drug cartels

Osama and Al-Qaeda II: The “War on Drugs”

“Drug networks are important factors in the politics of every continent. The United States returns repeatedly to the posture of fighting wars in areas of petroleum reserves with the aid of drug-trafficking allies – drug proxies – with which it has a penchant to become involved.”

– Peter Dale Scott, writer, political analyst


US and NATO presence in Afghanistan had long been viewed as an increasing financial burden notwithstanding the rise in suicides and deaths, with many questioning why it is that the respective armies were even there. (50% more US soldiers committed suicide in Afghanistan in 2012 than were killed in the country). [1] As Islamic militants and various strains of Al-Qaeda rebels are currently fighting alongside US, Israeli and NATO backed forces in Syria, the irony has not been lost on many members of the public who are beginning to see that they’ve been had.

A March 2013 Harvard Kennedy School Faculty Research study by Linda J. Bilmes and Daniel Patrick Moynihan placed the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in their proper financial perspective by calculating the cost for US taxpayers at $4 trillion to $6 trillion. That is an almost unimaginable number. The so-called war on terror and the fight against Al-Qaeda is slowly losing credibility even amongst the most staunchly nationalistic. Since the US military used 1.8 billion rounds of ammunition a year and imported bullets from Israel, the most militarised country on earth, then we can get some idea of how important this region is. For every rebel killed, it costs around a quarter of a million dollars which means that it could not continue forever – at least not at the same level of expenditure.[2] Controlling the regional drug-trafficking in the country plays a huge role in covert operations as it provides enormous income for black ops away from Congressional oversight. Nonetheless, US/NATO forces were desperate to secure their drug fortunes before pulling out and leaving a skeleton force to watch over them.

opium-fields-15

“An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier provides security during a satellite patrol along a poppy field in Marjah, Afghanistan, April 17, 2012.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David A. Perez/Released, Source: Public Intelligence )

As we know from early posts in this series, after oil and the arms trade, drug trafficking is the third biggest global commodity with human trafficking following closely behind. Entry into Afghanistan wasn’t just a geo-political move but had multiple purposes, one of which was to allow Anglo-America to hark back to the British East India’s monopoly of Indochina opium by controlling the drug routes, with the CIA as one of the main suppliers. Drug smuggling and terrorism have a tried and tested symbiotic relationship. It is probable that one could not exist without the other. With the recent fines of imposed on HSBC bank for acting as chosen money launderer for drug cartels the world over it is not an exaggeration that underworld propped up the global economic architecture as toxic assets did their work. In 2015, it won’t be so easy.

The global narcotics market is estimated to be worth between $400-500 billion a year in profits with a more realistic figure being around $100 billion. [3] (Estimates focusing on profits, turnover and trade are routinely confused.) Heroin is the No.1 drug of choice for global addicts and organised crime, the intelligence community, commerce and banking which has effectively blurred to the point that there is no real distinction. International banking is saturated in drug money as a normal part of its financial architecture with IMF estimates at $590 billion and 1.5 trillion dollars in laundered money flowing through sequestered channels each year, representing 2-5 percent of global GDP. [4] That means competition for strategic control over these heroin routes.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that in 2003, opium production in Afghanistan generated “an income of one billion US dollars for farmers and US $1.3 billion for traffickers, equivalent to over half of its national income.”  [5] Almost a decade later, profits had increased by 18 percent alone between 2011 and 2012 according to the United Nations’ 2012 opium survey, which was undertaken with the Afghan Ministry of Counter-narcotics. This is one reason why Obama has reneged on yet another promise to withdraw US troops from the region. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a bilateral security agreement in November 2013 between the United States and Afghanistan that would allow for a lasting American troop presence through 2024. Billions of dollars of international assistance will be given to the government in Kabul, and by default, allow dominance in the drug trade to continue.

opium-fields-2

U.S. Marine Corp in Opium field 2012. (Source: Public Intelligence )

