What Would Korean War Two Look Like?

by Eric Margolis

https://ericmargolis.com (April 15 2017)

 

If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.

 

 

So thundered President Donald Trump last week. Unfortunately, neither China nor North Korea appeared intimidated by this presidential bombast or Trump’s Tweets.

What would “we will” actually entail? This clear threat makes us think seriously about what a second Korean War would be like. Memory of the bloody, indecisive first Korean War, 1950~1953, which killed close to three million people, has faded. Few Americans have any idea how ferocious a conventional second Korean War could be. They are used to seeing Uncle Sam beat up small, nearly defenseless nations like Iraq, Libya or Syria that dare defy the Pax Americana.

The US could literally blow North Korea off the map using tactical nuclear weapons based in Japan, South Korea and at sea with the Seventh Fleet. Or delivered by B-52 and B-1 bombers and cruise missiles. But this would cause clouds of lethal radiation and radioactive dust to blanket Japan, South Korea and heavily industrialized northeast China, including the capital, Beijing.

China would be expected to threaten retaliation against the United States, Japan and South Korea to deter a nuclear war in next door Korea. At the same time, if heavily attacked, a fight-to-the-end North Korea may fire off a number of nuclear-armed medium-range missiles at Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa and South Korea. These missiles are hidden in caves in the mountains on wheeled transporters and hard to identify and knock out.

This is a huge risk. Such a nuclear exchange would expose about a third of the world’s economy to nuclear contamination, not to mention spreading nuclear winter around the globe. A conventional US attack on North Korea would be far more difficult. The North is a small nation of only 24.8 million. Its air and sea forces are obsolete and ineffective. They would be vaporized on the first day of a war. But North Korea’s million-man army has been training and digging in for decades to resist a US invasion. Pyongyang’s 88,000-man Special Forces are poised for suicide attacks on South Korea’s political and military command and control and to cripple key US and South Korean air bases, notably Osan and Kunsan.

North Korea may use chemical weapons such as VX and Sarin to knock out the US/South Korean and Japanese airbases, military depots, ports and communications hubs. Missile attacks would be launched against US bases in Guam and Okinawa.

Short of using nuclear weapons, the US would be faced with mounting a major invasion of mountainous North Korea, something for which it is today unprepared. It took the US six months to assemble a land force in Saudi Arabia just to attack feeble Iraq. Taking on the tough North Korean army and militia in their mountain redoubts will prove a daunting challenge. US analysts have in the past estimated a US invasion of North Korea would cost some 250,000 American casualties and at least $10 billion, though I believe such a war would cost four times that much today. The Army, Air Force and Marines would have to mobilize reserves to wage a war in Korea. Already overstretched US forces would have to be withdrawn from Europe and the Mideast. Military conscription might have to be re-introduced.

US war planners believe that an attempt to assassinate or isolate North Korean leader Kim Jung-un – known in the military as “decapitation” – would cause the North Korean armed forces to scatter and give up. I don’t think so.

My visits to South and North Korea have shown me that soldiers of both nations are amazingly tough, patriotic and ready to fight. I’ve also been under the Demilitarized Zone (“DMZ”) in some of the warren of secret tunnels built by North Korea under South Korean fortifications. Hundreds of North Korean long-range 170 mm guns and rocket batteries are buried into the hills facing the DMZ, all within range of the northern half of South Korea’s capital, Seoul. North Korea is unlikely to be a pushover in a war. Even after US/South Korean forces occupy Pyongyang, the North has prepared for a long guerilla war in the mountains that could last for decades. They have been practicing for thirty years. Chaos in North Korea will invite Chinese military intervention, but not necessarily to the advantage of the US and its allies.

Is Commander-in-Chief Trump, who somehow managed to avoid military service during the Vietnam War, really ready to launch a big war in Asia? Most Americans still can’t locate Korea on a map. Will Congress tax every American taxpayer $20,000 to pay for a new Korean war? Will Russia sit by quietly while the US blows apart North Korea? Does anyone in the White House know that North Korea borders on Russia and is less than 200 kilometers from the key Russian port of Vladivostok?

All this craziness would be ended if the US signed a peace treaty with North Korea ending the first Korean War and opened up diplomatic and commercial relations. No need for war or missile threats. North Korea is a horrid, brutal regime. But so is Egypt, whose tin pot dictator was wined and dined by Trump last week.

But pounding the rostrum with your shoe is always much more fun than boring peace talks.

Copyright Eric S Margolis 2017

https://ericmargolis.com/2017/04/what-would-korean-war-ii-look-like/

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This is What’s Really Behind …

… North Korea’s Nuclear Provocations

It’s easy to dismiss Kim Jong-un as a madman. But there’s a long history of US aggression against the North, which we forget at our peril.

by Bruce Cumings

https://www.thenation.com (March 23 2017)

Donald Trump was having dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on February 11 when a message arrived mid-meal, courtesy of Pyongyang: North Korea had just tested a new, solid-fuel, intermediate-range ballistic missile, fired from a mobile – and therefore hard-to-detect – launcher. The president pulled out his 1990s flip-phone and discussed this event in front of the various people sitting within earshot. One of these diners, Richard DeAgazio, was suitably agog at the import of this weighty scene, posting the following comment on his Facebook page:

 

 

HOLY MOLY!!! It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan.

 

 

Actually, this missile was aimed directly at Mar-a-Lago, figuratively speaking. It was a pointed nod to history that no American media outlet grasped: “Prime Minister Shinzo”, as Trump called him, is the grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, a former Japanese prime minister whom Abe reveres. Nobusuke was deemed a “Class A” war criminal by the US occupation authorities after World War Two, and he ran munitions manufacturing in Manchuria in the 1930s, when General Hideki Tojo was provost marshal there. Kim Il-sung, whom grandson Kim Jong-un likewise reveres, was fighting the Japanese at the same time and in the same place.

The North wouldn’t have nukes if we’d kept our word in the past.

As I wrote for this magazine in January 2016, the North Koreans must be astonished to discover that US leaders never seem to grasp the import of their history-related provocations. Even more infuriating is Washington’s implacable refusal ever to investigate our 72-year history of conflict with the North; all of our media appear to live in an eternal present, with each new crisis treated as sui generis. Visiting Seoul in March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asserted that North Korea has a history of violating one agreement after another; in fact, President Bill Clinton got it to freeze its plutonium production for eight years (1994~2002) and, in October 2000, had indirectly worked out a deal to buy all of its medium- and long-range missiles. Clinton also signed an agreement with General Jo Myong-rok stating that henceforth, neither country would bear “hostile intent” toward the other.

