Friday, October 27, 2006

Perle & Feith and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)

Summary: In this post, we see that:
1. The US turned a blind eye to the Kosovo Liberation Army's heroin dealing, which financed al-Qaeda
2. Perle & Feith financed the KLA, and there was 'spillage' to al-Qaeda
3. Hastert was bribed with this heroin money
4. The KLA sent weapons to the 'islamofascists' in Chechnya
5. Perle & Feith sent weapons to the 'islamofascists' in Chechnya
Abramoff, Viktor Bout, Bob Ney, and Sibel also get honorary mentions.

Firstly, here again is Daniel Ellsberg in the interview which we dug up last week:
Ellsberg: Let me suggest two interviews with her that have come out since the VF article that go a good deal further than VF chose to print. VF did print ten pages and they got a lot but there was a lot that the reporter had, David Rose, that didn't get into the article, and a lot of that is in these two other interviews - both at, Chris Deliso and Scott Horton. In those interviews she finally reveals more of what she wished that VF had put out. Namely, if I can summarize it quickly, Al Qaeda, she's been saying to congress, according to these interviews, is financed 95% by drug money - drug traffic to which the US government shows a blind eye, has been ignoring, because it very heavily involves allies and assets of ours - such as Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan - all the 'Stans - in a drug traffic where the opium originates in Afghanistan, is processed in Turkey, and delivered to Europe where it furnishes 96% of Europe's heroin, by Albanians, either in Albania or Kosovo - Albanian Muslims in Kosovo - basically the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army which we backed heavily in that episode at the end of the century.

It was known at the time that the KLA consisted largely of drug-dealers, and they still do. They're dominating the politics, pretty much, of Kosovo right now. Now, all of these people are, for various reasons, allies, or clients, of the US - and the fact that they get a large amount of their income from the heroin trade is something the US just regards as the price of doing business with them. That means that not only is the heroin coming into our markets where it furnishes, according to Sibel based on her FBI experience, some 14% of our heroin - up from 4% before the invasion of Afghanistan.

The major effect of that is that terrorist gangs are taking a cut of this, including Al Qaeda, which essentially taxes this traffic as it goes through the various lands where each 'band' pays a percentage as they hand it off. In other words, the US is in effect, endorsing - well, 'endorsing' is too strong a word - 'permitting', definitely permitting, or 'not acting against,' a heroin trade - which not only corrupts our cities and our city politics, AND our congress, as Sibel makes very specific - but is financing the terrorist organization that constitutes a genuine threat to us. And this seems to be a fact that is accepted by our top leaders, according to Sibel, for various geopolitical reasons, and for corrupt reasons as well. Sometimes things are simpler than they might appear - and they involve envelopes of cash. Sibel says that suitcases of cash have been delivered to the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, at his home, near Chicago, from Turkish sources, knowing that a lot of that is drug money.

Now this from a 2000 MotherJones article about the KLA called Heroin Heroes:
German Federal Police now say that Kosovar Albanians import 80 percent of Europe's heroin. So dominant is the Kosovar presence in trafficking that many European users refer to illicit drugs in general as "Albanka," or Albanian lady.

The Kosovar traffickers ship heroin exclusively from Asia's Golden Crescent. It's an apparently inexhaustible source. At one end of the crescent lies Afghanistan, which in 1999 surpassed Burma as the world's largest producer of opium poppies. From there, the heroin base passes through Iran to Turkey, where it is refined, and then into the hands of the 15 Families, which operate out of the lawless border towns linking Macedonia, Albania, and Serbia. Not surprisingly, the KLA has also flourished there. According to the State Department, four to six tons of heroin move through Turkey every month...
The ascent of the Kosovar families to the top of the trafficking hierarchy coincided with the sudden appearance of the KLA as a fighting force in 1997. As Serbia unleashed its campaign of persecution against ethnic Albanians, the diaspora mobilized. Hundreds of thousands of expatriate Kosovars around the world funneled money to the insurrection. Nobody sent more than the Kosovar traffickers -- some of the wealthiest people of Kosovar extraction in Europe. According to news reports, Kosovar Albanian traffickers launder $1.5 billion in profits from drug and arms smuggling each year through a shadowy network of some 200 private banks and currency exchange offices...
Daut Kadriovski, the reputed boss of one of the 15 Families, embodies the tenacity of the top Kosovar drug traffickers. A Yugoslav Interior Ministry report identifies him as one of Europe's biggest heroin dealers, and Nicovic calls him a "major financial resource for the KLA." Through his family links, Nicovic says, Kadriovski smuggled more than 100 kilos of heroin into New York and Philadelphia. He lived comfortably in Istanbul and specialized in creative trafficking solutions, once dispatching a shipment of heroin in the hollowed-out accordion cases of a popular traveling Albanian folk music group.

