Focus-Australia Wins FBI Backing for Drug Stance

Focus-Australia Wins FBI Backing for Drug Stance
Posted by FoM on February 26, 1999 at 07:29:44 PT

CANBERRA, - Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Friday won the backing of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation director Louis Freeh for his move towards a U.S.-style zero tolerance strategy against illegal drugs. 
"I didn't hear anything this afternoon to suggest that my view was wrong," Howard told reporters after a Canberra meeting with Freeh, who was in Australia to advise on security arrangements for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. "I think it's been a valuable opportunity to hear from somebody who heads probably the best law enforcement agency in the world." Howard, who is under pressure to consider alternative measures in Australia's battle against heroin in particular, was seeking support for his belief that zero-tolerance policies were the best way to combat drug use and drug-related crimes. He has opposed calls for a pilot project that would allow addicts free heroin in an effort to improve their health, and which proponents argue would stem crime and help drug users towards rehabilitation. "We're looking at a number of options," Howard said. The conservative Howard emphasised he did not necessarily believe that drug policies that worked in the United States would also work in Australia. "But I think it would be absolutely ludicrous for somebody in my position...not to take advantage of the opportunity of talking to the director of the FBI," he said. Howard said a year ago at a drug strategy launch that 300,000 Australians had tried heroin illegally and 526 died from the drug in 1996. Howard said he had discussed security for the Olympic Games with Freeh, but declined to reveal details. "You wouldn't expect me to go into the detail of that," he said. "He obviously gave some general advice, but I have every confidence in the security arrangements that have been made." On Thursday, Freeh said upcoming international events here and in New Zealand, including the Olympics and a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in New Zealand, presented "targets of opportunity" for terrorist attacks. The FBI chief discussed security arrangements with New Zealand Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and other senior politicians in Wellington on Thursday. 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Post Comment

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