The Bush administration promptly ignored both agreements and set out to destroy the 1994 freeze. Bush’s invasion of Iraq is rightly seen as a world-historical catastrophe, but next in line would be placing North Korea in his “axis of evil” and, in September 2002, announcing his “preemptive” doctrine directed at Iraq and North Korea, among others. The simple fact is that Pyongyang would have no nuclear weapons if Clinton’s agreements had been sustained.

Now comes Donald Trump, blasting into a Beltway milieu where, in recent months, a bipartisan consensus has emerged based on the false assumption that all previous attempts to rein in the North’s nuclear program have failed, so it may be time to use force – to destroy its missiles or topple the regime. Last September, the centrist Council on Foreign Relations issued a report stating that “more assertive military and political actions” should be considered, “including those that directly threaten the existence of the [North Korean] regime”. Tillerson warned of preemptive action on his recent East Asia trip, and a former Obama-administration official, Antony Blinken, wrote in The New York Times that a “priority” for the Trump administration should be working with China and South Korea to “secure the North’s nuclear arsenal” in the event of “regime change”. But North Korea reportedly has some 15,000 underground facilities of a national-security nature. It is insane to imagine the Marines traipsing around the country in such a “search and secure” operation, and yet the Bush and Obama administrations had plans to do just that. Obama also ran a highly secret cyber-war against the North for years, seeking to infect and disrupt its missile program. If North Korea did that to us, it might well be considered an act of war.

On November 8 2016, nearly 66 million voters for Hillary Clinton received a lesson in Hegel’s “cunning of history”. A bigger lesson awaits Donald Trump, should he attack North Korea. It has the fourth-largest army in the world, as many as 200,000 highly trained special forces, 10,000 artillery pieces in the mountains north of Seoul, mobile missiles that can hit all American military bases in the region (there are hundreds), and nuclear weapons more than twice as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb (according to a new estimate in a highly detailed New York Times study by David Sanger and William Broad).

Last October, I was at a forum in Seoul with Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state for Bill Clinton. Like everyone else, Talbott averred that North Korea might well be the top security problem for the next president. In my remarks, I mentioned Robert McNamara’s explanation, in Errol Morris’s excellent documentary The Fog of War (2003), for our defeat in Vietnam: We never put ourselves in the shoes of the enemy and attempted to see the world as they did. Talbott then blurted, “It’s a grotesque regime!” There you have it: It’s our number-one problem, but so grotesque that there’s no point trying to understand Pyongyang’s point of view (or even that it might have some valid concerns). North Korea is the only country in the world to have been systematically blackmailed by US nuclear weapons going back to the 1950s, when hundreds of nukes were installed in South Korea. I have written much about this in these pages and in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Why on earth would Pyongyang not seek a nuclear deterrent? But this crucial background doesn’t enter mainstream American discourse. History doesn’t matter, until it does – when it rears up and smacks you in the face.

https://www.thenation.com/article/this-is-whats-really-behind-north-koreas-nuclear-provocations/

Categories: Uncategorized

What a War with North Korea …

… Would Probably Look Like

by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com

Zero Hedge (April 19 2017)


Back in 2013 during the last major flare up between the US and North Korea I wrote an extensive analysis on the North Korean wild card and how it could be used by globalists as a catalyst for international economic instability titled ‘Will Globalists Use North Korea To Trigger Catastrophe?’ {1} As I have warned consistently over the years, like Syria, North Korea is a longstanding chaos box; a big red button that the elites can press any time they wish to instigate a chain of greater geopolitical tensions. The question has always been, will they actually use it?

Well, it appears that under the Trump administration the establishment might go for broke. I have not seen US war rhetoric so intense since the second invasion of Iraq, and all over missile tests which have been standard fare for North Korea for many years. With whispers by Trump aides {2} of a possible 50,000 boots on the ground in Syria, and open discussion of preemptive strikes in North Korea {3}, this time kinetic conflict is highly likely.

Yes, we have seen such military pressures before, but this time feels different. Why is an aimless quagmire war with massive potential global financial repercussions more likely under Trump? Because Trump ran under a nationalist conservative banner, and he will forever be labeled a nationalist conservative even if his behavior appears to be more globalist in nature. Rhetoric is often more psychologically powerful in the minds of the masses than action. Therefore, EVERYTHING Trump does from now on will also be labeled a product of the “nationalist conservative” ideology; including all of his screw-ups. And, with Trump in office the establishment is perfectly happy to pursue actions once considered taboo, because demonizing conservatives and liberty proponents is one of their primary objectives.

When the real insanity starts, liberty movement activists will gnash their teeth and scream at the top of their lungs that Trump is “not acting like a conservative”, so how can conservative thinking be blamed by extension? But these people just don’t grasp the thought processes of the human mind. No matter how much we try to separate ourselves from the Trump-train if (or when) he goes full-bore globalist, our efforts will be futile. The mainstream media has spent considerable time and effort making sure that all of us are lumped in with the so-called “alt-right”. Remember, I tried to warn the movement {4} about this long before Trump won the election.

Currently, there are questions as to whether or not a naval task force is en route to North Korea. I would not trust the latest reports that all units are headed to Australia when Vice President Mike Pence is in Japan yesterday saying “the sword stands ready” {5}. Could this be more posturing or a precursor to a strike scenario? I am reminded of the USS Maddox which was sent to patrol the waters off of Vietnam, the same destroyer that reported an attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats which was used as justification for the initiation of the Vietnam War. As it turned out, no such attack actually occurred.

The presence of a US fleet off North Korea could only be intended to instigate further aggression, not defuse the situation.

So, if war with North Korea is inevitable given the circumstances, what would such a war look like? Here are some elements I think are most important; elements that make the war almost unwinnable, if winning is even the purpose …

North Korean Air Defense

The North Koreans spent the better part of the last war with the US being heavily battered by air bombardments. They have had plenty of time since then to consider this problem and prepare. Even the most gung-ho American military minds are forced to admit that using only air based attacks in North Korea is not practical. And where we have been spoiled by steady video streams of laser guided hell dropped on Iraqi and Afghani targets in the past, don’t expect things to go so easily in North Korea.

