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DEA, cartels, how do you keep ’em straight?

When I first read this story about the DEA laundering drug cartel money, I thought, “Of course. That’s what they do, so why is this a story?”

Then I remembered that the DEA is supposed to be on the other side from the cartels, so it is a scandalous story.

Then I tried to answer “The other side of what?” but couldn’t come up with a good answer to that one.

Let’s see… one runs drugs, guns and money and profits from the drug war, while the other one… nope, no real distinction there.

I’m at a loss.

I’ll just have to keep thinking of the DEA as another rival cartel and realize that the other side is we the people. And one day we the people will win the drug war with the stroke of a pen, undercutting the support for the DEA and other cartels.

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52 comments to DEA, cartels, how do you keep ’em straight?

  • Servetus

    The DEA is the CIA’s way of eliminating the competition.

  • claygooding

    We not only need to replace our legislators but the bureaucracies they have built.

    Budget hearings are around the corner,,let’s see if the legislators are still curious then.

  • Dante

    “And one day we the people will win the drug war with the stroke of a pen, undercutting the support for the DEA and other cartels.”

    We the People do not control the pen anymore.

  • Francis

    I always assumed that’s why the DEA guys emblazon their jackets, hats, etc. with “DEA” in huge letters, you know, so they don’t get confused.

  • darkcycle

    I read this one a couple of days ago and was struck by the similarities to the “Fast and Furious” gun running program. It’s profitable, it’s a “makework” program, and it’s job security. And…here an neat benefit…they can arrest some cartel members for it without ever interrupting the flow of dirty money into the coffers of the banks. The article claims that they then try to sieze an equivalant ammount of drugs or property….It does NOT say they sieze the assets that they assisted in depositing for the Cartels. I think that’s intentional.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      For some unknown (to me) reason the 1st Amendment has and continues to be inviolable. Perhaps it’s just the attention span of the average human being? Because it sure seems as if the number of Court tolerated violations of protected rights is inverse to the Amendments number. But I do wonder why the 3rd is such a non-issue. I’d think that the enemies of freedom would love to be able to take over your home to conduct surveillance on people they don’t like. Has anyone ever heard of someone objecting to having their homes commandeered in Court?

    • DogSledSoup

      That’s great news; so maybe there ARE still a few usable pens in circulation.

      “To be sure, the right to film is not without limitations. It may be subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. See Smith, 212 F.3d at 1333. We have no occasion to explore those limitations here, however. On the facts alleged in the complaint, Glik’s exercise of his First Amendment rights fell well within the bounds of the Constitution’s protections. Glik filmed the defendant police officers in the Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States and the apotheosis of a public forum. In such traditional public spaces, the rights of the state to limit the exercise of First Amendment activity are “sharply circumscribed.” Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, 45 (1983). Moreover, as in Iacobucci, the complaint indicates that Glik “filmed [the officers] from a comfortable remove” and “neither spoke to nor molested them in any way” (except in directly responding to the officers when they addressed him). 193 F.3d at 25. Such peaceful recording of an arrest in a public space that does not interfere with the police officers’ performance of their duties is not reasonably subject to limitation.”

  • claygooding

    PS. Some of the harvest must have made it across the border,,,crushed until no seeds of the very few in the buds are non-viable and appx 6>7% thc,,,,thats my assessment Vern.

    nice flavor,,golden brown and smells fresh

    • ezrydn

      Yeah,Clay,

      The Fall crop is surely in transit by now. It hit locally last month. Very noticable change to the Summer crops.

  • Mike R

    A morsel of truth:

    “We tried to make sure there was always close supervision of these operations so that we were accomplishing our objectives, and agents weren’t laundering money for the sake of laundering money.”

    No, they were laundering money for the sake of profit.

    /facepalm

  • claygooding

    I love the tried part,,,that means someone did not try hard enough and someone did it for the money,,,,,more to be reported as we find out,,,the rest of the story,,,thank you Paul Harvey

    • darkcycle

      Ahhh, grew up on Paul. Chicago radio…only plus the State of Illinois has. Oh, excepting Pete, of course, and my Dad, and the rest of his family….never mind.

      • ezrydn

        I grew up with Paul and Edward R. (Good Night and Good Luck). Wish they were still with us and active. Ass-kicking investigative journalism at it’s finest. Today’s journalists don’t even know how to ask a question, let alone, write the answer.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    …in the meantime and from the abject hypocrisy category the FDA is putting the government seal of approval on the abuse of drinking alcohol. Go figure that one out. For your cognitive dissonance I present “Blowfish”:

    For all your holiday party needs: Hangover pill approved by FDA
    By Katie Rogers

    When even the CIA’s pared-down holiday party starts making headlines, you know it’s peak holiday party season in Washington. With celebrations in full swing, a new pill recently approved by the FDA promises to alleviate some of the pain — even if it won’t save you from that annual embarrassing karaoke choice or that regrettable, booze-fueled Airing of Grievances ritual that comes out of cornering your office superiors.

    (Not that anyone reading or writing would know about that.)

