Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:34 AM
Catherina (34,318 posts)
Edward Snowden and Washington's revolving-door culture /Who's running the drug war?
Edward Snowden and Washington's revolving-door culture
Last updated: 23 hours ago
The recent NSA leak reveals the disturbing extent to which the US' government and corporate sectors have merged.
Who's running the drug war?
In the coming days, many will undoubtedly call for a scaling back of government contractors and a more thorough accounting on intelligence matters. It may not be so easy, however, to disentangle the thorny web of corporate influence. Indeed, Booz Allen's involvement in intelligence gathering may be just the tip of the iceberg. Not only does the company hold contracts with the FBI, but it also provides IT support to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). What is more, the US Air Force awarded Booz Allen a contract in 2011 to research and design joint operations between the US Northern Command and the Mexican military.
The Booz Allen agenda stands at odds with those of many Latin American nations, which have been calling for a different approach to the drug war. Exhausted by drug-related violence, some countries are arguing that it is time to adopt a less militaristic policy with a possible path to marijuana legalisation. The national security state and Booz Allen, however, have a lot to lose if the drug war abruptly comes to an end. Sounding the alarm bell, Booz Allen officials argue that terrorists and extremists might exploit the lawless Mexican border area and come into the US to launch attacks. Sceptical of such claims, the liberal Nation magazine remarks that Booz Allen is merely "questing much-sought-after but spurious links between al-Qaeda and South American narcotraffickers".
Hardly deterred by such criticisms, Booz Allen continues to push for a draconian approach to the drug war. Speaking at a forum at the US Army War College, Booz Allen Director and former DEA Chief of Intelligence Anthony Placido boasted that he had helped to develop and implement the so-called "Merida initiative". Under the plan, the US has provided billions of dollars to the Mexican armed forces and police. However, critics say the initiative has failed to address drug treatment and prevention. They also charge that most Merida resources stay in the US and are spent on military contracts and intelligence equipment. Furthermore, the US State Department said in a 2010 report that the initiative's requirements that human rights be respected have been disregarded.
Speaking on C-SPAN in 2010, Placido faced withering criticism from callers who were highly critical of the DEA and its heavy-handed approach to the war on drugs. When one viewer remarked that Washington's crackdown on narcotics had been an incredible waste of money and DEA agents had acted like a bunch of "yahoos" breaking down doors, Placido responded: "You do not represent mainstream thinking on this issue." At other times during the on-air discussion, the drug enforcement official defended the militaristic policies of the Colombian and Mexican governments.
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Replies to this discussion thread
Response to Catherina (Original post)
Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:58 AM
HipChick (12,114 posts)
1. Booze Allen Hamilton are small fish..
Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp,Boeing Co.,SAIC all have various contracts, and often there is more than one contractor company on same project
Response to Catherina (Original post)
Thu Jun 13, 2013, 12:02 PM
RainDog (28,784 posts)
2. The Drug War is a Racket
Gen. Smedley Butler would've recognized it as such.
We made the world safe for Ronald Reagan to finance the rape of nuns.