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Strange Victory: How the US Managed to Make Afghanistan the World’s Top Heroin Exporter


Afghan Brigadier General Abdul Sama was accused recently of smuggling over 40 pounds of heroin.

It should come as no surprise that an Afghan general was caught smuggling heroin, the surprise is that any high official in that country should be charged with a crime for profiting from the trade in illegal drugs while under the watchful eye of American forces.

Under American occupation, Afghanistan quickly became the world’s leader in opium production, producing over 90% of the world’s supply. The Taliban had almost shut down opium production prior to the US invasion in 2001 to the chagrin of international drug runners, and no doubt the international banking industry, which earns big profits laundering billions of dollars in illegal drug money annually. Illegal drugs account for about 8% of all international trade.

Few Americans are aware of the long history of the CIA’s running illegal drugs internationally, thanks to the untiring efforts of the mainstream press. Were citizens aware, few would be surprised that heroin production has skyrocketed under US occupation of Afghanistan.

The tragic case of journalist Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News is a case in point, and represents perhaps the widest-known attempt at suppressing the story of CIA drug-running endeavors, with the mainstream US press shamelessly and dutifully attacking Webb for attempting to expose the inconvenient truth.

That truth: in the 1980’s, the CIA was actively shipping cocaine from Central America into the USA using its own “airline” in order to earn money to circumvent a Congressional ban on continued support for the terrorist Contras, a Reagan-administration-backed counterinsurgency seeking to overthrow democracy in Nicaragua on behalf of US ruling interests. Webb lost his job, and was blackballed from his profession for telling the truth and eventually either was murdered or committed suicide from the pressures our corrupt system can apply against a citizen who blows the whistle.

Former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official Michael Levine wrote that he discovered heroin was being smuggled into the USA inside the bodies of US troops who had died in Vietnam during the sixties. After reporting this ghoulish information, he was transferred and told that it was a CIA operation and he should shut his mouth about it.

After being transferred to South America, Levine then reported on massive cocaine smuggling and was again told to shut his mouth as it too was a CIA operation and he should go along with the program.

Levine eventually realized that much international drug smuggling into the US appears to be under the control of the CIA, and he was wasting his time, so resigned from the DEA.

Levine states without hesitation that “The CIA has long been a major supporter of the people and organizations responsible for supplying drugs to this country. Time and time again, I discovered that various people against whom we were trying to build a case were regarded as assets by the CIA. Of course, at that time those ‘assets’ were described as allies in the Cold War, but my DEA sources tell me that this remains the case even now that the Cold War is over.”

The US government pretends to care about eradicating opium production in Afghanistan, while production soars to record levels. Can this be an accident?

The largest marketplace for illegal drugs continues to be the United States, despite a decades-long so-called “war on drugs.” Can this be an accident?

And can it be an accident that between 2002 and 2013, the 11 years that the US has been occupying and fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, ?

Recall that when the government wanted to stop the recent anti-banker democracy movement known as “Occupy,” it did so in a matter of months, showing clearly where its priorities and capabilities lie. As was exposed in ThisCantBeHappening!, the Obama Administration coordinated efforts nationally with individual cities, where tear gas, beatings, pepper spray, jailing and other tactics were used to deny the right of the people to peaceably assemble. There was even a bizarre plot in Houston to have leaders of the small Occupy movement there murdered using “suppressed rifle fire” –- a plot the FBI knew about, but did nothing to prevent. (Apparently that plan, whose conspirators were never identified publicly, was called off because Occupy famously had no “leaders” who could be targeted.)

That the US government cannot similarly crack down successfully on the annual importation of billions of dollars worth of illegal drugs should cause anyone not comatose to at least question the system.

Our motto should be “Leave no bankster behind.” We know they do buy our politicians, with President Obama having received a record amount of campaign funding in 2008 from the banking industry shortly before he pushed through the massive bailout on their behalf.

As long as international banking makes billions of dollars from the illegal narcotics trade, we can expect the “war on drugs” to be as much of a fraud as the profitable “war on terrorism,” whose contractors also supply those who run our government with massive campaign financing, ensuring we will not soon run out of either drugs or acts of terror (the latter mostly contrived by government agents and paid informants).

Jack Balkwill is an activist journalist in Virginia. He wrote this article exclusively for ThisCantBeHappening! Jack can be reached at

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