    But I digress. The pill is called Blowfish, and creator Brenna Haysom promises that it’ll kick nagging hangover pains — headache, upset stomach — in 15 to 30 minutes.
    /snip/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-buzz/post/for-all-your-holiday-party-needs-hangover-pill-approved-by-fda/2011/10/31/gIQAJKwVWO_blog.html

    Remember kiddies, never drink and drive. You might hit a bump and spill your drink.

    • Francis

      I wonder when they’ll invent an anti-hangover pill for cannabis. Oh that’s right, cannabis use doesn’t cause hangovers because, you know, unlike alcohol consumption, it doesn’t involve ingesting poison. Well maybe they’ll invent a pro-hangover drug for cannabis (“cannabuse”?) and add it to the water supply or something. Because damn it, it’s not fair that stoners wake up the next morning feeling like a million bucks.

      • claygooding

        I was 18 and had been drunk about 6 times,swearing to never do it again on at least 4 of them,when I ran into marijuana.

        I knew the first morning I woke up after getting totally ripped on good marijuana that this had to be a better way to alter your consciousness.

        • Francis

          Amen to that. And let’s not forget, adding to the irony, that cannabis itself acts as a pretty effective remedy to an alcohol-induced hangover. But let’s raise our glasses in a toast to booze, the official intoxicant of honest, hard-working, red-blooded, God-fearing, patriotic (and law-abiding) Americans!

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .
          Francis I’m not sure we should go with that cannabis is a cure for a drinking alcohol hangover. It may be, but the absolute best remedy for a hangover is a couple of shots and a beer. “Hair of The Dog” indeed.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2byaavlR7WY

        • Windy

          I’d been drunk 3 times and at the third time (my 21st birthday) I said “never again” and I haven’t been drunk since, tho I do still drink — a glass of wine with dinner, a Kahlua and cream nitecap while playing WoW on weekends, the occasional (2-3 times a year) outing with the daughter or friends with a three drink limit over the entire evening (I really know how to nurse’em).

          I didn’t discover the wonder herb until I was 26, but once I did I realized that was the high for me, it brought back that feeling I felt as a kid, in my great aunt’s hammock, swinging between the apple trees, eating an apple, and making pictures in the clouds. I know you all know the feeling, the peace and contentment, the unconscious knowledge that you belong right there, and the joy and wonder in the world around you.

          I’d been missing that feeling, not having had much time for that kind of contemplation with 3 small children to ride herd over. For me it turned out to be “mommy’s little helper” and my children benefited from having a more relaxed mother.

    • ezrydn

      OMG! OMG! OMG! The drunks need help. LMAO

  • addycat

    I saw this story and it disgusted me, but of course it wasn’t surprising at all.
    I am a second year law student at Duke and I’m finding myself feeling increasing cognitive dissonance as a future lawyer. I want to be a public defender (thanks to loan repayment programs!) because I feel it is the best way for me to use my skills, but on the other hand I know I will feel like total shit participating in the SYSTEM. A vast majority of my clients undoubtedly will be drug defendants, and I just feel sick thinking about having to look for stupid 4th amendment loopholes for them when the REAL problem that these poor people are being dragged into court in the first place. My worst nightmare would be to legitimize the system by participating in it, making legal arguments grounded in it, further entrenching it. How can you be a civil servant in a system that is decidedly uncivil?

    • darkcycle

      Addy, there is much to be gained both in understanding and in experience from paying your dues through the system. And as you rise in both experience and in stature you will have more leverage to effect (limited) change within your profession. As a professional you will gain access to the machinery of the system and an understanding of how best to reform it you would never get without pursuing the standard career route. And it will give you access to judges and politicians, access that would not be there otherwise. We, reformers without a long history of regular contact, have to write and petition these people for just a moment of their time, and usually we don’t even get the courtesy of a response. That contact affords you a powerful platform if you use it wisely and with discretion. And when you’re done, that friendly access will be invaluable when you can speak your mind without employment constraints.
      Advice? When you start, you won’t have that sort of leverage, so concentrate on representing your clients the very best you can (they’ll appreciate it). Don’t let yourself get burnt out or jaded, and always remember the reasons you got into it in the first place…and treat yourself gently and well. Good luck!!!

    • Windy

      DC gave you good advice, I want to give you a different kind of advice. Please remember that human beings have an unalienable right to self ownership and self determination. The laws that criminalize so-called “victimless crimes” (no victim, no crime) including those having to do with drugs and prostitution, violate that Constitutionally protected unalienable right. So if your client has not committed any kind of violent crime and is charged only with a consensual act such as possessing a proscribed drug, please argue that violation along with whatever other strategy you would use. If we do not enforce the Constitution on our government, that government violates the Constitution in every way.

  • claygooding

    Everyone ignores the elephant in the room,,in the case of lawyers,,because who knows how much monies lawyers lose in fees if legalization occurs?

    I am sure lawyers have lobbyist and they are one of the biggest donation sources for a lot of politicians,although I am sure they are lobbying for a lot of different bills,as almost everything the congress passes gives them more work.

