A drug bust outside a Queens housing project erupted into a tense three-hour standoff Friday night as dozens of angry residents marched on the 113th Precinct and cops in riot gear stood guard over their stationhouse.
Shocked witnesses said police officers pounded on brothers Raynard Fields, 27, and Corey Crichlow, 33, outside the Baisley Park Houses during the 7:45 p.m. arrest on Foch Blvd.
âThe cops came up to the car and dragged (Crichlow) out and started beating on him,â said witness Gary Frazier, 22. âWhen (Fields) tried to calm the situation down, they beat him down. Cops came from everywhere.â
About 50 incensed residents protested the arrest and what they call a pattern of brutality by the NYPD by marching down Guy R. Brewer Blvd. to the Baisley Blvd. stationhouse. They ran through the streets, knocking garbage cans over during their 6-block trek, witnesses said.
âI am sick of the 113th Precinct harassing the young black men in the Baisley projects,â said marcher Kathy Moore, 40.
Cops responded to the impromptu protest in riot helmets and batons, forcing protesters onto the sidewalk.
âThey were wilding out here,â livery cab driver Danny McLennon, 42, said of the residents. âThe cops shut down Guy Brewer Blvd. Not even the buses could get through.â
More cops in riot gear met protesters at the 113th Precinct, where Fields was being treated inside an ambulance parked next to the stationhouse. Sources said he suffered a deep gash to his face during the brawl. He was expected to be taken to a hospital, a relative said.
Police sources said officers spotted Crichlow with drugs, but he swallowed them as they approached. The officers were arresting Crichlow when Fields interjected and a fight broke out, sources said.
At least one officer was injured in the fight and was taken to an area hospital with neck and back injuries. Other cops had to evade a barrage of garbage and bottles that witnesses were throwing at them.
â(Residents) were throwing things from windows,â a police source said.
ROBERT STRIDIRON/ROBERT STRIDIRON
Police officer was injured during the Queens standoff with protesters.
According to court records, Crichlow did two years in prison after being convicted on drug charges in 2001. Heâs currently engaged to a correction officer, family members said.
But the Rev. Richard Hogan, the respected pastor of the Divine Deliverance Ministry in Jamaica and the uncle of Crichlow and Fields, said Crichlow is always being stopped by the police.
âMy nephew was driving a gray Chrysler with tinted windows when he was stopped on this occasion,â said Hogan. â(Cops) said they thought they saw him make a transaction. They didnât find anything on him.â
Hogan said officers had pulled Crichlow out of the car when witnesses ran to get Fields, who was playing basketball nearby.
âRaynard was still 80 yards away when he was pushed down by a police officer,â Hogan said. âHeâs a polite kid, never had a problem with police, he was just running over to see what happened to his brother and he was attacked.â
Crichlowâs cousin said she tried to record the arrest, but a cop snatched her phone.
â(Cops) were kicking (Crichlow) in the face, stomping him, leaning on him with their knees,â said cousin Tyniera Hogan, 32. âHe was trying to get up, but they kept pushing him back down . . . it didnât look like he was resisting.â
Hogan said Crichlow was taken to a hospital with bumps and bruises.
âSome officers donât have the respect to serve,â Hogan said of the cops who arrested his nephews and sparked the outrage. âKids got mad and the community got mad.â
Police said no arrests were made at the stationhouse. Charges against Crichlow and Fields were pending.
A national security expert who has spent several years in intelligence gathering operations around the Mexican drug cartelsâ criminal insurgency into the continental United States told Breitbart News, âThis assassination of DA McClellend and his wife is meant to send a message: no one is safe, no one is beyond our reach. We will kill you and your loved ones. We are in control here.â
âThis is a significant point of escalation in the crisis,â he continued. âThis type of high-profile targeting of public officials is a classic insurgent tactic. Its escalating use inside the US shows a complete lack of fear of consequences and demonstrates the fundamental shift in the strategic landscape that has already occurred.
âThe criminal insurgencies and their gang foot soldiers have exported the type of warfare that brought Mexico to its knees deep into our sovereign territory. They are waging a war: targeting, assassinating, using terror tacticsâand our law enforcement is outgunned and overwhelmed.â
Breitbart NewsÂ interviewedÂ McLelland several weeks ago as part of an investigation into Mexican drug cartel criminal insurgency operations in the United States, including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and the city of Chicago. Breitbart Newsâs Brandon Darby conducted the interview with D.A. McLelland in his office in Kaufman, TX.
McLelland spoke about the recent assassination of his Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, who was himself gunned down in broad daylight on the Kaufman County Courthouse steps by a masked gunman who has yet to be apprehended.
Also, on March 19, Coloradoâs prisons director, Tom Clements, was shot and killed while answering his front doorbell at his home outside Colorado Springs. The suspect in that case was Evan Spencer Ebel, a member of a white supremacist prison gang, later shot while trying to escape authorities on March 21st.
Mexican drug cartels whose operatives once rarely ventured beyond the U.S. border are dispatching some of their most trusted agents to live and work deep inside the United States â an emboldened presence that experts believe is meant to tighten their grip on the worldâs most lucrative narcotics market and maximize profits.
If left unchecked, authorities say, the cartelsâ move into the American interior could render the syndicates harder than ever to dislodge and pave the way for them to expand into other criminal enterprises such as prostitution, kidnapping-and-extortion rackets and money laundering.
But a wide-ranging Associated Press review of federal court cases and government drug-enforcement data, plus interviews with many top law enforcement officials, indicate the groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the U.S. Cartel operatives are suspected of running drug-distribution networks in at least nine non-border states, often in middle-class suburbs in the Midwest, South and Northeast.
âItâs probably the most serious threat the United States has faced from organized crime,â said Jack Riley, head of the Drug Enforcement Administrationâs Chicago office.
Let me remind you that the current administration oversaw supplying these cartels with arms during Fast and Furious. Do we really expect them to give the American people a hand on this issue? Iâm guessing not, especially with Obama, theÂ Democrats and a few RINOsÂ working on a basicÂ amnesty for illegalsÂ in this country. We are going to have to start dealing with it ourselves. This is why it is pertinent that we arm ourselves and prepare now.
We have chosen to highlight United States agencies; however, this top 10 list has global impact, as the U.S. has now proven to be the enforcement division of the overarching globalist agenda of centralized control.
One could argue thatÂ everyÂ government agency serves the purpose of stifling freedom and wasting taxpayer money. Yet, the 10 listed below go the extra mile for their sheer corruption, draconian regulations, and ultimate impact upon the largest number of citizens.
The main criteria for inclusion in the top 10 is the amount of money spent by the taxpayer according to official budget declarations, and then attaining the highest level of doing exactly the opposite of what they were supposedly created for.
Here is the countdown to the top 10 most dangerous U.S. government agencies to the freedom, prosperity and health of its citizens . . . .
#10 – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – annual budgetÂ $8.5 billion: Their record of ignoring environmental damage and the health effects on humans from major events such asÂ 9/11, the Exxon andÂ Gulf oilÂ spills to the worst case,Â Fukushima, is unparalleled. Rather than investigate and warn of real dangers, they have gone after farmers for dubious claims of water contamination, whileÂ treating milk spillsÂ as they should have treated oil spills. Â Even worse, the EPA has concluded that there is no law preventing it from doing “research” on Americans. A recent lawsuit over the EPA’s work with airborne pollutants will put this claim to the test in Federal court. Their illegal human experiments could break the Nuremberg Code (source:Â The Washington Times).
