Posts Tagged ‘WAR ON TERROR’

Obama’s Announcement Only Fuels the Mythology of Bin Laden

May 3, 2011

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
– Mark Twain (1897)

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
May 3, 2011

The mythology surrounding America’s public enemy number one took yet another bizarre turn this week as Washington announced that after ten years of searching they have finally located and killed their illusive adversary, Osama bin Laden. Unfortunately for US authorities however, this latest staged media event has created far more questions than it has answers.

Indeed, The Washington Post did report Monday that bin Laden, the long-hunted al-Qaeda leader and alleged chief architect of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, was in fact killed on Sunday in what officials described as a Navy Seal-run surgical raid on his alleged luxury hideout in Pakistan.

In a rare Sunday night address from the East Room of the White House, President Obama announced that small team of U.S. personnel attacked a compound in Pakistan’s Abbottabad Valley, where bin Laden is said to have been hiding. During a firefight, the U.S. team allegedly killed bin Laden, 54, and then took custody of his body. President Obama described the event as “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaeda”, and seen as a “significant turning point for global security and the War on Terror.”

STAGED WHITE HOUSE PHOTO: Obama and staff look on during their latest apparent state-sponsored assassination operation (PHOTO: AAP)

According to US sources, this latest operation was made possible thanks to “a trail of evidence that originated from Al-Qaeda detainees”, which had led to the careful monitoring of a compound suspected to be Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani hiding place. This is an interesting statement planted by Washington into this story, as it will no doubt be used by authorities to justify the existence of Guantanamo Bay and similar gulag-like cites around the world- all of whose credibility in the area of gathering real terror intel has been rather poor to date.

Public confusion over body ID

Bin Laden’s body was then allegedly recovered by the U.S. military and kept in its possession until it was dumped at sea hours later. From here, the story begins to get very dicey. Both ABC News and the Associated Press have reported that the body has been identified by DNA testing using tissue and blood samples taken from his sister who died of brain cancer previously. However, Reuters reports that DNA test results will not actually be available for days still, and that his body was identified using facial recognition techniques.

Patrick Henningsen on Russia Today: helping to deconstruct the myth of bin Laden.

The big source of confusion regarding evidence of bin Laden’s death is that US military officials are said to have immediately disposed of the body in the Arabian Sea, supposedly adhering to “Muslim burial customs”, even though no such official Muslim burial practice actually exists. Naturally, Washington insists that they have photos and video of the body, but have yet to release them to the public.

This means that, in theory, there can only be a limited number of actual witnesses and that there is no body to verify that it genuinely  was bin Laden, leaving the public with only the government’s official version of events to believe. Confusion, not conclusion, will be the order of the day. It is likely that this tactic was an intentional one on the part of Washington, providing pundits and conspiracy theorists with an endless knot that will take decades to unravel.

Numerous past reports of bin Laden’s death

Since 2001, numerous reports and statements have been made confirming the death of bin Laden. Infowars chronicled a list of these incidents recently, reporting the following:

  • Osama bin Laden died of kidney failure in the presence of a CIA doctor in Dubai, soon after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
  • He died in Tora Bora in December 2001, according to a FOX NEWS report.
  • In 2002, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said bin Laden had kidney disease, and that he had required a dialysis machine when he lived in Afghanistan. That same year, the FBI’s top counter-terrorism official, Dale Watson, said, “I personally think he is probably not with us any more.”
  • A Taliban leader told the Pakistan Observer on December 21, 2002, that Bin Laden was suffering from a serious lung complication and died in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora mountains. The source claimed that bin Laden was laid to rest honorably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief, according to Fox News.
  • Alex Jones was told live on the radio in 2002 by high-level Council on Foreign Relations member, Dr. Steve Pieczenik, that Osama Bin Laden had died of kidney failure in early 2002.“I have it from high level [sources] from inside the Bush administration…that bin Laden died of natural causes and that his family has given the body to the CIA, that they’re gonna roll him out right before the election, that he’s on ice right now. They will claim they killed him right before the election,” Alex said at the time. During the 2004 election, CNN reported that Democratic insiders had been told that George W. Bush was going to use the Bin Laden body as an ace-in-the-hole if he thought he was in danger of losing the 2004 election. This confirmed the evidence that Jones had been given by the CFR and others.
  • In 2003, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Fox News Channel analyst Morton Kondracke she suspected Bush knew the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and was waiting for the most politically expedient moment to announce his capture.
  • Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in a suicide attack at the end of 2007, stated that Osama bin Laden had been killed by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a man convicted of kidnapping and killing journalist Daniel Pearl.
 Grainy videos like this one are all that is available to substantiate this latest Bin Laden story.

Predictable Results

With little to celebrate in the US where the US dollar is plummeting, unemployment numbers have reached record highs and government deficits are bleeding the public resources, Bin Laden’s reported death has provided something for Americans to celebrate with spontaneous celebrations erupting in places like New York City and Washington DC.

With a system which has grown into an institution since 2001, the security state’s reaction to the announcement of Bin Laden’s demise is as routine as it is predictable. For a public who has been trained to live in a perpetual state of fear, the alleged death of Bin Laden translates into a brief respite and opportunity to celebrate followed by yet another  increase in the security apparatus.

The result of this latest chapter in the Bin Laden saga has been an elevation in “Terror Threat Levels”. In near robotic fashion, all major news outlets are running identical talking points centred on authorities in Western countries who are advising “vigilance against possible Al Qaeda strikes in retaliation to the death of Osama Bin Laden”.

Authorities are also advising that people “avoid travel to areas where anti-western protests may erupt” and also to “avoid public gathering that might attract a revenge attack”.

 Video: How Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were invented by the West.

It wasn’t long ago that Wikileaks files were cited where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told Guantanamo Bay interrogators the terror group would detonate the nuclear device if the al-Qaeda chief was captured or killed. The alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks is said to have warned that al-Qaeda has hidden a nuclear bomb “somewhere in Europe” which will unleash a “nuclear hell storm” if Osama bin Laden was ever captured.

Obama: A timely announcement

Broadcasters and pollsters will tell you that Sunday evening is the very best time to plant a story because most Americans are home, preparing to face another work week, and the largest percentage of Americans watch TV on Sunday evening. When President Obama finally made his statement about how he had located bin Laden and killed him in a firefight, the President proceeded to take no reporter questions. Obviously, any questions by the press were deemed too risky by White House staff.

