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The CIA: Seventy Years of Organized Crime


On occasion of the CIA’s 70th anniversary, Lars Schall talked with U.S. researcher Douglas Valentine about the Central Intelligence Agency. According to Valentine, the CIA is “the organized crime branch of the U.S. government”, doing the dirty business for the rich and powerful.
 

By Douglas Valentine and Lars Schall
GlobalReserach.ca
 

Lars Schall: 70 years ago, on September 18, 1947, the National Security Act created the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA. Douglas, you refer to the CIA as “the organized crime branch of the U.S. government.” Why so?

Douglas Valentine: Everything the CIA does is illegal, which is why the government provides it with an impenetrable cloak of secrecy. While mythographers in the information industry portray America as a bastion of peace and democracy, CIA officers manage criminal organizations around the world. For example, the CIA hired one of America’s premier drug trafficker in the 1950s and 1960s, Santo Trafficante, to murder Fidel Castro. In exchange, the CIA allowed Trafficante to import tons of narcotics into America. The CIA sets up proprietary arms, shipping, and banking companies to facilitate the criminal drug trafficking organizations that do its dirty work. Mafia money gets mixed up in offshore banks with CIA money, until the two are indistinguishable.

Drug trafficking is just one example.

LS: What is most important to understand about the CIA?

DV: Its organizational history, which, if studied closely enough, reveals how the CIA manages to maintain its secrecy. This is the essential contradiction at the heart of America’s problems: if we were a democracy and if we truly enjoyed free speech, we would be able to study and speak about the CIA. We would confront our institutionalized racism and sadism. But we can’t, and so our history remains unknown, which in turn means we have no idea who we are, as individuals or as a nation. We imagine ourselves to be things we are not. Our leaders know bits and pieces of the truth, but they cease being leaders once they begin to talk about the truly evil things the CIA is doing.

LS: A term of interest related to the CIA is “plausible deniability”. Please explain.

DV: The CIA doesn’t do anything it can’t deny. Tom Donohue, a retired senior CIA officer, told me about this.

Let me tell you a bit about my source. In 1984, former CIA Director William Colby agreed to help me write my book, The Phoenix Program. Colby introduced me to Donohue in 1985. Donohue had managed the CIA’s “covert action” branch in Vietnam from 1964-1966, and many of the programs he developed were incorporated in Phoenix. Because Colby had vouched for me, Donohue was very forthcoming and explained a lot about how the CIA works.

Donohue was a typical first-generation CIA officer. He’d studied Comparative Religion at Columbia and understood symbolic transformation. He was a product and practitioner of Cook County politics who joined the CIA after World War Two when he perceived the Cold War as “a growth industry.” He had been the CIA’s station chief in the Philippines at the end of his career and, when I spoke to him, he was in business with a former Filipino Defense Minister. He was putting his contacts to good use, which is par for the course. It’s how corruption works for senior bureaucrats.

Donohue said the CIA doesn’t do anything unless it meets two criteria. The first criterion is “intelligence potential.” The program must benefit the CIA; maybe it tells them how to overthrow a government, or how to blackmail an official, or where a report is hidden, or how to get an agent across a border. The term “intelligence potential” means it has some use for the CIA. The second criterion is that it can be denied. If they can’t find a way to structure the program or operation so they can deny it, they won’t do it. Plausible denial can be as simple as providing an officer or asset with military cover. Then the CIA can say, “The army did it.”

Plausible denial is all about language. During Senate hearings into CIA assassination plots against Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders, the CIA’s erstwhile deputy director of operations Richard Bissell defined „plausible denial“ as “the use of circumlocution and euphemism in discussions where precise definitions would expose covert actions and bring them to an end.”

Everything the CIA does is deniable. It’s part of its Congressional mandate. Congress doesn’t want to be held accountable for the criminal things the CIA does. The only time something the CIA does become public knowledge – other than the rare accident or whistleblower – is when Congress or the President think it’s helpful for psychological warfare reasons to let the American people know the CIA is doing it. Torture is a good example. After 9/11, and up until and through the invasion of Iraq, the American people wanted revenge. They wanted to see Muslim blood flowing, so the Bush administration let it leak that they were torturing evil doers. They played it cute and called it “enhanced interrogation,” but everyone understood symbolically. Circumlocution and euphemism. Plausible denial.

LS: Do the people at the CIA know that they’re part of “the organized crime branch of the U.S. government”? In the past, you’ve suggested related to the Phoenix program, for example: „Because the CIA compartmentalizes itself, I ended up knowing more about the program than any individual in the CIA.“

DV: Yes, they do. I talk at length about this in my book The CIA as Organized Crime. Most people have no idea what cops really do. They think cops give you a speeding ticket. They don’t see the cops associating with professional criminals and making money in the process. They believe that when a guy puts on a uniform, he or she becomes virtuous. But people who go into law enforcement do so for the trill of wielding power over other people, and in this sense, they relate more to the crooks they associate with than the citizens they’re supposed to protect and serve. They’re looking to bully someone and they’re corrupt. That’s law enforcement.

The CIA is populated with the same kind of people, but without any of the constraints. The CIA officer who created the Phoenix program, Nelson Brickham, told me this about his colleagues: “I have described the intelligence service as a socially acceptable way of expressing criminal tendencies. A guy who has strong criminal tendencies but is too much of a coward to be one, would wind up in a place like the CIA if he had the education.” Brickham described CIA officers as wannabe mercenaries “who found a socially acceptable way of doing these things and, I might add, getting very well paid for it.”

It’s well known that when the CIA selects agents or people to run militias or secret police units in foreign nations, it subjects its candidates to rigorous psychological screening. John Marks in The Search for the Manchurian Candidate told how the CIA sent its top psychologist, John Winne, to Seoul to “select the initial cadre” for the Korean CIA. “I set up an office with two translators,” Winne told Marks, “and used a Korean version of the Wechsler.” CIA shrinks gave the personality assessment test to two dozen military and police officers, “then wrote up a half-page report on each, listing their strengths and weaknesses. Winne wanted to know about each candidate’s ability to follow orders, creativity, lack of personality disorders, motivation – why he wanted out of his current job. It was mostly for the money, especially with the civilians.”

In this way, the CIA recruits secret police forces as assets in every country where it operates, including occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. In Latin America, Marks wrote, “The CIA…found the assessment process most useful for showing how to train the anti-terrorist section. According to results, these men were shown to have very dependent psychologies and needed strong direction.”

That “direction” came from the CIA. Marks quoted one assessor as saying, “Anytime the Company spent money for training a foreigner, the object was that he would ultimately serve our purposes.” CIA officers “were not content simply to work closely with these foreign intelligence agencies; they insisted on penetrating them, and the Personality Assessment System provided a useful aid.”

What’s less well known is that the CIA’s executive management staff is far more concerned with selecting the right candidates to serve as CIA officers than it is about selecting agents overseas. The CIA dedicates a huge portion of its budget figuring how to select, control, and manage its own work force. It begins with instilling blind obedience. Most CIA officers consider themselves to be soldiers. The CIA is set up as a military organization with a sacred chain of command that cannot be violated. Somebody tells you what to do, and you salute and do it. Or you’re out.

Other systems of control, such as “motivational indoctrination programs”, make CIA officers think of themselves as special. Such systems have been perfected and put in place over the past seven decades to shape the beliefs and responses of CIA officers. In exchange for signing away their legal rights, they benefit from reward systems – most importantly, CIA officers are immune from prosecution for their crimes. They consider themselves the Protected Few and, if they wholeheartedly embrace the culture of dominance and exploitation, they can look to cushy jobs in the private sector when they retire.

The CIA’s executive management staff compartments the various divisions and branches so that individual CIA officers can remain detached. Highly indoctrinated, they blindly obey on a “need to know” basis. This institutionalized system of self-imposed ignorance and self-deceit sustains, in their warped minds, the illusion of American righteousness, upon which their motivation to commit all manner of crimes in the name of national security depends. That and the fact that most are sociopaths.

It’s a self-regulating system too. As FBN Agent Martin Pera explained, “If you’re successful because you can lie, cheat, and steal, those things become tools you use in the bureaucracy.”

LS: Can you tell us please what’s behind a term you like to use, the „Universal Brotherhood of Officers“?

DV: The ruling class in any state views the people it rules as lesser beings to be manipulated, coerced, and exploited. The rulers institute all manner of systems – which function as protection rackets – to assure their class prerogatives. The military is the real power in any state, and the military in every state has a chain of command in which blind obedience to superiors is sacred and inviolable. Officers don’t fraternize with enlisted men because they will at some point send them to their deaths. There is an officer corps in every military, as well as in every bureaucracy and every ruling class in every state, which has more in common with military officers, top bureaucrats, and rulers in other states, than it does with the expendable, exploitable riff raff in its own state.

Cops are members of the Universal Brotherhood of Officers. They exist above the law. CIA officers exist near the pinnacle of the Brotherhood. Blessed with fake identities and bodyguards, they fly around in private planes, live in villas, and kill with state-of-the-art technology. They tell army generals what to do. They direct Congressional committees. They assassinate heads of state and murder innocent children with impunity and with indifference. Everyone to them, but their bosses, is expendable.

LS: In your opinion, it is the „National Security Establishment’s deepest, darkest secret“ that it is involved in the global drug trade. How did this involvement come about?

