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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 04:40 PM
Original message
Sibel Edmonds' case and the heroin connection
Everyone is talking about "How a ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan Went Bad" in yesterday's NYT - but what stands out for me is that in a 7-page article on Afghanistan, there's not one mention of heroin, opium, or even poppies.

As a companion piece to the NYT article about losing the 'good war,' I strongly suggest that you read this recent article by former UK Ambassador to Uzebekistan, Craig Murray from late last month. Murray explains that Afghanistan is run by drug lords.

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds often points to the fact that whenever the media does mention the heroin industry, they almost never go beyond reporting about the poor farmers in the Afghan poppy fields. Sibel asks the leading question: "Who are the real lords of Afghanistan’s poppy fields?"

Before I proceed, let's start with a little background into Sibel's case. When Sibel worked as a translator for the FBI, one of the main cases she was working on was a counter-intelligence operation against Turkey's equivalent of AIPAC, the American Turkish Council (ATC). On the Turkish side, the ATC is (largely) represented by Turkey's "Deep State – the politicians, military officers and intelligence officials who worked with drug bosses to move drugs from Afghanistan..." (On the American side, the ATC is represented by the 'Defense' contractors, and Turkey's American lobbyists - people like Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, former House Speaker Bob Livingston, former Defense Secretary William Cohen, former Minority Leader Dick Gephardt and others.)

Now, we've all heard the statistics that Afghanistan is the source of 90% of the world's opium etc - but what many people don't know is that most of that opium is imported into Turkey where it is transformed, on an industrial scale, into heroin. It is warehoused on an industrial scale, repackaged and marketed on an industrial scale, and re-exported on an industrial scale.

As Sibel says:
"This multi billion-dollar industry requires highly sophisticated networks and people. So, who are the real lords of Afghanistan’s poppy fields?

These operations are run by mafia groups closely controlled by the MIT (Turkish Intelligence Agency) and the military. According to statistics compiled in 1998, Turkey’s heroin trafficking brought in $25 billion in 1995 and $37.5 billion in 1996. That amount makes up nearly a quarter of Turkey’s GDP. Only criminal networks working in close cooperation with the police and the army could possibly organize trafficking on such a scale. The Turkish government, MIT and the Turkish military, not only sanctions, but also actively participates in and oversees the narcotics activities and networks.


In other words, the folks who supply much of the world's heroin break bread (and share lots of dough) with their American counterparts at places like the American Turkish Council.

Sibel says that there are at least four people in Congress that she knows of who are being bribed by the Turkish gang, and according to Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes, they also have "spies... inside the US State Department and at the Pentagon."

In Craig Murray's article, he notes all of the impressive statistics regarding Afghanistan's opium production - 2006 beat the previous record by 60%, and this year promises to be stronger still - and then he makes two important points. Firstly, he says that all of the 'value-add' activity that was previously performed in Turkey (turning poppies into heroin) is now conducted within Afghanistan. We don't know whether this is a massive shift in the underlying structure of the industry, or whether the incumbent gangs that Sibel refers to have simply decided to 'off-shore' their production from Turkey to Afghanistan. I suspect that it is the latter, simply because we haven't seen the type of blood-bath that we would expect to see if there was a serious turf-war taking place.

From Murray's piece:
" According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger.

Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and 'value-added' operations.

It now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with Nato troops.


(FTR, I have seen no evidence for Murray's claim that Afghanistan is now primarily exporting heroin rather than opium)

The second point that Murray makes is that this activity takes place with the the active participation of the authorities, just as Sibel said was the case in Turkey.

Murray:
How can this have happened, and on this scale? The answer is simple. The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government – the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect.

When we attacked Afghanistan, America bombed from the air while the CIA paid, armed and equipped the dispirited warlord drug barons – especially those grouped in the Northern Alliance – to do the ground occupation. We bombed the Taliban and their allies into submission, while the warlords moved in to claim the spoils. Then we made them ministers.

President Karzai is a good man. He has never had an opponent killed, which may not sound like much but is highly unusual in this region and possibly unique in an Afghan leader. But nobody really believes he is running the country. He asked America to stop its recent bombing campaign in the south because it was leading to an increase in support for the Taliban. The United States simply ignored him. Above all, he has no control at all over the warlords among his ministers and governors, each of whom runs his own kingdom and whose primary concern is self-enrichment through heroin.


More Murray:

He became concerned at the vast amounts of heroin coming from Afghanistan, in particular from the fiefdom of the (now) Head of the Afghan armed forces, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, in north and east Afghanistan.

Dostum is an Uzbek, and the heroin passes over the Friendship Bridge from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan, where it is taken over by President Islam Karimov's people...

The heroin Jeeps run from General Dostum to President Karimov. The UK, United States and Germany have all invested large sums in donating the most sophisticated detection and screening equipment to the Uzbek customs centre at Termez to stop the heroin coming through.

