by Mike Shoen
|Life is beautiful
in spite of our government's irrepressible urge to create trouble for
everyone. After all, it only when we have overwhelming troubles that we
need government to "save us". More enemies creates demand for more
government, so our government works tirelessly to create endless enemies
and perpetual war. If those geezers in Washington D.C. only had a
decent beach to surf, they would forget about their Pinky And The Brain
domination fantasies. They would do a lot less damage if they were
laying on a beach,snoring and zonked out of their minds.
Back in 1933, two-time Medal of Honor winner General Smedley Butler astounded his audience:
" I helped make
Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I
helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank
boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen
Central American Republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of
racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international
banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the
Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I
helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested... Looking
back on it, I feel I could have given Al Capone a few hints."
Butler's conclusions were echoed over the years in tell-all books by other former insiders - Joint Chiefs' Colonel Fletcher Prouty, Green Beret commander Bo Gritz, CIA officers Phillip Agee, John Stockwell, Michael Schuerer and Victor Marchetti; Ranger Stan Goff; as well as by academics William Blum, Peter Scott, John Nutter and Chalmers Johnson (also ex-CIA).
Organized crime and government perform many of the same functions:
Hoods in Chicago hit up businessmen for "protection" and smash their shops if not paid. Our government creates enemies for us (Kwitney Endless Enemies, Stockwell In Search of Enemies, and Clarke Against All Enemies) so they can "protect" us from their own creations, like the Taliban, Mujahideen, Saddam Hussein, Afghan Warlords (Dostum), Fidel Castro, Manuel Noriega and Vietnamese Communists, all of whom we financed, armed and protected. Our war taxes purchase "protection" from the creations of our own secretive, double-crossing, weapons-dispensing government. Last year, we shelled out over $500 Billion to protect us from guys in caves six thousand miles away.
Organized crime formerly had monopoly on this form of social destruction, but now state governments own the monopoly (lottery), "for the children". Of course, some proceeds do benefit "the children"
Organized crime pursues this on a small scale. Our Land of the Free/Home of the Brave commenced its tradition of turf wars by taking what it wanted from Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, Cubans, Phillipinos, Hawaiians -- whomever. Since 1953 (our overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Iran), we have fought covert turf wars against pretty-much all comers, first under the guise of anti-communism, then in the drug wars and today in our "war on terror" -- whatever that is. We have even developed structural weaponry - WTO, World Bank, NAFTA, NATO, etc.
Organized Crime spots someone with a little extra money and simply takes it. Our tax system is designed to do the same to the "unconnected". A good estate-planning attorney can get you "connected".
Both organized crime and government coerce their victims. Government has a monopoly on jail, the ultimate weapon, and on most every other weapon - automatic, chemical, rockets, attack choppers, grenades -- even sound and laser crowd controls. Citizens must either submit or be wiped out. Government's "shiny badge" conveys the same fear as the mob's flash of "muscle". This is one reason lawmakers rarely support citizens' Second Amendment rights. As compliant victims, we should have nothing more lethal than a pop-gun.
Both organizations execute traitors, turncoats and opponents. Read any CIA history. Better yet, read as many as you can stomach, because the (repulsive) truth is there, just waiting for you.
Both organizations attempt to obtain hegemony over their rivals. The Uzi and the sniper rifle upped the ante in the inter-crime family rivalries, just as nuclear weapons and mobile forces upped the ante in international state rivalries.
The Russian Mafia leads, but the state of Nevada runs its own game, while municipalities look the other way and contract for part of the take. A common first assignment for a new CIA officer is to furnish prostitutes to compromise "targets" so they can be blackmailed to extort information. Our tax dollars at work!
Prohibition gave organized crime its growth spurt. Now the mob has been booted out, and the government gets most of the profits through taxes, licenses and, in some states, state-owned hard-liquor retails sales.
During the 1950s, organized crime debated the wisdom of entering the illegal drug business, but finally did. During the 1970s and ‘80s, the U.S. government entered the same business through the Hmong-Laotion and Nicaraguan Contra secret armies known to CIA Director William Casey, laterally under control of then-Vice President George Bush Sr. and staffed by, amongst others, then-Undersecretary of Defense (and West Point grad) William Armitage and an engaging, fresh-faced liar named Ollie North, in an adventure documented by authors Webb, Gritz, Hunter, Scott and Marshall. Insiders labeled the scheme "the enterprise", while CIA referred to themselves as "the company" and Mafiosa called themselves "the organization". It was just business.
