Guns of Pot Users to be Confiscated
September 13, 2012
The Obama Administration through the Justice Department has given the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) the authority to “seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled-substance abuses.” In effect: those who are convicted of crimes involving alcohol and/or substance abusers will have their right to bear arms revoked.
By misuse of the civil-forfeiture doctrine, constitutional rights can be circumvented while the owner of the property will have it taken without recourse.
In 2010, the Department of Justice published that document entitled, “Investigating Terrorism and Criminal Extremism” wherein the definition of “constitutionalist” is reworked to reflect a “generic term for members of the ‘patriot’ movement. It is now often used to refer to members of the sovereign citizen or common law court movement. Sometimes the word ‘constitutionalist’ is also used.”
This document attempts to down play the term New World Order by explaining it as a term “used by conspiracy theorists to refer to a global conspiracy designed to implement worldwide socialism.” This ideal is “targeted by right-wing extremists” as bad yet those types are afraid that “Jewish people ultimately [will] control the world.”
The FBI surmises that “Sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or ‘sovereign’ from the United States. As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement” and that these citizens are a domestic terror threat.
Last month, Brian Loftus, member of Oathkeepers, was unduly harassed for purchasing “a few boxes of ammunition.”
Former US Marine Brandon Raub was indefinitely detained in a VA psychiatric hospital for speaking out against the US government on Facebook.
Raub’s attorney, John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, has stated that he is receiving correspondence from people across America that report that US veterans are being detained in psychiatric hospitals for speaking out against the US government.
Because of the Department of Homeland Security report entitled Rightwing Extremism, the US government is coming after US veterans; decrying them as domestic terrorists, extremists and white supremacists.
In July of this year, Obama vowed to “curb violence in American cities, including reasonable restrictions on gun ownership.”
As a Senator, Obama supported and pushed for anti-gun legislation. He admonished Congress back then as being “slow to act” on the issues he felt were an imperative.
During the Fast and Furious scandal it was revealed that the ATF was exposed in emails to have been part of the covert operation that was designed to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3” that would require gun shops and owners to report sales of multiple gun sales to individuals.
In the speech to the National Urban League, Obama eluded to the US government defining and declaring who is mentally stable enough to have the right to gun ownership.
Psychiatric doctors have seen money in the words of Obama and are rallying to claim that supporting the 2nd Amendment is tantamount to having a mental disorder.
Some psychiatrists are asserting that there needs to be a national healthcare approach to the issue of allowing the 2nd Amendment to stand.
Propaganda studies into gun ownership claim that alcohol abuse causes the likelihood of gun-related violence to rise, according to Dr. Garen Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine at the Prevention Research Program.
Banning assault weapons would control the amount of rounds a person could shoot, while the police officers would still be allowed to tout automatic pistols. By restricting gun sales to include minor misdemeanors as well as convicted felons, 40% of gun sales would be curbed. And with the classification of gun support as a mental disorder, more control could be placed on who ultimately can own a gun.
Susanne’s article first appeared on her website OccupyCorporatism.com.
Marijuana Compound Found Superior To Drugs For Alzheimer’s
Sayer Ji, Contributor
Could the active ingredient in marijuana, responsible for its characteristic “high,” help turn the tide against the accelerating Alzheimer’s epidemic?
A remarkable study published in the journal Molecular Pharmacology in 2006, found that this long-vilified plant contains a compound with not one, but two therapeutic properties ideal for addressing both the surface symptom (memory problems) and root cause (brain plaque) of Alzheimer’s disease.[i] This is an ironic finding, considering that the prevailing stereotype is that using marijuana “fries” the brain, leading to debilitating memory issues.
Researchers discovered that the psychoactive component of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), both “competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) aggregation.”
On the first account, THC’s ability to inhibit the AChE enzyme, is not unlike the mechanism of action behind most Alzheimer’s drugs on the market today. Drugs like donepezil (trade name Aricept), for instance, by targeting and inhibiting the brain enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), result in an increase in brain levels of this neurotransmitter, which in turn, results in symptom reduction, i.e. improved memory. Donepezil, however, is riddled with controversy due its well-known association with seizures, which likely reflects its intrinsic neurotoxicity. It is, in fact, a chemical in the same general chemical class as venom, insecticides and chemical war agents, such as nerve gas.
On the second account, THC’s ability to prevent the acetylcholinesterase-associated amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) aggregation, i.e. brain plaque, indicates that it may, as the researchers noted, “directly impact Alzheimer’s disease pathology.” In fact, they found “Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Aβ aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.”
What is so encouraging about this research, and which the researchers described as “noteworthy,” is the following:
THC is a considerably more effective inhibitor of AChE-induced Aβ deposition than the approved drugs for Alzheimer’s disease treatment, donepezil and tacrine, which reduced Aβ aggregation by only 22% and 7%, respectively, at twice the concentration used in our studies.7 Therefore, AChE inhibitors such as THC and its analogues may provide an improved therapeutic for Alzheimer’s disease, augmenting acetylcholine levels by preventing neurotransmitter degradation and reducing Aβ aggregation, thereby simultaneously treating both the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
THC, of course, is only one of a wide range of cannabinoids in the plant marijuana. Not only is there already plentiful information on the neuroprotective properties of marijuana compounds, but there is also a sizeable body of clinical and/or biomedical research indicating the medicinal value of this plant in over 150 health conditions. To view this research visit our Medical Marijuana Research page.
