Science Defeated By Drug War Hysteria

The UK’s chief drugs adviser has been sacked by Home Secretary Alan Johnson, after criticising government policies. Professor David Nutt, head of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, criticised the decision to reclassify cannabis to Class B from C. He accused ministers of devaluing and distorting evidence and said drugs classification was being politicised.

Well I told you so ‘Which means they will be ignoring this yet again‘ almost two years ago. But really I do love well paid professionals who are all surprised when New Labour turn out to be scumbags, What no WMD, well I never! To be honest I think they know but I refer you back to the ‘well paid’ bit. The consultation scam is a fig leaf over our lack of democracy and a great employment program for those involved, and that -very apparently- is all it is.

So in the absence of …erm science what shall we have inform drugs policy now we are going down the faith based route? (Faith in reactionary establishment hypocrites that is). How about Jeremy Kyle throwing darts at tabloid stories to decide things ‘He’s scored a double red top, The Suns says lock up these evil drug fiends. Home Secretary… he say Yes!‘ Or class it up a bit (a tiny tiny tiny bit) when Cameron comes along and have Noel Edmonds picking ideas out of little cases while Simon Cowell decides sentences all the while smirking at all the drugs he has *never* taken. This is as ridiculous as government by fundamentalist Christians who reject evolution and have creationism taught in schools, when will we ever have an adult, informed drug policy as opposed to a quasi mystical fear that keeps authoritarians in salaried employment (and banks liquid), authoritarians who -as I am sure many of us have observed- use drugs too.


The man behind one of the largest cannabis operations in the UK has been jailed for nine years. Bo Xing He, 31, ran a series of cannabis factories across north Wales producing drugs with an estimated annual street value of almost £14m.

Caernarfon Crown Court was told that the cannabis factory in High Street, Bangor, Gwynedd, was believed to be the largest ever found in the UK. Another 15 defendants were sentenced to between two and five-and-a-half years. Bo Xing He, who admitted to conspiring to produce cannabis, was described by the judge as “head of an absolutely enormous conspiracy” who controlled the properties and workforce. The court heard that he had lived at a rented six-bedroom house in exclusive Gannock Park, Deganwy, Llandudno, and there was evidence of a lavish lifestyle. Police found £130,000 and an S-type Jaguar

A further 12 people, who were said to have played a “gardening role” looking after the plants, were also jailed. The judge said many of them were victims because they were working to pay off debts but, without them, there would have been no plants.

The War-On-Drugs is a ludicrous make work scam by the security/legal/prison establishment, not designed to solve anything but to keep chumps in jobs, jobs that often pay well and give them the power to wield state sanctioned violence. The only real crime committed here is an exploitative boss making himself rich while the workers were virtual slaves, however as that dynamic is played out on every high street and is eulogised in business porn like The Apprentice that is not the crime that anyone cares about. So everyone gets locked up for growing dope including the victims, the indentured workers. How perverted in our thinking, in our accustomed uncritical perception of ‘how things are’ have we become that growing a plant is a crime but exploiting others to enrich yourself is celebrated. The boss was not locked up for being rich, he was locked up for achieving it via illegal drugs, oddly if the drugs were legal he would be celebrated, even if they actually killed more people than cannabis *vioxx* cough*. And the Judge has no excuse, nor do the barristers and solicitors, they clearly had the life chances to become very well informed, to study, yet they chose instead to keep towing the line and have a successful career and nevermind the human cost. People look back to say…witch burning times, with horror and wonder, how could people be so horrible and stupid, well duh we are in the midst of it still and the answer is uncritical thinking, ignorance and greed (perhaps a useful definition of careerism). Not a single well remunerated person who was involved in this has done  a single thing of any worth other than stop an exploitative boss, but that wasn’t their intention, it’s a byproduct so no, they don’t get any credit for that. In fact they have done harm and most will not even have such a thought enter their head and worse still some do yet they take the money and keep up with this bullshit. And no I don’t know anyone who was caught up in this and no I don’t bother smoking dope either, but when something so clearly not justice is trumpeted as a great victory for such the dissonance is too much to bear.

And Jeebus I still can’t get over Judge/Recorder Nic Parry ‘but, without them, there would have been no plants.‘ Yeah and without the inmates of death camps they’d be no death camps so really the prisoners are the ones to blame, what a fucking imbecile.

War On Drugs Continues To Wreck Lives And Leave People In Pain

An OAP milkman supplied cannabis to pensioners to ward off their aches and pains, a court heard today. Robert Holding, 72, delivered the drug – which he kept in an egg box – while doing his daily milk round.

