Pablo Escobar. Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán. Rick Ross. Household names, each and every one of them; drug lords collectively responsible for punting billions of dollars’ worth of narcotics. Yet their crimes pale in comparison to those their prosecutors have been perpetrating for years. After decades of fueling proxy wars and trafficking, the US government has powder on its hands – a combination of gunshot residue, cocaine, and heroin. Those same agencies that would decree what the public can and can’t do with their cryptocurrency have broken every rule in the book.
Bitcoin, Drug Barons, and High Hypocrisy
In a 6×8 feet concrete cell in a Colorado penitentiary, prisoner 18870-111 meditates silently. He will perform this daily ritual another 18,250 times in his lifetime, which shall be expended within the confines of his cramped enclosure. The 34-year-old is serving life without parole, officially for operating a sprawling drugs marketplace. Unofficially, his life term isn’t for drug trafficking however – it’s for doing so without cutting the US government a slice of the action. His name is Ross Ulbricht and his crimes are a drop in the bucket to those perpetrated by the three-letter agencies whose fingerprints are all over his prosecution.
Even if one takes the view that drug dealing and money laundering are unlawful – and there are many, particularly in the Bitcoin community, who would demur – the hypocrisy of law enforcement is breathtaking. Many of the officials who would lock up dealers for life think nothing of committing the very same crimes. Sometimes these are rogue agents operating alone, such as Carl Force and Shaun Bridges, who helped bring down Ross Ulbricht while committing even more egregious crimes and tainting the evidence trail. But the most serious cases of government-orchestrated malfeasance see orders taken from the very heart of the so-called deep state.
A Short History of US Government Lawlessness
As the following examples show, there is a very strong case for asserting that the US government, typically operating off the books through shadowy proxies, is the world’s largest cartel. What follows is a handful of the crimes we know to have been committed with the blessing of US agencies. Consider this the tip of the iceberg.
Nicaragua, CIA cocaine trafficking: Widespread sources have alleged the CIA to have been complicit in cocaine smuggling in the 1980s. Funds from the narcotics operation were reputedly used to fund the Contra war in Nicaragua. It was later alleged that this operation was pivotal in creating the crack cocaine epidemic that wreaked havoc on major US cities in the 80s.
Mexico, CIA cocaine & marijuana: In 2013, it was alleged that CIA operatives oversaw the kidnap and murder of a DEA agent because he threatened their Mexican drug operations. A CIA spokesman denied the allegations. Naturally. The CIA was also implicated in similar misdeeds in Honduras and Panama, tied to its funding of the Contras in Nicaragua.
Venezuela, CIA cocaine importation: There’s a lot of drugs in South America and the CIA seems to have gotten its hands on a lot of them. After seizing a ton of cocaine in Venezuela, the confiscated narcotics somehow made their way onto the streets of the US. While the DEA objected to the operation, which was designed to flush out a Colombian drug cartel, the CIA proceeded anyway, because the CIA does what it wants.
Switzerland, CIA LSD importation: We have the CIA to thank for LSD. It was they who went over to Basel, Switzerland in the 1950s, where it had first been synthesized, and brought the whole supply over to the States. They then incorporated it into their secret mind control program called MK Ultra in conjunction with the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories, complete with illegal testing on humans.
Afghanistan, heroin cultivation: Reports of US government complicity in the heroin trade go back decades, with the CIA’s name predictably cropping up. Whether you believe the US was directly involved in allowing Afghanistan’s poppy fields to flourish, or simply allowed them to prosper as part of a laissez-faire policy, the end result is the same: by 2006, during peak US occupation, heroin production reached a historic high.
The US Government Is the World’s Biggest Cartel
These are just a few of the cases in which US government involvement in drugs crimes has been established. While these examples were primarily perpetrated by the CIA, every branch of the US government has been complicit in similar crimes. From the FBI to state police, every branch, state, and county has its share of bad apples, like the Baltimore cops who became robbers.
It is incumbent upon us to reflect upon these cases when we consider the proactive role the US government takes in dictating the freedoms the rest of us are granted. When it locks Ross Ulbricht up for life for committing what many believe to be a victimless crime. When they lean on crypto companies such as Shapeshift to enact full KYC. When they conflate cryptocurrency with terrorism, despite all the evidence to the contrary. If the US dollar is the world’s most tainted currency, bitcoin might just be its cleanest.
Do you think the US government is still complicit in drug trafficking? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.