The Corpus Callosum

Behind the Scenes in the Drug War

The UN Office of Drugs and Crime brings us this
cheerful news

VIENNA: The United Nations’ crime and drug watchdog has
indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep
banks afloat in the global financial crisis, its head was quoted as
saying on Sunday.

Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an
interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often
became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of
control last year.

“In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment
capital,” Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. “In the second half of
2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid
capital became an important factor.”

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that
“interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade
and other illegal activities,” Costa was quoted as saying. There were
“signs that some banks were rescued in that way.”

Profil said Costa declined to identify countries or banks which may
have received drug money and gave no indication how much cash might be
involved. He only said Austria was not on top of his list, Profil said.

Is this why we must have a war on drugs?  Does this war finance
other unseemly activities? 


  1. #1 Daniel Newby
    February 18, 2009

    The finance thing is just a pretense to lobby for more invasive warrantless monitoring of transactions. The Drug Warriors don’t actually want to do proper operations research on the financial data, because then they would win the War and be out of jobs.

    “Does this war finance other unseemly activities?”

    You mean like the insurgency that has turned large parts of the U.S. Southwest into demilitarized zones? And begun to exploit the U.S. court system and use forfeiture and tort laws to capture land that essentially becomes sovereign territory? In my opinion, this is not likely to continue more than a few more years without turning into a shooting war.

  2. #2 Art
    February 18, 2009

    I think it has been well established that Air America, the CIA connected airline, had been shipping opium paste and heroin out of the Golden Triangle to finance and further the CIA agenda before and during the Vietnam war. The drugs were always assumed to be directed toward the European market but once withing the illicit networks the actual destination was not always assured.

    The Iran-Contra affair was just part of a larger trade structure that was assumed by many to have included trades in cocaine and other illicit drugs.

    Covert wars are often financed with drugs and supplied by illegal arms trades. Cambodia, Nicaragua, Columbia, and Afghanistan come to mind.

    Illicit activities tend to draw all forms in. Drugs need bankers to launder profits. Bankers need quick access to cash when their games fail. People buying illegal arms handle large amounts of cash, often obtained by selling drugs and not on anyone’s books, transferred quietly. With so much in common the boys just naturally get along.

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