Afghanistan is the largest grower and exporter of opium on the planet with a 92 percent market share of the global opium trade. [6] It is therefore no coincidence that the US military still guards the poppy fields in order to protect their multi-billion dollar trade from the Taliban who know exactly why it is so important to US interests. It was only after the September 11th attacks and the rise of the Mujahedeen that the drugs trade began to really take off. After the Bush Administration gave the go ahead for the US military and NATO allies to invade Afghanistan in October 2001 under the ridiculous label of “Operation Enduring Freedom” opium cultivation increased by 657 percent. [7] Today, the CIA’s dominance in the Golden Crescent drug trafficking region was only made possible with help from the US proxy Afghan government members such as Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of President Hamid Karzai who had been on the CIA payroll just after the 9/11 attacks. [8] As well as weapons and training, drugs were a central part of the funding of the Afghan war and the role of the Mujahedeen with BCCI acting as launderer. International narcotics traffickers were crawling all over Afghanistan many of whom were on the payroll of the George H. W Bush’s CIA. The Pakistani government and the ISI were known to be a major facilitator of the drug trade. Even before the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan, the CIA had been funding Mujahideen guerrilla groups in the region as a part ISI alliance building.

The CIA’s military-intelligence operation in Afghanistan, and the “Islamic brigades” it created was originally formulated as the usual tactic of triggering civil wars in order to capture resources, be it minerals, opium or oil. In 1973 Afghan Prince Muhammad Daoud deposed the Afghan king with a little help from the Soviet Union, and an Afghan Republic was established. Which is where the CIA jumped in with their plan to fund Islamist extremists, including Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who would go on to be not only the leader in the resistance movement opposing the Soviets, but the most powerful Mujahedeen drug lord in Afghanistan. [9]

hekmatyr1

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (Source: AP/BBC News)

In April, 1985 President Ronald Reagan signed a secret order called the “National Security Decision Directive 166,” which gave the CIA official directives to expel the Russians ‘by all means available.’ Over the next decade the U.S. spent $10 billion to arm and train the Mujahideen. By 1986, while the Iran-Contra scandal was about to loom over the horizon an “overwhelming arsenal of guns and missiles” descended upon Mujahideen from the Reagan administration. Along with these weapons was a massive propaganda push targeting the Afghan schools with “$43 million just for the school textbooks.” This was achieved with the help of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the CIA working together “providing education behind enemy lines,” and: “… military support against enemies lines.” Afghan war chiefs “…were allowed to decide the school curriculum and the content of the textbooks,” where the content included violence and images of war designed to breed new fighters and condition children resistance towards the Russian invasion. [10] The purposeful stimulation and creation of Islamic fundamentalism was predicated on the CIA’s drug money beginning with Hekmatyar and with a little help from Saudi Arabia, received more than $1 billion.  [11]

Located at the crossroads of Central, South, and Western Asia, overlapping Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, are multi-billion dollar drug routes protected by the US-sponsored government in Kabul. Michel Chossudovsky explains how the narcotics trade is determined by: “A hierarchy of prices” as a farming price in Afghanistan translated to retail price in fashionable cities in the West worth billions of dollars, “… sustained and supported by the US ‘War on Terrorism’.”


hsbcHSBC bank was fined over billion pounds for acting as money launderer for a variety of global drug cartels. Since it was only fined and not closed down it is free to continue its activities. HSBC and Barclays Bank are among many others in the banking industry who were also fined for rigging the market. Since these two banking corporations are the two main pillars of our present financial architecture closing them down wasn’t an option, as it would mean a total collapse. This was a deflection of objective reality that the core of global banking is both the purveyor, and completely dependent on, what is normalised fraud and corruption.


The proceeds of this vast drug trade is handled by the banks in the following fashion:

Drug money is laundered in the numerous offshore banking havens in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the British Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands and some 50 other locations around the globe. It is here that criminal syndicates involved in the drug trade and the representatives of the world’s largest commercial banks interact. Dirty money is deposited in these offshore havens, which are controlled by major Western banks and financial institutions. The latter, therefore, have a vested interest in maintaining and sustaining the drug trade.

