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Oliver heads South

Oliver North has a piece at Townhall: The Other War

WASHINGTON — It’s a war the so-called mainstream media apparently have decided to ignore. Though its death toll is higher than Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s combined, it evidently isn’t worth covering; and unless you’re reading this in the Southwest, you probably haven’t even heard about it.

The conflict, a full-blown narco-insurgency, has claimed the lives of more than 17,000 combatants and innocents, threatens to undo several democratically elected governments and poses a real and present danger to the United States. It’s not the one being fought in Afghanistan. It’s the war being waged from the Andean basin all the way north to the Rio Grande.

Yes, he’s discovered the drug war in Mexico. I’m not sure where he’s been, but I think there’s been a little bit of press of this one. I know it seems like I see a lot of coverage, but I’m particularly interested in the topic, so maybe I’m imagining it? Nope. According to Google News, there have been over 4,000 articles in the mainstream media in the past year with “Mexico” and “drug war” — the topic that the mainstream media has supposedly ignored.

Now, there probably should be even more coverage, but it’s not exactly flying under the radar.

North goes on to recount some of the violence that has gone on in Mexico – all old news to us. Of course, he acts like he has some special ability to talk about this subject since his “Fox News team accompanied DEA and Customs and Border Protection agents on patrols.”

And, of course, Oliver North knows what must be done. He’s got it all under control…

… pause … rewind …

Let’s take a moment and remember who we’re talking about. This is Oliver North. Lawbreaker extraordinaire. He didn’t break small laws, no, he broke laws set by Congress having to do with relations with other countries.

He broke the law and sold weapons — not to someone on the street, but to Iran (yes, the country that the Fox News crowd is so terribly afraid of) and then he used the money to fund the Contras — a revolutionary group in Nicaragua that mostly targeted civilians (isn’t that what we call terrorists?) and then destroyed records of what he had done. Because he was offered immunity to testify to Congress, he never had to pay for his crimes. Instead, he was richly rewarded.

Oh, and he was involved in drug trafficking, too. Sure, he denies it, but everyone that he used in Iran-Contra (including the CIA) was involved in drug trafficking, and his own notebooks had at least 15 “entries related to drug trafficking. An entry from July 12, 1985 states ‘$14 million to finance came from drugs’.”

North isn’t any run-of-the-mill lawbreaker. Oliver North, and most of the Iran-Contra gang, are neocons, with their own internationalist agenda — one that can’t be bothered with things like laws, Congress, or the Constitution.

And you can bet that his sudden concern for the violence in Mexico has more to do with how that can be used for his own agenda.

So, what is this criminal’s solution to the drug war in Mexico?

If the Obama administration is serious about stopping the violence threatening Americans from our southern border, it needs to initiate some urgent diplomacy to reinstitute our access to SWIFT data — and stop talking about “legalization.”

um…

What?

Now there’s something I’ve missed. Has the Obama administration been talking non-stop about “legalization” behind my back? If so, how the hell are they talking about “legalization” when it isn’t even in their vocabulary?

And why would North want that discussion to stop (assuming it was even happening)? He doesn’t give a single reason why legalization is a bad idea, and, of course, we know that it’s the only idea that will actually work. He just tosses it out as if it was self-evidently a bad idea.

Instead, he proposes that we infiltrate SWIFT. What’s that?

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (“SWIFT”) operates a worldwide financial messaging network which exchanges messages between banks and other financial institutions.

A series of articles published on June 23, 2006, by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times revealed that the Treasury Department and the CIA, United States government agencies, had a program to access the SWIFT transaction database after the September 11th attacks called the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program.

After these publications SWIFT quickly came under pressure for scrutinizing data privacy of its customers by letting a foreign government agency access sensitive personal data. In September 2006, the Belgian government declared that the SWIFT dealings with U.S. government authorities were, in fact, a breach of Belgian and European privacy laws. Additionally, the U.S. government has submitted “useful” data to U.S. companies (manufacturer – customer relations, prices, etc.).

