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March 09, 2008

Ho-Hum, More Massive Drug Corruption

Consortium News is rerunning a relevant piece from last year by Andrés Cala, "Bush, Colombia & Narco-Politics." (Donate to Consortium News here.)

George W. Bush’s strategy of countering Venezuela’s leftist president Hugo Chávez by strengthening ties to Colombia’s rightist government has been undercut by fresh evidence of high-level drug corruption and human rights violations implicating President Alvaro Uribe’s inner circle.

These new allegations about Colombia’s narco-politics have tarnished Uribe’s reputation just as Bush has been showcasing the Harvard- and Oxford-educated politician as a paragon of democratic values and an alternative to the firebrand Chávez, who has used Venezuela’s oil wealth to finance social programs for the poor across the region.

Despite the corruption disclosures – and Uribe’s failure to stem Colombian cocaine smuggling to the United States – the Bush administration continues to shower Uribe’s government with trade incentives and billions of dollars in military and development aid.

The rest.

I think we can be completely certain that political and economic elites all over the world (including here) are deeply in bed with the drug industry. If everyone knew the truth, it would shock the kind of nice middle-class white people who are easily shocked. In many Latin American countries, such as Mexico and Colombia, the government basically is the drug industry. In the United States, it's merely that our biggest banks knowingly service the industry, and our biggest politicians (like the Bush family) are best friends with drug lords from other countries.

And to tell the truth, this doesn't bother me much. It's only natural: drugs are a huge industry, and huge industries tend to capture governments. Mexico doesn't have much of a military-industrial complex, but it certainly has a drug-industrial complex. The only irritating thing about it is the massive hypocrisy by right-wing governments that hold power by scare campaigns on drugs, but actually are drug dealers themselves.

In any case, nothing can be done about it short of decriminalization. Then cocaine dealers will have as much sway in the halls of government as aspirin dealers do currently.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 9, 2008 01:52 PM

Troll misrepresenting Chris Rock in 3..2..1..

Posted by: hf at March 9, 2008 03:30 PM

Match the drug menace with the war:

Vietnam = Golden Triangle heroin + Thai sticks (Southern Air Transport & Air America).

Iran-contra = Mideast heroin (Monzer al-Kassar et al) + cocaine from Latin America.

Afghanistan = heroin (Bout et al).

Ever since J. Edgar Hoover was shown "those pictures" law enforcement has been in bed with the illicit drug industry.

Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at March 9, 2008 04:01 PM

Don't forget WWII&ColdWar=heroin(Sicilian and Corsican mafias).
Inasmuch as aspirin is 'dealt' by pharmaceutical corporations(whose business ethics and profits rival those of their illicit cousins),I'm not sure that's the best example to use-how about 'as much sway in the halls of government as proponents of single-payer health care do currently'?

Posted by: BobS. at March 9, 2008 05:53 PM


Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 9, 2008 06:26 PM

Impeach, then legalize! (h/t MM)
But to the point. A simple way to both decriminalize and de-market 'natual drugs' is a 'personal use' policy. MJ is this most obvious and easily worked as it is a weed easily grown at home. A simple rule would be no selling and no posession beyond a couple of ounces / a few plants. Does coca leaf grow under lights? Opium poppies? The idea would be to take the 'trade' part out of the equation and depopulate our prisons.

Posted by: john in california at March 9, 2008 07:45 PM

Prisons and drug confiscation are both highly profitable practices, and dead simple tools for winning elections. You're as likely to see a dog start gnawing off his own leg.

Posted by: Kyle at March 9, 2008 08:48 PM

well, it certainly is bad to have half a million people in prison for drugs. but a. the pharm industry produces wonders that improve people's lives and b. sure, drugs and corruption go hand in hand, but believe me, the FBI, CIA, the White House, and Queen Elizabeth are not involved in the drug trade. And the CIA did not create AIDS.

Posted by: xyz at March 10, 2008 06:36 AM

edited: a. the pharm industry produces wonders that improve people's lives , and as a byproduct sometimes produce wonders that actually save lives.

Posted by: almostinfamous at March 10, 2008 07:45 AM

actually, abolishing the FDA would be the best thing the govt could do to reduce drug prices. complete dereg, but the econ of it would go over your Db heads

Posted by: xyz at March 10, 2008 10:49 AM

"sure, drugs and corruption go hand in hand, but believe me, the FBI, CIA, the White House, and Queen Elizabeth are not involved in the drug trade"

A while back, journalist Gary Webb found that CIA black ops in South America we party financed by the sale of crack. Considering the "intelligence" agencies operate with minimal oversight, it's not very surprising that they flout the law.

Posted by: AC at March 10, 2008 01:22 PM

zzzz,you're getting too desperate to be disparate and subsequently are throwing any inane bullshit against the wall hoping to entice someone to clean up your mess.Superior spoofing is more subtle than that.
You don't get to play a master of this universe when you aren't even capable of master baiting.

Posted by: BobS. at March 10, 2008 01:26 PM