UNCONVINCING DELIVERY: Obama attempts to bolster his wartime resume this week with a stage-managed announcement.

The timing of this announcement certainly carries a high political value for a US administration soon entering a new Presidential election cycle in 2012. It could help to reposition a domestically unpopular President Obama as a competent military operator overseas, appeasing America’s war hawk constituency.

Obama outlined this epic chain of events during his Sunday address stating, “Shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.” The President then certified his War on Terror and military credentials explaining how he gave the order to kill, “And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.”

In the world of modern US politics, the “patriot card” is the ace which can be produced during any speech or Presidential debate. Obama has clearly positioned himself as the man who will “take credit” for the killing of Osama bin Laden. The ten year anniversary for Sept 11, 2001 will take place this fall and it is certain that Obama will rehash this week’s glorious assassination from a podium at Ground Zero. Obama’s wartime resume will also be bolstered by this week’s event, a tool he will likely employ in the Democrat effort  to effectively stave off any challengers from the Republican Party’s right wing next year.

Another state-sponsored assassination

In the wake of the infamous Iraqi WMD debacle and with tax payer confidence in the abilities of US Intelligence community at an all-time low, this latest announcement will be used by Washington to demonstrate that their agencies are indeed competent and can actually produce valid and actionable intel. In effect, Washington will use its latest campaign to wipe the old slate clean and build on this apparent victory, possibly with some future intel concerning prospective adversaries like Iran.

This latest state-sponsored assassination also re-enforces the precedent of targeting foreign leaders outside of the boundaries of legal justice. Currently the US and NATO are carrying out a series of targeted extrajudicial killings in Libya, an effort that has already claimed the lives of Gaddafi’s immediate family and one which hopes to eventually eliminate Gaddafi himself.

Both unusual and illegal as this may appear on its surface, the Western public has now become accustomed to seeing its governments carry out these high level state mafia-style hits, a rather bizarre trend for evolved Western civilisation. It goes without saying that in almost all of these cases, each of these high-profile victims could not be successfully brought in front of any real court of justice due to an acute lack of evidence against them. They amount to purely political targets who unfortunately will be denied the luxury of any proper investigation into the West’s charges against them.

A shift in focus towards new enemies

Amongst all the hype and revelry, it still seems rather implausible that Osama bin Laden has “been on the run” for nearly a decade. Authorities would like us to believe that it took the entire US military industrial complex 10 years to both locate and kill Osama Bin Laden, their sworn public enemy number one. What is more plausible is that this particular moment in time has in fact been chosen and the event has been staged and later choreographed for mass media consumption.

Once the feel-good factor, public traction and the brief heightened state of alert has been spent, Washington and its NATO allies will be turning their sights further down field.

Most significant, is that this new announcement could very well be signalling a shift in US and NATO war plans, gradually moving focus away from the War on Terror and repositioning US public angst towards a cadre of new nation-state enemy players. With both occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan still on the burner, US imperial aspirations overseas are already at near breaking point. Polls and historical trends also show that American voters will not likely want to switch their leadership during a hot military conflict, so we can expect that an expansion of ground troops could occur in Libya, or that a brand new operation could be launched as early as next spring 2012. On top of US and NATO agendas for prospective conflicts are clearly Libya (currently in progress), Iran and possibly Syria. Any one of these potential conflicts will require solid backing from the US public in order to ensure their launch and longevity.

Mark Twain could not have scripted a better ending for this, the season finale of Osama On the Run. As events unfold in the coming months, educated members of the public will be able to better piece together the real behind significance of Sunday’s announcement and read the long-range foreign policy game plan of the US, Israel and their NATO allies. Watch this space.

Author Patrick Henningsen is a writer and communications consultant and currently the Managing Editor of 21st Century Wire.

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Mainstream Media Used Photoshopped Dead Bin Laden Pictures

May 2, 2011

21st Century Wire
May 2, 2011


Infowars reports:

The Guardian notes that the image was used by the Mail, Times, Telegraph, Sun and Mirror websites, who picked it up from an online news site. The image was removed by the newspapers after it became apparent that it was a fake that had been online for over two years…

The image is a crude Photoshop composite of two different images. The composite has been used in several articles over the past two years, the very purpose of many of which was to highlight the fact that multiple experts and credible figures were on record as believing Bin Laden to be already long dead.

This sorry saga once again demonstrates how the corporate dinosaur media has been completely surpassed by the alternative media and the new social media.”

Desperate major media outlets ran with the fake Bin Laden photo, which is merely a composite of two different pictures.

The ten year old fairy tale of the evil marionette puppet Osama Bin Laden continues to dazzle the mindless audiences around the world. Now he has finally been reported to have been killed in a raid, but unfortunately, there is no body or any evidence that this actually happened yesterday. This latest cock-up only further discredits the CIA’s comic book legend, putting the illusive Saudi Terror Villain right up there with Elvis Presley’s extended life in the FBI witness protection program, or Jim Morrison’s escape to Africa.

The big question: why announce Bin Laden’s death now? Is this a prelude to some global policy shift in the fabled War on Terror?

INKJET CARTRIDGE BOMBER: THE UPS TERROR FLIGHT FROM YEMEN THAT NEVER WAS

November 2, 2010

Editor’s Note:  Last Christmas gave us the sinister Y-front “Underwear Bomber” who, after links to the intelligence agencies were exposed (google: underwear bomber patsy), has since disappeared from the theatre of global terror. The result of this elaborate terror hoax last year was the snap roll-out of a new generation of full body X-Ray scanners in airports worldwide. Make no mistake, security theatre is a big global business and is now one of the only growth businesses amidst our current global recession. After a mere cursory review of this latest insidious ‘bomb plot’ out of the UK and Yemen, we have been hard pressed to find any bit of the story that shows real explosives or reveals anything to the public above the level of hoax. And here we go again for Halloween 2010; we are given the latest faceless, anonymous (and mythical) terror demon and media darling: “The Inkjet/Toner Cartridge Bomber” (was it inkjet or toner? Hmm).

