the publishers…especially the publishers. Wikipedia has usually been helpful in recent years, but sometimes it is impossible to find any information on the publishers.

    I think this website is a good, positive effort to help restore some initiative to the public. I hope it continues long into the future.

  5. James O'Neill says:

    Sibel: Both Peter Dale Scott (The Road to 9/11) amd Daniel Hopsicker (Welcome to Terorland) have documented the links between the alleged 9/11 hijackers, the drug trade, and US intelligence services. Scott and Alfred McCoy (The Politics of Heroin) have documented how intervention by the US in South East Asia, Latin America and now South Asia has inevitably led to an upsurge of drug producttion and trafficking. Some commentators (eg Hoffman and Paul) suggest that many of the world's major banks are only staying afloat at the moment because of the profits generated by laundering drug money.
    Afghanistan produces the raw opium but to process it into heroin requires vast amounts of special chemicals which are not produced in Afghanistan. they therefore have to be imported and come across the northern borders by the truckload.
    These chemical shipments are never attacked by the US military. the processed product is then shipped out and Kosovo remains one of the main transit points for the US military/CIA to then sell the product in Europe.
    I suggest that one reason reporters are not allowed to touch this topic is that the MSM is controlled by the same people who control the war industries and exposure might threaten the huge profits they make from drugs and armaments.
    Thank you for your bravery in continuing to expose the rotten state that the modern US has become.

  6. Kathleen M. Dickson says:

    “out to get” Bush.”

    So that means Bush Senior.

    I am getting that: it is the Israelis in the MSM and the Israelis running guns and drugs and that the Bush family money-laundering CIA Spook Bank, the Riggs Banks, is involved.

    A little more complicated than just Team B, but makes the influence of Team B more believable because the Bushie Banksters are getting a drug money piece.

    And attacking the whistleblower has long been both a Bush family and Israeli tactic.

  7. Ishmael says:

    The CIA's involvement in Drug Trafficking goes back into the 1970's and 60's in Laos and Thailand. Marks and Marchetti's book talked of it and Jack Anderson had many columns in those days about it.

    One that struck particularly close to home was the story of Lu Hsu Shui of Chiang Mai, a heroin warlord who owned his own savings and loan, Gold Coin Savings and Loan based in Oakland, Ca. The board of directors was packed with "former" CIA spooks and their plan to launder the heroin money was to build a gigantic subdivision in Solano County called Manzanita. Gold Coin even had a booth at the Solano County Fair with a model of their "model city". Unfortunately, for them, I had read the columns ABOUT Gold Coin, so I informed the Solano County Sheriff's Deputies working the fair that they might want to look into it. Apparently, something worked because three months later, they abandoned the plans for Manzanita. Gold Coin, of course, took a swan dive off a cliff as part of the larger S&L scandals of the Reagan era.

    My line to the deputies after snitching off Gold Coin was:

    You BETTER make your mortgage payments on time…OR ELSE

    And of course the bush family is involved. They're gangsters and traitors.

  8. Hannah K. O'Luthon says:

    Thanks for reviewing a lot of information that Gary Webb, the Cockburns, Alfred McCoy, Peter Dale Scott, and Robert Parry have already brought to light. The depressing aspect of this review is that the information in it is so readily available to anyone with at least a minimal dose of curiosity and a sufficiently robust sense of citizenship to be capable of doubting "the official line". People who actively sift and winnow that official line have often had to contend with active disinformation campaigns and marginalization as conspiracy freaks. Few Americans have your (Sibel's) command of Turkic languages, so I would be very happy if, for example, you translated, some of the Turkish documents on Susurluk, including the
    book that "disappeared", or the Turkish parliamentary report: Fikri Saglar and Emin Ozgonul, Kod Adi Susurluk (Boyut Kitaplari). I know you have plenty of other material on your hands, so take this request-suggestion as only that. For all I know you are gagged in that regard too.

  9. Imhotep says:

    I have read that the Shan States first US Drug connection was through General MacArthur's intelligence staff.
    Of course the french had been in southeast asia before us and had their own pipeline for decades.

    I've also found the book 'George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography' by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin, to be a bit eye opening and informative.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Anon the Neocon-

    1) Here is what I would like to see in a discussion about narcotics.

    Sources for figures. Please provide them.

