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And, yes, I DO take it personally: A military coup in Guinea that exposes the truth and opts for exposing a drug-dealing government...? Wow...!
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

A military coup in Guinea that exposes the truth and opts for exposing a drug-dealing government...? Wow...!


who woulda thunk it...?
For years, the drug trade was an open secret in Guinea. The inner circle of former dictator Lansana Conte, who ruled Guinea for 24 years until his death, was deeply corrupt, with officials driving opulent SUVs in a capital where most people live without electricity.

Conte died in December. A day later, Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara, a junior army officer, grabbed power in a coup and promised to crack down on corruption, including on the flagrant drug trade. So far, more than a dozen people have been arrested, but Dadis has failed to arrest well-known members of his own military junta who are believed to deal in drugs.

The confessions began two weeks ago on state television in what is now known in Guinea as "The Dadis Show," broadcasts that have caused a spike in TV viewership and are the constant topic at lunch and over coffee.

First up was Ousmane Conte, the feared eldest son of the deceased dictator, who was untouchable under the previous regime. He admitted what everyone in Guinea knew but did not dare say.

"I acknowledge that I was in the drug business — and I regret it," said Conte, whose confession was taped inside his detention cell.


As the cocaine market in the United States matured, drug traffickers turned to Europe instead, according to a U.N. report released in October. Over the past decade, cocaine use in Spain and the United Kingdom has grown three and four-fold. One kilogram of cocaine in Europe now sells for twice as much as in the United States, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

To get the cocaine to Europe, traffickers first smuggle it to Africa's west coast, located directly across the ocean from Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, home to the world's entire crop of coca leaves. They bring it in freighter ships and in small, two-engine planes that land at night on deserted air strips. Once ashore, it is parceled out to hundreds of drug dealers, who smuggle it north on boats, in planes and in their own intestines.

In a report earlier this month, the U.S. State Department said cocaine smuggling through Venezuela alone has shot up fivefold since 2002, from 50 metric tons to an estimated 250 metric tons in 2007. It said a rapidly increasing percentage of the flow has begun to be shipped and flown to West Africa, notably to Guinea and Guinea Bissau, and then on toward Europe.

now, when will the u.s. government's involvement in drug trafficking be similarly exposed...?

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