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Warehouse K
Imprisoning Our Minds
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America’s Wars Strangely Linked To Narcotics Trade

By James Donahue

Since the Vietnam conflict there has been a peculiar connection with the place where our troops are fighting and the trafficking of narcotics into the United States. We don’t think this is by accident.

Could it be that the trafficking of hard and addictive mind-destroying drugs has become such a lucrative multi-billion dollar industry since Nixon launched America’s “War On Drugs” that this alone has been the real incentive for the United States to be continually at war somewhere in the world?

From yet another point of view, we have heard the suggestion that the massive influx of such hard drugs as heroin and cocaine, and the official “crack down” beginning during the time of the great hippie movement and the distribution of such mind expanding drugs as psilocybin mushrooms, peyote and LSD, may have been a deliberate diversion designed to prevent people from stumbling into what could have been a natural spiritual awakening to a new reality.

Notice that the mere possession or use of such things as the “magic mushroom” or LSD is regarded as a felony and punishable by a prison term. People merely caught in possession or passing marijuana to friends are serving time in jails. Yet these substances are not found to be addictive or harmful to human health. Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, continued to use this substance throughout his life. He recently died at the age of 102.

The Vietnam War was raging and the hippie movement was in full force when President Richard M. Nixon came into office in 1969. It was Nixon who launched the War On Drugs which forced narcotics operations deep into the shadows, brought about a steep increase in the cost of street drugs, and made organized criminals dealing in the narcotics trade very wealthy. It also launched deadly gang wars as dealers fought over one-another’s turf. The killing at the U.S.-Mexican border is rooted in the narcotics trade and big money..

Stories were told about secret poppy fields in Laos and Vietnam and shipments of heroin to the United States on military aircraft. It was said that a lot of the heroin rode home with the bodies of dead soldiers.

One heavy heroin smuggling business was run by Leslie “Ike” Atkinson who was convicted of operating from a bar he ran in Bangkok, Thailand from 1968 to 1975. The record shows that Atkinson and his organization shipped the narcotic on U.S. Air Force aircraft to Fort Bragg, North Carolina and other military bases where it was sold to American distributers.

Atkinson was caught after a woman got suspicious about one of the packages he sent, thinking that it contained a bomb, and called the police. We wonder how many other heroin operations like this went undetected, and may still be in business?

Was Nixon, a known amphetamine user, a participant in an organized crime plot to force the narcotics trade into the shadows and set gangs up for huge profits?

Consider what happened when Ronald Reagan got into the White House. His “Just Say No” drug policy helped escalate the Nixon War on Drugs to an even higher level. During his term Congress set mandatory minimum sentencing for convicted drug offenders, thus setting off a massive new business venture involving housing a massive influx of jailed and prison inmates. Thus new prisons were built and their operation, much of it passed to private enterprise, became yet another big business in America.

At last count, the United States had 2.3 million people serving time in prison. We have the largest prison population in the world and the highest rate of prisoners per capita of all other nations. One out of every 142 Americans are in prison. Almost one-half million are doing time for drug charges.

It was during the Reagan years that the Iran-Contra Scandal broke. We all watched the hearings on our television screens and heard how Oliver North and the CIA were involved in a large narcotics smuggling ring in the United States designed to help finance the Contras, a counter-revolutionary group seeking to gain power in Nicaragua. The operation was dubbed Reagan’s “Secret War.”

What was really going on all over the United States during that period was that cocaine, and later cheap crack cocaine was suddenly appearing on the streets. What was once a rich man’s drug that sold for something like $200 an ounce suddenly was available at prices that made it easily available to poor and middleclass Americans. Suddenly cocaine was the social drug of choice.

How did that happen? In 1998, after years of federal investigations by the Kerry Congressional Committee, the CIA admitted to its involvement in drug trafficking in the United States. The agency was allowing cocaine trafficking by the Contras to raise money to support their war.

At least that was the official story.

Notice now that our troops are again fighting an unnecessary and unwinnable war, this time in Afghanistan, where the poppy flower is a primary crop. And behold, heroin is suddenly becoming a popular drug of choice once more.  Is this by accident?

While all of this narcotic trafficking is going on throughout the United States, the War on Drugs continues to remain on the books. Billions of federal dollars are being wasted every year financing a constant attack by local and federal narcotics officers against mostly marijuana growers. The War on Drugs has become big business even for law enforcement officers, the courts as well as the prison system.

By-and-large, the narcotics trade is thriving and it will continue to do so until something is done to bring an end to this insane War On Drugs. Now that the money spigot is wide open, however, it may take a miracle to turn it back off.