    KLA does not, in any way, have major control in the European heroin trade. How could it, when only half the heroin traffic comes via the Balkans?

    I've already asked you about your Turkey figure. You stated, last time, 90 % of Heroin passes through Turkey. Where do you get this figure?

    Afghanistan. The poppy crop is not worth anywhere near even five billion, not to mention your figures. Nor is heroin processed in Afghanistan at any significant scale. 50 billion!? Impossible.

    2) You exaggerate the role of governments in drug dealings. There have been instances, when militant groups have managed to finance themselves via illegal activities. But the vast majority of the drug trade does not enrich terrorists and complicit apparatchiks. The vast majority trully and honesty belongs to the realm of organized crime.

    3) The money made on drugs, is no-where near as big as you believe, or as some fantasize. It is not a big money maker compared to your average SP500 firm. The figures for the traded are generally speculative, and NEVER take into account, costs.

    If you just choose to focus on drug-running related to US foreign policy, then the issue is one of morality, and delicacy.

    If I tell you that in some countries you can turn a rock and find a drug-dealer, and that this goes from the richest to the poorest, how do you expect us interact with this country? What kind of foreign policy do you want of us?

    Imagine I tell you that Rafsanjani deals drugs?

    Will he be your hero tomorrow?

    Imagine this scenario – you have two enemies, drug dealers, and communists. The first, wants to make money, and keep out of prison. The second, wants to take your government down, and steal everyone's property in a "redistribution" benefiting party elites. If you can use the former, to weaken the former – why wouldn't you? Even knowing you will cede market share to them – the share is only a tiny fraction of the global drug trade – in which you don't have a hand?


    I was always under the impression that it was MPRI who organised this outfit. But nothing you've stated so far, differs from Russian/Serbian propaganda. Where do draw the line, and separate the truth, from propaganda?

  11. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Imhotep: And thank you. Glad to see at least 'some people' are awake and paying attention. Most people don;t know, don't want to know (see no evil, hear no evil), yet, hand their tax dollars to be spent in billions to 'fight' what we support.

    First Anon: Thank you and welcome. Hope to have you here regularly. How about a screen name? That way I get to know & remember you.

    Ishmael: As always- great comment. You seem to know so much 'n this area. Honored to have your insight/comments here.

    Hannah:Correct. There's so much out there, yet so very few who pay attention/know. That's the problem we are facing, right there. As you know they have labeled Professor Scott as 'a nut' too. Kudos to him for keeping at it tirelessly.

    Anon: My next post will respond to your baselessly directed criticism of 'sources.' I will do it this way one time only; won't make a habit out of it. I don;t publish anything without triple checking, finding multiple credible sources (including the not so credible official reports!).Next time, please take the time, visit the links I provide, and the links and citations provided in those links…then you won't have cursory views/conclusion.

  12. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Anon the Neocon:
    As I said I am open to criticism, as long as they are founded, logical, and well-researched. Here are a few links, including some managed and put forth by your neocon friends:

    "No one knows how many debt weddings take place in Afghanistan, where 93 percent of the world's heroin and other opiates originate."

    Here is United Nation:

    "Afghanistan is the source of about 70 to 90 percent of the heroin found in European markets," he said, adding that the nation also provides "almost 100 percent of opiates (opium, morphine and heroin) consumed in neighboring countries, meaning Iran, Pakistan and Central Asian states" (Agence France-Presse, June 25).

    Here is another academically used research results:

    "Heroin production was up for the second year in a row in 2007, according to the State Department. Afghanistan produces 93 percent of all opium poppy in the world, and provides much of the morphine and most of the heroin on the planet."


    "In 2006, Afghan poppy farmers took in about $755 million in sales to opium and heroin producers, with Afghan traffickers making an estimated $2.5 billion, according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC). That total rose to $4 billion in 2007. The entire 2006 crop, if processed into heroin, would have a street value of $38 billion."

    Here is another one from 2001-2002 (increased since):

    "They had absolutely ideal growing conditions that year and the amount they produced was 75% of the entire world production for that year. A good 90% of the heroin in the UK comes from Afghanistan. It may be more," he said.

    For 2002:

    Afghan heroin has a retail value in Europe of $30 billion annually. However, the lion’s share of the profit has not gone to the Taliban or the Northern Alliance, which have a history of dealing, but to criminal gangs and complicit officials in Central Asia, the Russian Federation, and Europe.

