Robert Bonner, courtesy Department of Justice

In September, former DEA Chiefs sent a letter to Eric Holder, informing him that it was the obligation of the Department of Justice to oppose Prop 19 if it passes just as they opposed the Arizona immigration law.

In response, Eric Holder is assuring them that they don’t need to worry, because the Department of Justice will “vigorously enforce” federal drug laws even if Prop 19 passes:

Let me state clearly that the Department of Justice strongly opposes Proposition 19. If passed, this legislation will greatly complicate federal drug enforcement efforts to the detriment of our citizens.

That’s no doubt good news for former DEA Chief Robert Bonner, one of the authors of the original letter to Holder, and who has since worked himself into an anti-pot frenzy about what will happen with the drug cartels and the border situation if Prop 19 passes.

Just Say Now can exclusively report the ties between Bonner’s anti-Prop 19 Reefer Madness and nearly $500,000 in federal contracts to “consult” with the Department of Homeland Security about our ever-growing border war.

For the last month, Bonner’s been making the rounds to speak out against Prop 19.

Sacramento Bee:

[Bonner] doesn’t believe the measure can weaken Mexican drug cartels as proponents suggest. If anything, Bonner said, the initiative will force the drug networks to diversity – redoubling efforts on cocaine and methamphetamine and perhaps increasing ‘kidnappings and extortion’ in Mexico.”

It will have very little impact on the overall power of the drug cartels based in Mexico,” Bonner said. “They are criminal organizations and they don’t go away. To the extent you take away their revenues a little bit, they will make it up in other activities.’”

Bonner has been consistently and zealously asserting that the only way to curb drug violence is by pumping a lot of money into the war with the cartels. He writes in the Wall Street Journal that Congress has done its part, and has not poured enough money into things like the Merida Initiative:

Mexico has received a mere 9% of the funds appropriated by Congress. This is just unacceptable. If your neighbor is drowning, he cannot wait forever for the life preserver.

Well, the trouble is, there have been some problems with the money that Homeland Security has been pouring into the war at the border. Specifically, in March of this year Janet Naplitano announced that work would halt on SBInet, the “virtual fence” to be constructed across the US/Mexico border. The Department said that it had been “a grave and expensive disappointment.” They determined that the program needed “better management and oversight,” specifically with regard to the multi-billion dollar contract awarded to Boeing for construction.

Much of the problem had to do with the fact that contractors from Boeing outnumbered the Customs and Border Protection staff, and were often times reviewing their own invoices and seeing if they were reasonable. So rather than hire appropriate staff to supervise the contractors, the U.S. Border Patrol announced it was seeking to hire a contractor for “strategic consulting” to advise them on how to do it:

Even industry publications that typically cater to contractors were skeptical – Government Security News called the request “unusual.” Senior bureaucrats wanted contractors to help with a number of tasks that seemed to make up their own job descriptions.

The contract was written such that only a very narrow group of people with very specific Customs and Border Protection experience would qualify. “All facilitators must be recognized experts in CBP’s business processes, operational environments, stakeholder communities, past and present CBP organization missions and strategies.”

Three days after Bonner and the other DEA Chiefs wrote their letter to Holder on September 13, the $481,000 contract was awarded to a company called Sentinel HS Group, which describes itself as “a strategic consulting firm providing advice and assistance on homeland security matters to the private and public sectors in the United States and abroad,” and specifically served as “principle adviser”… to the team of Boeing Company employees working on SBInet contract.

And who is one of the principles of Sentinal HS Group? Well, that would be one Robert Bonner.

Bonner is also the cochair of the PCIP-COMEXI task force, and recently recommended that there needed to be more investment in …um, his shit:

Robert Bonner, PCIP-COMEXI task force co-chair, emphasized the need to improve border security at and between ports of entry to better facilitate trade and to weaken and defeat organized crime syndicates and drug trafficking organizations (DTOs).

If that’s not quite enough conflict of interest for you, on June 4 2009, Napolitano appointed Bonner to the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Southwest Border Task Force.

So the bottom line: the Department of Homeland Security is awarding fat contracts to people who serve on its Board of Directors. That’s the kind of stuff that will still raise eyebrows even among corrupt Wall Street oligarchs.

It’s very much in Bonner’s financial interest to keep the war at the border going, but he doesn’t disclose that when he’s out there using his DEA pedigree to whip up the Reefer Madness and oppose Prop 19, or demagogue the Arizona immigration law to shake down the administration.

Bonner is not alone. He’s just one glaring example. The ex-DEA chiefs are all enriching themselves at taxpayer expense through their association with firms profiteering off of the war with the cartels being waged at the border. They’d all be SOL if it were to suddenly stop. It’s no different than the Pentagon Generals story that the New York Times broke in 2008.

How nice of Eric Holder to reassure them that the gravy train will continue.

Paging David Barstow….