Archive for November, 2012

11 January, 2012

Marijuana plants are burned during an anti-drug operation in Guatemala (AFP Photo / Getty Images)

Marijuana plants are burned during an anti-drug operation in Guatemala (AFP Photo / Getty Images)

The Mexican Drug War has so far yielded around 50,000 deaths and has become one of the biggest problems poised on North America during the last century.

It might be a tremendous tally of lost lives, but just as impressive though is the amount of money that the US has invested in the war. Since attempting to cooperate in the battle against dangerous cartels in the south, the United States has moved millions of dollars of narcotics and profits around the world in a money laundering scheme meant to infiltrate the seedy underbelly of Mexico’s drug trade.

What America did, instead, was consequentially fund a deadly campaign that has left a bodycount built with the massacre of thousands of journalists, officers, agents and civilians.

Recent reports obtained by the New York Times reveals that American drug enforcement agents posed as money launderers in an elaborate scheme that was meant to install men within the ranks of the cartels and take them down from the inside. The documents suggest that American agents worked hand-in-hand with Mexican law enforcement officials and a Colombian informant working undercover in 2007 to try to get to the inside. Doing so, they participated in massive felonies, moving millions worth of contraband and cash all over the world.

According to the documents made possible through an extradition order by the Mexican Foreign Ministry, US efforts in conjunction with Mexican and Columbia contacts included a plethora of wire transfers of tens of thousands of dollars at a time and the illegal smuggling of millions of dollars in cold, hard cash. The Times reports that there was also at least one in-depth international incident that led to American agents accompanying a massive coke shipment from Ecuador, into Dallas, Texas and then Madrid,

Five years down the road, however, the Mexican drug war has been incredibly disastrous and all too deadly. While the number of drug war-related deaths in 2007 peaked short of 3,000, that statistic only worsened for the next several years, with 2011 showing the only significant decrease in casualties since then.

Even still, an estimated 12,000 people were killed during the war in 2011 alone.
By 2006, the Mexican drug cartels had already infiltrated American soil, operating out of an estimated 100 US cities. In 2007, the DEA-led initiative attempted to curb that distribution, but two years later the US Department of Justice upgraded the scope of the drug cartels’ presence in the US to 200 diverse markets. Between 2006 and 2007, assaults against Border Patrol agents on the US/Mexican boundary rose by 46 percent, with attacks on US authorities leaving at least two dead on US soil in the two years that followed.

While the DEA was conducting their attempted sting, agents were forced to improvise their moves in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. While one official close to the matter talking on condition of anonymity tells the Times that such stings involve an “enormously complicated undertaking when it involves money laundering, wires, everything,” others add that the massive campaigns that seem to have failed massively required a strategy that left agents scrambling by the seat of their pants.
“The same rules required domestically do not apply when agencies are operating overseas,” Morris Panner of the Center for International Criminal Justice at Harvard tells the Times, “so the agencies can be forced to make up the rules as they go along.”

Panner acknowledges the dangers created by working in such grey territory, adding that “If it’s not careful, the United States could end up helping the bad guys more than hurting them.”

Only less than five years after the operation has ended, America is just seeing by way of the document leak that their attempted investigation might have really been detrimental to their efforts.

In a file picture dated 05 February 2005, members of the US-based Blackwater private security firm scan Baghdad city centre from their helicopter (AFP Photo / Marwan Naamani)

In a file picture dated 05 February 2005, members of the US-based Blackwater private security firm scan Baghdad city centre from their helicopter (AFP Photo / Marwan Naamani)

19 January, 2012

For skeptics of how the American government has conducted its so-called War on Drugs, don’t worry, it will soon be out of their hands.

The US Department of Defense has transferred its armed efforts in Latin and Central America in the War on Drugs to Academi, the private military contractors formerly known as Blackwater, reports BBC Spanish. Before they altered their branding to be known as Xe, then most recently Academi, Blackwater underwent immense criticism for a series of scandals involving contract employees executing civilians throughout the Middle East.

That same company that trained contractors to mercilessly slay helpless Iraqis will now be ushering military contractors south of the border to help combat the War on Drugs there, the outlet reports. With the Constitution only legally allowing the Pentagon to get away with so much, the BBC reports that the transition of control to private contractors will allow them to get away with what “US military forces are not allowed or not encouraged to do.”

The company previously known as Blackwater is just one of several private contractors that have been awarded contracts out of the Department of Defense, reports BBC, and their specific deal will award them several million dollars towards “providing advice, training and conducting operations in drug producing countries and those with links to so-called ‘narco-terrorism’ including Latin America.”

What’s more, it is reported, that those contracts were no-bid agreements authorized by the Pentagon. Under such deals, the DoD forks over federal funds to private companies without ever seeking better offers from competitors.

As long ago as 2007, the Pentagon was considering billions of dollars worth of contracts to private contractor aid in the War on Drugs, but the BBC reports that the latest deal will actually aid in the “transfer” of control out of Washington and instead put the actions of enforcing drug production and trafficking in the hands of civilians, not servicemen bound by certain rules and regulations.
Additionally, the transition will allow the government to usher billions into the War on Drugs, but to the public it will appear as if the effort is, on the periphery, nothing more than another DoD contract. Opposition has long existed to the lengthy War on Drugs, and by continuing the efforts in Central and South America without relying on further Pentagon expenditures, less money will appear to be focused on ongoing operations.

