Drug Czar: No Impact from Effort in Colombia 

  Drug Czar: No Impact from Effort in Colombia 

Posted by CN Staff on August 06, 2004 at 10:58:38 PT
By Dan Molinski 
Source: Chicago Sun-Times  

Santa Marta, Colombia -- After flying over blackened coca fields, White House drug czar John Walters conceded that seizing cocaine, destroying coca crops and locking up drug traffickers in Colombia have had little impact on the flow of cocaine on American streets.But Walters nevertheless insisted that Washington must stay the course with so-called Plan Colombia, a $3.3 billion, five-year program mainly to train, equip and provide intelligence to Colombian forces spearheading the war on drugs.
''We have a history in the United States of not following through on programs like this,'' Walters said late Wednesday.During his three-day visit, Walters also met with President Alvaro Uribe and attended a funeral for nine police officers killed in apparent retaliation for a drug seizure.The U.S.-funded Plan Colombia has led to a huge increase in drug seizures, with 48 tons of cocaine confiscated in Colombia last year compared to just 8 tons in 1999. But aerial eradication, a key part of the aid package in which crop dusters fly over fields of coca -- the raw ingredient in cocaine -- and spray them with herbicides, has drawn sharp criticism, despite its success in reducing the area under cultivation.Peasants in the sprayed zones complain of health problems, and rights groups say the herbicides kill banana and yucca plants. Walters said he believes fumigation remains effective, but that money could be used elsewhere.''We need to make sure other areas are well-funded, such as interdiction,'' he said, referring to the use of radar and spy planes to track suspected drug smuggling flights. Despite the effort here, cocaine prices on U.S. streets remain unchanged, a sign there is no shortage of the drug.He contends drug traffickers still have tons of cocaine stored along transport routes and draw upon this stock to keep prices low.The drug czar is confident that those stocks will start to run out if Colombian forces remain on the offensive.Newshawk: JR Bob Dobbs Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)Author:  Dan MolinskiPublished: August 6, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Sun-Times Co.Contact: letters suntimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News Wage Drug War from Colombia's Skies Colombia Fails To Cut Supply of Drugs Displaced By Drug War Dogs U.S.-Funded Fumigation 