    "90 percent of heroin consumed in the UK is from Afghanistan. Using the British retail price figure from UK police sources of $110 a gram (with an assumed 50 percent purity level), the total retail value of the Afghan narcotics trade in 2003 (3600 tons of opium) would be the order of 79.2 billion dollars. The latter should be considered as a simulation rather than an estimate.

    Under this assumption (simulation), a billion dollars gross revenue to the farmers in Afghanistan (2003) would generate global narcotics earnings, –accruing at various stages and in various markets– of the order of 79.2 billion dollars. These global proceeds accrue to business syndicates, intelligence agencies, organized crime, financial institutions, wholesalers, retailers, etc. involved directly or indirectly in the drug trade."

    I can site 100 more, but you can do it yourself. Check relevant Europolreports, UN reports, DEA reports, even our own coniving evil State Department reports…
    I do my job 100% otherwise I wouldn't touch it. Now you go do the same.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Anon the Neocon-

    Do I sense irritation on your part Mrs. Edmonds? I would hope we could stay cordial. I respect your views, and your granting of space to discuss them. I may sound too forceful at times, but my respect for you has not diminished, and it is not ill-intended.

    I am a bit surprised by your answers though.

    That's three times now, that you didn't provide them. It's not your obligation, but it seems you're not comfortable with them. I'll repeat them, with your permission:

    1) if we manufactured the Iran revolution, but no one knew – would you still oppose it?

    2) My number question is on KLA and drugs.

    3) On dollar value of Afghanistan export.

    4) On Turkey's share of transition.

    You have answered my question on Afghanistan. Thank you. That leaves three others. I was sure you saw, that I was rather specific, no?

    You also seem to assume, that

    1) I don't read your sources.
    2) I give a cursory reading

    Wrong on both accounts.

    I was familiar with all your links long before I knew your case. I also read your works rather carefully. I don't need to be directed to read their sources, because I read the UNODC reports regularly, and government estimates.

    The last I read was published by Rand corporation, and you may not be even aware of it – since it doesn't conform to Chossudovsky's expectations about the size of the drug-market, and hence he chooses to ignore it.

    But I do thank you. Your answer to my Afghan question is right on. The value of the drug export from Afghanistan, is less than five billion. If you reread my first comment, that's exactly what I stated. I did not dispute, for a second, your other numbers.

    I don't see what's wrong, or disrespectful, in pointing out that discussing drugs only from a CIA/intelligence perspective, is the easy way out. You avoid controversy with your readers, for whom discussing ethnic and ethnically exclusive criminal gangs is beyond the pale. The CIA is an easy target.

    Granted, I agree with you on media censorship. But you have to understand, that the agencies have a right to not be slandered in the media, since they rely on credibility for their successful work.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sure, "The value of the drug export from Afghanistan, is less than five billion." but five billion here, five million there, and pretty you're soon talking real money.

    The other interesting thing to look out for is how Wall st acts as a laundromat for the drug trade. It is, after all, a casino. Nothing could be easier; put a few billion on the doggie and, just for the commission, the traders will only be to happy to oblige.

    City Spiv

  15. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Anon the Neocon:

    Don't mix up the global value of Afghan Heroin, with the direct value to Afghanistan.,8816,501040809-674806,00.html

    "This year, Afghanistan's opium harvest is expected to exceed 3,600 tons?making it the biggest crop since 1999 and enough to produce street heroin worth $36 billion."

    As for Turkey: refer to each country's report (UK, Swiss GIve, Germany,..). You'll see citations on TUrkey's role and percentages ranging from %80-92%…

    In 1998, the highly official International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) of the U.S. State Department, revealed that “about 75% of the heroin seized in Europe is either produced in, or derives from, Turkey”, that “4 to 6 tons of heroin arrive from there every month, heading for Western Europe” and that “a number of laboratories for the purification of the opium used in transforming the basic morphine into heroin are located on Turkish soil". The report stresses that Turkey is one of the countries most affected by money-laundering, which takes place particularly via the countries of the ex-Soviet Union, such as Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan, through the medium of casinos, the construction industry, and tourism.

