Mike Riggs July 2012
Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske continues to obfuscate the Obama administration’s participation in the war on drugs. At a speech before the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Kerlikowske said “it’s a mistake to call it a ‘war on drugs’ because it lends itself to a simplistic solution to what we all know is a very complex problem.”
Students for Sensible Drug Policy had a staffer at the event. Devon Tackels pointed out that the U.S. still arrests 1.5 million people a year for drug-related crimes, which suggests that the war on drugs is still very much a war.
Kerlikowske’s response was this: “Most of the law enforcement in the United States on drugs is done on the state and local level, it’s clearly not done by the federal level.”
“Clearly not done by the federal level”? The raids conducted earlier this year on headshop owners in Idaho–during which a screaming toddler was taken out of his crib and a young girl was handcuffed–were ordered by U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson (an Obama appointee) and led by the DEA and the U.S. Marshalls Service.
For the last week, the DEA has been crowing about “Operation Log Jam,” which saw federal agents conduct destructive, armed raids across the country on shops suspected of selling synthetic marijuana. The agents who conducted those raids wore paramilitary gear; busted down doors of homes and stores; seized assets; pointed guns.
Recently, DEA agents paid a Texas truck driver to secretly haul marijuana from Mexico to the U.S. That truck driver was killed, and his rig was practically destroyed. (Local cops ended up shooting each other by accident, to boot.)
And what about Daniel Chong, the California college student left in a DEA holding cell without food or water for five days?
And those are just the domestic stories. The DEA is killing people in Honduras, Mexico, Afghanistan, and now parts of Africa. That’s war.