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Worth Reading: A Report on Drug Trafficking and Gangs That Terrifies
Douglas Farah ^ | Jan. 21, 2009 | Douglas Farah

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.


TOPICS: Politics; Travel; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: aliens; border; borders; bordersecurity; crimaliens; criminalaliens; drugwarconsequences; illegalaliens; immigration; mexico; minutemen; organizedcrime; terrorism; warnextdoor; wod

1 posted on 01/25/2009 7:48:02 AM PST by AuntB
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To: AuntB

Hi AuntB, thanks for posting this. Wow!


2 posted on 01/25/2009 7:52:56 AM PST by abigail2
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To: AuntB

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.


3 posted on 01/25/2009 7:55:26 AM PST by Loud Mime (Dems: Republicans are enemies - Bush: Democrats are Friends)
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To: AuntB
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.

...they...use *teenagers*?

Who'd a thunk it?

Cheers!

4 posted on 01/25/2009 7:57:00 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Loud Mime

> Hey, I’d rather see legalized pot than legalized abortion.

Yup, no flame from me.


5 posted on 01/25/2009 7:57:18 AM PST by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: AuntB

what, we have open borders?


6 posted on 01/25/2009 7:59:14 AM PST by genetic homophobe ("I readily concede I chucked aside my free-market principles..." defend that)
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To: Loud Mime

Ok, lemme get my flame on...oh, that’s nice. A little early, though (coughing).


7 posted on 01/25/2009 8:01:21 AM PST by genetic homophobe ("I readily concede I chucked aside my free-market principles..." defend that)
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To: genetic homophobe

“what, we have open borders?”

I bet half the population of this country doesn’t realize that. Most still believe we protect this nation.


8 posted on 01/25/2009 8:46:21 AM PST by AuntB (The right to vote in America: Blacks 1870; Women 1920; Native Americans 1925; Foreigners 2008)
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To: AuntB; SatinDoll; bastantebueno55; BGHater; SisterK; Kimberly GG; ronnyquest; Cvengr; CPT Clay; ...

Ping!


9 posted on 01/25/2009 9:01:05 AM PST by SwinneySwitch (Mexico - beyond your expectations.)
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To: AuntB

bttt

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.


10 posted on 01/25/2009 10:11:17 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: DieHard the Hunter

“Hey, I’d 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.


11 posted on 01/25/2009 11:34:09 AM PST by doc
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To: doc

> 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.

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.


12 posted on 01/25/2009 11:56:09 AM PST by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: Loud Mime
Hey, I’d rather see legalized pot than legalized abortion.

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.

13 posted on 01/25/2009 12:01:17 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic

I agree with you.

The States losing their freedoms was a concern of the founders. Turns out they were right.


14 posted on 01/25/2009 1:35:59 PM PST by Loud Mime (Dems: Republicans are enemies - Bush: Democrats are Friends)
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To: Loud Mime

We went through this same debate in 1860: States Rights.


15 posted on 01/25/2009 5:44:58 PM PST by SisterK (building an underground economy one brick at a time)
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To: abigail2; All

The Terry Anderson Show...

Call Terry LIVE 9-10 PM PST at (866) 870-57521

LIVE stream at http://krla870.townhall.com/

http://www.republicbroadcasting.org/index.php?cmd=listenliv


16 posted on 01/25/2009 6:45:50 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Loud Mime

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.


17 posted on 01/25/2009 9:31:09 PM PST by Kimberly GG (Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda been HUNTER.)
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To: Loud Mime
Just for the sake of clarity, please keep in mind that decriminalization and legalization are not the same thing. Several states have already “decriminalized” marijuana, meaning they have taken away the threat of jail and in most states that have decriminalized those caught with it are not left with criminal records. Officers will generally confiscate the pot though and write these people a ticket, similar to what you might get if you drive too fast. A lot of people use “decriminalize” and “legalize” interchangeably, and that just leads to confusion in this kind of discussion.
18 posted on 01/25/2009 11:32:49 PM PST by SmallGovRepub
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To: doc
“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.”

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.

19 posted on 01/25/2009 11:50:53 PM PST by SmallGovRepub
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To: Kimberly GG
“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.”

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.

