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Plan Colombia Under Clinton: 1993-2001
U.S. intervention in Colombia was initially sold to the American public as necessary to contain the threat of Communism (). Plan Colombian, under Clinton was sold to the American public under the guise of the “War on Drugs” to curb narcotics flow into the U.S. The hegemonic discourse is that the American public demanded “strong leadership” in a battle against the corruption of America's youth. In reality, the Clinton administration heavily financed a “manufacture of consent” under Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey. I will demonstrate this propaganda
machine and Clinton's crony corporate network that profited from this war.
National Security Interests General Peter Pace, the Commander in Chief of the USA's Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) which oversees Latin American US security assistance programs, outlined the purpose of his mission: “As defined in our National Security Strategy, vital national interests are those of broad, over-riding importance to the survival, safety, and vitality of our nation. I see four U.S. interests in this theater that meet this criteria. One is continued unhindered access to strategic natural resources in the USSOUTHCOM AOR. . .our largest single supplier of petroleum is actually Venezuela – a country that provides from 15% to 19% of our imported oil in any given month. Another vital interest is continued stability required for access to markets in the USSOUTHCOM AOR, which is critical to the continued economic expansion and prosperity of the United States. Today, our trade within the Americas represents approximately 46 percent of all U.S. exports, and we expect this percentage to increase in the future. The loss of our Caribbean and Latin American markets would seriously damage the health of the U.S. economy. A third vital interest in this AOR is freedom of navigation (FON), which is critical to our economy and to the strategic movement of some of our naval assets. Of particular concern is continued unencumbered access to the Panama Canal – a strategic choke point and line of communication (LOC) that, if closed, would have a serious impact on world trade and could create significant challenges for the rapid positioning of our naval forces. Finally, although not technically defined as a vital national interest, I consider shielding our shores from the destructive effects of illicit drug trafficking and other forms of transnational crime a critical concern” (Defense Reforms 2000). Illicit drug trafficking was the last priority for General Pace1. The most important element 1After his military retirement, Pace became involved in two Behrman Capital company subsidiaries, as chairman of the board of Pelican Products and director of ILC Industries, Inc., a flashlight and case manufacturing company with military contracts (Capital IQ Power Moves 2008, Pelican Products Inc. 2008).
was national security interests. I will illustrate precisely which American interests were at stake in Colombia. This is not an essay on why the U.S. initially intervened in Colombia, but why did Bill Clinton not only stay but ramped up the military aid. Manufacturing Consent In, Who rules America?: challenges to corporate and class dominance”, sociologist G. William Domhoff illustrates that, “Although public opinion rarely has any direct impact on policy debates, members of the power elite are nonetheless very fearful that it mights lead to policies they do not like. . . they spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year trying to shape public opinion in order to guarantee the success of the policies they favor” (Domhoff 20102). Not content to use its own resources, the power elite in the Clinton Administration relies on another method – government propaganda to stack the deck in its own interests. Gen. Barry McCaffrey was Clinton's Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (1996-2001) also known as the Drug Czar in charge of executing the war on (some) drugs. In January of 2000, Salon broke the story of McCaffrey directing as "as much as $25 million in the past year and a half, with the promise of even more to come in the future. Under the sway of the office of President Clinton's drug czar, Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, some of America's most popular shows -- including "ER," "Beverly Hills 90210," "Chicago Hope," "The Drew Carey Show" and "7th Heaven" -- have filled their episodes with anti-drug pitches to cash in on a complex government advertising subsidy" (Forbes 2000). Not only was the U.S. bombarded the public with anti-drug Public Service Announcements and indoctrinating children into turning on their parents with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), but now they are paying multinational media conglomerates to alter their programming around federally tailored “anti-drug” propaganda. If the U.S. public opinion is rallying the government to wage the war on (some) drugs, then why does it take millions of government dollars to convince them of its importance? Powerful business interests with a stake in Colombia have been appointed at the highest levels of Clinton administration. The story describing the social reality in Colombia and war
