7/1 Drug Wars, Project Gunrunner, Executive Privilege & Public Diplomacy

digest commentary:
Headlined issues ' flawed fast & furious drug policy' and 'anti-obama opposition' are smokescreens for what is at stake and what's going on and why.
Obama's 'leak' warnings to expand US information war control. A critical step now to suppress truth about US drug wars. Enter 'Fast & Furious' as spurious diversion from Project Gunrunner, launched in 2005, ongoing and growing today by the ATF, under the Justice Dept,sheaded by AG Holder (see links below)
US drug wars, part of the 'national security' GWOT, to expand US global domination, requires political-economic-military control of drug industries,
This requires US soft & hard power by declaring sovereign nations 'terrorist' or 'failed states' needing 'humanitarian aid'.
Mexico, under US domination since being stolen by conquistadores, is now in the works to become merged in a new 'North America', with Canada, .

The US hegemonic agenda depends on creating and controlling public opinion through 'public diplomacy' [PI] or 'strategic information' [SI].
The Obama administration expanded the US information war with threats against 'leaking sensitive and classified information endangering 'national security'. This means literally anything opposing or revealing the historically unprecedented US crimes against humanity since its inception, and exponentially increased in its state terrorist world war.
Tightening the existing state sponsored media 'news' * 'public diplomacy'/'strategic information' is a dire move. Calling out NYT & WP, two major US propagandists underlines the state's 'friendly fascist' message: all 'news' will be state generated or approved..."in a coordinated fashion".
It signals strategic weakness as rivals and resistance insurmountably block US finance capitalist unipolar supremacy, aka 'security', making control of information increasingly urgent,.. thus Obama's assertion of 'executive privilege'.
PD/SI background:

* Public Diplomacy in Grand Strategy ..."Public diplomacy’’ (PD) and ‘‘propaganda’’ are used interchangeably in this paper. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-8594.2006.00025.x/abstract
... influence of the information revolution is not restricted to the developed world...one should not underestimate the exploitation of new technologies in third-world public diplomacy aimed at the developed world, especially at the US...this should not obscure the continuing relevance of force (military power) to many interstate relations and increasingly terrorism which presents governments with a grand-strategic challenge: how to combine effectively soft and hard national means to obtain desired political outcomes...that especially in the current international system, depends on government’s ability to manage complicated balances and tradeoffs that inhere in the relationship between hard force and soft diplomacy...experience can be drawn from newer forms of force and communications fighting terrorism in the age of global, real-time television and the Internet...
* July 2010 US Army War College National Security Policy and Strategy RETOOLING U.S. PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AS A STRATEGIC INSTRUMENT...Joseph Nye’s... “soft power” as essential complement to “hardpower” captures the essence of public diplomacy... War on Terror victory is directly related to prevailing in a battle of ideas, which public diplomacy seeks to shape..“to compete as vigorously on the ideological battlefield as on the military and intelligence fronts.” www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/Pubs/display.cfm?pubid=1005
* U.S CENTER OF PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AT THE ANNENBERG CENTER: expert internet public diplomacy projects actively shape public opinion.
* Anti-Americanism and the Rise of Civic Diplomacy 12/13/06 http://www.fpif.org/articles/anti-americanism_and_the_rise_of_civic_dipl... Department of State remains chief coordinator of U.S. public diplomacy...along with the Pentagon, the Agency for International Development (USAID), and intelligence agencies...to counter negative attitudes and opinions of the United States generated by wars...It is essential to move from the formal world of Track One diplomacy to Track Two diplomacy, in which NGOs play a leading role...
* Amnesty International Executive Director Nossel Keynote Speaker at Humphrey School of Public Affairs announced today that it will host Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, as the keynote speaker at the School's commencement ceremony... Before Amnesty she worked for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for international organizations, responsible for...public diplomacy, press, and Congressional relations. ... Nossel is the author of the 2004 Foreign Affairs magazine article that coined the term 'Smart Power' which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made a defining feature of U.S. foreign policy." [digest: AI, along with HRW and others are major US/Soros NGO]
* “Hollywood Counterterrorism: The Political Economy of Middle Eastern Violence and Protest in Action Feature Films”: [pre911]http://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/etd/2542 how Western discourses of counterterrorism and the Middle East have shaped Hollywood cinematic productions through sourcing and collaboration with private and official institutions...In the early 1950s, CIA’s Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) employed not only covert action, but also programs to influence domestic and foreign media industries, “using” journalists of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications corporations. 25 newspapers and wire agencies consented to operate as organs of the CIA. William Paley (CBS), C. D. Jackson (Fortune), Henry Luce (Time) and Arthur Hays Sulzberger (New York Times) ran reactionary media for the state. Army manuals on psychological operations usually distinguish domestic operations and foreign operations...the Truman Doctrine in the Cold War suggested information management and blatant misinformation can be employed in U.S....blurred the distinction between public relations and “psyops” communications. Since the abolishment of the draft in 1973, U.S. military public affairs has directly utilized television news, shows and motion pictures ...

U.S. National Security and the War on Drugs ...drug war violence in Mexico and border region...transnational crime
homeland.house.gov/ sites/ homeland.house.gov/ files/ Testimony%20Shirk.pdf

Department of Justice FY 2012-2016 Strategic Plan ... ATF's Project Gunrunner II Impact on reduction of firearms trafficking to Mexico

Dreaded Mexican drug cartel trained in U.S.
By Catholic Online10/28/2010
In the ongoing Mexican drug war, the Zeta gang is considered the most violent and ruthless. The fearsome Zetas drug cartel are accused of gunning down 72 immigrants outside a ranch in Tamaulipas state near the U.S. border in late August.One of the more shocking details to emerge in the case was the fact that members of the Zetas received training in the United States by America's 7th Special Forces Group or "snake eaters" at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, a former U,S, special operations commander said."The Zetas definitely have the reputation of being the most dangerous, the most vicious, the most renegade of the cartels," Kristen Bricker, a Mexico-based research associate with the North American Congress on Latin America says.

U.S.-trained soldiers aid drug cartel
October 19, 2003 http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/zetas-54090-mexican-drug.html
The Gulf Cartel boasts a rare weapon in the high stakes war for drug-trafficking supremacy: U.S.-trained soldiers. The Zetas, hired assassins for the Gulf Cartel, feature 31 ex-soldiers once part of an elite Mexican army division, the Special Air Mobile Force Group... trained at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Ga., according to documents from the Mexican secretary of defense.

Why is the United States backing Mexican drug gangs?
When President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in next week, he'll become the proud owner of several wars...the familiar mayhem in Afghanistan and reluctant optimism in Iraq... then there is America's drug war...the newest front its southern neighbor Mexico...cartels are undermining the state....the US should stop selling guns to the cartels, end the flow of assault rifles and more serious weaponry, stop money laundering across state and international borders, enforce arms regulations, enforce its own laws...

Mexico drug gang the Zetas "the most formidable death squad" in Mexico

They are every bit as ferocious and as capable as a military force as some rumors believe them to be
- Anthony Placido, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Chief of Intelligence

Fast and Furious scandal: Obama invokes executive privilege...
President Obama asserted executive privilege for the first time to withhold documents related to the “Fast and Furious” operation Wednesday as House panel moved to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt for failing to cooperate with a related congressional inquiry....

DOJ won't prosecute its chief

Holder, DOJ chief since 2009, initially said he was unaware of 'Fast & Furious'
Office of the Attorney General(AG) evolved into the head of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and chief law enforcement officer of the Federal Government...Since the 1870 Act established the DOJ as an executive department of the U.S. government the AG has guided the central agency for enforcement of federal laws.http://www.justice.gov/ag/about-oag.html

October 3, 2011 ATF Fast and Furious: Documents show Attorney General Eric Holder was briefed in July 2010
* July 5, 2010 memo
* "It's a tricky case" email
DOJ told CBS News the officials in those emails were talking about a different case before Eric Holder became Attorney General...tonight they tell CBS News, Holder misunderstood the question from the committee --- he did know about Fast and Furious ---- just not the details...

