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Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Here’s a news item that will be well hidden in the NYT or WAPO.

The president of Colombia, the strongest American ally in South America, is making moves that would be hyper-criticized if they were made by the greatest American devil figure in South America, Chavez. This is from Global Insight Daily Analysis:

“Incumbent Colombian consul to Italy and former head of the South American country's intelligence service, Jorge Noguera, has denied involvement in an alleged plot to kill Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez. Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe has recalled the one-time Administrative Department of Security (DAS) chief from his current post in the European country to answer allegations that were published recently by two magazines in Colombia. Noguera is accused of overseeing the plot in conjunction with Colombian paramilitaries. Claims that the DAS had been infiltrated by paramilitary groups brought about Noguera's resignation in late October last year (see Colombia: 26 October 2006: Director of Colombia's Intelligence Service Resigns). Reports stem from former DAS employee Rafael Enrique García, who accused the Uribe administration of acting in an authoritarian manner similar to that of the disgraced former Alberto Fujimori government of Peru (1990-2000).

García described Noguera as the Vladimiro Montesinos of the Uribe government, referring to the imprisoned Peruvian one-time intelligence chief who helped Fujimori control his political opponents through a spying network.”

Venezuela has done nothing, really, to harm American interests – the interests of the international lenders, perhaps. But our greatest ally, as is the way of rightwing allies, is a ticking bomb of black market money, connected to the bogus, ongoing drug war. The drug war is noxious both in what it purports to do – restraining people from medicating themselves in order to allow big pharma and the medical industry to charge us more for doing the same thing – and what it really does, creating a huge secret source of funds that America’s intelligence agencies and their clients eagerly fasten themselves to. Not surprisingly, the supposedly “disarmed” rightwing paramilitaries, who claim to have 35 percent of the Colombian legislature in their pocket and who have certainly merged their interests with Uribe, are also involved with Noguera:

“Colombia's intelligence chief has quit amid allegations that his security agency was infiltrated by the main right-wing paramilitary group. President Uribe accepted the resignation of Jorge Noguera, the head of the Administrative Security Department (DAS). President Uribe also dismissed the agency's deputy director, Jose Narvaez. The daily El Tiempo reported that DAS officers were secretly taped while discussing alleged plans by a close aide to Mr Noguera to sell intelligence information to Colombia's paramilitaries. The newspaper also claimed that Mr Narvaez asked for the recording to be made to ensnare his boss in the scandal, revealing deep divisions within the agency, Reuters reports.”

Meanwhile, according to Gary Leech, the Bush administration has indicted the leadership of Farc as the masterminds of the drug trade. FARC is the hardcore leftist group that divides atrocities with the paramilitaries in the countryside:

“The indictment of the FARC leaders further illustrates the Bush administration’s strategy to portray the FARC as the greatest perpetrator of violence and drug trafficking in Colombia. The reality, however, is very different from the Bush White House’s fictitious portrayal. The U.S. indictment provided no evidence to support its claim that FARC leaders have earned $25 billion from drug trafficking and are responsible for 60 percent of the cocaine shipped to the United States.
Meanwhile, most Colombia experts agree that the country’s right-wing paramilitaries are far more deeply involved in drug trafficking than the rebels, a fact supported by the numerous drug busts in which the seized cocaine was traced back to paramilitary groups. In fact, former associates of Pablo Escobar, the notorious leader of the now-defunct Medellín cartel, established some of Colombia’s most prominent paramilitary groups.

At the same time that the Bush administration is making the FARC the focus of its drug war propaganda, it is becoming increasingly evident that the U.S.-backed paramilitary demobilization is nothing more than a charade. Last week, demobilized paramilitary leader Ivan Roberto Duque confirmed publicly on Caracol Radio what Amnesty International, the United Nations and many analysts had been alleging for more than a year: that demobilized paramilitaries are taking up arms again. According to Duque, ex-militia fighters are offering their services to drug traffickers or “private justice” groups, also known as paramilitaries. As a result, the number of killings by paramilitaries in 2005 more than doubled that of the previous year.”

Meanwhile, how about those honest American narcs fighting away in Colombia? The Narco News has been running a nice series on those guys via reporter Bill Conroy:

“A document obtained recently by Narco News makes those questions more than hypothetical queries. In this document, Department of Justice attorney Thomas M. Kent claims that federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s office in Bogotá, Colombia, are the corrupt players in the war on drugs. (The DEA is part of the larger Justice Department.)

The information in that document is also corroborated by a number of other sources that spoke directly to Narco News, including former government officials who are familiar with the DEA’s Bogotá operations

Kent’s memorandum contains some of the most serious allegations ever raised against U.S. antinarcotics officers: that DEA agents on the front lines of the drug war in Colombia are on drug traffickers’ payrolls, complicit in the murders of informants who knew too much, and, most startlingly, directly involved in helping Colombia’s infamous rightwing paramilitary death squads to launder drug money.”

Since this definitely doesn’t fit into the narrative American papers prefer, it won’t be coming out any time soon. Since Conroy’s report in this January, Kent, the whistleblower, you will be happy to know, has been transferred.

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