Subject: Wash Post: Student Drug Use Rises Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1992 00:43:47 GMT The followi
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Stuart Reges)
Subject: Wash Post: Student Drug Use Rises
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1992 00:43:47 GMT
The following article appeared in the Washington Post on 10/19/92. It is
reprinted without permission.
DRUG SURVEY SHOWS RISE IN USE AMONG STUDENTS
White House Aid Reportedly Opposed Release
by Michael Isikoff
A top White House anti-drug official last week sought to discourage release of
a survey showing unexpectedly large increases in student drug use, suggesting
it would "hurt" President Bush's reelection chances, the survey's sponsor said
The Bush administration has consistently cited lower drug use among teenagers
as a chief success in the war on drugs. But the survey by the Parents Resource
Institute for Drug Education (PRIDE), to be released today, shows dramatic
increases in use of some drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and LSD, among
junior high school students.
Thomas Gleaton, president and co-founder of PRIDE, said that Terrence J. Pell,
chief of staff of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy,
called him on Friday expressing concern that "the Clinton campaign has asked
you for your data" and inquiring what the group planned to do with the
information. After Gleaton said PRIDE was "considering" a public release, Pell
responded: "You know if you do that, it's going to hurt us," according to
Gleaton said Pell made no further attempt to pressure him, but said it was
"obvious" that the officials' remarks referred to potential political
consequences to Bush. He said he quickly told Pell, "This is not something
against [White House national drug control director Bob] Martinez and it's not
something against the president."
Gleaton, whose organization has received a $150,000 federal drug prevention
grant and hosted Martinez at its annual conference last April, said the group
decided to release the information this week in keeping with its past practice.
He said this year's results were "alarming" and reflected the administration's
failure to keep the "spotlight" on the drug issue.
Reached last night, Pell said he only called Gleaton for a "heads up" on when
the survey was going to be released and it was Gleaton--not he--who brought up
the Clinton campaign's interest in its findings. "I'm dumbfounded at the
suggestion that I tried to dissuade him from trying to release it," said Pell.
Pell also said the PRIDE survey was not a "nationally representative" study.
"The totality of all the surveys shows drug use among high school students
going down dramatically," he said.
In the PRIDE survey, 212,802 students were asked in questionnaires about drug
use in 10 categories: cigarettes, beer, wine coolers, liquor, marijuana,
cocaine, uppers, downers, hallucinogens (such as LSD) and inhalants.
The results showed that among students in grades 9 through 12, drug use rose in
all categories except marijuana, cocaine and wine coolers. The largest
increase was in LSD use: 5.3 percent of all high school students reported using
the drug, up from 4.9 percent the previous year.
Among junior high school students, drug use rose in all 10 categories,
including a 20 percent increase in LSD, 15 percent for cocaine and 7 percent
for marijuana. Drug use among blacks rose in all categories.
From: email@example.com (Stuart Reges)
Subject: Wash Post: Cocaine Cases at Record Level
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1992 00:46:13 GMT
The following article appeared in the Washington Post on 10/24/92. It is
reprinted without permission.
COCAINE-RELATED CASES RISE TO RECORD LEVEL
Increase Seen as Setback to War on Drugs
by Michael Isikoff
The number of cocaine-related hospital emergencies jumped 34.8 percent during
the first three months of 1992, reaching record levels and dealing what White
House officials acknowledged yesterday was a major, new setback in the war on
The latest report, released yesterday by the Health and Human Services
Department and based on its Drug Abuse Warning Network, also showed significant
increases in the number of hospital visits related to heroin and other drugs.
The report, compiled from a nationwide sample of hospitals, is considered a key
government indicator for measuring trends among hardcore drug abusers.
Three years ago, the Bush administration identified the reduction of
drug-related hospital emergencies as one of its prime goals in the drug war.
"This shows the hard-core [drug] problem is as bad as ever," conceded Terence
J. Pell, chief of staff of the White House Office of National Drug Control
Policy. "It is very disappointing."
The report, however, reignited political debate over who was responsible for
Pell and his boss, White House drug director Bob Martinez, laid the blame on
Congress and what Martinez called its "shortsighted failure" to fully fund the
president's budget requests for drug treatment.
But George Stephanopoulos, communications director for Democrat Bill Clinton's
presidential campaign, said the new figures show that President Bush had been
fighting a "phony" drug war. "It's disturbing news, but it's made worse by the
fact that George Bush hasn't done anything except pile up a few photo
opportunities," he said.
In what one administration official acknowledged was an effort to "balance" the
bad news, Martinez said yesterday that "preliminary results" from an upcoming
nationwide household survey show "dramatic" declines in cocaine use, especially
among teenagers and young adults.
But HHS spokesman Jim Helsing later said that the decreases were not
"significantly significant" compared to last year's household survey.
Yesterday's report was particularly troubling for the administration because
two years ago officials had boasted of declines in cocaine-related hospital
emergencies as evidence of progress.
But the report shows that after declining steadily during 1990, the number of
cocaine-related emergencies began to bounce back the following year, jumping
from 22,282 in the first quarter of 1991 to 30,103 in the first quarter of
This figure wiped out the earlier gains and exceeded the previous record set in
the fall of 1989, the year Bush took office.
The report also stated that there were 9,900 heroin-related hospital
emergencies during the first three months of 1992, a 17.8 percent increase over
the comparable period in 1991 but about the same level as the first quarter of
Administration officials said the increases were driven by drug addicts 35
years and older who were not susceptible to prevention programs and badly
needed treatment that was often unavailable.
HHS Secretary Louis W. Sullivan said the figures show there is "an aging cohort
of drug users over 35 [that] appears to be having more and more health
But the figures also show there was a 28 percent increase in cocaine
emergencies among persons under 25. Herb Kleber, former deputy White House
drug director, said the increases appeared to be "across-the-board" and said
the lack of treatment was a "bipartisan failure."
Before he left the White House last year, Kleber said he tried unsuccessfully
to persuade administration officials to shift $1 billion from "supply
reductions" programs to treatment.
"The country has been cutting back on treatment," Kleber said. "We are reaping
what we have sown."
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (steve the foolhardy)
Subject: Bush Drug War Record
Date: 18 Sep 92 18:03:42 GMT
Here's a copy of a press release that I recently received from the
Drug Policy Foundation
(I take credit for all typos)
Bush Spent $45 Billion on Drug War
but Failed on Most Fronts, Report Says
WASHINGTON (September 3)--Even though President George Bush is the
biggest drug war spender spender in history, most of his efforts have
failed, according to a report released today by the Drug Policy
Foundation President Arnold S. Trebach charged, "Three years ago this
week, George Bush declared war on drugs in one of the most deceptive
speeches ever delivered from the Oval Office."
Trebach continued, "Now, in this campaign season, Mr. Bush is trying
to continue the deception, claiming victory in the drug war when
almost every initiative he as launched as met failure. The truth is
his drug war hasn't made this country any safer, nor much closer to
Relying primarily on federal government data, the new Foundation
report, "The Bush Drug War Record," finds:
-Bush spend more on drugs in four years than all other presidents
since Nixon combined. Bush's $45.2 billion drug war tops the $30
billion spent since 1971.
-Downward trends in drug use slowed despite Bush's aggressive
policies. Many drug usage levels were steady; crack use did not
drop under Bush.
-Violent crime and homicide increased. As many as 5,000 to 6,000
murders each year are drug-related, as homicide records are broken
-Drug production and trafficking increased. Cocaine production
*increased every year* under Bush, despite his $2.2 billion "Andean
-Criminal justice system in crisis. At least 3.5 million drug
arrests occurred under Bush, packing the courts and prisons and
costing states billions. The United States has the largest prison
population in the free world.