#9 – Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – annual budgetÂ $13.3 billion:Â Cries of “End the Fed!” continue to get louder, while more people are beginning to wake up completely and couple this with “End the IRS!” In fact, the two were developed together 100 years ago making the private Fed and the government IRSÂ fraternal twinsÂ in creating a system of indentured servitude through dollar devaluation and arbitrary tax collection, respectively. The Fed enslaves through stealth, while the IRS uses force to impose itself through ever-expanding regulations and the threat of fines and imprisonment. As the collection division, the IRS rakes in a staggering $2.3 trillion annually. Despite that massive amount, the IRS has a distinguished record of ignoring the shenanigans of major corporations andÂ federal employees, while focusing harshly on the average private citizen andÂ small businessesÂ in particular. Thankfully, there is some momentum toward abolishing the IRS throughÂ FairTaxÂ legislation. Now would be a good time, as the IRS will be empowered even further when the healthcare overhaul takes effect.
#8 – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – annual budgetÂ $13.5 billion: Despite massive funding to help people in dire need of assistance, FEMA has failed spectacularly in the cases of Katrina andÂ Sandy, even hindering the ability of people to make it on their own, asÂ gun confiscationÂ was ordered against the population affected by Katrina. The mechanics of offering aid to legitimate victims of Sandy areÂ still being debatedÂ by the U.S. government.Â Additionally, there is a disturbing amount of evidence that suggests FEMA would be instrumental in enslaving large populations following an economic collapse or civil unrest. FEMA centers are nowÂ open knowledgeÂ and if implemented will likely resemble the squalor and horror thatÂ refugees encounteredÂ when jammed into the New Orleans Superdome following Katrina.
#7 -Â Department of Justice (DoJ) – annual budgetÂ $28 billion: This includes the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) which has its own annual budget ofÂ $8 billion. The “Department of Justice” is perhaps the most Orwellian oxymoron of all government agencies. Â For decades they have pursuedÂ a failed War on DrugsÂ that targets small-time users while ignoring the true drug criminals. In fact, they’ve even armed the drug gangs as revealed in theÂ Fast and Furious scandal.Â We have a Justice Department more concerned with going afterÂ whistleblowers of crimesÂ than the criminals themselves.Â The FBI deserves a whole section unto itself given their recent behavior. The only “terrorists” they’ve caught since 9-11 are the onesÂ they have createdÂ with their own material support. Further, the FBI is increasingly using illegal surveillance tactics for peaceful activists like Occupy demonstrators and others. It has recently been revealed that the FBI was actually spying on Occupy protesters at the behest of banks, not the government, even refusing to tell Occupy leaders that there wereÂ assassination plots against them. Finally, it must be noted that no bankers have gone to jail from the immense fraud that led to the financial collapse of 2008 and beyond; no one significant has gone to jail for torture and other war crimes; and government corruption has been all but legalized.
#6 -Â Spy Agencies: The nation’sÂ 17 spy agencies, including the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) – annual budgetÂ $55 billion?Â Many of the intelligence accounts are classified, so we can’t really know the true total, but we do know that the budget for spy agenciesÂ has doubled since 9/11. The NSA has grabbed the most attention as of late with plans to expand into their newÂ $2 billion data mining centerÂ in Bluffdale, Utah set to launch in September of this year. Whistleblowers likeÂ William BinneyÂ have stated that the agency is already spying on its own citizens domestically. As the war on terror increases its scope through drone surveillance on American soil, the NSA’s budget will only increase, while increasing the danger posed to large sections of the U.S. Constitution. The CIA of course has long been implicated in usingÂ assassination ringsÂ to topple foreign governments and political opponents, while being at the center of theÂ Guantanamo BayÂ andÂ renditionÂ torture apparatus. With the arrival of no-holds-barred legislation like NDAA 2013, the intelligence regime becomes more dangerous than ever.
#5 – Department of Education (ED) – annual budgetÂ $70 billion:Â The way that America has chosen to educate its youth is the beginning of the justifications for the abuses of every other federal agency. TheÂ Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, as Charlotte Iserbyt has called it, has resulted in a once independent, entrepreneurial nation becoming a collectivized horde of selfish, but not individualistic, youth. There is much less attention paid to vocational skills, and much more attention paid to training the next bunch of public officials or bureaucracy enforcers. Furthermore, the public school system is clearly engaging inÂ prisoner trainingÂ with the actions of children becoming criminalized at an ever-greater pace. With the recentÂ CT school shooting, we can expect that this will now become part of the curriculum as justification for the surrounding police state will be taught as a logical consequence in the face of such random threats of terror.
#4 -Â Department of Homeland Security (DHS) annual budgetÂ $100 billion (3,000 page PDF): – Much like the Department of Defense, the activities of DHS are all-encompassing including the goon squad of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which hasÂ employed untrained, low IQ, and criminal elementsÂ including pedophilesÂ to reach into the pants of men, women and children. The TSA is also responsible forÂ introducing cancerÂ to its employees and the public through its backscatter radiation naked imaging machines. And now they are set to hit the streets across America with their spin-offÂ VIPR teams.Â DHS has set up the ultimate framework for tyranny, includingÂ secret lists, secret arrests,Â activist surveillance, biometric immigration measures, control of cyberspace,Â Orwellian telescreens and PSA’sÂ that increasingly portray average citizens who are engaged in normal activities as worthy of suspicion and interrogation. They are sure to be on the front lines of any gun control and confiscation initiatives, as they clearly have beenÂ stockpiling their own ammunitionÂ in ever greater numbers.
#3 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – annual budgetÂ $155 billion:Â If there is one agency that is administering the globalist directives of Agenda 21, it is the USDA. They have recently begun puttingÂ dubious embargoesÂ on small farms, which is leading to economic and literal starvation of people and animals alike. Through their trickle down directives, farmers can evenÂ be charged in a different countyÂ after being cleared of wrongdoing in a previous case. This is the hallmark of bureaucratic tyranny. The USDA has been instrumental in clearingÂ Dow Chemical’s GM soy, giving Monsanto’s GMO crops specialÂ ‘speed approval,’Â and covering up pesticide damage to humans andÂ bee populations. But in true absurdist bureaucratic style, the same organization that has consistently overlooked the health and economic threats to countless millions of people decided to fine a familyÂ $4 million dollars for selling bunny rabbits.
#2 – Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – annual budgetÂ $892 billionÂ - This gargantuan structure includes the FDA, CDC and the National Institutes of Health among others.Â The FDA has its own annual budget ofÂ $4.5 billion. This agency has approved prescription and over-the-counter drugs that knowingly have killedÂ hundreds of thousandsÂ of people annually, has increasedÂ irradiation of the food supply, and has covered upÂ vaccine injuries, But if you want Big Pharma, you can get it from aÂ vending machine, thanks to the FDA. No surprise, the FDA hasÂ ties to MonsantoÂ andÂ ties to Bayer.Â Now our food is being made and modified by the largest pesticide manufacturer, while any moveÂ to label GMOÂ is shut down by the agency. The FDA has additionally approvedÂ AquaBounty’s GE SalmonÂ despite a statement by The Center for Food Safety,Â that its “bad for the consumer, bad for the salmon industry, and bad for the environment.” Among other gems are dangerousÂ animal feed additives, approving dangerous anti-viral drugsÂ for infants, and policing food safety inÂ foreign nations.
As for the CDC, or Center for Disease Creation as some natural medicine practitioners have coined the agency (budget $11 billion), they have encouraged vaccination to such an extent that some have questioned whether their mandated vaccine schedule is part of aÂ compulsory sterilization program.
#1 – Department of Defense (DoD) – annual budget ??? – OfficiallyÂ $613 billionÂ This agency is in desperate need of returning to its more honest original name: The War Department. In addition to being the recipient ofÂ the highest percentageÂ of the federal budget, the DoD’sÂ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) division almost deserves a category of its own.Â Many of DARPA’s projects fall into the money pit ofÂ “black budget” secret projectsÂ not even subjected to presidential and congressional oversight. With DARPA’s “mad science” reputation, it is no doubt one of the top recipients of the $50 billion annual black budget, making this one of the most dangerous federal agencies to both theÂ economy of the U.S. and to world peace. Overall, the Department of Defense as the coordinator for anything that falls under “national security” is responsible for openly killing millions and eviscerating the Constitution … and there is no sign that they are letting up any time soon.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – annual budgetÂ $3 billion:Â This agency falls under HHS, but the video below demonstrates a special level of corruption and worthlessness that is humorous, except for the fact that it represents a staggering level of taxpayer looting, despite the small size of the agency (537 people). It is a microcosm of what we only can imagine going on within the larger agencies, especially those with less oversight.
The government’s track record for permittingÂ massive looting of the economyÂ in collusion with the private banking sector; the upcoming collusion with the insurance industry andÂ Big PharmaÂ to change the landscape of healthcare; their collusion with private contractors to implement aÂ prison-industrial complex; their unconstitutional war machine, and their history ofÂ secret human experimentsÂ makes government the single greatest terrestrial danger we face. In the 20th century alone, governments across the world outright murdered 290 million people, known asÂ democide. How many more must have fallen to covert means and bureaucratic ineptitude? How many more will follow?
There is so much more that could have been mentioned about the dangers of the agencies listed above. Do you have other facts to document? How would you rank these agencies? Would you like to add an agency to the above list? Please do so in the comment section.
In Chicago, Mexican Sinaloa drug-cartel member, Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, sits in prison.
Heâs waiting for his October trial to begin, after three years of delays. DEA agents arrested him in Mexico City in 2009, on drug-trafficking charges.
Why all the postponements? US national security issues are involved.
Niebla wants to introduce evidence he says will show he, and the entire Sinaloa cartel, the most power drug-trafficking organization in Mexico, were given immunity from prosecution by the US government.
In return, Sinaloa has been providing US officials with intelligence on lesser drug cartels in Mexico, so they can be taken down.
If this sounds like a deal to permit Sinaloa to bring huge quantities of drugs into the US, thatâs exactly what defendant Niebla is implying.
Federal prosecutors admit there are national-security issues in the Niebla trial. They deny Niebla or Sinaloa were ever granted immunity by the US government. However, they have made motions to keep unspecified classified information out of court proceedings.
Bill Conroy, who has been writing groundbreaking articles for The Narco News Bulletin, quotes Nieblaâs lawyers: âThe United States government considered the arrangement with the Sinaloa cartel an acceptable price to pay, because the principal objective was the destruction and dismantling of rival cartels by using the assistance of the Sinaloa Cartelâwithout regard for the fact that tons of illicit drugs continued to be smuggled [by Sinaloa] into Chicago and other parts of the United States and corruption continued unabated.â
Journalist Conroy goes on to reveal a number of relevant emails captured by Wikileaks from Stratfor, a private intelligence company based in Austin, Texas. Stratfor refuses to comment on the emails. The company indicates that, in general, this type of email may be factual or may be intentionally fictitious.
The emails are the observations of a Mexican diplomat code-named MX1. Noting his probable identity has already been published online, Conroy writes, â[Fernando de la Mora Salcedo is] a Mexican foreign service officer whoâŠserved in the Mexican Consulate in El Paso, Texas, and is currently stationed [or has recently been recalled] in the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix.â
Here are choice excerpts from Salcedoâs emails, allegedly sent to Stratfor between 2008 and 2011. They bolster the idea that the US government is supporting the Sinaloa Cartel.
April 19, 2010: ââŠI think the US sent a signal that might be construed as follows: âTo the VCF [Vicente Carrillo Fuentes] and Sinaloa cartels: Thank you for providing our market with drugs over the yearsâŠplease know that Sinaloa is bigger and better than VCFâŠletâs all get back to business [and stop the violence.]ââ
June 3, 2010: âThey [the US and Mexican governments] want the CARTELS to negotiate with EACH OTHERâŠif they can do this, violence will drop and the [US and Mexican] governments will allow controlled [drug] tradesâŠThe major routes and methods for bulk shipping [of drugs] have already been negotiated with US authorities. In this sense, the message that Sinaloa was winning was, in my view, intended to tell SEDENA [the Mexican military] to stop taking down large trucks full of dope as they made their way into the US. These large shipments were Sinaloaâs, and they are OK with the Americans.â
The explosive nature of the upcoming Niebla trial in Chicago could shed light on Operation Fast&Furious. After all the reasons that have been given for walking guns into Mexico, suppose the true explanation is the most simple? The US government supports Sinaloa, the biggest drug cartel in the world. Therefore, they gave Sinaloa guns.
The author of an explosive collection,Â THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29thÂ District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
Earlier this month itÂ was reportedÂ that the federal government plans on shutting down theÂ largest medical marijuana dispensary operator in California known as Harborside Health Center. Two dispensaries, one in Oakland and another in San Jose, are in the process of being seized by authorities, where both locations were gifted with copies of the federal Complaint for Forfeiture taped on their front doors. The papers, taped on the doors on Tuesday July 10, stated that the dispensaries were âoperating in violation of federal law.â
Largest Operated California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Targeted
Needless to say, those who support medical marijuana and even some state officials frowned upon the federal governmentâs less than expected action. While some individuals like the U.S. attorney for Northern California, Melinda Haag, say that the action was warranted because the California medical marijuana dispensaries presented opportunities for abuse, others are rather upset. He explains:
âPeople are not going to stop using cannabis, theyâre just going to buy it in the illegal marketplace âŠ on the streets. Why are federal prosecutors using their discretion to do something so profoundly destructiveâ said Steve DeAngelo, co-founder of Haborside and leader in the movement for medical marijuana use.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder told the House Judiciary Committee in June that the federal agents were only after large-scale growers and medical marijuana dispensaries that have âcome up with ways in which they are taking advantage of these state laws, and going beyond that which the states have authorized.â
Interestingly, Harborside claims to have over 108,000 customers and over 100 employees, helping the operation to rake in 10âČs of millions of dollars in sales each year. The Oakland medical marijuana dispensary alone is claimed to bring in $22 million annually, while the San Jose facility brings in $8 million. Both of the dispensaries end up paying approximately $3 million in taxes to the city and state.
While marijuana use and sales are illegal on a federal level, state laws can in many cases actually allow for marijuana use. The move by the feds breaks promises by President Obamaâs Justice Department that it would only target operations near schools and parks or otherwise in violation of the stateâs laws. In the case of Harborside, marijuana activists often speak highly of the operation due to professionalism and compliance.Â âIf Harborside is not in compliance with state law, no one is,â said DeAngelo.
But the action against Californiaâs largest medical marijuana dispensary doesnât only go against political promises, it also impedes our freedom as the people and withholds legitimate medical use of marijuana from those who may benefit from it. If you havenât yet looked into it, you may not know that theÂ benefits of medical marijuanaÂ do truly exist. From treating osteoporosis to even fighting cancer, marijuana has been shown time and time again to possess beneficial properties.Â Cannabis treatmentÂ even threatens the deadly painkiller industry â a gargantuan profiting industry in the Western world.
So it begs the question: Why notÂ legalize marijuana? Until enough individuals openly speak out, this freedom will continue to be withheld.
The US Central Intelligence Agency and other international security forces “don’t fight drug traffickers”, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told , instead “they try to manage the drug trade”.
Allegations about official complicity in the drug business are nothing new when they come from activists, professors, campaigners or even former officials. However, an official spokesman for the authorities in one of Mexico’s most violent states – one which directly borders Texas – going on the record with such accusations is unique.
“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, the Chihuahua spokesman, told last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.”
Accusations are ‘baloney’
Villanueva is not a high ranking official and his views do not represent Mexico’s foreign policy establishment. Other more senior officials in Chihuahua State, including the mayor of Juarez, dismissed the claims as “baloney”.
“I think the CIA and DEA [US Drug Enforcement Agency] are on the same side as us in fighting drug gangs,” Hector Murguia, the mayor of Juarez, told during an interview inside his SUV. “We have excellent collaboration with the US.”
Under the Merida Initiative, the US Congress has approved more than $1.4bn in drug war aid for Mexico, providing attack helicopters, weapons and training for police and judges.
More thanÂ 55,000 people have died in drug related violenceÂ in Mexico since December 2006. Privately, residents and officials across Mexico’s political spectrum often blame the lethal cocktail of US drug consumption and the flow of high-powered weapons smuggled south of the border for causing much of the carnage.
Drug war ‘illusions’
“The CIA wants to control the population; they don’t want to stop arms trafficking to Mexico, look at [Operation] Fast and Furious,â he said, referencing aÂ botched US exerciseÂ where automatic weapons were sold to criminals in the hope that security forces could trace where the guns ended up.”The war on drugs is an illusion,” Hugo Almada Mireles,professor at the Autonomous University of Juarez and author of several books, told . “It’s a reason to intervene in Latin America.”
The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms lost track of 1,700 guns as part of the operation, including an AK-47 used in 2010 the murder ofÂ Brian Terry, a Customs and Border Protection Agent.
Blaming the gringos for Mexico’s problems has been a popular sport south of the Rio Grande ever since the Mexican-American war of the 1840s, when the US conquered most of present day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico from its southern neighbour. But operations such as Fast and Furious show that reality can be stranger than fiction when it comes to the drug war and relations between the US and Mexico. If the case hadn’t been proven, the idea that US agents were actively putting weapons into the hands of Mexican gangsters would sound absurd to many.
“I think it’s easy to become cynical about American and other countries’ involvement in Latin America around drugs,” Kevin Sabet, a former senior adviser to the White House on drug control policy, told . “Statements [accusing the CIA of managing the drug trade] should be backed up with evidenceâŠ I donât put much stake in it.”
Villanueva’s accusations “might be a way to get some attention to his region, which is understandable but not productive or grounded in reality”, Sabet said. “We have sort of ‘been there done that’ with CIA conspiracy theories.”
In 1996, theÂ San Jose Mercury NewsÂ publishedÂ Dark Alliance, a series of investigative reports linking CIA missions in Nicaragua with the explosion of crack cocaine consumption in America’s ghettos.
In order to fund Contra rebels fighting Nicaragua’s socialist government, the CIA partnered with Colombian cartels to move drugs into Los Angeles, sending profits back to Central America, the series alleged.
“There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, or on the payroll of, the CIA were involved in drug trafficking,” US Senator John Kerry said at the time, in response to the series.
Other newspapers, including theÂ Washington PostÂ and theÂ Los Angeles Times,Â slammedDark Alliance,Â and the editor of theÂ Mercury NewsÂ eventually wrote that the paper had over-stated some elements in the story and made mistakes in the journalistic process, but that he stood by many of the key conclusions.
Acceptance of these claims within some elements of Mexico’s government and security services shows the difficulty in pursuing effective international action against the drug trade.”It’s true, they want to control it,” a mid-level official with theSecretariat GobernacionÂ in Juarez, Mexico’s equivalent to the US Department of Homeland Security, told of the CIA and DEA’s policing of the drug trade. The officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he knew the allegations to be correct, based on discussions he had with US officials working in Juarez.
JesĂșs Zambada Niebla, a leading trafficker from the Sinaloa cartel currently awaiting trial in Chicago, has said he was working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency during his days as a trafficker, and was promised immunity from prosecution.
“Under that agreement, the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of [Jesus Zambada's] father, Ismael Zambada and ‘Chapo’ GuzmĂĄn were givenÂ carte blancheÂ to continue to smuggle tonnes of illicit drugs… into… the United States, and were protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels,” Zambada’s lawyers wrote as part of his defence. “Indeed, the Unites States government agents aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.”
The Sinaloa cartel is Mexico’s oldest and most powerful trafficking organisation, and some analysts believe security forces in the US and Mexico favour the group over its rivals.
Joaquin “El Chapo”, the cartel’s billionaire leader and one of the world’s most wanted men, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 by sneaking into a laundry truck – likely with collaboration from guards – further stoking rumours that leading traffickers have complicit friends in high places.
“It would be easy for the Mexican army to capture El Chapo,” Mireles said. “But this is not the objective.” He thinks the authorities on both sides of the border are happy to have El Chapo on the loose, as his cartel is easier to manage and his drug money is recycled back into the broader economy. Other analysts consider this viewpoint a conspiracy theory and blame ineptitude and low level corruption for El Chapo’s escape, rather than a broader plan from government agencies.
He wants to open a high-level dialogue with the US about the drug war, but has said legalisation of some drugs is not an option. Some hardliners in the US worry that Nieto will make a deal with some cartels, in order to reduce violence.After an election hit by reported irregularities, Enrique Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is set to be sworn in as Mexico’s president on December 1.
“I am hopeful that he will not return to the PRI party of the past which was corrupt and had a history of turning a blind eye to the drug cartels,” said Michael McCaul, a Republican Congressman from Texas.
Regardless of what position a new administration takes in order to calm the violence and restore order, it is likely many Mexicans – including government officials such as Chihuahua spokesman Guillermo Villanueva – will believe outside forces want the drug trade to continue.
The widespread view linking the CIA to the drug trade – whether or not the allegations are true – speaks volumes about officials’ mutual mistrust amid ongoing killings and the destruction of civic life in Mexico.
“We have good soldiers and policemen,” Villanueva said. “But you won’t resolve this problem with bullets. We need education and jobs.”
Whose to blame for the ongoing violence in Mexico related to drug cartels? Whilst the popular idea places the blame on the Mexican federal government and corrupt state officials, the truth of the matter seems clearly to be that major western banks are abetting the laundering of the cash which drives the violence. Through the US federal government â an institution fascist in nature â the banks are supplying the weapons in a feedback loop designed to keep chaos on the high and cash passing through their accounts.
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Mexican cocaine-trafficking cartel Los Zetas used accounts at Bank of America Corp. to launder money. There is a distinct tie between Los Zetas and the second-largest US bank by assets, Bank of America, according to the Federal Bureau for Investigations. The FBIâs sworn statements cover about twelve transactions since December 2009 in which over $1.5 million was deposited or withdrawn from two BoA accounts.
Bank of America has yet to be raised as a suspect for drug-laundering. The case calls to mind Wells Fargoâs $160 million settlement with the Justice Department in 2010 part of allegations that the bank enabled drug traffickers to launder money by shifting it between Mexican currency-exchange houses and the bank. To be sure, Wells Fargo and Bank of America are not the only to banks to be named as institutions that have abetted money-laundering by drug-traffickers.
In 2009,Â Antonio Maria Costa, in charge of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, claimed that proceeds from organized crime were âthe only liquid investment capitalâ available to many banks in 2008 during the banking collapse.
Drug money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nationsâ drugs and crime tsar told the Observer in 2009. He said that a majority of the $352bn disappeared during the crisis. He continued:
âInter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activitiesâŠ There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.â Costa said the money had been effectively laundered.
âThat was the moment [last year] when the system was basically paralysed because of the unwillingness of banks to lend money to one another. The progressive liquidisation to the system and the progressive improvement by some banks of their share values [has meant that] the problem [of illegal money] has become much less serious than it was,â he said.
So, without drug and other criminal funds, the banking system would collapse. It seems anything would break the system these days, but here you have it: In 2009, the United Nations had representatives go public claiming that, without drug money, the banking system would have collapsed. Since the banks own the United States government, as was seen during the bailout episode and continued cheap liquidity-at-gunpoint, they use it to get weapons to the drug cartels in Mexico, as highlighted by the Fast & Furious criminality. Still today, as evidence suggests by this new Bank of America scandal, western banks are protecting criminal activity.