While North Korea is still rife with economic problems (like every other communist and socialist nation), they still have an industrial base and produce many of their own arms. This includes and extensive missile net backed by a maze of radar systems. Their air force is by all accounts obsolete, but as I have mentioned in the past, advanced missile defense is the wave of the future. It’s cheaper and can render expensive enemy air force and naval units impotent.

North Korea uses an indigenous built surface-to-air missile (“SAM”) system called the KN-06 which is as capable as some Russian SAM systems. They also field huge numbers of man-portable air defense (“MANPAD”) units {6} against planes and helicopters attempting to dodge radar defenses at low altitudes. This is layered on top of a vast array of anti-aircraft artillery. And, most of this anti-air apparatus is either mobile or based underground.

What this means is, a ground invasion is the ONLY way to attack North Korea effectively and make room for air units to strike interior targets.

Underground Facilities

The Pentagon estimates at least 6,000 to 8,000 underground military facilities in North Korea {7}. New bases are being discovered all the time. While “bunker buster” bombs can possibly damage these facilities, it is unlikely that they would be completely destroyed or rendered ineffective. There is also an estimated 84 large tunnels through mountains on the southern border which would allow an immediate invasion by North Korean ground forces into South Korea. Only four of these tunnels exits have been found and blocked by South Korea.

It is important to remember that underground infrastructure has always been the bane of the modern western military. These facilities will not be taken by air. They will have to be taken the hard way – with ground troops.

North Korean Infantry

In 2013 the Department of Defense reported North Korean ground forces at around 950,000. This, of course, does not count their nearly eight million infantry reserves. They also boast over 200,000 highly trained paramilitary soldiers. North Korea has no means whatsoever to project these forces overseas against the US or anyone else other than South Korea. The only way they can do damage to US forces is if we show up on their doorstep.

Since a ground invasion is the only way to proceed with what will obviously be “regime change” in North Korea, US forces will be facing an endless mire of mountain warfare worse than Afghanistan with limited air support options. If it comes down to a war of attrition rather than superior technology, victory will be impossible in North Korea.

The Nuclear Option

The consensus view among military analysts is that North Korea will never attempt to use nukes offensively because the resulting retaliation by the US would be devastating. But you often do not hear much discussion about North Korea using nukes defensively, and what that would mean for an invading army.

I agree that though the mainstream media is bombarding us constantly with images of a psychotic dictatorship, North Korea is not insane enough to use nukes against the US or its allies outright. If such an event did occur, I would immediately suspect the possibility of a false flag because there would be zero gain for North Korea. That said, in the event of a ground invasion into North Korea, the use of nuclear weapons becomes highly advantageous for Pyongyang.

Consider this, with vast numbers of US ground forces operating in the region, nuclear retaliation by the US is simply not going to happen. A pullout of most troops would have to take place. North Korea needs only one nuke strike to destroy a US fleet or hit a large civilian target in South Korea killing potential millions or hit a US troop base in South Korea killing tens of thousands of American soldiers.

Once we commit ground troops into the region, we make a nuclear attack USEFUL to North Korea, when it never would have been useful before. This is why the preemptive strike rhetoric based on a rational of stopping a “more nuclear capable” North Korea is either pure stupidity or an engineered crisis in the making.

The Chinese Question

Is China’s strange shift in support of tougher actions against North Korea legitimate? Well, if it is, then I think this would support my longtime assertion that China is NOT anti-globalist at all, but just another branch of the globalist cabal. Perhaps Trump’s refusal to label them currency manipulators is also evidence of this. That is a discussion for another time, though.

China’s sudden softening of stance against US pressures on North Korea seems to me to be the most blatant signal that an actual war is coming. If China refuses to present military or economic repercussions to act as a deterrent to invasion, then an invasion is likely to happen. This does not mean, though, that a future crisis between the US and China is not scheduled.

In fact, an invasion by America into North Korea opens numerous doors to all kinds of crisis events the establishment can exploit. For example, how many people are naive enough to expect that US air maneuvers will respect Chinese air space restrictions? I hope not many. Having American military units in a war stance so close to the Chinese border is a recipe for disaster, and I am not necessarily referring to military disaster.

War, contrary to popular belief, is not good for the economy. In fact, war is the perfect poison for economic trade and production. The US in particular is utterly dependent on the international use of the dollar as the world reserve currency. Without this status, the American economy is dead in the water. China is a central pillar in global trade and could, with the help of a few other nations, kill the dollar’s reserve status very quickly.

If you are curious as to why international financiers would be interested in undermining the US economy in such a way, I suggest you read my article The Economic End Game Explained {8}. The greater point is this – a war with North Korea would have nothing to do with North Korea. It would only be a means to a greater end. There are those people out there who claim to be “conservative” that always weasel out of the woodwork in times like these to pound the war fever drum. But if you think that forced regime change overseas is America’s job or duty you are not a conservative, you are a statist.

I also cringe at the crowd of dupes that constantly bubbles to the surface claiming this time around, the invasion will be “easy”, parroting the party line. “Done in two months!”, they say. The delusion inherent in this thinking is astounding, and comes from the old-guard Republican/Neo-Con ideology. Remember how quick and cheap they said Iraq and Afghanistan would be? At bottom, there is little or nothing to be gained by Americans in this kind of conflagration. So we should be asking ourselves, who actually would gain from it?

Links:

{1} http://www.alt-market.com/articles/1422-will-globalists-use-north-korea-to-trigger-catastrophe

{2} https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-04-13/trump-said-no-to-troops-in-syria-his-aides-aren-t-so-sure

{3} http://www.newsweek.com/north-korea-nuclear-attack-donald-trump-kim-jong-un-south-korea-seoul-china-584671

{4} http://personalliberty.com/clinton-versus-trump-co-option-liberty-movement/

{5} http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/04/19/sword-stands-ready-against-north-korea-pence-tells-troops-japan.html

{6} http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/if-donald-trump-attacks-north-korea-beware-kims-air-defense-20207

{7} https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3345586/most-of-north-koreas-military-bases-are-underground-and-in-mountains-making-any-strike-much-harder/

{8} http://www.alt-market.com/articles/2403-the-economic-end-game-explained

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3175-what-a-war-with-north-korea-would-probably-look-like

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-19/what-war-north-korea-would-probably-look

Categories: Uncategorized

The US Pushed North Korea to Build Nukes

Yes or No?

by Mike Whitney

CounterPunch (April 19 2017)

Let’s say you know someone who wears funny blue suits and doesn’t share your views on politics. So you decide to stick this person in a cage and put him on a diet of bread and water until he agrees to change his wardrobe and adjust his thinking. And when he sits quietly on the cage-floor with his hands folded, you ignore him altogether and deal with other matters. But when he stomps his feet in anger or violently shakes the cage, you throw cold water on him or poke him in the back with a sharp stick.

