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Futile War on Drugs: Impact on National Security

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Message Frosty Wooldridge
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Which proves more worthless?  The "War on Terror" for the past five years or the "War on Drugs" for the past 35 years? When you realize that our borders remain open 24/7 to smugglers who traffic in drugs, little wonder that America's 35 year drug war proves inane, insane and useless.  The 'root-cause' of both is obvious, but we don't go there – why not? I recently interviewed retired (but VERY active) police officer and detective Howard Wooldridge at www.leap.cc for an update in this third part of our series dealing with the futile "War on Drugs." "Smuggling of illegal drugs and people along our nation's borders surpasses epidemic proportions," Wooldridge said. "Our coast guard spends more time-and-energy intercepting boat loads of Columbian cocaine than detecting and stopping those entering our country illegally.  The United Nations reported that since 1994, the sales of illegal drugs has been the number one revenue source for terrorists all over the world.  Experts testifying before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in the spring of 2007 reported that Al-Qaeda will earn some $3 billion dollars selling Afghanistan's heroin and opium, mostly in the U.S.  Others tell us the volume is much greater." Priorities way out of balance

"Thousands of dedicated federal agents pursue marijuana and coca patches instead of people who fly airplanes into buildings," Wooldridge said.  "Such are the unintended consequences of our nation's policy of drug prohibition and its strategy of War on Drugs. Smuggling-routes for illegal drugs were established decades ago to move tons of mostly marijuana from Mexico into the United States.  Today we know those same routes transport tons of other drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.  

"We don't know how many people are smuggled into the U.S. that may have ideas other than honest work.  Clever smugglers of drugs continuously probe the border for weaknesses of manpower, technology or physical barriers. For the right price, nobody doubts these vicious criminals would smuggle terrorists into the U.S.   Or, has it already happened?

"It is not just the infamous, porous border with Mexico of which I speak. Several would be terrorists have been captured on the border of Canada. We in law enforcement know that tons of high priced 'BC Bud' cross from Canada daily into Washington, Idaho and Montana.  The Hell's Angels have largely taken over the management of this operation.  For a price they would no doubt smuggle the wrong people across the border, using the same routes they established for the marijuana trade."

Drug enforcement forces could easily STOP illegal immigration

"All this continues under the noses of drug enforcement officials that spend $70 billion annually of your tax dollars, year after year, decade after decade," Wooldridge said. "No one takes accountability for the gross lack of success."

Drug enforcement exists to exist!  In other words, it's a paycheck for a lot of folks doing a lot of nothing.  Year after year, $130 billion in drugs crosses into the USA.   You can hardly call the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) a success.

"According to an FBI agent I spoke to three years ago, on 9/11 the FBI had about 1,100 agents looking for terrorists," Wooldridge said. "They also had 2,400 agents helping the DEA bust drug dealers and their labs.  

Sufficient resources to block the 9/11 tragedy, but employed elsewhere

"Had those numbers been reversed, with terrorism and illegal immigration the focus, maybe the dots would have been connected in time to save the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.  Immediately after 9/11, Director Mueller directed that most of his drug agents shift their efforts towards the obvious national threat of radical, Muslim extremists and other terrorists. However, in speaking last year with an FBI employee, I learned that the agency still has many hundreds looking for drugs dealers and marijuana patches.

"Few doubt we are locked into a long, life-and-death struggle with Al Qaeda. Despite the knowledge that these terrorists make billions and billions off the drug trade, which finances weapons' purchases to kill our troops, the Drug Czar's response has been to launch a scorched earth policy of destroying the poppy plants. It has worked 'so well' in Columbia.  This despite the testimony that this action will drive the farmers into the arms of the Taliban!  Al Qaeda tells the farmers, 'These guys are here to destroy your livelihood, so let's take up arms against them.'"

Public relations nightmare

"And they have," Wooldridge said. "The public relations nightmare means our NATO troops are losing.  But at least the policy is working, right?  Not quite.  Two years of efforts and yet the production of opium increased a staggering 57 percent last year, according to published reports in the Washington Post.

"The 'War on Drugs' is defeating the 'War on Terror.' "

"Our troops are being shot with AK-47s and blown up by RPGs purchased from the fantastic profits derived from selling opium and heroin," Wooldridge said. "As reported by Misha Glenny in the Washington Post, the 'War on Drugs' is defeating the 'War on Terror.'  Every speech you hear on Iraq-Afghanistan or the drug war – from Bush-43 and his fellow-travelers in the U.S. Congress -- illustrates a horrific disconnect from reality. Since 1971 my profession (law enforcement) has spent a trillion tax dollars, and lost hundreds of dedicated officers, killed-in-action, and has precious little positive to show for it."  

By arresting 38 million Americans, we eradicated drug-use, right?

"Even after the arrest of 38 million Americans and the seizure of thousands of tons of narcotics, drugs are cheaper, stronger and readily available to our teens," Wooldridge said. "In the century of 9/11 we divert precious enforcement resources away from protecting our country – and waste them chasing drugs and druggies. Wasted -- because most of my colleagues now admit publicly that every drug dealer arrested is quickly replaced – and clever criminals over-ship enough to cover any drugs seized by police.  

"Will we ever become as wise as our grandparents – and end this New Prohibition?" For further information:

Today, my brother Howard works as part of an energetic task force in Washington, DC to educate and enlighten Members of the U.S. Congress at the highest levels.  Watch for him on C-SPAN, wearing his trademark white ten-gallon cowboy hat.   He is working in the hallowed Halls of Congress – and in speaking engagements all over America – for a better future for all Americans.  

He can be reached at: Education Specialist, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), www.leap.cc, Washington , DC.  He speaks at colleges, universities, Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions Clubs and other service clubs across America.  He also presents his exciting program at political conferences in Washington.

The mission of LEAP is to reduce the multitude of unintended harmful consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs – and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending drug prohibition – just as was done with alcohol some eighty years ago.  


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Frosty Wooldridge Bio: Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His books (more...)
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