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Comment #23 posted by afterburner on August 11, 2004 at 09:28:12 PT
Meanwhile, In the Homeland
Toronto Star
Aug. 11, 2004. 06:14 AM 
U.S. border crackdown
' Patrol agents to gain powers to deport illegal aliens
Immigrants might not get chance to make case before judge 'RACHEL L. SWARNS
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Comment #22 posted by BGreen on August 10, 2004 at 18:40:55 PT
How Much Did Things Change In Four Days?!
Walters is the biggest and easiest to verify liar in the gov't today. Every time he speaks he not only lies but contradicts himself.The press should be ashamed of their incompetence in allowing these contradictions to go unreported.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on August 10, 2004 at 18:29:53 PT
Related Article from The Associated Press
U.S.: Colombia Coca Production Declines Tuesday, August 10, 2004Washington -- Production of coca, the raw material for cocaine, has declined in Colombia by 30 percent in the past two years, John Walters, the head of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said Tuesday. Walters said joint efforts by the United States, Colombia, Mexico, other Latin American governments and European nations had resulted in cocaine seizures last year of 440 tons, 40 percent of the estimated flow of the drug to the United States and Europe. ``In the next 12 months we will see changes in availability of the drug, probably first lower purity followed by higher prices,'' Walters said. Higher prices often drive drug users to seek treatment. Citing United Nations data, Walters said the price for cocaine was starting to rise in some European countries as well. ``We are at the beginning point,'' said Walters, who visited Mexico and Colombia last week. ``No one's claiming we have finished the job. We are beginning to see signs of the disruption of cultivation'' and movement of the drug. The United States is funding a $3.3 billion, five-year military aid package known as Plan Colombia, under which Colombian forces receive training, equipment and intelligence to root out drug traffickers and fumigate coca crops. Joining Walters was Colombia's ambassador, Luis Alberto Moreno. He said his country was on track to reduce coca production by 50 percent in five years ``and we are very close to achieving that goal a year ahead of schedule.'' He said it was critical for Colombia and other Andean nations where coca is grown to see further reduction of drug consumption in the United States and Europe. Copyright: 2004 The Associated Press 
Colombia Drug War News
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Comment #20 posted by potpal on August 10, 2004 at 08:19:57 PT
No impact?
I beg to differ...the drug war in Colombia has had a huge impact...(to steal some words from above) It has corrupted institutions, distorted economies, wrecked forests, and financed armed groups such as Colombia's FARC guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries...
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Comment #19 posted by billos on August 07, 2004 at 19:52:26 PT
will be my epitaph.         King Crimson
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on August 07, 2004 at 08:32:34 PT
I've been looking for news but so far I haven't found any worth posting. I'll keep looking. I must get mowing done while the sun is shining so I might be a little slow getting an article posted if there is one. I hope everyone is enjoying nice weather where you live. It's beautiful here today.
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Comment #17 posted by kaptinemo on August 07, 2004 at 07:07:09 PT:
A little bit of doggerel...from DEAWatch Aug 2004, 12:29 PST, 5th Edition"Viva Plan Colombia!":VIVA PLAN COLOMBIA!Down in Colombia, our Plan's doing well,
We've sprayed the whole country, to hear Walters tell.
Acres and hectares are blackened and bare.
I guess you'd expect that there's no coca there.
The natives are sickly. Their crops are a ruin.
Sounds to me like those folks got a screwin'.
Up here in the States, is there any less coke?
Well, I'll not say yes; that'd be a sick joke.
Says Walters: "Keep spending like a sailor who's drunk.
We must stay the course, though it's clear the boat's sunk."-- TERRY O'NEILLAnd I couldn't have put it any better...
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Comment #16 posted by Jose Melendez on August 07, 2004 at 06:13:18 PT
published April 22, 2004
Here's part of an LTE that was published earlier this year: . . . the U.S.  Constitution defines treason as waging war on Americans, or providing aid and comfort to our enemies.  Also, the antitrust law known as the Sherman Act clearly deems illegal any price fixing, bid rigging or collusion between persons or corporations that inflate prices of inferior products, cheat the customer, restrain trade or commerce, or any attempt "to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations." Yet news media, law enforcers and politicians alike consistently omit such relevant and material facts even as they turn a blind eye to and even promote foods, food supplements, drugs, deadly and defective drug delivery devices and alcohol products that are irrefutably associated with more than 1 million American deaths each year. According to Title 21, Chapter 22, Section 1712, on Sept.  30, 2003, the chapter and the amendments in U.S.  Code that funded John Walters' agency were repealed, including the provisions in Section 1713 that authorized the secretary of state, attorney general, secretary of agriculture, secretary of defense, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to collude with multibillion-dollar conglomerate chemical manufacturers and private military contractors to develop and spray herbicides to "eliminate illicit narcotics crops," specifically coca, cannabis and opium poppy in the United States and foreign countries. The very fact that coca, poppies and marijuana farming proliferates in ever greater proportions across regional boundaries and international borders should be enough evidence that such policies are at least ill advised, and likely involve criminal collusion with companies whose products would otherwise have to compete in a fair and open market. Jose Melendezfrom:
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Comment #15 posted by mayan on August 06, 2004 at 17:15:28 PT
U.S. Puppet Smuggler...
Sorry if this has already been posted...Colombia’s Uribe: US ally in “war on terror” named as drug trafficker:
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Comment #14 posted by Jose Melendez on August 06, 2004 at 16:44:18 PT
Yes, Ma'am
Thanks, FoM, I'll try to be more careful.
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Comment #13 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on August 06, 2004 at 15:14:07 PT
Here's the LTE I posted for this particular article before it got its own thread:Sirs,  Right after John Walters concedes that the effort in Columbia has had no impact, he makes the ubiquitous plea of the drug warrior: damn the evidence, stay the course, and keep the money coming. He says, "We have a history in the United States of not following through on programs like this." Why should we follow through on failure?
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on August 06, 2004 at 15:04:04 PT
Did I fix it?
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Comment #11 posted by Jose Melendez on August 06, 2004 at 15:01:22 PT

I misspelled Louis Freeh's name
In my comment #7 toward the end of the post, I spelled Mr. Freeh's name incorrectly.It should read: "Earlier this year, both Louis Freeh and Janet Reno testified that Congress was more interested in fighting drugs than terror."And I was doing so well lately . . .: )
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Comment #10 posted by mayan on August 06, 2004 at 14:59:28 PT

