------------------------------------------------------------------- Amish Anguish (Tsk-Tsk Staff Editorial In The Illinois 'Daily Herald' On The Cocaine Bust Of Two Amish Men In Pennsylvania) Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 17:41:33 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US PA: Editorial: Amish Anguish Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Daily Herald (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dailyherald.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 1 Jul 1998 AMISH ANGUISH The simple, innocent lifestyle the Amish prefer apparently has been infiltrated by drugs. Is nothing sacred? If this conservative religious sect was to weaken, succumbing to the ways of the world, we would have preferred they try electricity - not cocaine. But as content as they appear to be, isolated from the rest of modern society, it seems they could not keep the drugs out. Last week's news that two Amish young men had been accused of buying cocaine from a motorcycle gang surprised the outside world, but perhaps not their religious community. Apparently there had been trouble with alcohol and marijuana, but recently the talk was of Amish young people using harder drugs. The two men accused of buying the cocaine allegedly were distributing the drugs to Amish youth groups. As unimpressionable as their society seems, some of their young people must have been easy prey. Unfortunately, targeting youths is nothing new to the rest of the world. Not lost among the details of the story was the name of the motorcycle gang - the Pagans. How appropriate. Although none of us is willing to give up the conveniences of society, we marvel at how the Amish make do with so much less. By no means is theirs an easy life. And even if some of them have strayed, we cannot help but feel compassion for a simple group confronting a difficult problem.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Farmers Will Raise Hemp Study This Weekend ('The Lexington Herald-Leader' In Kentucky Says On Friday, The Kentucky Hemp Museum And Library Will Release An 18-Month Study Of The Crop's Economic Viability - URL For Full Text Included) Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 17:48:37 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: Farmers Will Raise Hemp Study This Weekend Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (kevin b. zeese) Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/heraldleader/ Pubdate: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 Author: Janet Patton Herald-Leader Business Writer FARMERS WILL RELEASE HEMP STUDY THIS WEEKEND Study to examine profits, costs of controversial crop Kentucky farmers who want to grow industrial hemp hope a July 4 weekend event becomes their Independence Day. On Friday, the Kentucky Hemp Museum and Library will release the results of an 18-month study of the crop's economic viability. Invited to the 3 p.m. unveiling are celebrities who range from President Clinton and Gov. Paul Patton to drug enforcement czar Barry McCaffrey and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. "This is really an issue of freedom to farm," said Joe Hickey, president of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association. Andy Graves said the July 4 weekend is symbolic of farmers' desire for the freedom to grow hemp. Graves is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that would-be hemp farmers filed in May against Reno and the DEA. The federal response is due July 15. The $23,000 study, done by economists at the University of Kentucky's Center for Business and Economic Research, covers a lot of new ground, said the researchers, who were surprised at how little previous data had been generated. "I think everybody else is going to kind of be kind blown away when they read it," Hickey said. For the release of the study, the hemp advocates picked historic Ashland, Henry Clay's estate, where it's said the Great Compromiser once grew hemp himself. Today's potential hemp farmers are seeking a compromise, too =96 one reached with the government that would allow the growing of industrial hemp. "It's like any economic study," said Graves. "This is a credible business college, credible people that put this together, unbiased. "We want people to stand up and disprove what the study says if they're so smart. The only way to disprove it is to grow it and sell it," he said. The study is expected to give a clearer picture of the economics of the industry. "The idea was to look at the economic potential of hemp for the state economy of Kentucky," said Mark Berger, one of the study's authors. "To look at the size of the existing market for hemp and do some scenarios for potential size of the market ... compared with the returns of what farmers could get instead of corn and tobacco." Berger said the study is very conservative in its estimates. "We didn't engage in any unneeded speculation about what the market would be like," he said. To assess the market, co-authors Eric Thompson and Steven Allen traveled to the hemp-growing nations of England and Germany. The two also talked to hemp growers and processors in China and France, the countries that grow the most hemp. The study does not address law-enforcement concerns involving marijuana versus industrial hemp, which has little worth as a drug crop, hemp advocates say. To gauge the cost of a detection program to discourage growing illicit plants, the economists looked at Canada, which is just getting into its second crop. Canadian farmers, who typically grow at least 25 acres of hemp, pay about $50 each to cover the costs of a 10-year background check and plotting of geographic coordinates for satellite photos of fields, said Thompson. "We were dealing with enough speculation as it was, and here's a place that's doing it," Berger said. "We were convinced by that (that the prohibition on growing marijuana can be enforced)." On the Web The study, Economic Impact of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky, will be posted to the Kentucky Hemp Growers Co-op Web site (http://www.hempgrowers.com) at noon Friday. All Contents Copyright 1998 Lexington Herald-Leader. All Rights Reserved
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp An Opportunity (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Lexington Herald-Leader') Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 22:56:53 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: PUB LTE: Hemp An Opportunity Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Joe Hickey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Page: Editorial Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/heraldleader/ HEMP AN OPPORTUNITY The Herald-Leader has done a very good job of trying to educate the public of the merits of growing industrial hemp. There are more than 20,000 uses of hemp. It is not a drug. It contains less than one percent of the active ingredient, THC, that makes pot smokers high. Marijuana plants contain 10 percent of 20 percent THC. There is a fantastic opportunity for the farmers of Kentucky to have a new crop. Those bashing the tobacco industry have no concept of the economic damage their course of action will have throughout the commonwealth. I sincerely hope the state of Kentucky does not sit by and watch Canada, England, France and China supply hemp materials to this country without letting our farmers do the same. Connie Clinkinbeard Lexington, KY
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Hysteria (A Column In The July-August Issue Of 'The Farm Journal' By Robin Hoffman Says Canada Has Allowed Its Farmers To Grow Hemp While US Interest Groups Are Devoting Their Energy To Mudslinging - At The Core Of The Impasse Is The Intense Emotion Driving The Anti-Drug Crusade In The US) Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 00:06:57 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Hemp Hysteria Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Joe Hickey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: July/August 1998 Source: The Farm Journal Contact: FjRobin@aol.com Author: Robin Hoffman Editor's Note: Contact e-mail is for Mr. Hoffman, his phone # is: (815) 338-6436 Newshawk's Note: See University of Kentucky Economic Study at: http://www.hempgrowers.com/ HEMP HYSTERIA Legalization debate produces heat, smoke and very little light This spring, Canada will join the European Union and most of the rest of the world in allowing its farmers to plant industrial hemp. Outlawed in the U.S., the crop had been similarly banned in Canada since the late 1930s (with a pardon during and shortly after WW II) for the crime of looking too much like marijuana. But unlike the U.S., Canada's debate over legalization was relatively brief and uncontentious. "There hasn't been a lot of negative reaction," says Jeff Atkinson, communications coordinator for the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the nation's largest farm organization. "There was the usual bureaucratic resistance," he says. "But hemp wasn't a hard sell for most people. They'd ask: Is it a drug? No. Is it dangerous? No. People see it as a chance to diversify." Canada legalized the crop in 1996 and focused on writing regulations to prevent potential abuse of hemp's resemblance to marijuana. Meanwhile, U.S. interest groups devoted their energy to mudslinging. Typifying the level of discourse, Federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey, recently called efforts to legalize industrial hemp "a thinly disguised attempt...to legalize the production of pot," in a story in the Louisville Courier-Journal. In reply, hemp proponents accuse the Drug Enforcement Administration of fighting to protect its marijuana eradication budget. They cite a report from the Office of the State Auditor in Vermont that says less than 1% of the plants destroyed in the U.S. under the program in 1996 were cultivated marijuana. The rest were ditch-weed descendants of industrial hemp grown for rope, paper and cloth. Neither position contributes much toward a reasonable resolution. But hey, that's America. We don't feel we've really debated an issue until we've turned it into a three-ring circus of exaggeration, recrimination and celebrity court cases (photo). At the core of the impasse is the intense emotion driving the anti-drug crusade in the U.S. Even though certified industrial hemp contains THC levels far too low to produce a psychoactive effect, opponents of legalizing hemp say the stakes are too high to allow compromise. They're also alarmed by uninvited support for hemp from the movement to legalize marijuana. (Observers note that a reference to American Farm Bureau (AFB) support for hemp research in High Times magazine played a key role in AFB's hotly debated decision to reverse its position this year.) It's hard to say if pro-marijuana forces harbor ulterior motives, or if they simply believe the crop has been unjustly banned. (More than three-fourths of people polled in separate surveys in Kentucky and Vermont in 1996 favored legalization of industrial hemp.) Regardless, hemp supporters say licensing and inspection, combined with normal hemp cultural practices, make it virtually impossible to hide marijuana in hemp fields. Anti-drug crusaders also seem suspicious of all this enthusiasm over a niche product whose volume in world trade has declined from a modest 400,000 metric tons a year in the 1960s to about 100,000 tons, worth about $5.5 million. They fail to understand that farmers and environmentalists have been obsessed with creating natural, renewable alternatives to petrochemicals since Henry Ford's time. Supporters like hemp because it's a hardy, adaptable plant that produces large amounts of useful biomass with moderate fertilizer and virtually no pesticides. They say industries ranging from auto parts to home carpeting express a growing interest. Neutral observers like University of Kentucky ag economist Valerie Vantreese warn that hemp's industrial potential is highly speculative at this point. "People argue that if we had a good supply of hemp, processors would build the [factories]. But I'm not sure that argument holds up since we can import hemp today from China or Romania at least as cheaply as we could grow it," she says. At the same time, she adds that every developing market requires a certain leap of faith and argues that "legalization and economics should be two separate questions. Legalization shouldn't depend on whether farmers can make money on it right away." Andy Graves, a farmer and hemp advocate from the Lexington, Ky., area, agrees that timing will be critical. "It's taking much longer than I ever thought it would, but maybe our years of struggle will pay off by giving us the time to establish a market before we start to grow it," he says. Meanwhile, hemp advocates look hopefully, enviously north and wonder: If they can do it, why can't we?
