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Can we really understand the murder of President Kennedy


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Mark, you raise a very good issue IMO.

Not only does criminalizing consenting adult private drug use support the drug trade, it also drives the problem underground and because of the tampering with drugs endanger the users and make them less likely to have easy access to speedy overdose responses and to rehab opportunities.

At the same time, the addiction to hard drugs and the drug trade accounts for a massive portion of crime to support said habits.

The solution is simple: registered, stigma free atmosphere, drug addicts with a guaranteed cost controlled quality sanctioned supply with accompanying exposure to treatment options.

Clean 'shooting galleries', and readily available counseling.

The ramifications to society would be enormous, with a dramatic drop in crime rates to supply money for illicit drug purchases.

The persons involved and their familes and friends would have access to support, and the police freed to deal with 'real' crimes.

Jail costs, court costs, and all attendant costs to society can be better spent.

The only looser would be the illegal drug trade as it is.

Right on the money, John.

The hidden costs of prohibition are enormous. Just the legal costs are staggering, when you consider the court costs, as you mentioned, which involve a vast investment of police resources, lawyers and judges to process the 'criminals' through the system, and the costs involved in keeping these people in jail. A few years ago, the NSW statistician Don Weatherburn estimated the cost of prohibition to the NSW taxpayer to be in the order of $7 billion per annum. It's no wonder the poor saps here get taxed and fined every time they stick their heads up--and yet the State Government is permanently broke. I'll try to dig up the Weatherburn article (which was buried at the bottom of one of the middle pages of the newspaper) and post it on the prohibition thread, although stories like this are shunned by the media and can be hard to find in the archives.

When it comes to America, you can multiply the costs mentioned here by a factor of 20.

The other things you mention are also right on the money. The shooting gallery here in Kings Cross, an anathema to conservative windbags with limited experience of real life, has caused assaults and robberies to plummet. Junkies get their shots for free in a discreet clinical environment (it costs something in the order of ten cents apiece), so they are not breaking into cars and houses, assaulting innocent people or leaving used syringes in parks or on beaches where children can step on them.

The problem is that there are now so many vested interests which depend upon prohibition for their living that it has almost become a pillar supporting the economy. When Bob Carr first proposed the shooting gallery, the Police Union informed him that they would campaign against him in marginal seats. A lower crime rate is very bad for a police force determined to bolster its numbers. In the US, the California prison officers union (reportedly with the largest union membership in the world) campaigns actively against anyone proposing a change to the status quo. Here in Australia, the Salvation Army, whom I used to greatly respect, issues stern denunciations of any attempt to change the laws. However what they fail to mention is that they are paid between $800 and $1000 dollars by the Federal Government for every addict they place on their program (which apparently consists mainly of counselling and has an unimpressive success rate).

The media also lives off prohibition. Plummeting crime rates and the absence of spectacular drug busts are a news editor's worst nightmare. Scandals involving sportpeople who have tested positive for banned substances are emblazened across newspapers. The media doesn't like the three strikes policy of some sporting bodies--it wants offenders named and shamed immediately and has even begun litigation in some instances to override those sporting bodies. The DEA, eagerly cheered on by the media, constantly attempts to widen the list of banned substances. The most absurd recent example is the effort to force the AFL to include cannabis as a performance enhancing substance, in conjunction with changing their three strike policy into a one strike (name and shame) policy. Pressure from the DEA forced Aussie PM John Howard to threaten the AFL's funding if they did not comply. So far, the AFL has held firm, responding with the perfectly logical argument of who uses cannabis to enhance sporting performance? Equally ridiculous, the DEA is pushing for a testing regime which detects metabolytes--compounds which attach to the fat cells and take months to leave the body--as opposed to a testing regime which solely detects intoxication from the drug, in conjunction with a 365 days a year random testing schedule. Therefore, if a player attends a party months after the season has ended and passively inhales smoke from a nearby cannabis user, which then cause trace elements of THC to be discovered in the player's system by a random test, his or her career can be terminated in the most humiliating and shameful manner.

That's how insidious this issue is.

When it's all said and done, it's not a crime--it's a vice. Unlike a robbery or assault, where there is an aggrieved party, the consumption of all consciousness altering substances, from alcohol to ecstacy, is voluntary. There's no aggrieved party. That's why the Volstead Act required an amendment to the US Constitution in order to change the consumption of alcohol from a vice to a crime.

Of course, the noble experiment showed how dangerous a substance becomes when its production and distribution is handed over to the underworld (in addition to the massive corruption it causes). It looks like the powers that be want to keep repeating failed experiments ad nauseam.

Sorry, Myra---I did it again.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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Mark, you raise a very good issue IMO.

Not only does criminalizing consenting adult private drug use support the drug trade, it also drives the problem underground and because of the tampering with drugs endanger the users and make them less likely to have easy access to speedy overdose responses and to rehab opportunities.

At the same time, the addiction to hard drugs and the drug trade accounts for a massive portion of crime to support said habits.

The solution is simple: registered, stigma free atmosphere, drug addicts with a guaranteed cost controlled quality sanctioned supply with accompanying exposure to treatment options.

Clean 'shooting galleries', and readily available counseling.

The ramifications to society would be enormous, with a dramatic drop in crime rates to supply money for illicit drug purchases.

The persons involved and their familes and friends would have access to support, and the police freed to deal with 'real' crimes.

Jail costs, court costs, and all attendant costs to society can be better spent.

The only looser would be the illegal drug trade as it is.

Right on the money, John.

The hidden costs of prohibition are enormous. Just the legal costs are staggering, when you consider the court costs, as you mentioned, which involve a vast investment of police resources, lawyers and judges to process the 'criminals' through the system, and the costs involved in keeping these people in jail. A few years ago, the NSW statistician Don Weatherburn estimated the cost of prohibition to the NSW taxpayer to be in the order of $7 billion per annum. It's no wonder the poor saps here get taxed and fined every time they stick their heads up--and yet the State Government is permanently broke. I'll try to dig up the Weatherburn article (which was buried at the bottom of one of the middle pages of the newspaper) and post it on the prohibition thread, although stories like this are shunned by the media and can be hard to find in the archives.

When it comes to America, you can multiply the costs mentioned here by a factor of 20.

The other things you mention are also right on the money. The shooting gallery here in Kings Cross, an anathema to conservative windbags with limited experience of real life, has caused assaults and robberies to plummet. Junkies get their shots for free in a discreet clinical environment (it costs something in the order of ten cents apiece), so they are not breaking into cars and houses, assaulting innocent people or leaving used syringes in parks or on beaches where children can step on them.

The problem is that there are now so many vested interests which depend upon prohibition for their living that it has almost become a pillar supporting the economy. When Bob Carr first proposed the shooting gallery, the Police Union informed him that they would campaign against him in marginal seats. A lower crime rate is very bad for a police force determined to bolster its numbers. In the US, the California prison officers union (reportedly with the largest union membership in the world) campaigns actively against anyone proposing a change to the status quo. Here in Australia, the Salvation Army, whom I used to greatly respect, issues stern denunciations of any attempt to change the laws. However what they fail to mention is that they are paid between $800 and $1000 dollars by the Federal Government for every addict they place on their program (which apparently consists mainly of counselling and has an unimpressive success rate).

The media also lives off prohibition. Plummeting crime rates and the absence of spectacular drug busts are a news editor's worst nightmare. Scandals involving sportpeople who have tested positive for banned substances are emblazened across newspapers. The media doesn't like the three strikes policy of some sporting bodies--it wants offenders named and shamed immediately and has even begun litigation in some instances to override those sporting bodies. The DEA, eagerly cheered on by the media, constantly attempts to widen the list of banned substances. The most absurd recent example is the effort to force the AFL to include cannabis as a performance enhancing substance, in conjunction with changing their three strike policy into a one strike (name and shame) policy. Pressure from the DEA forced Aussie PM John Howard to threaten the AFL's funding if they did not comply. So far, the AFL has held firm, responding with the perfectly logical argument of who uses cannabis to enhance sporting performance? Equally ridiculous, the DEA is pushing for a testing regime which detects metabolytes--compounds which attach to the fat cells and take months to leave the body--as opposed to a testing regime which solely detects intoxication from the drug. Therefore, if a player attends a party months after the season has ended and passively inhales smoke from a nearby cannabis user, his or her career can be terminated in the most humiliating and shameful manner.

That's how insidious this issue is.

When it's all said and done, it's not a crime--it's a vice. Unlike a robbery or assault, where there is an aggrieved party, the consumption of all consciousness altering substances, from alcohol to ecstacy, is voluntary. There's no aggrieved party. That's why the Volstead Act required an amendment to the US Constitution in order to change the consumption of alcohol from a vice to a crime.

Of course, the noble experiment showed how dangerous a substance becomes when its production and distribution is handed over to the underworld (in addition to the massive corruption it causes). It looks like the powers that be want to keep repeating failed experiments ad nauseam.

Sorry, Myra---I did it again.

No no, this is totally on-topic big-picture Mark.

Understanding why the military industrial complex wants to perpetuate social ills--war, drug arrests, drug addiction, overcrowded prisons, uninsured medical patients, etc.--is essential to understanding why they target those striving to eliminate the social ills.

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I've read almost nothing on this subject and am starting to wonder if that's an oversight.

Peter Dale Scott places great emphasis on the significance of the international drug trade in his book "Deep Politics."

However I haven't read his books that focus more directly on the subject, such as "Cocaine Politics" & "Drugs, Oil & War."

More specifically, no matter how much I read about the Vietnam war I can't find a satisfactory answer to the question "why indochina/why Vietnam?" (I know the war machine wanted a profitable war, but how did they settle specifically on Vietnam?) until I start factoring in drugs.

There's a good summary here:

"Perhaps the biggest secret of the Vietnam War is that our Central Intelligence Agency seized control of the infamous Golden Triangle during that time period, then, along with assistance from various elements of Organized Crime, shipped huge amounts of heroin out of that area into our country. Because piles of money were being made from this practice and many others, those who stood to profit from this horrendous war — the armament manufacturers, bankers, military men, and drug dealers — met any suggestion to withdraw from Vietnam with immediate consternation. But that's exactly what John F. Kennedy intended to do upon re-election. In fact, he had already planned on telling the American people that their troops would be back home by 1965. Think about this momentous decision for a moment. If we had exited Vietnam by 1965, EIGHT years of bloodshed in the jungles and civil unrest on America's streets and campuses could have been alleviated.

...

So, even though the above information is only the tip of the iceberg, now do you see why it was so important to the CIA/Mobster/international banker cabal that JFK didn't pull America out of Vietnam? The money (via illegal drug trafficking and for the War Machine) was incredible, while CONTROL of another area of the globe (the Golden Triangle) was secured.

..."

http://www.serendipity.li/cia/babel1/finaljudgment92.html

Obviously this drug angle is especially, potentially, important for those of us who think that President Kennedy's determination for peace was his undoing.

What do y'all think?

Myra,

There are two other related books which I found fascinating... "Contrabandista" by Evert Clark and Nicholas Harrock and "The Great Heroin Coup" by Henrik Kruger. Both are hard to get, but worth the effort. Both also have a lot of information regarding the purported Corsicans involved in the JFK Assasssination.

Herb

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Myra,

There are two other related books which I found fascinating... "Contrabandista" by Evert Clark and Nicholas Harrock and "The Great Heroin Coup" by Henrik Kruger. Both are hard to get, but worth the effort. Both also have a lot of information regarding the purported Corsicans involved in the JFK Assasssination.

Herb

Thank you Herb, those are both new to me.

I have a lot to read now...

Found the following passage at:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKquintero.htm

"In 1966 Ted Shackley was placed in charge of the CIA secret war in Laos. He appointed Thomas G. Clines as his deputy. He also took Rafael Quintero, Carl E. Jenkins, David Sanchez Morales, Rafael Quintero, Rafael Villaverde, Felix I. Rodriguez and Edwin Wilson with him to Laos.

According to Joel Bainerman (Crimes of a President) it was at this point that Shackley and his "Secret Team" became involved in the drug trade. They did this via General Vang Pao, the leader of the anti-communist forces in Laos. Vang Pao was a major figure in the opium trade in Laos. To help him Shackley used his CIA officials and assets to sabotage the competitors. Eventually Vang Pao had a monopoly over the country's heroin trade. In 1967 Shackley and Clines helped Vang Pao to obtain financial backing to form his own airline, Zieng Khouang Air Transport Company, to transport opium and heroin between Long Tieng and Vientiane."

I don't know how significant this is. On the one hand it's the CIA group full of the prime suspects, perhaps not directly involved in drug running until years after the assassination. On the other hand the drug trade in the golden triangle region could still have been a significant factor with other factions in the military industrial you know what.

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  • 1 month later...

Should have titled this thread " Can we really understand world politics without understanding international drug trafficking?"

Here I thought the US went into Afghanistan because of the Caspian pipeline.

http://tinyurl.com/2s49tu

"Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time

By CRAIG MURRAY - More by this author » Last updated at 20:45pm on 21st July 2007

This week the 64th British soldier to die in Afghanistan, Corporal Mike Gilyeat, was buried. All the right things were said about this brave soldier, just as, on current trends, they will be said about one or more of his colleagues who follow him next week.

...

There has been too easy an acceptance of the lazy notion that the war in Afghanistan is the 'good' war, while the war in Iraq is the 'bad' war, the blunder. The origins of this view are not irrational. There was a logic to attacking Afghanistan after 9/11.

...

Afghanistan was not militarily winnable by the British Empire at the height of its supremacy. It was not winnable by Darius or Alexander, by Shah, Tsar or Great Moghul. It could not be subdued by 240,000 Soviet troops. But what, precisely, are we trying to win?

In six years, the occupation has wrought one massive transformation in Afghanistan, a development so huge that it has increased Afghan GDP by 66 per cent and constitutes 40 per cent of the entire economy. That is a startling achievement, by any standards. Yet we are not trumpeting it. Why not?

The answer is this. The achievement is the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.

The Taliban had reduced the opium crop to precisely nil. I would not advocate their methods for doing this, which involved lopping bits, often vital bits, off people. The Taliban were a bunch of mad and deeply unpleasant religious fanatics. But one of the things they were vehemently against was opium.

That is an inconvenient truth that our spin has managed to obscure. Nobody has denied the sincerity of the Taliban's crazy religious zeal, and they were as unlikely to sell you heroin as a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

They stamped out the opium trade, and impoverished and drove out the drug warlords whose warring and rapacity had ruined what was left of the country after the Soviet war.

That is about the only good thing you can say about the Taliban; there are plenty of very bad things to say about them. But their suppression of the opium trade and the drug barons is undeniable fact.

Now we are occupying the country, that has changed. According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger.

Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and 'value-added' operations.

It now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with Nato troops.

..."

On edit:

Thought this part was interesting too-- "There are a number of theories as to why Litvinenko had to flee Russia. The most popular blames his support for the theory that FSB agents planted bombs in Russian apartment blocks to stir up anti-Chechen feeling.

But the truth is that his discoveries about the heroin trade were what put his life in danger."

Edited by Myra Bronstein
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Should have titled this thread " Can we really understand world politics without understanding international drug trafficking?"

It's the hidden history of our age.

Henrik Kruger, The Great Heroin Coup, ppg 191-2:

(quote on)

In my opinion the central manipulator in the whole narcotics scheme was the CIA,

or rather a faction within it. It is erroneous to treat the agency as a monolith. Various

lobbying groups have their own agents in the company, generating internal power

struggles that reflect political polarizations external to the CIA.

(quote off)

Among those "various lobbying groups" I'd include any number of transportation

tycoons.

Webster Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin, The Unauthorized Biography of George Bush,

Chapter 8b.

http://www.tarpley.net/bush8b.htm

(quote on, emphasis added)

During the years after the failure of the Bay of Pigs, [JM/WAVE] had as many as

3,000 Cuban agents and subagents, with a small army of case officers to direct

and look after each one. According to one account, there were at least 55 dummy

corporations to provide employment, cover, and commercial disguise for all these

operatives. There were detective bureaus, gun stores, real estate brokerages, boat

repair shops, and party boats for fishing and other entertainments. There was the

clandestine Radio Swan, later renamed Radio Americas. There were fleets of specially

modified boats based at Homestead Marina, and at other marinas throughout the

Florida Keys. Agents were assigned to the University of Miami and other educational

institutions.

The raison d'être of the massive capability commanded by Theodore Shackley was

now Operation Mongoose, a program for sabotage raids and assassinations to be

conducted on Cuban territory, with a special effort to eliminate Fidel Castro personally.

In order to run these operations from US territory, flagrant and extensive violation of

federal and state laws was the order of the day. Documents regarding the incorporation

of businesses were falsified. Income tax returns were faked. FAA regulations were

violated by planes taking off for Cuba or for forward bases in the Bahamas and

elsewhere. Explosives moved across highways that were full of civilian traffic. The

Munitions Act, the Neutrality Act, the customs and immigrations laws were routinely

flaunted. Above all, the drug laws were massively violated as the gallant

anti-communist fighters filled their planes and boats with illegal narcotics to be

smuggled back into the US when they returned from their missions. By 1963, the

drug-running activities of the covert operatives were beginning to attract attention.