… Once the money has been laundered, it can be recycled into bona fide investments not only in real estate, hotels, etc., but also in other areas such as the services economy and manufacturing. Dirty and covert money is also funneled into various financial instruments including speculative stock exchange transactions (derivatives), primary commodities, stocks and government bonds.  [12]

The repercussions of the CIA-Afghan drug lords and the domination of the opium fields meant heroin found an even greater supply from young Americans.  [13] In the 1980s drug related deaths shot through the roof as a result. Independent journalist Andrew Gavin Marshall summarises the impact: “… drug-related deaths in New York City rose 77 percent since 1979” and: “By 1981, the drug lords in Pakistan and Afghanistan supplied 60 percent of America’s heroin. Trucks going into Afghanistan with CIA arms from Pakistan would return with heroin ‘protected by ISI papers from police search.’ ”  [14]

By 1994, in a religious and economic vacuum Afghanistan saw the rise of the Taliban and its attempts to eradicate drugs and opium field production from the Afghan social landscape. The success in significantly reducing opium production, an economic livelihood for the CIA and Pakistani drug lords, was in large part the reason for the appearance of the Northern Alliance, a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in late 1996 under the leadership of Defence Minister and CIA asset Ahmad Shah Massoud. The Afghan Taliban had a war on their hands which comprised of the Pakistan’s military, Al-Qaeda and most of the ethnic groups of Afghanistan including Tajiks, Pashtuns, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmen and others.

In 2002, a campaign against genuine human rights abuses was highlighted as a pretext for removing the Taliban from power even though US/NATO forces had created its original power base in order to help fight the Soviet invasion. Now, presiding over a vast increase in military spending for NATO and the US and despite increasing economic problems at home, opium production went through the roof and straight into the pockets of various interested parties, including Afghan drug lords, Al-Qaeda, the CIA, Pakistani ISI and various Northern Alliance parties. It was carnival time.

What is also conveniently forgotten in so much media commentary is the nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, identified by the US Pentagon officials which is another reason why the Ghazni Province has become such a jewel in the crown of imperial aspirations. Included in the deposits of iron, copper, cobalt and even gold is possibly the largest source of lithium which is crucial in the production of all electronic devices from lap-tops, to mobile phones, weapons to aircraft consoles, which is why the Pentagon has described it as the “Saudi Arabia of Lithium.”  [15]

As New York Times reporter John Risen explains in his 2010 article: “Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country. The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources.”  [16]

2010-06-19-14mineralsgraphicpopup

The United States presence in Afghanistan intended to drive a wedge between those oligarchs and encroaching Chinese interests so that it can corner the market in rare minerals as well as oil and narcotics. However, as the mid-1990s approached, the legacy of US interference in the region and the end of the Soviet-Afghan war had produced a maelstrom of militant Islamic training camps drawing in fighters from all over the world. Osama bin Laden returned from the Sudan in 1996 in order to command his own camps alongside warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who took the lion’s share of control as the civil war raged about them. Afghanistan has become another narco-state of US induced chaos or, as one warlord exclaims:

“… essentially a lawless country. There is no civil law, no government, no economy—only guns and drugs and anger. … “For us, Afghanistan is destroyed. It is turning to poison, and not only for us but for all others in the world. If you are a terrorist, you can have shelter here, no matter who you are. Day by day, there is the increase of drugs. Maybe one day [the US] will have to send hundreds of thousands of troops to deal with that. And if they step in, they will be stuck. We have a British grave in Afghanistan. We have a Soviet grave. And then we will have an American grave.”  [17]

Since 1982 – 1991 Afghan opium production rose from 250 tons to 2,000 tons thanks largely to CIA support and their funding of the Mujahideen. However, bin Laden suffered heavy financial losses in 1991 with the closure of BCCI by US officials and could no longer rely on funding from his CIA superiors. This turn of affairs forced him to launder money from the drug trade to recoup his losses which gradually grew into a financial network, fully merging Islamic militancy with the global drug trade.  [18] According to author Roland Jacquard, “… Some of the money was handed back to organizations such as the FIS [a political party in Algeria]. Another portion was transferred by Ayman al-Zawahiri to Switzerland, the Netherlands, London, Antwerp, and Malaysia.” Money was also “… transferred from BCCI to banks in Dubai, Jordan, and Sudan controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.”  [19]

Author Adam Robinson stated in his investigation into bin Laden: “During the summer of 1991 he discreetly made contact with many of the wealthiest of these individuals, especially those with an international network of companies … Within months, Osama unveiled before an astonished al-Turabi what he called ‘the Brotherhood Group.’”