2 See Figure 2 The General Network through which the Power Elite try to shape public opinion.
profiteers involvement in making their killing is thoroughly document3. I will examine the social relationship between the Clinton Administration and four top profiteers of Plan Columbia – Monsanto, Occidental Petroleum, Lockheed Martin, and Dyncorp. Monsanto Buys Washington Monsanto has a nefarious history in developing Agent Orange, aspartame, PCBs, nuclear weapons components and pesticides. Monsanto's pesticides are used in destroying agriculture in Colombia. In the 1990s, Monsanto only spent $200,000 a year on political candidates. However, in 1997 alone, they spent $4 million on lobbying (St. Clair 1999). One of Monsanto's lobbyists, Dennis DeConcini, was appointed by Clinton to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). Clinton second Secretary of Agriculture, Daniel Glickman (1995-2001), U.S. Trade Rep. Charlene Barshevsky, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Secretary of Commerce William Daley all “lobbied their European counterparts on Monsanto's behalf. Even Bill Clinton and Al Gore got in on the act, engaging in some last minute arm-twisting of Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahren and French President Lionel Jospin. Both the French and the Irish caved in to the pressure (St. Clair 1999)”. Clinton's first Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Espy a crony from Arkansas, was disgraced when Tyson Foods plead guilty to bribing him $12,000 in exchange for immunity from further prosecution (Krebs). Robert J. Stevens, the Lead Director of Monsanto is the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation, the world's largest defense contractor. Elena Kagan, Associate White House Counsel and then Policy Adviser under Clinton, now Obama's Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee, sought to overturn a ban on GE alfalfa by filing a suit on behalf of Monsanto (Frank 2010). Tipper Gore's second cousin, Michael Taylor, has a long track record of moving between the FDA and Monsanto. He worked for the FDA before representing Monsanto at the King and Spaulding law firm, then rejoined the FDA in 1991 as the deputy commissioner for policy, then he rejoined Monsanto (St. Clair), in 2009 he was appointed as senior adviser to the FDA
3 Stokes, Doug. 2005. America's other war: Terrorizing Colombia. Zed Books: New York.
Commissioner on food safety, and in 2010 he was appointed to the newly created Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the FDA (USFDA). He insured FDA approval of Monsanto's controversial rBGH, that milk treated with this chemical would not require labeling, and he also “authored more than a dozen articles critical of the Delaney Clause, a 1958 federal law prohibiting the introduction of known carcinogens into processed foods, which had long been opposed by Monsanto and other chemical and pesticide companies” (St. Clair). Charles Burson is the General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Monsanto (Monsanto Press Release). He was the chairman of Al Gore's senatorial campaign in 1984. Burson's father was a Tennessee Democratic Party politico and his mother was on Albert Gore Sr.'s senatorial campaign. Burson was Vice-President Al Gore's legal counsel and then Chief of Staff. He is member of Burson-Marsteller, the world's fifth largest PR firm. Burson-Marsteller represents Monsanto. In this compacity the firm worked "to cultivate the press, discredit their critics, spy on and co-opt citizens' groups, and use polls to find out what images and messages will resonate with target audiences" (Stauber 1999). The PR firm's CEO, Mark Penn, was the top presidential campaign strategist for U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton. Penn came under fire when it was discovered that he was strategizing a self-style "free trade" deal with a representative of the Colombian government. Norman Mineta, Vice President of Lockheed Martin, served as Clinton and then George W. Bush's Secretary of Commerce (Mineta 2010). Investigative journalist Jeffrey St. Clair writes, “the company may have secured its biggest coup in 1997, when it brought onto its board Mickey Kantor, the former secretary of commerce and one of Bill Clinton's closest advisers. Kantor joined two other Washington insiders on the Monsanto board--William Ruckleshaus, former director of the EPA, and Gwendolyn King, former head of the Social Security Administration” (St. Clair). Monsanto employees have also made it into power positions that are not directly connected with the Clinton administration. One high ranking example is George H. W. Bush Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas served two years as a corporate attorney for Monsanto (Domhoff 196).
