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Thread: Drugs & US Law Enforcement (2006-2017)

  1. #241
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    American travelers to Mexico should beware of possible violent retaliation for this week's arrest of alleged Zetas drug cartel associates and family members inside the U.S., the U.S. State Department has warned.
    http://news.yahoo.com/travel-warning...nlwYWdl;_ylv=3
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
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  2. #242
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Drugs use map of the world

    Not strictly on topic, but fits here.

    The World Drugs report for 2012 is out and it shows that 230 million people around the world - 1 in 20 of us - took illicit drugs in the last year. The report also says that problem drug users, mainly heroin - and cocaine-dependent people number about 27 million, roughly 0.6% of the world adult population. That's 1 in every 200 people. The report is published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and is full of fascinating stats - we've extracted some of the key ones for you in this visualisation, created by Andy Cotgreave of Tableau. Click on the map to see how drug use changes around the world.
    Link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datab...-use-map-world

    Not sure whether the UNODC has the best data.
    davidbfpo

  3. #243
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Firepower and Dispersal

    Hat tip to AbuM for raising this issue and citing Colombia as an example:
    The argument essentially goes that, as weapon power has increased exponentially in past millennia, so too has the density of combatants in the field appeared to decrease substantially. The relationship here is obvious, but also obviously not one-sided. The increased lethality of weapons raises the risk of concentrated formations, but additionally, technological advances in logistics, battlefield mobility and communications enable more dispersed formations as well.
    Link:http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawam...dispersal.html

    AbuM cites a Colombian paper, which is in Spanish and defeats Google Translator.
    davidbfpo

  4. #244
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Narco u-boat update

    After years of detecting these craft in the less trafficked Pacific Ocean, officials have seen a spike in their use in the Caribbean over the last year. American authorities have discovered at least three models of a new and sophisticated drug-trafficking submarine capable of traveling completely underwater from South America to the coast of the United States.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/wo...pagewanted=all
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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  5. #245
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    Default 9 Amazing Signs

    http://www.alternet.org/take-drug-wa...icy?page=0%2C0

    Take That, Drug Warriors! 9 Amazing Signs We're Heading Towards Sane Drug Policy

    We are at a paradoxical moment in our country. We are clearly moving in the right direction, toward a more rational drug policy based on science, compassion, health and human rights. But we need to step up our efforts, grow our numbers, and continue to win hearts and minds because the casualties from the war continue to mount every day. If the people lead, the leaders will follow.
    An opinion. I agree the trend where both citizens and officials are challenging the rationale behind the way we're waging this war is increasing and that is a good thing. On SWJ there have been several articles and posts faulting our national leadership for not holding our generals accountable for failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, but those failures pale in comparison to our failures in the "war on drugs", and again no one is held accountable. The strategy for the so called war has never been seriously questioned. We just keep marching on.

  6. #246
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    Default Drug War going Stupid

    http://news.yahoo.com/kansas-couple-...182449463.html

    Two former CIA employees whose Kansas home was fruitlessly searched for marijuana during a two-state drug sweep claim they were illegally targeted, possibly because they had bought indoor growing supplies to raise vegetables.
    "If this can happen to us and we are educated and have reasonable resources, how does somebody who maybe hasn't led a perfect life supposed to be free in this country?" Adlynn Harte said in an interview Friday.
    When law enforcement arrived, the family had just six plants — three tomato plants, one melon plant and two butternut squash plants — growing in the basement, Harte said.

    The suit also said deputies "made rude comments" and implied their son was using marijuana. A drug-sniffing dog was brought in to help, but deputies ultimately left after providing a receipt stating, "No items taken."
    The war on marijuana drugs within our borders is largely stupid waste of resources, especially when it is directed aganist Ma and Pa shops growing their own marijuana (not organized crime promoting violence). However, when the police raid a family home based on unfounded suspicions of growing marijuana it is border line criminal. If raids like this are permited it is a much greater threat to our freedoms than someone growing marijuana in their house, much less growing tomatoes. If the cops had them under surveillance for months and knew a family lived there, why did they did need to conduct a SWAT like raid on the house instead of knocking on the door and serving a warrant? Our police in many respects have gotten out of control with these tactics. These tactics were designed for and are appropriate for hard targets, but not for to responding to suspected minor violations of the law.

    If my family was terrorified by the police in this way without cause I would be seeking justice also. A law suit is one method of doing so, but heads would have to roll in this case to get satisfaction. The detective who submitted the warrant for approval to the judge who approved it need to be fired.

    http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime...od-Kansas.html

    After reviewing the crime rate in Leawood I'm beginning to think the poor SWAT team is bored and looking for an excuse to kick in a door.

  7. #247
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    I fear that civil asset forfeiture is driving a lot of this. I think forfeiture funds have become a significant source of budgetary funding for police departments in many states, creating incentives to seize property from the criminal low-hanging fruit (Ma and Pa Stoner).

    The proliferation of SWAT teams across our country is also troublesome. At the least – on a practical level – can these smaller departments devote adequate resources to train and equip these units?