Burnley Crown Court heard that he had 17 customers and built up his trade through “word of mouth”. Judge Beverley Lunt said Holding said in his police statement that the cannabis “was for elderly people who had aches and pains”.

Who or what does this prosecution and jailing serve? Not only did he harm no one, his persecution leaves others in pain, all the well paid professionals involved in this from police, to prosecutors, to Judge should be ashamed of their idiot behaviour. Not as egregious as this atrocity, but product of the same institutions that keep their drones well rewarded long after they have lost sight of the original reasons for their existence. In fact that is positively encouraged.

Philip Holden, for the defence, said Holding’s customers “were of a certain age” and he built up his clientele through “word of mouth”. Mr Holden said it was a “somewhat bizarre case”.

Holding, of Fair View Road, Burnley, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis resin, a Class C drug, between April 1 and July 18 this year. He also admitted possessing cannabis resin on July 17.

The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report. Holding was released on bail and will be sentenced at Burnley Crown Court on February 6. Judge Lunt warned him: “You must understand these are serious offences and in my judgment the likely outcome is an immediate custodial sentence.”

Oh yes, keep the streets safe from pensioner dope sellers, that’s what really terrifies people, not being beaten, knifed or raped, being offered a spliff from a septuagenarian milk man. And about that, fear of crime, prison overcrowding, doesn’t really jibe with this, a place free in prison, a long police operation to catch him, not to mention all the terrorists hiding under all our beds…hmm, still, keeps them in work.

It’s clearly a ‘funny’ case but the reality is his clients are now in greater pain and he will be in jail…unless by February these fucking -reefer madness hysteria- idiots have been sufficiently publicly shamed they will drop their mindless persecution of this man (and waste of thousands of pounds of our money, the police set up an undercover surveillance operation over several weeks, it’s like a pathetic low rent Burnley version of The Wire, except The Wire exposes the drug war, it doesn’t prosecute it). Holy shit even the Daily Fucking Mail finds it ridiculous, fucking hell Burnley!

Update 6/2/09: Given a suspended sentence so no jail, but the judge still displayed a spiteful, reefer madness level of dishonesty.

Blackwater or DEA?

This is odd, a post at Boing Boing recounts a federal raid on Organica Collective, a Culver City medical marijuana dispensary.The picture they have shows a man in Blackwater t shirt impounding the dope, the picture has apparently been removed from the LA Times photoset. So is he DEA just wearing a fanboy Blackwater shirt, is he DEA who also works at other times for Blackwater, or is Blackwater working for the DEA and impounding drugs, in which case does anyone know where this impounded ‘evidence’ ends up (because let’s be realistic in the gray areas such activities happen in drugs are used to fund covert operations or as capital, drug seizures as a bank robbery by ‘lawful’ state backed forces that funds their less democratically accountable missions)? And yet another War On… this time drugs is an aid to privatisation and mercenaries (remember Blackwater deployed after Katrina) again operate with state security forces in mainland USA. Hmmm.

The Stupid Drug War Lumbers On


One of the defining characteristics of the drug war is politician’s ignoring expert findings and providing demagogic enforcement measures to placate idiot & ignorant voters. And never, ever, EVER considering de-criminalising and harm reduction allied to social reform. And Gordon’s no different-

Downing Street today signalled that the prime minister remained intent on toughening the law on cannabis despite reports that the government’s official drugs advisory body opposes its reclassification. Gordon Brown’s spokesman played down reports that the advisory committee on the misuse of drugs (ACMD) had concluded there was no need to raise the classification of cannabis from class C to class B.

The mental health charity Rethink said Mr Brown should heed the committee’s advice. The charity spokesman Paul Corry said: “Gordon Brown should put aside his personal views on cannabis and accept the fact that it does not make sense to reclassify.

“Use of the drug has gone down since it was downgraded in 2004 and research by Rethink shows that only 3% of users would consider stopping on the grounds of illegality.”

Cannabis was downgraded from class B to class C in January 2004. People still face up to two years in prison if caught in possession of the drug, while those supplying the drug to others can be given a five-year sentence.