Interesting. I wonder if the that's the sort of thing Sibel was talking about in this interview with Chris Deliso (and elsewhere):
"SE: These are organizations that might have a legitimate front – say as a business, or a cultural center or something. And we've also heard a lot about Islamic charities as fronts for terrorist organizations, but the range is much broader and even, simpler.

CD: For example?

SE: You might have an organization supposed to be promoting the cultural affairs of a certain country within another country. Hypothetically, say, an Uzbek folklore society based in Germany. The stated purpose would be to hold folklore-related activities – and they might even do that – but the real activities taking place behind the scenes are criminal.

CD: Such as?

SE: Everything – from drugs to money laundering to arms sales. And yes, there are certain convergences with all these activities and international terrorism."
We don't exactly know which 'cultural' groups she is talking about, and it maybe doesn't particularly matter. I presume they are somewhat interchangable. However, in Giraldi's article about Sibel, he refers to the "American Turkish Cultural Alliance" - I presume that was an error on his part, and that he actually meant Turkish American Cultural Alliance (TACA) - which is thought to be one of the groups that was delivering the bribes to Hastert. TACA has previously been implicated in drug crimes. The ATAA is another social/cultural/business group which comes up again and again. Both the ATAA and TACA are headquartered in Chicago.

That's a pretty sweet cover. They could fill all of the instrument cases with teh heroin, and if they were clever, and if they were bribing certain State Dept officials, they could probably organise some sort of diplomatic passports for the travelling folklorists, which would enable them to happily waltz through customs.

This from Vanity Fair:
One counter-intelligence official familiar with Edmonds’s case has told Vanity Fair that the F.B.I. opened an investigation into covert activities by Turkish nationals in the late 1990’s. That inquiry found evidence, mainly via wiretaps, of attempts to corrupt senior American politicians in at least two major cities—Washington and Chicago. Toward the end of 2001, Edmonds was asked to translate some of the thousands of calls that had been recorded by this operation, some dating back to 1997.
Vanity Fair has established that around the time the Dickersons visited the Edmondses, in December 2001, Joel Robertz, an F.B.I. special agent in Chicago, contacted Sibel and asked her to review some wiretaps. Some were several years old, others more recent; all had been generated by a counter-intelligence that had its start in 1997. “It began in D.C.,” says an F.B.I. counter-intelligence official who is familiar with the case file. “It became apparent that Chicago was actually the center of what was going on.”
In her secure testimony, Edmonds disclosed some of what she recalled hearing. In all, says a source who was present, she managed to listen to more than 40 of the Chicago recordings supplied by Robertz. Many involved an F.B.I. target at the city’s large Turkish Consulate, as well as members of the American-Turkish Consulate, as well as members of the American-Turkish Council and the Assembly of Turkish American Associates.

Some of the calls reportedly contained what sounded like references to large scale drug shipments and other crimes.

Back to the MoJo article:
With the KLA in power -- and in the spotlight -- the top trafficking families have begun to seek relative respectability without decreasing their heroin shipments. "The Kosovars are trying to position themselves in higher levels of trafficking," says the U.N.'s Tony White. "They want to get away from the violence of the streets and attract less attention. Criminals like to move up like any other business, and the Kosovars are becoming business leaders. They have become equal partners with the Turks."
As their business reaches a saturation point in Europe, Kosovar traffickers are looking more to the West. It's a smart business move. The United States has seen a marked shift from cocaine to heroin use. According to recent DEA statistics, Afghan heroin accounted for almost 20 percent of the smack seized in this country -- nearly double the percentage taken four years earlier. Much of it is distributed by Kosovar Albanians.

The Clinton administration has launched a vigorous crackdown on Colombian heroin. As the campaign intensifies, some White House officials fear Kosovar heroin could replace the Colombian supply. "Even if we were to eliminate all the heroin production in Colombia, by no means do we think there would be no more heroin coming into the United States," says Bob Agresti of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "Look at the numbers. Colombia accounts for only six percent of the world's heroin. Southwest Asia produces 75 percent."