[i] Lisa M Eubanks, Claude J Rogers, Albert E Beuscher, George F Koob, Arthur J Olson, Tobin J Dickerson, Kim D Janda . A molecular link between the active component of marijuana and Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Mol Pharm. 2006 Nov-Dec;3(6):773-7. PMID: 17140265
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Deadly Zetas cartel co-founder extradited to US
Published: 13 September, 2012, 01:36
A Mexican drug lord that co-founded the infamous Zetas cartel and has been accused of killing a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent during a 2011 shoot-out has been extradited to America.
Jesus Rejon, also known as Z-7, was transferred out of Mexican custody and handed over to American authorities on Tuesday, 14 months after being captured in connection with the February 2011 murder of a US federal agent earlier that year.
Rejon, a founder of the notorious Zetas gang, is believed to be responsible for the execution of Jaime Zapata, an ICE agent who was gunned down while on assignment in Mexico. The incident left one other customs officer injured.
Rejon was captured in July 2011 just outside of Mexico City and relocated to Washington this week after he was handed off to the US Marshals Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration at Toluca International Airport in Mexico state. The Mexican Attorney General’s Office confirms that Rejon will be tried in a US federal court over the charges, but declined to explicitly note the February 2011 execution in his statement on the extradition.
“Once the stages of the extradition proceedings were exhausted, the Foreign Relations Secretariat issued the corresponding agreement via which the government of Mexico granted the extradition of the subject wanted by the government of the United States,” the Attorney General reports.
Before he was first found last year, the US government had offered a $5 million reward for the capture of Rejon and worked closely with Mexican authorities to track him down. In the five years before then, though, the Zetas had been tied to as many as 40,000 fatalities in an ongoing drug war that has claimed lives on both sides of the border.
Dutch pot smokers hope elections bring reversal on marijuana restrictions
By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 15:32 EDT
Amsterdam’s pot smokers cast a keen, if somewhat hazy eye on Wednesday’s election, hoping for a government that will reverse plans to register them in a database and ban sales to foreigners.
“You have to go out and vote, vote for any left-wing party, it doesn’t matter who, because they are against the weed-pass,” a weedtress who asked not to be named said as she measured out a bag of crumbly brown hash to a client at the “Tweede Kamer” coffee shop.
Situated in the heart of Amsterdam’s central business district, the Tweede Kamer ironically has the same name as the parliament’s lower house, for which more than 12 million voters are eligible to cast their votes on Wednesday.
Apart from its usual decor of heavy wooden panelling, dope paraphernalia, a biscuit tin with the faces of Dutch crown prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima, the shop has taken on a decidedly political tone for the day.
A large poster that says “I vote cannabis-friendly” with a list of the Dutch parties that oppose the weed-pass law shares the wall with an orange poster of an enlarged stamp showing the late Dutch queen Wilhelmina blowing smoke rings.
As mainstream politicians canvassed vigorously for votes in the tight vote, an equally intense alternative campaign has been waged the last few weeks to get Dutch smokers to go out and make their mark for pot-friendly parties.
Since mid-August, Dutch pro-pot supporters have been driving around the country in an old American school bus, calling for votes in an aptly-named “cannabus campaign.”
Leftist parties including the front-running Labour Party (PvdA) have said they would replace the current legislation with more marijuana-friendly policies should they be voted into power.
The so-called “cannabis card” law came into effect on May 1 which effectively transforms coffee shops in the country’s south into private clubs, requiring them to sell cannabis only to registered members who are Netherlands’ residents and to stop selling to foreigners.
The law’s coverage widens nationwide to include some 670 coffee shops across the Netherlands by January 2013.
The law is aimed at curbing drug-tourism related phenomena like late-night revelry, traffic jams and hard drug dealing, but detractors say it has simply pushed drug peddling onto the streets and led to a rise in criminality.
Although cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands, the country in 1976 decriminalised possession of less than five grammes (around a sixth of an ounce) of the substance.
“I’m not saying for whom, but I voted strategically,” a 50-year-old man who identified himself as “Mr X” told AFP at the Dutch Flowers cannabis cafe across the road from the Tweede Kamer.
“I think if Labour wins, government will reverse the law,” he added as he exhaled a steady stream of blue-tinted smoke.
“I think a lot of young voters will cast ballots on the cannabis issue,” added 35-year-old “Anna”, sitting underneath an iconic “Uncle Sam” poster adorned with psychedelic dope leaves and a message that read: “Vote against the weed-pass, and for your joint!”
“It has certainly influenced the way I voted,” said 40-year-old Rijn, who runs the “Oerwoud” (Jungle) coffee shop in Amsterdam’s famed red-light district.
Many coffee shop patrons said they were worried that if the cannabis-card were introduced in the capital — a move also frowned upon by Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan — locals would be forced to give their personal details while a large number of the around 12.2 million tourists who visit Amsterdam every year would be scared away.
As the day went on however, some smokers seemed to have lost the momentum to go and vote.
“Nobody’s talking politics here,” 40-year-old Myra, who works at the red-light district’s Stone’s Cafe told AFP.
“They’re all too stoned,” she said laughing.
8 Reasons to End Prohibition of All Drugs ImmediatelyJ.G. Vibes
The drug war is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the mainstream political dialogue, even among people who are sympathetic to the plight of responsible drug users. It is rare for someone to come out and say that all drugs should be legal, but in all honesty this is the only logically consistent stance on the issue. To say that some drugs should be legal while others should not is still giving credence to the punishment paradigm and overlooking the external consequences of drug prohibition, or prohibition of any object for that matter.