‘The Wire’ Writers Call For Resistance To The Drug War

Via Tom @ Automatic Preference: If you don’t know about the Wire, I would find out if I were you, the writers here include the creators and include a former journalist, a former detective & teacher, all award winning writers who in  The Wire have crafted something that appears to be a TV drama but was something far more significant a depiction of the failing dysfunctional institutions of a city, the drugs war, the police, the schools, the working class, the media, politics and how capitalism is devaluing human beings day by day. Here they call for civil disobedience and becoming part of resistance to the failed policies rather than a collaborator-

The Wire’s War on the Drug War
By Ed Burns, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon

We write a television show. Measured against more thoughtful and meaningful occupations, this is not the best seat from which to argue public policy or social justice. Still, those viewers who followed The Wire — our HBO drama that tried to portray all sides of inner-city collapse, including the drug war, with as much detail and as little judgment as we could muster — tell us they’ve invested in the fates of our characters. They worry or grieve for Bubbles, Bodie or Wallace, certain that these characters are fictional yet knowing they are rooted in the reality of the other America, the one rarely acknowledged by anything so overt as a TV drama.

These viewers, admittedly a small shard of the TV universe, deluge us with one question: What can we do? If there are two Americas — separate and unequal — and if the drug war has helped produce a psychic chasm between them, how can well-meaning, well-intentioned people begin to bridge those worlds?

And for five seasons, we answered lamely, offering arguments about economic priorities or drug policy, debating theoreticals within our tangled little drama. We were storytellers, not advocates; we ducked the question as best we could.

Yet this war grinds on, flooding our prisons, devouring resources, turning city neighborhoods into free-fire zones. To what end? State and federal prisons are packed with victims of the drug conflict. A new report by the Pew Center shows that 1 of every 100 adults in the U.S. — and 1 in 15 black men over 18 — is currently incarcerated. That’s the world’s highest rate of imprisonment.

The drug war has ravaged law enforcement too. In cities where police agencies commit the most resources to arresting their way out of their drug problems, the arrest rates for violent crime — murder, rape, aggravated assault — have declined. In Baltimore, where we set The Wire, drug arrests have skyrocketed over the past three decades, yet in that same span, arrest rates for murder have gone from 80% and 90% to half that. Lost in an unwinnable drug war, a new generation of law officers is no longer capable of investigating crime properly, having learned only to make court pay by grabbing cheap, meaningless drug arrests off the nearest corner.

What the drugs themselves have not destroyed, the warfare against them has. And what once began, perhaps, as a battle against dangerous substances long ago transformed itself into a venal war on our underclass. Since declaring war on drugs nearly 40 years ago, we’ve been demonizing our most desperate citizens, isolating and incarcerating them and otherwise denying them a role in the American collective. All to no purpose. The prison population doubles and doubles again; the drugs remain.

Our leaders? There aren’t any politicians — Democrat or Republican — willing to speak truth on this. Instead, politicians compete to prove themselves more draconian than thou, to embrace America’s most profound and enduring policy failure.

“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right,” wrote Thomas Paine when he called for civil disobedience against monarchy — the flawed national policy of his day. In a similar spirit, we offer a small idea that is, perhaps, no small idea. It will not solve the drug problem, nor will it heal all civic wounds. It does not yet address questions of how the resources spent warring with our poor over drug use might be better spent on treatment or education or job training, or anything else that might begin to restore those places in America where the only economic engine remaining is the illegal drug economy. It doesn’t resolve the myriad complexities that a retreat from war to sanity will require. All it does is open a range of intricate, paradoxical issues. But this is what we can do — and what we will do.

If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun’s manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war. No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.

Jury nullification is American dissent, as old and as heralded as the 1735 trial of John Peter Zenger, who was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, and absent a government capable of repairing injustices, it is legitimate protest. If some few episodes of a television entertainment have caused others to reflect on the war zones we have created in our cities and the human beings stranded there, we ask that those people might also consider their conscience. And when the lawyers or the judge or your fellow jurors seek explanation, think for a moment on Bubbles or Bodie or Wallace. And remember that the lives being held in the balance aren’t fictional.

Uribe’s Humiliation Being Downplayed

Rafael @ Ruins of Empire reports that while Spanish CNN are reporting the humiliating spectacle of Uribe having to trot around the room apologising, English speaking versions play up the Chavez confrontation angle and discreetly save the Empire’s lickspittle his honour. I have also seen these events interpreted in ways to minimise Uribe’s (and hence Bush’s) hubris but then the whole affair was reported through the lens of turrism! and America’s interests (though not their involvement so much, the hit having come from CIA intel) with Uribe being represented as some kind of reputable statesman and not the the death squad friendly, union murdering, cartel chummy slime he is. A few days old this article by Richard Gott is a rare exception (although he shamelessly plumps for the obvious FARC pun which even I avoided, I know amazing really, I resisted a cheap gag!) and shows the peace derailing agenda behind the killings. Maybe that tactic was from the Israeli advisers (ht2 Lenin) who work in Colombia alongside US and British ‘special’ forces. Israel is now the top supplier of “drones, light arms and ammunition, observation and communication systems and even special bombs capable of destroying coca fields. “Israel’s methods of fighting terror have been duplicated in Colombia,” a senior defense official said

Torturer Also A Racist

Well I am shocked, and he looked such a good choice when the Democrats helped confirm him to Attorney General. Oh wait no he didn’t.