How long do you think it’ll take before your prisoner changes his clothes and comes around to “exceptional” way of seeing things?

It’s never going to happen, is it, because your whole approach is wrong. People don’t respond positively to hectoring, intimidation and cruelty, in fact, they deeply resent it and fight back. And, yet, this is exactly the way Washington has treated North Korea (“DPRK”) for the last 64 years. Washington’s policy towards the DPRK is not comprised of “carrots and sticks”; it’s sticks and bigger sticks. It’s entirely based on the assumption that you can persuade people to do what you want them to do through humiliation, intimidation and brute force.

But the policy hasn’t worked, has it, because now the North has nuclear weapons, which is precisely the outcome that Washington wanted to avoid. So we don’t even have to make the case that US policy is a flop, because the North’s nuclear arsenal does that for us. Case closed!

So the question is: What do we do now?

Three things:

First, we have to understand that the current policy failed to achieve what it was supposed to achieve. It was the wrong approach and it produced an outcome that we did not want. We could argue that Washington’s belligerence and threats pushed the North to build nukes, but we’ll save that for some other time. The main thing is to acknowledge that the policy was wrong.

Second, we have to understand that situation has changed in a fundamental way. North Korea now has nuclear weapons, which means that North Korea is a nuclear weapons state. US policy-makers need to repeat that to themselves and let it sink in. It changes the calculus entirely. When one realizes that the North now has the power to reduce Osaka, Tokyo or Seoul to smoldering rubble with one flip of the switch, that has to be taken seriously. In practical terms, it means the so called “military option” is off the table, it’s no longer a viable option. The military option will lead to a nuclear exchange which – by the way- is not the outcome we want.

Third, we need examine the new threats to US national security that have arisen due to our 64 year-long failed policy, and respond accordingly.

What does that mean?

It means that Washington’s idiot policy has put us all at risk because the North is fine-tuning its ballistic missile technology so it can hit targets in the US with nuclear weapons. This didn’t have to happen, but it is happening and we need to deal with it. Fast.

So what do we do?

We do what every civilized country in the world does; we modify our policy, we turbo-charge our diplomatic efforts, we engage the North in constructive dialogue, we agree to provide generous incentives for the North to suspend or abandon its nuclear weapons programs, and we agree to provide the North with written security guarantees including a treaty that formally ends the war, explicitly states that the US will not launch another aggression against the North, and a strict time-frame for the withdrawal of all US occupation forces and weaponry on the Korean peninsula.

That’s what we do. That’s how we put an end to this unfortunate and entirely avoidable geopolitical fiasco.

We sign a treaty that requires both sides to gradually deescalate, meet certain clearly-articulated benchmarks, and peacefully resolve the long-festering situation through focused and results-oriented negotiation.

And what is the Trump administration doing?

The exact opposite. They’ve ratchetted up the incendiary rhetoric, put the troops on high alert, moved a carrier strike-group into Korean waters, and threatened to use the military option. After 64 years of failure, they’ve decided to double-down on the same policy.

Washington is incapable of learning from its mistakes. It keeps stepping on the same rake over and over again.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/19/the-u-s-pushed-north-korea-to-build-nukes-yes-or-no/

Categories: Uncategorized

Ron Paul Had Accurate Conspiracy Theory

CIA Was Tied to Drug Traffickers

by Ryan Grim, Washington Bureau Chief

The Huffington Post (December 30 2011)

According to a former aide, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has long been drawn toward conspiracy theories. Eric Dondero, who served Paul off and on from 1987 to 2003, wrote recently that the Texas Republican suspected that George W Bush may have had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks and that Franklin Roosevelt knew in advance about Pearl Harbor. Paul’s writings and speeches spotlight a host of other plots, including the “war on Christmas”.

But just because not all of Paul’s theories are backed by good evidence doesn’t mean none of them are.

In 1988, while running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket, he highlighted yet another conspiracy theory, and this one doesn’t collapse under investigation: The CIA, Paul told a gathering of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, was involved in trafficking drugs as part of the Iran-Contra debacle.

Drug trafficking is “a gold mine for people who want to raise money in the underground government in order to finance projects that they can’t get legitimately. It is very clear that the CIA has been very much involved with drug dealings”, Paul said.

 

 

The CIA was very much involved in the Iran-Contra scandals. I’m not making up the stories; we saw it on television. They were hauling down weapons and drugs back. And the CIA and government officials were closing their eyes, fighting a war that was technically illegal.

 

 

Earlier this week, I looked into Paul’s claim in the same speech that the war on drugs had racist origins and that the medical community played a role in lobbying for drug prohibitions. That charge was more or less accurate.

So is Paul’s claim about the CIA and drug trafficking, a connection I explore in the book This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America (2010). (An excerpt of the chapter on the CIA appeared in The Root.) The following is drawn from my book.

Since at least the 1940s, the American government has organized and supported insurgent armies for the purpose of overthrowing some presumably hostile foreign regime. In Italy, the United States helped pit the Corsican and Sicilian mobs against the Fascists and then the Communists. In China, it aided Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang in its struggle against Mao Zedong’s communist forces. In Afghanistan, it once backed the mujahedeen in their fight against the Soviet Union and today backs warlords in opposition to the mujahedeen.

All of these and other US-supported groups profited, or still profit, heavily from the drug trade. One of the principal arguments made by the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) in support of the global drug war is that the illegal drug trade funds violent, stateless organizations. The DEA refers specifically to al Qaeda and the Taliban, but the same method of fundraising has long been used by other violent, stateless actors whom the United States befriended.

