But advocates of legalization who are leafleting outside the exhibit say the DEA is leaving out an important part of the story. Critics agree that drug trafficking provides a potentially lucrative revenue stream for terrorist organizations. But they say the profit is actually fueled by the government's war on drugs, which creates a situation akin to prohibition of alcohol.It looks like the DEA wasn't even expecting to get any press out of this, because their quotes are obviously unprepared and sloppy:
"If we taxed and regulated drugs, terrorists wouldn't have drugs as a source of profit," said Tom Angell of the nonprofit Students for Sensible Drug Policy, which focuses on restoring financial aid for college students with drug convictions.
"With the connection to Prohibition in Chicago we should know better," said Pete Guither, a professor of theater management at Illinois State University and founder of the blog DrugWarRant.com.
DEA spokesman Steve Robertson responded: "We're a law enforcement agency -- we enforce the laws as they are written. Congress makes the laws. People say if we didn't have [drug] laws there wouldn't be a problem, but there was a problem before and that's why laws were established."Now that's an interesting idea...
"For al-Qaeda it's hard" to prove a link, said DEA public affairs chief Garrison Courtney. "I don't think we're saying 9/11 was caused by drug financing. But we're saying there is a link between drugs and terror, and September 11 is a poignant example of terrorism. Terrorists don't hold bake sales to raise money." [emphasis added]
SSDP activists, here's a new fundraising idea: a terrorist bakesale! Dress up like your favorite jihadist, drug smuggler, or DEA agent and have a bake sale on your campus. Explain to passerbys that if we legalized drugs, this is the only way these people would be able to make money. Then sell them a cupcake and snag their e-mail address!