Writer Evan Wood reports that the Miami mafia were apparently protected by the CIA.
Journalist Evan Wood reports on how top people made sure that police investigations into the Miami mafia got nowhere.
Prado worked for the CIA in its murderous Central American wars, ran the CIA’s operations in Korea, was part of America’s spy programs against China, was part of a top assassination squad, was a senior manager inside the CIA’s Bin Laden Issue Station and worked at Blackwater.
On 3 Agust 2011, it was reported that US government agents brought several tons of cocaine into the United States from Mexico.
These federal agents then ‘allowed’ Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel to traffic the drugs.
This is according to court documents filed in a US federal court. (Court documents say US knew about coke UPI.com /Targeted dead journalist further vindicated: Feds’ tons of drug … /Documents: Feds allegedly allowed Sinaloa cartel to move cocaine … /Federal Agents Allowed Tons Of Cocaine To Be Smuggled Into The US …)
Chicago, home of David Headley, was used as a distribution point for the rest of the country.
Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, who is facing drug-trafficking charges in Chicago, is part of the Sinaloa drug gang.
In April 2011, Zambada claimed to have been working with the U.S. government for years.
He was working “on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (‘DEA’); and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (‘FBI’); and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (‘ICE’).”
On 31 July 2010, we were reminded that a Mexican drug trafficker used a CIA aircraft to smuggle drugs into the U.S. (Mexican Drug Cartel Leader Linked to CIA.)
On September of 2007, there was a plane crash in Yucatan.
When authorities arrived at the crash site, they discovered well over 3 tons of cocaine onboard the Gulfstream II aircraft. The narcotics reportedly belonged to the cartel under the local control of Nacho Coronel.
After further investigations into the origins of the aircraft’s markings and registration number (N987SA), it was discovered that the plane was used for CIA rendition flights.
According to Peter Dale Scott (Kyrgyzstan, America and the Global Drug Trade: Deep Forces, Coups …), “The more than doubling of Afghan opium drug production since the U.S. invasion of 2001 merely replicates the massive drug increases in Burma, Thailand, and Laos between the late 1940s and the 1970s.
“These countries also only became major sources of supply in the international drug traffic as a result of CIA assistance to what would otherwise have been only local traffickers.”
Sibel Edmonds has alleged that there is a network of drug-financed and intelligence-related terror activities stretching from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan, Chechnya, and Turkey. (Kyrgyzstan, America and the Global Drug Trade: Deep Forces, Coups …)
“For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found.
“This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia’s cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the “crack” capital of the world. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America and provided the cash and connections needed for L.A.’s gangs to buy automatic weapons.
“It is one of the most bizarre alliances in modern history: the union of a U.S.-backed army attempting to overthrow a revolutionary socialist government and the Uzi-toting “gangstas” of Compton and South-Central Los Angeles.” (“America’s ‘crack’ plague has roots in Nicaragua war”, Gary Webb, San Jose Mercury News)
Orwellian terms like “War on Drugs” are meant to CONFUSE you
It’s not a War on Drugs. It’s a War on People.
Joseph McNamara, a former San Jose police chief from the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, published some really telling figures. In 1972, when Richard Nixon started the War on Drugs, the annual federal budget allocation was 110 million dollars a year for enforcement. In fiscal year 2000, 28 years later, the budget allocation was 17 billion dollars a year, and yet, in the year 2000, there were more drugs in this country, they were cheaper, and more potent than they were in 1972. That has to tell you that there’s some other agenda going on here.
Clark Clifford, who was a Wall Street banker and lawyer, wrote the National Security Act that created the CIA in 1947. He brought us BCCI. John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles gave both law partners in the Wall Street law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell wrote the outline for the CIA, the design for the Agency, to Clark Clifford. In 1969 after Nixon came in, the Chairman of SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] was William Casey – who was Ronald Reagan’s Director of Central Intelligence. And the Vice President in charge of enforcement for the New York Stock Exchange was Dave Dougherty, a retired CIA General Counsel. The CIA is Wall Street, and vice versa. When you understand that, and that money is the primary objective, everything else just falls into place.
The distinctions drawn between business, politics, and organized crime are at best artificial and in reality irrelevant. Rather than being dysfunctions, corporate crime, white-collar crime, organized crime, and political corruption are mainstays of American political-economic life.
The CIA and the MAFIA LOOTED The S&Ls
First National Bank of Maryland: For two years, 1983-1985, Associated Traders, a CIA proprietary company, used the First National Bank of Maryland to make payments for covert operations. Associated traders used its accounts at First National to supply $23 million in arms for covert operations in Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, and Nicaragua (Bainerman, 1992; 276-277; Covert Action 35, 1990).
The links between the First National Bank of Maryland and the CIA were exposed in a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court by Robert Maxwell, a high-ranking bank officer. Maxwell charged in that suit that he had been asked to commit crimes on behalf of the CIA. Specifically, he charged that he was asked to conceal Associated Traders’ business activities, which by law he was required to specify on all letters of credit. Maxwell alleged that he had been physically threatened and forced to leave his job after asking that his superiors supply him with a letter stating that the activities he was being asked to engage in were legal. In responding to Maxwell’s lawsuit, attorneys for the bank state. “A relationship between First National and the CIA and Associated Traders was classified information which could neither be confirmed nor denied (Bainerman, 1992: 276-277; Washington Business Journal, February 5, 1990).
Palmer National Bank: The Washington, D.C.-based Palmer National Bank was founded in 1983 on the basis of a $2.8 million loan from Herman K. Beebe to Harvey D. McLean, Jr. McLean was a Shreveport Louisiana businessman who owned Paris (Texas) Savings and Loan. Herman Beebe played a key role in the savings and loan scandal. Houston Post reporter Pete Brewton linked Beebe to a dozen failed S & L’s, and Stephen Pizzo, Mary Fricker, and Paul Muolo, in their investigations of the S & L fiasco, called Beebe’s banks “potentially the most powerful and corrupt banking network ever seen in the U.S.” Altogether, Herman Beebe controlled, directly or indirectly, at least 55 banks and 29 S & L’s in eight states. What is particularly interesting about Beebe’s participation in these banks and savings and loans is his unique background. Herman Beebe had served nine months in federal prison for bank fraud and had impeccable credentials as a financier for New Orleans-based organized crime figures, including Vincent and Carlos Marcello (Bainerman, 1992: 277-278; Brewton, 1993: 170- 179)
Harvey McLean’s partner in the Palmer National Bank was Stefan Halper. Halper had served as George Bush’s foreign policy director during the 1980 presidential primaries. During the general election campaign, Halper was in charge of a highly secretive operations center, consisting of Halper and several ex- CIA operatives who kept close tabs on Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy activities; particularly Carter’s attempt to free U.S. hostages in Iran. Halper was later linked both to the “Debategate” scandal, in which it is alleged that Carter’s briefing papers for his debates with Ronald Reagan were stolen, and with “The October Surprise,” in which it is alleged that representatives of the Reagan campaign tried to thwart U.S. efforts to free the Iranian hostages until after the presidential election. Halper also set up a legal defense fund for Oliver North.
