Tag Archive: Narcopolitics

Dope, Inc.: Britain’s Opium War Against the World

by the Editors of Executive Intelligence Review
Joshua Tree, Calif.: Progessive Press, September 2010
328 pages, paperback, $25

For the first time since 1992, the underground bestseller book by the Editors of Executive Intelligence Review, that tore the lid off of the British Monarchy’s control over the world illicit dope trade, Dope, Inc., is back in print. Progressive Press has published a limited run edition of an expanded Dope, Inc., first published in 1978, updating the long and sordid tale of London’s top-down control of the trillion-dollar-a-year illegal dope trade, through 2009. This updated edition details the global explosion of heroin and opium from an Afghanistan ravaged by a British-engineered Thirty Years War, and the emergence of the massively armed Mexican drug cartels, operating freely, right smack on the U.S. border.

The current material is drawn from EIR’s exclusive and ongoing coverage of these developments.

It also highlights the role of London’s own George Soros, in promoting dope legalization inside the United States, as he runs his own Dutch Antilles-based offshore hedge funds, to siphon black market cash through the global monetary system.

Soros, whose career was launched on Rothschild start-up capital, is also one of the numerous British channels of influence and control over President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, through his Open Society Institute and Democracy Alliance; the latter, a corrupt billionaires club of hedge fund managers and other financial speculators tied to the Anglo-Dutch offshore system.

Perfect Timing

What makes the timing of the new edition of Dope, Inc. so spectacularly precise is the onrushing final collapse of the very Inter-Alpha Group-centered global financial system of the current British Empire, that thrives on the dope revenues, as vampires thrive on human blood. The Inter-Alpha Group, since its founding in 1971, as a European-wide banking cartel run by the circles of Lord Jacob Rothschild, has been at the very center of the British monarchy’s City of London and offshore monetarist empire. At their recent peak, Inter-Alpha controlled 70% of the world’s banking assets. The trillions of dollars per year in dope money and other criminal funds, that fuel the current British Opium War against the world, constitute a vital part of that offshore system. And without the Inter-Alpha system, the trillions of narco-dollars have no where to go!

The symbiotic relationship between the City of London-centered international financial system and Dope, Inc. was underscored by Antonio Maria Costa, who was until recently the executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Following the 2007-08 bursting of the global financial bubble, Costa highlighted the central role played by drug money, in maintaining that speculative financial system on life support.

In a Jan. 27, 2009 interview with the Austrian weekly Profil, Costa candidly observed: „In many cases, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital to buy real estate, for example. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the biggest problem the banking system had, and, therefore, this liquid capital [of drug flows] became an important factor.“

On the UNODC website, Costa emphasized, „with the banking crisis choking lending, these cash-rich criminal groups have emerged as the only sources of credit.“

While Costa correctly identified the addiction of the financial system to the dope revenues of its far-flung opium, cocaine, and marijuana plantations, he neglected to mention another pivotal feature of the Dope, Inc. apparatus, one that has immediate operational consequences.

Dope, Inc. is totally dependent on the British offshore financial centers to launder their trillions of dollars in criminal revenue. Without the top-down London control over these offshore centers, Dope, Inc. would choke to death on its own cash revenues.

Now, with the events playing out in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy, the entire Inter-Alpha system is on its last legs. And all of the dope money on the planet could not possibly bail the bankers out of their bankrupt state of affairs. If Inter-Alpha Group, and all they represent, goes out of business, then Dope, Inc. itself is doomed.

The Crown’s Rage Against LaRouche

Since no later than the 1978 publication of the first edition of Dope, Inc., the British royal family and its entire intelligence and courtier apparatus has been on a rampage against Lyndon LaRouche, the founder and contributing editor of EIR, and the man who commissioned the Dope, Inc. dossier in the first place.

Prior to the publication of Dope, Inc., Britain’s command over the global dope trade was largely unknown—despite the history of the British East India Company’s 19th-Century Opium Wars against China. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies, worldwide, viewed the global drug trade from the bottom up, as a function of underground criminal networks, operating in the shadows. Even after the August 1971 breakup of Franklin Roosevelt’s Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates, and the subsequent explosion of banking deregulation, leading to the emergence of such offshore financial centers as the Cayman Islands, the Dutch Antilles, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and Dubai, the standing presumption was that dope money was laundered through suitcases of cash, deposited at gambling casinos, and smuggled across borders in the holds of ships, and in hidden compartments in cars and trucks.

If the banks were involved, it was the result of individual corruption by branch managers and tellers.

Dope, Inc. turned that fantasy world on its head, and cast a bright light on the London control of the global dope trade. And, along with the message that dope money laundering is a top-down process, engineered from the City of London, Dope, Inc. also addressed the strategic motive behind Britain’s promotion of mind-destroying drugs. As in the time of the Opium Wars, the goal of the Lords of Dope, Inc. was the subjugation of whole populations to a form of mental slavery—what the British Fabian Aldous Huxley graphically described as a „concentration camp of the mind.“

Speaking on behalf of the British oligarchy in 1961, Huxley told an audience at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco:

„There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak. Producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will, in fact, have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.“

This was, in fact, the longstanding British Dope, Inc. policy: to eliminate human creativity and destroy the possibility of a sovereign nation-state system.

LaRouche and EIR earned the instant and profound hatred of the British Crown, from the day that Dope, Inc. hit the streets in 1979. Within months, a campaign of slander, mayhem, and attempted murder was launched against LaRouche, leading, ultimately, to LaRouche’s frame-up prosecution and jailing in 1989, by the Anglophile President George H.W. Bush.

In the course of London’s war to silent its most potent enemy, they, of necessity, exposed a vast network of assets and dupes, from Mafia attorney Roy Cohn, to the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, to Anglophile libertarian William F. Buckley Jr., to Wall Street spook John Train, to the last President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachov.

Tracing these networks involved in the targeting of LaRouche and associates always led back to the same address: the British Crown!

The ‚Brutish Empire‘

As LaRouche has explained in numerous locations over many years, the issue is not the people of the British Isles, who have been as much the victims of empire as anyone. The issue is the „Brutish Empire,“ the apparatus of Crown-chartered institutions, including the City of London and its offshore banks, insurance companies, shipping lines, and trading companies; the propaganda apparatus; and the penetration of Wall Street and Boston, where leading families, like the Weld family of LaRouche Federal prosecutor William Weld, made their fortunes as junior partners of the British East India Company in the opium trade, dating back to the clipper ship era of the 18th and 19th centuries.

It is fitting that Dope, Inc. is once again available to the American public at this moment. The British Empire is on its last legs, as the Inter-Alpha Group, itself, is drowning under the collapse of the biggest financial bubble in history, even as London’s Opium War against humanity targets nations on every continent with its mind-killing poisons, on an unprecedented scale. Now, more than ever, Dope, Inc. is a must-read combat manual for anyone who wants to survive the onrushing disintegration of that evil empire, and assure that civilization does not go down with it.

Edit by me: the La Rouche Stuff is strange and his sources not 100% „Kosher“ but some Stuff is Fact and True,

the good thing is that People start to investigate by them self!

Peter Dale Scott

This Chapter 3 from my newly published American War Machine describes America’s Operation Paper, a November 1950 program to arm and supply the Kuomintang remnant troops of General Li Mi in Burma. Operation Paper itself was relatively short-lived, but it had two long-term consequences that have not been adequately discussed.

The first is that the CIA was launched into its fifty-year history of indirectly facilitating and overseeing forces engaged in vastly expanding the production of opiates, in successive areas not previously major in the international traffic. This is a history that stretches, almost continuously, from Thailand and Burma through Laos until the 1970s, and then to present-day Afghanistan.

The second is that the resulting drug proceeds helped supplement the CIA’s efforts to develop its own Asian proxy armies, initially defensive but increasingly offensive. This led in 1959 to the initiation of armed conflict in the previously neutral and Buddhist nation of Laos, an unwinnable hot war that soon spread to Vietnam.

The decision to launch Operation Paper was made by a small cabal inside the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), notably Desmond Fitzgerald and Richard Stilwell in conjunction with former OSS Chief William Donovan, who favored the rollback of communism over the official State Department policy of containment. My book sees the expanding offensive efforts in Southeast Asia, after switching from Li Mi’s forces to the CIA’s Thai proxy army PARU, as a watershed in the conversion of America’s post-war defense establishment, which was concerned above all with preserving the status quo in western Europe, into today’s offensive American War Machine, with actions centered on Southeast and Central Asia.

The writing of American War Machine has given me a clearer picture of America’s overall responsibility for the huge increases in global drug trafficking since World War II. This is exemplified by the more than doubling of Afghan opium drug production since the U.S. invaded that country in 2001. But the U.S. responsibility for the present dominant role of Afghanistan in the global heroin traffic has merely replicated what had happened earlier in Burma, Thailand, and Laos between the late 1940s and the 1970s. These countries also only became factors in the international drug traffic as a result of CIA assistance (after the French, in the case of Laos) to what would otherwise have been only local traffickers. •

It is not too much to conclude that, for such larger reasons of policy, U.S. authorities actually suborned at times an increase of illicit heroin traffic.

An understanding of this phenomenon must inform future scholarly work on drug trafficking in Asia.1

If opium could be useful in achieving victory, the pattern was clear. We would use opium.2

Thailand and Drugs: A Personal Preface

It is now clearly established that in November 1950, President Truman, faced with large numbers of Chinese communist troops pouring into Korea, approved an operation, code-named Operation Paper, to prepare remnant Kuomintang (KMT) forces in Burma for a countervailing invasion of Yunnan. It is clear also that these troops, the so-called 93rd Division under KMT General Li Mi, were already involved in drug trafficking. It is clear finally that, as we shall see, Truman belatedly approved a supply operation to drug traffickers that had already been in existence for some time.

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the process that led up to Truman’s validation of a program to use drug proxies in Burma. It will be an exercise in deep history, raising questions that the archival records presently available cannot definitively answer. Some of most relevant records, chiefly those of the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) that initiated Operation Paper, are still closed to public view. Others, such as those of the World Commerce Corporation (WCC) or of the Willis Bird import-export firm in Bangkok, would probably tell us little even if we had them. And some of the most important events, such as the path by which Thai Opium Monopoly opium soon reached the streets of Boston, were probably never documented at all.

The topic of this chapter is a major one in the postwar history of China, Southeast Asia, and the global drug traffic. With needed U.S. support, above all in the form of airlift and arms, Li Mi’s irregulars were soon marketing, in the words of their U.S. overseer Richard Stilwell (chief of OPC Far East), “almost a third of the world’s opium supply.”3 Burton Hersh, who transmits Stilwell’s comment, adds his own remark that Li Mi’s troops “developed over time into an important commercial asset for the CIA.” Based on what is currently known, I would express the relationship differently: Li Mi’s drug-trafficking troops continued to be of major importance to the CIA—but as self-supporting, off-the-books allies in the struggle to secure Southeast Asia against communist advances, not as a source of income for the CIA itself.


In the 1950s, after World War II, the chances seemed greater than ever before for a more peaceful, orderly, legal, and open world. Even the world’s two great superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, had agreed on rules and procedures for mediating their serious differences through a neutral body, the United Nations. The United States was then wealthy enough to finance postwar reconstruction in devastated Europe and later fund international programs in fields such as health and agriculture in the newly liberated former colonies of the Third World.

But the United Nations was not destined to remain the theater for the resolution of international conflict. One major reason for this was that the Soviet Union, the United States, and then, after 1949, China all pursued covert policies, low key at first, that brought them increasingly into conflict and proxy war.

The Marxist-Leninist nations of the Soviet Union and China lent support to other Marxist-Leninist parties and movements, some of them insurrectionary, in other parts of the world. Washington’s often inaccurate perception saw these parties and movements as proxies for Soviet and/or Chinese power. Thus, much of the Cold War came to be fought covertly in areas, like Southeast Asia, about which both the United States and the Soviet Union were stunningly ignorant.

From the very beginning of the postwar era, Washington looked for proxies of its own to combat the threat it perceived of world revolution. Some of these proxies are now virtually forgotten, such as the Ukrainian guerrillas, originally organized by Hitler’s SS, who fought an OPC-backed losing battle against Russia into the early 1950s. Some, like the mafias in Italy and Marseille, soon outgrew their U.S. support to become de facto regional players in their own right.

But one of America’s early proxy armies, the remnants of Nationalist Chinese KMT forces in Burma and later Thailand, would continue to receive U.S. support into the 1960s. Like the mafias in Europe and the yakuza in Japan, these drug proxies had the advantage for secrecy of being off-the-books assets, largely self-supporting through their drug dealing, and firmly anticommunist.

The OPC and CIA’s initial support of this program, by reestablishing a major drug traffic out of Southeast Asia, helped institutionalize what became a CIA habit of turning to drug-supported off-the-books assets for fighting wars wherever there appeared to be a threat to America’s access to oil and other resources—in Indochina from the 1950s through the 1970s, in Afghanistan and Central America in the 1980s, in Colombia in the 1990s, and again in Afghanistan in 2001.7

Harvesting opium in Karenni state, Burma

The use of drug proxies, at odds with Washington’s official antidrug policies, had to remain secret. This meant that in practice major programs with long-term consequences were initiated and administered by small cliques with U.S. intelligence ties that were almost invisible in Washington and still less visible to the American people. These cliques of like-minded individuals, at ease in working with traffickers and other criminals, were in turn part of a cabal supported by elite groups at high levels.

The U.S. use of the drug traffic from the KMT troops in Burma had momentous consequences for the whole of Southeast Asia. For the OPC infrastructure for the KMT troops (Sea Supply Inc., see below) was expanded and modified, with support from William Donovan and Allen Dulles, to develop and support an indigenous guerrilla force in Thailand, PARU. PARU, far less publicized than the KMT troops, did as much or more to influence U.S. history. For PARU’s success in helping to guarantee the independence of Thailand encouraged the United States in the 1960s to use PARU in Laos and Vietnam as well. Thus, PARU’s early successes led the United States, incrementally, into first covert and eventually overt warfare in Laos and Vietnam. We shall see that, according to its American organizer James William [“Bill”] Lair, PARU, like the KMT forces, was in its early stage at least partly financed by drugs.

In short, some Americans had a predictable and almost continuous habit of turning to the drug traffic for off-the-books assets. This recourse began as a curious exception to the larger U.S. policy of seeking political resolution of international conflicts through the United Nations. It also pitted the regular U.S. diplomats of the State Department against the Cold Warriors of the secret agency, OPC, that had these drug assets at its disposal. This was not the only time that a small U.S. bureaucratic cabal, facing internal opposition but enjoying high-level backing, could launch an operation that became far larger than originally authorized. The pattern was repeated, with remarkable similarities, in Afghanistan in 1979. Once again, as in Thailand, the original stated goal was the defense of the local nation and the containment of the communist troops threatening to subdue it. Once again this goal was achieved. But once again the success of the initial defensive campaign created a momentum for expansion into a campaign of offensive rollback that led to our present unpromising confrontation with more and more elements of Islam.8

The cumulative history of these U.S. interventions, both defensive (successful) and offensive (catastrophic), has built and still builds on itself. Successes are seen as opportunities to move forward: it is hard for mediocre minds not to draw bad lessons from them. Failures (as in Vietnam) are remembered even more vividly as reasons to prove that one is not a loser.

It is thus important to analyze this recurring pattern of success leading to costly failure, to free ourselves from it. For it is clear that the price of imperial overstretch has been increasing over time.

With this end in mind, I shall now explore key moments in the off-the-books story of Southeast Asian drug proxies and the cliques that have managed them, a trail that leads from Thailand after World War II to the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan today.

The Origins of the CIA Drug Connection in Thailand

To understand the CIA’s involvement in the Southeast Asian drug traffic after World War II, one must go back to nineteenth-century opium policies of the British Empire. Siamese government efforts to prohibit the smoking of opium ended in 1852, when King Mongkut (Rama IV), bowing to British pressures, established a Royal Opium Franchise, which was then farmed out to Siamese Chinese.9 Three years later, under the terms of the unequal Bowring Treaty, Siam accepted British opium free of duty, with the proviso that it was to be sold only to the Royal Franchise. (A year later, in 1856, a similar agreement was negotiated with the United States.) The opium farm became a source of wealth and power to the royal government and also to the Chinese secret societies or triads that operated it. Opium dependency also had the effect of easing Siam into the ways of Western capitalism by bringing “peasants into the cash economy as modern consumers.”10

Until it was finally abolished in 1959, proceeds from the Opium Franchise (as in other parts of Southeast Asia) provided up to 20 percent of Siamese government revenue.11 This is one reason why the opium franchise ceased to be farmed out to Chinese businessmen in 1907 and became (as again in other parts of Southeast Asia) a government monopoly. Another was the desire to reduce the influence of Chinese secret societies and encourage Chinese assimilation into Siam. As a result, the power of the secret societies did generally decline in the twentieth century, except for a revival under the Japanese occupation during World War II. By this time the KMT, operating under cover, was the most powerful force in the Bangkok Chinese community, with overlapping links to Tai Li’s KMT intelligence network and also the drug traffic.12

Although the official source of opium for the Siamese franchise was India, the relatively high cost of Indian opium encouraged more and more smuggling of opium from the Shan states of eastern Burma. With the gradual outlawing of the opium traffic in the early twentieth century, the British banned the use of Shan opium inside Burma but continued to tax the Shan states as before. In this way the British tacitly encouraged the export of Shan opium to the Thai market.13

When Thailand declared war against Britain in January 1942, Shan opium became the only source for the lucrative monopoly. This helps explain the 1942 invasion of the opium-producing Shan states by the Thai Northern (Prayap) army, in parallel to the Japanese expulsion of the British from Burma.14 In January 1943, as it became clearer that Japan would not win the war, the Thai premier Phibun Songkhram used the Northern Army in Kengtung, with its control of Shan opium, to open relations with the Chinese armies they had been fighting, which had by now retreated across the Yunnan–Burma frontier.15 One of these was the 93rd Division, at Meng Hai in the Thai Lü district of Sipsongphanna (Xishuangbanna) in Yunnan.16 The two sides, both engaged in the same lucrative opium traffic, quickly agreed to cease hostilities. (According to an Office of Strategic Services [OSS] observer, the warlord generals of Yunnan, Lung Yun, and his cousin Lu Han, commander of the 93rd Division, were busy smuggling opium from Yunnan across the border into Burma and Thailand.17)

An OSS team of Seri Thai (Free Thais), led by Lieutenant Colonel Khap Kunchon (Kharb Kunjara) and ostensibly under the direction of OSS Kunming, made contact with both sides in March–April 1944.18 When Khap arrived at the 93rd Division Headquarters, “he discovered that an informal ceasefire had been observed along the border between southern Yunnan and the Shan States [in Burma] since early 1943 with the arrangement being cemented from time to time by gifts of Thai whisky, cigarettes and guns presented to officers of the 93rd Division by their Thai counterparts.”19

Khap, with the permission of his OSS superior Nicol Smith, sent a message from Menghai to a former student of his now with the Thai Northern Army in Kengtung.20 “The letter stressed the need for Thai forces to switch sides at the appropriate moment and asked for the names of Thai officers in the area who would be willing to cooperate with the Allies.”21 Khap’s letter, with its apparent OSS endorsement, reached Phibun in Bangkok and led to an uninterrupted postwar collaboration between the Northern Army and the 93rd Division.22

Khap, however, was a controversial figure inside OSS, mistrusted above all for his dealings with Tai Li. We learn from Reynolds’s well-documented history that Tai Li and Khap, in conjunction with the original OSS China chief Milton Miles, had been concertedly pushing a plan to turn the Thai Northern Army against the Japanese.23 But John Coughlin, Miles’s successor as OSS chief in China, consulted some months later with Donovan in Washington and expressed doubts about the scheme. A follow-up memo to Donovan questioned Khap’s motives:

I . . . doubt that he can be trusted. . . . I feel that he will make deals with Tai Li of which I will not be informed. . . . I am at a loss to figure out Tai Li’s extreme interest in him, unless there is some agreement between them that I know nothing about.24

Like his sources, Reynolds’s archival history is tactfully silent on the topic of opium. But Tai Li’s opium connection to the KMT in Thailand and Burma was well known to OSS and may well have been on Coughlin’s mind.25

KMT forces in Burma, 1953

The Northern Army–93rd Division–KMT connection had enormous consequences. For the next three decades, Shan opium would be the source of revenue and power for the KMT in Burma and both the KMT and the Northern Army in Bangkok. All of Thailand’s military leaders between 1947 and 1975—Phin Chunhawan, his son-in-law Phao Sriyanon, Sarit Thanarat, Thanom Kittikachorn, Prapat Charusathien, and Kriangsak Chomanand—were officers from the Northern Army. Successively their regimes dominated and profited from the opium supplied by the KMT 93rd Division that after the war reestablished itself in Burma.26 This was true from the military coup in Bangkok of November 1947 until Kriangsak’s resignation in 1980.27 A series of coups d’état—in 1947, 1951, 1957, and 1975—can be analyzed in part as conflicts over control of the drug trade.28

As in Indonesia and other Asian countries, the generals’ business affairs were handled by local Chinese. The Chinese banking partner of Phin Chunhawan and Phao Sriyanon was Chin Sophonpanich, a member of the Free Thai movement who in the postwar years enabled Phao to die as “one of the richest men in the world.”29 When in 1957 Sarit displaced Phao and took over both the government and the drug trade, both Phao and Chin had to flee the country.30

The United States Helps Rebuild the Postwar Drug Connection

To appreciate the significance of the connection we are discussing, we must keep in mind that, by 1956, the KMT had been driven from the Chinese mainland and that Chinese production of opium, even in remote mountainous Yunnan, had been virtually eliminated. The disruptions of a world war and revolution had created an opportunity to terminate the opium problem in the Far East. Instead, U.S. covert support for the Thai and KMT drug traffickers converted Southeast Asia, for more than two decades, into the world’s major source of opium and heroin.

The origins of the U.S. interface with these drug traffickers in Thailand and Burma are obscure. They appear, however, to have involved principally four men: William Donovan; his British ally Sir William Stephenson, the organizer with Donovan of the World Commerce Corporation (WCC); Paul Helliwell; and Willis Bird (both veterans of OSS China). After World War II, Sir William Stephenson’s WCC “became very active in Bangkok,” and Stephenson himself established a strong personal relationship with King Rama IX.31

Stephenson recruited James Thompson, the last OSS commander in Bangkok, to stay on in Bangkok as the local WCC representative. This led to the WCC’s financing of Thompson’s Thai Silk Company, a successful commercial enterprise that also covered Thompson’s repeated trips to the northeastern Thai border with Laos, the so-called Isan, where communist insurrection was most feared and where future CIA operations would be concentrated.32 One would like to know whether WCC similarly launched the import-export business of Willis Bird, of whom much more shortly.

In the same postwar period, Paul Helliwell, who earlier had been OSS chief of Special Intelligence in Kunming, Yunnan, served as Far East Division chief of the Strategic Service Unit, the successor organization to OSS.33 In this capacity he allegedly “became the man who controlled the pipe-line of covert funds for secret operations throughout East Asia after the war.”34 Eventually, Helliwell would be responsible for the incorporation in America of the CIA proprietaries, Sea Supply Inc. and Civil Air Transport (CAT) Inc. (later Air America), which would provide support to both Phao Sriyanon of the Northern Army in Thailand and the KMT drug camps in Burma. It is unclear what he did before the creation of OPC in 1948. Speculation abounds as to the original source of funds available to Helliwell in this earlier period, ranging from the following:

1.  The deep pockets of the overworld figures in the WCC. Citing Daniel Harkins, a former USG investigator, John Loftus and Mark Aarons claimed that Nazi money, laundered and manipulated by Allen Dulles and Sir William Stephenson through the WCC, reached Thailand after the war. When Harkins informed Congress, he “was suddenly fired and sent back [from Thailand] to the United States on the next ship.”35

2.  The looted gold and other resources collected by Admiral Yamashita and others in Japan36 or of the SS in Germany.

3.  The drug trade itself. Further research is needed to establish when the financial world of Paul Helliwell began to overlap with that of Meyer Lansky and the underworld. The banks discussed in the chapter 7, which are outward signs of this connection (Miami National Bank and Bank of Perrine), were not established until a decade or more later. Still to be established is whether the Eastern Development Company represented by Helliwell was the firm of this name that in the 1940s cooperated with Lansky and others in the supply of arms to the nascent state of Israel.37

Of these the best available evidence points tentatively to Nazi gold. We shall see that Helliwell acquired a banking partner in Florida, E. P. Barry, who had been the postwar head of OSS Counterintelligence (X-2) in Vienna, which oversaw the recovery of SS gold in Operation Safehaven.38 And it is not questioned that in December 1947 the National Security Council (NSC) created a Special Procedures Group “that, among other things, laundered over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].”39 Note that this authorization was before NSC 10/2 of June 18, 1948, first funded covert operations under what soon became OPC.

What matters is that, for some time before the first known official U.S. authorizations in 1949–1950, funds were reaching Helliwell’s former OSS China ally Willis Bird in Bangkok. There Bird ran a trading company supplying arms and materiel to Phin Chunhawan and Phin’s son-in-law, Phao Sriyanon, who in 1950 became director-general of the Thai Police Department. By 1951 OPC funds for Bird were being handled by a CIA proprietary firm, Sea Supply Inc., which had been incorporated by Paul Helliwell in his civilian capacity as a lawyer in Miami. As noted earlier, Helliwell also became general counsel for the Miami bank that Meyer Lansky allegedly used to launder proceeds from the Asian drug traffic.

Some sources claim that in the 1940s, Donovan, whose link to the WCC was by 1946 his only known intelligence connection, also visited Bangkok.40 Stephenson’s biographer, William Stevenson, writes that because MacArthur had cut Donovan out of the Pacific during World War II, Donovan “therefore turned Siam [i.e., Thailand] into a base from which to run [postwar] secret operations against the new Soviet threat in Asia.”41

William Walker agrees that by 1947–1948, the United States increasingly defined for Thailand a place in Western strategic policy in the early cold war. Among those who kept close watch over events were William J. Donovan, wartime head of the OSS, and Willis H. Bird, who worked with the OSS in China. . . . After the war, Bird, . . . still a reserve colonel in military intelligence, ran an import-export house in Bangkok. Following the November [1947 Thailand coup] Bird . . . implored Donovan: “Should there be any agency that is trying to take the place of O.S.S., . . . please have them get in touch with us as soon as possible. By the time Phibun returned as Prime Minister, Donovan was telling the Pentagon and the State Department that Bird was a reliable source whose information about growing Soviet activities in Thailand were credible.42

Bird’s wishes were soon answered by NSC 10/2 of June 18, 1948, which created the OPC. Washington swiftly agreed that Thailand would play an important role as a frontline ally in the Cold War. In 1948, U.S. intelligence units began arming and training a separate army under General Phao, which became known as the Thai Border Police (BPP). The relationship was cemented in 1949 as the communists captured power in China. The generals demonstrated their anticommunist credentials by echoing U.S. propaganda and killing alleged leftists. At midyear a CIA [OPC] team arrived in Bangkok to train the BPP for covert support of the Kuomintang in its continuing war against the Chinese communists on the Burma-China border. Later in the year the United States began to arm and train the Thai army and to provide the kingdom general economic aid.43

Walker notes how the collapse of the KMT forces in China led Washington to subordinate its antinarcotics policies to the containment of communism: By the fall of 1949 . . . reports reached the State Department about the inroads communism was making within the Chinese community in Thailand as well as the involvement of the Thai army with opium. Since the army virtually controlled the nature of Thailand’s security relationship with the West, foreign promotion of opium control had to take a back seat to other policy priorities.44

On March 9, 1950, when Truman was asked to approve $10 million in military aid for Thailand, Acheson’s supporting memo noted that $5 million had already been approved by Truman for the Thai “constabulary.”45 This presumably came from the OPC’s secret budget: I can find no other reference to the $5 million in State Department published records, and two years later a U.S. aid official in Washington, Edwin Martin, wrote in a secret memo that the Thai Police force under General Phao “is receiving no American military aid.”46

Cliques, the Mob, the KMT, and Operation Paper

The U.S. decision to back the KMT troops—the so-called Li Mi project or Operation Paper—was made at a time of intense interbureaucratic conflict and even conspiratorial disagreement over official U.S. policy toward the new Chinese People’s Republic. As the historian Bruce Cumings has shown, both the KMT-financed China Lobby and many Republicans, like Donovan, as well as General MacArthur in Japan, were furious at the failure of Secretary of State Dean Acheson to continue support for Chiang Kai-shek after the founding of the People’s Republic in October 1949.47 Up until the June 1950 outbreak of war in Korea, Acheson refused to guarantee even the security of Taiwan.48

Claire Chennault with Chiang Kai-shek and Mme Chiang

The key public lobbyist for backing the KMT in Burma and Yunnan was General Claire Chennault, original owner of the airline the OPC took over. Chennault deserves to be remembered as an early postwar proponent of using off-the-books assets: his “Chennault Plan” envisaged essentially self-financing KMT armies, backed by a covert U.S. logistical airline, in support of U.S. foreign policy.49 Because by this time Chennault was serving in Washington as Chiang Kai-shek’s military representative, he was viewed by U.S. officials with increasing suspicion if not distaste.50 Yet his longtime associate, friend, and business ally Thomas (“Tommy the Cork”) Corcoran, who after 1950 was a registered foreign agent for Taiwan, managed to put Chennault in contact with senior OPC officers, including Richard Stilwell, chief of the Far East Division of the OPC.51

There were other private interests with a stake in Operation Paper. In 1972 I noted that the two principal figures inside the United States who backed Chennault, Paul Helliwell and Thomas Corcoran, were both attorneys for the OSS-related insurance companies of C. V. Starr in the Far East.52 (Starr, who had operated out of Shanghai before the war, helped OSS China establish a network both there and globally.53) The C. V. Starr companies (later the massive AIG group) allegedly had “close financial ties” with Chinese Nationalists in Taiwan,54 and in any case they would of course have had a financial interest both in restoring the KMT to power in China and in consolidating a Western presence in Southeast Asia.55 At the time of Corcoran’s lobbying, Starr’s American International Assurance Company was expanding from its Hong Kong base to Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. In 2006, that company was “the No. 1 life insurer in Southeast Asia.”56 And its parent AIG, before AIG’s spectacular collapse in 2008, was listed by Forbes as the eighteenth-largest public company in the world.

Corcoran was also the attorney in Washington for Chiang Kai-shek’s brother-in-law T. V. Soong, the backer of the China Lobby who some believed to be the “wealthiest man in the world.”57 It is likely that Soong and the KMT helped develop the Chennault Plan. A complementary plan for supporting the remnants of General Li Mi’s KMT armies in Burma was developed in 1949 by the army’s civilian adviser, Ting Tsuo-shou, after discussions on Taiwan with Chiang Kai-shek.58

Like Chiang Kai-shek, Chennault also had support from Henry Luce of Time-Life in America and both General MacArthur and his intelligence chief, Major General Charles Willoughby, in Japan. Their plans for maintaining and reestablishing the KMT in China were in 1949 already beginning to diverge significantly from those of Truman and his State Department.59 Former OSS Chief William Donovan, now outside the government and promoting the KMT, also promoted both Chiang Kai-shek and Chennault,60 as did Chennault’s wartime associate William Pawley, a freewheeling overseas investor who, like Helliwell, reputedly had links to mob drug traffickers.61

Donovan’s support for Chennault was part of his general advocacy of rollback against communism and his interest in guerrilla armies—a strongly held ideology that, as we shall see, led to his appointment as ambassador to Thailand in 1953. His intellectual ally in this was the former Trotskyite James Burnham, another protégé of Henry Luce by then in the OPC (and a prototype of the neoconservatives half a century later). Burnham wrote in his book (“published with great Luce fanfare in early 1950”) of “rolling back” communism and of supporting Chiang Kai-shek to, at some future point, “throw the Communists back out of China.”62

The Belated Authorization of Operation Paper

In the midst of this turmoil, OPC Chief Frank Wisner began in the summer of 1948 to refinance and eventually take over Chennault’s airline, CAT, which Chiang Kai-shek’s friend Claire Chennault had organized with postwar UN relief funds to airlift supplies to the KMT armies in China. Wisner “negotiated with Corcoran for the purchase of CAT [in which Corcoran as well as Chennault had a financial interest]. In March [1950], using a ‘cutout’ banker or middleman, the CIA paid CAT $350,000 to clear up arrearages, $400,000 for future operations, and a $1 million option on the business.”63

Richard Stilwell, Far Eastern chief of the OPC and the future overseer of Operation Paper, dickered with Corcoran over the purchase price.64 The details were finalized in March 1950, shortly before the outbreak of the Korean War in June generated for CAT Inc. a huge volume of new business.65 Alfred Cox, OPC station chief in Hong Kong and the chief executive officer (CEO) of CAT Inc., directed the supply operation to Li Mi.66

According to an unfavorable assessment by Lieutenant Colonel William Corson, a former marine intelligence officer on special assignment with the CIA, the OPC,

in late summer 1950, recruited (or rather hired) a batch of Chinese Nationalist soldiers [who] were transported by the OPC to northern Burma, where they were expected to launch guerrilla raids into China. At the time this dubious project was initiated no consideration was given to the facts that (a) Truman had declined Chiang’s offer to participate in the Korean War . . . (b) Burmese neutrality was violated by this action; and (c) the troops provided by Chiang were utterly lacking in qualifications for such a purpose.67

Shortly afterward, in October 1950, Truman appointed a new and more assertive CIA director, Walter Bedell Smith. Within a week Smith took the first steps to make the OPC and Wisner answerable for the first time, at least on paper, to the CIA.68 Smith ultimately succeeded in his vigorous campaign to bring Wisner and the OPC under his control, partly by bringing in Allen Dulles to oversee both the OPC and the CIA’s rival Office of Special Operations (OSO, the successor to the Strategic Service Unit).69 Yet in November 1950, only one month after his appointment as director, Smith tried and failed to kill Operation Paper when the proposal was belatedly submitted by the OPC (backed by the Joint Chiefs) for Truman’s approval:

The JCS [Joint Chiefs of Staff] in April 1950 issued a series of recommendations, including a programme of covert assistance to local anti-communist forces. This proposal received additional stimulus following the Korean War and especially after Communist China entered that conflict. Shortly after the People’s Republic’s (PRC’s) intervention, the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) Office of Policy Co-ordination (OPC) proposed a programme to divert the PRC’s military from the Korean peninsula. The plan called for U.S. aid to the 93rd, followed by an invasion of Yunnan by Li’s men. Interestingly, the CIA’s director, Walter Bedell Smith, opposed the plan, considering it too risky. But President Harry S. Truman saw merit in the OPC proposal and approved it. The programme became known as Operation Paper.70

It is not clear whether, when Truman approved Operation Paper in November 1950, his secretary of state, Dean Acheson, was even aware of it. It is a matter of record that the U.S. embassies in Burma and Thailand knew nothing of the authorization until well into 1951, when they learned of it from the British and eventually from Phibun himself.71 The scholar Victor Kaufman reports that he “was unable to turn up any evidence at the Truman Library, the National Archives or in the volumes of FRUS [Foreign Relations of the United States] to determine whether in fact Acheson knew of the operation and, if so, at what point.”72

Both MacArthur and Chennault had ambitious designs for the CAT-supported KMT troops in Burma. With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, CAT played an important role in airlifting supplies to the U.S. troops.73 But both MacArthur and Chennault spoke publicly of trapping communist China in what Chennault called a “giant pincers”—simultaneous attacks from Korea and from Burma.74

The OPC kicked in by helping to build up a major airstrip at the chief KMT base at Mong Hsat, Burma, followed by a regular shuttle transport of American arms.75 However, Li Mi’s attempts to invade Yunnan in 1951 and 1952 (three according to McCoy, seven according to Lintner) were swiftly repelled by local militiamen with heavy casualties after advances of no more than sixty miles.76 CIA advisers accompanied the incursions, and some of them were killed.77

American journalists and historians like to attribute the CIA’s Operation Paper, in support of Li Mi and the opium-growing 93rd Division in Burma, to President Truman’s authorization in November 1950, following the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 and above all the Chinese crossing of the Yalu River.78 But as historian Daniel Fineman points out, Truman was merely authorizing an arms shipments program that had already begun months earlier:

Shortly after the writing of the [April 1950] JCS memorandum, the United States began supplying arms and matériel to the [KMT] troops. [The Burmese protested in August 1950 that they had discovered in northern Burma an American military officer from the Bangkok embassy in Burma without authorization.79] In the fall, the . . . Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) drafted a daring plan for them to invade Yunnan. The CIA’s director, Walter Bedell Smith, opposed the risky scheme, but Truman [in November 1950] rejected his warning. . . . In January 1951, the CIA initiated its project, code-named Operation Paper. It aimed to prepare the Kuomintang (KMT) forces in Burma for an invasion of Yunnan.80

The futility of Li Mi’s military jabs against China was obvious to Washington by 1952. Yet Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) Chief Harry Anslinger continued to cover up the Li Mi-Thai drug connection for the next decade. The annual trafficking reports of the FBN recorded one seizure of distinctive Thai Government Monopoly opium in 1949 and on “several occasions” more in 1950. But after the initiation of Operation Paper in 1951, the FBN over a decade listed only one seizure of Thai drugs (from two seamen), until it began reporting Thai drug seizures again in 1962.81

Meanwhile, Anslinger, who “had established a working relationship with the CIA by the early 1950s . . . blamed the PRC [People’s Republic of China, as opposed to their enemy the KMT] for orchestrating the annual movement of some two hundred to four hundred tons of opium from Yunnan to Bangkok.”82 This protection of the world’s leading drug traffickers (who were also CIA proxies) did not cease with Anslinger, nor even when the FBN, by then thoroughly corrupted from such cover-ups, was replaced in 1968 by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and finally in 1973 by the Drug Enforcement Administration. As I write in 2010, the U.S. media are blaming the drug traffic in Afghanistan on the Taliban-led insurgency, but UN statistics (examined later in this book) suggest that insurgents receive less than 12 percent of the total drug revenues in Afghanistan’s totally drug-corrupted economy.

Harry Anslinger

As we saw in the previous chapter, Anslinger’s tenure at the FBN was when the CIA also forged anticommunist drug alliances in Europe in the 1940s with the Italian Mafia in Sicily and the Corsican Mafia in Marseilles. The KMT drug support operation was longer lived and had more lasting consequences in America as well as in Southeast Asia. It converted the Golden Triangle of Burma–Thailand–Laos, which before the war had been marginal to the global drug economy, into what was for two decades the dominant opium-growing area of the world.

Did Some People Intend to Develop the Drug Traffic with Operation Paper?

The decision to arm Li Mi was obviously controversial and known to only a few. Some of those backing the OPC’s support of a pro-KMT airline and troops may have envisaged from the outset that the 93rd Division would continue, as during the war, to act as drug traffickers. The key figure, Paul Helliwell, may have had a dual interest, inasmuch as he not only was a former OSS officer but also at some point became the legal counsel in Florida for the small Miami National Bank used after 1956 by Meyer Lansky to launder illegal funds.83 We shall see in the next chapter that Helliwell also went on to represent Phao’s drug-financed government in the United States and to receive funds from that source.84

It is possible that in the mind of Helliwell, with his still ill-understood links to the underworld and Meyer Lansky, Li Mi’s troops were not being used to invade China so much as to restore the war-dislocated international drug traffic that supported the anticommunist KMT and the comprador capitalist activities of its supporters throughout Southeast Asia.85 (As a military historian has commented, “Li Mi was more Mafia or war lord than Chinese Nationalist. Relying on his troops to bring down Mao was an OPC pipe dream.”86)

It is possible also that other networks associated with the drug traffic became part of the infrastructure of the Li Mi operation. This question can be asked of some of the ragtag group of pilots associated with Chennault’s airlines in Asia, some of whom were rumored to have seized this opportunity for drug trafficking.87 According to William R. Corson (a marine colonel assigned at one point to the CIA),

The opium grown by the ChiNat guerrillas . . . was transported by OPC contract aircraft from the forward base to Bangkok for sale to buyers from the various “connections.” The pilots who flew these bushtype aircraft and often served as agents or go-betweens with the guerrilla leaders and the opium buyers were a motley band of men. Some were ex-Nazis, others part of the band of expatriates who emerge in foreign countries following any war.88

The FBN by this time was aware that Margaret Chung, the attending physician to the pilots of Chennault’s wartime airline, was involved with Bugsy Siegel’s friend Virginia Hill “in the narcotic traffic in San Francisco.”89 During World War II, when the Office of Naval Intelligence through the OSS approached Dr. Chung for some specific intelligence on China, she “volunteered that she could supply detailed information . . . ‘from some of the smugglers in San Francisco.’”90

One has to ask what was in the mind of Chennault. Chennault himself was once investigated for smuggling activities, “but no official action was taken because he was politically untouchable.”91 I have no reason to suspect that Chennault wished to profit personally from the drug traffic. But his objective in opposing Chinese communists was to split off ethically divergent provinces like Xinjiang, Tibet, and above all Yunnan.

Chennault’s top priority was Yunnan, with its long-established Haw (or Hui) Muslim minority, many of whom (especially in southwestern Yunnan) traditionally dominated the opium trade into Thailand.92 The troops of the reconstituted 93rd Division were principally Haws from Yunnan.93 To this day, one Thai name for the KMT Yunnanese minority in northern Thailand is gaan beng gaaosipsaam (“93rd Division”), and visitors to the former base of the KMT general Duan Xiwen in Thailand (Mae Salong) are struck by the mosque one sees there.94

I suspect that Chennault may have known that none of the elements in the reconstituted 93rd Division “had made great records of military accomplishment” during World War II,95 that the 93rd had been engaged in drug trafficking when based at Jinghong during World War II,96 and that when the 93rd Division moved into northern Burma and Laos in 1946, it was “in reality, to seize the opium harvest there.”97 That the 93rd Division settled into managing the postwar drug traffic out of Burma should have come as no surprise. Chennault was close to Madame Chiang Kai-shek, T. V. Soong, and the KMT, which had been supporting itself from opium revenues since the 1930s.98 Linked to drug trafficking both in Thailand (through the Tai Li spy network) and in America, the KMT, after expulsion from Yunnan, desperately needed a new opium supply to maintain its contacts with the opiumtrafficking triads and other former assets of Tai Li in Southeast Asia.99

From the time of the inception of the KMT government in the 1920s, KMT officials had been caught smuggling opium and heroin into the United States.100 As noted earlier, an FBN supervisor reported in 1946 that “in a recent Kuomintang Convention in Mexico City a wide solicitation of funds for the future operation of the opium trade was noted.” In July 1947 the State Department reported that the Chinese Nationalist government was “selling opium in a desperate attempt to pay troops still fighting the Communists.”101 The New York Times reported on July 23, 1949, the seizure in Hong Kong of twenty-two pounds of heroin that had arrived from a CIA-supplied Kuomintang outpost in Kunming.102 But the loss of Yunnan in 1949–1950 meant that the KMT would have to develop a new source of supply.

The key to the survival of the KMT was of course its establishment and protection after 1949 on the island of Taiwan. Chennault and his airline CAT helped move the KMT leadership and its resources to its new base and to deny the new Chinese People’s Republic the Chinese civil air fleet (which became embroiled in a protracted Hong Kong legal battle where CAT was represented by William Donovan).103 By 1950 one of Chennault’s wartime pilots, Satiris (or Soteris or Sortiris) Fassoulis ran a firm, Commerce International China, Inc., that privately supplied arms and military advisers to Chiang Kai-shek on Taiwan. Bruce Cumings speculates that he may have done so for the OPC at a time when Acheson was publicly refusing to commit the United States to the defense of Taiwan.104

Finally, all those handling Operation Paper in and for the OPC (Fitzgerald, Helliwell, Joost, CAT Inc. CEO Alfred Cox, and Bird) had had experience in the area during World War II. If they had not wanted Li Mi and CAT to be- come involved in restoring the KMT drug traffic, it would have been imperative for them to ensure that the KMT on Taiwan had no control over CAT’s operations. But Wisner and Helliwell did the exact opposite: when they took over the CAT airline, they gave majority control of the CAT planes to the KMT-linked Kincheng Bank on Taiwan.105 Thereafter for many years CAT planes would fly arms into Li Mi’s camp for the CIA and then fly drugs out for the KMT.

