The Lies About Taliban
and Oil the Real Objectives With Heroin As A Weapon of War
A Replay of CIA's Vietnam-era
FTW Revises Its Map
On Economic Impacts
[© Copyright 2001,
Michael C. Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com. May
be reproduced or distributed for non-profit purposes only]
FTW, October 10, 2001 -
The governments of the United States and Britain - along
with a lap-dog mainstream media all too willing to regurgitate
falsehoods - are feeding us a line of demonstrably inaccurate
lies about the Taliban and opium. We are being warned of
a "new flood" of al-Q'aeda opium as the war expands. As
British Prime Minister Tony Blair boasts, "We will bomb
their poppy fields," he neglects to mention that there aren't
any poppy fields in Taliban controlled areas to bomb. This
outrageous deception of the public, in an effort to stir
up support for the war effort, is further evidence that
most of the rest of the government's line following the
attacks of September 11, is simply not credible.
A simple side-by-side comparison
of reports from the UN and the U.S. government, along with
major media stories from before and after the Sept. 11 attacks
exposes the lie.
Even the U.S. State Department
acknowledges that in July 2000, Mullah Omar of the Taliban
ordered a ban on poppy cultivation in all Taliban controlled
regions of Afghanistan. That State Department Fact Sheet,
published after Jan 1, 2000, however, expresses U.S. disbelief
in the ban's effectiveness. This position is, however,
contradicted by some very credible sources, including Secretary
of State Colin Powell. He gave the Taliban $43 million
May to replace the income lost to Afghani farmers as a
of the ban. Their wheat crops had failed due to the drought
and they had no money from opium harvests to buy food.
middlemen who had stockpiled the opium had income. But
farmers, who had harvested in the summer of 2000, had already
In February 2000 citing
reports from Agence France-Presse, the AP, and UPI, FTW published a story describing the Taliban's successful destruction
of their poppy crop. We viewed this at the time - possibly
incorrectly - as a move by the Taliban to take $90 billion
in drug cash out of the western banking system. That sales
remained stable, however, is reflected in the fact that
heroin prices fell only slightly in 2000. Had Afghanistan
stopped selling altogether, then Western Europe, which gets
its opium from Afghanistan, would have seen a steep increase
in prices. It did not. So why then did Powell give Afghanistan
the $43 million? I wish I knew.
Now, based upon new evidence,
we know that in 1999 Afghanistan produced a bumper crop
of 4,600 metric tons of opium and that this has been verified
by a number of sources including the United Nations Drug
Control Program (UNDCP) as well as in a multitude of press
stories. The 2000 harvest was close to 3,300 metric tons.
The result, as Colombia expanded poppy cultivation in the
late 1990s, and as the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia
showed only a minor drop in output, was a glut. Therefore
the Taliban's ban on production would have had the impact
of creating a price support by reducing supplies. How successful
was the ban and destruction of crops? Well, aside from the
above reports, which all indicated that inspections confirming
the ban had taken place, consider the following:
- On January 3, 2001 an
ABC News story, posted on their web site stated, "Pakistan's
Foreign Secretary Inam ul-Haq's claim to have eliminated
all opium plantations in Taliban controlled territories
- reported by Agence France-Presse -- seems to have been
confirmed by a UN survey.
"This development could
have several important ramifications for both the geopolitical
situation in the region and the world drug trade...
"The center of world drug
production will shift from Afghanistan, which accounted
for 75 percent of world opium production last year, to Colombia
and the Golden Triangle on the border between Myanmar (Burma)
A February 16, 2001 AP story by Kathy Gannon was headlined, "Taliban virtually
wipes out opium production in Afghanistan." It opened with
"U.N. drug control officers
said the Taliban religious militia has virtually wiped out
opium production in Afghanistan - once the world's largest
producer - since banning poppy cultivation in July.
"A 12-member team from
the U.N. Drug Control Program spent two weeks searching
most of the nation's largest opium-producing areas and found
so few poppies that they do not expect any opium to come
out of Afghanistan this year.
"'We are not just guessing.
We have seen the proof in the fields,' said Bernard Frahi,
regional director for the U.N. program in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. He laid out photographs of vast tracts of land
cultivated with wheat alongside pictures of the same fields
taken a year earlier - a sea of blood red poppies.
On May 24, 2001 Barry Berak
of the New York Times wrote a story entitled, "Taliban Ban
on Drug Crops Is Working, U.S. Concludes." Here are the
"ELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan,
May 20 - This has been heroin's great heartland, where the
narcotic came to life as an opium resin taken from fragile
buds of red and white poppies. Last year, 75 per cent of
the world's opium crop was grown in Afghanistan, with the
biggest yield sprouting from here in the fertile plains
of the country's south, sustained by the meander of the
"But something astonishing
has become evident with this spring's harvest. Behind the
narrow dikes of packed earth, the fields are empty of their
most profitable plant. Poor farmers, scythes in hand, stoop
among brown stems.
"Mile after mile, there
is only a dry stubble of wheat to cut from the lumpy soil...
"But American narcotics
officials who visited the country confirmed earlier United
Nations reports that the Taliban had, in one growing season,
managed a rare triumph in the long and losing war on drugs..."
Before looking at what
the press is saying since the WTC attacks, take three facts
and lock them firmly in your brain. First, the opium-growing
season in the region, according to the UN and other drug
monitoring agencies, is a planting in October and November
with a harvest in May and June. There have been no crops
planted or harvested in Afghanistan or Pakistan since the
summer of 2000. The Taliban and farmers have been sustaining
themselves by selling stockpiles, with the prices fairly
stable since the ban.
Second, Afghanistan, for
the last four years, has been suffering under one of the
worst droughts in its history. The last year has been the
Third, Central Asian
expert, Vladimir Davlatov, writing for "1 world media,"
from the Tajikistan capital of Dushnabe, interviewed a General
[Rustam Nazarov] in command of Tajik border guards charged
with intercepting heroin supplies smuggled out of Afghanistan.
The August 31 story (Issue No. 67) quoted the General as
saying, "The quality of Afghan heroin has recently deteriorate[d]."
- "The West At War: Drugs
Wipeout - We'll Bomb Poppy Fields - Blair Targets Terror
Profits - Poppy fields which supply the Taliban's multi-billion
pound drugs trade are to be a key target of military strikes
in Afghanistan" read the headline of a September 30, 2000
story in the British paper, The Sunday Mirror. The story
"A senior Downing street
aide said: 'We have reliable information that the Taliban
are planning to use money from drugs to finance military
action, and that bin Laden has ordered farmers to step up
production..." How can they step up production? It takes six
months to grow a crop and they have to plant one first.
The planting doesn't start until November. Meantime we're
bombing the region to smithereens. Is this a new form of
plowing the soil?
"There is an estimated
3,000 tonnes of opium stockpiled inside Afghanistan ..." OK,
what have they been selling for the last year, wheat? Mushrooms?
- "Flood of Cheap Afghan
Heroin," blazed the headline of a story in the Times
London dated September 25, 2001. The lead sentences of that
"AFGHAN farmers are ready
to swamp world markets with heroin amid signs that the Taleban
has dropped its ban on opium growing.
"The ban was imposed by
Mullah Muhammad Omar last year, leaving many farmers ruined.
But the sudden halving of the price of raw opium to $250
a kg suggests the decree has been reversed." So whose heroin
is flooding the markets?
- The Los Angeles
The New York Times and the Washington Post, along with every
network, have all reported that the Taliban's response to
U.S. attacks will be to increase heroin production. Strange
for a country that is now militarily sealed off and has
no remaining operable airfields and whose land borders are
now sealed by the U.S. military. That gives a whole new
meaning to the term "Thunder Road."
- On September 30 The
Tribune published a story entitled "Panicked Opium Traders
Unload Huge Stocks. Implying that it was the Taliban doing
so, the story opened with the lead:
"ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -
Just as the Dow Jones industrial average fell precipitously
in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the U.S., so did
the main economic marker in the ramshackle street bazaars
of Pakistan's North West Frontier province.
"Traders from Peshawar
reported that the price of opium had plunged from $700 a
kilo to $90 since September 11..."
There is no mention in
the story of the fact that Pakistan itself grows the opium
poppy or that the Pakistani government of Musharraf Pervez
- our erstwhile ally - has been dependent upon drug money
to sustain itself for at least ten years. How come the story
doesn't look to the Pakistani issue?
- The Ananova press agency
reported on September 29th, "...A Downing Street spokesman
says there is evidence of a sudden movement of opium out
of neighboring Pakistan where it was being stockpiled."á Now let me get this straight. The stockpiles
are in Pakistan so we're going to bomb Afghanistan for it.
That makes real good sense!
- In this most outrageous
propaganda of all, the Indian news service PTI in New Delhi,
published a story on October 4, headlined, "Laden Planned
to Wreak Havoc in U.S. Through Super Heroin." It's lead
"The most wanted terrorist
Osama bin Laden had planned to develop a 'super heroin'
drug and export the same to United States and West Europe
to wreak havoc there much before the deadly September 11
attacks. 'The terror network headed by Osama bin Laden has
tried to develop a high-strength form of heroin that it
planned to export to United States and Western Europe,"
a major American daily said today quoting intelligence reports."
This is the most patent
b.s. I have ever read. I specialized in heroin at LAPD.
I was also trained by the DEA in 1976. There is no such
thing as super heroin. Heroin is a chemical, diacetyl morphine.
Its purest form is 100%. It is usually "cut" at least four
times - each time by 50% - to 6.25% purity or less before
it is sold on the streets. There is no way to make it stronger
unless you just cut it less, which automatically cuts the
profits to street vendors. And it is the middlemen and retailers
who do the cutting, not the manufacturer. It is easier to
smuggle one kilo of pure heroin from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan
or Pakistan or Turkey than it is to smuggle eight kilos
at 6.25%. It would take eight times as many airplanes and
Each time a middleman cuts
the heroin he has twice as much to sell.
This lie of a story implies
that Osama bin Laden controls street-level drug dealing
in the United States from the black ghettos of New York
and L.A to the white suburbs of San Francisco and Chicago.
That's the only way it is possible to get a higher-strength
heroin on the streets of America.
And what about the
fact that the U.S. receives - according to the DEA and the
Department of Justice - more than 60 per cent of its heroin
from Colombia. Does bin Laden control Colombia too?
"Oh Yeah, We
Forgot To Tell You"
Only belatedly have
major outlets like the Wall Street Journal (Oct. 2), The
Associated Press (Oct. 5), and the
Washington Post (Oct. 5) begun to acknowledge, in stories
placed well back in the paper, and with much less emphasis,
that the Northern Alliance - our allies against the Taliban
- are now in real control of the heroin trade. Smuggling
routes have shifted from south through Pakistan northward
through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. They
the obvious - that the Taliban is no longer the primary
supplier of heroin. How could they be?
The Real Story
In March 2001 FTW reported
from Moscow that Uzbekistan was "awash" in a sea of poppies.
Since September 11 we have seen Uzbekistan not surprisingly
become the hub for all U.S. military operations going into
Afghanistan. It was, in fact, the very first place that
U.S. military and "special operations" forces deployed -
within days of the attacks. Unmentioned in press stories
is the fact that firms like Southern Air, Evergreen and
other CIA proprietary or contract operations have been establishing
a presence in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent for more than
a year. And Tashkent is a surprisingly modern city. It even
has an Intercontinental Hotel. This is undoubtedly due in
part to increased oil exploration, but it hauntingly parallels
our experience from another era - Vietnam.
Now, as we are hearing
the first reports that the Uzbeki government, fighting its
own battle against a Muslim insurgency, will permit offensive
operations from its military bases, FTW has had two reports
that CIA operative Richard Secord has recently traveled
to Tashkent. Secord's documented history of involvement
in heroin smuggling, from Vietnam, Laos and Thailand in
the 1960's and his criminal involvement in illegal operations,
including drug smuggling during the Iran-Contra years, tells
us exactly what is happening. These same intelligence sources
have also reported that many other CIA veterans of Iran-Contra
and Vietnam - despite their age - are converging on Tashkent
like bees to a field of flowers - poppy flowers.
In the 1960's and 70's,
as the Vietnam War raged, the CIA fostered and maintained
a series of covert wars in Laos and Cambodia. They did this
by funding their operations with heroin, refined from opium
grown by indigenous tribesmen including the Hmong in Laos.
The Hmong, in turn became surrogate U.S. armies and the
money from the trade supported the CIA and its allies as
the region became totally unstable. In the years since,
the only difference is that drug money has become a $500-600
billion a year cash flow that is now an essential part of
the world banking and financial system because it provides
the liquid cash necessary to make the "minimum monthly payments"
on huge stock and derivative and investment bubbles in the
U.S. and Britain. These bubbles were already bursting in
the weeks prior to the September 11 attacks.
Now, as the CIA moves to
control the drug trade in the region you can be sure of
several things. First, when the world sees an explosion
of heroin from the region it won't be the Taliban's doing.
Second, the cash flows from the smuggling will now be directed
through U.S. banks and stocks. That is what the CIA does.
Third, those cash flows - as direct air operations from
Tashkent to the U.S. become commonplace - will be taken
away from Russia, the Balkans, Turkey and Eastern Europe.
Fourth, the result of that will be de-stabilization of the
entire region. Fifth, destabilization in the region will
Balkanize Russia. Sixth, the increasing U.S. military and
economic presence will consolidate U.S. control over the
vast oil and gas reserves in the region. A revived Unocal-Saudi
pipeline project, which will begin construction soon after
the U.S. establishes control, will take the oil and gas
from Central Asia, through Afghanistan, and down to the
Pakistani coast where it will then be sold to China and
Japan. The profits from those sales will come back into
Wall Street. This will be a further drain on Russian influence
in the region and greatly increase global instability.
Throughout the 1990s the
United States - under an exclusive arrangement coordinated
by the Harvard Endowment, Goldman Sachs and the U.S Treasury
- looted some $300 billion from Russia. During the period
from 1989-2001 the population of that country shrank from
165 to 145 million people. As infrastructure collapsed,
as services disappeared, as unemployment skyrocketed, as
the Ruble collapsed, the life expectancy for a Russian male
dropped from 68 to 48 years.
Make no mistake.
Russia is the target here just as much as is the propping
up of a feeble U.S. economy with drug money. And remember
that Russia still has most of its nuclear arsenal intact.