During the Iran-Contra Affair, Palmer National was the bank of record for the National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty, a front group run by Oliver North and Carl “Spitz” Channell, which was used to send money and weapons to the contras.
Indian Springs Bank: Another bank with clear connections to the CIA was the Indian Springs Bank of Kansas City, Kansas (Bainerman, 1992: 279-280; Brewton, 1993: 197-200). The fourth largest stockholder in Indian Springs was Iranian expatriate Farhad Azima, who was also the owner of an air charter company called Global International Air. The Indian Springs bank had made several unsecured loans to Global International Air, totaling $600,000 in violation of the bank’s $349,00 borrower limit. In 1983, Global International filed for bankruptcy, and Indian Springs followed suit in 1984. The president of Indiana Springs was killed in 1983 in a car fire that started in the vehicle’s back seat and was regarded by law enforcement officials as of suspicious origins.
Global International Air was part of Oliver North’s logistical network that shipped arms for the U.S. government on several occasions, including a shipment of 23 tons of TOW missiles to Iran by Race Aviation, another company owned by Azima. Pete Brewton, in his investigation of the Indian Springs bank collapse was told that FBI had not followed up on Indian Springs because the CIA informed them that Azima was “off limits” (Houston Post, February 8, 1990). Similarly the assistant U.S. Attorney handling the Indian Springs investigation was told to “back off from a key figure in the collapse because he had ties to the CIA.”
Azima did indeed have ties to the CIA. His relationship with the agency goes back to the late 1970s when he supplied air and logistical support to EATSCO (Egyptian American Transport and Services Corporation), a company owned by former CIA agents Thomas Clines, Theodore Shackley, and Richard Secord. EATSCO was prominently involved in the activities of former CIA agent Edwin Wilson, who shipped arms illegally to Libya. Azima was also closely tied to the Republican Party. He had contributed $81,000 to the Reagan campaign.
Global International also had other unsavory connections. In 1981, Global International made a payment to organized crime figure, Anthony Russo, a convicted felon with a record that included conspiracy, bribery, and prostitution charges. Russo was the lawyer of Kansas City organized crime figures, an employee of Indian Springs, and a member of the board of Global International. Russo later explained that the money had been used to escort Liberian dictator Samuel Doe on a “goodwill trip” to the U.S.
Southern Air Transport, another CIA proprietary company, maintained Global International’s planes based in Miami. According to Franck Van Geyso, an employee of Global International, pilots for Global International ferried arms into South and Central America and returned to Florida with drugs. Indian Springs also made a loan of $400,000 to Morris Shenker, owner of the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, former attorney for Jimmy Hoffa, and close associate of Nick Civella and other Kansas City organized crime figures. At the time the loan to Shenker was made, he, Civella, and other Kansas City mobsters were under indictment for skimming $280,000 from the Las Vegas Tropicana Casino.
Vision Banc Savings: In March 1986, Robert L. Corson purchased the Kleberg County Savings and Loan of Kingsville, Texas, for $6 million, and changed its name to Vision Banc Savings (Bainerman, 1992: 280-281; Brewton, 1993: 333-351). Harris County, Texas, judge Jon Lindsey vouched for Corson’s character in order to gain permission from state regulators for the bank purchase. Lindsey was the chairman of the Bush campaign in 1988 in Harris County and later received a $10,000 campaign contribution and a free trip to Las Vegas from Corson (Houston Post, February 11, 1990).
Corson was well known to federal law enforcement agents as a “known money launderer” and a “mule for the agency,” meaning that he moved large amounts of cash from country to country. When Corson purchased Vision Banc, it had assets in excess of $70 million. Within four months it was bankrupt. Vision Banc engaged in a number of questionable deals under Corson leadership, but none more so that its $20 million loan to Miami lawyer, Lawrence Freeman to finance a real estate deal (Houston Post, February 4, 1990). Freeman was a convicted money launderer who had cleaned dirty money for Jack Devoe’s Bahamas-to-Florida cocaine smuggling syndicate and for Santo Trafficante’s Florida- based organized crime syndicate. Freeman was a law partner of CIA-operative and Bay of Pigs paymaster, Paul Helliwell. Corson, in a separate Florida real estate venture costing $200 million, was indicted on a series of charges.
Hill Financial Savings: Vision Banc was not the only financial institution involved in Freeman’s Florida land deals. Hill Financial Savings of Red Hill, Pennsylvania, put in an additional $80 million (Brewton, 1993: 346-348). The Florida land deals were only one of a series of bad investments by Hill Financial that led to collapse. The failure of Hill Financial, alone, cost the U.S. treasury $1.9 billion.
Sunshine State Bank: The cast of characters surrounding the Sunshine State Bank of Miami also included spies, White House operatives, and organized criminals (Bainermann, 1992: 281; Brewton, 1993: 310- 312, 320-323). The owner of the Sunshine State Bank, Ray Corona, was convicted in 1987 of racketeering, conspiracy, and mail fraud. Corona purchased Sunshine in 1978 with $1.1 million in drug trafficking profits supplied by Jose Antonio “Tony” Fernandez, who was subsequently indicted on charges of smuggling 1.5 million pounds of marijuana into the U.S.
Among Corona’s customers and business associates were Leonard Pelullo, Steve Samos, and Guillermo Hernandez-Cartaya. Pelullo was a well-known associate of organized crime figures in Philadelphia, who had attempted to use S & L money to broker a major purchase of an Atlantic City Casino as a mob frontman. Pelullo was charged with fraud for his activities at American Savings in California. Steve Samos was a convicted drug trafficker who helped Corona to set up Sunshine State Bank as a drug money laundry. Samos also helped set up front companies that funneled money and weapons to the Contras. Guillermo Hernandez-Cartaya was a veteran CIA operative who had played a key role in the Bay of Pigs of invasion. He also had a long career as a money launderer in the Caribbean and in Texas on behalf of both the CIA and major drug trafficking syndicates.
Mario Renda, Lender to the Mob: Mario Renda was a Long Island money broker who brokered deposits to various savings and loans in return for their agreement to loan money to phony companies (Brewton, 1993: 45-47; 188-190; Pizzo et al. 1989: 466-471). Renda and his associates received finder’s fees of 2 to 6 percent on the loans, most of which went to individuals with strong organized crime connections and who subsequently defaulted on them. Renda brokered deals to 160 Savings and Loans throughout the country, 104 of which eventually failed. Renda was convicted of taking $16 million from an S & L and for tax fraud.
Renda also served CIA and National Security Council interests as a money broker helping arrange for the laundering of drug money through various savings and loans on behalf of the CIA. He then obtained loans from the same S & L’s, which were funneled to the Contras. An organized crime-related stockbroker, a drug pilot, and Renda were all convicted in the drug money laundering case.