US Banks Love Real Dollars, and Illegal Drug Money Comes in Cash
A recent article inÂ The Guardian UKÂ offers evidence that “while cocaine production ravages countries in Central America, consumers in the US and Europe are helping developed economies grow rich from the profits.”
According to The Guardian UK story, the study by two Colombian professors found that “2.6% of the total street value of cocaine produced remains within the country [Columbia], while a staggering 97.4% of profits are reaped by criminal syndicates and laundered by banks, in first-world consuming countries.”
One of the researchers, Alejandro Gaviria said: “We know that authorities in the US and UK know far more than they act upon. The authorities realize things about certain people they think are moving money for the drug trade – but the DEA [US Drug Enforcement Administration] only acts on a fraction of what it knows.”
“It’s taboo to go after the big banks,” added Gaviria’s co-researcher Daniel MejĂa. “It’s political suicide in this economic climate, because the amounts of money recycled are so high.”
Since Wachovia Bank (now owned by Wells Fargo) was levied a fine in 2010 (but no criminal charges) for money laundering hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) of illegal drug cartel dollars, there does not appear to be any large crackdown on the practice in the United States, although lip service is often given to coming down hard on money laundering.
Indeed, more than one analyst has speculated that the billions of dollars in drug cash are vitally important to US banks because so many of their financial assets are tied up in non-fluid assets.
Antonio Maria Costa, former executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said in 2008, “there’s evidence to suggest that proceeds from drugs and crimes were the only liquid investment capital for banks in trouble of collapsing [during the financial crisis].”
If billions of dollars in drug money rescued banks and other financial institutions from closing down then it’s reasonable to argue that the economy itself is addicted to drugs.
As professor Dale Scott noted in his book, American War Machine: Deep Politics; the CIA Global Drug Connection: “A US Senate … banking committee reportedly estimated that between $500 billion and $1 trillion dollars are laundered each year through banks worldwide, with approximately half of that amount funneled through US Banks.”
In the ’70s and ’80s, Miami became known as a city that was experiencing an economic renaissance based on the flow of illegal drug money (mostly from Colombia at the time) into the city. But the cash didn’t just get laundered through banks; it was used to buy legitimate businesses; condos; houses; investments; and more than likely a lot of corrupt law enforcement, custom and government officials.
Estimated $50 Billion in Illegal Drug Sales From Mexico Can Only Occur With US Corruption
In interviews, Truthout has been told again and again that the chain of distribution for illegal drugs is changing. Whereas before it was divided primarily among Mafia families in big cities, the Latin American cartels have now set up networks within the US.
However, rarely does one come across the arrest and prosecution of a kingpin in the United States, or of a high-level law enforcement official in a major city or a politician being indicted. Does this mean that powerful individuals in the government and law enforcement are all squeaky clean as $50 billion in illegal drugs go whizzing through America, day in and day out? Not likely.
The emphasis of the DEA, FBI and the Department of Homeland Security is on catching the “guppies” without appearing to be working their way up to the people running the wholesale-to-retail illicit drug business in the US or their protectors. (In Latin America, however, the US is all about catching kingpins, although that doesn’t often happen.)
For instance, theÂ El Paso Times reportedÂ last year that “two former law enforcement officers allege that they cannot get anyone to investigate allegations that the Mexican drug cartels have corrupted US law officers and politicians in the El Paso border region…. Gonzales and Dutton allege that the FBI dropped them after ‘big names’ on the US side of the border began to surface in the drug investigations.”
David Ramirez rose up the ranks of the Border Patrol to become a special agent at the Department of Homeland Security. He just wrote a book, “Beneath the Same Sky,” a candid analysis of the borderland drug war. Interviewed byÂ the Texas Tribune, he described US customs corruption matter-of-factly:
I can only tell you my experiences and what I saw. It was the lure of the money and as I write in the book, they offer this inspector $50,000 for what I call a “wave” – a loaded vehicle to come through the port. And they guaranteed them five vehicles a week so you are talking that kind of money, which is tempting. You have to be a man or a woman who knows their moral ground to say, “No. I am not doing it….”
“It’s capitalism, I would think – supply and demand,” Ramirez said further. “The demand for the drug is here and then we say, ‘Okay Mexico or Latin America, fix your problem over there, but we still want our drugs.’”
Different Interests in the US Financially Gain From the War on DrugsÂ
It’s not just that some law enforcement officials are corrupt. They don’t need to be for police departments to make money from arresting minor drug offenders.
Police departments around the nation gain from laws that allow the seizing of assets that the law enforcement officers allege may be related to drug crime, without even a court case involved. The libertarian CATO institute wrote about this practice that allows the agencies to use the proceeds from the confiscated money or property to enlarge departmental budgets. The report is called “Forfeit for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture.”
Law enforcement agencies can also get extra money from federal grants if they show a high number of arrests related to drug use and selling, so it is of financial value to the department to arrest as many people for drug related offenses as possible.
Neill Franklin is executive director ofÂ Law Enforcement Against ProhibitionÂ (LEAP). He calls this change to an emphasis on arrests of the drug user as a “shift to the numbers game” for police departments to receive more funding. Franklin, a 34-year law enforcement veteran of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department, said, “we worked in predominantly white areas, yet most of our cases and lock ups were minorities. There were very few cases in the outlying areas that involved whites.”
Franklin told Truthout:
“Over my career I saw a shift to a war on the users of drugs. In the ’70s when I worked narcotics it was about working your way up the chain of the sellers to the kingpins. That’s how it was. As we got further into the ’80s and ’90s, we attacked the demand side. We concentrated on locking up the usual street corner suspects and before we knew it we had quadrupled the incarceration rate and most of that increase was from us arresting users. A lot of the small time dealers sell drugs because they need to support their habit of selling drugs. The day of the law enforcement concentrating on kingpins has gone. It’s all about increasing the numbers of arrests.”
To Franklin this brings up the question of why privatized prison companies are simultaneously benefiting financially from the increased incarceration, a subject that has been analyzed many times on Truthout. If the Correction Corporation of America needs a 90 percent capacity rate to make a profit on a prison, then you need to put the bodies in the beds. Franklin pointed out that theÂ profiteering doesn’t end with the prison business. There is the drug testing industry, parole officers, prosecutors, police, lawyers, rehabilitation counselors, psychologists etc. Arresting minor drug offenders, in short, is big business.
Race, Drugs, Incarceration and the New Jim Crow
Michelle Alexander, author of the paradigm-shifting book on racism through the criminalization of being a black male, “The New Jim Crow,” recently wrote a commentary inThe Guardian UKÂ in which she persuasively argues that “the US war on drugs created a whole new generation of the dispossessed, with millions of black people denied their rights.”
Alexander wrote of the racist impact of the war on drugs in the black community, particularly among young black males:
The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades – they are currently at historical lows – but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the “war on drugs” and the “get tough movement.” Drug offenses alone accounted for about two-thirds of the increase in the federal inmate population, between 1985 to 2000, and more than half of the increase in the state prison population.
The drug war has been brutal, but those who live in white communities have little clue to the devastation wrought. This war has been waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color, even though studies consistently show that people of all colors use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates. In fact, some studies indicate that white youths are significantly more likely to engage in illegal drug dealing than black youths. They also have about three times the number of drug-related visits to the emergency room as their African American counterparts.
That is not what you would guess, though, when entering our nation’s prisons and jails, overflowing as they are with black and brown drug offenders. In some states, African Americans comprise 80-90% of all drug offenders sent to prison….
Again, not so. President Ronald Reagan officially declared the current drug war in 1982, when drug crime was declining, not rising. From the outset, the war had little to do with drug crime and nearly everything to do with racial politics. The drug war was part of a grand and highly successful Republican party strategy of using racially coded political appeals on issues of crime and welfare to attract poor and working-class white voters who were resentful of, and threatened by, desegregation, busing and affirmative action.