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Soldier Storms DC (The July Issue Of 'George' Magazine Waters Down A Story About Drug Czar General McCaffrey's Penchant For Making Enemies And Undermining His Cause) Date: Sun, 05 Jul 1998 16:58:26 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service (email@example.com) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: George Magazine: A Soldier Storms D.C. Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Tom Murlowski http://www.november.org Source: George Magazine Pubdate: July 1998 issue Author: Claire Shipman Contact: email@example.com A SOLDIER STORMS D.C. General Barry McCaffrey is one of the country's bravest military heroes. Now, as he fights the war on drugs, he's taking on an entirely different enemy-the way Washington does business. By Claire Shipman General Barry McCaffrey is used to winning battles. He is a legend in military annals for his daring "left-hook" infantry maneuver in the Persian Gulf War, which cut off and decimated Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard. These days, McCaffrey, the nation's drug czar, is equally unstoppable. Last August, he was touring border towns in Mexico when he learned that a drug cartel was planning an assassination attempt on him. In his military vernacular, McCaffrey responded simply, "We'll continue to march," and the attack never materialized. Three years ago, McCaffrey seemed an ideal antidote to Bill Clinton's drug problem. With elections coming, Republicans had stumbled upon a critical weakness in the president's campaign strategy: Though the economy was booming, inflation was low, and welfare rolls were shrinking, there was one trend that wasn't going in Bill Clinton's direction-the number of American teenagers using drugs. After a steady decline through the late '80s and early '90s, drug use began to spike upward, but no one in the administration was paying much attention. In his first term, in fact, Clinton had slashed the budget of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and its head, former New York City police commissioner Lee Brown, couldn't master its bully pulpit. Republicans sensed a vulnerability. So did White House trouble shooter Rahm Emanuel, who sought the perfect replacement for Brown-someone who could define the office much as C. Everett Koop had personified the surgeon general's office. Emanuel found a four-star solution: McCaffrey had an impeccable record of national service and an air of moral certitude that reassured Democrats and stymied Republicans. "He's a general who could have done anything in life, and he's chosen to fight drugs with us," Emanuel declares. Ironically, McCaffrey was the very general who had been rebuffed when visiting the White House in 1993 by a young Clintonite who reportedly told him, "I don't speak to people in uniform." This time around, at his White House debut in March 1996, McCaffrey was royally feted. The White House press corps was introduced to a West Point graduate who, at his retirement just days earlier, was the army's youngest four-star general-and its most highly decorated. Among other achievements, he served as commander in chief of the U.S. Southern Command, was a staff assistant to General Colin Powell, and was a military liaison to NATO. He earned his medals leading U.S. troops in the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, and Iraq. After a spirited 45-minute session, members of the crotchety White House press corps gushed that McCaffrey was a cut above the usual Clinton appointee. As I followed McCaffrey out of the briefing room that day, far enough behind the general that he didn't notice me, I got a tip-off that this warrior had a political side: The reporters, I heard McCaffrey growl to an aide, had been every bit as thickheaded and self-important as he had expected. Minutes later, when I sat across from the general for a one-on-one interview, the diplomat, complimentary and gracious, was back. McCaffrey's ardor for his job, he says now, was formed in the 1970s, when he watched drug use devastate the military. While stationed in Germany, he explains, "I saw [drug-related] gang rapes in the barracks, knife brawls in the mess hall-and we really went after the drug problem." In his two years on the job, McCaffrey, 55, has indeed become the drug war-waging leader whom the White House sought, traveling the country to preach the saving grace of drug treatment and restoring the high profile of the drug czar office. But he has also been remarkably willing to challenge Washington's status quo. Take, for instance, the fight McCaffrey had with Donna Shalala, the Health and Human Services secretary, last spring. Shalala, one of the most politically savvy cabinet members, was hours away from announcing the controversial decision that the administration, as part of its campaign against AIDS, would help fund needle-exchange programs for I.V. drug addicts. But on the verge of the announcement, Shalala learned that President Clinton had had a change of heart: The government would support the programs in principle but not with money. Clinton's reversal was, at least in part, the result of vigorous-some say underhanded-lobbying by McCaffrey. What exactly McCaffrey did in the fight over needle-exchange programs is a matter of some debate. "It was sort of a bull-in-a-china-shop routine," says one White House insider. Some contend that he even rallied Republicans to kick up a fuss. Staffers for Illinois congressman Dennis Hastert, chairman of Newt Gingrich's Task Force for a Drug-Free America, admit that they were advised by McCaffrey aides to pump up their rhetoric. "We were told to do anything we could to affect the decision or delay it," explains Pete Jeffries, a Hastert aide. "The more ruckus, the better." "McCaffrey's office was out of control," complains one senior administration official. But others appreciate McCaffrey's intensity. "Look, HHS lost the needle-exchange issue, and they hate losing," says one Clinton aide. "I hope everywhere he goes, he causes problems-that's what his position is all about, to break through the clutter." From McCaffrey's point of view, he did nothing out of line. Sitting in his spacious quarters a block from the White House, the general exudes a sort of suave candor. "From the start, I said I had no monopoly on wisdom," he professes. "I told Donna Shalala that at the end of the day, I would support her decision and the president's decision. But until then.ellipse" Meanwhile, as that campaign was under way last spring, McCaffrey found that he was suddenly alienating a good portion of the Congressional Black Caucus. His stand on needle exchange so enraged caucus members that they demanded his ouster. And California representative Maxine Waters protested that McCaffrey hadn't directed any of his $195 million advertising budget to African-American-owned media. The two had one awkward conversation in which a pained McCaffrey brought up that he was a member of the NAACP, while Waters asked "what that had to do with the price of tea in China." The call ended, says Waters, with McCaffrey hanging up on her. Politics aside, after five years of rising teenage drug use, McCaffrey's office is buoyed by last year's numbers, which show signs of a plateau. (Critics respond that the changes in the latest numbers on drug use are too small to be significant.) And while McCaffrey wants to leave his office having made a significant dent in the drug problem, he's a realist. "This is not a problem we can put behind us," he says. "We have to educate each new generation of kids." For now, McCaffrey appears to be polishing up his diplomacy. He stopped by the White House recently to offer an apology to press secretary Mike McCurry for having issued errant press releases on the dangers of needle exchanges. And Shalala and McCaffrey insist that they still have a warm working relationship. At her suggestion, the two officials had a peacemaking lunch. In her characteristically blunt fashion, Shalala told McCaffrey that she found his behavior irresponsible and unprofessional. He simply smiled, and the conversation moved on.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Contra-Cocaine - Evidence Of Premeditation (The July-August Issue Of 'iF' Magazine Says New Evidence Strongly Suggests That The Reagan Administration's Tolerance Of Drug Trafficking By The Nicaraguan Contras And Other Clients In The 1980s Was Premeditated - Representative Maxine Waters Of Los Angeles On May 7 Introduced A 1982 Letter Into The Congressional Record Revealing How CIA Director William J. Casey Secretly Engineered An Exemption Sparing The CIA From A Legal Requirement To Report On Drug Smuggling By Agency Assets) Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 17:22:53 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Contra-Cocaine: Evidence of Premeditation Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Anne R. Kist Pubdate: July/August 1998 Source: iF Magazine Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.consortiumnews.com/ Author: Robert Parry Section: Page 2 CONTRA-COCAINE: EVIDENCE OF PREMEDITATION New evidence, now in the public record, strongly suggests that the Reagan administration's tolerance of drug trafficking by the Nicaraguan contras and other clients in the 1980s was premeditated. With almost no notice in the national press, a 1982 letter was introduced into the Congressional Record revealing how CIA Director William J. Casey secretly engineered an exemption sparing the CIA from a legal requirement to report on drug smuggling by agency assets. The exemption was granted by Attorney General William French Smith on Feb. 11, 1982, only two months after President Reagan authorized covert CIA support for the Nicaraguan contra army and some eight months before the first known documentary evidence revealing that the contras had started collaborating with drug traffickers. The exemption suggests that the CIA's tolerance of illicit drug smuggling by its clients during the 1980s was official policy anticipated from the outset, not just an unintended consequence followed by an ad hoc cover-up. Before the letter's release, the documentary evidence only supported the allegation that Ronald Reagan's CIA concealed drug trafficking by the contras and other intelligence assets in Latin America. The CIA's inspector general Frederick P. Hitz confirmed that long-held suspicion in an investigative report issued on Jan. 29, 1998. Laundry List But the newly released letter, placed into the Congressional Record by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., on May 7, establishes that Casey foresaw the legal dilemma which the CIA would encounter should federal law require it to report on illicit narcotics smuggling by its agents. The narcotics exemption is especially noteworthy in contrast to the laundry list of crimes which the CIA was required to disclose. Under Justice Department regulations, "reportable offenses" included assault, homicide, kidnapping, Neutrality Act violations, communication of classified data, illegal immigration, bribery, obstruction of justice, possession of explosives, election contributions, possession of firearms, illegal wiretapping, visa violations and perjury. Yet, despite reporting requirements for many less serious offenses, Casey fought a bureaucratic battle in early 1982 to exempt the CIA from, as Smith wrote, "the need to add narcotics violations to the list of reportable non-employee crimes." In his letter, Smith noted that the law provides that "when requested by the Attorney General, it shall be the duty of any agency or instrumentality of the Federal Government to furnish assistance to him for carrying out his functions under" the Controlled Substances Act. But Smith agreed that "in view of the fine cooperation the Drug Enforcement Administration has received from CIA, no formal requirement regarding the reporting of narcotics violations has been included in these procedures." [At the time of Smith's letter, Kenneth Starr was a counselor in the attorney general's office, although it is not clear whether Starr had any input into the exemption.] On March 2, 1982, Casey thanked Smith for the exemption. "I am pleased that these procedures, which I believe strike the proper balance between enforcement of the law and protection of intelligence sources and methods, will now be forwarded to other agencies covered by them for signing by the heads of the agencies," Casey wrote. In the years that followed, "protection of intelligence sources and methods" apparently became the catch-all excuse for the CIA's tolerance of South American cocaine smugglers using the contra war as cover. Though precise volume estimates are impossible, the contra-connected drug pipeline clearly pumped tons of cocaine into the United States during the early-to-mid 1980s. Contra Umbrella Some contra defenders have argued that the anti-Sandinista armies in Honduras and Costa Rica were not the primary beneficiaries of the narcotics smuggling, that most of the profits probably went to drug lords with few political interests. Still, over the past 15 years, substantial evidence has surfaced revealing that many drug smugglers scurried under the contra umbrella. They presumably understood that the Reagan administration would be loath to expose its pet covert action to negative publicity and possibly even to criminal prosecution. According to the accumulated evidence, Bolivia's "cocaine coup" government of 1980-82 was the first in line filling the contra drug pipeline. But other contra-connected drug operations soon followed, including the Medellin cartel, the Panamanian government, the Honduran military and Miami-based anti-Castro Cubans. The contra-connected cocaine also moved through transshipment points in Costa Rica and El Salvador. [For details, see Robert Parry's Lost History; Cocaine Politics by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall; or Gary Webb's forthcoming book, Dark Alliance.] Less clear is exactly what the U.S. government knew about the contra-connected drug trafficking and when. Reagan authorized CIA support for the contra army in mid-December 1981. But the first publicly known case of contra cocaine shipments appeared in government files in an Oct. 22, 1982, cable from the CIA's Directorate of Operations. The cable passed on word that U.S. law enforcement agencies were aware of "links between (a U.S. religious organization) and two Nicaraguan counter-revolutionary groups [which] involve an exchange in (the United States) of narcotics for arms." The material in parentheses was inserted by the CIA as part of its declassification of the cable. The name of the religious group remains secret. Over the next several years, the CIA learned of other suspected links between the contras and drug trafficking. In 1984, the CIA even intervened with the Justice Department to block a criminal investigation into a suspected contra role in a San Francisco-based drug ring, according to Hitz's report. In December 1985, Brian Barger and I wrote the first news article disclosing that virtually every Nicaraguan contra group had links to drug trafficking. In that Associated Press dispatch, we noted that the CIA knew of at least one case of cocaine profits filtering into the contra war effort, but that DEA officials in Washington claimed they had never been told of any contra tie-in. The Casey exemption explains why that was possible. After the AP story ran, the Reagan administration attacked it as unfounded and the article was largely ignored by the rest of the Washington press corps. But it did help spark an investigation by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who over the next two years amassed substantial evidence of cocaine smuggling in and around the contra war. Still, the Reagan and Bush administrations continued to disparage Kerry's probe and its many witnesses. Through the end of the decade, the mainstream Washington media also denigrated the allegations. In April 1989, when Kerry released a lengthy report detailing multiple examples of how the contra war supplied cover for major drug trafficking operations, the nation's most prestigious newspapers -- The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times -- published only brief, dismissive accounts. With the end of the contra war in 1990, the controversy faded further into the historical recesses. The Clinton administration quietly rescinded Casey's narcotics exemption in 1995. Crack Epidemic The contra-cocaine issue arose again in 1996 with an investigative series by Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury-News. Those stories traced how one of the contra drug conduits helped fuel the crack epidemic in Los Angeles. In response, the major newspapers again rallied to the CIA's defense. They denounced the series as overblown, although finally acknowledging that the allegations raised during the 1980s were true. Webb's series also prompted a new investigation by the CIA's inspector general. In the first volume of his investigative report, Hitz admitted the CIA knew early on about contra drug trafficking and covered it up. The report's second volume reportedly puts the CIA in even a worse light. The CIA press office acknowledges that the second volume has been completed, but adds that there is no timetable for releasing a declassified version. "They'll only let it out if they're pressured," commented one U.S. official. But the CIA apparently is counting on continued disinterest by the national press as a sign that there is no need to revisit the issue. That assessment was bolstered on May 7 when Waters introduced the Casey-Smith letters into the Congressional Record and drew very little media interest in the damaging admissions. For her part, Waters stated that the Casey-Smith arrangement "allowed some of the biggest drug lords in the world to operate without fear that the CIA would be required to report their activities to the DEA and other law enforcement agencies. ... These damning memorandums ... are further evidence of a shocking official policy that allowed the drug cartels to operate through the CIA-led contra covert operations in Central America." Though Waters's comments focused on the contra war, Casey's narcotics exemption could have had other CIA covert operations in mind. In the early 1980s, the CIA-backed Afghan mujahedeen also were implicated as major heroin traffickers in the Near East. But whatever the genesis of the drug exemption, the Casey-Smith exchange of letters stands as important historical evidence bolstering the long-denied allegations of CIA complicity in drug trafficking. Worse yet, the documents are evidence of premeditation. Copyright (c) 1998
------------------------------------------------------------------- GAO Report On Drug-Related Police Corruption (A List Subscriber Posts The URL For The General Accounting Office's New Report, Plus The 'Results In Brief' Summary) Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 09:37:03 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: GAO Report On Drug-Related Police Corruption A couple of doozies have come from the GAO this morning. One is on police drug-related corruption and the other concerns the WOD in Mexico. Neither are very flattering. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/gg98111.pdf (corruption) I'll get the URL for the Mexico report later. Following are the "Results in Brief" portion of this report. United States General Accounting Office GAO Report to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, House of Representatives May 1998 LAW ENFORCEMENT Information on Drug-Related Police Corruption GAO/GGD-98-111 GAO United States General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 General Government Division B-277817 May 28, 1998 The Honorable Charles B. Rangel House of Representatives Results in Brief According to a number of commission reports, academic publications, and other literature we reviewed and the officials and academic experts we interviewed, drug-related police corruption differs in a variety of ways from other types of police corruption. In addition to protecting criminals or ignoring their activities, officers involved in drug-related corruption were more likely to be actively involved in the commission of a variety of crimes, including stealing drugs and/or money from drug dealers, selling drugs, and lying under oath about illegal searches. Although profit was found to be a motive common to traditional and drug-related police corruption, New York City's Mollen Commission identified power and vigilante justice as two additional motives for drug-related police corruption. The most commonly identified pattern of drug-related police corruption involved small groups of officers who protected and assisted each other in criminal activities, rather than the traditional patterns of non-drug-related police corruption that involved just a few isolated individuals or systemic corruption pervading an entire police department or precinct. Regarding the extent of drug-related police corruption, data are not collected nationally. Federal agencies either do not maintain data specifically on drug-related police corruption or maintain data only on cases in which the respective agency is involved. Thus, it was not possible to estimate the overall extent of the problem. However, the academic experts and various officials we interviewed, as well as the commission reports, expressed the view that, by and large, most police officers are honest. The FBI provided us with data on FBI-led drug-related corruption cases involving state and local law enforcement officers. However, since the GAO/GGD-98-111 Drug-Related Police Corruption Page 3 B-277817 total number of drug-related police corruption cases at all levels of government is unknown, the proportion constituted by FBI cases also is unknown. Data from local sources, if collected, pose several problems. For example, drug-related police corruption cases may not be readily identifiable from the offense charged or departments may view this information as proprietary or confidential and may not release it. Notwithstanding the lack of systematic data, the commissions and some academic experts described cases of drug-related police corruption in large cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia. Many of our sources consistently reported certain factors to be associated with drug-related police corruption, although these factors may also be associated with police corruption in general. Not every source identified every factor, and the sources differed to some degree on the emphasis to be placed on a factor. However, if all of the factors are considered together, they provide a consistent framework. Also, the factors discussed in this report may not encompass all factors associated with drug-related police corruption, since the identified factors are based on publicly reported incidents of drug-related police corruption. One commonly identified factor associated with drug-related corruption was a police culture that was characterized by a code of silence, unquestioned loyalty to other officers, and cynicism about the criminal justice system. Such characteristics were found not only to promote police corruption, but to impede efforts to control and detect it. A second associated factor was the maturity (e.g., age) and education of police officers. Officers lacking in experience and some higher education were considered to be more susceptible to involvement in illicit drug-related activities. Several of our sources also identified a variety of management-related factors associated with drug-related corruption. These factors included ineffective headquarters and field supervision, the failure of top police officials to promote integrity, and weaknesses in a police department's internal investigative structure and practices. In addition, on-the-job opportunities to commit illegal acts; inadequate training, particularly integrity training in the police academies and on the job; police brutality; and pressures arising from an officer's personal neighborhood ties were also believed by some sources to be associated with drug-related police corruption. GAO/GGD-98-111 Drug-Related Police Corruption Page 4 B-277817 Our sources also identified practices that they believed could prevent or detect drug-related police corruption. These practices, although often directed toward combatting police corruption in general, also were viewed as effective steps toward specifically addressing drug-related police corruption. Again, while every source did not conclude that every practice was effective or suitable for local conditions, considered together, the practices offer a starting point for prevention strategies. Among the prevention practices that our sources identified were (1) making a commitment to integrity from the top to the bottom of the police department; (2) changing the police culture; (3) requiring command accountability (i.e., requiring a commitment to corruption control throughout the entire department, especially by field commanders); (4) raising the age and educational requirements and implementing or improving integrity training in the police academy for recruits; (5) implementing or improving integrity training and accountability measures for career officers; (6) establishing an independent monitor to oversee the police department and its internal affairs unit; and (7) community policing.4 The detection practices our sources discussed included integrity testing,5 early warning systems to identify potential problem officers, and proactive investigations of individual officers or precincts with a high number of corruption complaints. Lastly, we identified several federal initiatives that were directed toward assisting state and local governments in preventing and detecting police corruption.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Anti-Tobacco Crowd Hasn't Learned Anything From History (An Op-Ed In The Illinois 'Daily Herald' Compares The Failure Of The McCain Tobacco Bill With The Failed Efforts Of Turn-Of-The-Century Tobacco Prohibitionist Lucy Page Gaston And Her Anti-Cigarette League Of America - She Was The Person Who Invented The Term 'Coffin Nails')Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 17:55:06 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Anti-Tobacco Crowd Hasn't Learned Anything From History Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (email@example.com) Source: Daily Herald (IL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dailyherald.