President's Claim of Progress Disputed
President Bush recently claimed major progress in the drug war in his
Aug. 20 speech to the Republican National Convention. He said,
"Today, cocaine use has fallen by 60 percent among young people." The
Foundation report attacks this claim, noting that the statistic the
president used is highly misleading.
The 60 percent drop the president mentioned was a decline in
self-reported regular cocaine use by adolescents aged 12-17. Between
1988 and 1991, government data show a decline from 1.1 percent of
the respondents to 0.4 percent saying they used cocaine at least once
a month. The report says the figures really show "a decline from a
very small percentage to an extremely small percentage. This fact is
obscured by talking about a decrease of '60 percent.'"
Drug Policy Foundation Vice President Kevin B. Zeese remarked, "It's
another case where the president thinks he can get away with a massive
deception. In his initial drug war speech, President Bush told
viewers that the bag of crack he was using as a prop had been for sale
across the street from the White House. The truth was he had the DEA
set up a sale by a high school kid who didn't even know where the
White House was. That was the beginning to three years of drug war
Zeese added, "The president's convention speech was a perfect example
of his desire to focus on a couple of positive numbers and to ignore
the real state of his drug war. He seems to think that putting on a
happy face will help him to avoid blame for wasting $45 billion."
Zeese continued, "President Bush is touring the country calling
everyone else a big spender. But his drug war is the single biggest
example of throwing money at a problem that this country has seen. He
has gotten very little bang for billions of taxpayer bucks."
They also sent me the entire report. It's entitled:
The Bush Drug War Record
The Real Story of a $45 Billion Domestic War
and dated September 5, 1992. It seems like it may be good fodder for
the Clinton cannon. Let's try to show the Clinton campaign some hard
numbers as to why the drug war is a failure. You might also want to
pass this information along to local newspapers since the press
release doesn't seem to have gotten very wide coverage by the media.
(what a surprise!)
If anyone is interested in a copy, just contact the DPF,
Drug Policy Foundation
4801 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016-2087
phone: (202) 895-1634
These reports are usually available for some kind of nominal fee (like
3 or 5 dollars).
| steve cochran | email@example.com |
| tivoli systems | (512) 794-9071 |
| 6034 west courtyard drive | (512) 794-0623 fax |
| suite 210 | (512) 469-9873 home |
| austin, tx 78730 | |
He seems like an average type of man. He's not like, smart. I'm not
trying to bag on him or anything, but he has the same mentality I have,
and I'm in the eighth grade.
-L.A. Eighth grader Vanessa Martinez on VP Dan Quayle
From: "Paul Hager"
Subject: WoD: Frontlines Report -- 21-Oct-92
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1992 21:34:34 -0500
WoD: Frontline Report -- 21-Oct-92
The Reluctant Politician
I characterized my meeting today with Indiana state
representative Mark Kruzan as "an exercise in political
masturbation" when later describing it to my wife. This is not to
say that the meeting was unpleasant, merely that, like onanism, it
was not ultimately satisfying.
Mark's name has cropped up from time to time in earlier
reports. He is the fellow who alerted me to representative Clair
Leuck's drug excise tax bill in 1991. He is also the same person
who received last year's Indiana Civil Liberties Union (ICLU) award
for outstanding legislator. Unfortunately, Mark is also the person
who reversed himself and voted this year for an ever-so-slightly
modified version of Leuck's bill which passed the Indiana General
Assembly by an overwhelming margin.
Mark showed up late for our luncheon. He apologized
profusely, explaining that he had met with people at Planned
Parenthood and was waylaid by demonstrators on his way out. I
said, no problem -- I had been reading the New York Times which
provided me with my minimum daily requirement for national
politics. Mark said that he had seen my picture at PP as a
supporter and volunteer. I related to him the story of "Stalking
the Weasel" which he seemed to appreciate. Then we got down to
First off, I told him that the goal I had been working toward
for more than 2 1/2 years seemed to be on the verge of becoming
reality. A number of local political and business people have been
talking about forming a tax exempt foundation that will be devoted
to exploring the excesses of the drug war and discussing
"alternatives." This organization -- if it comes about -- will be
as "mainstream" as the Kiwanis, the Chamber of Commerce, or the
League of Women Voters. I told Mark that one goal of the group
would be to repeal the "egregious" excise tax. And while on that
subject, I said, I would like to hear his explanation for
Mark's attempt at something exculpatory was to say that it was
a mixture of bad judgement and a failure to know what the bill was
about when voting for it. This was not a satisfactory answer but
I let it pass. (If I ever run for and achieve elective office, I
make the following pledge: I give my constituents leave to blow my
brains out if I pull anything like that.)
We passed on to the bill itself and I asked about amending or
repealing it. Not politically feasible, was the answer -- this
despite Mark's statement that he thought that many of the people
who voted for it now probably thought it wasn't such a good idea
after all. I said that Drug-Free Indiana had been behind the whole
thing and had been effective in rushing it through and getting the
expected Pavlovian legislative response. Mark agreed. He then wanted to know what I knew about DFI -- he asked if I knew
Jennifer Stabb. "Weellll," I said, drawing it out for effect. Not
only had I met her, I had done my bit to make her famous. I said
that she was probably known from Finland to Australia and places in
between. I didn't explain to him how I managed this wide
dissemination of information, merely that it had been accomplished.
I explained that DFI was putting out lies and I had called her and
her organization on it and all I got for my pains was either stony
silence or derisive laughter.
Mark wanted to know what I thought of DARE. I said that I had
a problem with any program that would come out of the LAPD under
the stewardship of someone like Daryl Gates. Mark agreed -- he
said that he had sat in on a few sessions and it had sounded like
pure propaganda. I should emphasize at this point that much of
what I had to say on these matters I have posted about on the net.
And this actually gets to what I meant by "masturbation." I hit
Kruzan with such goodies at the Supreme Court case that ruled that
"rational basis rather than actual rationality" was sufficient
justification for the scientific howlers that became part of drug
prohibition legislation -- nothing, in other words, that I haven't
brought up before on numerous occasions in numerous venues. Kruzan
heard me, laughed at the absurdity of it but could only say that he
wasn't going to "crusade" for the issue of drug policy reform -- he
was only one vote. I was essentially stroking myself, or as my
Australian cobbers say, I was "stropping the mulligan."
I said, Mark, I know you're really on our side -- with this
group we're forming we're only hoping to make it safe for people
like you to discuss this issue in a rational, intellectual way.
Mark balked -- he wanted to know what side I meant. Well, you said
that the drug war wasn't working and you've made several of my
arguments for me. We're on the side of rational discussion --
nothing more, nothing less. Mark did an amazing job of being non-
That pretty much sums up the meat of our conversation. It was
cordial, it was pleasant, it was sterile.
* * * *
A note on coming events. I will be going to this year's
International Conference on Drug Policy, hosted by the Drug Policy
Foundation in Washington, D.C. Nov 11-14. I'll be part of a panel
discussing growing a grassroots political organization. If any
netters are going to be in the D.C. area, check out the conference
and look me up. It would be a treat to meet some of the people I
have heretofore only known electronically.
paul hager firstname.lastname@example.org
"I would give the Devil benefit of the law for my own safety's sake."
--from _A_Man_for_All_Seasons_ by Robert Bolt
From: email@example.com (The Machman)
Subject: Highway Interdiction: more WoSD atrocities
Keywords: highway interdiction drug couriers searches intimidation
Date: 4 Sep 92 23:40:37 GMT
"HIGHWAY DRAGNETS SEEK DRUG COURIERS -- Police stop many cars for searches"
by Joe Hallinan, Newhouse News Services.
Seattle Times staff reporter Kate Shatzkin contributed to this report.
Reprinted without permission from The Seattle Times, Thurs. Sept. 3, 1992.
