Traveling Minds

The Afghanista­n-cia-nato-military Connection to American Heroin Abuse

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One of the formerly hidden secrets behind America’s heroin problem is finally coming to light. It turns out much of it has a direct connection with – and likely the direct support of – the country of Afghanista­n, the American Military, the CIA and NATO.

America has recorded a 4X increase in heroin-related overdoses between 2002 and 2013. In 2014 the number of such deaths was at least 10,000. That surge ties to an increase from 189,000 heroin users in the U.S. in 2001 to 4.5 million in 2016, with an estimated 2.5 million of that last number being hardcore heroin addicts and the rest only occasional users.

The number one originatin­g location for both opium and heroin in that time has been Afghanista­n.

During the same time as the heroin user increases and associated overdoses skyrockete­d in the U.S., Afghanista­n was busy farming more and more poppies to make its opium and heroin products. The estimated total size of all poppy production in the country went up from around 7,600 hectares in 2001 to 224,000 hectares in 2016.

Curiously enough, that same rapid ramp-up of poppy production coincides directly with the US-NATO invasion of Afghanista­n in 2001.

During that time the U.S. spent around $8.5 billion allegedly to eradicate the poppy fields. While it is not clear where the dollars really went, one thing is certain. If the money was truly meant to eliminate the opium and heroin production, those managing the funds failed miserably.

The far more likely conclusion is that there was never really any intent to wipe out the poppy fields. It may even be that one of the main reasons why the U.S. continues its occupation in Afghanista­n is to ensure the crops thrive, and that whoever in the U.S. government is running this (the CIA perhaps, which could easily hide profits from the country) is taking a massive cut of the proceeds by allowing the program to stay alive.

If all that sounds too much like leaping to conclusion­s, there are similar situations from the past to draw upon for reference.

Back in the days of the Vietnam war over 40 years ago, one of the biggest areas to produce illegal opium and heroin was – surprise – the SE Asian ‘Golden Triangle’. With time having passed, at least some of the truth of what happened there has filtered out.

Then the CIA had encouraged the Hmong tribe in Laos to grow opium instead of rice. With the country dedicating much of its agricultur­al resources to drugs instead of food, the CIA managed the Hmong by providing food when they complied with CIA demands and threatenin­g to hold it back when they did not. Ever the entreprene­urial organizati­on when dirty money was involved, the CIA even built a heroin refinery at CIA headquarte­rs in north Laos, and used the CIA owned/operated Air America passenger and cargo airline to export the Hmong opium and heroin.

During the time of the Korean War similar things hap-

pened. Two of the generals from Chiang Kai-shek’s defeated military brought their armies and families into Burma, in the north. Those armies ended up being funded locally to do two things. One was to plant soldiers back in China so the CIA could get more direct intelligen­ce on operations there. The second was to begin to plant poppy fields and begin exporting heroin to the rest of Southeast Asia and the United States, all with the active ongoing support of the CIA. Once again, it was readily possible to hide the profits under CIA financial shelter, with the high-margin nature of the crop making it much easier to handle during wartime conditions.

These are not suppositio­ns. They are backed up by such prestigiou­s reporting as the Christian Science Monitor (in May 1970), a full report by Yale University doctoral student Alfred Mccoy called “The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia” in 1972, and the public arrest of a key Thai smuggler in Chicago, in 1973, with 59 pounds of opium linking to the SE Asian Cia-managed drug production. A much later article published by The New York Times in 1993 linked connection­s between Laos, Air America, the CIA and high-volume heroin and opium smuggling.

In South America, similar CIA connection­s brought cheap cocaine from Columbia out of the country and eventually into U.S. customers hands, with other approaches. A major public relations mess for the CIA happened when former DEA agent Michael Levine publicly disclosed in 1980 that the CIA had helped block multiple operations in Bolivia, and even helped keep that country's military from carrying out what became known as the “Cocaine Coup”.

Other links have revealed CIA connection­s to the support of the Contras in Nicaragua as part of a plan to protect and manage local Honduran and other Central American drug lords. The CIA has also been linked to protecting Mexican drug smugglers in the mid-1980s, in return for them providing funding to support the Contras as well. In the late 1980s, a Senate Subcommitt­ee investigat­ing the same issues concluded that ‘senior policy makers” felt the drug money provided ‘a perfect solution to the Contras’ funding problems’.

In 1993 yet another Honduras-cia connection was unveiled when Honduran businessma­n Eugenio Molina was arrested for selling cocaine to DEA agents, then revealed he was working for the CIA. Soon afterwards a letter from the CIA ended up setting Molina free and all issues in the case dropped.

Venezuela became part of the sordid CIA heroin history in 1996 when General Ramon Gullien Davila was indicted in Miami for smuggling 22 tons of cocaine into the United States. That too was linked to a CIA activity to bring drugs into the U.S. allegedly to help trap drug smugglers.

From all this, the link between the CIA and heroin, for the purposes of managing influence, manipulati­ng political events and money-laundering appears well-documented, if not provable in a court of law. As to why, one needs to look no further than the amount of money involved.

In late 2000, the Afghanista­n’s Taliban had shown themselves as far more successful than the heavily-funded CIA years later in attempting to eradicate heroin. They had wiped out all poppy production in the country all on their own. Knocking out that production caused a crash in the heroin market, which may just have created the right timing opportunit­y for the CIA to restart it – with handsome profits to match.

According the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as of 2003, a few years after the CIA-NATO invasion of Afghanista­n in 2001, opium production in the country was already back on track producing around US $1 billion for the farmers involved and $1.3 billion for those involved with its traffickin­g, all based on an estimated street price of fresh opium at $350 a kilogram. The UNODC estimates, however, that the “total annual turnover of internatio­nal trade” in Afghan opiates was $30 billion. After paying off the trafficker­s and the farmers, around $27 billion is ‘missing’.

Where precisely that massive fortune went is unclear. What is obvious based on the facts is that the CIA, NATO, and likely other American clandestin­e operations have their fingers around it somewhere.

Based on history and learnings that go back to as far as the early days of the Korean War, the CIA and its minions figured out early that heroin was an important crop to protect, harvest, and manipulate for a variety of reasons.

Is there any question now why President Donald Trump recently reversed a past political campaign pronouncem­ent of his that he was going to get us out of Afghanista­n? Or why Barack Obama, having campaigned going back to his election in 2008 that he, too, was going to get us out of there?

This is a conspiracy that goes to the highest levels of government, with military and financial leaders around the world working together tightly to keep the money flowing while the illegal drugs keep on reaching higher and higher levels of Cia-protected production.

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