By Andrew G. Marshall
This report is about American and British involvement in the Afghan drug trade in opium, focusing on the history of such involvement, and the nature of the drug trade since the 2001 occupation of Afghanistan. Today, Afghanistan supplies “more than 90 per cent of the world’s illicit opium, from which heroin is made,” so who’s profiting from the trade?
The Anglo-Americans and the Origins of the Taliban: The CIA Creates Al-Qaeda
In 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, said in an interview with a French publication, Le Nouvel Observateur, that the US intervention in the Afghan-Soviet war did not begin in the 1980s, but that, “it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul,” which precipitated the Soviet invasion into Afghanistan. From the Soviet invasion, a bloody ten-year war followed.
Amazingly, “Before 1979 Pakistan and Afghanistan exported very little heroin to the West,” but by 1981, “trucks from the Pakistan army’s National Logistics Cell arriving with CIA arms from Karachi often returned loaded with heroin – protected by ISI [Pakistan’s internal security service] papers freeing them from police search.” This change occurred in 1981 when then CIA Director William Casey, Prince Turki bin Faisal of Saudi intelligence and the ISI worked together to create a foreign legion of jihadi Muslims or so-called Arab Afghans. More than 100,000 Islamic militants were trained in Pakistan between 1986 and 1992 in camps overseen by the CIA and [British] MI6. The SAS [British special forces] trained future Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in bomb-making and other black arts” while their leaders were trained at a CIA camp in Virginia. Further, “CIA aid was funneled through [Pakistani President] General Zia and the ISI in Pakistan.”
Creating the Taliban
In the mid-1990s, an obscure group of “Pashtun country folk” had become a powerful military and political force in Afghanistan, known as the Taliban. During that same time the Taliban acquired contacts with the ISI, often referred to as Pakistan’s “shadow government.” In 1995, the ISI was actively aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan’s civil war against the warlords that controlled the country. In addition, just as in the Afghan war against the Soviet Union in the previous decade, the ISI looked to Saudi intelligence to provide the funding for the Taliban, and the ties between the ISI and Saudi intelligence grew much closer. The Taliban’s rise to power in Afghanistan was also aided by the CIA, which worked with the Pakistani ISI.
A few years after the Taliban came to power they began a campaign to eradicate Afghanistan’s opium crops, and “The success of Afghanistan’s 2000 drug eradication program under the Taliban government was recognized by the United Nations” as a monumental feat, in 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.
In June of 2001, a few months before 9/11, it was reported that a “recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan” was announced “by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, [which] made the United States the main sponsor of the Taliban.”
Anglo-American Involvement in the Afghan Opium Trade: The World’s #1 Narco-State
Drug trafficking is the largest global commodity in profits after the oil and arms trade, consequently, “immediately following the October 2001 invasion opium markets were restored. Opium prices spiraled. By early 2002, the domestic price of opium in Afghanistan (in dollars/kg) was almost 10 times higher than in 2000.” The Anglo-American invasion of Afghanistan successfully restored the drug trade. The Guardian recently reported that, “In 2007 Afghanistan had more land growing drugs than Colombia, Bolivia and Peru combined.”.
In 2005 it was reported by the Independent that Afghanistan’s Interior Minister had resigned, “amid reports he had quit because of the involvement of senior government officials in the illegal drug trade.” He had “been outspoken over the involvement of officials in the drug trade and is believed to have had differences with President Karzai over the appointment of Provincial officials.” In 2006, the Independent reported that, “British intelligence officers and military commanders accused the US of undermining British policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, after the sacking of a key British ally in the Afghan province of Helmand.” The British “blamed pressure from the CIA for President Hamid Karzai’s decision to dismiss Mohammed Daud as governor of Helmand.” Mr. Daud “had survived several Taliban assassination attempts, was seen as a key player in Britain’s anti-drugs campaign in Helmand,” and was fired after Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s President, “listened to advice from ‘other powerful Western players’.”
Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, wrote in a 2007 article in the UK Daily Mail, that what has been achieved in Afghanistan is “the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.” Murray elaborated that, “Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and ‘value-added’ operations.” This means that Afghanistan “now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with NATO troops.” Murray explains that this was able to happen because “the four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government.” Murray stated that, “Our only real achievement to date is falling street prices for heroin in London.”
In 2002, former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat of the Government of India wrote that, in regard to the failure to combat the rise in opium production, “this marked lack of success in the heroin front is due to the fact that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the USA, which encouraged these heroin barons during the Afghan war of the 1980s in order to spread heroin-addiction amongst the Soviet troops, is now using them in its search for bin Laden and other surviving leaders of the Al Qaeda.”