- * -
Jean Benson, a 61-year-old grandmother from Florida, was driving through
Louisiana two summers ago when trouble, in the shape of a flashing blue
light, appeared in her rear-view mirror.
"Pop your trunk," she remembers the policeman saying. And when she asked
why, he brought out a piece of paper.
"It said he had a right to search my car and that I was signing this
voluntarily," Benson recalled. "But I said, `I don't want to sign that.
I don't want you searching through my personal things.'
"And he said, `You will sign that piece of paper and we will search
So she did and they did. But the policeman found nothing and sent Benson
on her way. She was so shaken by the incident, Benson said, "I cried for
the next 100 miles."
Though she didn't know it, Benson was the victim of a widesprerad tactic
in the war on drugs. Police call it highway interdiction. Lawyers call
it a pretextual stop. Benson might call it looking for an excuse.
Police departments in nearly every state have programs that teach officers
to stop motorists for menial traffic violations and then search their cars
But in many cases, those they stop and search are innocent motorists like
Benson who happen to fit any number of "indicators" police believe are
associated with the drug trade.
These indicators can be as innocuous as an open map on the front seat,
a fast-food bag on the floor or, in Benson's case, an out-of-state license
- No figures -
There are no national figures on how many innocent people are stopped and
searched, and state figures are spotty. But figures gathered from lawsuits
and police agencies indicate many innocent people are stopped before a
guilty one is caught.
In South Carolina, for instance, police searched more than 4,000 vehicles
last year; they found drugs in fewer than 15 percent of them. And in
Pennsylvania, state police made 583 stops last year; 108 resulted in
arrests, and not all of those were for drugs.
Nearly 1 million contacts Washington State Patrol troopers had with
motorists in 1991 resulted in 458 arrests for felony drug crimes and 1,925
for misdemeanors, State patrol spokesman Bill Burkett said.
Burkett said troopers are not allowed to stop a car unless the driver
has already committed an infraction, whether with a broken taillight or
If the officer observes drugs in the open in a car -- as in the case of
a marijuana farmer who was stopped while moving large marijuana plants in
a window van -- he can make an arrest for drugs. Otherwise, he must receive
consent to search or request a warrant to do so.
"Our folks tend to start from a premise that you're starting with a clear
violation of the law," Burkett said. "Then you work backwards with that
with old-fashioned police work, following your nose."
Says Tery Dellarosa, Indiana State Police: "The majority of people I stop
are as innocent as the day is long."
- Broad indicators -
Some "indicators" are so broad that it is questionable how well they
distinguish drug couriers from the general population. Last year in
Pennsylvania, for instance, the total amount of cocaine seized by police
in those 583 stops was less than three ounces -- hardly enough to qualify
any of the drivers as a courier.
All motorists have the right to refuse to have their cars searched. Courts
have usually upheld car searches when motorists sign consent forms.
"Highway drug interdiction is, without a doubt, a critical component (in
the war on drugs)," said Richard Dalling, chairman of the National Troopers
Coalition, which represents 40,000 police officers.
In New Mexico, where state police pioneered interdiction programs, roadside
stops last year snared more than 6,000 pounds of marijuana.
- Less than fair -
To many of those who have been stopped on the highway, though, the searches
seem less than fair.
"I felt incredibly violated," said Bill Schustik, 46, a travelling folk
musician who was stopped and searched two months ago while driving down
Interstate 95 in South Carolina.
"I've been on the roads of this country for 20 years and I've been stopped
for speeding twice," Schustik said. But in the last year, he said, he has
been stopped five times and searched three times.
"I'm at a point where I'm just not going to put up with it any more,"
Like many motorists, he said he allowed the searches because he felt
intimidated and worried that worse things would happen if he said no.
Indeed, police are taught to use their powers of persuasion to look
inside a car.
"We definitely tell the people (officers) to try to talk their way into
a search," said Lt. Mike Nagurny of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of
drug law enforcement.
That is what happened to Benson. She had dropped off her grandchildren
at their home in Austin, Texas, and was returning to Florida by way of
Louisiana when police stopped her on Interstate 10.
After the officerr told her she had been stopped for an improper lane
change, Benson said, he began asking her "all sorts" of personal questions.
The officer's conversation is known as "sweet talk," and it has two
purposes: to check for any contradictions in drivers' story [sic] that
might indicate they have something to hide, and to get car owners to sign
Surprisingly, sweet talk almost always works. In the course of two years
and 150 stops, said Indiana Trooper Dellarosa, "I've never had anybody tell
me I couldn't search."
- One said `no' -
One person who did say no is George Karnes, a businessman now living in
California. In October 1990, Karnes was driving from New York City to
Harrisburg, Pa., to visit a brother.
Just outside Allentown, Karnes was pulled over by Trooper Thomas Skrutski.
He had clocked Karnes doing 82 miles an hour in a 55 zone, and wrote him a
ticket for the offense.
But when Skrutski asked to search the car, Karnes said no.
Once a motorist refuses a search, police are generally instructed to
break off their contact and let the motorist go.
But the trooper didn't let Karnes go.
He called K-9 officer Edward Kowalski, who arrived with his drug detection
dog about 20 minutes later. As Kowalski talked with Karnes, he noticed
several "indicators" in the car, including an open map of New York City and
fast-food bags on the floor.
Kowalski knew drug couriers often needed maps when picking up or delivering
drugs in unfamiliar cities, and prefer drive-through fast-food outlets so
they don't have to leave their cars.
Based on what he saw, Kowalski also asked Karnes to allow a search.
But Karnes refused, so Kowalski brought out his drug dog. Twice the dog
sniffed its way around the car, detecting no drugs. Finally -- two and a
half hours after the initial stop -- the troopers let Karnes go.
- The risk of a `no' -
The Karnes case illustrates what motorists risk if they refuse to go
along with a search. Courts have held that police may detain motorists
for a "reasonable" amount of time, but there's no definition of what is
Even those who agree to let police search their car may be in for more
than they expected. Craig Kirby, a 30-year-old Alabama textile worker,
was stopped in July 1990 as he drove on I-10 through Jefferson Davis
Parish in southwestern Louisiana.
When the officer asked him whether he could search the car, Kirby said:
The next thing he knew, Kirby was spread-eagled against the side of the
car. The officer searched his luggage and trunk and looked under his hood
and dashboard. But the search didn't stop there. The officer, Kirby said,
made him drive to a gas station, where he had mechanics take apart his
spare tire. The officer also disassembled his seats, he said. They found
no drugs and told Kirby he was free to go. The ordeal lasted an hour and
But many searches are based on trivial infractions that seem suspiciously
uniform. In Jefferson Davis Parish, for instance, police seem fond of
citing motorists for changing lanes without using their blinkers.
Police are blunt about their use of traffic laws to stop those they think
might be hauling drugs.
And which infraction is most popular?
"Failure to signal lane change -- that's a big one," said Indiana Trooper
[End of article. The following table accompanies the article: ]
WHAT POLICE LOOK FOR
Here are some indicators police often use to determine whether a motorist
might be a drug smuggler, based on court testimony that a Pennsylvania State
Police spokesman said is typical of how other departments operate:
* Driver is a racial or ethnic minority.
* Deodorizer in the car to mask odor of drugs.
* Windows are blacked out.
* Car is blue, making it easier to blend in with traffic.
* A mid-size sedan with no frills, also to blend in with other cars.
* High mileage on odometer.
* Unfolded maps, especially those opened to "source cities" like New
* Person drives cautiously and below the speed limit to avoid detection.
* CB radio or car phone in the vehicle.
* Car has either too much or too little luggage.
* Driver asks to be excused to urinate (to use the opportunity to
discard incriminating evidence).
* Fast-food bags in the car (couriers eat in their cars because they
fear the cars or their drugs may be stolen).