The Muslim Brotherhood and their vast wealth replaced the BCCI as the main source of funding for Islamic militants and allowed a fascist form of Islamism and the growth of Al-Qaeda to flourish, sometimes straining at the leash of the Anglo-American intelligence apparatus.  [20]

 


Notes

[1] ‘Suicides at 10-year high in US military’ Associated Press, guardian.co.uk, June 8, 2012. “In the first 155 days of 2012 there was 154 suicides among active troops, around 50% more than the number killed in action in Afghanistan, according to Pentagon statistics obtained by Associated Press. This is the highest number in 10 years. Combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of drugs and debt problems blamed for increase.”
[2] ‘US Forced to Import Bullets from Israel as troops use 250,000 for every Rebel killed’ By Andrew Buncombe, The Belfast Telegraph, January 10, 2011. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/
[3] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (1997) – ‘World Drugs Report’ | ‘Size of the drug market’ Transfrom Drug policy Foundation http://www.tdpf.org.uk | “In the 2005 World Drugs Report the UNODC put the value at US$13bn at production level, $94bn at wholesale level and US$332bn based upon retail prices. It also acknowledged that the US$400bn figure had been criticised by some experts as being too high.”
[4] ‘HSBC money-laundering scandal almost puts Barclays in shade’ – “Being accused by Senate of operating money-laundering conduit for ‘drug kingpins and rogue nations’ is as bad as it gets” by Nils Pratley, The Guardian, 17 July 2012. | ‘Libor or Money-Laundering? Focus on Arcane Rate Rigging Reveals Deeper Media Prejudice’ By Martin Baccardax, International Business Times, July 17, 2012. | ‘Global banks are the financial services wing of the drug cartels’ By Ed Vulliamy, The Observer, July 21, 2012.
[5] The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) http://www.unodc.org/
[6] UNODC World Drug Report 2011: http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/WDR2011/World_Drug_Report_2011_ebook.pdf (p.20)
[7] ‘War on drugs revealed as total hoax – US military admits to guarding, assisting lucrative opium trade in Afghanistan’ by Ethan A. Huff, Natural News, November 16, 2011.www.naturalnews.com/
[8] ‘Brother of Afghan Leader Said to Be Paid by C.I.A.’By Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti and James Risen. The New York Times, October 27, 2009.
[9] op. cit. Dreyfuss (pp.260-263)
[10] ‘Back to school in Afghanistan’ CBC News Online, January 27, 2004. | The National, Airdate: May 6, 2002 Reporter: Carol Off, Producer: Heather Abbott ,Editor: Catherine McIsaac. | “American interests were well served. But after the defeat of the Soviet empire, the U.S. abandoned Afghanistan. The country descended into civil war. The U.S. gave almost no money to help rebuild after the war against the Soviets and no money to rewrite the school textbooks.”
[11] ‘Sources Claim CIA aid Fuelled Trade Center Blast’ by Colin Milner, Boston Herald, 1994.
[12] pp.232-233; America’s “War on Terrorism” by Michel Chossudovsky, Published by Global Research, 2005.
[13] The CIA has unquestionably been the agency at the forefront of the drugs and turning much of US society into a drug-dependent culture. On the CIA’s website wwwcia.gov/ we read “Helping Them Say No to Drugs” as the title on their “parents and teachers” page. They go on to say: “The CIA is proud to be at the forefront of the War on Drugs, but we only win this war with everyone’s help.” They even have a “kids page”. Rather like a serial killer giving advice on how to counsel his victims with the knife still at their throats.
[14] ‘The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda:The CIA’s Drug-Running Terrorists and the “Arc of Crisis” Part I By Andrew Gavin Marshall, Global Research, September 05, 2010.
[15]’‘U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan’By James Risen, The New York Times, June 13, 2010.
[16] Ibid.
[17] ‘Blow-back from the Afghan Battlefield’ By Tim Weiner, The New York Times, 1994.
[18] ‘Drug trade filled coffers of Taliban, Bin Laden Group,’ By James Rosen The Star Tribune, September 30,2001 | ‘Collapse of BCCI shorts Bin Laden’ By Richard Sale, United Press International, March 1, 2001.
[19] In the Name of Osama Bin Laden: Global Terrorism and the Bin Laden Brotherhood by Roland Jacquard, Samia Serageldin (Editor) Published by Diane Pub. Co. 2002. | ISBN-10: 0756767113 (p. 129)
[20] pp.138-139; Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of the Terrorist by Adam Morrison. Published by Arcade Publishing, 2002. | ISBN-10: 1559706406.