DV: There are two facets to the CIA’s management and control of international drug trafficking, on behalf of the corporate interests that rule America. It’s important to note that the US government’s involvement in drug trafficking began before the CIA existed, as a means of controlling states, as well as the political and social movements within them, including America. Direct involvement started in the 1920s when the US helped Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist regime in China support itself through the narcotics trade.

During World War II, the CIA’ predecessor, the OSS, provided opium to Kachin guerrillas fighting the Japanese. The OSS and the US military also forged ties with the American criminal underworld during the Second World War, and would thereafter secretly provide protection to American drug traffickers whom it hired to do its dirty work at home and abroad.

After the Nationalists were chased out of China, the CIA established these drug traffickers in Taiwan and Burma. By the 1960’s, the CIA was running the drug trade throughout Southeast Asia, and expanding its control worldwide, especially into South America, but also throughout Europe. The CIA supported its drug trafficking allies in Laos and Vietnam. Air Force General Nguyen Cao Ky, while serving in 1965 as head of South Vietnam’s national security directorate, sold the CIA the right to organize private militias and build secret interrogation centers in every province, in exchange for control over a lucrative narcotic smuggling franchise. Through his strongman, General Loan, Ky and his clique financed both their political apparatus and their security forces through opium profits. All with CIA assistance.

The risk of having its ties to drug traffickers in Southeast Asia exposed, is what marks the beginning of the second facet – the CIA’s infiltration and commandeering of the various government agencies involved in drug law enforcement. Senior American officials arranged for the old Bureau of Narcotics to be dissolved and recreated in 1968 within the Justice Department as the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The CIA immediately began infiltrating the highest levels of the BNDD for the purpose of protecting its drug trafficking allies around the world, especially in Southeast Asia. The CIA’s Counter-Intelligence Branch, under James Angleton, had been in liaison with these drug agencies since 1962, but in 1971 the function was passed to the CIA’s operations division. In 1972, CIA officer Seymour Bolten was appointed as the CIA director’s Special Assistant for the Coordination of Narcotics. Bolten became an advisor to William Colby and later DCI George H.W. Bush. By 1973, with the establishment of the DEA, the CIA was in total control of all foreign drug law enforcement operations and was able to protect traffickers in the US as well. In 1990 the CIA created its own counter-narcotics center, despite being prohibited from exercising any domestic law enforcement function.

LS: Is the war on drugs also a war on blacks? Let me give you some framework for this question, because John Ehrlichman, a former top aide to Richard Nixon, supposedly admitted that: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” (1) And I can quote from H. R. Haldeman’s diaries in this respect, of course. In the early stages of his presidency, more specifically on April 28, 1969, Nixon outlined his basic strategy to his chief of staff: “[President Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.” (2) So, is the war on drugs that started under Nixon also a war on blacks? And if so, what does this tell us about the United States?

DV: America is a former slave state and a blatantly racist society, so yes, the war on drugs, which is managed by white supremacists, was and is directed against blacks and other despised minorities as a way of keeping them disenfranchised. The old Bureau of Narcotics was blatantly racist: not until 1968 were black FBN agents allowed to become group supervisors (Grade 13) and manage white agents.

I interviewed former FBN Agent William Davis for my book about the FBN, The Strength of the Wolf. Davis articulated the predicament of black agents.  After graduating from Rutgers University in 1950, Davis, while visiting New York City, heard singer Kate Smith praising FBN Agent Bill Jackson on a radio show. “She described him as a black lawyer who was doing a fine job as a federal narcotic agent,” Davis recalled, “and that was my inspiration. I applied to the Narcotics Bureau and was hired right away, but I soon found out there was an unwritten rule that Black agents could not hold positions of respect: they could not become group leaders, or manage or give direction to whites. The few black agents we had at any one time,” he said bitterly, “maybe eight in the whole country, had indignities heaped upon us.”

Davis told how Wade McCree, while working as an FBN agent in the 1930s, created a patent medicine.  But McCree made the mistake of writing to Eleanor Roosevelt to complain that prosecutors in the South were calling black agents “niggers.”  As a result, the FBN’s legal staff charge McCree with using FBN facilities to create his patent medicine. McCree was fired with the intended ripple effect: his dismissal sent a clear message that complaints from black agents would not be tolerated.

In an interview for The Strength of the Wolf, Clarence Giarusso, a veteran New Orleans narcotic agent and its chief of police in the 1970s, explained to me the racial situation from local law enforcement’s perspective. “We made cases in Black neighborhoods because it was easy,” he said. “We didn’t need a search warrant, it allowed us to meet our quotas, and it was ongoing. If we found dope on a Black man we could put him in jail for a few days and no one cared. He has no money for a lawyer, and the courts are ready to convict; there’s no expectation on the jury’s part that we even have to make a case.  So rather than go cold turkey he becomes an informant, which means we can make more cases in his neighborhood, which is all we’re interested in. We don’t care about Carlos Marcello or the Mafia. City cops have no interest in who brings the dope in. That’s the job of federal agents.”

