Monday, August 07, 2006

Drug prohibition causes terrorism

CONTACT: Tom Angell, SSDP - (202) 557-4979
Pete Guither, DrugWarRant - (309) 287-8586

DEA Propaganda at Museum of Science and Industry Ignores Costs of Prohibition

Chicago, IL -- Chicago-area residents and national groups are asking the Museum of Science and Industry not to display a government exhibit linking drug use to terrorism. The citizens say that the Drug Enforcement Administration exhibit, displayed from August 11-December 3, hides the true link between drugs and terrorism: drug prohibition itself. (a popular blog), along with local chapters of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (a nationwide group that educates about the harms of the War on Drugs), has organized a response and supplement to the DEA exhibit, including a website and materials to be distributed by volunteers, along with other events to take place throughout the run of the exhibit.

The counter-exhibit (available at http:// ) highlights the parallels between the lawless days of alcohol prohibition under Al Capone and today's drug prohibition. As noted at the website, even the FBI acknowledges Al Capone's rackets were "spawned by enactment of the prohibition amendment."

According to Kris Krane of Students for Sensible Drug Policy: "Just as Al Capone financed his criminal empire with illegal alcohol sales, today's terrorists like Al Qaeda are funding their shameful activities with the profits of the new prohibition."

According to Pete Guither, a drug policy researcher and editor of "This is a blatant publicity effort by the DEA aimed at tying its budget to the war on terror. It's also desperate and hypocritical. The DEA has received a failing grade from the White House Performance and Management Assessments for their taxpayer-funded war -- a war that actually makes criminal drug trafficking obscenely profitable."

Jack Cole, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP -- an organization of current and former cops, judges, prosecutors, prison wardens who all believe in ending prohibition) says: "If you ended prohibition today, there wouldn't be any of those drug lords making a penny on drugs tomorrow." Retired police captain (and LEAP co-founder) Peter Christ adds: "America's drug use is a serious problem, but in reality it is America's drug policy that creates the underground economy that supports terrorism."

None of the groups or individuals involved in the response advocates illicit drug use. In fact, they believe that the DEA and prohibition add to the problems of drug abuse by putting the control, safety, and age regulation in the hands of criminals. They point to the recent Chicago-area deaths from fentanyl-laced heroin as a grim echo of the startling number of Chicago residents who died from tainted alcohol during alcohol prohibition.

DrugWarRant and Students for Sensible Drug Policy hope to counter what they consider to be a one-sided exhibit, and to engage the Chicago community in a dialog to discover more effective alternatives to the failed drug war. As they note on their website: "The drug war is a great deal for traffickers, terrorists, and especially the DEA, but not for communities dealing with the war's violence, or the American citizens who pay the bill."

According to Jeanne Barr, history teacher at Chicago's Francis W. Parker High School: "As educators, we look to the MSI to enlighten the community, not to promote political propaganda that selects self-serving elements of truth out of a more complex whole. It's not good science, and it's not good history. Da Vinci and the DEA under one roof? What are they thinking?"

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800 pound gorilla said...

If only they included the CIA bringing crack cocaine to the inner cities to bankroll the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua. Or how about helping Osama, the world renown freedom fighter, bring heroin to our country to bankroll terrorism against the hapless Soviet Union.

From the sounds of the exhibit the DEA wants people to believe that terrorism is a BAD thing and something that the US government doesn't aid criminals in financing this type of activity. Now that's misleading!

Of course, bankrolling terrorists wasn't the reason the US government criminalized drugs - but it sure has proven useful for government leaders when they want to keep the truth about foreign policy from taxpayers.

Gotta love how they maintain the illusion that it's about "dangerous drugs" when the Controlled Substances Act has zero in the way of drug related standards. And the way they get all the politicians from both wings of the corporate party to parrot lies and half truths to scam the taxpayers and crime victims for 36 years. Give them kudos for conning the UN into this scam!

Ali G said...


Been reading some of the drug law related blogs we're linked to and discovered yours. Excellent stuff - we've linked to you, and do please link to us if you like.



Blogenfreude said...

My tax dollars at work. Couldn't they just have sent some money to New Orleans?

Jimi Devine said...

Its sad that a place that is supposed to show the wonder of scientific fact is being used to misinform people about the war on drugs.

The Wizard said...

Excellent work. I'm linking to ya.

beervolcano said...

Drug use or prohibition doesn't cause terrorism, unless you are calling old fashioned organized crime "terrorism" now.

What causes terrorism is invasion and occupation, assasination of democratically elected leaders, imperialism, and economic thuggery.

Micah Daigle said...


I agree with you that drug prohibition is not creating terrorist groups like al Qaeda.

But illicit drug sales are surely feeding their bellies and putting guns and bombs in their hands.

If you needed to finance an entire army, but didn't have access to the American tax-purse, what would you sell?

I hear the poppies are lovely in Afghanistan this time of year...

Anonymous said...

Funny how under the Taliban, poppy growing was suppressed.

That the US government now accuses the Taliban of profiting from poppy production only shows how many lies they're willing to tell to push their POV.

Jason said...


More than just that irony, don't forget that our government gave the Taliban over $60 million (don't know the exact figure offhand) for their success suppressing poppies in March 2001. Six months later we went in and toppled their government.

kaptinemo said...

The connections between foreign governments, their official (and more often, unoffical) connections with indigenous, violent political factions within nations those foreign governments have 'interests' in, and the means of covertly funding those operations using criminal enterprises such as illicit drugs, has been exhaustively documented in the seminal work by Professor Afred J. McCoy titled The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia(1972), which was updated in 1992 to include the situation in Afghanistan at the time. The work has proven chillingly prescient in describing today's political situation there. Namely, that only the players change; the game rols merrily onwards, thanks largely to US intransigence at refusing to deal with the problem without (domestically derived and faux) moral posturing.