    INCSR’s 2006 report cites Turkey as a major transshipment point and base of operations for international narcotics traffickers and associates trafficking in opium, morphine base, heroin, precursor chemicals and other drugs.

    For the Heroin value to Turkey see here (older data, you have to multiply the amount cited to get a picture for today…):

    "Turkey's heroin trafficking brought in $25 billion in 1995, and $37.5 billion in 1996"

    "In January 1997, Tom Sackville, minister of state at the British Home Office, stated that 80% of the heroin seized in Britain came from Turkey, and that his government was concerned by reports that members of the Turkish police, and even of the Turkish government, were involved in drug trafficking."

    Mark Galeotti, a former UK intelligence officer and expert on the Turkish mafia, “Since the 1970s, Turkey has accounted for between 75 and 90 per cent of all heroin in the UK. The key traffickers are Turks or criminals who operate along that route using Turkish contacts.” In 2001, Chris Harrison, a senior UK Customs officer in Manchester, told veteran crime reporter Martin Short that Customs could not get at the Turkish kingpins because they are “protected” at a high level.

  16. Kingfisher says:

    "The other interesting thing to look out for is how Wall st acts as a laundromat for the drug trade. It is, after all, a casino. Nothing could be easier; put a few billion on the doggie and, just for the commission, the traders will only be to happy to oblige."

    This is true, but its more the hedge funds these days. The Karachi Stock Exchange is even worse though.

  17. Kingfisher says:

    I was always under the impression that it was MPRI who organised this outfit.

    Kosovars organized the KLA. MPRI served as a contractor for the train and equip program. MPRI had a bigger role earlier in the 90's assisting the Croatian army.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Our resource basis is already so fragile that any large erosion of support would be difficult to deal with. But the Elite and their complicit military adjuncts believe in due process, and those that stay well within the law have nothing to fear. Besides an all out effort to make those within the law martyrs violates the conditions under which deceit is practiced. Thus speaking truth to power requires simplicity. A debate of facts and figures presupposes that everyone else sweats while reformed, well-intentioned bureaucrats sit on their respective male and female duffs.

  19. Kingfisher says:

    2) You exaggerate the role of governments in drug dealings. There have been instances, when militant groups have managed to finance themselves via illegal activities. But the vast majority of the drug trade does not enrich terrorists and complicit apparatchiks. The vast majority trully and honesty belongs to the realm of organized crime.
    Anon Neocon,

    Most of the world is not like America. In our country people with money will go into government or run for office; in most of the world people go into government or run for office to MAKE money.

    Further, what is organized crime to us is often tribal or clan business to other parts of the world; it is much harder to delineate “organized crime”. Look at the Karzai clan: it is both entrepreneurial with a chain of successful restaurants in the US, political with Hamid, and criminal with Wali Karzai.

    You also overlook the trend of an increasingly blurred line between terrorist/insurgent organizations and organized crime, which we have seen in SE Asia, the Balkans, and Ireland. And the bulk of these illicit activities are thoroughly intertwined with the global economy (Illicit by Moises Naim and McMafia by Misha Glenny for two recent works on this phenomenon).

  20. Katabasis says:

    I've decided to risk censure myself and speak out myself about my own experience regarding Britain's own "forbidden apple" – the issue of a massively dysfunctional immigration system. And how this links to the intelligence services.

    Some of this links into your own story. I apologise in advance for the expletives littered about the two pieces. The issues involved make me white hot with anger.

    I've split it into two pieces for now:

    Part 1

    Part 2

    I'd be obliged, if you have time, to have a look – especially at Part 2, as that's where I mention you. Please let me know of any factual inaccuracies in the brief account I've given.

  21. The Neo ConMan is involved and profiting. He's here to goad Ms. Edmonds into divulging her "state secrets" and, more importantly, letting loose whatever protections as a whistleblower she still has.

    He feigns respect for her, while attemting to muddle, with boarding school prickniscosity, every attempt she makes at enlightening others.

    And he falls short in every way. I guess that means he'll be president soon.

  22. I'm no psychologist, but I study human nature and it seems like the CIA psyops people have figured that the drug wars are a perfect way to separate the people from their friends and family on matter political. Few parents will admit to tolerating their children's dabbling in drugs the way they did, for instance. Few professionals will admit to their having dabbled in drugs (or continuing to do so.) Thus it can be used as a shaming/controlling bit of fascist over lording and people won't complain. I've been a member of Marijuana Policy Project for years. The prison lobby got to people like AG Gerry Brown in CA, to thwart our efforts – the prohibition industry has a very devastating and crippling effect in communities around the country.