JM/WAVE, in sum, accelerated the slide of south Florida towards the status of drug

and murder capital of the United States it achieved during the 1980's, when it became

as notorious as Chicago during Prohibition.

(quote off)

I think it's correct to consider the importance of the Golden Triangle opium trade

as a factor in JFK's death, as this thread has addressed, but I also think its a mistake

to overlook the prime importance Cuba once played in the world narcotics trade.

It wasn't so much the casinos and prostitution rackets the US Mob wanted back

from Castro, it was the Havana-to-Florida drug smuggling funnel that was coveted

more than anything.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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"It's easy for soldiers to score heroin in Afghanistan

Simultaneously stressed and bored, U.S. soldiers are turning to the widely available drug for a quick escape.

Aug. 7, 2007 | BAGRAM, Afghanistan -- Just outside the main gate to Bagram airfield, a U.S. military installation in Afghanistan, sits a series of small makeshift shops known by locals as the Bagram Bazaar. For Afghans, it is the place to buy American goods, but the stalls that make up the heart of the bazaar are also well known for what they provide American soldiers stationed at Bagram. Walking through the bazaar it takes less than 10 minutes for a vendor in his early 20s to step out and ask, "You want whiskey?" "No, heroin," I tell him. He ushers me into his store with a smile.

...

The true extent of the heroin problem among American soldiers now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is unknown. At Bagram, according to a written statement provided by a spokesperson for the base, Army Maj. Chris Belcher, the "Military Police receive few reports of alcohol or drug issues." The military has statistics on how many troops failed drug tests, but the best information on long-term addiction comes from the U.S. Veterans Administration. The VA is the world's largest provider of substance abuse services, caring for more than 350,000 veterans per year, of whom about 30,000 are being treated for opiate addiction. Only preliminary information for Iraq and Afghanistan is available, however, and veterans of those conflicts are not yet showing up in the stats.

..."

Another benefit for the CIA. Turning entire generations of soldiers into junkies will be good for business once they get back to the US. I wonder if that's part of the grand design.

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"It's easy for soldiers to score heroin in Afghanistan

Simultaneously stressed and bored, U.S. soldiers are turning to the widely available drug for a quick escape.

Aug. 7, 2007 | BAGRAM, Afghanistan -- Just outside the main gate to Bagram airfield, a U.S. military installation in Afghanistan, sits a series of small makeshift shops known by locals as the Bagram Bazaar. For Afghans, it is the place to buy American goods, but the stalls that make up the heart of the bazaar are also well known for what they provide American soldiers stationed at Bagram. Walking through the bazaar it takes less than 10 minutes for a vendor in his early 20s to step out and ask, "You want whiskey?" "No, heroin," I tell him. He ushers me into his store with a smile.

...

The true extent of the heroin problem among American soldiers now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is unknown. At Bagram, according to a written statement provided by a spokesperson for the base, Army Maj. Chris Belcher, the "Military Police receive few reports of alcohol or drug issues." The military has statistics on how many troops failed drug tests, but the best information on long-term addiction comes from the U.S. Veterans Administration. The VA is the world's largest provider of substance abuse services, caring for more than 350,000 veterans per year, of whom about 30,000 are being treated for opiate addiction. Only preliminary information for Iraq and Afghanistan is available, however, and veterans of those conflicts are not yet showing up in the stats.

..."

Another benefit for the CIA. Turning entire generations of soldiers into junkies will be good for business once they get back to the US. I wonder if that's part of the grand design.

Don't blame the soldiers. Many [most according to polls] know the current wars are lost and based on lies, and further, who in the line of fire for little to nothing and having to kill innoncent men, women and children all day for measly pay would not want to get 'spaced' out to try to forget and relieve the fear, anxiety and guilt. These images will haunt them all their lives, so you're right... many may need the escape forever......but they are small in number compaired to the total population using drugs worldwide and in USA.

McCoy's great book apparently online now:

http://www.drugtext.org/library/books/McCoy/default.htm

Ah!

Thank you Peter.

I'm maintaining a list of relevant free online books here:

http://www.jfktimeline.com/onlinebooks.html

So if anyone knows of some that aren't on the list please let me know.

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