Open Thread

“bullet” More of the same in Thailand

New Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej insisted Friday that he is not a puppet of deposed leader Thaksin Shinawatra, despite having boasted during campaigning that he was Thaksin’s proxy. […]
Samak also said the new government will reintroduce Thaksin’s controversial approach to combatting drug trafficking, defending the “drug war” conducted by Thaksin’s government that led to the death of about 2,500 people in 2003-2004. […]
Interior Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said Thursday that the ministry would launch a tough anti-drug campaign, particularly in border areas, that will yield results within 90 days.

“bullet” Interesting OpEds: Women Behind Bars” by Silja J.A. Talvi, and 1 more step for Bush by Tony Newman
“bullet” Via Rogier van Bakel comes this poor guy who’s been sentenced to 16 months in prison:

The investigation started when a Benton County tax clerk noticed that the $600 in cash that Michaelis used to pay his taxes smelled like marijuana.

“bullet” Cartoon: If Muslim Countries were as Radical as the DEA
“bullet” Via Radley BalkoStreet corner sign defends man accused of killing Ches. Police Detective

…this is the first time we have ever seen a public show of support for the person accused of killing a police officer. With their signatures, residents are voicing their belief the accused killer, Ryan Frederick, was in the right when he fired that gun as police officers were trying to come through his front door to serve a drug search warrant.

“bullet” Educating Harper Dr. Susan Boyd is sending a letter a week to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an attempt to educate him about the drug war.
“bullet” In foreign affairs, the drug war is so often a cover for another agenda. It’s hard to be more obvious than Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell’s comments to the Senate Intelligence Committee (also pushed by the Drug Czar.

“Chavez’s lack of counter-drug cooperation undermines efforts by other countries, particularly Colombia, by giving traffickers access to alternative routes and transit points,” McConnell said, according to a transcript of his statement

This appears to be part of a coordinated effort to use the drug war to attack Chavez, as was evidenced in this appropriately timed substance-free (pun intended) propaganda piece by John Carlin in the Observer, which is debunked here and here.
“bullet” Unintentionally humorous article: Drug cartels so powerful, governments at risk, U.S. told

Lobbying for nearly $550 million in aid for Mexico and Central America, a senior U.S. official warned Congress on Thursday that billions of dollars in drug cartel profits have made the gangs powerful enough to challenge their governments.

Oh, the irony.
“bullet” Via Transform, it’s nice to see The Economist (pdf) has picked up on the dirty little business of how the British government has been trying to set drug policy while keeping some of its facts secret.
“bullet” “drcnet”

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