Costa on the War on Drugs: Think British East India Company
July 6, 2012 • 8:12AM

Former UN drug czar Antonio Maria Costa dropped a bombshell speaking at the British Empire's leading thinktank the Royal Institute of International Affairs/Chatham House in London, on July 2. Attacking the campaign for drug legalization, he charged this campaign would have the same result as the only drug legalization in history, Britain's Opium Wars against China. Costa repeatedly warned that his evidence "is going to hurt some members of this audience" and then went on to describe the criminal greed of the British East India Company, and today's "coalition of bankers, private investors, venture capitalists," out to profit from legalization. He concluded pointing to the massive scandal in the U.S. around the hundreds of billions of dollars in cocaine money laundered by Wachovia Bank, and that "despite the evidence, no indictment, nobody was arrested, nobody went behind bars." This coverup, as EIR has reported, was orchestrated in 2010 by the Obama Administration, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and his top assistant Lanny Breuer. The massive drug money flow documented in the Wachovia case is the core of the scandal around U.S. government orchestration of otherwise illegal trafficking of weapons to the Mexican cocaine cartels, known as the "Fast and Furious Scandal." We are waiting for the next, Wachovia/drug money phase of the scandal, the last straw in the impeachment of President Obama.

Here are substantial excerpts from the transcript of Antonio Maria Costa's July 2 nine-minute comments at Chatham House:

"The reorganization of drug policy to curb crime is needed, but, it cannot be made on the basis of the simplistic argument, legalize drugs, and crime will disappear. Fighting crime by legalizing drugs would cause a drug epidemic, and I can prove the point on the basis of historical evidence, even if it is going to hurt some members of this audience. The pressure to legalize drugs comes from different sources, some innocently well-meaning that I respect, others dangerously speculative. I fear the latter, I fear in particular the coalition of bankers, private investors, venture capitalists, pharmaceutical companies and alike, that in the expectation of drug legalization, are spending huge sums to develop drug brands, just like tobacco companies have done over the years. It would be detrimental to society if the re-examination of drug policy, things of that sort, led to the replacement of drug mafias with drug capitalists, therefore leading to privatization of investors gains, and socialization of health costs.

"But I said earlier, that historical evidence would give me support to prove that drug legalization would cause a drug epidemic and I said, even if this would hurt some members of this audience. History has indeed shown that investors greed can be harmful, and as harmful as mafias guns. Think of the East India Company that for over a century made huge money by poisoning the Chinese with opium. That first and only case so far of drug legalization cannot and should not be repeated. The tragedy of drug legalization forced upon China by Western countries, especially this country, at the end of the Opium Wars dwarfs what is happening in Mexico and Guatemala today, and I pay a tribute to what the Mexican authorities are doing. Over 20 million people died in China, poisoned by opium we forced them to take, against the 60,000 people in Central America today."

And concluding, Wachovia:

"Second, anti-money laundering measures. Think of the Wachovia Bank of New York caught, not long ago, after the crisis, recycling, listen to the number, $480 billion of Mexican drug money, recycling $480 billion, 'b,' like 'billion,' of drug money. Despite the evidence, no indictment, nobody was arrested, nobody went behind bars. Countries must follow the money trail to curb the economic power of cartels.

"Third, we must force financial institutions to clean their balance sheet of bloody assets. At the time of illiquidity the crisis, and the aftermath of the financial crisis, too many banks welcomed, and still do, drug money. Asset forfeiture, mentioned by the Ambassador earlier, must be drastic. It is not."

"And finally, and this will be very long-term measures, promote economic growth and job creation especially in the communities where poor young people are attracted by drug trafficking."