Amerikan Beauty I

By M.K. Styllinski

“Off goes the head of the king, and tyranny gives way to freedom. The change seems abysmal. Then, bit by bit, the face of freedom hardens, and by and by it is the old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, and another. But under the play of all these opposites there is something fundamental and permanent — the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.”

H.L. Mencken, The American Credo: A Contribution Toward the Interpretation of the National Mind


sofL

© infraksun

Before we continue exploring the proliferating child rape networks which are STILL operating across our rapidly ponerised world, we’ll take a brief tour into the subject of the missing.

It may come as a surprise for most of us to learn that procedures and protocols for missing persons are either absent or woefully inadequate from the majority of local and state governments. The Doe Network, an American, internet-based resource was set up by an amateur group of concerned individuals in response to the serious lack of law enforcement record keeping. Unsolved homicides, runaways, abductions and death from natural causes are some of the primary reasons for disappearances of children and adults every day. The daily drum roll of missing persons is a silent crisis of global proportions with causes that are both multifaceted and highly complex. When it comes to finding accurate statistics on the level of missing children when such investigations are given a low priority due to the sheer magnitude of the problem, then studies can become rather misleading and outdated as is the case today.

The FBI’s National Crime Information Centre (NCIC) is the only mandatory reporting system in the United States which gives us a good idea as to how seriously the epidemic of missing persons is taken by law enforcement. Although it is federal law that all children reported missing or abducted must be entered into NCIC at the time a police report is taken, there is evidence to suggest that this is not taking place, quite apart from the lack of reporting in itself. It is also apparent that child agencies, advocates and non-profit charities and organizations are not receiving this information in order to provide a partially accurate picture of the issue. As a backdrop to this, missing person experts estimate that the bodies of 40,000 to 50,000 unidentified men, women and children have been found by police in the US during the past 50 years, [1] though once again, this could be a conservative estimate judging from the scale of the problem and the lack of resources devoted to it.


  1.  Alan John Westerfield aged 5 Missing since September 12, 1964 from North Carolina. Classification: Endangered Missing
  2.  Jie Zhao Li aged 12  Missing since February 11, 1988 from Honolulu, Hawaii.  Classification: Endangered Missing
  3.  David Michael Borer aged 8  Missing since April 26, 1989 from Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska.  Classification: Non Family Abduction
  4. Christine Green aged 16  Missing since April 23, 1985 from Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Classification: Endangered Missing
  5. Tania Marie Murrell aged 6 Missing since January 20, 1983 from Edmonton, Alberta Canada Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  6. Tanja Afra Maria Groen aged 18 Missing since August 31, 1993 from Maastricht, Netherlands, Classification: Missing
  7. Ana Maria Luviano Cabrera aged 17 Missing since August 16, 1996 from Izcalli Piramides,  Tlalnepantla, Mexico. Classification: Missing
  8. Beatriz A. Cervantes Barrera aged 7 – Missing since February 23, 1992 from Mexico. Classification: Endangered Missing
  9. Jonathan Ivan Esquivel Negrete aged one month – Missing since July 4, 1995 from Colonia Loma Linda, Naucalpan, Estado de Mexico, Mexico, Classification: Endangered Missing
  10. Revelle Balmain  aged 24 – Missing since November 5, 1994 from Kingsford, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Classification: Endangered Missing
  11. Melissa Ann Schmidt aged 15 – Missing since September 5, 1995 from Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska Classification: Endangered Missing