Today, "legal" drugs like Paxil and Prosac, every bit as destructive as the illegal ones, have wormed their way into our culture and funneled huge tax tributes and drug industry PAC contributions to Our Protector, our government.
We know the Mafia kills whoever they want. We also know the CIA has used the Mafia to kill whomever it wants (Kennedy) or at least try to (Castro). We know the CIA commenced its association with organized crime to control the NYC docks in 1942, went on to ally with the Sicilian Mafia in the invasion of Italy, then with the Corsican Mafia during the post-war Marseille dock strikes, thence to the American Mafia kill-Castro alliance (which supplanted the smuggle-guns-to-Castro-alliance) and culminated with the glorious murder spree of Kennedy, Oswald, Ruby, Ferrie, Shaw, etc., all enumerated by Penn Jones Jr. in his courageous early work, Forgive My Grief.
Hit teams are now mainstream. Donald Rumsfeld referred to assassination squads "eliminating the infrastructure" of the Baathist Party during Operation Iraqi Freedom. America's state murder (one shot in the back of the neck) reached its zenith during the fourteen months for which we have records in the murders of over 26,000 Vietnamese civilians pursuant to our "Phoenix" program. What about those periods for which we have no records? Organized crime was never so organized. Former CIA Chief of Counterterrorism Vincent Cannistraro stated we did the same thing in Iraq through local paramilitary groups financed through a budget hidden in an Air Force cover program. "Insurgents"? Iraqis sure got their "freedom".
Organized crime lives by "omerta" secrecy. Our government has institutionalized secrecy through covert wars, the principles of deniability, plausible deniability, proxies, cutouts, contract agents, handlers, hidden budgets (commencing with the Manhattan Project), confidentiality agreements, compartmentalization and just plain lies. Even when caught lying, Ollie North couldn't stop his line of bullshit: "I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version."
J. Edgar Hoover (the cross-dressing blackmailer) made sure his files were destroyed upon his death. What remains of the Warren Commission files won't see light of day until 2029. The CIA routinely denies all clandestine operations until a turncoat or an incident blows its cover. Even Congress truncated the Iran-Contra hearings to hide the drug connection. Through the Church Committee and FOIA books like Davey's Let Justice Be Done we know that, in the 1960s and ‘70s, the CIA controlled editors and journalists at Time Magazine, The New York Times and the Washington Post -- all this to subvert and avoid the democratic process. Do you trust your elected officials? You had better, because you won't learn what they are really doing until 25-30 years from now, and then only if you read history.
Both organizations court religious institutions while ignoring actual religious values. Mafiosa ape Catholic liturgy while government officials kowtow to "big hair" celebrity preachers and their brain-dead constituencies. Hey, whatever works!
The government prints new money without any new value backup, exactly like a counterfeiter and, just like counterfeit money, the new money dilutes the value of all existing assets, including the cash that you and I have. This is why everything costs so much and "Money isn't worth anything today". Economics 101.
But the greatest similarity is favors: "Do you need a woman; Do you need some cash?", the Vegas Mafiosa stoolie asks his next victim. Of course, the victim will owe the Mafiosa, and the Mafiosa will surely collect on his favor, many times over. In the same way, our government wants to do everything for us -- regulate mortgages, regulate how much we can pay our help, regulate the Mississippi River, determine teachers' qualifications, regulate the airlines, regulate what we eat, regulate the regulators, etc. Is there anything our government does not want to do for us? Then we must look to our government, our protector, for everything. And if they are corrupt.... History guarantees they will be corrupt. As Lord Acton warned: "All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
It is not just that both organizations are in many ways identical, but that there is actual convergence. J. Edgar Hoover had a formal accord with organized crime, resisted Bobby Kennedy's attack thereon and was outraged by news coverage of the mob's rural New York summit meeting because the public learned that, in fact, organized crime did exist. Remember, Hoover's quarry were bank robbers and Communists. Many organized crime figures believe that the murder of Sam Giancana (once the top mob guy) was a CIA hit - reference Giancana's brother and grandson and convicted hitman/lifer James Files.
The CIA used organized crime at least through the 1960s and early ‘70s and how much longer? We will have to wait for more CIA turncoat disclosures and purloined records. Has anything changed? Suffice it to say that Ollie North is now a pop hero, Richard Armitage is Undersecretary of Defense and George Bush Sr.'s son holds the top position in the entire "organization".
Which reminds me of what Benjamin Franklin told the lady who asked what he and the other Constitutional Convention delegates had been doing in Philadelphia: "We have created a Republic, ma'am, if you can keep it."