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June 2004
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US nabs the Drug Pirates of the Caribbean; completely stops some smuggling

All the celebrities were out to celebrate the big bust — the culmination of 29 months of work in six countries and the arrest of 50 people. The celebrities included Attorney General John Ashcroft, Drug Czar John Walters, and DEA head Karen Tandy.

“These are the modern-day ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,'” Tandy said. “Today their piracy comes to an end.”

…In Washington, Attorney General John Ashcroft said that was enough to supply one dose each month to every American high school student and adult. White House Drug czar John Walters said dismantling the two groups would produce the first drop in cocaine supplies on American streets in more than a decade

Various reports credited this group for supplying 10% of the United States’ cocaine, and the drug warriors were touting the fact that this will reduce drug availability in the U.S. by 10%. We’ll see.
Now since historically the drug warriors stop 10% of drugs from entering the country (leaving 90% to get through), does this count as the 10% which has been stopped this year? (which would mean no change in availability) Or is this a reduction by 10% of the amount that normally would get through? (which would mean that only 81% would make it to the streets) If so, what’s to stop the other distributors from simply increasing the amount they ship to about 110% of normal, which gets us back close to the average amount (although the math is starting to hurt my head).
All of this reduction, of course, assumes that there’s nobody in Columbia, Panama and the other countries that would like to make millions of dollars by stepping in to replace the arrested traffickers. I suppose everyone is probably happy farming land which has been poisoned by our eradication program, and has no need for drug profits. Otherwise, the reduction could be no more than a slight hiccup.
But go ahead and brag, drug warriors. You’ve dipped another bucket out of the river of supply and demand.
Oh, the name of this operation? Operation Double Talk.
Yep.

Oh, why not. Let’s show the cartoon again…
A Drug War Cartoon

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