Laid bare, Mukasey’s mission was not only dishonest, it was racist. If there was ever a baldly discriminatory criminal justice policy — one that has long attracted bipartisan criticism — it’s the sentencing disparity between powder and crack cocaine offenses. First codified in 1986, when Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, the law imposed five-year minimum sentences on anyone found guilty of distributing five grams (about two sugar packs’ worth) of crack cocaine. Yet it took 100 times that amount — 500 grams — of powder cocaine to get the same sentence.

Fueled by the fear of the crack epidemic, the guiding rationale was that crack cocaine was more addictive — but years’ worth of study have demonstrated this to be a myth. The real difference, aside from street price (crack is cheaper to produce and purchase) lies in the populations who use crack versus powder cocaine. The former is vastly more common in African-American communities. In 2006, more than 82 percent of federal defendants sentenced for dealing crack cocaine were black.

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Uribe’s Hubris

“The Israel of Latin America”

Well that is what Chavez quipped as he referred to Colombia’s assault on a FARC group in Ecuador, adding-

“Colombia is a terrorist state that is subject to the great terrorist, the government of the United States and their apparatus,” 

No words minced there, the attack turns out to be a lot bigger operation than a quick ground attack-

Investigations on the part of the Ecuadorian authorities show there was no combat on the side of the FARC unit which was attacked. With the exception of three of them keeping guard, the 18 killed were asleep in their undergarments; none of the guerrillas had the opportunity of fighting or surrendering. The arms in the camp were piled up. They did not have the chance even to reach for their rifles and grenades; they were massacred while asleep.

After the bombing from these aircraft, several ‘Supertuscan’ helicopters of the Colombian air force came in and from these the attack on the FARC camp in Ecuadorian territory continued. The helicopters landed special commandos who finished off the injured guerrillas. As the bullet wounds in the bodies of the majority of the guerrillas show, many of them were piled up in a part of the camp and killed from behind. Even the photographs taken by the Colombian government of Raul Reyes’ body show he had a shot on the left side of his face.

Information coming from Ecuadorian military intelligence indicates that the country’s air space was not only violated on the dawn of March 1 but also that on the dawn of March 2 there was another incursion of the helicopters with night vision equipment to pick up members of the armed forces and Colombian police still in Ecuadorian territory. The position of the trees brought down by the bombardment, the multiple bullet holes on them, as also the position of the bodies, demonstrate that while the FARC was guarding the camp on the northern side facing the Colombian frontier, the air incursion happened from the south, which indicates that the Colombian air force intruded without permission or notification, contravening all international norms about Ecuadorian air space.

Washington is of course backing Uribe to the hilt, he is their kind of guy-

After years of increased violations of civilian human rights, the ongoing suppression of trade-unionism, assassinations of left-of-centre activists and politicians, and a political reality that has witnessed 75 governors, mayors and Congressional politicians alleged or found guilty of having direct links to the paramilitaries- including Vice-President Francisco Santos Calderón and his cousin Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos and President Uribe’s brother Santiago and their cousin Senator Mario Uribe-now the Colombian state has deemed it necessary to illegally encroach upon those nations that deviate from their ideological model of political and economic centralization. 

FARC while no angels, have been designated as terrorists for political and strategic reasons-

Characterizing the FARC-EP as a foreign terrorist organization dramatically alters the dynamics of the peace process in favour of a killer state. Stipulating that the FARC-EP is terrorist results in the inability for legal peace negotiations to take place between the FARC-EP and any government that subscribes to the categorization. According to James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer, promoting the FARC-EP-and its supporters-as terrorists “puts them on the list of targets to be assaulted by the US military machine” and “thus subject to total war.” 

And the timing of this attack might be about Uribe’s domestic agenda-

The actions of March 1 took place days before a major international demonstration scheduled for March 6. Promoted by The National Movement of Victims of State-Sponsored Crimes (MOVICE), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and countless social justice-based organizations, March 6 has been set as an international day of protest against those tortured, murdered and disappeared by the Colombian state, their allies within the paramilitary United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC) and the newly-reformed Black Eagles. Recently, President Uribe’s top political adviser, José Obdulio Gaviria, proclaimed that the protest and protesters should be criminalized.