The Hindu reported in 2008 that, “90 per cent of the heroin sold in Russia comes from Afghanistan,” and Putin was quoted as saying, “Unfortunately, they (NATO) are doing nothing to reduce the narcotic threat from Afghanistan even a tiny bit,” and that the coalition forces were “sitting back and watching caravans haul drugs across Afghanistan to the former Soviet Union and Europe.” The article then reported that, “according to unconfirmed reports the U.S. military transport aviation is used for the delivery of drugs from Afghanistan to the American airbases, Ganci in Kyrgyzstan and Incirlik in Turkey,” and that, “It has been reported earlier that the CIA is involved in Afghanistan’s opium production, or is at least protecting it.” One Russian journalist quoted anonymous Afghan officials as saying, “85 per cent of all drugs produced in southern and southeastern provinces are shipped abroad by U.S. aviation.”
The British and the Taliban: Training the Taliban
The Independent reported in 2008 that “Britain planned to build a Taliban training camp for 2,000 fighters in southern Afghanistan, as part of a top-secret deal to make them swap sides. The plans were discovered on a memory stick seized by Afghan secret police in December.” Further, “The camp would provide military training for 1,800 ordinary Taliban fighters and 200 low-level commanders.”
The article explained that, “the Afghans feared the British were training a militia with no loyalty to the central government. Intercepted Taliban communications suggested they thought the British were trying to help them.” The article further reported that, the program was bankrolled by the British,” and that, “the memory stick revealed that $125,000 (£64,000) had been spent on preparing the camp and a further $200,000 was earmarked to run it in 2008,” which “sparked allegations that British agents were paying the Taliban.” Further, “the Afghan government took issue with plans to provide military training to turn the insurgents into a defense force.” On top of that, “the memory stick revealed plans to train the Taliban to use secure satellite phones, so they could communicate directly with UK officials.” “Officially, the British embassy remains tight-lipped, fuelling speculation that the plan may have been part of a wider clandestine operation.”
Who Profits from the Drug Trade? Wall Street and Big Banks
Michel Chossudovsky describes the heroin trade as a “hierarchy of prices,” with the drug’s street price, (what it is sold for in largely Western cities around the world), is 80 to 100 times the price paid to the farmers who cultivate it in Afghanistan. The IMF reported that in the late 1990s, money laundering accounted for 2-5% of the world’s GDP, and that a large percentage of the 590 billion to 1.5 trillion dollars in annual money laundering is “directly linked to the trade in narcotics.” This lucrative trade in narcotics produces profits which are “laundered in the numerous offshore banking havens in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the British Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands and some 50 other locations around the globe.” These offshore havens “are controlled by major Western banks and financial institutions” which “have a vested interest in maintaining and sustaining the drug trade.”
An example of the interest of Wall Street and London bankers in the international drug trade, we can look to Colombia and the FARC rebel group. In “1999, NYSE [New York Stock Exchange] Chairman Dick Grasso traveled to Colombia and met with the leader of the FARC rebels controlling the southern third of the country.” “Grasso had asked the Colombian rebels to invest their profits in Wall Street.” The Associated Press reported that Grasso told the rebel leader to, “make peace and expect great economic benefits from global investors,” and invited the rebel leader to visit Wall Street. To allow for drug investment in Western financial institutions, “major banks like Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan Chase all offer private client services for the very wealthy with very few questions asked.”
It not surprising that opioid and opiate medication abuse is on the rise because people can easily get such drugs online without a prescription, not to mention the fact that heroin continues to flow into the country despite the War on Drugs.
