Miscellany 38: The March Against the
© 2007 Joseph George Caldwell. All rights reserved. Posted at Internet web sites http://www.foundation.bw and http://www.foundationwebsite.org
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Commentary on recent news, reading and events of personal interest.
Here is an editorial that I had published in the
Illegal Alien Invasion
JOSEPH GEORGE CALDWELL
How sad. And how unlikely. This is the time of “Peak Oil” (Hubbert’s Peak on Hubbert’s Curve). Very soon, global oil production will be falling. Half of the planet’s oil has been extracted and, at current consumption rates, all of the planet’s commercially extractable oil will be gone by 2050. Things will get really bad, however, much sooner than 2050. The situation will deteriorate rapidly when the global production rate begins to decline, not when oil finally runs out. The planet’s current population of 6.5 billion people was enabled by access to fossil fuels. By the time that oil runs out, the human population will have fallen far lower than its current level. The near future holds not the promise of riches, but of global resource wars, as the Petroleum Age draws to a close and the global industrial world collapses.
Sorry to burst your bubble, young folks, but your generation will not see material riches, but devastation and collapse. The opportunities for your generation will be in waging war, not in accumulating wealth. That was our generation’s game. You will have plenty of opportunities for accumulating spiritual capital, but not physical capital. By the time 2050 rolls around, well over 90 percent of the planet’s human population will have died off. And – with apologies to T. S. Eliot – most likely not from famine and disease, but from war, since human leaders prefer to die in battle, with a bang, and not by starving to death, with a whimper.
Several years ago, I proposed that one way to end the war in
As I have written before, there is no rationale for
splitting the oil revenues, or any other natural wealth, if and when the
country is partitioned. Modern day
On the Today show edition of February 9, 2007, Matt Lauer interviewed Tim Russert, who had testified the day before in the trial of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Jr., who is accused of “outing” (revealing as a CIA employee) Valerie Plame, wife of the former US diplomat Joseph Wilson. Lauer asked Russert if the task of being a witness was more difficult than that of being an interviewer (Russert is host of the NBC Sunday news program, Meet the Press). Russert replied that it was, because you were often not permitted to express your complete thought in response to a question – often you were require to respond simply by “yes” or “no.” But then Russert mentioned that it was not really too difficult, as long as you always told the truth. He was reminded of what his young daughter had repeated once, “If you tell the truth, you only have to remember one story.” As a child, I had been told a similar version of this adage: “If you always tell the truth, then you never have to remember what you said.”
This trial is really sort of silly. I have worked a lot overseas. All foreign governments suspect all diplomats and their spouses of being foreign agents. They assume that they are. The fact that Plame was “outed” was of no real consequence. All expatriates from all countries are expected to report important facts to their governments, as part of their duty as responsible and loyal citizens.
Plato had little use for democracy. His view was that the people would always
elect poor leaders who would pander to the masses’ desires, leading to eventual
destruction of the nation. This destructive
process is well under way in
The country’s leaders realized that it was not possible to have a strong democratic republic without having a relatively homogeneous citizenry. They realized that a strong nation was a group of people with common language, religion, race, culture, and heritage / traditions. When the country was founded, the vote was not allowed for nonwhite people. When, because of transportation improvements, it became feasible for immigrants to come from anywhere in the world, immigration was restricted to Northern European peoples.
As I have written before, democratic rule is a viable option
only for running relatively homogeneous organizations that do not matter very
much, such as social clubs. Nothing
important, such as a ship, or an airplane, or a nation, or a planet, can be run
using democracy. A system of democratic
republicanism did work for a long time in
Ever since the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, however, the country has been flooded with millions of immigrants from alien cultures. The country is now very crowded, and it is very fragmented. By 2050, if current immigration trends continue, the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant ethnic group that founded the country and made it great will be in a minority.
Unfortunately, the country will fall apart long before 2050,
because of phenomenon known as the “tyranny of the minority.” Tyranny of the minority occurs in a democracy
whenever a population becomes heterogeneous to the point where no single
homogeneous subgroup has a strong majority.
(It has the strongest effect in a predominantly “two-party” system such
as in present-day
All that has changed. Today, because of mass immigration from alien cultures (and also because of the phenomena of radical individualism and radical extremism), there are many sizable minority groups, including blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, and immigrants. Any one of these groups can swing an election. As a result, the people running for office cannot afford to offend any of them. It therefore follows that the platforms of the two leading parties are bland, indistinguishable mush. Both major political parties spend all of their energies dreaming up platforms that offend no one. They are totally paralyzed by the tyranny of the minority.
At the recent midterm election (2006), there was widespread
dissatisfaction with the ruling party, the Republicans, and the
In every speech that President George Bush gives about the economy, he emphasizes the economic growth that has occurred and is likely to occur. All national leaders are the same. Every country has embraced growth-based economics as the basis for its vision, mission and goals.
But economic growth cannot continue indefinitely. An increasing population, on which much of
Mass immigration to the
What is George Bush’s long-range plan? The total destruction of
PARIS - Global warming is so severe that it will "continue for centuries," leading to a far different planet in 100 years, warned a grim landmark report from the world's leading climate scientists and government officials. Yet, many of the experts are hopeful that nations now will take action to avoid the worst scenarios.
They tried to warn of dire risks without scaring people so much they'd do nothing - inaction that would lead to the worst possible scenarios.
"It's not too late," said Australian scientist Nathaniel Bindoff, a co-author of the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report issued Friday. The worst can be prevented by acting quickly to curb greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
The worst could
mean more than 1 million dead and hundreds of billions of dollars in costs by
2100, said Kevin Trenberth of the
This article is very misleading. The worst that could happen is not the death of one million people. It is the complete breakdown of the biosphere and the extermination of life on the surface of the planet. It is incredibly foolish of mankind to undertake activities, such as massive population growth, that are causing macroscopic changes in the planet’s atmosphere. It may already be too late to avoid a cataclysmic disaster. In any event, the only prudent course of action is to immediately halt all industrial activity that adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. This is something that the world’s leaders adamantly refuse to do. They are in full agreement to accept a chance that the planet will be destroyed, simply to preserve their power and wealth. They will not tolerate any response that would result in a lowering of the standard of living of their peoples. They will not tolerate any response that would put an immediate halt to all burning of fossil fuels. As a result, the only solution to the climate-change problem, the only way that greenhouse-gas production will be lessened, is to dramatically decrease the number of people on the planet.
