The US military has long had a drug problem. The army was severely impaired in Vietnam due to drug use, much of it supplied by the CIA via the airline called Air America. In the 1980′s, when the Congress outlawed funding of the Contras in Central America, the CIA turned again to drugs for finance. Gary Webb ran an expose’ in the San Jose Mercury News that eventually cost him his job and his life – suicide was the official cause of death, but with spooks, deaths of those who try to expose their activities are always suspicious.
The money from drug operations has to enter the “legal” economy at some point, and international banks play a key role. As British journalist Ed Vulliami wrone in a Guardian piece last July, “Global banks are the financial services wing of the drug cartels”,
The notion of any dichotomy between the global criminal economy and the “legal” one is fantasy. Worse, it is a lie. They are seamless, mutually interdependent – one and the same.
With that in mind, take a look at the photographs supplied by the Pentagon in this piece, US/NATO troops patrolling Opium Poppy fields in Afghanistan. There is a disconnect between the captions and the images, some hilarious. For instance, farmers are smiling in the photograph above as they “destroy” crops that they are obviously harvesting. Troops walk astride fields, well known to all, not to destroy them, an easy task, but rather to guard them.
This could be a key to understanding out continued presence in Afghanistan – protection of a drug and drug money pipeline. The Taliban was highly effective in destroying the poppy fields prior to arrival of the Americans. Production now flourishes.