Wikileaks Shows DEA’s Corruption & Involvement with Global Drug Trade
WASHINGTON — The Drug Enforcement Administration has been transformed into a global intelligence organization with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics, and an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables. Read More from the New York Times:
Cables Portray Expanded Reach of Drug Agency, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/world/26wikidrugs.html
New cables released by WikiLeaks show the extent of the DEA’s involvement with the worldwide drug trade as well as the extent of political corruption that drugs are causing in several countries.
One cable reported that the District Attorney of Sierra Leone offered a $2.5 million dollar bribe to free South American drug dealers. While another reported that the President of Panama demanded that the DEA go after his political enemies.
Another cable reported that the government of Guinea staged a burning of fake drugs while another claimed the Guinean President’s son was a major drug traficker.
WikiLeaks also released several cables dealing with countries like Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania that have becomse part of a pipeline for drugs from South America to Europe.
Bob Bauman (December 27, 2010)
In today’ edition of The Sovereign Investor, the daily e-letter of the Sovereign Society, I offer my reasons for being a strong supporter of Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks Internet exposure of embarrassing U.S. government cables.
I agree with Congressman Ron Paul who said: “The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news. Despite what is claimed, information so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing a grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neo-conservatives in charge.”
Frankly, I’ve served in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government, and I can assure you that bureaucrats do all they can to hide their business from the public, especially their many blunders and mistakes.
Instead of attacking Assange, we should be demanding from government, “More information, please”… not less.
But I can guess that Panama’s president, Ricardo Martinelli, may not agree with my view of Wikileaks.
DEA Spy Net
Yesterdays New York Times ran a long, front page feature on detailing how the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is being used as yet another of Washington’s global intelligence and spy agencies with a reach that far beyond drugs, and as an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables.
Many people have defended Panama’s president against widespread charges that he acts too much like the traditional Latin American caudillo, or strongman.
With that background, what follows in italic is from the New York Times DEA article. Keep in mind what is being reported here are confidential cables between the U.S. ambassador in Panama and the State Department.
In Panama, an urgent BlackBerry message from the president [Martinelli] to the American ambassador demanded that the D.E.A. go after his political enemies: “I need help with tapping phones.”
The D.E.A. faced even more intense pressure last year from Panama, whose right-leaning president, Ricardo Martinelli, demanded that the agency allow him to use its wiretapping program — known as Matador — to spy on leftist political enemies he believed were plotting to kill him.
The United States, according to the cables, worried that Mr. Martinelli, a supermarket magnate, “made no distinction between legitimate security targets and political enemies,” refused, igniting tensions that went on for months.
Mr. Martinelli, who the cables said possessed a “penchant for bullying and blackmail,” retaliated by proposing a law that would have ended the D.E.A.’s work with specially vetted police units. Then he tried to subvert the drug agency’s control over the program by assigning non-vetted officers to the counternarcotics unit.
And when the United States pushed back against those attempts — moving the Matador system into the offices of the politically independent attorney general — Mr. Martinelli threatened to expel the drug agency from the country altogether, saying other countries, like Israel, would be happy to comply with his intelligence requests.
Eventually, according to the cables, American diplomats began wondering about Mr. Martinelli’s motivations. Did he really want the D.E.A. to disrupt plots by his adversaries, or was he trying to keep the agency from learning about corruption among his relatives and friends?
One cable asserted that Mr. Martinelli’s cousin helped smuggle tens of millions of dollars in drug proceeds through Panama’s main airport every month. Another noted, “There is no reason to believe there will be fewer acts of corruption in this government than in any past government.”
As the standoff continued, the cables indicate that the United States proposed suspending the Matador program, rather than submitting to Mr. Martinelli’s demands. (American officials say the program was suspended, but the British took over the wiretapping program and have shared the intelligence with the United States.)
In a statement on Saturday, the government of Panama said that it regretted “the bad interpretation by United States authorities of a request for help made to directly confront crime and drug trafficking.” It said that Panama would continue its efforts to stop organized crime and emphasized that Panama continued to have “excellent relations with the United States.”
Another Look at Freeeway Ricky Ross and the CIA Connection, Amid the Wikileaks Cables :
Ricky Ross was born on April 30, 1960 in Troup, Texas. As a young child he moved to South-Central Los Angeles, California, with his mother. Originally interested in tennis, he pursued a scholarship while attending high school. His coach, Bob Strohosky, who also later went into drug trafficking, eventually discovered that Ross was illiterate and had him removed from the school. Ross then attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College and again pursued tennis, reaching the third spot on the team. To make money, he turned to selling drugs to pay for tennis lessons. However, an arrest led Ross to quit school.
It was through Jericho Deerr, a college friend, that Ross was introduced to cocaine. Through Deerr, Ross found a connection to purchase cheap Nicaraguan cocaine: two Nicaraguan exiles, Oscar Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses Cantarero. Ross began distributing the cocaine around US$10,000 less per kilo than the average street price, his point of distribution being the Bloods and Crips street gangs. Eventually, Ross purchased his cocaine directly from Blandón and Meneses. By 1982, Ross had received his moniker of “Freeway Ricky,” and is believed to have been selling over US$3 million in cocaine per day—and purchasing 440 kilos of cocaine a week. In addition to cocaine, Ross was also able to purchase surveillance equipment, such as minicameras and recording equipment. Some of the gang members that worked for him bought weapons ranging from uzi submachine guns to semi-automatic pistols to fight rivals, and they also bought expensive jewelry and flashy cars.
With thousands of employees, Ross claimed he operated drug sales not only in Los Angeles but in places across the country including St. Louis, New Orleans, Texas, Kansas City, Oklahoma, Indiana, Cincinnati, North Carolina, South Carolina, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Seattle. He has said many times that his most lucrative sales came from the Ohio area. He made similar claims in a 1996 PBS interview.
Main article: CIA and Contras cocaine trafficking in the US
Ross’s capture was facilitated by his career-long dealer Oscar Danilo Blandón, who “set up” Ross. Blandón had close ties with the Contras, and had met with Contra leader Enrique Bermúdez on several occasions. Blandón was the link between the CIA and Contras during the Iran-Contra affair. Gary Webb interviewed Ross several times before breaking the story in 1996. Ross claims that the reason he was unfairly tried initially was because of his involvement in the scandal. Blandón received a 24-month sentence for his drug trafficking charges, and following his release, was hired by the Drug Enforcement Agency where he was salaried at US$42,000. Blandón was not a U.S. citizen/national, and is the only known foreigner not to be deported following conviction on drug trafficking charges in U.S. history. The INS was ordered to grant Blandón a green card, despite the criminal convictions, to allow him to work for the DEA. The DEA claims that they no longer employ Blandón, and his whereabouts are unknown.
Freeway Ricky Ross – A Pawn in the CIA’s Drug Game
The CIA and Crack Cocaine
How The CIA Supply, Control, Operate The Drug-
Freeway Ricky Ross on Alex Jones Tv 1/5: