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June 17, 2005 - Drug War Chronicle (US Web)

Creepshow: A Disturbing Glimpse into DEA Mentality

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We admit it: We don't like the US Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA. It is, after all, the lead federal government agency enforcing drug prohibition. But we always assumed that at the least the agency and its employees were sincere about their task: drastically reducing drug consumption in the United States. But an unofficial web site for former and current DEA employees to vent their frustrations provides a most illuminating and stomach-churning window into the mentality of at least some DEA employees.

To be clear, this is only circumstantial evidence. The web site, DEA Watch, operated by former federal agent Phill Coleman, allows posters to post comments anonymously, so the actual identities of the posters cannot be verified. In a brief e-mail exchange with Coleman, he responded to DRCNet requests for clarification with the terse comment that "DEA Watch does not do interviews." But a perusal of the postings on the web site's daily update page strongly suggests that it is indeed people with a very strong interest in the institutional workings of the agency who are posting -- a category that would presumably be limited primarily to current and former agents.

Most of the comments are of the "complaining about the boss around the water cooler" variety, as participants grumble about supervisors and programmatic decisions within DEA. But while the misogyny, fascination with race, and overall thuggishness of much of the commentary is deplorable, it was the sheer cold-blooded cynicism of posts in a thread which began June 11 on the Daily Field Report page (scroll down to June 11) that really jumped out.

Responding to a wire service report that scientists in Colombia had developed a moth that could destroy the country's coca crop, some posters responded in a most surprising fashion to what would seem to be potential good news for the agency and its mission.

Under the heading "Colombia eggheads scheme to put DEA out of business," one anonymous poster wrote: "Word on the street is a group of Colombian scientists are developing a moth they call "Noyesi's" to wipe out cocaine production by eating the plant. Should this scheme succeed cocaine as we know it could be history... and a good portion of our work could be wiped out in a matter of months. Should cocaine and all of its related narcotics disappear, our nation, and others, could suffer a serious economic recession. Needless to say, should this insect plan prove effective in Colombia, some wise-a** bright boy will develop a bug that will devour opium poppies. Such a disaster will truly send our agency up S**t Creek... Without heroin and coke to do battle with we will be left with only marijuana, meth and the piddly-a** drugs. [Asterisks in the original.]

Not to worry, responded another post on the thread. While "inexpensive science has the potential of achieving what billions of dollars spent on law enforcement has failed to accomplish for decades" and "the next 'Drug War' we fight may be the war we fight to preserve our paychecks," there is hope on the horizon -- if agents play it smart:

"That is why we need to get behind President Bush's goal of outlawing all, repeat all, forms and reasons for abortion," the poster suggested. "With abortion, birth control (bc) pills and emergency bc outlawed a new, underground illegal drug industry will spring up overnight. This industry will be fueled by thousands of chemistry and pre-med majors making bc drugs and devices in their labs, garages and attics. Hundreds of thousands of pervert fathers and serial rapists who want to impregnate their daughters and/or as many women possible before getting caught won't care about finally getting caught as long as they know they will leave behind dozens of rape-babies that the new Bush Abortion Laws will prohibit being aborted. Advocates of anti-abortion laws that include rape and incest pregnancies will say :'Even incest and rape babies are children that God wants.'"

In this author's apocalyptic vision, "Thousands of nurses will moonlight as abortionists. And almost every women's gym, diet center and beauty salon will provide abortion services or referrals to their most loyal and trusted clients. The illegal abortion industry will do for DEA what cocaine and heroin never could because not everyone will use those two drugs... but everyone screws. Science will one day do away with heroin and cocaine, but nothing will do away with sex. We need to support our president's anti-abortion agenda to save our jobs, to guarantee our children's and grandkid's college tuitions, but most of all... to preserve our Gold Badge."

While some later posters responded with bizarre and very ugly rape fantasies tangentially connected to the abortion theme, at least one poster counseled discretion. Although he agreed with the abortion-ban-as-DEA-job-security-program scenario, he did "take issue with the writer's public celebration of the pending evolution."

"I don't think that it is a good idea for one among us to telegraph our feelings on what could be a new and exciting frontier for DEA that would perpetuate our jobs for decades into the future. I, for one, have young children and I am counting on my DEA paycheck to put them through college, just as all of my predecessors in this job pulled their punches and dragged their feet on thousands of cases to ensure that cocaine, heroin and other drugs didn't disappear... So, I cannot disagree with the writer who says we should look at our agency more as a retirement system than a job, but I don't think it's a very good idea to say this publicly. There are some secrets that are best kept to ourselves... particularly when we're all laughing our way to the bank with great paychecks."

Typical DEA attitude? Hopefully not -- but possibly. In any case, your drug war tax dollars at work.

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