/''' The Machman firstname.lastname@example.org david c carroll
\ "Big Science. Hallelujah"
From: booloo@FRAMSPARC.OCF.LLNL.GOV (Mark Boolootian)
Subject: Bush's Drug War: Claiming Victory, Covering Up Losses
Date: 21 Oct 92 23:37:29 GMT
This article appeared in alt.society.civil-liberty. The really sad part, in
my view, is the last paragraph.
By the way, this article came from:
email@example.com (Clinton for President)
You might want to thank them.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 1992
GEORGE BUSH'S DRUG WAR: CLAIMING VICTORY, COVERING UP LOSSES
[Statement by Bob Boorstin, Deputy Communications Director]
George Bush just doesn't get it. He's shown time and time again he
doesn't understand America's economic problems. Now he's showing
again he doesn't understand America's drug problem.
On January 27, 1992, George Bush announced, "We've made real progress
in this fight against drug abuse." He peddled this pollyanna view as
late as October 15th in the Richmond debate when he said, "The good
news is, and I think it's true for Richmond, teenage cocaine use is
down [sic], substantially, 60 percent in the last couple of years."
But an important annual survey shows that Bush is wrong. Dead
wrong. And worse, news reports show that the Bush Administration
tried to suppress the survey from coming out.
The Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education (PRIDE) yesterday
released the findings from its annual survey on drug use among
students, and the prognosis isn't good. Drug use is up
across-the-board for junior high students and up in 7 out of 10
categories for high school students. And while cocaine use is down
slightly for high school students, it has skyrocketed 15% among
junior high students.
More importantly, according to PRIDE, cocaine is the drug least
likely to be used by students. Students are more likely to use
uppers, downers, inhalants, or hallucinogens. And the use of these
drugs has jumped by 15% or more among junior high students, and by
7-10% for high school students.
The Administration's reaction when they saw an advance copy of the
survey? To keep Americans in the dark. "You know if you [release
the report], it's going to hurt us..." Terrence J. Pell ominously
told Thomas Gleaton. Pell is the White House Chief of Staff for the
Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Gleaton is PRIDE's
president. According to news accounts, Pell telephoned Gleason to
express his concern over the release of PRIDE's damaging data so
close to the election.
This doesn't come as a surprise to drug experts who have seen the
Office of National Drug Control Policy filled with a higher
percentage of political appointees than any other agency in the U.S.
Government -- and who realize George Bush's hasn't won the drug war
on any front.
As with the economy, health care, and education, George Bush's drug
war is just one more broken promise. His own administration's
figures show that there are more drug addicts, more drug murders,
more drug addicted babies, and more drugs entering the country than
Bill Clinton will lead a national and international crusade against
drugs. He knows we have to tackle both demand for drugs and the
supply of drugs. He sees the drug problem from a personal
perspective, not a political one. And he knows we can do better than
George Bush's cynical, failed drug war and attempted coverup.
- 30 -
Here's an example of a "let's you and him fight" debate among the
valiant drug warriors...courtesy of DPA (German press agency).
=START= XMT: 16:24 Fri Jun 12 EXP: 16:00 Sat Jun 13
ANALYSIS: U.S. DRUG WARRIORS SHOOTING MOSTLY BLANKS, VETERAN DIPLOMAT SAYS
By JIM ANDERSON
WASHINGTON (JUNE 12) DPA - In the global war against drugs, the U.S. policy is
misdirected, ineffectual and undercut by corrupt foreign officials and
uninterested American policy makers.
Such charges have been made before, particularly by Congress members. This time
the accusation came from veteran Foreign Service officer James Gormley, a
former chief of the Americas division in the State Department's Bureau of
International Narcotics Matters.
Gormley, also a former chief anti-narcotics officer in the U.S. embassies in
Mexico and Thailand, made the charges in the current issue of the Foreign
Service Journal, published by the American Foreign Service Association, a kind
of a trade union which represents diplomats in their dealing with the State
His indictment was particularly strong against the former Mexican government of
Miguel de la Madrid and the benign attitude taken by then U.S. Ambassador
Charles Pilliod to Mexico.
The U.S. anti-narcotics programme was targetted on eradication of narcotics
crops such as opium poppies, and even in that concentrated effort, was largely
ineffectual, partly because of the collusion of corrupt Mexican officials,
Gormley, who is now retired, said.
The only chance of real success would come with emphasis on treatment and
education about the social and medical aspects of narcotic use, reducing the
demand for drugs among its users.
''The decline in the use of alcohol and tobacco is due to long-term health
education campaigns, not to bombing distilleries in Scotland or scorching
tobacco fields in North Carolina,'' he said.
Responding to the criticism, a State Department official said Gormley's
experience was several years out of date and that the U.S. programme tried to
cut demand for drugs, both in the United States and overseas, contrary to what
Gormley had written.
The official said Gormley ignored the increasing successes of the
investigations against money laundering, especially in Mexico and Colombia, and
the international control of chemicals required for the production of heroin,
cocaine and synthetic drugs.
The official said Mexico, since the de la Madrid administration, had stepped up
its anti-drug spending three-fold to 75 million dollars. The State Department
spends 150 million dollars annually on world-wide anti-narcotic operations, a
sum that does not include money spent by other government organs.
''Although the situation has improved since the period Gormley writes about
(1984 to 1990), that doesn't mean the drug war is over,'' the official said.
One impact of cutting demand in the U.S. had resulted in drug exporters making
a hard-headed business decision and cultivating new customers in their own
countries. Thus some countries which used to be solely exporters of drugs had
now become consumers, he added.
Gormley's article described the U.S.-led, world-wide eradication programme as
an elaborate charade, an exercise in official self-deception. He said
occasionally a poppy field was uselesly sprayed after the flower pods had
already produced the opium gum, but the operation was counted as a success
He quoted an agricultural expert in the Andes mountains as saying that the coca
eradication programme in the region ''was more in nature of pruning than
He said he expected to encounter corruption and venality among the Mexican
officials. ''What was difficult to handle was leadership of the (U.S.) embassy
(in Mexico City), which thought that if its reporting to Washington could
whitewash the Mexicans, then no one would know how bad the situation was,'' he
The State Department official acknowledged that there were big problems dealing
with the previous Mexican administration and some of those problems continued.
An estimated 50 per cent of U.S. drug imports pass through Mexican territory at
On the charge of a lack of high-level administration interest, the official
said there has been demonstrated high-level interest, including two anti-drug
summits in the past year.
* Patrick Crumhorn USENET: firstname.lastname@example.org *
* CI$: 74146,1134 GEnie: P.CRUMHORN *
* Fidonet: 1:382/1.0 "When euphoria is outlawed, *
* only outlaws will be euphoric." *
From: email@example.com (Michael G. Goldsman)
Subject: Atlanta Journal-Constitution article on "Crack Babies"
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1992 22:37:38 GMT
I just read about the CNN report, and I remembered an article I
saw in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution last week...
Here are some excerpts from the article...
The few Dr's who are researching crack babies suspect that the lack
pre-natal care, poor nutrition and use of alcohol
and other drugs that accompany cocaine addiction are more harmful
than the drugs itself."
"Once you look at the effect of the cocaine by itself...the cocaine does not
have a dramatic effect," said Gale Richardson of the university of
Pittsburgh. Her study of 300 babies indicates alcohol and tobacco hurt
them more than cocaine, she said.
At Yerkes, pregnant monkeys receive a steady stream of cocaine through a pump
during their 165 day pregnancies...
Midway through the study, 32 babies have been born, about half of them
exposed to cocaine. Early tests show no physical differences between the
two groups, Dr. Byrd said.
"That gives us reason to question whether we can attribute all we're
seeing in human [babies] to crack," he said.
"Very clearly, when you do animal studies with alcohol, you get fetal alcohol
syndrome. This is not happening so far with cocaine," said Claire Coles, a
psychiatrist at Emory University who studies crack babies.