If you follow Alexander’s analysis to its logical conclusion, the war on drugs in the United States fulfills a racist stereotype by disproportionately sending black males (and black women) to jails, where they are branded and marginalized as felons, while white users of illegal drugs – proportionately – are treated much more leniently by law enforcement and the judicial system.
This policy misleadingly confirms stereotypes of blacks that racists love, even though they are put in prison for offenses that are nonviolent in nature and that are driven by poverty, social neglect and incentivized police department arrest numbers.
But it also serves another important purpose. When poor, stereotyped members of society can only find an entrepreneurial future in the illegal drug business, or use drugs as self-medication to allow them to escape the squalidness of vast swathes of urban America that hold little opportunity of employment, the government does not have to attend to building neighborhoods and creating jobs. Drugs become the opiate of the masses, as meth also has in many poor, rural white communities.
As with the 50,000-plus mostly poor Mexicans who have died in the failed war on drugs, certain lives are deemed of less value in the US – and if there is big money to be made out of the drug trade, it’s going to end up in banks and business ventures, not in the hood (with few exceptions). The undesirable resourceless drug users are both profitable and expendable.
US Hegemony and Military Control Over Latin America and the CIA
An established journalist, Gary Webb, wrote a series of articles for the San Jose Mercury-News in 1996 with a shocking account of how the CIA, during the Reagan administration, allowed cocaine to freely be flown into the US (particularly crack cocaine) in return for drug cartel cooperation with funding and arming the Contras against the Sandinistas in the Nicaraguan civil war. At first, the series was a bombshell, but then the CIA fought back through established Eastern newspapers and the Mercury-News retracted the series.
Webb, however, wrote an even more in-depth and credible account of the CIA condoning drugs entering the US in a 1999 book: “Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion.” However, his reputation was so slandered by CIA flacks that he eventually committed suicide in 2004.Â Subsequent reports, after his death, corroborated the credibility of his investigative account.
It is not the only allegation of the US turning a blind eye or even politically using drugs entering the US as foreign policy strategic tools. Right now, the US is more or less ignoring the surge in poppy growth in Afghanistan so as not to complicate its precarious role in that nation – and the economic need of farmers there. President George Herbert Walker Bush, who headed the CIA for a time, didn’t object to Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega’s (he was a highly paid CIA asset) role in the drug trade until Noriega started to go rogue on US foreign policy, thus being perceived as becoming a threat to the Canal Zone.
In “Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist,” Garry M. Leech described how the US focus on attacking the growing of cocaine in the Marxist FARC-controlled area is counterproductive, because the right-wing paramilitary area in Columbia grows more and sells itÂ at a cheaper rate. Translated, this means that the US government is more concerned about the political threat of FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) than how much cocaine ends up in the United States.
The drug war in Latin America offers the opportunity to increase US military hegemony and thus preserve markets where the US can dominate governments and obtain cheap labor and natural resources (particularly mining and oil). It also sews death, fear and chaos that stifle populist revolts against oligarchical and military rule.
Drug Cartels Are Headed by Pirate Businessmen Marketing a Commodity in Demand and the American CorporateÂ Class Loves Supply Side Entrepeneurs
Minus the gruesome violence in their host countries, drug cartels are just illegal businessmen, so the business class in the US can relate to them, as can the CIA. They are aggressive, ruthless and greedy, not unlike some of their bankers on Wall Street.
The cost of a drug war to achieve geopolitical objectives then is immense in the loss of life, the breakdown of civil society in the nations affected in Latin America, and in the moral grounding, racial injustice and credibility of our governmental and business institutions.
Eric E. Sterling, who wrote many of the severe anti-drug laws while serving as former assistant counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, indicated second thoughts in a recentÂ Forbes commentary:
Excluding the significant markets in methamphetamine, Ecstasy, psychedelics and other drugs, this is a criminal retail market in the range of $300 billion annually. Most of the markup is at the retail level. This enormous market is evidence that our efforts to stop the drug supply create the incentives that have grown a global criminal infrastructure of countless drug prohibition enterprises….
All over the world, drug organizations depend upon corrupting border guards, customs inspectors, police, prosecutors, judges, legislators, cabinet ministers, military officers, intelligence agents, financial regulators and presidents and prime ministers. Businesses cannot count on the integrity of government officials in such environments.
And corrupted we have become, while publically taking the moral high ground and precipitating a blood bath in Latin America.
As the media turns up the heat on Obama’s medical marijuana crackdown, one of the excuses he’s giving is that they’re just going after businesses that are violating state laws. In the President’s own words:
The only tension that’s come up â and this gets hyped up a lot â is a murky area where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users,Â but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users.Â [Rolling Stone]
And again from someone at the Dept. of Justice
After Kimmel’s speech, a Holder deputy told HuffPost that there was no coordinated war on medical marijuana, but thatÂ some individual clinics were breaking both state and federal laws.Â [Huffington Post]
To be fair to Obama,Â he specifically said the policy was against those abusing the medical marijuanaÂ law to sell illegally.Â And some blame can be attached to the disorderly way in which medical marijuana laws have been enforced.
This excuse fails on about five different levels. The escalating assault on medical marijuana that’s been ramped up over the past year is far from focused on forcing out bad businesses. If it were that simple, there wouldnât be much to argue about. States could simply clarify their policies where necessary, medical marijuana providers could maintain scrupulous compliance, and only the crooks and bums in the industry would have anything to worry about, right? Wrong.
The truth is that the feds are doing the exact opposite of respecting state laws; they’re trying to destroy them. Federal prosecutors have repeatedlyÂ threatened to arrest state employeesÂ for merely administering their own medical marijuana programs. They did so in a cynical effort to prevent lawmakers in multiple states from creating the sort of tight regulations that would prevent abuse and legitimize the industry.
Obviously, you can’t claim to be merely upholding local laws while simultaneously threatening the very people who make and enforce them. This has been widely reported, and it even resulted inÂ a push-backÂ from the governors of medical marijuana states who’ve become frustrated with the mixed signals they’ve gotten from the Obama Administration. Think about how crazy it is that these states were following Obama’s lead by clarifying their laws, and then the DOJ just comes along and threatens to arrest their staffers. It’s an incredible mess, and it happened because Obama and Holder completely confused absolutely everyone about how this issue would be handled.
Making matters worse, multiple federal agencies have carried out a dizzying array of attacks against medical marijuana from every other conceivable angle:
U.S. Attorneys in CaliforniaÂ recently revivedÂ the Bush era tactic of threatening to seize property from landlords who rent to medical marijuana facilities.
After 9 years of failing to respond, the DEAÂ recently deniedÂ a petition to reschedule marijuana, ignoring a vast body of scientific evidence proving the drug’s medical efficacy.
Federal threats haveÂ caused numerous banksÂ to close the accounts of businesses that provide medical marijuana to qualified patients.
And, of course, the DEAÂ continues to raidÂ tax-paying businesses that are legal under state law.
For Obama to now claim that all they’re doing is targeting illegally operated dispensaries is flagrantly and transparently untrue. ThereÂ really isÂ a far-reaching federal assault on medical marijuana being carried out at the national level. Obama’s refusal to acknowledge or explain it is unacceptable.
IfÂ recent accountsÂ coming from some in the alternative media are to be believed, then Operation Fast & Furious may soon give way to an even bigger story surrounding the U.S./Mexico border. Indeed, even the notorious Mexican drug cartels might find themselves taking a back seat.
This is because claims are now being made suggesting the major presence of Chinese troops stationed inside Mexico, both along the U.S. border and the port areas.
The first question, of course, is whether or not this information is accurate. If it is, the second question immediately becomes, âwhy?â
Unfortunately, however, all the information we have currently comes from anonymous sources who have yet to be verified in terms of their reliability.