    Is there a connection between the boom in civil asset forfeiture since the 80's/90's and the proliferation of SWAT units?
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

  8. #248
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    This level of LE activity has been a topic here before, IIRC over the use of SWAT teams, but the relevant thread eludes me.

    Perhaps Erich Simmers will be able to comment? He has an interest in SWAT teams, albeit in a different context - on campus.

    As this raid was part of two-state LE operation one wonders whether this was Leawood PD's only contribution?

    The unstated implication is that Leawood PD relied on information from a gardening supplier's records; I would suggest another source is a call to Crimestoppers, quite possibly by a neighbour, someone with a grudge and of a classic "2+2+100".

    Incidentally Leawood PD have an online public survey:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JSN6D85
    davidbfpo

  9. #249
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bourbon View Post
    I fear that civil asset forfeiture is driving a lot of this. I think forfeiture funds have become a significant source of budgetary funding for police departments in many states, creating incentives to seize property from the criminal low-hanging fruit (Ma and Pa Stoner).

    The proliferation of SWAT teams across our country is also troublesome. At the least – on a practical level – can these smaller departments devote adequate resources to train and equip these units?

    Is there a connection between the boom in civil asset forfeiture since the 80's/90's and the proliferation of SWAT units?
    After several decades, most people have wised up to the DUI scam. That's left a large hole in the operating budget for a lot of municipalities. Civil Asset Forfeiture does a nice job of closing that. Add in the need to justify all that expense for training a SWAT team, and the temptation to over react in order to over use in order to generate funds would be unbearable to an average person.

    Fortunately, all our politicians are above average, and thus have the integrity and self discipline not to engage in such ... activities.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  10. #250
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default SSI Study Of Failed US Counter Drug Strategy

    Link to "Insanity: Four Decades Of US Counter Drug Strategy"

    http://strategicstudiesinstitute.arm...cfm?pubID=1143

  11. #251
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Slap,

    That SSI paper is a good catch. Apart form the content and arguments made, it was the author's background that is noteworthy:
    ...served most recently as the Director of he National Drugs Intelligence Centre.
    He overturns quite a few DoD and other agency programmes as worthless, notably crop destruction and interdiction.

    Alas I fear few on capitol Hill will be reading or listening to such arguments.
    davidbfpo

  12. #252
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Default And people wonder why we have the highest incarceration rate in the world

    US judge receives 28-year jail term for his role in kids-for-cash kickbacks. The Independent, 30 April 2013.
    An American judge known for his harsh and autocratic courtroom manner was jailed for 28 years for conspiring with private prisons to hand young offenders maximum sentences in return for kickbacks amounting to millions of dollars.

    Mark Ciavarella Jnr was ordered to pay $1.2m (£770,000) in restitution after he was found to be a “figurehead” in the conspiracy that saw thousands of children unjustly punished in the name of profit in the case that became known as “kids for cash”.
    Of course it is illegal for judges to receive kickbacks from private prison companies; however it is completely legal for private prison companies to dump money into legislative campaigns across the country. No doubt many of the cases that came into his courtroom were drug related.

    If I had it my way, this man would receive the death penalty.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

  13. #253
    Council Member Kiwigrunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bourbon View Post

    If I had it my way, this man would receive the death penalty.
    He may get that anyway....depending on how many of those kids will become his new room-mates.
    Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. (Christopher Columbus)

    All great truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
    (Arthur Schopenhauer)

    ONWARD

  14. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by bourbon View Post
    US judge receives 28-year jail term for his role in kids-for-cash kickbacks. The Independent, 30 April 2013.

    Of course it is illegal for judges to receive kickbacks from private prison companies; however it is completely legal for private prison companies to dump money into legislative campaigns across the country. No doubt many of the cases that came into his courtroom were drug related.

    If I had it my way, this man would receive the death penalty.
    I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg and it should be bigger news, but of course media stations that argue that more and more government functions should be privatized will do their best to keep this important story out of the headlines.

  15. #255
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    This criminal scheme organized by a judge was arguably one of the news bits which made the biggest impression on me. Maybe because it perverted something so incredibly important. 28 years and 1200000 $ seem not much for what he has done.

    In any case I think it should kickstart a debate about the role of private prisons and the bad (terrible) incentives it creates. I'm not quite up to date but the US prison business is huge, with practical no counterpart in the rest of the world. It is of course no normal business which can happily left mostly to our dear efficient markets as the supply-side is completely controlled by state, with the profits of private prisons obviously getting financed by the taxpayer. Everything is set up to have the scope of the rule of law getting distorted into a very narrow direction. A good citizen tends to a be a bad citizen or 'private good' from the prison investor's point of view even if it is obviously excellent for the state as a whole.




    The lack of lawyers for those kids is just amazingly disgusting, the arrogance of the rogue judges and the especially silence around them is shocking. The mafia has little on them. The US is a very wealthy nations can take sustain a lot of damage inflicted by such criminal behaviour and ideological idiocy. The war on drugs would have been long given up by not so wealthy nations which would have been unable to continue to throw more and more money at the problem and into the drain. Sometimes less ressources force more and better thinking.