The only abnormality she found in a recent study was a slightly
lower birthwieght for crack babies -- 6.5 lbs compared with the normal 7 to 8
But Ira Chasnoff, president of the Chicago-based National Association for
Perinatal Addiction Research and Education, is skeptical of Yerkes'
Mr. Chasnoff said studies on rodents have connected low birthwiehgts and
slow development to fetal cocaine exposure.
Mike Goldsman __o o__ o__ o__ o__
36004 Ga Tech Station _ \<,_ _.>/ _ _.>/ _ _.>/ _ _.>/ _
Atlanta, Georgia 30332 (_)/ (_) (_) \(_) (_) \(_) (_) \(_) (_) \(_)
PGP Key available upon request
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill McCormick)
Subject: Re: "crack babies"
Date: 8 Aug 92 05:56:43 GMT
In article <1992Aug6.email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Holtsinger) writes:
>Post these stories.
Here are a few references found after about 30 seconds online.
Author: Koren-G. Graham K.
Institution: Department of Pediatrics & Research Institute,
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Article Title: Cocaine in Pregnancy: Analysis of Fetal Risk
Source: Vet-Hum-Toxicol. 1992 Jun. 34(3). P 263-4
Abstract: During the last decades there has been a substantial
increase in the recreational use of cocaine in young
adults and parallelly there has been an increase in
its use by pregnant women. We analyzed all published
papers on cocaine use in pregnancy and found that
for most endpoints studied (eg, prematurity, head
circumference) there were many studies showing
effects and many showing no effects. Upon meta-
analysis, most of the effects could not be shown
significant when compared to control groups. In
a prospective study in Toronto, babies exposed to
cocaine during the first trimester only had Bayley
scores at 18-mo of life that were identical to
unexposed babies or to those exposed to canabinoids.
Motherisk presently counsels women who discontinue
cocaine use in the first trimester of pregnancy that
there is no increased developmental risk for the baby.
Title: Cocaine-Associated Abnormalities May Not Be
Source: Am-J-Dis-Child. 1992 Mar. 146(3). P 278-9
Author: Mayes-L-C. Granger-R-H. Bornstein-M-H. Zuckerman-B.
Institution: Yale Study Center, New Haven, Conn 06510
Title: The Problem of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure. A Rush
References: Review Article: 43 refs.
Source: JAMA. 1992 Jan 15. 267(3). P 406-8
Author: Owiny-J-R. Myers-T. Massmann-G-A. Sadowsky-D-W.
Institution: Laboratory for Pregnancy and Newborn Research, College
of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca,
Title: Lack of Effect of Maternal Cocaine Administration on
Myometrial Electromyogram and Maternal Plasma Oxytocin
Concentrations in Pregnant Sheep at 124-145 Days'
Source: Obstet-Gynecol. 1992 Jan. 79(1). P 81-4
SEANEWS  Seattle News + Mail  Public Access  +1 206 937 9529
(hit 'n' to skip uuencoded PGP Public Key)
-------CUT HERE------ PGP Public Key -------CUT HERE------
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-------CUT HERE------ PGP Public Key -------CUT HERE------
From: "Paul Hager"
Subject: Bloomington Voice article on drug conference.
Organization: Computer Science, Indiana University
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1992 14:45:36 -0500
Hanging with the Drug Policy Reformers in Washington, D.C.
by Paul Hager
"We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
-- Ben Franklin, 4 July, 1776.
The 6th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform took
place in Washington, D.C. recently. The conference was sponsored
by the Drug Policy Foundation (DPF), an organization founded 5
years ago to seek alternatives to the drug war. These alternatives
include legalization of marijuana and decriminalization of other
illegal drugs, expanded treatment for substance abuse focusing on
a medical rather than a criminal justice approach, and education --
as opposed to D.A.R.E. and Partnership for a Drug-Free America
propaganda and hysteria which is about all we have now. The most
well known members of the DPF are probably Mayor Kurt Schmoke of
Baltimore and Dr. Carl Sagan, the noted astrophysicist and writer.
As a member myself (perhaps less renowned) I attended numerous
panels and other events at the Conference. A full report would
more than fill the pages of the Voice -- so here are a few of my
experiences and impressions.
The Clinton Conundrum
Speculation about the future drug policies of President-elect
Clinton was rampant. Clinton's public pronouncements have not
suggested that he would embrace any kind of reform; on the
contrary, he has said that he is "adamantly opposed to drug
legalization" and believes that the criminal justice system "saved"
I had a conversation about Clinton with Kevin Zeese, the VP
and general counsel of the DPF. He noted that Kurt Schmoke is a
friend and close political ally of Clinton's. According to Zeese,
Schmoke was of the opinion that Clinton was "flexible" on the issue
of reform. Zeese said that he had spoken to "Kurt" within the past
couple of weeks and had no reason to doubt his assessment.
Zeese's is the optimistic view. Others saw little cause for
celebration. There is no mandate for change and Clinton's own
words leave little room for maneuver. The person touted for drug
czar in the Clinton administration is Mathea Falco, author of the
just-published The Making of a Drug-Free America. Falco was in the
Carter administration as an assistant to Dr. Peter Bourne. The
only reforms she would be likely to put in place are permitting
needle exchange and expanding methadone treatment. Throwing
nonviolent drug offenders in concentration camps euphemistically
called "boot camps" and putting 100,000 more police on the streets,
as is called for in the proposed Clinton program, do not qualify as
reform. Per this view, it is possible that some of the more
egregious excesses of the forfeiture mill will be curbed but that's
about it. The pessimistic view of the future under Clinton is a
kinder, gentler drug war.
"We've won the war"
Dr. Dale Gieringer is a lanky, bearded Californian from the
Bay area. I had encountered Dale a year or so earlier but that was
electronically -- call it a virtual meeting. Dale and I are both
on computer networks and subscribe to the same drug policy
discussion groups. We had exchanged e-mail (i.e., electronic mail)
on a few occasions and I had read several of his journal articles,
so I was hoping that he would be at the conference. When I finally
did meet him, we took a brief moment to scan each other's physical
forms -- as if to vouchsafe that we were flesh and blood creatures
and not holographic projections.
Dale had an interesting take on the future under Clinton.
"We've won the war," he said. He explained that the twelve years
of Reagan/Bush had been dominated by ideologues and zealots who had
stifled legitimate science and rational discourse. Whatever
Clinton himself thought about drug policy, science would become
possible again in a Clinton administration and in such an
environment reason and the truth would eventually prevail.
Dale was certainly right in his assessment of science under
Reagan/Bush. One need only recall the Meese Commission on
pornography or the decision to ban fetal tissue research to see how
ideologically driven everything was. From the Laffer Curve to Star
Wars, it was all fantasy and pseudo-science designed to justify
corporate rapacity, political corruption, and cultural warfare. On
Dale's assessment of science under Clinton/Gore, there is less
certitude. However, it was asserted by a number of people at the
conference that rank-and-file bureaucrats involved in drug
enforcement know that the current system can't work and are ready
to embrace alternatives. Thus far, the alternatives have been
blocked by the upper level political appointees.
"Say goodnight, George"
Another e-mail correspondent of mine is Eric Sterling, a
Washington attorney. Eric was a counsel for the House Judiciary
Committee until 1989 when he left to found the National Drug
Strategy Network. Naturally, when I saw that he was conducting a
discussion on "grass-roots" organizing, I sought him out.
Eric had brought his laptop 486 computer with him and he
demonstrated how to access activist computer bulletin boards and
news groups. I was glad to see that someone at the conference was
alerting people to the enormous potential of digital communications
as an organizing tool.
