June 12, 2012
Fall guy Haji Bagcho was sentenced to life in prison today for trafficking heroin in Afghanistan. U.S. officialdom characterized Bagcho as “one of the largest heroin traffickers in the world and who used proceeds of his drug sales to support the Taliban insurgency,” according to the Washington Post.
Bagcho’s heroin business, however, paled in comparison to the one set-up by the CIA in Afghanistan and he was likely thrown in the slammer for life because the agency does not like competition.
The Taliban, itself a creation of the CIA, had banned the production of opium following the Afghan civil war after the Soviets were defeated. “The success of Afghanistan’s 2000 drug eradication program under the Taliban government was recognized by the United Nations” as admirable and that “no other country was able to implement a comparable program.” In October of 2001, the UN acknowledged that the Taliban reduced opium production in Afghanistan from 3300 tons in 2000 to 185 tons in 2001 (see Afghan heroin & the CIA). Following the U.S. invasion, Afghanistan became the number one heroin producer, producing 3,750 tons in 2002. By 2006, that number skyrocketed to 6,100 metric tons.
“CIA-supported Mujahedeen rebels [who in 2001 were part of the Northern Alliance] engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government,” William Blum noted in The Real Drug Lords.
“The Golden Crescent drug trade, launched by the CIA in the early 1980s, continues to be protected by US intelligence, in liaison with NATO occupation forces and the British military. In recent developments, British occupation forces have promoted opium cultivation through paid radio advertisements,” Michel Chossudovsky wrote in 2007.
U.S. troops were specifically ordered to ignore heroin and opium when they discovered it on patrol, an ex-Green Beret told author James Risen in 2003. Assistant Secretary of State Bobby Charles complained that “[Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld didn’t want drugs to become a core mission.”
In 2010, we reported on a Fox News segment where Gerald Rivera talked with an occupation soldier about U.S. support of the opium trade in Afghanistan. The soldier told Rivera he did not like supporting Afghan opium production, but insisted the U.S. had turned a blind eye to the cultivation and he cited the excuse of cultural sensitivity.
Prior to the Taliban’s business faux pas, the CIA worked with Pakistan’s ISI to turn heroin profits into lucre for covert activities. Moreover, if not for the trafficking of heroin, Pakistan’s legitimate economy would have collapsed, the Financial Times wrote in August of 2001. Much of the money was deposited in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the preferred bank of intelligence agencies looking to launder money, hide drug profits, and engage in other financial crimes.
But it was not just Pakistan that would have collapsed.
“In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital,” said Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in 2009. “In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor.”
Former Managing Director and board member of Wall Street investment bank Dillon Read, Catherine Austin Fitts, has long alleged that the banksters launder imponderable amounts of drug money. “According to the Department of Justice, the US launders between $500 billion – $1 trillion annually. I have little idea what percentage of that is narco dollars, but it is probably safe to assume that at least $100-200 billion relates to US drug import-exports and retail trade,” writes Fitts.