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America's War on Drugs, Narco Deforestation & Climate Change PT2

For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods community protection organizations turned street gangs of Los Angeles who unknowingly funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency! Little did they know this would also affect the legacy of black fatherhood and ecological future of the planet!

A US government established...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 and start black mass incarceration. "From the outside looking in, gangs are comparable to family systems. In fact, some gangs explicitly refer to themselves as “families” or “brotherhoods” and have mottos that encompass this familial idea. Robert Muller, a psychologist specializing in trauma, explained “that young adults join gangs because they both act as a surrogate family, as well as provide a sense of belonging…”(Muller 2019)

The three-day series of articles, entitled "Dark Alliance: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion," told the story of a Los Angeles drug operation run by Ricky Donnell Ross, described sympathetically as "a disillusioned 19-year-old . . . who, at the dawn of the 1980s, found himself adrift on the streets of South-Central Los Angeles." The Dark Alliance series recounted how Ross began peddling small quantities of cocaine in the early 1980s and rapidly grew into one of the largest cocaine dealers in southern California until he was convicted of federal drug trafficking charges in March 1996.

The series claimed that Ross' rise in the drug world was made possible by Oscar Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses, two individuals with ties to the Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense (FDN), the largest group comprising the Nicaraguan Contras. Blandon and Meneses reportedly sold tons of cocaine to Ross, who in turn converted it to crack and sold it in the black communities of South Central Los Angeles. Blandon and Meneses were said to have used much of their drug trafficking profits to help fund the Contra army's war effort.

It is now common knowledge that the CIA has perverted the American criminal justice system by protecting drug dealers and murderers from prosecution; that Federal judges and prosecutors alleged to have broken narcotics laws have been protected from investigation; that the government of Bolivia and South American drug cartel leaders have been assisted and even paid by the CIA. Finally, that without CIA support, South American cartels and the epidemic of cocaine and crack use in the U.S. would never have occurred. What was unexpected was that it would cause a backlash against middle class white America with fentanyl!

Oliver North, his alleged connections with the drug cartels and the Contras had a neat idea: facilitating cocaine trafficking through Central America into the U.S., with a cut going toward supporting their war against the Sandinistas. Some Contras were themselves cocaine traffickers, and others were simply happy to make very profitable alliances of convenience with major drug cartels. From an early stage, the Contra rebels received financial and military support from the United States government, and their military significance decisively depended on it. After U.S. support was banned by Congress, the Reagan administration covertly continued it. These illegal activities culminated in the Iran–Contra affair.

Why were the Contra’s so important to US foreign policy? Because we had lost the Vietnam war (ironically the Bloods and Crips were started by returning soldiers from Vietnam) Up until the late 1970s, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua were ruled by corrupt, deadly, pro-American dictatorships. But in 1979, the Nicaraguan Somoza regime fell to the leftist Sandinistas, with the State Department worrying that El Salvador and Guatemala, also challenged by armed insurgencies, would soon follow. With little geopolitical importance, few consequential allies, and no significant resources, these countries afforded the White House an opportunity to match its military actions with its saving the world for democracy rhetoric.

The Sandinista’s had committed the cardinal sin against American interests. They believed that their human resources and labor should be available to get rid of the corrupt Somoza regime and build a society resistant to economic and military intervention imposed by foreign entities. Meaning they wanted no dictators and they wanted a government that helped their own people instead of making them work for foreign companies for little or no pay! The US government viewed the leftist (social equality seeking) Sandinistas as a threat to economic interests of American corporations in Nicaragua reliant on cheap labor and a threat to national security( meaning profits).

US President Ronald Reagan stated in 1983 that "The defense of [the USA's] southern frontier" was at stake. It was called America's soft underbelly language that made Americans afraid was used. Most importantly getting these people under control would make the world fear America again after its loss in Vietnam. The US was financially supporting the genocidal pol pot their former enemies against the indigenous ethnic Chams Black Asians! Former U.S. National Security Advisor (NSA) Zbigniew Brzezinski "claims that he concocted the idea of persuading Thailand to cooperate fully with China in its efforts to rebuild the Khmer Rouge. In the spring of 1979, Brzezinski says, he used the visit of Thailand's foreign minister to press forward his plans." Becker has quoted Brzezinski as saying "I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. I encouraged the Thai to help the D.K. [Democratic Kampuchea] ... we could never support him but China could.

Similarly this pathology against brown indigenous peoples was reflected by the CIA and Argentine intelligence, seeking to unify the anti-Sandinista cause persuaded 15 September Legion, the UDN and several former smaller groups to merge in September 1981 as the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (Fuerza Democrática Nicaragüense, FDN) Although the FDN had its roots in two groups made up of former National Guardsmen (of the Somoza regime), its joint political directorate was led by businessman and former anti-Somoza activist Adolfo Calero Portocarrero. Édgar Chamorro later stated that there was strong opposition within the UDN against working with the Guardsmen and that the merging only took place because of insistence by the CIA. They ran the show.

