Sunday, February 19, 2017

War on Drugs

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The Feds are pushing drugs . . . again.

The U.S. government’s multi-billion-dollar effort to counter narcotics in Afghanistan is a humiliating failure that’s resulted in a huge increase in poppy cultivation and opium production. Despite the free-flow of American tax dollars to combat the crisis, opium production rose 43% in the Islamic nation, to an estimated 4,800 tons, and approximately 201,000 hectares of land are under poppy cultivation, representing a 10% increase in one year alone.

Uncle Sam’s embarrassing counter narcotics effort is part of a broader and costly failure involving the reconstruction of Afghanistan. More than $100 billion have been dedicated to help rebuild the war-torn country and much of it has been lost to waste, fraud and abuse not to mention corruption. The drug initiative is a recent example, documented by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in a quarterly report to Congress. The document is painful to read because it goes on for 269 pages, but Judicial Watch created a link for the counter narcotics section, which is around 19 pages and includes informative charts, graphs and the latest available statistics.

As of December 31, 2016, the United States has spent an astounding $8.5 billion for counter narcotics efforts in Afghanistan since 2002, the report reveals, making it clear that the cash will continue flowing. “Nonetheless, Afghanistan remains the world’s leading producer of opium, providing 80% of the global output over the past decade, according to the United Nations,” SIGAR writes. The watchdog includes statistics from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) confirming a 10% increase in the amount of Afghan land that was under poppy cultivation between 2015 and 2016. Despite Uncle Sam’s generosity, poppy eradiation results were the lowest this decade, the watchdog states. “No eradication took place in the biggest opium-growing provinces because of the grave security situation,” the report reveals, noting a steady rise in production and cultivation in the past decade. “Eradication efforts have had minimal impact on the rise in illicit opium cultivation.”

This, of course, translates into a large increase in opium production—43% in a year—the watchdog reveals, to an estimated 4,800 tons. “The reported production increase reflected the larger area under cultivation, higher yields, and lower eradication results.” Part of the problem, U.S. authorities say, is that between 2.5 and 3 million Afghans are drug users and the country lacks sufficient treatment centers to address the growing drug-abuse problem, particularly for women and children. American cash hasn’t put a dent on that problem either. A State Department branch known as the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) doled out $12.9 million in 2015 for drug treatment and education programs in Afghanistan and has allocated millions more despite past failures. INL also funds a scandalous, multi-million-dollar program called Governor-Led Eradication (GLE) that pays provinces for the cost of eradicating poppies. Between 2008 and 2016 INL disbursed $4.6 million, according to the SIGAR.

Afghanistan reconstruction has been a huge debacle that continues fleecing American taxpayers. Judicial Watch has reported on the various boondoggles over the years, most of them documented in tremendous detail by the SIGAR. Highlights include the mysterious disappearance of nearly half a billion dollars in oil destined for the Afghan National Army, a $335 million Afghan power plant that’s seldom used and an $18.5 million renovation for a prison that remains unfinished and unused years after the U.S.-funded work began. Among the more outrageous expenditures are U.S. Army contracts with dozens of companies tied to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The reconstruction watchdog recommended that the Army immediately cut business ties to the terrorists but the deals continued. Another big waste reported by Judicial Watch a few years ago, involves a $65 million initiative to help Afghan women escape repression. The government admits that, because there’s no accountability, record-keeping or follow-up, it has no clue if the program was effective.

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drugs

Of course President Obama didn’t expose 150 corrupt public officials, but the Philippine President just did.

President Rodrigo Duterte continued his war against the “pandemic” that has swept his country.

Drugs and the corruption behind the movement of drugs is overwhelming in the Philippines and the president just called out over 150 different judges, mayors, police, politicians and even members of the military.

The announcement comes in the middle of a very bloody war against the drug industry and this will certainly ramp up the violence.

The president said this during a speech to members of a military camp in Davao city.

“All military and police who are attached to these people, I’m giving you 24 hours to report to your mother unit or I will whack you. I’ll dismiss you from the service.”

Clearly the president is standing up to corruption like few have ever done in that area of the world. To say it is dangerous would be an understatement.

Why do you think he used the term “whack you” if he didn’t mean business? When talking to organized crime, you have to use language they will understand.

Clear language is a lesson that the American president should learn from.

Davao City is a dangerous place and clear, direct talk is needed.

The Philippine National Police recorded 1,032 murders in Davao City, which has come the center of the president’s war on drugs.

Now that the president is calling out over a hundred officials, the courts could be flooded if the president wasn’t taking some liberties with “due process”.

“There is no due process in my mouth. You can’t stop me and I’m not afraid even if you say that I can end up in jail.”

Cleary president Duterte is a brave man and is standing up for what he believes is right, but with the message he is sending to the druglords and conspirators in hiss country won’t land him in jail.

He will either clean up his country or he could be the next victim in the drug war.

Do you think our president should learn something from president Duterte? Let us know in the comments below.

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k-9_unit

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Rodriguez v. United States that police may not detain a driver at a traffic stop longer than necessary to check documents, search for outstanding warrants and issue a citation – not to call in K9 units to conduct drug searches.

The case concerns the March 27, 2012 traffic stop of Dennys Rodriguez by Nebraska Police officer Morgan Struble who observed Rodriguez veering off the travel lane on to the shoulder and back again onto the road.

Officer Struble questioned Rodriguez and asked for his driver’s license and car registration. The officer returned to his patrol car to check Rodriguez’s documents and to find out whether he had any outstanding arrest warrants. Officer Struble found nothing. Struble repeated the process with a passenger traveling with Rodriguez and everything checked out as well.

Struble issued Rodriguez a warning but did not let the men leave. Instead, Struble, a K9 officer, asked Rodriguez if a police dog could sniff around his car. Rodriguez refused.

Struble responded by detaining Rodriguez until another officer arrived where upon a police dog sniffed the car and alerted officers to the presence of drugs. A search of the vehicle turned up a bag of amphetamines.

A federal magistrate judge who reviewed Rodriguez’s motion to suppress the evidence found that officer Struble had nothing other than “a rather large hunch” to justify a search with a dog. Rodriguez was charged and found guilty on a drug offense and received a five year prison sentence.

On appeal, a federal appeals court ruled that the search was a “de minimis” (lacking significance or importance) intrusion of Rodriguez’s rights and that Rodriguez’s conviction and prison sentence would stand.

The Supreme Court disagreed by a 6-to-3 vote and remanded the case back to the appeals court for further consideration consistent with the decision.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that police may check for a driver’s license, ask for a registration and proof of insurance and check for outstanding warrants but that the stop becomes “unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete the mission of issuing a warning ticket.”

Ginsburg added that a traffic stop is aimed at enforcing the traffic laws and that a traffic stop cannot be “prolonged” without reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed pursuant to Supreme Court precedent on the issue.

Dissenting were Justices Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito. Alito called the Supreme Court’s majority decision was “unnecessary, impractical, and arbitrary” because the officer smelling a strong scent of deodorizer in the car – a tactic used by drug dealers to hide the odor of drugs in a vehicle.

Although Rodriguez won in the Supreme Court, he must return to the lower court for a final disposition in his case.

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