9 02 2008

Our Truth In Strange Places Award goes this month to the new US Attorney for Northern California, Joseph Russoniello, who said, in regard to cracking down on medical marijuana,

“We could spend a lifetime closing dispensaries and doing other kinds of drugs, enforcement actions, bringing cases and prosecuting people, shoveling sand against the tide. It would be terribly unproductive and probably not an efficient use of precious federal resources,”

Russoniello, who nevertheless is skeptical about marijuana’s medical efficacy, said he would focus more on gun crimes, gang crimes, hard drugs, and child pornography.

During his previous tenure as US Attorney for Northern California, under Ronald Reagan, he was responsible for Califronia’s notorious paramilitary Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, though, so non-medical marijuana growers better watch their asses. If you’re a CIA coke smuggler, though, you’ll have an easy time of it from this guy. He stonewalled John Kerry’s Iran-Contra cocaine investigation and declined to prosecute several people who were caught red-handed smuggling coke but had those CIA “get out of jail free” cards. Ah, right-wing morality….

Bush’s domestic budget cuts have had one beneficial side effect: his (or rather, Cheney’s) latest budget proposes cutting way back on funding for state anti-drug taskforces, the police-as-thieves groups that help fund themselves by confiscating the property of alleged drug users, and have brought us such spectacular legal debacles as Tulia, Texas, where the government’s claim to have arrested 46 major cocaine dealers (almost all black) in a town of only 4700 people dissolved in a whirl of unsubstantiated allegations and “cocaine” that turned out to be sheet rock dust.

Meanwhile, a concerned committee of Senators– including Democrats Tom Harkin, Diane Feinstein, and Joe Biden–are scrambling to keep the domestic terrorism happening. These are the people we think will save us from the Bush junta?

(sorry, no musical interlude–time limitations!)


1 02 2008

An interview published on Alternet:

Ryland: Why has the US failed on this story so dramatically for 6 years?

Edmonds:  ….As you know, this case is spread over two administrations, and that appears to make it difficult for the reporters to cover the story. Even within one news organization you might have one journalist who wants to use the story to indict Clinton, and another who wants to use the story to bash Bush, and in the end neither of them write about the story because it doesn’t fit their partisanship, their ‘narrative’, so they just drop it altogether.

I had such high hopes for the alternative press, and they do a lot of good work, but partisanship repeatedly gets in the way there too, on both sides….

As you know, and this was even published in the White House press release on this issue, certain ‘Turkish private entities’ have been involved ‘in certain activities directly relating to nuclear proliferation.’ This includes supplying the A.Q. Khan network – which built Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, and also supplied North Korea, Iran and other countries – but as the recent Times stories indicate, so much more as well.

The White House press release states that all these issues have been resolved; that the Turkish government has addressed these issues, that the US government has evaluated these actions and that the US government is satisfied, and that all of this is secret, classified!

Given the track record of this administration in abusing classification and distorting intelligence, why on earth would we trust them with this? What is in the report? Is it truthful? Why is it classified? We saw these exact same people do the same thing in the late 80s when they enabled Pakistan to get nuclear weapons. Richard Barlow did his best to stop them then, but if Congress doesn’t hold hearings this time around the same thing will happen again. We should have stopped Pakistan then, but unless this ‘classified’ report is made public and the contents publicly debated, then the Barlow of today won’t even get the chance to debunk whatever is in that ‘classified’ report. What conceivable logic is there in classifying the details of how Turkey has cleaned up its act regarding nuclear proliferation? If they have, they should be proud of it!

Meanwhile, in Nicaragua, a plane full of cocaine gets busted, and it turns out from the registration number that this airplane belonged to Devon Leasing, a known CIA front group….

The CIA-linked tail number on the Beech 200, then, raises some serious questions as to the ultimate destination of the cocaine onboard as well. Similar questions have been raised about the planned destination of the nearly 4 tons of cocaine onboard the Gulfstream II jet that crashed in the Mexican Yucatan last fall. A CIA asset named Baruch Vega claims the Gulfstream II was part of a U.S. government operation (the Mayan Express) that utilized a well-known Colombian narco-trafficker turned informant named Jose Nelson Urrego.

Urrego was arrested on money laundering charges by Panamanian police about a week prior to the Gulfstream II’s crash landing. Urrego claims he worked for the CIA, according to Panamanian press reports — a fact Vega also confirms. Greg Smith, one of the owners of the Gulfstream II, according to its bill of sale, also has been linked to past ICE, DEA and CIANarco News reported previously. And the Gulstream II itself has been linked to past use in the CIA’s terrorist rendition program, according to European investigators. operations in Latin America,

Given these realities, attorney Mark Conrad, a former supervisory special agent with U.S. Customs, ICE’s predecessor agency, speculates that the Mayan Express operation is not controlled by ICE at all, but is, in fact, a CIA-run operation using ICE as a cover. He adds that the CIA has agents operating inside many federal law enforcement agencies utilizing what is known as an “official cover.”


18 01 2008

in DID DIEBOLD ENDORSE HILLARY? I referred to Bill Clinton’s derailing of investigations into various crimes and misdemeanors of the Reagan and Papa Bush years. I also mentioned Hillary’s statement that if elected she would send Bill and Papa Bush on a goodwill tou,r, which was taken by many as a signal that she would not be prosecuting the Cheney-Bush junta for their many crimes. Here are a couple of stories that lay out more evidence for illegal complicity between the two families. I am not absolutely certain of their reliability–to me, both have a little of that “right-wing nutjob” flavor, but I think they’re worth considering.

a sample quote from the first:

This area of the website has been assembled in response to the persistent claims of a few individuals (well, just one, really) that Mena is a myth, that the CIA never ran cocaine through the Mena airport, or laundered the proceeds through various Arkansas financial institutions including Morgan Guarantee, Madison S&L, Worthen Bank, and most importantly, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. That such activities took place at Mena (among other locations) should hardly be surprising, as a read through most newspapers shows that government connections to drug running are not only commonplace, they have become the inevitable symptom of these totally corrupted times.

and from the second:

 “The fact that the Bushes and the Clintons are on the same team – and have been since their alleged Iran-Contra partnership in an airport operation in Mena, Arkansas involving the transshipment of cocaine destined for the streets of America – is not something that most Americans have yet incorporated into our political equation.”

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