For the last three decades several leaks have come out indicating that the CIA is directly involved in illegal drug trafficking.
From planes registered to the CIA caught with tons of cocaine, whistleblowers exposing the the phony police war on drugs or that cartels worked directly with US agencies, to the CIA/Pentagon protecting the poppy crop in Afghanistan whose opium trade exploded after the 2001 invasion; the evidence is mounting that the CIA is clearly involved in some manner.
Although the idea that the CIA is involved in illegal drug trafficking is still relegated to conspiracy theory, this week a Mexican official openly accused the CIA of "managing" the drug trade.
According to Al Jazeera:
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 Al Jazeera, 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 Al Jazeera 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.'These statements are the first of this type from an elected official in Mexico. Of course, the Mexican government and other local officials said Villanueva's claim is ridiculous and repeatedly used the term "conspiracy theory" to shut everyone up about it.
However, what is controversial about what Villanueva said? That the CIA tries to manage the drug trade? Putting aside the conspiracy theory that they run the whole show, there is nothing incorrect or even politically offensive about that statement. It is indeed what they're doing by letting some cartels function and others not, right?
Is he not correct that if drug war ended tomorrow, the CIA and the drug soldiers they fund would be out of jobs? In what way is that statement controversial? Sensitive much?
I suppose just saying out loud what is becoming more obvious by the day; that there is no real desire to end the war on drugs, is now somehow a conspiracy theory. Of course when you look at who benefits from the drug war, it does indeed begin to look conspiratorial.
The article by Al Jazeera points out some disturbing facts:
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.
The number of casualties is astonishing considering the Vietnam War claimed a tragic 58,000 American lives killed in action over a ten-year period. That level of drug war casualties seems foolish since an increased supply of drugs enters America every year anyway.More than 55,000 people have died in drug related violence 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.
Clearly the war on drugs is a complete failure based strictly on its own stated objectives of reducing the supply of drugs. It's also a failure in that it results in a shocking number of murders and a massive expense to the American taxpayer. Yet, it continues for whose benefit?
Well, besides the obvious answer of weapons manufacturers and the bloated budgets of drug-fighting agencies, big banks are another intricate part of the conspiracy theory.
Another Mexican official said authorities want "El Chapo on the loose, as his cartel is easier to manage and his drug money is recycled back into the broader economy."
Several large banks like Wachovia and HSBC have been caught laundering money for major drug cartels. The media acts as if it's a revelation when this gets exposed, or they don't even cover it at all, but politicians continue to allow it because they know how important drug money is to the economy. The U.N. says the illegal drug trade represents at least 5% of the entire global economy.
So there appears to be a huge incentive and trillions of reasons for being the "central agency" that controls it. And what better way to do that than to claim that nobody else is allowed to sell these products, then crack down on the cartels that don't play ball?
Even Senator John Kerry is on record stating "There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, or on the payroll of, the CIA were involved in drug trafficking," in his response to a damning series of investigative reports by San Jose Mercury News in 1996.
Ultimately, it really doesn't matter who really controls the illegal drug trade, because their days are numbered. The drug war is so obviously a bad policy and an utter failure that it won't last much longer.
Already, major powers in Latin America are taking steps to decriminalize drugs, marijuana in particular. Leaders are beginning to demand regional summits about changing drug policy to help end the violence, using Portugal as a shining example of an improved society once they began treating drug addiction as a medical problem instead of a crime.
Yet, Mexico's new president opposes legalization because his government has too much to lose from its sugar daddy to the north, led by the CIA and DEA. The $1.4 billion in drug war aid from the U.S. by itself proves who controls the drug war and drug trafficking by consequence or intention.
Read other articles by Eric Blair HERE