    Bourbons argument about the legal lobby is perfectly valid and reminds me of an old saying which roughly goes 'The scandal is not so much what gets done illegally, but what can be done legally'.
    Last edited by Firn; 05-06-2013 at 12:22 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  16. #256
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default This Is One Reason We Loose!

    What Happens When The CIA goes up against Wall Street?.......They loose!!

    H/T to zenpundit for finding this!

    http://scholars-stage.blogspot.com/search/label/Mexico
    Last edited by slapout9; 05-06-2013 at 09:02 PM. Reason: stuff

  17. #257
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    Default Colombia Peace Talks and Military Transformation

    Looking for thoughts and references on successful transformations of militaries after a successful negotiated peace or demobilization of an insurgent force.

    Looking at the future of the Colombian military, either the FARC will come to terms at the negotiating table or will be reduced through military action in the coming years. I'm interested in best practices and earlier blunders in this type of situation.

    What worked and didn't work in El Salvador and other places?

  18. #258
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Colombia Peace Talks and Military Transformation

    Created to assist Mike Burgoyne's quest.
    davidbfpo

  19. #259
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Examples from Africa

    Mike,

    The cogs in my memory are now working; you asked:
    Looking for thoughts and references on successful transformations of militaries after a successful negotiated peace or demobilization of an insurgent force.
    The Lancaster House Agreement 1979, that ended the rebellion by Rhodesia and the insurgency conducted by the nationalists, was often cited in the 1980's as an example. In particular the process by which the insurgents largely moved into camps within Rhodesia, assembly points IIRC, watched over by a Commonwealth Monitoring Force (CMF, from Australia, NZ, Kenya and the UK). Then after the elections the integration of the guerillas into new Zimbabwe's armed forces and the police. With a British team assisting (known as BMATT).

    Less well known is the peace accord for Namibia, with South Africa's decision to withdraw, a period of UN rule (UNTAG) and the integration of SWAPO's armed wing into the new armed forces - again with a BMATT. There was an early upset when SWAPO insurgents crossed the Angolan border and were repulsed bloodily - several books cover that time. Incidentally a number of black Namibians or South-Westers who had fought against SWAPO left for South Africa; as recorded in one book by Jim Hooper on the para-military Koevoet. Check the thread on these small Southern African small wars:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=10859

    Then there is Africa's giant, South Africa and the national agreement on ending apartheid, which involved the SADF being reformed, taking in numbers of externally based insurgents and others who had been within. My interest remain in the country, but not to the extent of buying books! There must be a plethora of articles on that process, some of which will feature 'security sector reform' and the variety of overseas advisers who participated.

    I am pretty certain that the individual independence agreements for the Portuguese African colonies in 1974 are not so well documented. My recollection is that the insurgent forces became the military, even though a large part of the Portuguese military was black African. Maybe the SWJ author, Miguel Silva can help? See:http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...1%E2%80%931974

    One hesitates to mention Algeria, but the Evian peace agreement must have dealt with the insurgents becoming the state. We know that many of those who served France, often called the harkis, were betrayed and paid a high price. I have just found only 15k were allowed to leave and 100k killed (inc. families). Not to overlook 1.5m 'pied noir' or white settlers left abruptly. See various links on:http://africanhistory.about.com/od/a...ianAccords.htm

    As Algeria marked its 50th anniversary of independence in 2012 there were numerous conferences held, so maybe far more is available now. The wider thread on France's war in Algeria may help:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=15864

    I have a small pile of books on Zimbabwe and Namibia if you need references; most of them date back to the 1980's.

    Try the old threads Policies in Post-Conflict Countries:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=3957 and the great RFI thread started by Colin Robinson, a Kiwi doing a Ph.D. 'Tentative Guidelines for building partner armies post conflict':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=10049

    Finally, leaving Africa how about Nepal? Where there is peace agreement, with a planned integration of the 32k insurgency, Communist army:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5236
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-30-2013 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Building up took time with links etc
    davidbfpo

  20. #260
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    Default El Sal

    Hi Mike--

    The 1992 El Sal peace accords called for the reduction in size of the ESAF and teh creation of a new Policia Nacional Civil separate from the MOD. More on the PNC in a minute as it is the more complex part.

    During the 12 year war the ESAF grew from under 10,000 to over 56,000 but the officer corps barely grew at all. So, demobilization essentially involved letting the conscripts go home. One result of the US effeort was to leave El Sal with a record of who had been trained in a national computer database. this allowed the ESAF to retain a reserve military force that was called up for duty during Hurricane Mitch.

    The PNC was to replace the 3 police forces that had previously existed under the MOD (Vice Min for Public Security). These were (1)the National Police (PN), (2) the Guardia Nacional (GN), and (3) the Policia de hacienda (PH). PN had mainly urban duties, GN mainly rural, and PH focused on white collar crime. The PNC was to incorporate as 20% of its number former PN, 20% former FMLN guerrillas, and 40% new recruits all under a civilian minister.

    The new ESAF has become quite professional. The PNC has been a problem and relatively unable to control crime particularly from gangs like MS-13 which grew from the US deportation program of the 1990s.

    Email me and I'll give you some addtional detail.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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