L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 120, May 7, 2001
Getting the Drug War You Paid For
by Vin Suprynowicz
Special to TLE
There was a predictable amount of hand-wringing when a hunter-killer pack of Peruvian Air Force jets -- guided to their target by a U.S. "civilian" Drug War crew under contract to the CIA, who now righteously whine "We told them to check their photo ID" -- shot down a civilian seaplane near the Colombian border in late April, murdering American missionary Veronica Bowers of Michigan and her 7-month-old daughter, Charity.
But why all this fake horror? Do the vast majority of you folks out there support the Drug War -- even while admitting it can't be won, clinging to the feeble excuse that legalizing stuff less damaging than alcohol and less addictive than tobacco will somehow "send the wrong message to the children" -- or don't you?
Unless you're in favor of legalizing all drugs, right now, then watching Roni Bowers and her baby choke and scream and bleed and drown in some distant muddy jungle river is exactly what you asked for, what you pay your taxes for, and what you ought to have to watch on videotape every night before you go to sleep.
Those who favor locking up hundreds of thousands of our young men for committing victimless crimes disingenuously insist: "Drug use does too have victims; every user is a victim."
Yeah, yeah, and everyone who's ever patronized a tattoo parlor will be victimized for the rest of his or her life by the social prejudice that assumes people with tattoos are low-income losers. What are you going to do about it -- break down their doors and shoot all the tattoo artists on sight?
Like people who get tattooed -- like folks who choose to kill themselves slowly with alcohol and tobacco -- drug users do it on purpose.
The significance of turning such behaviors into "victimless crimes" is that unlike legitimate police work -- we know how many armed robberies occur because the victims can generally be relied upon to call police right quick -- few drug users ever dial 9-1-1 and report "Hey, some guy just sold me drugs, and I think it may be illegal!"
So police are reduced to going undercover, reading our e-mail, bribing bank tellers to snitch on us if we deposit or withdraw large sums of money, training kids to turn in their parents like good little Hitler Jugend, dragging our half-naked neighbors out of their homes at 4 in the morning, and generally coarsening our once free and polite society by getting us all accustomed to standing there like nervous sheep, avoiding eye contact and hoping we won't be next as we watch folks strip-searched and hauled away for "observed bowel movements" at the airport in an escalating (albeit fruitless) series of affronts to human decency not seen since the days of Dr. Joseph Mengele or, possibly, the heyday of the Holy Office of the Inquisition.
Our Fearless Drug Warriors have murdered thousands of innocent bystanders and carelessly misidentified "suspects" in recent years, and it's a rare cop who's suffered the indignity of so much as a single night in jail, providing they could claim by the furthest stretch of the imagination to have been operating "in the line of duty."
Has everyone forgotten millionaire recluse Donald Scott, 61, whose 200-acre ranch in the hills above Malibu was coveted by the bureaucrats who operated adjoining state and national recreational areas?
Meeting at Scott's front gate early on the morning of Oct. 2, 1992, 30 plainclothes officers with dogs reviewed maps of the land they'd be able to seize if they could catch Scott or his wife in possession of so much as a single joint of marijuana. These eager land thieves then proceeded to cut the gate chain with bolt cutters and storm the Scott kitchen, where an unsuspecting Mrs. Scott was preparing her morning coffee.
Mrs. Scott screamed that strange, unidentified men were attacking her. Awakened, Donald Scott ran down the stairs with his handgun, and was shot and killed. No marijuana was ever found. Later, when a mysterious fire burned down the house, these same park police refused to let fire engines cross their territory, preferring to see the widow Scott burned out of house and home.
Has everyone forgotten the Rev. Accelyne Williams, the 75-year-old Methodist minister who was chased around his Boston apartment by police conducting a no-knock raid looking for drugs and guns in 1994? He collapsed and died of a heart attack. No guns or drugs were ever found, since police had raided an apartment on a different floor from that specified by their "snitch." In that case, the Boston police chief did, at least, apologize.
Has everyone forgotten Esequiel Hernandez, the Texas teen-ager shot and killed by U.S. Marines in May of 1997 for the crime of plinking tin cans while out herding his family's goats near the Mexican border at a location which had been (unbeknownst to him) -- staked out by our military -- operating on U.S. soil -- as a likely smugglers' point of entry?
How about 64-year-old John Adams -- shot and killed in front of his wife after police broke into his Tennessee home last fall while serving a drug warrant -- which actually named the house next door?
Annie Rae Dixon -- the bedridden 84-year-old killed by police in a 1992 East Texas drug raid based on testimony from a bogus informant? No drugs were found in the home; an officer said his automatic pistol accidentally discharged as he kicked open Mrs. Dixon's bedroom door.
Need we go on? The Media Awareness Project's "Drugnews Archive" lists 57,250 such Drug War-related news clippings at www.mapinc.org/drugnews (see also www.injusticeline.com/victims.html) ... without even mentioning, so far as I can determine, the inconvenient fact that the only way our proud BATF "Gun Police" could get around restrictions on the use of military equipment on U.S. soil in order to hit the Mount Carmel Church in Waco, Texas in 1993 with National Guard helicopters and tanks ... pardon me, "armored personnel carriers" ... was to swear out a brazenly perjurious affidavit claiming they thought David Koresh was operating a methamphetamine lab in a Christian church community full of children, senior citizens, and men with Harvard law degrees.
It's your War on Drugs, folks. You can't vote for it, fund it, endorse it, slap on bumperstickers bragging that your kids have wasted their time in absurd programs founded on the notion that uniformed cops are best qualified to teach comparative pharmacology, and then say, "No, we never meant for them to end up murdering some Michigan missionary and her baby in some stinking jungle somewhere."
Legalize it. Either that, or stop complaining, and start looking over your shoulder. Because it's your Drug War ... and you could be next.