But the convoys of Jeeps running between Dostum and Karimov are simply waved around the side of the facility.


More Murray:

"In Afghanistan, General Dostum (Head of the Afghan armed forces)is vital to Karzai's coalition, and to the West's pretence of a stable, democratic government.

Opium is produced all over Afghanistan, but especially in the north and north-east – Dostum's territory. Again, our Government's spin doctors have tried hard to obscure this fact and make out that the bulk of the heroin is produced in the tiny areas of the south under Taliban control. But these are the most desolate, infertile rocky areas. It is a physical impossibility to produce the bulk of the vast opium harvest there.

That General Dostum is head of the Afghan armed forces and Deputy Minister of Defence is in itself a symbol of the bankruptcy of our policy. "


None of this information was included in the NYT's 7 page article on how we 'lost' Afghanistan.

In fact, in a fantastic recent interview, Sibel wonders aloud whether the media silence is intentional:

"Who prevents the media, or is it happening, from publishing the real facts? The Turks, their involvement, UAE and their position in laundering this money, Pakistan and narcotics. It's saying "Oops! They are our 'allies' and we don't want to touch them. We don't want to turn them off." In fact, we have a lot of business, "sensitive diplomatic relations", as John Ashcroft put it."


Youtube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQkx1246_d8

As if to prove Sibel's point, just last week, ABC's blog The Blotter reported:

Heroin Found in Car Allegedly Owned by Top Afghan Border Official

A manhunt is on in Afghanistan for the man President Hamid Karzai wanted to name head of his country's border police, ABC News has learned, following the discovery that the official owned a car filled with heroin intercepted by members of the Kabul City Criminal Investigations Division.

U.S. authorities confirmed the seizure of 130 kilograms of heroin in June in a car that allegedly belonged to Haji Zahir Qadir, the former chief of the border police for northern Takhar province.

Haji Zahir was not in the car when it was intercepted. His cousin and "right hand," Bilal, was present and arrested.

Afghan officials say Karzai wanted to name Haji Zahir to head the border police, but a U.S. military intelligence assessment obtained by ABC News in 2006 named Zahir as a drug smuggler.

News of the seizure and the manhunt came at a most embarrassing time for Karzai, who was at Camp David with President George Bush to meet on regional issues, including the upsurge in violence in Afghanistan and cross-border issues with Pakistan.


The information fed to The Blotter was apparently designed to cause some embarrassment (coming 6 weeks after the event), but it wasn't very embrassing at all. As best as I could tell, ABC's blog entry was the only mention of this story at all, anywhere .



For more on my coverage of the heroin angle of Sibel's case, see Sibel Edmonds: America's Watergate, Sibel Edmonds & the Neocons' Turkish Gravy-Train, and Daniel Ellsberg: Hastert got suitcases of Al Qaeda heroin cash, should be in jail

I'll give Craig Murray the final word:
"Remember this article next time you hear a politician calling for more troops to go into Afghanistan. And when you hear of another brave British life wasted there, remember you can add to the casualty figures all the young lives ruined, made miserable or ended by heroin in the UK.

They, too, are casualties of our Afghan policy."


Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
Call Embarrass Waxman. Demand public open hearings:
DC phone: (202) 225-3976
LA phone: 323 651-1040
Capitol switchboard phone: 800-828-0498

(let me know if you want to be added to my email list for new Sibel-related post. Subject: 'Sibel email list.')
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hastert received suitcases of cash at his home from Turkish heroin money
Edited on Mon Aug-13-07 04:55 PM by seemslikeadream
Daniel Ellsberg said that Dennis Hastert received suitcases of cash at his home from Turkish heroin money and that Hastert should be in jail, along with his friends.


Sibel Edmonds and other Whistleblowers Group
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. $500k
i think that was the $500,000 that was mentioned in Vanity Fair.
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nonny Donating Member (309 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
18. An Inconvenient Patriot -- by David Rose
Parts of Vanity Fair article about Hastert.

-snip-

Edmonds has given confidential testimony inside a secure Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility on several occasions: to congressional staffers, to investigators from the O.I.G., and to staff from the 9/11 commission. Sources familiar with this testimony say that, in addition to her allegations about the Dickersons, she reported hearing Turkish wiretap targets boast that they had a covert relationship with a very senior politician indeed--Dennis Hastert, Republican congressman from Illinois and Speaker of the House since 1999. The targets reportedly discussed giving Hastert tens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information. "The Dickersons," says one official familiar with the case, "are only the tip of the iceberg.

