Drugs Warriors Losing Fight for Funds 

Drugs Warriors Losing Fight for Funds 
Posted by CN Staff on September 13, 2002 at 18:30:28 PT
By Lydia Adetunji 
Source: Financial Times UK
A pile of twisted girders, scattered shoes and a child's toy taken from the World Trade Center rubble sits alongside bloody images of Basque separatist car bombings, a hooded Hamas suicide bomber - and a snapshot of some gaunt-looking drug addicts "getting high".They are part of an emotive exhibition opening this week at the Virginia headquarters of the US Drug Enforcement Administration that examines links between terrorist groups and drug cartels through the prism of September 11.
The display highlights a growing debate in government and drug enforcement circles over how to prosecute the "war on drugs" at a time when the fight against terrorism has taken precedence over narcotics traffickers."We should have the same approach to drugs as we do to terrorism," said Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, at the exhibition last week. "They are both intended to break the spirit of the American nation."The DEA is conveying the same thought as it fights to maintain funding for anti-drug efforts. With the steady redeployment of US resources and manpower to the war on terrorism, the drug agency and other anti-drug campaigners are cranking up a public relations campaign that aims to piggyback on the terrorism fight. Should they play their cards right, the drugs warriors could end up in a stronger position than before.The impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the drugs war was felt at all levels, from street programmes urging children to "just say no" to high-tech interception operations in international waters. The FBI moved some 400 agents out of counter-narcotics operations to counter-terrorism taskforces.The result has left underfunded local law enforcement outfits trying to take up the slack, at a time when they were burdened with additional tasks such as patrolling air port security checkpoints. Centrepiece programmes such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education - which sends police officers into schools to teach children to reject drugs - lost out.Further up the "food chain", the US Coast Guard, which helps intercept illegal drug shipments, moved many of its cutters from the Caribbean to defend ports along the eastern seaboard against terrorists. It plans to drop the proportion of its budget spent countering drugs from 18 to 13 per cent.The DEA, John Walters, the White House drugs tsar, and John Ashcroft, the attorney-general, have been quick to play up the long-recognised links between drugs and terrorism. Rand Beers, former counter-narcotics chief at the State Department, even declared under oath last November that Colombian narcotics traffickers and leftwing Farc rebels had trained at al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.Mr Beers, now deputy head of counter-terrorism at the White House, has since retracted the claim, filed as part of an ongoing court battle involving the spraying of defoliants in Ecuador by a US government contractor.The government's first public relations strike to link the anti-drugs effort with terrorism after September 11 was to launch a $10m advertising campaign - $3.5m of which was spent on just two television airtime slots during the Super Bowl football game in February. In the adverts, listless-looking US teenagers admit their drug use helps terrorists. "I helped a bomber get a fake passport," said one. "I helped blow up buildings," said another.Highlighting the campaign, President George W. Bush said the commercials stressed personal responsibility and morals. But critics of his administration's drug policy were furious, arguing the commercials amounted to blaming marijuana-smoking teenagers for global terrorism.They say the focus on terrorism encourages questionable goals and operations in a $20bn-a-year drug war to which the public is largely indifferent, and argue instead for more attention on treatment programmes.For different reasons, some drug war advocates are also dubious about the terror slant. "All federal agencies go where the money is," says one congressional staff member pushing for more DEA funding. "Terrorism is important but it's not the only message. It's important to keep a distinction because the anti-drug effort is focused on other issues as well. There are other good reasons not to be doing drugs."The two "wars" do bear certain similarities - not least an open-ended time frame - and many argue that melding them is a sound idea. Security experts note that increased security at borders and airports has had benefits for drugs interception.But what of the Afghan heroin trade, the most obvious drugs link to the September 11 attacks? The country's poppy producers saw a bumper crop this year, according to the UN. Ironically, it is the one aspect of the trade the drugs warriors can do little about - the US military has more immediate objectives in Afghanistan than poppy eradication.As one source put it: "If they alienate large segments of the population, the ill-will created towards the US would complicate the political picture."Complete Title: Drugs Warriors Losing Fight for Funds To War on Terror Source: Financial Times (UK)Author: Lydia Adetunji Published: September 13 2002 Copyright: The Financial Times Limited 2002Website: letters.editor ft.comRelated Articles & Web Site:DEA Museumhttp://www.deamuseum.orgDEA Exhibit: Illicit Drug Sales Support Terrorism Czar Says Drug-Smuggling Funds Terrorists DEA Launches Exhibit: Drugs - Terrorism 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 14, 2002 at 09:04:16 PT
Bless Your Heart! You and many others are why what I do here every day gives me hope and inspiration. Thank you Tom.
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Comment #6 posted by goneposthole on September 14, 2002 at 08:55:26 PT
Too bad war Isn't a drug
Schedule I, at the top.If God is out there today, may He bestow his blessings upon you, Rainbow.
God knows you need them.
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Comment #5 posted by Rainbow on September 14, 2002 at 08:17:08 PT
A letter to King george
After sending this to george I expected a raid and deathdear King George the second,I am sorry to inform you that your appeal to me has gone on death ears. I was appalled at the destruction your father king george the First did in Iran killing 200,000 plus children. I am appalled that you desire without evidence to go and kill more innocents. Are you so maligned that you would kill another 200,000 plus children, while your brown-eyed drug czar continues the rhetoric jailing non-violent marijuana users is for the children and we need to continue the racist war on drugs?Your messages are conflicting and make no sense. I am very concerned about the message your administration is sending to the children of the Us and the world. You are in at least 6 wars right now. How many people do you need to kill before you are satisfied?Meanwhile your terrorists in the DEA(th) are raiding innocents in California. How can you condone hurting people? How can you want to hurt people. How can you in the face of so much scientific evidence continue your war on the people of the united states of america? And then watch as your niece gets off scot free. She can do wrong, but if I do I have to go to jail. Sick. As I comment to my friends I think the real axis of evil might be in the US government. We are making enemies not friends in the world. We the government are inviting the people who would kill innocents to come over. Your administration even gave money to the terrorists. By being evil and mean they know of no other way to strike back but to kill. Why don't you read a bit about peaceful people like Christ and Gandhi. Learn a bit about the Rastafarians. Peace is so much better than war and greed.King george are you really that stupid? Is it true that you are a puppet run by evil crusaders like cheny, hutchinson, and asscroft or more importantly the sin of greed? Not yours truly,
Tom Suther
7212 117th St. NW
Oronoco, MN 55960P.S. I fully expect you to send the black helicopters to terrorize me now that you know my feelings about your misguided, cruel, and anti-Christian policies, behaviors, and dealings. You have all appearances of being an evil force.
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Comment #4 posted by dddd on September 14, 2002 at 04:23:23 PT
That was an excellent summary of the situation
..Tim Stone....I especially like the lipstick/eye shadow pig thing!..Well said!
...The title of the article itself is ripe for demeaning belittlement!...As if the "Drugs Warriors",had somehow been denied sufficient resources to wage the "war"...kinda like the war on terror!..for some strange reason,,the hundreds of billions have not quite been enough to hunt down the right "evildoers",who were responsible for all the badness!... I mean,,what is it?..Dont we have the right kind of bombs?..Are our aircraft not good enough?...Are the people running the war kinda stupid?,,or maybe the people paying for the war are kinda stupid? ...Something really stinks here,,wouldn't ya'll agree?..who are these people we are tracking down???.. Al-quaeda,,and his son Burl Quaeda,,and we're looking for their cousin,Julian Quaeda..???
..on tonites news,they announced something like;;"..A great victory in the war on terror.",because they had supposedly caught this one guy who was in on the 9/11 terror plan,and it reminded me of some kinda surrealistic Barney Fife thing ,,,,sayin';"..ya see Andge,,,,We got 'im!...and you thought this terror war wuz not wurth it!...Ya see Andge!!." 
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Comment #3 posted by Tim Stone on September 13, 2002 at 21:31:07 PT
What next?
Anybody remember Czar Gen'l McCaffery, and his total investment in advertising as the best way to reduce drug use? He was so convinced, and we now see that despite the huge advertising budgets and sure-fire re-conditioning that McCaffery's style promised, youth "drug" use has gone up, or at least there is no evidence that use has gone down after all those squillions of sure-fire anti-drug ads. You'd think that the people responsible for the program would be held accountable for the apparent failure of the program. But nope. They're just re-tuning the same failed program. It's like in an advertising campaign for a new soap, where the old, failed advertising campaign had been, "This is a really cool soap." And since that advertising angle failed, the new advertising agency has started a radical new advertising program, with the slogan, "This is a really, really cool soap." They're sure that'll make all the difference. That's what's happening with this new "support terrorism" riff. You put lipstick on the pig and it didn't sell, so now you're going to try putting on eye shadow. It won't make the pig any more saleable, and it increasingly annoys the pig. 
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Comment #2 posted by p4me on September 13, 2002 at 19:16:19 PT
yawn, Prohibition = profits, yawn
 the US military has more immediate objectives in Afghanistan than poppy eradication.As one source put it: "If they alienate large segments of the population, the ill-will created towards the US would complicate the political picture."Why not send the DEAth agents that are busy ruining American lives over to Afganistan and let them "enforce the law?" 1,2
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Comment #1 posted by john wayne on September 13, 2002 at 19:13:10 PT
don't buy it
This story is being released so that shrub can be seen as "coming to the rescue" and "saving us from drugs".> The DEA is conveying the same thought [drugs=terrorism] as it fights to maintain funding for anti-drug efforts.Yeah, riiiiiyght. Like the DEA isn't first in line for funds. 
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