20 posted on 01/25/2009 11:57:18 PM PST by SmallGovRepub
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To: SmallGovRepub; Kimberly GG

Thank You, I should keep the legalization and decriminalization in mind.

I am for the opening up of the drug market. I have problems with headaches that will increase to migranes. I wish I could just buy the medicines that helped me. But I have to go to the doctor for refills, driving up my medical costs and taking good time from my schedule. When I moved I had to reestablish trust, which resulted in great pains for me. Doctors just don’t want to expose themselves to the lawyers and the feds by giving a patient what they ask for.

There’s something terribly wrong with our system.


21 posted on 01/26/2009 3:54:22 AM PST by Loud Mime (Dems: Republicans are enemies - Bush: Democrats are Friends)
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To: Loud Mime
Some doctors are a lot more concerned about turning their patients into drug addicts than they are about the government. I know my dad's that way. He just does not want to give his patients narcotics unless they are dying. He'll tell people to learn to live with their pain. He'll rarely prescribe something that is addictive, because he believes that in most cases his patients’ quality of life will be much lower if they become drug addicts than it would have been if they had to live with some pain. He may take it too far, but I have to say I agree with him on that to a great extent. We still have a lot of doctors who are basically licensed drug dealers. I used to work as a public defender and it got to the point that I knew all the local doctors people went to to get their narcotics. These people knew which doctors would write them scripts for anything they wanted. The word would be out on these guys and my drug addict clients would all be going to the same ones. You wouldn't believe how many people are getting drugs this way and selling them on the streets for several times what they paid for them, often with the government covering most of what they paid to begin with. Some of the saddest cases I would see were cases where people with legitimate health issues would become addicted to pain meds they were prescribed and it would get to the point that they were forging prescriptions, stealing drugs and that sort of thing. These addictions can be incredibly powerful. Good people can become so desperate that they'll do bad things to get their fix, and so many of them just can't quit, even after they get in trouble, get sent to rehab or even prison. I don't want the government keep people from getting the pain meds they need, but there is another side to that coin.
22 posted on 01/26/2009 7:01:28 AM PST by SmallGovRepub
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To: DieHard the Hunter
This is the solution to drug money...


23 posted on 01/26/2009 7:07:32 AM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???)
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To: SmallGovRepub
Your dad is a rare bird, God bless him. Today's medical culture, highly influenced by the pharmaceutical companies, have been taught that nobody should be in pain for any reason, ever. They dole out pain pills like crazy. They totally addicted my wife after her back surgery. She quit one day, cold turkey, and it was terrible. I've never seen anyone so sick. My son just had 4 wisdom teeth pulled. The oral surgeon prescribed him (he just turned 18) a bottle of 25 Perkasets. Unbelievable. He didn't need any of them, he made it fine on advill.
24 posted on 01/26/2009 7:43:20 AM PST by genetic homophobe ("I readily concede I chucked aside my free-market principles..." defend that)
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To: genetic homophobe
I've had oral surgery too and been prescribed narcotic pain meds. That's okay I think, a one time script. Normally though I think they give less than 25. If memory serves me correctly usually in those circumstances I've been given ten pills. I've never taken them all though for one incident. They sit in my medicine cabinet and then someday if I get an abscessed tooth or something I'll take them rather than asking for a new script. Those things usually mess with my stomach. There was once when I took them for a few days and got over the upset stomach and I started to see how people could get addicted. It can feel pretty nice to take those. Usually though people only take them for a short period and quit. The ones who take them for longer periods are the ones most likely to get addicted. The longer people take them, the more likely it is they'll become addicted.

Aside from pain meds anti anxiety meds are prescribed like candy these days, benzodiazepines like Xanax. Those prescription are often refilled with regularity and people do get addicted to those drugs. I'm surprised at how many people are prescribed pain meds and benzodiazepines. They'll have anxiety along with their pain I suppose, and a lot of tense muslces too apparently so they'll get muscle relaxers like Soma along with their hydrocodone or Oxycontin and their Xanax. We have so many people walking around, and driving, drunk as can be on all these meds.

Was your wife going to “pain management” doctors? Often they are the worst about just giving people whatever drugs they want and doing it basically indefinitely.

25 posted on 01/26/2009 8:38:50 AM PST by SmallGovRepub
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