The reports currently garnering the most attention are those coming from Steve Quayle of theÂ Q-Files Radio ShowÂ who recently interviewed a cross-border trucker who claims to have actually seen a major Chinese military base inside Mexico.
The trucker claims he was delivering a trailer load of food to a military camp 60 miles south of Laredo, Texas. As he was entering Mexico, he says he was escorted into the country by the Mexican Federal Police to protect the truck from hijackings and robbery.
The camp itself, according to the trucker, was about 2 miles wide and 3 miles long and was staffed by Chinese soldiers complete with armored vehicles and living quarters constructed from refurbished shipping containers. As his truck was being unloaded by the soldiers, he claims he was able to count the armored vehicles parked neatly in rows. According to the trucker, there were 10,000 armored vehicles located in this facility. He also claims that there were water tanks, generators, and communications complexes.
After this report and based upon the information given by the trucker as well as the geographical knowledge available to him through other individuals, Quayle claims he enlisted his own source which he refers to as âCross Border Eyes,â to go to the area which was the most likely location for the Chinese base. This area was determined to be in the triangle between Sabinas Hidalgo, Lampazos de Naranjos, and Arroyo Blanco.
Upon entering the area, âCross Border Eyesâ claims he immediately noticed large numbers of Mexican Federal Police in many different types of vehicles, including some that were painted âthat odd green characteristic of Red Chinese vehicles.â âCross Border Eyesâ then claims that he tried numerous other entrances to the triangular region by other roads, tracks, etc. but, at each location, there were massive levels of Federal Police on patrol. He is quoted as saying, âit was like you stuck a firecracker into a red ant hole and blew it, and you know how all the red ants come up out of the hole . . .â
Quayle also reported on the same day that High Frequency communications were being broadcast on U.S. military frequencies carrying with them âheavily oriental accented operators speaking broken English in direct communications with Conus [Continental United States] Military Comm Stations . . . . . . . . the accent was not Japanese either, but Chinese.â
CULIACAN, Mexico — The drought in northern Mexico is so bad that it has hurt even illicit drug growers and their normally well-tended crops of marijuana and opium poppies, a Mexican army commander said Monday.
One effect of the lack of rains is that drug planting has “declined considerably,” said Gen. Pedro Gurrola, commander of army forces in the state of Sinaloa, the cradle of the drug cartel by the same name.
Gurrola said army surveillance flights have detected fewer plantations than in previous years.
“We can see a lot less than in other years,” Gurrola told reporters. “It depends a lot on conditions. As you can see, everything is dry.”
He said planters were still trying to eke out crops. “They try to adapt. Where there is a stream, a pit, they put pumps and hoses in there and try to produce as much as they can.”
Mexican authorities have been seizing increasing amounts of chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine as well as finding increasingly large and sophisticated meth labs. Authorities seized 675 tons of a key precursor chemical in December alone, an amount that experts say was enough to produce an enormous amount of drugs.
The UN is home to its fair share of diplomatic tussles and international scandals, but this was a very different kind of intrigue: more than 35 pounds of cocaineÂ wound up in the mailroomÂ of the United Nations headquarters in New York, authorities say, sent probably by someone who figured the drug would elude detection because of how it was packaged.
New York Police spokesman Paul Browne said the powder, discovered January 16, was in two white bags meant to look like diplomatic pouches, stamped with a bogus U.N. logo and sent from Mexico City through a DHL shipping center in Cincinnati. But a real U.N. diplomatic pouch is blue, has a lock and features the authentic seal of the organization. By international law, those pouches are not normally inspected or opened.
Workers at the U.N.âs postal receiving center were screening the bag, which had no destination or return address, when the cocaine â which has a street value of $2 million â was found in hollowed-out notebooks. Browne said the bags likely wound up at the actual U.N. building by accident.
âIt is my understanding that because there was no addressee, DHL just thought: âWell, thatâs the UN symbol so we should ship it on to UN headquarters and let them figure out who it was supposed to go to,ââ Browne told reporters.
The video below was recorded on 1/20/2012 in Watsonville, CA. The train carrying what appeared to be over 100 Bradley Fighting Vehicles was traveling southbound and was also transporting what appears to be fuel tankers.
Where are they going and WHY?
One quick note as I watched this video: All of the vehicles being transported are painted the original ‘OD Green’ and not ‘Desert Tan’ like they would be if they in transport to/from the Middle East.
This could very well be the case, however; I believe with the Predictions of 2012 and the ‘End of the World’ only months away,Â there are other motives that could very well be unfolding right before our eyes.
It has become clear now that local PDs are stockpiling some seriously dangerous doodads free of cost as part of a little-known program from the Pentagon. You can thank Uncle Sam, the Department of Defense and your own American tax dollars for the 1033 Program, an initiative that is giving hundreds of millions of bucksâ worth of military hardware from the DoD and putting it in the hands of your favorite neighborhood cop.
As the marathon to legalize marijuana plows forward, a key to winning over many of the leftover prohibitionists might lie within two questions: exactly how significant is the illicit pot trade in the violence south of the border, and what are the long-term implications for Americans as a result of Mexicoâs indefinite narco war? Being a former federal agent who has worked on the border and enforced the U.S.âs drug laws, I know that neither of these can be answered with exact precision, but one can hope that illustrating the obvious willÂ at least get us closer to the finish line.
As for the first question, the vastness of the southern border makes it impossible to determine the absolute value of marijuana to the drug cartels, or Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOâs) for the trendy types. Most smuggled goods breeze by U.S. law enforcement undetected, with authorities most likely snagging just 15 percent of the incoming dope on their best days. This is through no fault of their own though, as the hellish terrain of the southwest makes it impossible for cops and feds to cover adequately. Especially for the fact that the dividing line is nearly 2,000 miles longâand itâs mostly filled with rivers, rocks, mountains, and tunnels. Taking the unknowns of the border into account, along with the biggest factorâbeing that the marijuana industry is completely uncontrolled and off the books when it comes to any sort of regulationâit is clear why itâs unpractical to determine the substanceâs exact profit margins on the bankrolls of Mexican drug trafficking organizations.Â Though that didnât deter a research group last year from conjuring up a magic number at the last minuteâjust in time to help sink a marijuana legalization ballot initiative (more on that in a minute).
Letâs forget the speculation and get to certainties: what is plain as day is the fact that the demand for cannabis sativa is responsible for more deaths in Mexico than anything elseâand after half a decade of unrelenting bloodshedâthe body count just recently surpassed the 50,000 mark. Personally, thatâs a bitter pill to swallow considering 50 percent of Americans now believe marijuana should be outright legalized, according to Gallupâs most recent poll from October 2011.
For over forty years, ganja has been the steadiest and most reliable source of income for Mexican traffickers, and itâs still the primary substance that lures most wannabe sicarios into the drug running game. Most green-horn dope peddlers donât get their start by transporting tons of coke at a time; rather, they have to earn their stripes by moving up the marijuana food chainâand many donât make it past that point in their careers to begin with.
On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else â more important and far-reaching â was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel.
During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo.
The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller’s cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war.
Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now that the year’s “deferred prosecution” has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.
More shocking, and more important, the bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn â a sum equivalent to one-third of Mexico’s gross national product â into dollar accounts from so-called casas de cambio (CDCs) in Mexico, currency exchange houses with which the bank did business.
“Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” said Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor. Yet the total fine was less than 2% of the bank’s $12.3bn profit for 2009. On 24Â March 2010, Wells Fargo stock traded at $30.86 â up 1% on the week of the court settlement.
The conclusion to the case was only the tip of an iceberg, demonstrating the role of the “legal” banking sector in swilling hundreds of billions of dollars â the blood money from the murderous drug trade in Mexico and other places in the world â around their global operations, now bailed out by the taxpayer.
