cannabisnews.com: DEA Head Warns of Drug Abuse Funding Terrorism





DEA Head Warns of Drug Abuse Funding Terrorism
Posted by FoM on April 03, 2002 at 08:23:46 PT
By Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com
Source: CNSNews.com
The head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Tuesday reinforced a message first promoted broadly during the Super Bowl: when Americans abuse drugs, they may be putting their fellow Americans at risk of terrorism.DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson said drug abuse "supports attacks against the judicial system in Mexico. It funds terrorism in Columbia, and generally destabilizes governments from Afghanistan to Thailand."
Hutchinson, a former federal prosecutor, also took note of the personal, human toll of drug abuse, saying abusers "become slaves to their habits. They are no longer able to contribute to their community. They do not have healthy relationships with their families." Speaking before a standing room only crowd at the Heritage Foundation Tuesday, he pointed to the revolutionary FARC terrorist group in Columbia, which the DEA recently confirmed is involved in cocaine production from cultivation to processing and distribution. "In the case of the FARC, the State Department has called them 'the most dangerous international terrorist group based in the western hemisphere,'" Hutchinson said.The Justice Department recently indicted three members of the FARC, including "16th Front" commander Tomas Molina Caracas, for conspiracy to transport cocaine into the United States. The indictments were the first against members of a known terrorist organization for drug trafficking."The cocaine that is transported by the 16th Front," Hutchinson added, "is paid for with currency, with weapons, and with equipment, that is used for terrorist activities."Since 1990, 73 American citizens have been taken hostage in Columbia, more than 50 by narco-terrorists, according to the DEA head, and another dozen Americans have been murdered in that country.As a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Hutchinson said he knows some people see the war on drugs as a political battle, rather than a struggle against terrorism.To make his point, he relayed a personal incident about meeting a federal prosecutor in Mexico who was handling the case of a multi-ton seizure of cocaine from a fishing vessel."I shook hands with that prosecutor. Within one hour after I left Mexico City, this prosecutor, was shot 28 times outside of Mexico City and assassinated," Hutchinson said."When you're going after government officials, judicial officials, to impact the stability of a government, in my judgment, it is terrorism," he added.Hutchinson dismissed arguments that drug legalization would drive down prices and dry-up funding to terrorists."Most people who talk about legalizing drugs think about marijuana. Well, if you legalize marijuana, are you going to put the cartels out of business? No, you've got cocaine and you've got heroin," he said."If you legalize cocaine and heroin, which not many people want to do, is that going to put them out of business? No, because you've got meth-amphetamines and you've got ecstasy," Hutchinson said."Well, if you legalize those too, is that going to put them out of business? No, they'll go on the black market OxyContin," he concluded.Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) believes the resources used enforcing laws against marijuana possession and distribution would be better spent combating "more problematic" drugs such as heroin and cocaine. He calls Hutchinson's argument "foolhardy." "It seems ridiculous to thwart logical, common sense law reforms because of the fear of, not only the unknown but the highly speculative," St. Pierre said."We did not end alcohol prohibition with the fear that people that were engaged in the illegal distribution of alcohol were going to morph into other more problematic, violent criminals," he added.But Hutchinson noted that organized crime "families" that ruled over illegal alcohol manufacturing and distribution during the Prohibition Era did move into other criminal activity, including prostitution, gambling and the illicit drug trade when the 18th Amendment was repealed. "They didn't go out of business until probably the 1980s, when we had an intensive law enforcement effort that finally had success," Hutchinson said. "You do not, by legalization, put criminal organizations out of business."The country's chief drug law enforcement officer acknowledges that reducing demand is the key to eliminating the problems caused by the illegal