There is no doubt that drug abuse is a serious issue in our culture, primarily because people are so depressed and beaten down that they self medicate just to be able to tolerate the average day. However, a prohibition policy is a policy of violence, because if you happen to be caught with any of these banned items you will be forcefully taken against your will and put in a cage, and if you dare to prevent this kidnap from taking place you will inevitably be killed. This is the fundamental issue surrounding the drug war that we need to be focused on. Instead of bickering over how to slightly reform drug policy, or arguing about which drug is more harmful than the other, we need to be pointing out that prohibition itself is an inherently violent policy that rests upon the stone age concept of punishment.
As I alluded to earlier, there are many external factors that are effected by the drug war that many people don’t take into account. That is because when you carry out acts of violence, even in the form of punishment, you then create a ripple effect which extends far beyond the bounds of the original circumstance to effect many innocent people down the line. The following list delves into those external factors to illustrate how drug users and non users alike, would be a lot better off if prohibition ended immediately.
(1) – Reduce Violent Crime – The steady increase in violent crime over the past few decades is directly correlated with the escalation of the drug war. As we saw during the times of alcohol prohibition, when you ban any inanimate object, you create an incentive for people to get involved in the black market distribution of that object. Since there is no accountability, or means of peaceful dispute resolution within the black market, buyers and sellers are forced to resort to violence as their sole means of handling disagreements.
Eventually, this violence spills over into the everyday world and effects everyone’s lives. No one could imagine Budweiser and Miller Lite in a back alley gunfight, but less than a century ago during alcohol prohibition, distributors of the drug were involved in shootouts on a regular basis, just as drug gangs are today. Of course, all of this violence came to an immediate end when alcohol was legalized, however, it was not long before the establishment found a new crusade in the drug war, which allowed them to continue the same policy just with different substances.
(2) Improve Seller Accountability and Drug Safety – In the black market one of the major drawbacks is that there is no accountability among the people selling the drug. Since anyone can get kidnapped and thrown in a cage for even dealing with the stuff, it really doesn’t make sense for people to be plastering their names and logos all over the drugs. In this age of corporate mercantilism logos and branding may seem like a really tacky idea, but when looking at the black market we can see the value in such things. Someone who is selling a product with their name on it, is going to go through far greater lengths to ensure the quality of their product, as opposed to someone who would remain anonymous.
This anonymity creates an incentive for people to be dishonest with what they sell. This could lead to rip offs, or downright contamination of the drug with unwanted harmful substances. This is why there was bathtub gin that would make you go blind if your drank it during alcohol prohibition. This is also the reason why some of the harder street drugs today are cut with toxic chemicals that increase the chance of overdose ten fold. The fact that the drugs need to be smuggled also creates the incentive to make drugs more potent, and thus in some circumstances more dangerous. The increased potency and decreased availability inevitably leads to a massive increase in cost. The increased cost is a whole other issue with its own unique side effects in regaurds to drug safety. When the price of the real drugs go up, people just start huffing paint thinner, smoking bath salts and cooking up crystal meth in their basements, which is then even many times more dangerous than the unbranded drugs on the black market.
(3) – Reduce Drug Availability to Children – Many children have houses that are filled with alcohol, yet most of them find it way easier to get drugs than to get alcohol even though alcohol is legal. Even if there were no legal age restrictions on alcohol, the societal and family norms would be just as effective at deterring children from then a formal prohibition policy. If we look overseas at countries that don’t have age restrictions on alcohol, younger people are oftentimes much more mature and informed about its effects than children in the west, and are more likely to make responsible decisions about mind altering substances. In Portugal where drugs have been decriminalized for some time now there has actually been a double digit drop in drug use by school age children.
(4) – Reduce Nonviolent Prisoner Population – A vast majority of the prisoners in the united states are there for nonviolent non crimes, many of which stem from the drug war. Currently, there are more people in US prisons than were in the gulags of Soviet Russia at its worst. Putting nonviolent people in cages, bringing violence against nonviolent people is a horrible violation of natural law. However, if you have no sympathy or compassion for the casualties in this drug war, I would point again to the external consequences which effect even the most vocal prohibitionist. According to the most cited Judge in the United States, Richard A. Posner, the government spends $41.3 billion per year of your tax money on law enforcement measures against mostly small time drug users.
(5) – Real Crime Can be Dealt With – Even in areas with a declining homicide rate, the murder cases that are going unsolved are continuing to climb. Police departments and buerocrats have a million excuses, but the drug war is one of the primary reasons for this occurrence. On one hand indiscriminate killings become more common than crimes of passion that are easy to figure out, but there is a much more sinister aspect of this as well. If you look at the rate of incarcerations for drug offenses, and how incredibly often drug cases are “solved” and found in favor of the state, it becomes obvious that the police have more of an incentive in their day to day activities to hunt down drug users than murderers. These people aren’t selfless public servants as the propaganda on primetime television would lead you to believe, they are average people just like you and me. They will even tell ya “im just doin my job”, so like most of us, when they are on the job they try to get the most amount of money for the least amount of work, and murder cases are really tough work.
A cop could even miss his quota by taking the time and effort to hunt down a murderer, instead of grabbing a kid with a bag of pot, which is a lot easier to find and a lot easier to catch. Quotas are another thing that many police departments deny, but time and time again evidence surfaces that proves otherwise, recently a former NYPD officer has come forward saying that he used to ticket dead people just to meet his quota. This is not to say that all cops are nasty people, but the way that their jobs are monopolized by the state and focused on the drug war corrupts their position and forces them to hurt innocent people and violate people’s rights even if they have the best of intentions.
(6) – Encourage Genuine Treatment for Addicts – As a result of international drug treaties most of the world has remained trapped in a punishment mindset when it comes to dealing with the social problem of drug addiction. While an addiction may be problematic for the person involved and everyone that they come in contact with, they are not a criminal until they actually hurt someone or damage their property, and even then they are a criminal because of their aforementioned transgression not because of their drug addiction. Even the treatment that we see today is not genuine because it is forced on people and doesent address the reasons why they are doing drugs in the first place. In other words, today’s treatment programs just try to bash the idea that “drugs are bad” into peoples heads, instead of really communicating with these them, treating them like human beings and overcoming the underlying issues in their lives that are pushing them towards lives of drug addiction.
(7) – Prevent Drug Overdoses – As I mentioned earlier most drug overdoses that happen today wouldn’t occur if it wasn’t for the artificially high potency of drugs that we see today. However, what is even more sad is that of those overdoses that do happen, many more of them could have been prevented but were not because witnesses were too afraid of the police getting involved to call for help. 9 states out of 50 in the US currently have good Samaritan laws to give legal amnesty to anyone who brings an overdosing person to the hospital, but that measure wouldn’t even be necessary if prohibition wasn’t a factor in the first place. The fact that people are actually afraid to call an ambulance in this country should really tell you something about the level that the police state has risen to.
(8) – Protect Individual Rights – Thanks to the drug war, merely on the whim of saying that they smell something cops are now able to enter homes, search cars and totally violate the rights of nonviolent people. The drug war and terrorism are the two biggest excuses used to violate peoples rights, yet according to the national safety council you are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist. The very existence of the drug war to begin with, or a prohibition on any object is a fundamental violation of natural rights that should not exist in any civilized society.
If you have any questions or disagreements feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
America’s Secret Deal with the Mexican Drug Cartels
By Tom Burghardt
September 12, 2012
In a story which should have made front page headlines, Narco News investigative journalist Bill Conroy revealed that “A high-ranking Sinaloa narco-trafficking organization member’s claim that US officials have struck a deal with the leadership of the Mexican ‘cartel’ appears to be corroborated in large part by the statements of a Mexican diplomat in email correspondence made public recently by the nonprofit media group WikiLeaks.”
A series of some five million emails, The Global Intelligence Files, were obtained by the secret-spilling organization as a result of last year’s hack by Anonymous of the Texas-based “global intelligence” firm Stratfor.
Bad tradecraft aside, the Stratfor dump offer readers insight into a shadowy world where information is sold to the highest bidder through a “a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.”
One of those informants was a Mexican intelligence officer with the Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional, or CISEN, Mexico’s equivalent to the CIA. Dubbed “MX1″ by Stratfor, he operates under diplomatic cover at the Mexican consulate in Phoenix, Arizona after a similar posting at the consulate in El Paso, Texas.
His cover was blown by the intelligence grifters when they identified him in their correspondence as Fernando de la Mora, described by Stratfor as “being molded to be the Mexican ‘tip of the spear’ in the U.S.”
In an earlier Narco News story, Conroy revealed that “US soldiers are operating inside Mexico as part of the drug war and the Mexican government provided critical intelligence to US agents in the now-discredited Fast and Furious gun-running operation,” the Mexican diplomat claimed in email correspondence.
Those emails disclosed “details of a secret meeting between US and Mexican officials held in 2010 at Fort Bliss, a US Army installation located near El Paso, Texas. The meeting was part of an effort to create better communications between US undercover operatives in Mexico and the Mexican federal police, the Mexican diplomat reveals.”
“However,” Conroy wrote, “the diplomat expresses concern that the Fort Bliss meeting was infiltrated by the ‘cartels,’ whom he contends have ‘penetrated both US and Mexican law enforcement’.”
Such misgivings are thoroughly justified given the fact, as Antifascist Calling reported last spring, that the Mexican government had arrested three high-ranking Army generals over their links to narcotrafficking organizations.
In Conroy’s latest piece the journalist disclosed that the “Mexican diplomat’s assessment of the US and Mexican strategy in the war on drugs, as revealed by the email trail, paints a picture of a ‘simulated war’ in which the Mexican and US governments are willing to show favor to a dominant narco-trafficking organization in order to minimize the violence and business disruption in the major drug plazas, or markets.”
A “simulated war”? Where have we heard that before? Like the bogus “War on Terror” which arms and unleashes throat-slitting terrorists from the CIA’s favorite all-purpose zombie army of “Islamist extremists,” Al Qaeda, similarly, America’s fraudulent “War on Drugs” has been a splendid means of managing the global drug trade in the interest of securing geopolitical advantage over their rivals.
That major financial powerhouses in Europe and the U.S. (can you say Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, HSBC, ING and Wachovia) have been accused of reaping the lions’ share of profits derived from the grim trade, now a veritable Narco-Industrial Complex, the public continues to be regaled with tales that this ersatz war is being “won.”
While the Mexican body count continues to rise (nearly 120,000 dead since 2006 according to the latest estimates published by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, or INEGI, as reported by the Paris daily Le Monde in a recent editorial) the United States is escalating its not-so-covert military involvement in Mexico and putting proverbial boots on the ground as part of the $1.6 billion U.S.-financed Mérida Initiative.