Perhaps most alarmingly, Kosovar drug dealers associated with the KLA have begun to form partnerships with Colombian traffickers -- the world's most notorious drug lords. "We have an all-new situation now," says Europol's Storbeck. "Colombians like to use Kosovar groups for distribution of cocaine. The Albanians are getting stronger and stronger, and there is a certain job sharing now. They are used by Turks for smuggling into the European Union and by Colombians for distribution of cocaine."

Washington clearly hopes the KLA will disentangle itself from its drug-running friends now that it's in power, but this may not be easy. "The KLA owes a lot of debts to the traffickers and holy warriors," says Koutouzis. "They are being pressured to assist other insurrections." Already, the OGD has reports of KLA weapons being routed to the newest Muslim holy war in Chechnya.
Lots of interesting stuff, including the bit about Chechnya, which reminds me of this from my interview with Mathieu Verboud:
Mathieu Verboud: Yes. In the film, we expand on these notions with ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi, who recently wrote a very interesting article about Sibel. He has suspicions that Douglas Feith and Richard Perle may have helped, or been instrumental, in establishing false end-user-certificates that enabled weapons to be sent over to the Chechen guerillas - many of them being very closely linked to Al-Qaeda.

And then there's the Bosnia Defense Fund. This is from Madsen (I haven't seen this sourced elsewhere, FYI, but I do know that Madsen gave this testimony to a hearing in Congress):
The Muslim operation in the Balkans was largely supported by official (CIA, DIA, and Special Operations) U.S. assistance but also by unofficial help. This was mainly carried out by private military contractors like MPRI and financial support networks like the Bosnia Defense Fund, established in the mid-1990s at a Riggs Bank account in Washington, DC. The principal movers behind the Bosnian Defense Fund were Richard Perle and Douglas Feith. In fact, Feith’s law firm, Feith and Zell (FANZ) set up the Bosnia Defense Fund. According to a former Riggs legal adviser, when objections were raised about the hundreds of millions of dollars collected from such countries as Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Malaysia, the UAE, Iran, Jordan, and Egypt that were being detected by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) being sent from Washington to Sarajevo, Bosnia, and reports that there was “spillage” of these funds into the hands of Al Qaeda units in the country, Perle’s response at one contentious meeting was, “just make it fucking happen.”
Tim Spicer and Victor Bout are reportedly both involved in the Bosnia Defense Fund, too. Starroute has more - including:
Of course, one thing that any unified theory of Bob Ney is going to have to explain is that 1996 trip to Bosnia funded by the National Security Caucus Foundation -- just before the NSCF funded a burst of Abramoff trips to the Northern Marianas, Moscow, and Pakistan (where Abramoff had been lobbying for the lifting of sanctions related to Pakistan's nuclear program.)

I'll end with this quote from Starroute:
This stuff may go round and round in circles -- but they're fairly small circles, and the same names and locations keep reappearing.
more later.


Miguel said...

In terms of cultural organizations, the only evidence I've seen so far is that Sibel knows specifically about Turkish cultural organizations. However, that does not preclude the Albanians, the Uzbeks or other groups doing the same thing.

What is not entirely clear is what exactly these Turkish cultural groups are doing in terms of the drug trade. Many of these members are Turkish yuppies- professionals with jobs in finance. I see them more as potential money launderers rather than transporters of drugs. After all, if they delivered cash to Hastert's house, they might have helped him launder those same funds.

On the other hand, I told you in a private email once that my cousin ran across a very shady Turkish musician that seemed to have ties to the Turkish mafia. So anything is pobbible. But Sibel seems to imply the major transport network seems to go on cargo planes. Didn't she tell you Celebi Group? So if these musicians do transport drugs, I see them as more the "local distribution network" rather than the transport backbone.

Hope that doesn't sound too confusing!

Miguel said...

It's also worth mentioning I think Sibel was trying to kill 2 birds with one stone when she mentioned an Uzbek cultural group in Germany. 1) She was trying to draw a broad outline without giving specfics i.e. Turkish cultural organizations in America and 2) She was showing that Germany and Uzbekistan play into this whole scandal (Melek Dickerson first worked for the Deep State in Germany; her husband procured weapons for the Uzbeks.

lukery said...

thnx fp'd