The opium traffic may well have seemed attractive to OPC for strategic as well as financial reasons. As Alfred McCoy has observed, Phao’s pro-KMT activities in Thailand “were a part of a larger CIA effort to combat the growing popularity of the People’s Republic among the wealthy, influential overseas Chinese community throughout Southeast Asia.”106 I have noted elsewhere that the KMT reached these communities in part through triads and other secret societies (especially in Malaya) that had traditionally been involved in the opium traffic. Thus, the restoration of an opium supply in Burma to replace that being lost in Yunnan had the result of sustaining a social fabric and an economy that was capitalist and anticommunist.107

I would add today that the opium traffic was an even more important element in an anticommunist strategy for Southeast Asia as a source of income. We have already seen that for a century, the Thai state had relied on its revenues from the state opium monopoly; in 1953 “the Thai representative at the April CND [Commission on Narcotic Drugs] session had admitted that his country could not afford to give up the revenue from the opium business.”108

Just as important was the role of opium profits in promoting capitalism among the Chinese businessmen of Southeast Asia (the agenda of Sir William Stephenson and the WCC). Whether the Chinese who dominated business in the region would turn their allegiance to Beijing depended on the availability of funds for alternative business opportunities. Here Phao’s banker, Chin Sophonpanich, became a source of funds for top anticommunist businessmen not only in Thailand but also in Malaysia and Indonesia:

Chin Sophonpanich created the largest bank in south-east Asia and one that was extremely profitable. A report by the International Monetary Fund in 1973 claimed that Bangkok Bank’s privileged position allowed it to make returns on its capital in excess of 100 per cent a year (a claim denounced by Chin’s lieutenants). What was not in dispute was that the bank’s bulging deposit base could not be lent out at optimum rates in Thailand alone. This is where Chin revolutionised the south-east Asian banking scene. He personally travelled between Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, identifying and courting the new generation of putative post colonial tycoons. . . . Chin banked the key godfathers outside Hong Kong—Robert Kuok in Malaysia, Liem Sioe Liong [Sudono Salim] in Indonesia, the Chearavanonts in Thailand—as well as other players in Singapore and Hong Kong. . . . Chin was closely linked to the Thai heroin trade through his role as personal financier to the narcotics kingpin Phao Sriyanon, and to other politicians involved in running the drug business.109

Chin thus followed the example of the Khaw family opium farmers in nineteenth-century Siam, whose commercial influence also eventually “extended across Siam’s southern borders into Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies” into legitimate industries, such as tin mines and a shipping company.110

America had another reason to accept Li Mi’s smuggling activities: as a source of badly needed Burmese tungsten. According to Jonathan Marshall, there is fragmentary evidence that OPC/CIA support for his remnant army was “also to facilitate Western control of Burma’s tungsten resources.”111

Creation of an Off-the-Books Force without Accountability

The OPC aid to Thai police greatly augmented the influence of both Phao Sriyanon, who received it, and Willis Bird, the OSS veteran through which it passed and who was already a supplier for the Thai military and police. Seeing the gap between the generals who had organized the military coup of 1947 and U.S. Ambassador Stanton, who still worked to support civilian politicians, Bird worked with Phao and the generals of the 1947 Coup Group to create in 1950 a secret “Naresuan Committee.” Bypassing the U.S. embassy altogether, the Naresuan Committee created a parallel, parastatal channel for U.S.–Thai governmental relations between OPC and Phao’s BPP:

Bird organized in 1950 a secret committee of leading military and political figures to develop an anticommunist strategy and, more importantly, lobby the United States for increased military assistance. The group, dubbed the Naresuan Committee, included police strongman Phao Sriyanon, Sarit Thanarat, Phin Choonhawan, Phao’s father-in-law, air force chief Fuen Ronnaphakat, and Bird’s [Anglo-Thai] brother-in-law, [air force colonel] Sitthi [Savetsila, later Thailand’s foreign minister for a decade]. . . . Bird and the generals established their committee to bypass the ambassador and . . . work through [Bird’s] old OSS buddies now employed by the CIA [sic, i.e., OPC].112

Thomas Lobe, ignoring Bird, writes that it was the “Thai military clique” who organized the committee. But from his own prose we learn that the initiative may have been neither theirs nor Bird’s alone but in implementation of a new strategy of support to the KMT in Burma, designed by the OPC and JCS in Washington:

A high-ranking U.S. military officer and a CIA [OPC] official came to Bangkok [in 1950] to review the political situation.113 . . . Through the “[Naresuan] Anti-Communist Committee,” secret negotiations ensued between Phao and the CIA [OPC]. The U.S. representative explained the need for a paramilitary force that could both defend Thai borders and cross over into Thailand’s neighbors— Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Cambodia, and China—for secret missions. . . . The CIA’s new police were to be special: an elite force outside the normal chain of command of both the Thai security bureaucracy and the TNPD [Thai National Police department]. Phao and Phibun agreed to this arrangement because of the increase in armed power that this new national police meant vis-à-vis the armed forces.114

This was in keeping with the JCS call in April 1950 for a new “program of special covert operations designed to interfere with Communist activities in Southeast Asia,” noting “the evidences of renewed vitality and apparent increased effectiveness of the Chinese Nationalist forces.”115

Action was taken immediately:

[Bird’s] CIA [i.e., OPC] contacts sent an observer to meet the committee and, impressed with the resolve the Thais manifested, got Washington to agree to a large covert assistance program. Because they considered the matter urgent, planners on both the Thai and American sides decided to forgo a formal agreement on the terms of the aid. Instead, Paul Helliwell, an OSS friend of Bird [from China] now practicing law in Florida [as well as military reserve officer and OPC operative], incorporated a dummy firm in Miami named the Sea (i.e. South-East Asia) Supply Company as a cover for the operation. The CIA [OPC], the agency on the American end responsible for the assistance, opened a Sea Supply office in Bangkok. . . . By the beginning of 1951, Sea Supply was receiving arms shipments for distribution. . . . The CIA [OPC] appointed Bird’s firm general agent for Sea Supply in Bangkok.116

Sea Supply’s arms from Bird soon reached not only the Thai police and BPP but also, starting in early 1951, the KMT 93rd Division in Burma, which was still supporting itself, as during the war, from the opium traffic.117 General Li Mi, the postwar commander of the 93rd Division, would consult with Bird and Phao in Bangkok about the arms that he needed for the KMT base at Mong Hsat in Burma and that had already begun to reach him months before the creation of the Bangkok Sea Supply office in January 1951.118 The airline supplying the KMT base at Mong Hsat in Burma from Bangkok was Helliwell’s other OPC proprietary, CAT Inc., which in 1959 changed its name to become the well-known Air America. The deliberately informal arrangement for Sea Supply served to mask the sensitive arms shipments to a KMT opium base.119

Air America U-10D Helio Courier aircraft in Laos on a covert mountaintop landing strip (LS) „Lima site“

In the complex legal takeover of Chennault’s airline, his assets developed into three separate components: planes (the Taiwanese civilian airline In the complex legal takeover of Chennault’s airline, his assets developed into three separate components: planes (the Taiwanese civilian airline Civil Air Transport or CATCL), pilots (later Air America), and ground-support operations (Air Asia). Of these the planes only 40 percent were owned by the CIA; the remaining 60 percent continued to be owned by KMT financiers (with alleged links to T.V. Soong and Mme. Chiang K ai-shek), who had relocated to Taiwan and were associated with the Kincheng Bank.120 The Kincheng Bank was under the control of the so-called Political Science Clique of the KMT, whose member Chen Yi was the first postwar KMT governor of Taiwan.121

The OPC’s organizational arrangements for its proprietary CAT, which left 60 percent of the company owning the CAT planes in KMT hands, guaranteed that CAT’s activities were immune to being reined in by Washington.122

In fact Helliwell, Bird, and Bird’s Thai brother-in-law Sitthi Savetsila all avoided the U.S. embassy and instead plotted strategy for the KMT armies at the Taiwanese embassy. There the real headquarters for Operation Paper was the private office of Taiwanese Defense Attaché Chen Zengshi, a graduate of China’s Whampoa Military Academy.123

Bird’s energetic promotion of Phao, precisely at a time when the U.S. embassy was trying to reduce Phao’s corrupt influence, led to a 1951 embassy memorandum of protest to Washington about Bird’s activities. “Why is this man Bird allowed to deal with the Police Chief [Phao]?” the memo asked.124 The question, for which there is no publicly recorded reply, was an urgent one. Bird’s backing of the so-called Coup Group (Phin Choonhavan, Phao Sriyanon, and Sarit Thanarat), reinforced by the obvious U.S. support for Bird through Operation Paper and Sea Supply, encouraged these military men, in their November 1951 “Silent Coup,” to defy Stanton, dissolve the Thai parliament, and replace the postwar Thai constitution with one based on the much more reactionary constitution of 1932.125

The KMT Drug Legacy for Southeast Asia

When the OPC airline CAT began its covert flights to Burma in the 1950s, the area produced about eighty tons of opium a year. In ten years’ time, production had at least quadrupled, and at one point during the Vietnam War, the output from the Golden Triangle reached 1,200 tons a year. By 1971, there were also at least seven heroin labs in the region, one of which, close to the CIA base of Ban Houei Sai in Laos, produced an estimated 3.6 tons of heroin a year.126

The end of the Vietnam War did not interrupt the flow of CIA-protected heroin to America from the KMT remnants of the former 93rd Division, now relocated in northern Thailand under Generals Li Wenhuan and Duan Xiwen (Tuan Hsi-wen). The two generals, by then officially integrated into the defense forces of Thailand, still enjoyed a special relationship to and protection from the CIA. With this protection, Li Wenhuan, from his base in Tam Ngob, became, according to James Mills, “one of the most powerful narcotics traffickers on earth . . . controlling the opium from which is refined a major percentage of heroin entering the United States.”127

From the very outset of Operation Paper, the consequences were felt in America itself. As I have shown elsewhere, most of the KMT-Thai opium and heroin was distributed in America by KMT-linked tongs with long-term ties to the American mafia.128 Thus, Anslinger’s rhetoric served to protect the primary organized crime networks distributing Asian narcotics in America. Far more than the CIA drug alliances in Europe, the CIA’s drug project in Asia contributed to the drug crisis that afflicted America during the Vietnam War and from which America still suffers. Furthermore, U.S. protection of leading KMT drug traffickers led to the neutralization of domestic drug enforcement at a high level. It has also inflicted decades of militarized oppression on the tribes of eastern Myanmar (Burma), perhaps the principal victims of this story.

By the end of 1951, Truman, convinced that the KMT forces in Burma were more of a threat to his containment policy than an asset, “had come to the conclusion that the irregulars had to be removed.”129 Direct U.S. support to Li Mi ended, forcing the KMT troops to focus even more actively on proceeds from opium, soon supplemented by profits from morphine labs as well. But nevertheless, in June 1952, as we shall see, 100 Thai graduates from the BPP training camp were in Burma training Li Mi’s troops in jungle warfare.130 After a skirmish in 1953, the Burma army recovered the corpses of three white men, with no identification except for some documents with addresses in Washington and New York.131 Operation Paper was by now leading a life of its own, independent not just of Ambassador Stanton but even of the president.

A much-publicized evacuation of troops to Taiwan in 1953–1954 was a charade, despite five months of strenuous negotiations by William Donovan, by then Eisenhower’s ambassador in Thailand. Old men, boys, and hill tribesmen were airlifted by CAT from Thailand and replaced by fresh troops, new arms, and a new commander.132

The fiasco of Operation Paper led in 1952 to the final absorption of the OPC into the CIA. According to R. Harris Smith,

Bedell Smith . . . summoned the OPC’s Far East director, Richard Stilwell, and, in the words of an agency eyewitness, gave him such a “violent tongue lashing” that “the colonel went down the hall in tears.” . . . [T]he Burma debacle was the worst in a string of OPC affronts that confirmed his decision to abolish the office. In 1952 he merged the OPC with the CIA’s Office of Special Operations [to create a new Directorate of Plans].133

What precipitated this decision was an event remembered inside the agency as the “Thailand flap.” Its precise nature remains unknown, but central to it was a drugs-related in-house murder. Allen Dulles’s biographer recounts that in 1952 Walter Bedell Smith “had to send top officials of both clandestine branches [the CIA’s OSO and OPC] out to untangle a mess of opium trading under the cover of efforts to topple the Chinese communists.”134 (I heard from a former CIA officer that an OSO officer investigating drug flows through Thailand was murdered by an OPC officer.135) Years later, at a secret Council on Foreign Affairs meeting in 1968 to review official intelligence operations, former CIA officer Richard Bissell referred back to the CIA–OPC flap as “a total disaster organizationally.”136

But what was an organizational disaster may be seen as having benefited the political objectives of the wealthy New York Republicans in OPC (including Wisner, Fitzgerald, Burnham, and others) who constituted an overworld enclave committed to rollback inside the Truman establishment committed to containment. (Recall that Wisner had surrounded himself in the OPC with men who, in the words of Wisner’s ex-wife, “had money enough of their own to be able to come down” to Washington.137) This enclave was already experimenting with attempts to launch the rollback policy that Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles would call for in the 1952 election campaign.138

Truman, understandably and rightly, mistrusted this enclave of overworld Wall Street Republicans that the CIA and OPC had injected into his administration. The four directors Truman appointed to oversee central intelligence—Sidney Souers, Hoyt Vandenberg, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, and Walter Bedell Smith—were all from the military and all (like Truman himself) from the central United States.139 This was in striking contrast to the six known deputy directors below them, whose background was that of New York City or (in one case) Boston, law and/or finance, and (in all cases but one) the Social Register.140

But Bedell Smith, Truman’s choice to control the CIA, inadvertently set the stage for overworld triumph in the agency when, in January 1951, he brought in Allen Dulles (Wall Street Republican, Social Register, and OSS) “to control Frank Wisner.”141 And with the Republican election victory of 1952, Bedell Smith’s intentions in abolishing the OPC were completely reversed. Desmond Fitzgerald of the OPC, who had been responsible for the controversial Operation Paper, became chief of the CIA’s Far East Division.142 American arms and supplies continued to reach Li Mi’s troops, no longer directly from OPC but now indirectly through either the BPP in Thailand or the KMT in Taiwan.

The CIA support for Phao began to wane in 1955–1956, especially after a staged BPP seizure of twenty tons of opium on the Thai border was exposed by a dramatic story in the Saturday Evening Post.144 But the role of the BPP in the drug trade changed little, as is indicated in a recent report from the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, for at least seven years, the BPP would “capture” KMT opium in staged raids, and turn it over to the Thai Opium Monopoly. The “reward” for doing so, one-eighth the retail value, financed the BPP.143

The police force that exists in Thailand today is for all intents and purposes the same one that was built by Pol. Gen. Phao Sriyanond in the 1950s. . . . It took on paramilitary functions through new special units, including the border police. It ran the drug trade, carried out abductions and killings with impunity, and was used as a political base for Phao and his associates. Successive attempts to reform the police, particularly from the 1970s onwards, have all met with failure despite almost universal acknowledgment that something must be done.145

The last sentence could equally be applied to America with respect to the CIA’s involvement in the global drug connection.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan from which the present article is excerpted, has just been published.

Recommended citation: Peter Dale Scott, „Operation Paper: The United States and Drugs in Thailand and Burma,“ The Asia-Pacific Journal, 44-2-10, November 1, 2010.


1 William O. Walker III, “Drug Trafficking in Asia,” Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs 34, no. 3 (1992): 204.

2 William Peers [OSS/CIA] and Dean Brellis, Behind the Burma Road (Boston: Little, Brown, 1963), 64.

3 Burton Hersh, The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA (New York: Scribner’s, 1992), 300.

4 Peter Dale Scott, “Mae Salong,” in Mosaic Orpheus (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009), 45.

5 Peter Dale Scott, “Wat Pa Nanachat,” in Mosaic Orpheus, 56.

6 Note Omitted.

7 I write about this practice in Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).

8 There are analogies also with the history of U.S. involvement in Iraq, though here the analogies are not so easily drawn. The most relevant point is that U.S. success in the defense of Kuwait during the 1990–1991 Gulf War once again produced internal pressures, dominated by the neoconservative clique and the Cheney–Rumsfeld–Project for the New American Century cabal, which ultimately pushed the United States into another rollback campaign, the current invasion of Iraq itself.

9 G. William Skinner, Chinese Society in Thailand: An Analytical History (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1957), 166–67; Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books/Chicago Review Press, 2003), 101; Bertil Lintner, Blood Brothers: The Criminal Underworld of Asia (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 234.

10 Carl A. Trocki, “Drugs, Taxes, and Chinese Capitalism in Southeast Asia,” in Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952, ed. Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 99.

11 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 102; James C. Ingram, Economic Change in Thailand, 1850–1970 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1971), 177.

12 Skinner, Chinese Society in Thailand, 166–67, 236–44, 264–65.

13 Cf. Robert Maule, “British Policy Discussions on the Opium Question in the Federated Shan States, 1937–1948,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 33 (June 2002): 203–24.

14 One often reads that the Northern Army invasion of the Shan states was in support of the Japanese invasion of Burma. In fact, the Japanese army (which may have had its own designs on Shan opium) refused for some months to allow the Thai army to move until the refusal was overruled for political reasons by officials in Tokyo. See E. Bruce Reynolds, Thailand and Japan’s Southern Advance: 1940–1945 (New York: St. Martin’s, 1994), 115–17.

15 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 105. Cf. E. Bruce Reynolds, “‘International Orphans’—The Chinese in Thailand during World War II,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 28 (September 1997): 365–88: “In an effort to distance himself from the Japanese, Premier Phibun initiated secret contacts with Nationalist China through the Thai army in the Shan States and developed a scheme to transfer the capital to the northern town of Petchabun with the idea of ultimately turning against the Japanese and linking up militarily with Nationalist China.” Under orders from Thai Premier Phibun, rapprochement of the Northern Army in Kengtung with the KMT began in January 1943 with a symbolic release of prisoners followed by a cease fire (“Thailand and the Second World War”).

16 E. Bruce Reynolds, Thailand’s Secret War: The Free Thai, OSS, and SOE during World War II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 170–71.

17 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 162–63, citing Archimedes L. A. Patti, Why Vietnam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 216–17, 265, 354–55, 487. Lung Yun’s son, Lung Shing, denied to James Mills that his father was a smuggler: “My family’s been painted as the biggest drug runner. This is nonsense. The government in the old days put a tax on opium, which is true. It’s been doing that for the past hundred years. You can’t pin it on my family for that” (James Mills, The Underground Empire: Where Crime and Governments Embrace [New York: Dell, 1986], 737).

18 The directions given by Washington to the OSS mission were to establish contact with Phibun’s political enemy, Pridi Phanomyong. However, the mission’s leader, Khap Kunchon, was secretly a Phibun loyalist with a history of sensitive missions, and this complication helps to explain Khap’s motive and success in promoting the Thai–KMT talks (Nigel J. Brailey, Thailand and the Fall of Singapore: A Frustrated Asian Revolution [Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1986], 100).

19 Judith A. Stowe, Siam Becomes Thailand: A Story of Intrigue (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1991), 282. The border itself, a product of Sino–British negotiations in the nineteenth century, was an artifact, dividing the historically connected principalities of the Thai Lü in Sipsongpanna (southern Yunnan) from those of the Thai Yai (Shans) in Burma (Stephen Sparkes and Signe Howell, The House in Southeast Asia: A Changing Social, Economic and Political Domain [London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003], 134; Janet C. Sturgeon, Border Landscapes: The Politics of Akha Land Use in China and Thailand [Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2005], 82).

20 Stowe, Siam Becomes Thailand, 282–83. I have discovered no indication as to whether Nicol Smith, the American leader of the OSS mission, was aware of the implications of the talks for the future of the Shan opium trade.

21 Reynolds, Thailand’s Secret War, 171, 175–76.

22 Reynolds, Thailand’s Secret War, 171; Brailey, Thailand and the Fall of Singapore, 100; Maochun Yu, OSS in China: Prelude to Cold War (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996), 117; John B. Haseman, The Thai Resistance Movement (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2002), 62–63; Stowe, Siam Becomes Thailand, 282; Nicol Smith and Blake Clark, Into Siam: Underground Kingdom (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1946), 146. According to Smith, General Lu himself took responsibility for delivering a message from OSS promising amnesty to the Northern Army; according to Haseman, the letter “was delivered to front-line Thai positions, who passed it in turn to Sawaeng [Thappasut, a former student of Khap’s], MG Han [Songkhram], LTG Chira [Wichitsongkhram], and to Marshal Phibul.”

23 Miles, Donovan’s first OSS chief for China, became more and more closely allied with the controversial Tai Li in a semiautonomous network, SACO. In December 1943 Donovan, alerted to the situation, replaced Miles as OSS China chief with Colonel John Coughlin (Richard Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence Agency [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972], 246–58).

24 Reynolds, Thailand’s Secret War, 191–92, citing documents of September 1944, cf. 175; Stowe, Siam Becomes Thailand, 270.

25 Cf. Jonathan Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Secu- rity, 1940–52,” in Drug Control Policy: Essays in Historical and Comparative Perspective, ed. William O. Walker III (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992), 96: “Americans . . . knew that [Tai Li’s] agents protected Tu’s huge opium convoys”; Douglas Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs (London: Verso, 2004), 47: “It was an open secret that Tai Li’s agents escorted opium caravans from Yunnan to Saigon and used Red Cross operations as a front for selling opium to the Japanese.”

26 After the final KMT defeat of 1949, the 93rd Division received other remnants from the KMT 8th and 26th Armies and a new commander, General Li Mi of the KMT Eighth Army (Bertil Lintner, Burma in Revolt: Opium and Insurgency since 1948 [Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1999], 111–15).

27 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 106, 188–91, 415–20.

28 Thomas Lobe, United States National Security Policy and Aid to the Thailand Police (Denver: Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver, 1977), 27.

29 Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 192.

30 Lintner, Blood Brothers, 241–44. After Sarit died in 1963, Chin was able to return to Thailand.

31 William Stevenson, The Revolutionary King: The True-Life Sequel to The King and I (London: Constable and Robinson, 2001), 4, 162, 195. The king personally translated Stevenson’s biography of Sir William Stephenson into Thai.

32 Anthony Cave Brown, The Last Hero: Wild Bill Donovan (New York: Times Books, 1982), 797; Stevenson, The Revolutionary King, 162. In 1970, Thompson’s biographer, William Warren, described the funding of Thompson’s company in some detail but made no reference to the WCC (William Warren, Jim Thompson: The Unsolved Mystery [Singapore: Archipelago Press, 1998], 66–67). Former CIA officer Richard Harris Smith wrote that Thompson was later “frequently reported to have CIA connections” (Smith, OSS, 313n). Joe Trento, without citing any sources, places Jim Thompson at the center of this chapter’s narrative: “Jim Thompson . . . (who in fact was a CIA officer) had recruited General Phao, head of the Thai police, to accept the KMT army’s drugs for distribution” (Joseph J. Trento, The Secret History of the CIA [New York: Random House/Forum, 2001], 346). Thompson disappeared mysteriously in Malaysia in 1967; his sister, who investigated the disappearance, was brutally murdered in America a few months later.

33 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 155. Helliwell in Kunming used opium, which was in effect the local hard currency, to purchase intelligence (Wall Street Journal, April 18, 1980).

34 Sterling Seagrave, The Marcos Dynasty (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 361.

35 John Loftus and Mark Aarons, The Secret War against the Jews (New York: St. Martin’s, 1994), 110–11.

36 The best evidence of this, the M-fund reported on by Chalmers Johnson, is discussed in the next chapter. Cf. Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold (London: Verso, 2003), 3. The Seagraves link Helliwell to the movement of Japanese gold out of the Philippines, and they suggest, by hearsay but without evidence, that both Sea Supply Inc. and Civil Air Transport were thus funded (147–48, 152). Although many of their startling allegations are beyond my competence to assess or even believe, there are at least two that I have verified from my own research. I am persuaded that in the first postwar months when the United States was already supporting and using the SS war criminal Klaus Barbie, the operation was paid by SS funds. And I have seen secret documentary proof that a large sum of gold was indeed later deposited in a Swiss bank account in the name of a famous Southeast Asian leader, as claimed by the Seagraves.

37 Leonard Slater, The Pledge (New York: Pocket Books, 1971), 175. An attorney once made the statement that Burton Kanter (Helliwell’s partner in the money-laundering Castle Bank) “was introduced to Helliwell by General William J. Donovan. . . . Kanter denied that. ‘I personally never met Donovan. I believe I may have spoken to him once at Paul Helliwell’s request’” (Pete Brewton, The Mafia, CIA and George Bush [New York: S.P.I. Books, 1992], 296).

38 In the course of Operation Safehaven, the U.S. Third Army took an SS major “on several trips to Italy and Austria, and, as a result of these preliminary trips, over $500,000 in gold, as well as jewels, were recovered” (Anthony Cave Brown, The Secret War Report of the OSS [New York: Berkeley, 1976], 565–66).

39 Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), 189, citing Christopher Andrew, For the President’s Eyes Only (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 172; see also U.S. Congress, Senate, 94th Cong., 2nd sess., Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Final Report, April 26, 1976, Senate Report No. 94-755, 28–29.

40 Stevenson, The Revolutionary King, 50. Douglas Valentine claims that in mid-1947, Donovan intervened in Bangkok politics to resolve a conflict between the police and the army over the opium traffic. In 1947, Donovan was a registered foreign agent for the civilian Thai government, representing them in negotiations over the post-war border with French Indochina. Valentine reports that in mid-1947, “Donovan traveled to Bangkok to unite the squabbling factions in a strategic alliance against the Communists” and that the KMT businessmen in Bangkok who managed the flow of narcotics from Thailand to Hong Kong and Macao “benefited greatly from Donovan’s intervention” (Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 70). He notes also that “by mid-1947 Kuomintang narcotics were reaching America through Mexico.” What actually happened in November 1947 in Thailand was the ousting of Pridi’s civilian government in a military coup. Soon afterward the first of Thailand’s postwar military dictators, Phibun, took office. Not long after Phibun’s accession, Thailand quietly abandoned the antiopium campaign announced in 1948, whereby all opium smoking would have ended by 1953 (Francis W. Belanger, Drugs, the U.S., and Khun Sa [Bangkok: Editions Duang Kamol, 1989], 75–90).

41 Stevenson, The Revolutionary King, 50–51.

42 William O. Walker III, Opium and Foreign Policy: The Anglo-American Search for Order in Asia, 1912–1954 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 184–85, citing letters from Bird, April 5, 1948, and Donovan, April 14, 1948 (Donovan Papers, box 73a, Military History Institute, U.S. Army, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania).

43 Paul M. Handley, The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumipol Adulyadej (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006), 105.

44 Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 185.

45 Foreign Relations of the United States, 1949–1951 (hereinafter FRUS) (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office), vol. 6, 40–41; memo of March 9, 1950, from Dean Acheson, secretary of state.

46 FRUS, 1952–1954, vol. 12, 651, memo of October 7, 1952, from Edwin M. Martin, special assistant to the secretary for mutual security affairs, to John H. Ohly, assistant director for program, Office of the Director of Mutual Security (emphasis added).

47 Shortly before his dismissal on April 11, 1951, MacArthur in Tokyo issued a statement calling for a “decision by the United Nations to depart from its tolerant effort to contain the war to the area of Korea, through an expansion of our military operations to its coastal areas and interior bases [to] doom Red China to risk the imminent military collapse” (Lintner, Blood Brothers, 237).

48 Bruce Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, vol. 2 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990). Donovan in this period became vice chairman of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding Anti-Communist China.

49 Martha Byrd, Chennault: Giving Wings to the Tiger (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1987), 325–28; William M. Leary, Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia, 1946–1955 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1984), 67–68; Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 2.

50 Jack Samson, Chennault, 62.

51 John Prados, Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006), 125. Cf. Los Angeles Times, September 22, 2000: “Newly declassified U.S. intelligence files tell the remarkable story of the ultra-secret Insurance Intelligence Unit, a component of the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the CIA, and its elite counterintelligence branch X-2. Though rarely numbering more than a half dozen agents, the unit gathered intelligence on the enemy’s insurance industry, Nazi insurance titans and suspected collaborators in the insurance business. . . . The men behind the insurance unit were OSS head William “Wild Bill” Donovan and California-born insurance magnate Cornelius V. Starr. Starr had started out selling insurance to Chinese in Shanghai in 1919. . . . Starr sent insurance agents into Asia and Europe even before the bombs stopped falling and built what eventually became AIG, which today has its world headquarters in the same downtown New York building where the tiny OSS unit toiled in the deepest secrecy.”

52 Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (Ipswich, MA: Mary Ferrell Foundation Press, 2008), 46–47, 263–64. William Youngman, Corcoran’s law partner and a key member of Chennault’s support team in Washington during and after the war, was by 1960 president of a C. V. Starr company in Saigon.

53 Smith, OSS, 267.

54 Smith, OSS, 267n.

55 It is possible that other backers of the Chennault Plan allied themselves, like Helliwell, with organized crime. In those early postwar years, one of the C. V. Starr companies, U.S. Life, was the recipient of dubious Teamster insurance contracts through the intervention of the mob-linked business agents Paul and Allan Dorfman (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 197; Scott, The War Conspiracy, 279). One of the principal supporters of Chennault’s airline on the U.S. West Coast, Dr. Margaret Chung, was suspected of drug trafficking after her frequent trips to Mexico City with Virginia Hill, a courier for Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel. See Ed Reid, The Mistress and the Mafia: The Virginia Hill Story (New York: Bantam, 1972), 42, 90; Peter Dale Scott, “Opium and Empire: McCoy on Heroin in Southeast Asia,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, September 1973, 49–56.

56 Ronald Shelp with Al Ehrbar, Fallen Giant: The Amazing Story of Hank Greenberg and the History of AIG (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2006), 60.

57 Encyclopaedia Britannica. The money splashed around in Washington by the “China Lobby” was attributed at the time chiefly to the wealthy linen and lace merchant Joseph Kohlberg, the so-called China Lobby man. But it has often been suspected that he was fronting for others.

58 Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 111–14. As early as 1950, Ting was also actively promoting the concept of an Anti-Communist League to support KMT resistance (134, 234). The KMT’s ensuing Asian Peoples’ Anti-Communist League (later known as the World Anti-Communist League) became intimately involved with support for the KMT troops in Burma. In 1971 the chief Laotian delegate to the World Anti-Communist League, Prince Sopsaisana, was detained with sixty kilos of top-grade heroin in his luggage (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 163, 194–95).

59 MacArthur advised the State Department in 1949 that the United States should place “500 fighter planes in the hands of some ‘war horse’ similar to Chennault” and further support the KMT with U.S. volunteers (memo of conversation, September 5, 1949, FRUS, 1949, vol. 9, 544–46; Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 103; Byrd, Chennault, 344). Chennault in turn told Senator Knowland that Congress should ap- point MacArthur a supreme commander for the entire Far East.

60 Donovan suggested that Chennault become minister of defense in a reconstituted KMT government. At some point Chennault and Donovan met privately with Willoughby in Japan (Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 513).

61 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 260; Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 133.

62 Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 119–21, 796; James Burnham, The Coming Defeat of Communism (New York: John Day, 1951), 256–66.

63 David McKean, Peddling Influence: Thomas “Tommy the Cork” Corcoran and the Birth of Modern Lobbying (Hanover, NH: Steerforth, 2004), 216.

64 Hersh, The Old Boys, 299.

65 McKean, Peddling Influence, 216; Christopher Robbins, Air America (New York: Putnam’s, 1979), 48–49, 56–57, 70; Byrd, Chennault, 333; Alan A. Block, Masters of Paradise: Organized Crime and the Internal Revenue Service in the Bahamas (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1991), 169.

66 Curtis Peebles, Twilight Warriors: Covert Air Operations against the USSR (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005), 88–89.

67 William R. Corson, The Armies of Ignorance: The Rise of the American Intelligence Empire (New York: Dial Press/James Wade, 1977), 320–21.

68 Hersh, The Old Boys, 284. Cf. Samuel Halpern (a former CIA officer) in Ralph S. Weber, Spymasters: Ten CIA Officers in Their Own Words (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1999), 117: “Bedell suddenly said, ‘They’re under my command.’ . . . He did it, and he did it in the first seven days of his tenure as DCI [director of the CIA].”

69 Corson, The Armies of Ignorance, 319; Daniel Fineman, A Special Relationship: The United States and Military Government in Thailand, 1947–1958 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1997), 137; Henry G. Gole, General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2008), 80: “CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith opposed the plan, but President Truman approved it, overruled the Director, and ordered the strictest secrecy about it.”

70 Victor S. Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle: The United States, Taiwan and the 93rd Nationalist Division,” China Quarterly, no. 166 (June 2001): 441, citing Memorandum, Bradley to Secretary of Defense, April 10, 1950, and Annex to NSC 48/3, “United States Objectives, Policies, and Courses of Action in Asia,” May 2, 1951. President’s Secretary’s File, National Security File—Meetings, box 212, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri. Cf. Sam Halpern, in Weber, Spymasters, 119: “The Pentagon came up with this bright plan, as I understand it; at least, I was told this by my [CIA/OSO] boss, Lloyd George, who was Chief of the Far East Division at the time.”

71 Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle,” 442–43; Fineman, A Special Relationship, 141–42.

72 Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle,” 443: “Whether . . . Secretary of State Dean Acheson . . . knew of Operation Paper is uncertain. Acheson was present at discussions regarding the use of covert operations against China. . . . Yet since mid-1950, the secretary of state had been working to remove the irregulars. Therefore, either Acheson knew of the operation and did not inform his subordinates, or he too did not have the entire picture.” In apparent contradiction, William Walker writes that “Acheson had participated from the start in the decision-making process relating to NSC 48/5, so he was familiar with the discussions about using covert operations against China’s southern flank” (Opium and Foreign Policy, 203). But NSC 48/5, primarily a policy paper on Korea, dates from May 17, 1951, half a year later.

73 Leary, Perilous Missions, 116–17.

74 Lintner, Blood Brothers, 237, citing MacArthur on March 21, 1951, in Robert H. Taylor, Foreign and Domestic Consequences of the Kuomintang Intervention in Burma (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, Data Paper no. 93, 1973), 42; Chennault on April 23, 1958, in U.S. Congress, House Committee on Un-American Activities, International Communism (Communist Encroachment in the Far East), “Consultations with Maj.-Gen. Claire Lee Chennault, United States Army,” 85th Cong., 2nd sess., 9–10.

75 Leary, Perilous Missions, 129–30. Leary states that U.S. personnel delivered the arms only as far as northern Thailand, with the last leg of delivery handled by the Thai Border Police. But there are numerous contemporary reports of U.S. personnel at Mong Hsat in Burma who helped unload the planes and reload them with opium (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 60; Corson, The Armies of Ignorance, 320–22). Lintner reproduces a photograph of three American civilians who were killed in action with the KMT in Burma in 1953 (Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 168). On April 1, 1953, the Rangoon Nation reported a captured letter from Major General Li’s headquarters, discussing “European instructors for the training of students.”

76 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 169–71; Lintner, Blood Brothers, 238. Despite this military fiasco, the KMT troops contributed to the survival of noncommunist Chinese communities in Southeast Asia both by serving as a protective shield and by sustaining the traditional social fabric of drug-financed KMT Triads in Southeast Asia. See McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 185–86; Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 60, 192–93.

77 Donald F. Cooper, Thailand: Dictatorship of Democracy? (Montreux: Minerva Press, 1995), 120.

78 E.g., McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 165–69. Cf. Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), 60: “The final theater for the CIA in the Korean War lay in Burma. In early 1951, as the Chinese Communists chased General MacArthur’s troops south, the Pentagon thought the Chinese Nationalists could take some pressure off MacArthur by opening a second front. . . . The CIA began [sic] flying Chinese Nationalist soldiers into Thailand . . . and dropping them along with pallets of guns and ammunition into northern Burma.” Cf. Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 200: “Some aid was already reaching KMT forces in Burma . . . months before the January 1951 NSC meeting.”

79 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 289n25.

80 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 137.

81 U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Narcotics, Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1949), 13; (1950), 3; (1954), 12. Through the same decade, the FBN, by direction of the U.S. State Department, acknowledged to UN Narcotics Conferences that Thailand was a source for opium and heroin reaching the United States (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 191, 203, citing UN Documents E/CN.7/213, E/CN.7/283, 22, and E/CN.7//303/Rev.1, 34; cf. Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 201 [State Department]). When the FBN Traffic in Opium reports began to acknowledge Thai drug seizures again in 1962, the Kennedy administration had already initiated serious efforts to remove the bulk of the KMT troops from the region (Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle,” 452).

82 Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 206, cf. 213–15. Cf. also Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 133, 150–52. Anslinger was not alone in blaming heroin flows on mainland China. He was joined in the attack by two others with CIA connections: Edward Hunter (a veteran of OSS China and OPC who in turn was fed information regularly by Chennault) and Richard L. G. Deverall of the American Federation of Labor’s Free Trade Union Committee (under the CIA’s labor asset Jay Lovestone).

83 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 7, 60–61, 198, 207, citing Penny Lernoux, In Banks We Trust (Garden City, NY: Anchor/Doubleday, 1984), 42–44, 84.

84 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 215.

85 I explore this question in Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 60–64.

86 Gole, General William E. DePuy, 80.

87 Chennault himself was investigated for such smuggling activities, “but no official action was taken because he was politically untouchable” (Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Security, 1940–52,” 92); cf. Barbara Tuchman, Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–1945, 7–78; Paul Frillmann and Graham Peck, China: The Remembered Life (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968), 152.

88 Corson, The Armies of Ignorance, 322.

89 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 71, quoting Reid, The Mistress and the Mafia, 42.

90 Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Security, 1940–52,” 98, citing OSS CID 126155, April 19, 1945.

91 Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Security, 1940–52.”

92 Andrew Forbes and David Henley, The Haw: Traders of the Golden Triangle (Bangkok: Teak House, 1997).

93 Cooper, Thailand, 116.

94 Wen-chin Chang, “Identification of Leadership among the KMT Yunnanese Chinese in Northern Thailand, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 33 (2002): 125. Chang calls this name “a popular misnomer” on the grounds that the KMT villages have been expanding and “slowly casting off their former military legacy.”

95 Taylor, Foreign and Domestic Consequences of the Kuomintang Intervention in Burma, 10.

96 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 162–63.

97 Sucheng Chan, Hmong Means Free: Life in Laos and America (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994), 1942; cf. John T. McAlister, Viet Nam: The Origins of Revolution (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971), 228; Scott, The War Conspiracy, 267.

98 Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, eds., Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 261–79; Jonathan Marshall, “Opium and the Politics of Gangsterism in Nationalist China, 1927–1945,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, July–September 1976, 19–48; Laura Tyson Li, Madame Chiang Kai-shek: China’s Eternal First Lady (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006), 107, citing Nelson T. Johnson to Stanley K. Hornbeck, May 31, 1934, box 23, Johnson Papers, Library of Congress.

99 In global surveys of the opium traffic, one regularly reads of the importance of Teochew (Chiu chau) triads in the postwar Thai drug milieu (e.g., Martin Booth, Dragon Syndicates: The Global Phenomenon of the Triads [New York: Carroll and Graf, 1999], 176–77; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 389, 396). Although triads are central to trafficking in Hong Kong, and today possibly inside China, I question whether the Teochew in Thailand, although they certainly are prominent in the drug trade there, are still as dominated by triads as they were before World War II. Cf. Skinner, Chinese Society in Thailand, 264–67.

100 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 14, citing Melvin L. Hanks, NARC: The Adventures of a Federal Agent (New York: Hastings House, 1973), 37, 162–66; Brook and Wakabayashi, Opium Regimes, 263. For an overview of U.S. knowledge of KMT drug trafficking, see Marshall, “Opium and the Politics of Gangsterism in Nationalist China, 1927–1945.”

101 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 72–73, citing Terry A. Talent report of November 15, 1946; Douglas Clark Kinder and William O. Walker III, “Stable Force in a Storm: Harry J. Anslinger and United States Narcotics Policy, 1930–1962,” Journal of American History, March 1986, 919.

102 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 77.

103 Victor S. Kaufman, Confronting Communism: U.S. and British Policies toward China (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001), 20–21.

104 Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 508–25; Robert Accinelli, Crisis and Commitment: United States Policy toward Taiwan, 1950–1955 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), 271–72; Ross Y. Koen, The China Lobby in American Politics (New York: Harper and Row, 1974), 46, 48–51. Elsewhere I have described Commerce International China as a subsidiary of the WCC. Since then, I have learned that it was a firm founded in Shanghai in 1930. I now doubt the alleged WCC connection. Later, Fassoulis was indicted in a huge organized crime conspiracy to defraud banks in a stock swindle (New York Times, September 12, 1969; Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998], 168–69, 178). By 2005, Fassoulis was worth $150 million as chairman and CEO of CIC International, the successor to Commerce International China; his company, now supplying the U.S. armed services, was predicted to do $870 million of business (“The 50 Wealthiest Greeks in America,” National Herald, March 29, 2008). There have been speculations that the “U.S. Central Intelligence Agency . . . may actually support CIC International, Ltd. so it remains in business as one of its many brokers for arms, technology components, logistics on transactions significant to intelligence operations” (Paul Collin, “Global Economic Brinkmanship”).

105 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 188.

106 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 185.

107 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 192–93. Anslinger’s protection of the KMT traffic had the additional consequence of strengthening and protecting pro-KMT tongs in America. In 1959, when a pro-KMT Hip Sing tong network distributing drugs was broken up in San Francisco, a leading FBN official with OSS–CIA connections, George White, blamed the drug shipment on communist China while allowing the ringleader to escape to Taiwan (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 63; Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 195).

108 Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 214.

109 Joe Studwell, Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007), 95–96.

110 J. W. Cushman, “The Khaw Group: Chinese Business in Early Twentieth- Century Penang,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 17 (1986): 58; cf. Trocki, “Drugs, Taxes, and Chinese Capitalism in Southeast Asia,” 99–100.

111 Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Security, 1940–52,” 106. The KMT obtained the tungsten from Karen rebels controlling a major mine at Mawchj in exchange for modern arms provided by the CIA.

112 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 133, 153. Bird at the time was a “private aviation contractor” (McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 168), and aviation was the key to the BPP strategy of defending the Thai frontier because the Thai road system was still primitive in the border areas. Because Bird included in this committee his brother-in-law, Air Force Colonel Sitthi Savetsila, Sitthi became one of Phao’s closest aides-de-camp and his translator. In the 1980s he served for a decade as foreign minister in the last Thai military government.

113 I have not been able to establish the identity of this OPC officer. One possibility is Desmond Fitzgerald, who became the overseer and champion of Sea Supply, Operation Paper, the BPP, and (still to be discussed) PARU. Another possibility is Paul Helliwell.

114 Lobe, United States National Security Policy and Aid to the Thailand Police, 19–20.

115 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 137; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 165.

116 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 134, emphasis added.

117 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 168–69: Sherman Joost, the OPC officer who headed Sea Supply in Bangkok, “had led Kachin guerrillas in Burma during the war as a commander of OSS Detachment 101.”

118 Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 200, 205.

119 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 168.

120 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 187–89, 201–2; Robbins, Air America, 48–49, 56–57, 70; Leary, Perilous Missions, 110–12.

121 Chen Han-Seng, “Monopoly and Civil War in China,” Institute of Pacific Relations, Far Eastern Survey 15, no. 20 (October 9, 1946): 308.

122 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 187–89. CAT was not the only airline supplying Li Mi. There was also Trans-Asiatic Airlines, described as “a CIA outfit operating along the Burma-China border against the People’s Republic of China” and based in Manila (Roland G. Simbulan, “The CIA in Manila,” Nathan Hale Institute for Intelligence and Military Affairs, August 18, 2000). On April 10, 1948, an operating agreement was signed in Thailand between the new Thai government of Phibun and Trans-Asiatic Airlines (Siam) Limited (Far Eastern Economic Review 35 [1962]: 329). Note that this was two months before NSC 10/2 formally directed the CIA to conduct “covert” rather than merely “psychological” operations and five months before the creation of the OPC in September 1948.

123 Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 146.

124 FRUS, 1951, , vol. 6, pt. 2, 1634; Fineman, A Special Relationship, 150–51. The memo described Bird as “the character who handed over a lot of military equipment to the Police, without any authorization as far as I can determine, and whose status with CAS [local CIA] is ambiguous, to say the least.”

125 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 133, 153. Handley’s otherwise well-informed account wholly ignores Bird’s role in preparing for the coup (The King Never Smiles, 113–15).

126 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 40, citing McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 162, 286–87. McCoy’s estimate of the KMT’s impact on expanding production is ex- tremely conservative. According to Bertil Lintner, the foremost authority on the Shan states of Burma, “The annual production increased from a mere 30 tons at the time of independence [1945] to 600 tons in the mid-1950s” (Bertil Lintner, “Heroin and Highland Insurgency,” in War on Drugs: Studies in the Failure of U.S. Narcotics Policy, ed. Alfred W. McCoy and Alan A. Block [Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992], 288). Furthermore, the KMT exploitation of the Shan states led thousands of hill tribesmen to flee to northern Thailand, where opium production also increased.

127 Mills, Underground Empire, 789. Mills also quotes General Tuan as saying that the Thai Border Police “were totally corrupt and responsible for transportation of narcotics.” Mills comments, “This was of some interest, since the BPP, a CIA creation, was known to be controlled by SRF, the Bangkok CIA station” (Mills, Underground Empire, 780). For details on the CIA–BPP relationship in the 1980s, see Valentine’s account (from Drug Enforcement Administration sources), The Strength of the Pack, 254–55.

128 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 62–63, 193.

129 Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle,” 443.

130 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 141.

131 Rangoon Nation, March 30, 1953; Cooper, Thailand, 123; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 174; Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 139.

132 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 174–76; Leary, Perilous Missions, 195–96; Lintner, Blood Brothers, 238; Life, December 7, 1953, 61.

133 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 177–78.

134 Peter Grose, Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles (Boston: Richard Todd/ Houghton Mifflin, 1994), 324.

135 According to McCoy (The Politics of Heroin, 178), a CAT pilot named Jack Killam “was murdered in 1951 after an opium deal went wrong and was buried in an unmarked grave by CIA [i.e., OPC] agent Sherman Joost”—the head of Sea Supply. Joseph Trento, citing CIA officer Robert Crowley, gives the almost certainly bowd-lerized version that two “drunk and violent” CAT pilots “shot it out in Bangkok” (Trento, The Secret History of the CIA, 347). According to William Corson, “Several theories have been advanced by those familiar with the Killam case to suggest that the trafficking in drugs in Southeast Asia was used by the CIA as a self-financing device to pay for services and persons whose hire would not have been approved in Washington . . . or that it amounted to the actions of ‘rogue’ intelligence agents” (Corson, The Armies of Ignorance, 323). One consequence of these intrigues was that, as we have seen, OPC was abolished. At this time OPC Far East Director Richard Stilwell was rebuked severely by CIA Director Bedell Smith and transferred to the military. In the Pentagon, “by the end of 1981, Stilwell was running one of the most secret operations of the government” in conjunction with ex-CIA officer Theodore Shackley, a protégé of Stilwell’s former OPC deputy, Desmond Fitzgerald (Joseph J. Trento, Prelude to Terror: The Rogue CIA and the Legacy of America’s Private Intelligence Network [New York: Carroll and Graf, 2005], 213). Stilwell was advising on the creation of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command.

