• The Drug War Intensifies John Walters: Drug Warrior

    Email Print
    Share

    With
    his proposed appointment of John Walters as head of the White House
    Office of National Drug Control Policy, President Bush has sent
    a strong signal: Cry Havoc and let slip the Dogs of War!

    Waters,
    a disciple of former "Drug Czar" and Washington talk show
    clown, William Bennett, will be in charge of the White House effort
    to intensify the Federal anti-drug focus on law enforcement and
    interdiction. Translation: more militarized police, more loss of
    personal liberty, an increased military presence in South America
    and more prisoners in American Gulags.

    Let's
    examine some quotes from Mr. Walters, taken from a PBS program,
    "Think
    Tank
    ," hosted by Ben Wattenberg. Quoting Mr. Walters:

    "I
    actually think that interdiction is an important part of affecting
    consumption, particularly heavy users. If you drive up the price
    significantly, they use less, they get sicker less, they're likely
    to go into treatment more, it makes treatment more effective."

    Really?
    While higher prices might discourage marginal drug users from indulging,
    it's doubtful that they will have the effect of discouraging an
    addict. Any hard core cigarette smoker can testify to this. Higher
    prices will have the effect of making the market itself more attractive
    to criminals from the top to the bottom of the drug chain. This
    of course will result in more children using drugs, not less, more
    blood on our streets as criminal gangs battle for turf, and more
    military masquerading as peace officers, overseeing (and contributing
    to) the mayhem.

    "We
    can do something here, and I think the way to think about this in
    part on my side is the way we think about countering terrorism…"

    Really?
    The measures instituted thus far amount to "counter terrorism",
    which is a largely illusory problem domestically, have had a net
    effect of drastically reducing our liberties as citizens of a free
    republic. They run the gamut: the dehumanizing processes required
    to board an airplane; the "Know Your Customer" laws imposed
    on banking; reporting "suspicious banking transactions"
    to the IRS; all of which place the print of the jackboot on our
    necks.

    I
    find these quotes to be frightening. They don't bode well for our
    liberty and they display a shocking ignorance of the Constitution
    of the United States. Let's look at some further implications of
    active interdiction and an increase in so-called law enforcement.

    Interdiction:
    Interdiction does not just involve guarding our borders against
    incoming foreign drug shipments. Interdiction involves actively
    interfering in the internal affairs of other nations as we are seeing
    in South America.

    War-torn
    Colombia now has United States military advisors "on the ground"
    playing an active part in both training and participating in actual
    combat missions against groups such as the leftist narco-guerillas
    of FARC.
    Aiding our active military and also providing a cover of deniability
    are hired mercenaries from companies such as Vinnell
    Corporation
    of Fairfax, Virginia. Vinnell, by the way, boasts
    as stockholders and directors, such luminaries as former Secretary
    of State, James Baker and Frank Carlucci, former DDI of the Central
    Intelligence Agency.

    As
    we have seen, the warfare is not restricted to Colombia. The recent
    tragic murder of an American missionary and her infant child in
    Peru illustrate one consequence of what is inevitable: regional
    warfare. More American deaths have occurred than manage to slip
    through the Media/State news conglomerates. Thousands of locals
    have died. Perhaps when the deaths reach Vietnam levels, we'll hear
    more. Perhaps.

    Law
    enforcement
    : Increases in domestic anti-drug enforcement efforts
    without question mean a further decrease in your personal liberties
    as an American citizen. Those liberties are already dangerously
    eroded; perhaps beyond the point of repair. Already, we have sustained
    losses that would shock a citizen of not even two decades ago.

    Per
    capita, we imprison more of our citizens than any other Western
    culture. This has had the very real effect of worsening racial conditions,
    as more of those convicted and imprisoned are of minority status:
    at this point, middle-class white children rarely serve time for
    simple possession, members of the underclass rarely walk free. The
    heavy hand of the drug warriors hit them hardest. Additionally,
    examine the disparity of sentencing for powder cocaine vs. crack
    cocaine. Powder cocaine is a middle-class drug.

    The
    racial disparity is lessening though. As the drug warriors get bolder,
    they widen their nets. And no-knock raids are color blind. Quite
    literally, you or your children could be next, drug users or not.

    The
    war on drugs is eating us alive. Almost every day you can read about
    another dynamic entry or police murder. Will John Walters make things
    worse? I think the answer is yes.

      May
      11, 2001

      Jeff
      Elkins [send him mail]
      is a freelance consultant and writer living in North Central Florida.

      Email Print
      Share