Eric related the story of election night in D.C. Parties were
going on all over the district. Sometime after midnight, Eric
drove by the White House with the sunroof on his "beemer" (i.e.,
BMW) open and holding a sign he had made. It had written on it,
"Say goodnight, George." As he described the scene in front of the
White House, passing cars were honking and parties of revelers
danced and threw broccoli.
Caucusing with the Arkansas Delegation
The conference attracted a diverse collection of individuals
and groups. Perhaps one of the most colorful groups was Arkansas
NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).
They quickly earned the sobriquet, "the Arkansas Delegation." They
were easy to spot: most sported buttons bearing Clinton's picture
with the words, "Inhale Bill, Inhale."
I went to a "caucus" of the Arkansas Delegation at the end of
the first day's events. One of the people on hand was Richard
Cowan, the new executive director of NORML. Cowan is the
antithesis of the stereotype of a marijuana legalizer. A Texan who
made his money in the oil business, Cowan looks to be the kind of
man who would attend power lunches at Houston's Petroleum Club,
give $100,000 to the Bush Campaign, and fret over the vagaries of
the Amsterdam spot market -- in fact, he probably has done two of
the three. The only thing that suggests that Cowan may not be a
stolid Republican is the small pin he sports in his left lapel: a
Cowan has long been active in the Libertarian Party and is
part of the Libertarian "right wing" (yes, even Libertarians have
a left and a right wing). When it comes to espousing Reagan-type
small government rhetoric, Cowan is without peer. This makes him
particularly effective in dealing with the archetypal conservative
prohibitionist. Cowan recounted a recent debate he had with Orange
County (California) prosecutor, Dan Lundberg. "I had him flanked
on the right," said Cowan, who got a favorable response from the
stolid burghers in Southern California.
One item he used to good effect was the story of Donald Scott,
the multi-millionaire and Scott Paper heir who was shot dead by
police looking for marijuana on his 200 acre estate. The evidence
is that the motivation for the raid was forfeiture -- the police
had the forfeiture papers on them when they busted down Scott's
door in the middle of the night. The sleepy Scott reacted in a way
perfectly understandable to Cowan's audience: Scott heard crashing
sounds in his house and thought that gang members had broken in,
bent on mayhem. He got his gun and headed toward the sounds only
to be blown away when he was spotted. Exit Mr. Scott. Of course,
no marijuana was found. Scott, in fact, was rabidly anti-drug.
It's one thing to hear "liberals" crying over ghetto dwellers
who have been victimized by the police but when it's one of your
own describing the same thing happening to a member of the white
upper class, the effect can be galvanizing. Cowan summed up this
example of how the forfeiture laws are corrupting law enforcement
by the following formulation: "If you think the forfeiture laws
can't apply to you, you probably think the RICO laws (i.e., the
Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act) only apply to
people with names like Rico."
There were panels at the conference covering just about every
imaginable topic of interest to drug law reformers. In talks I've
given, I've discussed marijuana toxicity, so when I saw that a
panel had been set up that would present the latest information on
that subject, I went for it. I was also attracted by the fact that
one of the panelists was yet another computer net contact, Dr. Tod
Mikuriya, a California M.D. who was instrumental in the passage of
San Francisco's medical marijuana ordinance. (But more about
medical marijuana later.)
Much of the content of the presentations was fairly technical
but interspersed were such pithy observations as, a lethal dose is
"... a bale of marijuana hitting someone on the head." Art
Lecesse, a psychologist on the faculty of Kenyon College, drew some
interesting comparisons between legal alcohol and illegal
marijuana. "Alcohol," he said, "is a neurotoxin -- it's yeast
shit. It achieves its effect by irritating neural membranes -- it
is an organic solvent. It's associated with organic brain damage
like Korsakov-Warneke syndrome." [Note: a good case study of the
effect of alcoholic Korsakov's syndrome is to be found in Oliver
Sacks' excellent book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, in
the chapter titled, "The Lost Mariner".] In contrast, he noted,
there is no evidence that marijuana has any deleterious effect on
brain function. In fact, the recent discovery of cannabinoid
receptors indicates that the human brain actually requires
endogenous cannabinoid-like (i.e., marijuana-like) substances in
order to function.
I must suppress a natural desire to recapitulate the entire
discussion. For example, there was a whole discussion of
considerations surrounding prescription of marijuana -- were it
available for medical purposes. Fortunately, an amateur video was
made of this panel. I intend to get a copy and have it aired on
BCAT, Bloomington's community access channel. The official title
of the panel is "Marijuana and Toxicity" -- look for it to appear
in about a month.
The Neo-Temperance Movement
Dr. Bruce Alexander, a social psychologist on the faculty of
Simon Fraser University in Canada, has been a student of the
recrudescent prohibitionist movement in North America --
particularly the U.S. Alexander was an advisor on a two part
episode of the popular, "The Nature of Things" science show that
airs on the Discovery Channel. The episode was called "Dealing
with Drugs" and presented an objective view of alternative drug
policy approaches being followed by the U.S., Canada, and the
Netherlands. Alexander has also researched cocaine's association
with violence, attempting to isolate the effect of the drug -- its
pharmacology -- from the brutalizing and corrupting influence of
the criminal black market that arises from prohibition. (His
conclusion is that it is prohibition of cocaine and not cocaine
itself that is responsible for most of the so-called "drug-related
Alexander and a fellow researcher, Bryan Nadeau, have
coauthored a forthcoming paper that examines how the attitudes,
myths, and rhetoric that animated the 19th Century Temperance
movement have been adopted, almost without change, by the modern
drug prohibition movement. This paper was the basis of a
presentation at the conference.
What Alexander and Nadeau observed was that one had only to
make a few substitutions in 19th Century prohibitionist rhetoric to
bring it up to date. For example, for "alcohol" and "alcoholism",
substitute "substance" and "substance abuse". A lengthy list of
adverse consequences is asserted in the rhetoric -- past and
present -- ranging from "addiction" to "the fall of civilization."
To illustrate this, Alexander and Nadeau made an interesting
choice: they looked at the how society's attitudes about anabolic
steroids have changed in the past decade.
As a frequent weight lifter, I've had more than a passing
interest in how steroids came to be demonized in the 1980s. One
popular assertion was that steroids promoted aggressive behavior --
that users "roided out" and committed unspeakable acts of violence.
A drug inducing someone to be violent or antisocial is a central
element of drug prohibition mythology -- thus "reefer madness" or
the claim by King James that coffee and coffee houses led people to
lese majeste and sedition. In the case of steroids, evidence of
violence induction is at best anecdotal.
Most interesting was a look at the side effects associated
with steroids and the extent they have been exaggerated to serve
the prohibition mythos. One of the most serious alleged side
effects is liver cancer. While this is often mentioned, the
incidence of liver cancer never is -- an omission which prevents
the supposed harm from being quantified and compared with other
societally accepted risks. According to Alexander and Nadeau, the
rate of liver cancer is around 3 per 1,000,000 users per year. In
contrast, the mortality rate for cigarette users is about 6500 per
1,000,000 users per year, most of the deaths coming from lung
Alexander and Nadeau concluded by asserting that pharmacology
-- the true action of the drug on the human body -- offered no
insight into steroid prohibition. Rather, they said, it was only
in the context of a "drug war" being driven by 19th Century
attitudes that an explanation could be found.
On the marijuana front, one of the hottest issues for
reformers is forcing the DEA to move the drug from Schedule I to
Schedule II in its classification scheme. A drug that is Schedule
I is deemed to have no medical uses and have a high potential for
abuse. Schedule II differs in that such drugs have medical uses
and can be prescribed by doctors. For a point of comparison,
cocaine is Schedule II.