136 Marchetti and Marks, CIA and the Cult, 383.

137 Hersh, The Old Boys, 301, quoting Polly (Mrs. Clayton) Fritchey. Other men prominent in the cabal responsible for Operation Paper were also Republican activists. One was Paul Helliwell, who became very prominent in Florida Republican Party politics, thanks in part to funds he received from Thailand as the Thai consul general in Miami. Harry Anslinger was a staunch Republican and owed his appointment as the first director of the FBN to his marriage to a niece of the Republican Party magnate (and Treasury Secretary) Andrew Mellon (Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 16). Donovan, married to a New York heiress and an OPC consultant in the late Truman years, had a lifelong history of activism in New York Republican Party politics.

138 A perhaps unanswerable deep historical question is whether some of these men, and especially Helliwell, were aware that KMT profits from the revived drug traffic out of Burma were funding the China Lobby’s heavy attack on the Truman administration in general and on Dean Acheson and George C. Marshall in particular. (We shall see that in the later 1950s, Donovan and Helliwell received funds from Phao Sriyanon for the lobbying of Congress, supplanting those of the moribund China Lobby. Cf. Fineman, A Special Relationship, 214–15.) Citing John Loftus and others, Anthony Summers has written that Allen Dulles, before joining the CIA, had contributed to the young Richard Nixon’s first election campaign and possibly had also supplied him with the explosive information that made Nixon famous: that former State Department officer Alger Hiss had known the communist Whittaker Chambers (Anthony Summers with Robbyn Swann, The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon [New York: Viking, 2000], 62–63).

139 Sydney Souers (the first director, Central Intelligence Group, 1946) was born in Dayton, Ohio. Hoyt Vandenberg (director, Central Intelligence Group, 1946–1947) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Roscoe Hillenkoetter (the third and first director of the CIA, 1947–1949) was born in St. Louis. Walter Bedell Smith (the fourth director of the CIA, 1949–1953) was born in Indianapolis.

140 For the details, see Scott, The War Conspiracy, 261. The one from Boston, Robert Amory, was no less Social Register, and his brother, Cleveland Amory, wrote a best-seller, Who Killed Society, 1960).

141 Weiner, Legacy of Ashes, 52–53. It may be relevant that Bedell Smith himself was a right-wing Republican who reportedly once told Eisenhower that Nelson Rockefeller “was a Communist” (Smith, OSS, 367).

142 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 165–78; cf. Trento, The Secret History of the CIA, 71.

143 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 184.

144 Darrell Berrigan, “They Smuggle Drugs by the Ton,” Saturday Evening Post, May 5, 1956, 42.

145 “Thailand: Not Rogue Cops but a Rogue System,” a statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission, AHRC-STM-031-2008, January 31, 2008.

Source: http://www.hintergrund.de/index.php?searchword=peter+dale+scott&ordering=&searchphrase=all&Itemid=242&option=com_search

und: http://www.peterdalescott.net/

Von PETER DALE SCOTT, 30. März 2009 –

(Teil 1 von 3) Einleitung

Vor Kurzem habe ich zwei Artikel veröffentlicht, die auf suggestive Ähnlichkeiten der sich wiederholenden Tiefenereignissen („deep events“) der jüngsten amerikanischen Geschichte hinweisen – damit meine ich solche Ereignisse, die wegen ihrer geheimdienstlichen Nähe in den amerikanischen Medien ignoriert, verdreht oder verschleiert werden. Der erste dieser Artikel verwies auf die übergreifenden Ähnlichkeiten vieler Tiefenereignisse seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg. Der zweite Artikel verwies auf die überraschenden Vergleichspunkte jener beiden Tiefenereignisse, auf die innerhalb kurzer Zeit zwei große amerikanische Kriege folgten: die Ermordung John F. Kennedys und der 11. September. Ich deutete an, dass es hinter diesen ganzen Ereignisse immer wieder Hinweise auf ein Milieu gab, das „Geheimdienstfunktionäre mit Leuten aus der Unterwelt des Drogenhandels“ in Verbindung brachte.

In diesem Artikel möchte ich zunächst einmal die komplexe Landschaft bzw. das komplexe Netzwerk dieses Milieus, das ich als weltweites Drogennetzwerk betitele, darlegen und seine Verbindungen zur so genannten „alternativen“ CIA oder „Schatten-CIA“ aufzeigen. Danach möchte ich veranschaulichen, wie dieses Netzwerk von Banken, einflussreichen Finanzhändlern und alternativer CIA zur Infrastruktur der Kennedy-Ermordung – und zu einer Reihe anderer, oberflächlich unverbundener, wichtiger Tiefenereignisse – beigetragen hat.

In dieser Schilderung sind die Namen einzelner Personen, ihrer Institutionen und ihrer Beziehungen relativ unbedeutend. Von Bedeutung ist stattdessen, dass solch ein Milieu existierte; dass es beständig war und geschützt wurde; und dass es, mit zunehmender Unabhängigkeit von Regierungsbeschränkungen, eine Rolle bei den wesentlichen Tiefenereignissen der letzten 50 Jahre gespielt hat.

Dies alles soll natürlich auch die hier näher zu untersuchende bedeutsame Hypothese stützen, dass dieses beständige Milieu auch zum Desaster des 11. September beigetragen haben mag.

Paul Helliwell, OPC und die CIA

In Gebieten, wo kommunistische Kräfte großen Rückhalt zu genießen scheinen, haben die Vereinigten Staaten immer wieder auf gewalttätige Unterstützung von Gangstern aus dem Drogenmilieu zurückgegriffen, zumindest seit 1945. Zuerst sind diese Arrangements, wie in Italien unmittelbar nach dem Krieg, nur kurzzeitig und ad hoc gewesen. Als Beispiel dient Vito Genovese, ein Mafiaboss aus New York, der als Übersetzer im Büro der Alliierten Militärregierung von Colonel Charles Poletti, einem früheren New Yorker Tammany Politiker eingesetzt war. Am 1. Mai 1947 soll William Donovan, mittlerweile Firmenanwalt und nicht mehr Leiter des „Office of Strategic Services – OSS“ (Amt für strategische Dienste), ein Massaker an politisch Linken in Sizilien finanziert haben, das von dem erst kurz zuvor deportierten Detroiter Mafiaboss, Frank Coppola, organisiert wurde.

Solche Arrangements wurden ab 1948, nachdem der neu geschaffene Nationale Sicherheitsrat das „Office of Policy Coordination“ (OPC) ins Leben gerufen hatte, noch weiter zentralisiert, um „Umstürze feindlicher Staaten“ durchzuführen – d.h. um Gesetzesbrechung als staatliche Politik einzuführen. Dank der OPC gaben die USA von nun an organisierten Drogenhändlern auf der ganzen Welt verdeckt beträchtliche Rückendeckung, im Fernen Osten, Europa, und schließlich auch im Nahen Osten und Lateinamerika.

Diese weltweiten Aktivitäten wurden immer mehr miteinander verknüpft. Seit spätestens 1950 gibt es ein weltweites CIA-Drogennetzwerk, das seitdem mehr oder weniger durchgängig betrieben wird. Besonders im Laufe der Zeit hat dieses Netzwerk zu bisher ungeklärten Tiefenereignissen beigetragen und die Konsolidierung einer Weltherrschaftsmentaliät vorangetrieben, sowohl im In- als auch im Ausland. Im Speziellen war dieses weltweite Drogennetzwerk für solch ungeklärte Tiefenereignisse wie die Ermordung John F. Kennedys, der Tonking-Zwischenfall 1964 und die Iran-Contra-Affäre ausschlaggebend.

Das weltweite Drogennetzwerk ist nicht bloß eine Nebenverbindung zwischen CIA-Agenten und ihren Drogenkontakten. Es ist stattdessen ein weltweiter Finanzkomplex aus heißem Geld, der wichtige Geschäfts-, Finanz-, Regierungs- und Gangsterpersönlichkeiten miteinander verbindet. Seinen eigenen politischen Einfluss erhält es aufrecht durch die systematische Bereitstellung von illegalen Geschäften, Gefälligkeiten und sogar Sex für Politiker auf der ganzen Welt, darunter auch Führungspersonen aus beiden Parteien in den USA. Das Ergebnis ist ein System, das man auch als Imperium der indirekten Herrschaft bezeichnen kann; ein System, das auf seiner Suche nach fremden Märkten und Ressourcen bereitwillig existierende Regierungen untergräbt, ohne dafür progressive Alternativen bieten zu können.

Ein bedeutender Organisator des globalen Drogennetzwerks der Nachkriegszeit — also neben CIA, organisiertem Verbrechen und ihren gemeinsamen Interessen am Drogenhandel — war der ehemalige OSS-Funktionär Paul L.E. Helliwell. Er war Chef der Sonder-Geheimdienstabteilung der OSS in Kunming und später Agent bei OPC und CIA. Außerdem war er gleichzeitig Eigentümer der Bank of Perrine in Key West, Florida, „ein doppelter Waschsalon für den Lansky-Mob und die CIA“, und deren Schwesterbank, der Bank of Cutler Ridge. Hier sieht man eine Reihe von miteinander verbundenen Mafia-CIA Geldwäschebanken im weltweiten Drogennetzwerk, von denen die größte zweifelsohne die Bank of Credit und Commerce International (BCCI) war.

Die wenigsten Menschen werden schon von Paul Helliwell gehört haben. Selbst einschlägige Bücher über die Verbrechen der CIA, wie z.B. Tim Weiners CIA: Die ganze Geschichte, erwähnen weder ihn, noch seine bedeutsame, mit der CIA in Verbindung stehende Bank, die Castle Bank auf den Bahamas, und nicht einmal die weitaus bedeutendere Nachfolgebank von Castle, die BCCI. In der Flut der CIA-Dokumente, die seit 1992 freigegeben wurden, findet man den Namen Helliwell weder in der Archivkartei des National Archive, noch in der des National Security Archive oder der Federation of American Scientists. In den millionenfachen freigegebenen Seiten, die auf der Homepage der Mary Ferrel Foundation gespeichert und katalogisiert sind, erscheint Helliwells Name genau einmal – und das auf einer Liste von Dokumenten, die 1974 während der CIA-Suche nach Aufzeichnungen zu Watergate (ausgerechnet!) von der Prüfung zurückgehalten worden waren. Dieses Schweigen, selbst in internen CIA-Akten, über den wichtigsten Architekten des CIA-Drogennetzwerks seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg spricht Bände.

Das meiste, das wir über Helliwell wissen, stammt von der Medienreaktion auf den erfolgreichen Versuch der CIA, eine Untersuchung der amerikanischen Bundessteuerbehörde IRS (Internal Revenue Service) zu blockieren. Mit dieser Untersuchung, bekannt als „Operation Tradewinds“, erforschte die IRS in den 1970er Jahren die Geldwäscheverwicklung von Helliwells Banken. Dieser Kampf zwischen Helliwell und der CIA begann 1972, als der IRS-Ermittler Richard Jaffe bei der Erforschung von Konten des kurz zuvor festgenommenen Marijuana- und LSD-Dealers Allan George Palmer feststellte, dass dieser „einen Teil seines Geldes persönlich bei der Perrine-Cutler Ridge Bank im Süden eingezahlt hatte“.

Jaffe erfuhr außerdem, dass das Geld in ein Konto bei einem bahamischen Unternehmen namens Castle Bank eingezahlt worden war. Laut Aussage von Jim Drinkhall im Wall Street Journal wurde diese Bank von Helliwell, der „an der Leitung eines Netzwerkes von geheimen CIA-Operationen und ‚Eigentümern‘ maßgeblich beteiligt war“, „ins Leben gerufen und vornehmlich geleitet“. Drinkhall schrieb, dass die CIA Jaffes Untersuchung über die Castle Bank abgebrochen habe, weil Castle

als Kanal für Millionen-Dollar-Beträge fungierte, die von der CIA für verdeckte Operationen gegen Kuba und für andere Geheimdienstoperationen in Ländern Lateinamerikas und im Fernen Osten vorgesehen waren.

Drinkhall beschrieb außerdem, wofür Helliwell wahrscheinlich am bekanntesten ist (und worüber ich in The War Conspiracy geschrieben habe):

1951 war Mr. Helliwell an der Gründung und Leitung des von der CIA kontrollierten Scheinunternehmens Sea Supply Corp. beteiligt. Über einen Zeitraum von knapp zehn Jahren wurde Sea Supply genutzt, um riesige Mengen an Waffen und Ausrüstung an 10000 Truppen der chinesischen Nationalisten [KMT] in Burma und an die thailändische Polizei zu liefern.

Aber Drinkhall wies nicht auf die Tatsache hin, die heute nicht mehr angezweifelt wird: nämlich dass sowohl die KMT-Truppen in Burma als auch die thailändische Polizei die beiden hauptsächlichen Zweige des CIA-KMT-Burma-Thai Drogennetzwerks waren. Zusammen waren sie an der Verbreitung und am Handel von Opium auf dem Weltmarkt, die USA mit eingeschlossen, beteiligt.

Helliwells Gefälligkeiten für die CIA waren nicht nur auf den Fernen Osten beschränkt. Zusammen mit zwei Partnern aus dem KMT-Burma Drogennetzwerk, Frank Wisner von der CIA und General Claire Chennault von der CIA-Fluglinie CAT, betrieb Helliwell „schon 1953-54 CIA-Operationen in Mittelamerika. Zu der Zeit standen Guatemala und die guatemaltekische Regierung im Zentrum der Aufmerksamkeit.“

Wie auch Chennault und seine alten Partner aus seiner Zeit in China, Whiting Willauer und William Pawley, unterstützte Helliwell dann 1954 die CIA bei Operationen gegen Guatemala und, nach 1960, gegen Castro. Laut Drinkhall

sagte ein ehemaliger Bundesbeamter, der bei der Untersuchung gegen Castle mitgearbeitet hatte, dass „Castle als einer von mehreren CIA-Geldkanälen für Operationen gegen Kuba fungierte“. Mr. Helliwell soll angeblich einer der Zahlmeister für die unglückselige Schweinebucht-Invasion 1961 gewesen sein, sowie für weitere „aufwändige“ CIA-Operationen in ganz Lateinamerika.

Was den ehemaligen Häftling Wallace Groves und seine Beziehung zur CIA betrifft, wurde eine Anzahl von CIA-Dokumenten freigegeben, die diese Verbindung bestätigen. Aus einem dieser Dokumente geht hervor, dass

der Wallace GROVES, der gemäß Anhang Beziehungen zu Meyer LANSKY und der Firma Mary Carter Point Co./Resorts International, Inc. hatte, identisch ist mit dem Wallace GROVES aus der OS Akte #473 865. Diese Akte spiegelt wider, dass GROVES in der Zeit von April 1966 bis April 1972 für das [CIA] „Office of General Counsel“ von Interesse war. Hierbei ging es um die Verwendung von GROVES als Berater oder eventuellem Funktionär in einer der Einheiten des Projekts . . . (Text geschwärzt). Weitere Informationen in dieser Akte deuten darauf hin, dass GROVES mit Meyer Lansky in Verbindung stand.

Ich vermute, dass diese „Einheiten des Projekts . . . (Text geschwärzt)“ die Verwendung von undokumentierten Geldern vorsahen, die nicht im bewilligten CIA-Etat inbegriffen waren.

Helliwells Verbindung zu undokumentierten Operationen

Seit der Veröffentlichung von Drinkhalls Artikel wird Helliwell in fast jeder Referenz als Zahlmeister der Schweinebucht-Invasion dargestellt, eine Behauptung, der ich skeptisch gegenüber stehe. Aber man kann einen Eindruck des Ausmaßes von Helliwells finanziellen Verwicklungen mit der CIA gewinnen, wenn man sich die Verteilung von 5 Millionen Dollar aus einem anderen, mit Helliwell in Verbindung stehenden, Unternehmen namens Intercontinental Diversified (I.D.C.) anschaut. Dazu noch einmal Drinkhall:

„Obwohl es keinerlei Hinweise auf die CIA in dem SEC-Verfahren gegen Intercontinental gibt, machte ein ehemaliger CIA-Beamter kürzlich in einem Interview eine erstaunliche Aussage. Er gab an, dass zwischen 1970 und 1976 fast 5 Millionen Dollar aus Intercontinental-Geldern für CIA-Zwecke abgeschöpft wurden, ‚weil wir dort Freunde hatten‘. Tatsächlich scheint die CIA bessere Vereinbarungen gehabt zu haben als nur Freundschaft. CIA-Dokumente beweisen, dass Wallace Groves, der Gründer von Intercontinental und Eigentümer von 46 Prozent der Geschäftsanteile (bis er 1978 seine Beteiligung für 33,1 Millionen Dollar verkaufte) in der Zeit von 1965 bis 1972 verdeckt für die CIA arbeitete“.

Sicherlich überweisen Banker nicht Millionen-Dollar-Beträge aus reiner Freundschaft. Eine weitaus wahrscheinlichere Vermutung ist, dass Helliwell der Zahlmeister war – jedoch nicht für offiziell autorisierte Operationen wie die Schweinebucht-Invasion, sondern für die Ausgabe von Geldern aus undokumentierten Operationen, wie der KMT-Drogenausfuhr aus Burma, die von seinen eigenen Einrichtungen, den CIA-Eigentümern Sea Supply und Cat Inc. (später Air America) unterstützt worden sind.

Laut einer kategorischen Aussage von Jonathan Marshall „hat Helliwell CIA-Gelder über die Castle Bank auf den Bahamas gewaschen“. Doch diese Behauptung erfordert ein Klarstellung. I.D.C. war ein Ableger eines asiatischen Unternehmens, Benguet Mining, das von Helliwells Firma vertreten wurde und zu Teilen im Besitz des philippinischen Diktators Ferdinand Marcos war. Es landeten also Zahlungen aus Asien bei der I.D.C. und ich vermute, dass zur Finanzierung von undokumentierten Operationen vielmehr diese undokumentierten Gelder, als die Gelder aus dem vom Kongress autorisierten CIA-Etat von Helliwell genutzt wurden.

Eine dieser undokumentierten Operationen könnten Bestechungszahlungen an Politiker gewesen sein, die zuerst in den Bahamas zum Zuge kamen.

In den frühen 1970er Jahren berichteten IRS-Agenten von Beweisen aus Gesprächsabhörungen, laut derer Intercontinental dem Premierminister der Bahamas, Lyndon O. Pindling, 100 000 Dollar über die Castle Bank zukommen ließ, um der Holding eine zweijährige Verlängerung ihrer [Grand Bahama] Casino-Glücksspiellizenz zu gewähren.

Aber sowohl die CIA als auch das Casino neigten zur Korruption, und Castle war nur ein kleiner Spieler in einem Netzwerk aus Banken und Agenten, das Regierungen auf der ganzen Welt korrumpierte. Auf diese Weise wickelte Castle

auch mysteriöse Geschäfte mit einer Firma auf den Cayman Inseln, ID Corp., ab. Der Alleineigentümer von ID, der Amerikaner Shig Katayama, wurde bekannt durch seine Schlüsselrolle als Vermittler der riesigen Bestechungszahlungen von Lockheed Corp. an japanische Politiker (als Dank für Flugzeugverträge). Ein japanischer Journalist griff Katayama an und schrieb, dass es „sein wahrer Job (in den frühen 1950er Jahren) war, den Rauschgifthandel für den US-Geheimdienst abzuwickeln“.

Seit den 1960er Jahren, wenn nicht schon früher, nutzte die CIA ihr weltweites Netzwerk, um Nicht-Regierungsgelder, beispielsweise in Form von (an internationale Lockheed-Verkaufsverträge angekoppelte) Bestechungszahlungen, zu verteilen, z.B. durch einflussreiche Agenten, wie Adnan Khashoggi und Yoshio Kodama. Im Mai 1965, fünf Monate vor dem Anti-Sukarno-Coup im September 1965, wurden Lockheed-Bestechungsgelder in Indonesien von einem Anhänger Präsident Sukarnos zu einem neuen Mittelsmann umgeleitet, der den Sukarno-Gegner General Suharto unterstützte.

Dies passierte zu einer Zeit, als „der Kongress darüber überein gekommen war, dass amerikanische Finanzleistungen an das indonesische Militär (im Gegensatz zu Hilfszahlungen an andere Länder) als geheime Angelegenheit behandelt werden müssten. Die Kongressprüfungen von Entscheidungen des Präsidenten in Bezug auf die indonesische Hilfe wurden somit auf zwei Senatsausschüsse und den Sprecher des Repräsentantenhauses, die zum diesem Zeitpunkt mit der Aufsicht der CIA befasst waren, begrenzt“. Auf diese Weise wurden Lockheed-Zahlungen (bewerkstelligt durch Mittelsmänner) genutzt, um den ausgesprochenen Willen des US-Senats zu durchkreuzen. Dieser hatte eine Resolution verabschiedet, laut derer jegliche militärische Hilfe an Indonesien ausgesetzt werden sollte.

Helliwells Verbindungen zur Mafia

Aber Helliwells Verbindungen zur Mafia, und im Besonderen zu Meyer Lansky, stehen seinen CIA-Verbindungen in nichts nach. Lansky nutzte vorzugsweise die Bank of Perrine zur Verwahrung seiner Gelder, die auf diesem Wege von der Bank of World Commerce auf den Bahamas – 1961 von Lanskys rechter Hand John Pullman gegründet – die USA erreichten. Alvin Malnik, Lanskys Erbe in Miami Beach, war einer der Direktoren dieser Bank; Ed Levinson, ein Geschäftspartner von Lyndon Johnsons Senatsberater Bobby Baker, war einer der Anteilseigner. Baker wiederum war Schriftführer der Demokraten im US-Senat, bevor er wegen Steuerhinterziehung festgenommen und verurteilt wurde. Helliwell hatte eine zweite Verbindung zu Lansky durch seine Tätigkeit als Rechtsberater für die kleine Miami National Bank, die von Lansky genutzt wurde, um seine ausländischen Gewinne und undeklarierten Einnahmen der Las Vegas Casinos zu waschen.

Obwohl die Bank of World Commerce gewöhnlich als Mafiabank unter Lanskys Kontrolle beschrieben wurde, bot sie dennoch Zugänge zur internationalen Bankenlandschaft, an der die CIA ein Interesse hatte. Sie erhielt Geld von der International Credit Bank in der Schweiz, die von dem israelischen Waffenschmuggler Tibor Rosenbaum gegründet worden war, und agierte

als Banker bei Geschäfts-Jointventures zwischen europäischen Juden und dem israelischen Staat. Aber sie finanzierte auch die Beschaffung und den Transport von Waffen nach Israel und zu seinen Verbündeten, speziell in Afrika und Mittelamerika, und soll in Europa als Zahlmeister für Mossad, den israelischen Geheimdienst, aufgetreten sein.

Nach Aussagen von Alan Block hatte Pullmans Bank eine weitere Tochterbank auf den Bahamas, „die auf undurchsichtige Art und Weise mit der Intra Bank in Beirut, Libanon, vereint war“. Intra besaß das Casino de Liban, „dessen Glücksspiellizenz von Marcel Paul Francisi, Frankreichs vorderstem Heroindealer, kontrolliert wurde. Es gab Ermittler, die davon überzeugt waren, dass Lansky und Francisi im Heroinhandel zusammen arbeiteten, und dass Lansky und seine Partner auch einen Teil des Casinos besaßen“. Francisi tat sich mit dem libanesischen Morphium-Exporteur, Sami El Khoury, zusammen, der wiederum „langjährige Geschäftsbeziehungen“ zu Lucky Luciano, Lanskys Verbündetem in New York aus Vorkriegszeiten und späterem europäischen Hauptdrogenhändler, in Sizilien hatte.

Sami El Khoury genoss den Schutz der libanesischen Polizei, und möglicherweise auch den der CIA. Alfred McCoy hatte Einsicht in offizielle Schriftwechsel des Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), in denen im August 1963 darüber diskutiert wurde, „ob man Sami El Khoury nun, da er aus dem Gefängnis entlassen worden ist, als Informanten nutzen sollte“. Einer der FBN-Briefpartner, Dennis Dayle, berichtete James Mills später, dass El Khoury, „einer der größten Drogenhändler aller Zeiten“, tatsächlich zum Informanten wurde. In den 1990er Jahren berichtete Dennis Dayle, mittlerweile pensionierter Hauptermittler der Drug Enforcement Administration im Nahen Osten, auf einer Anti-Drogen-Konferenz, dass „in den 30 Jahren meiner Tätigkeit bei der Drug Enforcement Administration und verwandten Behörden die Personen im Zielfeld meiner Ermittlungen beinahe ausnahmslos für die CIA arbeiteten“.

Auch die Castle Bank war ein „Mehrzweck-Waschsalon“, der sowohl der CIA als auch der Mafia von Diensten war. Das Interesse der Mafia an Castle wurde in Jim Drinkhalls Artikel aus dem Wall Street Journal nur sehr abgeschwächt dargestellt. Es wurde nur erwähnt, dass aus einer langen Liste von Kontenbesitzern bei Castle „drei Männer dabei waren – Morris Dalitz, Morris Kleinman und Samuel A. Tucker –, die in Dokumenten des Justizministeriums als Personen aus der organisierten Kriminalitätsszene beschrieben wurden“. (Kleinman und Helliwell betrieben gemeinsam zahlreiche Immobilieninvestments zusammen mit Burton Kanter, dem Anwalt aus Chicago, der mit Helliwell Castle Bank organisierte.)

Alan Block deutet an, dass Castle sich zu einer aktiven Bank wandelte, als es notwendig wurde, auf schnelle Weise Gelder von der Mercantile Bank and Trust auf den Bahamas (einer weiteren Helliwell-Bank, die „wie Castle als Kanal für CIA-Geld diente“) umzubuchen, weil diese im Untergang begriffen war. Die Gelder wurden „auf das energische Drängen“ von Kanter transferiert,

weil sich unter den Konten, die in Gefahr waren, eines befand, dass Morris Kleinman gehörte, einer berüchtigten Figur des organisierten Verbrechens aus den Tagen der Prohibition. Auf diese Angelegenheit bezogen behauptete Castles Präsident Sam Pierson, dass der Transfer notwendig geworden war, weil ansonsten „Kanter im Chicago River treibend enden würde“.

Kanter scheint auf Steuerangelegenheiten für die Legalisierung von Mafiavermögen spezialisiert gewesen zu sein. Zusätzlich zur Gründung der Castle Bank mit Helliwell, war er „energisch“ mit der La Costa Grundstückserschließung beschäftigt, an der auch der ehemalige Konsorte aus Cleveland, Moe Dalitz, beteiligt war. „Dalitz war Teilhaber an mehreren Casinos, darunter auch das Desert Inn und das Stardust Hotel“. Block sieht Kanter als das Verbindungsglied, durch welches La Costa hohe Finanzierung aus dem korrupten Pensionfonds Central States der Teamsters-Gewerkschaft erhielt: „Kanters Zugang zum Rentenfonds stammte wahrscheinlich von Allen Dorfman, einem Freund und Geschäftspartner. Dorfman war ein wichtiger Fonds-Funktionär und Ganove. Er wurde 1985 ermordet, um ihn daran zu hindern, über Mafiainvestitionen zu plaudern“.

Die CIA, die Mafia und ihre undokumentierten Operationen

Helliwell war weder das einzige CIA-Verbindungsglied zur Mafia, noch das höchste. 1960 wurden Pläne zur Ermordung Castros durch das CIA-Office of Security und den Verbindungsmann, Robert Maheu, initiiert, dessen unabhängiges Unternehmen mit der Hilfe eines Vorschusses vom Office of Security auf den Weg gebracht worden war. Es war Maheu, der John Roselli die Ermordungspläne von der CIA überbrachte.

Eine länger andauernde Verbindung zur Mafia wurde von James Angleton, dem Stabschef der CIA-Spionageabwehr Counterintelligence (CI), aufrecht erhalten. Auch er nutzte einen Mittelsmann – den New Yorker Anwalt Mario Brod – der, gemäß einem CIA-Memo, von 1952 bis 1971 ein Spionageabwehr-Agent in New York City war. Einer der heiklen CI-Agenten, die in New York unter Brod arbeiteten, war Jay Lovestone. Lovestone war Leiter der Abteilung International Affairs beim Dachverband amerikanischer Gewerkschaften (AFL-CIO). Er ließ Schläger-Gangs in Marseille, die mit korsischen Drogenhändlern verbündet waren, Gelder zukommen. Diese korsischen Drogenhändler wiederum gehörten zum globalen Drogennetzwerk von Lansky und Luciano.

Nach Aussage von Doug Valentine war Lovestones Assistent, Irving Brown, in den europäischen Drogenschmuggel verwickelt. Zur selben Zeit nutzte er CIA-Gelder um

zusammen mit Piere Ferri-Pisani eine „kompatible linke“ Gewerkschaft in Marseille zu gründen. Im Namen von Brown und der CIA heuerte Ferri-Pisani (ein Drogenschmuggler mit Beziehungen zu Antoine Guerini, einem Großkriminellen aus Marseille) Schläger an, die streikende kommunistische Hafenarbeiter endgültig bezwingen sollten.

Lovestone – früherer Kommunist, dann militanter Anti-Kommunist – hatte sich zudem in den 1930er Jahren mit seinem Mentor David Dubinsky von der Gewerkschaft „International Ladies‘ Garment Workers“ gegen die Gründung einer noch militanteren Gewerkschaftsbewegung der CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) und im Besonderen gegen die Gründung der „United Auto Workers“ – der Gewerkschaft von Walter und Victor Reuther – gestemmt. Die Rivalgewerkschaft UAW-AFL, die Lovestone favorisierte, suchte sich die Muskelkraft der Mafia und stellte John Dioguardi, ein Mitglied der Lucchese Mafiafamilie, als Regionaldirektor für New York ein. Dioguardi wurde später von Bundesanwalt Paul Williams beschuldigt, den Journalisten Victor Riesel geblendet zu haben. Des Weiteren beschuldigte er ihn des anschließenden Mordes an dem Mann, der Riesels Gesicht mit Säure überschüttet hat.

CI-Stabsagent Brod, Angletons Verbindungsmann zur Mafia, „betreute“ einen weiteren heiklen Agenten, den russischen Überläufer Anatoliy Golitsyn. Golitsyn wurde von Angleton im Rahmen seiner endlosen Suche nach einem hochrangigen Maulwurf innerhalb der CIA vom regulären CIA-Beamtenapparat abgesondert. Mit Hilfe von dubiosen Informationen von Lovestone und Golitsyn war Angleton laut seinem Biographen Tom Mangold dabei, „in aller Stille eine alternative CIA“ mit eigenem Kommunikationssystem, Archiv und Tresor aufzubauen. Das Herzstück dieser alternativen CIA bildete das „Allerheiligste“ der Spionageabwehr (CI): „die supergeheime Special Investigation Group“ (CI/SIG), wo Akten gesammelt wurden, die beweisen sollten, dass Henry Kissinger und Averell Harriman möglicherweise KGB-Maulwürfe waren.

Ein dritter heikler Agent von Brod war Herbert Itkin, ein kontroverser Doppelagent, der sowohl für die Mafia als auch für CIA und FBI arbeitete. Wie Itkin hatte auch Brod selbst „Kontakte zur Mafia“. 1970 gerat die CIA in Aufruhr als das Justizministerium und das FBI Itkin als Zeugen gegen eine Reihe von Mafiosi mit ehemaligen Beziehungen nach Havanna einsetzten, darunter James Plueri, Ed Lanzieri und Sam Mannarino, die mit der Teamsters-Gewerkschaft Vereinbarungen für illegale Schmiergeldzahlungen getroffen hatten. Der Bundesanwalt rief den Rechtsberater der CIA an, um ihm mitzuteilen, dass Mario Brod auf der Seite der Verteidigung in den Prozess mit eingetreten war. Gemäß den Gerichtsaufzeichnungen „bemühte sich die Verteidigung darum, Brod, der als Itkins Kontakt zur CIA beschrieben wird, als Zeugen aufzurufen. Brod würde aussagen, dass er Itkins Aussage selbst unter Eid nicht glauben würde und dass Itkins Aufrichtigkeit kein Glauben zu schenken sei“. Der CIA-Rechtsbeistand stimmte mit dem Bundesanwalt darin überein, dass man Brod an seiner Aussage hindern müsse. Sein Büro protokollierte Brods Erklärung für sein Verhalten folgendermaßem: „Einer der Angeklagten namens Lenzieri [(sic), d.h. Edward the Buff Lanzieri] war Brods einziger Kontakt innerhalb der Mafia, der ihn warnen würde, wenn er in Gefahr wäre“.

Aber Brod mag nicht nur aus Eigeninteresse gehandelt haben. Denn es gibt Vermutungen, dass einige der Mafia-Angeklagten aus dem Schmiergeldprozess noch tiefere Verbindungen zur CIA hatten, wenn auch nicht dokumentiert. Laut der Aussage von Dan Moldea waren zwei der Angeklagten, John La Rocca und Gabriel Mannarino, mit Hoffa in kubanische Waffenschieberei verwickelt; und er deutet an, dass Hoffa La Rocca und Mannarino zusammen mit zwei anderen Schmiergeld-Angeklagten (Salvatore Granello und James „Jimmy Doyle“ Plumeri) dazu gebracht habe, „mit der CIA zu kooperieren“. Darüber hinaus waren alle Angeklagten des Schmiergeldprozesses, in dem Itkin aussagte und in dem Brod auf Seiten der Verteidigung zu intervenieren versuchte, Mitglieder der so genannten „paper locals“ bei der Gewerkschaft Teamsters (und zuvor bei der UAW-AFL), die von Plumeris Neffen John Dioguardi kontrolliert wurde.

Im Juni 1975, sechs Monate nach dem Durchsickern von Angletons Operation CHAOS, was wiederum zu Angletons Amtsenthebung führte, behauptete das Time Magazin, dass die CIA Brods Mafiakontakte, also Plumeri und Granello, benutzt hatte, „um ein wenig in Kuba zu spionieren, zur Vorbereitung für die Schweinebucht-Invasion“. (Ich habe für diese Behauptung von Time keine Beweise in freigegeben CIA-Dokumenten finden können.)

Wie schon Brod hatte angeblich auch Angleton selbst Kontakte zur Mafia, und intervenierte zumindest bei einer Gelegenheit, um einen anderen Teil der CIA davon abzuhalten, Lanskys Bankgeschäfte aus illegalen Las Vegas-Einnahmen zu näher zu durchleuchten. Ein hochrangiger Beamter in Robert Kennedys Justizministerium bat John Whitten, den ehemaligen Leiter des Mexiko/Panama-Bereichs in der Abteilung Western Hemisphere, Nummernkonten in Panama zu ermitteln. Glücksspieler aus Las Vegas nutzten diese Konten, um Bargeld zu schmuggeln, „das sie von ihren täglichen Einnahmen abschöpften. Unter Nutzung seines Pseudonyms „John Selso“ sagte Whitten dann gegen Angleton vor dem Church Committee aus.

Zu der Zeit waren wir in einer ausgesprochen guten Lage, dies durchzuführen. . . . Ich hielt es für eine großartige Idee. Angleton erfuhr umgehend davon, und wir mussten ihn darüber informieren, und er sagte, Wir werden uns da nicht einmischen. Das ist Sache des FBI. Und zack, Ende des Gesprächs. Wir wurden abgezogen. Ich erzählte Colonel J.C. King, der zu der Zeit Leiter der Western Hemisphere-Abteilung war, von dem Gespräch. Und J.C. King sagte, Naja, du weißt ja, dass Angleton diese Verbindungen zur Mafia hat, und er wird nichts machen, was diese Verbindungen gefährdet. Und ich sagte, Das wusste ich nicht. Darauf er, Ja, das hatte etwas mit Kuba zu tun.

Angletons Verteidigung von Lanskys abgeschöpften Einnahmen sollte nicht abgetrennt von seiner zweiten Funktion in der CIA, als Leiter der Israel-Abteilung, betrachtet werden. Angletons Verbindungen zum Mossad reichten zurück bis zum Zweiten Weltkrieg, als er mit Unterstützung der jüdischen Untergrundbewegung, angeführt durch Teddy Kollek (dem späteren Bürgermeister von Jerusalem), OSS-Operationen in Italien koordinierte.

Angletons „Alternative CIA“ und ihr Vermächtnis

1963 hat CI/SIG, das „Allerheiligste“ von Angletons „alternativer CIA“, überdies die amerikanische Geschichte bedeutend beeinflusst. Ihre so genannte Akte 201 oder „Persönlichkeitsakte“ über „Lee Henry Oswald“ (der Mann, der der Welt als Lee Harvey Oswald bekannt ist) wurde seit ihrer Eröffnung im Dezember 1960 konstant mit falschen und gefälschten Informationen gefüttert. Und zwei Einträge in der Akte 201 wurden noch einmal im Oktober 1963 so verfälscht, dass sie es ermöglichten, Oswald als glaubwürdigen „designierten Verdächtigen“ für die Ermordung John F. Kennedys einen Monat später festzulegen.

Die Verfälschung von Oswalds Akte 201 mag aus einer legitimen Gegenspionage-Operation hervorgegangen sein. Ich habe dargelegt, dass einzigartig gefälschte Einträge zum Konzept eines so genannten „gezinkte Karte“-Tests oder „Kontrastmittel“-Tests gehörten, der herauszufinden sollte, ob und wo heikle Informationen durchgesickert sind. Dies war eine bekannte Methode und fiel in den Aufgabenbereich der CI/SIG, die für die Akte 201 verantwortlich war.

Aber ab Oktober 1963 gibt es Anzeichen, dass CIA-Telegramme über Oswald manipuliert worden sind, um ihn als vorgesehenen Verdächtigen für die Ermordung von Präsident Kennedy am 22. November nutzbar zu machen. Ein Fernschreiben der CIA an das FBI im Oktober 1963 (erstellt von einem CI/SIG-Beamten) hielt die offensichtlich bedeutende Information zurück, dass Oswald angeblich in Mexiko-Stadt mit einem sowjetischen Vizekonsul, Valeriy Kostikov, zusammengetroffen war. CIA-Beamte nahmen an, dass Kostikov ein Funktionär des KGB war. Die Vorenthaltung dieser Information half sicherzustellen, dass Oswald nicht über dieses angenommene Treffen hinaus unter die Beobachtung des FBI geraten würde. Solch eine Beschattung hätte vermutlich verhindert, dass er durch seine Positionierung an einer besonders heiklen Straßenecke von Kennedys Paradestrecke in Dallas zum vorgesehenen Verdächtigen hätte werden können. Ich habe dargelegt, dass eine ähnliche Vorenthaltungen von Informationen durch die CIA über zwei vermeintliche Kidnapper des 11. September, Nawaz al-Hamzi und Khalid al-Midhar, es gleichermaßen ermöglichte, diese beiden zu Verdächtigen zu machen, indem man auch hier das FBI daran hinderte, Beschattungen durchzuführen.

CIA-Direktor William Colby zwang Angleton in den Nachwehen der Watergate-Affäre Dezember 1974 zum Rücktritt, nachdem bekannt geworden war, dass Angleton in die wahrscheinlich illegale CIA-Operation CHAOS (die Beschattung von Amerikanern in den USA) verwickelt gewesen ist. Dies bedeutete das Aus für Angletons „alternative CIA“ innerhalb der Spionageabwehr. Noch ungefähr ein Jahr danach – ähnlich wie bei der Verbindungen der CIA zu Brods Mafiosi – sickerten immer wieder Informationen durch, die den Morast von CIA-Verbindungen zu exilkubanischen Terroristen und anderen Mitgliedern des globalen Drogennetzwerkes offen legten (und damit halfen, es aufzulösen).

Aber 1976 änderte sich das Klima dramatisch, nachdem Donald Rumsfeld und Dick Cheney im so genannten „Halloween Massaker“ (gesteuert aus dem Weißen Haus unter Präsident Ford) CIA-Direktor Colby durch George H.W. Bush ersetzten und Rumsfeld zum Verteidigungsminister machten. Wenn das Jahr 1975 von den Watergate-Nachwehen mit ihren dramatischen Enthüllungen über CIA-Verbindungen zu Exilkubanern und Mafiosi und deren Attentatsversuchen bestimmt war, so war 1976 das Jahr, in dem mafianahe Exilkubaner und der chilenische Geheimdienst DINA, die beide in den Drogenhandel verwickelt waren, in einer Reihe von terroristischen Tötungen schwelgten. Dazu gehörte das in die Luft sprengen eines zivilen Flugzeugs von Air Cubana und die Ermordung des früheren chilenischen Außenministers Orlando Letelier in Washington.

Die CIA war jedoch nicht mehr der einzige Kontakt oder auch nur der Hauptkontakt zur internationalen Operation CONDOR, die von der DINA gesponsert wurde und vielfache Tötungen durchführte. Robert White, amerikanischer Botschafter in Paraguay und Aufsteiger im Außenministerium, dessen Kritik an den Morden ihm nach der Wahl Reagans seinen Job kostete, erfuhr von dem Kommandanten der paraguayischen Streitkräfte, dass „Geheimdienstleiter aus Brasilien, Argentinien, Chile, Bolivien, Paraguay und Uruguay ein ‚verschlüsseltes System innerhalb des amerikanischen [militärischen] Telekommunikationsnetz[werks]‘ nutzten, das ganz Lateinamerika überzog, um ‚Geheimdienstinformationen zu koordinieren'“.

Henry Kissinger, der 1976 im letzten Jahr seiner Amtszeit als Außenminister war, spielte im Angesicht dieser Welle rechter Gewalt bestenfalls eine mehrdeutige Rolle. Bevor er Chile öffentlich wegen seiner Menschenrechtsverletzungen rügte („Die Menschenrechtslage . . . hat unsere Beziehung zu Chile geschädigt und wird dies auch weiterhin tun“), versicherte Kissinger Pinochet in einer privaten Unterhaltung, dass er durch die amerikanische Politik zu dieser Aussage verpflichtet sei, und dass er vielmehr beunruhigt war, dass der US-Kongress die Hilfe an Chile streichen wolle.

Der amerikanische Schutz bzw. die amerikanische Unterstützung für die Terroristen von 1976 dauert bis heute an. Luis Posada Carriles, der Hauptarchitekt des Bombenanschlags auf Air Cubana „saß seine Zeit für den Cubana-Anschlag im Gefängnis in Venezuela ab“; und „später, in den 1980er Jahren, arbeitete er wieder im Auftrag der CIA in Mittelamerika und half bei der Koordination des Contra Zuliefer-Netzwerks“. Posada wurde festgenommen und 2000 nochmal in Panama für einen Mordanschlag auf Fidel Castro verurteilt, diesmal mit Guillermo Novo, einem von Leteliers Mördern. Beide Männer wurden umgehend von Panamas scheidendem Präsidenten begnadigt. Im Mai 2008 wurde Posada von 500 Amerikanern kubanischer Herkunft bei einer ausverkauften Gala in Miami geehrt, nachdem eine Anklage gegen ihn wegen illegaler Einwanderung in die Vereinigten Staaten von einem Bundesrichter in Texas abgelehnt worden war.

Zudem beförderte CIA-Direktor George Bush Theodore Shackley, der über Jahre hinweg mit den eigenwilligen Exilkubaner in Miami zusammen gearbeitet hatte. Laut Kevin Phillips

nahm Bush Ende 1976 widerspenstige und impulsive CIA-Agenten in Schutz – Veteranen fast jeder Operation von chilenischen Morden zu Vietnams Phoenix-Programm und unzulässiger Überwachung im Inland – damit sie nicht von Präsident Fords Justizministerium angeklagt würden“.

Aber die Stimmung der Zurückhaltung nach Watergate kehrte unter Präsident Carter und seinem CIA-Direktor Admiral Stansfield Turner zurück zur CIA. Dank dem Durchsickern einer Serie von Informationen über seinen Freund Edwin Wilson, verlor Shackley sein Ansehen in der CIA bis er sie 1978 verließ.

William Corson und Joseph Trento argumentieren jedoch, dass der Geist einer alternativen und aktiveren CIA auch mit Shackley im Exil überlebte. Trento schreibt, dass Shackley vom Safari Club des Schahs von Iran (siehe weiter unten) und vom amerikanischen Botschafter in Iran, Richard Helms, unterstützt wurde. Der reguläre CIA-Standortleiter in Iran „beschwerte sich wiederholt, dass Helms seine eigenen Geheimdienstoperationen außerhalb der Botschaft zu leiten schien“ und dass CIA-Veteranen, die unter CIA-Funktionär Theodore Shackley gearbeitet hatten, „den Kader einer privaten Schatten-Spionageorganisation innerhalb des offiziellen amerikanischen Geheimdienstes bildeten“. Anmerkungen => hier

Wir haben uns bisher noch nicht mit den legalen Beziehungen der Castle Bank beschäftigt. Die wohlhabendsten Kontoinhaber der Bank „waren Mitglieder der sagenhaft reichen Pritzker Familie aus Chicago, Klienten der Kanter Firma“. Block merkt an, dass die Pritzkers, zu deren gewaltigem Besitz die Hyatt Hotelkette gehört, auch einen Kredit vom Teamsters Pensionsfonds zur Investition für ein Hotel-Casino in Nevada erhielten, und dass „Jimmy Hoffa und Allen Dorfman persönlich für die Pritzker-Kredite zuständig waren“.

Kanter und Castle Bank planten zudem Bauvorhaben mit anderen Mitgliedern der „Oberwelt“, wie zum Beispiel mit Henry Ford II und seiner Frau Christina. Mercantile, die Vorgängerbank von Castle, vertrat Investitionen von zwei Schifffahrts-Magnaten: vom Milliardär Daniel K. Ludwig und vom äußerst wohlhabenden norwegischen Schiffsbauer Inge Gordon Mosvold, der wohl für Ludwig als Fassade diente.

