Skip to comments.Worth Reading: A Report on Drug Trafficking and Gangs That Terrifies
Posted on 01/25/2009 7:48:01 AM PST by AuntB
If you want a fairly complete, and completely terrifying view of the power of organized criminal activity in the United States, take some time to read the National Drug Threat Assessment of the National Drug Intelligence Center.
Yet as good and comprehensive as it is, it reflects one of the fundamental weaknesses and walls that still exist.
The entire report mentions the overlap with terrorist activities exactly ONE time, and that, in a footnote relating to prison radicalization.
While different law enforcement agencies (the DEA in particular) have made drug cases leading directly to Hezbollah, the FARC and the Taliban, this is not mentioned. The FARC is the primary trafficking organization in Colombia, while the Taliban controls most of the heroin heading to Europe. Hezbollah skims from illicit drug laundering from Venezuela to Colombia to Maracaibo and Panama. At least 19 of the 43 designated terrorist organizations have been shown to have direct ties to drug trafficking.
Yet the NDIC is kept completely separate from terrorist analysis, just as terrorist analysts are still largely segregated from anything to do with drug trafficking and organized crime. It is called stovepiping information, as the 9/11 Commission made famous.
This, despite the fact that there is an undeniable and growing link between terrorist organizations and the organized criminal pipeline.
I understand the report was on the threat of drugs in the United States. But, given the existing case precedent and stated desire of different terrorist organizations to attack the United States, I cannot help reading things like the following and wondering what it portends in terms of terrorism.
Mexican DTOs (drug trafficking organizations) are the greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States; they control most of the U.S. drug market and have established varied transportation routes, advanced communications capabilities, and strong affiliations with gangs in the United States. Mexican DTOs control a greater portion of drug production, transportation, and distribution than any other criminal group or DTO.
Their extensive drug trafficking activities in the United States generate billions of dollars in illicit proceeds annually. Law enforcement reporting indicates that Mexican DTOs maintain drug distribution networks or supply drugs to distributors in at least 230 U.S. cities.
So, we have groups that can cross our border virtually at will and have access to at least 230 cities. How do they manage to coordinate their activities? By using technology that law enforcement and the intelligence can only dream of acquiring.
Mexico- and U.S.-based Mexican drug traffickers employ advanced communication technology and techniques to coordinate their illicit drug trafficking activities. Law enforcement reporting indicates that several Mexican DTOs maintain crossborder communication centers in Mexico near the U.S.Mexico border to facilitate coordinated cross-border smuggling operations. These centers are staffed by DTO members who use an array of communication methods, such as Voice over Internet Protocol, satellite technology (broadband satellite instant messaging), encrypted messaging, cell phone technology, two-way radios, scanner devices, and text messaging, to communicate with members. In some cases DTO members use high frequency radios with encryption and rolling codes to communicate during cross-border operations.
So, while setting up shop in 230 cities, these organizations can cross our borders and communicate at will to coordinate actions on both sides of the border. Accessing this pipeline would the the ultimate dream of any terrorist organization seeking to attack the United States or any place along the way.
It is striking to me how much good reporting is available, but from the USG and private sources, and still how few of the dots are connected in a way that gives a picture of the whole.
Hi AuntB, thanks for posting this. Wow!
I remember a multiple murder of innocents in Phoenix that was caused over a pot deal gone bad.
Pragmatism suggests that we decriminalize Marijuana solely to cut down the profits and powers of organized crime.
Hey, I’d rather see legalized pot than legalized abortion.
Flame away, freepers.
Who'd a thunk it?
> Hey, Id rather see legalized pot than legalized abortion.
Yup, no flame from me.
what, we have open borders?
Ok, lemme get my flame on...oh, that’s nice. A little early, though (coughing).
“what, we have open borders?”
I bet half the population of this country doesn’t realize that. Most still believe we protect this nation.
This explains volumes.
Just remember who went down to Venezuela and hung out with Chavez and how many of the same players also hated the American war against terror against the Taliban.
It isn’t oil, it drugs and cashflow.
“Hey, Id rather see legalized pot than legalized abortion.”
To the “lets legalize drug” crowd. I’m sure if this happens that the drug cartels and all the gang members will go back to their regular jobs such as doctors and lawyers.
> To the lets legalize drug crowd. Im sure if this happens that the drug cartels and all the gang members will go back to their regular jobs such as doctors and lawyers.
Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t. They would probably focus on other money-making ventures — probably illegal ones because they are criminals.
I’d prefer to see cops bust people like Madoff than the local pot dealer. Of the two, the Madoffs of this world are greater menaces to Society.
I'd rather see the States decide how they want to handle it than watch a supposedly conservative, "original intent" President send his Justice Department lawyers before the USSC to argue to uphold Wickard v Filburn and the New Deal Commerce Clause.
I agree with you.
The States losing their freedoms was a concern of the founders. Turns out they were right.
We went through this same debate in 1860: States Rights.
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I won’t flame about the Pot. I am disabled and I desperately need it legalized for medicinal reasons. However, I would be opposed to legalizing anything more (stronger/deadlier) than that.
There are probably millions of people involved to varying degrees and a lot of them wouldn't move on to other criminal enterprises if marijuana was legalized. Think about alcohol Prohibition. Most of us probably have a grandfather or great uncle or something who was involved with the illegal alcohol business back then. One of my grandfathers and his brother had a still in the woods and sold booze, but when Prohibition was over they just focused on their day jobs. My grandfather was a carpenter who became a contractor who built homes and later whole subdivisions. A lot of bootleggers who hauled whiskey became stock car drivers. People that acted as lookouts, or helped smuggle it, sell it etc., mostly went on to lead law abiding lives. The Al Capone types stayed in the crime business. The professional criminals stuck with it, but most of the people involved back then and most involved now are not professional criminals. The young guy who lives down the street from you who sells quarter ounces of pot to his friends so he can get free smoke and a little extra spending money would probably not continue in his “life of crime” if we legalized pot tomorrow.
Right now many billions of dollars are being made selling marijuana in this country. The federal government last estimated that somewhere between 12,000 and 25,000 metric tons of marijuana are available in this country every year. If the actual number is closer to the high end of that, most is produced here. If it's closer to the low end, most is produced in Mexico. According to our Office of Drug Control Policy Mexican drug trafficking organizations make around $13.8 billion a year selling drugs to Americans, about $8.6 from marijuana alone. That's about 62% of their gross sales to Americans. They gross about $3.9 billion from cocaine, the second most popular drug. Their net proceeds from marijuana are probably much higher than 62% of their total proceeds from drug sales to Americans because they are only the middlemen for cocaine which must first be purchased and smuggled from South America before it is smuggled into this country. Marijuana is their cash cow. How could they stay as big as they are today if we deprive them of more than 62% of their income? They'd shrink down to a much smaller version of what they are today. Those that remain in the business would killing each other fighting over what remains of the illegal drug trade. With far less money to be made, far fewer will be lured into the illegal drug trade in the future. The problem would be much more manageable for us.
Hardly anyone wants to legalize the hard stuff. When they do polls now asking people about legalizing marijuana, around 40% are for it. On similar polls asking about legalizing even the hard stuff less than 10% are for it. One of the things we always hear is that people who want to legalize marijuana really want to legalize all drugs. They say there would be a domino effect if we legalized marijuana and before long all drugs would be legal. That's bull. Most of us would fight like crazy against efforts to legalize drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin. Those drugs will never be legalized because there will never be anywhere close to majority support for legalizing them. The people would never allow it.
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