There is a growing number of people who feel passionately that the burning of fossil fuels must be stopped, immediately. It is just a matter of time until some of this group decides to dramatically lower the number of people on the planet.
The origin of
solitary confinement in the
By the 1830s,
evidence began to accumulate that the extended solitude was leading to
emotional disintegration, certainly in higher numbers than in communal prisons.
In 1890 the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in, deploring solitary confinement for
the "semi-fatuous condition" in which it left prisoners. The case was
narrow enough that its effect was merely to overturn a single law in a single
state, but the court's distaste for the idea of solitary was clear. "The
justices saw it as a form of what some people now call no-touch torture,"
says Alfred W. McCoy, a professor of history at the
Modern science has
confirmed this, with electroencephalograms showing that after a few days in
solitary, prisoners' brain waves shift toward a pattern characteristic of
stupor and delirium. When sensory deprivation is added – as when Padilla was
seen being led from his cell wearing a blindfold and sound-deadening earphones
– the breakdown is even worse. As long ago as 1952, studies at
The article presents some interesting facts about the
With respect to incarcerating its population,
I have written on the subject of imprisonment before. While I have no strong personal objection to
the death penalty, I view long incarcerations as cruelly inhumane. If I were in charge, I would empty our
prisons – all of them. I would maintain
local jails for sentences of less than a year.
As an alternative to the death penalty, to which many people and most
societies object, I would propose to use the
Here follows a statement from my platform of
Justice. The following initiatives will be undertaken to improve justice for all Americans and raise the level of national security.
Prison Reform. No incarcerations longer than 10 years. Hard labor as a rule. Public punishments (stocks, pillories, caning) for lesser offenses. The death penalty as a punishment, not as a deterrent. Emphasis on English common law (no mandatory sentences).
Legal Reform. Tort reform. No-fault automobile insurance. No claims for pain and suffering. No contingency fees. No class-action suits. Punitive damages are paid to the state.
Decriminalization of Drugs. Decriminalize all drug use, to end the massive flow of money to organized crime because of the criminalization of drugs.
Gun Control. All adult persons who are members of a regulated militia may possess the weapons authorized to be issued by the militia. Individuals may possess unregistered "non-assault" type firearms.
Profiling. Police are encouraged to use profiling to assist in the apprehension of criminals.
Affirmative Action. End Affirmative Action, which is blatant racial/ethnic/gender discrimination.
Reparations and Apologies. There will be no reparations or apologies for
slavery, or for the conquest and destruction of
Abortion. Support a woman’s right to choose, but no late-term abortions or infanticide. The government will not fund or provide abortions, except to save the life of the mother (medically necessary).
Illegal Immigration. Severe penalties to be imposed for the crime of illegal immigration.
Privacy. Use of the Social Security Number as a universal identifier (e.g., by credit bureaus, credit-card companies, banks, insurance companies, retail businesses and private organizations) is prohibited.
Legal Status of the
Prison Reform. No incarcerations will last longer than ten years, with hard labor as a rule. As an incentive to behavior modification, sentences will be shortened for good behavior (e.g., one month commutation for each month of good behavior, such as active participation in approved training or education programs). Public short-term punishments (stocks, pillories, caning) will be authorized for lesser offenses. The death penalty will be used as a punishment, not as a deterrent. (The goal of prison sentences of not more than ten years is not that radical a suggestion: sentences exceeding ten years are very rare in most countries of the world.) There will be a reaffirmation of the concept of English common law, which served this country so well for so long, as the basis for our judicial system.
Decriminalization of Drugs. All drug use will be decriminalized, to end
the massive flow of money and power to organized crime. With the closing the
Gun Control. In accordance with the concept set forth in the US Constitution, guns may be possessed by members of regulated militias. Individuals may possess unregistered "non-assault" type firearms.
Human Rights. An end to policies that promote radical individualism and radical egalitarianism. Emphasis on national unity and mission. As is the case in all societies, certain curtailment of rights is authorized (e.g., limitations on civil rights of criminals, sexual deviants, and mentally impaired persons, as well as laws and regulations for all citizens).
Profiling. “Profiling” to assist the apprehension of criminal suspects is authorized and encouraged, particularly with respect to race, gender and ethnicity. Profiling is the logical, scientifically well founded practice (Bayes' Rule, search theory) of taking account of distinguishing characteristics of a criminal in the quest to apprehend him. These characteristics may be of any type, but the more unusual the characteristics are (i.e., the more nearly unique they are to the suspect) the more useful they are in helping to track down a criminal. For this reason, membership in minority groups, such as minority ethnic/racial groups, are particularly useful (e.g., it is much more useful to know that a suspect is a Hmong or Japanese than a white man, since there are fewer of the former than the latter). To hamstring the efforts of the police by requiring them to ignore crucial information in their work is not only stupid and wasteful, but criminal.
If a man commits a rape, it is common sense to look for a
man, not a woman. If a black man commits
a crime, it is common sense to search for suspects in the black community, not
in the white community. If an Hispanic
or Arab commits a crime, it is common sense to search for the perpetrator in
the Hispanic or Arab communities. These
examples are obvious, since the characteristic of the suspect is known. But the logic of profiling is just as
relevant if particular characteristics are not known with certainty, but are
simply known to be correlated with a particular crime. Some examples…. If most or all of the embassy bombings last
year were done by Islamic fundamentalists and another embassy is bombed, it is
prudent to concentrate the search for the perpetrators in the Islamic
community. If a group of men in white
sheets are seen lynching someone, it makes sense to interrogate members of the
local Ku Klux Klan. If the
drinking-while-intoxicated hit-and-run rate is several times higher for Mexican
drivers than others, it is right to focus more attention on that segment of the
population than on others. If a sex
crime is committed against a child, it makes sense to check out local residents
with a history of child molestation. If
a kidnapper cannot pronounce "els," it is reasonable to suspect an
oriental and allocate more effort investigating that group. If a young girl is abducted from her family,
it is commonsense to spend more time investigating men than women, who rarely
commit this type of crime. All profiling
is prejudicial and discriminatory, but it is the logical approach to use to
apprehend a criminal. Profiling based on
any characteristic correlated with a criminal act -- even if based on race,
gender, religion, language or ethnicity -- is the proper way to investigate a crime. To deliberately ignore characteristics that
are known to be correlated with a crime may be politically correct in today's
The hands of our police will not be tied by an irrational demand to ignore race (or any other known characteristic) in the attempt to apprehend a suspect, if race is an evidential factor in a particular case. If race (or any other characteristic) is uncorrelated with a particular crime, then of course it makes no sense to target people of a particular race in the search for the criminal -- but that is not racial profiling: it is racial persecution. On the other hand, if a crime is committed by a “one-armed man,” then police will be permitted to and expected to look for a “one-armed man,” despite the prejudicial aspersions that this casts on the minority population of one-armed men, and notwithstanding the inconvenience or indignation that may be felt by innocent one-armed men who are interrogated.