  23. Right on, Gopol!

    These f'ers are using the "drug war", more appropriately called the "drug war windfall", to make profits and enslave people world-wide.

    Like Peter Tosh says, "Legalize it!"

  24. Ishmael says:

    Good comment, gopol. You only forgot the corporate-enforcement end of the Kabuki Theatre; the mandatory drug-test for employment. Plus, now with total Information Awareness and Infraguard, those same corporations have access to your legal records AND your credit record to weed out the "unmutual" among the peasantry. Unless, of course, you are a member of the Politerati like a couple of former Presidents. Then the Orewellian feature of "records sanitization" occurs so a cokehead-deserter-ne'er-do-well from the "right" family can ascend to the highest office on the land. I guess we should count ourselves lucky he didn't appoint HIS horse to the Senate.

  25. Sibel Edmonds says:

    I see it is getting nicely heated here; as it should be. This is one of 'those' topics! I've been reading your comments while handling my 'teething' girl, working on my podcast interview project for this blog, my job…

    I am working on my next piece: satirical take on State Department's position in all the latest involving Iran. It should be up by tomorrow morning around 10:00 a.m. EST. I think you'll get a kick out of it;-)

    Tomorrow evening (June 24, Wednesday), at 9:00 p.m. EST I'll be on 'Mike Malloy Show' for 1 hour+. This week Brad Friedman is covering for Mike. Here is the call in # for questions: 877-520-1150, and here is the link:

    Also, my latest interview with Peter B Collins is up on his website:

    Back to work…more later.

  26. Kingfisher says:

    I'm no psychologist, but I study human nature and it seems like the CIA psyops people have figured that the drug wars are a perfect way to separate the people from their friends and family on matter political.
    Maybe. But I am pretty sure it has more to do with domestic politics then with any nefarious plot by the CIA. Dan Baum wrote a pretty damning history of the drug war in Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure; I highly recommend it.

    Few professionals will admit to their having dabbled in drugs (or continuing to do so.) Thus it can be used as a shaming/controlling bit of fascist over lording and people won't complain.

    Its funny, I've heard of people at CIA who smoke marijuana; some of whom work in psyops.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Anon the Neocon-


    I certainly want to know what Mrs. Edmonds has to say about Eurasian drugs. But so far, there is nothing concrete. I dare say 90% of her readers, are here for the same reason. My sincerity is no less than theirs.


    I agree with you a 100% – clans, elections – that's the way the world works. So you agree then, that it is an environment in which we cannot afford a draconian drug policy?

    @Mrs. Edmonds

    I am aware of the Nezan article, and I've read countless similar articles. But no serious report, claims anywhere these kind of figures for Turkey, except the one from 1998. All of this is old stuff. It's been ten years, the drug trade has grown exponentially in Eastern Europe.

    One report, is …one report from 1998!

    Turkey is no longer in the dominant position it once enjoyed (briefly). All subsequent reports, prove this.

    On KLA, nothing indicates they are major drug-dealers, other than hearsay. Not one statistic.

    On Afghanistan, let's not confuse the market value of a drug, with the money gained by the growers. The Afghan economy, doesn't enjoy any more than five billion dollars for its opium production. This is less than one seventh of the GDP. I dare say, Mexico may be in the same range, and Columbia is certainly much higher.

  28. Sibel,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for covering this. 🙂

  29. Kathleen M. Dickson says:

    The CIA are not too smart now matter how you look at it. I know someone who has a friend in the CIA right here in North Stonington, CT. When he investigated me, he reported back that "I threatened to kill the president (Bush)."

    How's *THAT* for retarded?

    Kathleen M. Dickson

  30. Anonymous says:

    Walter Pincus trashed Gary Webb's career, despite the whole MSM's knowledge that he's a part of Operation Mockingbird

    Walter Pincus

    and Pincus' biggest fan in the alternative media is none other than 9-11 'truther' Larisa Alexandrovna

    Walter Pincus Nails It

    Larisa ridicules anyone who questions her on the Pentagon 'plane' attack (they're into UFOs, aliens) so it begs the question why is she so sensitive about keeping any kind of investigation of that particular attack from happening ?