Mercantile und Castle waren eng mit einer anderen Helliwell Bank auf den Bahamas verzahnt, Underwriters Bank, Limited. Der Mehrheitseigentümer von Underwriters mit 95 Prozent war der amerikanische Versicherungskonzern American International Underwriters Corp. [AIUC], der zuerst Teil des Versicherungsimperiums des ehemaligen OSS-Agenten C.V. Starr war und heute zur gigantischen multinationalen AIG gehört. Block stellt korrekt fest, dass AIUC „ein Versicherungsgroßkonzern war, der vermutlich Verbindungen zur C.I.A. in Südostasien hatte“.

Ich habe anderswo beschrieben, wie die C.V. Starr Gruppe durch Thomas („Tommy the Cork“) Corcoran in Washington vertreten und nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg von Corcorans früheren Anwaltspartner William S. Youngman geleitet wurde. Die Gruppe war auf diese Weise mit dem so genannten Chennault-Kreis verzahnt (oder auch Chennaults „Washington-Geschwader“), eine mächtige Verbindung, die sich 1940 mit Roosevelts Segen zusammen getan hatte, um die Bereitstellung von Ausrüstung, Personal und finanzieller Unterstützung von General Claire Chennaults Flying Tigers in China zu ermöglichen.

Corcoran war schon seit den 1930er Jahren eine Schlüsselfigur in Washington, als er noch „Franklin D. Roosevelts informellen Geheimdienst und internationale Spionageoperationen anführte, lange bevor es die OSS gab“. In den 1950er Jahren, als Fortune über ihn schrieb, dass er „den besten Geheimdienst in Washington“ führe, waren seine Lobbying-Aktivitäten eng mit seinem Einfluss auf CIA Geheimoperationen verknüpft:

Die meisten [seiner Klienten] sind Unternehmen mit internationalen Geschäftsinteressen, und er hat eine ausgewählte Klientel in diesem Bereich. Dazu gehören United Fruit Co., American International Underwriters Corp. (als Teil der Interessen C. V. Starrs in Asien und anderswo) und General Claire Chennaults Civil Air Transport, Inc. Ende 1951, um ein Beispiel zu nennen, ließ Corcoran seinen Geheimdienst Überstunden arbeiten, um mit der amerikanischen Politik in Bezug auf Iran Schritt halten zu können – die Handhabung des Außenministerium dieser Affäre sollte später als Vorbild dafür dienen, was es tun würde (oder auch nicht tun würde), um seinen Klienten, United Fruit, davor zu bewahren, aus Guatemala geworfen zu werden.

Helliwell und Corcoran zusammen trugen entscheidend zu Chennaults kontinuierlichen Einfluss in Asien bei: diese beiden Männer überzeugten Frank Wisner von der OPC davon, Chennaults Nachkriegsfluglinie CAT (die spätere CIA-eigene Air America) zu kaufen und zu refinanzieren. Auch William Pawley, eine Schlüsselfigur in Chennaults so genannten „Washington-Geschwader“ während des Zweiten Weltkriegs, hat bei dieser wichtigen Entscheidung eine Rolle gespielt. Zusammen mit Helliwells anderer Schöpfung, Sea Supply Inc., bildete CAT die hauptsächliche logistische Infrastruktur für die Drogenhandeltruppen der KMT in Burma.

Helliwell und die Einflusspolitik

Helliwell und Corcorans Anwaltskanzlei, Corcoran und Rowe, kooperierte auch mit William Donovan und nutzte Thai Geld, um den Kongress zu beeinflussen. Helliwell selbst war der Hauptorganisator für die Republikanische Partei in Florida, wo er 1952 half, den Bundesstaat für Eisenhower zu gewinnen und damit dazu beitrug, das Aufsteigen der Republikaner im Süden zu sichern. (Helliwell wurde später zum guten Bekannten von Nixons Gefährten Bebe Rebozo.)

Corcoran und Rowe waren indessen Demokraten, und Rowe war gut mit dem aufsteigenden texanischen Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson bekannt. Corcoran hatte in den 1940er Jahren die Konten und politischen Geschäfte von Chiang Kai-sheks Schwager T.V. Soong geführt, der durch das Abzweigen von Millionen aus chinesischem Gold in kalifornische Konten zu einem der reichsten Männer der Welt geworden war.

Zusammen mit Soong betrieb Corcoran erfolgreich Lobbypolitik für ein Leih-Pacht-Programm für die chinesischen Nationalisten (KMT) und für die private Firma American Volunteer Group, die Piloten der Streitkräfte für ein privates Unternehmen anheuerte, das von Corcorans Freund William Pawley geleitet wurde. Tatsächlich wurden die Piloten rekrutiert, um in China im Rahmen von Chennaults irregulärer Luftwaffe, für Chiang Kai-shek und die KMT zu kämpfen:

Eigentlich führte Corcoran einen undokumentierten Privatkrieg, in dem ein Privatunternehmen, China Defense Supplies, einen Teil des Wehrmaterials für China an eine Privatarmee, die American Volunteer Group, umleitete.

Nach dem Krieg wurden Soong, Corcoran und Pawley zu starken Unterstützern der pro-KMT China-Lobby. Die Beamten des Außenministeriums, die das Pech hatten, als Eintrag in T.V. Soongs „schwarzen Buch“ zu landen, wurden zur Zielscheibe der politischen Säuberungen von J. Edgar Hoover und später Joseph McCarthy.

Das Schicksal der von Soong gestützten China-Lobby änderte sich 1954 mit dem Niedergang von Joseph McCarthy zum Schlechten. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt kollaborierten Corcoran und Donavan, die schon 1942 bei Chennaults Präventivkauf von Chinas kommerzieller Luftflotte mit Hilfe von CAT zusammen gearbeitet hatten, noch einmal, um den Geldfluss von Asien zur Beeinflussung des Kongresses aufrecht zu erhalten. Die neue Quelle war der thailändische Diktator Phao Sriyanon, ein großer Nutznießer des KMT Drogennetzwerks, das von Helliwell, Sea Supply und CAT gegründet wurde. (Zum Zeitpunkt seines Todes im Schweizer Exil soll Phao „einer der reichsten Männer der Welt“ gewesen sein.)

Nachdem Skandale und Enthüllungsberichte eine Umgestaltung der China-Lobby in Washington notwendig gemacht hatten,

brachte der private Zweig der Thai Lobby seine eigenen Ressourcen zusammen . . . Mit Hilfe von Donovan, [OSS Veteran Willis] Bird [Sea Supplies Einkäufer in Bangkok] oder seinen anderen CIA-Verbindungsmännern hatte Phao zu diesem Zeitpunkt Anwalt Paul Helliwell, zusätzlich zu Donovan, als Lobbyisten eingestellt. Helliwell und Donovan [der angebliche 100 000 Dollar von der thailändischen Regierung erhalten haben soll] teilten den Kongress untereinander auf – Donovan war für die Republikaner zuständig und Helliwell bekam die Demokraten.

Wie schaffte es Helliwell, die Demokraten auf seine Seite zu ziehen? Indem er die Rolle des thailändischen Konsuls in Miami spielte: seine Jahresberichte als Lobbyist für ausländische Firmen zeigen, dass er tausende Dollar im Jahr an James Rowe, von Corcoran und Rowe, abgegeben hat.

Helliwell, Resorts International und ihre Korruptionspolitik

Helliwell und seine Banken verwalteten auch die Sachinvestitionen für den Lansky-Haufen:

Zu den Immobiliengesellschaften in Florida, die von Helliwells Fingerfertigkeit profitierten, gehörte General Development Corporation, ein Unternehmen, das von Louis Chesler, einem in Florida ansässigen Bauträger und Gefährten von Lansky, und „trigger Mike“ Coppola, einem Kumpanen von Lansky, kontrolliert wurde. Chesner war der Partner von Wallace Groves. Chesler und Groves arbeiteten als Partner bei Spekulationen mit Resorts International zusammen, geleitet durch ein Unternehmen aus Grand Bahama, dessen Rechtsbeistand durch die Anwaltskanzlei Helliwell, Melrose und DeWolf geleistet wurde.

Resorts International, ehemals die von James Crosby kontrollierte Mary Carter Paint Company, war der Haupteigentümer eines Urlaubsorts auf den Bahamas, Paradise Island, und hatte Schwierigkeiten eine Lizenz zu bekommen, bis es 1966 Wallace Groves als Partner aufnahm. Die altbekannte Reaktion eines Beamten des amerikanischen Justizministeriums zu diesem Eigentümerwechsel war folgende: „Die Stimmung scheint reif für einen Lansky-Deal“. Noch Jahre später würden „die Anwälte der Abteilung für Glücksspielbekämpfung in New Jersey es ablehnen, Crosby und seinem Unternehmen [Resorts International] eine Glückspiellizenz zu gewähren. Als Gründe hierfür führten sie ‚Verbindungen zu in Misskredit geratenen Personen und Organisationen‘ und besonders ihre Aufzeichnungen über Paradise Island an“.

Wie Helliwell und Groves gehörte also auch Resorts Intenational zum globalen CIA-Mob-Netzwerk. Ein CIA-Bericht aus dem Jahr 1976, der in der Meyer Lansky-Akte enthalten war, stellt folgendes fest:

Resorts International, Inc. ist Gegenstand der OS-Akte 591 722 [Office of Security]. Diese Akte zeigt auf, dass Resorts International, Inc. 1972 und 1973 von Interesse für Cover und die Wirtschaftsabteilung, DDO [Operations Directorate], war.

Wie dieser CIA-Bericht weiterhin klarstellt, passierte dies nachdem 1969 das Buch The Grim Reapers von Ed Reid veröffentlicht worden war. Dieses Buch deckte die Verbindungen des Unternehmens zu Wallace Groves und, durch den Casino-Manager Eddie Cellini, zu „den Glücksspielaktivitäten von Meyer LANSKY, dem Boss des organisierten Verbrechens“ (CIA-Bericht) auf. Mit anderen Worten, Resorts International fungierte als Mittler zwischen der CIA und Eddie Cellini, genauso wie Tony Varona, der Leiter der CIA-Schweinebucht-Invasion, 1960 eine ähnliche Rolle spielte.

1972, das Jahr in dem Resorts für die CIA „interessant“wurde, war auch das Jahr, in dem Meyer Lansky zusammen mit Dino Cellini (Eddies Bruder) in Miami angeklagt wurde. Ein Anklagepunkt war, dass „Lansky 1968 zumindest etwas Kontrolle über lukrative Teile der Operationen mit dem Paradise Island Casino behielt“. Ich werde später darlegen, dass sowohl Resorts International als auch die Lansky-Anklage in diesen zwei Jahren „von Interesse“ waren, weil es in dieser Zeit – als Folge des Watergate-Einbruchs – zur Kraftprobe zwischen Nixon und der CIA kam.

Die CIA mag von den 1972 angebrachten Anschuldigungen, dass Gelder auf geheimem Wege vom Paradise Island-Casino durch einen Casino-Angestellten zu Nixon und seinem Freund Bebe Rebozo überbracht worden waren, gewusst haben. Dieser Angestellte war Seymour (Sy) Alter, der sowohl Partner von Lansky und seinem Mann Eddie Cellini, als auch „seit 1962 Freund von Nixon und Rebozo“ war. Die Gelder kamen von der Paradise Island Bridge Company, einem Unternehmen, das zu Teilen im Besitz eines Vorstandsmitglied von Benguet International war. Benguet International wiederum wurde durch Paul Helliwell vertreten. Es ist wahrscheinlich, dass Nixon selbst ein verdecktes Interesse an der Bridge Company hatte. Dies würde auch die Enthüllung durch Operation Tradewinds erklären, die aufzeigte, dass ein „Richard M. Nixon“ (nicht anderweitig kenntlich gemacht) ein Konto bei Helliwells Castle Bank hatte.

CIA, Eddie Cellini, Edward K. Moss und ihre CIA-Mafia Intrigen

Doch es steckt noch mehr hinter der CIA-Resorts-Verbindung. 1967 stellte Resorts (zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch Paradise Island) Eddie Cellini, der vorher Lanskys Casino im Hotel Internacional in Havana geleitet hatte, als Casino-Manager an. 1967 war auch das Jahr, in dem der Generalinspekteur der CIA in seinem „Bericht über CIA-Pläne zur Ermordung Fidel Castros“ bekannt gab, dass Eddie Cellini und sein noch bekannterer Bruder Dino

vermutlich mit [Tony] Varona [einem Mitglied der CIA-Frontgruppe der Schweinebucht-Invasion] in Verbindung standen. . . . Berichten zufolge sollen sie Varona große Summen Geld für seinen Einsatz gegen Castro geboten haben, unter der Voraussetzung, dass sie ‚in einem zukünftigen Kuba‘ bevorzugt behandelt werden würden.

Der Bericht des Generalinspekteurs wurde angefertigt, um auf die Welle von Entrüstung einzugehen, die 1967 durch Jack Andersons spektakuläre Anschuldigung aufgeworfen wurde, dass John F. Kennedy eventuell in Folge eines Attentatskomplotts gegen Castro, „der dann möglicherweise gegen Kennedy selbst zurückgeschlagen ist“, getötet worden ist. Jack Andersons beste Quelle für diese Geschichte war John Roselli, ein Mafiosi, der verärgert darüber war, dass seine Kooperation mit der CIA zu den Attentatsplänen ihn nicht davor bewahrt hatte, verurteilt und möglicherweise abgeschoben zu werden.

Der Wissenschaftler Alan A. Block stellt fest, dass Paradise Island erstaunlich unüberlegt handelte, als sie Eddie Cellini 1967 anstellten, nachdem sie selbst gerade erst einen eigenen Skandal in Sachen organisiertes Verbrechen überstanden hatten. Aber der CIA stand der noch größere Skandal zum organisierten Verbrechen erst noch bevor, den Jack Anderson durch seine Kolumne ausgelöst hatte. Dazu kam der Bericht des Generalinspekteurs, der CIA-Direktor Helms gerade erst davon in Kenntnis gesetzt hatte, dass Cellini bei den Attentatsplänen möglicherweise als Verbindungsmann zwischen den beiden Hauptauftraggebern des Attentats, Varona und Santos Trafficante, agierte. Eine Möglichkeit ist, dass Resorts Cellini angeheuerte, um sicherzustellen, dass er es nicht Roselli nachtun und sich bekennen würde.

Es gibt einen bedeutenden FBI-Bericht (abgedruckt ohne Rechtseinwand in einem CIA-Dokument, das in Lanskys Sicherheitsakte enthalten war), der nahezu frei von jeglichen Referenzen auf Lansky ist, aber durchaus als Akte zu den CIA-Mafia-Plänen beschrieben werden kann. Gemäß diesem FBI-Bericht, war der Kontakt zwischen Varona und den Cellini-Brüdern, die die Mafia vertraten, durch einen Washingtoner Pressereferenten namens Edward K. Moss zustande gekommen:

Verona [sic] hat Edward K. Moss als seinen Assistenten eingestellt, um Geld für Operationen gegen Castro aufzubringen. . . . Julia Cellini ist angeblich die Geliebte von Moss und leitet einen Sekretariatsservice, [der] in Wahrheit eine Fassade für Edward K. Moss‘ Aktivitäten ist. Julia Cellinis Bruder, Dino Cellini und sein Bruder (dessen Vorname nicht bekannt ist), bilden eine aktive Fassade für die beiden größten Casinos, die bis zum Batista-Regime in Kuba betrieben wurden. . . . Es wird angenommen, dass die Cellini-Brüder durch Edward K. Moss in engem Kontakt mit Tony Verona [sic] stehen und angeboten haben, Tony Verona eine beträchtliche Summe Geld (angeblich bis zu zwei Millionen Dollar) durch Edward K. Moss zukommen zu lassen, um Operationen gegen das Castro-Regime zu finanzieren, vorausgesetzt sie würden ein großes Tortenstück vom „zukünftigen Kuba“ abbekommen.

Gemäß diesem CIA-Memo war Moss einer der früheren Präsidenten der Public Relations Society of America. Zur selben Zeit scheint es, laut eines mündlichen Berichts von Dun und Bradstreet an den damaligen CIA-Agenten Edwin P. Wilson, „Moss‘ Aufgabe zu sein, Regierungsaufträge an die Unterwelt zu liefern und möglicherweise Mafiageld durch legitime Geschäftstätigkeiten wieder an die Oberfläche zu bringen“.

Diese ganzen Informationen bilden den Kontext für die Entscheidung, die das CIA-Office of Security am 7. November 1962 traf. Mit dieser Entscheidung sollte sichergestellt werden, dass für Moss ein Covert Security Approval (CSAS) gegeben werden würde, damit er von der Political Action Group innerhalb des Cover Action Stabs der CIA verwendet werden könne. Dies war natürlich über ein Jahr nachdem das FBI der CIA mitgeteilt hatte, dass „die Cellini-Brüder durch Moss angeblich in Kontakt mit Varona stehen und angeboten haben, bis zu zwei Millionen Dollar beizusteuern, um die Anti-Castro-Operationen zu finanzieren“. Außerdem haben FBI-Informationen, die der CIA gesendet wurden, angedeutet, dass Moss‘ Geliebte Julia Cellini und ihr Bruder Dino Cellini die vermeintlichen Vermittler waren, obwohl „die Cellini-Brüder schon seit langem mit den Rauschgift- und Mädchenhandelbanden in Verbindung gebracht werden“. Die CIA selbst hatte das FBI am 16. Dezember 1960 darüber in Kenntnis gesetzt, dass Julia „Cellino“ mitgeteilt hat, dass ihre Brüder „schon seit langem mit den Rauschgift- und Mädchenhandelbanden in Verbindung gebracht werden“.

Noch weitere FBI-Informationen deuteten darauf hin, dass Dino Cellini „in früheren Glücksspielaktivitäten mit Joseph Francis Nesline, einem Top-Ganoven aus Washington, zusammen gearbeitet hat“. Ich habe an anderer Stelle beschrieben, wie Meyer Lansky und Joe Nesline „systematisch Gebrauch von sexueller Erpressung [d.h. durch den Mädchenhandel] machten, um eine Reihe von Leuten in Washington zu kompromittieren, die politischen Einfluss besaßen“.

Die CIA entsann sich, dass Moss ein fragwürdiger Geselle war; ein Memo vom 28. November 1962 verwies auf seine „’skrupellosen und unmoralischen‘ Geschäftspraktiken“. Gemäß dem Bericht des Generalinspekteurs und anderen Notizen konstatiert „ein Memorandum, das 1965 von dem Covert Action Stab angefertigt wurde, dass in den Aufzeichnungen keinerlei Verwendung von Moss zu erkennen ist“; aber diese vorsichtig formulierten Sätze schließen die Möglichkeit nicht gänzlich aus, dass Moss für undokumentierte Aktionen eingesetzt wurde. Tatsächlich bestätigen die Dokumente in Moss‘ Akte, dass die CIA ein Interesse an ihm gezeigt hat. Viele Dokumente darin betreffen Julia, Eddie, Dino und Goffredo Cellini.

Die Aufzeichnungen zu Moss, den Cellinis und Varona sind überaus aufschlussreich. Das FBI hat die CIA auf ihre Verbindungen zueinander und auch auf das Angebot von zwei Millionen Dollar für Varona aufmerksam gemacht, „angesichts der ernstzunehmenden Auswirkungen durch [Mafia]-Unterwanderung dieser, von der CIA gestützten, Aktion [gegen Castro]“. Am 23. Januar 1965 übermittelte das FBI seine Bedenken an den neuen Justizminister Robert Kennedy, der zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch keine Woche im Amt war.

Die Reaktion der CIA hierauf ließ jeglichen Anstand unbeachtet: anstatt, dass sie sich von Moss und seinen Gefährten distanzieren würde, fing die CIA an, sich für sie zu erwärmen. Die CIA arrangierte es so, dass Giftkapseln über die Mafia zu Varona gelangten, der im Februar 1961 zum Vordermann der Castro-Attentatspläne von CIA und Mafia wurde. 1962 wurde Varona ein weiteres Mal auserwählt, als ZRRIFLE-2, um an William Harveys erneuerten Attentatsplänen auf Castro mitzuwirken. Und im selben Jahr leitete die CIA Schritte ein, um Moss selbst einzusetzen, wie wir bereits gesehen haben.

Noch mehr über die CIA, Moss und ihre Korruptionspolitik: Adnan Khashoggi

Die indirekte Verbindung der CIA zu Moss über einen Mittelsmann (Varona) scheint bis in die 1970er Jahre angehalten zu haben. Danach dann wurde diese Position von Adnan Khashoggi eingenommen, der für eine gewisse Zeit (wie schon T.V. Soong und Phao Sriyanon vor ihm) als „der reichste Mann der Welt“ galt. Darüber hinaus wurde Khashoggi im Kerry-Brown BCCI Report als einer der „hauptsächlichen ausländischen Agenten der USA“ geführt. Und irgendwann in den 1970ern engagierte er dann Edward K. Moss als seinen PR-Agenten.

Khashoggi wiederholte die Politik der korrupten Einflussnahme durch Geld und Sex, der wir bereits begegnet sind. Sein Beitrag zu Nixons Wahlkampagnen – einige legal, andere illegal – wurden vom Senatsausschuss zur Watergate-Affäre untersucht. Über Khashoggi wird verlautet, dass er Nixon 1972 auf geheimen Wege eine Million Dollar zukommen ließ, angeblich in einem Aktenkoffer, den er „irrtümlicherweise“ in Nixons Haus in San Clemente zurückgelassen hatte.

Des Weiteren weiß man, dass Khashoggi mehrere Millionen Dollar (manche sagen $200 Millionen) in der Bank von Nixons Freund Bebe Rebozo eingezahlt hat. Dann „hob er alles bis auf 200 000 Dollar in Form von Barschecks ab, die er auf das Sands Hotel in Las Vegas ausstellte“. Es schien so, als nutzte Khashoggi das Sands Hotel als seinen persönlichen Geldwäschesalon. Bekannt als „Las Vegas‘ größter Glücksspieler“, verlor Khashoggi 250 000 Dollar mit nur einem Einsatz.

Das Sands war eines der Casinos, das ursprünglich zu Teilen Meyer Lansky gehörte. Von dort wurden Einnahmen abgeschöpft und (wie wir bereits gesehen haben) in der Miami National Bank eingezahlt. In den 1970er Jahren ging das Sands dann in den Besitz von Howard Hughes über; aber zwei Veteranen der Lansky-Ära, Carl Cohen und Jack Entratter, arbeiteten weiterhin im Casino. Währenddessen involvierte Khashoggi den Manager von Hughes‘ Las Vegas-Besitztümern, F. William Gay, in seine Geschäfte; und als Hughes schließlich schnell und in aller Stille von Las Vegas zu Wallace Groves‘ Resort in Freeport, Bahamas, ausgeflogen wurde, war es Khashoggis Flugzeug, dass ihn dorthin brachte.

Selbst noch in der Hughes-Ära waren die Casinos in Las Vegas der bevorzugte Ort, um Geldwäsche zu betreiben (verdeckt als Glückspielverluste). Diese Praxis hatte sich so sehr eingebürgert, dass der amerikanische Zoll, im Rahmen der Operation Casablanca, am Ende tatsächlich ein simuliertes Casino in der Nähe von Las Vegas errichtete, in dem hochrangige mexikanische Banker zusammen kamen und „eifrig diskutierten, wie man mit der schon vorliegenden halben Million Dollar aus den neuesten Drogeneinnahmen umgehen sollte“. In einem Fall wurden tausende Dollar in Geldumschlägen vom Stardust Casino (siehe oben) in Florida in einem Flugzeug gefunden, das mutmaßlich Drogen geschmuggelt hatte.

Es gibt überdies Berichte, dass Khashoggi, zusätzlich zum Geld, auch „Sex benutzte, um amerikanische Beamte zu bestechen“. Die Rechnung an eine Bordellwirtin, die Massen an Mädchen für seine Yacht im Mittelmeer bereitstellte, belief sich auf hunderttausende Dollar.

Das Interesse der CIA an Khashoggi und Moss war nicht nur auf das Geld beschränkt, das den beiden zugänglich war. In den 1970er Jahren wurde Moss Vorsitzender des Elite-Sarafi Clubs in Kenya, zu dem er Khashoggi als Mehrheitseigentümer einlud. Und wie der frühere saudische Geheimdienstchef Prinz Turki bin Faisal einmal öffentlich preisgab, trafen sich die Geheimdienstleiter mehrerer Länder (Frankreich, Ägypten, Saudi Arabien, Marokko und Iran unter dem Schah) regelmäßig im Safari Club, um geheime Operationen abzuwickeln, die die CIA als Folge des Watergate-Skandals nicht mehr ausführen konnte.

CIA-Funktionäre wie Miles Copeland und James Critchfield gehörten bald zu Khashoggis Milieu. Sie berieten Khashoggi bei diplomatischen Unternehmungen, wie z.B. ein beabsichtigter Mideast Peace Fund, der sowohl Israel als auch Palästina entlohnen sollte, wenn sie sich gegenseitig anerkennen. Khashoggi war in der Lage mit den Israelis zu verhandeln; er soll den Israelis durch den früheren Waffenschmuggler Hank Greenspun, dem politisch einflussreichen Herausgeber der Las Vegas Sun, vorgestellt worden sein.

Im Grunde repräsentierte Khashoggi die Gruppr der Nachkriegsemigranten mit gewaltigem Vermögen und die Macht, die sich hieraus ableitete. Er diente als „Mittelsmann“ oder Repräsentant in einer Anzahl von Operationen, die für jene, die er repräsentierte, verboten waren. Lockheed, um ein Beispiel zu nennen, fehlte bemerkenswerterweise auf der Liste von Militärunternehmen, die 1972 illegalerweise Geld für Nixons Wahlkampagne gespendet haben. Aber es existierte kein Gesetz, das ihrem offiziellen Repräsentanten Khashoggi untersagte, 200 Millionen Dollar durch die Bank von Nixons Freund Bebe Rebozo zu schleusen.

All dies deutet an, dass das CIA-Interesse an Moss – sowie später an Khashoggi, Wallace Groves, an Operation . . . [Text geschwärzt] und an Eddie Cellinis Arbeitgeber bei Resorts International – etwas mit der unregelmäßigen Finanzierung für undokumentierte Geheimoperationen zu tun hatte. Und falls solche Gelder geflossen sind, dann liegt es nahe, dass der Mann, der hierfür herangezogen wurde, Paul Helliwell war; also der Mann, über den das Wall Street Journal schrieb, dass er zwischen 1964 und 1975 an der Finanzierung einer Reihe von geheimen Streifzügen in Kuba „’stark beteiligt‘ gewesen ist“.

Helliwell, Castle Bank, Bruce Rappaport und BCCI

Dieser schnelle Abriss zu Helliwells Banken zeigt, dass Helliwell für die Verbindung zwischen der Geheimdienstwelt, dem organisierten Verbrechen, dem globalen Drogenhandel, politischer Einflussnahme, spekulativen Investitionen (oftmals in Hotelcasinos) und Figuren des legalen öffentlichen Lebens eine zentrale Rolle spielte. Aber diese Verbindung wurde nicht von Helliwell selber eingefädelt; es existierten andere mächtige Leute im Hintergrund, von denen manche diese Verbindung selbst nach Helliwells Tod 1976 aufrecht erhielten (gerade zu dem Zeitpunkt, als Magazine wie Newsweek anfingen, sich für Castle Bank zu interessieren).

Einer der wichtigsten dieser Hintermänner mag der frühere OSS-Chef William Donovan gewesen sein (über den wir noch mehr hören werden). Laut Pete Brewton machte,

einer der Anwälte in dem „Einer flog über Kuckucksnest“-Fall die Aussage, dass Kanter und Helliwell einander durch General William J. „Wild Bill“ Donovan, dem bekannten Leiter der OSS während des Zweiten Weltkriegs und durch Helliwells OSS-Chef, vorgestellt wurde. Kanter wies dies zurück. „Ich habe Bill Donovan nie persönlich getroffen. Es mag sein, dass ich einmal mit ihm telefoniert habe, weil Paul Helliwell mich darum gebeten hat“.

Eine weitere, unmittelbar involvierte, Person der OSS war Helliwells Partner in der Florida Bankholding-Gesellschaft (mit Namen HMT und später Florida Share), zu der die Bank of Perrine und die Bank of Cutler Ridge gehörten. Der Partner war

E.P. Barry, der während des Zweiten Weltkriegs als amerikanischer Geheimdienstfunktionär des Militärs im Office of Strategic Services (OSS) gewesen war. Bei Ende des Kriegs war er zum Kopf der amerikanischen Gegenspionage (X-2) in Wien aufgestiegen . . . . Barry . . . war laut eines Castle Bank-Funktionärs ein langjähriger Gefährte von [CIA-Direktor] William Casey.

Barry war gleichzeitig Hauptanteilseigner von Florida Shares und von der Inter Maritime Bank von Bruce Rappaport, einem engen Freund und Geschäftspartner von William Casey. Rappaport, ein Unternehmer und Makler der Ölbranche „mit vermuteten Kontakten zum amerikanischen und israelischen Geheimdienst“, hatte zahlreiche Verbindungen zur weltgrößten Geheimdienst-Drogen-„Waschküche“ – der Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). Die Reederei-Familie Gokal aus Pakistan, führende BCCI-Investoren, die später zum BCCI-Bankrott beitrugen, war des Weiteren zusammen mit Rappaport und Barry Anteilseigner der Inter Maritime Bank. Alfred Hartmann, ein Vorstandsmitglied von BCCI, war sowohl stellvertretender Vorsitzender von Rappaports Schweizer Bank, der Bank of New York-Intermaritime, als auch Leiter der Schweizer Tochterbank, der Banque de Commerce et de Placements (BCP).

Und laut Block und Weaver „bearbeitete Rappaport die National Bank of Oman (ein BCCI/Bank of America-Jointventure) und trug dazu bei, dass Millionenbeträge aus CIA und Saudi-Geldern nach Pakistan zu den afghanischen Rebellen während des Kriegs mit den Sowjets in den 1980er Jahren gelangten“. Rappaports Schlüsselmann in Oman war Jerry Townsend, angeblich ein früherer CIA-Agent, der jetzt Colonial Shipping Co. in Atlanta leitete. Von dort kannte er den BCCI-Mitarbeiter Bert Lance.

BCCI und ein israelischer Geheimdienstagent waren außerdem involviert in Medellin Waffenverkäufe, durch eine „Melonenplantage“ in Antigua, die teilweise von William Caseys Freund Bruce Rappaport mitfinanziert wurde.

Bruce Rappaport . . . gehörte das Stück Land, auf dem Maurice Sarfati, ein früherer israelischer Geheimdienstfunktionär, seine Melonenplantage errichtete. Und einer von Rappaports Banken in Antigua gab Sarfati einen großen Kredit – der niemals zurückgezahlt wurde. Sarfati (der auch einem von der OPIC, der amerikanischen Versicherungsgesellschaft der Regierung, garantierten Kredit aus dem Weg ging) nahm diesen Kredit. Zuerst pflegte er damit die Freundschaft zu Regierungsangehörigen und dann ebnete er damit den Weg zu ihren Büros für seinen Landsmann Yair Klein.

Klein arbeitete in Kolumbien, wo seine in Israel lizensierte „Sicherheitsfirma“, Spearhead Ltd., die die Killerkommandos des Medellin Kokainkartells in Ermordungs- und Sprengtechniken ausbildete, anfing, unliebsames Interesse zu erregen . . . . 1988 war Klein in Antigua, wo er nach einem neuen Weg für die Waffenlieferung an seinen Medellin Klienten, Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha suchte.

Rappaports offensichtliche Verbindungen zum Mossad werfen die Frage auf, ob Helliwells Verbindungen zu Lanskys Bank of World Commerce und Tibor Rosenbaum nicht auch eine Verbindung zum Mossad waren. Dieselbe Frage wird von Helliwells Prozessvertretung von der Eastern Development Company aufgeworfen (laut des Martindale-Hubbell Rechtsregisters): denn eine Firma dieses Namens kooperierte mit Lansky, Hank Greenspun und anderen für Waffenlieferungen an den in der Entstehung begriffenen Staat Israel.

Es ist klar, dass Juden, wie viele anderen Minderheiten, ein Bestandteil des weltweiten Drogennetzwerks waren. Darüber hinaus formten sie einen wichtigen Teil in der finanziellen Infrastruktur dieses Netzwerks – aber selbst auf dieser Ebene arbeiteten sie nicht allein. Das globale Drogennetzwerk verband jüdische Banken in Florida und der Schweiz mit Banken unterschiedlicher Chinesen in Südostasien und Hong Kong, den Muslimen der Bank Intra und späteren BCCI im Nahen Osten. Dazu kamen noch italienische Banken, wie jene von Michele Sindona und Roberto Calvi, beides Mitglieder der mit dem Geheimdienst verbundenen Masonic Lodge P-2 und beide ermordet, nachdem ihre Banken durch Mafia-Verwicklungen gescheitert waren. Mein Eindruck ist, dass keine dieser ethnischen Minderheiten jemals die Dominanz solcher Mainstream-Leute wie Donovan und Helliwell übertreffen konnten.

(Als ein Mensch, der sehr stark für Gewaltverzicht eintritt, muss ich einräumen, dass die Gewalt der ethnischen Gruppen im weltweiten Drogennetzwerk seinen Ursprung in entschädigender Gewalt gegen ein System nahm, das vor allem von europäischen und amerikanischen Interessen dominiert wird.)

Einer dieser Mainstream-Leute war der mysteriöse E.P. Barry, ein Investor von Helliwell und Rappaport. Eines der wenigen Dinge, die über Barry bekannt sind, ist, dass er während des Zweiten Weltkriegs bei der OSS war und dass er gegen Ende des Kriegs von Donovan zum Leiter der OSS Spionageabwehr (X-2) in Wien ernannt wurde.

OSS-X-2, oder Spionageabwehr, war der geheimnisvollste und geheimste Zweig der OSS und derjenige, dessen präzise Mission es war, den Deutschen Sicherheitsdienst [SD] zu durchdringen. Gemäß eines OSS-Berichts aus dem Jahr 1946 „war eine ebenso interessante X-2-Aktivität die Untersuchung der Finanzgeschäfte des Reichssicherheitshauptamts. Im Verlauf dieser Untersuchungen, schickte die amerikanische Dritte Armee einen Major des Sicherheitsdienstes auf „mehrere Trips nach Italien und Österreich und, als Ergebnis dieser Vor-Treffen wurden mehr als 500 000 Dollar in Gold und dazu noch Juwelen gerettet.“ Einiges von diesem Nazi-Gold, das unter Barrys Aufsicht beschafft wurde, wurde danach genutzt, um amerikanische Geheimdienstoperationen in Deutschland in den unmittelbaren Nachkriegsjahren zu finanzieren.

Barry steht, mit seinem faszinierenden Hintergrund, für die Kontinuität zwischen dem Helliwell Geheimdienst-Drogen-Netzwerk, das bis 1972 florierte (dem Jahr, in dem die amerikanische Bundessteuerbehörde mit ihrer Operation Tradewinds anfing, die Bank of Perrine zu untersuchen) und dem BCCI Geheimdienst-Drogen-Netzwerk, das nach 1972 florierte (also das Jahr, in dem BCCI gegründet wurde).

Wie schon Khashoggi vorher, hatte die BCCI die Möglichkeit, sowohl arabisch-israelisch-chinesische Waffengeschäfte als auch Kontakte zu westlichen Geheimdiensten und Politikern zu vermitteln. In der Tat scheint die Bank einen Großteil von Khashoggis Funktion als Einflussnehmer im Nahen Osten und anderswo übernommen zu haben, nachdem die Vereinigten Staaten mit dem Corrupt Federal Practices Act von 1978 alle direkten Zahlungen von amerikanischen Unternehmen an ausländische Einzelpersonen verboten hatten. Die BCCI erbte auch – und erweiterte – Khashoggis Praxis der Geldverwendung, um amerikanische Politiker zu beeinflussen und zu korrumpieren. BCCIs pakistanischer Präsident Agha Hasan Abedi rettete Jimmy Carters Finanzminister Bert Lance vor dem Bankrott und konnte dadurch auch eine Beziehung zu Carter selbst entwickeln.

Ein Senatsbericht zur BCCI fasste zusammen, dass

die BCCI systematisch auf Beziehungen zu, und falls notwendig auch Zahlungen an, prominente Politiker in fast allen der 73 Länder, in denen die BCCI agierte, beruhte. . . . Das Resultat waren Beziehungen, die die BCCI zu Funktionären aus Ländern auf der ganzen Welt unterhielt, welche von fragwürdig, über unzulässig bis hin zu völlig korrupt reichten. Dazu gehörten Länder wie Argentinien, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brasilien, Kamerun, China, Kolumbien, Kongo, Ghana, Guatemala, Elfenbeinküste, Indien, Jamaika, Kuwait, Libanon, Mauritius, Marokko, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Saudi-Arabien, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Tunesien, Vereinigte Arabische Emirate, USA, Sambia und Simbabwe.

Und durch zwei sehr gut recherchierte Bücher, herausgegeben von Journalisten des Time Magazins und des Wall Street Journal, konnten wir erfahren, dass unter den später einflussreichen Empfängern dieser Freigiebigkeiten der BCCI, ihren Eigentümern und ihren Zweigfirmen auch James Baker war, Ronald Reagans Finanzminister, der sich weigerte, gegen die BCCI zu ermitteln. Außerdem profitierten die Senatoren Joseph Biden (Demokrat) und Orrin Hatch (Republikaner) von der Großzügigkeit der BCCI, beides hochrangige Mitglieder des Senats-Rechtsausschusses, der sich ebensfalls weigerte, gegen die BCCI zu ermitteln.

Die CIA, BCCI und die „lange Tradition der zwielichtigen Banken“

Aber Barry ist nicht die einzige Verbindung zwischen den Drogenbanken von Helliwell und der BCCI. Eine zentralere Gestalt ist General George Olmsted, Leiter der Washington Bankholdinggesellschaft, die unter dem Namen International Bank bekannt war. Im März 1976 wies Olmsted die International Bank (die „den Ruf einer CIA-Bank hatte“) an, 66 Prozent des Aktienkapitals der scheiternden Mercantile Bank auf den Bahamas (Castles Vorgängerbank) aufzukaufen, obwohl „die Leute von International Kenntnis von Mercantiles kränkelndem finanziellen Zustand hatten“. Ab 1977 fing International an, seine Aktien in Financial General Bankaktien (später bekannt als First American) zu verkaufen, eine bedeutende amerikanische Bankholdinggesellschaft, für BCCI Strohmänner, die später für die BCCI First American übernahmen.

Die verbreitetste Erklärung ist, dass die CIA die Bank nicht nur benutzte, sondern auch dabei half, sie aufzubauen. Die Journalisten Peter Truell und Larry Gurwin, die Autoren des ultimativen Buchs über die BCCI, vermuteten, dass die Verbindung der CIA zu dem Gründer von BCCI, Agha Hasan Abedi, womöglich schon auf die Zeit vor BCCIs Gründung im Jahr 1972 zurückgeht. Sie stellten auch fest, dass die BCCI nur der letzte Fall in einer sich überlappenden Serie von Geldwäsche-Banken war, die der CIA Dienste erwiesen hatten – Deak & Company, Castle Bank & Trust und Nugan Hand.

Das weltweite Netzwerk und das Rauschgift

Eine dieser miteinander verflochtenen Banken, die World Finance Corporation in Florida, wurde zur Zielscheibe der „wahrscheinlich größten Rauschgiftermittlung des Jahrzehnts“. Aber die Untersuchung, „in der eine große Anzahl von Bundesbeamten und Beamten der einzelnen Bundesstaaten beteiligt waren, musste nach einem Jahr verworfen werden, weil die CIA sich beim Justizministerium beschwerte, dass ein Dutzend hochrangiger Krimineller für sie ‚von Interesse‘ sind“.

Eine weitere Bank mit Drogenverwicklungen war die australische Nugan Hand Bank, die sich 1976 für die Wirtschaftsprüfung das Unternehmen Price Waterhouse auf den Bahamas auswählte, also in dem Jahr, als sowohl Castle als auch Mercantile zusammenbrachen. Nach ihrem spektakulären Zusammenbruch im Jahr 1980 folgerten australische Ermittler, dass Nugan Hand in der Finanzierung von bedeutenden Drogengeschäften involviert gewesen sein und auch Profite gewaschen haben muss: zwei offizielle Ermittlungen „sahen Nugan Hand in der entscheidenden Position, durch die Drogeneinkünfte heimlich ins Ausland geschafft wurden, wo sie offensichtlich wieder in illegale Drogen investiert werden konnten“.

Bei Nugan Hand sammelte sich eine eindrucksvolle Zahl an früheren CIA-Mitarbeitern, darunter der „mysteriöse Strippenzieher“ Bernie Houghton, der in den 1950er Jahren Helliwells Position in Bangkok übernommen haben soll, und der frühere CIA-Direktor William Colby. Von besonderem Interesse ist die Verbindung von Nugan Hand und Thomas Clines, einem CIA-Funktionär in Laos unter Theodore Shackley, der später kündigte, um im ausgegliederten Geheimdienstnetzwerk von Edwin Wilson tätig zu werden. Als die Nugan Bank 1980 auf spektakuläre Weise zusammenbrach (mit dem Selbstmord oder Mord von Frank Nugan), war es Thomas Clines, der dabei half, Houghton still und leise aus Australien verschwinden zu lassen. Die beiden Männer beteiligten sich daraufhin, zusammen mit Edwin Wilson, Theodore Shackley und BCCI, an undokumentierten Operationen gegen die Sowjets in Afghanistan, wobei sie nicht für die CIA, sondern für den Safari Club arbeiten.

Die CIA in Chiang Mai hatte zu der Zeit, als das Hauptgeschäft der Stadt der Opiumhandel war, auf derselben Etage ihre Zweigstelle wie die örtliche Dienststelle von DEA. Laut Jonathan Kwitny, „nahm die Rezeption von DEA die Anrufe und Nachrichten für Nugan Hand entgegen, wenn die Bankvertreter nicht im Hause waren“. Der Nugan Hand Vertreter in Chiang Mai, Neil Evans

sagte aus, dass er zugegen war, als Michael Hand und Ron Pulger-Frame – der frühere Deak & Company Kurier, der dann bei Nugan Hand anheuerte – über die Sendung von CIA-Geldern in den Nahen Osten, Saudi-Arabien und Panama verhandelten. Evans erklärte, dass Nugan Hand zu einem Zeitpunkt 50 bis 60 Millionen Dollar für die CIA bewegte, und dass Nugan darüber hinaus in Waffengeschäfte mit der Dritten Welt verwickelt war.

Des Weiteren erzählte er dem australischen Fernsehen, dass die Millionenbeträge, für die er zuständig war, aus dem „Drogenverkehr der Region angesammelt wurden. Die Bank, so Evans schonungslose Aussage, war eine ‚Wäscherei‘ für Meo [Hmong] Stammesmänner und andere Mohnanbauer“.

In meinem Buch The Road to 9/11 beschreibe ich, wie Caseys Vertrauen zur BCCI mit Bezug auf die amerikanischen Unterstützung der gegen die Russen kämpfenden afghanischen Mujahedin dazu führte, dass die Splittergruppe von Gulbuddin Hekmatyar die meiste Hilfe erhielt. Heymatyar war der führende Drogenhändler in Afghanistan, der bald (dank der Hilfe aus den USA und Pakistan) wahrscheinlich zum führenden Heroinhändler der Welt wurde.

Dieses Muster eines Drogennetzwerks wiederholte sich in den 1990er Jahren, nachdem sich die UdSSR aus Afghanistan zurückgezogen hatte und die BCCI kurz danach zusammengebrochen war. In Aserbaidschan (unter dem Deckmantel einer Ölfirma) gründeten Veteranen von CIA-Operationen, die ehemals von Shackley und Clines in Laos geleitet wurden, wie z.B. Richard Secord, Heinie Aderholt und Ed Dearborn, eine Fluglinie auf der Grundlage des Air America-Modells. Diese Fluglinie war schon bald dabei „hunderte von Mujahedin-Söldnern aus Afghanistan abzuholen“. Die arabisch-afghanischen Azeri-Operationen wurde auch mit Geld aus dem afghanischen Heroinhandel finanziert.

Loretta Napoleoni hat dargelegt, dass es eine islamistische Drogenroute von Verbündeten von Al Qaida gibt, die sich quer über Nord- und Mittelasien erstreckt, von Tadschikistan und Usbekistan durch Aserbaidschan und Tschetschenien bis nach Kosovo. Dies führt uns zu der paradoxen Tatsache, dass Clinton 1998 in die Lage geriet, die von al Qaida gedeckte Befreiungsarmee des Kosovo (UÇK) zu unterstützen. Er verfolgte dies, obwohl „das amerikanische Außenministerium die UÇK ab 1998 . . . als eine internationale terroristische Organisation listete. Das Außenministerium stellte fest, dass die UÇK ihre Operationen mit Einnahmen aus dem internationalen Heroinhandel und mit Krediten von bekannten Terroristen wie Osama bin Laden finanziert hatte“.

Schließlich soll, wenn man der früheren FBI-Übersetzerin Sibel Edmonds Glauben schenken kann, der gleiche Heroinfluss auch die Korruption des Kongresses unter George W. Bush finanziert haben. Edmonds wurde 2002 vom FBI gefeuert, nachdem sie einem Kollegen vorgeworfen hatte, eine Gefahr für die Sicherheit zu sein. Seitdem kämpft sie gegen ihre Entlassung in einem „Whistleblower“-Verfahren, das die Regierung mit einer Sperre belegt hat und sich dabei auf das Staatsgeheimnis-Privileg beruft. Es wurde ihr weiterhin verboten, in der Öffentlichkeit über ihren Fall zu sprechen.

