One of the Frank Sinatra songs I liked when I was in short pants was “The Best is Yet To Come.” Come 2012, we will play Frankie every day because we know that the best is yet to come.
Before the release of the WikiLeaks cables the Guyanese people knew (no one was that stupid not to know) that the most senior players in the corridors of power had relationships, entanglements and conspiracies with Roger Khan. What we didn’t know was how the US Embassy officials felt about these overlapping processes. We know now.
The obvious questions are what did Khan and Captain Clarke say, admit, confess to as part of their plea bargaining. If he had rejected plea bargaining, Khan would have died in prison when convicted. He probably would have got such a large sentence that parole hearing would have started after he had completed 20 years and there was no guarantee of being given parole.
Khan offered information that has been transferred to the DEA. The same for Clarke. What did they tell the district attorneys?
We can make an intelligent guess as we read the cables on Khan’s narcotics business. One obvious scenario is that both men (Khan and Clarke) named very high level rulers in the Guyana Government who were in direct conspiracy with Khan. As we continue to digest the cables, we know the best is yet to come. That means there will be American indictments after the elections in 2011.
If you do a survey among all types of folks, including the PPP rural constituencies, a majority of interviewees will tell you that they think the US Government will issue indictments against senior members of the Government of Guyana during the period 2002-2009.
We can safely answer the curiosity as to why not before, why not now. There are bound to be complications when the Prime Minister or the President or serving Ministers of a government are charged by the US for involvement in drug trafficking or participating in money-laundering. Two danger areas exist. The accused can poison the situation by claiming political victimization. In that case, it may tend to generate sympathy from other States and hostility towards the US. Secondly, the US feels that such controversies will not help in future operations.
It means, therefore, that the US would prefer a more strategic route. Seek the extradition of these suspects after they demit office. The strategic advantage is obvious. First, if there is a change of government things become almost perfect, because the new government would be a willing partner in the US attempt at prosecution.
Secondly, the accused may not attract solidarity in the world arena because of practical politics or realpolitik.
Since the indicted ex-officials are no longer in power, the existing rulers in other territories may no longer see the need to go on a limb for them. They will be perceived as things of the past and no longer valuable to those who sit in government and need to stay on good terms with the US. I can see in both CARICOM and the wider Third World, statements of support for members of the Guyana Government should the US go ahead and attempt to arrest serving members of the Jagdeo administration.
I doubt CARICOM Heads will see the need or have the time or energy to fight a battle for former politicians in Guyana who have been summoned to appear in a US court for money laundering offences. Such is the nature of politics.
No matter how the present dictators dismiss the cables as subjective opinions of Embassy staff, the Guyanese people know they are worried about what will happen to them after they demit office. Very few Guyanese (this is my opinion I may be wrong because I haven’t tested it) have come to grips with the implications of those cables. By this I mean, really fathom the political ugliness that those cables on Khan describe.
I contend, in no other country in the world would you have a situation where a narcotics baron, engaged in the export of cocaine and the murder of people, is courted openly by a government and allowed to invest his proceeds in sensitive areas of the economy. It is not that Khan was an invisible, small time trader who ran a mediocre operation. The man was the leading drug baron who was wrapped up in the arms of powerful politicians.
Do you believe Mr. Jagdeo didn’t know about Khan? Do you believe Leslie Ramsammy’s denial? The cables are out. The indictments are next. The best is yet to come.
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