It came at an opportune time, because there’s been criticism of Uribe Velez for not really carrying out serious measures to release the hostages that the FARC have been holding for some time now. Just last week, four hostages were released by the FARC to the Venezuelan government because of the intervention of Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan government. And those people, when they got to Venezuela, those people who were in captivity for five, six years, immediately started criticizing and calling into question Uribe Velez’s positions 

The military assistance that the United States has directed has been presented as a counter-narcotics aid package of over $5 billion over the last eight years in Plan Colombia. But there’s no doubt that it has been really geared towards attacking the guerrillas. It’s been a counterinsurgency assistance package that continues to maintain the same levels that it did even in 1999 and 2000, when Plan Colombia first started. 

Which is sort of, could be good news (domestic repression, Uribe’s ego, imperialism and state terror aside) as it doesn’t relate to a deeper motive of regional war to benefit America and its allies, but the criminal disregard of Ecuador’s sovereignty and Uribe’s alliance with Washington have created a risk of conflict. The antagonism towards non US aligned states and leftists informs all the corporate reporting of this, one view is despite shiny new Russia weapons the Venezuelan military are no match for the ‘battle-hardened Colombian troops‘ and their US allies. Or should that be Colombians are no match for internal and external war- two borders and an insurgency. And then there appeared another ‘laptop of death’ claimed to be Paul Reyes and captured by the Colombians and suddenly a chorus of nuclear terrorism is being hawked around the place- Colombia says some documents suggest the rebels have bought and sold uranium– As Rafeal puts it Imperial Pet Stalks the Land. Certainly the Uribe regime prefers killing their opposition rather than negotiation-

Careful analysts of the Colombian situation continue to debate whether the Colombian state is pre-fascist or actually fascist. It is certainly neither humane nor actually democratic. 

However the closed borders impede the large volume of trade between Colombia and Venezuela- $6 billion per year in trade, with Venezuela importing cars, beef and medicine from its neighbor. Colombia imports chemicals, iron and plastic from Venezuela.- And Colombia’s stock’s are falling. But Uribe enjoys great popularity playing this as Bush does, as a war on terror-

The case is being presented as a justified incursion into Ecuadorian territory in pursuit of terrorist groups that haven’t been persecuted by the Ecuadorian government. This is basically the position of the government. And as I say, both the media and opposition parties have also fully supported the decision of the government to present the case in this way.

So Uribe might be happy this has helped defuse the coming demonstrations against his abuses but the reaction might be more than he bargained for and is the Empire’s already overstretched military ready to back up its proxy? So rather than Colombia being Latin America’s Israel, Uribe is Latin America’s Bush, but it would be better if Colombians didn’t have to learn that via a bloody quagmire.

Gitmo Torture Tapes Not Wiped

The claim they were wiped was a deliberate misdirection, the tapes wiped were standard CCTV security tapes not the recordings of interrogations, but the Admiral they wheeled out deliberately blurred the distinction to give the impression the torture tapes were wiped.

Cernig @ Atlargely:-

Just over a week ago, the Seton Hall Law’s Center for Policy and Research published a report that said military records and statements showed over 24,000 tapes had been made of interrogations carried out at Guantánamo Bay. The same day, a Washington Post article following up on that report said that many of those recordings might have been taped over, destroying valuable evidence. That article was based upon a court filing “by Guantanamo’s commander, Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, who said video surveillance recordings in several areas of the facility have been automatically overwritten and no longer exist”.

However, in an email and a comment to my posts on the subject, Michael Ricciardelli – one of the co-authors of the Seton Hall Law report – wrote –

There seems to be some confusion stemming from the Military (there’s a surprise) and the press concerning the “automatic over-writes” on the video recorders in hallways and common areas in Guantanamo. These cameras (think in terms of the video cameras in convenience stores– but more sophisticated) were said to have recorded “day-to-day” “mundane” life at Guantanamo. According to the Military, every certain number of days these “hallway” and “common area” monitor recording systems automatically taped over themselves( i.e., were “overwritten”).

These statements came from a declaration of Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, United States Navy on February 8, 2008 (case 1:05-cv-00023-RWR Document84-4; Washington Post, February 14, 2008). Importantly, these “hallway” and “common area” monitor recordings are specifically NOT video recordings of interrogations– And the Rear Admiral is exceedingly careful to NOT say that they are in his declaration; though, perhaps, it could be anticipated that because of the way the declaration was made the media would confuse the two separate and distinct issues. Which is to say, that the responsive statement’s by Rear Admiral Buzby have misdirected and now obfuscate the issue. As such, some of the media reporting has failed to make clear this distinction between the “day-to-day” video recording and the video recording of interrogations. This distinction, however, is readily apparent if one looks to the partially redacted text of Rear Admiral Buzby’s declaration.

