Friday, October 1, 2010

CIA Involvement in Drug Smuggling Part 2

After World War II the French returned to Indo-China and became directly involved in drug trade with the Hmong tribesmen in the highlands of Laos. At first, the French attempted to eliminate opium addiction in 1946. However, desperately short on funds, French intelligence and paramilitary organizations became involved in opium trafficking in order to finance their covert operations against Ho Chi Minh in the north. By 1951, French intelligence controlled most of the opium trade in the region. The French started top secret Operation X which resulted in a steady supply of Hmong opium into the dens of cities such as Saigon and Danang.

In 1950 President Truman implemented the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) which approved a CIA invasion into southern China. This meant that CIA operants need to infiltrate various local tribal units particularly in the Golden Triangle — Burma, Laos, and Thailand. The CIA recruited agents

such as William Colby who years later was elevated to CIA director. When CIA operants moved into the Shan states in the Golden Triangle region of northern Burma, opium growers operated only randomly. However, the region soon was transformed into one of the largest growing opium regions in the world. The CIA needed an alliance with the KMT, which had just been driven out of China by Mao Tse-tung a year before, and the Thai police in order to bolster its position in the region.

[ ... ]

In the 1960s, thousands of KMT mercenaries made their way across the mountains of the Golden Triangle to eastern Burma. Khun Sa's army was defeated by KMT General Ouane Rattikone in the 1967 Opium War, and his troops fled into central Laos. Khun Sa was arrested and released at a later date, but by that time the size of his army had dwindled to about one thousand. Khun Sa not only lost major casualties among his troops, but he also lost his monopoly on opium trade in the Shan states.

The Opium War left Rattikone and the KMT in control of 80 percent of the opium trade in Burma.

During the duration of the KMT's dominance in northern Burma — from the end of World War II to 1960s — his CIA subsidized army increased opium production by nearly 500 percent from 80 tons to 500 tons annually. The Golden Triangle provided approximately 33 percent of the world's illicit opium trade.

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Just a tool in the war machine

Interview by Yossi Melman for Ha'aretz

Veteran reporters Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari dubbed the first Lebanon War, in the summer of 1982, the "war of deception," a term that would become the title in Hebrew of a book they co-authored about the campaign. According to them, Operation Peace for the Galilee was a superfluous war whose real aims were concealed from the public, a war that claimed the lives of over 600 Israel Defense Forces soldiers and led to the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila.

It was a war that left Israel mired in the Lebanese quagmire for 18 years, during which it saw its international standing deteriorate. The triumvirate of Ariel Sharon, Nachik Navot and the Mossad are traditionally seen as the architects of the campaign.

"Many people think that I'm to blame for the war," said Navot, a former Mossad deputy head who at the time played a crucial role in maintaining the clandestine ties with the Christian armed forces in Lebanon.

"When people talk about the Lebanon War, unfortunately they automatically are reminded of me. This is a perception that has stuck to me and to the Mossad."

Ari Folman's film "Waltz with Bashir," which depicts the war from the point of view of a young soldier in Lebanon in 1982, was recently screened before a large group of Mossad employees. Navot was invited to give a talk about the film and to place the director's experiences in a wider historical context.

Navot was so moved by the film that for a few minutes he was unable to speak. He recently agreed to grant Haaretz a wide-ranging interview. In it he revealed new information, in an effort to correct what he feels are people's misconceptions.

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Conviction in Dead Sea Scrolls influence case

Raphael Golb, was convicted of identity theft in the second degree, for his scheme to influence the outcome of debate over the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Gold, 50, was also found guilty criminal impersonation in the second degree, forgery in the third degree, aggravated harassment in the second degree and unauthorized use of a computer.