Since 2006 Project Gunrunner has been ATF’s comprehensive strategy to combat firearms-related violence by the cartels along the Southwest border....
Department of Justice MAY 6, 2009
"...commands priority at the highest level of the Department of Justice leadership, including the Attorney General himself..."
 http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2009/05/050609-testimony-doj-adag-nash-southwest-border.pdf [text versions of this and other similar evidence all 'blacked out']
Attorney General Holder and Secretary Napolitano met together and separately with their counterparts and law enforcement experts over a period of two days. The last day included
a meeting with President Felipe Calderón and his national security cabinet at Los Pinos included frank discussions of the inter-related law enforcement challenges our two countries face....
ATF will also open new Gunrunner field offices in Phoenix, AZ and Houston, TX under the FY 2009 Budget....Additionally, the Justice Department has established a OCDETF Southwest Region Strategic “Bulk Currency Money Laundering Initiative” ...Since 2006 Project Gunrunner has been ATF’s comprehensive strategy to combat firearms-related violence by the cartels along the Southwest border....

Mexico's drug war posing growing threat to U.S. national security
Sept. 13, 2010 http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/us-mexicos-drug-war-posing-growi...
The Obama administration sees the drug-related violence sweeping Mexico as a growing threat to U.S. national security and has launched a broad review of steps the military and intelligence community could take to combat...a “narcoinsurgency”; a problem with increased intelligence collaboration: U.S. agencies are wary of sharing some intelligence because of concerns some of their Mexican counterparts may be on the payroll of the cartels...the Pentagon’s Northern Command, DHS, and other agencies are discussing what aviation, surveillance, and intelligence assets could be used — both inside Mexico and along the border — to help counter the drug cartels.
Adam Entous and Nathan Hodge in the Wall Street Journal write that officials say it is unclear how much of an expanded American role Mexico will accept. The scope of the U.S. effort is expected to grow but it is unclear how much....as part of the review, DHS is working with the Air Force to identify the most useful military surveillance for monitoring land, sea, and air traffic along the border... technologies under consideration include “sensored manned aircraft and ground-based sensors” in addition to unmanned aerial drones. Other officials said ground-based radar used by the military, the most sophisticated of which can be used to identify and track movement over a large area, is also being evaluated. There is no consideration of sending U.S. troops other than in training or liaison capacity...Adm. James Winnefeld, head of NorthCom, ordered a broad assessment of potential military assistance beyond existing training and information-sharing programs. “The whole interagency [complex] has been asked to look at what more can we do to help our partners in Mexico." The review is tacit acknowledgment the Merida Initiative launched in 2008...to help Mexican drug-interdiction efforts, has been insufficient...
(“GAO: U.S. aid to Mexico’s anti-drug efforts needs better oversight” 23 July 2010 ).

Times managing editor Dean Baquet: “...As always with sensitive stories we described the piece to the government before publication. No one suggested we not publish.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the Obama administration “takes all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent leaks of classified or sensitive information that could risk ongoing counterterrorism or intelligence operations....Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) reminded reporters that eporters who have written those stories said that they did not obtain their information in a coordinated fashion. Leaking national security information is a long, if upsetting, tradition. If you pick up Bob Woodward’s books and David Sanger is a damn good reporter, and David Ignatius, these guys get a lot of people talking about things people shouldn’t be talking about....” Kerry said... he questioned whether the NYT should have published a story on Obama’s decision to order cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “...there is a serious question whether that served our interest and whether the public had to know."
Attorney General Eric Holder appointed two U.S. attorneys to lead investigations into possible leaks of classified information by the White House to reporters...he said these investigations will be separate from FBI probes into possible disclosure of classified information to reporters...that provide details on key national security decisions...Several lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to restrict leaking of sensitive national security information to news outlets and might attempt to restrict access to sensitive information. DOJ's National Security Division prosecutors will be involved in both inquiries...“What we’re trying to do is say we have a problem and we want to stop that problem,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/attorney-general-eric-holder-name...

