DEA Head Michele Leonhart: A Thousand Dead Children Means We’re Winning War On Drugs

DEA head: A thousand dead children means we’re winning war on drugs (Salon, Apr 15, 2011):

Producing and distributing illegal drugs is a profitable business, because there will always be a lot of demand and because illegality allows you to charge a great deal of money. That illegality also means that the people who produce and distribute the drugs are generally not responsible corporate citizens. So thanks to our expensive, terribly ineffective and endless war on drugs, lots of people are dying.

The Washington Post recently reported that the victims of Mexican drug cartel violence increasingly include children, who are being specifically targeted in order to terrorize people and intimidate potential business rivals:

The children’s rights group estimates that 994 people younger than 18 were killed in drug-related violence between late 2006 and late 2010, based on media accounts, which are incomplete because newspapers are often too intimidated to report drug-related crimes.
Government figures include all homicides of people younger than 17, capturing victims whose murders might not have been related to drugs or organized crime. In 2009, the last year for which there is data, 1,180 children were killed, half in shootings.

This article is actually almost a week old, but I did not notice, until it was highlighted by Jonathan Blanks, this astounding quote from America’s top drug warrior:

U.S. and Mexican officials say the grotesque violence is a symptom the cartels have been wounded by police and soldiers. “It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs,” said Michele Leonhart, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The cartels “are like caged animals, attacking one another,” she added.

It seems “contradictory” because that is absolutely appalling spin. For one thing, these “caged animals” are actually attacking civilians and children. And they are doing so because the drug war has made their chosen industry both profitable and dangerous enough to make murder and brutality effective means of winning competitive advantages. If this is a sign of success, maybe we should reconsider waging this war.

Leonhart, a DEA lifer, is actually a Bush appointee, reappointed by President Obama. She is, obviously, an inflexible zealot when it comes to drug prohibition. This is easily the worst and most offensive thing she’s said that I’ve read, but she does have a history of asinine remarks. This is the sort of quote — dead children are a sign that we’re winning! — that should lead to a resignation. But it probably won’t.


1 thought on “DEA Head Michele Leonhart: A Thousand Dead Children Means We’re Winning War On Drugs”

  1. What Michele Leonhart represents….quote from Wikipedia… “Leonhart has consistently turned down research into the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of marijuana, and has a track record of undermining state law with regard to legal medical marijuana. She has also spoken in
    favor of the Eighteenth Amendment and suggested a federal ban on production, possession, transportation, sale, and consumption of alcohol.”  Michelle Leonhart would put this country through another round of alcohol prohibition given her druthers….PLEASE, if you are unfamiliar with the damage that alcohol prohibition did to this country ….educate yourselves.  Michele Leonhart represents and advances social policy which has a proven, documented track record of TOTAL FAILURE…policy which was tried and discarded EIGHTY YEARS AGO. Michele Leonhart is no friend of America or it’s people.  The sooner she is removed from her post as head of the DEA, the better. The War on Drugs is inarguably a dismal, costly (in terms of YOUR tax dollars and HUMAN LIVES) FORTY YEAR continuing failure….40,000 dead Mexicans, the guilty AND the innocent, all killed in the last three and a half years, can attest to that….from their graves….all of them dead as a DIRECT result of U.S. drug policy.  In contrast, 50,000 American soldiers died during the entire duration of the Viet Nam war.  Get a clue America. Neither the relative cost (adjusted for inflation and quality with respect to MJ) NOR the availability of illegal drugs has been affected by the FORTY YEAR War on Drugs….and some drugs, such as crack have DECLINED in street price.  The DEA exists to appease the irrational and unworkable moral ideals of right-wing , so-called conservative Americans whose fears are grounded in the constant drone of DEA propaganda and DEA paid-for ‘scientific’ conclusions… and because it is political suicide to NOT support the War on Drugs.. and last, but not least, to ensure the perpetuation of the DEA (it’s number one priority)…jobs, salaries, budgets….the War on Drugs is a growth industry for the DEA, your local cop shops, the ONDCP and the growing for-profit private prison INDUSTRY ( just as much as it is for the Mexican Cartels)..said private prison corporations trade on the NYSE . ..the mission of private prison corporations is, as is any corporation’s….to increase profits year after year…and the ONLY way they can do that and satisfy their INVESTORS, is to imprison more and more Americans….get another clue….imprisoning human beings for profit used to be called SLAVERY.  Without current drug laws, thousands of law enforcement jobs disappear overnight…..along with their budgets and the millions/billions of dollars in revenue they procure through seizures of cash money and property…both ‘legally’ and illegally.  The War on Drugs has been, effectively, 40 years of the Eighteenth Amendment applied to illicit drugs rather than alcohol….same failure, same costs, same violence, same waste of time, resources and human beings.  I honestly cannot fathom how Michele Leonhart can sleep at night. The blood of tens of thousands is as much on Michele Leonhart’s hands as it is on those of the cartel’s.  They both do the devil’s work for him. BTW…in 2009, Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico LEGALIZED ALL illicit drugs in defined amounts for personal use for Mexican citizens….instead, discouraging their use through public campaigns and offering taxpayer funded rehab for any user who requests it. Apparently Mexico recognizes the utter futility of a ‘War on Drugs’….after all, it is the citizens of Mexico who are bearing the brunt of it.


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