Obama Sponsoring Privileged Corruption

Obama hides behind legalities to build iron presidency and support government corruption.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JUNE 21, 2012

It was just a matter of time after Barack Obama took office for the public to find out about his real deal, and it took less time than with previous presidents. The man who came in promising change, jobs, transparency and a great economy, not only has failed at everything, but also reminded us all that we are not out of the woods when it comes to men who love to build iron castles to hide their support for a powerful Executive Office. As his predecessor once said: “Fool me once is on me, fool me twice is on you.” Americans were fooled again, and so was the world.

After criticizing George W. Bush for his overreach of power — and with reason — during the political campaign of 2008, Obama decided to follow on his tracks to make an ever more powerful Executive branch; one that does not need Congress or the opinion of the people who elected him to make decisions, but the permission of the United Nations and NATO, as Obama himself during several press conferences and speeches. The same talking point came out of the Leon Panetta’s mouth in congressional hearings. “We can’t wait” is the excuse given by the imperial presidency of Barack Obama, who justifies his unilateral actions by saying Congress doesn’t act, so he has the obligation to use his privilege to write executive order to create ‘laws’.

Both Republicans and Democrats have always stood in the way when a president had a ‘signature’ plan in mind to improve the country, but never has a president declared war on the Constitution, the American people and the rest of the world as Barack Obama has done up until today. Mr. Obama has built upon George Bush’s work that began by declaring the so-called war on terror, pushing the Patriot Act and bailing out foreign banks with his TARP legislation. Obama has declared citizens are enemy combatants, even on US soil, grabbed an nonexistent right to assassinate them if he decides is his best interests and has put troops on the streets of the country as no president has done for the past 30 years. While Obama preaches regime change for lawfully elected world leaders, he crushes his own citizens at home.

In the latest example of political and moral deceit, Obama has decided to concede  US Attorney General, Eric Holder executive privilege on documents related to the Fast&Furious gun-running program. Under Fast&Furious, the US government send thousands of fire arms to Mexican Drug Cartels in a supposed attempt to learn about drug and money trafficking from Mexico to North America. But as congressional investigation and alternative media revelations have shown, the US government’s dealings with Mexican drug organizations is nothing else than arms trade between the cartels and the drug-running, money-laundering US government. Some of the fire arms that made their way into Mexico were responsible for the murder of US Border Patrol officer Brian Terry and hundreds of innocent people on the Mexican side of the border.

Congressman Darrell Issa recently announced the start of an official voting process to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress after he decided not to provide sensible documents about Fast&Furious which Obama has now hidden behind his shameless executive privilege. The House Oversight Committee was informed Wednesday morning about Obama’s legitimation of government corruption regarding the Fast&Furious programs, to which Darrell Issa responded that “this untimely assertion by the Justice Department falls short of any reason to  delay today’s proceedings”. Issa, who has questioned Holder in several occasions, accused the Justice Department of trying to have the investigation into the Fast&Furious scandal closed. Apparently, Holder had promised to hand over some documents related to the operation, but Issa said he could not accept that  deal.

After being pressed to the limit, Holder contradicted himself a number of times about what he knew, when he knew it and how he learned about Fast&Furious. In an effort to try to avoid more public scrutiny, Holder’s Justice Department requested in a letter addressed to Obama to keep the incriminating documents related to the gun-running operation secret. Obama rapidly granted his request. “We regret that we have arrived at this point, after the many steps  we have taken to address the committee’s concerns and to accommodate the  committee’s legitimate oversight interests regarding Operation Fast and  Furious,” said Deputy Attorney General James Cole. “Although we are deeply disappointed that the committee  appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the department remains willing to work with the committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution  of the outstanding issues.”

A significant fact about Obama’s decision to use his executive privilege to hide the Fast&Furious documents is that this is Obama’s first assertion of such privilege. The reason for his acceptance is that Fast&Furious has the potential to bring down Eric Holder and even Obama himself. From all the fire arms that ‘walked’ into Mexico under Fast&Furious, the US government allegedly lost 2,000. How did the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), the agency coordinating with the Department of Justice the Fast&Furious operation lost 2,000 weapons is still unknown. These and other details have been kept secret by DOJ. “The documents responsive to the remaining subpoena items pertain to sensitive law enforcement activities, including ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions, or were generated by department officials in the course of responding to Congressional investigations or media inquiries about this matter that are generally not appropriate for disclosure,” said James Cole.