Laut Daniel Ellsberg geht es Edmonds um die al Qaida-Verbindung, die auch von Napoleoni beschrieben wurde:

Sie legte dem Kongress dar, dass al Qaida, laut dieser Interviews, zu 95 Prozent durch Geld aus dem Drogenhandel finanziert wird – Drogenhandel, bei dem die amerikanische Regierung ein Auge zudrückt und den sie wissentlich ignoriert, weil er in starkem Maße mit unseren Verbündeten und unseren Vorteilen verknüpft ist, also mit Länder wie der Türkei, Kirgisistan, Tadschikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan – alle „Stans“.

Es ist ein Drogenhandel, für den das Opium aus Afghanistan stammt, in der Türkei aufbereitet wird und nach Europa geliefert wird, wo es 96 Prozent von Europas Heroinbedarf deckt, durch Albaner, entweder in Albanien oder Kosovo – albanische Muslime in Kosovo – also im Grunde die UÇK, die Befreiungsarmee des Kosovo, die wir zu dieser Zeit gegen Ende des Jahrhunderts stark unterstützten . . . Sibel sagt, dass dem Sprecher des Repräsentantenhauses, Dennis Hastert, Koffer mit Bargeld direkt in sein Haus in Chicago geliefert wurden, so türkische Quellen, mit dem Wissen, dass viel von diesem Geld aus dem Drogenhandel stammt.

2005 wurden die Anschuldigungen von Sibel Edmonds teilweise in Vanity Fair dargelegt. Dort wurde aufgedeckt, dass sie Zugang zu von FBI-Wanzen aufgezeichneten Gesprächen zwischen Mitgliedern des American-Turkish Council (ATC) hatte, in denen es um die Bestechung von gewählten amerikanischen Beamten ging. Außerdem soll es um Aussagen, „die sich nach Hinweisen auf groß angelegte Drogenlieferungen und andere Verbrechen anhörten“ gegangen sein.

Fazit: Eine fortwährende Serie von drogenbezogenen Tiefenereignissen

Mafias und Herrschaftsimperien haben bestimmte Grundsätze gemein. Beide können als systematische gewaltsame Herrschafts-Auferlegung in Gebieten mit wenig Staatsführung verstanden werden. Beide gebrauchen Gewalt, um ihre Ziele zu erreichen; aber beide werden oftmals insoweit toleriert, dass das Ergebnis ihrer kontrollierten Gewalt eine Minderung der unkontrollierten Gewalt darstellt. (Ich möchte einen zaghaften Vorschlag für einen wesentlichen Unterschied zwischen Mafias und Herschaftsimperien machen: nämlich den, dass Mafias mit der Zeit immer mehr mit der Zivilgesellschaft, deren Regeln sie ehemals missachteten, verwachsen, während Herrschaftsimperien dazu neigen, immer mehr mit der Gesellschaft, die sie ehemals kontrollierten, in unüberbrückbaren Konflikt zu treten.)

In diesem Buch haben wir eine Überlagerung der Infrastrukturen von amerikanischer Mafia und dem indirekten amerikanischen Herrschaftsimperium kennengelernt. Und in diesem Kapitel habe ich versucht, das Epizentrum dieser Überlagerung in einem Milieu zu beschreiben, das sich an seinen äußeren Grenzen zu einem globalen Nexus vergrößert, welchen ich als das weltweite Drogennetzwerk bezeichnet habe. Dieses Netzwerk hat enge Verbindungen zur amerikanischen Unterwelt, aber auch zur amerikanischen „Oberwelt“. Dieser Nexus verbindet den amerikanischen Geheimdienst mit den Geheimdiensten vieler anderer Länder, darunter Taiwan, Israel, Italien und Chile. Er betreut zudem die finanziellen Zuwendungen an führende Politiker vieler Länder, inklusive beider Parteien in den Vereinigten Staaten.

Alle wesentlichen Tiefenereignisse der jüngsten amerikanischen Geschichte und alle wesentlichen Ausweitungen indirekter amerikanischer Herrschaft seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg können mit diesem weltweiten Drogennetzwerk in Verbindung gebracht werden:

— Der erste Fall amerikanischer Präsenz in Ostasien wurde in Verbindung mit der von Drogengeld finanzierten KMT in Taiwan errichtet.

— Die amerikanische Präsenz in Südostasien begann mit der Unterstützung der KMT-Drogenhändler durch Sea Supply in Ost-Burma und erweiterte sich dann Mitte der 1950er Jahre mit der drogenfinanzierte PARU-Macht in Laos, während die CIA Saigon sicherte, indem sie dort den Drogenabsatz kontrollierte.

— Die verwickelte Finanzgesellschaft, gegründet von OSS-Veteran Nicholas Deak, „wurde angeblich von der CIA genutzt, um Geheimoperationen zu finanzieren, darunter auch der Sturz des demokratisch gewählten iranischen Premierministers Mohammed Mossadeq 1953.

— Der Sturz des demokratisch gewählten guatemaltekischen Präsidenten Jacobo Arbenz wurde teilweise mit der Unterstützung des nicaraguanischen Diktators Anastasio Somoza erreicht, einer Hauptfigur in Lanskys Waffenpipeline nach Israel in den 1940er Jahren, dessen Guardia Nacional hiernach tief mit dem karibischen Drogenhandel verbunden war.

— Das Einsetzen von CIA-Geheimtruppen in Laos im Jahre 1960, die letzten Endes zu einer drogenfinanzierten irregulären Armee mit tausenden Personen anwuchs, wurde durch eine Kraft erreicht, die aus der Sea Supply Operation in Thailand hervor gegangen war. Der Privatkrieg der CIA in Laos, den Präsident Kennedy vergeblich einzudämmen versuchte, war der tatsächliche Beginn des amerikanischen Kriegs in Vietnam.

— Angletons „alternative CIA“, CI/SIG, manipulierte und fälschte ihre „Geheimdienstinformation“ über Lee Harvey Oswald auf solch eine Weise, dass er zum Verdächtigen für das Attentat auf John F. Kennedy in Frage kommen würde.

— Der Sturz des demokratisch gewählten indonesischen Präsidenten Sukarno im Jahr 1965 wurde zum einen mit geheimer Unterstützung durch Bestechungsgelder der Lockheed Corporation erreicht, zum anderen mit der Intervention von Sasakawa Ryoichi, einem CIA-Agenten von Einfluss, und seinem Freund Kodama Yoshio, einem Mitglied der Yakuza in Japan. Sasakawa und Kodama waren außerdem die Empfänger von Lockheed Bestechungsgeldern, die durch Deak & Company ermöglicht wurden. Sie erschienen auch teilweise auf der Bühne von Shig Katayama, dessen ID Corp. auf den Cayman Inseln mysteriöse Geschäfte mit Helliwells Castle Bank machte.

— Die BCCI stellte die ursprüngliche Infrastruktur für die CIA-Intervention in Afghanistan im Jahr 1979 und der darauf folgenden Allianz mit dem Hauptdrogenhändler Gulbeddin Hekmatyar zur Verfügung. Pakistans Präsident Zia ermöglichte Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carters Nationalen Sicherheitsberater, die Zusammenarbeit mit Generalleutnant Fazle Haq; obwohl ein BCCI-Informant den amerikanischen Behörden erzählte, dass Fazle Haq „stark mit dem Rauschgifthandel in Verbindung steht und das Heroingeld durch die Bank [BCCI] schleusen“ würde.

— 1970 wurde ein CIA-Beamter mit dem Pseudonym Henry J. Sloman, der zudem ein „risikoreicher Schmuggler mit direkten Verbindungen zur Mafia“ war, nach Chile entsandt, wo er bei den Attentatsplanungen zur Ermordung von General René Schneider, dem Oberbefehlshaber des chilenischen Militärs, mitmischte.

— Im September 1976 wurde Orlando Letelier in Washington von einer Gruppe ermordet, der auch exilkubanische Drogenhändler angehörten, die wiederum für den drogenfinanzierten chilenischen Geheimdienst DINA arbeiteten. Obwohl die US-Regierung bereits von DINAs Operation CONDOR für diese Morde im Ausland in Kenntnis gesetzt worden war, entschied sich CIA-Direktor Bush dafür, öffentlich den Verdacht von der DINA abzulenken.

— Laut Robert Parry arrangierte Safari Club-Mitglied Alexandre de Marenches im Juli und Oktober 1980 ein Treffen zwischen William Casey (wie de Marenches auch ein Malteserritter) und iranischen bzw. israelischen Vertretern in Paris, wo Casey Iran erforderliche Waffenlieferungen im Tausch gegen ein Herauszögern der Freilassung der amerikanischen Geiseln in Iran versprach. (Dies war die so genannte republikanische „October Counter-surprise“. Parry vermutet, dass die BCCI sowohl bei der Finanzierung der Bestechungsgelder für den geheimen Deal, als auch für die darauf folgenden Lieferungen israelischer Waffen nach Iran beteiligt war.

— 1981 versuchte Mehmet Ali Agça, ein Mitglied der mit Drogen handelnden türkischen Grauen Wölfe, Papst Johannes Paul II. zu ermorden. Le Monde diplomatique berichtete später, dass der Attentatsversuch von Abdullah Çatli auf Gesuch des türkischen Mafiachefs Bekir Celenk organisiert wurde. Çatli, auch Mitglied der Grauen Wölfe, fungierte als Leiter von Todeskommandos für den türkischen Geheimdienst. Le Monde diplomatique fügte hinzu, dass Çatli ein Jahr später zusammen mit dem berüchtigten Killer der Operation CONDOR, Stefano delle Chiaie, nach Miami kam.

— Shackley, Khashoggi und die BCCI wirkten bei der Gründung des illegalen Iran-Contra-Netzwerks von 1985/86 mit, das Gelder von Waffengeschäften mit Iran auf die Seite schaffte, um die Contras in Honduras und Costa Rica zu unterstützen.
— Während der Plünderung Russlands zur Zeit der Jelzin-Ära in den 1990er Jahren wurden Gelder durch Rappaports Inter Maritime Bank an die Bank of New York geleitet, an der Rappaport auch grundlegend, wenn nicht sogar kontrollierend, beteiligt war.

— 1991 gründete Shackleys Kollege Richard Secord eine Fluggesellschaft in Aserbaidschan, die hunderte Mujahedin aus Afghanistan, rekrutiert durch Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, einflog.

— 1998 führte der amerikanische Rückhalt für die UÇK, eine von al Qaida unterstützte und teilweise durch Drogen finanzierte Gruppe, zu Enthüllungen, die besagten, dass einer der UÇK-Führer seit mehreren Jahren schon gute Beziehungen zur privaten Militärfirma MPRI unterhielt. (Erst 1997 war die UÇK von den Vereinigten Staaten als terroristische Gruppe mit Unterstützung des Heroinhandels eingestuft worden.)

(Diese Liste könnte unendlich lange weiter geführt werden. Zum Beispiel kann die Wandlung Australiens zu einem verlässlichen amerikanischen Bündnispartner auf das Jahr 1975 und den Sturz des demokratisch gewählten Labor Premierministers Gough Whitlam zurückdatiert werden; ein Ereignis, in dem Penny Lernoux und andere die versteckte Beteiligung der Nugan Hand Bank gesehen haben.)

Diese starke Kontinuität, die der amerikanischen Ausdehnung seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg zu Grunde liegt, hilft dabei, das verblüffende Phänomen glaubhaft zu machen, das in unserem letzten Kapitel beschrieben wurde – nämlich, dass es bei solchen Tiefenereignissen wie der Ermordung Kennedys und dem 11. September 2001 eine Verbindung gibt bzw. dass sie nicht das Ergebnis von Kräften sind, die die USA von außen angegriffen haben. Vielmehr, zumindest teilweise, stammen diese Ereignisse aus einem tiefen Netzwerk, wie es in diesem Kapitel beschrieben wurde, und werden daraus ins öffentliche Bewusstsein befördert. Es ist dies ein zeitlich stabiles Netzwerk, das aber so gut wie unbeachtet ist.

Fazit II: Die zunehmende Bedrohung stabiler Demokratien

Aber wenn man diese Liste an geheimen Interventionen und Tiefenereignissen synoptisch betrachtet, erkennt man ein Muster von zunehmenden Abweichungen von den Grundsätzen des öffentlichen Staates. Mit Hilfe des weltweiten Netzwerks wurden mit den CIA-Interventionen in Iran (1953) und Guatemala (1954) Operationen unterstützt, die vorher vom Nationalen Sicherheitsrat (und davor vom Rat für auswärtige Beziehungen) sanktioniert worden waren.

Aber die drogenfinanzierte Evolution einer von der CIA ausgebildeten thailändischen Truppe zu einer offensiven Streitmacht, die in Laos einmarschieren konnte, war eine Operation, die explizit nicht vom Nationalen Sicherheitsrat autorisiert worden war. Wie Daniel Fineman feststellte, wurde

im September [1953] der NSC [Nationalen Sicherheitsrat] durch die Präferenz der JCS [Joint Chiefs of Staff] für direkte Unterstützung der französischen Streitkräfte dazu gezwungen, nur die Durchführung von Phase eins zu autorisieren [„die Stärkung von Thailands Willen und Widerstandsfähigkeit“]. Damit wurde die Ausführung der Vorkehrungen von Phase zwei auf unbestimmte Zeit verschoben, in der der psychologische Krieg in benachbarte Länder getragen werden sollte.

Und die Fälschung von Oswalds Akte durch Angletons CI/SIG, selbst wenn sie ursprünglich als ein berechtigtes Instrument bei der Suche nach einem angeblichen Maulwurf innerhalb der CIA autorisiert worden sein mag, ermöglichte am Ende die erfolgreiche Ermordung von John F. Kennedy und der darauf folgenden Vertuschung. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt war das weltweite Netzwerk nicht mehr nur eine Kraft, die zur Unterstützung des öffentlichen amerikanischen Staates handelte; es hatte Beziehungen hergestellt mit Kräften, die den öffentlichen Staat angreifen.

Dieses Muster der zunehmenden Abweichung können wir nutzen, um unsere Auffassung vom amerikanischen Tiefenstaat („deep state“) weiter zu entwickeln. Zunächst kann der Tiefenstaat mit dem Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) in Verbindung gebracht werden, also der (zu der Zeit verborgenen) Schöpfung des Nationalen Sicherheitsrats, die die ursprüngliche Helliwell-CIA-Mafia-Verbindung ermöglichte. Mit der Aufnahme der OPC in die CIA 1953 verlor der amerikanische Tiefenstaat für viele Jahre die relativ kohärente und disziplinierte Konzentration von Autorität, die man in Tiefenstaaten wie der Türkei oder Italien oder Kolumbien, oder zu bestimmten Zeitpunkten in Chile und Argentinien, erkennen kann. In dieser Phase war der amerikanische Tiefenstaat durch die Drogenwirtschaft vereint, aber nicht durch viel mehr. Seine nebulöse Verbindung zur legitimen Macht schrumpfte auf Angletons „alternative CIA“ zurück, und selbst diese fand ein Ende, als Angleton im Dezember 1974 gefeuert wurde.

Aber laut Aussage von Josepf Trento wurde die Verbindung indirekt wieder hergestellt durch eine „Schatten-CIA“, die für den Safari Club und den saudischen Geheimdienst arbeitete; spätestens in den 1980er Jahren arbeitete diese Schatten-CIA „nicht mehr nur für die Israelis, sondern engagierte sich auch in geheimen Operationen von Mittelamerika bis Iran“. Es gilt als sicher, dass mit Caseys Segen – der seine eigenen direkten Kontakte zu Rappaport, der BCCI und dem globalen Drogennetzwerk hatte – Shackley, Khashoggi und ihre Kontakte am Ende zur Iran-Contra-Affäre geführt haben. Mindestens ein Mitglied von Shackleys Gruppe, Richard Secord, gründete dann eine Fluggesellschaft, die islamistische Mujahedin nach Afghanistan brachte. Ein anderer, Neocon Michael Ledeen, wirkte nicht nur bei Iran-Contra mit. Mit Donald Rumsfeld und Dick Cheney zusammen trug er zur Gründung des Project for the New American Century (PNAC) bei.

In der Tat kann William Caseys Entscheidung, mit dem weltweiten Netzwerk, und speziell mit der BCCI und Theodore Shackleys Kontakten der Iran-Contra-Affäre, zusammen zu arbeiten, nicht vollständig verstanden werden, wenn man sich allein auf die Entstehungsgeschichte des weltweiten Drogennetzwerks konzentriert. Caseys Handlungen müssen in dem Kontext gesehen werden, den Irving Kristol als „intellektuelle Gegenrevolution“ der 1970er Jahre bezeichnete, also die erfolgreiche Umstoßung von Kissingers und Carters Vorstößen für eine Détente mit der Sowjetunion und von den post-Watergate Reformen, die von Senator Frank Church und anderen eingebracht wurden. Wie ich an anderer Stelle beschrieben habe, war einer der Schlüsselmomente das so genannte Halloween-Massaker von 1975, in dem unter anderem Angletons Nemesis William Colby gefeuert, Rumsfeld zum Verteidigungsminister ernannt und Kissingers lange Amtszeit als Nationaler Sicherheitsberater beendet wurde.

1976 hatte dann die intellektuelle Gegenrevolution eine neue Anti-Kissinger Koalition konsolidiert, die aus a) Cheney und Rumsfeld innerhalb der Ford-Administration, b) dem Committee on the Present Danger als Lobby für einen erheblich erhöhten Verteidigungsetat und c) Neokonservativen wie Richard Perle und Paul Wolfowitz bestand. Perles und Wolfowitz‘ Ziel war es, gegen Kissingers SALT-Abkommen anzugehen und (mit Hilfe des neuen CIA-Direktors George H.W. Bush) die Einschätzung der CIA zur sowjetischen Bedrohung radikal zu übertreiben. Casey spielte eine bedeutende Rolle in dieser anti-sowjetischen Koalition und trat 1976 der CPD bei, zusammen mit langjährigen Mitgliedern des weltweiten Drogennetzwerks wie Ray Cline (Helliwells altem OSS-Kollege aus Kunming), Jay Lovestone und George Olmsted.

Die Anti-Regierungstendenz der neuen neokonservativen Rechten hat sich zu einer regelrechten Abneigung gegen die CIA ausgewachsen, die mittlerweile mehr als Feind, als als Verbündeter angesehen wird. Aber selbst die neuen ausgegliederten Gewaltkräfte in privaten Sicherheitsfirmen (PSCs), wie zum Beispiel Blackwater, rekrutieren aus den gewalttätigen Reihen des weltweiten Drogennetzwerks – genauer gesagt, in Blackwaters Fall, aus den paramilitärischen Truppen in Ländern wie Kolumbien.

Kurz gesagt wurde der Rückgriff auf die illegale Gewalt des weltweiten Drogenhandels, die in den panischen frühen Jahren des Kalten Kriegs begann, seitdem beständig fortgeführt. Sie ist immer weiter gewachsen und metastasiert, bis sie nun zu einer zunehmenden Bedrohung der konstitutionellen Demokratie geworden ist. Für die meisten Menschen ist dies nicht leicht zu verstehen. Auf kurze Sicht erzeugt diese illegale Gewalt eine brutale Gegenwehr, durch die ihre Existenz erst gerechtfertigt werden soll – so dass heute die PSCs in Irak und Afghanistan Millionen-Dollar-Verträge erhalten, um den Widerstand zu bekämpfen, den sie selbst provoziert haben.

Aber das neue System eines indirekten Weltreichs scheint kein stabiles zu sein: wenn es momentan ein Nachlassen der Kämpfe in Irak gibt, so ist dies nur der Fall, weil gegnerische Kader es als ergiebiger ansehen, in Afghanistan zu kämpfen. Ein indirektes Herrschaftsimperium ist vielmehr ein gewalttätiger Ersatz für Politik – um Situationen zu bewältigen, die jedoch nur die Politik verbessern kann.

Wenn dieses Land dem Problem des Terrorismus mit Ernsthaftigkeit begegnen wollte, würde es versuchen, die Gegengewalt hervorrufende Unterdrückung in Afghanistan, Irak, Tschetschenien, Kaschmir, Libanon und Palästina zu vermindern statt zu erhöhen. Der jetzige Kurs wird den schlechter werdenden Status quo eher noch verschlimmern. Dazu kommt, dass er das Schwinden amerikanischer Ressourcen, amerikanischen Einflusses und Wohlwollen, selbst unter unseren Verbündeten, beschleunigen wird.

Ist der Gedanke utopisch, dass der gegenwärtige Kurs korrigiert werden kann? Wahrscheinlich ja, so lange die meisten Amerikaner glauben, dass 9/11 ein Angriff war, der allein von einer Gruppe bösartiger Araber durchgeführt wurde. Aber wenn gezeigt werden würde (wie Sibel Edmonds angedeutet hat), dass der 11. September ein Tiefenereignis war, in dem Leute des weltweiten Drogennetzwerks der USA verwickelt waren, könnte dies eine vernünftigere Politik zur Folge haben.

Was ich als weltweites Drogennetzwerk der USA bezeichnet habe war in der Vergangenheit für weltweite terroristische Aktivitäten wie Operation Condor verantwortlich, und auch für die Stärkung von Drogennetzwerken als so genannte Parallelregierungen in Ländern wie Laos, Pakistan, Libanon, Türkei und Kolumbien. Über Jahrzehnte verschloss dieses Land die Augen vor der Beteiligung der USA an dieser Lage und projizierte stattdessen die Verantwortlichkeit für den Terrorismus auf die Sowjetunion („das Reich des Bösen“) und in letzter Zeit auf Irak und Iran („die Achse des Bösen“).

Es wird nicht einfach sein, diese Jahrzehnte des Leugnens zu überwinden. Aber es ist ein notwendiger Schritt, der getan werden muss, um den Terrorismus einzudämmen und zu einer gesünderen Welt zurückzukehren.

Drug economics in Burma’s new political order

The regime’s biggest threat for the past half-century, besides Aung San Suu Kyi, has been rebel armies from various ethnic groups. For decades the regime has worked to increase its presence in these rural areas by building paramilitary allies in hostile regions. The local militias suppress rebel activities in exchange for the freedom to produce and transport drugs with full military co-operation. As the military brokered more deals, its obsession with power quickly took precedence over its war on drugs. Now the regime is more powerful than ever, due to a survival strategy that is largely subsidised by Burma’s multi-billion-dollar drug trade. Perry Santanachote examines that trade, the people who benefit from it and cover it up, the victims and those caught in between.

MYANMAR, LWE SAN SONE RANGE : A Myanmar soldier, holding his machine gun, displays to foreign journalists opium poppies 15 January 2000 during the destruction of an opium field near the notorious Golden Triangle. Fifty thousands villagers will be uprooted from their homes in this lucrative opium area to be relocated in an unprecedented mass migration project designed to crippled heroin production. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND

Welcome to Shan State: land of the drug lords

Aung Min, like many in Rangoon, grew up poor. He enlisted in the Burmese army in 1999 at the age of 18 with ambitions that he would one day join the ranks of his commanding officers. By 2003 he was a second lieutenant stationed in Laukkaing Township in Shan State and led a group of 20 men – his pockets filled reliably with drug money.

Opium production has been an economical lynchpin in eastern Shan State since the late 1940s when military leaders refused to honour the Panglong Agreement that granted autonomy to ethnic states. Rebel armies grew as their drug trade took over the region, and then the world. Shan warlord Khun Sa dominated Southeast Asia’s infamous Golden Triangle with his heroin enterprise through the 1980s and 1990s. By 1995, the Golden Triangle, the mountainous region where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet, became the world’s leader in opium production. His 30-year revolutionary war ended in 1996 but heroin continues to flow out of the state, albeit at a lower rate, with a new breed of drug lords.

Despite acknowledgement by the US State Department that poppy cultivation in Burma today is less than 20 per cent of what it was in the mid-1990s, it’s still an annual multi-billion-dollar business. Burma remains the world’s second-largest opium producer after Afghanistan, and processed 330 metric tonnes, or 17 per cent, of last year’s world supply, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2010 World Drug Report. Poppy cultivation has also been on a steady incline for the past three years.

Other pages in the report show that Burma is also Asia’s largest producer of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), which include methamphetamine, distributed in the form of the cheap and chemically dirty pills, most commonly known in Thailand and the region as ya baa (crazy drug); and the more expensive and cleaner crystalline form known as Ice. Burmese production of methamphetamine coincided with reduced opium production, but producers did not necessarily switch over.

“There has been more production last year when it comes to stimulants because of the increased involvement by the junta-backed militia groups,” Khun Seng, an editor at the independent media and research group Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN), said. “When the militia groups support the political aspirations of the junta they are also supported by the junta in their drug activities.”

“And if you’re the drug boss,” he added. “You’ll do anything that’ll bring in money. If I’m producing more meth it is because of the market – the buyers. Right now, for two years in a row, opium production has been down so there is less production of heroin than in other years, that’s all. They are not intentionally switching from heroin production to meth production.”

Pornthep Eamprapai, director of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board in Chiang Mai, said heroin and opium production was down because of climatic conditions and drought, not because of eradication. “Meth” quickly filled that gap in recent years, he said, because consumer demand in Thailand is high due to economic and social instability. Thais are becoming addicted to ya baa at an alarming rate, while they were never too keen on heroin.

“Making meth is so much easier too,” Pornthep said. “Cooking up meth or Ice doesn’t require any crop.”

Another big difference between today’s drug trade and that of the Khun Sa era, is that it is now increasingly controlled by the government. Former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt engineered a series of ceasefires with major drug-producing militias in 2003-2004 and incorporated them into the economy and constitutional process, creating an environment conducive to drug production and collusion between military personnel and drug traffickers. The regime has been suspected of involvement in the drug trade in the past but never at the level seen today.

In the past decade, the military regime has prioritised keeping it under wraps and making it appear as though it has waged a war on drugs. In 1999 the military inducted a 15-year drug-eradication programme, made lofty promises to the international community to crack down on trafficking, publicised some token drug busts and even opened an anti-drug museum. But these acts were all sleight of hand – an illusion to placate the international community. Although, they may have worked.

The UNODC commended the junta for its “considerable decrease in the area under cultivation and a strong decline in potential opium production” in its Opium Poppy Cultivation Report last year and budgeted US$7.7 million for the eradication programme between 2004 to 2007.

“It’s just another attempt to get the international community to pay for ordinary development programmes instead of using the state budget for that purpose,” said Chiang Mai-based author Bertil Lintner, who chronicled the history of Burma’s heroin warlords in his book, Burma In Revolt, and more recently the multi-billion-dollar methamphetamine trade in Merchants of Madness: The Methamphetamine Explosion in the Golden Triangle.

“And most of the UNODC’s programmes are just that – ordinary development programmes that have little or nothing to do with drug eradication,” Lintner said.

Pornthep says the Thai government gives Burma 20 million baht (US$625,000) annually every year for opium eradication.

“Their [Burma’s] government isn’t doing enough because they don’t have the resources,” he said. “Therefore they need co-operation and aid from other countries.”

Eleven years later, drug lords continue to operate with impunity and the Burmese Army remains closely involved in the lucrative opium economy, using it as leverage against ceasefire armies. As its deadline approaches, Burma is nowhere near being a drug-free nation. Only 13 townships of the targeted 51 can claim to be poppy-free, while the others are still growing, according to the 2009 Shan Drug Watch Report.

Military culture: a paradigm shift

In 2003 Aung Min was riding high on drug “taxes” collected from traffickers that crossed into his command area, but one day he arrested and executed 15 traffickers, seized their heroin and sold it on the Chinese black market for 200 million Kyats (US $200,000), 20 times more than he would make in a year of tax collecting.

MYANMAR, LOWI SOI : A poppy sticks out among others in this poppy-field outside the village of Lowi Soi, in Myanmar’s Northern Shan state, close to the Chinese border, 26 February. This is in one of the few opium growing settlements in the region which the government says has escaped its anti-drug campaign. Myanmar authorities took some delegates from the Interpol Fourth International Heroin Conference and journalists to see the results of its anti-opium campaign which won an endorsement from the world police body. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND …

Military intelligence investigated Aung Min shortly after the incident when his foot soldiers were seen suddenly adorned in gold jewellery and he had made a considerable transaction to his mother in the middle of Burma’s banking crisis that had left several banks bankrupt and the Kyat inflated beyond repair. That red flag landed him 15 years in prison. However, the crime he committed was not really the problem; it was the spectacle that got him in trouble.

“Military officers’ involvement in drug trafficking is very common, particularly in Shan State. Even the killing,” said an ex-army captain and friend of Aung Min. “It’s rare that they are arrested. Aung Min was inexperienced so he didn’t know how to be low-profile.”

The former officer divulged Aung Min’s story on condition of anonymity. He left the army last year after 10 years of service and now lives across the border in northern Thailand. He went through three years of officer intake with Aung Min and said they were close friends. The last time they saw each other was on October 7, 2002.

“He was very honest – a simple man,” he said. “I was surprised when I found out. I think it was due to the environment because he was assigned to this area and this kind of bribing, taking money, dealing drugs – this might have changed him.”

Many Burmese soldiers survive on revenues collected from extortion fees because their salaries are meagre and the government has cut off their rations. Today, a private earns about 16,000 Kyats a month, a sergeant earns 35,000 to 40,000 Kyats, while a major general earns 800,000 Kyats.

“The army capacity is also declining: the fighting capacity, military capacity, administration capacity, organising capacity. It’s all due to mismanagement,” he said. “While at the top level they’re getting more benefits and becoming wealthier.”
The ex-army captain explained that battalions had been cut down, but they still had the same amount of work. Faced with the challenge, they had to get creative and make deals with traffickers instead of trying to fight them.

“We can’t fight Karen rebels with 120 soldiers. It’s like 120 people with the duties of 500,” he said.

In 2005, headquarters ordered him to set fire to 180 homes in a Karen village in Kanasoepin Village, Thandaung Township.

“My superiors asked the villagers to forcibly relocate to a designated area. They wanted to control them and destroy the village so they couldn’t communicate with rebels,” he said. “I had to get an agreement with the village head to set up three houses only, document and report to regional command. This way it’d be win-win.”

In this incidence, “win-win” was not bribery, it was security. He only had 18 soldiers with him that day, in an area he referred to as “the black area” where Karen rebels are active.

“If we burned down the village, the Karen rebels would have attacked us,” he said. At that point, he realised he wanted out of the army. “I didn’t want to live with that stress anymore – to deal with that anymore.”

He said there were no official orders to bribe opium farmers or traffickers, but that it had become a major component of military culture. Everyone takes bribes and the money goes all the way up the chain until it eventually reaches Senior General Than Shwe. Officers stress that discretion is key because of the military’s appearance of reform. If a soldier’s actions threaten to expose their role in the drug trade, he will suffer the same fate as Aung Min.

Aung Min’s story illustrates the military’s deep involvement in the drug trade – a complete contradiction to the image it has projected to the world.

Appearances deceptive

A favoured tactic of the regime in its delusive fight against drugs is the highly publicised heroin eradication programme, which the ex-officer explained is set up.

There would be orders from the regional command centre to cut off poppy at a plantation, he said. The authorities would call the farmers and village leader before heading out and telling them to prepare the crop. Upon arrival the farmers would show the soldiers the unusable poppy plants, made so by the plants’ inability to produce the seeds required to make heroin. The soldiers would slash these and leave the good ones intact. Then they would document the eradication with photographs and bonfires. Afterwards, the soldiers collect 10 million Kyats from the village head. This process is repeated every three months.

The Palaung Women’s Organisation (PWO), an NGO based in Mae Sot, Thailand, found in its 2009 report, Poisoned Hills, that only 11 per cent of poppy fields had been destroyed the previous season, mostly in areas visible to the UN’s satellite monitors. The police reports they obtained claimed that 25 per cent of fields were destroyed.

More “taxes” are collected in the trafficking process too. The ex-army captain explained that regional commanders communicate with ceasefire group leaders and issue passes to place on the narcotics cargo trucks so that they are exempt from searches at checkpoints. There are 13 regional commanders throughout the state. About three of them: the Eastern, the Northeastern and Triangle commanders are active in the drug trade. Prime Minister Thein Sein is a prime example of the power these regional commanders hold, as he was the Triangle Regional Commander in 2001 and dealt with Shan warlords on a regular basis before his promotion in 2007.

‘Politically correct’ drug trade

“In my 10 years in the army there’s been an increase in drugs, trafficking, bribes and this kind of involvement,” said the ex-army captain.
The escalation in drug activities is partly caused by the growing number of militia and ceasefire groups.

“Before the army got an agreement with the ceasefire groups they fought against the rebels and weren’t involved in drug trafficking because they were not friends, they were enemies,” said the former captain. “After the ceasefire they had to get money from them for sustainability.”

Today there is an estimated 17 ceasefire agreements with the country’s ethnic rebel groups. The number of active militia groups is unknown, but the SHAN received junta documents that revealed 396 in the Northeastern command alone. In the run up to this year’s election, the military has increased pressure on ceasefire groups to join its Border Guard Force. Those that concede and support the junta’s political ambitions are awarded with military support in their drug activities. SHAN editor Khun Seng said that the junta party needs canvassers that have influence in their respective communities.

“Those who are most influential are involved in the drug trade, especially the militia leaders,” he said. “These people will take advantage of the situation.”

Khun Seng said that as an extra incentive, each militia group was now assigned an operational area where they could do whatever they want without disruption.

“If you are ‘politically correct’, you can do anything in Burma,” he said.

As an example he described this year’s Armed Forces Day in Burma.

“The commander [Colonel Khin Maung Soe] in Tachilek spoke on the sidelines to the militia leaders, ‘This is your golden opportunity. My only advice is that you send your products across the border, but not on this [Burma’s] side’,” Khun Seng said.

PWO’s investigation corroborated SHAN’s accounts that more drugs were indeed coming out of militia-run areas. It reported that opium cultivation increased over 200 per cent in Mantong and Namkham townships in Shan State, both areas controlled by the government. During the 2008-2009 season, the acreage found by PWO for only these two townships, out of the total 23 townships in Northern Shan State, was nearly three times (4,545 hectares) the total recorded by UNODC for all 23 townships combined. The UNODC reported a 100 per cent increase in that same time period in all of Northern Shan State, from 800 hectares to 1,600 hectares.

Both SHAN and PWO have criticised the UNODC’s methodology, which relies on data reported by the junta’s (State Peace and Development Council, SPDC) eradication reports and satellite imagery without proper verification.

The ONCB in Thailand also acquires its Burma drug data from the SPDC.

“For the most part we exchange data with them with good communication and understanding,” Pornthep said. “There has been no lying on their part and their data can be backed up. For instance, the figures for poppy cultivation are the same as the UNODC, the US and China.

“We never meet with the NGOs in Burma,” he added. “We only communicate with the government and narcotic police.”

Seizures mean little

Khun Seng also disputed a statement in the UNODC World Drug Report that attributed the increase in methamphetimine production to ethnic insurgencies in Shan State readying to fight the SPDC by selling more drugs to purchase arms.

“The Kokang and Wa are producing at the normal rate, no more, no less. The increase is due to the involvement of the militia groups, he said. “Now with the Wa and Kokang, these people can produce but they can’t transport without the co-operation of the militia groups. If they do it by themselves they are caught.”

MYANMAR, LWE SAN SONE RANGE : A Myanmar soldier walks in between two poppy flowers while destroying opium poppies 15 January 2000 during a narcotics crop destruction in Lwe San Sone Range. Myanmar soldiers and tribes people destroyed acres of poppy plantations in Shan State, one of the world’s largest opium growing area, as part of a broader campaign by Myanmar authorities to eradicate the narcotics trade in their country. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND

Which explains the number of seized drugs in Burma. UNODC Regional Representative Gary Lewis stated at the release of the 2010 World Drug Report in Bangkok, that 23 million methamphetamine pills were seized in Burma last year, from one million in 2008. Lewis said the numbers likely reflect a surge in production, rather than crime prevention.

Khun Seng agreed that more seizures meant more production, but said that was only part of the picture. The military was particular about where the seizures came from. That is, when the seizures were not fabricated. Militia-produced drugs almost always made it across the border, he said.

The Kokang, a ceasefire group well known for drug production and trafficking along the Sino-Burmese border, were recently attacked by the SPDC for their refusal to join the Border Guard Force and all their drugs were seized. The regime long turned a blind eye to the Kokang’s drug operations and even publicised the area as a “drug-free zone” after its eradication campaign, but in August last year, this all changed and the regime announced a massive seizure of drugs in the Kokang area, while driving more than 37,000 refugees into China.

Several large shipments of methamphetamine, believed to have originated from the United Wa State Army (UWSA), were also recently seized in Tachilek near the Thailand border.

“Seizures are irrelevant and are made only when the authorities want to put pressure on, for instance, the UWSA, for political and security reasons,” Lintner said.

The UWSA, armed with 30,000 soldiers, is the largest ceasefire group to reject the junta’s proposal to become part of the Border Guard Force and the military has turned up the heat as the election approaches. Much of the seized drugs last year are believed to have come from the Kokang and Wa – seizures that would never have happened in the past.

“Proceeds from the drug trade were always a major source of income for several rebel armies in Burma, before and after the ceasefires,” Lintner said. “But the Burmese government and the UNODC chose to turn a blind eye to the traffic as long as the ceasefire groups were on good terms with the government. Now, when some of the ceasefire armies are resisting the government’s demands that they transform their respective armies into Border Guard Forces, they are suddenly being accused of trading in drugs, which they have always done.”

Even with the drastic surge in methamphetamine seizures, the World Drug Report noted that seizures continued to remain very low in Burma. Despite being the second-largest producer of heroin in the world, only one per cent of worldwide heroin interception was seized in Burma in 2008. Similarly, of the 32 million tablets seized in East and Southeast Asia in 2008, only about three per cent, or 1.1 million, were seized in Burma.

The report also states that the number of tablets and the amount precursor chemicals seized in Burma jumped last year, when the SPDC entered by force parts of north and eastern Shan State not under their control.

The new political order

The new drug economy that the SPDC has built in Burma will only worsen as the regime’s crusade for power and control intensifies in the run-up to the election. Lintner anticipates the drug trade will eclipse what was seen in the 1990s.

“In 1990, only opium was produced, and the derivative heroin,” he said. “The production increased dramatically in the 1990s, and now is back to what it was 20 years ago. Plus methamphetamines, which were unknown in the Burmese sector of the Golden Triangle 20 years ago.”

In 1997, then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright knew all too well where Burma’s drug trade would lead when she aptly stated, “Drug traffickers who once spent their days leading mule trains down jungle tracks are now leading lights in Burma’s new market economy and leading figures in its new political order.”

source: http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/4218-drug-economics-in-burmas-new-political-order.html

Thanks to http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/articles/global-drug.htm

this is a brilliant piece of Paper, with more than Dynamite inside!

(I wish to acknowledge the invaluable assistance in the preparation of this essay from N, a Russian who for the time being prefers to remain anonymous.)

Tajik authorities have claimed repeatedly that neither the US nor NATO exerts any pressure on the drug warlords inside Afghanistan. „There’s absolutely no threat to the labs inside Afghanistan,“ said Avaz Yuldashov of the Tajikistan Drug Control Agency. „Our intelligence shows there are 400 labs making heroin there, and 80 of them are situated right along our border … Drug trafficking from Afghanistan is the main source of support for international terrorism now,“ Yuldashov pointed out last year.[1]


  1. The Meta-Group, the Russian 9/11, and Kosovo
    • Violence and the Political Requirements of the Global Drug Traffic
    • A Digression: Drugs, Meta-Groups and the Compradorial Revolution
    • The „Russian 9/11“ in 1999: Bombings and Plans for War
    • The Meeting in Khashoggi’s Villa, July 1999
    • Khashoggi’s Interest in Chechnya
    • Dunlop’s Redactions of His Source Yasenev
    • The Khashoggi Villa Meeting, Drugs, and Kosovo
  2. The Meta-Group, Drugs, Salafist Islam, and America
    • The Role of Anton Surikov: The Dunlop and Yasenev Versions
    • Surikov, Muslim Insurrectionism, and Drug Trafficking
    • Allegations of Drug-Trafficking and Far West, Ltd
    • Far West, Ltd, Halliburton, Diligence LLC, New Bridge, and Neil Bush
    • The U.S. Contribution to the Afghan-Kosovo Drug Traffic
    • How the U.S. Restored Narco-Barons to Power in Afghanistan, 2001
  3. The Meta-Group, the War on Terror, and 9/11
    • U.S. Geostrategic Goals and Chechnya
    • The Meta-Group’s Geostrategic Goal: Maintain the War of Terror
    • Concluding Question: The Meta-Group and the United States Government
    • The False Dilemmas of 9/11 Theories

I. The Meta-Group, the Russian 9/11, and Kosovo

Violence and the Political Requirements of the Global Drug Traffic

In the last three decades, three important facts have emerged about the international drug traffic. The first is that it is both huge and growing.

Narcotics are estimated to be worth between $500 billion and $1 trillion a year, an amount, according to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in remarks to a United Nations General Assembly session in June 2003, that is greater than the global oil and gas industry, and twice as large as the overall automobile industry.[2]

The second is that it is both worldwide and above all „highly integrated.“[3] At global drug summits such as the one in Armenia in 1993, representatives of the Sicilian Mafia, the Brighton Beach Organizatsiya, and Colombian drug lords, have worked out a common modus operandi, with the laundering of dirty money entrusted chiefly to the lawless Russian banks.[4]

The third important fact, undeniable since the 1980 U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, is that governments with global pretensions will avail themselves, in pursuit of their own political ends, of the resources, both financial and political, of the drug traffic. It was striking in the 1980s that the CIA, in its choice of Afghan mujahedin leaders to back against the Soviet Union, passed over those with indigenous support in favor of those, notably Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who dominated the heroin trade. The result was to enhance Hekmatyar’s power until he became a leading heroin trafficker, not just in Afghanistan but in the world.[5]

Three more important features of the global drug traffic have been less noticed; thus although I regard them as facts I shall refer to them not as facts but as propositions to be tested against evidence. The first proposition is that the highly integrated drug traffic industry, in addition to serving the political ends of world powers, has its own political as well as economic objectives. It requires that in major growing areas there must be limited state control, a condition most easily reached by fostering regional rebellion and warfare, often fought by its own private armies. This is the on-going situation of designed violence in every major growing area, from Lebanon to Myanmar, Colombia to Afghanistan.

Once the local power of drug armies was enough in itself to neutralize the imposition of state authority. But today there are increasing signs that those at the highest level of the drug traffic will plot with the leaders of major states to ensure, or even to stage, violence that serves the power of the state and the industry alike.

Thanks to extensive research in Russia, we now have initial evidence of a second and even more significant proposition: There exists on the global level a drug meta-group, able to manipulate the resources of the drug traffic for its own political and business ends, without being at risk for actual trafficking. These ends include the creation of designed violence to serve the purposes of cabals in political power – most conspicuously in the case of the Yeltsin „family“ in the Kremlin, but allegedly, according to Russian sources, also for those currently in power in the United States.

One piece of evidence for this consists in a meeting which took place in July 1999 in southern France near Nice, at the villa in Beaulieu of Adnan Khashoggi, once called „the richest man in the world.“ Those at the meeting included a member of the Yeltsin cabal in the Kremlin and four representatives from the meta-group, with passports from Venezuela, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Germany. Between them they allegedly enjoyed excellent relations with:

1) Ayman al-Zawahiri, the acknowledged mastermind of 9/11 and senior mentor to Osama bin Laden.

2) Soviet military intelligence.

3) the FARC, the Colombian revolutionary group that has become increasingly involved in the drug traffic.

4) the Kosovo Liberation Army, a similarly involved group.

5) (according to a well-informed Russian source) the CIA.

The third important proposition is that a meta-group of this scale does not just help government agencies make history. I hope to show that it, and its predecessors, are powerful enough to help make history themselves. However they do not do so overtly, but as a hidden Force X whose presence is not normally acknowledged in the polite discourse of academic political scientists. On the contrary, as we shall see, references to it are usually suppressed.

A Digression: Drugs, Meta-Groups and the Compradorial Revolution

The question arises whether this is the only such meta-group in the international drug milieu. My tentative answer is that there are indeed other focal nodes for organized international drug trafficking, often above the reach of the law. (The remnants of the dissident Hekmatyar drug network in Afghanistan would be a prime example.) What is special about this meta-group is its global reach, which makes it of especial interest to the CIA and other pro-American agencies committed to globalization.

A drug meta-group with such broad connections is not unprecedented. A clear predecessor was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a drug-laundering bank which was of use to CIA Director William Casey precisely because of its corrupt global reach. As a Washington insider said to two Time reporters covering BCCI,

They were the only way we could talk to certain folks, and they were the only vehicle available for some transactions. Who else could wire something together to Saudi Arabia, China, Israel, and the U.S.?[6]

It is worthy of note that Khashoggi has enjoyed intimate connections to both, as well as to western intelligence and wePeter Dale Scott, Deep Politicsdstern politicians.

The „wiring together“ effected by drugs has helped give a significant boost to the global banking network, particularly in Russia and southeast Asia. In these areas it has also fostered trade and investment, bringing businessmen from previous diverse commercial areas into increasing contact with each other. From this perspective globalization can be seen as a compradorial revolution: compradorial classes have moved into positions of power, and in some cases their international networks have been more than a match for local state power.[6a]

There are three different ways in which this compradorial revolution has proceeded, and it could be shown that drugs have often helped supply a base for all three:

1) In some countries (as in Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, and to some extent Indonesia) these classes have displaced military regimes. Drug-based fortunes clearly played a major role in the compradorial revolution of Thailand.

2) In some countries compradorial elements have succeeding in converting (or, depending on your point of view, corrupting) the cadres of socialist governments. Drugs have played a significant role in the compradorial embourgeoisement of China, Laos, and Cambodia, and may have played an indirect role in the case of Vietnam.

3) Recently – as in the „color revolutions“ of eastern Europe and central Asia – compradorial elements have helped to oust the remnants of the former Soviet governing apparatus. I hope in this essay to give preliminary evidence that the global drug meta-group I have described has played a role in the „color revolutions“ as well.

As to how many drug meta-groups exist in the world, I believe there are at least two. A second, which we will not examine here, oversees the new drug highway from north Myanmar (Burma) through the entrepreneurial zones of south China, and manages the international connections necessary to arrange for the smuggling of heroin and people into Australia and the eastern and western United States.

The relation of the west to this second or eastern meta-group is unknown, and in all probability it is highly complex and ambiguous. It is probably safe to say however that the global reach of the second meta-group, overseeing the much smaller flow of drugs east from Myanmar, is less than the first or western meta-group we shall discuss here, overseeing the far greater flow of drugs west from Afghanistan. (It has been estimated that by now Afghanistan supplies from 80 to 90 percent of the global heroin trade.)[7]

The west, and particularly the United States, have not concealed their interest in the success of globalization and the „color revolutions.“ Unfortunately those who sing the praises of both neglect the terrible social costs of the drug traffic, and the Force X which so often is the underpinning of the compradorial revolution. Because the drug economy is often not integrated into the legal one, it tends to foster superwealth and income disparity. The benefits tend not to be enjoyed by a society as a whole, or even its middle class. This is even more true when the masters of the drug-traffic are not indigenous but alien (as is conspicuously the case in eastern Myanmar).[8]

There is an undeniable western face to the dominant meta-group. One member of the meta-group at the 1999 meeting, Anton Surikov, had spent time at the London Centre for Defence Studies; and in addition Surikov had had contacts with at least one senior CIA representative.[9] (Another member of the meta-group, former Lithuanian Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius, was with Surikov at the London Centre.) We shall see that a third member, Ruslan Saidov, is said to have been paid as a CIA contract agent.

One of the alleged purposes of the meeting at the villa – but not the only one – was to give the Yeltsin „family“ what it supposedly needed: a Russian 9/11.

The „Russian 9/11“ in 1999: Bombings and Plans for War

Russia has been familiar for some time with charges that the bombings in Moscow in 1999, and an accompanying invasion of Russian Dagestan that rekindled the ongoing war in neighboring Chechnya, were both planned by representatives of the Islamist element in the Chechen resistance, in collusion with a representative of the Russian Kremlin.

Read synoptically, these stories indicate that the well-connected drug-trafficking meta-group, with connections to both the Kremlin and the CIA, arranged in advance for the bombings and invasion at the meeting in July 1999, at a French villa owned by the superrich arms merchant Adnan Khashoggi. The group allegedly operated with support from Saudi Arabia and organized global drug trafficking, some of it probably through Kosovo.

The group’s business front, Far West, Ltd., is said to have CIA-approved contractual dealings with Halliburton for geopolitical purposes in the Caucasus, as well as dealings in Iraq with Diligence LLC, a group with connections to Joe Allbaugh (the FEMA chief in 2001) and to the President’s younger brother Neil Bush. The head of Far West recently told a Russian outlet that „a well-known American corporation… is a co-founder of our agency.“[10]

The evidence for this western face of the group is laid out in an article by a so-called Yuri Yasenev, which is clearly a compilation of extracts from intelligence reports, on a Russian website.[11] The article is cited – very selectively – as authoritative by a reputable Hoover Institution scholar, John B. Dunlop.[12] But Dunlop completely ignores, one might say, suppresses, Yasenev’s case as I have summarized it above. He uses the article instead to document a more familiar case: that in 1999 the Yeltsin „family“ in the Kremlin dealt with this same group to create what might be called the „Russian 9/11.“

When I say that Dunlop suppresses certain details, I do not mean to suggest that he does so conspiratorially, or even consciously. My notion of deep politics, which I have developed elsewhere, posits that in every culture and society there are facts which tend to be suppressed collectively, because of the social and psychological costs of not doing so.[13] Like all other observers, I too have involuntarily suppressed facts and even memories about the drug traffic that were too provocative to be retained with equanimity.[14]

The drug traffic is often the beneficiary of this suppression, which leaves it more free to act without interference. In Deep Politics I referred to the pervasive influence of a U.S. government-drug collaboration which I called „Operation X,“ looking at it from the perspective of a parapolitical manipulation of the traffic by the government.[15] I wish now that I had written of a „Force X,“ a force which was no longer under total government control, and indeed could influence government behavior for its own ends.[16]

Dunlop’s thesis is in itself an alarming one. It is that men of influence in the Kremlin, building on the connections established by the wealthy oligarch Boris Berezovskii, were able to arrange for staged violence, in order to reinforce support for an unpopular Russian government. This staged violence took the form of lethal bombings in the capital and an agreed-upon incursion by Chechens into Russian Dagestan.

This credible thesis is even more alarming when we consider that both Khashoggi and Berezovskii have purchased significant political influence in the West as well. In 2003 Khashoggi was negotiating with Richard Perle, a member of the Cheney-Rumsfeld clique who at the time was still Chairman of the U.S. Defense Policy Board, to invest considerable Saudi money in Perle’s company Trireme.[17] Berezovskii is a shareholder in the software company, Ignite, of President Bush’s delinquent brother Neil Bush.[18]

More significantly, Khashoggi and his connections have shown in the past their ability to influence, even distort, U.S. foreign policy, to the detriment of the latter. An important example was the ill-fated so-called Ghorbanifar initiative during Iran-Contra, to sell arms to the mullahs in Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages:

Ghorbanifar was not acting alone. Although he led us to believe he was using Iranian money, his forward purchases and bridge deposits were actually being bankrolled by Adnan Khashoggi [and BCCI]….Khashoggi had an on-and-off relationship with Israel for many years and evidently had been in the loop as Ghorbanifar’s backer from the very beginning.[19]

Ghorbanifar could never have caused such embarrassment to the Reagan Administration if he had not been backed by deeper, hidden forces.

By the „Russian 9/11“ I mean the bombings of Russian apartment buildings in 1999,

accompanied by the pre-arranged (and partly staged) second Russian invasion of Chechnya. For some time the West has heard versions of the claim that both events were planned at the time by Russian intelligence. For example Patrick Cockburn reported as follows in the Independent:

Boris Kagarlitsky, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Comparative Politics, writing in the weekly Novaya Gazeta, says that the bombings in Moscow and elsewhere were arranged by the GRU (the Russian military intelligence service). He says they used members of a group controlled by Shirvani Basayev, brother of the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, to plant the bombs. These killed 300 people in Buikask, Moscow and Volgodonsk in September.[20]

Cockburn’s source, Boris Kagarlitskii, also accused Russian intelligence agents of planting at least one of the bombs.

Boris Kagarlitsky, a member of the Russian Institute for Comparative Politics, stated: „FSB officers were caught red-handed while planting the bomb. They were arrested by the police and they tried to save themselves by showing FSB identity cards.“ The first man to enter the basement, Police Inspector Andrei Chernyshev, related: „It was about 10 in the evening. There were some strangers who were seen leaving the basement. We were told about the men who came out from the basement and left the car with a licence number which was covered with paper. I went down to the basement. This block of flats had a very deep basement which was completely covered with water. We could see sacks of sugar and in them some electronic device, a few wires and a clock. We were shocked. We ran out of the basement and I stayed on watch by the entrance and my officers went to evacuate the people.“ Despite the arrest of the FSB officers by the police, they were quietly released when the secret service’s Moscow headquarters intervened. The Observer reports that the next day, in an attempt to cover-up the discovery, „the FSB in Moscow announced that there had never been a bomb, only a training exercise.“[21]

Western scholarly analyses have seen the bombings and war as part of a stratagem to boost the popularity of the Kremlin, and particularly the little-known new Prime Minister Putin, for the coming presidential elections in November 1999. The most thorough study, by John Dunlop of the Hoover Institution, blames the plotting on three protégés of the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovskii – Valentin Yumashev, Alexander Voloshin, and Roman Abramovich – who at this point were members of Yeltsin’s „Family“ in the Kremlin.[22] (As for Berezovskii himself, Dunlop writes that by mid-1999 „all of his real but beginning-to-dwindle political influence was obtained through the intercession of D’yachenko [Yeltsin’s daughter] and Yumashev.“)[23]

The Meeting in Khashoggi’s Villa, July 1999

A crucial piece of evidence for this thesis of Kremlin-structured violence is the meeting in July 1999, when Alexander Voloshin met in southern France with the Chechen warlord Shamil Basaev. In Dunlop’s words,

On the day following the initial incursion of rebel forces into the Dagestani highlands in early August of 1999, the investigative weekly Versiya published a path-breaking report claiming that the head of the Russian Presidential Administration, Aleksandr Voloshin, had met secretly with the most wanted man in Russia, Shamil‘ Basaev, through the good offices of a retired officer in the GRU, Anton Surikov, at a villa belonging to international arms merchant Adnan

Khashoggi located between Nice and Monaco.109 A source in French intelligence was credited by Versiya with supplying this information. The article stirred major interest in the Russian media, but at the time documentary confirmation was lacking.

By July of 2000, Versiya, in an effort of persistent journalistic digging, had unearthed what it regarded as the full story of what had occurred, with an acknowledged assist from French and Israeli intelligence. „The meeting [of Voloshin and Basaev],“ the weekly related, „which supposedly took place at the dacha of the international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi in the small town of Beaulieu near Nice, occurred on 4 July 1999.[24] Sources in the French special services had earlier communicated that information, in particular a certain professor of political science, a specialist in issues of Russian defense, security,

and organized crime. He is well known for his contract work for French government establishments, including French counter-intelligence.“110….

The investigative weekly then went on to summarize what it had learned from French and Israeli intelligence, as well as from its own journalistic digging: „A luxurious villa in the French city of Beaulieu, located between Nice and the principality of Monaco. This villa, according to the French special services, belongs to the international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. He is an Arab from Saudi Arabia, a billionaire with a complicated reputation. According to the French special services, and also to the French press, in June of 1999 there took up residence at the villa a Venezuelan banker named Alfonso Davidovich.111

In the Latin American press, he is said to be responsible for laundering the funds of the Columbian left insurrection organization FARC, which carries out an armed struggle with the official authorities, supported by the narcotics business.“

110 Petr Pryanishnikov, „Voloshin I Basaev na lazurnom beregu: foto na pamyat‘,“ Versiya, 4 July 2000. The article, accompanied by a photo, can be found at: http:www.compromat.ru/main/voloshin/basaev.htm

111 The article „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya,“ compromat.ru, 17 December 2004 reports that Davidovich lives in Munich and enjoys both German and Venezuelan citizenship. He is also said to be personally acquainted with international arms dealer Khashoggi.[25]

Dunlop’s massively documented essay is 52 pages long, with 142 footnotes. But having thus provocatively included references to both Khashoggi and narcotics, Dunlop does not mention either again. The failure to discuss Khashoggi is particularly surprising. If indeed the meeting took place at his villa, the proceedings were not only likely to be recorded, one would think that they were intended to be recorded.

One would also expect the participants to be confident that the recordings would reach western intelligence, as apparently they promply did. „In France and in the ranks of Israeli intelligence, Versiya wrote, it had been reported that `there exists a video-tape of the meeting at the villa in Beaulieu.'“[26] One would have expected that this video-tape might reach, not just the French and Mossad, but Khashoggi’s long-time associates in U.S. intelligence as well.[27]

Khashoggi’s Interest in Chechnya

Just as Berezovskii was at one point the richest man in Russia, so Khashoggi was once (according to his American biographer) „The Richest Man in the World.“ At one point indeed Khashoggi had an influence in American politics analogous to Berezovskii’s in Russia. For example, Khashoggi attended both Nixon inaugurals and contributed money to his electoral campaigns. He admitted to giving $58,000 in 1968, but allegedly told Pierre Salinger he gave $1 million in 1972.[28] He also arranged a fund-raising event for Jimmy Carter’s Center in Plains, Georgia, an event which probably originated in both men’s connections to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).[29]

Khashoggi is usually thought of as an arms salesman. Although he has never been directly linked to the drug traffic, he was intimately involved in the affairs of the drug-laundering bank BCCI, with which he arranged an arms shipment as part of Oliver North’s dealings in Iran-Contra.[30] He also became notorious for flying into Las Vegas from abroad and then rapidly losing vast sums of cash at the casino tables – a traditional form of money-laundering.[31] His name has surfaced in connection with a number of other scandals, from the illicit real estate ventures of the Marcos family in New York to a major defrauding of a Thai bank in 1998, which was followed by the Asian financial crisis of that year.

Khashoggi had had a financial interest in Chechnya, and connections with its leaders, since 1996, from his participation in a consortium called Caucasian Common Market AO. This was designed to raise $3 billion in the West and Japan for investment in Chechnya.[32] A principal organizer was former Chechen First Deputy Premier Khozh-Akhmed Nukhaev, in conjunction with Lord McAlpine of the Goldsmith family interests in London, and also American capital.[33] But according to the late Paul Klebnikov, Nukhaev had a background in Chechen organized crime, before developing „a radical ideology in line with the one espoused by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.“[34]

Despite this background, Nukhaev found support and financing in Washington for his Caucasian-American Chamber of Commerce. According to once source, in 1997 Khashoggi introduced Nukhaev to former Secretary of State James Baker.[35]

However Dunlop’s inquiry is focused, not on Khashoggi, but on Berezovskii and his representative Voloshin in the Kremlin:

In March of 2002 Interfax reported that, through his long-time business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili, Berezovskii had „supplied Chechen figures Kazbek Makhashev and Movladi Udugov with money to purchase the raid against Dagestan. According to witnesses, Berezovskii contributed 30 million rubles

for the purpose.“120 This payment, amounting to more than $1 million, if it occurred, may have been only one of several intended to underwrite a „short victorious war“ in Dagestan.

120 „Berezovskii Sponsored Dagestan Raid, Top Policeman’s Abduction — Prosecutors,“ Interfax, 5 March 2002. A well-known journalist for RFE-RL, Andrei Babitskii, who frequently visited Chechnya during this period and was acquainted with a number of leading separatists, writes that he can confirm that Berezovskii did indeed speak by telephone with both Basaev and Movladi Udugov at this juncture. See Andrei Babibitskii, „Na voine,“ hro.org, 2 March 2004.

Dunlop is not alone in suspecting the hand of Berezovskii behind Voloshin’s meeting with Basaev. So does Cockburn’s source Boris Kagarlitskii (about whom we shall have more to say).[36] The Russian observer Lilia Shevtsova reports a rumor at this time that Berezovskii himself, along with his agent Alexander Voloshin, had met in France with Bazayev in the summer of 1999, just before the Dagestan invasion of August 2.[37]

Dunlop’s Redactions of His Source Yasenev

Though he says nothing more about Khashoggi or drugs, Dunlop does however make one more reference to the alleged drug-money launderer Alfonso Davidovich:

„It soon emerged,“ Versiya continued, „that a very frequent visitor to Davidovich was a certain French businessman of Israeli-Soviet origin, a native of Sokhumi [Abkhazia], 53-year-old Yakov Kosman. 112 Soon Kosman brought with him six persons who arrived via Austria carrying Turkish passports.[38] In one of the passports the French [authorities] identified a certain Tsveiba, who is accused by the Tbilisi authorities of having committed genocide during the Georgia-Abkhaz conflict.“ All of the visitors settled into the villa for a three weeks‘ stay.

„Soon,“ the account continues, „the special services succeeded in establishing that

Kosman and Tsveiba went to the Nice airport, where they met two men who had arrived from Paris. Judging from their documents, one of those who arrived was Sultan Sosnaliev, who in the years of the Georgian-Abkhaz war served as the minister of defense of Abkhazia.113 Second there emerged from the airport one more native of Sokhumi — Anton Surikov. According to rumors, during the years of the war in Abkhazia, he was subordinated to Sosnaliev and was responsible for questions of the organization of sabotage and was friendly with field commander Shamil‘ Basaev, who at that time headed the Chechen battalion.“

The next arrival came by sea: „According to the precise information of the French and the Israelis, on 3 July at the port of Beaulieu a private English yacht ‚Magiya‘ [Magic] arrived from Malta. From it to the shore came two passengers. If one is to believe the passport information, one of the ‚Englishmen‘ was a certain Turk, in the past an advisor to the Islamicist premier of Turkey, [Necmettin] Erbakan, a rather influential figure in the Wahhabi circles of Turkey, the Middle East, and the Caucasus.114 From sources in the Russian special services we learned that Mekhmet is also a close friend of the not unknown Khattab.“

„The second person,“ the account goes on, „to the surprise of the intelligence officers, was the Chechen field commander Shamil‘ Basaev.

112 Kosman is reported in the same 17 December 2004 issue of compromat.ru, to live in Nice and to possess German and, possibly, Israeli citizenship.

113 On Sosnaliev as Abkhazia’s defense minister, see RFE-RL Newsline, 2 November 1993.

114 On Erbakan, see Shireen T. Hunter, Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and Security (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2004), p. 365.

Dunlop’s cited source for information about both Davidovich and Kosman is an article by Yuri Yasenev, „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya“ („An Orange Revolution is in Store for Russia“), on a Russian website, ru.compromat.[39] But Dunlop has significantly edited, one must even say censored, what Yasenev wrote.

In footnote 111 Dunlop says

The article „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya,“ compromat.ru, 17 December 2004 reports that Davidovich lives in Munich and enjoys both German and Venezuelan citizenship. He is also said to be personally acquainted with international arms dealer Khashoggi.

radically curtailing Yasenev’s description of Davidovich:

Alfonso Davidovich – (1948), Venezuelan, lives in Munich. Has German and Venezuelan citizenship.

Speaks Spanish, English, French, German, and Russian fluently. In the 1970s went through special training in the USSR (Privol’noe, Nikolaevskaya oblast) and East Germany.

Owns companies and banks in Barbados, the Caymans and other off-shores.

Has friendly relations with Hugo Chavez, and is acquainted with Fidel Castro, Marcus Wolf and Adnan Khashoggi. Has many contacts in Colombia, including FARC. In 1999 Davidovich was alleged to have engaged in arms trafficking for guerillas in Chiapas, Mexico and in money laundering for the Colombian drug mafia. Finances antiglobalization movement in Europe and Latin America.“[40]

With respect to Yakov Kosman, Dunlap says: „Kosman is reported in the same 17 December 2004 issue of compromat.ru, to live in Nice and to possess German and, possibly, Israeli citizenship.“

Compare this with what Yasenev wrote:

Yakov Abramovich Kosman (b. 1946), resides in Nice, France. Has German and, possibly, Israeli citizenship. Involved in real estate operations and banking. Has contacts with Kosovo Albanian criminal societies in European countries. In 1997-2000 he served as financial consultant to Hashim Thaçi, the chief commander of KLA.“[41]

Consider that „In 1998, the U.S. State Department listed the KLA – formally known as the Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosoves, or UCK – as an international terrorist organization, saying it had bankrolled its operations with proceeds from the international heroin trade and from loans from known terrorists like Osama bin Laden.“[42]

The Khashoggi Villa Meeting, Drugs, and Kosovo

It would appear that Davidovich and Kosman were in Khashoggi’s villa to talk about more than just Chechnya, but that Dunlop did not wish to explore this possibility. For example, he acknowledges the presence of no less than four men of Abkhazian origin and/or influence at the meeting – Kosman, Tsveiba, Sosnaliev, and Surikov — and yet offers no explanation whatsoever for their presence. (A glance at a map will show that Abkhazia is irrelevant to the subsequent events in Dagestan and Chechnya.)

It seems likely that a drug-route was discussed involving Abkhazia, which now „has become a key heroin transiting point.“[43] Its drug-trafficking importance is noted by none other than Surikov himself:

In general then, the Chechen [drug-trafficking] group has allotted a very important place to Abkhazia in its plans. This is due firstly to the strong position of local field commanders after the end of the Georgian/Abkhazian conflict….Secondly…a large number of `volunteers‘ [notably Basaev] came from Chechnia and other North Caucasian republics….Amongst these people were a number of criminals whose presence facilitated later contacts with local undesirables….As a result of these developments Abkhazia today is one of the most criminalised areas of the former Soviet Union.[44]

Note that in this passage Surikov makes no reference to his own Abkhazian origin, his involvement as a GRU officer in the Russian-backed Abkhazian insurrection, and his friendship there with Basaev (referred to by Dunlop). Here and elsewhere in his text it would appear that the „Chechen group“ he describes is one overseen by his own meta-group.

Russian observers have pointed out that the meeting(s) in France, which took place in June and/or July 1999, came shortly after the unexpected entry of Russian troops into Kosovo.

On June 11, 1999, 200 Russian troops in SFOR drove from Bosnia to Prishtina and secured Slatina airport. Gen Wesley Clark then ordered [UK] Gen. Sir Mike Jackson (who on June 9 had signed technical agreement for withdrawal of Yugoslav troops from Kosovo) „to seize the airport. Jackson responded, famously, that he would not start World War Three for him“[45]

Following two days of talks directly between Clinton and Yeltsin, the crisis was averted.

Instead there followed weeks of „protracted negotiations on Russia’s role in the Kosovo peacekeeping mission.“[46] In the end, under circumstances still not fully understood, the United States and NATO agreed that the Russians could stay.

The Russian troops finally withdrew from the airport in July 2003.[47] Significantly, a chart of Russian drug-trafficking prepared by one of Surikov’s partners, Sergei Petrov, indicates that in 2003 Kosovo ceased to be a main point of export for Russian drugs, its place being taken by the Black Sea oil port of Novorossiysk.[48]

Within a year of the troops‘ arrival, by 2000, according to DEA statistics, Afghan heroin accounted for almost 20 percent of the heroin seized in the United States – nearly double the percentage taken four years earlier. Much of it was now distributed in America by Kosovar Albanians.[49]

It is significant therefore that

The `Pristina dash‘ by Russian parachutists in 1999 during the Kosovo crisis (the purpose of the `dash‘ was to force NATO to guarantee for Russia a separate sector of responsibility in Kosovo) was organized by the head of the General Staff, Anatoly Kvashnin, and his deputy, Leonid Ivashov, without the knowledge of minister of defense Igor Sergeyev and most likely without Yeltsin’s knowledge.[50]

Yasenev says nothing about this, but does assert that Kvashnin was the Russian Army connection of two leading drug traffickers (Vladimir Filin andAlexey Likhvintsev) in the Saidov-Surikov group.

II. The Meta-Group, Drugs, Salafist Islam, and America

The Role of Anton Surikov: The Dunlop and Yasenev Versions

As we have seen, Dunlop describes Anton Surikov, the organizer of the Beaulieu meeting between Voloshin and Basaev, as „a retired officer in the GRU.“ He fails to quote from his source Yasenev’s description of Surikov:

Anton Victorovich Surikov (b. 1961). Presents himself as political scientist. Responsible for informational and political projects. Actively publishes in press. Some of his publications resemble ciphered directives to the elements in Russian special services disloyal [emphasis added] to President Vladimir Putin. His other articles contain political messages intended for abroad. Surikov has contacts with F[ritz] Ermarth, former leading CIA analyst of the USSR and Russia, now in the Nixon Foundation….[51]

Surikov has close relations with Alexander Prokhanov and Alexander Nagorny [respectively, chief editor and assistant chief editor of newspaper „Zavtra“], Anatoly Baranov [chief editor of Pravda.info and KPRF.ru], Mikhail Delyagin,[52] former advisor to Mikhail Kasyanov[53], Alexei Kondaurov (head of YUKOS security department, former general of KGB and FSB, State Duma deputy from CPRF), Ilya Ponomarev (former YUKOS CEO, CPRF).

In 2002-03, together with Kondaurov–who represented Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Leonid Nevzlin–Surikov, with the help of Victor Vidmanov, organized financing of CPRF by YUKOS shareholders and the individuals associated with OPS [the organized criminal society] (Yakov Kosman, Nikolai Lugovskoi) to the tune of $15 million.

Boris Kagarlitskii’s essay and Yasenev’s memo, taken from intelligence files, talk about Surikov, but from opposing perspectives. Kagarlitskii, a longtime dissident and foe of Putin, saw the Beaulieu meeting as the venue for Kremlin-instigated violence, designed to restore the Kremlin’s popularity before the coming election. Yasenev’s memo sees Surikov as part of an on-going effort to destabilize Russia, and weaken the Kremlin.

Kagarlitskii (and after him Dunlop) say almost nothing about Surikov, other than to refer to his past years with Russian military intelligence, the GRU. To quote Dunlop,

Kagarlitskii also notes: „During Primakov’s time, Surikov worked on the staff of the government of the Russian Federation. Despite this fact, he also developed regular work relations with Voloshin’s people.“ It seems therefore quite likely that Surikov and Voloshin were personally acquainted.[54]

However Yasenev’s memo in December 2004 links Surikov, not to the government or Kremlin, but (through Kondaurov) to the sphere of the man who by that time had emerged as America’s best friend and Putin’s most powerful enemy in Russia, the oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovskii. (The Kondaurov-Khodorkovskii connection is abundantly documented: both men freely admit it.)

Forbes magazine, which underwrote Klebnikov’s damning accounts of both Berezovskii and Nukhaev, wrote on March 18, 2002 that Khodorkovskii appeared „to be the West’s best friend“ in Russia. According to PBS in 2003, Khodorkovskii’s firm Menatep shared business interests with the western investment firms Global Asset Management, the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group and AIG Capital Partners. In addition

He frequently travels to the United States. He reportedly dined with Condoleezza Rice last year and recently was a guest at Herb Allen’s Idaho ranch, along with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and other luminaries, for an annual telecommunications executives meeting.[55]

Quoting from an anti-Yeltsin essay of May 1999 by Surikov in Versiya, the American right-wing Jamestown Foundation agrees with Yasenev (against Kagarlitskii) that „Surikov is clearly in the camp of Yeltsin’s opponents.“[56] More recently Surikov has also shown himself to be anti-Putin, criticizing Putin’s „obvious inability … to struggle against terrorism effectively.“[57]

Furthermore Surikov clearly had western support in his opposition to government corruption under Yeltsin. We need only look to the following description of a Surikov book published in London:

Crime in Russia: the international implications Anton Surikov London Defence Studies.Examines (1) the growth of organized crime in post-Soviet Russia (2) the extraordinary extent to which the Colombian cartel has targeted Russia as a conduit for its penetration of the world market (3) the scale of drug-trafficking in Russia, predominantly by the ‚Chechen group‘ controlled by the Dudayev regime.[58] The author’s interesting career details are set out on a prelim page. The monograph is introduced by Jonathan Aves (lecturer in Russian studies at the University of Sussex) ‚Introduction‘ pp1-6, 12 refs, detailing both the scale of the problem and Surikov’s background expertise. This expertise has to be assumed by the reader, as the monograph contains no literature references of its own.[59]

According to his webpage at the IPROG website, Surikov spent the year 1994 at the Centre for Defence Studies, King’s College, London.[60] (Audrius Butkevicius is said to have spent the year there as well.)

As for Yasenev’s allegations that „Surikov has contacts with F. Ermarth,“ Surikov when questioned about this admitted it frankly: „I am personally acquainted with Mr. Ermarth as political scientist since 1996. It’s well known by many people and we never hid this fact.“[61] In saying this, Surikov was admitting to a CIA connection: Ermarth, a senior officer who twice served on the National Security Council, did not retire from the CIA until 1998. The two men had met in April 1996 at a Global International Security Seminar in Virginia.[62]

Above all, Kagarlitskii is silent about the charge which has since aroused controversy in the Russian media: Surikov’s supposed involvement with „a group of renegade Soviet secret service officers who are allegedly involved in international drug trafficking and have ties with Western and Saudi security apparatus.“[63]

It would be interesting to learn at what point Kagarlitskii first met Surikov, and whether Surikov was in fact the source for Kagarlitskii’s article about the meeting in southern France. Today the two men are close, and serve together at the Moscow Institute for the Study of Globalization (IPROG).[64]

Saidov, Surikov, Muslim Insurrectionism, and Drug Trafficking

The most conspicuous clue to Dunlop’s selectivity in his use of the Yasenev memo is his failure to identify „Mekhmet,“ the „certain Turk, in the past an advisor to the Islamicist premier of Turkey, [Necmettin] Erbakan.“[65] Yasenev identifies Mekhmet, linking him not only to Erbakan but also to the CIA, to Saudi intelligence, and to al-Qaeda:

In 2003 the Turkish citizen Mehmet whose real name is Ruslan Saidov, persuaded the President of the Chechen Republic, Ahmed Kadyrov, that he could be of use with Kadyrov’s policy of „national reconciliation.“ Saidov took part in organizing Kadyrov’s visit to Saudi Arabia. There Kadyrov made an agreement with the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Naif Ibn Abdel-Aziz, that the Arab militants under the Lieutenant Colonel Aziz ben Said ben Ali al Hamdi (alias Abu al Walid al-Hamadi), Prince Naif’s subordinate, would be removed from Chechnya by May 2004. The agreement stipulated that Kadyrov guaranteed safe passage to Abu al-Walid. Playing a double game and intending to set up both parties, Saidov (probably together with Abu al-Walid himself) gave this information to the CIA. Apparently the CIA was concerned that having left Chechnya the Arab militants would resurface in Iraq and join the terrorist group of the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that belongs to the al-Qaida network.

Trying to prevent this, and besides, wanting to discredit Kadyrov in the eyes of Prince Naif, the CIA gave Saidov an „assignment“. On April 13 in the Nozhai-Yurt district of Chechnya, Russian troops killed Abu al-Walid (or alleged having done so). Saidov paid $300,000 to those who carried out this operation. Their bosses in Moscow received $500,000. How much the CIA paid Saidov is unknown….

Yasenev describes Saidov as both a drug trafficker and an arms trafficker, involved with the supply of Russian arms to the Saudi-backed secessionists from Yemen in Aden. This was at a time when Russia had officially ceased support to the one-time Marxist country in favor of supporting Yemeni unity:[66]

In May-June 1994, Saidov together with Usman Imaev and Khozh-Ahmed Nukhaev and under an agreement with Pavel Grachev and Dzhohar Dudaev, organized twenty-two flights to airlift arms and ammunition via the Chechen airport Sheikh Mansur to the airport Aden in Yemen.[67]

In the spring of 1995 Saidov began to cooperate with the organized society, led by Vladimir Filin and Alexei Likhvintsev [see below] in handling [narcotics] traffic through the port of Novorossiysk.

Saidov is described by Yasenev as having good relations not only with the CIA, but also with both Turkish Islamists and even with Ayman al-Zawahiri, the man often described as both the „mastermind“ behind 9/11 and the senior partner in al Qaeda with the younger bin Laden:[68]

Since August 1995 Saidov resides in Turkey.

In December 1995 he published an extremist book in Turkish The Muslims of the Caucasus in the 19th century: Genocide by Russia. The leader of the Welfare Party and the future Turkish Prime Minister, Necmettin Erbakan, gave a good review of this book. In July 1996 Saidov became his advisor.[69]

In December 1996 Ayman al-Zawahiri was arrested in Dagestan for illegal entry.[70] He carried a false Sudanese passport. When he was arrested Saidov went to Makhachkala [the capital of Dagestan]. There he organized a petition to the authorities in support of Zawahiri. It was signed by twenty-six Muslim clergymen and the Russian State Duma deputy, Nadirshakh Khachilaev.[71] Saidov managed to obtain a court decision, condemning Zawahiri to a six-month prison term, which had actually expired by that time….

Since the middle of the nineties, Saidov formed stable relations with the Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi, Prince Turki al-Faisal (then head of the Saudi intelligence and at present, Saudi Ambassador to Great Britain) and Prince Naif.[72]

In addition Yasenev made it clear that Saidov was not pro-Putin, but a Muslim activist who was passionately anti-Putin and indeed anti-Russian:

In September 2003, Saidov participated in the congress of the extremist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami in Jordan. At this congress he announced that Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami was an organization effectively acting in the underground throughout Russia, Central Asia and the Crimea….[73]

On December 8, 2004 Saidov addressed Muslim youth in Moscow. In his words, „following Ukraine, the Orange Revolution is coming to Russia.“ „Our liberals say that in 2008 the situation in Moscow will be like the one in Kiev.“ However, everything will be different, and not in 2008, but earlier.“ „Amirs and mudjahideen will soon make the Kremlin shudder with horror.“ In 2005, „they will throw into hell the servant of Satan,“ i.e., President Putin, who is allegedly „wanted by the International Tribunal at The Hague.“

The same goal of Muslim liberation was attributed by Yasenev to the organizer of the meeting in France, Anton Surikov:

On December 13 2004, in Adygeia, Surikov had a meeting with a group of Sufi believers and said this: „In the past we were against ahl-ad-dalala (those who gone astray) with their Arab money. We used to say that one should not separate from Russia. But now „Russia is on the brink of collapse and chaos.“ So „we’ll be separating [from Russia] with all Muslims of the Caucasus.“ A new state will be created on our historical lands from Psou and the Black Sea to Laba and Kuban.“

(The goal of splitting up Russia attributed here to Surikov is that which, in an earlier text co-authored by Surikov, is attributed by Russian „radicals“ to the United States:

The radicals believe that the US actively utilizes Turkish and Muslim elements….From Azerbaijan, radicals foresee a strategic penetration which would irrevocably split the Federation. US influence would be distributed to the former Soviet Central Asian Republics, to Chechnya and the other North Caucasus Muslim autonomous republics of T[at]arstan and Bashkortostan. As a result Russian territorial integrity would be irreparably compromised.)[74]

Yasenev claims also that, in the summer of 2004, the meta-group

started a project in the Near-Volgian Federal District to train cadres for Volga-Urals chapter of the international extremist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, banned by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in 2003. The project is financed by private philanthropic foundations of the Arabic Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

In this context we can further question Dunlop’s assumption that the 1999 meeting organized by Surikov in southern France was called to promote the intentions of the Yeltsin „family.“ In the light of the Yasenev essay, it is more likely to have served the purposes of militant Islam and the drug traffic.

The portraits of Saidov’s and Surikov’s connections with al-Zawahiri, Erbakan, and Hizb ut-Tahrir confirm the criticism, by the Indian analyst B. Raman and others, that American studies of Islamist jihadism err in their restrictive focus on al-Qaeda.[75] The full range of Islamic jihadism is far more complex.

In my conclusion I shall return to the possibility that U.S. government might share common goals with Hizb ut-Tahrir and the meta-group in Russia, even while combating the Islamist terrorism of al-Qaeda in the Middle East and the West.

III. Allegations of Drug-Trafficking and Far West, Ltd

Yasenev links Saidov, Surikov, and others to their former service in a drug-interception group in Afghanistan, under a Leonid Kosyakov who now headed a company called Far West, Ltd.:

Leonid Leonidovich Kosyakov, b. 1955, Ukrainian citizen. Until 2005 resided in Arab Emirates and Switzerland. Citizen of Ukraine. Retired from the service in May 1993. Presently the president of Far West Ltd. In 1983-85 Kosyakov was in command of a special group in Shindand (Afghanistan), assigned to intercept caravans with drugs. In different times under his direct command served Filin, Lunev, Likhvintsev, Surikov, Petrov, as well as Saidov[76]

Yasenev also presents testimony that this group developed into what the Russians call an OPS (an Organized Criminal Society) responsible for massive drug-trafficking:

These accusations were made by the former officer of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine Sergei Petrov (alias Serge Rodin, French citizen).

According to his testimony:

„The OPS [organized criminal society] was involved in drug trafficking since the beginning of 1990s:

-from 1995 the OPS transports heroin (produced in Afghanistan) from Tajikistan to European countries via Russia with the assistance of the Russian Defense Ministry.

– from 2000 the OPS is involved in smuggling Colombian cocaine to Russia through the seaports of Novorossiysk and St. Petersburg under the disguise of import shipments from Latin America.

Among the OPS contacts in Novorossyisk is Saidov; in St. Petersburg it used to be Roman Tsepov.

Received profits are used for personal enrichment of the OPS leaders, the officials at the Ministry of Defense who provide them with „the roof“ [protection], and for financing extremist activities.“

In November of 2003, Rodin contacted the law enforcement agencies of Germany and France. Their investigation did not result in any actions against Filin, Likhvintsev, and their partners.

In January 2004, Rodin was blown up in his car in South Africa.

Yasenev’s charge of a military organized crime group under Filin had been reported a year earlier by Russian journalist Nikita Kaledin:

There is a powerful military organized crime community which from 1992 through to the present has controlled substantial drug flows from Afghanistan to Russia and Europe and is also involved in laundering „dirty“ money and is actively involved in Russia’s political life. The community is controlled by former intelligence officers, Afghan war veterans, and now drugs barons Vova Filin and Lesha Pribalt. The former lives in Switzerland, the latter in London. Both make quite frequent trips to Moscow, Dushanbe, Nazran, and Khankala….

Filin and Pribalt literally flooded Russia with heroin. The Kremlin could not tolerate this abomination any longer and ordered a mighty „Chekist raid“ [i.e., ordered the FSB to shut down the operation] against the narcobarons. However, it is rumored that the raid has ended up with the agreement that the latter would 1) share their profits; 2) help in the facilitating the peaceful referendum on the constitution in Chechnya; 3) bring some order to the drug market by liquidating the leaders of ethnic criminal groups.“[77]

As if in fulfillment of the third point, Surikov in 2001 denounced the leaders of an influential Tajik heroin cartel, including the mayor of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.[78] (Tajiks until then had been one of the ethnic mafias who most dominated the trafficking of Afghan heroin through Russia.)

Far West, Ltd, Halliburton, Diligence LLC, New Bridge, and Neil Bush

The connection to Far West, Ltd, of Filin, Likhvinsky, Surikov, and Saidov (along with Alfonso Davidovich) has since been stunningly corroborated by a news story on the Pravda-info website about Far West, Ltd, and Kosyakov’s resignation from it.

At a meeting of its stockholders on 2 May in the Hotel Ritz Carlton in Dubai „Far West Ltd.“ accepted the retirement of the president of the Agency Leonid Kosiakov, who moved to government service in Ukraine. Vladimir Filin, member of the Editorial Board of „Pravda-info,“ was elected the new president, at the same time retaining his previous position as executive director. The meeting of stockholders, in accordance with its charter, selected new members of the board of directors of „Far West Ltd.,“ which will now contain 9 members. Besides Vladimir Filin, Anatolii Baranov and Anton Surikov, it will include four more members if the Editorial Board of „Pravda-info“: Audrius Butkevicius, Aleksei Likhvintsev, Natal’ia Roeva, and Ruslan Saidov, and also Valerii Lunev,[79] a veteran of the Armed Forces, and Alfonso Davidovich, a political scientist from Venezuela.

Far West, the story said,

specializes in consulting work on questions of security in conducting business in regions of the world with unstable environments and hiring personnel for foreign private military companies [last three words in English]. Its head office is located in Switzerland. In addition, the Agency has a network of representatives in OAE [United Arab Emirates], Afghanistan, Colombia, the autonomous region of Kosovo, the autonomous republic of Crimea, Georgia, and the Volga Federal District of the RF [Russian Federation].[80]

Recently Filin gave Pravda.info some details about Far West’s work, and revealed that the firm had been co-founded by „a sub-division of a well-known American corporation.“ He said that the company’s new contract is

connected with the secured transport of commercial shipments from Afghanistan, where we have an office, to ports on the Black Sea. In Afghanistan there is a well-known U.S. air base in Bagram. It is connected by an aerial bridge with a number of other US air bases. For example, with the largest base in Frankfurt-on-Main, that’s in Germany, with an intermediary landing in Chkalovsk, in the Moscow area. But the most commercially attractive route seems to be that from Bagram to the US air base in Magas, in Kyrgyzstan. By the way, it is quite near the Russian air base in Kant. A significant flow of shipments passes through Magas, there is a niche there for commercial shipments too. This is very profitable. It is much more profitable than routing commercial shipments from Afghanistan through Tajikistan. Therefore last year we completely withdrew from all shipping through Tajikistan and closed our office in that country.Who are your partners?

Who our partners are is a commercial secret. I can say that they are four private firms from three countries, Turkey, Russia, and the USA,which engage among other things in shipping. One of these firms is a sub-division of a well-known American corporation. This firm is a co-founder of our agency.[81]

We can assume that Pravda.info is an inside source for information about Far West, for the two organizations seem in fact to be two different manifestations of the same group. Among the directors of Far West on the masthead of Pravda.info we find first of all Anton Surikov, followed by Anatolii Baranov, Aleksei Likhvintsev, Ruslan Saidov, Vladimir Filin, Natal’ia Roeva, and Audrius Butkevicius.[82]

Also on the Pravda.info masthead is Boris Kagarlitskii, who as we saw at the outset is a main source for the Western accounts of the meeting in southern France, by Patrick Cockburn, Nafeez Ahmed, and John Dunlop.[83] Many of the Far West directors, notably Anton Surikov, are or have been also associated with Kagarlitskii at the Russian Institute for Globalization Studies (IPROG).[84]

Although Filin and Pravda.info did not identify the foreign private military companies with which it worked, another source did:

Filin and Likhvintsev do business with foreign private military companies (PMCs):

– «Meteoric Tactical Solutions» (South Africa) – in Angola;

– «Kellogg, Brown &Root» (KBR Halliburton) – in Colombia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Georgia, and Iraq.

– «Diligence Iraq LLC» (controlled by the Kuwaiti Mohammed as-Sagar) – in Iraq.“

Their cooperation with these companies began in the end of 1994 in Angola on the initiative of Victor Bout, who was involved in the shipments of Soviet-made arms to the antigovernment group UNITA in exchange to raw diamonds.[85] Apparently, Bout became interested in Likhvintsev’s contacts (L. worked in Angola in 1986-87). Later, in October of 1998, Filin, Likhvintsev’s wife Liudmila Rozkina (b. 1966) and Anton Surikov (at that time he worked in the Russian government) established the company Far West Ltd., with the office in Lausanne, which officially does security consulting for business ventures in countries with unstable regimes. De facto, this is a legalized form of recruiting mercenaries for PMCs.[86]

Furthermore Yasenev claims that some of Far West’s work with Halliburton is apparently approved by the CIA for geopolitical purposes:

In 2003-2004, Filin and Likhvintsev worked on the Georgian project, financed by KBR Halliburton, apparently, with the approval of the CIA. The project had the goal of weakening the competitors of Halliburton in the oil business and, in a broader context, of facilitating the geopolitical objectives of the United States in the Caucasus. The OPS man in Georgia is Audrius Butkevicius, former Lithuanian minister of defense, presently advisor to Badri Patarkatsishvili.[87]

Some of Yasenev’s information about Diligence Iraq is corroborated by a Press Release from Diligence itself.[88]

Diligence LLC, a private military company (PMC), could be described as a CIA spin-off:

Diligence was founded by William Webster, the only man to head both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mike Baker, its chief executive officer, spent 14 years at the CIA as a covert field operations officer specializing in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations. Whitley Bruner, its chief operating officer in Baghdad, was once the CIA station chief in Iraq.[89]

Its partner in Diligence Middle East (DME) is New Bridge Strategies, whose political clout was described by the Financial Times:

New Bridge was established in May [2003] and came to public attention because of the Republican heavyweights on its board – most linked to one or other Bush administration [officials] or to the family itself. Those include Joe Allbaugh, George W. Bush’s presidential campaign manager, and Ed Rogers and Lanny Griffith, former George H.W. Bush aids.[90]

Joe Allbaugh, the co-chairman of the company, was also head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on the day of the 9/11 attacks, and indeed until March 2003, the month that the U.S. invaded Iraq.

The Financial Times wrote that the success of New Bridge in securing contracts had to do with their relationship to Neil Bush, the President’s brother:

Two businessmen instrumental in setting up New Bridge Strategies, a well-connected Washington firm designed to help clients win contracts in Iraq, have previously used an association with the younger brother of President George W. Bush to seek business in the Middle East, an FT investigation has found.

John Howland, the company president, and Jamal Daniel, a principal, have maintained an important business relationship with Neil Bush stretching back several years. In Mr Daniel’s case, the relationship spans more than a decade, with his French office arranging a trip for Mr Bush’s family to Disneyland Paris in 1992, while his father, George H.W.Bush, was president.

On several occasions, the two have attempted to exploit their association with the president’s brother to help win business and investors.

Three people contacted by the FT have seen letters written by Neil Bush recommending business ventures promoted by Mr Howland, Mr Daniel and his family in the Middle East. Mr Daniel has also had his photograph taken with the elder Mr Bush. Such letters and photographs can be valuable props when doing business in the Middle East.

Mr Daniel’s Houston investment fund, Crest Investment Corporation, employs Neil Bush as co-chairman. Crest Investment also helped fund Neil Bush’s Ignite!, an educational software company. Mr Daniel sometimes introduces himself as a founding backer of Mr Bush’s company, a Middle-Eastern businessman who has met him said, and has persuaded the families of prominent leaders in the region to invest.[91]

Until recently, news stories about the international backers for Neil Bush’s firm ignite have focused on Taiwanese businessmen, and Middle East billionaires, such as Defense Minister and Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.[92] But it was a surprise to learn in September 2005 that „Exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky was in Riga along with Neil Bush, the brother of the U.S. president, to discuss an educational project with Latvian businessmen.“[93] In an interview with Interfax, „Berezovsky pointed out that he is one of the shareholders of Ignite! Inc., an educational software company. U.S. President George W. Bush’s brother Neil Bush is the company’s chairman and chief executive.“[94]

The U.S. Contribution to the Afghan-Kosovo Drug Traffic

Much remains to be learned about Far West, Ltd., its personnel, and the American firm which co-founded it. Reportedly it was founded in 1998; and already had Surikov and Saidov as directors when they attended the meeting in Khashoggi’s villa in July 1999.