Discrimination. As discussed above, profiling (based on any relevant characteristic -- race, gender, religion, language, ethnicity, national origin or other) is endorsed as a legitimate investigative tool.
There shall be no special laws protecting homosexuals, and there shall be no same-sex civil marriages. Neither shall there be persecution of homosexuals.
At a private level, however, persons or small groups are free to associate with whomever they choose, on whatever grounds. If a private group (e.g., the Boy Scouts) chooses to exclude homosexuals or atheists (or any other group or type of person), that is fine. If a small public group wishes to exclude homosexuals (or aggressive heterosexuals or any other group or type of person) from having control of children or young people (e.g., a kindergarten or an army platoon), that is fine, too. “Bring up a child in the way that is right, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
A serious social problem has arisen with respect to
immigration. The government has allowed
so many immigrants into the country (now a million a year!) that it is causing
much social friction and social "balkanization" (as well as
destruction of the land). The massive
influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants (now 35 million and counting) is making
it difficult for English-speaking Americans to find and keep jobs (e.g.,
schoolteachers or clerks or nurses or anyone else who deals with the public),
particularly in southern states such as
The AIM [American Independence Movement] will seek to end Affirmative
Action, which is blatant racial/gender discrimination, and has no place in
Reparations and Apologies. No reparations or apologies will be extended
for the perceived wrongs of the European settlers of
There will be no apologies or reparations to blacks for
having had ancestors who were enslaved in
(The fact that slavery is an economic issue and not a moral one is the reason why the world's great monotheistic religions have so little to say about it. The Bible admonishes slaves to obey their masters, and masters to treat their slaves well, but, except for the requirement for Jews to emancipate Jewish slaves periodically, there is no Commandment against slavery. Jesus spoke out on pain of death against many injustices, and he lost his temper over the moneychangers in the temple, but his anger was not directed toward slavery.)
The AIM is pleased that blacks are free in America today,
and appreciates their participation in and contribution to our society, but no
apology or reparation is due them for the enslavement of their ancestors, any
more than an apology or reparation is due from present-day Egyptians or
Babylonians (Iraqis) for their ancestors’ having enslaved the Jews in the
past. In short, the motivation for
slavery is economic, not moral. It was
practiced worldwide when energy was limited, and it will return when fossil
fuels are gone. It did not disappear
because the world underwent a mysterious global moral awakening; it disappeared
because of mankind's tapping of the energy in fossil fuels. On the issue of slavery, white
Apart from the etiology or morality of slavery and wars of
conquest, and the issue of whether and for how many generations we may be
responsible for the actions of our forebears, the issue remains: Should
present-day America pay blacks, Native Americans, and other groups for their
conquest, enslavement, or other mistreatment, or for accrued benefits derived
thereof, by white Europeans or by earlier generations of present-day Americans? As was mentioned, the AIM coordinates all
planks of its platform with its central mission of preserving the global
biosphere, and the survival of
It is hoped that the rather long discussion of racial (and
other social) issues in this section does not exaggerate their importance with
respect to the primary AIM goal of preserving the biosphere. To the extent that resolution of these issues
helps to stop the planet's ongoing sixth mass extinction and save the
biosphere, they are important. Otherwise
they are irrelevant. Despite the
attention that the issue of reparation for slavery is currently attracting, it
is, as noted earlier, an irrelevant issue in the context of the current
destruction of the biosphere by large human numbers and industrial
production. If global warming destroys
the biosphere in 50 years, it will not matter a whit whether the
Hate Crimes. Equal justice under the law: No laws shall be passed promoting special judicial treatment of special groups, such as special “hate-crime” laws for homosexuals, blacks, immigrants, or other minority groups.
Tax Court. In accordance with the US Constitution, which requires that all courts be contained within the Judicial Branch of the government, the Tax Court, which has been set up as part of the Executive Branch, will be moved to the Judicial Branch. With the end of the income tax, the use of the Tax Court to prosecute individuals for income-tax matters will cease, in any event.
Illegal Immigration. Severe penalties will be imposed for the crime of illegal immigration.
Abortion. A woman’s right to choose is supported, but not late-term abortions or infanticide. The government will not fund or provide abortions, except to save the life of the mother (medically necessary, as determined by prevailing medical standards).
Privacy. In accordance with the original and present US Constitution, there shall be no personal right to privacy. In accordance with the spirit of the Social Security Act, it will not be permitted for the Social Security Number to be used as a universal personal identification number. That is, credit bureaus, credit-card companies, banks, insurance companies, retail businesses and private organizations will no longer be permitted to ask for or to store SSNs.
Legal Status of the
There is a lot of coverage on television news of the Chinese
these days. Much of the coverage is
about our massive trade deficit with
So what is the situation with respect to
Reviews of Chang’s The
Coming Collapse of
From Amazon.com: From 1978 through the mid-1990s,
By failing to complete its reformation,
Stuck between Communism and capitalism, "
From Publishers Weekly: Predicting the rapid fall of the Communist government, Chang, counsel to an American law firm in Shanghai and freelance journalist with the New York Times, the Asian Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, attempts to support his prediction by discussing a number of phenomena in China: the volatile discontent of political minorities and the unemployed; the futility of state-owned enterprises and industrial policies; the vulnerability of the private sector and the WTO economy; the threats the Internet poses to party censorship; the dangers lurking behind the banking system; and the failing role of Marxist ideology. By maintaining power at all costs and suppressing dissent, the regime, Chang says, has jeopardized the economy and Chinese society at large. His adept business policy evaluation and socioeconomic criticism ("Party cadres... insist on commanding as if they still had a command economy") connect names and anecdotes with otherwise abstract social ills. But his success ends there, for his sweeping historical analyses and social forecasts falter. "Today the people no longer want Mao's revolution or the party that administers it. And so the People's Republic is going to fall, just like its predecessors," writes Chang, hastily recounting the quick endings of the Qing Dynasty and the Kuomintang. His invocations of the "power of the Chinese people," or of an imaginary individual who will one day "end the Chinese state as it now exists," read more like political soap opera than judicious analyses. Preoccupied with such rhetorical (and often highly cynical) flourishes, he fails to pay adequate attention to something that would have better supported his predictions: the imminent intra-Party power turnover in 2002. Chang needs more than denunciations and calls for change to support his bold prophetic claims. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Reviews of Chen / Wu’s Will the Boat Sink the People?...
