Documents obtained by Wikilealks from the quasi-official US Stratfor organisation have underlined what was only a rumour at the time: the US Drugs Enforcement Agency was ordered by the Bush White House to stop investigating the brother of Afghanistan’s President Karzai, a well known drug kingpin. In a leaked email Stratfor’s Fred Burton writes:
“The brother of President Karzai of Afghanistan is under investigation by DEA as a major narcotics trafficker. For political reasons, DEA has been told to back off by the White House and CIA.”
This shock account undermines one of the reasons given for the NATO invasion of Afghanistan: to stamp out the drug trade. This was never very credible as the Taliban had themselves stopped opium production a year before NATO arrived. Cynics said that on the contrary the invasion of Afghanistan was in part to reinstitute the drug trade and the now booming exports have led credence to this view.
Are there two sorts of drug dealers: those protected by Washington and the independents? There are certainly many instances of DEA officials complaining they have been stood down, as has happened in this case. In addition the Fast and Furious scandal has seen the Obama Justice department admitting to authorising the supply of weaponry to a favoured Mexican drug cartel in an alleged sting operation.
When the Wachovia Bank turned out to be laundering billions of dollars in Mexican drug money no-one was prosecuted.