Stop the FTAA!  
Making the World Safe for Narco-Terrorism
By William Norman Grigg

Source: The New American, May 8, 2000

American foreign policy decisions on Kosovo and Haiti have aided drug-trafficking narco-states.


In a March 23rd report to Congress, “Drug Czar” Barry McCaffrey disclosed that drug-related deaths in America have reached record levels, while the street prices of heroin and cocaine have bottomed out. Nevertheless, McCaffrey insisted, “progress” is being made in the “war against drugs.”

Scarcely two weeks had passed before it was revealed that one of the chief field commanders in that “war” had been compromised. The April 4th Washington Post reported that Colonel James Hiett, the former U.S. military group commander at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, who was “in charge of all U.S. military activities in Colombia, including counterdrug operations,” has been charged with covering up his wife’s money laundering and drug smuggling operations. According to U.S. Customs Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Customs officials had long suspected that Colonel Hiett “had knowledge of his wife’s actions and may have even had some complicity.”

In a sense, Colonel Hiett stands accused of privatizing, for his own benefit, the Clinton administration’s official policy in Colombia, which is to abet the growth of narco-terrorism in that unfortunate land. As previously reported in these pages (see “A Narco-Vietnam” in our April 24th issue), Colombian President Andres Pastrana, with the active support of the Clinton administration, has turned over a Switzerland-sized chunk of the nation to the Communist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which controls most of Colombia’s narcotics industry.

The contradictions in the Colombian government’s U.S.-supported “drug war” policy have demoralized those Colombian officials who seek to restore the rule of law to their nation. Following a FARC terror attack on the small town of Vigia del Fuerte that killed 21 police officers and nine civilians, General Jorge Enrique Mora issued a press release condemning the Pastrana government’s support for the narco-rebels. “These are the same people that the most important leaders of the country are seen embracing on television,” protested General Mora.

Such rear-echelon betrayals of front-line soldiers in the “war on drugs” are old news to former Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent Michael Levine, the agency’s most decorated undercover operative. “It was an inside joke at the DEA that we were always ‘turning the corner in the war on drugs,’” Levine recounted to THE NEW AMERICAN. “We first heard that pitch from the head of the DEA back in 1973, just after Nixon had declared ‘war’ on narcotics. I also remember how [William] Bennett, the Bush administration’s ‘Drug Czar,’ retired in victory back in the early ’90s. But the reality is that we’ve spent over one trillion dollars on this ‘war,’ and no matter how many corners we’ve turned, we’re no better off, except for the bureaucrats and politicians who benefit from the whole charade.”

Levine, who stays in contact with many other front-line “drug war” veterans, explains that “many of us have felt a real sense of betrayal as we have learned, time and time again, that the drug kingpins who we are told are arch-enemies of America are in fact assets and allies of our elite — the State Department, the CIA — and who have a license to sell us drugs as long as they are useful to the powers that be. In the meantime, our government is using the ‘war on drugs’ as an excuse to violate our constitutional rights at whim. So while most of the front-line soldiers are fighting what they think is the good fight, the front office people are pursuing an entirely different agenda.”

There is more to that agenda than mere bureaucratic double-speak, as in McCaffrey’s report to Congress, or opportunistic corruption, as is alleged in the case of Colonel Hiett. The same ruling Establishment that presides over the “war on drugs” has taken great care to cultivate and protect the worst elements of the international narcotics underground. It is no exaggeration to say that recent U.S. foreign policy has made it a priority to keep the world safe for narcotics trafficking.

KLA Connection

Shortly before NATO began its 1999 air war against Yugoslavia, THE NEW AMERICAN documented the links between the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the Albanian crime syndicates that control the “Balkan connection” through which flows an estimated 40 percent of the world’s heroin (see “Diving into the Kosovo Quagmire,” in our March 15, 1999 issue). Similar warnings were issued by European academic John Laughland in the May 6, 1999 Times of London: “The conflict in Kosovo is the latest in a series of wars in the former communist bloc fought to seize control of drug trafficking routes.... The ‘ethnic’ uprisings which convulse formerly communist states invariably occur at strategically important points on the Eurasian drug route. It runs from the heroin fields of Afghanistan, through the former Soviet Central Asian states, the Caucasus, Turkish Kurdistan and into the Balkans. Eighty percent of the heroin on sale in Europe now passes along this route.” The Kosovo bloodletting, asserted Laughland, is the “latest, most horrific, of these turf battles” — and KLA “criminals operate the most powerful drug-running network in Europe.”