Startling examination of life in rural China,
Reviewer: Rolf Dobelli (Luzern
This short book should be an excellent antidote to the hype
Critical information for the serious China hand,
Reviewer: Scott W. Galer (
I agree with John Pomfret, who concludes that this is one of
the most important books to come out of
Heartbreaking, terrifying, but IMPORTANT,
Reviewer: Katie Larsen "TripleBottomLine" (
This book is heartbreaking, terrifying, but important for
anyone dealing with
It spells out very clearly the political and social dynamics at the village and township level through story after story. Only, the even more depressing aspect is that there are many more stories than just those in the book.
The writer helps us understand some of the callous bribery and corruption that is undertaken by corrupt local officials against those Chinese citizens who can bear it the least, poor peasants. It also shows the courageous efforts undertaken by some peasants to achieve basic justice, and be able to get on with their lives.
To anyone working in business in
For anyone working in development issues in
For anyone working in CSR and ethical sourcing in
The only heartening aspect of this book is that it sold so well, and with movements like the new Harmonious Society campaign, maybe it was listened to by some at the top.
To those outside China, all the more reason to press and support China in continuing to improve the rule of law, and free access to education at the rural level.
A Book on the Underside of
Reviewer: John Matlock "Gunny" (
There have been a large number of books lately prophesizing
This book is based on a series of interviews among
Even if they do not have a revolution, the future of
[End of Amazon reviews.]
As mentioned in the
The news is filled with reports that
Unindustrialized countries without oil, such as most
As the industrialized countries compete for less and less
oil, they will seek to achieve even further reductions in demand, by attacking
each other. That is when the global
nuclear wars will begin. At that time,
President Bush has been pushing for a “guestworker” program
to allow illegal aliens to remain in the
This subject has been discussed recently on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight television program. The number of H1B visas granted to skilled workers used to be 30,000 per year. In recent years, the number of H1B visas authorized has grown to 85,000 almost triple that of just a few years ago. What is more, it has now been discovered that the US Citizenship and Immigration Service has been ignoring the legal limits, and has been approving far more H1B visas than authorized. For example, 130,497 were approved in 2004.
The President of the
Here follows an excerpt from the 26 January 2007 Lou Dobbs Tonight reports.
From the 26 January report…
Bill Tucker reports.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The number of H1B visas an existing guest worker program for skilled workers is capped by Congress at 65,000. Another 20,000 foreign students who graduate from American universities with advanced degrees are also eligible for the visa.
That's 85,000 visas a year. But the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service approved 116,927 applications in 2005. It approved 130,497 in 2004.
The reports in 2004 and 2005 were not released until November 20th of last year. A release date that activists find disturbing.
JOHN MIANO, ATTORNEY: I think it's odd that it occurred after the election. Somewhat suspicious that while there were bills pending to have an H1B increase, that the information about the actual numbers of H1B visas was not available.
TUCKER: A spokesman for USCIS admits the reports were late, but he calls the oversight "honest," explaining that in the transitions from INS to the Department of Homeland Security they neglected to file the reports.
"We notified the oversight by a member of Congress. They quickly produced the reports."
Some critics see a pattern.
RON HIRA, ROCHESTER INST. OF TECHNOLOGY: There's been a pattern by the administration to -- to keep, you know, this data that they don't particularly want out bottled up, and we've seen this with the Commerce Department offshoring report, and we've seen it in other areas like NASA (ph) and the like.
TUCKER: And there is intrigue. These reports were obtained by LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, not off a Congress Web site, not from the House Subcommittee on Immigration, but off the Internet, where activists are distributing them by e-mail. (END VIDEOTAPE)
TUCKER: The reports are real. USCIS acknowledges publishing the reports and giving them to Congress in late November. But USCIS says it's not their job to distribute the reports to the public, that's up to Congress.
And, you know, Lou, it may serve in the congressional interests to not make the report widely available to the public, because there are some disturbing facts in that report, and Congress is about to take up debate on doubling that program again sometime this next couple of months.
DOBBS: Well, if they are going -- permitting -- I mean -- I mean, it's just mind-boggling. The program is under such intense criticism.
DOBBS: Just allowing employers to go over by 40 percent over the quotas, more than that, in point of fact, 40 to 70 percent, without effect -- the USCIS does not explain why it's not enforcing it, doesn't have the information, and is holding information back. And now Congress as well?
TUCKER: It gets better, actually, Lou, because when you talk to USCIS, they say, "It's not our responsibility to issue the visas. That falls to the State Department. We just approve the petitions."
DOBBS: And the relationship, of course, between the petition and the -- I mean, this is -- if the American people have not figured out that there is a corporatist agenda at work in this administration and throughout the bureaucracy, then I don't know what more we could possibly report.
And this Congress, whether Democratically controlled or not, has an absolute responsibility to ask, why aren't immigration laws being enforced? Why aren't the laws passed by this Congress being enforced? And the American people need to ask why does neither Congress nor the executive branch fulfill their duties, their constitutional duties?
It is remarkable what is happening in this country. It is on the verge of tragic.
Bill Tucker, thank you very much.
[End of excerpt from Lou Dobbs Tonight 26 January report.]
It is estimated that each immigrant to the
DOBBS: About $45 billion was sent to Latin American from
this country last year. Much of it originating from the hands of illegal
Casey Wian has the report.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Immigrants ins
DAN PATRICK, TEXAS STATE SENATE: The illegals are costing our state and our country billions of dollars. And we've got to be able to access to help pay for some of this while we're securing the border, which the feds aren't doing a very good job of.
