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December 2010
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There’s lots of money to be made in that drug war.

So much money. So many profiteers.

Bill Conroy at The Narcosphere covers the story of the $100 Million Drug-War Garrison Approved for U.S.-Mexican Border

A small county board in southern California has just ushered in the era of the paramilitarization of the U.S. border by approving plans for a private, $100 million, 1,000-acre military and law enforcement training camp spearheaded by a former Navy Seal sniper who also has done work for the U.S. intelligence community.

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors earlier this week approved the project, to be developed near the small rural border town of Ocotillo, Calif., by a company called Wind Zero Group Inc. The supervisors, at a meeting held Tuesday, Dec. 21, voted 4-1 in favor of allowing the border garrison project to proceed toward construction, despite stiff community opposition, according to news reports.

$100 million facility. That’s a lot of money to spend on a training facility unless they expect to get a whole lot of government contracts for training… and other activities.

Conroy points out the interesting connection with RAND.

among the backers of the Wind Zero project is former Navy Captain and RAND Senior Management Systems Analyst John Birkler, who serves as a director of Wind Zero, according to SEC filings.

RAND bills itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, but, in reality, it has a long history of close ties to the military and private-sector warfare complex.

RAND media spokesman Warren Robak told Narco News previously that “John Birkler and his involvement with Wind Zero is a private matter — it has nothing to do with RAND.”

But Birkler has at least one thing in common with Wind Zero beyond the Navy background he shares with the company’s founder, the former Navy SEAL sniper, U.S. intelligence agency operative and author Brandon Webb. Birkler, Webb and Wind Zero have expertise in the emerging arena of drone warfare.
At RAND, Birkler, among other responsibilities, oversees research for the U.S. Navy as well as the U.S. Special Operations Command — under which is the Navy SEAL program. And, according to Rand’s Web site, among Birkler’s specific areas of expertise is “unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Doesn’t pass the smell test. RAND does lots of government work, has a Senior Manager who specializes in drones and is a backer of a big border project to provide drug war training facilities for an organization that has experience working with drones, and it’s just “a private matter.”

Wind Zero is, at best, a Blackwater/Xe wanna-be, connected with RAND, and poised to conduct private drug war operations within the United States as a taxpayer-funded mercenary operation.

Feel safer now?

More training facilities to escalate the drug war even further. And we know how well that can work out… Event the Los Zetas, probably the most dangerous group of drug trafficking criminals out there, apparently received training at the School of the Americas at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where they would have trained in rapid deployment, aerial assaults, marksmanship, ambushes, small-group tactics, intelligence collection, counter-surveillance techniques, prisoner rescues and sophisticated communications.

Apparently what we need is more private military training facilities on the border.

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13 comments to There’s lots of money to be made in that drug war.

  • Paul

    Stratfor says the Mexican government has reclassified some drug trafficking crimes as terrorism, which may have a big effect on how the U.S. government interacts with Mexico in the drug war.

    The full article is behind their paywall, but you get the gist. It’s depressing to imagine even more U.S. involvement in Mexico, with special agents running around Mexico and getting involved in the madness plaguing that country. I really hope the new Mexican president does not allow this to escalate any further.

    [Begin frustrated rant here–]

    Our government is unwilling to address the root causes of problems, trying instead to solve problems with more force, more control. We are never wrong, we just haven’t applied enough guns or money to the problem.

    This thinking applies to all kinds of problems, from foreign wars to health and education spending. These are problems of politics, where a combination of vested interests and voter apathy determine our actions.

    Voters mostly just don’t care about the drug war, and no reports of tens of thousands of murders in Mexico a year seem to impress them. Drugs are bad, and that is all there is to it, at least until the mass murders finally come to America, or we realize we don’t have enough money to pay for it all.

    And even then the damn fool voters won’t believe we are actually out of money until their own check finally stops coming in the mail. THAT at least, would get their attention, and that day of reckoning fast approaches for many of us.

    Arrrgh!

    [–End Rant]

  • denmark

    My heart sank when I saw this.
    The jerks jumped on a good thing for themselves for sure as Imperial County is most likely an extremely poor and run down community by now, it was already when I left East San Diego nearly 20 years ago.

    Imperial Beach and it’s surrounding areas were a party place for the well to do and famous shortly before our time. No doubt there’s large gangs in the Imperial Beach area.

  • darkcycle

    Rand does indeed have connections to the military industrial complex. And this would be an indication to me that somebody has in “in” with the corporate plans…er…government plans. I would look for drones on the southern border soon. This really begs the question, with the cost of building, deploying and maintianing these drones, training personell, etc….what are they REALLY looking for? Can’t be just little old Mary Jane….

  • Yup thats about right....

    ….spend millions of tax payers money to combat militarily a problem created by governement. No no no , legaliaztion and regulation is too easy gotta stick it to the tax payer.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Simon Ghost Riley. Simon Ghost Riley said: There's lots of money to be made in that drug war. – Drug WarRant http://goo.gl/fb/q3je9 #navy #seals […]

  • Ned

    It takes extremely powerful and overwhelming forces to interrupt Institutions from perpetuating and multiplying themselves. The top institutions that guide and drive the drug war are deeply ensconced, the politicians that enable them are totally habituated to signing checks. For this self reinforcing culture it is simply the way things are. We’re well past the time when the notion was ostensibly that the DEA (et al) would exist till it accomplished its mission.

    Despite so much progress and evidence of possible change, the opposition remains steadfast and determined. Our gains remain extremely tenuous. The recent shift to Republican majorities in more places is creating loud noises about rolling back MMJ advances.

    Look at how difficult repealing DADT was and how difficult it has been establishing the right for gays to legally marry has been. Getting those within the institutions to do a 180, because it’s the right thing to do, and without the vast money and lobby power of multinational corporations to pay off the politicians, well, I don’t see it anytime soon.

    The budget crunch vise get directed elsewhere. Social safety net, programs, education,
    etc.

  • Servetus

    All that’s needed to void this plan is to convince Glenn Beck fans that the new border facility is a FEMA internment camp in disguise. The Beck fans attack. The drug cartels use the commotion to quietly slip five-years worth of drugs inventory into waiting warehouses across the border. Mission accomplished. And how many teachers could the state hire for $100 million? Oh, well.

    It’s great when the U.S. government works with organized crime to bring Americans the drugs they love. And they will. Every time.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Simon Ghost Riley. Simon Ghost Riley said: There's lots of money to be made in that drug war. – Drug WarRant http://goo.gl/fb/7hrUD #us #socom […]

  • darkcycle

    That’s good. I bet the natives in Glenbeckistan would lose it completely at that thought.

  • sandy

    I wonder if this is a sign that we aren’t in Kansas any more?I would like to feel safe about all the states rights
    and the peoples choice to resume their lives as they wish, I certainly hope this project is not about military action against us citizens.I don’t care if its a private army or not.This is even more a radical cartel type control than what the other criminals have going.Bet we could just about guess where the funding came from,because all I ever hear is that the government is broke.

  • KebMo

    Given the recent heavy use of private military contractors(battle training), proximity to the border(immigration/drug fighting), the agencies supporting the camp(LEO’s, Drug agencies, Border patrol), and the local(being the poorest county in Cali and 25%+ unemployment) this isn’t too surprising.

    If only my crystal ball could see into the future and peek at the client list for 2012 vs 2022 and then view the affiliated newsreels.

    Even if the private military camp is well intentioned, it’s clear the question is not will it sour our rights, lives, or freedoms, but when.

  • KebMo

    straight from the horses mouth…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58zJyViU-CU&feature=related

    then again, what do horses really know?