Andrew G. Marshall is a contributor to Geopoliticalmonitor.com
Sources: Stephen Fidler, UN alarm at spread of Afghan opium. Financial Times: March 4, 2008: http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto030420081933091960  Bill Blum (translator). The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan. Global Research: October 15, 2001: http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html [3-4] Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of North America. University of California Press: 2007, page 124  Peter Dale Scott, Ibid, page 122-23  Peter Dale Scott, Ibid, page 123  Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. Penguin Books, New York, 2004: Page 328  Steve Coll, Ibid, page 293  Steve Coll, Ibid, pages 293-294  Steve Coll, Ibid, pages 295-296  Times of India, CIA worked in tandem with Pak to create Taliban. Times of India Online: March 7, 2001: http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/taliban.htm  Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, 2nd ed. Center for Research on Globalization: Québec, 2005: Page 226  Michel Chossudovsky, Ibid, page 227  Robert Scheer, Bush’s Faustian Deal With the Taliban. The Nation: June 4, 2001: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20010604/20010522  Michel Chossudovsky, Op cit, page 228  Patrick Wintour, Opium economy will take 20 years and £1bn to remove. The Guardian: February 6, 2008: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/06/afghanistan.politics  Justin Huggler, Afghan minister quits over opium trade. The Independent: September 28, 2005: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/afghan-minister-quits-over-opium-trade-508664.html  Robert Fox, CIA is undermining British war effort, say military chiefs. The Independent: December 10, 2006: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/cia-is-undermining-british-war-effort-say-military-chiefs-427848.html [19-20] Craig Murray, Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time. UK Daily Mail: July 21, 2007: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=469983&in_page_id=1770&in_page_id=1770&expand=true  B. Raman, Assassination of Jaki Abdul Qadeer in Kabul. South Asia Analysis Group: Paper no. 489, August 7, 2002: http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers5/paper489.html  Vladimir Radyuhin, Russia: victim of narco-aggression. The Hindu: February 4, 2008: http://www.hindu.com/2008/02/04/stories/2008020453271000.htm [23-24] Jerome Starkey, Revealed: British plan to build training camp for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The Independent: February 4, 2008: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/revealed-british-plan-to-build-training-camp-for-taliban-fighters-in-afghanistan-777671.html  Michel Chossudovsky, Op cit, page 230  Michel Chossudovsky, Ibid, page 233  Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. New Society Publishers: Canada, 2004: Page 57  CBS MarketWatch, NYSE’s Grasso met with Colombia’s FARC. AP: June 29, 1999: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/-nyses-grasso-met-colombias/story.aspx?guid=%7B571A6F96-E694-4D58-A7A9-F5DBFF132F4A%7D  Michael C. Ruppert, Op cit, page 61
Federal Agents Allowed Tons Of Cocaine To Be Smuggled Into The U.S.
CNN: CIA admits it overlooked Contras’ links to drugs
Al Qaeda and The Islamic State
U.S. sponsored Al Qaeda terror brigades (covertly supported by Western intelligence since the 1980s) have been deployed in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen. Al Qaeda affiliated organizations have also been deployed in several Asian countries including China and Indonesia.
“The Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) builds upon the history of CIA supported terrorism since the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war. What has unfolded is a vast network of Al Qaeda affiliated entities supported covertly by US intelligence, extending from Central Asia the Middle East into South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
US military intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980s was supported by the Wahhabi missionaries out of Saudi Arabia, who trained the Taliban (‘graduates”) in the CIA sponsored madrassas (schools) in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Wahhabi doctrine would not have spread in the way it did without the support of US intelligence.
Saudi Arabia worked closely with Washington in recruiting the Mujahideen (holy warriors) to fight against the Soviet Union. The Saudi monarchy enlisted the support of the religious authorities. Confirmed by the Afghan Project (http://nsarchive.chadwyck.com/afintro.htm), which has collected hundreds of CIA and State Department documents, cables and memoranda, the CIA developed from the late 1970s, ties with a number of Islamic organizations. The objective was to use “Islamic fundamentalist” doctrine to unseat secular governments and install an Islamic proxy State.
We will recall that the alleged “pro-democracy” rebels in Libya (2011) were led by Al Qaeda paramilitary brigades integrated by NATO Special forces. The “Liberation” of Tripoli was carried out by “former” members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The jihadists and NATO worked hand in glove. These “former” Al Qaeda affiliated brigades were the backbone of the “pro-democracy” rebellion against Moahamar Gaddafi.
The commander of the assault on Tripoli was Abdel Hakim Belhadj, (also known as Abu Abdullah al-Sadeq, Hakim al-Hasidi), who was recruited by the CIA in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He had been entrusted, with NATO’s approval, (according to CNN) of:
“one of the most powerful rebel brigades in Tripoli [which] took charge of successful rebel efforts … to storm Gadhafi’s Bab al-Azziziyah compound, further bolstering his prominent position in rebel ranks. …
“[Belhadj] was a well-known figure in the jihadist movement. He fought the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan and helped found [with the support of the CIA, M.Ch.] the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group there.” (CNN, August 11, 2011)
With regard to The Islamic State (ISIS) which is now in the limelight, it is categorized as enemy Number One of America, it was originally an Al Qaeda affiliated entity created by US intelligence with the support of Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah ( رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة).
In relation to the Syrian insurgency, the Islamic State fighters together with the Al Qaeda affiliated jihadist forces of the Al Nusrah Front are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. They are covertly supported by US-NATO-Israel. Their mandate is to wage a terrorist insurgency against the government of Bashar al-Assad. The atrocities committed by Islamic State fighters in Iraq are similar to those committed in Syria. Their unspoken mandate is to wreck havoc and destruction in Syria and Iraq, acting on behalf of their US sponsors.
The Obama administration has openly confirmed its support for the Syrian rebels with most of this aid channeled to Al Nusrah.
US Senator John McCain met up with jihadist terrorist leaders in Syria.