New Approach Washington, the organizers of theÂ I-502Â marijuana legalization and regulation initiative, last week handed in 350,000 voter signatures to try to qualify for the November ballot. They turned in 341,000 on Thursday and another 10,000 on Friday, the last day to hand them in.
The campaign needs 241,153 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. With some 350,000 signatures handed in, the campaign has a considerable cushion to account for duplicate and other invalid signatures, meaning it is likely to qualify for the ballot, but it will take state officials several weeks to make that determination.
If the measure meets the valid signature threshold, it then goes before the state legislature. If the legislature doesn’t approve it, it then goes before the voters in November.
I-502 would allow Washington adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, which would be sold at pot-only stores licensed and regulated by the state Liquor Control Board. Marijuana cultivation for the state stores would also be licensed and regulated by the board. Estimated excise, business, and sales revenues of $215 million a year would be split between the state’s general fund and certain earmarked public health and prevention programs.
I-502 would also create a per se DUID standard of five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, which has become a contentious issue in the state’s marijuana and medical marijuana communities. According to theÂ Associated Press, those divisions were on display Thursday as New Approach Washington members handed in signatures.
The AP reported that about a dozen demonstrators carrying signs reading “Legalize, Don’t Penalize” shouted and chanted as the signatures were turned in. “New Approach, telling lies, we don’t want your DUIs,” the protesters chanted.
The “lies” to which the protestors referred are New Approach Washington’s arguments that including the per se DUID language is a pragmatic measure designed to blunt fears of drugged driving among voters, that Washington already has a drugged driving law, and that the measure is unlikely to result in a wave of DUID arrests of medical marijuana patients due to the “probable cause” requirement that a driver demonstrate signs of impairment before a police officer may order a drug test.
The unhappy patients have organized asÂ Patients Against I-502. The initiative is also drawing opposition from the folks atÂ Sensible Washington, who echo the anti-DUID argument and also argue for a measure that would allow for personal home cultivation and with fewer restrictions overall. Sensible Washington tried unsuccessfully for two years to get its initiative on the ballot and failed for lack of funding. New Approach Washington, on the other hand, has managed to garner the support and raise the funds necessary to gather the necessary signatures.
It looks like marijuana legalization is going to be on the ballot in Washington this year. It also looks like Washington won’t be alone; a Colorado legalization initiative is well-advanced in its signature gathering phase and appears set to make the ballot when signatures are turned in a few weeks from now. But competing legalization initiatives in California and Oregon don’t appear nearly as well positioned to break through the signature ceiling, although that could change if some funding angel appears.
Last week, a U.S. special operations team was seen crossing the border from Brownsville, Texas into Matamoros, Mexico. Eyewitness reports mention that the U.S. convoy consisted of two or perhaps three SUVâs with what appeared to be armed military personnel onboard.
The Mexican military waited on the Matamoros side of the border, and once the U.S. team crossed into Mexico, they escorted them to a nearby military base. The Mexican military and the local police in Matamoros apparently established a route to escort the Americans because traffic cops were placed ahead of time in order to quickly get the convoy through Avenida Sexta (Sixth Avenue).
A helicopter followed the convoy from the U.S. side of the border until it reached the Mexican military base. A video showing the convoy in Matamoros was broadcasted by Univision.
When asked by the Mexican media, Brigadier General Gonzales Cruz, Commander of the 8th Military Regiment in Northern Mexico, declined to comment about the incident. The Mayor of Matamoros, Alfonso Sanchez, said that the men were not military personnel but U.S. Federal Agents. However, the local press maintained that the men were military members.
Both in Matamoros and in the nearby city of Reynosa, there have been numerous reports of people seeing âplain clothesâ military personnel gathering in key strategic areas. These groups of about 12 to 18 men carrying M4 automatic rifles have been seen meeting in public, using military courtesies such as hand salutes.
He may be the GOP front runner and be considered by some to be a proponent of individual liberty and Constitutional rule of law, but opponents argue that Gingrich may have taken the marijuana debate a little too far by pushing for the death penalty as a punishment for those found guilty of drug trafficking. Millions of Americans smoke marijuana for personal and therapeutic use, and some states have recognized and legalized its benefits in medicine:
Over the weekend, struggling Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson reminded MSNBC viewers that GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich had once to called to punish some drug offenders with death.
âNewt Gingrich, in 1997, proposed the death penalty for marijuana â for possession of marijuana above a certain quantity of marijuana,â Johnson explained. âAnd yet, he is among 100 million Americans whoâve smoked marijuana.â
âI would love to have a discussion with him on the fact that he smoked pot, and under the wrong set of circumstance he proposed the death penalty for, potentially, something that he had committed. I have troubles with that,â he added.
In 1981, Gingrich introduced a bill to theÂ HouseÂ floor that soughtÂ âto provide for the therapeutic use of marihuana in situations involving life-threatening or sense-threatening illnesses and to provide adequate supplies of marihuana for such use.â
September 16, 1981, H.R.4498, 97th Congress, 2D Session
Gingrich would explain his shift in position in an interview with journalist Hilary Stout in 1996. âSee, when I smoked pot it was illegal, but not immoral. Now, it is illegal AND immoral. The law didn’t change, only the moralityâŠ That’s why you get to go to jail and I don’t.â
August 8, 1996,Â Wall StreetÂ Journal
He went on to introduce H.R. 4170 (Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996) to theÂ HouseÂ of Representatives, which sought toÂ âprovide a sentence of death for certain importations of significant quantities of controlled substancesâ.Â Section 2: Increased Penalties For International Drug Trafficking
At the same time federal agencies were involved in the transport and distribution of “assault rifles” to Mexican drug cartels under project code name Fast and Furious, the U.S. Department of Justice was actively overseeing and involved in the execution of money laundering and cash smuggling operationsÂ totaling millions of dollars in drug proceeds.
Anti-narcotics agents working for the US government have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds to see how the system works and use the information against Mexican drug cartels, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Citing unnamed current and former federal law enforcement officials, the newspaper said the agents, primarily with the Drug Enforcement Administration, have handled shipments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal cash across borders.
According to these officials, the operations were aimed at identifying how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets and, most important, who their leaders are, the report said.
The agents had deposited the proceeds in accounts designated by traffickers, or in shell accounts set up by agents, the paper noted.
While the DEA conducted such operations in other countries, it began doing so in Mexico only in the past few years, The Times said.
As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests, the report said.
Two governors of medical marijuana states, Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) Wednesday called on the federal government to reschedule marijuana. In a joint 106-page petition to DEA head Michele Leonhart, they said marijuana needs to be classified as a drug with accepted medical uses so that states that have passed medical marijuana laws can regulate its distribution without fear of federal prosecution. They seem to want to get the word out too — at the time of this writing, both governors’ home pages link to press releases about the petition.
The two governors speak from personal experience. Chafee brought his state’s plan to open distribution centers to a screeching halt in September, citing fears the state-regulated dispensaries would become the targets of federal enforcement actions. And this spring, Gregoire vetoed key portions of a bill that would have set up a regulated dispensary system in Washington for similar reasons.
The governors asked the DEA to move marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which is reserved for drugs with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, to Schedule II, which includes drugs with a high potential for abuse, but with accepted medical uses. If moved to Schedule II, marijuana would be grouped with opioid pain relievers such as morphine, Dilaudid, and Fentanyl; prescription amphetamines and methamphetamines, such as Dexedrine and Desoxyn; barbiturates, and cocaine.
Moving marijuana to Schedule II would allow it to be prescribed by doctors (medical marijuana states currently have laws specifying a doctor’s recommendation — not a prescription — to get around DEA threats to doctors who would prescribe medical marijuana) and stocked in pharmacies, as well as sold in dispensaries, as it currently is.