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Pernicious Presidents

Updated: Mar 6

Presidents’ Day is a slap in the face to the Black community for a myriad of reasons, but voter suppression and fiscal disenfranchisement are at the top of the list! Tupac was right when he said that America is run on gangs, he then proceeded to list the FBI, both political parties, and of course the police as prime examples. I want to talk about how the U.S. government is a glorified crime syndicate because history is happening before our very eyes, but instead of repeating, it’s escalating! Let’s talk about the impact that prior presidents such as Bush, Clinton, and Reagan have made for Black America and the toxic outcome.


Thanks to the Reagan Administration, the war on drugs was code for the very real war on Black people! The acquittal of former President Donald Trump, was not the first time that the Republican Party was responsible for high treason. As much as I would love for the 1980’s to be the decade of neon spandex and aquanet, it actually was the year of arms dealing, drug smuggling, and the events that inspired the movie Rambo. Our contenders in this little tale of espionage are Scott Weekly, James Gritz, and of course Oliver North who are just some of the names involved in state-sanctioned war crimes. Weekly was arrested with a few other Americans in a small Thai village while on a covert mission to gather intelligence on prisoners of war. Former Army Green Beret Lieutenant Colonel James Gritz was at the helm of this endeavor even though he “retired” from the military in 1979. Gritz worked for the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) unit of the army trying to locate POWs in Southeast Asia. According to congressional testimony, operation “Grand Eagle” was “discontinued” after a bureaucratic dispute with the Defense Intelligence Agency. Deputy DIA director Admiral Allan Paulson informed congress that the operation was denied “at the first level of the approval process.” So of course under a different code name “Operation Lazarus,” Gritz and Weekly had the equipment and ISA funds to move forward with the first mission resulting in a firefight with Laotian forces. There was another attempt to infiltrate Laos in 1983 but the mission leaked to Soldier of Fortune magazine and then amplified by the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe. The team was arrested by Thai police and charged with possession of an illegal radio transmitter which was the latest in U.S.-made spy equipment. I bet you’re wondering if the CIA-DIA came clean about providing this all-star team with high-tech gear for this infiltration operation and the short answer is no. The arms dealing and the drug trafficking comes next and ties into increased law and order legislation by congress through the decades to target Black and Latinx communities specifically.


The contenders in this line-up of corruption are: drug trafficker Danilo Blandon, his money launderer and mule ex-police detective Ronald Jay Lister, and the Mujahedeen! Blandon was head of a major cocaine distribution ring in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1991. In 1992 he was convicted of cocaine trafficking and became a DEA informant. Lister’s extra-curricular activities include arms dealing for the Contras, security work for Salvadorian politicians, and Iranian exiles. He was convicted of drug trafficking and followed suit with being an informant to the FBI, DEA, and local law enforcement. Scott Weekly, a.k.a Dr. Death, met with Lister frequently about military related systems that were declassified and hence legal to sell. Lister claimed that in addition to Weekly being his CIA contact, he was also involved in at least two covert operations involving the National Security Council, and a special unit inside the U.S. State Department that was working with Oliver North and the CIA. In 1986 both Weekly and Gritz testified that they were asked to conduct training exercises for the anti-Communist Afghan resistance movement a.k.a the Mujahedeen! They of course asked permission of two State Department officials before commencing the program because Gritz wanted to make sure what they were doing wasn’t illegal! In federal court, Weekly and Gritz testified that the money for the program came from Stanford Technology which was the shell company of Lt. Col North. It was essentially an arms dealership at the epicenter of the Iran-Contra scandal. North used Stanford Technology to launder profits of Iranian missile sales which amounted to approximately $900,000!


If you were a registered voter in the 80’s, then your idea of the Black community was already skewed by the war that the federal government waged on the Black Panther Party under Nixon. So when Reagan and H.W. Bush started to cause mass public concern over street corner drug dealers as a red herring, to mask the fact that they caused the crack/cocaine epidemic, and downplayed the spread of AIDS- the Black community and homosexuality was further demonized! The presidents have washed their hands of their own money laundering, war-for-profit schemes, and drug smuggling only to paint 9/11 as an unforeseen national tragedy caused by brown people-instead of an attack that the U.S. instigated by training the very men that did it! Scott Weekly said that he reported to the people that report to Bush and at the time he meant H.W. Bush so, Bush Sr. supported government funded training for future terrorists that would eventually make his son George W. Bush a hero for his leadership during a national tragedy. When the Black community was overrun by crack/cocaine at the hands of the U.S. government, Black people were arrested left and right in Florida especially. When George W. Bush ran against Al Gore back in 2000, Florida was run by George’s brother Governor Jeb Bush where voter intimidation in “democratic” Black areas were terrorized by cops at the polls. Does that mean that the Democratic party is the savior of the Black community? The short answer is no, but let’s highlight some hallmark moments of the Clinton administration that don’t just relate to workplace sexual harassment. Between Bill Clinton's 1994 crime bill and Hillary Clinton referring to Black people as “super predators”, it's no wonder that white people use "Black on Black crime" as a gas lighting statement. This is peak white American behavior. If conservatives are going to mask their racism as concern for the Benghazi scandal, then let’s gather all the money grubbing, coup-loving, crooked, war criminals from George Washington to Joe Biden while we’re at it and hold accountability where it’s due!


Sources:

Dark Alliance. Gary Webb. 2014 Edition.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/florida-gop-takes-voter-suppression-to-a-brazen-new-extreme-184830/#respond


https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/watch-live-biden-expected-to-deliver-remarks-during-visit-to-pentagon


https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/02/11/national/japan-us-base-costs/

https://www.kdrv.com/content/news/573760022.html


https://www.opb.org/article/2021/01/26/us-military-bases-saudi-arabia-iran/?outputType=amp


https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/10/jeb-bush-florida-felon-voting-rights-clemency/


https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1991-03-12-9101230002-story.html


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/dec/04/uselections2000.usa1


https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna14059113

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-idUSKCN0X412G


https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2008/01/black-americans-love-for-bill-clinton-is-built-on-a-fallacy.html


https://www.salon.com/2016/04/16/racist_then_racist_now_the_real_story_of_bill_clintons_crime_bill/


https://www.vox.com/2018/11/20/17996198/is-the-obama-administration-to-blame-for-benghazi



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