12/04/11 Jeffrey Dhywood

Jeffrey Dhywood, author of World War D - The Case Against Prohibitionism, A Roadmap to Controlled Re-Legalization + NY Times: " DEA launders mexico cartel drug money"

Program: 
Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Date: 
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Guest: 
Jeffrey Dhywood
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Cultural Baggage / December 04, 2011

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Broadcasting on the Drug Truth Network, this is Cultural Baggage.

“It’s not only inhumane, it is really fundamentally Un-American.”

“No more! Drug War!” “No more! Drug War!”
“No more! Drug War!” “No more! Drug War!”

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DEAN BECKER: My Name is Dean Becker. I don’t condone or encourage the use of any drugs, legal or illegal. I report the unvarnished truth about the pharmaceutical, banking, prison and judicial nightmare that feeds on Eternal Drug War.

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[fan noise]

DEAN BECKER: That is the sound of the shit hitting the fan. From today’s New York Times, “DEA Launders Mexican Profits of Drug Cartels.”

From the gray lady…

“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.

As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests.

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.

The laundering operations that the United States conducts elsewhere - about 50 so-called Attorney General Exempt Operations are under way around the world…

Today, in operations supervised by the Justice Department and orchestrated to get around sovereignty restrictions, the United States is running numerous undercover laundering investigations against Mexico's most powerful cartels. One D.E.A. official said it was not unusual for American agents to pick up two or three loads of Mexican drug money each week. A second official said that as Mexican cartels extended their operations from Latin America to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the reach of the operations had grown as well. When asked how much money had been laundered as a part of the operations, the official would only say, "A lot."

"If you're going to get into the business of laundering money," the official added, "then you have to be able to launder money."

Former counternarcotics officials, who also would speak only on the condition of anonymity about clandestine operations, offered a clearer glimpse of their scale and how they worked. In some cases, the officials said, Mexican agents, posing as smugglers and accompanied by American authorities, pick up traffickers' cash in Mexico. American agents transport the cash on government flights to the United States, where it is deposited into traffickers' accounts, and then wired to companies that provide goods and services to the cartel.

In other cases, D.E.A. agents, posing as launderers, pick up drug proceeds in the United States, deposit them in banks in this country and then wire them to the traffickers in Mexico.

The former officials said that the drug agency tried to seize as much money as it laundered - partly in the fees the operatives charged traffickers for their services and another part in carefully choreographed arrests at pickup points identified by their undercover operatives.

And the former officials said that federal law enforcement agencies had to seek Justice Department approval to launder amounts greater than $10 million in any single operation. But they said that the cap was treated more as a guideline than a rule, and that it had been waived on many occasions to attract the interest of high-value targets.

"They tell you they're bringing you $250,000, and they bring you a million," one former agent said of the traffickers. "What's the agent supposed to do then, tell them no, he can't do it? They'll kill him."

It is not clear whether such operations are worth the risks. So far there are few signs that following the money has disrupted the cartels' operations, and little evidence that Mexican drug traffickers are feeling any serious financial pain. Last year, the D.E.A. seized about $1 billion in cash and drug assets, while Mexico seized an estimated $26 million in money laundering investigations, a tiny fraction of the estimated $18 billion to $39 billion in drug money that flows between the countries each year.

Mexico has tightened restrictions on large cash purchases and on bank deposits in dollars in the past five years. But a proposed overhaul of the Mexican attorney general's office has stalled, its architects said, as have proposed laws that would crack down on money laundered through big corporations and retail chains.

"Mexico still thinks the best way to seize dirty money is to arrest a trafficker, then turn him upside down to see how much change falls out of his pockets," said Sergio Ferragut, a professor at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico and the author of a book on money laundering, which he said was "still a sensitive subject for Mexican authorities."

Mr. Calderon boasts that his government's efforts - deploying the military across the country - have fractured many of the country's powerful cartels and led to the arrests of about two dozen high-level and midlevel traffickers.

But there has been no significant dip in the volume of drugs moving across the country. Reports of human rights violations by police officers and soldiers have soared. And drug-related violence has left more than 40,000 people dead since Mr. Calderon took office in December 2006.

The death toll is greater than in any period since Mexico's revolution a century ago, and the policy of close cooperation with Washington may not survive.

"We need to concentrate all our efforts on combating violence and crime that affects people, instead of concentrating on the drug issue," said a former foreign minister, Jorge G. Castaneda, at a conference hosted last month by the Cato Institute in Washington. "It makes absolutely no sense for us to put up 50,000 body bags to stop drugs from entering the United States."