So copious evidence of war crimes exists in the possession of the perpetrators, if they are not seized soon and investigated (and impeachment of the Commander in Chief and the co-conspirators in creating the legal ‘gray ‘ framework for torture and the medical professionals who also took part) then they get away with war crimes previously the United States has convicted people for. And the journey into the abyss continues.

There are key stages in a descent into this depravity, points at which the correct action, pressure applied, leverage utilised can turn course, points that once you go beyond it becomes much harder to change course. Iraq was a key one, a tipping point of the project and let’s forget the 911 excuses, it was planned before that, the warrantless wiretap program began before that, American torture manuals were written before that. All the tools were available, the empire was already far reaching and corrupt when the Bush project took power through his brother’s state Florida and a biased packed Supreme Court. And with the means, the motive & the opportunity, they got to work. Time to make some choices people. Time for action.

Lockdown Addicts

Never mind the hoo-hah of the tories wanting more armed police, because-

Overall, the number of authorised firearms officers went down from 6,738 in 1997 to 6,584 in 2006, with reported firearms offences rising more than 10%.

So less than 200 and 10%, is reporting uniform over the years, population growth blah blah, effect of statistical targets? And they all now have Tasers to satisfy you law ‘n’ order freaks but…so we still haven’t grown past responding to every instance of crime with calls for yet more police with greater firepower, because y’know nothing could go wrong with that and it has certainly worked in the past, ahem.
The more unequal a society becomes the more crime will happen (far beyond that inevitable base level due to the human condition in all its complexities) and the tories would increase that inequality (as Nulab have done) so no wonder they want better guards to keep the peasants from their gold piles. And after all ambitious gun owners are simply following the dog eat dog capitalist environment in which they find themselves, usually the gun violence is overseas against state targets, these people are just bringing it home. An elite that prospers by war sends a message to those at the bottom with comparable levels of ruthlessness. Wanna get ahead? Get a gat.

Repeatedly progressives measures in drugs, gangs and prostitution have been rebuffed by the government as going off prejudice and ignorance, they think, gets them more votes. Again with a conservative administration in power the tory opposition is actually criticising them not for going against their policies but by not implementing them extremely enough. A race to the bottom, a race to the lockdown state.

Baby Jeebus Needs Drugs


I am driven with a mission from God’. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.”

What has the ‘Christian’ George Bush and his fundamentalist infiltrated military given Iraqis this Christmas-

  • Acute malnutrition among young children here has nearly doubled since the U.S.-led invasion began in 2003, according to UNICEF and other aid agencies.
  • no one is sure how many children have been killed or maimed since the war began.
  • Dr. Lynne Jones, a child psychiatrist with the International Medical Corps has worked with children scarred by wars in Bosnia, Africa, and Iraq, says though the war is producing a generation of deeply scarred young people, there is a lack of professional help available.
  • Save the Children, another aid organization, closed its operations earlier this year after 15 years in the country. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society has been forced to suspend a program for children suffering from war trauma because of lack of funding.
  • Of the 2,000 adults interviewed in the Association of Iraqi Psychologists study, which surveyed people in all 18 Iraqi provinces, 92 percent said they feared being killed in an explosion. Some 60 percent of those interviewed said the level of violence had caused them to have panic attacks, which prevented them from going out because they feared they would be the next victims.

And all is quiet in Bethlehem, thanks to the armed guards-

The sound of church bells, drums and bagpipes filled Manger Square as religious and political leaders arrived in the town where Christians believe Jesus was born. Ahead of the festivities, Palestinian security forces, many carrying newly issued rifles, took up positions on the streets of Bethlehem in numbers not seen in years. It was the third major deployment of Palestinian forces in a West Bank city under a Western-backed security push launched after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June.

Most residents still cannot work in Jerusalem and travel freely to other Palestinian towns because of Israeli restrictions and the barrier that cuts into West Bank land that Palestinians want for a state. Middle East envoy Tony Blair has been trying to improve tourist access and facilities in Bethlehem. The former British prime minister recently stayed overnight in one of the city’s best hotels to send a message it is safe.