Jeb Bush was a White House liaison to Miami Contras and right-wing anti-Castro Cuban-Americans. In the mid-1980s, he took contributions to the Miami Republican Party from Leonel Martinez who was arrested in 1989 and later convicted of bringing 300 kilos of cocaine into the U.S.
Jeb was also connected to the drug money laundering scandal of the CIA-linked, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, in 1986-1987.
In the mid-1980s, Jeb worked for businessman, Miguel Recarey, Jr. whose mafia links went back 20 years. During the 1980s, Recarey is thought to have embezzled $100 million from Medicare through his Miami-based company, International Medical Centers, which also treated wounded Contras at its Florida hospital.
When the Bush administration bailed out Broward Federal S & L in 1988, for $285 million in bad loans, Jeb and partner Armando Cordina (leader of the right-wing Cuban American Foundation) didn’t have to repay their $4.1 million loan.
Jeb successfully lobbied Dad in 1990 for the release from jail of Orlando Bosch, who fired a bazooka at Polish freighter in the Miami harbor in 1968 and master-minded the explosion of a Cuban airliner killing 73 people over Barbados in 1976.
Full-Service Banking: All told at least twenty-two of the failed S & L’s can be tied to joint money laundering ventures by the CIA and organized crime figures (Glassman, 1990: 16-21; Farnham, 1990: 90-108; Weinberg, 1990: 33; Pizzo, et al., 1989: 466-471). If the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s reveal anything, they demonstrate what has often been stated as a maxim in organized crime research: that corruption linking government, business, and syndicates is the reality of the day-to-day organization of crime. Investigations of organized crime in the United States, Europe, and Asia have all uncovered organized crime networks operating with virtual immunity from law enforcement and prosecution. Chambliss’ study of organized crime in Seattle exposed a syndicate that involved participation by a former governor of the state, the county prosecutor, the police chief, the sheriff, at least 50 law enforcement officers, leading business people, including contractors, realtors, banks, and corporation executives, and, of course, a supporting cast of drug pushers, pimps, gamblers, and racketeers (Chambliss, 1978). The Chambliss study is not the exception but the rule. Other sociological inquires in Detroit, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York have all revealed similar patterns (Albini, 1971; Block, 1984; Block and Chambliss, 1981; Block and Scarpitti, 1985; Jenkins and Potter, 1989; 1986; Potter and Jenkins, 1985; Potter, 1994). As Chambliss comments:
In the everyday language of the police, the press, and popular opinion, “organized crime” refers to a tightly knit group of people, usually alien and often Italian, that run a crime business structured along the lines of feudal relationships. This conception bears little relationship to the reality of organized crime today. Nonetheless, criminologists have discovered the existence of organizations whose activities focus on the smuggling of illegal commodities into and out of countries (cocaine out of Colombia and into the United States and guns and arms out of the United States and into the Middle East, for example); other organizations, sometimes employing some of the same people, are organized to provide services such as gambling, prostitution, illegal dumping of toxic wastes, arson, usury, and occasionally murder. These organizations typically cut across ethnic and cultural lines, are run like businesses, and consist of networks of people including police, politicians, and ordinary citizens investing in illegal enterprises for a high return on their money.
Catherine Austin Fitts, who was a Managing Director at Dillon Read before becoming Assistant Secretary of Housing under George Bush and who holds an MBA from Wharton makes things very simple. She points out that the four largest states for the importation of drugs are New York, Florida, Texas and California. She then points out that the top four money-laundering states in the U.S. (good for between 100 and 260 billion per year) are New York, Florida, Texas and California. No surprise there. Then she rips the breath from your lungs by pointing out that 80 per cent of all Presidential campaign funds come from – New York, Florida, Texas and California.
Civics test: Who were the governors of Texas and Florida?
Using testimony of law enforcement officers and U.S. Government records, Dominican drug gangs, who dominate the trade in the northeast United States – especially New York and Pennsylvania – have been making regular campaign donations. California drug sales are currently split between Democratically allied crime factions and entrenched hard-core Republican strongholds from the Reagan era. People who shudder at the thought of the Chinese buying into presidential politics would choke if they knew how much drug money was involved.
The Department of Justice estimates that $100 billion in drug funds are laundered in the U.S. each year. Other research, including research material from the Andean Commission of Jurists cited by author Dan Russell in his soon to be published book Drug War place the figure at around $250 billion per year. Catherine Austin Fitts places the figure at $250 to $300 billion. Given the fact that the UN estimated that in the early 1990s world retail volume in the illegal drugs was $440 billion, $250 billion seems about right. Fitts, using her Wall Street experience as an investment banker, is then quick to point out that the multiplier effect (x6) of $250 billion laundered would result in $1.5 trillion dollars per year in U.S. cash transactions resulting from the drug trade. How many jobs does $1.5 trillion represent? Why do President’s get re-elected? As Bill Clinton’s staff recognized in 1992, “It’s the economy -Stupid!”
During the Contra years, when the CIA and Bill Clinton were swimming in cocaine, and Arkansas became the only state in the Union to ever issue bearer bonds (laundry certificates), employment in Arkansas rose to an all time high because there was so much money floating around. So what if they don’t count all the dead bodies “It’s the economy – Stupid!”
The Pop: Corporations trading on Wall Street, including many implicated in money laundering schemes where products are sold with questionable bookkeeping throughout drug producing regions, all have stock values that are based upon annual net profits. Known as “price to earnings” or “The Pop” the multiplier effect in stock values is sometimes as much as a factor of thirty. Thus, for a firm like GE or Piper Aircraft to have an additional $10 million in net profits based upon the drug trade, the net increase in these companies’ stock value could be as much as $300,000,000. Did GE make a $10 million net profit on consumer products in Latin America last year? Easily. And since GE owns NBC is there a chance that accurate reporting on the drug trade and CIA’s involvement therein might hurt their stock?
Disney owns ABC and has a huge retail, resort and entertainment empire that benefits from the “drug multiplier.” Would ABC consider hurting its parent’s stock value? Ronald Reagan’s CIA Director, William Casey had been Chief Counsel to Cap Cities Broadcasting until 1981. His old law firm represented Cap Cities when it bought the ABC network in 1985. ABC’s Peter Jennings, by the way, had been doing a series of investigative reports on the CIA drug bank (and successor to the Nugan Hand bank) Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham and Wong when the buyout was initiated. Cap Cities (not surprisingly) secured SEC approval in record time and effectively and immediately silenced Peter Jennings who had previously refused to back down from Casey’s threats. Thereafter, ABC was referred to as “The CIA network.”
I have no doubt that the ABC “object lesson” was front and center for CNN founder Ted Turner and Time-Warner when Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and (CIA vet) John Singlaub put the pressure on in the wake of April Oliver’s 1998 “dead bang accurate” Sarin gas stories connecting CIA to the killing of American defectors.
Every major media corporation in the country trades on Wall Street. There are no “independents” left and the American people are left with the increasing thought conflict of recognizing that they are being fed useless bullshit. I wonder how they would respond to real a news corporation if they saw or heard one.