US-Trained Cartel Terrorises Mexico
Chris Arsenault - Al Jazeera October 26, 2010 http://www.banderasnews.com/1010/nw-ustrainedcatel.htm
Founders of the Zetas drug gang learned special forces techniques at Ft. Bragg before waging a campaign of carnage. It was a brutal massacre even by the gruesome standards of Mexico’s drug war: 72 migrant workers gunned down by the "Zetas" - arguably the country's most violent cartel - left rotting in a pile outside a ranch in Tamaulipas state near the US border in late August... the real surprise comes not in their ruthless violence, but where they learned the tricks of their bloody trade. Initial cartel members ..."probably more than 500" GAFE personnel who were trained in the early 1990s by America’s 7th Special Forces Group, "snake eaters", at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina... were elite Mexican Airmobile Special Forces Group (GAFE) troops, a former US special operations commander told Al Jazeera.... GAFE was established in 1994 to fight Zapatista rebels in southern Mexico...a poorly armed primarily indigenous militia, rose up against the Mexican government on January 1, 1994, the same day the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect between the US, Canada and Mexico. The Zapatistas called NAFTA a "death sentence", in part, because the agreement would allow subsidised US crops to enter the Mexican market, pushing small farmers off the land. After battling the insurgency, GAFE gained additional training and support from the US to fight the drug trade, a business which arguably benefited more than any other from NAFTA...With the 2007 Merida initiative.America pledged $1.3bn to assist Mexico in a drug war... "...causing two great concerns: national sovereignty and fear that under the cover of the drug war there will be increasing attacks on grassroots movements," ... if winning the war on drugs is the goal, training the most violent cartel probably isn't a great start.

Project Gun Runner Impact Teams Rollout ATF Houston Field Division
Breaking up firearms trafficking rings; putting organized gangs behind bars; and halting the diversion of legal commodities to the black market have been staples of ATF’s law enforcement efforts....The violent crime on the U.S.–Mexico border is a microcosm of the gun violence plaguing much of America — from urban neighborhoods to heartland communities. Narcotics trafficking fuels firearms-related violent crime across our country, not just on the Southwest Border. But the violence on the Border is concentrated and financed by powerful drug trafficking organizations with a penchant for making blood money and shattering lives by using guns illegally. ATF recognized the upward trend in violent, criminal acts along the Border and created a strategy to address it. In partnership with other U.S. agencies and the Government of Mexico, ATF developed Project Gunrunner as a pilot initiative around 2005. Realizing its success, ATF nationalized the effort a little more than a year ago, in January 2008, to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico and reduce violence on both sides of the border.

New Congressional Funding to Enhance Department of Justice Southwest Border Strategy
Today’s passage by Congress of the Border Security Appropriations Bill provides $196 million for the Justice Department to surge federal law enforcement efforts in high crime areas in the Southwest Border region... This bill will help strengthen the Department of Justice’s historic security efforts on the Southwest Border...

Strategic Plan — Fiscal Years 2010–2016
ATF.gov is an official site of the U.S. Department of Justice

ATF Announces 7 New Gunrunner Groups
9/17/10 http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2010/09/091710-atf-announces-seven-new...