-snip-

Some of the calls reportedly contained what sounded like references to large-scale drug shipments and other crimes. To a person who knew nothing about their context, the details were confusing, and it wasn't always clear what might be significant. One name, however, apparently stood out--a man the Turkish callers often referred to by the nickname "Denny boy." It was the Republican congressman from Illinois and Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert. According to some of the wiretaps, the F.B.I.'s targets had arranged for tens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert's campaign funds in small checks. Under Federal Election Commission rules, donations of less than $200 are not required to be itemized in public filings.

-snip-

Hastert himself was never heard in the recordings, Edmonds told investigators, and it is possible that the claims of covert payments were hollow boasts. Nevertheless, an examination of Hastert's federal filings shows that the level of un-itemized payments his campaigns received over many years was relatively high. Between April 1996 and December 2002, un-itemized personal donations to the Hastert for Congress Committee amounted to $483,000. In contrast, un-itemized contributions in the same period to the committee run on behalf of the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas, were only $99,000. An analysis of the filings of four other senior Republicans shows that only one, Clay Shaw, of Florida, declared a higher total in un-itemized donations than Hastert over the same period: $552,000. The other three declared far less. Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Joe Barton, of Texas, claimed $265,000; Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter, of California, got $212,000; and Ways and Means Committee chairman Bill Thomas, of California, recorded $110,000.

Edmonds reportedly added that the recordings also contained repeated references to Hastert's flip-flop, in the fall of 2000, over an issue which remains of intense concern to the Turkish government-the continuing campaign to have Congress designate the killings of Armenians in Turkey between 1915 and 1923 a genocide. For many years, attempts had been made to get the House to pass a genocide resolution, but they never got anywhere until August 2000, when Hastert, as Speaker, announced that he would give it his backing and see that it received a full House vote. He had a clear political reason, as analysts noted at the time: a California Republican incumbent, locked in a tight congressional race, was looking to win over his district's large Armenian community. Thanks to Hastert, the resolution, vehemently opposed by the Turks, passed the International Relations Committee by a large majority. Then, on October 19, minutes before the full House vote, Hastert withdrew it.

-snip-

At the time, he explained his decision by saying that he had received a letter from President Clinton arguing that the genocide resolution, if passed, would harm U.S. interests. Again, the reported content of the Chicago wiretaps may well have been sheer bravado, and there is no evidence that any payment was ever made to Hastert or his campaign. Nevertheless, a senior official at the Turkish Consulate is said to have claimed in one recording that the price for Hastert to withdraw the resolution would have been at least $500,000. Hastert's spokesman says the congressman withdrew the genocide resolution only because of the approach from Clinton, "and to insinuate anything else just doesn't make any sense." He adds that Hastert has no affiliation with the A.T.C. or other groups reportedly mentioned in the wiretaps: "He does not know these organizations." Hastert is "unaware of Turkish interests making donations," the spokesman says, and his staff has "not seen any pattern of donors with foreign names.

Article from Vanity Fair -- Sept 2005
EBSCOhost Research Database -- from my public library
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. i think that VF was incorrect on that point.
Sibel has said that she was 'surprised' that that element of the story was written up as pertaining to the genocide resolution.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. hastert announcement
"Former Speaker of the House Rep. Dennis Hastert is expected to reveal Friday whether he will run for re-election."
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/beaconnews/news/5082...
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I know what he'll say!
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Hastert's statement
"Jeepers - the news that the Chinese executed the head of the FDA for taking $500k in bribes has made me all nervous. I've really gotta get out of this business. Thank goodness I live in America!"
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. SNORT!
:rofl:
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. i was gonna
i've been meaning to write a diary along those lines...

mayube i'll put one together for his announcement friday...
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #15
49. I told ya!!!
Edited on Tue Aug-14-07 05:27 PM by seemslikeadream
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070814/ap_on_go_co/hastert

Hastert stepping down after this term


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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-15-07 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
60. thats why Hasert is leaving Congress the jig is up
and to think this man ran Congress for six years its disgusting
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. K & R! To the greatest page!
:kick:
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
6. orange version
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
9. Where would the War on Drugs be without a reliable, increasing supply? n/t
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. reliable increasing supply?
of drugs, or addicts?
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
53. Yes.
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
11. KandR!!!
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
12. K&R, don't look now but the aliens are coming!
Even EarlG admits that he has green lizard overlords!

An incredible amount of effort has gone into documenting how black ops funds from drug running are being used for extra-terrestrial spaceships, vast underground complexes run by lizard people, ESP programs developed by the illuminati/NWO to eventually take over the Earth. The amount of creative effort going into this is astounding, and once you fall into the rabbit hole of the internets it just goes on and on...


http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/branton/esp_dulcebook...

-- Black Budget Operations utilizing billions of dollars raised by CIA drug running, were classified Above Top Secret, thereby escaping audit by Federal auditors who possessed only a "secret" or "top secret" security clearance.

