In the Community of Nations, the US has become the Mafia Don

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In the Community of Nations, the US has become the Mafia Don

Making offers "You Can't Refuse"

by Leon Felkins

Having become addicted to the exploration of the various and many forms of government chicanery, my curiosity was immediately aroused yesterday when I was reading the news report, "Leaders set to sign historic Americas action plan" (REUTERS, April 18, 1998) -- the proclaimed purpose being

"to sign an action plan to launch talks for the world's largest free trade bloc, to broaden the regional fight against drugs and to attack poverty."
-- and saw the sentence, "The emphasis (on drugs) is on the need to seek a focus and a cooperative mechanism...". It was the term "cooperation" that tripped my button, as it can mean just about anything in government-speak, from "I won't tell if you won't" to "I'll send you the bombs if you will do the killing".

The article goes on to say:

"For 12 years the U.S. government has issued an annual list to Congress on whether narcotics producing or transit countries are cooperating in the war on drugs. Those nations that are blacklisted, or decertified, face economic sanctions.

The process has done little to stop billions of dollars of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana flowing into the United States. Drug enforcement officials say the drugs are cheaper and more readily available on U.S. streets than ever.

U.S. anti-drug chief Barry McCaffrey has stressed a U.S. commitment to multinational cooperation but said the government would continue to comply with the certification process because it was federal law."

So, what does it mean to "cooperate" and obtain "certification". Well, certainly Barry McCaffrey, the current Drug Czar, ought to know, so I looked for what more of what he has had to say on the subject.

With minimal searching, I found a copy of a transcript of testimony given by McCaffrey to Congress back on October 29, 1997 (a more recent report by Benjamin F. Nelson on the same subject, dated 3/18/98, is available from the GAO). Some of what he said was:

"Through collaboration and cooperation with Mexico and other hemispheric partners we are able to attack the entire chain of illegal drug production, shipment and distribution. Close cooperation is the key to magnifying our counter-drug efforts. Multinational solutions are the best way to counter the multilateral problems of illegal drugs and drug-related crime and corruption."
Ah, we are on the right track! Now let us see how he defines "cooperation".

Of course, I suspect that it has something to do with "forfeiture and seizure", so I scan the text for those terms. This popped up:

"...the new Organized Crime Law (OCL) provides Mexico with a new arsenal of investigative and prosecutorial tools, including electronic surveillance, witness protection, plea bargaining, and prosecution for criminal association.

[Editorial comment: Did he miss "Paid Informants", another very effective US criminal justice tool -- effective in destroying innocent lives based on incredibly unreliable witnesses but which saves much time for lazy (whoops, I mean overworked) prosecutors and judges?]

This new legislation also permits the seizure and forfeiture of assets used in illicit activities."
Bingo! If I understand this, we are telling Mexico about the seizing of private assets, phone tapping, protecting witnesses, plea bargaining, and jailing for "criminal association" (whatever that means!). Is that not just a bit presumptuous to think that the US, which is fairly new in the game of thuggery, citizen abuse, and the scrapping of due process, can tell Mexico how to do these things?! Come on. Surely, they are offended by the mere suggestion that they need help in these areas. Assuming for the moment that we are sincere in the stated purpose (ha!) of the proposed actions, do we, in our wildest dreams, think that Mexico can somehow do a better job than our government has in carrying off such dubious activities without the program becoming totally infested with corruption, fraud and abuse?

Maybe we should look at our own government's record in these areas:

Now, in summary, I will attempt to clarify the title. The US is in the process of interfering with internal governmental affairs -- in particular, those that have to do with criminal justice -- in practically every country in the world. First off, our government always offers money. When the "Monica-obsessed" news media reports that such and such country is "cooperating" with the US in drug traffic interdiction efforts, they rarely ever report that the "cooperation" is based on getting piles of money shipped their way. If a country should have the dignity to refuse this offer that "You can't refuse", then the US has ways it can get tough. But that refusal is such a rarity that it is not worth discussing.


More of Leon Felkins' essays may be found on his webpage, A Rational Life. Leon's other pissedOff rants can be found here.

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1. None: Forfeiture=$$ , 6/19/98
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