Looking at those photos of children and adults alike is a poignant experience. There seems to be an everyday underworld of the forgotten. Once beyond the media radar they are quite literally, out of sight and out of mind. Although nationwide crime was said to be going down in the US rape is still on the increase with the frequency of murders rising. Even though Europe is a more dangerous and violent place than a generation ago (between 1975 and 2000, crime rose 97 percent in France, 145 percent in England, 410 percent in Spain) crime overall is falling. While quoting statistics is not the most fascinating arena of information, it is worth exploring what is available in this context.

According to a Scripps Howard News Service study of confidential FBI records, the vast majority of unidentified bodies go unreported to state or federal authorities because here is no requirement from local authorities to register cases to outside agencies. The lack of authority from state coroners and under-funding is also a significant factor. Missing persons are by far the most extensive in the US. The Interstate Association for Stolen Children (IASC) in Sacramento, California has one of the highest rates of missing children in America and believes that drugs, pornography and prostitution comprise the typical tripartite pursuits of crime organizations. IASC Executive Director Greg Mengell described a case in which “three small drug cartels were competing for business in the same area. After one ring burned down the headquarters of another, a child was kidnapped in retaliation. In this case, one of the cartels also had connections to a pornography ring and a “Satanic cult.”

Although over 2000 – 3,600 children go missing in the country every day,[2] which includes an estimate of unreported cases, law enforcement officials say the sector of missing persons is hugely under-reported as a whole, where the actual number could be more than four to five times higher. As it stands, the statistics from 1997-1999 within the USA alone has estimated 797,500 children reported missing which equates to an average of 91 children disappearing every hour. With 58,200 children abducted by non-family, where children are taken by force or threat of bodily harm, the total works out to more than 159 per day at 6 children per hour.

In percentage terms, the study concluded that nearly 50 percent were assaulted by their abductor. When the child is told to leave home or leaves home without permission, otherwise called “runaway or thrownaway” children these cases totalled more than 682, 900 equating to 1870 per day. 115 children were the victims of the most serious, long-term non-family abductions called “stereotypical kidnappings,” and where court orders were violated resulting in the victims of family abductions, the number reached 203,900. [3]

By the year 2000 the NCIC recorded a significant rise to 876,213, where 85 percent – 90 percent were listed as juveniles reported missing. 152,265 of the persons reported missing in 2000 was categorized as either endangered or involuntary. The number of missing persons reported to law enforcement has increased from 154, 341 in 1982 to 876,213 in 2000. That is an increase of 468 percent.[4]

If we are to believe the FBI, 99 percent of the nearly 800,000 reports of missing persons each year are solved, leaving a manageable 8,000 – to 10,000. (Far be it for me to level scurrilous accusations of statistical bias here, but it seems to be a slightly excessive success rate). The vast majority of abuse and exploitation cases are perpetrated by people they know, or from acquaintances. However, when we look at the ratio of children who are abducted and murdered then the story changes dramatically in that 57 percent of these murders are committed by someone unknown to the victim where the family involvement drops to 9 percent. [5] Psychiatric disability, diminished mental capacity, a physical disability, a need for medication, issues with substance abuse, domestic violence, financial difficulties and many other factors can contribute to disappearances which are often much more complex than they first appear.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health an estimated 22.1 percent of Americans ages 18 and older – 1 in 5 adults – suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. This figure translates to 44.3 million people.[6] There is a high probability that depressive disorders are appearing earlier in life from people born in recent decades compared to the past.  The figure of 20 percent attributed to children in the US estimated to have mental disorders with at least mild functional impairment, may be another major factor that places children in vulnerable situations attracting abductions and other criminal cross-overs.[7] Though the suicide rate amongst children has declined since 1992 it remains the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24. In 2001, 3,971 suicides were reported in this group.[8]