    Larisa's own words:

    """"Ah, there were planes that crashed into the Pent and the Twin Towers. In fact, I lived not two blocks from WTC and many of my friends and neighbors were part of the terror of that day. Those that I talked to later who were in one of the buildings all saw a planes. One who was running down Broadway saw the second plane coming in. With respect, there were planes.

    And aliens are also something that I firmly do not believe in. Reason dictates that we first exhaust the explanations available to us, before we jump into lala land. There were planes, they did hit the buildings. Real people saw them (including what I saw later as well). Able Danger has issues – on this you are correct, but those issues have nothing to do with the question of planes.""

  31. Anonymous says:

    How DID Larisa see the plane that hit the Pentagon ?

  32. Walter Pincus? I guess so. He's more of a Mr. Whipple than a whistle blower.

    How about Kurt Sonnenfeld? I expect Sibel will connect with this extraordinary whistle blower soon.

  33. Kingfisher says:

    The CIA are not too smart now matter how you look at it. I know someone who has a friend in the CIA right here in North Stonington, CT. When he investigated me, he reported back that "I threatened to kill the president (Bush)."

    First of all you should at least have proper spelling when you call a person or group stupid. That’s just common courtesy, if not common sense. Second, how can an organization be both stupid and diabolically Machiavellian at the same time?

  34. Kingfisher says:


    I agree with you a 100% – clans, elections – that's the way the world works. So you agree then, that it is an environment in which we cannot afford a draconian drug policy?

    Not sure I understand what you are asking.
    I understand the way it is in other parts of the world; I would cautiously agree that certain things should be overlooked for the sake of our national interests. However, I believe there is a line between overlooking things or maybe even being passively complicit in bad things for a greater interest while in the employ of our government, and profiting from these activities upon leaving to the private sector.

  35. Anonymous says:

    for those of us who don't know the figures and have no way of ever really knowing them, the conversation on percentages is interesting but ultimately beyond being able to argue. The reality is that illicit drug movements by the TONNAGE, continue to be shipped and western intelligence services seem to be right in there actually owning some percentages of them. what does that mean. that we function in a morally bankrupt world which has massive drug importation-sales networks functioning as as part of an 'allowable' or at least 'reliable' black market. that its morality is not part of the equation, because morality dosn't exist at these dark levels of human experience therefor cannot be discussed as relevant : that the covert participation serves a legitimate purpose in whatever war it is we are fighting at the time. Communist. Terrorist. Whatever it is to be nextist.
    The impact on the society where the drugs are sold is our problem. The impact on the people of the countries where the drugs are produced, theirs. Bill Casey is reported to have stated that the sale of drugs to inner city ghetto dwellers is their choice.Their problem. If they buy it, it is their choice as an addict. Casey-Bush-North_Seal whoever it is NOW dealing at these levels will serve it up to the poor and use the money to influence global economies and finance wars without any suffering of guilt .That is considered fair. North considered it honorable behavior by patriots inside the secret police/intelligence/military units of the great free republic.
    just don't talk it up on the news.

    all the reports we are discussing unequivocally state a co-operation between western operatives at the deepest level with whoever else is involved. Ethnic gangs. Religious gangs. Gang gangs. Intelligence gangs.
    it sure is an issue of morality.
    Among the bleedin' obvious the morality of a bulging prison population of 'drug users' thrown into prisons for 'illegal' drug use supplied them by elite covert units from their own country,at profit , all hidden behind the very law making machinery that imprisons them – the state. I am sure they would be mightily interested to hear the argument for the moralities that allow it.

    Just don't rest on the country being at all healthy.
    As to the Pentagon strike. Is that the plane that had its wings fold in at impact ? where bodies were identified by DNA in a conflagration that vaporized titanium and where uncle donald helping on the lawn gaffed a mention of 'a missile' to the press…..

  36. Anonymous says:

    The Pentagon strike is going to be examined by a citizen's investigative team

    on July 11, 2009 in Arlington VA with a news conference. Hopefully some media will cover this. Most will not dare, as Sibel's blog tells us, since this is a 'career-ender'. However, those of us who delve into he news and the truth will know who our friends in the media really are.

Speak Your Mind