“They surreptitiously want to reduce anti-drug budget by transferring it to private agencies,” Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs tells the BBC. “The drug war is unpopular and has no political weight except in an election year like this, so the Department of Defense wants to remove that spending from their accounts.”

Bruce Bagley, head of International Studies at the University of Miami, tells BBC that the move will appear to cut out “the high political cost” of continuing the War on Drugs directly out of the Pentagon, but could create a massive backlash of the citizens of the countries in question become aware that private mercenaries are being installed to conduct armed operations.

The move is expected to send contractors into Mexico, Colombia and Caribbean and other locales to the south of the United States.

29 November 2012

The sons of a CIA scientist who unwittingly took LSD and fell to his death in 1953 have sued the government, saying the CIA killed their father.

Eric and Nils Olson claim their father, Frank Olson, was pushed out of a 13th-floor hotel window, days after he was given LSD in a mind-control experiment.

They claim the bio-weapons expert had doubts after seeing interrogations with biological tools he had helped develop.

The intelligence agency has always maintained Olson jumped to his death.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Washington DC on Wednesday.

Extreme interrogation

The Olson family received a compensation package from the government during reforms of the intelligence agency in the 1970s, after the CIA acknowledged that Olson had been given LSD nine days before his death.

The agency said at the time that Olson died after leaping from a Manhattan hotel window, but his family believes he was killed by the CIA to keep secret information about disturbing operations he had uncovered.

In 1953 Olson travelled to Europe and saw biological and chemical weapons research facilities there.

The lawsuit alleges that Olson witnessed extreme interrogations there, some resulting in deaths, in which the CIA had used biological agents he helped develop.

Olson had been a bioweapons expert based at a military biological weapons research centre in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Judicial Watch lawsuit reveals evidence Bush, Obama operated shady deals with terrorists

Documents obtained by accountability group Judicial Watch have confirmed that US-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, said to be the former leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was arrested and held in Yemen at the behest of the U.S. Embassy before being released again.

The documents also reveal that the terrorist chief, who previously dined with top brass at the Pentagon, was officially invited to the US embassy in Yemen on March 24, 2011, just six months before his supposed assassination by US drone strike.

Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. State Department for materials pertaining to al-Awlaqi’s activities and his death in Yemen last year.

On its website, the watchdog group notes that the heavily redacted documents it obtained include two “Privacy Act Release Forms” issued by the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. Both documents were signed by al-Awlaqi. One was dated November 14, 2006, and the other July 2, 2007. Judicial watch notes that this confirms the al qaeda terrorist was under official detention for a period of at least eight months.

The documents corroborate reports that suggested al-Awlaqi had indeed been arrested around that time in connection with an al-Qaeda plot to kidnap a U.S. government official. However, press at the time indicated he had been arrested in August 2006 and released in December 2007, without facing trial following lobbying by senior members of his tribe.

The newly uncovered documents do not indicate how long al-Awlaqi was detained or why he was released. According to previous reports, he was interviewed around September 2007 by two FBI agents with regard to the 9/11 attacks and other subjects.

Regarding the invitation to the US embassy in Yemen in March 2011, the new documents reveal that the embassy was asked, by the State Department to issue a communication to al-Awlaqi, requesting him to “appear in person” to pick up an important letter. In reality, the letter was a revocation of his US passport. However, the embassy was ordered not to relay this information until al-Awlaqi arrived.

“The Department?s [sic] action is based upon a determination by the Secretary that Mr. al-Aulaqi [sic] activities abroad are causing and/or likely to cause serious damage to the national security or the foreign policy of the United States.” the documents state.

Speaking on Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the embassy did indeed reach out to al-Awlaqi, but that he did not reply to the invitation, and did not appear in person at any point.

Politico posits that the attempt to invite al-Awlaqi to the embassy could have been part of an effort to provide some form of due process to U.S. citizens targeted for the use of deadly force.

Nuland said that officials planned to offer al-Awlaqi a “one-way passport back to the United States” to face undefined criminal charges, and refused to say whether the cleric would have been killed on sight, when asked by an AP reporter.

“I’m not going to entertain the notion that we would be calling him to the embassy for that purpose,”

The new documents also confirm another previously reported incident involving al-Awlaqi in October 2002 when he was detained at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on a warrant for passport fraud, a felony that can be punished with up to 10 years in jail.

The documents state that the FBI ordered al-Awlaqi’s release, even though the arrest warrant was still active at the time of his detention. al-Awlaqi flew to Washington, DC and eventually returned to Yemen. When previously reported earlier this year, this information led many, including former FBI agents, to suggest that the FBI was either tracking the cleric for intelligence or was actively working with him.

“These documents provide further evidence that the federal government, under both the Bush and Obama administrations, has been operating a ‘catch and release’ program for terrorists,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton commented on the newly released materials.

“The idea of inviting al-Awlaqi – a known terrorist – to our embassy in Yemen in order to revoke his passport is beyond belief.” Fitton added.

Certainly these revelations will add to the already voluminous evidence that the US cleric was operating as an intelligence asset.

At the time he was invited to the embassy, al-Awlaqi had been officially linked with almost every major contrived terror plot, from directing the underwear bomber – who was allowed to board the plane by order of the US State Department aided by a well-dressed man who got Abdulmutallab on the airliner despite the fact that he was on a terror watchlist and had no passport – to advising Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Authorities have engaged in a cover-up of what happened at Fort Hood after they ordered Private Lance Aviles to delete cell phone footage of the attack.

Awlaqi’s alleged role in the Toronto and Fort Dix, New Jersey, terror plots, also raises questions, given that both were later revealed as contrived by the FBI.

Lawyers in a case relating to the much vaunted 2007 terror plot to attack Fort Dix and kill “as many soldiers as possible” concluded that FBI informants were the key figures behind the operation and that the accused, six foreign-born Muslims, were merely bungling patsies.

Similarly, the “Toronto 18″ terrorists turned out to be “a bunch of incompetent guys who were primarily misled by a delusional megalomaniac”. The explosive fertilizer material the terrorist cell apparently planned to use was in fact purchased by an informant working for the RCMP who had radicalized the group.

Awlaqi was also said to be the spiritual leader of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, a fact that didn’t seem to concern Pentagon top brass who invited him to dine with them just months after the September 11 attacks despite the fact that he had personally colluded with the very hijackers who were alleged to have slammed Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

The US Special Operations Command’s Able Danger program identified the hijackers and their accomplices long before 9/11, and would undoubtedly have also picked up Awlaqi.

It is inconceivable that top Department of Defense officials were unaware that Al-Awlaqi was interviewed at least four times by the FBI in the first eight days after the Sept. 11 attacks because of his ties to the three hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour.

Nevertheless, not only did he dine with the military’s finest, he was given a glowing report by the Defense Department for his role as the featured guest speaker on “Islam and Middle Eastern Politics and Culture.”

These revelations were unveiled in internal Department of Defense emails obtained under the freedom of information act.

Al-Awlaqi’s videos were routinely released by the IntelCenter, which as we have documented is nothing more than a Pentagon front group that has been caught red-handed releasing fake Al-Qaeda videos to bolster support for the geopolitical agenda of the US government.

Researcher Webster Tarpley has documented, Awlaqi is “an intelligence agency operative and patsy-minder” and “one of the premier terror impresarios of the age operating under Islamic fundamentalist cover” whose job it is to “motivate and encourage groups of mentally impaired and suggestible young dupes who were entrapped into “terrorist plots” by busy FBI and Canadian RCMP agents during recent years.”

In March of 2012, Lt.Col. Anthony Shaffer, who worked on the Able Danger program, told Alex Jones that al-Awlaqi worked as a triple agent and an FBI asset well before 9/11.

November 29, 2012

A recent Discovery Channel documentary proved that individuals can be mind controlled into carrying out murder, proving the so-called “conspiracy theory” that it is possible to create brainwashed assassins.

The documentary, part of the Discovery Channel’s Curiosity series, is particularly relevant given the recent claim by an alleged inmate of ‘Batman’ shooter James Holmes who contends that Holmes told him he was “programmed” to carry out the Aurora theater massacre by an “evil” psychotherapist.

Entitled Brainwashed, the experiment was overseen by Harvard University’s Dr. Cynthia Meyersburg and Oxford University’s Dr. Mark Stokes. Certified hypnotherapist Tom Silver was called upon to hypnotize dozens of subjects to test the depth of their hypnotic state and how suggestible they were.

After a series of tests, the sample size was eventually whittled down to four participants, all of whom were hypnotized to withstand near freezing temperatures in an ice bath. Only one of the subjects was able to stay in the ice bath for longer than 18 seconds, and he was chosen as the final participant to be brainwashed into carrying out an “assassination” he was hypnotized into believing was real.

36-year-old corrections officer ‘Ivan’ was told that he was no longer needed on the show and was free to leave. However, during an exit interview, Tom Silver hypnotized Ivan and ordered him to assassinate a foreign dignitary outside a hotel. Ivan was then given a fake gun that had the same blast and recoil of a real firearm.

As Ivan was in the hotel lobby preparing to leave, he was given a trigger signal that the hypnotist had created earlier as a command to carry out the assassination.

As the Discovery Channel website for the show explains, “The experiment was a success, and Ivan carried out his instructions: removing the gun from a red backpack, waiting near the velvet rope line and “assassinating” his target.”

The documentary therefore clearly illustrated that individuals can be brainwashed into carrying out an assassination using hypnosis and other mind control techniques.

A similar documentary was also aired on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom last year. Entitled The Assassin, the show revolved around British illusionist Derren Brown’s attempt to turn an ordinary member of the public into a mind controlled assassin via hypnotism and neuro-linguistic programming, and have that person “assassinate” a celebrity in public while retaining no knowledge of the act afterwards.