So North is going to attack the cartels’ finances by having the U.S. Government snoop on world-wide legitimate banking information systems (all, of course, done in the name of terrorism and the drug war, and not to be used for any other reasons… right).

I really don’t see how having inappropriate access to SWIFT is going to help find the bundles of cash hidden in the gas tank of the Honda Accord crossing the border, which is then used by the cartels to pay off police and buy their own banking officials. No, by the time SWIFT chatter could do any good, the money has already successfully created the cartels’ power.

The only real option is to stop the money before it heads to the cartels, and that requires legalization.

Oliver North should be writing a column for the federal Pound-Me-In-The-Ass Prison Daily, not Townhall. He has no interest in solving the drug war in Mexico (his pathetic “ideas” in the column demonstrate that handily). All he sees is an opportunity to shoehorn his neocon agenda into an issue.

It’s a trait that is particularly dangerous about the neocons — they have absolutely no moral compass, and are willing to lie about anything if it can help their agenda (just listen to William Kristol any day of the week for examples). Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that can be swayed by neocon lies and appeals to fear, and induced to act against their own interests and those of the American people.

So we have to fight back by pointing out the dishonesty whenever it appears.

[thanks, Tom]

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21 comments to Oliver heads South

  • Tim

    This is almost as laughable as when they suggested Kissinger run the 9/11 commission.

    I guess his narco-masters are getting nervous, and feels he can be a wedge issue among libertarians and right-wingers who are waking up to the fact that the CIA creates this problem.

    What chutzpah.

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  • Just me

    “So North is going to attack the cartels’ finances by having the U.S. Government snoop on world-wide legitimate banking information systems (all, of course, done in the name of terrorism and the drug war, and not to be used for any other reasons… right).

    …as I’ve said” All we have to fear is fear its self and the laws created because of it.”

    Why do we constantly let crooks run government? And once there they are like ticks and roaches , feed of the host , hard to get rid of and cause desease to their hosts. Our nation is deseased!

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  • Just me

    Chutzpah (pronounced /ˈxʊtspə/) is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad. The word derives from the Hebrew word ḥuṣpâ (חֻצְפָּה), meaning “insolence”, “audacity”, and “impertinence.” The modern English usage of the word has taken on a wider spectrum of meaning, however, having been popularized through vernacular use in film, literature, and television.

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  • DavesNotHere

    Oliver North is a control freak idiot who obviously needs psychological help.

    http://tinyurl.com/yak3a2v

    On Monday and Tuesday in Mexico City, political figures, academics, social scientists, security experts, and activists from at least six countries came together for the Winds of Change: Drug Policy in the World conference sponsored by the Mexico City-based Collective for an Integrated Drug Policy (CUPHID). Coming as Mexico’s war on drugs turns bloodier by the day, the conference unsurprisingly concluded that current prohibitionist policies are a disaster.

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  • ezrydn

    How anyone could listen to that sumbich is beyond me. He took “Duty, Honor, Country” and ground it into the dirt, all the while handling drugs, dirty money and illegal arms, in an unContitutional way. He disgraced the USMC uniform by wearing it before Congress as he admitted his past dealings. Of course, all that qualified him for a spot on Fox News.

    It’s so nice living down here and not having to put up with the talking head BS any more. Talk about tranquill!

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  • Just me

    Ya I hear ya EZYDN. I been tuning out of the BS . Used to watch fox as much as others , they are all the same, slinging mud at each other keeping the public distracted as our ‘leader’ do as they please. Its sickening BS.

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  • SamFox

    The author is quite correct in stating that RE-legalization is the only thing that will have a positive impact on the so called war on drugs.