Los Zetas Expands as the Mexican Cartel Battles on Several Fronts
Jan 13, 2011

"...proceeds from drugs and crime "the only liquid investment capital" available to banks on the brink of collapse. Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade..."
Mexico drug wars: 'vast majority of weapons used by the cartels from US...
Of nearly 30,000 guns recovered in Mexico in the past two years, more than two thirds were traced to the US ...
10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico... Mexican soldiers found 128 cases with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something more important and far-reaching – was discovered... the cartel bought the plane with money laundered through one of the biggest U.S. banks i : Wachovia, now owned by the giant Wells Fargo.... billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveler's cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme.... the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drug war.Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, not against any individuals, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now the year's "deferred prosecution" has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. The bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn –one-third of Mexico's gross national product – into dollar accounts from currency exchange houses in Mexico, with which the Wachovia bank did business. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine....The conclusion to the case was only the tip of an iceberg, demonstrating the "legal" banking sector swilling hundreds of billions of dollars – blood money from the murderous drug trade in Mexico and other places in the world – around their global operations, now bailed out by the taxpayer. At the height of the 2008 banking crisis, Antonio Maria Costa, then head of the UN office on drugs and crime, said he had evidence suggesting the proceeds from drugs and crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to banks on the brink of collapse. "Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade "http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/zetas-54090-mexican-drug.html
The FBI is advising law enforcement officers that a Texas cell of Los Zetas — an increasingly powerful arm of the Mexican Gulf Cartel drug trafficking syndicate — acquired a secluded ranch where it trains its members to “neutralize” competitors in the US....The bulletin continues that although the Zetas establishing cells in Texas and other parts of the US increases the likelihood of clashes with U.S.-based competitors, there hasn’t been much bloodshed on U.S. soil, an indication the gangsters realize violence here would be bad for business. The cartel also maintains a network of boats and rafts along the Rio Grande to help move drugs and assassins northward into the US as well as move kidnap victims back into Mexico... It notes that the Zetas have learned the kidnapping is a more effective way to collect debts and control territory...

Is Flow of U.S. Weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels Increasing Under Obama?
The Mexican military discovered a major training camp run by the notorious Zetas drug cartel stocked with an arsenal of military weapons, including 140 semi automatic assault rifles and 10,000 rounds of ammunition— all believed purchased in the United States -- 70 miles south of the U.S. border in the state of Nuevo León...fresh evidence for Mexican President Felipe Calderón to press his case that the U.S. government is failing to crack down on a massive flow of illegal weapons into Mexico.

Los Zetas drug cartel seizes multiple U.S. ranches in Texas
July 24th, 2010 http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/los-zetas-dru...
In what could be deemed an act of war against the sovereign borders of the United States, Mexican drug cartels have seized control of at least two American ranches inside the U.S. territory near Laredo, Texas. There is a news blackout of this incident at this time and the sources inside Laredo PD spoke on the condition of anonymity....

Horse farm operator in Zetas money-laudering case released
AP 6/18/12 Austin Texas, http://www.startribune.com/printarticle/?id=159449305http://www.startrib...

Drug cartel accused of laundering money through horse racing
The most violent Mexican drug cartel and the U.S. quarter horse racing world ended with the arrest of one of the top men in the Los Zetas drug trafficking ring after U.S. officials began suspecting an uncanny run of good fortune at the track and the laundering of millions of dollars in drug proceeds....James Phelps, Southwest border expert ...said "When you have hundreds of billions a year in your industry and you can't ship the bulk of the cash back, it has to go somewhere. They are buying huge ranches in locations across the Southwest and mountain states. It's a very viable way to launder the cash."
Arrested were Jose Trevino Morales, his wife, and five associates. They were taken into U.S. custody after scores of FBI agents in all-terrain vehicles and helicopters raided horse stables and ranches near Ruidoso, N.M., and Lexington, Okla. Working on a tip from more than two years ago, law enforcement learned the Zetas were laundering up to $1 million a month through the quarter horse industry. In federal charges unsealed in Texas, Trevino and the others were indicted for laundering drug profits by "purchasing, training, breeding and racing American quarter horses." The two-state takedown...marks the first time a cartel has taken such a brazen step not only secreting its funds in a U.S. enterprise, but investing in one of this country's most storied traditions. Robert Pitman, U.S. attorney in West Texas, said it showed "the corrupting influence of Mexican drug cartels within the United States, facilitated by the enormous profits generated by the illicit drug trade". Richard Weber, IRS Criminal Investigation Unit chief, called it a "prime example of Mexican drug cartel ability to establish footholds in legitimate U.S. industries."

ATF Vision
We Are ATF — A dedicated team securing America’s future by accomplishing a critical mission today.
We Protect America.
We Protect Your Community.
ATF Mission
We are ATF.
A unique law enforcement agency in the United States Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.
We partner with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public we serve through information sharing, training, research, and use of technology.