In June 2009, GOLB was indicted for a pattern of systematic harassment against six victims who were directly or indirectly related to scholarship of the Dead Sea Scrolls. GOLB'S sentencing is scheduled for November 18, 2010, and he faces up to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

[ ... ]

Norman Golb, a professor of Jewish History and Civilization at the University of Chicago, has been a proponent of the viewpoint that the Dead Sea Scrolls found in the caves of Qumran had nothing to do with the buildings and settlement at the Qumran site. He maintains that they were not the product of the Essenes, but of several different Jewish sects and communities of ancient Israel who hid the scrolls in the caves at Qumran while fleeing from Jerusalem.

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Are Dreams an Extension of Physical Reality?

By Robert Lanza MD, Huffington Post

You spend a third of your life sleeping. What if your dreams are real? Perhaps our dismissal of dreams as "just dreams" is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of consciousness and physical reality.

    "I am real" said Alice (in Wonderland). "If I wasn't real, I shouldn't be able to cry."

    "I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?" Tweedledum interrupted in a tone of great contempt.


We take for granted how our mind puts everything together. Everything we experience is a whirl of information occurring in our heads. Biocentrism -- a new "theory of everything" -- tells us that space and time aren't the hard objects we think, but rather tools our mind uses to put everything together. They're the key to consciousness, and why in experiments with particles, space and time -- and indeed the properties of matter itself -- are relative to the observer. During both dreams and waking hours, your mind collapses probability waves to generate a physical reality, replete with a functioning body. You're able to think and experience sensations in a 3D world.

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The Left Right Paradigm is Over: Its You vs. Corporations

Barry Ritholtz writes in The Big Picture:

Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power.  The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.

Consider:

    • Many of the regulations that govern energy and banking sector were written by Corporations;

    • The biggest influence on legislative votes is often Corporate Lobbying;

    • Corporate ability to extend copyright far beyond what original protections amounts to a taking of public works for private corporate usage;

    • PAC and campaign finance by Corporations has supplanted individual donations to elections;

    • The individuals' right to seek redress in court has been under attack for decades, limiting their options.

    • DRM and content protection undercuts the individual's ability to use purchased content as they see fit;

    • Patent protections are continually weakened. Deep pocketed corporations can usurp inventions almost at will;

    • The Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations have Free Speech rights equivalent to people; (So much for original intent!)

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Study: Wars could cost $4 trillion to $6 trillion

Leo Shane III reports in Stars & Stripes:

The authors of the book "The $3 Trillion War" noted in a conference call on Wednesday that when they first released their findings two years ago, the estimates were widely criticized as being too high. Now, the researchers believe they may have been too low.

Joseph Stiglitz, who received the 2000 Nobel Prize for Economics, and Linda Bilmes, a public policy professor at Harvard University, said the number of veterans seeking post-combat medical care and the cost of treating those individuals is about 30 percent higher than they initially estimated. That, combined with increases in the cost of military medical care and the lagging economy, will likely push the true long-term cost of the war over the $4 trillion mark.

"This may be more of a crisis than the Medicare and Social Security problems we have looming," said House Veterans Affairs Chairman Bob Filner, D-Calif. "It rivals both in the potential impact. This is another entitlement we've committed ourselves to, and it could break the bank."

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Government-Mandated Back Doors a Recipe for Disaster

From US rights group concerned by Web wiretap plans:

A digital rights group expressed concern on Monday over reports that the Obama administration is drawing up legislation to make it easier for US intelligence services to eavesdrop on the Internet.

The New York Times reported Monday that the White House intends to submit a bill to Congress next year that would require all online services that enable communications to be technically capable of complying with a wiretap order.

The Times said it would require encrypted email transmitters like BlackBerry, social networks like Facebook and services like Skype to provide the capability to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

Seth Schoen, staff technologist at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said requiring "government-mandated back doors" in communications systems would be a "recipe for disaster."

"Throughout the 1990s, EFF and others fought the 'crypto wars' to ensure that the public would have the right to strong encryption tools that protect our privacy and security -- with no back doors and no intentional weaknesses," Schoen said in a blog post.

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Musical Innerlube: Alex DeGrassi - 39 String Harp Guitar

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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