WIAN: Remittances to
More than half of the money goes to
RUSSELL PEARCE, ARIZONA STATE HOUSE: Unless you can prove you paid taxes on it, you are not sending it out of country. It is about time we do something. I think this bill is a good start to recognize, again, those folks who that are sending money out of this country, in most case don't even belong here.
WIAN: The ACLU opposes efforts to restrict illegal alien remittances, saying it would cause people to favor informal ways of moving money instead of using mainstream financial institutions. And even supporters of state remittance crackdowns can see there are gray areas, including potential conflicts with federal jurisdiction over international commerce.
WIAN: That's why pro-border security lawmakers here in
DOBBS: How much, five?
WIAN: A thousand dollars for every worker they hire who has a mismatched Social Security number, and that would add up quick.
DOBBS: It would, I suppose. But it would be also just the cost of doing business for most of the illegal employers of these illegal aliens. You know, I have to say, it's somewhat ironic, Casey, when you talk about the tepid support for any sort of response to this issue in California, which has basically simply raised a white flag, if you will, over the whole issue of illegal immigration and border security.
WIAN: Absolutely. And the remittances from
DOBBS: And they're banning spanking there as well in
WIAN: Well, they're talking about it, but I'm not sure it's going to get through.
DOBBS: We love to watch what happens in
Thank you very much.
[End of Lou Dobbs excerpt.]
The hypocrisy of the
Most people have been following the farcial saga of the two
US Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and José Compean, who have been sent to prison for shooting an
illegal-alien drug smuggler. The
It is worse than that. The Border Patrol agents are required to give up a chase of an illegal alien if he does anything illegal, such as speed, or run a traffic light. They are required to call back to headquarters to obtain permission to continue pursuit. As a result, all an illegal alien has to do is speed away or run a stop light, and he is gone!
In the Ramos/Compean case, the officers fired upon an
illegal-alien drug smuggler. This is
against the rules. The
Many people are outraged that the
Quite some time ago, it was pointed out that the two agents would be harmed if they were sent to prison, since a large percentage of the prison population is illegal aliens – the very group they worked to imprison. For this reason, it was requested that the agents be allowed to be free on bail, pending an appeal. This was refused.
The plot thickens. In order for an appeal to be made, the appellate court requires a transcript of the original trial. But no one, it appears, is able to produce a transcript. Hence it is not possible for the appeal to proceed. And since the sentence was so severe, the government decided that it was not possible to let the agents remain free pending their appeal.
It was reported a few days ago that, as predicted, one of the imprisoned Border Patrol agents was severely beaten by other inmates. As they kicked him viciously, they screamed, “La Migra,” and “dale” (give it to him).
It is one thing for the government to operate a sham “border
control” program in which the Border Patrol agents are forbidden to take any
effective action to stop the illegal aliens.
But to then give harsh prison terms to hapless agents who, in their
enthusiasm to uphold the law, proceed to use force to defend the borders, is
just too much. The President of the
Here follows an excerpt from the
DOBBS: Outrage tonight over the beating of former Border
Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos. Ramos was assaulted in federal prison Saturday
evening by a group of men. His family is simply devastated. Lawmakers are angry
and outraged, and the Bush administration is ignoring please for justice.
Casey Wian reports.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Monica Ramos expected a phone call Monday to celebrate her husband's birthday, but when former Border Patrol Ignacio Ramos called from prison, where he's serving an 11-year sentence for shooting and wounding an illegal alien Mexican drug smuggler, this is what she heard...
MONICA RAMOS, WIFE OF IGNACIO RAMOS: "Monica," he says, "they got me. They got me good."
And I said, "What are you talking about?" He told me that he had been beaten up on Saturday night. I said, "You were beaten up?" And he just said, "Yes, I was."
WIAN: After watching an episode of "
RAMOS: At about , he was awoken to stomping of like -- they were wearing steel-toed boots. He could hear them running into his cubicle. They just repeatedly kicked him and cursed him in Spanish. Calling him (SPEAKING SPANISH).
You know, "Give it to him. Give it to him." And he said he just -- he couldn't move. He was outnumbered.
WIAN: A prison spokesman confirms Ramos reported the assault and sustained what the prison calls minor bruises and abrasions. Ramos has since been transferred to a special housing unit away from the general prison population while the assault is under investigation.
About 20 percent of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens. If those numbers hold true for the
For weeks, lawmakers have warned that Ramos and fellow agent Jose Compean would be in danger if sent to prison.
REP. TOM TANCREDO (R),
All you can do is put there on the weight. Add to the weight of things that you have actually given the White House already as for reasons why they should be pardoned.
TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We want to be careful about issuing pardons, and we're trying to be careful about the facts, which is why the Department of Justice is in the process of trying to get full transcripts of the trial of agents Compean and Ramos so you and everybody else who are willing to ask questions about this will be armed with facts.
WIAN: Congressman Duncan Hunter wrote President Bush Tuesday demanding an investigation into the attack and consequences for Bureau of Prisons officials who failed to protect former agent Ramos.
WIAN: One factor, Ramos chose to be housed with the general prison population instead of in protective custody so he could maintain regular contact with his family. Monica Ramos, his wife, also says she and her husband believed he would be housed with nonviolent offenders. Obviously that turned out not to be the case -- Lou.
DOBBS: And we should point out that he made that choice before being sent to this prison.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, Casey.
Joining me now with more on this case is our senior legal analyst and former prosecutor, Jeffrey Toobin.
Jeffrey, thanks for being here. And let's go through this.
Let's start with, first, the fact that federal officials put him into a general population with the very people that he was defending the country against -- known convicted drug smugglers, illegal aliens. I mean what the -- what in the world is going on?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: It's dangerous to be a law enforcement official in prison. That's something everyone knows. Unfortunately, they have some experience with that. But the prisoners themselves have a difficult decision to make, because do they take the risk in general population, or do they live segregated, which is a very difficult existence in and of itself?
DOBBS: Well, let's go to a number of other issues, because we had a number of congressmen warning that precisely this would happen. It has happened. We have got at this point a tepid response, at best, from the administration.
Let's go to some of the facts.
One, because White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said we're waiting for full transcripts so that we'll all be armed with the facts, I'm sure that if Mr. Snow would be so kind, he could watch this broadcast and learn a lot of the facts. And by the way, that prosecution was made by the executive branch's Justice Department. So if he wanted facts, the president could have them instantaneously.