An “Uncomfortable” Story

Douglas Farah was in El Salvador when The Mercury News broke a major story in the summer of 1996: The Nicaraguan Contras, a confederation of paramilitary rebels sponsored by the CIA, had been funding some of their operations by exporting cocaine to the United States. One of their best customers was a man nicknamed “Freeway Rick” – Ricky Donnell Ross, then a Southern California dealer who was running an operation The Los Angeles Times dubbed “the Wal-Mart of crack dealing”.

“My first thought was, ‘Holy shit!’ because there’d been so many rumors in the region of this going on”, said Farah twelve years later. He’d grown up in Latin America and covered it for twenty years for The Washington Post.

 

 

There had always been these stories floating around about [the Contras] and cocaine. I knew [Contra leader] Adolfo Calero and some of the other folks there, and they were all sleazebags. You wouldn’t read the story and say, “Oh my god, these guys would never do that”. It was more like, “Oh, one more dirty thing they were doing”.’ So I took it seriously.

 

 

The same would not hold true of most of Farah’s colleagues, either in the newspaper business in general or at the Post in particular. “If you’re talking about our intelligence community tolerating – if not promoting – drugs to pay for black ops, it’s rather an uncomfortable thing to do when you’re an establishment paper like the Post”, Farah told me. “If you were going to be directly rubbing up against the government, they wanted it more solid than it could probably ever be done”.

In the mid to late 1980s, a number of reports had surfaced that connected the Contras to the cocaine trade. The first was by Associated Press scribes Brian Barger and Robert Parry, who published a story in December 1985 that began, “Nicaraguan rebels operating in northern Costa Rica have engaged in cocaine trafficking, in part to help finance their war against Nicaragua’s leftist government, according to US investigators and American volunteers who work with the rebels”.

Only a few outlets followed Barger and Parry’s lead, including the San Francisco Examiner and the lefty magazine In These Times, which both published similar stories in 1986, and CBS’s “West 57th” TV series, which did a segment in 1987. A Nexis search of the year following Barger and Parry’s revelation turned up a total of only four stories containing the terms “Contras” and “cocaine”, one of them a denial of the accusation from a Contra spokesperson. Stories popped up here and there over the next decade, but many of them made only oblique reference to a couldn’t-possibly-be-true conspiracy theory.

Then came The Mercury News article, a 20,000-word three-parter by Pulitzer Prize-winning staffer Gary Webb, published under the headline “Dark Alliance”. “For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the US Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found”, the story began.

The series initially received little attention from major media outlets, but it was eventually spread across the nation by the Internet and black talk radio. The latter put its own spin on the tale: that the US government had deliberately spread crack to African-American neighborhoods to quell unruly residents. The Post newsroom was bombarded with phone calls asking why it was ignoring the story, the paper’s ombudsman later reported.

In response, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times would all weigh in with multiple articles claiming that Webb’s assertions were bunk. His career was effectively ruined, and even his own paper eventually disavowed “Dark Alliance”, despite having given it a cutting-edge online presentation complete with document transcriptions and audio recordings.

The big papers had been pushing their same line for years. In 1987, New York Times reporter Keith Schneider had dismissed out of hand a lawsuit filed by a liberal group charging that the Contras were funding their operations with drug money. “Other investigators, including reporters from major news organizations, have tried without success to find proof of aspects of the case”, he wrote, “particularly the allegations that military supplies for the contras may have been paid for with profits from drug trafficking”.

In These Times later asked Schneider why he’d rejected the Contra-coke connection. He was trying to avoid “shatter[ing] the Republic”, he said. “I think it is so damaging, the implications are so extraordinary, that for us to run the story, it had better be based on the most solid evidence we could amass”.

The American republic, of course, is an idea as much as it is a reality. That idea is of a nation founded on freedom and dedicated to the progress of human rights around the globe. It’s most certainly not of a country that aids the underground drug trade – even if it does.

What Drug Runners Do

If Webb didn’t have ironclad proof that the CIA had knowingly done just that, he did, as one Senate investigator later noted, have “a strong circumstantial case that Contra officials who were paid by the CIA knew about [drug smuggling] and looked the other way”. He based his series on court records and interviews with key drug-runners. One of them, Danilo Blandon, was once described by Assistant US Attorney L J O’Neale as “the biggest Nicaraguan cocaine dealer in the United States”.

Webb had been unable to persuade Blandon to talk, but the cocaine dealer testified at a trial shortly before “Dark Alliance” came out. Blandon wasn’t on trial himself, wasn’t facing any jail time, and was in fact being paid by the US government to act as an informant. In other words, he had no obvious incentive to lie to make the United States look bad. Nevertheless, in sworn testimony, he said that in 1981 alone, his drug operation sold almost a ton of cocaine in the United States and that “whatever we were running in Los Angeles, the profit was going to the Contra revolution”.

Blandon’s boss in the operation was Norwin Meneses, the head of political operations and US fundraising for the Contras. Meneses was known as “Rey de la Droga” – King of Drugs – and had been under active investigation by the US government since the early 1970s as the Cali cocaine cartel’s top representative in Nicaragua. The DEA considered him a major trafficker, and he had been implicated in 45 separate federal investigations, Webb discovered through government documents. Regardless, Meneses had never served any time in federal prison and lived openly in his San Francisco home.

In 1981, Blandon testified, he and Meneses had traveled to Honduras to meet Colonel Enrique Bermudez, the military leader of the Contra army and a full-time CIA employee. “While Blandon says Bermudez didn’t know cocaine would be the fund-raising device they used”, Webb wrote, “the presence of the mysterious Mr Meneses strongly suggests otherwise”. The reporter drew on court documents and government records to show that anyone involved in or familiar with the drug world at the time knew exactly how Meneses went about raising revenue.

Blandon sold the Contras’ product to Ross for prices well below what other dealers could command, allowing him to expand his business throughout Los Angeles, then to Texas, Ohio and beyond. Ross told Webb that he owed his rise to Blandon and his cheap coke. ”I’m not saying I wouldn’t have been a dope dealer without Danilo”, Ross said. ”But I wouldn’t have been Freeway Rick”.