The man chosen by Brown was successfully mind-controlled to “shoot” actor Stephen Fry in front of a live audience and was later subjected to a polygraph test which revealed he had no memory of the incident. Despite the fact that the show set out to debunk “conspiracy theories” surrounding the notion that Sirhan Sirhan was a mind-controlled assassin, it actually ended up bolstering their veracity.

In a similar vein to Sirhan Sirhan, who many now consider to be a patsy in the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the individual involved in the Channel 4 show later recalled that he felt like he was in a “shooting range” while he was carrying out the assassination. ‘Batman’ killer James Holmes similarly described how he felt like he was in a “video game” during the Aurora massacre, according to Stephen Unruh, the inmate who claims he talked with Holmes.

Holmes allegedly told Unruh that the programming was only broken when he returned to his car after the massacre was over. Media reports later emerged confirming that Holmes had no memory of the actual massacre.

Holmes’ behavior in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, including his claim that he couldn’t remember what happened, is identical to that displayed by Sirhan Sirhan as well as the mind-controlled assassins created in the two recent television documentaries.

The fact that Holmes was involved in mind control is not up for debate. During his time at Salk Institute of Biological Studies, Holmes designed a computer program to alter mental states using flicker rates. Suspicion has also surrounded a package which included a notebook full of violent details that Holmes sent to his his psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, who was disciplined in 2004 for prescribing herself and others psychotropic drugs.

Fenton, who formerly worked with the U.S. Air Force, was treating Holmes via “medication and psychotherapy” at the The University of Colorado before the Aurora massacre. However, the judge in Holmes’ trial ordered defense attorneys to black out this information. CBS News reported that Holmes had been seeing at least three mental health professionals at the University of Colorado prior to the massacre.

The question of whether or not James Holmes was brainwashed or manipulated through hypnosis into carrying out the Aurora massacre remains unknown. However, his behavior both during and after the ‘Batman’ shooting is identical to Sirhan Sirhan as well as the two individuals who were mind-controlled into becoming “assassins” as part of the two television documentaries.

What can be confirmed is the fact that numerous experiments have proven that it is possible to create a mind-controlled assassin, which is precisely what the CIA did across three decades from the 50′s to the 70′s under a program called MKUltra according to the sworn testimony of direct participants given at the 1975 Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations. That testimony went largely unsubstantiated but only because CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed two years previously.

New and troubling motive for Team Obama’s illegal gunrunning scheme

August 11, 2011

Why did the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) let criminals buy firearms, smuggle them across the Mexican border and deliver them into the hands of vicious drug cartels? The ATF claims it launched its now-disgraced Operation Fast and Furious in 2009 to catch the “big fish.” Fast and Furious was designed to stem the “Iron River” flowing from American gun stores into the cartels’ arsenals. The bureau says it allowed gun smuggling so it could track the firearms and arrest the cartel members downstream. Not true.

During the course of Operation Fast and Furious, about 2,000 weapons moved from U.S. gun stores to Mexican drug cartels – exactly as intended.

In congressional testimony, William Newell, former ATF special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Division, testified that the Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were “full partners” in Operation Fast and Furious. Mr. Newell’s list left out the most important player: the CIA. According to a CIA insider, the agency had a strong hand in creating, orchestrating and exploiting Operation Fast and Furious.

The CIA’s motive is clear enough: The U.S. government is afraid the Los Zetas drug cartel will mount a successful coup d’etat against the government of Felipe Calderon.

Founded by ex-Mexican special forces, the Zetas already control huge swaths of Mexican territory. They have the organization, arms and money needed to take over the entire country.

Former CIA pilot Robert Plumlee and former CIA operative and DEA Director Phil Jordan recently said the brutally efficient Mexican drug cartel has stockpiled thousands of weapons to disrupt and influence Mexico’s national elections in 2012. There’s a very real chance the Zetas cartel could subvert the political process completely, as it has throughout the regions it controls.

In an effort to prevent a Los Zetas takeover, Uncle Sam has gotten into bed with the rival Sinaloa cartel, which has close ties to the Mexican military. Recent court filings by former Sinaloa cartel member Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, currently in U.S. custody, reveal that the United States allowed the Sinaloas to fly a 747 cargo plane packed with cocaine into American airspace – unmolested.

The CIA made sure the trade wasn’t one-way. It persuaded the ATF to create Operation Fast and Furious – a “no strings attached” variation of the agency’s previous firearms sting. By design, the ATF operation armed the Mexican government’s preferred cartel on the street level near the American border, where the Zetas are most active.

Operation Fast and Furious may not have been the only way the CIA helped put lethal weapons into the hands of the Sinaloa cartel and its allies, but it certainly was an effective strategy. If drug thugs hadn’t murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry with an ATF- provided weapon, who knows how many thousands more guns would have crossed the U.S. border?

To be sure, Operation Fast and Furious suited the ATF’s needs. It was all too willing to let guns walk to increase its power, prestige and budget in Washington. It actively recruited so-called straw purchasers and happily used American gun dealers as pawns. And it was only one agency in a mosaic of federal agencies helping the CIA actualize its covert plans.

