Original artilce: www.freedomsphoenix.com/Editorial-Page.htm?InfoNo=037791&From=News
After the first 10 interviews with my brother Police Officer and Detective Howard Wooldridge of Lansing, Michigan (retired) concerning the "War on Drugs", more and more Americans understand the underpinnings of how the U.S. government protracts a national taxpayer fraud. How big a fraud? Taxpayers forked over $1 trillion in 37 years paying for the impotent "War on Drugs." Results? More drugs available, major drug networks, cheaper drugs and more potent drugs.
Yet, Americans remain oblivious while they empty their pockets of $70 billion annually to continue the Drug War fraud. Officer Howard Wooldridge talked with a man in Washington, DC.
"I have no dog in the fight." Greg told Howard Wooldridge. "My kids are grown up and drug free. Ending modern prohibition -- War on Drugs would have no impact on my life."
Oh, really? This popular myth could not be further from reality. Prohibition constitutes the single greatest domestic policy affecting and reducing public safety, quality of life, national security just to name a few.
"According to an FBI agent I spoke with in 2004, the Agency had 2,400 full time agents looking for Willie Nelson, Whitney Houston and their suppliers on 9/11," Howard Wooldridge said. "The Agency had 1,100 looking for terrorists. I heard Director Mueller testify this summer before the House Judiciary Committee that post 9/11; he shifted 900 of those drug agents to counter-terrorism. Better late and 3,000 dead than never.
"Of course we read in an Army War College report that 70 percent of the Taliban/al Qaeda's operating budget for 2008 is provided by money earned in the drug trade. Greg, as a Viet Nam combat veteran, how do you feel about 7 out of 10 KIAs in Afghanistan are killed with bullets bought by drug money? Prohibition provides the number one source of money to fund terrorism.
"At that same hearing Director Mueller informed Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) that he flatly rejected moving more agents to combat child cyber porn. This despite the fact that he only has 33 full time equivalent agents working to protect our children. This despite the fact that just over 600,000 personal computers in this country contain child porn and child rape videos. From Senate testimony law enforcement will only execute search warrants for the worst two per cent. Are you listening Greg? Greg a former police detective knows about child sexual abuse cases. He and I have worked them.
"As Paul Harvey would say in the Rest-of-the Story, 40 percent of the time the police execute a search warrant to seize the computer and its owner, in the same home they find the victim of the child porn. That means on December 31, 2008 about 250,000 children will still be in the home of a sexually abusive parent or guardian. What kind of a nation does not protect its most vulnerable? What kind of a nation arrests 1.4 million citizens for drug possession but only 12,000 for possessing child porn?
"DUIs slaughtered 13,000 last year Greg. We have handled those bloody messes. How many of those wonderful, innocent people would be alive, if we had 55,000 full time officers seeking out the DUI? That number is the membership in the National Narcotics Officers Association who fruitlessly spend 110 million hours per year busting dealers who are instantly replaced. How about employing half of them busting the child porn crowd and the other half going after the DUI?
"The FBI reports nearly 10,000,000 property crimes in the US in 2006. Police detectives' common experience shows that 80 percent are committed by people needing big bucks for illegal drugs. How many of us spend hundreds per month for an alarm system? How many of us are hesitant to go to an ATM, especially at night? Worse, how many citizens have died while a drug addict robs them. Recall the nun robbed of her cell phone near Buffalo, New York a few years ago. The robber eventually killed her for the 10 bucks the phone would bring at a pawnshop.
"Luckily Greg, neither of us live in a barrio or ghetto. Those who do live behind barred windows and doors, as gangs own the streets and kill each over selling turf. Millions of our fellow citizens worry about their loved being hit by the stray bullets fired in the name of prohibition. Parents gaze into the eyes of their six years olds and pray that in six more years they don't join a gang.
"Living in the suburbs is no guarantee of safety. Radley Balko of Reason has documented 42 innocent citizens killed during drug raids. Officers have the wrong address or act hastily and citizens and their kids are terrorized with a gun to their heads. The middle class, white mayor of a DC suburb was recently such a victim. The cops killed his two black Labs (one of whom was running away), then interrogated him for an hour while his dogs bled out six feet away. Later, it turned out to be all a big mistake. Ooops!
"The mayor was lucky. In Lima, Ohio this year during a drug raid, an officer fired his assault rifle at a mother holding her baby at a distance of about six feet away. The bullet severed the finger of the baby, then killed the woman. She had no weapon, nor did he testify he saw a weapon. He was just scared. The jury found him innocent of any wrongdoing. Ooops!
"On April 15th you and I will pay a chunk in taxes. The law enforcement costs alone for enforcing prohibition laws will run over 70 billion. Moreover, all that money just goes down a drain, along with the trillion spent already. Does it make you want to cry or get angry and work for change?
"By not taxing illegal drugs, your local school system is not receiving part of the roughly 12 billion dollars missed to buy the newest textbooks and hire the best teachers.
"As a drug control strategy, prohibition has been a dismal and costly failure. This nanny-state liberal approach which employs the threat of government punishment backed by government police and prisons is an affront to the Founding Fathers. Tell your politicians it is past time to put this modern prohibition in the history books. Tell them to adopt a policy of 'Leave Us Alone' the title of a book by Grover Norquist."
Fellow citizens, as you can see in this interview with my police officer brother, YOU do have a dog in this fight.
Today, my brother Howard Wooldridge heads up a task force in Washington, DC to educate and enlighten congressmen at the highest levels. He works for a better future for all Americans. He can be reached at: Education Specialist, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, www.leap.cc , Washington, DC. He speaks at colleges, political clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs across America. LEAP speakers in 36 states address this issue to citizens around the country to bring an end to the Drug War. Check out the web site and join. Book a speaker in your state! Wooldridge also presents at political conferences in Washington. email@example.com
The mission of LEAP is to reduce the multitude of unintended harmful consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending drug prohibition.
"Envision a world where crime is cut in half, terrorists don't make money selling drugs and kids are not employed in the drug trade," Wooldridge said. "Envision a world where the police focus on DUI, child predators and terrorists. Imagine a world where if you have a drug problem, you see a doctor not a judge. All are possible, when we find the courage to end our Prohibition."
We are careful not to duplicate the efforts of other organizations, and as a grassroots coalition of prisoners and social reformers, our resources (time and money) are limited. The vast expertise and scope of the various drug reform organizations will enable you to stay informed on the ever-changing, many-faceted aspects of the movement. Our colleagues in reform also give the latest drug war news. Please check their websites often.