In addition to hiding the details related to Fast&Furious, Obama signed statements saying that Congress could not declare it unconstitutional for him to have ‘czars’, increased the number of decisions made by himself alone regarding domestic policy, including sponsoring government violence against taxpayers by forcing them to buy health insurance from a government program, reaffirmed the right of the US government to carry out torture, enabled and agreed on the continuation of government spying on the American people through the communications infrastructure, drones and satellites, and so on. In other words, Obama is doing exactly what George W. Bush did during his two term presidency, which in the eyes of many Democrats were actions proper of a dictator, not a president. “Obama’s not saying he has the right to defy a Congressional statute. But if the legislative path is blocked and he otherwise has the legal authority to issue an executive order on an issue, they are clearly much more willing to do that now than two years ago,” said Richard H. Pildes to the New York Times.

In some of Obama’s most recent acts of defiance to the US Constitution and Congressional oversight, he directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, and last week he announced he would legalize foreigners who came to the US illegally. “I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” said Obama in one of his speeches as he flashed a banner with the message “We Can’t Wait”. “When Congress refuses to act and — as a result — hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.” The problem is that all that Obama has accomplish through his unilateral decisions has been to erode the US Constitution — just as his predecessors did — without having any positive outcome. In fact, due to the violence generated by programs like Fast&Furious both in Mexico and the US, government agencies and the main stream media often request tighter restrictions on civil liberties and individual rights. Coincidence? Not likely.

D.E.A. Launders Mexican Profits of Drug Cartels

by Ginger Thompson
NYTimes.com
December 5, 2011

Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.

The agents, primarily with the Drug Enforcement Administration, have handled shipments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal cash across borders, those officials said, to identify how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets and, most important, who their leaders are.

They said agents had deposited the drug proceeds in accounts designated by traffickers, or in shell accounts set up by agents.

The officials said that while the D.E.A. conducted such operations in other countries, it began doing so in Mexico only in the past few years. The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime. As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests.

Agency officials declined to publicly discuss details of their work, citing concerns about compromising their investigations. But Michael S. Vigil, a former senior agency official who is currently working for a private contracting company called Mission Essential Personnel, said, “We tried to make sure there was always close supervision of these operations so that we were accomplishing our objectives, and agents weren’t laundering money for the sake of laundering money.”

Another former agency official, who asked not to be identified speaking publicly about delicate operations, said, “My rule was that if we are going to launder money, we better show results. Otherwise, the D.E.A. could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.”

Those are precisely the kinds of concerns members of Congress have raised about a gun-smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious, in which agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed people suspected of being low-level smugglers to buy and transport guns across the border in the hope that they would lead to higher-level operatives working for Mexican cartels. After the agency lost track of hundreds of weapons, some later turned up in Mexico; two were found on the United States side of the border where an American Border Patrol agent had been shot to death.

Former D.E.A. officials rejected comparisons between letting guns and money walk away. Money, they said, poses far less of a threat to public safety. And unlike guns, it can lead more directly to the top ranks of criminal organizations.

“These are not the people whose faces are known on the street,” said Robert Mazur, a former D.E.A. agent and the author of a book about his years as an undercover agent inside the Medellín cartel in Colombia. “They are super-insulated. And the only way to get to them is to follow their money.”

Another former drug agency official offered this explanation for the laundering operations: “Building up the evidence to connect the cash to drugs, and connect the first cash pickup to a cartel’s command and control, is a very time consuming process. These people aren’t running a drugstore in downtown L.A. that we can go and lock the doors and place a seizure sticker on the window. These are sophisticated, international operations that practice very tight security. And as far as the Mexican cartels go, they operate in a corrupt country, from cities that the cops can’t even go into.”

The laundering operations that the United States conducts elsewhere — about 50 so-called Attorney General Exempt Operations are under way around the world — had been forbidden in Mexico after American customs agents conducted a cross-border sting without notifying Mexican authorities in 1998, which was how most American undercover work was conducted there up to that point.

