Feds probe drug task force in south Texas– More evidence, the War on Drugs corrupts law enforcement

The police officer sons of two south Texas law enforcement chiefs who made fighting corruption the cornerstones of their careers have been taken into custody on suspicion of waylaying drug caches coming across the border from Mexico.

Federal agents investigating several border departments west and south of McAllen arrested Jonathan Treviño, the son of Lupe Treviño, sheriff of Hidalgo County, and Alexis Espinoza, the son of Rodolfo Espinoza, Hidalgo’s police chief, the McAllen Monitor is reporting.

The Damage to Modern Policing by Our War on Drugs

By Sean Dunagan, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Posted on Radley Balko’s site, The Agitator

The war on drugs has claimed innumerable victims. The tens of thousands killed in Mexico, the half a million incarcerated here for nonviolent drug offenses, the taxpayers who have funded it all to the tune of a trillion dollars. But one of the greatest victims of the drug war is law enforcement itself.

I don’t mean the bloated bureaucracy of DEA or the robber barons of the prison-industrial complex. I mean the foundations of civilian law enforcement.

(click here to read more)

A Democratic Tea Party and a Turning Point on Opposition to the War On Drugs and Political Suicide

“Mr. O’Rourke’s stance in favor of marijuana legalization is also something to watch. Conventional wisdom holds that such a view will kill a political career. But Mr. O’Rourke may have been helped by it. Don’t forget that Cuidad Juarez, where Mexico’s drug war has claimed the lives of thousands in the past six years, sits cheek-to-jowl with El Paso. Culturally and commercially, the two cities are almost one in the same. Mr. O’Rourke has argued that making the drug legal but regulated would weaken cartel financing and thereby reduce violence. The Times reports that he does not plan to make the issue a priority in Washington because it is not a priority for voters. But it is nonetheless interesting that his position does not seem to have hurt him.”  Mary Anastasia O’Grady  in the WSJ’s Political Diary, a daily subscription newsletter.  (Click here to go to the posted article.)

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha Montelongo and CalWatchDog’s John Seiler, CA City Journal’s Ben Boychuk & special guest, LEAP member, Kyle Kazan, former police officer w/ Torrance P.D.


 

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT


Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929 
September 6, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:  Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal joins me as we talk with John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com, with special guest LEAP member, Kyle Kazan, former police officer w/ Torrance P.D. in CA, the sixth-largest department in the county. 

Kyle Kazan twice led his department in felony arrests. He also testified as a court certified expert in drug sales. Kyle’s work as a foot soldier in the war on drugs gave him insight into the …futility and waste of drug prohibition.

We’ll talk about the Drug War and escalation of violence in Mexico, the operations of cartels in CA, the weapons sold by US agents to Mexican cartels, the costs to financially broke CA and our Fed Govt for the War on Drugs.

We’ll also talk about Portugal’s 10 year old program that has produced measurably safer, healthier communities,and a measurably significant drop in drug use and abuse, and significant financial savings for the Portuguese Government. What is the program, how does it work, how does it break down in terms of savings, policy and what are the real numbers of drug use, abuse, rehabilitation and incarceration today in Portugal, v what they were 10 years ago? We know in the U.S. the numbers have gone up. What are those numbers? We’ll ask Kyle that too!

As part of our regular format, we’ll do our closing segment where we talk with John Seiler about the latest, hottest stories at CalWatchDog, your eyes on CA Government.

John Seiler tonight on Gadfly, wants to talk about AB 499 by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. He has just published a report at CalWatchDog on this story. He writes that “In the bill’s language, it ‘authorizes a minor, who is 12 years of age or older, to consent to medical care related to the prevention of a sexually transmitted disease.’

Current law allows such care only with a parent’s permission. AB 499 passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits a decision by Gov. Jerry Brown.