Obama will classify it as a “”Credible Terroristic Threat“. The crowd jeers and awes. Question: have we finally lost the (terror) plot? For those who are able to read between the lines, the answers should come as no surprise at all. The only problem with this latest terror episode is the obvious lack of an actual terror plot- or any genuine evidence to support one. Not a major inconvenience for major newspaper and TV editors though. The lack of a real story does not seem to have stopped every major network in the US, UK and Europe from portraying this little vignette as if it was some kind of real ‘Al Qaeda’ event. As we previously reported, US President Obama has already taken a string out of Bush Jr’s bow by hyping the terror alert to gain a little bit of much-needed political traction before the mid-term elections. Nevermind that the tread on these terror tires is getting more worn down by the day- it’s still a big tool in the 21st century State-sponsored tool box. More than this however, notice the epic mainstream media reaction to this non-event which almost certainly begs the crucial question: what are all these faux terror announcements really about?


    Clue: if you have ever read Orwell’s classic novel 1984, you will have heard “Attention: alert, alert! The terrorist Goldstein has been spotted in your area”. 

More likely a scenario might be that a financial terrorist has gained from this recent cartridge-bomber non-event. A hedge fund, or ‘put options’ shorting United Parcel Service stock would yield a financial windfall from such an Al Qaeda-related event, much the same way American Airlines and United stocks were targeted in the days before 911, followed by millions in profit that were in fact made after 911 by a select group of individuals. The global shipping business is substantial especially after the dotcom/online shopping boom has positioned these private freight companies- UPS, DHL, FedEx ahead of state-owned monopolies. In a similar event this week, Greece has suspended all air freight  shipments for 48 hrs, possibly more. So look for a realignment of this industry… under the guise of the war on terror. News hounds will eventually work out any evidence if it is there. Watch this space. Meanwhile…

What Really Happened
Nov 1, 2010

Obama’s  “scare the Americans into voting Democrat”  plan is already in trouble. The official story on Friday October 29th was that an unnamed ally issued a warning for British authorities to be on the lookout for a suspicious package sent from Yemen to Great Britain on a UPS flight. A search of the UPS flight on the ground in Britain yielded a package containing a printer toner cartridge sprayed with a white substance that looks like plastic Christmas tree snow.

BE VERY AFRAID: Is this Obama's notorious "cartridge of death"? Now millions of graphic designers, printers and home workers are now in league with Al Qaeda.

To make the “toner cartridge of death” look even scarier, a circuit board was attached to the outside with wires. Careful analysis of the card itself suggests it is a circuit card from a TV set, most likely the tuner, circa 1980s.

How scary does this CNN featured recycled, archane gameboy-type circuit board look? Experts admit, "not very".

Note carefully there is no battery to power this object, nor were any detonators found.

The initial reports of the toner cartridge reported no explosives were found in it.

Of course, Obama claimed exactly the opposite, which left the BBC struggling to placate the President while not allowing themselves to look like they were changing the original story to do it.

   Obama did not miss another opportunity to hype the terror threat level again.

But the story gets better… the original claim was that the suspicious package originated in Yemen and flew to Britain on an aircraft owned by UPS, and the media showed us all the video of a UPS aircraft being stopped and searched on the runway in Britain.

FALSE STORY: The UPS 'terror' flight that never was.

But there is a problem(Washington, we have a problem). There are no UPS aircraft flying in or out of Yemen.

UPS own website (from before the so-called terror incident) does not list Yemen as one of their service regions.

A PDF file (which includes the history of the document from weeks ago) listing of all the international airports the UPS aircraft fleet flies to does not list Yemen as a destination!

In short, there was not and could not be a UPS aircraft flying out of Yemen.

UPS uses a subcontractor, Sun Tours, to handle shipping in and out of Yemen. Sun Tours sends their shipments via Yemenia Air, and Yemenia Air’s Cargo Director reports there were no shipments sent through Yemen to Chicago for the 48 hours prior to the “discovery” of the toner cartridge in Britain.

A second claim that a flight from Dubai carried packages from Yemen has been refuted by the United Arab Emirates� Civil Aviation Authority.

Barry: needs votes to stave off a midterm election disaster.

In short, a toner cartridge that cannot explode shows up on a UPS jet which could not have come from Yemen, and Obama pounds it for all its worth trying to save the Democrats next Tuesday. Frankly I think Americans should be outraged not that Obama tried such a stunt, but that after all the times Bush was caught using terror scares for political gain that Obama thinks you are all stupid enough to fall for it again.

If tonight’s polls are accurate, you weren’t and you didn’t, and Obama may have just screwed his own party to the point where (like the Republicans before them) they are all praying for Diebold(electronic voting machines) to save them. 

 —

21st Century Wire would like to mention a special thanks to the InfoHighwayman for bringing this story to our attention.

 

CIA paid Liverpool FC and Boston Red Sox tycoon millions… to use jet for ‘torture’ flights

October 20, 2010

By Sharon Churcher and Chris Hastings
Mail Online

A jet owned by a senior executive in the US firm which has bought Liverpool Football Club was chartered by the CIA and used in flights allegedly linked to the rendition of terror suspects.

The plane is owned by Phillip Morse, 69, the vice-chairman of New England Sports Ventures, which bought the club on Friday for £300million.

Inquiries by the European Parliament and human rights groups have linked the plane to alleged extraordinary rendition operations which took place during the same period.

Liverpool FC and Red Sox tycoon Philip Morse earning extra pocket money by renting his private jet out to the CIA for "torture flights"

 A European Parliament report linked the jet directly to the abduction of Abu Omar, an Islamic preacher, who was snatched from a Milan street by the CIA in 2003 before being taken to Cairo.

Extraordinary rendition entails the abduction and transfer of a terrorist suspect from one country to another. People have been taken to states such as Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Uzbekistan which are suspected of practising torture in violation of a United Nations Convention.

The disclosure that such a senior figure in New England Sports Ventures (NESV) has been paid millions by the CIA is likely to alarm football fans already concerned that one of the country’s most prestigious clubs is still in American hands.

An investigation has established that between 2002 and 2005 the CIA chartered the plane from Mr Morse for millions of pounds and made extensive use of it.

After being hog-tied and blindfolded aboard the CIA Gulfstream jet, it's unlikely that Abu Omar will ever support Liverpool FC again.

Mr Omar was snatched by the CIA in 2003 despite having been granted political asylum by the Italian government. He was moved to an American air force base at Aviano near Venice before being transported to a NATO base in Ramstein in Germany. He was then flown from Germany to Cairo.