Farah, The Washington Post reporter, said that his reporting on Webb’s trail led to one of the biggest battles of his career. “There were maybe, in my twenty years at the Post, two or three stories out of however many hundreds or thousands I wrote where I had this kind of problem, and this was one of them. I wasn’t in general in confrontation with my editors but … this thing was weird and I knew it was weird”, he said. “I did have a long and dispiriting fight with the editors at the Post because they wanted to say ultimately – their basic take was that I was dealing with a bunch of liars, so it was one person’s word against another person’s word, and therefore you couldn’t tell the truth. But it was pretty clear to me.”

The official government response was provided to Post national security reporter Walter Pincus, who had at one time served in the US Army Counterintelligence Corps. “One of my big fights on this was with Pincus”, Farah remembered, “and my disadvantage was that I was in Managua and he was sitting in on the story meetings and talking directly to the editors. And we had a disagreement over the validity of what I was finding. At the time, I didn’t realize he had been an agency employee for awhile. That might have helped me understand what was going on there a bit.”

Pincus, who said that his involvement with the CIA several decades before is overblown, recalled the developing story differently. “To be honest, I can’t remember talking to Doug at the time”, he said. “To me, it was no great shock that some of the people the agency was dealing with were also drug dealers. But the idea that the agency was then running the drug program was totally different.”

Pincus said that Webb’s core story about the Contras and cocaine didn’t resonate not because it didn’t have any truth to it, but because it was obviously true. “This is a problem that came up – it’s probably a question of how long you cover these things”, he said. “It came up during the Vietnam War, where the US was dealing with the Hmong tribes in Laos and some of the people that were flying airplanes that the agency was using were also [running] drugs”.

Through his reporting, Farah concluded, he’d confirmed the greater part of Webb’s story. “The Contra-drug stuff, I think, was there”, Farah said. “Largely, I think it [Webb’s story] was right”.

The Media Onslaught

The editorial cuts and pushback, however, discouraged Farah from pursuing a further investigation into the Contras’ drug-running history. “I was really sort of disappointed at how things had run there at the Post on that story, and there wasn’t much incentive to go forward after that”, said Farah. (The Post‘s top editor at the time, Leonard Downie, told me that he didn’t remember the incident well enough to comment on it.)

Although Pincus said that he didn’t have any role in neutering and burying Farah’s story, he did say that he sympathized with his fellow reporter. “I was writing about there being no weapons in Iraq, and it was put in the back of the paper”, Pincus said. “I’ve been through the same thing”.

The Washington Post, like The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, published a massive package dedicated to debunking Webb’s story. When a congressional investigation later confirmed the major elements of Webb’s reporting, the papers barely covered it. (I go into the media attack in more detail in the book.)

In the face of the media onslaught, Webb’s editor retracted the story. Webb was demoted and sent to a dustbin bureau 150 miles from San Jose. He resigned after settling an arbitration claim and went to work for a small alt-weekly. Over the next several years, his marriage fell apart and his wages were garnished for child support. On December 10 2004, Webb was discovered dead, shot twice in the head with his father’s .38. The local coroner declared the death a suicide.

Obituaries in the major papers referenced his “discredited” series. The Los Angeles Times obit recalled his “widely criticized series linking the CIA to the explosion of crack cocaine in Los Angeles”, noting that “[m]ajor newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Washington Post, wrote reports discrediting elements of Webb’s reporting”. The New York Times ran a five-paragraph Reuters obit that began, “Gary Webb, a reporter who won national attention with a series of articles, later discredited”. The obit continued, “The articles led to calls in Congress for an investigation, but major newspapers discredited parts of Mr Webb’s work”. It made no mention of the fact that those calls for an investigation were heeded and that the investigation confirmed a great deal of Webb’s reporting.

The headline “Web of Deception” ran atop Howard Kurtz’s story in The Washington Post. “There was a time when Gary Webb was at the center of a huge, racially charged national controversy. That was eight years ago, and it turned out badly for him”, Kurtz wrote. “The lesson”, he concluded, “is that just because a news outlet makes sensational charges doesn’t make them true, and just because the rest of the media challenge the charges doesn’t make them part of some cover-up”.

Reading the obituaries at the time, Farah recalled, was dispiriting. “Everybody, especially in the news business when you’re working fast, makes mistakes”, he said. “But I don’t think that should stand as the final word on what he did”.

Kurtz, however, stands by what he wrote then. “Of course it’s very sad what happened to [Gary Webb] in the end, but I just did some basic reporting on him”, Kurtz said. “I wasn’t going out on a limb.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/30/ron-paul-conspiracy-theory-cia-drug-traffickers_n_1176103.html

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First Transgender President

Trump Becomes Hillary

by Fred Reed

http://fredoneverything.org (April 20 2017)

Oh Lord, it’s happening – the remanufacture of Trump by the Establishment. During the campaign, Trump and the Basilisk had nothing in common but their hair dye. Now, almost daily, he looks more like her.

He gets embarrassing. Regarding the alleged gassing in Syria, quoth Donald:

 

 

When you kill innocent children, innocent babies – babies, little babies – with a chemical gas … that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. … And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me … my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.

 

 

God almighty. Who wrote this – a middle school girl with C’s in English, or the President of the United States? Did he retire to his bedroom for a good cry?

Apparently he ordered his missile strike without bothering to find out what happened. The usual suspects are driving him like a sports car.

The election was a choice between fetor and a lunatic. We chose the lunatic. Whether this was better than the alternative, we will never know, but Trump is going from bad to worse, or as the Mexicans say, de Guatemala a Guatepeor.

Does he believe this stuff? Is he naive enough to think that there was something unusually horrible about the attack? Horrible, yes, but not in the least unusual. Do you know what everyday, boring artillery does to children? Five-hundred-pound bombs? Hellfire rockets? Daily Mr Trump’s military and his allies daily drop shrapnel-producing explosives on people, cities, towns, adults, children, weddings and goatherds in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Good draft-dodger that he was, he probably has never seen any of this. Good psychopath that he may be, he may not care.

This whole gas-attack business smells to high heaven. It looks nicely calculated to force him to attack Assad. Gas was important: Killing babies, little babies with explosives is so routine that no one cares, but we have been programmed to shudder at the thought of Gas!

Actually artillery has killed several orders of magnitude more people, but never mind.

Targeting children was a nice touch. Definitely a public-relations bonus. So Donald goes into his Poor-widdle-fings weep, while Americans weekly kill more children in three to seven countries, depending on the date.