I suspect myself that the meeting did indeed have to do with destabilizing Russia, as Dunlop claimed. But I believe also that the group at the meeting was more concerned with facilitating drug-trafficking than with strengthening the Kremlin. I believe further that they also discussed the Russian presence in Kosovo, and the imminent increase in the flow of Afghan drugs through Kosovo.

That this flow is huge has been attested to by many observers. Russian sources estimate that from 1991 to 2003 the same group shipped to Western Europe up to 300 tons of heroin and sold it to wholesale buyers of Kosovo Albanian nationality.  In the same period they sold up to 60 tons of heroin to Azeri and Roma (gypsy) wholesalers in the Volga and the Urals Federal Districts of Russia. The group’s total receipts for heroin in 1991-2003 are estimated to be $5 billion.[95]

The chief narco-baron of the group is said to be Vladimir Filin, who is also the head of Far West. Here is a relevant interview Filin afforded to his colleague Alexander Nagorny at Filin’s own alternate organization, Pravda.info:

There have been reports in mass media about the involvement of the U.S. military in Afghanistan in drug trafficking. I asked the well-known political scientist and specialist on organized crime Vladimir Filin to comment on this.

-Vladimir Ilyich, is it true that Americans are involved in drug business?

-Yes, they are in ideal situation for this. They control the Bagram airfield from where the Air Force transport planes fly to a U.S. military base in Germany. In the last two years this base became the largest transit hub for moving Afghan heroin to other US bases and installations in Europe. Much of it goes to Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia. From there the Kosovo Albanian mafia moves heroin back to Germany and other EU countries.

-Why such a complex arrangement?

Drug traffickers enjoy relative safety in military bases. There is no serious control there. German police cannot work there. However, outside of military bases German law-enforcement is in effect. True, any police can be bought. But the level of corruption in Germany is not as high as, say, in Russia. This is why it is more convenient for Americans to establish distribution centers in other places. I believe that, in time, such centers will move to their military installations in Poznan, Poland, and also in Romania and Bulgaria. Poland is already a EU member. Romania and Bulgaria are expected to be in 2007. Corruption in these countries is almost as high as in Russia.

-How big is American drug traffic to Europe and who is behind it?

-About 15-20 tons of heroin a year. When Poznan become open, I think it could rise to 50, even 70 tons. Behind this business are the CIA and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). Actually, this is what they did already in Indochina in the 1960s-70s and in Central America in the 1980s.[96]

Under the circumstances I consider Filin to be no more reliable than his opposite number, Joseph D. Douglass, the author of Red Cocaine: The Drugging of America and the West. But legitimate questions abound as to why the USA empowered the KLA to take over Kosovo.

<!– I will close with a question I have raised before. One has to ask why in 2004 some U.S. bureaucratic sectors in the Bush Administration were still using the KLA’s very special background to deal with the difficult situation in Haiti:

In 2004 a USAID Report confirmed that „Training and management specialists of the Kosovo Protection Corps, a civilian response unit consisting primarily of former Kosovo Liberation Army members, have been brought to Haiti“[97]

Why would AID bring veterans of the Kosovo Liberation Army, „a major force in international organized crime, moving staggering amounts of narcotics.“[98] to train and manage the Haitian Army, an organization traditionally „corrupted by Colombian cocaine kingpins“?[99]

Whatever the answer, it is hard to imagine that AID in 2004 did not have drugs somehow in mind.

[„Peter Dale Scott has requested the deletion here of three erroneous paragraphs concerning Kosovo, Haiti, and AID. The error arose because his published source had misread and misunderstood an AID document.“]

How the U.S. Restored Narco-Barons to Power in Afghanistan, 2001

It is clear that the Blair and Bush Administrations did have drugs in mind when in 2001 they developed a strategy for ousting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Their plans focused chiefly on Ahmad Shah Massoud, overcoming the long-time resistance in Washington to supporting this known drug trafficker.[100]

Massoud of course was also the most successful guerrilla opponent of the Taliban. A more naked example of a U.S. drug ally was Haji Zaman in Jalalabad.

When the Taliban claimed Jalalabad…Zaman had fled Afghanistan for a leisurely life in Dijon, France. Just a few years at the top of the heroin trade in Jalalabad had given „Mr. Ten Percent“ a ticket to just about any destination he could have chosen. In late September 2001, British and American officials, keen to build up an opposition core to take back the country from the Taliban, met with and persuaded Zaman to return to Afghanistan.[101]

According to Asian sources, Zaman’s long-time Pakistani drug-trafficking partner, Haji Ayub Afridi, was also released from a Pakistani jail at this time, „reportedly at the request of the CIA.“[102]

The informed Indian observer B. Raman was outspoken about the U.S. use of narcobarons to oust the Taliban. Citing the subsequent failure to curb opium production, he wrote:

There are disturbing reports from reliable sources in Afghanistan that 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, by taking advantage of their local knowledge and contacts. These Pakistani heroin barons and their Afghan lieutenants are reported to have played an important role in facilitating the induction of Hamid Karzai into the Pashtun areas to counter the Taliban in November, 2001. It is alleged that in return for the services rendered by them, the USA has turned a blind eye to their heroin refineries and reserves.[103]

A third major narcobaron selected by the CIA, according to Raman, was Haji Abdul Qadeer.

Haji Abdul Qadeer was the CIA’s choice [in 2001] as the Governor of the Nangarhar province in which Jalalabad is located. …. During the first Afghan war against the Soviet troops in the 1980s, he played an active role under the control of the CIA and the Directorate-General For External Security (DGES), the French external intelligence agency, in organizing the heroin trail to the Soviet troops from the heroin refineries of Pakistan owned by Haji Ayub Afridi, the Pakistani narcotics baron, who was a prized operative of the CIA in the 1980s. Abdul Qadeer and Afridi became very close associates in running this drug trade with the blessings of the CIA. Amongst others who were associated with this trade were Haji Mohammed Zaman and Hazrat Ali.[104]

If Raman is correct, therefore, the CIA not only blessed but controlled the flow of drugs from Afridi, Zaman, and Abdul Qadeer into the hands of Soviet troops like Vladimir Filin and Aleksei Likhvintsev.[105]

IV. The Meta-Group, the War on Terror, and 9/11

U.S. Geostrategic Goals and Chechnya

In the 1980s CIA Director William Casey used narcotics to achieve two goals, the immediate goal of weakening the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and the long-term goal of financing Islamist resistance to break up the Soviet Union.[106] According to the partisan but well-informed observer Yossef Bodansky, Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the U.S. still pursues the goal of weakening destabilizing Russia.

As if reliving the „good ol‘ days“ of Afghanistan of the 1980s, Washington is once again seeking to support and empower the most virulent anti-Western Islamist forces. The US crossed the line in mid-December 1999, when US officials participated in a formal meeting in Azerbaijan in which specific programs for the training and equipping of mujahedin from the Caucasus, Central/South Asia and the Arab world were discussed and agreed upon. This meeting led to Washington’s tacit encouragement of both Muslim allies (mainly Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) and US „private security companies“ (of the type which did the Clinton Administration’s dirty job in the Balkans while skirting and violating the international embargo the US formally supported) to assist the Chechens and their Islamist allies to surge in the Spring of 2000 and sustain the ensuing jihad for a long time.

Washington’s motivation is oil pipeline politics and the economy. Essentially, Washington is determined to deprive Russia of a viable pipeline route through spiraling violence and terrorism, the political fallout of media accusations of Russian war crimes. In the calculations of the Clinton Administration, a US-assisted escalation and expansion of the war in Chechnya should deliver the desired debilitation of Russia.

The Clinton Administration believes that the spiraling violence in the Caucasus will scare Western investors and oil buyers from making deals with Russia. Meanwhile, with the sudden US attempted rapprochement with Iran, the Clinton Administration is heralding the Azerbaijani southern route (with a little detour in Iran) as seemingly feasible. And so, in the Summer of 2000, the Clinton Administration keeps fanning the flames of the Islamist jihad in the Caucasus through covert assistance, tacit encouragement of allies to actively support the mujahedin, as well as the orchestrating of an intense media campaign against Russia and its conduct in Chechnya.[107]

The Caucasian Common Market project of Khashoggi, Lord McAlpine, and James Baker, can be seen as contributing to this goal. While these western investors may have sought profits as the result of their investment, they were perhaps more anxious to see the reduction of Russian influence, thus providing a more secure environment for the new Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline which western oil companies count on to deliver oil from the Caspian Basin to the Mediterranean.

As the State Department noted in 2005,

the involvement of U.S. firms in the development and export of Azerbaijani oil is key to our objectives of diversifying world oil supplies, providing a solid base for the regional economy, and promoting U.S. energy security.[108]

The Bush Administration committed an estimated $1.5 billion to the Caspian basin area, including an $11 million program to train a „pipeline protection battalion“ for the special Georgian unit created to protect the Georgian section of the BTC pipeline.[109]

The Meta-Group’s Geostrategic Goal: Maintain the War of Terror

The fact that the United States will use drug traffickers as geostrategic assets does not at all mean that Washington and the traffickers will necessarily have the same agendas. In theory at least, the contrary should be true. Although the United States may have used known traffickers like Zaman and Qadir to regain access to Afghanistan, its stated ultimate goal, and the one assumed by the mainstream media, was to reimpose its own kind of order. Whether the country is Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Colombia, or Kosovo, America’s national interest is said to be to install and then protect pipelines. And pipelines require peace and security.

The prime geostrategic goal of the drug traffic in Afghanistan is precisely to prevent peace and security from happening. It is true that the international illicit drug industry, like the international oil industry, is polymorphous and flexible, relying on diversified sources and markets for its products in order to maintain its global dominance. But for the global drug traffic to prosper, there must always be key growing areas where there is ongoing violence, and state order does not prevail.

However, in speaking above of America’s stated national interest, I do not assume that a U.S. government will always represent that national interest. Something else has happened in recent decades, the growth of the drug trade to the point that it now represents a significant portion of national and international wealth. And it has to be said that the American free enterprise system, like every other dominant political system in a current nation with world pretensions, will tend above all to represent the interests of the wealthy.

Thus Bush Administration policies cannot be assumed to reflect the national goals of peace and security, as outlined above. On the contrary, its shocking underfunding of Afghanistan’s recovery, like its complex and destabilizing interventions in Georgia, suggest that it, as much as the drug traffic, hopes to utilize instability – as a pretext for maintaining unstable U.S. bases in countries like Uzbekistan, whose people eventually will more and more object to them. These policies can be said to favor the interests of the drug traffic more than the interests of security and orderly development.

A test of the Bush Administration’s true intentions in the War on Terror came as early as November 2001. The Americans had learned, correctly, that Osama bin Laden was holed up in the caves of Tora Bora. While storming the caves was a difficult military challenge, surrounding and isolating them was well within the capacity of U.S. military strength. However General Franks, the United States commander, entrusted the task of capturing bin Laden to two local commanders: Hazrat Ali and Haji Zaman.

As we have seen, Hazrat Ali and Haji Zaman were not only drug lords, they were earlier part of the 1980s heroin trail to Soviet troops that had been organized „with the blessings of the CIA.“ Thus the U.S. could hardly plead ignorance as to these men’s activities and interests, which clearly involved making sure that the writ of Kabul would never extend to their own Nangahar Province. For the drug trade to thrive in Afghanistan, it was necessary that the influence of Osama and the Taliban be preserved, not extinguished.

The folly of using Hazrat Ali and Haji Zaman was brought to Franks‘ attention at the time:

Military and intelligence officials had warned Franks and others that the two main Afghan commanders, Hazrat Ali and Haji Zaman, couldn’t be trusted, and they proved to be correct. They were slow to move their troops into place and didn’t attack until four days after American planes began bombing – leaving time for al-Qaida leaders to escape and leaving behind a rear guard of Arab, Chechen and Uzbek fighters.[110]

The failure to use U.S. troops cannot be attributed to the motive of appeasing local sentiments:

Pir Baksh Bardiwal, the intelligence chief for the Eastern Shura, said that he would welcome a massive influx of U.S. troops. He believed that the Pentagon planners were making a grave mistake by not surrounding Tora Bora.[111]

A U.S. journalist who was there, Philip Smucker, claims that the treachery of the local commanders went beyond their slowness to surround Tora Bora. He describes hearing how one lower level commander

whom Ali had assigned to guard the Pakistani border, had acted as an outright escort for al Qaeda…. „Ilyas Khel just showed the Arabs the way out of the country into Pakistan“…..That Ali had entrusted [Khel, who had once served under the military commander of Osama’s friend Younis Khalis] suggested to us that the escapes were part of a much broader conspiracy to assist al Qaeda right through to the end.[112]

How high up did this conspiracy go? Certainly Ali’s failure to capture Osama could have been and was predicted. But if capturing Osama was indeed the U.S. goal (as announced at the time by Colin Powell), the real question is why the task was not entrusted to U.S. troops.

In the wake of 9/11, Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator, has claimed to possess information linking the American 9/11, and much else, to massive drug-trafficking which has corrupted high level U.S. officials. Among other things, she has claimed that the U.S. has never gone after top-level drug traffickers, because

this would upset „certain foreign relations.“ But it would also expose certain of our elected officials, who have significant connections with high-level drugs- and weapons-smuggling – and thus with the criminal underground, even with the terrorists themselves…..[113]

After Ms. Edmonds reported improprieties to her FBI employers, she was fired. She has appealed her firing, but the Bush administration has invoked the unusual claim of the „state-secrets privilege“ to prevent the lawsuits she has filed from being heard in court. At this point we know little more than that what concerned her involved arms-dealing, drug-trafficking, and Turkey.

It is I think a matter of national priority to learn more about the American links to Far West, Ltd., the group accused of staging the Russian 9/11. It is a matter of more than purely historic interest to learn if that group’s Islamist and American connections could have supplied a meeting-ground for staging the American 9/11 as well.

For at present America faces in Afghanistan, what Russia faces in Chechnya, a war which is favorable to drug trafficking but increasingly deleterious to national well-being.[114] The Bush Administration continues to use 9/11 to sell its Asian adventures to the American people. Meanwhile elements profiting from the flow of Afghan drugs continue to grow stronger and more dangerous to the well-being of both countries.

Concluding Question: The Meta-Group and the United States Government

It seems clear that the meta-group, with its influential connections on at least three continents, was powerful enough to effect changes, through the Russian 9/11, in Russian history. The question arises whether they could similarly effect changes in American history as well.

As we have seen Russian sources claim that the U.S. Government has had access to he meta-group, for such especially sensitive projects as the assassination of Abu al Walid al-Hamadi. They claim the meta-group’s involvement in a number of U.S.-sponsored regime changes in eastern Europe, from the overthrow of Ceausescu in Romania to the recent deposition of Shevardnadze in Georgia. The Wall Street Journal attributed the latter to the work of „a raft of non-governmental organizations . . . supported by American and other Western foundations.“[115] One of these was the Albert Einstein Institution, funded by both the NED and the Soros foundations, which helped to create the dissident youth movementKmara in Georgia.Audrius Butkevicius, the meta-group member now resident in Georgia, is said to be closely connected with the Albert Einstein Institution.[116]

To this we should possibly add the so-called tulip revolution in March 2005 that ousted long-time leader Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan, (It was after this event that Far West opened its office in Kyrgyzstan.)[117] Nagorny claims that the coup was organized by British intelligence and Chechens in Istanbul, with the „technical assistance“ of Americans.[118] Since then the heroin traffic through Kyrgyzstan has allegedly almost trebled.[119]

Returning to a question raised earlier, it also seems possible that the U.S. government might contemplate using Hizb ut-Tahrir and the meta-group for political changes in Russia itself, even while combating the Islamism of al-Qaeda elsewhere. This would be far from the first time that the U.S. Government had used drug-trafficking proxies as assets, and would do a lot to explain the role of the U.S. in 2001 in restoring major drug traffickers to power in Afghanistan. Dubious figures like Nukhaev, Khodorkovskii, and Khashoggi have already shown their interest in such initiatives; and western business interests have shown their eagerness to work with these allies of the meta-group.

It is fitting to think of most U.S. intelligence assets as chess pieces, moved at the whim of their controllers. That is however not an apt metaphor for the meta-group, which clearly has the resources to negotiate and to exert its own influence interactively upon the governments it works with.

Since first hearing about the meta-group’s role in the Russian 9/11, I have pondered the question whether it could have played a similar role in the American 9/11 as well. At this point I have to say that I have found no persuasive evidence that would prove its involvement. The fact remains that two informed and credible witnesses, Sibell Edmonds and Indira Singh, have spoken independently of the importance of international drug trafficking in the background of 9/11.

The Bush Administration has paid Sibell Edmonds the tribute of silencing her on the grounds of national interest. She has nonetheless made it clear that what she would talk about concerns that part of the world where the meta-group has influence:

SE [Sibell Edmonds]: It’s interesting, in one of my interviews, they say „Turkish countries,“ but I believe they meant Turkic countries – that is, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and all the ‚Stans, including Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and [non-Turkic countries like] Afghanistan and Pakistan. All of these countries play a big part in the sort of things I have been talking about.

CD [Chris Deliso]: What, you mean drug-smuggling?

SE: Among other things. Yes, that is a major part of it. It’s amazing that in this whole „war on terror“ thing, no one ever talks about these issues.[120]

Indira Singh, who lost her high-tech job at J.P. Morgan after telling the FBI about Ptech and 9/11, was even more dramatic in her public testimony at a Canadian event:

I did a number of things in my research and when I ran into the drugs I was told that if I mentioned the money to the drugs around 9/11 that would be the end of me.[121]

The False Dilemmas of 9/11 Theories

I said earlier that by suppressing awareness of the role of drug-trafficking in our society, we give drug traffickers a de facto franchise to exert political influence without criticism or opposition. An example of this is the discussion of 9/11 in America, which usually fails to consider the meta-group among the list of possible suspects.

I have tried to suggest in this paper that in fact the meta-group had both motive – to restore the Afghan opium harvest and increase instability and chaos along the trade routes through Central Asia – and opportunity – to utilize its contacts with both al-Zawahiri in al Qaeda and the CIA in Washington. It is furthermore the best candidate to explain one of the more difficult anomalies (or indeed paradoxes) of the clues surrounding 9/11: that many of the clues lead in the direction of Saudi Arabia, but some lead also in a very different direction, towards Israel.[122]

Here it is worth quoting again the well-informed remark of a Washington insider about the meta-group’s predecessor, BCCI: „Who else could wire something together to Saudi Arabia, China, Israel, and the U.S.?“[123] The current meta-group fills the same bill, for it unites supporters of Muslim Salafism (Saidov) with at least one Israeli citizen (Kosman).

The meta-group’s involvement in the Russian 9/11 of course does nothing to prove its involvement in the American one. However awareness of its presence – as an unrecognized Force X operating in the world – makes previous discussions of 9/11 seem curiously limited. Again and again questions of responsibility have been unthinkingly limited to false dilemmas in which the possible involvement of this or any other Force X is excluded.

An early example is Michael Moore’s naïve question to President Bush in Dude, Where’s My Country: „Who attacked the United States on September 11 – a guy on dialysis from a cave in Afghanistan, or your friends, Saudi Arabia?“[124] A far more widespread dilemma is that articulated by David Ray Griffin in his searching critique of the 9/11 Commission Report:

There are two basic theories about 9/11. Each of these theories is a „conspiracy theory.“ One of these is the official conspiracy theory, according to which the attacks of 9/11 were planned and executed solely by al-Qaeda terrorists under the guidance of Osama bin Laden….Opposing this official theory is the [sic] alternative conspiracy theory, which holds that the attacks of 9/11 were able to succeed only because they were facilitated by the Bush administration and its agencies.[125]

Griffin of course is not consciously excluding a third possible theory – that a Force X was responsible. But his failure to acknowledge this possibility is an example of the almost universal cultural denial I referred to earlier. In America few are likely to conceive of the possibility that a force in contact with the U.S. government could be not just an asset, but a force exerting influence on that government.

My personal suggestion to 9/11 researchers is that they focus on the connections of the meta-group’s firm Far West, Ltd. – in particular those which lead to Khashoggi, Berezovskii, Halliburton and Dick Cheney, and Diligence, Joe Allbaugh, and Neil Bush.


Leonid Leonidovich Kosyakov, b. 1955, Ukrainian citizen. Until 2005 resided in Dubai and Switzerland. ’83-’85 – in command of a special GRU group in Shindand, West. Afghanistan, assigned to intercept caravans with drugs. In different times under his command served Filin, Lunev, Likhvintsev, Surikov, Saidov, and Petrov. Ret. in ’93. Owns big travel company in Dubai. In the spring of 2005 was appointed to general’s position in Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) and stepped down as the official president of Far West Ltd.

Vladimir „Ilyich“ Filin, b. 1960, Kiev, Ukraine. Ukrainian. Doctor of sciences (1982). In ’83-84 served in a special unit of GRU in Western Afghanistan, assigned to intercept caravans with drugs. In 1993 retired from GRU in the rank of Lt.-Colonel. A British citizen since 2000. In 2004 Filin was listed as political scientist and expert on „revolutionary and guerilla movements in the developing world“ at IPROG, the Moscow Institute for Globalization Studies.

Anatoly Baranov. Journalist. Under Masliukov-Primakov cabinet served as public relations executive director, Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG. In 2002 bought forum.msk.ru. Owner of Pravda-info. 2003 – Press secretary to the deputy prime minister Alyoshin (military-industrial complex). „Coordinator of media projects“ at IPROG.

Audrius Butkevicius, Lithuanian. Presently resides in Georgia. Former Lithuanian minister of defense. Sentenced for bribery. Has close ties with Albert Einstein Institution. Member of Far West Ltd. board of directors and the editorial board of Pravda.info. ’94 – visiting scholar at Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College London (together with Anton Surikov and Igor Sutyagin, now in prison for espionage).

Alfonso Davidovich Ochoa (b. 1948), Venezuelan, resides in Munich, Germany. Has German and Venezuelan citizenship. In the 1970s went through special training in the USSR and East Germany. Was close to the Cuban General Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez. In the past used passports in the names of Jose Rodriguez, Captain of the Cuban Army, and Jose Alva, Colombian citizen. Responsible for FWL office in Bogotá.

Alexei Likhvintsev („Abdulla,“ „Pribalt“), b. 1959, Lviv, Ukraine. Ukrainian. British citizen (2000), resides in Britain (Scotland?). ’84-85 special GRU unit based in Shindand, West. Afghanistan). Nov ’87-Jan ’89 – military advisor in Angola. 90′-’93 – together with Filin on assignment to sell the property of the Soviet Army in East Germany, did business with Kosovo Albanian companies. ’93.

Valery Nikolaevich Lunev (b. 1960, Belorussia). Belorussian. ’83-84 – special GRU unit based in Shindand, West. Afghanistan. Married to Dzhokhar Dudaev’s relative Fatima (b. 1970). Retired from the military in March of 1995. Lunev is responsible for security and „strong arm operations“. For his operations he hires the former and active duty officers of Russian secret services, including spetsnaz. Resides in the Netherlands, has Dutch citizenship. In 1990-91 Lunev took part in overthrowing the regime of Zviad Gamsahurdia in Georgia. Has extensive contacts in Tajikistan.

Ruslan Shamilievich Saidov (b. 1960, city of Khasavyurt, Dagestan). Avar Chechen-Spanish. Has Turkish passport in the name of Hungar (?) Mehmet and passport of Arab Emirates. ’83-84 – special GRU unit based in Shindand, West. Afghanistan. Later, assignments in Lebanon and Syria. Ret. Major of GRU ’93. Resides in Turkey since ’95 and in Dubai. Advisor to Necmettin Erbakan – ’96. Business partner of the Islamic Bank of Dubai and Habib Bank. Since mid-90s Saidov formed stable relations with the Saudi businessman Adnan Hashoggi, Prince Turki al-Faisal and Prince Na’f. Close to Basaev and Khattab.

Anton Victorovich Surikov , „Mansur“ (Ancestral name: Mansur Ali-Hadzhi Natkhoev), b. 1961, Sukhimi, Georgia, USSR. Ethnic Adygei. Son of a leading figure in the Soviet military-industrial establishment. Resides in Moscow. Has Turkish and, possibly, US citizenship. Doctor of sciences. ’84-served in a special GRU unit, based in Shindand, West. Afghanistan). ’90-96 – Institute of USA and Canada. ’92 – 93 – deputy of the Abkhazian minister of defense, makes friends with Shamil Basaev, commander of the special battalion trained by GRU. ’94 – visiting scholar at the Center for Defense Studies, King’s College London. ’96 – ret. Colonel. Also on IPROG staff.

Yakov Abramovich Kosman (b. 1946), resides in Nice, France. Has German and, possibly, Israeli citizenship. Involved in real estate operations and banking. Has contacts with Kosovo Albanian criminal societies in European countries. In 1997-2000 he served as financial consultant to Hashim Thaçi, the chief commander of KLA. The new president of Far West, Ltd.

Peter Dale Scott’s last book was Drugs, Oil, and War (2003). For the past three years he has been living in Berkeley and Thailand, while writing a book on oil, drugs, and 9/11. His website is www.peterdalescott.net


[1] Asia Times, 10/27/05, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/GJ27Ag02.html.

[2] Nick Kochan, The Washing Machine: How Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Soils Us (Mason, OH: Thomson, 2005), 124.

[3] Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, 2004; quoted in Kochan, The Washing Machine, 124: „The effects of this worldwide, highly integrated industry have been felt from Colombia to Thailand, from Afghanistan to Sudan, and from Russia to the United States. No country has been impervious. Transnational drug networks have exploded in response to the new conditions in the former Soviet Union. Particularly menacing are the connections that have been identified between networks in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Soviet successor states.“

[4] Robert I. Friedman, Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America (Boston: Little Brown, 2000), 208-09.

[5] Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books/ Chicago Review Press, 2001); Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).

[6] Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne, The Outlaw Bank: A Wild Ride into the Secret Heart of BCCI (New York: Random House, 1993), 347.

[6a] A comprador is an agent who acts as intermediary between local and international commerce. The term is used pejoratively in Marxist literature, but I use it neutrally here. Each compradorial revolution must be judged on its own merits

[7] „According to the UN, opium production [in Afghanistan] peaked in 2004 to near record levels of 4,200 metric tonnes – nearly 90% of the world market“ (BBC News, 4/26/05, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4487433.stm).

[8] The former dominance of the Burma drug trade by the Taiwan-based Guomindang (GMD) has now been replaced in press accounts by the control of the United Wa State Army, an ostensibly indigenous group. At the heart of the Wa Army, however, control of the traffic by Taiwan intelligence endures. See Bertil Lintner, Burma in Revolt: Opium and Insurgency since 1948 (Chiang Mai: Silkworm, 1999), 321, 324, 380.

[9] Letter of Anton Surikov to Oleg Grechenevsky, discussed below: „I am personally acquainted with Mr. Ermarth as political scientist since 1996. It’s well known by many people and we never hid this fact.“ Fritz Ermath did not retire from the CIA until 1998. Cf. Argumenty i Facty, 9/15/99, http://www.aif.ru/oldsite/986/art010.html. That the two men met in 1996 was indeed public knowledge. The Russian journal Commersant published a photo of the two men and others at the International Seminar on Global Security in Virginia, April, 1996.

[10] Interview, http://www.pravda.info/region/3601.html, discussed below. Cf. Letter of Anton Surikov to Oleg Grechenevsky, discussed below: „We cooperate with the American side in the sphere of commercial transportation not on the basis of direct commercial contracts between our agency [Far West, Ltd.] and the U. S. government, but through the intermediary company co-founded by the agency and a private U.S. company, which in its turn also interacts with the U.S. government.“

[11] Yuri Yasenev, „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya“ („An Orange Revolution is in Store for Russia“), http://www.compromat.ru/main/surikov/saidov.htm.

[12]John B. Dunlop, „Storm in Moscow“: A Plan of the Yeltsin „Family“ to Destabilize Russia

The Hoover Institution, October 8, 2004, http://www.sais-jhu.edu/programs/res/papers/Dunlop%20paper.pdf.

[13] Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 6-15.

[14] See the anecdote in the latest edition of Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Traffic (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books/ Chicago Review Press, 2003), xii; discussed also in Peter Dale Scott, „The Sleep of Reason: Denial, Memory-Work, and the Reconstruction of Social Order,“ Literary Responses to Mass Violence (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University, 2004).

[15] Scott, Deep Politics, 164-81.

[16] This distinction between a government operation ad a socio-political force reflects the distinction I make between parapolitics and deep politics (Scott, Deep Politics, 6-12).

[17] Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, 3/17/03, http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030317fa_fact. Soon after the exposure of Perle’s contact with Khashoggi, which, Hersh argued, violated a federal Code of Conduct for government employees, Perle resigned his influential position as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board.

[18] Interfax, 9/21/05. See below.

[19] Richard Secord, with Jay Wurts, Honored and Betrayed: Irangate, Covert Affairs, and the Secret War in Laos (New York: John Wiley, 1992), 283-84; cf. Robert Parry, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (Arlington, VA: Media Consortium, 2004), 136, 139.

[20] Patrick Cockburn, „Russia ‚planned Chechen war before bombings,'“ Independent, 1/29/00, http://www.naqshbandi.net/haqqani/features/caucasus/news/stepashin_confession.htm.

[21] Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed, „The Smashing of Chechnya: An International Irrelevance.

A Case Study of the Role of Human Rights in Western Foreign Policy“


[22] John B. Dunlop, „`Storm in Moscow‘: A Plan of the Yeltsin „Family“ to Destabilize Russia

The Hoover Institution, October 8, 2004, 15-17

[23] Dunlop, „`Storm in Moscow,'“ 18.

[24] Although Dunlop does not mention it, Khashoggi „himself, in a letter addressed to Versiya, denied the allegation that the meeting occurred specifically at his estate“ (Versiya, 2/3/00). The book Blowing Up Russia goes further, arguing that „no such meeting took place, and someone deliberately misinformed the Russian media.“ The logic advanced for this conclusion is that the bombings were not needed „by the insurgents in Chechnya to encourage the legal recognition of their independent republic“ (Yuri Felshtinsky and Alexander Litvinenko, Blowing Up Russia [New York: S.P.I. Books, 2002], 105, 108). However this „logic“ ignores the more likely motive of Basaev: to weaken the influence of the moderate Chechen leader Maskhadov, and create future political space for action by Salafi Muslim jihadists. See Shireen T. Hunter, Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and Security (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2004), 152-55.

[25] John B. Dunlop, „Storm in Moscow“: A Plan of the Yeltsin „Family“ to Destabilize Russia

The Hoover Institution, October 8, 2004.

[26] Dunlop, „Storm in Moscow,“ 41: „At the end of June [2000] there arrived at the editorial board of Versiya a large postal envelope without a return address. In it was a photograph in which were depicted three men…. After a time, there was a telephone call to the editorial offices, and the man who called, who did not introduce himself, said: ‚That is the photograph of the meeting of Voloshin with Basaev. It is easy to recognize Voloshin, but Basaev is the bearded man to the extreme right. That is what you wrote about [in the 3 August 1999 issue] and what you need.‘ The unidentified man explained that the photograph was from a still of footage shot with a video-camera…“ (The third man in the photograph, Versiya asserted, was former GRU operative Anton Surikov.) Versiya published the photograph of the three men at the head of the article.“

[27] Khashoggi’s connections to U.S. intelligence date back to his involvement in Lockheed payoffs to Saudi politicians in the 1960s. These tended to overlap with CIA patterns of corruption; and the USAF actually ran a similar program with Lockheed, „code-named ‚Operation Buttercup‘ that operated out of Norton Air Force Base in California from 1965 to 1972“ (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/24/73, 22).“ For the pattern of Lockheed payoffs tracking the CIA’s, see Anthony Sampson, The Arms Bazaar (New York: Viking, 1977), 134, 227-8, 238.

[28] Anthony Summers with Robbyn Swann, The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon (New York: Viking, 2000), 283.

[29] Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, the World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992), 84.

[30] Robert Parry, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (Arlington, VA: Media Consortium, 2004), 136, 139. A Portuguese newspaper article alleged that Khashoggi was a director of BCCI, and this claim has often been repeated. The best sources confirm only Khashoggi’s profitable arms deals with the bank as co-investor, and his cousin Yassin’s participation in a BCCI affiliate, Hong Kong Deposit and Guaranty (Truell and Gurwin, False Profits, 108-09, 129, 135-38).

[31] Ron Kessler, The Richest Man in the World , 181-83.

[32] „Separatism, Islam and Oil,“ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2000/02/game/344.htm. Cf. „The tendencies of interregional and international integration in North Caucasia,“ Caucasian Knot, eng.kavkaz.memo.ru/reginfotext/ engreginfo/id/560578.html: „One of the projects of Caucasian integration is called „Caucasian Common Market“. It was offered in 1997 by Chechen politicians with the support of the western states – USA and Great Britain. This project is on the stage of implementation: in Georgia a branch of Caucasian Common Market is established, a company for insurance of foreign investments is established, an industrial construction consortium „Caucasus“ is organised that apart from renovation of the port Poti plans to construct motorways and railways in Chechnya. The executive bodies of Caucasian Common Market are also represented in Baku. Caucasian-American chamber of commerce and as part of it Caucasian investment fund were organised in the USA. These organisations are going to collect 3 billion USD as the initial capital for the projects of Caucasian Common Market.“

[33] Jamestown Foundation, Monitor, Vol. 3, Issue 206, 11/4/97. Another interested party before his tragic death with Princess Diana was Dodi al-Fayad, the owner of Harrod’s and Khashoggi’s nephew.

[34] AFP, „From criminal to Islamist: US journalist traces the life of a Chechen rebel,“ JRL 7252, 7/16/03, http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/7252-17.cfm#top. Nukhaev’s criminal background was known in the West before his dealings with Lord McAlpine and (allegedly) James Baker. See A. Zhilin, “ The Shadow of Chechen Crime over Moscow,“ Jamestown Foundation, 3/22/96, http://www.jamestown.org/publications_details.php?search=1&volume_id=3&issue_id=128&article_id=15.27; Paul Klebnikov, Razgovor S Varvarom Besedy S Chechenskim Polevym Komandirom Khozhakhmedom Nukhaevym O Banditizme I Islame (Talks with a Barbarian). . This background did not deter Margaret Thatcher from posing in a photograph with Nukhaev.

[35] „Caucasian diamond traffic“ (Moscow, 2005), http://www.civilresearch.org/pdf/7.pdf: „In spring 1997 Adnan Khashoggi introduced Hozh-Ahmed Nukhaev to James Baker.“

[36] Boris Kagarlitskii, „S terroristami ne razgovarivaem. No pomogaem?“ Novaya gazeta, 24 January 2000; Boris Kagarlitskii, trans. Olga Kryazheva, „We Don’t Talk To Terrorists. But We Help Them? A version of apartment explosions in Russia,“ Novaya Gazeta, 1/24/00, http://geocities.com/chechenistan/conspiracy.html).

[37] See Lilia Shevtsova, translated by Antonina Bouis, Putin’s Russia (Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003), 279, fn 15; citing Profil‘, 11/27/00, 18-20.

[38] For the complex story of Turkish involvement in the Chechen War, see e.g. „Turkey and the Chechens,“ BBC News, 3/16/01, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1223398.stm;. Hunter, Islam in Russia, 362-71.

[39] Yuri Yasenev, „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya“ („An Orange Revolution is in Store for Russia“), http://www.compromat.ru/main/surikov/saidov.htm.

[40] Yuri Yasenev, „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya“ („An Orange Revolution is in Store for Russia“), ru.compromat. This and other discrepancies between Dunlop and his source Yasenev were first pointed out by the Russian research group burtsev.ru at http://left.ru/2005/10/burtsev127.html .

[41] Yuri Yasenev, „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya“ („An Orange Revolution is in Store for Russia“), ru.compromat..

[42] „KLA Funding Tied To Heroin Profits,“ Washington Times, 5/3/99.

[43] SIDA/Cornell Caspian Consulting, „The South Caucasus: A Regional Overview,“ 2002, http://www.cornellcaspian.com/sida/sida-cfl-2.html.

[44] Anton Surikov, Crime in Russia, 38-39.

[45] Tim Judah, Kosovo: War and Revenge (New Haven: Yale UP, 2002), 279, 284-85.

[46] Toronto Sun, 6/27/99.

[47] Pravda.ru, 7/3/03, http://english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/365/10389_peacekeepers.html.

[48] The map was allegedly shown by Surikov’s partner Sergei Petrov to a Russian businessman in Geneva while discussing a drug deal (http://www.compromat.ru/main/surikov/a.htm).

[49] Peter Klebnikov, „Heroin Heroes,“ Mother Jones, January/February 2000, http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2000/01/heroin.html; Peter Dale Scott, „Deep Politics: Drugs, Oil, Covert Operations and Terrorism,“ http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~pdscott/911Background.htm.

[50] Shevtsova, Putin’s Russia, 285, fn. 11.

[51] Yuri Yasenev, „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya“ („An Orange Revolution is in Store for Russia“), ru.compromat. Cf. Robert I. Friedman, Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America (Boston: Little Brown, 2000), 265: „Astonishingly, both the [George H.W.] Bush and the Clinton administrations have unwittingly helped foster the Russian mob and the untrammeled corruption of post-Soviet Union Russia. When the CIA was asked in 1992 by Kroll and Associates, working on behalf of the Russian government, to help locate $20 billion that was hidden offshore by the KGB and the mob, the Bush national security team declined to cooperate. The Bush group rationalized, according to Fritz Ermarth, a top CIA policy analyst writing in The National Interest, `that capital flight is capital flight. It doesn’t matter who has the money or how it was acquired even if by theft; so long as it is private, it will return to do good things if there was a market.'“

[52] Founder and Chair of IPROG Board and the Institute’s director until April 2002 when he was replaced by Boris Kagarlitskii.

[53] Member of Yeltsin „family;“ Deputy Minister of Finance and then Prime Minister for four years until fired by Putin 2/24/04.

[54] Dunlop, „Storm in Moscow,“ 44-45.

[55] PBS, Frontline, October 2003, http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/moscow/khodorkovsky.html. Cf. Menatep Press Release of 4/30/02, http://www.groupmenatep.com/pressroom/pressroom_april_30_02.cfm: „30.04.2002: Group MENATEP Invests US $25 Million in Blackstone Capital Partners IV: Group MENATEP’s GM Investment & Co Ltd has agreed to invest up to US $25 million in Blackstone Capital Partners IV, a private equity investment fund managed by The Blackstone Group, an investment bank with offices in New York and London. Primary investment targets will include major industrial, service and communications-related companies in the United States and Europe. In the last six months, Group MENATEP has made commitments to invest in excess of US $150 million with a number of investment firms, including AIG Capital Partners, Global Asset Management, The Carlyle Group, and now The Blackstone Group (Source: PR Newswire).“

[56]„Former Primakov Official Attacks High-Level Corruption and Yeltsin’s Plans in 2000,“ Jamestown Foundation Monitor, 5/25/99, JRL 3306, http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/3306.html##9.

[57] Chechen Press, 5/28/05, http://www.chechenpress.co.uk/english/news/2005/05/28/08.shtml.

[58] As will be apparent in a moment, it makes sense that Surikov would have been opposed not only to Yeltsin but to the relatively secular, anti-Islamist Chechen leader Dzhokar Dudaev. For Dudaev see Shireen T. Hunter, Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and Security (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2004), 150-51.

[59] Military Policy Research, Archive Search Results, http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:Vt5emTAcJJEJ:www.mpr.co.uk/scripts/sweb.dll/li_archive_item%3Fmethod%3DGET%26object%3DLDS_1995_25_MAR+%22Crime+in+Russia:+the+international+implications+&hl=en. The full citation for the book is Anton Surikov, Crime in Russia: the International Implications (London: Brassey’s for the Centre for Defence Studies, University of London, 1995). The database WorldCat lists it in three U.S. libraries: Columbia, Cornell, and the U.S. Army War College.

[60] www.iprog.ru/cast/?id=8.

[61] Letter of 9/17/05 to Oleg Grechenevsky, http://www.mail-archive.com/cia-drugs@yahoogroups.com/msg01967.html. According to one 1999 article in Russia, Ermarth introduced Surikov to Steve Forbes who offered to help him participate in the project –together with Ermarth and UK Ambassador Sir Rodric Braithwaite –to reveal the ties between the Yeltsin Administration and Russian corruption. But this claim needs to be treated with extreme caution, given the false stories at the time linking Ermarth, Braithwaite, and Surikov to an imaginary joint campaign against Russian corruption. See The Electronic Telegraph (UK), 9/11/99, JRI #3493, http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/3493.html.

[62] Commersant (n.d). In an alleged transcript of a drug-related dialogue beween Sergei [Petrov] and a businessman, the latter says, „You’ve said Surikov was also a CIA man.“ See transcript of audio recorded conversation between businessman Gennady Nikolaevich (GN) with Sergei (S), which took place on September 29, 2003 in the Hotel Noga Hilton in Geneva, http://www.compromat.ru/main/surikov/narko.htm.

[63] Left Front Press Conference, , http://left.ru/2005/11/preskonf_eng.html. Kagarlitskii was defended at the press conference by the former Yukos official Ilya Ponomarev.

[64] Another IPROG member is Ilya Ponomarev (see preceding footnote).

[65]Dunlop, „Storm in Moscow,“ 42. Dunlop’s important and truncated description of Mekhmet has a strange and irrelevant citation: „On Erbakan, see Shireen T. Hunter, Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and Security (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2004), p. 365.“But there is no need to identify Erbakan, and Hunter is silent about Mekhmet.

[66] See e.g. Mohamed H. Heikal, Daily Yomiuri, 8/8/94.

[67] Surikov’s book, Crime in Russia, p. 33, confirms that „Chechen transport of armaments to Aden airport was even carried on during the civil war in Yemen in 1994.“

[68] Independent (London), 8/5/05.

[69] Milli Görüş, the chief organization of Turks in Germany, is said to have as it goals the „abolition of the laicist government system in Turkey and the establishment of an Islamic state and social system ….Former Turkish prime minister Nehmettin Erbakan, whose Refah Party was banned by the Turkish Constitutional Court in January of 1998 for `activities against the country’s secular regime,‘ is still Milli Görüş‘ undisputed leader, even if his nephew Mehmet Sabri Erbakan is its president“ (Lorenzo Vidino, „The Muslim Brotherhood’s Conquest of Europe,“ Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2005, http://www.meforum.org/article/687.

[70] Cf. Independent (London), 8/5/05.

[71] On 1/20/02, „Dagestani authorities announced that they had detained Nadirshakh Khachilaev, the leader of Dagestan’s Laks minority groups and a former State Duma deputy, on suspicion of having organized the bombing of the Interior Ministry troop truck in Makhachkala. Khachilaev, who once headed the Union of Muslims of Russia and has also been described as one of Dagestan’s most powerful mafia bosses, was detained along with another eight or so suspects over the weekend“ ( Jamestown Foundation, Monitor, 1/21/02, http://jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=25&issue_id=2179&article_id=19084). Cf. Hunter, Islam in Russia, 264-65.

[72] Yuri Yasenev, „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya“ („An Orange Revolution is in Store for Russia“), ru.compromat.

[73] „Russia is also concerned about the HT [Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami], for it fears that the movement will spread to Muslim regions of Russia. Russian intelligence is now collaborating closely with the Central Asian states to combat the HT“ (Ahmed Rashid, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia [New Haven: Yale UP, 2002], 132). Cf. Surikov statement to Sufis below.

[74] Graeme Herd with Ene Rôngelep and Anton Surikov, Crisis for Estonia? Russia, Estonia and a Post-Chechen Cold War. London Defence Studies, 29 (London: Brassey’s for the Centre for Defence Studies, 1994), 33.

[75] Cf. B. Raman, „Istanbul: The enemy within,“ Asia Times, 11/22/03, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EK22Ak01.html. In this essay Raman shows the direct links between Turkish terrorists (former disciples of Erbakan) and groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba sponsored by Pakistan’s ISI.

[76] Yuri Yasenev, „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya“ („An Orange Revolution is in Store for Russia“), ru.compromat.

[77] „Geroinovyi tur.“ By Nikita Kaledin. Stringer-news, November 4, 2003: http://www.stringer-news.ru/Publication.mhtml?PubID=2448&Part=39; partially translated in „Afghan Drug Scene: The Poppy Power,“ News Central Asia, http://www.newscentralasia.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=406.

[78] Pravda.ru, 7/30/01, http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/07/30/11317.html. Surikov’s accusation was noted by Maureen Orth in the March 2002 issue of Vanity Fair: „To find out, I track down in Moscow the only Russian official who has spoken on the record about this issue. Dr. Anton V. Surikov is chief staff of the Committee of Industry, Construction, and High Technology in the Russian parliament. Last spring he told the Moscow News that the mayor of Dushanbe was a major drug dealer. That interview precipitated not only a denial from the mayor but also, according to Surikov, a demand that the Tajik journalist the mayor

erroneously believed was Surikov’s source be arrested.“ In the same interview, Surikov also noted that, „as early as the mid-90s, the Russians were`buying heroin and transporting it from the northern part of Afghanistan to Russian military bases in Tajikistan by truck and helicopter.'“

[79] According to Yasenev, „Lunev is responsible for security and `strong arm operations‘. For his operations he hires the former and active duty officers of Russian secret services, including spetsnaz. In 1990-91 Lunev took part in overthrowing the regime of Zviad Gamsahurdia in Georgia.“ Lunev thus helped install Shevardnadze, who in 1991 supported Yeltsin against Gorbachev.

[80] http://www.pravda.info/news/2695.html,

Анатолий Баранов и Антон Суриков вошли в состав руководства агентства «FarWestLtd» – 2005.05.03.

[81] http://www.pravda.info/region/3601.html.

[82] http://pravda.info/aboutus/.