    I advocate RE-legalization because that move would actually save lives. Dispensing now illegal drugs should be done by the states, not the feds. There should be a uniform code or law that insures all the states have manufacturing processes, uniform quality, uniform dosage & low prices. Consequence Of Use Education of these should be mandatory, as some illegal drugs are almost as deadly as Rx drugs. Quality & potency would be uniform insuring many fewer over dose deaths. Crimes committed to get money for addictive drugs would drop & save lives. Law enforcement killing of innocents would also stop. LEOs have killed many more innocents than has cannabis. Cannabis does not kill. Cannabis is even safer than aspirin.

    Cannabis should be RE-legalized straight up. Treat it like alcohol. We can make beer or wine at home, so why cannot we grow our own cannabis? Honest research will show that alcohol is by far more dangerous than cannabis & has fewer medical benefits. Research what drugs the Columbine & other school shooters were on or had been taking before they shot up their schools. It was LEGAL Rx drugs. I have yet to see cannabis mentioned in the reports.

    I do not say that everyone should start using drugs. That can be a dangerous path…But those who use now should not have to worry about some big brother gov agency breathing down their back. Plus the real gate way drug, media churned curiosity regarding the ‘forbidden fruit’ would be greatly negated. Remember, the war on drugs has cost liberty & freedom in many areas. Prohibition gives big bro gov an excuse to bring in a bit of Fascism, for our own good of course.Re-legalization & state operated dispensaries could provide a safe environment for those stupid enough to try crap like meth, heroin, crack, X or what have you. Also dispensaries could provide a support group for those who want to quit dangerous addictive drugs when they realize what a stupid mistake they have made by using them for recreation. According to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition the % of addicts in the US has stayed at about 2% for a long time. They polled & found that some 98 or so % would not start using dangerous drugs if & when RE-legalized.

    I keep saying “RE”-legalized because ALL drugs were once legal. Again, according to LEAP, even when all drugs were legal the addicted % of the population stayed about the same. In fact, in the Colonies it was once illegal not to grow hemp.

    Opponents of RE-legalization call the idea surrender. But RE-legalization is not that. It is only a change in tactics. Prohibition of drugs, like alcohol, has been a dismal failure. Prohibition is good for crooks like North& the cartels, but not so for the people ‘on the street’.Drugs are more plentiful now than ever. Most every one who wants them do so now. Illicit drug use is more than likely at the saturation point now.

    We must take the $ from the crooks if we want them to stop sending drugs into their markets. Prohibition makes them rich & powerful. We must end that.

    What used to puzzle me is this: LEGAL Rx drugs, ‘whose side affects may…’ be dangerous, kill many times more than prohibited ones. But no one says any thing about the LEGAL drug cartels, the synthetic Rx script drug industry. No media that I know of, except for RE-legalize groups like LEAP, ASA, NORML & MJ grow websites has pointed out this glaring, insane & deadly hypocrisy.

    Ollie should be in prison, no doubt.

    Then there is the outlandish waste of $ that it takes to fight this lost war. The USA cannot afford this war. Out debt is just to HUGE!!

    SamFox

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  • Cliff

    “So North is going to attack the cartels’ finances by having the U.S. Government snoop on world-wide legitimate banking information systems…”

    ….and learn the same thing we all know, the liquidity from all the unaccounted drug money circulating world wide was the ONLY THING keeping the world economy from completely collapsing.

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  • Ollie runs free and Cele Castillo (former DEA agent, Iran-Contra whisteleblower & author of “Powderburns, Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War”) sits in prison… the new US… Gil Scot-Heron was right, it’s winter in America.

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  • Jon Doe

    Castillo’s in prison?! I saw a interview with him done by Marc Emery that wasn’t more than few years old.

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  • claygooding

    Oliver North and that sheriff of Maricopa county were both involved with Noriega and cocaine,both made a ton of money at it,and both want marijuana kept illegal,knowing full well that it is impossible to eradicate the plant or reduce the demand. It just continues making money for them and their good ol boys CIA/DEA retirees from that era.