But have such “initiatives” (in actuality, taxpayer-funded boondoggles for giant military contractors), turned the corner in the drug war? Not if estimates published the United Nations are accurate.
According to the 2011 World Drug Report, published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): “US authorities have estimated for the last couple of years that some 90% of the cocaine consumed in North America comes from Colombia, supplemented by some cocaine from Peru and limited amounts from the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
For the year 2009, results of the US Cocaine Signature Program, based on an analysis of approximately 3,000 cocaine HCl samples, revealed that 95.5% originated in Colombia (down from 99% in 2002) and 1.7% in Peru; for the rest (2.8%), the origin could not be determined.
The trafficking of cocaine into the United States is nowadays largely controlled by various Mexican drug cartels, while until the mid-1990s, large Colombian cartels dominated these operations.”
Despite more than $8 billion lavished on programs such as Plan Colombia, and despite evidence that leading Colombian politicians, including former President Álvaro Uribe and his entourage had documented links to major drug trafficking organizations that go back decades, the myth persists that pouring money into the drug war sinkhole will somehow turn the tide.
But drug seizures by U.S. agencies only partially tell the tale.
As UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov pointed out in the introduction to the agency’s 2011 report, Estimating Illicit Financial Flows Resulting from Drug Trafficking and Other Transnational Crimes, “all criminal proceeds are likely to have amounted to some 3.6 per cent of GDP (2.3-5.5 per cent) or around US$2.1 trillion in 2009.”
UNODC analysts disclosed that illicit money flows related to “transnational organized crime, represent the equivalent of some 1.5 percent of global GDP, 70 percent of which would have been available for laundering through the financial system. The largest income for transnational organized crime seems to come from illicit drugs, accounting for a fifth of all crime proceeds.”
“If only flows related to drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime activities were considered,” UNODC asserted, “related proceeds would have been equivalent to around US$650 billion per year in the first decade of the new millennium, equivalent to 1.5% of global GDP or US$870 billion in 2009 assuming that the proportions remained unchanged.
The funds available for laundering through the financial system would have been equivalent to some 1% of global GDP or US$580 billion in 2009.”
“The results,” according to UNODC, “also suggest that the ‘interception rate’ for anti-money-laundering efforts at the global level remains low. Globally, it appears that much less than 1% (probably around 0.2%) of the proceeds of crime laundered via the financial system are seized and frozen.”
Commenting on the nexus between global drug mafias and our capitalist overlords, former UNODC director Antonio Maria Costa told The Observer in 2009, “that the proceeds of organised crime were ‘the only liquid investment capital’ available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year.
He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.”
Would there be an incentive then, for U.S. officials to dismantle a global business that benefits their real constituents, the blood-sucking gangsters at the apex of the capitalist financial pyramid? Hardly.
Nor would there be any incentive for American drug warriors to target organizations that inflate the balance sheets of the big banks. Wouldn’t they be more likely then, given the enormous flows of illicit cash flooding the system, to negotiate an “arrangement” with the biggest players, particularly the Sinaloa Cartel run by fugitive billionaire Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán?
In fact, as Narco News disclosed last December, a “quid-pro-quo arrangement is precisely what indicted narco-trafficker Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, who is slated to stand trial in Chicago this fall, alleges was agreed to by the US government and the leaders of the Sinaloa ‘Cartel’–the dominant narco-trafficking organization in Mexico. The US government, however, denies that any such arrangement exists.”
Narco News reported that according to “Zambada Niebla, he and the rest of the Sinaloa leadership, through the US informant Loya Castro, negotiated an immunity deal with the US government in which they were guaranteed protection from prosecution in exchange for providing US law enforcers and intelligence agencies with information that could be used to compromise rival Mexican cartels and their operations.”
In court pleadings, Zambada Niebla’s attorneys argued that “the United States government considered the arrangements with the Sinaloa Cartel an acceptable price to pay, because the principal objective was the destruction and dismantling of rival cartels by using the assistance of the Sinaloa Cartel–without regard for the fact that tons of illicit drugs continued to be smuggled into Chicago and other parts of the United States and consumption continued virtually unabated.”
Those assertions seem to be borne out by emails released by WikiLeaks. Conroy disclosed: “In a Stratfor email dated April 19, 2010, MX1 lays out the Mexican government’s negotiating, or ‘signaling,’ strategy with respect to the major narco-trafficking organizations as follows:
The Mexican strategy is not to negotiate directly.
In any event, “negotiations” would take place as follows:
Assuming a non-disputed plaza [a major drug market, such as Ciudad Juarez]:
• [If] they [a big narco-trafficking group] bring [in] some drugs, transport some drugs, [and] they are discrete, they don’t bother anyone, [then] no one gets hurt;
• [And the] government turns the other way.
• [If] they [the narco-traffickers] kill someone or do something violent, [then the] government responds by taking down [the] drug network or making arrests.
(Now, assuming a disputed plaza:)
• [A narco-trafficking] group comes [into a plaza], [then the] government waits to see how dominant cartel responds.
• If [the] dominant cartel fights them [the new narco-trafficking group], [then the] government takes them down.
• If [the] dominant cartel is allied [with the new group], no problem.
• If [a new] group comes in and start[s] committing violence, they get taken down: first by the government letting the dominant cartel do their thing, then [by] punishing both cartels.