AB 499 commonly is called the “Gardasil Bill” because the major drug to be administered to 12-year-old girls — without their parents’ consent — is Gardasil, manufactured by Merck. According to Merck’s Gardasil Web site: GARDASIL is the only human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of HPV….”
http://i2.wp.com/www.calwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Gardasil-Bottle-2.jpg?resize=320%2C147
Related links:

Merk Bankrolled Anti parent Bill
http://i2.wp.com/www.calwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Mexico-Drug-Cartel-Wiki.jpg?resize=246%2C320

California Neighbor Mexico Spirals Into Anarchy 

by John Seiler
at CalWatchDog.com

http://i1.wp.com/news.antiwar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/mx-map2.gif?resize=320%2C163
Add caption

Drug-Related Mexican Violence Soars, As US Policy Bolsters Cartels

Drug cartels are tightening their grip in Acapulco, where civilian communities attempt to resist
by John Glaser,
August 31, 2011


Portugal’s Ten Year Old Drug Policy Program that has legalized drugs  with measurably better results realized in terms of lower usage, crime and government spending for rehabilitation, education, and intervention.

[PDF]
Drug DECRIMINALIZATION IN PORTUGAL
– Cato Institute

Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?

Scientific American reports much more favorably here: 5 Years After: Portugal’s Drug Decriminalization Policy Shows Positive Results Street drug related deaths from overdoses drop and the rate of HIV cases crashes
By Brian Vastag | April 7, 2009

Mixed Results For Portugal’s Great Drug Experiment NPR straddles the fence and is on overdrive to remain “fair” and “balanced.” if you’re not going to argue for the civil liberties of those who commit crimes of sin, such as enjoying a joint for the same reasons one enjoys a beer or a glass of wine, or if really out for an adventure, the same as smoking enough pot to feel like one has had one or two martinis. Pot can be as mild as beer and wine, or as potent as martinis or screw drivers, without the long lasting toxicity and hangover effects from the alcohol poisoning. That said, I thought it was interesting report.

Ann Coulter debates with John Stossel about the War on Drugs in this 9 minute video on YouTube.  I brought it up last night to illustrate the hard set prejudice influential conservatives hold against a Drug Policy that respects individual choices and liberties, and uses resources to support addicts of any drugs they abuse, to free themselves of their addiction and to turn their lives around.    

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929.

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Happy and safe Labor Day weekend to all. Tuesday’s Gadfly Radio show will welcome special guest, LEAP speaker Kyle Kazan, former police officer w/ Torrance P.D. in CA, the sixth-largest department in the county.


Kyle Kazan twice led his department in felony arrests. He also testified as a court certified expert in drug sales. Kyle’s work as a foot soldier in the war on drugs gave him insight into the …futility and waste of drug prohibition.

We’ll talk about the Drug War and escalation of violence in Mexico, the operations of cartels in CA, the weapons sold by US agents to Mexican cartels, the costs to financially broke CA and our Fed Govt for the War on Drugs.

We’ll also talk about Portugal’s 10 year old program that has produced measurably safer, healthier communities,and a measurably significant drop in drug use and abuse, and significant financial savings for the Portuguese Government. What is the program, how does it work, how does it break down in terms of savings, policy and what are the real numbers of drug use, abuse, rehabilitation and incarceration today in Portugal, v what they were 10 years ago? We know in the U.S. the numbers have gone up. What are those numbers? We’ll ask Kyle that too!

Related links:

http://i2.wp.com/www.calwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Mexico-Drug-Cartel-Wiki.jpg?resize=246%2C320
CA Neighbor Mexico Spirals Into Anarchy by John Seiler at CalWatchDog.com

http://i1.wp.com/news.antiwar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/mx-map2.gif?resize=320%2C163

Drug-Related Mexican Violence Soars, As US Policy Bolsters Cartels
Drug cartels are tightening their grip in Acapulco, where civilian communities attempt to resist
by John Glaser, August 31, 2011

Drug-Related Mexican Violence Soars, As US Policy Bolsters Cartels — News from Antiwar.com

Drug cartels are tightening their grip in Acapulco, where civilian communities attempt to resist

by John Glaser, August 31, 2011

As of early August, 650 people had been killed in Acapulco, Mexico in 2011, making it one of the the bloodiest cities in Mexico, due primarily to the drug war.
As a key passageway for South American cocaine, the city has long attracted drug gangs, with agents of the Sinaloa Cartel battling the Zetas as far back as 2005. Both gangs are targeted in America’s war on drugs, which unfortunately has bolstered their capacities in various ways as they expand their dominance in the black market.
Men from the Zetas gang are suspected of having terrorized and burnt down a crowded casino last week, killing over 50 people.