Argentine interests would be happy in their role as a drug trade hub so that large quantities of cocaine could be shipped in sealed containers to Argentine ports by way of the Parana River. In Argentina, an extensive racist ideology has been built on the notion of European supremacy after World War Two they became a haven for escaping Nazis from Europe. Different terms and behaviors have spread to discriminate against certain portions of the population, in particular against those who are referred to as negros (blacks), a group that is not particularly well-defined in Argentina but which is associated, although not exclusively, with people of dark skin or hair; members of the working class or lower class (similar to the American term “N*****”); the poor; and more recently associated with crime.

On December 20, 1985, an Associated Press article claimed that three Contra groups "engaged in cocaine trafficking, in part to help finance their war against Nicaragua." Rumors about illicit activities on the part of the Contras had also been probed in Senate hearings in the late 1980s. However, the Mercury News series contained a new sensational claim: that the CIA and other agencies of the United States government were responsible for the crack epidemic that ravaged black communities across the country. The newspaper articles suggested that the United States government had protected Blandon and Meneses from prosecution and either knowingly permitted them to peddle massive quantities of cocaine to the black residents of South Central Los Angeles or turned a blind eye to such activity.

However, notwithstanding the Mercury News' proclamations, involvement by the CIA and the United States government in the crack crisis was implied through oblique references and the juxtaposition of certain images and phrases in the Dark Alliance articles: the Contras, who purportedly received drug money from Blandon and Meneses, were referred to as the "CIA's army" and links between the CIA and the leadership of the Contra movement were repeatedly emphasized throughout the articles; the stories reported how investigations into Blandon's cocaine operation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were allegedly dropped without cause or shunted aside for unexplained reasons; the articles told how United States prosecutors invoked the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) to prevent certain testimony concerning Blandon from being presented to a jury in the interest of national security during Ross' federal trial; and, from August 1996 until October 1996, the image of a crack smoker silhouetted against the emblem of the CIA was emblazoned on the Mercury News web page carrying the Dark Alliance stories.

On August 20, 1996, the headline of the first article to cover the Mercury News series, published by the Associated Press, stated, "Newspaper Alleges that CIA Helped Spark Crack Cocaine Plague." It was followed by other articles and editorials declaring that the crack cocaine crisis had been created by the CIA and/or agents of the United States government: "CIA's War Against America," (Palm Beach Post, September 14, 1996); "The U.S. Government Was the First Big Crack Pusher," (Boston Globe, September 11, 1996); "Thanks to the U.S. Government, Oscar Blandon Reyes is Free and Prosperous Today; One Man is Behind L.A. Tide of Crack," (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, September 16, 1996).

News articles in fact accused the United States government of being responsible for the nation's crack cocaine epidemic. In an October 2, 1996, Washington Post article, Gary Webb, the reporter who wrote the Dark Alliance series, asserted that the article had not claimed that the CIA knew about Blandon's drug trafficking. The Washington Post article quoted Webb as saying, "We've never pretended otherwise . . . This doesn't prove the CIA targeted black communities. It doesn't say this was ordered by the CIA.. . . Essentially, our trail stopped at the door of the CIA.

Webb would say as late as June 22, 1997, in an interview with The Revolutionary Worker, "We had The Washington Post claim that the stories were insinuating that the CIA had targeted Black America. It's been a very subtle disinformation campaign to try to tell people that these stories don't say what they say... So people can say, well, there's no evidence of this, you know..."

But the absolute truth is for the better part of a decade, a 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 guerilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

The story garnered further exposure from television and radio talk show appearances by Gary Webb. Ricky Ross' attorney, Alan Fenster, also made several appearances on television shows to assert that the government, not his client, was responsible for cocaine dealing in South Central Los Angeles. Many African-American leaders were particularly troubled by the articles, mindful of the frequency with which young black men were being incarcerated for drug offenses. It appeared that the same government that was arresting so many black men had played a role in creating the drug crisis that precipitated their arrest.

This point was emphasized by the articles entitled, "War on drugs has unequal impact on black Americans; Contras case illustrates the discrepancy: Nicaraguan goes free; L.A. dealer faces life"; and "Flawed sentencing the main reason for race disparity; In 1993, crack smokers got 3 years; coke snorters got 3 months."

The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP issued the following statement in response "We believe it is time for the government, the CIA, to come forward and accept responsibility for destroying human lives." In a letter dated August 30, 1996, Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) requested that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the House Judiciary Committee conduct investigations of the allegations. The Congressional Black Caucus and many leaders in the black community also insisted upon an investigation into the charges raised by the Mercury News.

In 1987, the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations began an investigation focusing on allegations received by the subcommittee chairman, Senator John Kerry, concerning illegal gun-running and narcotics trafficking associated with the Contras. A two-year investigation produced a 1,166-page report in 1989 analyzing the involvement of Contra groups and supporters in drug trafficking, and the role of United States government officials in these activities. Allegations of cocaine trafficking by Contras also arose during the investigation conducted by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh into the Iran-Contra affair. Drug trafficking allegations, however, were not the focus of that inquiry and the Walsh report included no findings on these allegations.