Monsanto continues to support the Clintons. During Hilary Clinton's presidential campaign, "Rural Americans for Hillary" was quickly picked up as a front group by bloggers (Cohen-Cole 2008). Occidental Oil Between 1996 and 2000, Occidental International Corp. spent 8.67 million dollars on lobbying for operations in Colombia and another 1.5 million dollars on Federal Elections campaigns between 1995-2000, the 13th top contributor (Center for Public Integrity). Armond Hammer donated $3,000 to Al Gore's campaign (Newsmeat Campaign Contribution Search). Al Gore Sr. was a board member of Occidental and previously represented their coal interests as an attorney. The CEO of Occidental is Ray R. Irani. Irani's worked for ten years as a researcher at Monsanto Company. He personally donated $6000 to the campaigns of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Hilary Clinton (Newsmeat Campaign Contribution Search). Al Gore engineered the privatization of Elk Hills Naval Pretroleum Reserve and sale to Occidental (Mesler 2000). Occidental turned it the seventh largest oil production field in the U.S. (California Department of Conservation 2). ICF Kaiser International was contracted to asses the environmental impact of the sale. Democratic Party star fundraiser, Tony Coelho, who became Gore's campaign manager, was a member of the board of directors. Drilling destroyed the sacred Kitanemuk burial grounds and the archaeological treasury of the region. Before the sale, Al Gore disclosed that he held $250,000-$500,000 of Occidental stock. This disclosure doubled after the sale (Mesler 2000). Lockheed Martin
During Clinton's tenure, Lockheed Martin benefited from the 519.2 million dollars in military aid for Colombia with the military's purchase of a P-3 “Orion” radar surveillance airplane (Human Rights Watch). Clinton's Secretary of Commerce left his job as Lockheed's Vice-President to fulfill the position. Between June of 1996 and June of 2000 Lockheed Martin Corp spent 8.5 million dollars on lobbying and another 5.25 million dollars on Federal Elections Campaigns between the years 19952000. They outspent all other entities except the United Parcel Service (Center for Public Integrity).
Lockheed Martin board member Joseph Ralston was appointed Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Joint
Chiefs of Staff by Clinton after Myers left.” Robert J. Stevens is the Lead Director of Monsanto and
Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation, the world's largest defense contractor. Dyncorp In 2000, Dyncorp spend $40,000 lobbying on "Anti-Drug Issues" (Center for Public Integrity). One of Dyncorp's current Board members, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, was Clinton's Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (1996-2001) also known as the Drug Czar. In 2008 the New York Times broke a story, “One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex" describing McCaffrey's conflict of interest as a Dyncorp board member. McCaffrey and his consulting firm McCaffrey Associates were on the government payroll as consultants in which he controversially recommended contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq for Dyncorp (Barstow 2008). For the last fifteen years, Dyncorp has been embroiled in child sex slavery scandals (O'Meara 2002). In a shocking display of inhumanity, in 2005 Dyncorp joined forces with other military contractors in stalling a Defense Department proposal to ban defense contractors from engaging child sex slavery (Simpson 2005). James Woolsey was Clinton's first appointee as Director of the CIA. He was previously a
member of the board of Dynacorp (Lehrer). From 1995-2001, received $1 Billion in defense contracts (O'Meara 2002).
Other Military Contractors
United Technologies made $234 million for building 18 Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters that were used in Colombia (Center for Public Integrity). Jamie S. Gorelick was Deputy Attorney General of the United States during the Clinton administration and is a board member of United Technologies. Richard B. Myers was appointed Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff by Clinton. He later became a United Technologies board member.