Why in the world are we waiting on a transcript nearly a year after the end of the trial?
TOOBIN: This is bizarre. Perhaps not a phrase we want to use today, but it is not rocket science to produce transcripts. Every trial has a court reporter.
TOOBIN: You can't have an appeal before you have the full transcript. I mean, it's simply inexcusable not to have transcripts this late after a trial.
DOBBS: Ten months later, an appeal is being held up, the effectiveness of it. The fact is that the public doesn't have access to that. We don't have access to it. We can't even get it through Freedom of Information or any other way because this idiotic system will not give us the transcript of a trial that is so controversial.
TOOBIN: Well, and -- you know, the justice system stops in its tracks, because an appeals court can't evaluate a trial until they can read what happened. So it is totally unexpected. I've never seen this long for a transcript.
DOBBS: Well, let's go to a couple of other issues.
These men are in prison. Ignacio Ramos paying a price today -- or over the weekend. Why in the world aren't these men free on bail?
TOOBIN: The way judges look at the question of bail -- bail in general is -- they look at risk of flight and danger to the community. Clearly, under those two areas, both agents are not risks. They're not going to go out, hurt anybody else, and they are rooted in the community.
The problem is, they are already sentenced to long sentences, and in those circumstances, judges feel there's a presumption against bail-pending appeal. This was a close one. And they lost out.
And let's go to the issue of the fact that part of this is the request for a hearing because three jurors said they were coerced by the foreman in this trial to come to their decision. Why no hearing? Why no further exploration about it?
TOOBIN: Well, that's a lot of jurors to feel -- to feel coerced, to have potential juror misconduct. You know, just because jurors say they felt coerced, that's no guarantee that a trial will be overturned. But it does seem like it's grounds for a hearing, but you can't have a hearing until you have a transcript.
DOBBS: And so all of this is working very, very neatly and conveniently from the prosecution's standpoint and from a very controversial prosecution standpoint against the interests of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
TOOBIN: They're locked up. The Justice Department has won. So they're in no hurry to resolve this.
DOBBS: And apparently Tony Snow at the White House thinks the world fools, suggesting that everybody just continue to wait for a transcript. The arrogance of the U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney in this case, Johnny Sutton, in the way in which they have come forward not telling the facts -- one of the facts that we should go through, they have said that they had no choice but to give this drug smuggler immunity to testify. And they have not explained why they took the word of a drug smuggler and an an illegal alien over two sworn officers.
In point of fact, the drug smuggler was granted immunity -- to be very precise, I'm going to put on my glasses here, Jeffrey -- on
TOOBIN: What -- what they mean by forced to give them immunity is they had to give him immunity in order to make him a witness. They didn't have to use him as a witness, they didn't have to bring the case. If they wanted to bring the case, and if they wanted to use him as a witness, then they had to give him immunity because he was taking the fifth. And given all the criminal activity he was involved in, he was well advised to take the fifth.
DOBBS: But six days before they give him immunity, he admitted to a Border Patrol agent that he was unlawfully transporting illegal drugs.
TOOBIN: This is why prosecutors have so much power, because no matter what kind of criminal activity is admitted by someone, they can give immunity and wash all of those sins away if they think the prosecution is important enough. And apparently they thought this one was.
DOBBS: Partner, let me just ask you as a former prosecutor, a bright and capable lawyer, as well as our senior legal analyst, does this prosecution make one wit of sense to you?
TOOBIN: It's one of the most unusual prosecutions I've ever seen. Under these circumstances, in these facts, I am baffled why this case was brought. But, you know, a jury came back with a guilty verdict.
And it's -- and that's very tough to get overturned. I mean, whether an appeal or pardon. The chance is -- the chances are slim.
DOBBS: It's incredible. It's one of the reasons Capitol Hill and most of the country -- I won't say most of the country, but those who know about this case are absolutely fit to be tied.
TOOBIN: It's a tough one.
DOBBS: Thank you, Jeffrey Toobin. That wasn't particularly legalese. I think you were very straightforward on that.
Thank you, sir.
TOOBIN: I try to keep the legalese to a minimum.
DOBBS: Thank you, sir.
Jeffrey Toobin, who can legalese with the best of them.
[End of Lou Dobbs Tonight excerpt.]
The US government is not only guilty of treason in not
enforcing the Constitution’s requirement to defend the country from invasion,
it is hypocritical to the point of stupidity: It is obvious to everyone that
all of its actions to defend the borders and stem the flow of illegal aliens is
a sham, and it aids and abets illegal aliens by offering them free educational,
social, medical and economic services.
Over the past 42 years, since passage of the Immigration Act of 1965,
Here follows an excerpt from the
DOBBS: Another high-profile and controversial prosecution.
This one under attack by dozens of congressmen. They're seeking justice for
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
We're joined now by two of those congressmen: Congressman John Culberson, Republican,
Gentlemen, good to have you with us.
REP. JOHN CULBERSON, (R)
REP. TED POE, (R)
DOBBS: This looks like a clear case the Department of Homeland Security directly lying to you gentleman.
CULBERSON: Unfortunately, that's true. They lied it my subcommittee. They lied to all four of us, didn't they, Ted?
DOBBS: Congressman Poe, you're a former judge. What is -- how could this possibly happen?
POE: Well, it did happen. We met with the bureaucrats. They told us they had evidence that Compean and Ramos plotted and conspired that day to go out and shoot Mexican nationals. And they -- that's just a fabrication. That never happened.
So we asked for the documents. Those documents never appeared over four months. And finally through the Freedom of Information Act we were able to get certain documents that didn't substantiate what the government says occurred.
CULBERSON: And then in testimony before my subcommittee day before yesterday, Lou, I had Richard Skinner, the inspector general, in front of me under oath. And I asked him directly, "Where are the documents, and is it true what your investigators told us?"
And he said, "I'm sorry, Congressman, we misled you."
DOBBS: I mean, how can the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security -- is there any sort of repercussion? The fact that -- did they explain where they got that information or did they have any source for it or it was made up out of old cloth?
POE: The old double talk about where it came from. But it was a fabrication. And it's interesting, Lou, this whole case has to do with so-called cover up, misinformation by the Border agents. It turns out the federal government is the one that's giving this information about the whole case.
DOBBS: You know, I want to just share this with our viewers. The I.G. told you and Johnny Sutton has said -- the
How in the world with this information in front of the public can this kind of thing be tolerated?