No Shortage Here
Where I live almost everyone is doing cocaine as it exits one's system pretty fast. All of the major companies and contractors perform random drug testing. There is more cocaine on the streets than ever. It only makes sense since our CIA is the biggest drug smuggler on the planet.Plan Columbia is a disastrous policy...let's "follow through" on it. Sure.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on August 06, 2004 at 14:57:56 PT

What do you want changed?
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Comment #8 posted by Jose Melendez on August 06, 2004 at 14:25:52 PT

Sorry, FoM
Any chance we could change that to _Louis_ Freeh?
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Comment #7 posted by Jose Melendez on August 06, 2004 at 14:23:14 PT

I wish the Kerry camp would notice this
from: “A TURNING point” is how John Walters, the director of the United States' office for drug control, jubilantly described figures released by his government last week, which claimed a 15% fall in 2002 in Colombia's crop of coca, the plant used to make cocaine. This follows eight years of steady increases in the amount of land under coca in Colombia, the source of three-quarters of the world's cocaine. For American officials, last year's fall is evidence that “Plan Colombia”, a programme of mainly military aid begun by Bill Clinton and continued by George Bush, is starting to pay off. Under this plan, the United States has provided Colombia with extra helicopters and crop-dusting planes to spray coca with herbicides. Most of these have finally arrived, and Álvaro Uribe, who became Colombia's president last August, has been happy to use them: he has unleashed a massive spraying campaign which officials say is at last outpacing the ability of coca farmers to replant.         Yet there is a hollow quality to this victory. Over the past three decades, rich-country demand for cocaine has created a monster in the Andean countries. The illegal-drug industry has corrupted institutions, distorted economies, wrecked forests, and financed armed groups such as Colombia's FARC guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries. But the “drug war” has imposed its own costs. One is known as the “balloon effect”: local squeezes simply move the industry elsewhere, spreading violence and corruption with it. - - -Turning the corner. How many times do we have to hear such utter nonsense? The article above is from March 6th 2003, and can also be seen at: wait, there's more:from: google's html cache of WITH JOHN WALTERS, DIRECTOR 
WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY"We also do not see significant additional 
growth in the other two areas, Peru and Bolivia. 
There has been some small increases, but Colombia 
still is responsible for 70 percent of overall coca 
cultivation, and there were about 130 hectares of 
estimated coca cultivation about a year ago. During 
President Uribe's term he sprayed over 100,000 
Now, it's not 100 percent kill rate and 
there is some replanting, but the replanting is with 
plants that are not as productive. 
We have had some difficulties certainly 
with programs in the current political environment in 
Peru and Bolivia. We're working with those countries. 
We are concerned about spread back, but those who 
have been religious like believers in the balloon 
effect, the balloon is not growing, the balloon is not 
moving, the balloon is shrinking and it's shrinking at 
historic levels. It's maybe time to get another God. "from:’s the balloon effect. Squeeze hard enough on Colombia and drug production pushes out on the margins. Sanho Tree, anti–Drug War researcher at the Institute for Policy Studies, uses a different metaphor. “We knew there was a hornet’s nest in southern Colombia,” Tree says. “So we took a billion-dollar stick and beat on the hornet’s nest, and now — surprise, surprise — there are hornets everywhere.”Just to cite one example: U.N. drug officials in Lima say the next “logical move” for the coca-growing industry is to move back into Peru, where 150,000 acres of abandoned coca fields are ripe and ready for replanting and could be fully operational in a few short months. Increased drug activity is also being reported on the Ecuadorian border.This regionalization isn’t anything new. The U.S. Drug War intensified a decade ago in Peru and Bolivia, and Plan Colombia has already activated four new so-called Forward Operating Locations — U.S. military intelligence outposts in Aruba, Ecuador, El Salvador and Curaçao.and from: balloon war 
Colombia Week BOGOTA—For months now, U.S. news outlets have been trumpeting what President George W. Bush’s administration calls a turning point in the “war on drugs”—an alleged 15 percent drop in Colombian coca cultivation between 2001 and 2002. That CIA estimate, announced February 27 by White House drug czar John Walters, has appeared as unquestioned fact in dozens of news reports about U.S.-funded aerial fumigation of the illicit crops. A June 4 report by the Miami Herald’s Tim Johnson, for example, quoted U.S. and Colombian officials at a U.S. Senate hearing citing the figure to justify more U.S. military aid to the nation. The report included just one dissent, a suggestion by Sen. Joe Biden that the aid be diverted to fighting Al Qaeda, and it didn’t address whether the estimate is accurate and whether the fumigation has curbed the U.S. cocaine supply.(snip)In 1996, when the major U.S.-funded fumigation began in Colombia, four of the nation’s 32 provinces had more than 2,500 acres of coca. Today, at least 13 have that many. And, as the BBC’s Jeremy McDermott reported March 18, coca cultivation has increased in Bolivia and Peru, and the crop has appeared for the first time in Ecuador. - - -That article is from July 2003. Earlier this year, both Louis Freeh and Janet Reno testified that Congress was more interested in fighting drugs than terror.Drug War IS Crime! 