“MX1,” Narco News revealed, “then goes on to describe what he interprets as the US strategy in negotiating with the major narco-trafficking players in Ciudad Juarez–a major Mexican narco-trafficking ‘plaza’ located across the border from El Paso, Texas:”
… This is how “negotiations” take place with cartels, through signals. There are no meetings, etc. …
So, the MX [Mexican] strategy is not to negotiate. However, I think the US [recently] sent a signal that could be construed as follows:
“To the VCF [the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes] and Sinaloa cartels: Thank you for providing our market with drugs over the years. We are now concerned about your perpetration of violence, and would like to see you stop that.
In this regard, please know that Sinaloa is bigger and better than [the] VCF. Also note that CDJ [Juarez] is very important to us, as is the whole border. In this light, please talk amongst yourselves and lets all get back to business. Again, we recognize that Sinaloa is bigger and better, so either VCF gets in line or we will mess you up.”
I don’t know what the US strategy is, but I can tell you that if the message was understood by Sinaloa and VCF as I described above, the Mexican government would not be opposed at all.
In sum, I have a gut feeling that the US agencies tried to send a signal telling the cartels to negotiate themselves. They unilaterally declared a winner [the Sinaloa Cartel], and this is unprecedented, and deserves analysis. If there was no strategy behind this, and it was simply a leaked report, then I will be interested to see how it plays out in the coming months.
Keep in mind that this “analysis” is from a senior CISEN officer describing U.S. “strategy” for managing, not putting a stop to the flood of narcotics crossing the border.
“In a separate Stratfor email dated April 15, 2010,” Conroy wrote, “MX1′s views on the US strategy with respect to the drug organizations in Juarez, essentially favoring the Sinaloa ‘Cartel,’ is referenced yet again:”
We believe that when the US made an announcement that was corroborated by several federal spokespersons simultaneously (that Sinaloa controlled CDJ [Juarez]), it was a message that the DEA wanted to send to Sinaloa.
The message was that the US recognized Sinaloa’s dominance in the area [Juarez], although it was not absolute. It was meant to be read by the cartels as a sort of ultimatum: negotiate and put your house in order once and for all.
One dissenting analyst thinks that the message is the opposite, telling Sinaloa to take what it had and to leave what remains of VCF. Regardless, the reports are saying that the US message to the cartels was to negotiate and stop the violence.
It says that the US has never before pronounced that a cartel controls a particular plaza, so it is an unusual event.
“Unusual” perhaps, but not surprising given the secret state’s documented history of close collaboration with major drug trafficking networks that serve as unofficial, though highly-effective instruments, for advancing U.S. imperial strategies.
In a recent piece published by Global Research, analyst Peter Dale Scott observed that America’s two “self-generating wars” on “terror” and “drugs” have “in effect become one.”
“By launching a War on Drugs in Colombia and Mexico,” Scott wrote, “America has contributed to a parastate of organized terror in Colombia (the so-called AUC, United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) and an even bloodier reign of terror in Mexico (with 50,000 killed in the last six years).”
And by “launching a War on Terror in Afghanistan in 2001, America has contributed to a doubling of opium production there, making Afghanistan now the source of 90 percent of the world’s heroin and most of the world’s hashish.”
“Americans should be aware of the overall pattern that drug production repeatedly rises where America intervenes militarily–Southeast Asia in the 1950s and 60s, Colombia and Afghanistan since then,” Scott noted. “(Opium cultivation also increased in Iraq after the 2003 US invasion.) And the opposite is also true: where America ceases to intervene militarily, notably in Southeast Asia since the 1970s, drug production declines.”
“Both of America’s self-generating wars are lucrative to the private interests that lobby for their continuance,” Scott averred. “At the same time, both of these self-generating wars contribute to increasing insecurity and destabilization in America and in the world.”
In this light, Narco News revelations make perfect sense. As the global financial crisis deepens, brought on in no small part by the massive frauds perpetrated by leading capitalist institutions, they have inflated their balance sheets with a veritable tsunami of hot cash generated by the Narco-Industrial Complex.
In turn, the American secret state, working to recapitalize financial markets beset by a seemingly insolvable liquidity crisis resulting from massive bank frauds, turn a blind eye as these same institutions become major centers of organized crime, monopoly enterprises which could not survive without the trillions of dollars of illicit funds parked in offshore accounts.
This article originally appeared on Global Research
Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, an independent research and media group of writers, scholars, journalists and activists based in Montreal, he is a Contributing Editor with Cyrano’s Journal Today. His articles can be read on Dissident Voice, Pacific Free Press, Uncommon Thought Journal, and the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press and has contributed to the new book from Global Research, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.
The War on Drugs is Working Perfectly!
September 11, 2012
I must assume that people who write articles bemoaning the war on drugs are either propagandists or stupendously ignorant of natural laws.
If marijuana were legal it wouldn’t be long before you’d have to give it away. It’s a weed! It will grow anywhere in any soil. It will grow in the cracks in your driveway.
Opium poppies are a little fussier but they’re no more difficult to raise than tomato plants. Without very strict controls the bottom would fall out of those markets in a single growing season and thus the profits would similarly drop off.
“If the [drug] trade is ever legalized, it will cease to be profitable from that time. The more difficulties that attend it, the better for you and us.” – Director of Jardine-Matheson, multinational corporation, incorporated in Bermuda and based in Hong Kong.
The banking, legal, and private prison systems thrive on those laws too.
In fact, a very big part of the world’s economy depends on those barbaric laws that keep the price of drugs inflated beyond reason.
