Key Lawmaker: Drug War Being Gutted

Key Lawmaker: Drug War Being Gutted
Posted by FoM on January 27, 2000 at 14:08:37 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: New York Times
A key House panel chairman accused the Clinton administration Thursday of gutting the war on drugs by cutting Pentagon assets needed to interdict U.S.-bound shipments. Rep. John Mica, R-Fl., based his allegation on a report by congressional investigators that said the number of flight hours devoted to counterdrug missions declined 68 percent from 1992 though 1999. 
The report by the General Accounting Office last month also said the number of ship days involved for the same purpose fell 62 percent during that period. ``This report confirms that the war on drugs did not fail, but rather was dismantled by the Clinton administration,'' Mica told a hearing of his House Government Reform Committee's panel on criminal justice, drug policy and human resources. Chairman Benjamin Gilman, R-N.Y., of the House International Relations Committee, said he was appalled by the report's findings. Mica reacted sharply when Ana Maria Salazar, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, said the Pentagon remains committed to the administration's counterdrug strategy. ``I find this hard to believe,'' Mica said. ``I find the war on drugs has been sabotaged.'' Salazar noted there have been budget cuts for defense in the post-Cold War era, and some had an impact on the drug war, including a $200 million cutback in 1994. She also said the diversion of radar planes from counternarcotics activities was another contributing factor. Other drug war assets were redeployed to Bosnia and the Middle East to help meet priority military contingencies, she said. . In his opening statement, Mica said few wars in U.S. history ``have taken a greater toll in lives or imposed greater destruction and casualties on our society'' than the drug menace. Since 1993, he said, more than 100,000 Americans have died from drug-related deaths, including 15,973 in 1998. Jess Ford, an analyst for the GAO -- Congress' investigative branch -- said the Florida-based U.S. Southern Command told the GAO that the Pentagon was unable to meet 57 percent of the command's requests for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance flights during the last fiscal year. Ford said the Southern Command believes that the lack of assets hurt its ability to respond quickly to changing drug-trafficking patterns. WASHINGTON (AP) Published: January 27, 2000Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company Related Articles:Mica Squares Off With White House Anti-Drug Chief - 10/15/99 Personal Letter To Rep. John L. Mica - 6/22/99 Not Waste Taxpayers' Dollars - 6/21/99
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on January 27, 2000 at 15:52:44 PT
It failed, all right
But not for lack of trying.What Mica and his fellow Neanderthals hope no one will bring up is that more people have been locked up in the Clinton Administration than in any Republican administration. That more lives have been ruined, more property seized, more families destroyed, more lives unlawfully taken (by both narcos, and cops and THE US MILITARY) than under any other administration.Like I said, it's not for lack of trying. But, just like the Republicans, the Democratic approach of DrugWar has proved to be equally pointless, stupidly wasteful, punitive... and absolutely ineffectual. Nothing's changed, except the misery. *That* has increased. Too bad they are not proud of that particular accomplishment; they've shown real talent at it.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: