Tag Archives: Drug War

The Evil of the Drug War, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The drug war has wreaked enormous damage on America. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

With the exception of the U.S. national-security state and its foreign policy of empire and intervention and its torture, state-sponsored assassinations, coups, alliances with dictatorial regimes, invasions, occupations, wars of aggression, illegal and unconstitutional wars, mass secret surveillance, indefinite detention, secret prison camps, drug experimentation on unsuspecting people, denial of due process, denial of trial by jury, kangaroo military tribunals, and other dark-side practices, it would be difficult to find a better example of an evil and immoral program than the war on drugs.

Consider:

1. Everyone, including the most ardent drug-war proponent, agrees that this decades-long program has failed to achieve its goal, which is a drug-free society.

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Rethinking Drug Legalization, by Jeffrey James Higgins

A former drug enforcer comes out in favor of drug legalization. From Jeffrey James Higgins at internationalman.com:

The war on drugs is not going well. Despite decades of counter-drug efforts, at a cost of more than one trillion dollars, illegal drugs are still readily available on the black market. Worse, drug proceeds have become the lifeblood of terrorist groups, transnational criminal organizations, and street gangs. A 2014 Pew poll showed 67% of Americans prefer drug treatment to prosecution, yet prisons remain overcrowded with drug offenders and citizen’s civil liberties are routinely sacrificed for little gain.

Now is the time to rethink drug legalization.

I spent most of my 25-years in law enforcement investigating drug traffickers. As a deputy sheriff, I investigated street-level drug dealers, then as a DEA supervisory special agent, I traveled the world hunting the upper echelon of transnational drug trafficking organizations. I convicted Haji Bagcho, the world’s most prolific heroin trafficker, and Khan Mohammed, the first person arrested for narco-terrorism. My experience made me sympathetic to the emotional impulses behind prohibition, but it also gave me valuable insight into the ineffectiveness of drug laws. It is ideologically consistent to believe in both the evils of drug abuse and in the immorality and impracticality of paternalistic laws—like drug prohibition.

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The Drug War Is Pushing More Migrants to Our Borders, by Mark Thornton

Don’t overlook the role of the drug war in creating the stream of immigrants coming to the US’s southern border. From Mark Thornton at lewrockwell.com:

Over the last couple of weeks we have been bombarded by news coverage of the US government handling of foreigners illegally crossing the southern border and having their children separated from parents by our government. At first I tried to avoid subjecting myself to this circus, but I have been paying close attention for about a week.

I describe it as a circus because of the hysteria involved. Everyone from the Know- Nothing wing of the Trump party to the ultra-PC progressives, and the libertarians, and even the First Lady Melania Trump have jumped on the emotional roller coaster. The story is all the rage on talk shows and even reporters for NPR, remarkably, have shown audible signs of emotion.

Despite my diligence in reluctantly following this story, without exception there has been no coverage of the reason why these people from Central American are risking their lives during a treacherous journey. They leave all to get to a country where they face our hostile president and government and they don’t even speak the local language. While Mexicans have been crossing into America at least since the US annexed Texas in 1845 and stole the northern half of Mexico in 1848, Central American immigration to the US is a relatively new phenomenon.

If we knew what was causing this new phenomenon of the highly risky immigration we might be able to stop it and end all the hysteria. Yet, the media does not appear to be interested in discovering the cause of this effect. Maybe they are not bright enough to recognize that most effects have causes?

Central American Violence

The direct cause of this migration is violence in their home countries. The level of violence has risen dramatically in this century. According to UN statistics, the Central American country of El Salvador had the highest murder rate in the world with a recorded 83 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016. Its neighbor to the north, Honduras, had the second worst rate at 57. Tiny Belize had the 7th worst rate. Guatemala was 15. th

To continue reading: The Drug War Is Pushing More Migrants to Our Borders

Congress Prepares to Give Jeff Sessions More Power to Ban Whatever Substance He Doesn’t Like, by Michael Krieger

Congress wants to allow the federal government still more power to tell you what you can and cannot put in your own body. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

Allowing government to arbitrarily determine which substances human beings can put into their own bodies is one of the most idiotic things a society can do. As such, its no surprise Congress is salivating at the prospect of furthering this travesty by giving additional discretion on the matter to drug war-crazed loon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Reason published an excellent article on the topic in yesterday’s piece: Congress Wants To Give Jeff Sessions Unprecedented New Drug War Powers.

Here are some key excerpts:

If you think the Department of Justice has more than enough tools to wage the war on drugs, a bill passed by the House would create a fast-track scheduling system that could lead to the criminalization of kratom, nootropics, and pretty much anything that gives you a buzz and isn’t already illegal.

The House of Representatives voted on Friday to create a new schedule of banned drugs under the Controlled Substances Act, called “Schedule A,” and to give Attorney General Jeff Sessions broad new powers to criminalize the manufacturing, importation, and sale of substances that are currently unregulated, but not illegal. The bill is now headed to the Senate, where co-sponsors Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) will likely have little problem whipping votes.

The Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogs Act, or SITSA, is intended to crack down on drugs that closely resemble currently banned or regulated substances in either their chemical structure or intended effects. SITSA would also empower the attorney general (A.G.) to add drugs to this new schedule with few checks from other branches of government….

To continue reading: Congress Prepares to Give Jeff Sessions More Power to Ban Whatever Substance He Doesn’t Like

When Government Evil Triumphs, Freedom Falls, by John W. Whitehead

John W. Whitehead explodes the fallacy that when the government does it, it’s okay. From Whitehead at rutherford.org:

It is often said that if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.

Unfortunately, the American government has been the opposite of good for too long now.