Remember – Wall Street lawyer and banker Clark Clifford wrote The National Security Act of 1947, which created the CIA. Clark Clifford is the man who brought the CIA backed drug bank, BCCI, into the United States. Allen Dulles who virtually designed the CIA and served as its Director, and his brother John Foster who was Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, were Wall Street lawyers from the firm Sullivan and Cromwell. Dwight Eisenhower’s personal liaison with the CIA was none other than Nelson Rockefeller. William Casey was Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission under Richard Nixon. Former CIA Directors from William Raborn to William Webster to Robert Gates to James Woolsey to John Deutch all sit or have sat on the Boards of the largest, richest and most powerful companies in America.
As we near the millennium one thing is clear to anyone who sees the economic system clearly. The system is on the verge of implosion. Privately owned and operated prison companies trade on Wall Street. One of those, Wackenhut, is a virtual CIA proprietary. We have entered, at the end of the industrial age, a phase of growth where we must incarcerate an ever-expanding number of people to sustain the growth of all the companies profiting from law enforcement, crime, imprisonment and war. And the overheated stock market must grow or collapse. The reason this nation spends five dollars on prisons for every one dollar on higher education – even after seven straight years of falling crime rates – is because there is more profit in it in the current economic model. Hell, we have turned police departments into profit making entities through asset forfeiture. This is insane!
This economic model is patently no more sustainable than a snake eating its own tail can be considered nourishment. Organized crime has become the government and it seeks to make all citizens become subliminally guilty participants, fearing for their own livelihoods, believing that the system will collapse if someone really tackles the issues facing us – as surely as the iceberg faced the Titanic.
The system will collapse anyway – unless the economic model is turned upside down – unless a way is found or offered which will make it more profitable than all other ways – to do the right thing. The only thing that will sustain the current economic system, and its dependence on drug capital, is a police state. New enforcement programs involving HUD and the Department of Justice- along with their corresponding butchery of the Constitution – show an emerging police state already. The conduct of Congress and the White House and the CIA further demonstrate the arrogance, and the ever-increasing sloppiness of a system out of control.
The veneer, the illusion that we live under the rule of law cracks before our eyes, grows thinner and ever more difficult to sell with each passing minute. All at once the fears of the right of a New World Order and the fears of the left, of new concentration camps and genocide suddenly become one and the same thing. Dogma matters little to the oppressed. Pain tastes the same whether you call it Fascism or Communism.
In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. This is precisely what drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy on September 15, causing all sources of funding to the U.S. financial sector to dry up overnight. Just as in emerging-market crises, the weakness in the banking system has quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy, causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people.
But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.
Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.
But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.
The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Several other factors helped fuel the financial industry’s ascent. Paul Volcker’s monetary policy in the 1980s, and the increased volatility in interest rates that accompanied it, made bond trading much more lucrative. The invention of securitization, interest-rate swaps, and credit-default swaps greatly increased the volume of transactions that bankers could make money on. And an aging and increasingly wealthy population invested more and more money in securities, helped by the invention of the IRA and the 401(k) plan. Together, these developments vastly increased the profit opportunities in financial services.
Not surprisingly, Wall Street ran with these opportunities. From 1973 to 1985, the financial sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181 percent in 2007.
The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight—a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent.
The S&L connection, more recent in the unraveling, had its origins – in the wild inflationary spiral of the late 1970s. Congress attempted to compensate for losses in the savings and loan industry by passing the first thrift deregulation bill in 1980, designed to phase out interest rate controls on deposits. The price for attracting new depositors to the ailing S&Ls was that they were forced to pay more interest on deposits than they were receiving on old loans.
This poorly designed bill was followed in 1982 by the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act, which swept away most of the remaining regulatory and stabilizing criteria of the earlier laws. The new law changed the basic function of S&Ls from the stable home loan market to the much more profitable, but risky, commercial lending market.
The law contained the potential for almost unbounded fraud, and mobsters and swindlers moved in swiftly to take advantage of the coming bonanza. Billions of dollars have vanished. A House committee estimated that at least one-third of bank failures and over three quarters of S&L insolvencies were the result of misconduct and fraud.
Three collaborating investigative reporters (“Inside Job: The Looting of America’s Savings and Loans,” Pizzo, Fricker and Muolo, 1989) detected the strong suggestion of a CIA-connection to the S&L scandal. The S&L environment after deregulation offered the perfect setting for massive money laundering, so useful to the CIA-Mafia connection. Furthermore, some of the principal players in the collapse of dozens of S&Ls were known to be involved in CIA activities, and in some celebrated cases were actually shielded by the CIA from federal prosecution.
In February 1990, Pete Brewton of the Houston Post began a series of reports, based on 18 months of his own investigation, which revealed “at least 27 failed financial institutions – 25 S&Ls and two banks had links to CIA operatives or to organized crime figures with links to the CIA.” The Post, unavailed of subpoena power, based its reports on “information obtained from court documents, sworn testimony, law enforcement records and interviews with key government investigators and prosecutors.” Two of the principal sources were a former Justice Department prosecutor and a former FBI agent.
Paradigms of Republican vs. Democrat or Conservative vs. Progressive have been designed for obfuscation and entertainment.
Attracting capital: Making the world safe for the reinvestment of the profits of organized crime and the war machine. Without growing organized crime and military activities through government budgets and contracts, the economy would stop.
The Clinton Administration took the groundwork laid by Nixon, Reagan and Bush and embraced and blossomed the expansion and promotion of federal support for police enforcement and the War on Drugs with a passion that was hard to understand unless, and until, you realized that the American financial system was deeply dependent on attracting an estimated $500 billion-$1 trillion of annual money laundering. Globalizing corporations and deepening deficits and housing bubbles required attracting vast amounts of capital.
The Clinton Administration was to govern a doubling of the federal prison population.
The C.I.A. and Mafia use drug profits to control the FED and rob communities worldwide…
One of the dirty little secrets behind the housing bubble is the long-standing partnership of narcotics trafficking and mortgage fraud and the use of the two in combination to target and destroy communities with highly profitable economic warfare. This model is global. It is operating in counties throughout the world as well as in US communities.
The Federal Reserve engineered the housing bubble. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage volumes in low- and moderate-income communities is the FEDs way to increase government mortgage guarantees- most of these mortgages would be pooled and sold as securities to investors. Which would create unserviceable debt loads in communities struggling with the falling incomes from globalization. Homeowners would default on mortgages while losses on mortgage-backed securities would drain retirement savings from 401(k)s and pension plans. Taxpayers would ultimately be hit with a large bill . . . but insiders would make a bundle.
The FEDs unstated goal is to achieve maximum return on the sale of its defaulted mortgage assets by using a widespread process of “privatization” in which assets are, in fact, being transferred out of governments worldwide at significantly below market value in a manner providing extraordinary windfall profits, capital gains and financial equity to private corporations and investors. In addition, government functions are being outsourced at prices way above what should have been market price or government costs — again stripping governmental and community resources in a manner that subsidizes private interests. The financial equity gained by private interests is often the result of financial, human, environmental and living equity stripped and stolen from communities — often without communities being able to understand what had happened or to clearly identify their loss. This is why I now refer to privatization as “piratization.”