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 Author: Cal Thomas ANTI-TOBACCO CROWD HASN'T LEARNED ANYTHING FROM HISTORY Perhaps nothing is more amusing or more pathetic than adults determined to force adolescents to do their bidding. The defeat of the tobacco bill in Congress and pledges by the Clinton administration to continue to search for ways to "save our children" from the ravages of tobacco smoke and addiction to nicotine will be about as effective as Prohibition. Today, the crusaders are named Bill Clinton, C. Everett Koop and John McCain. More than 90 years ago, there were Chicago's Lucy Page Gaston and her Anti-Cigarette League of America. It was Gaston who invented the term "coffin nails." In the beginning, she seemed to be making progress. Cigarette production peaked at 4.9 billion units in 1897, but by 1901 fewer than 3.5 billion were produced. Gaston's crusade helped produce laws against smoking, including some that targeted women only (New York City passed the Sullivan Ordinance in 1908, prohibiting women from smoking in public; other municipalities followed New York's example). For many, such laws only added to the allure of cigarettes. This forbidden-fruit factor, coupled with the aura of danger surrounding cigarettes, and men who smoked while away in World War I, contributed to more, not less, smoking. States like Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa and Tennessee repealed their anti-smoking laws in 1917. The defeat of the anti-smoking crusade was a forerunner to the repeal of Prohibition, another attempt to regulate a form of human behavior that encountered strong resistance. As historian Robert Sobel recounts in his book "They Satisfy: The Cigarette in American Life," Gaston toyed with the idea of running for president. Her platform sounded like a forerunner of the Christian Coalition: "clean morals, clean food and fearless law enforcement." Gaston was appalled when Warren Harding - a cigarette smoker - was elected president in 1920. She said Harding had a "cigarette face" (a diagnosis invented by Gaston). She predicted Harding would come to no good, that his administration would be laced with corruption and that Harding would even die in office before the end of his term (he did, but not from cigarette smoking). Gaston was struck by a trolley in 1924 and later died. Her doctor said the cause of death was not her injuries, but throat cancer, though there is no indication she was a smoker. Sobel notes that when Gaston started the National Anti-Cigarette League, 4.4 billion cigarettes were consumed. The year she died, more than 73 billion cigarettes were sold. In 1905, the New York Times had editorialized against one proposed anti-cigarette law in Indiana, calling it "fussy legislation" and "as scandalous an interference as can be conceived with constitutional freedoms." Today, the Times, which flipped on abortion, has also flipped on cigarettes, believing teenagers can be dissuaded from smoking without regulation of the "cool" factor. It is unlikely that today's anti-tobacco crusaders and politicians will be any more successful than Lucy Page Gaston and her followers. Adults telling kids they don't want them to smoke will likely encourage them to puff even more. What was that about those who learn nothing from history are doomed to repeat it? (c) 1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate
------------------------------------------------------------------- Activism On-Line - The Revolution Will Be Wired (An Article In 'High Times' By Adam J. Smith Of The Drug Reform Coordination Network Explains Why The Internet Makes It Impossible For Government And Mass Media To Cover Up The Truth About The Failed War On Some Drugs) Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 20:12:16 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Activism On-line: The Revolution Will Be Wired Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake Source: High Times Author: Adam J. Smith Section: High Witness Views Pubdate: July, 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.hightimes.com/ ACTIVISM ON-LINE: THE REVOLUTION WILL BE WIRED The Internet's low-cost, instantaneous communication and its ability to make unlimited information available to an ever-expanding audience is nothing short of a revolution in the people's ability to effect social change. The vast network of drug-law reformers on-line represents a growing army of peace which will ultimately topple the prohibitionist establishment and put an end to America's longest war. In the past, most reform efforts have been local. The economics of creating a mass movement relegated like-minded people to relative isolation, making it difficult to join forces even in modest ways, across state or county lines. But not anymore. Today, electronic communication is beginning to make the problems of time, distance and access to information obsolete. The old impossibilities are fading at the feed of a new virtual reality. For marijuana-law reformers, this new age is particularly important. Building coalitions, exploding popular myths and activating a growing constituency, the movement is quickly coming together - the first and most important step in changing the laws. In addition to connecting marijuana-law reformers to each other, the Internet has catalyzed links between the people and organizations active on other issues in the drug-policy-reform movement. Advocates who are working on issues such as needle exchange, mandatory-minimum sentencing, asset forfeiture, privacy rights, pain control, human rights, racial justice and Latin American sovereignty are finding each other on-line and realizing that they are fighting a common enemy in the Drug War establishment. Groups like NORML, the Marijuana Policy Project, the November Coalition, the Media Awareness Project and Family and Friends for Drug Reform do terrific work, despite being uniformly underfunded and short-staffed. The World Wide Web has enabled them to post important legislative information, scholarly articles and ways to become involved - information that could not possibly be communicated to such wise audiences so quickly by phone, fax or mail. My organization, the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), founded in 1993, aims to be a communications and information epicenter for the reform movement. Our 5,000 plus subscribers receive both periodic state and federal legislative alerts and The Week Online, a weekly drug-policy e-zine which features news, analysis, interviews, links to other organizations and editorials. The Week Online brings all of the issues and the people who are working on them together in one publication, strengthening each part of the movement by broadening its reach. The effects of these electronic grass-roots are already being felt. In Virginia, for instance, a 1997 bill which would have overturned that state's medical-marijuana defense was defeated with the help of letters, phone calls and faxes in response to DRCNet statewide alerts. Numerous other bills in other states have drawn a similar response. So now, when NORML or MMP needs an immediate response to a bill or a media event, our electronic network offers them fast and easy access to large numbers of people who will respond - people who might not have elected to formally join a marijuana-only organization. The strength, and ultimately the success, of such a network depends on how many people use it to keep up with and respond to events and legislation that affect our issues. The Internet makes that goal achievable. The ability to easily forward and re-post information means that the network's rate of growth increases with its size. While it took us nearly four years to reach 1000 subscribers, it took only one more year to quadruple that number. As promotional efforts swing into gear, and subscription numbers swell, we will be able to generate thousands, or tens of thousands, of responses at the touch of a button. Then, for the first time in history, the antiprohibition movement will be in a position to consistently influence legislation on the whole range of reform issues, at both the state and federal levels. As the millennium approaches, an electronic generation stands poised to change the world. The internet is a worldwide medium of nearly limitless communication. Whether or not our opponents understand its implications, it offers us a unique opportunity to end the War. So plug in, stand up, and speak out, because the revolution is coming. And it will happen at 56k. *** Adam J. Smith is the associate director of DRCNet. You can check out their Web site, and subscribe to their free service, at http://www.stopthedrugwar.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Case Thrown Out ('The Calgary Sun' Says Provincial Court Judge William Gilbert Has Ruled That Neither Marc Zagar's Distinct Smell Of Pot, Nor Banff RCMP Corporal WL Young's Olfactory Skills Justified His Search Of Zagar That Turned Up A Joint) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Pot case thrown out Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 08:52:19 -0700 Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/ Lines: 37 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Calgary Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: July 1, 1998 Author: KEVIN MARTIN -- Calgary Sun POT CASE THROWN OUT This case is a real stinker from a police perspective. A marijuana cigarette seized from a suspect who smelled of the drug was inadmissible because it came from an illegal search, a judge has ruled. Provincial court Judge William Gilbert said Banff RCMP Cpl. W.L. Young did not have reasonable grounds to search Marc Zagar last Nov. 13 -- and acquitted him. Zagar was charged with possession of a narcotic after he was stopped for performing an unlawful U-turn while visiting Banff. When Young approached Zagar in his hotel parking lot, he "detected a strong odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the person of the accused," Gilbert said. The officer asked Zagar if he had any drugs on him and when told he didn't, Young searched the suspect. He found a single marijuana joint in a cigarette package in the accused's vest pocket. But Gilbert, in a written ruling, said neither Zagar's distinct smell, nor Young's olfactory skills, justified the search. "Such action is contrary to the liberty of the subject to be free from arbitrary search and seizure." Copyright (c) 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Illegal In Mexico (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The International Herald-Tribune' Says The United States Had No Right To Treat Mexico As It Did In 'Operation Casablanca') Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 20:23:51 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UN GE: PUB LTE: Illegal in Mexico Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Pubdate: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.iht.com/ ILLEGAL IN MEXICO At a United Nations drug conference in New York on June 8 President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico declared that no country should feel entitled to violate another country's laws for the sake of enforcing its own. This was a clear reference to the U.S. sting aimed at the laundering of drug money, in which more than two dozen Mexican bankers were snared. Mr. Zedillo's government was not informed of the operation in advance. The Mexicans have said that the operation violated their country's sovereignty. Undercover operations, by their very nature, involve deception and ethically questionable tactics. By creating an artificial criminal milieu and holding out temptation for criminal opportunities that do not otherwise exist, U.S. authorities are not punishing crime but testing people, and punishing those too weak to pass the test. This case is in the realm of foreign policy, to say the least. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin overstepped his authority, and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was correct to reprove him. The United States has no right to treat its neighbors this way. PAUL WOLF. Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The War On Drugs From The Supply Side (A lengthy but excellent op-ed in Z magazine by a co-founder of the Colombia Support Network provides a much more accurate picture of the social and economic forces destroying Colombia in the name of the war on drugs than could ever be found in mainstream American mass media. About 4,300 Colombians are killed each year for political reasons out of a total annual death toll of 30,000 and a population of 33 million. According to the Colombian Commission of Jurists, only 2 percent of these political killings are drug related, while 28 percent of the deaths are at the hands of guerrillas and 70 percent are caused by the paramilitary/military alliance.) Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 19:31:07 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Colombia: OPED: The War On Drugs From The Supply Side Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: July/August 1998 Source: Z Magazine Section: p. 21 Contact: Lydia.Sargent@zmag.org Website: http://www.zmag.org Author: Cecilia Zarate-Laun Note: Author is a co-founder of the Colombia Support Network, P.O. Box 1505, Madison, Wisconsin 53701; 608-257-8753; fax 608-255-6621; email@example.com; www.igc.apc.org/csn. Or CSN Urgent Action Service, C/O HRAS, 438 N. Skinker, St. Louis, MO 63130. THE WAR ON DRUGS FROM THE SUPPLY SIDE Last October 25 a paramilitary patrol landed on the small town of El Aro in Colombia's northern Antioquia province, with the intention of "doing away with the guerrillas." For five days the town was converted into a concentration camp. First, they killed Andres Mendoza, Wilmar Restrepo, RosaMaria Barrera, and Dora Angela Areiza in front of everybody. Before leaving El Aro the paras assassinated 64-year-old Marco Aureho Areiza who owned the town's store. Prior to killing him, they tied him to a tree in the plaza, tortured him, pulled out his eyes and heart, and rubbed salt all over his body. His wife and children were forcefully taken to see his remains. On leaving, the paramilitary burned the town. The result of the paramilitary presence in El Aro was 51 of the 68 town's houses destroyed and 10 small farms looted and burned. Another 5 peasants were killed and the paras took with them 1,300 heads of cattle and 130 mules and horses. After the paramilitary left, the 250 survivors buried the bodies of their friends and relatives, and fled to nearby towns, joining some 1,500 other refugees from the region, adding to the one and a-half million refugees in the country. Colombia has been for many years the window case democracy which the U.S. State Department loves to show off as Latin America's oldest and most durable democracy. Yes, Colombia fulfills all the formal requisites of a democracy: elections are held every four years, the three branches of government function in different buildings, even though their powers are not separate. A string of civilian presidents sign all kinds of international treaties on human rights, women's rights, environmental rights, and children's rights. Colombia holds its place at the United Nations, the OAS, and the ILO where it has no moral problems with the fact that more labor leaders are killed in Colombia than in any other country in the world. Colombia has always, had two political parties, Liberals and Conservatives, whose power struggles have caused many wars. The last one, La Violencia, from 1948 to 1953, left more than 300,000 dead. Killings continued on a lower scale through the 1960s and 1970s. These two political entities might as well be considered one party with two heads, because there is no ideological difference between them and they hold the same position on social and economic issues. Colombia is not a poor country. It has abundant resources such as oil, coal, gold, emeralds, platinum, and uranium. It exports coffee, flowers, sugar, and bananas. An article in the Wall Street Journal published last year said that "Colombia boasts continuous economic growth, by far the best in Latin America and perhaps in the world." Yet there is much hunger in Colombia. Colombia's tragedy is the result of deep inequalities - 3 percent of the people own 70 percent of the arable land-and the lack of political will to implement social, political, and economic reforms. Because of these deep inequalities and violence, guerrilla movements started forming in the late 1930s. Today there are two major guerrilla forces, FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and ELN (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional). In 1985 a challenge to the two political parties came about when the government, in one of its periodic peace processes, offered amnesty to those guerrillas who would give up their arms and become a political party competing in elections. Created by former guerrillas, the Union Patriotica Party (UP) organized at the grass roots and appealed to a broad range of Colombian citizens who believed Liberals and Conservatives had done nothing to represent their interests. Elections came and UP enjoyed extensive electoral success: city council members, mayors, state assembly and national Congress members were elected. There was a sense of being a democracy at last. Except that virtually all of the UP's elected officials and the party's only two presidential candidates were killed. About 4,000 of them at last count. The real number of UP grass-roots activists and sympathizers has been lost. Colombia has a privileged geographical location as the only country in South America with coasts on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This particular geographic location was the main reason why Colombia became, in the 1970s, a key stop in the trade of cocaine brought from Peru and Bolivia. This stopover for drug trade was initially made by Miami Cubans who wanted to profit from drugs after the American troops came home hooked from Vietnam. Contacts were made with the un-derworld in Colombia and with the emerald trade. Soon the Colombians outdid their Cuban partners and became the main middlepeople in the drug trade. Initially Bolivia and Peru produced coca leaves and paste and the paste was brought to Colombia where it would be processed and refined to cocaine and distributed to the always hungry U.S. market. So we find two contradictory ille-gal forces, FARC and drug traffickers, co-habiting the vast rain forests of Colombia's Amazon basin. In this way the drug trade with all its money and power became another factor in the old and vicious Colombian war. The Players The displaced peasants: The peasants, who have fled from terror during all of these 50 years of war in the countryside, have two options: to go to the big cities and become beggars and prostitutes or go to the rainforest to colonize the land. If they choose the latter, they till the land and plant crops such as corn or plantains. Since these areas were never developed, they lack transportation routes. Only by using the big rivers and crossing hundreds of miles can the crop reach Bogota or other markets. By the time it gets there, the crop is rotten or has become so costly that all the profit is practically lost. There is only one alternative open to peasant farmers: growing coca leaves. They do not have to worry about transportation because the drug lords' economic machinery picks up the harvested coca at the farm. Coca is more profitable than corn in the "free market." The guerrillas: FARC and ELN have a political agenda that calls for agrarian reform, democratization, and protection of natural resources from multi-national corporations. But the Conservative and Liberal parties have never allowed third party or grass-roots opposition. Colombian politics is very exclusionary. Guerrillas have used kidnappings of rich people to finance their activities. They also place land mines in areas where they are active, and the ELN has a penchant for bombing oil pipelines causing untold ecological damage. In the 1980s paramilitary groups such as MAS (Death to Kidnappers) were formed when enraged cattlepeople joined forces with drug traffickers against guerrilla kidnappings. Recently guerrillas announced that they would also start attacking civilians they believe are friends or relatives of paramilitaries, which means fur-ther spreading the conflict to the civilian population. This violates international humanitarian law. Today, the guerillas hold virtual control of vast regions of the countryside where for most of this century the only presence of the state has been the army. Since guerrillas and drug traffickers generally operate in the same areas, many guerrilla fronts tax drug trafficking operations, while protecting plantations of coca, processing, and shipping drugs, just as they tax any area that comes under their control, and in this way they benefit from the drug trade. But to say that guerrillas are "narco-guerrillas" is a simplification. The drug traffickers: Colombia's rigidly stratified class system does not give much opportunity for people to advance socially. In Medellin, for example, the textile capital of Latin America, many people were left unemployed when factories closed during the 1970s economic recession. Unemployed people plus refugees fleeing from terror make an easy breeding ground for drug trafficking. The under-world and the ruthless emerald-trade Mafia in the state of Boyaca quickly took advantage of the promising drug trade. Fortunes were made quickly by this new class, which became wealthier than the traditional elites. They saw themselves as much entrepreneurs as the coffee or sugar barons and demanded their share of power. Money talks and soon those who did not sell themselves were eliminated. Among them the incorruptible leaders of the UP party. Here the drug people figured out how to kill two birds with one stone: since the UP represented the left, and since the drug traffickers sought to win grace from the viscerally anti-communist Colombian elites and military, they proceeded to go after UP people and kill them, as well as non-combatant peasants suspected of guerilla sympathies such as the ones in El Aro. The drug traffickers in this way also started to get land. In the last seven years drug traffickers have taken between four to five million hectares of the best Colombian land. They are not interested in growing anything, they just want to gain social status, and owning land gives status. In taking the land, they drive the peasants out and introduce private armies to protect them. The Army: Keep in mind that Colombia's army is Simon Bolivar's army which crossed the Andes in an epic march and gave the first defeat to the Spanish empire. Made up of peasants, that army and its aristocratic and enlightened leader sought to found a republic where democracy, freedom, and human rights would prevail. That army later became the private army of the ruling elites and a proxy army for a foreign power. Fighting a guerrilla war in the tropics for 50 years has made it the most seasoned army in this hemisphere, and the most brutal. Lately, as documented by the BBC, this army has been renting itself out to protect multinational corporations' properties. Colombia's list of graduates from the School of the Americas is the longest of any Latin American country. Colombians started training in 1947 and have continued to the present. Colombians will roudly tell anybody that they are not only students but teachers at SOA. The Paramilitary: In November 1996 Human Rights Watch released a report called "Colombia's Killer Networks: the Military-Paramilitary Partnership and the U.S.," which documents the historical links between U.S. Cold War strategies, political violence in Colombia, and the nurturing of paramilitaries by the CIA and the Pentagon since the 1950s. Paramilitaries are a creation of the Colombian state. They represent an attempt to cover up the brutalities of the army which are continually reported by reputable human rights organizations. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the myriad of Colombian NGOs, at tremendous risks and despite the numerous killings they suffer, keep reporting atrocities such as the one in El Aro. These paramilitary groups act together with the military, but carry out irregular actions in order to blur the borders between what is civilian and what is military. It is a perverted mechanism because it resorts to secrecy and makes a mockery of democracy and its institutions. When paramilitaries are created, a state's responsibility ceases to exist. Father Javier Giraldo, in Colombia: The Genocidal Democracy reveals some of the characteristics of Colombia's paramilitaries. The paras receive support from trade organizations and powerful businesses such as export agriculture, cattlemen, oil companies and drug traffickers. They get political support from the military and leaders of the traditional parties. They receive military support from the Army's local battalion and brigade. The judicial system protects them by absolving the responsible parties and discontinuing the criminal proceedings. Or if the courts condemn someone, they refuse to investigate the lines of command. The executive and the legislative powers provide the military who organize and direct this criminal structure with all kinds of promotions in rank and honors. More insidious is the military-paramilitary modus operandi of the last ten years. The strategy has been to declare as military objectives, not only FARC and ELN militants, but also members of dissident political parties. They target people who have lived in regions where guerrillas have been present and members of any community organization, such as cooperatives, which represent alternative models to the accumulation of capital different from neo-liberalism. For local peasants geographical territories stop being seen as lands where you feel emotionally attached, but become "conquered territories" with armed groups. They are forced to relate to the combined action of the army and the paramilitaries as those who exercise power. A brutally cynical counter-insurgency tactic of former guerrillas joining paramilitary units is being tried now with young men fighting for the highest payer. This strategy responds to the "development" plans with a new conception of social and family relations. These relations are based on irrational use of force and loyalties where the most important thing is private property and profitability. A new society is created within the free market model where only those people who have money and property (be it cattle, contraband, or cocaine) can compete. The rest have to beg to be included in the paramilitary scheme or are excluded. The creation of the parastate has arrived. Paramilitary structures have multiple alliances with important sectors of drug4rafficking in coordination with military units, as the massacres of Trujillo and Riofrio have shown. A typical example is that of Colonel Luis Felipe B-cerra, who coordinated