The European Parliament report reproduced flight documents for Mr Morse’s jet, which carries the logo of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, also owned by NESV, on its tail fin. The 19-seater Gulfstream IV, with the registration N85VM, flew from Washington to Ramstein on February 4, 2003.

On February 17, the day of Mr Omar’s abduction and rendition, the plane left Ramstein at 6.52pm and arrived in Cairo at 10.30pm. The following day the plane made the return journey to Washington via Shannon in Ireland…
READ FULL STORY HERE

Obama accused of exaggerating terror threat for political gain

October 9, 2010

Editor’s Note: Playing around with the terror threat level worked fairly well for the Bush Administration. Now Obama has discovered this handy little spanner in his executive public relations tool chest. Amazingly, many people still fall for this tired Orwellian school lunch time announcement prank. Part of our mission here at 21st Century Wire is to offer solutions, so we have devised a new system for the Obama Administration which we hope will help move things forward...

 

The team at 21st Century Wire has put forward a new 'Terror Chart' which Washington may use in future.

 

Pakistani diplomat launches scathing attack on White House 

European intelligence claims raised terror alerts ‘nonsensical’

By Simon Tisdall and Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian
Oct 8, 2010

A US terror alert issued this week about al-Qaida plots to attack targets in western Europe was politically motivated and not based on credible new information, senior Pakistani diplomats and European intelligence officials have told the Guardian.

The non-specific US warning, which despite its vagueness led Britain, France and other countries to raise their overseas terror alert levels, was an attempt to justify a recent escalation in US drone and helicopter attacks inside Pakistan that have “set the country on fire”, said Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the high commissioner to Britain.

 

French police carry out security checks at Gare du Nord following the US terror warnings (PHOTO: Franck Prevel/Getty Images)

 

Hasan, a veteran diplomat who is close to Pakistan’s president, suggested the Obama administration was playing politics with the terror threat before next month’s midterm congressional elections, in which the Republicans are expected to make big gains.

He also claimed President Obama was reacting to pressure to demonstrate that his Afghan war strategy and this year’s troop surge, which are unpopular with the American public, were necessary.

“I will not deny the fact that there may be internal political dynamics, including the forthcoming midterm American elections. If the Americans have definite information about terrorists and al-Qaida people, we should be provided [with] that and we could go after them ourselves,” Hasan said.

“Such reports are a mixture of frustrations, ineptitude and lack of appreciation of ground realities. Any attempt to infringe the sovereignty of Pakistan would not bring about stability in Afghanistan, which is presumably the primary objective of the American and Nato forces.”

Dismissing claims of a developed, co-ordinated plot aimed at Britain, France and Germany, European intelligence officials also pointed the finger at the US, and specifically at the White House. “To stitch together [the terror plot claims] in a seamless narrative is nonsensical,” said one well-placed official.

While Abdul Jabbar, a Briton, and others killed by an American drone strike on 8 September in North Waziristan, in Pakistan’s tribal areas, were heard discussing co-ordinated plots, including possible “commando-style” attacks on prominent buildings and tourist sites in European capitals, security and intelligence officials said the plots were nowhere near fruition.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

NATO: FOSTERING A NEW GENERATION OF ORGANISED CRIME OVERSEAS

October 8, 2010

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
Oct 8, 2010

There was a time when the theatre of war remained exclusive from the type of blue-collar crime, racketeering and fraud we entertain at home. Throughout the 20th century, organised rackets were a venerable industry in America. Within an official military context, activities like “insurance jobs”, staged lorry thefts, narcotics and human trafficking are not exactly simple fayre for the average commissioned soldier. For a private contractor however, this kind of under-the-table work can land an easy payday for anyone organised and bold enough to go through with it.

Truck drivers, security guards, fork lift operators, stock checkers, middle managers and a few key bent police officers all working in collusion with each other to take in merchandise and then distribute it through black market channels. Everyone gets a cut along the way. This might be a scene straight out the Baltimore shipping yards in the popular HBO series The Wire. It could be from any US teamster-controlled port, or any Sicilian Mafia-controlled market in Italy, or Marseilles. It’s organised crime. And it’s the exact same blueprint we are witnessing in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Wire's Baltimore crime syndicates are not unlike those in NATO's war zone (PHOTO: Nicole Rivelli)

According to a recent report from the BBC this week, some owners of oil tankers being used to supply fuel to Nato Forces in Afghanistan believe that some of the attacks on their convoys are suspicious. Yes, you heard that right. Contractors have been caught red-handed attacking their own vehicles whilst travelling from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

The reports explains, “Evidence suggests that bombs have been planted in the tankers by the “Nato contractors” – individuals or companies who have been contracted by Nato to supply fuel and goods to forces in Afghanistan.”

NATO contractors have developed creative new streams of criminal income (PHOTO: AP)

Dost Mohammad, an oil tanker owner from Nowshera district, stated that a Nato contractor had recently been caught trying to plant a bomb in an oil tanker. He added that the contractor had apparently sold off the fuel before staging a bombing of the vehicle. “Only 2,000 litres from the original 50,000 litres had been left in the tanker to cover up the crime,” he said.

While NATO and US operations have alternative supply routes into Afghanistan, the Pakistani route still remains the cheapest and most convenient. With no regulation or real oversight, it has become a virtual breeding ground for the teamster-style criminal. In the case of fuel transport, it’s a win-win situation for the contractor. According to Mohammad : “If an old vehicle is burnt, Nato gives them money for a new vehicle. In addition, they receive compensation for all the fuel lost as well.”

In these regions, under the tax-payer funded protection of US and NATO forces, private security and civilian contractors currently control both the white and black markets in most major goods and services, no doubt helped in part by a few key cooperative people in the military and government structures. The results are becoming clear: in and amongst these many thousands of private contractors, you now have an established criminal class that has been allowed to mature and develop their own unique supply lines and niche black markets over the past decade.

It’s not enough to get a no-bid contract in an occupation zone, or for blue-collar workers to be paid in excess of $1000 per day tax-free. No, they have additional needs. It seems that the best practices of classic American and European organised crime has well and truly made its way into the war zone, having established a virtual criminal’s playground.

At home, this class of blue-collar ‘goodfellas’ crime, insurance fraud and larceny is harder and harder to pull off because law and order mostly rules, and strict regulation applies to trade. The days of the wild west and the hay days of the black syndicates are mostly long gone. Over the decades our authorities at home have gotten wise to certain shady practices, and insurance claims investigators are too good at their jobs to be hoodwinked.  In places like US occupied Iraq, NATO occupied Afghanistan and Pakistan, however, the criminal war booty is plentiful and the market is wide open for business.

