Lesson 5: Corruption

Our present drug control policy has caused unprecedented corruption of our law enforcement agencies and public officials.

Even worse, it has also corrupted our values. We try to blame popular music or movies, but those are cop-outs. The attitude of this violent war that has been inflicted on some of our most vulnerable people has distorted our notions of right and wrong.

The Hartford Courant, Tuesday, February 20, 1996, had a cover page story entitled, "Customs agents implicated in drug trafficking". It was the story of customs agents allowing a truck carrying 8,705 pounds of cocaine to enter southern California from Mexico. The article stated that for years Washington has decried the co-opting by drug-trafficking gangs of foreign officials. But the allegations before the grand jury and a series of corruption cases elsewhere along the Mexican border indicate that drug-related graft may have infected the United States as well.

Besides customs officials, members of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and local law enforcement agencies also have been implicated in recent years.

Consider these quotes from the Courant article:

Corruption is part of the reason drugs keep flowing across the 2,000 mile south-western border.

Internal investigations have been aborted, whistle blowers harassed and informants murdered.

A customs supervisor said, tons and tons of cocaine are crossing the border and we are getting very little of it.

Interdiction catches an estimated 25% of the drugs being smuggled into the country.

Americans are aware of this type of corruption, but seem to shrug their shoulders and accept it as inevitable. When it happened during alcohol prohibition, people were up in arms. It was one of the things that brought prohibition to an end. The drug war has desensitized and corrupted us in many ways.

People gawk and applaud as they watch drug users being busted on TV cop shows, not realizing how these spectacles corrupt us, morally and spiritually.


History Lesson #5: Official corruption grew out of proportion during prohibition.

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