U.S. Elites: the Original Gangsters
Gregg Barak’s recent Theft of a Nation “explains how the federal government, despite its rhetoric to the contrary, came to dismiss the crimes of Wall Street,” freeing “bankers, mortgage lenders, and associated swindlers”—“networks of criminality”—“from any accountability for their criminally fraudulent behavior.”Consider finally U.S. foreign policy. Just keeping to the last several decades, we can note, with Alfred McCoy, that “the Allied invasion of Italy” in World War II “returned the Sicilian Mafia to power.” The mob, after the conflict, formed “an awesome international narcotics syndicate,” exporting heroin to the U.S. “in substantial quantities” for over a decade—“without ever suffering a major arrest or seizure.” The operation was so efficient it “increased the number of active [U.S.] addicts from an estimated 20,000 at the close of the war to 60,000 in 1952 and to 150,000 by 1965.”“One of the most well-known cases of CIA complicity” with drug-running, meanwhile, “occurred during the Vietnam War when the agency enlisted the support of General Vang Pao, the leader of an army of Hmong tribesmen in Laos whose primary cash crop was opium,” Ronald Berger informs us. Tom Feiling recalls that, under Reagan, “the CIA…approved and supported the Contras’ trafficking of cocaine into the United States.”Other U.S. intelligence crimes ranged beyond drug-dealing: “All postwar presidents have used the CIA for illegal covert actions,” Melvin Goodman affirms. Richard Immerman, reviewing the CIA’s 1954 Guatemala coup, concluded Washington’s strategy was “unquestionably illegal.” “As for that liberal icon John Kennedy,”sneers Carl Boggs, “he…sponsored the illegal Operation Mongoose targeting Fidel Castro,” only one intended victim in the U.S. terrorassault on Cuba.