Between 1997 and 1998, United Technologies Corp. spent 8.4 million dollars lobbying for Colombian operations and another 1.95 million dollars on Federal Elections campaigns between
1995-2000, the 11th top contributor (Center for Public Integrity).
Textron was awarded a $84 million contract to upgrade Vietnam-era Huey helicopters. Textron, Inc spent 1.8 million dollars on Federal Elections campaigns between 1995-2000, the 12 th top contributor (Center for Public Integrity).
Conclusion Through a concerted propaganda effort, Bill Clinton' administration distracted the real purpose for accelerating U.S. military intervention in Colombia. Through his well-connected network of power elite members, Al Gore and Bill Clinton's administration made a fortune on the misery of Colombia.
For ease of reference, all sources available online on June 10, 2010 are cited. Barstow, David. November 29, 2008. “One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex". New York Times. Source. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/washington/30general.htm? pagewanted=all California Department of Conservation, Oil and Gas Statistics, Annual Report, December 31, 2006 Capital IQ Power Moves. April 3, 2008."Behrman Capital Names General Peter Pace as Operating Partner". Source: http://powermoves.capitaliq.com/index.php/2008/04/03/behrman-capital -names-general-peter-pace-as-operating-partner/ Center for Public Integrity. 2008. “Tables". Source: http://projects.publicintegrity.org/report.aspx? aid=259 Cohen-Cole, Linn. February 8th/10th, 2008. “Hillary, Will You Renounce Your Terrible Ties to Monsanto, Please? An Open Letter to from Another Wellesley Alum”. Counterpunch. Source: http://www.counterpunch.org/cole02082008.html Defense Reforms, United States Senate Committee on Armed Services. 2000. “Advance Questions for Lieutenant General Peter Pace”. Source: http://www.senate.gov/~armed_services/statemnt/2000/000906pp.pdf Domhoff, G. William. 2010. Who rules America?: challenges to corporate and class dominance. Boston: McGraw Hill Higher Education. Forbes, Daniel. Thursday, Jan 13, 2000. "Prime-time propaganda: How the White House secretly hooked network TV on its anti-drug message: A Salon special report". Salon. Source: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2000/01/13/drugs/index.html Frank, Joshua. May 19, 2010. "Going to Bat for GE Foods: Elena Kagan and Monsanto". Counterpunch. Source: http://www.counterpunch.org/frank05192010.html Human Rights Watch, World Report, “Role of the International Community”, Source: http://www.hrw.org/wr2k1/americas/colombia3.html Krebs, A. V. August 31st, 1998. “Monitoring corporate agribusiness from a public interest perspective ". The Agribusiness Examiner. Source: http://www.organicconsumers.org/Corp/monAgriBus.htm Lehrer, Jim. 1997 “Mr. James Woolsey: Biography”. The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/bio/woolsey_bio.html Mesler, Bill. August 29th, 2000. “Al Gore: The Other Oil Candidate” Special to CorpWatch. Source: http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=468 Monsanto Press Release. "Monsanto Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel Charles W. Burson to Retire". Source: http://monsanto.mediaroom.com/index.php? s=43&item=223
Mineta, Norman. 2010. "Norman Mineta". National Journal. Source: http://transportation.nationaljournal.com/contributors/norman-mineta.php Newsmeat Campaign Contribution Search. Source: http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=CA&last=Hammer&first=Armand http://www.newsmeat.com/ceo_political_donations/Ray_Irani.php O'Meara, Kelly Patricia. January 14th, 2002. "US: DynCorp Disgrace". Insight Magazine. Source: http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11119 Pelican Products Inc. April 2, 2008. "Pelican Products Gets Four Stars: 40 Public Years Later, General Peter Pace Goes Private; Pace's expertise to further strengthen Pelican's military and defense sector credentials". Press release. Source: http://www.pelican.com/media/news/company/pr_04_02_08.php. Simpson, Cam. December 27, 2005. "U.S. stalls on human trafficking: Pentagon has yet to ban contractors from using forced labor". Chicago Tribune. Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0512270176dec27,0,1632557.story Stauber, John and Derrick Jensen. March 1999. "War on Truth: The Secret Battle for the American Mind". The Sun. Source: http://www.derrickjensen.org/stauber.html St. Clair, Jeffrey. March 7, 1999. “The Monsanto Machine”. In These Times. Source: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/090300-03.htm Stokes, Doug. 2005. America's other war: Terrorizing Colombia. Zed Books: New York. USFA, "Meet Michael R. Taylor, J.D., Deputy Commissioner for Foods". http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OC/OfficeofFoods/ucm196721.htm
Appendix 1: U.S. Military Assistance to Colombia This list was taken from The Center for Public Integrity website: http://projects.publicintegrity.org/report.aspx?aid=259 Note: Figures are from most recent year available. Grant Aid Program International Narcotics Control Plan Colombia International Military Education and Training (IMET) Expanded IMET Amount U.S. $1,240,739,000 with $ 1,026,590,000 for Police/military aid (from 1996 to 2001) U.S. $860,300,000 (Police and military aid $642,300,000) U.S. $3,889,000; Students – 2580 (1996-2001) Total E-IMET: U.S. $367,493 (1996-1998) Approximately 23.3% of IMET budget per year from 19961998 166 students and 0 civilians from 1996-1998 U.S. $153,800,000 (1996-2000)-Counternarcotics U.S. $193,683,000 (from 1997-2001) U.S. $100,732,000 (1997-2000) U.S. $12,442,000 (1999-2000) U.S. $47,525,000 (1998 and 2001) A special presidential waiver in August 1997 released unspent FMF valued at up to $30,000,000. $465,312 (1998-2000) U.S. $1,300,457,262(1997-2000)
Emergency Drawdowns Section 1004 Counterdrug Section 124 Section 1004/124 Section 1033 Counterdrug Foreign Military Financing ‘in the pipeline' from previous years
Approximate total police and military aid Approximate number of trainees At least 3,690 (1998-1999) International Criminal Investigative Unify training curricula and structures of three Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) investigative police organizations ($750,000 estimated for 2000) Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA for the U.S. $9,798,000 (1998-2000) entire Western Hemisphere) ONDCP discretionary funds For aviation supply – helicopter/spray plane spare parts and fuel - $500,000 in 1997 Sales Program Foreign Military sales (FMS) Foreign Military Sales for International Narcotics Direct Commercial Sales(DCS) Training Institutions Program School of the Americas Navy Small Craft and Technical Training School Inter-American Air Forces Academy Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
Amount U.S. $153,305,000 in deliveries (1996-1999) U.S. $40,410,000 in deliveries (1996-1999) U.S. $62,127,000 in deliveries (1996-1999) 1996-1998 Total of 557 students 13 students (1998) 318 students Total of 29 (1998-2000)
Training Deployments Program Exercises 1996-1998 1997: UNITAS 97, Fuerzas Unidas Counterdrug 97 1998: United Counterdrug, UNITAS, Peru Disease Intervention 1999: Fuerzas Aliadas Humanitarian 99, UNITAS, Fuerzas Unidas Peacekeeping South, UNITED Counterdrug, Fuerzaz Aliadas Chile 99 2000: Fuerzas Aliadas Humanitarian, UNITAS, Fuerzas Unidas Peacekeeping South, UNITED Counterdrug 1997: 6 to 29 (JCET or other deployments - 6 deployments; Counterdrug – 0 to 23) 1998: 10 to 25 (JCET – 0 to 1; Counter-drug – 9 to17; other deployments – 1-7 ) 1999: 16(JCET – 0; Counter-drug and other SOF - 34) Sources: Center for International Policy, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of State, The Federation of American Scientists, School of Americas Watch.
Special Operations Forces deployments