The fact that Operation Fast and Furious was part of the CIA’s black-bag job in Mexico does not excuse the ATF for violating the very federal laws it was created to enforce; for contributing to the deaths of hundreds of innocent citizens, including a Border Patrol agent trying to live up to his oath; or for being unrepentant, uncooperative and unresponsive to the wishes of the American people for honesty, integrity and loyalty to the U.S. Constitution.

Nor should the FBI get a free pass for subverting the criminal-background-check system designed to prevent illegal firearms purchases. The Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department – all major players in the CIA’s grand schemes – should not escape scrutiny, either. In fact, we should not shrug off the activities of any of our federal agencies that broke the law on the Sinaloa’s – and thus the Mexican government’s – behalf.

The Obama administration clearly thinks the entire federal government should help keep the profoundly corrupt Calderon government in power – no matter what. If that means sending lawyers, guns and money to unconscionable criminals, so be it. In this, Obama officials are wrong.

By choosing sides in a brutal war between opposing criminal syndicates rather than sealing our southern border, the Obama administration is fueling brutality and carnage and killing any hope of Mexican democracy. All that aside, either we are a nation of laws or we are not. If we live by our principles, Congress must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the people in the Obama administration who enabled this reckless gun scheme.

November 25, 2012 ― The media can’t get enough of the “investigation” into what the Obama administration knew about what was happening in Benghazi and when they knew it. Obama survived the initial furor and got reelected, but the controversy rages on.

What is the real question here? Judging from media coverage and the Congressional investigation, we might assume that the only matter to be resolved is whether the Obama administration knew that a coordinated terrorist attack was underway, rather than a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim film. According to this narrative, Obama could have been more proactive in responding to the attack and sent in military assistance to try to save Stevens and his associates.

None of this would seem to be the stuff of a major scandal. The Obama administration may or may not have handled the situation properly. If they didn’t and tried to cover up their incompetence, it would hardly be a new Watergate. The intensity of the controversy doesn’t jibe with its supposed cause.

Or is there another reason for a cover-up by the White House? Was Chris Stevens a CIA agent?

As far back as October 25, Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano asked this question and he was not alone. He cited his colleague Justin Fishel’s report on the same subject. According to Fishel:

“In reality, CIA agents and other intelligence officials were operating out of Benghazi conducting delicate missions, including the search for over 20,000 deadly shoulder-fired missiles previously owned by Muammar Qaddafi’s Libyan forces … Both the CIA outpost and the consulate were attacked on Sept. 11. Two of the men killed, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were hit by indirect fire while defending the intelligence post, not the consulate.”

If the September 11 attack targeted a CIA base actively conducting covert operations within Libya, it renders the whole question of whether the attack was a reaction to the infamous video or a coordinated terrorist attack moot. Under those circumstances, it would be neither. It might more accurately be described as a “counterinsurgency operation” carried out by forces opposed to the new U.S.-installed Libyan government. Perhaps they were aligned with the ousted Qaddafi government. Perhaps they were al Qaeda who were happy to accept U.S. assistance in getting rid of Qaddafi and are now happy to turn on the U.S. That would be a familiar story.

Regardless, Stevens’ death might have been collateral damage in an attack against a known (in Libya) CIA covert operation. Or Stevens might have been a CIA operative himself who was not only participating in the post-revolution operations in 2012 but had actively participated in the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime. According to Napolitano, this theory might fit the facts better than any offered so far.

“Now we can connect some dots. If Stevens was a CIA agent, he was in violation of international law by acting as the U.S. ambassador. And if he and his colleagues were intelligence officials, they are not typically protected by Marines, because they ought to have been able to take care of themselves.”

If Stevens was a CIA agent actively involved in covert operations, it would be a major international scandal. It would call into question not only the Obama administration, but all of the U.S. government’s activities during its decade-long “war on terror.”

So why have neither the media nor the Congressional committee even asked the question?

Fishel confirms that the House oversight committee investigating the incident has been instructed not to investigate certain aspects of the Benghazi operation.

That means that no one is even trying to get at the truth. The Congressional investigation and the media frenzy amount to little more than a distraction for the American public, which seems to have taken the bait hook, line and sinker. They join the two major parties in fiercely debating a non-issue while ignoring the crucial questions asked by a few actual journalists.

Was Chris Stevens a CIA agent? Was the attack on Benghazi a terrorist attack or a counterattack against a covert military operation? Are there other U.S. diplomats actively participating in covert operations while posing as ambassadors of peace to foreign governments? Has the U.S. government become as immoral as the terrorists it purports to be fighting? What else do we not know about its international activities?

The silence is deafening.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In an article about France urging Syrian rebels to form a provisional government, the New York Times scrubbed a passage which revealed that the CIA was helping funnel arms to rebel groups that have aligned themselves with Al-Qaeda terrorists.

Version three of the story, posted at 19:45:05 UTC yesterday and entitled France Says It Would Recognize Provisional Syrian Government, included the line, ” American intelligence agents have helped funnel arms to rebel groups.”

However, fifteen minutes later the revelation that the CIA was arming the rebels was removed and replaced with the words, “American intelligence agents have helped to identify the rebel groups that receive arms.”

Copies of the two different versions of the article can be viewed here.

