Saturday, May 23, 2009

Biowarfare & the War on Drugs

Is the war on drugs gonna end?

Some people think it should.

If the drugs are no longer criminal, the cops lose their training exercise, and some of their incentive for doing thorough searches, such as that which turned up the test-tubes, containing stuff (supposedly, non-lethal) from a biowarfare lab in Canada.

Lose the drug war and you lose some effectiveness in interdiction. Biowarfare agents are fortunately rare, but safeguards have to be 100% effective. In the event of state sponsored terrorism a la 911, no conceivable defense can be 100% effective. So how much do we need the current regime of border control, local police surveillance and swat teams?

Due to new legislation in Maryland, next year it will be possible to determine, for example, what 600+ annual swat team deployments are being used for in Prince George's County. How many “drug busts” as opposed to actual crimes. Data for the whole state of Maryland will be published next year.

How many swat team drug busts are carried out annually by the DEA, and is this broken down by city, state, region?

If you put these guys to work on another non-existent crime, like bio-warfare, you also create a large well heeled, well equipped & trained organization with known ties to organized crime, politics, legitimate intelligence & black ops and now with a vested interest in bio-terrorism (cos if there is no bio-terrorism event, the whole enterprise has no justification for existing).

If no actual terrorist threat occurred, then these forces would certainly be sufficient to manufacture hysteria by some other means. The death toll will, no doubt, be reflected in the huge sums of public money subsequently devoted to the care and well being of our friends in the fancy uniforms. (The deplorable state of the health-care available to the survivors of past uniformed excesses will, no doubt, disappear from the public dialog.)

One thing you can see from the drug war is that various interests congeal around the utilization of all that kit, and the fancy black uniforms, and the vast swathes of uncounted cash, and all of the corruption that goes along with that. The last thing you need is a similar infrastructure focused on some other 'crime'. There have to be better ways of dealing with this threat that are both commensurate with the extent of the potential damage, and consistent with basic human decency.

The war on drugs is, among other things, the current attempt by capitalist extremists to disable the source of any coherent resistance to their dominant role in national policy. It is, at its heart a war on the poor, and it is no longer possible to conceal this fact.

Can we hope for change?