Read Full Article…

$352 Billion in Drug Cartel Money Rescued Banks in 1998

by Anatoly Miranovsky
Pravda
November 23, 2011

The War on Drugs is a sham. Drug Cartels money is such a part of the global economy, that a complete crack down of these transnational organizations would mean an assured collapse.

Drug cartels rule Mexico. Those criminal structures are like transnational corporations. They produce and distribute drugs in Mexico and enjoy their undivided reign in the country. Los Zetas cartel is a special phenomenon in Mexico. The cartel was literally created and developed by US special services.

The unique criminal group originally appeared as a military structure. The group appeared to support the activities of Cartel del Golfo. During the 1990s, Golfo was luring military men and officers of special police units of the country – GAFE (Groupo Aeromovil de Fuerzas Especiales) and BFP airborne brigade of the Mexican army.

All the deserters, who made the core of Los Zetas, were trained at the bases of the USA’s CIA and then at the so-called School of South America (Escuela de las Americas) of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The institute trains military elite for the US-controlled regimes in Latin America, stressing out the suppression of guerrilla movements and the struggle against the distribution of drugs.

The servicemen from the special forces of Guatemala, also the CIA-trained men, joined the group of former military men later. After the USA did away with Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar, the logistics of drug shipments changed considerably. The Mexicans took the command of the group. They used to send the Colombian cocaine to the United States, but then they began to dictate their conditions to Colombian drug makers.

Cartels were developing, but the leaders of the international drug business did not want to unite into one supercartel or alliance. They eventually decided to use an old-fashioned way of struggling with rats on board. They established the rat-eater. Zetas, whose members were trained in the US commando-training centers, became the rat-eater that would destroy both cartels and the remnants of the Mexican state structure to please the master.

In 1999, after the arrest of the leader of Cartel del Golfo, Zetas showed that they were capable of running business alone. They used brutal methods in struggling with their competitors. Beheading people and then dumping the decapitated and dismembered bodies in public places was a common thing for them to do. One may find videos of such blood-chilling executions on the Internet. They cut people’s heads either fast – with the help of a chainsaw – or slowly – with a machete.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared a war on the drug mafia. As many as 45,000 people have been killed in the clashes between Mexican cartels and government troops. Another war between Zetas and Golfo started in the beginning of 2010 in the north of Mexico.

The structure of Zetas is a very complicated one. They say that the cartel has several levels, but they virtually represent various formats of the ground forces – the lowest combat mass of the cartel. They are Los Halcones (the Falcons) – local civilian followers of the cartel who observe the situation in the territories of their control. The Falcons are commanded by the Cobras, also civil personnel.

The so-called New Zetas are the groups of military men from other countries, for example Guatemala, who started working for the cartel. The Old Zetas are those who joined the cartel from GAFE at the end of the 1990s.

These groups make the core of the organization. There are separate regional special groups like the Scorpions, created by local cartel comandante. As a matter of fact, the structure of the cartel is much more complicated. It consists of multiple autonomous groups. The failure or destruction of one of those groups does not affect the work of other links.

“Money, honor and respect are most important for us. We run drug business, and we urge the Mexican and US authorities not to put obstacles for our business. You will not be able to destroy us for one reason. Los Zetas knows everything about the work of police and special services. Special services and police know nothing about the activities of Los Zetas,” Arturo Desena, the founder of Los Zetas, a former lieutenant, said.

It appears that Washington will never struggle with the drug business because it destabilizes the financial system of the United States. The system is based on multi-billion “drug investments” from all over the world. Antonio Maria Costa, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said several years ago that it was drug cartels that rescued many banks during the crisis of 1998. World’s largest drug cartels transferred $352 billion to banks during the hardest period of the crisis, the official said.

The proceeds of organised crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse in 1998. “Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities… There were signs that some banks were rescued that way,” Costa told Observer in 2009. A majority of the $352 billion of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result, he added.

According to Costa, drug cartels rescued the banks of Great Britain, the USA, Switzerland and Italy.

Drugs became a national disaster for the United States a long time ago. It also seems to be a good way to control the population. As many as ten million Americans take cocaine on a regular basis (daily), according to official stats. Up to 40 million more people do cocaine less frequently. If their doses are taken away from them, the country will plunge into chaos.