“Unlike normal trade, the drug trade requires paramilitary control to be exercised over territory,” continues Laughland. In the aftermath of NATO’s war on Yugoslavia, the KLA, with the help of an occupying force of 49,000 “peacekeepers,” has established military control over the province, which has become a UN-protected narco-state. In a March 14th dispatch from Belgrade, Maggie O’Kane of Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald reports that Kosovo “has become a ‘smuggler’s paradise’” under the rule of the KLA, which conducts its narcotics operations without interference from NATO.

Marko Nicovic of the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association in Albany, New York, estimates that drug traffickers based in Kosovo are moving as much as five tons of heroin each month. “It’s coming through easier and cheaper, and there’s much more of it,” observes Nicovic. “The price is going down and if this goes on we are predicting a heroin boom in western Europe such as there was in the early ’80s.” Albanian drug barons are specifically targeting markets in the United States and Europe. O’Kane quotes a “24-year-old heroin middleman” as telling her that “since the war Kosovo heroin dealers, most of them from four main families, were concentrating on the western Europe and United States markets.”

East/West Narco-Axis

Balkans correspondent Peter Klebnikov, in the January/February issue of the left-wing Mother Jones, reports that “Kosovar drug dealers associated with the KLA have begun to form partnerships with Colombian traffickers — the world’s most notorious drug lords.” According to Jurgen Storbeck, director of Europol (the European Union’s cooperative police force), “Colombians like to use Kosovar groups for distribution of cocaine. The Albanians are getting stronger and stronger, and there is a certain job sharing now. They are used by Turks for smuggling [heroin] into the European Union and by Colombians for distribution of cocaine.”

But with the European heroin market reaching saturation point, the KLA is turning its attention to the U.S. market — a particularly attractive option since, as “Drug Czar” Barry McCaffrey acknowledges, heroin use is on the rise among American youth. McCaffrey’s report illustrates that America is in the midst of its own “heroin boom,” and, according to geopolitical analyst Benjamin Works of the Strategic Issues Research Institute, this is largely the work of the KLA’s Albanian Mafia allies within this country. Works notes that “heroin addiction has exploded in the United States and Canada during the 1990s.... The same has happened in Britain and on the Continent, thanks to the rapid expansion of the Albanian Mafias in London, Brussels, Milan, Spain, and Germany.” So prominent is the role of Kosovo Albanian gangsters in the European heroin trade that European users refer to illegal narcotics as “Albanka,” or Albanian lady. Works points out that “Albanka” peddlers have secured a foothold in such major U.S. cities as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

“Mr. Clinton, while presiding over this tragic explosion of heroin trafficking by his favorite ‘victim’ minority, has been flooding the airwaves with gun control initiatives that are highly rhetorical and designed by those who want to eventually disarm us,” writes Works. “Heroin represents a greater danger to our society than do cocaine, handguns, tobacco or alcohol.... We have to prepare for an even greater flood of lethally-pure heroin on our streets — city and suburb — in coming months. NATO’s KFOR [Kosovo Force] troops and the UN’s police force in Kosovo have left the floodgates open and show no signs of re-establishing order in their ‘liberated’ corner of the Balkans.”

Nor can it be said that these developments took the Clinton administration and its NATO counterparts by surprise. Shortly after the bombing of Yugoslavia got under way, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to Mr. Clinton urging that the administration conduct an assessment of the KLA’s role in drug trafficking. In his reply, Mr. Clinton claimed that he had ordered an assessment from both the CIA and the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Neither agency has any intelligence that indicates the KLA has either been engaged in other criminal activity or has direct links to any organized crime groups,” asserted the President, who promised to “monitor” the KLA for any future signs of narcotics trafficking.

A congressional source close to Grassley told Mother Jones that the letter was “a nonanswer” and that there has been no subsequent White House action regarding the KLA’s escalating narco-campaign. Bob Agresti of McCaffrey’s Drug Control Policy Office told Mother Jones that “We do care” about KLA drug trafficking but that “we’ve got our hands full trying to bring peace there” — a piece of spin-control that contradicts the President’s insistence that the KLA has not been engaged in criminal activity. Michel Koutouzis, the Balkans expert at the Paris-based Global Drugs Monitor (OGD), maintains that the DEA’s website once contained a section offering a detailed description of Kosovo Albanian drug trafficking, but that it was removed a week before the NATO air strikes began. “The DEA doesn’t want to talk publicly [about the KLA],” OGD director Alain Labrousse told Mother Jones. “It’s embarrassing to them.”

For that matter, the Clinton administration, which eagerly touts the assault upon Yugoslavia as a “moral victory” in the cause of “peace,” is desperate to keep the region free of media scrutiny. Reported the March 12th New York Times, “administration officials acknowledge that an over-riding priority is to avoid American casualties [among KFOR troops] and keep Kosovo out of the news during an election year. One administration official, who served in Bosnia, said that the driving force behind the policy now is to keep it ‘off the front page.’”

