DEA Money Laundering; German Evacuation From WWII Bombs; Socrates Dies

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A New York Times report says the Drug Enforcement Administration has laundered money for drug cartels in an effort to "identify how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets and, most important, who their leaders are." This controversial tactic was banned from use in Mexico in 1998, but due to an increase in drug-related violence, the practice has been used with "hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal cash." The DEA "often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests." [NYT]

45,000 people in the German city of Koblenz have had to evacuate after the discovery of three allied-dropped WWII bombs. CNN reports that four-man crews are working to deactivate the bombs which were discovered in the Rhine River when water levels dropped last week. "The largest of the explosives is a 1.8-ton British air bomb that has the potential to destroy the city´s center," but a "much smaller, 125-kilogram (275-pound) American high-explosive bomb" has proven far more difficult to deactivate. [CNN]

Brazilian soccer legend Socrates died today at the age of 57 in Sao Paulo. The Telegraph reports he was "interned with food poisoning which developed into septic shock," and that "it was the third time Socrates has been taken to hospital since August when he spent nine days there due to a digestive haemorrhage caused by excessive drinking." Socrates never won a World Cup, but the midfielder was one of the most beloved players in soccer history, captaining legendary Brazil squads of the early and mid-eighties. [Telegraph]

LSU and Oklahoma State were the big winners in college football conference championships last night, with the Tigers beating Georgia 42-10 to take the SEC crown and the Cowboys beating Oklahoma 44-10 for the Big 12 championship. Elsewhere, Wisconsin beat Michigan State 42-39, Baylor defeated Texas 48-24, and Clemson took down Virginia Tech 38-10.

Expect a cloudy day today with highs in the fifties. [TWC]

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Malcolm Kyle
Malcolm Kyle

Why should anybody be surprised at Prohibition's innate ability to corrupt entire government agencies?

It's more than fairly evident, and especially to those of us whose survival doesn't depend on the continuation of Prohibition, that even if we could afford to put Narcs on every single corner, it is extremely likely that at least half of them would very soon become dealers themselves. So it begs the question: Why on God's green earth do we continue as a nation to foolishly shoot ourselves in both feet? 

An appeal to all Prohibitionists:

Most of us are aware by now that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high, 'no matter what.' So why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future. If you remotely believe that people will one day quit using any of these 'at present' illegal drugs, then you are exhibiting a degree of naivety parallel only with those poor deluded wretches who voluntarily drank the poisoned Kool-Aid in Jonestown. 

Even if you cannot stand the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, or any government, can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and over a trillion dollars on this dangerous farce. Practically everybody is now aware that Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. So why do you wish to continue with a policy that has proven itself  to be a poison in the veins of our once so proud & free nation? Do you actually think you may have something to lose If we were to start basing drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies? 

Maybe you're a police officer, a prison guard or a local politician. Possibly you're scared of losing employment, overtime-pay, the many kick-backs and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard-skinned gunstocks? 

Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem. 

Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

Walt O
Walt O

The venality of the drug war knows no bounds. The concept of a law enforcement focused “war” on drugs is, in and of itself, a corrupt and half-baked proposition. The harder we try – the more bitter our failure.

At a point where we have seemingly lost the ability to even consider different ‘non-warring’  approaches to drug policy we need to consider that the Drug War is decaying into a type of despotic police state. A Police force constantly looking to expand a war it can never win.  Not winnable because ultimately the war is not about the external object of 'drug' but rather it's about human nature and the subjectivity of choices.

Show me a society where substance abuse is rare and I’ll show you a culture that likely values sobriety or abstinence as an internal existential value.

"I abstain from intoxicants because I seek a relationship with God',  or 'I  abstain from intoxicants because it’s not something I enjoy. I choose abstinence freely, from amongst alternatives, knowing and accepting the consequences.'

Is there a greater affirmation of free will and liberty?

Conversely, show me a society with an external locus of control; 'Intoxication is prohibited by the state therefore I must abstain. I make choices based on state coercion and what the state tells me is an acceptable behavior,  fearing the harshness of the state imposed consequences.'

You’ll find there a culture ripe for problems with lawlessness,  substance abuse, and despotism. A society that seeks so much power in protecting me, from myself, that the result is debilitating and anorexic to our appetite and instincts for liberty, freedom and engagement. Under the rubric of the Drug War we the people have accepted an unprecedented erosion of privacy and personal liberties. To say nothing of the responsibilities that go along with freedom.

Apologies to the hard working and well meaning folks at the DEA, but a despotic police state is a poor substitute for an internalized value system.

Reading comprehension FAIL
Reading comprehension FAIL

The DEA agents aren't enriching themselves by laundering that drug money; they're doing so to get more knowledge of the cartels.

Also, you misused the phrase "begs the question."

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