Anyone who thinks it is any different nowadays is living in a fantasy world. Where I live, in Longmeadow, MA, the cops are the first line of defense against the blacks and Puerto Ricans in the nearby city of Springfield. About 15 years ago, there was a Mafia murder in Springfield’s Little Italy section. At the time, blacks and Puerto Ricans were moving into the neighborhood and there was a lot of racial tension. The local TV station interviewed me about it, and I said the Al Bruno, the murdered Mafia boss, was probably an FBI informant. The next day, people I knew wouldn’t talk to me. Comments were made. Someone told me Bruno’s son went to the same health club as me. In a city like Springfield and its suburban neighborhoods, everyone is related to or friends with someone in the Mafia.

A few years before Bruno’s murder, I had befriended the janitor at the health club I belong to. By chance, the janitor was the son of a Springfield narcotics detective. The janitor and I shot pool and drank beers in local bars. One day he told me a secret his father had told him. His father told him that the Springfield cops let the Mafia bosses bring narcotics into Springfield and in exchange, the hoods named their black and Puerto Ricans customers. That way, like Giarusso said above, the cops keep making cases and the minority communities have a harder time buying houses and encroaching on the established whites in their neighborhoods. This happens everywhere in the US every day.

LS: Is it ironic to you that the whole drug trade wouldn’t exist as it does today if the drugs were not illegal in the first place?

DV: The outlawing of narcotic drugs turned the issue of addiction from a matter of “public health” into a law enforcement issue, and thus a pretext for expanding police forces and reorganizing the criminal justice and social welfare systems to prevent despised minorities from making political and social advances. The health care industry was placed in the hands of businessmen seeking profits at the expense of despised minorities, the poor and working classes. Private businesses established civic institutions to sanctify this repressive policy. Public educators developed curricula that doubled as political indoctrination promoting the Business Party’s racist line. Bureaucracies were established to promote the expansion of business interests abroad, while suppressing political and social resistance to the medical, pharmaceutical, drug manufacturing and law enforcement industries that benefited from it.

It takes a library full of books to explain the economic foundations of the war on drugs, and the reasons for America’s laissez faire regulation of the industries that profit from it. Briefly stated, they profit from it just like the Mafia profits from it. Suffice it to say that Wall Street investors in the drug industries have used the government to unleash and transform their economic power into political and global military might; never forget, America is not an opium or cocaine producing nation, and narcotic drugs are a strategic resource, upon which all of the above industries – including the military – depend. Controlling the world’s drug supply, both legal and illegal, is a matter of national security. Read my books for examples of how this has played out over the past 70 years

LS: Is the CIA part of the opium problem today in Afghanistan?

DV: In Afghanistan, CIA officers manage the drug trade from their hammocks in the shade. Opium production has soared since they created the Karzai government in 2001-2 and established intelligence networks into the Afghan resistance through “friendly civilians” in the employ of the opium trafficking warlord, Gul Agha Sherzai. The American public is largely unaware that the Taliban laid down its arms after the American invasion, and that the Afghan people took up arms only after the CIA installed Sherzai in Kabul. In league with the Karzai brothers, Sherzai supplied the CIA with a network of informants that targeted their business rivals, not the Taliban. As Anand Gopal revealed in No Good Men Among the Living, as a result of Sherzai’s friendly tips, the CIA methodically tortured and killed Afghanistan’s most revered leaders in a series of Phoenix-style raids that radicalized the Afghan people. The CIA started the war as a pretext for a prolonged occupation and colonization of Afghanistan.

In return for his services, Sherzai received the contract to build the first US military base in Afghanistan, along with a major drug franchise. The CIA arranged for its Afghan drug warlords to be exempted from DEA lists. All this is documented in Gopal’s book. The CIA officers in charge watch in amusement as addiction rates soar among young Afghan people whose parents have been killed and whose minds have been damaged by 15 + years of US aggression. They don’t care that the drugs reach America’s inner cities, for all the economic, social, and political reasons cited above.

The drug trade also has “intelligence potential”. CIA officers have an accommodation with the protected Afghan warlords who convert opium into heroin and sell it to the Russian mob. It’s no different than cops working with Mafia drug dealers in America; it’s an accommodation with an enemy that ensures the political security of the ruling class. The accommodation is based on the fact that crime cannot be eradicated, it can only be managed.

The CIA is authorized to negotiate with the enemy, but only if the channels are secure and deniable. It happened during the Iran Contra scandal, when President Reagan won the love of the American people by promising never to negotiate with terrorists, while his two-faced administration secretly sent CIA officers to Tehran to sell missiles to the Iranians and use the money to buy guns for the drug dealing Contras. In Afghanistan, the accommodation within the drug underworld provides the CIA with a secure channel to the Taliban leadership, with whom they negotiate on simple matters like prisoner exchanges. The criminal-espionage underworld in Afghanistan provides the intellectual space for any eventual reconciliation. There are always preliminary negotiations for a ceasefire, and in every modern American conflict that’s the CIA’s job. Trump, however, is going to prolong the occupation indefinitely.

The fact that 600 subordinate DEA agents are in Afghanistan makes the whole thing plausibly deniable.

LS: Did the U.S. employ characteristics of the Phoenix program as a replay in Afghanistan? I ask especially related to the beginning of „Operation Enduring Freedom“ when the Taliban leaders initially laid down their weapons.

DV: Afghanistan is a case study of the standard two-tiered Phoenix program developed in South Vietnam. It’s guerrilla warfare targeting “high value” cadre, both for recruitment and assassination. That’s the top tier. It’s also psychological warfare against the civilian population – letting everyone know they will be kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured, extorted and/or killed if they can be said to support the resistance. That’s the second tier – terrorizing the civilians into supporting the US puppet government.

The US military resisted being involved in this repugnant form of warfare (modeled on SS Einsatzgruppen-style special forces and Gestapo-style secret police) through the early part of the Vietnam War, but got hooked into providing soldiers to flesh out Phoenix. That’s when the CIA started infiltrating the military’s junior officer corps. CIA officers Donald Gregg (featured by the revisionist war monger Ken Burns in his Vietnam War series) and Rudy Enders (both of whom I interviewed for my book The Phoenix Program), exported Phoenix to El Salvador and Central America in 1980, at the same time the CIA and military were joining forces to create Delta Force and the Joint Special Operations Command to combat “terrorism” worldwide using the Phoenix model. There are no more conventional wars, so the military, for economic and political reasons, has become, under the junior officer corps recruited by the CIA years ago, the de-facto police force for the American empire, operating out of 700 + bases around the world.

LS: In what form and fashion is the Phoenix program alive today in America’s homeland?

DV: Karl Marx explained over 150 years ago how and why capitalists treat workers the same, whether at home or abroad. As capitalism evolves and centralizes its power, as the climate degenerates, as the gap between rich and poor widens, and as resources become scarcer, America police forces adopt Phoenix-style “anti-terror” strategies and tactics to use against the civilian population. The government has enacted “administrative detention” laws, which are the legal basis for Phoenix-style operations, so that civilians can be arrested on suspicion of being a threat to national security. Phoenix was a bureaucratic method of coordinating agencies involved in intelligence gathering with those conducting “anti-terror” operations, and the Department of Homeland Security has established “fusion centers” based on this model around the nation. Informant nets and psychological operations against the American people have also proliferated since 9-11. This is all explained in detail in my book, The CIA as Organized Crime.

LS: How important is mainstream media for the public perception of the CIA?

DV: It’s the most critical feature. Guy Debord said that secrecy dominates the world, foremost as secret of domination. The media prevents you from knowing how you’re being dominated, by keeping the CIA’s secrets. The media and the CIA are same thing.

What FOX and MSNBC have in common is that, in a free-wheeling capitalist society, news is a commodity. News outlets target demographic audience to sell a product. It’s all fake news, in so far as each media outlet skews its presentation of the news to satisfy its customers. But when it comes to the CIA, it’s not just fake, it’s poison. It subverts democratic institutions.

Any domestic Phoenix-style organization or operation depends on double-speak and deniability, as well as official secrecy and media self-censorship. The CIA’s overarching need for total control of information requires media complicity. This was one of the great lesson defeat in Vietnam taught our leaders. The highly indoctrinated and well rewarded managers who run the government and media will never again allow the public to see the carnage they inflict upon foreign civilians. Americans never will see the mutilated Iraqi, Afghani, Libyan, and Syrian children killed by marauding US mercenary forces and cluster bombs.

On the other hand, falsified portrayals of CIA kidnappings, torture, and assassinations are glorified on TV and in movies. Telling the proper story is the key. Thanks to media complicity, Phoenix has already become the template for providing internal political security for America’s leaders.

LS: Is the CIA an enemy of the American people?

DV: Yes. It’s an instrument of the rich political elite, it does their dirty business.

***

Douglas Valentine is the author of the non-fictional, historical books “The Hotel Tacloban”, “The Phoenix Program”, “The Strength of the Wolf”, “The Strength of the Pack”, and “The CIA as Organized Crime”.