The Role of Israel: State Sponsor of Al Nusrah and the Islamic State (ISIS)
While theoretically committed to the US-led war on terrorism, the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu quite openly supports al Qaeda. The Al Nusrah and ISIS terror brigades operate out of the occupied Golan Heights.
The ISIS’s practice of beheadings is part of the US sponsored terrorist training programs implemented in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
If people can study history and see today’s events are simply the relabeled repeating of what empire has been doing for centuries, the public as a whole will be less likely to go along with what is in reality an exploitative, murderous crime spree of global proportions – merely sold to us as justified intervention.
Many people remain in the dark about what Wall Street and London do overseas. While military interventions grab headlines and create a brief but confusing diversion for most, they are but mildly aware of the concept of NGOs, let alone how they work in tandem with the creeping war machine making its way from Tunisia to Thailand and everywhere in between.
The US sees the Syrian state as one of the last spheres of Russian influence beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union, and a threat to its Israeli ally in the region. The presence of ISIS and other terrorists groups serves these interests. The US has a history of using terrorism to topple governments friendly to Russia. Al Qaeda itself was borne of the US objective to topple the Soviet friendly government of Afghanistan. The dismemberment of Russian-friendly Serbia and the creation of Kosovo was done via the same means.
It is therefore not surprising that since Russia entered the war in Syria, Saudi clerics and the Muslim Brotherhood – both US state assets – declared ‘jihad’ on Russia.
Former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, the man largely responsible for the creation of Al Qaeda, expressed his frustration with the fact that Russia was targeting Al Qaeda as well as ISIS through his twitter account.
The Saudi-led intervention force in Yemen is deterring vessels from delivering humanitarian aid, according to a new report from the U.S. Navy that cited a warning broadcast to all commercial ships off the Yemeni coast. Fighting between Houthi rebels and the pro-government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition continues: Airstrikes in Taiz and Bayda province killed 22 women and children.
Remember, Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. Saudi Arabia law is sharia, Islamic law and the Quran. No political parties or elections are allowed. Yet Saudi Arabia wants a political solution. Disposing of the elected president of Syria, Assad.
Saudi’s have no business in Syria. We have no business backing these rebels who are al Qaida. Y’all know them don’t you. Blew up World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon. Why McCain wants to start another hell hole war like Viet Nam right in the Middle East is beyond me but the Saudis are involved and you can bet there is a lot of money on the line.
Now they are arming Lebanon supposedly against Syria, but that is Hezbollah, the Iranian backed military group. Watch they will get those arms, one way or another, remember “Fast and Furious”?. America arms and funds both sides. I do not want to pay for this mess.
WikiLeaks: HACKED STRATFOR EMAILS:
The US Government Sent Blackwater Veteran To Fight With Rebels In Libya And Syria (in 2010) By Michael B Kelley
The former director of the security firm Blackwater aided the Libyan opposition and was subsequently sent to contact Syrian rebels in Turkey at the request of a U.S. Government committee, according to published Stratfor emails and reported by Al-Akhbar English.
Jamie F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, is currently the chief executive of the security firm SCG International.
In an email sent to Stratfor on February 11, 2011, Smith praised the company’s intelligence gathering and said his “background is CIA and our company is comprised of former DOD [i.e. Department of Defense], CIA and former law enforcement personnel. We provide services for those same groups in the form of training, security and information collection.”
Smith became a major source for Stratfor by September as he and Stratfor vice president Fred Burton built a rapport. Smith provided intelligence (under the codename LY700) to Burton on developments in Libya— where SCG International was contracted to protect Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) members and train Libyan rebel fighters after the implementation of the no-fly zone in March 2011.
Smith provided information on missing surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and allegedly “took part” in the killing of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the town of Sirte.
Burton was impressed by Smith’s intel and reciprocated praise by writing, “Good skinny. This is what is defined as a credible source. Not some windbag Paki academic belching and passing gas.”
The last emails about Smith came on December 13, days before the Stratfor mail servers were reportedly hacked. In one Burton says:
“**Source and Dr. Walid Phares are getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.
** The true mission is how they can help in regime change.
** Source intends to offer his services to help protect the opposition members, like he had underway in Libya.”
Walid Phares is a Lebanese-American citizen who is currently co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Middle East advisory group.
In another email from December 13— in which Stratfor is organizing intelligence on the Syrian opposition that Smith had requested— Burton reports that Smith “is meeting w/specific people described as key leaders.”
Burton is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State’s counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The DSS assists the Department of Defense in following leads and doing forensic analysis of hard drives seized by the U.S. government in ongoing criminal investigations.
Stratfor provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
WikiLeaks has published 925 out of what they say is a cache of 5 million internal Stratfor emails (dated between July 2004 and December 2011) obtained by the hacker collective Anonymous around Christmas.