As is often the case when government bureaucrats and know-
nothing political appointees start mucking around in scientific or
technical areas, the assigning of marijuana to Schedule I has no
rational basis. Over 150 years of scientific research and medical
experience demonstrate the usefulness of marijuana in treating a
wide variety of maladies. The AMA opposed marijuana prohibition in
1937, but their objections were overridden.
To the benefits known to doctors in the 1930s can now be added
two more: marijuana is very effective is suppressing the nausea
that often accompanies cancer chemotherapy and it also stimulates
the appetites of AIDS sufferers. Because of drug war ideology, the
limited and grossly inadequate medical marijuana program that had
been grudgingly run by the government was recently discontinued.
This action did, however, receive national media scrutiny and was
accompanied by a widely quoted survey of clinical oncologists that
found that half would prescribe marijuana to their cancer patients
if they could legally do so.
Here, then, is a ready-made issue for reformers. Force
government to reverse its position on medical marijuana which,
incidentally, compels government to admit that it has been
systematically lying about the drug since it was initially
prohibited. At the conference, medical marijuana was deemed a
"surrogate issue" -- it can be promoted without advocating
legalization yet has the result that the cause of legalization is
A diverse group of activists has been involved in this issue.
Dr. Tod Mikuriya and his supporters in the California Medical
Association were very successful in getting the Association to
endorse medical marijuana. Likewise, the Massachusetts ACLU drug
task force lobbied that state's legislature to pass a resolution
endorsing medical marijuana. And ACT UP, the AIDS advocacy group,
has added medical marijuana to its list of demands.
This seems like a good place to plug our own efforts locally.
A number of Bloomington-based reformers are embarking on a campaign
to get Monroe County government to endorse medical marijuana. We
intend this to be a broad coalition -- there is no litmus test on
I could easily devote an entire article to any of a number of
issues discussed at the conference. One was a presentation on the
growing use of the National Guard in drug enforcement, a de facto
if not de jure violation of the Posse Comitatus Act and the common
law tradition of not using the military for civilian law
enforcement. Another dealt with the growing number of prosecutions
of physicians for their prescribing practices.
Whether it's peeing in a bottle, agents pawing through
people's garbage, low-flying helicopters using infrared scanners,
the increasing brutality of the police, or the forfeiture epidemic,
the indications are all around us that the drug war is spinning out
of control. The drug war is domestic policy conducted on the
Vietnam model. It would be ironic if the President-elect, so
ardent an opponent of that war, continued our home grown-one.
I believe that reason eventually prevails. Galileo who ended
his days under house arrest was just this year exonerated by the
Pope, which cautions us that reason sometimes takes over 300 years.
Still, there is no substitute for patiently putting the facts out
and attritioning the opposition with the truth. That is the
commitment of groups like the DPF and I'm proud to be a part of
paul hager email@example.com
"I would give the Devil benefit of the law for my own safety's sake."
--from _A_Man_for_All_Seasons_ by Robert Bolt
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Winkel)
Subject: Drug war: Colombia ravaged by the military solution
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1992 10:23:06 GMT
/** nfd.ifeatures: 27.1 **/
** Written 2:53 pm Mar 8, 1992 by ihandler in cdp:nfd.ifeatures **
News Analysis / 1240 Words
New Wave of Terror:
Need a `Military Solution'
To the Drug Trade
By Alynne Romo
The `narco-terrorism' in Colombia remains unrelenting. On
Jan. 28, mere hours after the New York Times ran an interview
with the head of the Committee in Defense of Human Rights in a
central region of the country, his secretary was assassinated.
At 8 p.m. that evening Blanca Valero de Duran was executed
in the doorway of the committee's regional offices in downtown
Barrancabermeja by assailants who had been waiting outside on a
motorcycle. One man shot her twice in the back and the other
dismounted only long enough to finish her off. Valero had been
heading home from the human rights offices where she had worked
for 13 of her 38 years.
The incident is the latest development in a worsening human
rights emergency which has gripped Barrancabermeja in recent
months, claiming the lives of 27 persons in various incidents in
the past week alone. The region around Barrancabermeja is
considered a stronghold of oil workers and the Patriotic Union, a
left-wing political coalition which has seen over 1700 of its
members assassinated since its formation in 1985.
According to local residents the military began bombing the
villages in the countryside several weeks ago. Most of the
peasants have managed to evade the aircraft because, in the words
of one, "There is always a big slow-moving plane that flies over
first. When you see that, you run away as fast as you can and
when the other planes appear, you throw yourself to the ground,
cover your ears and open your mouth."
Colombia's bombings of villages by aircraft has come to the
attention of international human rights groups. The Colombian
government received aircraft in its assistance package from the
U.S. According to one U.S. embassy official the aid comes "under
the auspices of narcotics control" but will also be used for
counter-insurgency activities. Supposedly it is not U.S. policy
to tell the Colombians how to use the aid.
Colombian Army Chief-of-Staff General Luis Eduardo Roca
admits that $38.5 million of the $40.3 million allocated to
Colombia for anti-narcotics assistance in FY 1990 was slated for
logistical support for a three-year counter-insurgency program in
the northeastern part of Colombia. When asked by the House
Foreign Affairs Committee to explain how the operation in an area
not known for narcotics production could advance anti-narcotics
goals, Roca stated that if processing facilities were located
during the operation they would be destroyed. (emphasis added)
According to the Institute of Alternative Legal Services
(ILSA) in Bogota, several aircraft which match the type supplied
by the U.S. were used in the bombardments of civilians in central
Colombia over the last two years. ILSA has raised doubts about
the sincerity of U.S. intentions considering that the planes and
helicopters are not appropriate for combatting drugs because
their radio frequencies are incompatible with ground control and
national police helicopters. Furthermore, says ILSA, Colombian
police, the main agency assigned the task of fighting against
narcotics, requested communication and electronic equipment that
would allow them to pinpoint the location of trafficker radio
broadcasts---equipment the U.S. has not seen fit to provide.
Activists have persistly warned about U.S. militarization of
the drug problem. The policy is complicating an already severe
human rights situation because the Colombian military---and its
paramilitary units---are responsible for the majority of the
violations. Colombia now surpasses Guatemala for the most
political violence in Latin America. Peasants and political
activists are often "disappeared" and their bodies, if found,
show signs of relentless torture and dismemberment.
Documenting these brutal slaying was part of the work that
Valero undertook prior to her assassination.
Further, the activists warn, anti-narcotics policy could
weaken the fragile democracies in the Andean region by boosting
the resources and profile of the armed forces.
Curiously, U.S. aid may well be finding its way into the
pockets of the very traffickers it is supposed to defeat.
Although the Colombian National Police is responsible for 80-90%
of all anti-narcotics raids, 77% of the total U.S. aid package
actually went to the military.
But corruption in the military is extensive. In the words of
one European diplomat, "I've been to places where the army
frustrates [the] police, where they're actually guarding the labs
.. . . I've noticed no increased commitment on the part of the
army to go after traffickers."
Actually, drug traffickers have formed an alliance with the
right-wing through their joint paramilitary units. Termed
"narcoparamilitarism" by one historian, the traffickers have
linked with the large landowners to form paramilitary units---
very often with the tangible support of the army. The death
squads operate under names such as The Red Fascist Army, the
Anti-Communist Youth, Kan Kill, and Exterminator. Originally
functioning as legal "self-defense" entities, recent legislation
has banned the units---at least on paper---although no effort has
been made to disarm them.
The use of hired assassins (sicarios) like those who gunned
down Valero has also increased. One example was slipped past
viewers of Drug Wars: The Colombian Connection which ran on NBC
last week. The two-part program depicted the indictment of the
Medellin cartel's Pablo Escobar and Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha but
didn't mention they were charged with ordering the murders of 22
union leaders massacred on banana plantations in northeastern
Uraba in 1988. Nor did the show mention that three military
officials, a police lieutenant, a local mayor and eleven other
civilians were also indited. In that bloodbath, the army major
who commanded the region's B-2 military intelligence squad had
asked the Medellin cartel to make the hit.
