February 2, 2001 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Busted! DEA cooks the books to show a 'major success' in the War on Drugs.
posted by snakey (11 comments total)
Our government's "Do-What-Mommy-Says" drug policy has been riddled with obfuscation and flim-flammery since its inception. Another of their favorite tricks is the multi-reporting of interdepartmental busts. If the local cops, the feds, and, say, the coast guard all charge in on a boat bringing in, oh $50,000 worth of heroin (street values are also regularly inflated), make the bust, and sieze all the booty, all three agencies then report it and take full credit. Then, when those stupid reports are trotted out to show the "success" of our War on Naughty Drugs, one bust suddenly becomes three, $50,000 in siezed drugs becomes $150,000, and so forth. Don't you wish you could use these sorts of creative mathematics around tax time?
posted by Skot at 9:38 AM on February 2, 2001

I wonder how many decades it will be before we have a President brave enough to admit this war isn't working? Hopefully once all the ex-hippies are members of AARP we'll have enough voters that are educated enough about drugs to help elect one and we can end this war and begin using some common sense.

posted by bondcliff at 10:28 AM on February 2, 2001

Bondcliff, it'll never happen because most people believe exactly what they're told by the media and the government and aren't curious enough to do a bit of digging for themselves. Keep people in ignorance and you can pretty much do whatever you like, no matter how stupid it is.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 10:46 AM on February 2, 2001

2 US presidents have advocated decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.
posted by snakey at 10:49 AM on February 2, 2001

Mr. skullhead, it will happen eventually because the war on drugs is a drain on our resources. When they decide the economic impact is too great for the (perceived) benefits, they'll drop it.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:56 AM on February 2, 2001

They don't realize how big a fucking impact our defense budget is. Talk about a drain.
posted by mblandi at 11:02 AM on February 2, 2001

It has to happen. We can't go on like this forever.

When enough voters have lived through their drug days and realize they still have plenty of brain cells and jobs, it will happen.

posted by bondcliff at 11:30 AM on February 2, 2001

Nice theory, Bondcliff. That presumes, however, that sufficient numbers of voters will have had drug days to begin with.

There are people out there (I'd wager just as many as not) who have lived their lives without chemical enhancement, and for whom voting choices aren't going to be made through the filter of their success in living through their own era of drug use.
posted by Dreama at 11:37 AM on February 2, 2001

My point had nothing to do with having done drugs. Right now a lot of the older voters (people like my Mom), which make up a large percentage of the voting population, are still under the impression that drugs are the work of the devil. They watch the evening news report about the DEA busting a pot dealer and they say "Good for them! The drug war works!" Then they fix themselves another gin and tonic.

Many of us *have* been through drug years and we're still productive members of society. We know that not every drug is crack cocaine. Even many people that have never done drugs know that the drug war is a waste of money. When we are in the majority, only then do we have a chance of electing an official who is brave enough to agree with us.
posted by bondcliff at 12:04 PM on February 2, 2001

Noam Chomsky on what the war on drugs is all about:

"It is recognized widely that it fails to achieve its stated end and the failed methods are then pursued more vigorously while effective ways to reach the stated goal are rejected. It is therefore natural to conclude that the drug war, cast in the harshly punitive form implemented since 1980, is achieving its goals, not failing.

"What are these goals? A plausible answer is implicit in a comment by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the few senators to pay close attention to social statistics. By adopting these measures, he observed, 'we are choosing to have an intense crime problem concentrated among minorities.' Criminologist Michael Tonry concludes that 'the war's planners knew exactly what they were doing.' What they were doing is, first, getting rid of the 'superfluous population,' the 'disposable people' ('desechables'), as they are called in Colombia, where they are eliminated by 'social cleansing'; and second, frightening everyone else, not an unimportant task in a period when a domestic form of 'structural adjustment' is being imposed, with significant costs for the majority of the population."

More info on disposable people:

"The National Justice Commission repeatedly points out that crime in the United States, while sort of high, is not off the spectrum for industrialized societies. On the other hand, fear of crime is far beyond other societies, and mostly stimulated by various propaganda. The Drug War is an effort to stimulate fear of dangerous people from who we have to protect ourselves. It is also, a direct form of control of what are called "dangerous classes," those superfluous people who don't really have a function contributing to profit-making and wealth. They have to be somehow taken care of."
posted by sudama at 2:23 PM on February 2, 2001

I wouldn't really say they've been "busted". It's not like the major news media are going to take this story and run with it. Aside from a few people here and there, no one with ever know or care. There will be an almost total news blackout of this. And the DEA will get to go right on doing what they've been doing uninterrupted. Nothing will change.
posted by Potsy at 7:30 PM on February 2, 2001

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