By Patrick Brogan
US authorities released, by their own admission, one of Afghanistan’s biggest drug kingpins, as reported by The Intercept. Haji Juma Khan, born in neighbouring Pakistan, was lured to Jakarta in Indonesia and arrested by DEA agents in 2008.
Khan was an informant of both the DEA and CIA and might have even been on the payroll before and during the Afghan War. Indeed, there seemed to be a tug-of-war over which US agency would use him and for what. The CIA focusing on terrorism and the DEA looking at his drug operations.
There was some debate about how to deal with Khan when these agencies no longer had a use for him. He was to be lured out into the wilderness and murdered by drone, whilst others wanted him to feel the weight of the law. Eventually, the latter approach won out.
However, it is not as clear-cut as this. Many commentators felt US intelligence wanted him dead because he knew too much and could divulge facts embarrassing to them. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest he cut some sort of deal as his case never went to court, details of his incarceration were never made public and his release is about ten years early.
Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium producer despite US involved in the country. Or, is that because of? It has been suggested this is exactly what the US wants and it also must be mentioned the Taliban were trying to destroy opium production in the country prior to the 2001 invasion.
The CIA has a long history of alleged nefarious drug involvement. Mena, Arkansas was the location they brought cocaine into the US as part of the Iran-Contra deal. Freeway Ricky Ross, LA’s biggest drug dealer, also claimed the CIA knew about the crack-cocaine epidemic that impacted heavily on the African-American population during the 80s and early 90s. For this reason, they have become known as the Cocaine International Agency.
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