Is the man consciously a liar? Hasn’t got sense enough to think before operating his mouth? Actually believes what he says when he says it?

Glance at a small part of the record and focus on his changing his tune, not on whether you agree with a particular policy. Erratic, erratic, erratic. He was going to run out the illegals within two years, absurd but he said it. Going to put high tariffs on Mexican goods. Didn’t. On Chinese goods. Isn’t. Tear up the Iran treaty. Didn’t. Declare China a currency-manipulator. Isn’t. Ban Muslims. Hasn’t. Promote good relations with Russia. Isn’t. Get the US out of Syria. Ha. Make Nato pay for itself. Isn’t. The man has the steely determination one associates with bean curd. You cannot trust anything the man says.

Having been reprogrammed as a good neocon, bombing places he promised to get out of, looking for a fight with Russia, he is now butting heads with Fat Thing in North Korea. He his said things closely resembling, “We have run out of strategic patience with the North. If nobody else will take care of it, we will.” Grrrr. Bowwow. Woof.

The problem with growly ultimata made for television is that somebody has to back down – that is, lose face and credibility. If Trump had quietly told Fat Thing, “If you crazy bastards scrap your nuke program, we will drop the sanctions”, it might have worked. But no. Negotiations would imply weakness. Thus an ultimatum.

So now either (a) Fat Thing knuckles under, humiliating himself and possibly endangering his grasp on power or (b) Trump blinks in a humiliating display of the Empire’s impotence, possibly endangering his grasp on power.

Kim Jong Il, or Il Sung Jong, or whatever the the hell the latest one of them is called, shows not the slightest sign of backing down. So does the Donald start an utterly unpredictable war, as usual in somebody else’s country, or does he weasel off, muttering, and hope nobody notices?

Fred’s Third Law of International Relations: Never butt heads with a country that has a missile named the No Dong.

Many of us favored Trump, slightly daft though he was, because he wasn’t yet Hillary, wasn’t yet a neocon robot, and didn’t want war with every country he had heard of, apparently meaning a good half dozen. At least he said he didn’t, not yet having been told that he did. In particular, he didn’t want war with Russia. But when the neocons control the media and Congress, they can convince a naive public of anything and, apparently, the President.

Why is the Hillarification of Trump important? The necessary prior question: What is the greatest threat to the neocons’ American Empire? Answer: The ongoing integration of Eurasia under Chinese hegemony. The key countries in this are China, Iran, and Russia. (Isn’t it curious that, apart from the momentary distraction of North Korea, these countries have been the focus of New York’s hostility?) In particular if Russia and, through it, China develop large and very profitable trade with Europe, there goes Nato and with it the Empire.

Oops.

Thus the eeeeeeeeeeek! furor about Russia as existential threat and so on. Thus sending a few troops to Baltic countries to “deter” Russia. This was theater. The idea that a thousand garrison troops can stop the Russian army, which hasn’t gone silly as ours has, on its doorstep is loony.

Hillary was on board with the Russia hysteria and the globalization and the immigration and so on. Trump could have screwed the whole pooch by getting along with Russia, so he had to be reconfigured. And was. A work in progress, but going well.

Too much is being asked of him. One man cannot overcome the combined hostility of the media, the political establishment, the neocons, the myriad other special interests that he has threatened. Mass immigration is a done deal. China develops and America, already developed, cannot keep up. The country disintegrates socially. Washington, always depending on war and its threat, faces a new world in which trade is the weapon, and doesn’t know what to do. The culture courses. The world changes.

Yet if only Trump showed some sign of knowing what he is doing, and could remember from day to day, if only he realized that wars are more easily started than predicted, if only he were not becoming an unbalanced Hillary.

Yet, apparently, he is.

http://fredoneverything.org/first-transgender-president-trump-becomes-hillary/

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The Return of Commercial Prison Labour

by Christoph Scherrer and Anil Shah

The Bullet (April 18 2017)

Prisons are seldom mentioned under the rubric of labour market institutions such as temporary work contracts or collective bargaining agreements. Yet, prisons not only employ labour but also cast a shadow on the labour force in or out of work. The early labour movement considered the then prevalent use of prison labour for commercial purposes as unfair competition. By the 1930s, the US labour movement was strong enough to have work for commercial purposes prohibited in prisons.

Prisoner Strike Solidarity

In the decades following, the number of prisoners decreased to a historic minimum. But with cutbacks in the welfare state, the prison population exploded from about 200,000 in 1975 to 2,300,000 in 2013 (Scherrer and Shah, 2017: 37) and prison labour for commercial purposes became legal again. Today, about fifteen percent of the inmates in US federal and state prisons perform work for companies such as Boeing, Starbucks and Victoria’s Secret. Migrants detained for violating immigration laws are one of the fastest growing segments of prison labour. Under the Trump administration, their numbers are most likely to increase.

Using the example of the US, we will discuss drivers of the return of commercial prison labour.

Neoliberalism: From Mass Incarceration to Commercial Exploitation

The drastic expansion of the penal state was driven especially by the widening of statutory offences for non-violent delicts – such as drug abuse or public urination – and increased minimum penalties. The conservative administrations’ “war against drugs” reveals the racist dimensions of the mass incarceration. The people imprisoned because of substance abuse did not at all reflect the actual proportions of drug consumers. Whereas the Afro-American population constitutes only thirteen percent of drug consumers, roughly corresponding to their demographic weight, they represent three quarters of all those who were imprisoned because of drug-related offenses (Wacquant, 2009: 61).

The transition toward a penal state is closely linked to cuts in state welfare spending. The US prison population is especially large in US states with traditionally lower social security benefits or with big cuts to the social security net (Beckett and Western, 2001). While social programmes aim at social peace, the objective of prisons is disciplining. The prison is an expression of “social disapproval” toward groups with little success in the labour market. It degrades them morally as well as factually to second-class citizens (Alexander 2010: 208). To date, more than six million people in the US have lost their right to vote due to a police record. The deterrent, disciplining moment of this policy of mass incarceration lies in demonstrating the lack of alternatives to precarious work and living conditions, which cannot be circumvented either by hanging around in the streets or by profitable illegal deals such as drug trafficking. Those who resist the discipline of the work society have to expect prison.