D.E.A Commandos Attack Cartels that Cut Into Its Profits

Charlie Savage
New York Times
October 8, 2011

Late on a moonless night last March, a plane smuggling nearly half a ton of cocaine touched down at a remote airstrip in Honduras. A heavily armed ground crew was waiting for it — as were Honduran security forces. After a 20-minute firefight, a Honduran officer was wounded and two drug traffickers lay dead.

Several news outlets briefly reported the episode, mentioning that a Honduran official said the United States Drug Enforcement Administration had provided support. But none of the reports included a striking detail: that support consisted of an elite detachment of military-trained D.E.A. special agents who joined in the shootout, according to a person familiar with the episode.

The D.E.A. now has five commando-style squads it has been quietly deploying for the past several years to Western Hemisphere nations — including Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Belize — that are battling drug cartels, according to documents and interviews with law enforcement officials.

The program — called FAST, for Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team — was created during the George W. Bush administration to investigate Taliban-linked drug traffickers in Afghanistan. Beginning in 2008 and continuing under President Obama, it has expanded far beyond the war zone.

“You have got to have special skills and equipment to be able to operate effectively and safely in environments like this,” said Michael A. Braun, a former head of operations for the drug agency who helped design the program. “The D.E.A. is working shoulder-to-shoulder in harm’s way with host-nation counterparts.”

The evolution of the program into a global enforcement arm reflects the United States’ growing reach in combating drug cartels and how policy makers increasingly are blurring the line between law enforcement and military activities, fusing elements of the “war on drugs” with the “war on terrorism.”

Bruce Bagley, a University of Miami professor who specializes in Latin America and counternarcotics, said the commando program carries potential benefits: the American teams could help arrest kingpins, seize stockpiles, disrupt smuggling routes and professionalize security forces in small countries through which traffickers pass drugs headed to the United States.

But there are also potential dangers.

“It could lead to a nationalist backlash in the countries involved,” he said. “If an American is killed, the administration and the D.E.A. could get mired in Congressional oversight hearings. Taking out kingpins could fragment the organization and lead to more violence. And it won’t permanently stop trafficking unless a country also has capable institutions, which often don’t exist in Central America.”

Read Full Article…

Fast & Furious Scandal goes up to White House

RealClearPolitics
September 14, 2011

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) says it is now very apparent, if it was not before, that the White House was deeply connected in the “Fast & Furious” mission where guns were trafficked across the US-Mexico border. Mr. Issa appeared on FOX News’ “Special Report” program to discuss the matter. Transcript below.

BAIER: Now to operation “Fast and Furious,” your investigation there.

You sent a letter to the White House, asking for William Newell, the special agent in charge of the ATF Phoenix field office and Kevin O’Reilly, director of North American Affairs — American Affairs National Security Council staff, an e-mail exchange between the two of them and I’ll quote from your letter.

The e-mail says, quote, “When a 22-year-old kid on state financial assistance walks into a gun store and plops down $12,000 in cash to buy a tripod mounted 50 caliber rifle, that’s a clue even for us that he’s involved in trafficking firearms to a Mexican DTO, in other words, moving this to cartels. Is this — do you believe, evidence that this goes all the way to the White House?

ISSA: Well, it went all the way to the White House, whether it went to people who knew or should have known to stop this, remains to be seen, but our committee has been following the trail that has been impeded by the administration, particularly, by the justice department. And each time we get to a certain level of clearness, somebody gets fired, somebody gets changed, and we keep going.

Well, stop throwing the little guys under the bus and just tell us that somebody did something stupid by allowing this so that we can be assured it won’t happen again. So far, we don’t get that.

BAIER: And you have in this letter a request for response from the White House by September 14th to make Mr. O’Reilly available. Has there been a response yet?

ISSA: Not yet. The expectation is, we want to be very narrow. There was an exchange. We have copies of it. We become aware of it. There’s a claim that it was benign. That there wasn’t a lot of information exchanged. f he corroborates that, we can move on, because we have lots of other areas in which we’re seeing an expanding program that “Fast and Furious” wasn’t supposed to be, but appears to be.

See video of interview here.