Corruption on the Border - and beyond
During his trial on public corruption charges in 2013, former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Hector Rodriguez admitted that he had been receiving bribes of cash and luxury items for two years in return for admitting illegal aliens into the United States through his inspection lane at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego, California.
While most of the law enforcement officers and public officials who work at the country’s ports and borders are honest and dedicated, even one corrupt official like Rodriguez can pose a serious threat to the nation’s security—because what if one of those individuals smuggled through a port of entry is a terrorist carrying a bomb?
For that reason, the FBI—IN collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security—is launching a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of border corruption so that citizens and government employees who see corruption or suspicious activity will call the FBI to report it.
“Public corruption is the FBI’S top criminal priority,” said Sergio Galvan, chief of the Bureau’s Public Corruption Unit at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “It is critical for us to engage the public to help stop these crimes. We’re not expecting citizens to be detectives,” Galvan explained, “but if you see something that doesn’t seem right, report it. If you notice someone going through security without being searched, or if you work on the border and know someone in your agency that is looking the other way, call the FBI.”
The border awareness campaign will include publicity outreach efforts in 10 FBI field offices whose areas of responsibility include U.S. ports of entry such as border crossings, airports and seaports. The cities are Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; El Paso and San Antonio, Texas; Fargo, North Dakota; Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Miami, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; and Seattle, Washington.
“We want to know what people are seeing and hearing,” Galvan said, “whether you are a frequent traveler, a truck driver or a law enforcement official who works on the border.”
Hector Rodriguez, a very small fish, pleaded guilty to receiving bribes and bringing aliens into the country for financial gain. In 2013 he was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release for receiving thousands of dollars in cash, along with Rolex watches and an expensive vehicle, for looking the other way. But public corruption on the border is by no means limited to the southwest border.
The FBI has 22 border corruption task forces and working groups across the country staffed by 39 local, state and federal partner agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Transportation Security Administration. More than 250 officers are working cases and gathering intelligence to stop public corruption along all U.S. ports of entry.
And while federal, state and local officials who serve along America's borders are working hard to keep the country safe from outside threats, “when even one of those individuals is compromised, it creates a grave situation,” Galvan said. “What I would like to say to the public and to individuals who work in agencies that serve at the border is that the FBI is here to help you—but we can’t help if we don’t get information. If you see something, pick up the phone. Call your local field office or submit a tip on our website. The point of our public awareness campaign,” he added, “is that we need your eyes and ears to help keep the country safe.”
What the FBI does not mention is that sometimes the corruption is institutionalized and comes from the highest levels in Washington. They avoid mentioning the disastrous "Operation Fast and Furious" in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) strongly encouraged gun dealers to sell weapons to people they knew or suspected were taking the guns into Mexico.
The ATF claimed that it had planned to track the weapons into Mexico to identify the buyers and ultimately identify members of the leading drug cartels, but the ATF actually had no system in place to track the weapons and depended upon the corrupt Mexican government to report when one of the guns was seized, usually after it had already been used to kill people.
The ATF could have had agents follow the buyers, but it didn't. It could have put RFID chips in the guns, so they could be detected when crossing any legal borders, but it didn't. There were simply no efforts to track the guns after they left the dealers. One well-known gunrunner, Uriel Patino, bought 723 guns for Mexico's drug cartels under the ATF'S brilliant program.
The Mexican government did manage to seize some of the guns and report the information to the U.S. government, but no cartel members were ever identified.
As a result of the ATF'S criminal actions, thousands of guns, which ended up in Mexico, likely killed thousands or tens of thousands of people. Many of the guns are still in use and will continue to kill for years to come.
So far, Mexico's drug wars have killed an estimated 200,000 people, just in the past 10 years. The cartels are believed to generate between $20 and $30 billion in annual revenue from drugs. This is just the wholesale revenue. The retail value is vastly greater.
The ATF operation blew up when one of the guns was identified after it had been used on the U.S. side of the border to kill Border Patrol agent Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
The gunrunning operation had been officially started in 2005 by the George W. Bush administration as "Project Gunrunner". The government claimed that it would reduce the flow of firearms into Mexico and deprive the Mexican drug cartels of weapons. Some buyers were identified and prosecuted, but by the time Obama inherited the program, there were few prosecutions and more guns flowing across the border.
The operation was possibly part of the Bush family's ongoing drug trade in partnership with the CIA that actively supported select Mexican cartels and waged war on competing gangs, just as the CIA-DEA had previously protected the Cali cartel in Colombia while targeting the competing Medellin cartel.
The CIA started the modern drug industry after WWII, when it needed a way to fund its secret stay-behind terrorist army and intelligence unit in Europe commonly referred to as Gladio.
After WWII, fear of Soviet influence was high and secret paramilitary forces were created to counter the threat on a covert level.
The secret forces were part of a European operation originally under the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948. After NATO was formed in 1949, the CCWU was folded into the secret "Clandestine Planning Committee" (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe).
Every European NATO member had its own secret army, and only the one in Italy was actually called Gladio. In Belgium it was named SDRA8, in Denmark Absalon, in Germany TD BJD, in Greece LOK, in Luxembourg Stay-behind, in the Netherlands I&O, in Norway ROC, in Portugal Aginter Press, in Spain Red Quantum, in Switzerland P26, in Turkey Özel Harp Dairesi, In Sweden AGAG (Aktions Gruppen Arla Gryning), in France Plan Bleu, and in Austria OWSGV. The code name of the stay-behind unit in Finland remains unknown.
The U.S. unit was formed in July 1946 after the United States inherited and revived the anti-russia German intelligence organization led by Major General Reinhardt Gehlen. Gehlen had been involved in the plot to assinate Hitler, but his involvement was kept secret until after the war. He commanded the 12th Department of the German Army General Staff (Foreign Armies East, or FHO) with the nickname The Werewolves. The unit specialized in torturing suspected Russian agents to obtain intelligence of dubious value, intelligence that Gehlen preserved and traded to the Americans after the war.
After the Yalta agreement was signed, Gehlen was taken to Fort Hunt, Virginia, where he met with William Donovan, founder of the precursor organization to the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). In July 1946 Gehlen was sent back to Germany to start a new counter-sovient intelligence organization. It's cover name was South German Industrial Development Organization but it came to be called the Gehlen Organization, or Gehlen Org.
Donovan changed the werewolves nickname to Gladiators (Gladio). Congress would not fund the organization, so the initial funding of a massive $200 million came from the Rockefeller and Mellon foundations. Their investment gave them a certain degree of control over Gladio and the CIA.
The Gehlen Org was only part of the Gladio organization, and in the 1950s more layers and branches were created while Gehlen became a decoy for the more secretive and criminal groups. In April 1956, the Gehlen Organization was officially handed over to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. It formed the nucleus of the newly created Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND, or Federal Intelligence Service).
When the foundation money started to run out, the CIA had to develop a clandestine funding system for Gladio. Initially it convinced the Sicilian Mafia to sell heroin to blacks in inner cities to provide the funding. Over time Gladio become a massive independent international criminal force and the Mafia was no longer needed.
By the 1960's, the international drug trade was under the CIA'S direct control and the money was used to fund a wide range of illegal activities.
The existence of Gladio and the other underground NATO forces remained a well-kept secret even from their own governments until 1990, when investigations in Italy exposed the unit operating there.
Some other countries started their own investigations and uncovered their own versions of Gladio.
In the 2005 book entitled NATO'S Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Swiss historian Daniele Ganser accuses Gladio of trying to influence policies through the means of "false flag" operations and a "strategy of tension." Ganser claims that on various occasions stay-behind movements became linked to right-wing terrorism, crime and attempted coups d'état. He further claims that the units closely cooperated with NATO and the CIA and that Gladio in Italy was responsible for terrorist attacks against its own civilian population. The Italian government came to some of the same conclusions.
In 2006, the U.S. State Department issued a communiqué confirming the existence of NATO stay-behind efforts and the presence of the "Gladio" stay-behind unit in Italy. It claimed that the purpose was aiding resistance in the event of Soviet aggression directed westward but denied claims that the United States ordered, supported or authorized terrorism by stay-behind units.