-- We are now living, as of the latter part of the 20th century, in an regulated-taxated-inflated economic slave system carefully designed to serve the elite.

http://members.fortunecity.com/groom51/secgov.html


The question is, with all this effort being put into developing wacky conspiracy theory, what are they really trying to cover up? Kickbacks to leaders in government perhaps?

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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. the lizard people have already landed
They are called 'congress-critters' (like that episode of the Simpsons) where Ogg is Clinton etc.
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WHAT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
16. Does that make Pakistan a turf war...
just wondering
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. good question
i don't really know the answer.

of course, pakistan is home to the AQ Khan network - which is also a major part of Sibel's case.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #16
46. BCCI - armsdealing, drugrunning, nuclear proliferation help fund global terror
networks.


And some would have us look the other way....even today....even after 9-11.
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2006/111106.html
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
20. I have a question
It says in Murray's article:

"According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger."

1) Doesn't the price go down when there is such an over abundance of supply? Thereby making it less attractive to overproduce by THAT much ~ 60% or more? The poppy farmers would get caught in the same trap that the corn farmers did/do, wouldn't they? Getting paid pennies for their crop when people further down the chain 'add value' to the poppies by turning them into something else (heroin in this case). Corn farmers need 'support', which comes in a variety of forms, in order to keep producing a corn crop...so what about the poppy growers? Do they get 'support' and of what sort, and by whom?

2) Where is all of that extra-production going? I mean, who's demanding/buying it? A 'body' that is addicted to heroin has a limit as to what it can consume before it would kill itself (and then, of course, not need/buy any more heroin). I realize that the world population is growing, but still only a certain (relatively low) percentage of the population is addicted to heroin....how is this huge new supply (the 60%+ production increase) being marketed/pushed to addict new user/customers? How & where in the world is that being done?

Hope that my questions makes sense, especially Question 2. I'm currently reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" which talks about the 'over-production' of corn and how new markets must be found for the abundance of production, etc., etc. I guess opium is a (illegal) commodity crop just like corn is a commodity crop and was thinking that 'the powers that be' would probably view it in similar ways - finding/creating new markets, etc., etc.

Hope these aren't dumb/naive questions....I just don't really 'get' how this all works

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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. not dumb
re 1):
yep, increased supply usually drives down the price - but the 'real lords of the poppy fields' don't care what prices the farmers are getting. They only care about getting their supply - and poppies will always be the best option for afghan farmers, regardless of the price - what alternative do they have?

re 2):
i don't specifically know the answer - but the extra production could be used in a variety of ways:
i) increased market 'penetration' - new addicts, higher purity, more hits per user per week etc.

ii) the new addicts might come from non-users, or it might (conceivably) be a 'drug war' where they are trying to convince users to switch from, say, cocaine, because of the price relativity

iii) it could be going into storage - the 'real lords of the poppy fields' do indeed run this as a business, and if it is in their interest to warehouse product, then they do exactly that (there is evidence of this taking place in the past)

etc.

It's a bit dificult trying to understand the dynamics of the industry because the availability of statistics is so poor.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #22
28. Here's a good article...
that outlines trends in heroin abuse in New York City:

http://www.lindesmith.org/docUploads/meth340.pdf


Possible explanations for heroins new attraction
include the fact that the inhalation or snorting
of heroin has made the drug more appealing,
and has placed it in the category of powder
cocaine. Also, the fashion industry has promoted a
chic image for heroin. Although there has been
an effort on the part of the industry to withdraw the
image, the image remains, especially for the young
who are fascinated with New York City style and
trends (19). Also, there is some evidence that
heroin has become used more commonly among
the young, especially abroad.


Also this paper acknowledges that Turkey has been a major source of heroin for New York, along with, more recently, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries.

This article describes an Afghan heroin kingpin being arrested in New York City:

http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2005-04/2005-04-...

Surprisingly, the US government Drug Enforcement Administration only mentions Columbian and Dominican sources of heroin for NYC:

http://www.dea.gov/pubs/states/newyork.html


Heroin is readily available from Colombian and Dominican organizations operating in the New York metropolitan area. Most of the heroin available is of South American origin and Colombia-based traffickers bring some of the purest heroin in the world to the streets of New York, utilizing the same distribution methods and money-laundering techniques they perfected in capturing the cocaine market...


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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. Kinda sounds like propaganda, don't you think?
Possible explanations for heroins new attraction
include the fact that the inhalation or snorting
of heroin has made the drug more appealing,
and has placed it in the category of powder
cocaine. Also, the fashion industry has promoted a
chic image for heroin.


Mebbe there is a real 'drug war' going on.....coke vs. heroin as lukery considers :shrug:

This article doesn't name 'names' but is defintely SELLING it via the nameless & faceless "fashion industry" (aka, narco dollars for the GULLIBLE)
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 02:09 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. I think the article attempts to explain the shift....
in heroin from being a NYC street drug often characterized by prostitutes or the destitute, to a drug of preference by the "chic" crowd, especially in NYC, and also internationally. This would also explain higher street values validating the refined production processes and demand for higher quality.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. 'anecdotal'
if Mind_your_head is trying to understand the global dynamics, we have to be a little bit careful not to extrapolate too much from NYC. There's a big market in Russia and china and other places, too - where i can only imagine that the street prices are at least 90% lower.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 04:47 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. You are right...
The article below describes the process of the explosion of heroin addiction in areas of Central Asia during the 90s, and which account for "65% of narcotrafficing originating in Afghanistan". It seems to follow routes where borders were opened up and trade agreements signed following the Cold War. The HIV/AIDS pandemic in these areas seem to coincide with this:

http://www.drugtext.org/library/articles/peddr005.htm

"For similar reasons to those pertaining in south-east Asia and in China, heroin from Afghanistan has recently and increasingly begun heading for Russia, once again via Kazakhstan, which lies on the narcotrafficking routes. This has favoured an almost parallel upturn in opiate consumption and the spread of HIV/AIDS."

So it seems that cutting down the opium crop in Afghanistan would not only do much to reduce the worldwide heroin problem, it might also help in the fight against AIDS in these areas. One can only wonder what inhumane right-wing motivations are allowing this to continue. What a boon to the pharmaceutical industry.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. that's a good angle
maybe i can find a way to link in Michael Moore's SICKO - or GWB's 'comppassionate conservative' promise to reduce AIDS in Africa or something
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junkiebrewster Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #28
37. The reason that the DEA only mentions....
Edited on Tue Aug-14-07 07:38 AM by junkiebrewster
The reason that the DEA only mentions those two source areas is that that is truely where dope found on the East coast comes from. Presently, Afghan heroin is only refined into what is called number three heroin. This is typically best for smoking, but can be injected if broken down in a weak acid, like vinegar or lemon juice. The American market demands either number four or tar, both of which can be broken down in water. This makes it the best form for injection. Trust me, when the Afghan drug warlords figure out how to get the precursor chemicals required to produce number four, then we'll see a pretty bad heroin epidemic. At the moment, though, only about 6% of the heroin in America is from SW Asia.

(I am a former addict and keep with these things in an academic sense.)
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. 'former addict'
congrats on being a 'former' - i know how difficult that is.

I believe that Afghan H is now up to 15% market share in the US (at least, i saw that figure thrown around)
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #37
47. I appreciate your perspective...
but from what I have read, the "China White" heroin from Afghanistan is the purest form found, suitable for snorting or smoking "making it more appealing to young and novice users" according to the report below. Also, India is apparently a major transshipment point:

http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/20...


Afghan White Heroin Floods into California
January 2, 2007

Potent white heroin from Afghanistan is pouring into the California illicit-drug market, supplanting weaker brown heroin from Mexico and raising fears of increased addiction and overdose problems, the Los Angeles Times reported Dec. 26.

...

A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report said that the presence of Afghan heroin has risen rapidly in the U.S. market, rising from 7 percent in 2001 to 14 percent in 2004. Poppy production in Afghanistan has also skyrocketed since the U.S. overthrew the Taliban regime in 2001. The DEA said that Afghan heroin is the purest in the world.

...

Afghanistan provided about half of the heroin in the U.S. in the mid-1980s, but its share dropped in the 1990s as more of the drug was produced in Asia and the Taliban cracked down on poppy production in Afghanistan. Today, the Afghan opium crop is worth an estimated $2.3 billion, and more U.S.-bound heroin is being seized on flights from India, a major transshipment point for drugs smuggled out of Afghanistan.


This is odd:


In spite of these statistics, however, a DEA spokesperson insisted in an e-mail that, "We are not seeing a nationwide spike in Afghanistan-based heroin."



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junkiebrewster Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-15-07 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #47
56. The first problem with this article....
Edited on Wed Aug-15-07 07:36 AM by junkiebrewster
The first problem with this article is that "China White" is slang for fentanyl, a synthetic opiate analogue that was blamed for the rash of deaths in the NE and Midwest a year or so ago. It is not heroin and probably is made in a lab somewhere in the US and/or Mexico.

The second problem is that friends (who work in harm reduction) I have on the West Coast have not seen, nor heard of anything other than Mexican tar. I'm not saying it's not there, but if it is, it certainly hasn't hit the streets in any appreciable amount.

This smacks (no pun intended) of drug war propaganda.

I refer you to this interesting and relatively current article:
http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs22/22539/index.htm#Outloo...



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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-15-07 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. The article also refers to "potent white heroin"....