The consistent disciplining of “superfluous workers” (Gans, 2012) through mass imprisonment resulted in a steep rise in expenditure on security and prisons. In addition to overcrowding, opportunities for training and rehabilitation were cut to reduce costs. From there it was only a small step to propose using prisoners’ labour power as a source of income. The discourse on financing prisons and detainees moved from “public assistance” to “self-financing”. Under neoliberalism, detention itself is becoming a self-inflicted penalty for which the prisoner and the prisoner’s relatives literally have to pay: processing charges for visits, rents for beds, and co-financing for medical care. In many cases, prisoners are released with bills for prison services of several thousand dollars (Levingston, 2007).

By the late 1970s, federal and state legislation provided legal frameworks for private companies to contract with public prisons to exploit inmates’ labour. Work programmes at the federal level are rather transparent and trade unions as well as local companies are consulted, but state run programs overall employ a much higher share of inmates under undisclosed and highly exploitative conditions. In past decades, a patchwork of decentralized governmental, profit-oriented prison industries has developed. In Colorado, for instance, about 1,600 prisoners were employed in 37 different industrial sites in 2014 (Scherrer and Shah, 2017: 41). That was approximately fifteen percent of the prison population able to work. Production ranges from manufacture of furniture and dairy products to services such as car repair or landscape gardening. Workers received an average daily wage of $3.95 (US) in 2014. Thus the hourly wage, assuming a four-hour working day, remains under $1 (Scherrer and Shah, 2017: 41).

The commercial exploitation of prison labour, although growing, only affects parts of the prison population. The majority of prisoners work on the preservation of the prison itself – for example in the laundry, the kitchen or food distribution. Without this work, the system of mass incarceration would hardly be operable, financially as well as organizationally.

Private Profiting from Migration

The privatization of prisons proceeded in parallel to the recommodification of prison labour. The private prison sector now guards about one tenth of all prisoners. Government agencies pay private companies per prisoner. Unsurprisingly, privatization has not resulted in savings for tax payers despite the paring down of personnel, declining wages and lower fringe benefits – circumstances which have been criticized by trade unions for years.

Three Strikes and You’re Hired

Migration in particular has developed into a profitable branch for private companies. Mandatory detention for migration offences, which was introduced in 1996, resulted in a rapid expansion of deportation centres. By 2011, the daily average population of 32,000 detainees were kept in more than 200 detention centres. Just less than one tenth of all prisoners serve time in private prisons, but forty percent of all immigration detention prisons in the US are privately operated. Two major corporations – CoreCivic and the GEO group – provide one third of detention centre capacity. In 2012, these two companies concluded contracts worth $738-million (US) with federal authorities for detention jails. The government pays for the prisoners as long as the companies meet a minimum quota (34,000 detainees at any moment, since 2013). Thus there is an incentive to detain as many people as possible, for as long as possible. Information about the working conditions in immigration detention prisons are provided solely by newspaper reports. Repeatedly, cases have emerged where migrants were forced to work without payment. About 60,000 migrants are estimated to be working in “voluntary” labour programmes for a daily wage of less than $1 in privately and publicly operated institutions (Urbina 2014).

Overcoming Exploitative Prison Labour

Changes in prison labour practices might be brought about by the inmates themselves. Recently, several attempts at organizing have been reported. In September 2016, the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement (“FICPFM”) and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (“IWOC”) hosted a conference on mass incarceration and exploitation of prison labour. At the same time, prisoners required to work went on strike in a number of prisons. Unfortunately, they failed to get the topic of prison labour on to the agenda of the presidential elections. The media mostly ignored the strikes.

In August 2016, the Department of Justice announced that it would end the use of private contractors to run its federal prisons after a report by its independent inspector-general highlighted massive safety and security problems in private prisons. Civil rights activists hailed the decision and already foresaw the end of an era. Less than half a year later, the Trump administration instructed the Department of Homeland Security to “take all appropriate action and allocate all legally available resources to immediately construct, operate, or control facilities to detain aliens at or near the land border with Mexico” (Hamilton 2017). The decision placed $40-billion (US) for the fiscal year 2017 into the service of privately operated detention centres. Within hours, the stock prices of GEO Group and CoreCivic soared.

Trump’s victory is likely to intensify the corporate takeover of prisons, exploitation of inmates’ labour, and profiting from criminalizing migration. These policies will also cast a shadow on labour: their disciplining force will be felt by marginalized segments of the labour force, and their dividing powers by organized labour. Therefore it is vital to join forces against neoliberalism, racial oppression, immigrant baiting and mass incarceration. Labour’s role should be to foster solidarity amongst social movements involved in these struggles.

_____

Christoph Scherrer is Professor for Globalization and Politics at University of Kassel, Germany. He is also executive director of the International Center for Development and Decent Work and a member of the steering committee of the Global Labour University. Forthcoming publication: Public Banks in the Age of Financialization: A Comparative Perspective, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Anil Shah was a research assistant at the subdivision Globalization and Politics of the Department of Politics at the University of Kassel. He has an interest in theories of global political economy and socio-ecological research. He recently published his master’s thesis, “Destructive Creation: Analyzing Socio-Ecological Conflicts as Frontiers of Capitalist Development” as a working paper.

This is a short version of Scherrer and Shah (2017), first published on the Global Labour Column website.

References:

Alexander, M. (2010) The new Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colourblindness, New York: The New Press.

Beckett, K. and Western, B. (2001) “Governing social marginality: welfare, incarceration and the transformation of state policy”, Punishment & Society, 3(1), pages 43-59.

Gans, H. (2012), “Superfluous Workers”, Challenge, 55(4), pages 94-103.

Hamilton, K. (2017). “Cell high. Donald Trump’s immigration orders will make private prison companies filthy rich”, Vice News, January 26.

Levingston, K.D. (2007), “Making the ‘bad guy’ pay: growing use of cost shifting as an economic sanction”, in T. Herivel and P. Wright (editors.): Prison Profiteers: Who makes Money from Mass Incarceration? New York: The New Press.

Scherrer, C and Shah, A. (2017) “Political economy of prison labour: from penal welfarism to the penal state”, Global Labour Journal, 8(1), pages 32-48.

Urbina, I. (2014), “Using Jailed Migrants as a Pool of Cheap Labour”, New York Times, 24 May 2014.

Wacquant, L. (2009), Punishing the poor: the neoliberal government of social insecurity, Durham: Duke University Press.

http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1397.php

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