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At Least They Haven't ....

... declared this as another "mission accomplished" -- at least not yet.  The government is admitting to having spent $5 billion of taxpayers' money to destroy Colombia's coca crop and yet "the price, quality and availability of cocaine on American streets [remains] virtually unchanged."

It is no surprise that

"Bush administration officials say that coca farmers are on the run, and that the leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries who feed on drug profits are weaker than ever. That has made Colombia, Washington’s closest ally in a tumultuous region, more stable, they say."

However, "that claim was disputed by a wide range of drug policy experts."  And the government's own facts and figures belie the politicians' statements:

  • As much coca is cultivated today in Colombia as was grown at the start of the large-scale aerial fumigation effort in 2000, according to State Department figures.
  • Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, the leading sources of coca and cocaine, produce more than enough cocaine to satisfy world demand, and possibly as much as in the mid-1990’s, the UN says.
  • The government’s tracking over the past quarter century shows that the price of cocaine in the US has tumbled and that purity remains high, signs that the drug is as available as ever.

If they are admitting to $5 billion wasted, it seems certain the true cost was much higher.  Add billions more for the FBI and DEA and other local law enforcement involved in the War on Some Drugs in the US itself.  Add many more billions for the cost of drug-fuelled incarceration rates.  And add billions and billions more for the failed Afghani front of the War on Some Drugs.  This is a whole bunch of your tax money they are spending. 

Can anyone say any of it has done any good?

August 18, 2006 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Capitalism, Drug War, Government Intrusion | Permalink

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