This change of wording, albeit subtle, serves to absolve the CIA of directly arming rebels, who are admittedly being led by Al-Qaeda terrorists as the London Guardian reported last month.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed a secret order authorizing the CIA to aid Syrian rebels in attempting to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad. However, the order stopped short of allowing the CIA to provide lethal weapons.

Despite public claims on behalf of the White House that no weapons are being sent to the rebels, reports that the CIA has been doing precisely that have been circulating for months, including a recent story about CIA spies smuggling 14 stinger missiles into Syria so rebels could defend themselves with ground to air technology.

The New York Times admitted in a June 21 report that the CIA was “steering” arms to Syrian rebels from the Turkish border, but claimed the weapons were paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The New York Times’ decision to alter the wording of the article is another example of how NATO-aligned media outlets are concerned about overemphasizing western support for the rebels given their involvement in terrorist attacks and other acts of brutality.

Last week, the BBC removed a video clip which documented how FSA rebels were committing war crimes by using prisoners as unwitting suicide bombers.

In a related development, hackers infiltrated Amnesty International’s website last night and used the NGO’s blog platform to post stories about the plight of protesters in Bahrain, Kurds in Turkey, as well as an article entitled Amnesty Calls on UN to stop the US, Qatar and Turkey funding and arming Syria Rebels.

The Associated Press dismissed the article as a “fake blog post” and refused to divulge its content. Yet the story, a cached copy of which can be read here, cited confirmed reports that Syrian rebels are engaging in war crimes, as well as FSA fighters being responsible for the Houla massacre, which was initially blamed on Assad’s forces.

Posted on November 19th, 2012

For more than a year the CIA has been trafficking 300 kilos of cocaine a month from Ecuador to Chile for export on to Europe, according to recent credible media reports from Santiago, the Chilean capital.

Proceeds from the 300 kilo-a-month business have been used to create a war-chest to finance a Cocaine Coup in Ecuador that was scheduled to be “green-lighted” after the expected win in the just-concluded U.S. Presidential election—expected, at least, by some Agency officials—of Mitt Romney.

It’s a CIA “Ay, there’s the rub” moment.


He’s a leftist. Isn’t that enough?

The machinations were part of a plan to topple current Ecuador President Rafael Correa, who is unpopular in Washington.

An unexpected side effect of the revelation of the plan, which has received little publicity, has been to focus an observer’s attention on what’s going on in the drug trade in Ecuador lately. The country’s history in the drug business, almost as rich as Switzerland’s with banks, goes back a long way.

When it comes to efficiently moving drugs, this is far from Ecuador’s first rodeo, and the drug network there is one of long-standing, (Wikileaks PDF).

So too is its relationship with both the the CIA and DEA.

For example, when famous CIA drug pilot Barry Seal was first caught smuggling cocaine way back in 1979, he picked up his huge load of cocaine—it was 45 kilos; those were more innocent times—in Guayaquil, one of Ecuador’s three major seaports.

The Americans recently convicted of laundering money for the Ecuador-based network are no parvenus, either. One is a prominent Louisiana attorney; the other an aviation broker in Oklahoma.  And both took direction from a drug pilot with his own long pedigree in the drug trade.

Jorge Arévalo Kessler has been flying drugs out of Ecuador since 1989, he states in an affadavit at his trial.  He is the nephew of a long-time Mexican Secretary of Defense, and was the personal pilot of disgraced former Mexican President Carlos Salinas.

His American connections are visible too. When finally arrested, Arévalo Kessler was flying a former U.S. military plane that was part of the 1990’s Forest Service scandal,  involving planes intended for firefighting diverted into CIA covert drug running operations, the most spectacular result being the C-130 busted on a runway at Mexico City’s Intl Airport carrying cocaine worth $1 billion.

Or maybe the most spectacular result was this: 14 firefighters burned to death in an out-of-control forest fire in Colorado in August of 1994. No planes were available to help. They’d all been leased out on more lucrative assignments.

Why no “Drug Money Times?”

News in the drug trade is almost always surprising, and there’s a good reason why: Imagine the world’s huge automobile industry without “Auto Week.”

Or the even more massive weapons business—the death trade—without “Jane’s Defense Weekly.”

Why drug traffickers don’t have a slick weekly magazine reporting on current events—whose head is still screwed on straight, whose not so much anymoreis a question better left unasked by those with no relish for being tagged  “conspiracy theorists.”

Because there is no trade publication chronicling the drug business—by any measure one of the world’s largest industry—current events come as a surprise.

Example: the current kerfuffle concerning Ecuador led to a belated discovery:

The same drug trafficking network active in Ecuador was also behind the doomed flights of two American planes from St. Petersburg Fl. seized in Mexico carrying almost 10 tons of cocaine. Evidence can be seen in Kessler’s indictment, whose ‘headliner’ is Alejandro Flores-Cacho. Both men worked for Colombian Pedro Antonio Bermudez Suaza, “The Architect, now called the mastermind behind the St Petersburg flights by no less an authority than the DEA.

Bermudez Suaza is one of the world’s richest and most sophisticated drug lords, worth perhaps a half-billion dollars. In law enforcement recordings he can be heard talking with the frantic pilot in the cockpit of the second of the two American planes busted in the Yucatan,  a Gulfstream II (N987SA) which went down in the jungles of the Yucatan.