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DEAN BECKER: It’s almost funny, isn’t it? That the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the El Paso Times, and dozens of other major papers in the United States and around the world understand the problem of the drug war and yet so very few in U.S. Congress or even the President who smoked dope and snorted coke gets it.

As this 21st century unfolds time itself seems to be expanding at an ever-increasing rate and so too does the amount of knowledge and truth seem to be flowing back into the consciousness of mankind. With the New York Times reporting that the Drug Enforcement Administration is, in fact, laundering money for the Mexican drug cartels and with the El Paso Times reporting that in return the Mexican cartels are raising funds to elect their favorite U.S. politicians.

The United States and, Hell, the whole world needs a new roadmap. A better common sense alternative to end this century of lies, abuse, madness, mayhem. We need to represent the case against prohibitionism and present a roadmap to controlled relegalization. And so today we will hear from the author of what I perceive to be, after reviewing dozens of drug reform books and manuals, to be the best foundation of change that exposes these problems and presents reasonable and workable alternatives to this drug war.

The book, “World War D”, the author, Jeffrey Dhywood.

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DEAN BECKER: This is Dean Becker. You’re listening to Cultural Baggage. We do have with us now the author of “World War D” Mr. Jeffrey Dhywood. How are you sir?

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: Pretty good. I lost you. I was wondering what would happen if we were lost in cyberspace somewhere. Good evening everybody.

DEAN BECKER: I hope you did have a chance to hear the report from the New York Times and my editorial.

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: I did and actually blogged this morning about this article which didn’t surprise me whatsoever.

DEAN BECKER: No and the fact of the matter is you can reach back as long as the drug war has been going on it has been used to the advantage of one governmental organization or another. Has it not?

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: Yes and as we speak the CIA is involved and has been involved as well as the U.S. Army in drug smuggling in Afghanistan. It has been going on ever since. As the U.S. stepped foot in Afghanistan and is going on to this day for one simple reason – if they wanted to eradicate cultivation they would be out of the country as soon as they tried to do it. There is no way. They have to work with the opium traffickers in Afghanistan including the President himself actually Karzai. His brother was assassinated not too long ago. He was very well-known as being one of the major channels for drug smuggling out of Afghanistan.

So it is not limited to Mexico. It is going on all over the world.

DEAN BECKER: I think about the situation that this belief, if you will, in the drug system has become a quasi-religion. You either believe or you don’t. Your thoughts?

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: That’s one of the points I make in the book. I compare the attitude and the policies of the drug warrior to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is stuck onto its priest liberty that is costing it a fortune and resulting in all kind of catastrophies such as child molestation and all of the scandals that have been going on recently.

It pretty much is endangering the very existence of the church and still they stick to it. It is the same attitudes that we see in the drug war. It’s failed. It doesn’t work. It cannot work. It hasn’t worked for a hundred years and they still stick to it.

That’s the official mantra and they don’t derive from it. It’s nonsense. It’s folly. I don’t know. There is no word to qualify this attitude.

DEAN BECKER: I mentioned earlier the footnotes, the references, the verifiable content that you have in here that disproves the validity, the belief in this drug war. You start with the political, ideological and historical background of prohibition. Anslinger in particular. You talk about him and his spreading of lies through America’s newspapers.

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: Well, there is nothing new. Obviously Hearst was very powerful in his time. Nowadays we have Merdock but it’s the same policy of spreading lies to get whatever they want. That is nothing new here.

DEAN BECKER: You also have content in here dealing with charts and so forth showing the use of various drugs that Americans and others around the world, Showing tobacco being the real killer. We didn’t have to arrest anybody to cut down on America’s smoking habit, did we?

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: Absolutely and tobacco is one case in point. The use of tobacco in western countries has been reduced dramatically over the last 50 years. It is not the case in developing countries because the tobacco lobbyist are very powerful allies including in congress. Actually there was aide to exportation of tobacco products by congress up to Clinton or the early years of Bush. So this is just very recently that the funds to support tobacco exports have been cut in the U.S.

DEAN BECKER: Speaking of corruption and government involvement in the drug war. We mentioned the article in the New York Times with the DEA funding the cartels or helping to launder the money which is certainly helping the cartels.

You reach back to the Iran-Contra Affair. That was a major scandal. Should have opened our eyes but it didn’t, did it?

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: It didn’t. It’s really amazing that the Iran-Contra Affair didn’t end up with the resignation of the President which was George Bush. The Iran-Contra Affair, when you look into it, it much, much more severe than Watergate. It beats Watergate to the “punch” and for whatever reason…A few years later they were going to impeach Clinton because of a blowjob and they didn’t even think about impeaching Bush for the Iran-Contra Affair. That’s quite amazing.