Yeah because the levels of protection Blair gets would be exactly the same for everyone else, they probably even made sure there were no cluster bombs on his pillow, after all the IAF do love to spread ’em around-

Israeli military prosecutors have decided not to take any legal action over Israel’s use of cluster bombs during last year’s war in Lebanon, the army said Monday, closing an investigation into a practice that has drawn heavy criticism from the UN and international human rights groups.

The United Nations and human rights groups have accused Israel of dropping about four million cluster bomblets during its 34-day war against the Hezbollah guerrilla group. They say as many as one million bomblets failed to explode and now endanger civilians. More than 30 people have been killed by cluster bomb and landmine explosions in Lebanon since the 2006 summer war.

Amnesty International has harshly criticized Israel for bombing civilian areas and using cluster bombs during the fighting. It also has criticized Hezbollah for firing nearly 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities and towns. The fighting left 159 Israelis dead, including 119 soldiers, while in Lebanon more than 1,000 people died, most of them civilians, according to counts by human rights groups, the Lebanese government and The Associated Press.

And nothing like holding peace talks while annexing land-

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met late Monday for a second time since relaunching the Middle East peace process, with Jewish settlements once again overshadowing the talks. Teams headed by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian ex-premier Ahmed Qorei met late in the day at a Jerusalem hotel, officials on both sides said.

The meeting came a day after it was revealed that Israel was planning to expand two settlements in occupied Palestinian territory next year. The Palestinians, who have demanded that Israel freeze all settlement activity, slammed the move — the second settlement expansion announced since peace talks were revived at a US conference in November.

And calling a siege a ‘war’-

“There is no other way to describe what is happening in the Gaza Strip except as a true war between the Israeli army and terrorist elements,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his Cabinet, ruling out truce talks. Reports of truce feelers from the embattled Islamic Hamas regime in Gaza have been surfacing almost daily, and Israeli defense officials have said they are examining the proposals.

The unconfirmed reports have Hamas convincing fellow militants in Gaza to stop their daily rocket fire at southern Israel, while Israel halts its air and ground operations in Gaza.

Meanwhile can you reconcile this on another front-

Afghanistan is estimated this year to have produced 93 percent of the world’s illegal opium — about 8,200 tons, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.


Although opium was one of the chief exports of British India and the country still produces more for the legal morphine industry than any other country, few Indians benefit. They end up like millions of the world’s poor: spending their last days writhing in agony, wishing death would hurry.

So a smidgeon of rich greed & big pharma price control-

Citizens of rich nations suffer less. Six countries – the United States, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia – consumed 79 percent of the world’s morphine according to a 2005 estimate. The poor and middle-income countries where 80 percent of the world’s people live consumed only about 6 percent.

And war on drugs hysteria-

the state laws enforcing the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, passed in 1985 to curb drug trafficking, are complex and harsh. The book outlining them is 1,642 pages long, and even minor infractions can mean 10-year prison sentences. Legal morphine use in India plummeted 97 percent after 1985, reaching a low of 40 pounds in 1997. It has crept up since then, but India has stopped reporting data to the International Narcotics Control Board, which oversees drug treaties.

“It’s the intense fear of addiction, which is often misunderstood,” said David Joranson, director of the Pain Policy Study Group at the University of Wisconsin’s medical school, who has worked to change drugs laws around the world. “Pain relief hasn’t been given as much attention as the war on drugs has.”

Third world doctors, he explained, often have beliefs about narcotics that prevailed in Western medical schools decades ago – that they are inevitably addictive, carry high risks of killing patients and must be used sparingly, even if patients suffer.

Suffering, ever so christmassy. But chin up, our lovely Queen will not only do her seasonal broadcast, she’s now got her own youtube account. Which is great, nothing like an ancient royal family being relevant & ‘down with the kids’ by filling in a youtube sign up form, well her servants did. Although it smacked of trying too hard by opening with her own rendition of 2 girls 1 cup, even with the royal ‘we’ she does not count as more than one person, but kudos on involving the corgis.

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Ecuador To Invade Miami

Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa said Washington must let him open a military base in Miami if the United States wants to keep using an air base on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. Correa has refused to renew Washington’s lease on the Manta air base, set to expire in 2009. U.S. officials say it is vital for counter-narcotics surveillance operations on Pacific drug-running routes.

“We’ll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami — an Ecuadorean base,” Correa said in an interview during a trip to Italy. If there’s no problem having foreign soldiers on a country’s soil, surely they’ll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States.”

Correa, a popular leftist economist, had promised to cut off his arm before extending the lease that ends in 2009 and has called U.S. President George W. Bush a “dimwit”.

Inescapable logic and an astute appraisal of George Dub, seems fair enough.

