PROSECUTE BIN LADEN THROUGH TALIBAN HEROIN CONNECTION,EX-WHITE HOUSE DRUG STAFFER URGES; A.G. AND SEC. STATE SHOULD LOOK AT TALIBAN NURTURING FUNDSFROM WORLD-LEADING OPIUM CULTIVATION AND HEROIN PRODUCTION
September 18, 2001
(Washington, DC) – Robert Weiner, former White House Drug Policy Director of Public Affairsand spokesman for Drug Czars Barry McCaffrey and Lee Brown, is suggesting the investigation and prosecution of terrorist Osama bin Laden through the Taliban’s “nurturing” of funds from Afghanistan’s world-leading opium poppy cultivation, the raw product for heroin production, as an additional way to expose and prosecute the way “bin Laden and those who harbor him may get a great part of their operational money.” Weiner’s statement follows: As evidence grows of Osama bin Laden and his network’s connection to the most horrific terrorism in our history, and as President Bush promises to mobilize the nation for a military campaign against those who harbor such terrorists and a disruption of their financing, consider this fact: Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of the opium poppy, the crop refined into heroin. According to the State department, Afghanistan’s poppy cultivation area has quadrupled since 1990.
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Afghanistan Opium Poppy Cultivation Problem Grows In 2012... Huffington Post
U.S. Efforts Fail to Curtail Trade in Afghan Opium
An Army officer walking through a poppy field while on patrol in Afghanistan last month.
The New York Times Asia Pacific
By ALISSA J. RUBIN and MATTHEW ROSENBERG Published: May 26, 2012
KABUL, Afghanistan — For years, American officials have struggled to curb Afghanistan’s opium industry, rewriting strategy every few seasons and pouring in more than $6 billion over the past decade to combat the poppies that help finance the insurgency and fuel corruption. It is a measure of the problem’s complexity that officials can find little comfort even in the news this month that blight and bad weather are slashing this year’s poppy harvest in the south. They know from past seasons that blight years lead to skyrocketing opium prices and even greater planting efforts to come. “Now I am desperate, what can I do?” said Mohammed Amin, a poppy farmer in Tirin Kot in Oruzgan Province, who harvested only one kilogram of opium poppy this year compared with 15 last year. “I don’t have any cash now to start another business, and if I grow any other crops, I cannot make a profit.” The seemingly unbreakable allure of poppy profits — for producers and traffickers, government officials and Taliban commanders alike — has kept fighting opium at the heart of efforts to improve security. It drove Richard C. Holbrooke, later the special envoy to Afghanistan, to write in 2008: “Breaking the narco-state in Afghanistan is essential, or all else will fail.” That concern is no less serious today, on the eve of the departure of thousands of American troops. But even as American leaders continue to emphasize the importance of the anti-opium effort, some officials are privately conceding that there is little chance for its large-scale success before the end of the NATO military mission in 2014. The withdrawal is one worry. As the money from the Western military and civilian aid programs dwindles, the relative importance of opium to the economy is likely only to increase, said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Afghanistan.
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