drug trade."The DEA is very supportive ... of increased efforts in drug education, in parental involvement, and in drug courts that will emphasize treatment of our addict population. And we are trying to coordinate our law enforcement efforts with those demand reduction efforts," Hutchinson said.Source: CNSNews.comAuthor: Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau ChiefPublished: April 03, 2002Copyright: 1998-2002 Cybercast News ServiceContact: shogenson cnsnews.comWebsite: http://www.cnsnews.com/ Related Articles & Web Sites:NORMLhttp://www.norml.org/Heritage Foundationhttp://www.heritage.org/Strong Views on Ads Linking Drugs to Terrorism http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread12423.shtmlCritics Decry Ads Linking Drugs, Terrorhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread12341.shtmlGovernment's Anti-Drug Ads Labeled Super Busthttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread11901.shtml
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Comment #8 posted by Reverend Nick on April 03, 2002 at 14:25:59 PT:
No Crime=No Criminals
I did see Asa on C-Span. The prohibition argument he uses is full of holes. When prohibition was repealed, the "crime families" did move on to gambling leaving booze to Seagrams and the rest. As gambling becomes legal, state by state, the crime families move on to other things leaving the gambling to Trump, Steve Wynn and the other "legitimate businessmen." As prostitution becomes legal (Nevada and several foreign countries including Germany), the "crime families" move out and "legitimate businessmen" like the guy who runs the "Bunny Ranch" in Nevada take over.When the "crime" is removed, the "criminal" simply becomes a tax paying "legitimate" businessman.Legalize drugs, remove the "crime" and entrepreneurial pot-heads have to get jobs while trecherous terrorists and war-lords in South America will have to find other sources of funding. Legal pot will compete with parsely and lettuce. Legal heroin and cocaine will compete with asprin on your pharmacy shelves.The financieres of terrorists and war lords are the guys like Asa whose efforts to criminalize social behavior drives the price of weed to $500 an ounce and God knows how much for the white powders.Come out of the closet. Fight the idiotic powers that be.
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Comment #7 posted by freddybigbee on April 03, 2002 at 12:56:05 PT:
There you have it!
"As a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Hutchinson said he knows some people see the war on drugs as a political battle, rather than a struggle against terrorism."Six months ago we'd never even heard this ludicrous argument; now it's supposed to be so ubiquitous that only a few misguided people don't "know" that the war on drugs is a struggle against terrorism. Well sure, that's what it's always been, right? For the last thirty years haven't we heard time and time again that the war on drugs = the war on terror?  NOT! Just more useless spin designed to confuse the issues.
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Comment #6 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on April 03, 2002 at 11:19:58 PT
I pity the fool
  Did anyone else catch Asa on C-Span's Washington Journal on Monday? I thought it was the perfect choice for April Fools' Day. One caller expressed that he knew through personal experience that cannabis was less powerful than alcohol, and why was one legal and the other not? And Asa had the incredible nerve to say, "Well, just because it affects you one way, doesn't mean it works the same for everybody." At this point, I really wish Washington Journal would keep callers online for a chance at some rebuttal. The calls were overwhelmingly in support of legalization, even from one guy who said he was very conservative. But the most efficient use of DoubleSpeak from comrade Hutchinson on this programme was near the end, when he replied to one caller's comment that the drug war was an acknowledged failure. He had the nerve to credit some statistics about a drop in drug use as an excuse to say, why, the drug war is doing just fine!... but deep down we all knew he was defending his paycheck.  The only thing I can applaud Asa Hutchinson for is being available to at least answer questions. Was Barry McCaffrey ever on a live call-in show? Asa has debated Gary Johnson, and more than once if I recall. Wonder if he'd accept an invitation to go to Haarlem and get some Dutch experience?
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on April 03, 2002 at 10:56:51 PT:
And the moral of the story is?
