Watching Director Leonhart squirm was amusing, but far more serious I think is the continued global expansion of the DEA, along with the cost.
DEA has the largest permanent U.S. investigative law enforcement presence overseas, and since its formation in 1973, has been assigned a global drug enforcement mission that extends far beyond our Nation’s borders. Currently, DEA has 85 offices in 65 countries.
She details stepped up efforts all over the globe. The DEA will continue its Excellent African Adventures.
She confirms DEA‘s position as the leading Big Brother agency:
DEA leads the multi-agency El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), a national law enforcement intelligence center, currently houses employees from 28 federal, state, local, and foreign agencies, directly supporting the efforts of the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security and the Joint Interagency Task Force-South. EPIC also has information sharing agreements with police agencies in 49 states that give state and local police access to real-time intelligence from 14 databases. Through its 24-hour Watch function, EPIC provides immediate access to participating agencies’ databases to law enforcement agents, investigators, and analysts.
As I asked here:
How much of our money is the DEA spending on its African adventures? And how much are we spending to fly these sting targets from Africa to the U.S., hold them for a year or more in pre-trial detention, fund their defense, try them, incarcerate them for decades, and then fly them back when they are deported after their sentences? Considering unless the DEA demands otherwise, the (illusory) drugs are going from South America to Africa to Europe, why is it even their business to intervene? Or to steer non-U.S. criminal activity into the U.S.?
The latest DEA addition: An office in Bulgaria. (The one before that: Nairobi.)
The State Department’s March, 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report is a whopping 474 pages. Here are the 8 pages outlining the DEA‘s activities. On May 30, it added this 368 page supplement on money laundering. (The INCSR is “the United States Government’s country-by-country report that describes the efforts to attack all aspects of the international drug trade, chemical control, money laundering and financial crimes.” Here is the cost of our international drug efforts.
Here is the DEA‘s $2 billion budget for 2012. It’s getting ready to rule the world:
With the largest foreign presence of any federal law enforcement agency, DEA’s role in a world of globalization is becoming increasingly important to representing U.S. interests. The successes of DEA’s foreign operations are based on its ability to maintain a presence in all parts of the world. In order to fulfill its mission overseas, DEA personnel must be strategically assigned to various parts of the world in order to provide an operational focus that ensures the conduct of long-term bilateral investigations.
Here is President Obama’s 2012 National Drug Control Strategy. Here’s the 292 page 2013 budget for the National Drug Control Strategy — the 48 page section for the Department of Justice is here.
Over $9.4 billion in FY 2013 Federal resources are requested to support domestic law enforcement efforts, an increase of $61.4 million (0.7%) over the FY 2012 enacted level. The Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and the Treasury, with support from the Department of Defense’s National Guard, provide key domestic law enforcement support.
What do we get for our $9.4 billion in national drug war costs? A DEA Director who doesn’t know that heroin and methamphetamine have greater health consequences than marijuana.
Someone in Congress needs to start putting the brakes on the massive spending for the War on Drugs. The DEA has become a runaway train. But don’t look to Republicans, they only care about some guns going to Mexico so they can create political theater in time for the election.
The reality is little has changed since 1984 when Glenn Frey wrote Smugglers Blues for Miami Vice — other the rising rate of incarceration.
You see it in the headlines, you hear it every day
They say they’re gonna stop it, but it doesn’t go away
They move it through Miami and sell it in LA
They hide it up in Telluride, I mean it’s here to stay
It’s propping up the governments in Columbia and Peru
You ask any D.E.A. man, he’ll say there’s nothing we can do
From the office of the president right down to me and you
…It’s a losing proposition, but one you can’t refuse
It’s the politics of contraband, it’s the smugglers’ blues