Although there are 100 massacres and countless
assassinations annually in Colombia, President Bush maintains
that there has been no consistent pattern of gross human rights
violation---a prudent evaluation in face of the Foreign
Assistance Act which limits assistance to countries with severe
human rights problems.
Even more of an embarrassment is the Washington Office on
Latin America (WOLA) analysis that the Andean strategy hasn't
even met its chief two-year goal of reducing cocaine supply to
the United Stated by 15%. In fact, U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration agents report that production in South America
increased in 1990 by 28%. And DEA agents estimated that coca
production would increase in 1991 by another 10%, reaching record
levels. The U.S. has slated $282 million in military assistance
for Colombia the 5-year period ending in 1994. WOLA adds that the
Andean region has become the main locus of U.S. military activity
in the hemisphere. Colombia, Bolivia and Peru are slated to
receive more U.S. military assistance over the three-year period
between FY 1990 and FY 1992 than all of Central America.
Meanwhile, the military, paramilitary units and sicarios
have followed the aircraft into the area around Barrancabermeja
to discover real or imaginary guerrillas, to drive the peasants
from their land and even from their refugee centers, to dislodge
the Patriotic Union by death or disappearance from its legally
elected positions, to break this oil union stronghold, and to
silence people like Valero. Not coincidentally, these actions
will help secure the section of the country where new oil has
been discovered---reportedly the largest oil deposit in the
-- 30 --
Written by Alynne Romo. For More Information Contact:
Colombia Human Rights Committee---Chicago: (312) 248-5755
(English) or (312) 878-1617 (Spanish).
Roberto Molina, Andean Commission of Jurists in Colombia (571)
282-3192 (Spanish only).
Colombia Human Rights Committee, PO Box 408712, Chicago, IL 60640
** End of text from cdp:nfd.ifeatures **
From: email@example.com (Paul Hager)
Subject: WoD: Frontline Report -- meeting a POW (19-Aug-92)
Date: 20 Aug 92 18:31:07 GMT
In past reports and sundry postings, I've made reference
to both Operation Smokescreen -- a "garden supply store sting"
operation run by Indiana and the Feds -- and one of its victims,
a local Bloomington resident by the name of Dale Meyers. It will
be recalled that Dale was being held without bond after being charged
with possession, with intent to distribute, of 100 or so cannabis
plants. Dale remained incarcerated until after a delegation of
Bloomingtonians -- including a Nobel laureate -- appeared at a hearing
to set bond. He was finally released on $10K bond, late last month.
Dale showed up at last night's (19-Aug) HCRC meeting and I
finally got a chance to meet the fellow who I had only known through
several phone conversations. Dale is a quiet, unassuming fellow and
hardly the master criminal and arch fiend that the state's drug warriors
portray him as being. Dale, it turns out, was the "big fish" in the
operation, in terms of the number of plants confiscated. As we
talking about his situation, Dale revealed that there may have been
another factor explaining the way the authorities treated him.
Dale mentioned, in passing, that he had been investigated
for being a "mass murderer." How bizarre, I thought. I sort of
jokingly queried, "Did someone think that you were killing babies
and using their blood in your drug-crazed, Satanic rituals?" Bingo!
In fact, the state's Satanic Crime unit WAS investigating him for
the catchall "Satanic Crimes". This is part of the drugs and Satan
propaganda that has been hyped by the religious nut fringe. I'll
not bother to detail how Satanic Crime units have pullulated in
state and local jurisdictions around the country, nor about the
mindless hysteria that has driven this phenomenon -- both _The
Humanist_ and _Skeptical Inquirer_ have done so in great depth.
I will just note that this is an indicator of the mentalities that
have gained a foothold in the system since Ronnie Reagan and his
group embraced the moral mullahs when putting together their
political coalition. (Remember what's really behind the "family
values" rhetoric come election day.)
Not surprisingly, the Satanic Crime unit didn't turn anything
up, but I've no doubt that come funding time they will cite their
investigation of Dale in their list of "cases" and demand more money.
One of their earlier efforts was an embarrassing -- for them --
persecution of a local Bloomington religious philosopher and his
followers who were accused of child molestations and unspecified
Satanic Crimes. All of the charges were dropped after the
credibility of the lone complainant feel apart under public and
So, the moral to THIS particular story is, the WoD is
part of a much larger assault on individual rights. While some
of the drug warriors are just misinformed, and some are cynically
playing along for political gain, at the core are some very sick
and dangerous people. Never forget that some of these people would
have been right at home in the Spain of Torquemada, the Germany of
Himmler, or the Russia of Derzhinski.
I wished Dale luck. He still has hope that much of the
evidence against him can be suppressed. I have serious doubts.
Once society grants the premise that drug possession is a heinous
crime, all else follows logically. The investigators played the
game, got their warrant, and did their "duty" under the laws.
It was unutterably sad to see this kind and decent person who
is almost certainly going to be ground up by the system. Reflecting
on this made me more determined than ever to end this insanity
as soon a possible, if not to help Dale himself, then to help the
thousands of other people who will find themselves political prisoners
of the drug war.
paul hager firstname.lastname@example.org
"The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason."
-- Thomas Paine, _The Age of Reason_
From: email@example.com (Mike Diehr)
Subject: LA Times : "Long LSD Prison Terms--It's all in the packaging"
Date: 29 Jul 92 00:14:31 GMT
Excerpts from the LA Times Front page article, 7/27/92:
"Long LSD Prison Terms--It's All in the Packaging"
Drugs: Law can mean decades in prison for minuscule amounts. DEA official says
no change needed.
Levon Dunmont, a free spirited Santa Cruz teenager whose principal passion was
the Grateful Dead, was on his way to a concert on Sept. 14, 1989, when he was
stopped by an undercover agent at the Milwaukee airport.
Dunmont's bag was searched, and agents found about three grams of LSD, an
illegal hallucinogen. Today, Dunmont is serving a 15 year, 8 month sentence at
the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Ore.
Five years are for the three grams of LSD; the rest, more than a decade, is
for the 440 grams of paper on which the drug was carried.
"I could have understood five years," said Connie Dumont, Levon's mother, a
Santa Cruz real estate agent. "But 15 years? They took the best part of his
life away because of this absurd decision to weigh the paper."
Levon Dumont could not agree more. "It has a daily, gut-wrenching effect," he
said of the decision. "The time is unfathomable."
Cases like Dumont's are cropping up regularly in federal courts across the
United States. And as LSD arrests soar, hundreds of offenders are forfeiting
decades of their lives to a vaguely worded sentencing law that determines how
the drug is weighed and how long dealers serve in prison.
Despite withering criticism of that law--the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986--and
deep uncertainty about what Congress intended when it approved it, the U.S
Supreme Court voted last year to let it stand, a decision that allowed the
government to include the weight of paper or other so-called LSD "carriers"
when determing prison sentences. The consequences of that ruling, Justice John
Paul Stevens wrote in his dissent, "are so bizarre that I cannot believe they
were intended by Congress."
Other critics also have assailed the law, but Congress, whose members are
wary of taking any action that could ease prison sentences for drug dealers,
has done nothing. Drug enforcement officers say no action is needed.
"I'm just not troubled by this at all," said Robert C. Bonner, administrator
of the Drug Enforcement Administration. "There are some pretty severe
penalties for trafficking in LSD, but I think that's right. This is a very
dangerous drug. It once was referred to as do-it-yourself brain surgery."
The 1986 law at the center of this LSD debate was one of a slew of statutes
enacted by Congress to set mandatory minimum prison sentences for crimes
involving drugs. There is no parole in federal prison, so criminals serve all
but a fraction of their assigned time.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank