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UG#691 - Big Drugs,Big Money& Big Guns (Deep State from Afghanistan to Susurluk)

Robin Upton | 18.09.2014 16:50 | Afghanistan | History | Terror War | Sheffield | World

We begin a new series this week, looking at the global drug trade and its key role in funding deep state groups. We begin with an expert on the Asian drug trade, Alfred McCoy. His 2010 talk, "Low-Intensity Conflict in the Drug Wars" focuses on opium production and its relationship to the proxy wars being fought in Afghanistan. We follow the heroin westwards to Turkey with a commentary by Sibel Edmonds who focuses on the nexus of the political and intelligence agency leaders, mobsters and drug traffickers which was brought to light by the "Susurluk scandal". This fateful 1996 car crash lead to the development of the phrase "Deep State" to describe the behind-the-scenes arrangements which were previously hidden from public view. While details of their operations remain unclear, they are increasingly understood to be more important to what really goes on than the for public consumption charade that is electoral politics.

ug691-hour1mix.mp3 - mp3 27M

ug692-hour1mix.mp3 - mp3 27M

Having focused in the past on the US deep state, we look instead at its manifestation in the middle East and Asia, focusing this time on centers of production (Afghanistan) and trafficking (Turkey). We begin with the center of the world's opium production, Afghanistan, which the US revealingly chose to attack in the immediate wake of 9/11, in spite of a lack of clear evidence that the country was involved. Beginning with a review of post WW2 covert CIA wars in the region, McCoy looks at US covert operations in the area of Afghanistan, and notes how possible alternatives to opium production have been destroyed by consistently "unsuccessful" policies which are repeatedly employed, leaving local little option but large scale drug production. McCoy recommends crop substitution, replanting orchards and providing alternate employment, suggesting that pacifying a narco-state is impossible.

Next, James Corbett interviews Sibel Edmonds, who as the only translator for the FBI who worked with some Turkic languages testifies that this position gave her an overview which the people for whom she was translating lacked. They might have been deliberately isolated, in order not to understand the deeper purposes of their work:

"The most important thing for people to get is we're not even looking at one big investigation, all these agents working together. They were chopped up and divided, but because I worked in the central place... other agents were sending their material to me... I was in this position to see all the dots being connected... These agents, while I was there, because I was the central person, they started connecting the dots." — Sibel Edmonds, describing FBI (Anti-)Terror operations

She describes a recurring pattern in which FBI and DEA operations, just before the perpetrators were arrested, were interrupted at the last minute by senior officials calling from the US state department to stating that since the individuals involved has diplomatic immunity, their arrest would create a diplomatic incident and had to be prevented. Accordingly, arrests were repeated called off, much to the annoyance of the lower level agents involved. This raises two disturbing questions:

1. Why were senior state department officials so concerned to stop the arrest of drug traffickers, and

2. How did they even know about these ongoing projects?

Robin Upton
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