The San Francisco Examiner ran stories in 1986 about Norwin Meneses, Carlos Cabezas (an individual with links to Contra organizations who was convicted in the mid-1980s of drug charges), and drug trafficking by the Contras. It is undisputed that individuals like Meneses and Blandon, who had ties to the Contras or were Contra sympathizers, were convicted of drug trafficking, either in the United States or Central America. There is also undeniable evidence that certain groups associated with the Contras engaged in drug trafficking. Investigations into the alleged connection between Contras and cocaine dealing were conducted and articles were printed in the late 1980s, at a time when interest in the Iran-Contra story was cresting. The furor over the Mercury News series was driven by the allegations of the government's complicity in cocaine deals within black communities.

The Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Washington Post articles were criticized by some who believed that the mainstream press was attempting to minimize a story that it had failed to cover. Some accused the papers of erecting strawmen by accusing the Mercury News of making allegations that it had not in fact made: e.g., that the CIA "targeted" communities into which crack cocaine was distributed. The major papers had committed the same mistakes it accused the Mercury News of making: e.g., selectively picking from among available information to support their conclusions, crediting information provided by suspicious sources, and failing to evaluate contradictory evidence.

On May 11, 1997, Jerry Ceppos, the Executive Editor of the Mercury News, published the results of the newspaper's analysis of Contras sold large quantities of cocaine in inner-city Los Angeles in the 1980s at the time of the crack explosion there" and that "some of the profits went to the Contras." It's impossible to believe that the Central Intelligence Agency didn't know about the Contras' fund-raising activities in Los Angeles, considering that the agency was bankrolling, recruiting and essentially running the Contra operation. The CIA has a long history of embarrassing the country it is supposed to work for, from the Bay of Pigs in Cuba to the jungles of Vietnam. But no action that we know of can compare to the agency's complicity, however tacit, in the drug trade that devastated whole communities in our own country.

In September 1996, in the immediate wake of the Dark Alliance series, Webb reportedly posted the following comment on the Mercury News electronic bulletin board: "One thing I did want to respond to directly is the writer who claimed there wasn't any 'proof ' of CIA involvement in this thing. That's like saying there's no proof of General Motors involvement in making Chevrolets. I also heard a great line while I was doing a radio show in Florida yesterday: “Now we know what the CIA really stands for: Crack in America.”

Now in 2024 in hindsight we see that Climate change, is a critical part of calculating long-term wealth generation, and it is imperative to divest from companies whose business models threaten the future of the planet. The petro-pharmaceuticals, the drug Cartels, the proponents of the system of white supremacy globally, are all in the same boat and terrified at the rise of an awakened population that not only focuses on intergenerational wealth social justice and green energy but embraces clean living and foregoes recreational drug use. Drugs work on a mind that cannot see a way forward but the paradigm of WOKENESS is the realization that we have the means for self sufficiency without government controls! Anti WOKENESS is a cry for the establishment to remain able to feign ignorance about the current and historic evils our society engages in to remain comfortable, heaven forbid our children have to learn uncomfortable truths that inspire them to change things and make a better world!

This intersection—between engendering a global awareness that climate change poses is a risk to every oppressive, unhealthy industry and the traditional capitalist ethic of growing money through a free market system—is what some call environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing.

People are choosing to back companies and products that help the world they are investigative in their approach in what they invest in. This terrifies banks as well as crypto currency takes them out of the decision making loop on how your money is invested and makes funding oppression much much harder! Thus the WOKE community best exemplified in the Black American struggle for social equity and its built in tenets of respect for the land is enemy number one.

We can understand why fossil fuel executives and 2024 presidential candidates are worried about short-term, one-year returns think about a teacher who started teaching this year who is going to work for a couple of decades and expects her or his pension to be there a couple of decades beyond that, under the present paradigm of fossil fuel dominance this is not likely, that gas guzzling car she drives to work or truck he drives to work will assure that after climate change continues to raise sea levels and temperatures there will be no money left as we fund the refugees that our policies socially, economically and ecologically have forced to migrate.

The clash was the latest skirmish in a growing national conservative movement to protect fossil fuel industries from climate action and prevent public financial managers from taking climate into account in their investment decisions. Many states have passed legislation that limits how pension fund managers can invest, while state treasurers have pulled business from banks seen as climate-minded. Dozens of conservative and liberal attorney generals opposing green initiatives have issued threats veiled and overt to financial asset managers about their investment choices. The military has become increasingly concerned that climate change poses the largest threat to international security not the proliferation of weapons but of solar panels in the third world.

In its never ending quest for increased security, the United States spends more on the military than any other country in the world, certainly much more than the combined military’s spending of its major rivals, Russia and China. The Department of Defense (DOD) budget comprises more than half of all federal discretionary spending each year. Further, the US has been continuously for all intents and purposes at war since late 2000, with the US military and State Department currently engaged in more than 90 countries in counterterror operations. All this capacity for and use of military force requires a great deal of energy, most of it in the form of fossil fuel.

As General David Petraeus said in 2011, “(fossil fuel) Energy is the lifeblood of our warfighting capabilities.”


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