DEAN BECKER: It is. I think about…it’s sad to say this but America seems to have reached a level of ignorance that it embraces. Your response?

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: Well, it’s true because there is an amount of manipulation going on and it’s straight propaganda going on in the American public and they just buy it. I’m quite puzzled by what is going on nowadays in America. When I saw the last election and when I see Newt Gingrich! I mean, Newt Gingrich, come on guys! What is happening here?! That it is possible that he might be the next President is just mind-blowing.

Or to consider a guy like Rick Perry…at one point was consider seriously. I mean, come on guys! What is happening in America? Can you wake up here?!

DEAN BECKER: That is the hope I promise you that we can wake up. I am truly puzzled as you are.

Now you also talk about the illegal psychedelic marketplace in the 21st century and it is a huge industry, isn’t it?

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: I go over the way the illegal marketplace is evolving. For all practical purpose it’s totally beyond control. There is no way…for instance, the U.N. has stopped making reports on the production of marijuana because they acknowledged themselves that it is totally impossible when you have hydroponic cultivation.

Anybody can produce marijuana in his closet or his bathroom. Unless you have some extremely intrusive policies set in place…You would have to monitor people in their bathroom and everywhere in order to control the production of marijuana. So it’s – forget it.

And amphetamine is the same. With a pressure cooker you can produce it in your kitchen. It cost a few pennies to produce a street value of $10-$15 a piece. There are thousands of laws that are busted in America every year – how do you stop that?

It’s time to realize that the policies aren’t working and cannot work. We have the policy with cocaine and opium and stuff like that but now the drug trafficking is spreading all over the world.

We always talk about Mexico but one thing that few people know is that situation in Central America like Guatemala, El Salvador is far, far worse than it is in Mexico but very few people are aware of it.

Then you have countries in West Africa where the government…the President himself is running the show. They are running the drug trafficking. How the Hell are we going to solve that? The only way is legalization. Legalize everything. Control properly and then you might get somewhere.

The fact is that for thousands of years people have been using psychoactive substances and will probably continue for another thousand years.

So prohibition doesn’t work, cannot work. It’s time to move to something more realistic and pragmatic. That’s what the book is all about. I explain the background of how the drug marketplace is nowadays, how it is evolving, with submarines also submersibles guided by satellite and such.

I think it is not only for the DEA and the CIA but also for the drug cartels.

DEAN BECKER: Speaking of the cost of the War - that’s your chapter 5. You talk about the legal and illegal drug-related casualties in the U.S., Europe and throughout the world. It’s not just those dying in the alley with a needle in their arm, there’s a lot more casualties, right?

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: Yeah, absolutely. The fact is if we talk about the cost of the War on Drugs you add the people on the overdose and actually most of the overdose and most of the HIV…most of the consequence of the War on Drugs it’s because the quality is totally inconsistent so one day an addict gets something that is cut like 85% or 95% and the next day he gets something that is only cut 25% and when he gets 20% shit – he’s fried.

So that’s one of the main cause of overdose. Another cause is [inaudible] that are mixed with the drugs cause all kinds of infection and so on and so forth. And then you have HIV which is caused by needle sharing. All of that is direct consequence of the War on Drugs.

There wouldn’t be that many overdose and HIV with injection if the drug were legal. But this is still just a small portion of the human costs of the War on Drugs.

The main cost of the War on Drugs is the violence and the violence is 100% caused by the War on Drugs. You have to realize one thing. When drug trafficker has a problem they don’t go to the cops. They pull a gun. That’s it.

The cost system in the illegal drug market is a gun. So that’s a main reason of the violence. And then you also have another category of human cost which is all of the people that are in jail for smoking a joint. Or for selling a few grams of coke or marijuana to their friends or whatever. These people are all dangerous and with all of the stupid laws that have been passed over the past 20 years in the U.S. they all end up in jail with mandatory-minimum sentencing for 3,5,10, 20 years…lifetime sometimes with the stupid “Three strikes and you’re out”.

And the prison are totally overcrowded. It’s insane. It doesn’t make sense. The U.S. has 25% of the world’s prison population. I don’t understand how Americans can’t stand this fact. How can they look at this and not go berserk and want to blow away the congress and senate? 25% of the world’s population. The incarceration rate in the U.S. is higher than it was during the Nazi, during Stalin, during Mao Tse-Tung. It’s insane.