Tracing the provenance of the two planes led the Mexican Atty. General’s office to where the money was being laundered; the startling discovery that $378 billion in drug money had been laundered through Wachovia Bank in Charlotte, NC…in just six years.

It was a  “faux pas” from which Wachovia never recovered, and the cause of the bank’s demise in a forced sale to Wells Fargo.

Nepotism, bane of the drug trade

One of the Americans convicted of laundering money and buying planes for the Ecuadorian drug network is prominent Louisiana attorney Hugh Sibley. A glance through his court case shows his trial produced more uestions than answers, and enough sealed documents to raise questions about the privatization of justice.

Apparently, rank has its privileges.

The other convicted American owned an aviation brokerage in Broken Arrow.  Lee R Snider, (PDF) the son of a respected local football coach, admitted to laundering drug money and arranging the purchase of eight planes, including a 727, in court documents.

Both Sibley and Snider worked under the direction of a 43-year-old drug pilot, Gustavo Jorge Arévalo Kessler(PDF), who testified he had been smuggling drugs through Ecuador since 1979.

As already reported, Kessler is the nephew of a long-time Mexican Secretary of Defense, who served under Miguel de Madrid, President of Mexico between 1982 and 1988.

After that he became the personal pilot of disgraced former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, now living in exile in Ireland.

Kessler, busted in Mexico several years ago, was flying a Gulfstream II (former registration N914MH) that was one of the “mis-placed” airplanes in the US Forest Service scandal during the 1990′s. Briefly, that scandal involved U.S. government airplanes intended for firefighting that were diverted into CIA covert drug running operations; the most spectacular of which was, as stated, the  C-130 busted on a runway at Mexico City’s Intl Airport  carrying $1 billion dollars worth of cocaine.

Kessler’s “ride” had been “exported” to become a drug plane by an Arizona company called INTERNATIONAL AIR RESPONSE INC said to be deeply–deeply!–involved in the CIA operation.

The jig was finally up after 14 firefighters burned to death in an out of control forest fire in Colorado in August 1994.  The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration subsequently cited the Forest Service for “inadequate use of aviation resources.” Where were all the planes?

Out of the country, many of them, doing anything but fighting fires.

A personal note: I knew the courageous man who broke that scandal. Gary Eitel was a former military pilot in Vietnam, who went on the become a CIA pilot and then later a lawyer for the Agency. Now deceased, Eitel was fearless in pursuit of the truth.

“Prepping” for the next Iran Contra Scandal

The story of the CIA-DEA’s earmarked 300 kilos a month in support of an alleged CIA cocaine coup begins with Fernando Ulloa.   Ulloa was an Inspector in the Chilean Federal Police (Policia de Investigaciones, or PDI). Over a year ago, he uncovered a drug ring operating out of the local CIA and DEA stations;  with assistance and support from Chilean political authorities and the Chilean Army, the ring trafficks 300 kilos of cocaine a month.

Most cops see the world in black and white. So Ulloa immediately took his evidence to the Chilean Minister of the Interior in Santiago’s La Moneda Palace, mostly remembered for having been destroyed by the Chilean Air Force in the coup which took Socialist President Salvador Allende’s life in 1973.

No investigation was launched, however, and no action was taken.

When 10 Chilean police officials were recently charged with assisting a much smaller drug smuggling ring, the resulting public scandal gave Ulloa the opening (and the media coverage) to publicly accuse the Interior Minister, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, of covering up the much larger—and still active—CIA cocaine trafficking.

“He must be a leftist, too. Put him on the list”

Chilean intelligence sources confirmed Ulloa’s allegation to Chilean reporter Patricio Mery Bell of Panorama News in Santiago: the CIA is using proceeds from the monthly sale of 300 kilos of cocaine to fund opposition to Rafael Correa  in next year’s Ecuadorian election.

“An anonymous source from the Agencia Nacional de Inteligencia (ANI) told Panoramas News that the smuggling of 300 kilos of cocaine was in fact a highly sensitive CIA/DEA operation to raise money to topple the government of Ecuador,” reported Mery.

“The operation is similar to the one carried out by the Agency in Central America during the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980’s, the source said.”

Also offering corroboration for the charge (but not proof) was the controversial former British diplomat Craig Murray, who alleged the CIA has invested $87 million for a campaign to bribe and blackmail media and government officials to prevent Correa’s  reelection.

Location, location, and…logistics

The answer to what makes Ecuador important enough to merit its own CIA cocaine coup emphasizes the point made by UPS commercials: Logistics.

Ecuador, strategically situated between the two major drug producing nations of Colombia and Peru, has long been an important transshipment point for cocaine, a fact not lost on previous generations of drug traffickers.

States a U.S. Congressional Research Service report,  “The country’s lengthy maritime and land borders have long provided an attractive and relatively unregulated environment for drug trafficking.”

That means—translating the reports Congressional-ese—fewer people to pay off.

According to numerous reports Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s President, stirred the ire of the U.S.  when he ordered the eviction of the U.S. military and CIA-DEA presence at a large military base in Manta, one of Ecuador’s three main ports.