POE: It can't be tolerated and have to be some consequences for the government mis -- giving misinformation, not telling the truth about the real facts of a criminal case, hiding evidence, dealing with drug dealers in back rooms. We want to get to the bottom of all of this and those people that are responsible for misinformation, they're going to be held accountable.
CULBERSON: And, Lou, Congressman Poe and I are both beginning with asking for Mr. Skinner's resignation, the resignation of these three individuals that lied to us directly. This was given -- this false information was given to us so we would quit pursuing this case, so we would believe these are rogue cops. And a terrible injustice has been done to these two Border Patrol agents and discouraged every other agent on the border from using their weapons in defense of themselves and this country. And that's a travesty.
DOBBS: This case really originated -- was driven by
POE: That is the question. Why was our government so relentless in prosecuting border agents?
If they were as relentless in protecting the border, the border would be protected. And so we're going to find out the motive behind all of this. It's really chilled the effect of border protection on the Texas-Mexico border and maybe that's the effect that somebody wanted.
CULBERSON: And, Lou, I can tell you in visiting wit visiting with Border Patrol agents in Arizona and in Texas the week before last, they tell me that the word among agents, their opinion is -- and I tend to agree with it -- that this was a political prosecution pursued to placate Mexico public opinion and to help Vicente Fox's candidate in the Mexican elections. And I think that's outrageous. It's unacceptable. The effect of this prosecution has been to chill every agent, every law enforcement officer on the border to make them hesitate and think twice before they pull their weapon. And that is dangerous. DOBBS: You know, yesterday one of your colleagues, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, he said that if one of these agents now in prison is killed, there will be serious talk of impeachment. What's your reaction to that?
POE: In my own personal opinion, I don't think that is the answer to follow right now. I certainly don't. The border agents, we put the prison authorities on notice that they could be injured. And they were. You know, I was a judge forever. And prison people know how to take care of all inmates. That's one of the things they are taught. And they just disregarded simple procedures in protecting Ramos in this case. That's another question we want to find out the answer. To and they should be held accountable.
CULBERSON: I also -- agree with Judge Poe that this -- impeachment's not appropriate. I do think first of all we need to focus on making sure these two officers are given an appeal bond so that they can get out of prison until the appeal is complete.
And then secondly, Lou, I hope you'll encourage your listeners to contact the White House and ask the president to issue a full and complete pardon to both of these officers for the sake of the national security of the
DOBBS: And those serving on the border are doing so with basically their hands tied behind their backs. And with this very clear statement by the
And as a matter of fact, gentlemen, we're going to be demonstrating why we think we can substantiate that very straight- forward priority here in just a few moments.
Congressman Culberson, Congressman Poe, we thank you both for being here, all that you are doing on behalf of these agencies, in truth, in justice, and I even believe in saying the American way. Because what has been pursued by this administration is, in my estimation, absolutely disgraceful. Thank you very much, gentlemen.
POE: Thank you, Lou.
CULBERSON: Lou, thank you for shining sunshine on this very important subject.
DOBBS: We try and we appreciate you doing exactly the same thing, and with your half making a difference.
CULBERSON: Thank you, sir.
DOBBS: We hope that justice can be arrived at here. We thank you for your efforts.
Coming up here next, we'll have much more on this case. And our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, joins us. We're going to be analyzing exactly what in the world was the Justice Department thinking? You're going to find it shocking. I'll tell you, it is absolutely shocking.
And there are new concerns tonight about the
And what is the state of race relations in the
DOBBS: For more now on the legal issues surrounding this Border Patrol agent case which I consider to be just a travesty of prosecution, we're turning to our senior legal analyst here at CNN, Jeff Toobin, former federal prosecutor, terrific attorney.
The idea of giving this drug smuggler, illegal alien, what's called limited use immunity to testify, what does that mean that the prosecutor could have done?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Lou, when you think about the powers of a federal prosecutor, there really is no greater power that a prosecutor has than the right to give immunity.
Now, the technical legal phrase is limited use immunity, but it's not really limited use immunity. It's immunity. It means you can essentially waive the pixie dust over whatever witness you want and say, we're going to wipe the slate clean. We're not going to prosecute for you -- whatever you have done, in return for your testimony in the case. It's a huge power. You can say to a murderer, we're not going to prosecute you for murder because we want you as a witness.
It's done, but it has to be done very judiciously, and it has to be done in service of a case that's worth it.
DOBBS: Johnny Sutton, U.S. attorney's office in this case, with that powerful immunity, and it is clearly stated in the I.G.'s report, chose not, according to these affidavits, to ask that drug smuggler a single thing about the people he was meeting, the car that he was to meet, with a million dollars in drugs, the safehouse that he was supposed to go to, or anything about the drug cartel.
TOOBIN: See, this is where the power is so extraordinary. Because basically as a prosecutor, you get to say, I care about case A and I don't care about case B. I care about prosecuting these Border Patrol agents and I don't care about the million dollars in drugs. That's a judgment that is completely within the discretion of the prosecutor, but it's an incredible power, when you think of weighing which crime is more serious.
DOBBS: Which is the more serious crime and which would you rather have information about? Assuming there is any legitimacy whatsoever. I mean, this drug smuggler actually lied to investigators initially, which he admits.
TOOBIN: It's all over the papers that he lied.
DOBBS: And this -- and Johnny Sutton makes a decision not to ask about the drug cartel that was employing the source of the drugs? A million dollars' worth that he's bringing in from
TOOBIN: And he was in
DOBBS: It's incredible. And this judgment, in your -- let me ask you this. In your view, can that kind of judgment be substantiated in any way by a prosecutor?
TOOBIN: Well, this is the thing. The system leaves it to the discretion of the prosecutor. The only remedy is through Congress and the pardon power, because there is no review of a decision to grant immunity.
DOBBS: Well, I'll conclude with my view on this, and you tell me if I'm wrong. If a U.S. attorney sitting in the state of Texas, or any one border state, takes the judgment and the word of an admitted, confessed, lying drug smuggler over distinguished Border Patrol agents, and then doesn't even attempt to find the source of those drugs and to find connections and the basis for stopping a drug cartel, somebody's out of their mind.
TOOBIN: Somebody needs to explain a lot better than they've done.
DOBBS: Jeffrey Toobin, thank you for being here.