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Evo Morales Tells SOA/WHINSEC To Fuck Off!

Hell Yeah!

“We will gradually withdraw until there are no Bolivian officers attending the School of the Americas,” said Morales. Questioning the U.S. government’s foreign policy he noted that “they are teaching high ranking officers to confront their own people, to identify social movements as their enemies.”  

This is a great victory for torture survivors, social movement leaders and human rights activists of Bolivia and the Americas. The SOA/WHINSEC has played a significant role in Bolivia’s recent political history, Hugo Banzer Suarez, who ruled Bolivia from 1971-1978 under a brutal military dictatorship attended the school in 1956 and was later inducted into the school’s “hall of fame” in 1988. The SOA has trained tens of thousands of Bolivian military officers in the past fifty years. In October of 2006, two former graduates of the SOA/WHINSEC, Generals Juan Veliz Herrera and Gonzalo Rocabado Mercado were arrested on charges of torture, murder, and violation of the constitution for their responsibility in the death of 67 civilians in El Alto Bolivia during the “Gas Wars” of September-October 2003.

In March 2006 a School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) delegation led by Lisa Sullivan-Rodriguez, Salvadoran torture survivor Carlos Mauricio, and SOA Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois met with President Evo Morales to request that Bolivia cease to send troops for training at the SOA/WHINSEC. -SOA Watch email bulletin

This is part of what Morales announced about removing the empires stormtroopers from Bolivian soil-

President Evo Morales said he expects U.S. military aid to Bolivia to stop soon, as his government plans to bar U.S. troops from assisting in anti-drug operations.

“Happily, it’s ending,” Morales told reporters at a news conference Tuesday night. “No foreigner in uniform will be operating here.”

Morales also suggested on Tuesday that Bolivia’s new constitution, now being drafted by a popularly elected assembly, should include a clause banning foreign military bases on Bolivian soil. 

Much is happening in Bolivia and all due to the empire’s grip being rejected-

The Cold War in South America was financed through the arms and drugs trade, although few cases became as well known as the “Iran-Contra affair” that involved the late US President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

The current Bolivian President, Evo Morales, puts it bluntly: “The Americans used the drug trade to infiltrate our countries. They brought cocaine to Bolivia, as here we only used to chew the coca from the times of the Incas.

“We believe in a democratic revolution, an indigenous revolution, to claim back our land and all of our natural resources.”

An intricate ideological struggle is taking place within the government that will determine the movement’s revolutionary identity. A coca peasant once told me that all his people wanted was a decent house, a job, their kids to go to school, just like everybody else.

Two years after President Morales came to power, the poorest peasants have free healthcare and literacy programmes have been set up across the country. A new constitution is being written that will ideally borrow less from the political systems of the West and more from the Inca traditions and political system, entirely based on the idea of community as opposed to the individual, and on the balance between man, nature and cosmos.

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Blackwater Gets War On Drugs Contract & Rendition Plane Crashes With 4 Tons of Cocaine Onboard

Awarded by the Pentagon’s Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office in Dahlgren, Va., the contract vehicle has a potential value of $15 billion over five years. One participant is ARINC, a Maryland-based provider of airline communications systems.…the other participating vendors are defense giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, and security contractor Blackwater USA. Blackwater confirmed its participation, but the other vendors did not respond to inquiries.

Ok now get this, Blackwater are building an airship!

The Blackwater Airships team completed design work at the end of 2006 and is now building the Polar 400 airship. This highly capable RPAV will provide a platform ready to accomodate a wide variety of state-of-the-art surveillance, communications and detection equipment that can record and store events and downlink them in real-time to ground operators.

And that unrelated mysterious rendition plane crash-

U.S. authorities are assisting the Mexican government in the investigation of an American business jet that crashed near Cancun this week with four tons of cocaine on board, officials said Thursday.

One of the men listed as the registered owners of the plane, Joao Luiz Malago, said in a telephone interview from Brazil that his Florida-based company sold the aircraft for $2 million on Sept. 16 to a Lakeland, Fla., man and his partner, who Malago believed was from Miami.

Some news reports have linked the plane to the transport of terrorist suspects to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but those reports cite logs that indicate only that the plane flew twice between Washington, D.C., and Guantanamo and once between Oxford, Conn., and Guantanamo. No terrorist suspects are known to have been transferred to Guantanamo directly from the United States.

The jet, carrying the tail number N987SA, changed hands twice in recent weeks. But how it ended up in the hands of suspected drug traffickers remains a mystery. (h/t Rachel Maddow show)

Of course the CIA have never ever traded in drugs, so there.