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Comment #6 posted by billos on August 06, 2004 at 13:43:40 PT

now we know why the fact that prohibition creates a dangerous black market doesn't faze the political bastards.
They ARE the black market.
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Comment #5 posted by E_Johnson on August 06, 2004 at 11:51:49 PT

This is how Communism worked
Nothing is working so let's keep doing more of it.
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Comment #4 posted by observer on August 06, 2004 at 11:50:36 PT

Insanity [is] ... Continuing to do the same things and expecting different results. -- Albert EinsteinAs an American citizen, all I can say is that I am terribly ashamed and sorry for the monster that the U.S. government has become. If I could apologize to the world for the U.S. government, I would. (Not that it would do much good.) In my lifetime, the U.S. government has never listened to the will of the people in any important matter that I can think of, and the oppression of people in and out of the U.S. just gets worse no matter what we do. It won't matter which puppet gets "elected" -- U.S. citizens and all people of the world will continue to be lied to and beaten down and jailed and enslaved by this leviathan, the bloody and murderous U.S. government. So much for the "land of the free". It has become a pit of Officially lying and venomous snakes. 
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Comment #3 posted by Virgil on August 06, 2004 at 11:37:47 PT

Here is the big idea
Walters needs to be brought to real justice, sentenced, and hung. What has the drug warriors and the CIA pissed is the competitors bringing down the price. There is a power that wants to control all the profits and wants that price high. Of course the UN says that in four years all illegal drug use on the planet will have been wiped out. The prohibitionists talk sounds like a fairy tale and be assured they know the reality of it all. I have had this idea for some time and it was an important part of a book I am writing. HempCity asked the question of what we can come up with. I guess I might as well put it up there also.We are all familiar with the yellow ribbons worn to remind people of the serious problem we have with AIDS. I have read that there is some kind of call to wear red on Fridays, that has some doing so in California. I know there is tyranny and oppression by the fact that people do not put bumper stickers on there car in opposition to the drug war and for Free Cannabis, and that would affect this idea. BTW, my favorite idea for a BS was "Cannabis Prohibition is a fraud." Now because of the oppression and the need to take a broader swipe, I favor "Adopt Harm Reduction."This big idea draws on the fact that the drug warriors want to impose a ficticious world in people's minds, while reality calls for a completely different approach and addressing the biggest problems like they are top priorities. What gets me is how the country has no real problem with laughing grass and they impose a solution that actually creates a problem, and alcohol treatment is almost non-existant from the government even for the people that have hit bottom.We are asked to live with dual worlds with one being fiction and the other a reality calling at least do the obvious. It is a situation beyond goofy of course and there is an easy way to draw attention to this madness being promoted by the public treasury by the treason that rules us.People should wear two different shoes. How could you not notice someone wearing a brown shoe and a black shoe? You couldn't. For the more timid, the idea could be expanded to wearing two different socks.I can tell you this. If I were head of NORML, it would be a job requirement to wear different colored shoes and socks. We cannot continue letting treason carry on like nothing is wrong, and a country divided over a criminal justice failure over the path of harm reduction using a health system approach needs to be slugged out as the harm continues unnecessarily.
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on August 06, 2004 at 11:34:00 PT:

(Raucous laughter)
That's it, Sam. In a freakin' nutshell. More monkey-motion and tail-chasing. While innocents die. To 'protect Americans'. Who evidently don't want to be 'protected' as they keep buying that damnfool stuff.The loonies are running the asylum, and there's few places on Earth you can run to avoid them...
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on August 06, 2004 at 11:26:41 PT

Big Government
This isn't working! Let's do it some more!  Jackass.
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