Haiti’s Role

The Clinton administration and the UN are just as anxious to avoid prolonged scrutiny of another peacekeeping “triumph” — the UN occupation of Haiti, which has also been a blessing for the international narcotics underground. “Five years ago, when 20,000 U.S. troops were dispatched to this poor nation to oust a military dictatorship, President Clinton justified the move in part by saying Haiti’s generals trafficked in drugs,” reported the Houston Chronicle’s Douglas Farah in a May 9, 1999 dispatch from Margiot, Haiti. “But despite the restoration of an elected government and the creation of a new police force, more cocaine than ever before is coursing through Haiti from Colombia en route to the United States, according to U.S. and Haitian officials who identify the country’s southern shore as one of the hemisphere’s busiest conduits for illegal drugs.”

Federal officials estimate that 59.4 tons of cocaine — roughly one-fifth of the total imported to the United States — flowed through Haiti in 1998, making it the busiest transit point for U.S.-bound cocaine. “Drug Czar” McCaffrey explains that drug cartels “are always searching for the fissures, and they found one in Haiti.” But that “fissure” didn’t occur naturally; it was pried open by the UN-authorized 1994 invasion, which installed the drug-addicted Marxist psychopath Jean-Betrand Aristide and his Lavalas movement, which essentially decimated that nation’s law enforcement and judicial institutions.

As in Kosovo, “law enforcement” in Haiti is carried out by a spectacularly corrupt, UN-created “police” force. In Kosovo, the gangsters-cum-police are called the Kosovo Protection Force; the Haitian equivalent is the UN-trained and U.S.-funded National Police Force. According to the November 15, 1999 Los Angeles Times, “crimes allegedly committed by the nascent National Police Force are disturbingly frequent, with scores of U.S.-trained and -recruited officers implicated in dozens of slayings, beatings and illegal drug transactions, while 20 other officers have been killed this year alone.”

In January 1999, Haitian President Rene Preval dissolved Parliament and began to rule by decree, leading to what Colin Granderson, a member of a UN mission to monitor the Haitian police, called “an increase in general lawlessness.” A UN human rights report issued last fall described “an unprecedented spate of disappearances, summary executions and other types of killings attributed to police agents,” which resulted in the recorded deaths of at least 50 civilians.

One resident of Margiot told the Houston Chronicle that policemen “only show up with their hands out, to take [bribes]. They do not beat us like in the old days, but all they want to do is make money, now that cocaine has come.” Among the officers indicted for bribery were the second in command of the U.S.-trained anti-drug unit and the head of Haiti’s elite Special Investigations Unit. Last year, as drug-abetted corruption spread through Haiti’s law enforcement organs, the Clinton administration refused to certify Haiti as a “reliable partner in the drug war.” However, observes the Houston Chronicle, “Haiti was granted a presidential waiver that spares it from the economic sanctions that normally accompany decertification.”

During last November’s congressional debate over a measure intended to end the ongoing U.S. occupation in Haiti, “House Democrats insisted that Haiti remains a success story,” observed the Chronicle. Desperate to preserve its “success,” the Clinton administration unilaterally closed its bases in Port-au-Prince and re-deployed troops to the countryside. “The point is, we’re not leaving Haiti,” declared Colonel Roy Duncan, the on-site commander for the U.S. deployment in Haiti.

Regrettable Results

In both Kosovo and Haiti, U.S. military personnel have been used to open “fissures” on behalf of the international narcotics cartels. Our troops deployed to those pitiable lands now find themselves mired in open-ended missions in support of UN-created narco-states, while American law enforcement officers deal with the resulting deluge of illegal drugs. While “victory” in the “war on drugs” is nowhere to be seen, the phony anti-drug crusade has given birth to asset forfeiture, federal scrutiny of private financial transactions, widespread drug testing and other invasions of personal privacy, and even White House involvement in inserting anti-drug messages into prime-time television programs.

In his introduction to the second edition of Red Cocaine, Dr. Joseph Douglass’ definitive study of the long-term Communist drug offensive against the West, London-based geostrategic analyst Christopher Story recalls that in 1936, KGB head Lavrenti Beria urged students at Lenin University to study “psychopolitics … a division of geopolitics [designed] to produce a maximum of chaos in the culture of the enemy.” The long-term Soviet/Red Chinese drug offensive documented by Douglass is one of the most potent psychopolitical initiatives ever undertaken by the Communist world. As the Clinton administration’s “victories” in Kosovo and Haiti illustrate, our own political Establishment — working in collaboration with the UN — is actively involved in waging Soviet-style psychopolitical warfare against the West.



© 2004