the death squad massacres in March 1988 of 22 workers from banana planta-tions in Uraba. When an honest judge announced preliminary results of her probe against two drug traffickers and three military officials, she received death threats and had to flee. Seven months later, in retaliation, her father was slain. When Colonel Becerra was going to be served with legal papers, he was in the United States where he was taking a course to be promoted to lieutenant colonel. When he returned, he was involved in a second massacre in Riofrio in 1993. A known drug lord wanted the land around Riofrio, 50 13 peasant owners were killed through army-paramilitary cooperation. The Church and the NGOs: After being one of the most conservative churches in Latin America for centuries, the Colombian Catholic Church has become one of the few institutions left to help the poor. Many priests and nuns have died working for justice and the poor. Many of the internal 1,500,000 refugees have come to the Church's door. The Bishops' Con-ference has raised its voice in favor of the poor. And the Colombian Jesuits, with their prestigious think tank. CINEP and their Program for Peace, have taken leadership in struggling for the rights of the poor. Colombian NGOs have led a courageous battle to assist and represent the poor. Many activists have been killed or "disappeared" as a result. The U.S.: The U.S. support for the "war on drugs" does not strengthen democracy or respect human rights. The Colombian army has a long and close relationship with the U.S. military; From World War II on, they collaborated against "communist subversion." Now it is drugs. The State Department has issued reports about human rights violations, but these are not taken seriously by the Colombian elites because the U.S. government keeps giving military aid to the Colombian army. Human Rights Watch reports that in 1990 a team of CIA and U.S. strategists gathered to assist Co-lombian military intelligence. The document produced at this meeting does not mention narcotics at all, but rather emphasizes combating "terrorism by armed subversion." So one must question the real goal of the "war on drugs." Is the "war on drugs" a pseudo-ethical argument for perpetuating violence for the economic benefit of the elites in both countries? The facts contradict the speeches by U.S. politicians in their appeals to the U.S. public. Drug czar General McCaffrey announced on a recent visit to Bogota that the U.S. is willing to help Colombia combat not only "drug traffickers" but also the "guerrillas." It would be interesting to know if he considers the brutally murdered CINEP researchers Mario Calderon (a former Jesuit) and Elsa Alvarado as guerrillas, or the millions of Colombians who desire social change. The United States is involved in the region's most brutal war - a war in which the army, allied with drug traffickers and paramilitary death squads, combats not only guerrillas but anyone committed to political or social change. The victims of this war have been lawyers, priests, nuns, political activists, labor leaders, peasant leaders, university professors, journalists, cooperative members, women leaders, anybody who thinks. Some 4,300 Colombians are killed each year for political reasons out of a total annual death toll of 30,000. This carnage is in a country with a population of 33 million people. According to the Colombian Commission of Jurists only 2 percent of these political killings are drug related, while 28 percent of the deaths are at the hands of the guerrillas and 70 percent are caused by the paramilitary/military alliance.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Herbicide Again (Another Letter To The Editor Of 'The International Herald-Tribune' Protests The United States' Parallel Policies Involving Poison In Colombia And Vietnam) Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 20:32:16 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Columbia: PUB LTE: Herbicide Again Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Pubdate: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.iht.com/ Note: According to our newshawk and author of this letter, the IHT printed a "tamed" version of his original letter, leaving out this sentence: "No wonder the U.S. is the only nation objecting to the establishment of a strong independent court in the U.N. to take up the issues of atrocities and crimes against humanity." HERBICIDE AGAIN Regarding "Columbia to Test Herbicide on Coca" (June 22): Has the United States learned nothing from its use of herbicide in Vietnam? It appears that the Washington plans to carry on the drug war to the bitter end, even if it means producing more Vietnams in South America. PETER WEBSTER. Le Cannet, France.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Poppy Fungus Project Is Not 'Biological Warfare' Says UN (A UN Information Service Press Release Issued By Pino Arlacchi, Director Of The Vienna-Based UN Office For Drug Control And Crime Prevention, Tries To Finesse A Recent Article In Britain's 'Sunday Times') Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 14:25:58 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UN: WIRE: Poppy Fungus Project Is Not 'Biological Warfare' Says UN Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Michael (Miguet@NOVEMBER.ORG) Source: UN Information Service Contact: Sandro Tucci, Spokesman, ODCCP, Ph: (43-1) 21345 5629 Website: http://www.undcp.org/press/press.htm Fax: (43-1) 21345 5931 Pubdate: 1 Jul 1998 Author: Pino Arlacchi UNIS/NAR/643 1 July 1998 POPPY FUNGUS PROJECT IS NOT 'BIOLOGICAL WARFARE', SAYS UN VIENNA, 1 July (UN Information Service) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Pino Arlacchi, Executive Director of the Vienna-based UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention: With reference to an article which appeared in the "Sunday Times" on 28 June under the title "Britain funds biological war against heroin" and subsequently quoted by other dailies and media organizations in different countries, the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) wishes to clarify the following: -- The UNDCP is supporting a research and development programme on an environmentally safe plant pathogenic fungus (Pleospora papaveracea). The research is being carried out by the Institute of Genetics in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with financial support from the UNDCP, through donor funding. -- Neither the Institute of Genetics in Tashkent nor the UNDCP are involved in developing any "biological weapon" nor are they conducting any research on "biological warfare". These terms are totally inappropriate and gravely distort the nature of the project which, as above mentioned, aims at developing an environmentally safe and reliable biological control agent for opium poppies. -- Statements made in the press to the effect that intelligence agents and germ warfare experts are involved in the project are baseless. Research on the project is being carried out by scientists at the Institute of Genetics, with UNDCP assistance. -- This research and development programme is still in its initial stages. No results, even at preliminary level, will be available for many months to come.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Victory Claimed In Battle With Drug Barons (According To 'The Irish Independent,' A 29-Page First-Year Review Of The Governing Coalition's Action Programme For The Millennium Claims The Criminal Assets Bureau Has Been Effective In Targeting Drug Barons)Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 17:57:00 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Ireland: Victory Claimed in Battle With Drug Barons Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Source: Irish Independent Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.ie/ Pubdate: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 Author: Gene McKenna -Political Staff VICTORY CLAIMED IN BATTLE WITH DRUG BARONS MANY ``big players'' have been driven out of business by the Criminal Assets Bureau which has effectively targeted drug barons, according to the Government. Justice and crime is one area where the Government claims that many of its pre-election promises have been met in its first year in office. The 29-page first-year review of the Coalition's Action Programme for the Millennium goes through what has been implemented, Department by Department and how it hopes to complete the rest of the programme. The Government says its objective is to build an inclusive society where all citizens ``have the opportunity and the incentive to participate fully in the social and economic life of the country.'' The Government points out that unemployment has fallen by 25,000 in the year since the Government came into office. It says the unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, has fallen every month for the last l4, is currently at its lowest level for eight years and it is the first time since November, l990 that the unadjusted Live Register has been below 250,000. It says the progress achieved on the introduction of a minimum wage ``perhaps the most significant social policy initiative since we legislated for equal pay 25 years ago'' is clear evidence of its commitment to social partnership. It promises that the necessary legislation for a National Minimum Wage will be introduced next year. Discussions will take place next month with the social partners. In the Justice area, the review reiterates the Government target to have l2,000 gardai by the year 2002. The current strength is about ll,000 but, due to people leaving the force, the recruitment of an estimated 2,200 will be required, it says. It says also that a prison building programme due to be completed in August, l999 will bring to l,092 the additional prison spaces provided by this Government. It says the target is to provide a further l,000 spaces by 2002. It also says that the Independent Courts Service is expected to come into operation at the end of this year, while work on refurbishing and providing new court accommodation is continuing. The Budget for this year is IEPl2m. The review says the Government believes that the problem of drug misuse is best addressed in the context of tackling the wider problem of social exclusion, with a sum of IEP30m being invested over three years in youth services and facilities to combat drug abuse.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, Number 53 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists) Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 07:08:39 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense Weekly, July 1, 1998 No. 53 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly, July 1, 1998, No. 53 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org/ *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article Gonzo Drug Czar * Weekly News In Review Drug War Policy- UN Adopts Plans To Combat Worldwide Illicit Drug Use Nightline: The Battle Over How to Fight the War on Drugs LTE in WSJ: Prohibition Is Immoral Book Review: Stone Crazy The West's Secret Weapon To Win The Opium War Drug Trade- Women Recruited by Drug Traffickers Two Amish Men Accused of Cocaine Deals with Motorcycle Gang Case Links Russian Sub, Colombia Drugs Legal Issues & Prisons- A Prison for The Future 1,000 More Face Out-of-State Prison High Court OKs Stiff '3-Strikes' Sentences Justices Strike Down Forfeiture as Excessive Medical Marijuana- Medical Marijuana Petition Nets More Signatures Than Estimated Smoking Cure On Trial Tobacco- Suspect Accuses Tobacco Firms Of Smuggling International News- Canada: RCMP Chief Says Lack Of Funds Means Mob `On A Roll' UK: Editorial: Crime and Punishment Lebanon: War On Drugs Impoverishes Farmers Germany: The Walls Are Crumbling Sweden: Uncompromising Climate in Drug Debate * Hot Off The 'Net * DrugSense Tip Of The Week Read Your DrugSense Weekly On-Line * Quote of the Week Clarence Darrow *** FEATURE ARTICLE COMMENT: Sometimes it seems that Canada is far ahead of the U.S. in its drug policies and leadership. We want to encourage and support any paper with the courage and wisdom to question the "leaders" who are so consistently blind to reason, facts and science on drug policy issues. Please consider sending a brief note of encouragement to the Ottawa Citizen (Canada) Circulation 500,000 (By Canadian standards a very large paper) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org *** GONZO DRUG CZAR If the world-wide war on drugs has a commander-in-chief, it is President Bill Clinton's "Drug Czar," retired general Barry McCaffrey. Those who still support the failed policy of drug prohibition should note the latest musings of their leader. Testifying before a U.S. Senate committee, Gen. McCaffrey sounded as if he were auditioning for a part on the X-Files when he claimed, "There is a carefully camouflaged, exorbitantly funded, well-heeled, elitist group whose ultimate goal is to legalize drug use in the United States." The general's comments followed the publication the previous week of a two-page newspaper ad calling for an end to the war on drugs. The letter was signed by more than 500 prominent individuals from around the world, and included subversives like George Shultz, Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State, former UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Nobel-laureate Milton Friedman, and journalist Walter Cronkite. The general's Senate audience knew exactly what and whom he was getting at. Was this petition "carefully camouflaged"? It was organized -- quite openly - -- by the Lindesmith Center. That this American institute is funded by billionaire financier George Soros is well-known. And Mr. Soros is hardly a shadowy character: His philanthropic efforts, including assistance for former communist countries making the transition to freedom, have been impressive. He deserves better than the general's innuendo. What about the claim that the legalization movement is "exorbitantly funded"? Exorbitant is a relative thing. The United States spends $30 billion a year on its drug war and accompanying propaganda. Relative to that $30 billion, its funding is insignificant. As for the charge of elitism, that is an example of the worst sort of political rabble-rousing, a cheap shot not worth comment. But the drug-warrior-in-chief wasn't done. He went on to tell the Senate that drug reformers had, "Through a slick misinformation campaign, E [perpetrated] a fraud on the American people, a fraud so devious that even some of the nation's most respected newspapers and sophisticated media are capable of echoing their falsehoods." In other words, it's inconceivable that journalists could look at the facts and reasonably come to a conclusion different than the general's. Every publication that disapproves of drug prohibition -- among them National Review, The Economist, and yes, this newspaper -- has simply been duped by the conspiracy. General McCaffrey's bitter, paranoid attacks, coming as they did hard upon the UN conference on drugs and the debate about drug prohibition that it prompted, exposed just how empty the drug warriors' case really is. Bereft of evidence, belied by experience, drug prohibitionists have few rational arguments to make -- so they insult, vilify, and denounce. It's an old rule in politics: When the facts are against you, throw mud in their eyes. Copyright 1998 The Ottawa Citizen Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Ottawa Citizen ( Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/ Pubdate: Monday 29 June 1998 *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Drug War Policy- *** COMMENT: The UN session, in an action reminiscent of infamous Soviet "5-year plans," and without taking notice of the opposition to their policy uncovered by an open letter in the New York Times, approved a list of measures to eliminate the criminal drug market in ten years. However, the federal government did notice that opposition. Barry McCaffrey flashed his resentment of criticism by foolishly describing signers of the letter as a "fringe" movement in remarks before a Senate Committee. He was heard by the public when "Nightline" did a Special on federal response to the Times ad. Another imprudent denigration of the signatories also backfired. The infamous WSJ "500 Geniuses" editorial produced many outraged responses. 7 were published; including those of Lynn Carol and Mark Greer. No letters supporting the WSJ position appeared; one wonders if they received any. Meanwhile, "Drug Crazy" hit the bookstores. In this first review we've seen; the reviewer came to exactly the right conclusions; hopefully others will also. Finally, there's an improbable British account of an apparent US strategy to wage biological warfare on the opium poppy. Quite apart from the irresponsibility of breeding a pest which might effect other crops; haven't the geniuses at the DEA heard of synthetic opioids? *** UN ADOPTS PLANS TO COMBAT WORLDWIDE ILLICIT DRUG USE The UN General Assembly has called for all its member states to join an international campaign to combat illegal drug use. In a series of documents adopted at the end of the "drug summit" held in New York (June 8-10), the Assembly called for the states to attack not only the production and trafficking of illicit drugs but also to work to reduce the demand for these drugs. By 2003, member states are to have established or enhanced drug-reduction programmes; strengthened legislation to combat illicit manufacture, trafficking, and abuse of synthetic drugs; taken steps to halt the laundering of illegal drug profits; and improved cooperation between judicial and law enforcement authorities so that they can effectively deal with the international criminal organisations involved in the drug trade. By 2008, member states are to have eliminated or significantly significant reduction in demand; and eradicated or significantly reduced cultivation of coca bushes, cannabis plants, and opium poppies. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 Source: Lancet, The ( UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thelancet.com/ Author: Michael McCarthy URL:http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n483.a04.html *** THE BATTLE OVER HOW TO FIGHT THE WAR ON DRUGS FORREST SAWYER, ABC NEWS: They say the war on drugs is a multi-billion dollar disaster. MICHAEL MASSING; Our drug budget now is $17 billion a year and even by the drug czar's own admission, we're only treating one half the addicts. FORREST SAWYER; A disaster that has caused more harm than drug abuse itself. KEVIN ZEESE, COMMON SENSE FOR DRUG POLICY; In fact, we invest more now in prisons than we do universities because of the drug war. FORREST SAWYER; But the general leading the way says those critics, who are some of the most influential people in the world, are dangerously wrong. GEN BARRY MCCAFFREY, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL DRUG POLICY OFFICE; Don't give prominence to this drug legalization argument. It's sort of a fringe group. It has increasingly, with enormous cunning, gotten an argument into the public dialogue of this country. [snip] Source: ABC News - Nightline Contact: http://184.108.40.206/onair/nightline/email.html Website: http://220.127.116.11/onair/nightline/index.html Airdate: Monday, 22 June 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n490.a04.html *** LTE in WSJ: PROHIBITION IS IMMORAL It is one thing for The Wall Street Journal editorial page to support the mislabeled "war on drugs" ( "500 Drug Geniuses," Review & Outlook, June 10); it is quite another for you to misrepresent the views of those of us who believe that the "war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." [snip] Milton Friedman Stanford, Calif. *** Do you really believe that all drug use constitutes abuse, and that the government should make such personal decisions for us? [snip] Lynn Carol San Diego *** You described us ( for I was one of the signatories) as naive "geniuses" who were issuing pabulum to the world; claimed that we were all dupes of George Soros, and suggested that the signatories might be drug users. [snip] Henry G. Jarecki, M.D. New York *** How can any rational thinker analyze our drug policy and fail to conclude that it is a monumental failure? We have more people in prison than any industrialized nation. We've spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the drug war. We've destroyed families and lives and undermined Constitutional freedoms. We've made inner city children, who should have been young business men, into drug dealers. And what do we have to show for all this effort? Any child or adult with a few dollars in his pocket can buy any illicit drug in existence anywhere in the country. [snip] Mark Greer Porterville, Calif. *** STONE CRAZY The war against drugs, says a new book, is a colossal failure. Drug Crazy. How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out. By Mike Gray. Random House. $23.95. If World War II had been as successful as America's "war on drugs," we'd all be chowing down on bratwurst and naming our newborns after Adolf and Eva. [snip] In "Drug Crazy," though, reformers are handed some powerful ammunition. By forcefully detailing the drug war's fiscal costs and erosions of civil liberties, its futilities and hypocrisies and corruptions, Gray has made a strong case for a radical re-evaluation of our laws. Source: Savannah Morning News Section: Top Stories - Accent: Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.savannahmorningnews.com/ Author: Doug Wyatt, Savannah Morning News URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n488.a03.html *** THE WEST'S SECRET WEAPON TO WIN THE OPIUM WAR It does not look like the nerve centre of the best-kept secret in the war against drugs. The perimeter walls are dull concrete topped with barbed wire; the buildings drab; a guardhouse and a huge mechanical steel gate offer the only entry. But the compound set beyond the sprawl of tractor factories and grey apartment blocks of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, could hold the answer to tackling the international trade in heroin. [snip] Behind the locked steel doors, spores of a refined and rampant strain of a fungus called Pleospora papaveracea are stored and cultured. This could be the weapon that cuts off the heroin trade at source by devastating the opium poppy fields of Asia's golden crescent and golden triangle, the principal sources of raw material for the heroin trade. [snip] Source: Sunday Times ( UK) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n505.a09.html *** Drug Trade *** COMMENT: This week's mix of news contained several articles underscoring the adaptability of the illegal drug market in bringing its products to market despite police interference (it helps if the industry standard is one of unconcern for either the health or welfare of low-level employees). Amish participation in the criminal drug market received nation-wide publicity; it should be considered a marketing triumph for prohibition- but of course won't be seen that way at all. Even in this era, the submarine story sounds improbable, however, here it is. *** WOMEN RECRUITED BY DRUG TRAFFICKERS MIAMI -- Canadian women are increasingly being recruited by drug traffickers who use their "innocent" reputation with border guards to smuggle drugs, U.S.federal officials say. Following vacations to Jamaica, four Ontario women since March have pleaded guilty in Miami for conspiring to import cocaine by swallowing the substance wrapped in condoms. [snip] Source: Ottawa Citizen ( Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 Author: Susan McClelland, The Ottawa Citizen URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n484.a01.html *** TWO AMISH MEN ACCUSED OF COCAINE DEALS WITH MOTORCYCLE GANG Federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania yesterday accused two Amish men of buying cocaine from a gang called the Pagan Motorcycle Club and distributing the drug to other young members of the religious group at parties known as "hoedowns." "We've seen plenty of underage drinking cases but a drug case is unheard of" among the Amish, said John Pyfer, who is representing Abner Stoltzfus, 24. [snip] Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 24 June 1998 Author: Hanna Rosin, Washington Post Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n492.a11.html *** CASE LINKS RUSSIAN SUB, COLOMBIA DRUGS MIAMI--It was a typical night at Porky's, a strip joint known for its Russian dancers in the seedy Miami suburb of Hialeah. The girls were grinding on the dance floor while, inside the club's inner office, cut off from the driving rhythms, owner Ludwig Fainberg was talking business. Big business, federal prosecutors now say: drug business, Russian Mafia business and how the two were coming together in a single deal. And the U.S. government was listening. According to documents recently filed in federal court here, on that night in April 1995 Fainberg explained to an undercover U.S. drug enforcement agent a deal he was brokering between Russian organized crime and Colombian drug lords to provide a $35-million Soviet navy submarine to the biggest cocaine cartel in South America. [snip] Source: Washington Post Contact:http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 24 June 1998 Author: Hanna Rosin, Washington Post Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n492.a11.html *** Courts & Prisons *** COMMENT: As America continues its drug war-inspired orgy of incarceration, prison tax bills may be the first issue to grab the attention of voters. There are some signs that the compensatory mechanisms which have kept prison costs from being an issue may finally have been maxed out. The near-certainty that this will become a hot topic in California shortly after 2000 is another good reason to prefer Davis over Lungren in November. An irony of the second story is that Oklahoma, one of the destinations for surplus Wisconsin inmates, sends its own surplus prisoners to be warehoused in private Texas prisons. With its usual blithe indifference to either justice or political reality, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of double jeopardy, facilitating even more prison overcrowding. Speaking of the Supremes: lest we become too encouraged by their ruling on forfeiture, just notice that the test case didn't involve drugs. *** A PRISON FOR THE FUTURE Kern County: Private firm is ready to make a bid to house state's felons. Sometime this week, bulldozers will begin to carve the high-desert landscape of Kern County to make way for a $94 million development unique in California: a massive, privately built prison. Sometime later this month, a Senate committee will consider a constitutional amendment that would assure that not a single felon convicted in California courts will ever spend a day inside it. In a state where politicians and voters have consistently embraced enhanced-sentencing laws, but have in recent years shied away from nearly every proposal to build new prisons, the private project in California City is destined to become a battleground in a big-spending political war. On one side is the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which has become one of the state's most powerful unions because of its fast-growing membership and its savvy alliance with Gov. Pete Wilson. It is joined by every major public-safety union in the state. On the other is the Corrections Corp. of America, the nation's largest private-prison firm. It is joined by others in the industry as well as nearly every association of local governments in the state. [snip] Pubdate: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 Source: North County Times ( CA) Contact: email@example.com Author: Timm Herdt, Star State Bureau Chief Note: Author's email address is: Herdt@staronline.com URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n488.a12.html *** 1,000 MORE FACE OUT-OF-STATE PRISON Legislators raise total to 3,200 as Wisconsin prisons are brimming Madison -- With no room to spare in Wisconsin's crowded prison system, lawmakers Tuesday gave Corrections Secretary Michael Sullivan authority to send 1,000 more convicts to prisons in other states. The Joint Finance Committee approved the transfer of 600 inmates to private prisons run by the Corrections Corporation of America in Oklahoma and Tennessee. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ( WI) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: ( 414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Author: Richard P. Jones of the Journal Sentinel staff URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n493.a03.html *** HIGH COURT OKS STIFF "3-STRIKES' SENTENCES Tough-on-crime law does not constitute double jeopardy The Supreme Court sharpened the teeth of California's "three strikes" law Friday, making it easier for states to stiffen sentences for repeat offenders based on past crimes. In a decision hailed by the law's author and criticized by San Francisco's chief deputy public defender, the justices ruled, 5-4, that the constitutional protection against being tried twice for the same crime does not apply to sentencing proceedings in non-death penalty cases. [snip] Source: San Francisco Examiner Pubdate: June 26, 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Victoria Colliver, Emelyn Cruz Lat and Eric Brazil URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n506.a02.html *** JUSTICES STRIKE DOWN FORFEITURE AS EXCESSIVE Case Involved Gas Station Owner Taking Large Amount of Undeclared Cash to Syria A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the federal government cannot seize and keep the money of a person trying to carry funds out of the country simply because the person failed to fill out the proper Customs Service forms. The decision marked the first time the court had struck down a government fine as unconstitutionally excessive, and dissenting justices said the reasoning may jeopardize a vast range of financial penalties the government imposes. The case produced an unorthodox 5-to-4 voting alliance and a majority opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas that said a punitive forfeiture is forbidden if it is "grossly disproportional to the gravity" of the offense. [snip] Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 Author: Joan Biskupic, Washington Post Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n491.a04.html *** Medical Marijuana *** COMMENT: Not much this week; just updates of two ongoing stories- the systematic British consideration of (commercial) medical cannabis and the cliff-hanger in Nevada. *** SMOKING CURE ON TRIAL Vanessa Houlder on a research programme that could lead to a currently illegal drug being cleared for medicinal use. Rarely has a new research programme caused such a stir. When last week the UK Government gave the go-ahead to a cannabis farm that would grow plants for the first large-scale clinical trials of the drug, it seemed to signal an important change in attitude. There is now the political will to approve cannabis as a drug, in the view of Geoffrey Guy, the pharmaceutical entrepreneur behind the initiative. Four years ago, his request to conduct a similar programme received a frosty response. [snip] Pubdate: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 Source: Financial Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: http://www.FT.com Author: Vanessa Houlder http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n506.a05.html *** MEDICAL MARIJUANA PETITION NETS MORE SIGNATURES THAN ESTIMATED CARSON CITY -- Initial counting by county clerks around Nevada shows advocates of a plan to authorize marijuana for medical treatment turned in a few thousand more signatures than they thought. The secretary of state's office said Friday reports from 11 of the 13 counties that got medical marijuana petitions showed a raw count of 73,756 signatures. The petitioners had estimated the total from all 13 counties at 70,155. Most of the change occurred in Clark County, up from 43,694 to 45,955; and Washoe County, up from 16,111 to 17,201. [snip] Pubdate: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal Contact: email@example.com Fax: 702-383-4676 Website: http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/ Author: Brendan Riley Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n486.a03.html *** Tobacco COMMENT: Not much tobacco news following the death of the Senate bill. This description of the illegal market which briefly came into being when Canada increased taxes shows just how hard it is even for a "legitimate" business to resist the lure of an illegal market. The Canadian manufacturers of Players and DuMaurier certainly knew the score. *** SUSPECT ACCUSES TOBACCO FIRMS OF SMUGGLING MASSENA, N.Y. - In 1992, Canadian cigarette companies exported twice as many cigarettes to the United States as they had the previous year. On paper, it was as if Americans suddenly decided to smoke twice as many exotic Canadian brands such as Players, Export A and DuMaurier. In fact, most of those cigarettes were shipped right back into Canada in a short-lived but profitable black market that started when Canada imposed a smoker's tax of $2 per pack. Smugglers pocketed the $2 by buying the cigarettes tax-free in the United States and selling them at taxed rates in Canada, netting hundreds of millions of dollars. A major smuggling point was here in Massena, just a few miles from the Canadian border. [snip] Pubdate: Sunday 28 June 1998 Source: Seattle Times ( WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Raja Mishra, Knight Ridder Newspapers URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n506.a07.html *** International News *** COMMENT: There is a plethora of international news; some of the increase reflects expanding coverage of overseas press by our NewsHawks, some is a response to the recent UN Special Session. There is also the fact that we are now able to archive some foreign language press accounts in translation, a privilege for which we are most grateful. The overall message in the international news is that the criminal drug market created by US policy is destructive and out of control. Our drug warriors can take some comfort from the fact that Sweden still behaves like a clone of the US, at least when it comes to drug policy. *** RCMP CHIEF SAYS LACK OF FUNDS MEANS MOB `ON A ROLL' Assessing the war on drugs: Organized crime in Canada is now so pervasive that police have been reduced to putting out isolated fires in a blazing underworld economy, says RCMP Commissioner Philip Murray. [snip] Pubdate: Fri, 26 Jun 1998 Source: Ottawa Citizen ( Canada) Section: News A1 / Front Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/ Author: Ian MacLeod URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n503.a01.html *** CRIME AND PUNISHMENT Scottish penal policy is in crisis. Our prison population per head of population is the second highest in Europe, 15 per cent higher than in England and Wales; 70 per cent of the prisoners remanded in custody awaiting trial or sentence do not receive custodial sentences; the suicide toll among prisoners is a national disgrace. Source: Scotsman ( UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 27 Jun 1998 http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n503.a09.html *** WAR ON DRUGS IMPOVERISHES FARMERS The Bekaa valley in Lebanon gets little from UN BAALBEK, Lebanon - During Lebanon's long civil war, the Bekaa Valley flourished as one of the world's most fertile regions for growing cannabis for hashish and poppies for heroin. In 1992, as it struggled to emerge from more than a decade of self-destruction and lawlessness, Lebanon successfully controlled its illicit drug crops, with the support of the United States. But in the process it left tens of thousands of farmers indigent. [snip] Source: Boston Globe ( MA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 Author: Charles M. Sennott *** THE WALLS ARE CRUMBLING Traditional drug policy has failed. I believe we change the trend by prescribing heroin." This is not a legalise-it-disciple or a member of the Green party speaking, it is the police chief of the city of Bielefeld, Horst Kruse. Along with police chiefs and high-ranking medical officials, even conservative politicians nowadays demand a change in drug policy. A stock-taking on the occasion of today's German action day on drug policy. [snip] Pubdate: Tuesday, 16 June 1998 Source: Die Tageszeitung Authors: Manfred Kriener and Water Saller Contact: http://www.taz.de/~taz/etc/lesbrief.html Mail: taz, die tageszeitung., Postfach 610229, 10923 Berlin Website: http://www.taz.de/~taz/ Translation by: Susanne Schardt Editors note: Our newshawk is the executive director for European Cities on Drug Policy. Please check out their website at: http://www.oeko-net.de/ecdp/ http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n496.a06.html *** UNCOMPROMISING CLIMATE IN DRUGS DEBATE Stockholm -TT- Anyone who criticize today's heavy handed narcotics policy is immediately branded as a drug liberal. [snip] So says Henrik Tham, Professor of Criminology at Stockholm University, in answer to the Social Ministers demand in a debate article in Sundays Dagens Nyheter for the Swedes who backed the call for a new drug policy to step forward and explain themselves. Henrik Tham is one of the twelve Swedes who, in connection with the UN summit on drugs at the beginning of June, signed a call for a new and milder drugs policy. [snip] Pubdate: Sun, 21, Jun 1998 Source: Aftonbladet Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.aftonbladet.se Author: Ingrid Dahlbäck/TT Translation: Olafur Brentmar and John Yates URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n500.a01.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET *** 17 Questions for Our Political Leaders Have you ever been in a debate on drug policy, been writing a letter, or even had a media opportunity and found yourself at a loss for just the right thing to say? Check out our 17 Important Questions at: http://www.mapinc.org/17ques.htm These have been refined from over 300 submitted by reformers over a 3 month period. We think that they are the type of questions that get even hardcore prohibitionists stuttering and sputtering. Please visit this page and use the questions as often as possible. *** TIP OF THE WEEK *** Read Your Newsletter On-Line Now you can get even more out of your DrugSense Weekly by reading it on-line. This feature enables you to instantly read the full article by simply clicking on the URL web address of those articles that capture your interest. You can also click on the Email address provided with most articles. Many Email readers will instantly open a window with the address already filled in. This makes writing a Letter to the Editor (LTE) quicker and easier than ever. To read this issue or any future issue on-line go to: http://www.drugsense.org/current.htm Try it. You'll like it! *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK *** `Laws should be like clothes. They should be made to fit the people they are meant to serve' - Clarence Darrow - *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. News/COMMENTS-Editor: Tom O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (email@example.com) We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug related issue to firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE HELP: DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you are able to help by contributing to the DrugSense effort please Make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to: The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. d/b/a DrugSense PO Box 651 Porterville, CA 93258 (800) 266 5759 MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.mapinc.org http://www.drugsense.org
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