I wonder how distinguishable it is from synthetic China White. Also, it seems, propaganda can work both ways. Suppose that corrupt politicians (Hastert comes to mind) and CIA want to push Afghan heroin, it would make sense that they would downplay the role of Afghan heroin within the US and perhaps try to manipulate DEA reports.
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junkiebrewster Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-15-07 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Believe it or not....
I actually believe the DEA reports in this instance. Their Heroin Signature Program has been going on since the 1970's and has been reliable. For example, it successfully tracked the rise of SE Asian heroin after Turkey cracked down on illicit opium production in the 1970's. Likewise, it was one of the first indicators of the scope of the South American heroin trade that led to the early 1990's heroin explosion.

The traditional smuggling route for SW Asia heroin has been through the mIddle East, up through the Caucasus and into Russia and Europe. It was for this reason that the UK was tasked with the setting up anti-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan. I'm pretty convinced that those who make money from it in our country don't mind if the problem stays Europe's for awhile.

That being said, it is only a matter of time until our streets are awash with Afghani heroin. My point was that, at the moment they are producing the wrong product for the market. I'm sure some enterprising warlord will soon figure out a way to get his hands on the chemicals for the fourth step.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-15-07 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. Here is another medical paper on the subject...



http://psychiatry.mc.duke.edu/CMRIS/ED/EDpdf/Heroin.pdf

In fact, sniffing/snorting heroin is now the most widely reported means of
taking heroin among users admitted for drug treatment in Newark, Chicago, and New York.

With the shift in heroin abuse patterns comes an even more diverse group of users. Older users
(over 30) continue to be one of the largest user groups in most national data. However, the
increase continues in new, young users across the country who are being lured by inexpensive,
high-purity heroin that can be sniffed or smoked instead of injected. Heroin has also been
appearing in more affluent communities.


...

Although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is "cut" with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine.

...

According to the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, which may actually
underestimate illicit opiate (heroin) use, an estimated 2.4 million people had used heroin at some
time in their lives, and nearly 130,000 of them reported using it within the month preceding the
survey. The survey report estimates that there were 81,000 new heroin users in 1997. A large
proportion of these recent new users were smoking, snorting, or sniffing heroin, and most (87
percent) were under age 26. In 1992, only 61 percent were younger than 26.

The 1998 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), which collects data on drug-related hospital
emergency department (ED) episodes from 21 metropolitan areas, estimates that 14 percent of
all drug-related ED episodes involved heroin. Even more alarming is the fact that between 1991
and 1996, heroin-related ED episodes more than doubled (from 35,898 to 73,846). Among youths
aged 12 to 17, heroin-related episodes nearly quadrupled.
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junkiebrewster Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-16-07 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #62
65. I don't doubt that there's purer heroin...
This paper is from 1998, meaning it discusses the influx of pure South American heroin that hit in the 1990's. SA heroin is still easily available on the East Coast. Mexican tar is readily available on the West Coast. What I doubt is that we've started seeing Afgahn heroin, in appreciable amounts, on our streets.

It's coming, no doubt, but not yet and certainly not on the West Coast, where Mexican trafficking gangs have had a lock on it's distribution for decades.
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #22
29. Interesting.....and 'thanks'
The OP is HUGE in it's scope. I'm just trying to understand a bit of it by breaking it down into smaller, more understandable pieces. Thank you for helping to do that.

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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. feel free to ask any more questions
as you may know (!) my particular interest is in Sibel's case.

if you want some more background, follow those links to
Sibel Edmonds: America's Watergate,
Sibel Edmonds & the Neocons' Turkish Gravy-Train,
Daniel Ellsberg: Hastert got suitcases of Al Qaeda heroin cash, should be in jail.
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lazyriver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #22
36. Could be the extra production is being absorbed
here and around the world as participating governments fight the "war on drugs" in their cities and make more seizures. I've heard quite a few news stories about new "record" seizures just in the U.S.

It's a smart racket really: They ask for and get more money to hire more drug enforcement agents, cops, administrators with fat salaries, etc. to make lots of arrests of users and street level dealers. Enough dealers flip enough low level smugglers to make newsworthy seizure stories to convince the sheep the Great War on Drugs is working. These "criminals" get sent to jail, but wait, the jails are full. They ask for and get more money to build and staff more jails (guess who builds the jails?). The incarcerated don't get the help they need to get off heroin and are turned back to the streets in a few years (or months) untreated,un-rehabilitated and marked as an ex-con ready to consume the abundant heroin again until the next arrest.