Click to read more.

CA Neighbor Mexico Spirals Into Anarchy | CalWatchDog

Instead of the Bush-Obama “war” on drugs being exported to Mexico, there are two actions that can end, or at least greatly reduce, the country’s deadly gang wars and massive government corruption.

First: End the ‘War’ on Drugs
First, the U.S. government should end the “war” on drugs. It should begin to do so internationally, ending its interventions in Mexico, Colombia, Afghanistan and other narco-states. Further, it should allow U.S. state and local governments to decide whether or not illegal drugs should be decriminalized. That’s actually what’s said in the Constitution, where no “war” on drugs is given as a power to the federal government.

Second: Legalize Mexican Guns
The second reform to reduce violence in Mexico would be to legalize guns in that country. Currently, Mexico has one of the world’s most draconian gun-control policies.

click to read more.

America’s Flimsy Fortress

America’s Flimsy Fortress

Bruce Schneier
Wired Magazine, March 2004

Every day, some 82,000 foreign visitors set foot in the US with a visa, and since early this year, most of them have been fingerprinted and photographed in the name of security. But despite the money spent, the inconveniences suffered, and the international ill will caused, these new measures, like most instituted in the wake of September 11, are mostly ineffectual.

Terrorist attacks are very rare. So rare, in fact, that the odds of being the victim of one in an industrialized country are almost nonexistent. And most attacks affect only a few people. The events of September 11 were a statistical anomaly. Even counting the toll they took, 2,978 people in the US died from terrorism in 2001. That same year, 157,400 Americans died of lung cancer, 42,116 in road accidents, and 3,454 from malnutrition.

Click to read more.

Now Playing At Security Theater: The Sting
Posted by Jim Babka

The Feds do lots of things to make people feel safer than don’t actually improve security. Bruce Schneier calls it “security theater.”

FBI stings are a perfect example. Most of the “potential” terrorists they trap were NEVER A THREAT to anyone.

These stings are a waste of time and money. I’ve asked Congress to end them using DownsizeDC.org’s “I Am Not Afraid Campaign.”

This is what I wrote . . .

Most of the “terror Plots” the FBI stopped over the past 10 years were of their own making. For instance, I was angered when I read this: (http://motherjones.com/print/125137) . . .

Mother Jones and the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley have examined prosecutions of 508 defendants in terrorism-related cases, as defined by the Department of Justice. Our investigation found:

* Nearly half the prosecutions involved the use of informants, many of them incentivized by money (operatives can be paid as much as $100,000 per assignment) or the need to work off criminal or immigration violations.
* Sting operations resulted in prosecutions against 158 defendants. Of that total, 49 defendants participated in plots led by an agent provocateur — an FBI operative instigating terrorist action.
* With three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings. (The exceptions are Najibullah Zazi, who came close to bombing the New York City subway system in September 2009; Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, an Egyptian who opened fire on the El-Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles airport; and failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.)
* In many sting cases, key encounters between the informant and the target were not recorded — making it hard for defendants claiming entrapment to prove their case.

They also note, “Terrorism-related charges are so difficult to beat in court, even when the evidence is thin, that defendants often don’t risk a trial.”

Victims of FBI stings include . . .Click to read more.

Colombia Is No Model for Mexico’s Drug War

 What’s made clear in this Re-post of a Borderland Beat post is that, as in the United States, the War on Drugs is a war on the poor.  It isolates them, makes them subject to more criminals, and U.S. and Colombian authorities are indifferent to their plight. The big cartels were busted up and no one drug king pin is allowed to become like the Medellín Cartel and its successor, the Cali Cartel.  But what does occur is that there are now more small drug dealers, still operating and profiting, so much so, that coca production is higher not lower than before a war in which American Taxpayers have spent billions to support a militarization of Columbia’s police.  Their are more “mules,” farmers,  coca farm workers, and their families, all victims of the drug trade, helpless, defenseless, and ignored collateral of our insane policy.   The operation is tooted as a model for success, because the Government stopped the in-their-face terrorism against them, the Government itself.
Now, the Government has its power secure, the money for “fighting” the “War on Drugs” continues to fund military, police and government expansion and abuse of powers, and no one cares that the poor are the target, used in greater number to run the illegal trafficking of drugs and in the U.S. to fill the prisons, a growing industry of slave labor with no rights. 
A powerful film that underscores the plight and terror faced by the poorest in Columbia, and any other country where poor are coerced easy prey of dealers to transport their trade into the U.S., as a result of the “War on Drugs” is Maria Full of Grace.