Sources

(1) Dan Baum: “Legalize It All – How to win the war on drugs”, published at Harper’s Magazine in April 2016 under: 

(2) “Haldeman Diary Shows Nixon Was Wary of Blacks and Jews”, published at The New York Times on May 18, 1994 under: 

Featured image is from Photo by Tom Thai | CC BY 2.0.

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The Opiod Epidemic: How Congress and drug company lobbyists worked to neutralize the DEA


Washington Post

In April 2016, at the height of the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, Congress effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement Administration of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets.

By then, the opioid war had claimed 200,000 lives, more than three times the number of U.S. military deaths in the Vietnam War. Overdose deaths continue to rise. There is no end in sight.

A handful of members of Congress, allied with the nation’s major drug distributors, prevailed upon the DEA and the Justice Department to agree to a more industry-friendly law, undermining efforts to stanch the flow of pain pills, according to an investigation by The Washington Post and “60 Minutes.” The DEA had opposed the effort for years.

The law was the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market. The industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, pouring more than a million dollars into their election campaigns.

The chief advocate of the law that hobbled the DEA was Rep. Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican who is now President Trump’s nominee to become the nation’s next drug czar. Marino spent years trying to move the law through Congress. It passed after Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) negotiated a final version with the DEA.

As Rep. Tom Marino’s Pennsylvania district was reeling from the opioid crisis, he sponsored a bill that, current and former Drug Enforcement Administration officials say, undermined the DEA's efforts to stop the flow of pain pills. (Video: Alice Li/Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

For years, some drug distributors were fined for repeatedly ignoring warnings from the DEA to shut down suspicious sales of hundreds of millions of pills, while they racked up billions of dollars in sales.

The new law makes it virtually impossible for the DEA to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from the companies, according to internal agency and Justice Department documents and an independent assessment by the DEA’s chief administrative law judge in a soon-to-be-published law review article. That powerful tool had allowed the agency to immediately prevent drugs from reaching the street.

Political action committees representing the industry contributed at least $1.5 million to the 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored four versions of the bill, including nearly $100,000 to Marino and $177,000 to Hatch. Overall, the drug industry spent $106 million lobbying Congress on the bill and other legislation between 2014 and 2016, according to lobbying reports.

“The drug industry, the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and chain drugstores, have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before,” said Joseph T. Rannazzisi, who ran the DEA’s division responsible for regulating the drug industry and led a decade-long campaign of aggressive enforcement until he was forced out of the agency in 2015. “I mean, to get Congress to pass a bill to protect their interests in the height of an opioid epidemic just shows me how much influence they have.”

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Why You Shouldn't Believe What the FBI Says About The Vegas Shooting


By Jon Rappoport

No matter how the Vegas shooting investigation looks, the FBI is playing a large role. The forensics, in particular, would be checked by FBI techs and labs.

Vital lab analysis of weapons and ammunition and bullet-angles and cartridges and residue. Weapons Paddock had or didn’t have. Ammunition he had or didn’t have. Modifications he made or didn’t make to those weapons. How many different kinds of bullets were found in victims? What weapons did those bullets come from?

And depending on that evidence—were there multiple shooters, for example?

Should you believe the FBI’s analyses?

Are you kidding? The scurrilous reputation of the FBI in its handling of forensics is astonishing. Read on. Note: I’m saving the best for last:

In 2014-15, stories appeared in the press about the phenomenal corruption of the FBI evidence lab. But since then, there has been very little follow-up. I find no compelling evidence that the federal government has fixed the problem.

April 20, 2015, The Atlantic: “…the Washington Post made clear Saturday in an article that begins with a punch to the gut… ‘Nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000,’ the newspaper reported, adding that ‘the cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death’.”

August 12, 2014, New Scientist: “…the initial results were released of an ongoing review of thousands of criminal cases in which FBI scientists’ testimony may have led to wrongful convictions – including for some people now on death row…[an FBI source states] ’we teach these people [lab techs in training] for two weeks, and they would go back to their laboratories with a certificate of completion and be told: Great you’re qualified to do this [analysis of evidence] – here’s your caseload.’”

Washington Post, April 18, 2015: “The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.”

“Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.”

“The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.”

Giant long-term scandal and corruption. The story is covered. Then it disappears.