[End of Lou Dobbs Tonight segment.]
Here follows an excerpt from the Time article:
Warlord or Druglord? By Bill Powell,
For a week and a half in April 2005, one of the favorite
warlords of fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was sitting in a room
at the Embassy Suites Hotel in lower
For several days he hunkered down in that hotel room and was
bombarded with questions by
He was wrong.
As he got up to leave, ready to be escorted to the airport
to catch a flight back to Pakistan, one of the agents in the room told him he
wasn't going anywhere. That agent, who worked for the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA), told him that a grand jury had issued a sealed indictment
against Noorzai 3 1/2 months earlier and that he was now under arrest for
conspiring to smuggle narcotics into the
Today, Noorzai, 43, sits in a small cell in the
high-security section of Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center, awaiting
a trial that may still be months away. But whatever his fate, the Case of the
Cooperative Kingpin raises larger questions about
It is in this context that
Valuable intelligence assets are seldom paragons, and the
best are valuable precisely because they have traveled down the darker alleys
and know where opportunities and danger lie. However unsavory the résumé, says
Alexis Debat, senior fellow at the
The Devolution of Afghanistan into druglord-run provinces is
a direct, if unintentional, result of five years of
Notwithstanding the fact that both men escaped, the plan
appeared to work well enough at first. The
Today opium cultivation in
One of the beneficiaries of that growth industry, according
to the DEA, is Noorzai. He inherited not only his land but also his trade from
his father. Several sources in
When the Taliban came to power in 1996, according to the
DEA, Noorzai reached the peak of his influence. While Taliban leader Mullah
Omar's tribal background is not known, he was always reliably supported by the
Noorzai tribe. Even when the ruling Taliban was cracking down on the opium
trade, Noorzai's closeness to the regime allowed Noorzai to become one of just
four big traffickers permitted to grow and process poppies, according to Jamil
Karzai, a current member of the Afghan parliament and a second cousin of
President Hamid Karzai's. In 1997, the DEA says, Noorzai's organization had
successfully shipped 57 kilos of heroin, most likely through
Noorzai's position as tribal leader was more than an
honorific. Leadership is not simply inherited: while descent is important, a chief
usually emerges by consensus, recognized for his military prowess, his
charisma, and his skill with money and negotiation. Noorzai needed all those
qualities when the world changed on
A month after the U.S. invasion, Noorzai sent word via one
of his relatives, a man named Khalid Pashtoon, to say he wanted to meet with
the U.S. military. It is a testament to either craftiness or desperation that
Noorzai turned to Pashtoon, who despite the family tie was a key aide to a
rival tribal chief who often clashed with Noorzai. But that enemy was one of
Noorzai has a flair for the dramatic gesture. In January
2002, to convince the Americans that he wanted to work with them and
demonstrate not only his worth but his influence over his tribe, he delivered
15 trucks loaded with weaponry, including about 400 antiaircraft missiles, that
the Taliban had concealed in his tribal villages. The gesture apparently had
the desired effect. Over the next few months, Noorzai said he met with
Toward that end, Noorzai says, he played a critical role in
delivering up the Taliban Foreign Minister, who had fled, like much of the
A second and similar incident followed a few months later.
Noorzai says he had persuaded a former mujahedin fighter named Haji Birqet
Khan, 75, who was close to the Taliban, to come out of hiding in
Noorzai had seen more than enough. "I thought I would
be next," he says. He ceased to aid the Americans and fled to
In early 2004, however, Noorzai says, President Karzai's
brother phoned to lobby him to talk to the Americans again. "'You are a
tribal leader,'" Noorzai said Wali Karzai told him. "'You can
help.'" Separately, Noorzai got a call from Saitullah Khan Babar, a friend
and former officer in
In early April 2004, he traveled to
A friend who had accompanied Noorzai to the meetings
interjected, "You should tell them whatever you know. They want to know
how much you know. Do you understand?" Noorzai replied, "I am telling
them as much as I know, but I'm not going to say something baseless." The
Americans then asked what he knew about al-Qaeda's high command. The answers
were not illuminating. Bin Laden? Noorzai admitted to "seeing" him
only once, in
Nor would Noorzai provide any confirmation for his
interrogators' obvious suspicions that he was in the drug business. When
pressed about how he made his living, Noorzai said he inherited land in
Noorzai did, however, provide information on individuals who might be helping to steer money to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In a transcript, he says he would continue to do so. There is no question that elements of what he says--if true--would be extremely useful to American interests. He talks in some detail about current members of the Afghan government and other prominent Afghans he suspects are involved in the drug trade--even while insisting that he was not.
That was not what the Americans believed. On
Noorzai was the smallest of the big fish, but only because the list included Latin American heavyweights at the time considered the most powerful and dangerous crime families on the planet. It is possible, a sign of either immense confidence or sloppiness, that Noorzai did not know he had made the top 10 kingpin list that was posted on international law-enforcement websites. But a simple Google search might have warned him off his next move.
Brian emphasized the benefits of Noorzai's turning over good
intelligence: "Any high-quality information [you] can provide us ... on
money movements, on other key people we should be talking to ... the more
cooperation we get from [you], the more [you're] going to be seen as a
tremendous asset in this effort back in the United States." Noorzai
clearly thought he could offer all that. "I'm not afraid of you [Americans]
now," he told his inquisitors. "When do we go to
Had he known more about American politics and the eternal
tensions between branches of government, he might not have been so ready to hop
on a plane. Given his new ranking as a kingpin, it would have been potential
political suicide for any
But could it be that senior officials in
Even if Noorzai wasn't fully reliable, it's fair to ask why
his offer wasn't taken up.
Now, in the Taliban's traditional stronghold in the
south--where Noorzai's tribe lives--the radical Islamic group is actively encouraging
poppy cultivation on a grand scale, a dramatic shift from its days in power
when its puritanical tenets forbade drugs and drug trafficking. Why the change?
As a Western diplomat in
"God willing, I look forward to my trial," Noorzai
says in detention in
The prosecution remains silent about its plans, but sources
say the government will insist on the importance of the Noorzai catch. He is,
says a Western official with detailed knowledge of the case, the "Pablo
The trial can be seen as a test case for the costs and
benefits of arresting and prosecuting a man like Noorzai. Does the potential
cost to the battle against terrorism in
For his part, Noorzai insists that his offer to help
With reporting by Aryn Baker /