Even efficiently and honestly executed privatization transactions such as the HUD loan sales policies which insist on open competition at the highest price are advantaging players who are the most successful at laundering money for the “black budget.”
The Federal Reserve and its long-standing partner, the US Treasury, engineered the housing bubble, including the fraudulent inducement of America as part of a financial coup d’état. Our bankruptcy was not an accident. It was engineered at the highest levels.
Drug money is an inherent part of the American economy
The CIA has dealt drugs for all 50 years of its existence–50 plus years, even before it was the CIA. And the point is that with 250 billion dollars a year in illegal drug money moved, laundered through the American economy, that money benefits Wall Street. That’s the point of having the prohibitive drug trade, which the CIA effectively manages for the benefit of Wall Street.
The Pentagon arms the Mexican government and the US Drug Enforcement Agency enforces the ‘military solution’, the biggest US banks receive, launder and transfer hundreds of billions of dollars to the drug lords’ accounts, who then buy modern arms, pay private armies of assassins and corrupt untold numbers of political and law enforcement officials on both sides of the border.
Drug profits, in the most basic sense, are secured through the ability of the cartels to launder and transfer billions of dollars through the US banking system. The scale and scope of the US banking-drug cartel alliance surpasses any other economic activity of the US private banking system.
According to US Justice Department records, one bank alone, Wachovia Bank (now owned by Wells Fargo), laundered $378.3 billion dollars between May 1, 2004 and May 31, 2007 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011). Every major bank in the US has served as an active financial partner of the murderous drug cartels.
The major US banks are the financial engines that allow the billion dollar drug empires to operate, the White House, the US Congress and the law enforcement agencies are the basic protectors of these banks.
The Federal Reserve creates an environment in which investors can borrow at 25 to 50 basis points and lend elsewhere at much higher rates, forcing money to flow from the United States into these other opportunities. And bubbles result — worldwide.
Laundering drug money is one of the most lucrative sources of profit for Wall Street; the banks charge hefty commissions on the transfer of drug profits, which they then lend to borrowing institutions at interest rates far above what they pay to drug trafficker depositors. Awash in sanitized drug profits, these US titans of the finance world can easily buy their own elected officials to perpetuate the system.
The purpose of the Agency being involved in the drug trade has been to generate illegal cash, fluid liquid capital, which gives those who can get their hands on it an unfair advantage in the marketplace.
A SIMPLER TIME
Castro was found guilty of attempting to overthrow the U.S.-backed government of Cuban President, Fulgencio (Generalisimo Juan) Batista and served two years in prison before he was granted amnesty by Batista, who was under political pressure to release him.
While the garrison assault was the start of the revolution that would propel Castro onto the worldwide stage, it also put him on a collision course with the American mob, which was intent on turning Havana into a gambling mecca — a quest that T.J. English details with spellbinding prose in Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba … And then Lost It in the Revolution.
English painstakingly uncovers the history behind the mob’s influence in Cuba during the 1950s and makes the connection between its actions and the sequence of events that energized Castro’s revolution, which ultimately ended the mob’s dreams of a Latinized Las Vegas.
All the major mob players were involved in attempting to secure a gambling stronghold in Cuba: Lucky Luciano, who was deported to Italy by the Cuban government before the mob took firm control; Meyer Lansky, leader of the Havana mob and the financier of the American underworld; Joe Stassi, who served as the day-to-day manager of the Havana mob; and even Bugsy Siegel, whose death was allegedly ordered at a mob conference at the Hotel Nacional.
English details Lansky’s ties with Batista’s corrupt government; paving the way for the mob to build the largest luxury hotels and casinos in Havana; launching an unprecedented tourism boom complete with celebrities, beautiful showgirls and unlimited high-stakes gambling.
While the mob was realizing its dream of ill-gotten riches, Castro, Che Guevara and other Cuban revolutionaries were busy organizing an anti-Batista rebellion, due in part to their disgust of the exploitation of Havana by the mob.
Batista fled to Miami in his yacht from the Dominican Republic prior to New Year’s.
Castro took control of Havana on New Year’s Day 1959.
Castro and his band of rebels stormed Havana, and he assumed the post of commander in chief of the Cuban armed forces while simultaneously ridding the island of the mob’s gambling empire, beginning his stranglehold on the country that exists to this day.
HAVANA TO NEW ORLEANS
New Orleans was a hotbed of illegal, covert paramilitary operations where corruption, disguise and deception had produced an intelligence cottage industry. In the 1960s, it was the city where the Mafia, anti-Castro exiles and self-styled intelligence spooks joined hands to celebrate what they called their patriotic bonds and to condemn their common enemies – Castro, Communists, Liberals.
THE MAFIA BUYS THE WHITE HOUSE
The story of Carlos Marcello:
At the start of the 1920s, marijuana use in America was concentrated in New Orleans and its intoxicating vapors were mainly inhaled by migrant workers from Mexico, by blacks, and by a growing number of “low-class” whites. Sailors and immigrants from the Caribbean brought this “new” (Its known uses go back to 7,000 B.C.) drug into major southern U.S. ports – above all into the Crescent City.
Along with jazz, pot traveled north to Chicago, and then east to Harlem – where it soon became an indispensable part of the music scene, even entering the language of the black hits of the day (Louis Armstrong’s “Muggles,” Cab Calloway’s “That Funny Reefer Man” and Fats Waller’s “Viper’s Drag”).
A squat, muscular fireplug of a man, rising New Orleans mobster Carlos Marcello was perfectly placed to make boatloads of money from illegal marijuana shipped into his territory. In 1938, though, Marcello sold 23 pounds of pot to an undercover agent.
Convicted and sentenced to one year in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, Marcello was also fined more than $75,000. Using his political influence, that particular “Reefer Man” was able to get the fine reduced to just $400 – and he was out of prison in nine months. With Louisiana Mafia boss Sam Carolla pulling the strings, Gov. O.K. Allen – a former stooge of assassinated Sen. Huey Long – provided the leniency. Legend has it that Marcello eventually had a tailor sew a foot-long pocket into the left leg of his trousers, “…which he would stuff with cash as he made his rounds through [Jefferson] Parish paying off the police one by one.”
From pot dealing, police-and politician-corrupting street thug, Marcello graduated to godfather of New Orleans (and Dallas), governing a vast and violent criminal empire that brought in an estimated $2 billion-a-year. He succeeded Sam Carolla, who was deported to Sicily in 1947. Marcello quickly became a generous financial supporter of Richard Nixon; and, eventually, a suspect in the murder of Nixon’s nemesis: President John F. Kennedy.
Marcello’s first dealings with Vice President Dick Nixon involved Jimmy Hoffa, the mobbed-up Teamsters Union leader. Because Jimmy shared a common enemy with Nixon, Hoffa and his two million-member union backed Nixon against Sen. John Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election. A Louisiana Teamster official who later became a government informant has revealed that Hoffa met with Marcello to secretly fund the Nixon campaign with stacks of cold Mob cash. Edward Partin told Mob expert Dan Moldea, “I was right there, listening to the conversation. Marcello had a suitcase filled with $500,000 cash which was going to Nixon … (Another $500,000 contribution) was coming from Mob boys in New Jersey and Florida.’” Hoffa himself served as Nixon’s bagman. Within a few weeks of that payoff, Vice President Nixon managed to stop a Florida land fraud indictment against Hoffa.
THE C.I.A. AND MAFIA CREATE A GLOBAL SEX/DRUG RING
The Hoffa-Marcello meeting took place in New Orleans on September 26, 1960, and has been verified by William Sullivan, a former top FBI official.
Sen. John Kennedy edged out Vice President Nixon in the 1960 presidential election, and Hoffa – thanks to Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy – was soon sitting in a prison cell for jury tampering and looting his own union’s pension funds of nearly $2 million. Yet the Nixon-Hoffa link remained solid, at least until December 23, 1971, when, as president, Nixon gave Jimmy an executive grant of clemency and opened the prison’s gates for him. Hoffa served only five years of a 13-year sentence.
In 1961, Marcello was “deported” to Guatemala by Atty. Gen. Bobby Kennedy but the Louisiana godfather quietly returned in a small plane piloted by an associate named David Ferrie – later considered a prime JFK assassination suspect by New Orleans District Attorney, Jim Garrison.
In 1967, just as Garrison prepared to indict him, Ferrie was found dead in his apartment. He was lying on a sofa with a sheet pulled over his head. Two typed “suicide” notes were found. Ferrie’s name was typed, not signed, on each note. New Orleans Metro Crime Commission director Aaron Kohn believed Ferrie was murdered but the New Orleans coroner officially reported that the cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage.
Garrison’s investigators had learned that Ferrie – shortly before the JFK assassination – had deposited $7,000 in his bank accounts and had taken over a profitable gas station – a gift from Marcello.
Another top assassination suspect, Dallas striptease club owner Jack Ruby, had concrete connections to the Marcello crime family, according to a 1979 report by House assassination investigators. The report found that:
• Ruby was a friend and business associate of Joseph Civello, Marcello’s top deputy in Dallas. Ruby was also very close to Joe Campisi – considered to be the No. 2 man in the Dallas Mafia hierarchy.
• Joe Campisi, the owner of Dallas’s Egyptian Lounge, said he dined with Ruby at the lounge the evening before Kennedy was murdered. Campisi also admitted that he visited Ruby in the Dallas County Jail six days after Ruby murdered Oswald.
• Ruby met with four New Orleans nightclub operators and Marcello associates in June and October 1963 and Ruby made a telephone call on October 30, 1963 to the New Orleans office of Marcello gang member Nofio Pecora, whose associate, Emile Bruneau, had bailed Lee Harvey Oswald out of jail that summer.
It is now known that Ruby was not only a police-protected pot dealer – but also a government informant. In 1947, he was a secret Syndicate source for a young congressman from California named Richard Nixon. In 1950, he covertly cooperated with a Senate committee probing organized crime. In 1956 – according to newly released memos – the FBI fingered him as a liaison between the Dallas police department and local drug dealers.
Identified by the Warren Commission as the lone killer of President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald had his own ties to Carlos Marcello. In New Orleans, where Oswald spent significant portions of his life, Oswald’s uncle and substitute father was Charles “Dutz” Murret, an important bookie in Marcello’s gambling operations. Oswald’s mom, Marguerite, dated some of Marcello’s employees.
Jack Ruby stalked Oswald after his arrest – finally killing him with a pistol shot to the stomach two days after Kennedy’s murder, as the alleged presidential assassin was being transferred from one Dallas jail to another.
Shortly after entering the White House in 1969, Richard Nixon moved to solidify his close favor-trading friendship with Carlos Marcello – known in the underworld as “the Big Daddy in the Big Easy.” Their main go-between was old Nixon loyalist and Mob lawyer Murray Chotiner. The pinky-ring wearing Chotiner and his brother were responsible for defending 221 organized crime figures in California.
Chotiner had a White House office and an official government job from which to trade on his powerful behind-the-scenes influence. He had served Nixon since the Navy vet’s very first campaign for Congress in 1946. In fact, Chotiner had introduced Nixon to L.A.’s top hoodlum, Mickey Cohen – and pressured Cohen to contribute to the Nixon campaign. Chotiner was associated with scores of other leading gangsters, including Meyer Lansky and Ben “Bugsy” Seigel.
Chotiner, on behalf of President Nixon, sought to aid Marcello. The gangster was facing a two-year prison term for his 1968 conviction of assaulting a federal official.
Throughout Nixon’s first two years in office, Marcello and his lawyers used all the clout they could muster with the administration to get Marcello’s sentence cut. Nixon’s crooked attorney general, John Mitchell, finally put the squeeze on a federal judge to slice Marcello’s prison term to six months and arranged for him to spend that time at the medical center for federal prisoners in Springfield, MO. (Mitchell was the first person since the FBI was established in 1908 to hold the office of attorney general without undergoing an FBI investigation, thanks to a special request made by Nixon to his ever-loyal crony J. Edgar Hoover. In 1975, Mitchell himself was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury and sentenced to two and a half to eight years in prison for his role in the Watergate break-in and cover-up.) Marcello emerged from his stay at Springfield in March 1971 – just in time to aid Chotiner’s efforts to spring Jimmy Hoffa from prison.
At about the same time, President Nixon – perhaps, in part, to aid Marcello’s illegal drug trafficking business – ignored a call by a blue-ribbon presidential commission to decriminalize marijuana. That decision has had startling repercussions- by criminalizing an estimated 15 million Americans arrested on pot charges while the real criminals go free.
Nixon’s main motive, of course, was political. A Republican “law and order” president could not turn his back on his conservative, anti-drug constituents. As Gore Vidal pointed out in The New York Times in 1970, “The [government] has a vested interest in playing cops and robbers. Both the Bureau of Narcotics and the Mafia want strong laws against the sale and use of drugs because if drugs are sold at cost there would be no money in it for anyone.”
Though Nixon reintroduced Jimmy Hoffa to a world without bars, Hoffa wouldn’t stay in it for long. Fantasizing about the restoration of his old powers, despite a clemency ban on that, Hoffa openly plotted to unseat his successor, Frank Fitzsimmons, as Teamsters president. More amiable and pliable than Hoffa, “Fitz” was now backed by the Syndicate; and he had established an ultra-chummy relationship with President Nixon.
In 1975, Hoffa was kidnapped, killed and, allegedly, smelted. His corpse was reportedly crushed in a steel compactor for junk cars. Hoffa expert Dan Moldea has smilingly opined that Hoffa became “someone’s hubcap.”
It was revealed during the Clinton administration, FBI field agents wanted to haul ex-President Nixon and his buddy Fitzsimmons before a Detroit grand jury to testify about Hoffa’s disappearance but Justice Department higher-ups said no.
Back in July 1963, a Hoffa emissary met in New Orleans with Marcello and Florida godfather, Santos Trafficante. Longtime Hoffa and Mafia lawyer, Frank Ragano, who disclosed the session in the 1994 book Mob Lawyer, said he carried a message from the Teamster’s boss. “Hoffa wants a ‘little favor’ … You won’t believe this, but he wants you to kill John Kennedy. He wants you to get rid of the President right away.”
Ragano said the faces of the two Mob bosses “were icy. Their reticence was a signal that this was an uncomfortable subject, one they were unwilling to discuss.” Ragano said Trafficante, on his deathbed in 1987, confessed that he and Marcello did, indeed, follow through on Hoffa’s ‘favor’.
Carlos Marcello’s pilot and employee, David Ferrie, is by far the oddest character in the Kennedy assassination saga. He was a friend of Oswald, and possibly, of Ruby. Ferrie was bald from head to toe—but sported part of a red floor rug as a hairpiece, and drew brows over his eyes with stage greasepaint. He was a homosexual pedophile who had been fired by Eastern Airlines after his arrest on morals charges. When Ferrie died of his alleged ‘brain hemorrhage,’ D.A. Garrison publicly speculated that the CIA deliberately silenced Ferrie. Ferrie pal, Edward del Valle, was murdered at about the time Ferrie died. Del Valle, a Cuban exile leader, was the victim of a gunshot to the heart and an apparent machete chop to his skullcap.
In 1979, the House assassinations committee concluded that at least two shooters were involved in the JFK assassination, and that the most likely conspirators were Hoffa, Marcello, Trafficante and Chicago godfather, Sam Giancana.
Two top committee staffers, Robert Blakey and Richard Billings, later wrote of their conviction, “Oswald was acting on behalf of members of the Mob, who wanted relief from the pressure of the Kennedy administration’s war on crime led by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.”
The two investigators say both Oswald and Ruby were Mafia connected, and that Ruby silenced Oswald on Mob orders. In a recent book, former Mafia consigliere, Bill Bonanno, the son of legendary New York godfather Joe Bonanno, also maintains that Hoffa, Marcello, Trafficante, and Giancana were involved in the JFK assassination.
Blakey wishes he knew back when he was leading the House probe, what he has since learned about the CIA’s possible role in the assassination. He recently confessed that he had trusted the CIA too much in the mid-’70s. Blakey is one of a diverse group of authors and legal experts who have announced his support of a lawsuit that demands the release of secret CIA records related to the assassination. Authors supporting the suit include anti-conspiracist, Gerald Posner, and pro-conspiracist, Anthony Summers. Experts include John Tunheim, a federal judge who chaired the Assassination Records Review Board of the mid-1990s.
Robert Blakey’s new suspicions seem to mesh with the assertions of President Nixon’s chief of staff, Bob Haldeman, who flatly declared in a 1978 book that the CIA pulled off a “fantastic cover-up” that “literally erased any connection between the Kennedy assassination and the CIA.” Dozens of other investigators and assassination experts now believe the CIA was somehow involved.
Nixon, himself, knew what his Mafia and CIA friends were up to. Speaking with Haldeman on one of the newly released White House tapes, the 37th president dismissed the Warren Commission’s lone-killer finding as “the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.”
One of Bobby Kennedy’s top Mob fighters, Ron Goldfarb, now concludes the JFK assassination “was the work of Hoffa, Trafficante and Marcello. Oswald was, as he claimed, a patsy. No one seems to know how the Mob recruited Oswald but it was a Mob touch to use someone to carry out its deadly assignments and then to kill that person to avoid detection. The case is circumstantial, but compelling.”
Carlos Marcello died a free man in March 1993 in one of his Metairie, La. mansions, following a final prison stint. At the time of his death, he had Alzheimer’s and had regressed to his infancy.
Despite close F.B.I. surveillance, Trafficante continued to travel the world on Mob business. A July 10, 1968 Dade County OCB (Organized Crime Bureau) memo noted that he had traveled to Hong Kong, Thailand and other Asian countries and that various intelligence sources were fairly certain that a large scale narcotics operation was the reason.
An informant advised the OCB that on July 8, 1968, Trafficante had visited the residence of Evaristo Garcia and advised him to be careful in moving ahead with the plans for Ecuador. Trafficante told Garcia that a $10 million deal had ‘fallen through.’ That remark about their Ecuador plans, the OCB speculated, most likely referred to the proposed construction of a casino at Guayaguil, Ecuador, which was to be used as a center for organized crime activities in Latin America.
The FBI’s Tampa field office was opened in 1960 to monitor the Tampa Mafia. Joseph F. Santoima headed the office until his retirement in 1973 after 33 years of service with the FBI. Under Santoima’s leadership, the Tampa office spent considerable resources monitoring Santo Trafficante, Jr. Files released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal that the FBI’s field offices in Miami and Tampa played a major role in the surveillance. For nearly three decades, the field offices kept voluminous files, containing memos, reports, newspaper clippings, telegrams, coded messages and other records. In all the FBI collected more than 38,000 pages of information on Trafficante.
The St. Petersburg Times newspaper was instrumental in the files released under FOIA. It reported FBI agents tailing Trafficante were interested in every little detail of Trafficante’s life and in every move he made.
KENNEDY ATTACKS ORGANIZED CRIME BUT ONLY THOSE WHO DID NOT SUPPORT HIM
The Kennedy’s attack on organized crime was not an all out war but a war against the Mafia dons who supported Nixon over Kennedy.
J. Edgar Hoover was in the hip pocket of America’s godfathers, reputedly because they had pictorial proof of his homosexuality. So the FBI director put the Mafia on a low level of his crime-fighting priorities. That is until 1961, when John and Robert Kennedy put potent muscle behind the government’s drive against organized crime and Hoover reluctantly began paying more than just lip service to battling the Mob.
Gangster Meyer Lansky had obtained compromising photos of Hoover and Tolson. In Official and Confidential, Summers quotes former Lansky associate, Seymour Pollock, as saying in 1990, Hoover’s homosexuality was “common knowledge” and he had seen evidence of it for himself.
“What I saw was a picture of J. Edgar Hoover giving Clyde Tolson a blow job. There was more than one shot, but the startling one was a close shot of Hoover’s head. He was totally recognizable.”
In Brothers, David Talbot reports that when RFK announced his run for the White House in 1968, Tolson shocked a group of FBI officials by declaring, “I hope that someone shoots and kills the son of a bitch.”
As President John F. Kennedy’s attorney general, Robert Kennedy had federal agents arrest New Orleans godfather, Carlos Marcello, and physically deport him to Guatemala where he initiated action that landed mobbed-up Teamsters boss, Jimmy Hoffa, in a prison cell.