Now here’s the capper:

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    The Obama Deception is a hard-hitting film that completely destroys the myth that Barack Obama is working for the best interests of the American people. The Obama phenomenon is a hoax carefully crafted by the captains of the New World Order. He is being pushed as savior in an attempt to con the American people into accepting global slavery.
  • END GAME!
    If you DARE, watch this video and learn exactly why we have to take control of our government away from the lunatics  that have it now and FAST!  Whether you wish to believe it or not, there are very wealthy people that are working towards a world government and "End Game" shows you exactly who they are, what they are doing and how they are doing it. The people that are doing this are NOT nice people.  This shocking film shows you quite clearly that our best interests are not even on their list of concerns.
  • Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire
    9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire examines how a radical fringe of the Republican Party used the trauma of the 9/11 terror attacks to advance a pre-existing agenda to radically transform American foreign policy while rolling back civil liberties and social programs at home.
  • Last Video Interview With Aaron Russo Highlighting His Relationship with Nick Rockefeller
    This amazing and troubling interview was the last video interview Aaron Russo did before his recent death.  In it he reveals the real problems we face as a nation and what we need to do to stop the global elite from finalizing their tyrannical world government that they alone control.
  • History Channel Documentary About The Attempt To Overthrow FDR
    This shocking film exposes something that every American should be aware of.  The powerful industrialists that control our world today, the ones engineering the downfall of this country are the same ones that almost succeeded before World War II.  While they were putting Hitler into power in Germany, they were working to install the same kind of fascists dictatorship in this country.
  • Terror Storm
    events, 'false flag" This film documents examples of terrorism sponsored by our own government and the British government in order to control people and natural resources around the globe.  It backs up everything with declassified documentation.  You must watch this film as it demonstrates the degree to which our government lies and uses terrorists events so-called democratic governments stage and blame on others to destabilize populations and perpetuate fear, the most powerful means to get us to go along with what they are doing.  YOU MUST SEE THIS FILM.  Once you understand what our own government is doing, you will no longer be fooled.
  • Unconstitutional - The War On Our Civil Liberties
    Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties is the new, hour-long documentary from Robert Greenwald - one of the most prolific and progressive producers in Hollywood - in conjunction with the ACLU. This new film, written, directed and produced by Nonny de la Peña, details the shocking way that the civil liberties of American citizens and immigrants alike have been infringed upon, curtailed and rolled back since 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act.
  • The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis, by Bill Moyers
    This is the full length 90 min. version of Bill Moyer's 1987 scathing critique of the criminal subterfuge carried out by the Executive Branch of the United States Government to carry out operations which are clearly contrary to the wishes and values of the American people. The ability to exercise this power with impunity is facilitated by the National Security Act of 1947. The thrust of the exposé is the Iran-Contra arms and *censored*-running operations which flooded the streets of our nation with crack cocaine. The significance of the documentary is probably greater today in 2007 than it was when it was made.
  • In Lies We Trust
    In Lies We Trust: The CIA, Hollywood & Bioterrorism to learn why your life is entrusted to Manchurian candidates who don't even know how and why they aim to kill you.  Dr. Horowitz brilliantly critiques the government's new 24-hour television network and feature documentary, History of Bioterrorism, which is now broadcasting daily over the Dish Network.  September is "National Preparedness Month." Officials say you must prepare for the worst bioterrorist attacks, yet they use fear and gross inaccuracies (propaganda) examined by Horowitz for your edutainment and informed choice.
  • WACO: The Rules of Engagement
    A highly detailed examination of the interaction between David Koresh, his members, and Federal Law Enforcement. It shows how the FBI misled the public and American political leaders in order to focus overwhelming force on a group whose diversity of race, national origin, and apocalyptic religious beliefs made its members easy targets for lethal abuse of civil and human rights. Gripping and deeply
    thought provoking, the film provides America with something it truly needs - an opportunity to review the historical record of events at Waco. The findings raise doubts about the FBI's version of the story and their larger role in similar instances of law enforcement.
     

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Video: The Chain Of Lies That Lead To The War In The Middle East


This short video documents the chain of lies, one morphing into the next in a perfectly orchestrated and timed sequence that ensured by the time the new lie was delivered, the previous ones has already been forgotten.  This is what corrupt, lying, manipulative people do to achieve goals that they know nobody would support if they were actually told the truth about what was happening.

 

 
 
 
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Video: "The Biggest Shell Game In Town"

The Shocking Revelation of Government Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports


"The Biggest Game in Town" video was produced on January 8th 2000 and then was distributed only by VHS tapes. About 8,000 originals were distributed internationally and copy/distribution rights were given whereby about 140,000 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation copies were circulated. The documentary published to Google video is not the best film quality but it gets the valid information out there and was annotated on the lower script line with 2008 information. This was the first CAFR1 video that got the ball rolling for international disclosure of the CAFR of which has become the biggest shell game played in government finance.