The U.N. pegs the yearly illicit drugs trade at $1.5 trillion and most of that money would simply disappear from the economy if drugs were to be legalized.
Marijuana is too cheap
Contrary to the evil qualities that authorities attempt to associate with marijuana, the plant’s real sin is that it’s too common and cheap.
Californians were afraid of proposition 19 for that reason. They knew that the market would soon be flooded and/or the corporate growers would take over and monopolize the trade.
Either way, prices and profits would plummet for the independent growers. Everyone on both sides of the law breathed a sigh of relief when proposition 19 failed.
The criterion that determines if a system is working properly is the profit made by that system. Is the system making money? Yes, it is, which means that the drug laws are working fine and so is the prison system because lots of people are making lots of money on them.
Of course the general public is suffering, but they are not and never have been a concern. Business profits are all that matter.
Business sees the public as merely sheep to be shorn and little else, and don’t let any dewy-eyed idealists tell you differently. No system or enterprise is going to be abandoned, no matter how inefficient or unjust it may be, as long as it’s making money. In fact, the more inefficient and unjust it is, the more likely it will succeed indefinitely.
Business runs the world, it always has and it always will. Governments are the enforcement arms of business.
With any piece of legislation, whether local or federal or international, if a person investigates the sponsors of the legislation they will usually find some business concern or corporate family expecting to use the legislation to increase their profits and stifle competition.
It’s no different with illegal drugs. Deregulation and a more open market would upset the profiteering on both sides of the law.
“The average American doesn’t realize how much of the laws are written by lobbyists. It’s shocking how the system actually works.” – Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, to Atlantic editor James Bennet at the Washington Ideas Forum.
To easily understand the war on drugs, the next time you see an article that’s critical of it, try this tip:
As you read along, wherever you see the word “costs” replace it in your mind with the word “makes.” This is because what costs one group money makes some other group money.
The war on drugs is a big money-making multi-ring circus of cash hogs all lined up with their snouts and hoofs in the taxpayers’ wallets. Agencies, bureaucrats, courts, lawyers, prisons, police, and private companies are all making boatloads of money fighting a war that can never ever be won. And they all love that it can’t be won. It’s the ultimate job security.
You can also apply this costs/makes tip to the “War on Terror” and every other “war on” the government has ever invented.
Any problem the government tackles is likely to get worse because the bureaucracy depends on that. Bureaucracies thrive on failure. They need it.
Failure is what drives the whole system, because failure calls for bigger budgets, more bureaucrats, more legislation, more taxes, more bids on more contracts, and more meetings with more committees. The ultimate drive is always for more, more and more.
So from the government’s standpoint, failure is actually success. And conversely, success would be failure. This sounds completely insane, I know, but it’s absolutely true.
Incidentally, if you haven’t read Sibel Edmonds’ book, Classified Woman, I earnestly recommend that you do. It’s a well-written and absorbing insider’s account of the perverse workings of big league bureaucracy.
As for legalizing marijuana, the legalize-pot initiatives are not necessarily being driven by benevolent forces, though there are no doubt some sincere but naïve people in the mix.
The feds – DEA, courts, prisons, etc. – hate to give up any power or careers, and the same goes for the mafia types, so both factions will fight legalization for some time. But the really big money guys – the oil and pharmaceutical industries – may win in the end.
The following is an excerpt from this long but worthwhile article:
If corporations like Monsanto, GW Pharma, Bayer and HortaPharm are allowed to carry out there interests, they will hold the genetic copyrights to all Cannabis strains on the planet. GW Pharma and HortaPharm have stated their intent to engineer Cannabis strains similar to Monsanto’s terminator seed technology.
Their strains seem to be artificially manipulated to produce “one-off sterile females” which prevents reproduction of harvest-able seeds. These are the kinds of strains that are waiting to be controlled, regulated, licensed and taxed after the potential passage of proposition 19 in California and many similar initiatives across the United States being funded directly by Monsanto shareholders.
The one interesting quirk about pot, though, is that being a true weed it’s likely to behave like one in the long run and big pharma’s attempt to corner it might backfire by producing a rampantly spreading pest.
We’re already seeing the appearance of “super-weeds” caused by genetic engineering and herbicides. It turns out that nature has no respect for patents.
75% of UK MPs Say Drug Policies Not Working
September 9, 2012
More than three-quarters of MPs believe the UK’s drug policies are not working, according to a poll for a respected commission poised to deliver a landmark report assessing the evidence for continued prohibition.
The poll’s publication comes ahead of the release of several major reports into the future of UK drug policy that will ensure the debate about reforming the country’s laws becomes a key issue for MPs for the rest of the year.
The poll, conducted by ComRes for the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), found that 77% of MPs believed the UK’s current policies were ineffective in tackling the problems caused by illegal drugs.
Does Marijuana Cause Cancer? Research Says Marijuana Fights Cance
Does marijuana cause cancer? The censorship-happy government’s war on marijuana may be sorely misplaced, especially when considering all the other issues in need of focus. Dr. Sean McAllister of the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has spent years researching cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in cannabis, the plant that flowers marijuana. “Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy,” he says.
You might remember Cash Hyde, the 3-year-old boy from Montana diagnosed with brain cancer but who beat it with his father Mike’s help and marijuana oil. Well, Hyde’s case isn’t the only one revealing the positive relationship between marijuana and cancer.
Does Marijuana Cause Cancer? THC as Therapy
In 1998, Cristina Sanchez of Complutense University in Madrid reported in a European biochemistry journal that THC—the famed psychoactive component in marijuana—“induces apoptosis [cell death] in C6 glioma cells,” which are a type of brain cancer.
