Leonhart’s tenure as chief administrator for the troubled agency has seen a litany of scandals including, among others, the massacre of civilians in Honduras, defying President Obama on medical marijuana, the use of NSA metadata to illegally spy on Americans, and systematically fabricating evidence to obstruct federal investigations into the agency.

The most shocking revelations came in March, when a Justice Department report on sexual misconduct by DEA personnel found that federal agents in Colombia had been attending “sex parties” for over a decade. The events were hosted by the very same drug lords they were supposed to be fighting.

DEA agents, some with high security clearances, participated in multiple sex orgies with prostitutes — all paid for by the Medellin cartels. Some employees even received gifts of money and weapons. The alleged events took place several years ago — but there’s no reason to believe the practice has been discontinued. None of the agents were seriously reprimanded.

What the members of the oversight committee fail to understand is that Leonhart is simply doing her job. What appears to be gross incompetence from the outside is actually standard operating procedure for the DEA. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the DEA’s job to prevent the flow of drugs into the country: the DEA’s primary (albeit unacknowledged) mission is to ensure the safe importation and distribution of illegal drugs on behalf of the CIA.

Whenever you hear about a major drug bust somewhere in the world, the DEA is simply eliminating the competition — not saving American lives. Profits from drug sales are the primary source of funding for the covert activities of U.S. intelligence agencies around the world, and the CIA is largely responsible for creating this market.

Drug money proceeds help drive the global economy. Illegal drugs account for nearly 10 percent of all international trade.

The opium market was created in the early 1700s as an official monopoly of the British East India Company, acting on behalf of the British Crown. Perkins, Morgan and Astor are just a few of the families that made their fortunes from the sale of narcotics. John Jacob Astor invested his opium proceeds in Manhattan real estate; the Perkins founded the Bank of Boston; the Morgan and Perkins families endowed Harvard University.

One of the main reasons the cartels are able to retain their enormous power is because multinational banking institutions are more than willing to launder drug money. Many banks exist specifically for that purpose: HSBC — formerly known as “Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation” — has served as the world’s number one drug money laundry since its establishment as a repository for proceeds from the Opium Wars in 1866.

HSBC was recently fined $1.9 billion after admitting its role in laundering dirty money, thereby evading criminal prosecution. Two billion dollars amounts to about five weeks of lost income for the bank.

This lack of enforcement is indicative of the hypocrisy of the drug war: a guy selling a few grams of heroin on the street can face decades in prison, while those who trade in tonnage routinely escape justice.

Bank of America, Citigroup, Wachovia and JP Morgan are among the institutions that have failed to comply with American anti-money-laundering laws in the past. Shockingly, the Vatican bank is implicated as well.

Every American should read a book called “Operation GLADIO: The Unholy Alliance between the Vatican, the CIA, and the Mafia” by journalist Paul Williams. GLADIO was secretly forged at the end of World War II by the CIA, Italian mobsters and Vatican bank officials, initially to prevent the spread of communism in postwar Europe. It soon morphed into something far worse.

GLADIO’s ever-expanding mission was ultimately subsidized via the importation of huge quantities of heroin to America’s inner cities. The CIA funneled billions of dollars into illegal activities around the world, ranging from narcotics and gun running to political assassinations and coups resulting in years of brutal oppression for millions of people — all in the name of “fighting communism.”

Williams alleges that elements of the operation encouraged Islamic terrorism and created financial disasters on an enormous scale. They also facilitated the overthrow of democratically elected governments in Latin America.

Operation GLADIO corroborates previous testimony that U.S. Intelligence assets were directly responsible for creating and maintaining the global narcotics networks that plague us today. DEA whistleblowers have repeatedly stated that the major targets of their investigations invariably turned out to be working for the CIA. They were forced to back off in every case.

So the next time you hear politicians complain about “losing” the war on drugs, it’s just because they don’t have a high enough security clearance.

Jason Darensburg is a columnist for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at opinion@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @DailyLobo.