Coordination in Drug Fight Urged

Coordination in Drug Fight Urged
Posted by FoM on September 24, 1999 at 15:22:46 PT
Associated Press
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 
WASHINGTON - Results in the fight against drug smuggling along the Mexican border will not improve much without an official to coordinate efforts of 23 federal agencies, President Clinton's drug policy director said Friday.
``This is nuts. We've got to have somebody for the local police and sheriff to go to,'' Barry McCaffrey told a House panel.Some lawmakers said the coordinator should be able to issue orders and direct resources for drug-fighting efforts, not just act as a liaison among agencies.``This is an invasion! I don't think we can say coordination is the answer,'' said Rep. Patsy Mink, D-Hawaii. ``Somebody needs to be in charge. The military might approach this from an overall command post.''McCaffrey said that although he sympathized with that view, he did not think it would be possible to get Congress and the Clinton administration to agree.``We should go for what we can achieve,'' McCaffrey said.What is possible, he said, is appointing one official based in El Paso, Texas, to coordinate among federal, state, local and Mexican officials. Each border crossing post and each of the four states bordering Mexico also should have coordinators, he said.``You pulled back from having a coordinator with power and punch,'' criticized Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark.McCaffrey spoke at a hearing of the House Government Reform Committee's subcommittee on drug issues. Despite recent gains in money, manpower and technology, a large percentage of illegal drugs in America travel over the southwest border, McCaffrey said.``We have not yet reached our purpose of significantly reducing the amount of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine coming across the border,'' he said. Part of the problem is that federal agencies are terrible at sharing information about drug cartels with other agencies and local police, McCaffrey said.He defended the nation's drug-fighting relationship with Mexico, saying that despite widespread corruption in Mexico, U.S. authorities are working with Mexican officials who are getting results.``It's never been more dangerous in Mexico for U.S. law enforcement and Mexican law enforcement,'' McCaffrey said.Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., criticized the practice of returning some smalltime drug smugglers to Mexico without prosecuting them.``We want to go after the drug kingpins,'' McCaffrey said, not ``a rented dupe.''``Someone who was rented to smuggle drugs is still a drug smuggler,'' Bilbray replied. ``The dupe is the American people.'' Last Updated: Sept. 24, 1999 at 3:55:04 p.m. Copyright 1999, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel McCaffrey Related Articles:
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Comment #1 posted by military guy on September 25, 1999 at 22:39:30 PT
can't stand the drug zcar...
I'm a LT in the US AF, and I really can't freaking stand the drug Zcar...If only he would take a really good bong hit and get off of the political bs of the marijuanna thing...maybe he would fire himself and get a freaking clue...can i get an amen??? any miltary folks out there that want to support me..??? we need to get together or they'll rule us too.. 
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