The BBC report follows the revelation recently that British soldiers sent to fight the Taliban were buying drugs from Afghan dealers and shipping them back home to Britain. Heroin and other drugs are apparently being smuggled in by a syndicate group of soldiers returning each week to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. The temptation would be too much to resist, as Afghanistan is the source of 90 per cent of the world’s opium. This is not so shocking, as throughout history drugs and war have often gone hand in hand. The same situation we find in Afghanistan would also apply to cocaine stocks if US or NATO troops and private contractors were to occupy Columbia or Peru.

We are witnessing a major trend. Subsidised by the State, war zones have provided a lucrative market for private organised crime over the last 20 years. Examples of Dyncorp and Halliburton’s sex trafficking rings in Bosnia, Blackwater’s mercenary death squads in Iraq, Germany’s private waste disposal firm Ecolog AG’s drug running operations in Afghanistan are all well documented by now.

It’s clear that the US and NATO occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been designed to last for 50 years or more, similar to the permanent operation along the DMZ in Korea, staffed by over 30,000 military and civilians since its construction in the late 1950’s. Western interests clearly hope to colonise and bring eventual ‘civilisation’ to these war-torn regions and once business stability is achieved, the corporations can move in properly. Recently, a delegation of representatives from 14 American companies sets off for Iraq, on what the US Commerce Department referred to in a freudian slip, “the first trade mission since the end of the US government’s combat operations in Iraq.”

After the corporations are able to harvest these fresh new markets, the bulk of occupational forces and throngs of contractors will eventually wind down. Then the real fun begins at home. After honing their criminal skills overseas, namely… fraud, larceny, protection rackets, extortion, bomb making… and in some cases murder, these thousands of professional criminal contractors will be returning to an economically weakened US and Europe with enough cash and muscle, to stake a claim in one of many new domestic organised crime arenas.

As if we don’t have enough domestic criminals to contend with already.

——

About the author: Patrick Henningsen is an independent writer, filmmaker, communications consultant and managing editor of 21st Century Wire.

Contact: pj.henningsen@gmail.com

About the author: Patrick Henningsen is an independent writer, filmmaker, communications consultant and managing editor of 21st Century Wire.

Contact: pj.henningsen@gmail.com

LEARNING TO LOVE COLLATERAL DAMAGE: Another Day, Another Massacre in Afghanistan

May 12, 2010

By Patrick Henningsen
Managing Editor
21st Century Wire   

This one is pulled straight from the “Aren’t We Lucky” file. Wouldn’t you agree, that Afghanistan must be a truly horrible place to be? ‘Those poor people’ , we can try and sympathize…   

You can argue that we’ve all become desensitized to it. You can hear the words rolling off of the lips of one of the Roberts… Robert Gibbs, Robert Gates, Roberto Gonzalez, or some upper-mid level NATO public relations man running interference for General Petraeus or General McCrystal like one Brigadier General Eric Tremblay(we will come to him later). It goes something like this: “Special Forces are risking their lives to protect Americans from the terrorist threat in Afghanistan…”, followed by, “Every day our men face difficult decisions, judgement calls, people need to understand that we are fighting an ‘asymetrical’ conflict and there will unfortunately be ‘collateral damage’ in these situations”.  How true. 

The actual family massacre story they could be referring to actually goes like this:    

“On Feb. 12, 2010, a family in Khataba, Afghanistan, held a party to celebrate the birth of a baby boy. Just hours after they went to sleep, U.S. Army Special Forces assaulted the house. They kicked down the door, rushed to the roof and began shooting at everybody below…”   

Take a few minutes out of your valuable time and read the full report here (link).  Just read it. Don’t worry. Relax, you are not obligated to act on this story. You can quietly carry on with your life. Just read it. Hell, you might even Facebook it. If you are religious, you might take a moment and say a prayer for the families involved. You might also say thanks to the big guy upstairs that you are not living under US Military Occupation in Afghanistan. If you are an atheist, then this regrettable tale of neocolonial largess in Central Asia might reaffirm your argument that there is no God, for how can a God, yet again, allow such a crime to happen- again? 

Whatever your faith(or lack of it), you will probably consider yourself lucky that you are tucked away in a safe community, living in a Western Democracy out of harm’s way. But mind you, if this story doesn’t evoke some level of your conscience, if you feel nothing, then it is very possible that your morality may have drifted away, way beyond the pale.  Such is the nature of the contemporary ‘remote’ war. In the age of personal empowerment, these are wars of convenience, events we can seemingly choose to engage with, or simply ignore. But the chain of events which took place in Khataba followed by the cover-up from the Pentagon so compelled this writer to stop what he was doing yesterday so as to try and make some sense of it all. Despite years of media war fatigue, my human side did not wish to change the channel. I realized at that moment these were not words in another grim story about Iraq or Afghanistan, rather, these are real people, I could see them, hear them, smell them, down to the smallest detail. What’s more, in the context of the follies the world has learned to tolerate in Iraq and Afghanistan- it’s not the first time and won’t be the last.

All is Fair in Love and War: The Cover-up   

Just as every cracking wooden fence requires a white wash, so every unsavoury event needs a good cover-up. After the massacre, it’s reported that the Coalition Soldiers removed the bullets from the walls, plastered over the bullet holes, and then tied the hands of the dead victims behind their backs and gagged them.  Enter the leggett, a Coalition spokesman, one Brigadier General Eric Tremblay, who declared that those responsible for the massacre were rogue Afghani “criminals and terrorists who do not care about the life of civilians.” A staged cover-up made to look like terrorists and criminals did this before the Coalition Cavalry arrived on the scene.  

Unsurprisingly, PR is now a crucial part of the post-modern military theatre. Hence, this was the official Pentagon story of this messy incident, and no doubt some PR brain in Washington may have even attempted to use the cover story to stir up further sectarian strife in the region, following through on the age-old British colonial mantra known fondly as “Divide and Conquer”. No doubt they tried. Most reporters are too dependent on access, security and the ’embedded culture’ to leave the protective custody of military forces in the field. NATO even keeps a long list of “blacklisted journalists”. The PR effort is huge. But like so many times before, like so many botched attempts to control the flow if information and cover up the truth, they failed miserably. That’s the funny thing about the truth, no matter how hard you try it always comes out in the end.   