DEAN BECKER: It is. Let me interrupt you for just a second. We’re speaking with Mr. Jeffrey Dhywood. He’s author of World War D, subtitled The case against prohibitionism. A roadmap to controlled re-legalization.

Now, Jeffrey, I want to caution you when we speak of fecal matter – let’s just call it fecal matter. I’ll leave it at that.

The fact of the matter is that this disconnect from reality, this embrace of the current situation by the drug warriors is being challenged by mass media all around the world and these drug warriors seem to be hiding from the debate, do they not?

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: Absolutely. They absolutely refuse to debate. I should point out that it’s not only the media that is challenging the War on Drugs. It’s also people like Kofi Anan who was the last U.N. Secretary General until a few years ago. It’s also President Vicente Fox who was the Mexican President before Calderon. And then also Ernesto Zedillo who was before Vicente Fox.

So the last two ex-Mexican Presidents are calling for drug legalization and also an ex-President of Brazil, of Colombia and the ex-Attorney General of Colombia, Gustavo de Grieff. He’s the only guy that I know of that while he was in office was calling for drug re-legalization. And he got a lot of B.S. from the U.S. government. They tried to throw mud at him. They told him that he was corrupt. They tried to say that he was paid by the drug cartel in Colombia. They took away his visa and blah, blah, blah but he stuck to his guns.

Of course nothing was ever proven that he received ever a dime. I know the guy. He’s a very good guy, actually.

DEAN BECKER: I had Gustavo de Grieff on my show. It’s been 7-8 years ago. He was one of the first major stature politicians to stand forth and just say it.

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: Yeah, absolutely. He’s extremely courageous. He could have been killed by the CIA when he started saying that. They probably tried to do it. I wouldn’t be surprised.

DEAN BECKER: The cartels would have liked to silence him as well.

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: And the cartels as well. He had enough people trying to kill him.

DEAN BECKER: We’ve got just a minute and a half here and I want to come back to the book itself. Folks, I highly recommend this. World War D: The case against prohibitionism, a roadmap to controlled re-legalization is written by Jeffrey Dhywood. It’s a substantial book – 400+ pages.

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: 448 pages. There is a website: http://www.world-war-d.com/

DEAN BECKER: Jeffrey, I commend you. I’m certain I’m going to want to bring you back here to kick it around. I hope you’ll agree to that. Just the news like this morning.

JEFFREY DHYWOOD: Yeah, absolutely. Anytime. This is an issue that is very dear to me and I put a lot of time and energy into researching it and I think it’s time to stop this craziness.

One thing that I want to mention is I’m launching an initiative calling on President Calderon and President Santos to join forces in order to lead an international coalition for drug policy reform because President Santos has said many times, “I’m for legalization if other countries follow.”

And President Santos is a Colombian President. I would hate to see President Calderon, after he leaves just like many other presidents did, declare that the War on Drugs is something crazy. He should do something now when he’s in a position to do something about it rather than talking about it after he retires.

DEAN BECKER: Jeffrey Dhywood, thank you very much. His book, “World War D.”

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(Game show music)

DEAN BECKER: It’s time to play: Name That Drug by Its Side Effects.

Euphoria, drowsiness, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, unconsciousness, coma, tolerance, addiction, respiratory arrest and death.

(gong)

Time’s up!

This drug, 80-times stronger than morphine and heroin, is available via Schedule II prescription: Fentanyl, for major pain.

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(Sung to the music of Deck the Halls)

Fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear fear….

(Music stops)

Never forget fear!

And hatred.

Or lies.

Or deception.

Big brother says, “The war of terror will last forever.”

(Massive crowd cheering… with sheep sounds)

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[music]

DEAN BECKER: Darth Drug Czar…you’re a coward, a liar, demon and thief. Seems you can’t face the truth for just one hour…too busy looking at peeeee…

Dean Becker, DrugTruth.net.

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DEAN BECKER: I am the Reverend Dean Becker of the Drug Truth Network. Standing in the river of reform. Baptising drug warriors to the unvarnished truth. DrugTruth.net.

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DEAN BECKER: Alright, I urge you to tune into this week’s Century of Lies. We have the opening of a debate. Glenn Greenwald of Salon magazine, he’s at Brown University going to debate John Walters the former Drug Czar.

And, as always, I remind you that because of drug prohibition – you don’t know what’s in that bag. Please, be careful.

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DEAN BECKER: To the Drug Truth listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the Unvarnished Truth.

This show produced at the Pacifica studios of KPFT, Houston.
Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org

Tap dancing… on the edge… of an abyss.