    • Windy

      The reason for that, Clay, is the American voters have elected far too many lawyers to government. It is my long held opinion that lawyers should be limited to the Judicial branch of government and be banned from the legislative and executive branches, at every level of government from the federal right on down to the local community.

      The more corrupt the republic, the more numerous the laws. — Cornelius Tacitus, 55-117 AD, Roman historian

      The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be. — Lao Tsu

      I would rather live in a society which treated children as adults than one which treated adults as children. — Lizard

  • addycat

    Clay, I think you are right. Everyone that I have talked to about legalization at the law school has just scoffed at me and offered up some propaganda. Now, partly this may have to do with the kind of people that go to a top ten law school – perfectionist, anal, goody goodies (and we are the DARE generation, mind you, so these students are the few that actually bought the propaganda) – but partly it may be more cynical, as I know lots of people who can’t wait for the prestige of a federal prosecutor job where they can spend their days celebrating how many years they stick on drug offenders. Many others want to work at Big Law defending pharmaceuticals companies from having to pay for their damage and lies. Interestingly, far fewer of them at this point aspire to be criminal defense attorneys.
    The more I learn about law, the more I think the legal system is a huge scam, an ongoing effort to make it as esoteric as possible so only elites could possibly understand, and change, it.

    • darkcycle

      Most people have to come to understanding through a long painful process of error and correction, Addy. Why ask your fellow students? I’d be friending up my professors (you can do it, both I and my wife are or were college teachers) and asking them. You know, those folks didn’t lock themselves in the ivory tower as freshmen and never leave campus again. Jeez, at Duke, there’s gotta be tons of high level experience you can tap for the cost of your time and a cup of coffee. These people may ignore you, or rebuff you (big deal, you’ve lost nothing in that case and it leaves a positive impression, even if they deny it), but it is great when you get real off the cuff experience. it’s called mentoring (as you know) and the more for you the better.

    • darkcycle

      You’ve got it…the arcana raise an insurmountable barrier between the people and the law. Just like religion, there is only access to the kingdom of heaven (justice) through the intercession of the priesthood (lawyers and the courts). Therefore, there is a vital need for good priests as well as inquisitioners.

  • darkcycle

    Supreme court leaves ruling that State L.E. is not expected to enforce federal drug laws intact.
    http://4gram8th.com/u-s-supreme-courtstate-medical-marijuana-laws-not-preempted-by-federal-law/

  • claygooding

    gotta get that on the boards,,,good news is rare the past few weeks,,except the life saving properties of and being smart enough to use a safer drug.

  • addycat

    Yeah, you guys are totally right. It is a bit scary to be outspoken on this issue when “serious” people don’t agree, but I think next I will go to professors and my mission before I leave Duke is to have a conference here about legalizing drugs to finally convince all the students!

  • addycat

    The Supreme Court’s refusal to review the 2007 decision seems pretty contradictory to Gonzales v. Raich, so I wouldn’t get too excited. Even if state police don’t have to enforce federal law, unfortunately federal agents still clearly have the authority to enforce federal drug laws:( Considering the composition of this Court, though, I guess it could be worse…

    • darkcycle

      Yes, but hopefully it limits thier ability to draw on State police elements to help in thier raids. There just aren’t enough Federal Agents to arrest all the medical providers out there. At least it will make it easier and safer (hopefully) to get the medicine out to the patients who need it.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      addycat there’s no contradiction with Raich. Take a gander at Gambino v United States of America 275 US 310 (1927). In that case agents of New York State arrested Mr. Gambino and his friends for bootlegging and delivered them to the Feds for prosecution. But New York had repealed their idiotic prohibition of drinking alcohol laws. The SCOTUS vacated the convictions because the State’s agents had no probable cause to search or detain the petitioners because what they were doing was perfectly legal as far as the State of New York was concerned.
      http://supreme.justia.com/us/275/310/

      The way I read Gambino it seems pretty cut and dried that not only do State agents not have to enforce Federal law, they’re not even welcome to do so if they want to enforce them.
      ———-

      Wow, when I read that the SCOTUS had denied certiorari in Kha I started wondering if I had brain damage or something. I’ve been using the SCOTUS’ refusal as supporting evidence of the assertion that medicinal cannabis patient protection laws aren’t going to be struck down in Federal Court. People really need to verify the dates before posting stuff as the SCOTUS’ denial of certiorari happened in 2008.
      http://americansforsafeaccess.org/downloads/Kha_USSC.pdf

      But I can see why DC thought it happened yesterday. That website must be run by idiots.

  • darkcycle

    Addy, it doesn’t appear that Duke has a chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. There’s something concrete that will leave a legacy long after you’ve gone…that is unless we win. 🙂

  • addycat

    I’ve started the paperwork for Students for Sensible Drug Policy, thanks darkcycle!

  • Addycat

    Yeah, I didn’t mean to say that it contradicts Raich, per se, but more that it doesn’t stop medical marijuana from being illegal at the federal level and it doesn’t stop SWAT teams from invading dispensaries, unfortunately. My bad for not clarifying.