The average victim of abduction and murder is an 11-year-old girl with a stable family relationship. First contact with her abductor usually occurs within a quarter-mile of her own home.[9] Parental kidnapping can no longer be viewed as a domestic issue and buried under the cultural carpet. Statistics show that there are many children taken from their spouse and once beyond national boarders are seldom seen again. This is a common problem in USA and Europe, in turn connected in particular to the Middle East where interracial marriages go sour. Children are on the run, in a cultural limbo and the roots that they may have had established in their formative years have been lost leading to a greater propensity for maladjustment and psychological damage in later life. There is also a clear pattern between male and female victims. The murder by strangers of young/infant male victims from the 1-5 age groups, teenage males 13-15 years and 16-17 years are all roughly around 60 – 64 percent. [10] While the young/infant females are usually killed by friends and acquaintances the older females in the 16-17 age bracket are murdered by strangers both at 64 percent. [11] Yet after a decline in murder rates in 2004 by 5.7 percent, the first time in five years there had been a decrease in the nationwide murder rate, it however rose again in 2005 by 2.1 percent and has continued to climb. Murder by those unknown clearly comes out on top. So, who are these “unknowns”?

“When it bleeds it leads” is one crude maxim from the media which most of us heard at one time or another yet it could also be said that “if she’s white, blond and sexy then she’s on the front page.”

Kym Pasqualini, President for The National Center for Missing Adults, and Missing Persons Advocacy Network based in Phoenix said the media tends to focus on “damsels in distress”—typically, affluent young white women and teenagers. “We’d like to see a little more diversity in reporting because we have cases that never make the front page of the local newspaper, let alone the national media,”… “All parents are going through the same thing, no matter how much attention their case gets.” [12] Hispanic, black and mixed race kids are way down on the list of media coverage.

The National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children reported 1,159 African American children Missing in 2000 the highest figures ever recorded for the organization. Although figures dropped by 2002 this had little to do with an upturn in media awareness of black children. More recently, in June of 2005 a report surfaced of boys from Africa being murdered in England’s London Churches with cultural links to West Africa where “aggressive” forms of exorcism are practiced. Scotland Yard “traced only two of 300 black boys aged four to seven reported missing from London schools in a three month period. The true figure for missing boys and girls is feared to be several thousand a year.” The report revealed that:

“… there is a wide gulf between these [ethnic] communities and social services and protection agencies with many people in ethnic communities scared to speak out. The report concludes police face a ‘wall of silence’ when dealing with such cases. Experts differ on the merits of the Scotland Yard report. […] ‘It is people in positions of power and money that are manipulating poor people.’” [13]

No change there.

Though there is clearly merit and truth in the report it will also provide more fuel for those who see this as an immigration problem. One wonders why thousands of ethnic children go missing and where “cultural links” have no connection whatsoever. Even media advocacy that may take up the reins of an apathetic police force can have repercussions as Brian Maitland discovered, whose daughter Brianna disappeared in March 2004, near Montgomery, Vermont: ‘As the parents, we receive many tips that we forward to police,’ Maitland wrote, ‘Are they acted on? Who knows? Police tell you nothing about what they are doing with your case and tips, but we know the results. NOTHING.’”

The National Crime Information Centre itself is under serious strain with 17 separate databases under its umbrella. Over 94, 000 law enforcement agencies have access with more than 39 million records. Critics call it a deeply flawed system where: ‘… a lack of knowledge, indifference or poor training, police officers in Washington state –  and around the nation – routinely fail to take even the most obvious steps, conduct routine follow-ups or comply with the law when handling missing-persons cases,…” [14] Moreover, it has been dawning on several child advocate agencies and families desperate for news of their missing loved ones, that it is not only bureaucracy and police apathy that is causing frustration – but the FBI itself. The bureau obsessively protects a wall of confidentiality over NCIC data, arguing that the database is the private property of local police departments. It is the police that steps up to increase the misery by preventing the public’s right to accountability regarding whether or not local police departments and medical examiners are doing their jobs.