Government promotes annual "Budget Reports" and at the
same time virtually not a peep as to their Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) Do a Google search on CAFR The shell game in simple analogy that has been played out by government per the CAFR vs. The Budget is as follows: If you have a basket of 40 apples (the budget) and a basket of 200 oranges (the CAFR), if you audit the basket of apples you will find 40 apples and then government implies "an audit of the fruit basket shows 40 apples, look no oranges!" A complete AUDIT of international holdings and trading activity is URGENTLY needed to see the "NET" results of the market manipulations that took place since September 2001 to present...... Will this happen? Not as long as the foxes maintain regulation over the hen house!

SEE: http://TaxRetirement.com Learn quickly... have no doubts about it, final ownership of our country by the corporate government syndicate or by the people is at stake here. The BLACK-OUT continues from our government, the syndicated media, controlled education, and both primary political
parties.. DUE TO THE MONEY AND CONTROL INVOLVED! Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays - and a Great New Year! Walter J. Burien, Jr. Producer of The Biggest Game in Town - January 8th 2000 Support CAFR1 -

PS: I just got my hard copy edition of: "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me" by Jesse Ventura
theex governor of Minnesota. I think I will enjoy greatly reading the book of a straight shooter who doesn't pull his punches.. ALSO READ: BANKRUPTED STATES = CON-CON & NEWSTATE CONSTITUTION.

 

 
 
 
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Video: Bill Moyers - The Secret Government - Our Constitution In Crisis


This is the full length 90 min. version of Bill Moyer's 1987 scathing critique of the criminal subterfuge carried out by the Executive Branch of the United States Government to carry out operations which are clearly contrary to the wishes and values of the American people. The ability to exercise this power with impunity is facilitated by the National Security Act of 1947. The thrust of the exposé is the Iran-Contra arms and drug-running operations which flooded the streets of our nation with crack cocaine. The significance of the documentary is probably greater today in 2007 than it was when it was made. We now have a situation in which these same forces have committed the most egregious terrorist attack on US soil and have declared a fraudulent so-called "War on Terror". The ruling regime in the US who have conducted the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, are now banging the war drum against Iran. We have the PATRIOT act which has stripped us of many of our basic civil rights justified by the terror of 9/11 which is their own doing.

 

 
 
 
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This $700 Billion Public Employee Ticking Time Bomb Is Only 6.7% Funded; Most States Are Under 1%


by Tyler Durden
Zerohedge.com

We've spent a lot of time of late discussing the inevitable public pension crisis that will eventually wreak havoc on global financial markets.  And while the scale of the public pension underfunding is unprecedented, with estimates ranging from $3 - $8 trillion, there is another taxpayer-funded retirement benefit that has been promised to union workers over the years that puts pensions to shame...at least on a percentage funded basis.

Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB), like pensions, are a stream of future payments that have been promised to retirees primarily to cover healthcare costs.  However, unlike pensions, most government entities don't even bother to accrue assets for this massive stream of future costs resulting in $700 billion of liabilities that most taxpayer likely didn't even know existed. 

As a study from Pew Charitable Trusts points out today, the average OPEB plan in the U.S. today is only 6.7% funded (and that's if you believe their discount rates...so probably figure about half that amount in reality) and many states around the country are even worse.

States paid a total of $20.8 billion in 2015 for non-pension worker retirement benefits, known as other post-employment benefits (OPEB).  Almost all of this money was spent on retiree health care. The aggregate figure for 2015, the most recent year for which complete data are available, represents an increase of $1.2 billion, or 6 percent, over the previous year. The 2015 payments covered the cost of current-year benefits and in some states included funding to address OPEB liabilities. These liabilities—the cost of benefits, in today’s dollars, to be paid in future years—totaled $692 billion in 2015, a 5 percent increase over 2014.

In 2015, states had $46 billion in assets to meet $692 billion in OPEB liabilities, yielding a funded ratio of 6.7 percent. The total amount of assets was slightly higher than the reported $44 billion in 2014, though the funding ratio did not change. The average state OPEB funded ratio is low because most states pay for retiree health care benefits on a pay-as-you-go basis, appropriating revenue annually to pay retiree health care costs for that year rather than pre-funding liabilities by setting aside assets to cover the state’s share of future retiree health benefit costs.

State OPEB funded ratios vary widely, from less than 1 percent in 19 states to 92 percent in Arizona. As Figure 1 shows, only eight have funded ratios over 30 percent. These states typically follow pre-funding policies spelled out in state law. Many of them also make use of the expertise of staff from the state pension system to invest and manage plan assets.

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Video: We're Closer Than Ever to Indicting and Putting Hillary Rodham Felon Behind Bars


Wall Street financial analyst par excellence and investor Charles Ortel has applied the same expert research skills he employs to determine if a prospective investment follows sound solvent accounting to the Clinton criminal charity conspiracy and fraud machine. Ortel has called the Clintons the “Bonnie and Clyde” of charity fraud who make Bernie Madoff look like a piker.

 

 
 
 
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