What is always missing in the more main stream media debates on the 'War on Drugs' such as the Bernd Debusmann article below is involvement of elements of our own government, other governments, central banks and willing helpers. The war on drugs is not so insane from some perspectives. It keeps prices high, provides cover for internal crimes, creates an illusion of doing something about drugs, provides much off the books money for bribery and black ops and perpetuates a corrupt judicial/prison system that racks in billions of taxpayer money.
By: Bernd Debusmann
Dec. 3, 2008
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. His definition fits America’s war on drugs, a multi-billion dollar, four-decade exercise in futility.
The war on drugs has helped turn the United States into the country with the world’s largest prison population. (Noteworthy statistic: The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population and around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners). Keen demand for illicit drugs in America, the world’s biggest market, helped spawn global criminal enterprises that use extreme violence in the pursuit of equally extreme profits.
Over the years, the war on drugs has spurred repeated calls from social scientists and economists (including three Nobel prize winners) to seriously rethink a strategy that ignores the laws of supply and demand.
Under the headline “The Failed War on Drugs,” Washington’s respected, middle-of-the-road Brookings Institution said in a November report that drug use had not declined significantly over the years and that “falling retail drug prices reflect the failure of efforts to reduce the supply of drugs.”
Cocaine production in South America stands at historic highs, the report noted.
Like other think tanks, Brookings stopped short of recommending a radical departure from past policies with a proven track record of failure such as spending billions on crop eradication in Latin America and Asia while allotting paltry sums in comparison to rehabilitating addicts.
Enter Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an organization started in 2002 by police officers, judges, narcotics agents, prison wardens and others with first-hand experience of implementing policies that echo the prohibition of alcohol. Prohibition, now widely regarded a dismal and costly failure of social engineering, came to an end 75 years ago this week.
As LEAP sees it, the best way to fight drug crime and violence is to legalize drugs and regulate them the same way alcohol and tobacco is now regulated. “We repealed prohibition once and we can do it again,” one of the group’s co-founders, Terry Nelson, told a Washington news conference on December 2. “We cannot arrest our way out of this problem.”
FROM AL CAPONE TO DRUG CARTELS
“In the 20s and 30s, we had Al Capone and his gangsters getting rich and shooting up our streets,” said Nelson, who spent a 32-year government career fighting drugs in the U.S. and Latin America. “Today we have criminal gangs, cartels, Taliban and al-Qaeda profiting from the prohibition of drug sales and wreaking havoc all over the world. The correlation is obvious.”
The before-and-after sequence is so obvious that the U.S. Congress passed a resolution in September noting that the 1933 repeal of alcohol prohibition had replaced a “dramatic increase” in organized crime with “a transparent and accountable system of distribution and sales” that generated billions of dollars in tax revenues and boosted the sick economy.
That’s where advocates of drug legalization want to go now, and some of them hope that the similarities between today’s deep economic crisis and the Great Depression will result in a more receptive audience for their pro-legalization arguments among lawmakers and government leaders.
The budgetary impact of legalizing drugs would be enormous, according to a study prepared to coincide with the 75th anniversary of prohibition’s end by Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron. He estimates that legalizing drugs would inject $76.8 billion a year into the U.S. economy — $44.1 billion through savings on law enforcement and at least $32.7 billion in tax revenues from regulated sales.
Miron published a similar study in 2005 looking only at the budgetary effect of legalizing marijuana, the most widely used illicit drug in the United States. That study was endorsed by more than 500 economists, including Nobel laureates Milton Friedman of Stanford University, George Akerlof of the University of California and Vernon Smith of George Mason University.
“We urge…the country to commence an open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition,” the economists said in an open letter to President George W. Bush, congress, governors and state legislators. “At a minimum, this debate will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition.”
The advocates of current policy, led by outgoing President George W. Bush’s drug czar, John Walters, never took up the challenge to discuss cost-benefit equations. His Office of National Drug Control Policy has focused, with the single-minded determination of a moral crusader, on doing the same thing over and over again.
But the United States is not alone in pursuing drug strategies that are based more on wishful thinking than on sober analysis. If you put faith in declarations by the United Nations, a “drug-free world” is an attainable goal and the war on drugs all but over.
