John "Sparky" McLaughlin
was the kind of guy other cops called ‘driven' or to his closest friends ‘psycho', because he didn't care whose
shoes he stepped on during an investigation. If you were ‘dirty' you were ‘swept up' by "the Bastard Squad",
a pejorative term labeled by the brass in the Attorney General's Office when referring to the four Narcotic Agents that had
raised hell up and down the East Coast, throughout the CIA, the Department of State and onto Latin America following the truth;
however ‘inconvenient' it might be for Washington heavyweights.
began his career as in 1977, and moved on through Special Units (K9, Highway Patrol) and in 1992; he transferred to the Bureau
of Narcotics Task Force. His immediate success earned him a spot as a "Narcotic Agent" with Pa. Attorney General's
Office in February of 1995.
In October of 1995, Sparky and his crew's interrogation
of Dominican national drug suspects marked the beginning of an investigation that would eventually document the funneling
of U.S. drug money to the campaign of Dominican Presidential candidate Jose Francisco Pena-Gomez.
A victory for Pena-Gomez would insure that "narcotics would flow much easier into the U.S." Pena-Gomez's,
Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) was backed by the C.I.A. and State Department. In fact, the Vice President was
all too happy to attend a fundraiser held on his behalf, well attended by PRD officials.
Sparky refused to back off or cooperate with the C.I.A., he became a target. His life began to unravel.
All of his pending cases were thrown out. News stories began appearing indicating that McLaughlin
was the subject of an ongoing "police corruption" investigation. The FBI confiscated folders connected with his
cases. In short, his career was destroyed as the Philly DA and his former boss, under apparent direction from the CIA, pulled
every conceivable nasty trick in their effort to punish John McLaughlin including personal attacks which were fended off viciously
by Sparky's former Police K-9.
The ‘damnatio memoriae' method of disappearance
was practiced in the Soviet Union. When an important political figure was convicted, for instance during the Great Purge,
artists would retouch them out of photographs; books, records and histories would be recalled, rewritten or re-enacted; pictures,
busts and statues would be taken down; people would be discouraged from talking about them, and the government would never
mention them again. They were made to have never existed - unpersoned - in the same way as was used by the Ministry of Truth
in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Notable examples range from prominent Russian revolutionaries who took part
in the Russian Revolution but disagreed with Bolsheviks, to some of the most devoted Stalinists (for instance Nikolai Yezhov)
who fell into disfavor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_disappearance
But this is America, where a person is
innocent until proven guilty. Sparky's case was different. He knew too much. He had to be ‘disappeared'.
Since 2001, as part of its War on Terror, the United
States' Central Intelligence Agency has operated a network of off-shore detention facilities, commonly known as black sites,
which are used as part of the system of extraordinary rendition used to hold and interrogate "high-value" foreign
combatants captured during the US's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ACLU has stated they consider extraordinary rendition
to be an illegal form of forced disappearance and called for the detainees to receive trials and the camps to be closed; the
US government argues that since the combatants are captured while participating in active military conflict against the United
States and officially designated as "Illegal Combatants" under the Geneva Convention, the detentions are legal under
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons
from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 2006, also states that the widespread or systematic
practice of enforced disappearances constitutes a crime against humanity. Crucially, it gives victims' families the right
to seek reparations, and to demand the truth about the disappearance of their loved ones. The Convention provides for the
right not to be subjected to enforced disappearance, as well as the right for the relatives of the disappeared person to know
the truth. The Convention contains several provisions concerning prevention, investigation and sanctioning of this crime,
as well as the rights of victims and their relatives, and the wrongful removal of children born during their captivity. The
Convention further sets forth the obligation of international co-operation, both in the suppression of the practice, and in
dealing with humanitarian aspects related to the crime. The Convention establishes a Committee on Enforced Disappearances,
which will be charged with important and innovative functions of monitoring and protection at international level. Currently,
an international campaign of the International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances is working towards universal ratification
of the Convention.
Disappearances work on two levels: not only do they silence
opponents and critics who have disappeared, but they also create uncertainty and fear in the wider community, silencing others
who would oppose and criticize. Disappearances entail the violation of many fundamental human rights. For the disappeared
person, these include the right to liberty, the right to personal security and humane treatment (including freedom from torture),
the right to a fair trial, to legal counsel and to equal protection under the law, and the right of presumption of innocence
among others. Their families, who often spend the rest of their lives searching for information on the disappeared, are also
Simple, short and to the point; Sparky was pissed.
civil rights lawsuit filed in 1997 on behalf of McLaughlin and fellow agent Charles Micewski was ultimately dismissed.
Undeterred, the agents filed a second lawsuit claiming
the state attorney general and his deputies had retaliated against them for the first lawsuit.
Sparky's problem's weren't over though; after winning the suit he found himself suddenly placed on the TSA
terrorism no fly list despite filling out all the necessary paperwork and contacting his local Senator for help. By the way
Sparky was entrusted on a daily basis with "secret classified" information and had powers of arrest for violations
of weapons of mass destruction.
*The first public incident left his daughter crying
at the first class counter as she thought her dad was being taken away instead of going on a much needed family vacation with
his daughter he only had for one week a year.
*A mangled Black-Ops contractor
finally gets identified through a central figure in the ‘Filegate' scandal. He had been attacked by Sparky's K9 Blitz.
*A former Assistant United States Attorney out of New York is suddenly identified as the rogue CIA
Agent now working as the 'backroom fixer' for the world's second largest Professional Services Firm according to a relative.
Many more obstacles on the road back to "Visibility"
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