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Snitches & Plea Bargains…

Without snitches and plea bargains, there would hardly be a prison system.  Cops would have to actually learn and perform detection work (which is mostly TV fiction), and prosecutors and judges would have to try cases.

Haji Juma Khan

In a system where an abundance of the criminalization of individuals includes a multitude of sin/religious, moral, and consensual crimes, over 90% of felonies charged are plea bargained to avoid trial.

This tends to have defendants grossly over-charged to begin with in anticipation that the charges will later be plea-bargained.  Kind of like the boosted “sales” in many stores…fiction to begin with.  Another gambit is charging, or threatening to charge, family members.  “Cooperate,” and they go free.  Conservatives prefer the idea of justice as “business.”

Further, given that a reactionary conservative regimen of retribution and punishment lies at the heart of American jurisprudence and incarceration, fully 2/3rds of all prisoners will return to prison within 3 yrs of their release.  (Abused persons tend to become abusers…)

Therefore, the vicious cycle of authoritarian, abusive discipline ensures ever longer sentences (“Hell, if 10 yrs didn’t work, let’s try 20 yrs!”).  This includes a conservative appellate mindset of “Quit your bitchin’; do your time!”  (You get what you pay for…)

U.S. Protected “farmer”…

The story that prompted these thoughts is that of the senior Afghan drug lord, Haji Juma Khan.  He was arrested and extradited to NYC back in October of 2008.  Khan is currently plea bargaining his charges related to his $billion/yr opium business.

When the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, Khan was a relatively minor drug smuggler.  When the US put an opium-friendly gov’t in power (Karzai and his brother), and Afghanistan returned to being the largest producer of that drug in the world (of which morphine and heroin is produced), Khan was in a position to act as a go-between with all the factions, including the Karzais, the Taliban and the US (which paid him $millions for his information).

For the DEA, he became an important snitch who ratted out his competition.  This allowed him to rise to the top of the drug hierarchy.  For the CIA, he could throw them enough intel on the Taliban to keep them dolts happy–for awhile.  Meanwhile, he also dealt with Paki Intelligence and a number of drug lords.

Khan traveled back and forth to the US, courtesy of the DEA and CIA in his new-found ally status.  But, as I could have told him from my flying days in Colombia, Belize and the Carib, that’s a manscape of foggy mirrors.  Trust these characters at your peril.

Toward the end of 2008, with the DEA reaching the top of the drug ladder in Afghanistan, the Administration of Bush & Co. seeking scapegoats for their failing criminal war policies (and threats to their own business interests), and the CIA finding Khan’s political intel suspect and otherwise less and less useful, he was abandoned to the Justice Department.  Who’s gonna complain?  Khan?

But, hey.  Don’t cry too hard for Haji Juma Khan.  His NY attorney, Steven Zisson, just fired a shell across the current Administration’s bow.  Zisson publicly stated—along with the usual protestations of innocence—that his client, Khan, never worked for the CIA.   

(Internal message:  “Guess what we know and what our defense is gonna be?”  Forget WikiLeaks.  You think Obama & Co. wanta read pretty much the same stuff on the court record?)

I doubt that Mr. Khan will be inconvenienced too much longer…  It’s all about business…

               Dr. Publico

Category: Drugs, Snitching
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