Seattle Police ignored a law that required them to follow up on reports, which in this case, resulted in the rape and murder of a 14 year-old girl. This routine procedure “… would have identified her remains nearly 17 months sooner” and “I’m sure police would’ve caught him, or at least found some clues or evidence, if they would’ve linked this up sooner,” said Michelle’s mother, Tish Curry. “They didn’t really seem to care that much. My daughter was just another runaway to them.”  According to the same extensive report by the Seattle Post Intelligencer they found that police routinely mishandled and lost cases, ignored the law, failed to use tracking systems in an age of ubiquitous surveillance and closed cases with little or no investigation.

If sexual predators do indeed commit crimes against children 50-60 times more before they get caught, it is doubly frustrating for families of victims to learn how easily psychopaths use the system against itself. They naturally prey on those from dysfunctional families or with a prior record of running away or petty crime. Police are even less likely to follow up on such cases.

Journalist Lewis Camb:

“Criminologist Steven Egger calls the victims of serial killers ‘the less dead’ because they are usually people who have been marginalized — prostitutes, drug users, homosexuals, farm workers, hospital patients and the elderly.

‘We don’t spend a lot of time dealing with missing people who aren’t particularly important; who don’t have a lot of prestige,’ said Egger, a University of Houston-Clear Lake professor and former police officer. It’s a public failing as well as a police failing, a common belief being that such people take big risks and get what they deserve. [15]

The defining characteristic that all these missing children and adults have in common is that they are largely forgotten by the media and the world in general. It is poignant to look at the photos of so many unsolved cases of those for whom the pathology of our social systems serve as a death sentence. While society becomes ever more devalued and artificial, the “defective” goods are literally “throwaway” children and adults, descending further down the chain of “used goods.”

There is some good news however. Since 2011, a generally greater awareness of the issue with the rise of technology such as Facebook along with the Amber Alerts initiative spear-headed by the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) a change has occurred. The recovery rate for missing children involved in the most dangerous cases in America has shot up to 97 percent in 2011 from 62 percent in 1990, according to the centre’s statistics which, if the stats are correct, is cause for celebration. This is modified by the 115 children abducted each year in the US where an average of 57 percent are found alive, 40 percent are killed and the rest listed as open cases.

By 2012, 94 percent of recovered children are found within 72 hours and 47 percent found within three hours shows how important a part the new social network technologies are playing in the search for missing children. [16]


N.B. For an added dimension of high strangeness to the study of missing persons please read the series of books by David Paulides starting with  Missing 411- Eastern United States: Unexplained disappearances of North Americans that have never been solved and visit his website at www.canammissing.com 

 


Notes

[1] ‘Americas forgotten dead: Unidentified bodies go unreported’ by Thomas Hargrove – Scripps Howard News Service October 4, 2005. Alaska Site News.
[2] National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMC) http://www.ncmec.org
[3] National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-2) US Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Released 2002.
[4] http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/ncic.htm
[5] National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-2) US Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Released 2002.
[6] National Institute of Mental Health NIH Publication No. 01-4584 Updated: January 1, 2001.
[7] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) factsheets.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Missing Children Myths: Connect For Kids by Daniel D. Broughton Published September 18, 2000.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Quoted in ‘America’s Missing’ 2005, The Crime Library, Typical Crimes and Methods http://www.crimelibrary.com/
[13] ‘Child sacrifices in London’ By Richard Edwards Crime Reporter, Evening Standard 16 June 2005.
[14] A Seattle Post-Intelligencer special report on how police in [Seattle and around the US] fumble missing-person reports, originally published in 10 parts. Monday, February 17, 2003 Part 1: People go missing, killers go free ‘I still worry. I guess I always will’ By Lewis Kamb.
[15] Ibid.
[16] ‘Missing children in U.S. nearly always make it home alive’ By Barabara Goldberg, Reuters, April 26, 2012.