4 years, 7 months ago
But a State Department official doesn’t think so.
A State Department official resisted pressure from congressmen to call Mexican drug cartels “terrorist” or “insurgent” organizations during a Oct. 4 joint hearing of subcommittees from House Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security.
“I agree with virtually all of the suggestions that the facts are consistent with the label [terrorist group],” said William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for the bureau of international narcotics and law enforcement affairs.
But so labeling Mexican drug cartels could have unknown implications, Brownfield said. “What does it give us that is more than we already have?” he asked.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland subcommittee on oversight, investigations and management, contended that the designation would “provide additional authorities to help Mr. Calderón win this war,” referring to Mexican President Felipe Calderón.
Mexican ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan suggested in a April 11 Dallas Morning News letter to the editor that a consequence of calling the cartels terrorist would be “to start calling drug consumers in the U.S. ‘financiers of terrorist organizations.'”
But the degree of psychological [un]appeal of a conclusion is no excuse for not completing the syllogism. This is logic 101. As to what would be accomplished were we to treat the Mexican cartels as warlords and insurgents as I have recommended, we could unleash the U.S. military and unshackle their efforts from the constraints of the SCOTUS decision in Tennessee v. Garner. As for decriminalizing drugs as a solution, I continue to claim that it is a Potemkin solution. Further, it isn’t legitimate to discuss this issue unless and until the legal and political framework is in place where I am not required to pay for the food, housing, medical care or any other cost associated with drug users. Reconstruct this framework and we’ll talk. Until then, as long as my tax dollars go to support half of the country (and could support more if drugs are legalized), I have the right to say how they live. You can’t have partial libertarianism. It’s all or nothing. Continuing with the report:
“Our interest is less in the semantics, less in the label but what the label implies operationally for us. And for us we find that the law enforcement tools that we have are best-suited for the job,” said Mariko Silver, acting assistant secretary within the Homeland Security Department office of international affairs.
“I believe our authorities, our federal narcotic laws are sufficient to address the trafficking problem that exists now,” said Rodney Benson, Drug Enforcement Administration chief of intelligence.
Thus is Rodney Benson an idiot. No one goes on record saying that everything is just fine and all the tools necessary to secure the border and fight crime are available. Some people want to legalize drugs, some people (me) want to treat this as a war (no, not with some ridiculous “war on drugs” slogan, but a real war against warlords and insurgents, killing the bad guys with robust rules of engagement), and some want to increase law enforcement assets. But no one says that every thing is fine. Except for Rodney Benson, who thinks that everything is just fine, and who is an idiot.