In fact, the American government has been very, very, very bad: so bad, in fact, as to be almost indistinguishable at times from the evil it claims to be fighting, whether that evil takes the form of terrorism, torture, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, murder, violence, theft, pornography, scientific experimentations or some other diabolical means of inflicting pain, suffering and servitude on humanity.

Philosopher Susan Neiman suggests that referring to something as “evil is a way of marking the fact that it shatters our trust in the world.”

It’s an apt description for a government that keeps violating the sacred trust of its citizenry.

“We the people” should have learned early on that a government that repeatedly lies, cheats, steals, spies, kills, maims, enslaves, breaks the laws, overreaches its authority, and abuses its power at almost every turn can’t be trusted.

Consider just a few of the ways in which the government—in a misguided, ill-conceived, flawed, bureaucratic and downright Orwellian attempt to fight evil with evil—continues to inflict evil on the citizenry.

Peddling child pornography to catch child porn consumers: As part of an effort to crack down on child porn consumers and traffickers, for two weeks in 2015, the FBI secretly hijacked a child porn website, improved the technical functionality of the site, and uploaded tens of thousands of images of child pornography to the site. In doing so, the government not only became the largest distributor of child pornography, but it also became the largest exploiter of children. All told, the FBI was accused of hosting an estimated 22,000 images, videos and links of child pornography that more than 100,000 people accessed.

To continue reading: When Government Evil Triumphs, Freedom Falls

 

Here’s Why America’s Drug War Has Been an Epic Failure, by Alice Salles

The war on drugs, like the wars on poverty and terrorism, promotes that which it ostensibly is meant to either curtail or eradicate. From Alice Salles at theantimedia.org:

The U.S. government’s efforts against illicit drugs have finally run their course. With over one trillion dollars wasted over the past several decades and nothing to show but failure, taxpayers are beginning to ask a simple yet pertinent question: Is it time to end the bottomless funding of this utterly ineffective anti-drug crusade?

With a $29 billion budget for the 2017 fiscal year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has secured vast resources to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). With a sizeable budget — $2.8 billion in 2015 — the agency tasked with the chore of enforcing “the controlled substances laws and regulations … and [bringing] to the criminal and civil justice system … organizations and principal members of organizations involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States” has continued to be the number one drug warrior within the federal government. But the DOJ’s Criminal Division, which is tasked with overseeing multiple offices, also houses the Organized Crime and Gang Section (OCGS), an agency that specializes in “developing and implementing strategies to disrupt and dismantle” gangs and organized crime, including drug trafficking. The 2017 budget for the Criminal Division alone is $198.7 million, which represents a “9.3 percent increase over 2016.”

Over the years, these agencies have time and again been tasked with capturing drug lords and low-level sellers, attempting to put an end to the flow of illicit substances into the country. But despite the copious amounts of resources used in this task alone — whether it’s through the DEA, the OCGS, or even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — illicit substance use (and abuse) has only grown across the country.

To continue reading: Here’s Why America’s Drug War Has Been an Epic Failure

The Drug War is State-Sanctioned Theft, by Lorelei McFly

Making drugs illegal is one of those “crimes” that spawns far more criminality than the original crime. From Lorelei McFly at copblock.org (for links, please refer to the original article):

One of the biggest lies our government tells us is that it wages the War on Drugs to keep us safe. More than 40 years after it was started, we know that it has been a colossally-expensive epic failure on its stated goals, was intentionally designed to further disenfranchise marginalized groups, and has become a full-fledged assault on our civil liberties.

Even with all the billions of tax dollars it spends each year, and all the flashy photo ops of seized drugs stacked on tables, the Drug Enforcement Agency only stops 1% of the illegal drug supply from being distributed in America, according to the video below. Not only is law enforcement pathetically inept at stemming the flow of drugs, they are active participants in the illicit drug trade at both the federal and local level:

• Documents Show CIA complicity in the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s
• DEA’s 12-year business arrangement with El Chapo’s Sinaloa drug cartel
• Florida Cops Laundered Millions For Drug Cartels, Failed To Make A Single Arrest
• 13 Current and Former North Carolina and Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Indicted for Drug Smuggling
• California Drug Cop Busted Smuggling $2 Million Worth of Marijuana
• Pennsylvania Police Officer Who Obtained Hundreds of Narcotic Pills from 19 Different Doctors Given Plea Deal for Probation
• Narcotics Unit Supervisor Charged with Stealing Drugs from Evidence Room in Ohio

That drug prohibition causes far more harm than it supposedly prevents would not even be a question of debate were it not for the fact that so many people’s livelihoods now depend on waging it. The ugly unspoken truth is that the War on Drugs is a massive jobs and funding program for law enforcement that is operated under the guise of saving people from the evils of substance abuse.

State-Sanctioned Theft

Everything we do is suspect, and everything we own is subject to seizure— take cash for an example. The saying used to be that “cash is king,’ however these days it’s “cash is criminal” since cash transactions and even withdrawing or carrying “large amounts,” basically more than a few dollars, of your own money is now considered an indication of criminal activity (see here). Section 31 U.S.C. 5103 states, “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues,” so why does the government that prints that same money have such a problem with its citizens using it?

How Cash Became Criminal

Cash transactions are anonymous, so it is assumed that people who make cash transactions are trying to avoid leaving records of their activities. And if any aspect of your life is not a traceable, verifiable open book for the government, obviously you must be hiding something. Never mind that the case is often that people simply find using cash allows them to manage their finances more responsibly without risking overdraft or interest fees, or are making a purchase that requires cash, such as buying a used car, or that they simply do not have access to bank accounts due to low income or poor credit history.

To continue reading: The Drug War is State-Sanctioned Theft