Colombia Is No Model for Mexico’s Drug War

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | Borderland Beat Reporter Gari
By Sanho Tree
Institute for Policy Studies

Far from breaking morale, the tactic of taking out the heads of trafficking groups gives junior thugs a shot at becoming the kingpin–if only briefly.

When Washington ramped up its anti-drug efforts through Plan Colombia, more than 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States came through Colombia. A decade later, we get about 97 percent of our cocaine via Colombia.

Amazingly, officials are hailing the program’s “success” and want Mexico to learn from Colombia’s experience. While Plan Colombia may have helped make that country safer from guerrilla attacks, it has failed as a drug control strategy. Adapting that program in Mexico won’t staunch that country’s bloodbath and isn’t likely to produce better results. Click here to read the rest of the article.

And here’s another article on the failure of Columbia’s War on Drugs:

The Drug War Fails Again – Coca Production in Columbia Sky Rockets

Yet again the drug war has fallen flat on it’s ugly face. More specifically – Plan Columbia has gone and shit the bed.
Today the UN revealed that Columbian coca production increased 27% in 2007. 27 percent! That works out to 382 square miles of coca plants being grown at a time when the fight against coca growing is at its highest.
The US has spent 3 billion dollars since 2000 in an attempt to eradicate the coca plant in Columbia. And of course, quite predictably, the price and availability of coke in North America hasn’t changed over that time period. And now we see that the more tax dollars they spend on killing coca, more coca is grown. I won’t even mention that Columbia is also growing opium poppies now.
So what has the DEA and the US Federal Government accomplished in Columbia? The only thing they’ve done is spray poisonous herbicide on Colombian nationals, destroy the rainforest and cause/condone enormous human rights violations by the Colombian military. Not to mention that the US tax payer could have had better health care, schools, city infrastructure, libraries, parks, etc. with that 3 Billion dollars instead of having it go to a useless prohibitionist measure.

Click here to read the article.

Mexicans Are Fed Up with the War on Drugs– The Beacon

By Robert Higgs
Sunday April 10, 2011 at 11:32:17 AM PDT


A few days ago, tens of thousands of Mexicans in scores of Mexican cities participated in public protests against the War on Drugs and the use of the Mexican army as anti-drug warriors. The violence that has accompanied the Mexican government’s attempts to defeat the drug dealers during the past several years has claimed perhaps as many as 40,000 lives. Some cities, especially Ciudad Juarez, across the river from El Paso, Texas, have become virtual battlefields.
All of this would be sufficiently dreadful if it had accompanied legitimate efforts to suppress real criminals. But although the drug dealers have committed murders, robberies, and other genuine crimes, to be sure, the foundation of this entire “war” is the U.S. government’s attempts to suppress actions — possessing, buying, and selling certain substances — that violate no one’s natural rights. Not to mince words, the War on Drugs is completely evil, from alpha to omega. No one who believes in human liberty can coherently support it. That its prosecution should have resulted in death and human suffering on such a vast scale constitutes an indictment of every person who has conducted or supported this wicked undertaking from its outset.
The Mexican people are showing in many ways, and with unprecedented determination, that they are completely fed up with this gringo-prompted war in which, in recent years, they have become the most devastated victims. Governments that treat their people in this way have no legitimacy whatsoever. They deserve to be brought down. And if the people of Mexico bring down Calderon’s government, then peaceful, rights-respecting people everywhere will have reason to cheer and hope.
Click here to read more.

(I was stunned by the bold, frank unapologetic voice in this article.  It’s powerful and poignant, and I’m  grateful to Higgins for writing it.)