A new language for a new generation   

Now for the apologists’ coffee table debate. Perhaps US Special Forces just made a mistake. Perhaps the “intel” was rather poor. Maybe CENTCOM had a ‘dodgy hajji’ for an informant. We all know that war is just an ugly business. Perhaps. And then there’s that term again, ‘collateral damage’. And there’s that other term again, ‘asymetrical warfare’. There are many other impressive new modern military jargon euphemisms too. Men like Donald Rumsfeld helped to educate us lay folks on these and more during his tenure at the Pentagon. So impressive is the language. And apparently, so also… so, so impressive is the ellusive enemy in this new post-modern, post-911, post-everything war.

‘Asymetrical’ is the description of the rag-tag band of rural terrorists roaming the foothills of the Helmund and the mountains near Kandahar. And what can be more asymetrical than an avatar like Osama Bin Laden? Understand that it’s that very avatar character on whom the entire War on Terror is based on, an avatar who has transformed the face of warfare in the 21st century, and completely un-catchable we are led to believe by the White House. You couldn’t create a better comic book villan than that.  

Coalition Forces: Going in for the kill

As Pentagon, NATO military middle managers, assorted media relations officers in desert cammo pants and various other scurrying leggetts become more and more ghettoized within their own self-styled jargon of complexed terms, acronyms and creative language, the further they drift away from reality. It’s a rather bizarre kind of intellectual iron curtain that they’ve built around themselves. Worse however, is how far our unelected managerial elite have drifted away from the moral center point which they claim to occupy, the place where politicians once sold us the war effort. What our politicians and military haven’t realized is that as a civil society, our moral core is defined by our sense of gravity pulling us back towards a moral center. It’s this gravity which tethers our actions in relation to what we define as right and wrong. One way to sever our inherent human tether to our moral center is to change the language of conflict. The new language of modern warfare we hear in those press briefings is part of an effort to forever cut our connection to that morality. Whether the effort is a success or not is up to our ability to remember the old language- the postcolonial enlightened humanist language which defines a loss of life as a tragedy to be avoided at all cost, and one which equates an Iraqi or Afghani life as equal to its American or British counterpart.

In the West, we have managed, with the help of major media talking heads from CNN, ABC, MSNBC, FOX and others, to replace our old out-dated humanist language which described modern wars pre Operation Desert Storm in 1991, with a new language and a new-improved perspective. Naturally, this is followed by a new play book for all wars. Those who are awake to this fact can only sit back in wonder as it gets increasingly ridiculous. Likewise, those who remain in a trance, thoroughly impressed by the science they have come to learn- and love, the new lingua franca of modern warfare, have also learned to love the collateral damage.

In ten years time you will look back and long for the simple theatre of conflict. Send in the Marines? No, no, no. Send in the drones!   

The Verdict   

Another day, another massacre. Relax, we have the best military in the world- so we are told. “Mistakes will be made in the War on Terror”, we are also told, over and over again. But this story is atypical from the usual news feeds because it lacks the conventional comic book villan… no Taliban here. No Al Qaeda here. It all sounds reasonable enough. Massacres are simply part and parcel of our brave new world. So when Blackwater does it, we deem it corrupt and vile. After all, they are simply the wart on the hand of the free enterprise aspect we have come accept in the theatre of conflict. You would expect anything from a hired Hessian soldier, the contract Barbarians with tattoos. But when the military do it- with all the billions in high-tech gear, computer kit, man power and supposed political oversight… then, it’s simply repulsive. And when the military attempt to cover up their own mistake- in this case, a full-on massacre… well, that’s shameful. Considering the innocence of the actual victims, that like so many others before them, they died in cold blood for nothing other than to serve as target practice for our Special Forces… well, that’s simply pathetic. More still, the lack of accountability by the military, and the level of culpability by the media lap-dogs can only be described as toxic.   

As our Nobel Peace Prizing winning President takes questions during the 2012 Presidential debates, where he will attempt to defend his position on the escalation of the Bush-Blair Wars which he pretended to campaign against during his 2007 run for the White House, those of us who still have a moral conscience in the crowd should remind Our Dear Leader that there is nothing ‘asymetrical’ about a slug of lead in the chest, or 10 rounds per second at close range through the neck and head. The result is very symmetrical in fact. One minute you are alive, the next minute you are dead. But still, we are expected to love Our Dear Leaders as they work to serve the greater good, namely, our national security.

And we might also remind him that there is nothing ‘collateral’ about the damage done in the Massacre in Khataba, Eastern Afghanistan. Nor for that matter, is it collateral when a 500 lb bomb lands on top of your home. It destroys everything, it destroys all hope. And don’t forget to ask, like so many did after 10 years in Vietnam, “why are we there?”… and keep asking that question. Never, ever stop asking that question.

Steady Stream of Drug Money Departs Afghanistan, U.S. Officials Flummoxed

March 3, 2010

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
March 2, 2010

According to the CIA’s favorite newspaper, The Washington Post, a lot of money is leaving Afghanistan and it is confounding U.S. officials. “The cash, estimated to total well over $1 billion a year, flows mostly to the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai,” reports the newspaper.

Before the CIA’s covert war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the country produced zero percent of the world’s opium.

“The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, for its part, is trying to figure out whether some of the money comes from Afghanistan’s thriving opium trade.” Some of the money?

Afghanistan is the largest producer of opium in the world. A whopping 93% of all the opiates in the world originate in Afghanistan.

The Taliban banned opium cultivation after they were installed by the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service. Since the defeat of the Taliban in response to their intransigence and lack of business savvy, opium production has skyrocketed.

Before the CIA’s covert war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the country produced zero percent of the world’s opium. During this covert war instigated at the highest levels of the U.S. government, the CIA-supported Mujahedeen rebels (later known popularly known as al-Qaeda) engaged heavily in drug trafficking. “The Agency’s principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and a leading heroin refiner,” writes author William Blum.

Back in October of 2009, The New York Times reported that Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the installed president of Afghanistan (a former CIA-ISI operative and Unocal employee), is on the CIA payroll.

“Officials quoted by The Times described Karzai as a Mafia-like figure who expanded his influence over the drug trade with the aid of U.S. efforts to eliminate his competitors,” writes Paul Joseph Watson. “The New York Times exposé pins the blame on Karzai, but fails to explain that one of the primary reasons behind the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was the United States’ agenda to restore, not eradicate, the drug trade.” Read the rest of this article HERE

Rendition: Where the War on Terror Meets the War on Drugs

January 20, 2010

By Patrick Henningsen
Headlined at Infowars.com

A recent article in the UK Independent headlined US Waives White Flag in Disastrous War on Drugs illustrates the tacit announcement by some leading US policy makers that they are abandoning the failed 40 year long ‘War on Drugs’. This couldn’t come too soon for a war that has cost thousands of lives, hundreds of billions of tax dollars and has helped push the domestic US prison population to an estimated 2,000,000 inmates, a number that surpasses even China in the international incarceration league table.

Contained within this same article is also one of the mainstream media’s few official admissions of a direct link between the War on Terror and a government sponsored global narcotics trade. UK Independent writer Hugh O’Shaughnessy states here:

“Evidence points to aircraft – familiarly known as “torture taxis” – used by the CIA to move captives seized in its kidnapping or “extraordinary rendition” operations through Gatwick and other airports in the EU being simultaneously used for drug distribution in the Western hemisphere. A Gulfstream II jet aircraft N9875A identified by the British Government and the European Parliament as being involved in this traffic crashed in Mexico…”

In 2004, another torture taxi crashed in a field in Nicaragua with a ton of cocaine aboard. It had been identified by Britain and the European Parliament’s temporary committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners as a frequent visitor in 2004 and 2005 to British, Cypriot, Czech, German, Greek, Hungarian, Spanish and other European cities with its cargo of captives for secret imprisonment and torture in Iraq, Jordan and Azerbaijan.”

According to multiple news agency reports, the said Gulfstream II private jet (tail number N987SA) which crash landed on September 24th, 2007 in Yucatan, Mexico came down after being chased by Mexican military helicopters for flying illegally into Mexican airspace. Mexican soldiers found no bodies at the crash site but did discover 132 bags containing 3.3 metric tons of cocaine. The origination of the Gulfstream’s flight is unknown but it was destined for Cancun when it crash landed. Again, here is the important point: that same Gulf Stream II was one of the very same planes chartered to the CIA for the rendition of suspected terrorists prisoners.

Gulf Stream II crashed in Mexico with over 3 tons of cocaine on board

Knowing these two facts- the history of this aircraft and its cargo on this occasion, it should not be surprising that this illegal practice of rendition has in some part, been used as a well-run smokescreen for another borderless illegal operation- an extremely lucrative international transfer and delivery of cash and narcotics. One may also speculate about what other cargos with a high black market value could also be moved freely on such high level government contracted transport, namely weapons, ‘company asset’ operatives, and other human cargo. These flights are not subject to regular customs checks, inspections or normal regulations as they move seamlessly between destinations in the US, Britain, Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Central Asia, Cuba and possibly through US bases in Turkey, Greece and Morocco.

The now well-known practice of extraordinary rendition is defined as “the apprehension and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one sovereign state to another”. It was originally alleged (but now widely understood) that the CIA has been running a secret global abduction and internment operation of suspected terrorists, going by Washington’s own innocuous and politically correct name of “extraordinary rendition”, which since 2001 has reportedly captured an estimated 3,000 people and transported them around the world using a series of private contractor and charter transport companies.

Early on, US officials denied charges of “torture by proxy”, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who famously stated at Andrews Air Force Base, December 5, 2005 that the United States does not torture terrorists and declaring rendition as “a vital, legal tool to combat terrorism, save lives.” Rendition was famously inscribed in the mainstream with the 2007 award winning film Rendition starring Meryl Streep and Jake Gyllenhaal, and in the Oscar Winning documentary film Taxi to the Dark Side(2007).


RT Interview: Torture still continues under Obama

Unsurprisingly, this dark US program has prompted several official investigations into alleged secret detentions, the routine torture detainees and unlawful inter-state transfers involving Council of Europe member states. June 2006 report estimated 100 people had been kidnapped by the CIA with the cooperation of Council of Europe members, and ‘rendered’ to other countries, often after having transited through secret detention centres or ‘black sites’ used by the CIA. According to a separate European Parliament Report on February 2007, the CIA had conducted some 1,245 flights between 2001 and 2006, many of them to destinations where suspects could face torture, this, in violation of article 3 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Investigations into the issue have cited a series of flight landing schedules and aircraft verifying the identity and stopovers of rendition flights worldwide, some of which can be viewed here.

Why Rendition?

The problem with rendition has not been the public’s ability to determine whether or not it was actually happening- volumes upon volumes of testimony and official evidence have confirmed this practice and is now part of the public record. Debate in the US on its legality has been mired for years in legal knots and trap doors thanks to a series of US Attorney Generals, Presidential legal advisors, lawyers and the mainstream media, all of whom have sought to defend the US right to use extrajudicial kidnapping and torture to maintain its own perceived national security during its endless “War on Terror”.

The real question with rendition that has stumped many an astute analyst has always been why it is happening. Thanks to testimonies by released prisoners and films like Taxi from the Dark to the Dark Side, we have learned that the majority of these ‘enemy combatants’ picked up and detained at gulag franchises like Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram were not hard-core terrorist or non-state-actors. Many were in fact taxi drivers, farmers, school teachers, goat herders or unfortunate bystanders, including prisoners on whom a per-head cash bounty was paid to Afghan informants by the US Military in order to meet perceived bureaucrat quotas to justify the ongoing War on Terror. It goes without saying that the so-called “intelligence” gleaned from these random detainees, including information extracted through “enhanced interrogation” techniques(a euphemism for torture) could not possibly be of any real value in the context of thwarting a genuine or imagined terror attack in the future. Undoubtedly, many within the US Intelligence structure must be aware of this reality. So why continue the decade-long practice of kidnapping and torture? If you consider recent history, you will see how time and time again- arbitrary wars against non-existent enemies can provide the ideal cover for the bulk of the international narcotics and black market trade. Consider it a value-added aspect of any war or conflict.

Drug Assisted Wars: An Established Practice

Students of recent history will know of covert and state-sponsored drugs trafficking, most of which is linked to one war or another. The 1980’s saw to escalation of America’s “War on Drugs”, an effort which coincided with a parallel escalation of cocaine production, exportation and distribution out of Columbia, and heroin out of Afghanistan and Laos. In Vietnam and Laos, the CIA used it’s charter shell company Air America to flying in weapons to its allies and return with high grade Heroin. The scope of this operation was revealed somewhat to mainstream culture through films like Air America (1990) and American Gangster (2007), both film based on real events which transpired during the Vietnam era. To understand the full scope of these US “Drug Assisted Wars”, you can read this comprehensive report by Prof Peter Dale Scott. Scott explains here:

“In Afghanistan in 2001 as in 1980, and as in Laos in 1959, the U.S. intervention has since been a bonanza for the international drug syndicates. With the increase of chaos in the countryside, and number of aircraft flying in and out of the country, opium production more than doubled, from 3276 metric tons in 2000 (and 185 in 2001, the year of a Taliban ban on opium) to 8,200 metric tons in 2007.”

Why does the U.S. intervene repeatedly on the same side as the most powerful local drug traffickers? Some years ago I summarized the conventional wisdom on this matter:

Partly this has been from realpolitik – in recognition of the local power realities represented by the drug traffic. Partly it has been from the need to escape domestic political restraints: the traffickers have supplied additional financial resources needed because of US budgetary limitations, and they have also provided assets not bound (as the U.S. is) by the rules of war. … These facts…have led to enduring intelligence networks involving both oil and drugs, or more specifically both petrodollars and “narco-dollars”. These networks, particularly in the Middle East, have become so important that they affect, not just the conduct of US foreign policy, but the health and behavior of the US government, US banks and corporations, and indeed the whole of US society.”

Yet, despite the knowledge of these known government sponsored operations and the reality on the ground, both the US Bush Jr and the UK Blair governments along with its compliant media arms, has attempted to paint the Taliban as somehow proliferating and driving the illegal drugs trade in that country. This idea was also parroted by the media in a cynical attempt to provide another moral reason to occupy Afghanistan since 2001. But with 2009 recent mainstream news stories about the US-backed President Karzai’s own brother Ahmed Wali Karzai being both a drug lord and a CIA informant, there should be little doubt as to the importance of Hamid Karzai as a US puppet of choice and his links to the opium-heroin trade there- a key spoke in the CIA’s wheel of operations in the region.

The infamous IRAN-CONTRA scandal was the public’s first real look into a somewhat triangular international trade of weapons, cash and cocaine between the Columbia-Nicaragua, US and Iran, one where the CIA played a central role. Likewise, heroin played a key role in maintaining CIA operations in Afghanistan during the Mujahideen insurgency of the 1980’s. Revenue from the heroin trade was used to finance various insurgent groups during the Soviet-Afghan war, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The very same bank implicated in the IRAN-CONTRA scandal- the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI), was also supporting the CIA’s covert operations, by funding the Mujahideen through the laundering of drug money. Drugs money was used or “recycled” by using a series of high-profile banking institutions in conjunction with a number of anonymous CIA shell companies:

“Because the US wanted to supply the Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan with stinger missiles and other military hardware it needed the full cooperation of Pakistan. By the mid-1980s, the CIA operation in Islamabad was one of the largest US intelligence stations in the World. `If BCCI is such an embarrassment to the US that forthright investigations are not being pursued it has a lot to do with the blind eye the US turned to the heroin trafficking in Pakistan’, said a US intelligence officer. (“The Dirtiest Bank of All,” Time, July 29, 1991, p. 22)


Film: “Crack the CIA”

Big Winners: The Banks

Certainly banks like BCCI played their role in facilitating numerous dirty money deals including those during the IRAN-CONTRA affair. Banks benefit significantly from drug trafficking. According to a recent report in the London Observer, drugs money worth billions of dollars provided liquidity for Wall Street and the City of London’s leading banks and kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global meltdown. Another Senate staff report estimates “that $500 billion to $1 trillion in criminal proceeds are laundered through banks worldwide each year, with about half of that amount moved through United States banks.” The London Independent reported in 2004 that drug trafficking constitutes “the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade.”

In the Beginning: The Opium Wars Between Britain and China

War has long played its part as a curtain behind which the international drugs trade has thrived. Opium, which was not prohibited in the US, UK and Ireland, was smuggled by merchants from British India into China in defiance of Chinese prohibition laws. The First Opium War between Britain and China began in 1839. Further disputes over the treatment of British merchants in Chinese ports resulted in the Second Opium War. China was defeated in both wars leaving its government having to tolerate the opium trade in which cheap narcotics plagued Chinese society. China stance of prohibition on the issue of opium laid the groundwork for a network of organised crime in South East Asia, one which endures until today. In an effort to control the movement and supply of illicit good by sea, Britain forced the Chinese government at that time into signing the a number of Unequal Treaties as well as the annexation of Hong Kong by Britain. Chinese found these agreements humiliating and these sentiments contributed to the Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864), the Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901), and the downfall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, putting an end to dynastic China and laying the ground of domestic discontent and power vacuum which culminated in the Communist revolution later during the 20th Century.

The War on Nothing

Whether it’s the War on Drugs, the War on Crime, or the War on Terror, by now experience should teach us that our government can neither wage, nor win “wars” against abstract nouns. Formally and mutually “declaring war” must first recognise sovereignty, which generally assures formally Declared Peace, a Cease Fire, an Armistice etc or a Surrender with Cessation of Hostilities for a mutually agreed and declared “Victory”. There can be no victory in such political pursuits, only ultimate defeat. History is clear on this.

Yet, we are told that, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” and “there is no other option,” even if it means losing everything else from morality and integrity, to wealth and freedom (as in the case of the War on Terror). We were told that we needed rendition and torture to keep America safe from terrorists. The results, or lack thereof, certainly speak for themselves. Insiders at the CIA may even tell you, off the record, that involvement in illegal drugs trafficking is essential to fund operations which our elected officials will not sanction. But don’t be fooled- billions in black market cash is the real grease that fuels our Shadow Governments and turns the wheels of power and control worldwide. Who collects and controls that cash effectively controls all dark aspects of politics, business and the major global crime industries.

Whether it’s under Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr- or Obama, the policies have remained the same and the damage to our bottom line has been mountainous. Americans may also ask themselves whether or not practices like indefinate detention, torture and ‘black’ prisons makes them proud to fly the stars and stripes. It’s time to ditch the policies we have come to tolerate for decades before they consume what is still left of our moral core.