In 1998, a special session of the U.N. General Assembly forecast that the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy would be eliminated or significantly reduced by the year 2008, a deadline that also applied to “significant and measurable results in the field of demand reduction.”
The clock is ticking towards midnight, December 31, 2008.
— You can contact the author at Debusmann@Reuters.com. For more columns by Bernd Debusmann, click here. —
Also see: We Can Do It Again
Thanks to Pete Guither at Drug WarRant for the links.
****************************************************Corruption is common on both sides of the border
By Michael Webster, Syndicated Investigative Reporter
With an estimated yearly income worldwide of over $300 billion in illegal drug sells, no wonder with that amount of cash it allows for an enormous amount of that cash to be distributed and liberally passed around to make things happen.
Corruption on both sides of the U.S. Mexican border runs deep and can be found in the highest levels of both the Mexican government as well as the U.S.
A high ranking member of the Caldron administration who wants to remain unknown says, “there is corruption in regards to Narco trafficking in both governments and when there is unlimited cash available that cash finds its way to the powers to be and has no borders when it comes to influence.”
With cash like that available it should be no surprise that tons of illicit drugs find its way into the U.S. where the very agencies that are charged with stopping that drug flow are often the very ones who the Mexican drug cartels pay off with cash, and lots of it.
On March 23, 1983, Vice President George W. Bush took charge of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System (NNBIS). Bush was put in charge of the entire drug interdiction effort of the United States under the than President Ronald Reagan administration. This is the same Bush who was also the Director of the CIA and the Ambassador to China. All considered very powerful appointments. And he ultimately became the President of the United States.
There seems to be no U.S. Government agency immune from corruption the FBI, DEA, CIA, IRS, DOD, National Guard, Federal Air Marshals, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs, U.S Marshalls, ICE, Dept of Commerce, U.S. Justice, U.S. State, and even our state and federal Judiciary and others, many of which are answerable to the top U.S. agency “Homeland Security” This powerful organization was created during the current Bush administration and its power reaches around the world. They all ultimately answer to President Bush and therefore give Bush control over all of them.
The Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations, Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, heard abundant testimony by drug dealers and pilots about CIA connections to cocaine smuggling. The report concluded that the United States allowed foreign policy objectives to interfere with the War on Drugs.
Drug-related corruption has plagued federal, state and local law enforcement in many ways. While the United States draws attention to corruption outside our borders, we do not focus enough attention on corruption at home.
Drug-related corruption has plagued federal, state and local law enforcement in many ways. While the United States draws attention to corruption outside our borders, we do not focus enough attention on corruption at home. more
Gary Webb paid with his life for reporting on US drug corruption.
For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found.
This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia’s cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the crack capital of the world.– From the introduction to the original Dark Alliance website, August, 1996
see more at Narco News
The Mad Cow Morning News continues to investigate America's own "shadowy elite" in drug trafficking.
Afghanistan, Another Untold Story
by Michael Parenti Global Research Dec. 4, 2008
Ruling the country gangster-style and looking for lucrative sources of income, the tribes ordered farmers to plant opium poppy. The Pakistani ISI, a close junior partner to the CIA, set up hundreds of heroin laboratories across Afghanistan. Within two years of the CIA’s arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland became the biggest producer of heroin in the world. more
To hell with the bailouts, spread some of that drug money around
Before the CIA began aiding the mujahedeen (including Osama bin Laden as well as the Taliban) in the fight against the Soviets, there was no discernable heroin trade in Afghanistan. It’s was left up to the CIA’s main man in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, to cultivate the industry during the 1980s.
That’s the same Hamid Karzai who’s today the president of Afghanistan. The same Hamid Karzai whose brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, is suspected by U.S. officials of being deeply involved in the country’s heroin trade, according to a report in The New York Times last month.
The Times, of course, has a difficult time wrapping its head around U.S. support for the drug-dealing Karzai brothers, because as we all know, the United States doesn’t consort with terrorists or drug dealers.
Unless they’re on our side. more
Also see:CIA & Cocaine: Agency Assets Cross the Line
A brief history of CIA involvement in the Drug Trade - William Blum
Mena - WRH
CIA Drug-Money Laundering
Dubai centered drug-money laundering
Jewish networks of drug-money laundering
The war on drugs will never end as long as elements of governments, intelligence agencies, criminal networks and mega-banks are the ones who supply the drugs and make the profits.