Huge supply>cheaper price>more accessible>more people can try it>more people get hooked>criminalize them> hire more cops>build more jails and create a self sustaining supply of addicts.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
21. Turkish bribe money is D.C.'s addiction.
Edited on Mon Aug-13-07 10:58 PM by mmonk
(Sorry I'm late. I've had a busy day).
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. DCs addiction
is a global ill :-(

(hope you had a good/busy day)
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Not as productive as I hoped
and a friend of mine had a heart attack. He had by pass surgery this morning and I think he'll be ok (but is in for a lifestyle change). It's late on the east coast here in the states, so I'm heading for some rest. I'll be in touch this week. Thanks for all the great stuff and the OP.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. sorry to hear n/t
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #21
40. BooMan Tribune
sorry if I missed this upthread...I have to leave but wanted to kick this.

http://www.boomantribune.com /

(it's at the top now...it's Monday Aug 13th's post at 11:08pm

"With news that the Italian mafia has been operating in Iraq, I thought I'd go down the memory hole and make sure everyone has a chance to see that we've been here before. It's all very predicable. In 1973, Alfred McCoy published The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. In 1990, he did an extensive interview about his work, and this is an excerpt of that interview:"

McCoy: It's easy. Look, it's effective. I interviewed a guy named Lt. Col Lucien Conein who, since I published my book now despises me, and I asked Col Conein why they worked with the Corsicans in Saigon, for example. He said that there aren't very many groups that know the clandestine arts. When you think about the essential skills it takes to have an extra-legal operation - to have somebody killed, to mobilize a crowd, to do what it does when societies are in flux, when power is unclear and to be grabbed and shaped and molded into a new state - you want to overthrow a government and put a new one in - how do you do it? Who does this? Accountants? - They go to the office every day. Students? They go to classes - they're good for maybe one riot or something, but they've got to get on to medical school or law or whatever they're doing. Where do you get people who have this kind of skill? You have your own operatives and they're limited. Particularly if you're a foreigner, your capacity to move something in the streets is very limited. You know, sometimes you can turn to a state intelligence agency in a country you're working with, but most effectively you can turn to the underworld. That's why the CIA always worked very effectively with the warlords of the Golden Triangle. It's worked very effectively with Corsican syndicates in Europe, worked very effectively and continuously with American Mafia - because they have the same clandestine arts. They operate with the same techniques.

bookmarking for later. thanks for posting this. I don't wanna be too "out there" for some folks, but if anyone has seen The Men Who Killed Kennedy -- I think it's part 2 (and on google vid) this Corsican connection has a greater resonance than recent politics.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. If it didn't involve the ATC so much, I might agree on some level.
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #43
50. can you clarify?
I don't know what you're talking about..what the "it" is since I mentioned more than one thing.

If "it" is about McCoy's work, the posts below this one are about exactly the same person, issues, time periods... if it's McCoy you don't believe, I'd like to know what you have to dispute the research he's done. Prof. McCoy has done excellent work revealing what goes on with tax dollars we cough up... for crimes.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-15-07 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #50
57. I did not say I don't believe him.
The issue I believe with our government is the power that the ATC and AIPAC hold on them.
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wildbilln864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
24. K&R! Be Heard America!
Call first thing in the morning! :patriot:
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EnricoFermi Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
27. Michael Ruppert comes to mind
http://www.fromthewilderness.com

It is impossible to consider terrorism without talking about drugs, and of course the U.S. support of them. We cannot forget Iran Contra and then Gary Webb's articles about the CIA introducing crack into LA. Basically follow every modern conflict, and you have drugs, the CIA, and global banks playing well integrated parts.

The fact that the media ignores them entirely, should indicate their own complicity, or at least their financiers.
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lukery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 02:55 AM
Response to Reply #27
34. i'm not familiar with Ruppert.
but yep, the media is complicit, and all of congress too.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #27
44. Poppy Bush earned that CIA nickname. They really don't even HAVE to hide their
involvement, just havea few powerful Democrats in place to continue the coverups and they go about as if they were never caught in IranContra, BCCI and CIA drugrunning in the first place.

Controlling most of the corporate media helps in that, too.

Our best chance to finish off and fuly expose BushInc was 1993. Instead, they grew stronger than ever.
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2006/111106.html
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Ian_rd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
41. If I ran a newspaper I wouldn't print these charges either
The information Edmonds has may be perfectly true, but where is the evidence beyond "Sibel said?" I have nothing against her, and I genuinely hope she is allowed to speak on what she knows, but for everyone demanding that the mainstream media print her allegations, that would be extremely irresponsible. Where are the corroborating sources? Where is the evidence? Where is the investigation?

What the media needs to do is investigate this, not just print it. Yea, I know - getting the media to spend money on an investigation instead of reporting on Lindsay Lohan's rehab is like asking shit to stand up and dance, but their failure to investigate stories should not be replaced by irresponsible reporting (yes, I know we have that too).

Personally, I hope she spills it all and risks jail time in order to give media sources enough information to check and verify - hopefully becoming a hero in the process like Daniel Ellsberg.
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. She's been gagged if you haven't heard, so we're lucky to have even hear her information
Edited on Tue Aug-14-07 12:55 PM by EVDebs
let alone have a Grand Jury hear it.

