Newsweek’s Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff and Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas, in the March 29 issue (available on the stands tomorrow), note that in the first few months of the administration:
Attorney General John Ashcroft downgraded terrorism as a priority, choosing to place more emphasis on drug trafficking and gun violence…
This is additional verification of reports that have been circulating for some time. This June, 2002 colunmn in Alternet noted:
While Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida minions were diligently preparing for their murderous mission, the FBI was looking the other way with equal determination. More than twice as many FBI agents were assigned to fighting drugs (2,500) than fighting terrorism (1,151). And a far greater amount of the FBI’s financial resources was dedicated to the war on drugs….
In Phoenix, where the now infamous Ken Williams memo originated, counterterrorism agents complained bitterly about their efforts being given “the lowest investigative priority” by a supervisor who preferred glamorous drug-fighting investigations.
And now we also hear this weekend from Network of European Foundation’s (NEF) Comite de Sages that world-wide drug policy is encouraging terrorism by creating a profitable black market:
“This regime fosters terrorism because it provides the funds for terrorism and it endangers international security,” NEF member Sir Keith Morris, a former British ambassador to Colombia, told a press conference….
…former Interpol secretary general Raymond Kendall, a member of the NEF, argued Wednesday that the UN should “change its approach from repressive law enforcement to look at consumption and demand and harm reduction methods.”
Eugene Oscapella, from the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, said: “The UN has not stopped to think that it is precisely prohibition that is making drugs such a desirable commodity.”
The foundation argues in a recent paper that “the drug trade under a system of prohibition has become a major, if not the major, source of funding for many terrorist groups.”
(see also my post Friday on the Senlis Council)
An anonymous reader commented on Friday that:
“As long as terrorists use drugs to finance their murderous activities, I will be against illicit drug usage.”
Well, you’re welcome to be against illicit drug usage, but if you want to prevent terrorists from using drugs to finance their murderous activities, you need to change the prohibitionist policies that make it profitable. It’s that simple.
The evidence is so overwhelming that I find myself wondering if the majority of our political leaders (on both sides of the aisle, and both sides of the ocean) are:
- Cowards who are unwilling to take a difficult political stand that will make a positive impact in the world
- Corrupt criminals who getting paid by special interests to continue a corrupt drug war
- Willfully ignorant, preferring to hold on to an irrational belief, because any other course would undermine their world view.
What’s your vote? Combination of the above? Something else entirely?