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  • @ JohnDoe… yeah, some deal about selling guns at a gun show. I’ll go find the article, brb.

    Yeah, here we go… and from a good source: Cele Castillo ordered to report to federal prison

    Posted by Bill Conroy – July 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Judge revokes former DEA agent’s bond even after being made aware of prosecutorial misconduct allegations

    Iran/Contra whistleblower Celerino Castillo is being sent directly to jail in the aftermath of his encounter with the buzz saw of Texas justice.

    Despite being represented by an attorney, Robert E. De La Garza, who has been suspended by the State Bar of Texas for misapplying clients’ funds, the federal judge in Castillo’s case, at the urging of the government prosecutor, determined that there is no evidence of Castillo’s defense being tainted by the stink of ineffective assistance of counsel.

    The fact that the same attorney’s son is facing federal gun charges, similar to those brought against Castillo, also has been deemed by the judge to be little more than an “inference” of a conflict of interest on the part Castillo’s attorney. Hence, the judge, at a hearing held Friday, July 10, 2009, in federal court in San Antonio, Texas, ruled that Castillo is not likely to succeed in the appeal of his conviction now pending before the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

    As a result, the judge — after extending in mid-February Castillo’s report-to-prison date by some four months due to the very same ethical concerns raised about his attorney — did an about face at the July 10 hearing and ordered that Castillo report to prison on July 30 — to begin serving a 37-month sentence for violating federal firearm regulations, a sentence enhanced due to the judge’s apparent belief that Castillo sold weapons in Mexico.

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  • Definitely worth reading beyond what I posted here.

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  • Buc

    “Oliver North should be writing a column for the federal Pound-Me-In-The-Ass Prison Daily, not Townhall.”

    Hahaha.

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  • permanentilt

    Can someone please put up the money to get Castillo a decent lawyer?!?!?! The man is an AMERICAN HERO! His case is an obvious sham, person-to-person sales of firearms don’t even require a dealer’s license in Texas.
    http://texasguntrader.com/
    Most gun enthusiasts around here are constantly in the process of selling and buying guns without a license.
    I guess he went with a public defender because he didn’t think this would be much of a case, but when you are a former DEA whistle-blower it seems like ANY legal issues would require extreme caution.

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  • Pound-Me-In-The-Ass Prison Daily – in a Perfect World – would have quite the lineup of contributing columnists….I nominate this as your next spoof project (ala the DEA Candlelight Vigil site). If you create the framework, I believe we have enough smart-ass…errrrr….smart as a whip fraternal friends that we could keep the PMITAPD website freshly updated with hard-hitting (ouch!) columns at least a couple times a week.

    cheers from Clearwater where I’m currently away from non-profit work in hopes of making a few for-profit $$$…which then get rechanneled to non-profit DPR…and so the circle continues

    my facebook profile link is hyperlinked to my name above

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  • Mike

    “Pound-Me-In-The-Ass Prison Daily.”

    I would hope there would be morning as well as evening editions.

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  • Ed Dunkle

    God, I made the mistake of going to Town Hall and reading the comments. It is truly a logic free zone. The general defense of Oliver North seems to be that since he didn’t do jail time that he served honorably and his every word is a pearl of wisdom.

    Note to townhallers: Many rich and powerful people do horrendous things and rarely serve any jail time. There is plenty of bi-partisan evidence to support this assertion. Stop worrying about political parties and concentrate more on the class divides in the US.

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  • Tatiana Covington

    Why doesn’t everyone just stop taking drugs!

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  • because drugs are fun

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  • Servetus

    Fear not, Oliver North, the Prince of Lost Causes, has arrived. Fresh from a major loss in the Viet Nam War. Still dancing after botching the hell out of Iran/Contra by getting caught. He’s back. Oliver North: the raven circling the corpse. Now he’s circling the Mexican Drug War. As if the Mexican government didn’t have enough problems.

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