The 2016 book by Paul L. Williams entitled Operation Gladio — The Unholy Alliance between the Vatican, the CIA, and the Mafia exposes Gladio much further and provides a valuable framework for related research. Williams was careful to not include information that would threaten his life too much but provided important clues for those willing to read between the lines.
Prior to writing the book, Williams worked for seven years as a consultant to the FBI about terrorist and Mafia criminal organizations. The CIA'S drug trade was publicly exposed in the 1980s Iran-contra scandal. Former CIA Director George H. Bush, as Vice President under Ronald Reagan, ran a massive drug smuggling operation in which coca paste from South America was flown into Costa Rica and processed into cocaine and crack and then ferried on military and CIA transport planes onto U.S. Air Force bases and into Mena, Arkansas, under the protection of then Governor Bill Clinton. The drugs were sold through a CIA-BUSH controlled distribution network and some of the proceeds were used to fund a terrorist army in Nicaragua called the Contras. Only a small portion of the funds generated were traced.
The Iran portion of Iran-contra was Reagan-bush paying the Iranians to keep the American hostages until after Reagan was inaugurated and sabotaging Carter's efforts to rescue the hostages when the negotiations broke down. These acts of high treason were done to ensure that Reagan was elected and George Bush was Vice President. Bush was the real force in the Whitehouse and was able to hide many of his criminal activities behind the feebleminded Reagan.
Public exposure and congressional hearings had little impact on the CIA drug operations, and they continue today.
Jeb Bush and the Bush family have been publicly tied to at least one of the Mexican cartels. Jeb is the brother of George W. and the son of George H. W. Bush. He had close personal ties to Raul Salinas de Gortari, brother of Mexico’s former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari. In the 1990s, Raul the “drug kingpin,” according to Switzerland’s federal prosecutor Carla del Ponte, was a leading figure of the dominant Mexican drug cartel. The Bush family was known to be very close to the Salinas de Gortari family and they often vacationed together.
Forbes magazine named Salinas de Gortari as one of the "10 most corrupt Mexicans" in 2013.
The same criminal Bush family-cia force was also involved in the Savings and Loan scandal of the late 1980s and early 1990s in which hundreds of billions of dollars were looted from Savings and Loans, a kind of bank that was not regulated to the same degree as regular banks.
The grand theft was made possible by banking deregulation carried out by Reagan and a Republican Congress. The wholesale fraud has cost taxpayers an estimated $500 billion.
The multi-trillion-dollar heist that was the sub-prime mortgage crisis was carried out with much greater care and has so far not been publicly traced directly to the BUSH-CIA cartel. However, much of the vast fortune generated by the drug trade and Savings and Loan scandal ended up in the banks responsible for the sub-prime mortgage scam.
Investigations carried out in Switzerland and the United States have found that drug money from Bush pal Raul Salinas de Gortari was laundered through Citibank.
Citibank was a key player in the sub-prime mortgage scandal, and paid a $7 billion fine for its role. It was also one of the banks bailed out by the U.S. government.
Citi was also deeply involved in the Enron scandal and in 2003 it agreed to pay $101 million to settle SEC charges relating to the Enron fraud plus another $19 million relating to manipulation of financial statements by another company called Dynegy. In 2005 Citi agreed to pay $2 billion to settle lawsuits brought by Enron investors.
Citibank's criminal roots can be traced all the way back to the early Rockefeller interests, when it was the primary bank of the Standard Oil empire.
If the FBI wants to completely stamp out border corruption, they will have to aim high, very high.
If Donald Trump wants to secure the border, he will have his work cut out for him. He may have to take on the most powerful and lethal criminal force on Earth, but then perhaps it is just this force that is the hidden hand behind Mr. Trump and so it really has nothing to worry about. This would not be the first time it placed one of its puppets in the U.S. President's chair.
However, by keeping the CIA visibly at arm's length and retaining his own security staff, Trump may be signaling that he knows more about what is going on than people might imagine.
If JFK had not trusted the CIA and Secret Service, perhaps he would have not been assassinated and America would be a much different country today.
Some of the guns seized from criminals in 2009 in Mexico that were purchased under the Obama administration's illegal "Operation Fast and Furious"