Because he was a major bootlegger during Prohibition, Kennedy family patriarch, Joseph Kennedy, did business with and shared handsome, illegal profits with some of the nation’s most notorious mobsters. Old Joe turned to some of these same men in 1960, when his son, Senator John Kennedy, faced Vice President, Richard Nixon for the presidency. There was evidence of massive voter fraud by mobsters in Illinois and Texas – states that threw the election to JFK.
In September 1972, according to Hoover biographer, Mark North, in Act of Treason, America’s top cop had already learned through electronic surveillance that Marcello “had put out a contract on the life of President Kennedy … Hoover did not inform his superiors within the Justice Department or warn the Secret Service.”
If that weren’t enough evidence of the godfathers’ bloody intentions, Jose Aleman, a rich Cuban exile and an associate of Trafficante, had tipped off two FBI agents that the Florida godfather had confided to him President Kennedy was “going to get it” before the 1964 election.
Whether J. Edgar Hoover had advance indications of an underworld plan to assassinate the President or not, he certainly knew about Lee Harvey Oswald before November 22, 1963. And yet, he did nothing to keep Kennedy’s alleged sole assassin from going to his job in a building overlooking the presidential motorcade route on that fateful day in Dallas.
Hoover and his G-men had actually been keeping their eyes on Oswald since 1959, when the young ex-Marine defected to the Soviet Union. When he returned to this country in 1962, several CIA divisions tracked Oswald’s movements and regularly reported on this “possible security risk” to the FBI. However, Oswald had become a paid FBI informant on his return.
Apart from the claim by former FBI Security Clerk, William Walter, who processed documents to that effect, there was the revelation to top Warren Commission officials in chambers by Texas Attorney General, Waggoner Carr, and Henry Wade, the Dallas District Attorney that Oswald had been on the FBI payroll for $200-a-month since September 1962 with the informant number S-172.
FBI “counterintelligence veterans have since confirmed Oswald’s FBI employment.” The author also notes when Oswald was arrested for disturbing the peace in New Orleans in the summer of 1963, he demanded and was granted the right to see an FBI agent. Oswald spent only one night in jail in New Orleans. A representative of none-other-than crime boss Carlos Marcello bailed him out.
Talbot mentions former CIA Director Allen Dulles, who was fired by President Kennedy after the ill-fated 1961 CIA-backed invasion of Cuba. Lyndon Johnson appointed Dulles to the presidential commission that rubber-stamped Hoover’s fishy finding that President Kennedy was slain by a lone Communist nut with a cheap rifle and the assassin of the presidential assassin was just another wacko acting on his own.
Hoover personally directed the FBI investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The House Select Committee on Assassinations issued a report in 1979 critical of the performance by the FBI and the Warren Commission, as well as other agencies. The report also criticized what it characterized as the FBI’s reluctance to thoroughly investigate the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the president.
NIXON CREATES THE D.E.A.
The Drug Enforcement Administration was created by President Richard Nixon through an Executive Order [on] July [1,] 1973 in order to establish a single unified command to combat “an all-out global war on the drug menace.” At its outset, the DEA had 1,470 Special Agents and a budget of less than $75 million. Furthermore, in 1974, the DEA had 43 foreign offices in 31 countries. Today, the DEA has 5,235 Special Agents, a budget of more than $2.3 billion and 86 foreign offices in 62 countries.
Today the DEA has twice the offices in twice the countries with four times the manpower than when it started over thirty-five years ago. In 1973, the DEA had $0.075 billion to work with; today you have $2.3 billion. That’s an increase of 3,067%, or a dramatic thirty-fold increase. Just what have the American People received for this $31.4 billion dollar, thirty-five year investment?
The Office of National Drug Control Policy’s figures show drug seizures from 1989–2003, it seems that there are plenty of drugs out there. In that time frame, marijuana and heroin seized by law enforcement about doubled and cocaine remained steady.
According to the ONDCP’s report on the Price and Purity of Drugs from 1981–2003, cocaine is one-fifth as expensive (pg 69), crack is about one-third as expensive (pg 71), heroin is one-sixth as expensive (pg 73), and meth is half as expensive (pg 75). However, the safest of all recreational drugs, marijuana, did double in price (pg 77).
According to the survey previously mentioned, cocaine is about 50% more pure (pg 70), crack’s purity hasn’t changed much (pg 72), heroin is three times more pure (pg 74), meth purity is about the same (pg 76), and according to the recently released report from the Drug Czar’s (Marijuana) Potency Monitoring Project, marijuana potency doubled from 1985-2007 (pg 17).
After decades of substantially escalating DEA budgets, we’ve got cheaper, more powerful, more plentiful drugs. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (multiple reports), in 1979 (first year of collected data) 31.3% of the population aged 12 or older had ever used drugs, by 2006 that figure increased to 45.4%. The percentage of lifetime drug users increased by about half. In raw figures, people who ever used drugs doubled from 56 million to 111 million.
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, we went from 628,000 drug law arrests in 1973 to almost 1.9 million arrests in 2006 – that’s about triple the number of arrests.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, back in 1979, 513 Americans died from overdoses on opiates, cocaine, and meth. By 1998, nine-times more Americans died from those illegal drugs (4,942 Americans). (Data from 1999 and later is harder to quantify, as the CDC changed how they classify overdose deaths. In 1999, 19,128 Americans died of “drug-induced causes”; in 2005, 33,541 died. However, those figures include the rapidly-increasing deaths from prescription drug overdoses.)
More people are dying from using more plentiful, more powerful drugs. According to the Monitoring the Future survey (Table 5-2, pg 199), often cited by the DEA, in 1975 (first year of the survey), 45% of 12th graders had ever tried an illicit drug. In 2006 (most recent data), the number of seniors who tried drugs was 36.5% – a decline of less than one-fifth in thirty years. Not exactly drastic. At this rate, the class of 2125 will be our first drug-free group of 12th graders.
So, not only more adults using cheaper, more powerful, more plentiful drugs, but barely a dent in the kids using these drugs. But as the US population has increased, there are more teenage drug users overall. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, in 1992, 60% of teenagers said marijuana was easy to obtain, 40% said the same about cocaine, and about a quarter said they could get heroin easily. In 2006, half of teenagers say it’s easy to get pot, one quarter say it’s easy to get cocaine, and about one seventh say it’s easy to get heroin.
Bigger budgets, more drugs. More arrests, more deaths. More seizures, more potency. More agents, more users. Perhaps they should change their name to the Drug Encouragement Administration.
From The Wilderness
Organized Crime and American Power (University of Toronto Press, 2001)
How Drug Profits saved Capitalism James Petras, Global Research
Dillon Read & the Aristocracy of Stock Profits (http://www.dunwalke.com)
Covert Action, Summer 1992.
1980s, USA: Money Laundering for Contras, the Mob and the CIA
By Gary W. Potter, Eastern Kentucky University.
The Quiet Coup by Simon Johnson
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