So what was at Manta that made it so valuable?

It has taken two months, but news involving what really happened in Benghazi, Libya at the United States consulate is beginning to leak out. As reporters Adam Entous, Siobhan Gorman and Margaret Coker ofThe Wall Street Journal admittedon November 1, “The U.S. effort in Benghazi was at its heart a CIA operation.”

On September 11, 2012, a heavily armed group staged a nighttime attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. For the next several hours, gun battles erupted in that building as well as in a neighboring location that had been used by the CIA as a “safe house.” When the dust settled on September 12, four Americans were dead, including U.S. AmbassadorChris Stevens.

New reports now indicate that the Western press in Libya, including New York Timescorrespondents, knew all along that the assault was not “a spontaneous attack brought about by an anti-Islamic movie in the United States.” Instead, the attackers targeted a spy operation being run by the CIA tasked with moving weapons to rebel fighters around the Middle East.

It all started just after the Obama commencement of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led invasion of Libya wherein national leader Muammar Qaddafi was murdered.With the war winding down, the CIA established its first intelligence annex in Libya in February 2011. With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department providing diplomatic cover to conceal the operation’s true nature, CIA contractors recruited anti-Qaddafi rebels and provided weaponry to them.

Strong evidence now exists that Stevens seized weapons in Libya and sent them to Syria viaTurkey where rebel groups created by the CIA and the Mossad are battling President Bashar Assad’s army for control of the nation.

Michael Kelley of Business Insider, which is described as one of the fastest growing financial websites on the Internet, wrote on November 3: “A Libyan ship—which reportedly weighed 400 tons—docked in southern Turkey on September 6, and its cargo ended up in the hands of Syrian rebels. The man who organized that shipment, Tripoli Military Council head Abdelhakim Belhadj, worked directly with Stevens during the Libyan revolution. These weapons [were] presumably from Muammar Qaddafi’s stock of about 20K portable heat-seeking missiles, the bulk of which were SA-7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles.”

On November 9 AMERICAN FREE PRESS interviewed a source who requested to be usedonly as “background” for this story. AFP asked him if he felt that forces, who originally worked with the CIA and NATO to overthrow Qaddafi, attacked the CIA safe house because they were angered that their bounty—thousands of high-tech weapons—were now being taken from them and dispatched to another group of CIA mercenaries in Syria.

He responded: “The Libyans were pawns in their own revolution. NATO and the Obama administration wanted Qaddafi out, so they used the home team to do it. Soldiers that opposed Qaddafi received their funding from NATO and the CIA. Then, after these rebels did the dirty work and got rid of Qaddafi, the CIA went searching for his heat-seeking missiles.”

Once the CIA planted roots in Libya, AFP’s source picked up the story of what transpired.

“Some of the same forces that were set against  Qaddafi were later used to provide security at the CIA’s safe house,” he said. “Although many of the details are still clouded, it’s certain that the CIA embassy was not attacked due to an anti-Islamic film, as the administration initially claimed.”

AFP inquired as to whether President Barack Obama would have been apprised and directly knowledgeable of the CIA’s weapons-running operation. “Yes,” he said.

To illustrate how extensively the CIA was involved in this mess, the source stated: “Of the 30men stationed in Benghazi, only seven weren’t officially employed by the CIA. Once the mission was attacked, CIA contractors got most of their fellow Americans out. Yet, following their rescue mission, some of them were tracked down and killed.”

The success of the CIA operation moving guns out of Libya was what ultimately doomed the mission there. “For at least 30 days prior to the September 11 onslaught, Stevens’s emails prove that he felt an attack was imminent,” said AFP’s source. “But since the CIA had already moved a majority of weapons out of Libya on the September 6 boat dispatched to Turkey, there was no more need for the mission in Benghazi. Now that most everyoneknows about this situation, the CIA’s cover was blown, which is something they never wanted.”

AFP inquired as to whether there was any possibility that Stevens had been deliberately set up. AFP’s contact replied, “At the very least, somebody was negligent about security at the embassy, and Stevens knew more about the Libyan gun-running operation than anyone.”

Now, conveniently, Stevens is dead and CIA Director David Petraeus resigned on November 9 “due to marital indiscretions.”

As of this writing, Petraeus will testify behind closed doors on Capitol Hill about his role in the Benghazi scandal.

CIA Operative Caught Red-Handed

Although CIA agents promote an aura of calculating professionalism and perfection, sometimes their actual performance strays far from this carefully crafted image. In 2011, Hezbollah leaders in Beirut exposed several CIA operatives after their sloppy and amateurish Keystone Kops-like practices were uncovered.

The specifics are almost comical if they weren’t so serious. When trying to determine acodeword to be used when meeting with foreign contacts, the secret agents selected“pizza.” Then, laughably, they all met in public at a Beirut Pizza Hut. Making matters worse,the men dialed their CIA  handlers on cell phones that were easily traced by Hezbollah’sinternal security forces.

After arrests were made, Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, said that the detainees ere “affiliated with the CIA, and one more might be affiliated with European intelligence or Mossad.” Nasrallah characterized the U.S. embassy in Lebanon as “a den of spies.”