Don't shake Hutchinson's hand. It's distinctly unhealthy.All joking aside, this reveals once more that the DEA is running Asa, not the other way around. He's even parroting their asinine raison d'etre for their existence...without realizing he's tripped over the obvious.But Hutchinson noted that organized crime "families" that ruled over illegal alcohol manufacturing and distribution during the Prohibition Era did move into other criminal activity, including prostitution, gambling and the illicit drug trade when the 18th Amendment was repealed. "They didn't go out of business until probably the 1980s, when we had an intensive law enforcement effort that finally had success," Hutchinson said. "You do not, by legalization, put criminal organizations out of business."Oh jeez, he's filled my plate with so much turkey, I'll have a heart attack from all the slicing I have to do (whirrrr-whirrrr!)Ok, Asa-me-lad, first off: It was legalization which did end Prohibition Phase 1. That was the whole idea behind it's repeal. And it worked. The minor bootleggers were destroyed by the economics of cheap, legal and taxable booze than they were by Elliot Ness and his bully-boys.Secondly, because the illegal drug market was not addressed by PP1's repeal, the major gangsters were able to 'diversify' their holdings...into illicit drugs. Keep some drugs illegal, and they sustain a 'black' market. Simple, easily understood economics. Most people who talk about legalizing drugs think about marijuana. Well, if you legalize marijuana, are you going to put the cartels out of business? No, you've got cocaine and you've got heroin," he said. "If you legalize cocaine and heroin, which not many people want to do, is that going to put them out of business? No, because you've got meth-amphetamines and you've got ecstasy," Hutchinson said. "Well, if you legalize those too, is that going to put them out of business? No, they'll go on the black market OxyContin," he concluded.This is what's known as a sophistry:
http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=sophistrysophistryn : a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone [syn: sophism] Source: WordNet  1.6,  1997 Princeton UniversityFact: most cannabis consumed in the US comes from small grow ops - domestic ones. Not major cartels. The vast majority of those are in the confines of the Continental US (CONUS). I know who grows some...he was born here, is distinctly Caucasian in appearence and belongs to the local church (not mosque). He's not wearing a turban, but a baseball cap that says "Don't mess with the US!". And the only AK-47 he's ever handled came from a dead Viet Cong nearly 40 years ago who didn't need it anymore...after meeting up with him in a stinking green jungle. You want to call Mikey (not his real name) a terr? Put your Kevlar underwear on first.Fact: most people who use cannabis don't want harder stuff. They are not ignorant, mindless consuming automatons but very thoughtful people who saw that hard stuff destroyed their friends. The only reason any of them have contact with any hard stuff at all is because the 'professional' dealer is always trying to pass it their way, when as I said, all they want is weed. Remove the 'professional' dealer from the equation via legalization and control, and you at once remove the availability of hard stuff and the profitability of it.and lastlyFact: The number of addicts in this country is directly proportional to the the amount spent on law enforcment as opposed to treatment. Fully two-thirds of all government spending on illicit drug matters favors interdiction, not treatment. The cop needs the addict, just as the addict needs treatment. But the cops doesn't need the addict getting treated; he needs more addicts to justify his expenditures. A very sick form of calculus, but undeniable. Legalization and control via licensing schemes would remove the incentive to continue arresting addicts. And the monies saved from switching from interdiction to treatment would pay off within 3 years, as the number of treament beds increased and the number of addicts being treated rose concomitantly.All Asa has done is shown once again how fundamentally barren the argument for Prohibition is. When you allow the dog to chase it's tail, don't be surprised if the poor thing staggers from it's pointless exertions. I see Asa's mouthings as being no different that the logical staggerings resulting from an 88 year long game of tail-chasing.
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Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on April 03, 2002 at 09:26:35 PT
And speaking of prostitutes
The drug war pays the man's salary. Where would Asa Hutchinson be without cocaine?
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Comment #3 posted by Morgan on April 03, 2002 at 09:26:12 PT
Safe Haven
Speaking at The Heritage Foundation. I guess it's about the last place he can spout this crap, and not be called a liar.
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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on April 03, 2002 at 09:24:51 PT
At least he's admitting it
But Hutchinson noted that organized crime "families" that ruled over illegal alcohol manufacturing and distribution during the Prohibition Era did move into other criminal activity, including prostitution, gambling and the illicit drug trade when the 18th Amendment was repealed. "They didn't go out of business until probably the 1980s, when we had an intensive law enforcement effort that finally had success," Hutchinson said. "You do not, by legalization, put criminal organizations out of business."We took away one of their illegal sources of revenue and they moved on to other illegal sources of revenue. That proves legalization works, not that it doesn't work.Notice that we have been steadily legalizing gambling throughout much of America, and the discusssion is still open about prostitution.
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on April 03, 2002 at 09:03:34 PT
Re-enforcement
More re-enforcement of a bad idea, but Norml is mentioned, that's cool.
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