Deep History and the Global Drug Connection, Part 3: A Deadly Bureaucracy

Introduction by Russ Baker:

More musings from Peter Dale Scott, the “father of Deep State analysis.” It’s heady and sometimes difficult material, but no one has gone as deeply as he has in trying to understand the nature of power in America, and ties between the state, the Underworld, and the criminal elements of the wealthy, or the Overworld.

In Part 3, we learn of the covert — but benign-sounding — government Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), which formally institutionalized off-the-books financing of criminal activities. Its purpose was to engage in “subversion against hostile states.” But it went further than that. Much further.

This is Part 3 of a 5-part series. Please go here to see Part 1, and here to see Part 2.

American War Machine: ... Scott, Peter Dale Best Price: $24.95 Buy New $27.67 (as of 04:25 UTC - Details) Excerpt from American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014), Introduction. Deep History and the Global Drug Connection:

Deep Events and Illegally Sanctioned Violence

Max Weber defined the successful modern state as something that “successfully upholds a claim on the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence [Gewaltmonopol] in the enforcement of its order.” (26)

It is against this illusory ideal, subscribed to by most political scientists, that many states have recently been judged to be weak states (if the monopoly is successfully challenged) or failed states (if its claim can no longer be sustained).

My own thinking is that Weber’s definition falsely invests the public state with a structural coherence that in fact it does not possess, never has possessed, and possesses even less as democracy develops. Even in America, one of the more successful states, there has always been a negative space in which overworld, corporate power, and privately organized violence all have access to and utilize each other, and rules are enforced by powers that do not derive from the public state.

Perhaps the most striking example of such non-state rule was the city of Chicago after World War II. A 1962 murder conviction, after an FBI investigation ordered by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, marked the first Chicago conviction in an organized crime slaying since 1934—a period of almost three decades marked by about a thousand unsolved murders. (27)

Several major “legitimate” fortunes of national scope, had their origins in Chicago mob-based corruption, and the mob’s domination of Chicago City Hall created a climate of selective nonenforcement in which the best-connected private capitalists thrived.

One of the first acts of the newly created National Security Council in 1947 was to launder “over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].” (28) This use of off-the-books financing for criminal activities was institutionalized in 1948 with the creation of a covert Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), whose charge was to engage in “subversion against hostile states.” (29)

As a consequence, the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, which in 1952 absorbed the OPC, has become accustomed to the routine  breaking of foreign laws on a daily basis. According to a congressional staff study [1996],

“A safe estimate is that several hundred times every day (easily 100,000 times a year) operations officers engage in highly illegal activities (according to foreign law) that not only risk political embarrassment to the United States but also endanger the freedom if not lives of the participating foreign nations and, more than occasionally, of the clandestine officer himself.” (30)

OPC enlisted drug traffickers in Europe as allies in defending the states of Western Europe from the risks of a communist or Russian takeover. In Southeast Asia it did more than just make alliances with drug traffickers; through Operation Paper (see the following discussion), it armed and assisted its drug proxies to build up and control an expanded international opium and heroin traffic.

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