The key phrase in her charges is "This multi billion-dollar industry". That alone, with the accompanying intelligence sanctions for the illicit trade--since it funds US govt. black operations outside of the Constitutional funding requirements with Congressional oversight--highlights the irony of it all: Congress doesn't hear about it and thus cannot have oversight over what it doesn't know about.

The Politics of Heroin, by Alfred McCoy, is now, what ?, around forty years old ?

http://www.drugtext.org/library/books/McCoy/default.htm

I like the newer version's subtitle, CIA complicity in the global drug trade, myself,

http://www.lycaeum.org/drugwar/DARKALLIANCE/ciaheron.ht...
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. Right - corporate media should only print false charges from swiftliars while
ignoring the accounts of analysts, especially when the HISTORIC RECORD has already proven that these SAME type of drugrunning operations DO exist.

Gary Webb's CIA drugrunning report ring a bell?

BCCI was all about the funding of terror networks by officials involved in the drugrunning, armsdealing and nuclear proliferation operations.

You aren't going to find many on this thread who believe that Marc Rich was just another 'wealthy tax evader' who needed pardoning. Or that AQ Khan was just a 'lone wolf' scientist.
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-15-07 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #41
54. Even if Sibel Edmonds WERE allowed to testify......
how are you going to get corraborating evidence, when the WH, RNC, the even the ATTORNEY GENERAL himself won't ANSWER subpeonas???!!!!

It's kind of like dealing with a crazy person.....you can't be logical, rational, sane with an insane person....b/c they just 'get all weird' and don't make ANY sense. It's the same with these criminals. You want them to be 'fair' and forthcoming....but they just WON'T/CAN'T because they would indict themselves! They're essentially "taking the fifth" when they have ABSOLUTELY NO POWER TO DO SO....their only power "lives" b/c ~ we the people ~ don't (so far) FORCE them to respond.

FORCE...that's all these criminals know. We, the people, have to stop being cowards about that.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-15-07 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #54
58. Easy
Arrest Hastert and hold a trial.
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #58
66. 'Easy'.....if we could only "make it so"....
"Can we?"

Peace (or war, if necessary <-----not you mmonk, of course),
M_Y_H
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
48. Wars and large covert operations provide ideal cover for drug rings.
Read "The Dark Alliance" (Iran-Contra and the CIA's Nicaraguan war) and "The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia" (the CIA and military in Vietnam) you'll see that is a set pattern. You really can't run a covert operation without the cooperation of local war lords, organized crime networks, and crooked bankers. That means protecting those warlords and networks and crooked bankers.

That relationship, because it is so illegal, is permanent. The CIA's relationship with the Mafia and Asian Triad syndicates date back to 1947 when the Corsican Mafia was employed to fight Communists on the Marsailles docks and Chang's KMT paramilitary put up a token fight against Mao. Our friends in British and French intelligence did exactly the same in Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, Iran, Turkey and a dozen other opium exporting and transhipment countries. In exchange, the CIA, MI6 and DSGE looked the other way and, in some cases, pocketed a piece of the action, while the anti-communist goon squads loaded heroin onto ships headed for Europe and America. This has been going on ever since.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. I have also read reports that...

the Soviet Army became heavily involved in the Afghan opium trade due to their concentration of troops during the war with Afghanistan, which explains part of the sudden surge of drug trafficking into Russia and Europe.

As Octafish likes to point out, there are links between the Bush dynasty and the Russian Mafiya:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Also, you might be interested in LaRouche's take on the scandalous BAE-Saudi London-based deal as morphing out of the fascist "slime mold" that originated with the British Empire's historic role in the Asian opium trade (British East India Company). Anglo-Dutch banks also played an important role in financing Hitler's Germany.
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reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-14-07 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
52.  Afghan Opium & "International Terrorism"
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-15-07 02:47 AM
Response to Reply #52
55. All sorts of sick factors
seem to be at work.

State intelligence agencies using a strategy of tension to keep the public on board and terrorized. The intelligence budgets are obscene. Privatized intelligence to keep politicians from doing any real oversight (not that they want to). The revolving door. For example, DNI McConnell told Congress they better pass the FISA bill or else the terrorists would attack. Of course, many people don't realize McConnell was VP at Booz Allen where he sought TIA contracts. No conflict of interest there. Then you have the arms industry. And oil.

I wonder how the system has lasted this long.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-16-07 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
63. Added a Sibel sticky to GravelBot...
Don't know if they'll cycle through them again on the banner ad at the top, but hope it helps get people to call Waxman some more...

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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-16-07 02:28 AM
Response to Original message
64. By all rights, you'd think Sibel would've throw herself outta of a window by now....
Yet she hasn't (not that I'm wishing for that, of course......)

I'd bet she's a tool......she's not what you would like to think she is.
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