Lead author of another study and Harvard University researcher Anju Preet says, “THC can have a potential therapeutic role.” His findings, presented in a 2007 American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles, showed that THC has a direct antitumoral effect.
The first clinical trial studying THC’s antitumoral effect on humans was conducted by Manuel Guzman and his team of Spanish scientists. Guzman administered THC to nine patients who had not responded to traditional brain cancer therapies for the study. As published in a 2006 issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology, tumor cell proliferation reduced in response to THC administration through a catheter – showing the medical benefits of marijuana.
Another Harvard study reports that THC slows lung cancer progress. Moreover, unlike chemotherapy which damages all cells—healthy or cancerous—THC specifically destroyed tumoral cells without harming healthy ones.
In another study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, spanning from 1985 to 2006, over 5,000 men and women smoked about one joint daily for seven years. Co-author Stefan Kertesz found that subjects, rather than having damaged lungs, showed increases in lung air flow rates. Surprising findings indeed.
With backing from the National Institute of Health, Dr. Sean McAllister conducted a study and found that cannabidiol inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, and tumor growth.
McAllister researched cancer’s relationship to the ID-1 gene—a protein active during embryonic development but, in healthy subjects, turns and stays off. In the case of breast cancer patients, the gene turns back on, which causes malignant cells to metastasize. In the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, McAllister wrote that cannabidiol switches off the gene’s expression.
McAllister found that cannabidiol can even work alongside standard chemotherapy treatments by performing synergistically with pharmaceuticals. This means that maximum, toxic doses don’t have to be administered.
Despite accusations that marijuana smoking can compromise the immune system, mountains of research indicate that the plant has more to offer than a high. More studies are undoubtedly in the works.
In this research, Manuel Guzman located in Madrid, Spain discovered that cannabinoids substantially inhibit the growth of tumors in a variety of lab animals. In the study he also found that not one of these tested animals endured any kind of side effects seen in many similar chemotherapy treatments.
If all of the research doesn’t appeal to you, then maybe the 2,500 total studied patients throughout these 37 controlled studies may. None of the patients reported any kind of adverse side effects from the use of THC and based medication – further adding to the benefits of medical marijuana and strengthening the positive connection between marijuana and cancer.
So, does marijuana cause cancer, or does it fight cancer?
- Marijuana and Cancer Relationship – Marijuana Found to Destroy Cancer Cells
- Shocking: Positive Effects of Marijuana on Lungs
- Marijuana Oil Helps 3-Year-Old Son Beat Cancer, Dad Says
- Dad Says Marijuana Helped 3-Year-Old Son Beat Cancer
- Medical Marijuana Becoming Blockbuster ‘Anti-Cancer’ Drug
- Medical Marijuana Possible Treatment for Osteoporosis
Cocaine-hub Peru emerges as massive U.S. dollar counterfeiting capital
By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, September 8, 2012 19:21 EDT
Peru, one of Latin America’s fast-growing economies and a hub of the global cocaine trade, has emerged as a producer of counterfeit US dollars being used both abroad and at home.
Counterfeiting has grown large and fast enough that US authorities call Peru one of Latin America’s worst offenders when it comes to cranking out fake US currency.
In Lima, many people traditionally change their currency, soles, to dollars on the street to get a slightly better rate than in banks, without the wait.
And that arrangement has opened a big door to counterfeiters.
“People moving the counterfeit greenbacks set up shop around the city. And they always have getaway cars close by when they make a big transaction or when we identify them,” said Antolin Vilca, a currency trader who has worked for two decades on the street in Lima’s financial district.
Counterfeiters show up as street dollar traders finish up their days, hoping to swap fake larger US notes for lots of real smaller-denomination dollars.
“They start turning up at the end of the workday,” likely hoping that in their eagerness to get home, honest traders will slip up and take the fake bait, Vilca said.
So far this year, police in Peru have seized 8.3 million counterfeit US bills of various denominations, National Anti-Fraud Unit chief Colonel Segundo Portocarrero told AFP.
And consumers are taking a growing hit from the counterfeit bills in retail transactions and even at their homes, when selling their personal items.
Filomeno Olivera, a trader who works near a market area in the San Miguel neighborhood, said another big strategy by counterfeiters is to answer newspaper ads for people selling cars, computers or other big ticket items.
“Let’s say you put an ad in the paper to sell a computer for $500,” Olivera explained. “Somebody shows up at your house, nicely dressed and quite friendly. And they buy your item from you on the spot, no haggling — and of course in fake dollars.”
And Peru’s new counterfeit product is making its presence felt in neighboring Ecuador, where the US dollar is the official currency, as well as in Bolivia, Mexico and the United States itself, Portocarrero said. Some experts estimate that more than 10 percent of counterfeit dollars in circulation in the United States are made in Peru.
Police say that local counterfeiters have links to international organized crime, especially from Mexico and Colombia.
Portocarrero said Peruvian authorities were “working on” cooperating with the United States to tackle the problem.
One of the renowned local “masters” of forgery is Peru’s Joel Quispe Rodriguez.
Though his band of counterfeiters was broken up last year, police say he may still be running his organization from behind bars as he awaits trial.
Dollar traders on the streets complain that criminals moving counterfeit bills often get picked up and taken to a police station for booking, only to appear back on the street within hours.
Filed Under: DRUG WAR
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