[83] Kagarlitskii, Director of IPROG, has also published many books in English, as well as in The Nation, Zmag, Counterpunch, and other journals.

[84] Those in both organizations are Anton Surikov, Vladimir Filin, Ruslan Saidov, Anatolii Baranov, Audrius Butkevicius, and Natalia Roeva. This list differs from the paravda.info list only in the omission of Likhvintsev.


[85]For Bout’s involvement with blood diamonds, and the US failure to deal with this problem, see Douglas Farah, Blood from Stones: The Secret Financial Network of Terror (New York: Broadway Books, 2004), especially 44: „Intelligence officials say Bout [following 9/11] flew U.S. clandestine operatives into Afghanistan and badly needed ammunition and other supplies to the Northern Alliance. In exchange, they said, his past activities would be ignored.“ For more on Bout see Nick Kochan, The Washing Machine: How Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Soils Us (Mason, OH: Thomson, 2005), 36-61.

Cf. Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003), 15: „In the early 1990s, Osama bin Laden’s main supply sergeant was Victor Bout, a former Russian military officer who had served in Angola, where he got involved in arms trafficking and oil. …Bout had a reputation for delivering anything, anywhere, including the nasty stuff.“

[86] Yasenev, „Rossiyu zhdet oranzhevaya revolytsiya.“

[87] Georgian tycoon, close associate of Boris Berezovskii. Cf. Klebnikov, Godfather of the Kremlin, 262: „Often Berezovskii acted in Chechnya through Badri Patarkatsishvili, the Logovaz partner who, according to the Russian security services, had long served as the company’s primary intermediary with organized crime groups.“ Klebnikov reports (161, cf. 331) that Moscow police heard in early 1995 from a gangster that „he had been approached by Berezovsky’s aide, Badri, with a contract for Listyev’s assassination.“ (In February 1995 Listyev, the director of Russia’s most important TV network ORT, was shot dead in his apartment building.)

[88] Diligence, LLC Press Release 12/8/03, http://www.diligencellc.com/DME_announce.html.

[89] David Isenberg, „Myths and mystery,“ Asia Times, 5/20/04.

[90]Financial Times, 12/11/03. Cf. Asia Times, 5/20/04.

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=9375. „Mr Daniel’s Houston investment fund, Crest Investment Corporation, employs Neil Bush as co-chairman.“ Ed Rogers, Diligence’s vice chairman, was one of George H.W. Bush’s top assistants when he was US president. On resigning from the White House, he negotiated a lucrative contract to act as lobbyist for the former Saudi intelligence chief and BCCI front man Kamal Adham, at a time when American and British prosecutors were preparing criminal cases against him. Rogers used Khashoggi as a go-between to secure the contract, which was canceled after White House criticism of it (Truell and Gurwin, False Profits, 362-64).

[91] Ibid.

[92] Wayne Madsen,

[93] The Baltic Times, 9/23/05, http://www.baltictimes.com/hot1.php?art_id=13659.

[94] Interfax, 9/21/05, http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/politics/28.html?id_issue=11386915. Cf. http://www.mosnews.com/news/2005/09/22/berezovskyriga.shtml: „Berezovsky is meeting Neil Bush on business, as the U.S. president’s brother is a stockholder of Berezovsky’s educational company Ignite, the spokesperson [for Belokon Holding] said.“

[95] www.compromat.ru/main/zuganov/surikov2.htm.

[96] Alexander Nagorny „Narcobarons from the CIA and MI-6“ Pravda-info 2004.09.13 http://www.pravda.info/kompromat/1203.html.

59 Anthony Fenton, „Kosovo Liberation Army helps establish `Protectorate‘ in Haiti,“ citing Flashpoints interview, 11/19/04, http://www.flashpoints.net). Cf. Anthony Fenton, „Canada in Haiti: Humanitarian Extermination,“ CMAQ.net, 12/8/04; http://www.cmaq.net/fr/node.php?id=19240.

[98] San Francisco Chronicle, 5/5/99.

[99] New York Times, 6/2/04.

[100] Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (New York: Penguin Press, 2004), 536: „Massoud was a drug trafficker.“ Cf. 345, 430, 458, 516, 519.

[101] Philip Smucker, Al Qaeda’s Great Escape: The Military and the Media on Terror’s Trail (Washington: Brassey’s, 2004), 9. Ironically, this decision by British and American officials (the latter almost certainly CIA) may have contributed to bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora in December 2001. Cf. CNN, 12/29/01: „Abdullah Tawheedi, a deputy head of intelligence in Afghanistan, says he has received `reliable information‘ that the terrorist leader paid a `large amount‘ of money to buy his way out of Afghanistan. Tawheedi named Haji Zaman — a well-known independent military commander — as the man responsible for taking bin Laden across the border to Pakistan. Ironically, Haji Zaman had recently been fighting against bin Laden and his al Qaeda organization. But Tawheedi says he believes Haji Zaman was apparently persuaded — by money — to help the terrorist leader.“

[102] B. Raman, „Assassination of Haji Abdul Qadeer in Kabul,“ South Asia Analysis Group, Paper No. 489, www.saag.org/papers5/paper489.html: „11.With an Afghan passport, Afridi, a Pakistani national belonging to the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), voluntarily traveled to Dubai , where he allegedly negotiated with American authorities the terms of his voluntary surrender and from there he boarded a cargo flight to the US in December 1995 to hand himself over to the US drug control authorities. He was sentenced to three and a half year’s imprisonment. After serving his sentence, he returned to Pakistan in August,1999. He was arrested by the Pakistani drug control authorities and prosecuted in a drug smuggling case pending against him. The court sentenced him to seven years imprisonment in the middle of 2001. Hardly had he started his sentence in a Karachi jail, when he was got released by the ISI, reportedly at the request of the CIA, after the war against the Taliban and the Al Qaeda had started on October 7, 2001, and allowed to proceed to his home in the Khyber Agency.“ Cf. Asia Times Online, 12/4/01; Peter Dale Scott, „Pre-1990 Drug Networks Being Restored Under New Coalition?“ http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~pdscott/qf5.html.

[103] B. Raman, „Assassination of Haji Abdul Qadeer in Kabul, South Asia Analysis Group, Paper No. 489.

[104] Raman, op. cit., emphasis added.

[105] A possible explanation for the release and recruitment of major traffickers in 2001 would be the desire to combat the influence in the traffic of narco-barons who supported the Taliban, such as Bashir Noorzai and Juma Khan. The fact remains that the Taliban had effectively suppressed the planting of opium, a major event in drug suppression that has now been completely reversed by the U.S. invasion.

[106] Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 49-50.

[107] Yossef Bodansky, „The Great Game for OIL,“ Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, June-July 2000, pp. 4-10, http://news.suc.org/bydate/2000/Sep_28/11.html. Kagarlitsky’s article itself can be seen as an important part of this campaign.

[108] U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification: Foreign Operations, Fiscal Year 2005, 363; quoted in Michael T. Klare, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2004), 137.

[109] Klare, Blood and Oil, 136, 137.

[110] Knight-Ridder, 10/31/04.

[111] Smucker, Al Qaeda’s Great Escape, 88.

[112] Smucker, Al Qaeda’s Great Escape, 110-11. Some of those whose escape from Tora Bora was assisted later led terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

[113] Christopher Deliso, „The Stakes Are Too High for Us to Stop Fighting Now,“ interview with Sibel Edmonds, http://antiwar.com/deliso/. For a survey of the Sibel Edmonds story, see David Rose, „An Inconvenient Patriot,“ Vanity Fair, September 2005: „Much of what Edmonds reportedly heard seemed to concern not state espionage but criminal activity. There was talk, she told investigators, of laundering the profits of large-scale drug deals and of selling classified military technologies to the highest bidder.“

[114] The Iraq War is also beneficial to the drug traffic. See the following story from the Balochistan Post, quoting the London Independent: „“BAGHDAD: The city, which had never seen heroin, a deadly addictive drug, until March 2003, is now flooded with narcotics including heroin. According to a report published by London’s The Independent newspaper, the citizens of Baghdad complained that the drugs like heroin and cocaine were being peddled on the streets of the Iraqi metropolis. Some reports suggest that the drug and arms trafficking is patronized by the CIA to finance its covert operations worldwide.“

[115] Wall Street Journal, 11/24/03.

[116] „In June 1992, independent Lithuanian Minister of Defense, Audrius Butkevicius, hosted a symposium to thank the Albert Einstein Institution’s key role during the independence process of the Baltic countries“ (Thierry Meyssan,“ The Albert Einstein Institution: non-violence according to the CIA,“ http://www.voltairenet.org/article30032.html). Cf. Paul Labarique : «Les dessous du coup d’État en Géorgie», text in French, Voltaire, January 7, 2004.

[117] Saidov, in his own words, was in Andijan at the time of the subsequent turmoil in the Uzbek Fergana Valley, which straddles the drug route through the Kyrgyz town of Osh: „`In May 11-18 I was in Uzbekistan, in the Fergana Valley, where I witnessed the suppression of the people’s uprising in Andijan by the dictatorial regime of Islam Karimov,‘ – says the Dagestani historian Ruslan Saidov“ (http://www.muslimuzbekistan.com/rus/rusnews/2005/05/rusnews30052005_5.html).

[118] http://www.apn.ru/?chapter_name=impres&data_id=430&do=view_single.

[119] Из Оша в Андижан(„From Osh to Andijan“), http//www.polit.ru/analytics/2005/06/06/andij_print.html.

[120] Christopher Deliso, „The Stakes Are Too High for Us to Stop Fighting Now,“ interview with Sibel Edmonds, 8/15/05, http://antiwar.com/deliso/.

[121] Indira Singh testimony, 9/11 Citizen’s Commission, 130, http://justicefor911.org/September-Hearings.doc.

[122] Khashoggi is perhaps the most famous example of a Saudi-Israel connection. One of the few in the United States who has dared to discuss the 9/11 clues pointing towards Israel is Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2004), 259-68, 578-79.

[123] Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne, The Outlaw Bank: A Wild Ride into the Secret Heart of BCCI (New York: Random House, 1993), 347.

[124] Michael Moore, Dude, Where’s My Country (New York: Warner Books, 2003), 15. The same superficial analysis is a blemish of his film Fahrenheit 911.

[125] David Ray Griffin, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press/Interlink, 2004), 5.

[126] Commenting on the list published by Pravda.info on May 3, 2005, http://www.pravda.info/news/2695.html.

Site Meter

Will the current crisis in Kyrgyzstan lead to greater instability, and perhaps an expansion of the current conflict in Central Asia? There are good reasons to be concerned. Deep forces, not adequately understood, are at work there; and these forces have repeatedly led to major warfare in the past.

The pattern of events unfolding in Kyrgyzstan is ominously reminiscent of how America became involved in Laos in the 1960s, and later in Afghanistan in the 1980s. American covert involvement in those countries soon led to civil wars producing numerous casualties and refugees. It will take strenuous leadership from both Obama in Washington and Medvedev in Moscow to prevent a third major conflict from breaking out in Kyrgyzstan.

I call the pattern I refer to “a Laotian syndrome” of coups, drugs, and terror, since it was first clearly illustrated by American interventions in Laos in the late 1950s and 1960s. The syndrome involves a number of independent but interactive elements whose interconnection in the past has not generally been recognized. What it reflects is not a single agenda, but a predictable symbiosis of divergent groups, responding to the powerful forces that the drug traffic creates. In this syndrome, something like the following pattern emerges.

„1) Covert U.S. activity results in the ousting of a moderate government, and its replacement by a more corrupt and unpopular one, unsupported by the culture of the country on which it is imposed.

2) A successor regime, to maintain its uncertain grip on power, intensifies its control over the local drug traffic.

3) This control involves collaboration with local drug mafias, leading to their expansion.

4) The flow of drugs from the country (or through, in the case of Kyrgyzstan) increases significantly.

5) Eventually, in the context of weakened legitimacy and strengthened illegitimacy, a successor government is ousted.

6) What ensues is a violent civil war.

7) The final outcome is a government not to America’s liking.“

The pattern does not repeat itself identically. In Laos, CIA intrigue and money in 1959 produced an unpopular pro-American regime under right-wing general Phoumi Nosavan, which lasted eighteen months.1 Similar CIA intrigues in Afghanistan two decades later completely backfired, and produced instead an equally unpopular anti-American regime under Nur Mohammed Taraki, which lasted sixteen months.2

But the root problem was the same: the CIA’s gratuitous destabilization of an inoffensive country encouraged local intrigues and paranoia, and soon produced an unstable and divisive government without a popular base. Eventually a resulting weakened government (the next in Laos, a little later in Afghanistan) favored both drug and terrorist activity in its territory, as predictably as a pine forest weakened by drought will invite an infestation of beetles.

The longer-term result was a country where civil politics had been replaced by civil war. In the case of Laos and Afghanistan U.S. covert activity, waged as part of the Cold War, produced Soviet military and intelligence responses. (It may, in the case of Afghanistan, have been designed to produce such responses.) Former Carter advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who authorized the CIA’s covert Afghan operations of 1978-79, later boasted to a French newspaper:

„The secret operation was an excellent idea. It drew the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? On the day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, saying, in essence: ‘We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War.’”…

When asked whether Islamic fundamentalism represented a world menace, Brzezinski replied, “Nonsense!”3″

The last decade of Kyrgyz history suggests that U.S. and Russian covert operators have continued to tussle in the “great game” of dominating the Central Asian heartland. And once again, while the leaders of both countries to evolve common policies for Kyrgyzstan, there may be bureaucrats below them who harbor more belligerent intentions.

To the general public, it would seem obvious that none of these developments have been in the interests of either America or the world. Yet American agencies have still not learned from the obvious fiasco of their Laotian venture, which resulted in a huge increase in opium production, before this peaceful Buddhist nation ceased (thanks to American efforts) to be neutralist, and instead became nominally Communist.

America’s destabilization of remote Laos, a neutral and harmless nation, was in accordance with the ideological doctrine being peddled in a book by three policy hawks at the time: A Forward Strategy for America, by Robert Strausz-Hupé. William R. Kintner and Stefan T. Possony. The book rejected coexistence as a foreign policy, and argued for “a strategy of active pressures directed against the communist bloc,” wherever it was seen to be vulnerable.

The American sponsored “Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan (March 2005) is a conspicuous product of the forward strategy doctrine. This is no accident: it came at a time when George W. Bush repeatedly spoke of a “forward strategy of freedom,” or a “forward strategy for freedom.”4 But by the 21st century the forward strategy in countries with drug economies had a track record, which its advocates in Washington might well have reviewed before advocating an intervention so close to both Russia and China.

In 1959 the CIA attempted to impose a right-wing government in Laos: after a decade and a half of expanding drug trafficking and a futile, bloody, drug-financed war, Laos became (at least nominally) a communist nation. Undeterred by the dismal outcome in Laos, in 1978-79 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Robert Gates, and the CIA mobilized right-wing elements again in Afghanistan, another nation contiguous to the then Soviet Union.5 The immediate result was the same as Laos: the replacement of a neutralist regime by a radical and polarizing one (in this case communist), followed by another radical increase in drug trafficking, and another decade of bloody and unsuccessful war.

What were the forward strategists hoping for in Kyrgyzstan? In April of this year the unpopular regimeinstalled by the 2005 Tulip Revolution was itself replaced. Although it is too early to predict the outcome of these dislocations, thousands of lives have been lost in the ethnic violence of June 2010, and drug traffickers are apparently profiting from the near anarchy to consolidate their hold on southern Kyrgyzstan. That is just what happened to Laos in 1959; it is what Jimmy Carter’s drug advisor David Musto warned would happen in Afghanistan in 1980.6 Did someone want it to happen again?

All in all, the coup-drug-terror syndrome in Kyrgyzstan well illustrates the Marxist dictum that history repeats itself, first as tragedy (Afghanistan in 1978-80), and the second time as farce.

The Coup-Drug-Terror Syndrome in Kyrgyzstan

After the break-up of the former Soviet Union in 1991, Kyrgyzstan, under the leadership of Askar Akayev, was relatively the most moderate and open government among the six post-Soviet “stans” of Central Asia. Alone among the successor strong men, Akayev was not a long-time Communist Party apparatchik, but an intellectual who read Heine, a physicist, “a researcher in St Petersburg and an associate of legendary Russian physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.”7

It is true that Akayev’s initial efforts to make Kyrgyzstan an open and pluralistic democracy did not last long: an on-going economic crisis made his regime increasingly unpopular.8 Meanwhile he soon came under pressure from neighboring Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, and China to crack down on the dissidents who were using Kyrgyzstan as a base for mobilizing against their home countries.9 Eventually the country’s economic problems led to popular protests and their brutal suppression.

But in international policy Akayev managed at first to maintain good relations with both the U.S. and Russia. In December 2001, following 9/11, he granted America a vital base at Manas, for support of its war effort in land-locked Afghanistan. Almost immediately, the Pentagon awarded the Akayev family payoffs on fuel supplies to Manas, via two Gibraltar-based companies (named Red Star and Mina) set up by a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel.10 American dollars proceeded to accelerate government corruption, just as they had earlier in Laos and Afghanistan.

hen in October 2003 Akayev allowed Putin to reopen an old Soviet base in Kant, as what was described as “a deterrent to international terrorism” in nearby Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.11 This move was not well received.

„Though [Kant was] less than a quarter of the size of Manas, Akayev’s decision landed him on America’s “watch list” and increased aid flowed to the Kyrgyz opposition via American NGOs. In 2004 Washington in assisting the democratic process directed $12 million, an amount six times the ‘formal” rent for Manas, into Kyrgyzstan in the form of scholarships and donations, while the State Department even funded TV station equipment in the restive southern provincial town of Osh. George Soros through his various foundations also helped fund the opposition, while Freedom House operated a printing press in Bishkek.12“

The So-Called Tulip Revolution of 2005

For the reasons cited above, Akayevlost acceptance in Washington, just like the neutralist Prince Souvanna Phouma in Laos in the 1950s, or Mohammed Daud in Afghanistan in the 1970s. Akayev was overthrown in the so-called “Tulip Revolution” of March 2005, by far the bloodiest and least democratic of all the so-called “color revolutions” that had already changed governments in Serbia (2002), Georgia (2003), and the Ukraine (2004). Those regime changes had been essentially nonviolent. In the Tulip Revolution, however, the London Independent reported on March 26, 2005 that, “According to hospital officials, two people had been killed and 360 wounded in the violence, and 173 were still in hospital.”13

In truth the so-called Tulip Revolution was no revolution in the true sense at all, but a palace coup, replacing the northern Kyrgyz coterie behind Akayev with a new southern coterie behind his replacement, Kurmanbek Bakiyev.Craig Smith in the New York Times acknowledged as much even before the coup was over:

„A malaise is settling over this country as the uprising a week ago begins to look less like a democratically inspired revolution and more like a garden-variety coup, with a handful of seasoned politicians vying for the spoils of the ousted government.

”Let’s not pretend that what happened here was democratic,” said Edil Baisalov, one of the country’s best-known democracy advocates, speaking to clearly disheartened students beneath huge Soviet-era portraits of Lenin, Marx and Engels in the auditorium of what has been the American University since 1997.

Mr. Baisalov bemoaned what he said Kyrgyzstan lost out on when the presidential palace was stormed and President Askar Akayev fled: the kind of cathartic national experience that he witnessed in Ukraine as its Orange Revolution unfolded. That was a slow-building, well-organized event that took two months to reach a successful conclusion.

”What Ukraine went through was very important to their democratic development,” he said. ”We didn’t have that great emotional experience of civic education.”14

As a symptom that the deep politics of Kyrgyzstan were unchanged, the U.S. Manas supply contracts, which earlier benefited Akayev’s family, were promptly taken over by Bakiyev’s son Maksym.

Nevertheless Ariel Cohen claimed in the Washington Times that “the people of Kyrgyzstan have won their freedom;” and he attributed the changeover, with good reason, to President George W. Bush’s words spoken in his Inaugural Address and State of the Union speech.”15

President Bush himself gave an imprimatur to the changeover. Visiting Georgia in May 2005, he told Georgian President Saakashvili,

Georgia will become the main partner of the United States in spreading democracy and freedom in the post-Soviet space. This is our proposal. We will always be with you in protecting freedom and democracy….. You are making many important contributions to freedom’s cause, but your most important contribution is your example. Hopeful changes are taking places from Baghdad to Beirut and Bishkek [Kyrgyzstan].16

And indeed it was true that, as the right-wing Jamestown Foundation in Washington revealed, “three Georgian parliamentarians, once active engineers of Georgia’s Rose Revolution, had paid an unofficial visit to Kyrgyzstan to support the attempted ‘Tulip Revolution’ there.”17

But this was only one aspect of a U.S.-coordinated effort. According to Der Spiegel in April 2005,

As early as February, Roza Otunbayeva [one of Bakiyev’s co-conspirators in 2005] pledged allegiance to a small group of partners and sponsors of the Kyrgyz revolution, to ‘our American friends’ at Freedom House (who donated a printing press in Bishkek to the opposition), and to George Soros, a speculator who previously helped unseat Edward Shevardnadze’s government in Georgia. Trying to help the democratic process, the Americans poured some $12 million into Kyrgyzstan in the form of scholarships and donations.18

The Post-Tulip Bakiyev Government – and Drugs

There seems little doubt that although the Akayev government had been corrupt, corruption only increased under the new post-Tulip Bakiyev regime. In the words of Columbia University Professor Alexander Cooley, the Bakiyev family “ran the country like a criminal syndicate.”19
More specifically, the Bakiyev family, according to Peter Leonard of Associated Press, took complete control of the drug traffic transiting the country.

Authorities and analysts have little doubt that Bakiyev and his relatives are at the heart of the drug trade.

“The whole Bakiyev family is involved in drug trafficking,” said Alexander Knyazev, a respected independent political analyst in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital.

“After Kurmanbek Bakiyev came to power, all drug lords were killed, and (his elder brother) Zhanybek Bakiyev consolidated most of the drug trafficking in his hands.”

Acting deputy prime minister and general prosecutor Azimbek Beknazarov also endorses the view that Bakiyev and his family have interests in the drug trade, although no specific criminal probes have yet been initiated into those allegations.20

In October 2009 Bakiyev abolished the Kyrgyz Drug Control Agency, leading the Jamestown Foundation to speculate that Bakiyev was “centralizing illegal control over the drug economy, [and was] disinterested in international initiatives to control narcotics.” It added that

Overall, roughly five identifiable criminal groups control drug transit through Kyrgyzstan. Although they are known to the security structures, these groups have ties to the government, or at times represent government and therefore are free to carry out their activities with impunity.21

In May 2010 former Kyrgyz Deputy Security Council Secretary Alik Orozov told a Bishkek newspaper that the Drug Control Agency had been closed by Janysh Bakiyev, who wished to take full control over drug trafficking. The charge was endorsed by the former deputy head of the former Drug Control Agency, Vitaliy Orozaliyev, who added that

problems started to emerge at the level of the US Department of State. All initiatives to extend the financing of the Drug Control Agency were axed exactly there. All previous US ambassadors were regular guests of the Drug Control Agency. However, with the arrival of [US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan] Tatiana Gfoeller [in 2008], all contacts were cut as if they were cut with a knife. She demonstrated full indifference to the agency, she fully distanced herself from this project and she did not accept our invitations. She even did not want to give accommodation to our US colleagues [in the DEA] – who wanted to set up something like a bureau of their own in Bishkek – in the territory of the US embassy. What caused such a sharp turn in US diplomacy to the problems of fighting drug-related crimes in Kyrgyzstan is only anyone’s guess.22

The Counter-Coup of April 2010

Bakiyev’s drug involvement does not appear to have aroused any protest in Washington. But in February of 2009 Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted 78-1 to close the U.S. air base at Manas, and in the same month Bakiyev announced in Moscow that he would close Manas and accept more than $2 billion in emergency assistance and investments from Russia. However,

the Kyrgyz government ended up double-crossing Moscow by accepting an initial $300 million payment before it renegotiated a higher rent with the United States for the renamed “Manas Transit Center.” As a result, relations between Moscow and Bishkek plummeted to an all-time low, while Bakiyev’s government gleefully cashed in the new checks provided by both Moscow mostly minority Uzbeks, say they were attacked by the Kyrgyz military and the police, and their accounts have been backed up by independent observers.23

But Bakiyev’s glee was short-lived. His political opponents, aware of and appalled by his mercenary manipulations, united in April 2010 in a successful, Russian-supported effort to overthrow him. According to the Christian Science Monitor


Many believe the coup in Kyrgyzstan was staged by the Russians, who were quietly unhappy with the previous leader. The Kremlin considered Mr. Bakiyev not loyal enough, as he appeared reluctant to close America’s Manas air base, which plays a critical role in resupplying US troops in nearby Afghanistan.24

Russia’s displeasure with Bakiyev was also spelled out by a writer for the PNAC-linked (Project for the New American Century) Jamestown Foundation:

Medvedev was uncompromising in asserting Russian domination of the post-Soviet space. He insisted that the government of the Kyrgyz President, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was overthrown in a bloody revolution last week that left over 80 dead and some 1,500 wounded, due to Bakiyev’s inconsistency in opposing the US military presence in Central Asia. According to Medvedev, Bakiyev first ordered the US and its allies to leave the airbase, Manas, near the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. Then he allowed the Americans to continue to use Manas to transfer personnel and supplies into Afghanistan, renaming the airbase into “a transit center” and increasing payments for the lease. Now, Medvedev joked, all may see the results of “such a consistent policy” (www.kremlin.ru, April 14).

The message sent to the Washington elite is obvious: keep out of Moscow’s sphere of influence. Medvedev insisted the US “must not teach Russia how to live” (RIA Novosti, April 14).25

Deep Forces and the Kyrgyz crisis of June 2010

It is too early to speak with confidence about who was responsible for the major ethnic violence of June 2010, with more bloodshed than in the previous episode of 1990. There seems no reason however to doubt the finding of UN observers that the fighting was not spontaneous, but “’orchestrated, targeted and well-planned’ — set off by organized groups of gunmen in ski masks.”26

Since the June events, the new Kyrgyz regime has charged that they were fomented by the Bakiyev family, in conjunction with at least one drug lord and representatives of the jihadi Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU):

The head of Kyrgyzstan’s State Security Service, Keneshbek Duishebaev, is claiming that relatives of former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev conspired with Islamic militants to destabilize southern Kyrgyzstan.
According to Duishebaev, Maxim Bakiyev, the son of ousted president Bakiyev, met with representatives of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in Dubai, while the former president’s brother Janysh brokered deals with Afghan Taliban and Tajik fighters. “The transfer of militants to the south of the republic was made on the eve of the June events from Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province via Tajikistan’s Khorog and Murghab districts. Cooperation in transferring [the militants] was made by a former Tajik opposition commander and drug baron, whose contact was Janysh Bakiyev,” Duishebaev said.
Taliban, Tajik, IMU, and Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) fighters were offered $30 million in payment, he added….. Duishebaev warned that Islamic militants are seeking to exploit the unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan. “Recently, IMU leaders and warlords held a meeting in south Waziristan, Pakistan. The participants of the meeting concluded the current situation in Osh and Jalal-abad provinces are favorable for sparking destructive activities across the all over the region,” he said.27

The Times (London) reported these charges, and added:

The interim president, Roza Otunbayeva, said that “many instigators have been detained and they are giving evidence on Bakiyev’s involvement in the events”. Kyrgyzstan’s deputy security chief, Kubat Baibalov, claimed that a trained group of men from neighbouring Tajikistan had fired indiscriminately at Uzbeks and Kyrgyz last week from a car with darkened windows to provoke conflict.”28

According to many sources, the IMU is a network grouping ethnic Uzbeks from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and relying heavily on narcotics to finance its anti-government activities.29

However the new government’s charges against Bakiyev and the IMU may have been self-serving. It has become increasingly clear that the victims of the massacre were “mostly minority Uzbeks [who] say they were attacked by the Kyrgyz military and the police, and their accounts have been backed up by independent observers.”30 The Uzbek neighborhoods were left in ruins, while ethnic Kyrgyz areas were largely untouched.31 It may emerge that the violence grewout of a prior conflict in May involving local mafia leaders, in the wake of the April 2010 coup.32 This led in late May to riots that former President Bakiyev was suspected of organizing.33

The situation calls for an impartial international investigation. If the current conflict is not thoroughly resolved, it is likely that both Islamic extremists and local drug traffickers will be drawn into it.34

The Kyrgyz Crisis and TransnationalTerror-Drug Mafias

One cannot lightly dismiss the Kyrgyz government charge that the IMU had met in South Waziristan to plan violence in Central Asia. Even before the June riots, there had been a disturbing report that the IMU (and its Turkic split-off, the Islamic Jihad Union or IJU) had established control over parts of South Waziristan, and were planning and training for extended activities in Central Asia.35 Of particular concern was the following paragraph:

The News International recently reported that affluent settlers from the Uzbek and Tajik areas of Afghanistan had come to Waziristan and Tank and had established mini-states. The Uzbek- and Tajik-Afghans were growing in both numbers and wealth, posing a threat to local tribesmen, the story said.36

This raises the crucial question of the source of this jihadi wealth. Was it just from wealthy jihadi sympathizers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, as has been alleged of the IMU?37 Was it also a by-product of the heroin traffic, as others have surmised? Were external intelligence agencies exploiting the situation for their own political agendas? Or, most alarming of all, was it from a milieu fusing jihadi activity, the actions of intelligence networks, and the alarming heroin traffic?38 Whatever the answer, it is obvious that the current disturbances in Kyrgyzstan, and corresponding breakdown of weak central authority, are a boon to extremism and drug trafficking alike.

The last possibility, that there is a deep force behind drug, intelligence, and jihadi activity, would be consistent with the legacy of the CIA’s earlier interventions in Afghanistan, Laos, and Burma, and with America’s overall responsibility for the huge increases in global drug trafficking since World War II. It is important to understand that the more than doubling of Afghan opium drug production since the U.S. invasion of 2001 merely replicates the massive drug increases in Burma, Thailand, and Laos between the late 1940s and the 1970s. These countries also only became major sources of supply in the international drug traffic as a result of CIA assistance (after the French, in the case of Laos) to what would otherwise have been only local traffickers.

As early as 2001 Kyrgyzstan’s location had made it a focal point for transnational trafficking groups. According to a U.S. Library of Congress Report of 2002,

Kyrgyzstan has become a primary center of all aspects of the narcotics industry: manufacture, sale, and drug trafficking. Kyrgyzstan’s location adjacent to major routes across the Tajik mountains from Afghanistan combines with ineffectual domestic smuggling controls to attract figures from what a Kyrgyz newspaper report characterized as “an international organization uniting an unprecedentedly wide circle of members in the United States, Romania, Brazil, Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan…These are no half-literate Tajik-Afghan drug runners, but professionals who have passed through a probation period in the mafia clans of the world narcotics system…”39

Others, notably Sibel Edmonds in the United States, have alleged that there is a network of drug-financed and intelligence-related terror activities stretching from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan, Chechnya, and Turkey.40

It is because of this possible convergence of disparate elements on the Kyrgyz intelligence-terror-drug scene that I have described the topic of this paper as a syndrome, not as a single-minded scheme or stratagem. Some of the possible components in this syndrome are barely visible. In his monumental book Descent into Chaos, Ahmed Rashid refers to the existence of a “Gulf mafia,” to which the Taliban by 1998 was selling drugs directly.41 A search of Lexis-Nexis yields no results for “gulf mafia,” and there is no other hit in Google Books. Yet there is abundant evidence for such a mafia or mafias, even if little is known about it or them.42

Perhaps the most notorious example of such a drug mafia in the Persian Gulf is the D-Company of Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, one of the two men (the other is Mexico’s Joaquin Guzman) to be listed both on the Forbes’ Most Wanted Fugitives list and also on the Forbes list of billionaires. Dawood Ibrahim merits a special section in a recent Congressional Research Service report on the nexus between criminal syndicates and terrorist groups. Entitled “International Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Security Threats, U.S. Policy, and Considerations for Congress,” the report described Dawood’s involvement with al Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).43 This detailed report did not mention the allegation by Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor of the Japan Times, that Ibrahim had “worked with the U.S. to help finance the Afghan mujahideen during the 1980s, and that because he knows too much about the America’s ‘darker secrets’ in the region, Pakistan could never turn him over to India.’”44

The Congressional Research Service Report cites Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company as its prime example of what it calls a fusion crime-terror organization (its next example is the FARC in Colombia). It is possible that the leading Mexican cartels should also be regarded as fusion networks, since their practice of terroristic violence has become such an integral part of the political process in Mexico. We can perhaps predict that such fusion networks will continue to dominate both the heroin and the Cocaine traffics, because terrorism and trafficking are so useful to each other. Terrorism creates the kind of anarchy that favors drug production and trafficking, while drug trafficking provides the most convenient and local source of funds for terrorism. Add the demonstrated interest of ISI and other intelligence agencies in both activities, and you have the right environment to foster what I have called the coup-drug-terror syndrome.

In all there are many discrete components of the coup-drug-terror syndrome, beginning with the naïve American belief that imposing American political values on distant countries benefits all concerned, including the peace and security of the globe. The various elements do not have to collude together. But past experience suggests what are the likely outcomes of ill-considered policies that may have been meant to achieve something quite different.

Moscow, Washington, and the Kyrgyz Crisis

What is particularly alarming about this syndrome is that, both in Laos and in Afghanistan, the outcome was a decade of devastating and incompletely settled war. At present there are no signs that Moscow and Washington are willing to fight over Kyrgyzstan. Fortunately the new leader for the moment, Roza Otunbayeva, has good relations with both capitals, and they are promising her support.

Yet there are signs that in both capitals there is tension between the dominant policy and militant factions less willing to compromise. In Washington, for example, Michael McFaul, Obama’s senior director for Russian affairs, said of Bakiyev’s overthrow in April: “This is not some sponsored-by-the-Russians coup, there’s just no evidence of that.”45 As previously noted, there were many in Washington who disagreed, including the ideologically motivated Jamestown Foundation. Fred Weir has since described the April events in the Christian Science Monitor as “a Moscow-backed coup d’etat that was thinly disguised as a popular revolt.”46

In Moscow too there are signs that some desire a more militant approach to the Kyrgyz crisis than that advocated by President Medvedev. When Roza Otunbayeva appealed to Medvedev for Russian troops to help quell the spiraling ethnic crisis in Osh, Medvedev turned her down: “’”It is an internal conflict, and so far Russia doesn’t see conditions for participating in its resolution,’ Russian presidential press secretary Natalia Timakova said.”47 Medvedev’s caution reflected his underlying concern about the treacherous instability of Kyrgyzstan, and his concern not to involve in the conflict the ethnic Russians in Kyrgyzstan. (Russia did dispatch a paratrooper battalion to its base at Tank in the north of the country where most ethnic Russians reside.)48 As Medvedev warned Washington in April, “Kyrgyzstan risked splitting into North and South. If that happens, extremists might start flowing in, turning the country into a second Afghanistan.“49

The approach of Viktor Ivanov, a senior advisor to Putin, was more interventionist. He told a Russian newspaper on June 20 of this year that the Osh area was a major region of Islamist-controlled drug trafficking, and thus a Russian military base should be established there.50 Nevertheless, in Washington four days later, Medvedev repeated to Obama that, “I think that the Kyrgyz Republic must deal with these problems itself. Russia didn’t plan and is not going to send contingent of peacekeeping forces though consultations on this issue were held.”51 Later Nikolay Bordyuzha, Secretary-General of the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), asserted that “there was no decision made on setting up a Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan, particularly, near Osh.”52

Viktor Ivanov wears two hats: he is both a senior member of Russia’s National Antiterror Committee, and he also heads Russia’s Federal Service for the Control of Narcotics. For some time he has been in the forefront of those Russian officials expressing frustration at the American failure to limit Afghan drug production.53 He is far from alone in his concern about the virtual explosion of Afghan drugs reaching Russia since 2001, which many Russian observers have labeled “narco-aggression.”

As early as February 2002, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov raised the issue of “narco-aggression” with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, telling them that whereas Russian border guards seized only 2 kg of heroin in 1996 on the Afghan-Tajik border, and about 800 kg in 2000, in 2001 more than five metric tons of drugs were seized, and half of the drugs were heroin.54

According to Sergei Blagov, a reporter in Moscow for ISN Security Watch,

Russian officials have estimated that the country’s drug addiction rates have increased several fold since the US-led invasion and the offensive against the Taliban’s in 2002, which was followed by hikes in Afghan opium production. Russia is now the largest heroin consumer in the world, with an estimated 5 million addicts.

Facing what it perceives as western willingness to allow opium production to flourish in Afghanistan, Russia’s top officials have described the situation as “narco-aggression” against Russia and a new “opium war.” They also suggest that the international alliance undertake aerial spraying against Afghanistan’s poppy fields.

The Russian press has been even less diplomatic, claiming that US and NATO forces were directly involved in the drug trade. Russian media outlets allege that the bulk of the drugs produced in Afghanistan’s southern and western provinces are shipped abroad on US planes.

Not surprisingly, Russia regards with resentment NATO’s liberal approach toward the Afghan drug industry and the alliance’s reluctance to cooperate in fighting the drug trade. Continued NATO inaction on the drug issue could potentially undermine Russia’s security cooperation with the West on crucial matters such as strategic arms reduction and non-proliferation.55

Repeatedly Viktor Ivanov has appealed to America to eradicate poppy fields in Afghanistan as systematically as it has attacket Coca plantations in Colombia, and for the international community to join Russia in this appeal.56 On June 9, 2010, both he and President Medvedev addressed an International Forum on Afghan Drug Production (which I attended), in an effort to muster this international support.57 I myself share the American conclusion that spraying opium fields would be counterproductive, because it would fatally weaken efforts to woo Afghan farmers away from the Taliban. But I do think that the interests of peace and security in Central Asia would be well served if America brought Russia more closely into joint activities against the global drug trade.

And as a researcher, I believe that Russia has a legitimate grievance against America’s current Afghan strategy, which has left wide open a major drug corridor into Russia from the northeastern Afghan province of Badakhshan.

“Narco-Aggression” and America’s Skewed Opiate Strategy in Afghanistan

For this reason America should revise its skewed drug interdiction strategy in Afghanistan. At present this is explicitly limited to attacking drug traffickers supporting the insurgents, chiefly the Pashtun backers of the Taliban in the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar.58 Such strategies have the indirect effect of increasing the drug market share of the north and northeastern provinces.

These provinces support the past and present CIA assets in the Karzai regime (headed by Hamid Karzai, a former CIA asset),59 including the president’s brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, an active CIA asset, and Abdul Rashid Dostum, a former CIA asset.60 In effect America has allied itself with one drug faction in Afghanistan against another.61

This strategy has seen repeated attacks on the poppy fields and markets of the southern provinces. Meanwhile production in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, the home of the Tajik-dominated Northern Alliance, has continued, despite denials, to dominate the economy of that province.62

(The statistics for Badakhshan, the most inaccessible of the Afghan provinces, have been much contested. A UN map of Afghan poppy production for 2007-2008 showed Badakhshan as the provincewith the least opium cultivation: 200 hectares, as opposed to 103,590 for Helmand.63 But LonelyPlanet.com posted an article in 2009, claiming that “Badakhshan is second only to Helmand for opium production. Controlled by Northern Alliance, opium is the backbone of the local economy.“64 And a detailed article in 2010 reported,

The biggest economic asset of the province, the one business most of the would-be Badakhshan VIPs find necessary and profitable to enter into sooner or later, is in fact cross-border smuggling. Actually, some sources claim that the local control of routes and border crossings in Badakhshan corresponds to the map of political power grouping in the province. Even if Badakhshan has lost its former status as one of the principal opium producing regions in Afghanistan, the local expertise and trade links have been maintained. Many laboratories for heroin processing are active in the province…65

Meanwhile there have also been occasional reports over the last decade of IMU terrorist movements from South Waziristan through both Afghan and Tajik Badakhshan.

The Badakhshan drug corridor is a matter of urgent concern for Russia. The Afghan opiates entering Russia via Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the chief smuggling route, come from Badakhshan and other northeastern provinces. The reductions of the last three years in Afghan drug production, while inadequate overall, have minimally impacted the northeast, allowing opiate imports into Russia to continue to grow. Meanwhile the much-touted clearing of opium poppy from the Afghan northern provinces has in some cases simply seen a switch “from opium poppies to another illegal crop: cannabis, the herb from which Marihuana and hashish are derived.”66

As a result, according to U.N. officials, Afghanistan is now also the world’s biggest producer of hashish (another drug inundating Russia).67 This has added to the flow of drugs up the Badakhshan-Tajik-Kyrgyz corridor. In short, the political skewing of America’s Afghan anti-drug policies is a significant reason for the major drug problems faced by Russia today.

What are the reasons for America’s relative inactivity against Badakhshan drug flows? Some observers, not only Russian, have wondered if there is a larger strategy directed against Russia itself. An article in India’s major journal The Hindu, entitled “Russia: victim of narco-aggression,”included the following suggestive reference by John MacDougall, writing for Agence France-Presse:

In 1993, Russian border guards returned to Tajikistan in an effort to contain the flow of drugs from opium-producing Afghanistan. In 2002 alone they intercepted 6.7 tonnes of drugs, half of them heroin. However, in 2005 Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon, hoping to win financial aid from the U.S., asked the Russian border guards to leave, saying Tajikistan had recovered enough from a five-year civil war (from 1992-97) to shoulder the task. Within months of the Russian withdrawal, cross-border drug trafficking increased manifold.68

And we have already noted the Kyrgyz charge that in 2009 the U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Tatiana Gfoeller, “demonstrated full indifference” as Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s brother Janysh closed down the Drug Control Agency there.69

Whatever the causes for the spectacular drug flow, it should be both a global priority and an American priority to address this crisis more vigorously. The reasons for doing so are not just humanitarian. Earlier this year Ivanov told Newsweek,

I have no doubts that drug traffic feeds terrorism in Russia. Huge amounts of illegal money flow to radical groups from the drug trade. At a recent meeting of the Security Council in Mineralniye Vody [in the North Caucasus], we saw reports that the drug traffic coming to Dagestan has increased by 20 times over the last year. That is what fuels terrorism, because terrorists buy their communication equipment and weapons with drug money.70

Conclusion: The Global Banking System and the Global Drug Trade

I believe that Ivanov is correct in linking terrorism to local drug money. I fear also that there might be an additional dimension to the problem that he did not mention: transnational deep forces tapping into the even more lucrative market for drugs in western Europe and America. Undoubtedly proceeds from the global opiate traffic (estimated at $65 billion in 2009), are systematically channeled into major banks, as has also been well documented for the profits from Cocaine trafficking into U.S. banks. When just one U.S. bank – Wachovia – admits that it violated U.S. banking laws to handle $378 billion in illicit  ine funds, this supplies a measure of how important is the transnational dimension underlying local fusion drug-terror networks, whether in Dagestan or the Persian Gulf.71

Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, has alleged that “Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis.” According to the London Observer, Costa

said he has seen evidence 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… Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. “In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor,” he said.72

As a former diplomat, I sincerely hope that the U.S. and Russian governments will collaborate to address these drug-related problems together, in Kyrgyzstan, in Afghanistan, and on the level of curbing? a venal global banking system.

As a researcher, I have to say that I see the U.S. Government as part of the problem, not as a very likely solution to it. We have too often seen the U.S. habit of turning to drug traffickers as covert assets in areas where it is weak, from Burma in 1950 right down to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.73

I conclude that some other major force will have to be assembled to force a change in U.S. government behavior. Russia is right in bringing this problem to the attention of the Security Council, but this is a problem transcending governments. Perhaps religious organizations around the world could be one place to start mobilizing an extra-governmental force. Journalists and other researchers could also supply a component. Somehow the world must be made aware that it does indeed face a triple threat: the threat of drugs, the threat of drug-financed terrorism, and eventually the threat of war.

Meanwhile it is far too early to predict what may eventually transpire between America and Russia in Kyrgyzstan. But it is none too soon to assert that history is repeating itself in an alarming and predictable way, and to recall that the ingredients of the coup-drug-terror syndrome have led to major warfare in the past.

My personal conclusion is that deep forces, not fully understood, are at work now in Kyrgyzstan, as they have been earlier in Afghanistan and other drug-producing countries. My concern is heightened by my increasing awareness that for decades deep forces have also been at work in Washington.

This was demonstrated vividly by the U.S. government’s determined protection in the 1980s of the global drug activities of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which has been described as “the largest criminal corporate enterprise ever.”74 A U.S. Senate Report once called BCCI not just a “rogue bank… but a case study of the vulnerability of the world to international crime on a global scope that is beyond the current ability of governments to control.”75 Governments indeed long failed to regulate BCCI, because of its ability to influence governments; and when BCCI was finally brought down in 1991, it was as the result of relative outsiders like Robert Morgenthau, District Attorney of New York:

In going after BCCI, Morgenthau’s office quickly found that in addition to fighting off the bank, it would receive resistance from almost every other institution or entity connected to BCCI [including] the Bank of England, the British Serious Fraud Office, and the U.S. government.”76

I have tried to show elsewhere that BCCI was only one in a series of overlapping banks with similar intelligence connections, dating back to the 1940s.77

When I first wrote about Washington’s protection of BCCI, I assumed that the BCCI benefited from its status as an asset or instrument for covert U.S.and British intelligence strategies. Since then I have come to wonder if CIA and BCCI were not both alike instruments for some deeper force or forces, embedded in the state but not confined to it, which has or have been systematically exploiting the drug traffic as a means to global power.
Not until there is a more general awareness of this deep force problem can we expect Washington to respondwith a more rational drug policy. My hope in this essay is to provide a further step in the effort to clarify just what these deeper forces are, and the extent to which they are responsible for America’s current, grave, constitutional crisis.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War,The Road to 9/11, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan is in press, due in fall 2010 from Rowman & Littlefield.
He wrote this article for The Asia-Pacific Journal.