War on Drugs No Longer Feds' Highest Priority

War on Drugs No Longer Feds' Highest Priority
Posted by CN Staff on June 15, 2002 at 08:58:13 PT
By Lance Gay
Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times 
The drug war that once topped Washington's agenda is slipping behind terrorism in importance. Some 400 FBI agents once assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration have been transferred to the war on terrorism, and Coast Guard cutters have been reassigned from the Caribbean to protect warships and tankers in U.S. ports.Meanwhile, President Bush's government reorganization plan would move all Border Patrol and Customs agents to the proposed Department of Homeland Security. The new department would also take in the Coast Guard.
DEA officials admit they are feeling the changes but insist they don't mark any difference in the long-standing commitment to fight drugs, or will result in any diminishment in the agency's effectiveness."We see the DEA picking up the slack where the FBI left off,'' said DEA spokesman Will Glaspy.Glaspy said the agency does not expect a flood of drugs into the United States with the government refocusing its resources on terrorism. He added that the war on drugs goes hand-in-hand with the war on terrorism throughout the world, noting that profits from illicit drugs are funding terrorists. New efforts to tighten the borders should also cut down on smuggling, he said.Asa Hutchinson, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, says the FBI needs to concentrate on fighting terrorism, and that he will ask Congress for more funds to make up for the losses.Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., chairman of the House Republican Conference, said the campaign against drugs wasn't being fought effectively anyway. He suggested that the Sept. 11 attacks prompted the federal government to focus fresh attention on the efficiency of government operations."There was never a concentrated effort to win" the war on drugs, Watts said. "Have we won it?"Tim Lynch, an analyst with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, said the war on terrorism is more important than the drug war, which should be given back to state and local law-enforcement officials to handle."It makes no sense for federal agents to raid marijuana clubs in California when there are terrorist sleeper cells plotting attacks against us with weapons of mass destruction," Lynch said. He said that only the federal government has the resources to track international terrorists, and that the drug war should be a lower priority.Lynch said that government agents admit they are intercepting as little as 5 percent to 7 percent of illicit drugs anyway. Since Sept. 11, "the drug war is not worth the time, the money and the distraction,'' he said.Some local police don't agree. Ken Jenne, the sheriff of Broward County, Fla., said the diversion of FBI agents from drug and white-collar crimes could set back efforts to control crime in South Florida.Jenne said it's not just a matter of manpower, but that federal agents have better equipment and can easily get wiretaps from federal judges that local police have difficulty getting through state courts.Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said no one disagrees with the need to find and track terrorists. But, "we have to pause and ask: 'How are we going to go about the normal job of investigating all the other bad guys besides the terrorists?' "Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)Author: Lance GayPublished: June 13, 2002Copyright: 2002 Corpus Christi Caller-TimesWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cato Institute Chief Discusses Drug War The Drug War Claim Another 3,056 Casualties?
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Comment #3 posted by Nuevo Mexican on June 15, 2002 at 13:53:34 PT
"Republican arrested for drug dealing"
'he attended anti-drug rallies too' chart detailing corporate Pres. and CEO's etc and what 'they rule'
Distribute widely, this will open any 'deniers' eyes!
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Comment #2 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on June 15, 2002 at 12:02:32 PT
Legalize, tax and regulate
  If we just softly relent in the drug war, the manufacture and distribution of these drugs will remain a great profit-maker for criminals, and possibly even terrorists. If we end the war on our own citizenry, we could find additional funds from the marijuana tax, not to mention the $40 billion we'd save in the first place.>>Since Sept. 11, "the drug war is not worth the time, the money and the distraction,'' he said.  What we've been saying all along! But it doesn't seem to stop the federales... those people with a vested interest, usually a drug-war paycheck.
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Comment #1 posted by JHarshaw on June 15, 2002 at 10:48:45 PT
Oh Really?
""There was never a concentrated effort to win" the war on drugs, Watts said." If the propaganda that I have been exposed to over the course of my life does not qualify as a "concentrated effort," then I would hate to think what one WOULD be!Peace
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