The DEA and You

[Article Recovered from Hacked Autonomist]

[This article revives a series from an old subsection of The Autonomist called ASAP, which was a series of short articles including a category called "STYF?" (Still Think You're Free?). That very old series still exists and still has some interesting material in it, but has not been maintained for a very long time.]

What Do You Care About the DEA?

Since you probably have no interest in "recreational" drugs, you no doubt think the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and WOD (War On Drugs) has nothing to do with you. Even though you might be aware the DEA is one of the most powerful and oppressive agencies in today's government, the fact that it does not directly "oppress" anything you are interested in, leads you to believe oppression can exist without affecting you. This is a very great mistake in two ways. All government oppression affects you, and in the case of the DEA, it is a very real threat to all that matters to you.

You Pay for the DEA, and It IS Expensive

The "DEA "maintains 21 domestic field divisions with 237 field offices and 80 foreign offices in 58 countries. With a budget exceeding 2.415 billion dollars, DEA employs over 10,800 people, including over 5,500 Special Agents." [Emphasis mine.]

Nearly one in four persons imprisoned in the United States is imprisoned for a drug offense. The number of persons behind bars for drug offenses is roughly the same as the entire prison and jail population in 1980. There are 100,000 more persons imprisoned in America for drug offenses than all prisoners in the European Union, even though the EU has 100 million more citizens than the US. The cost of incarcerating over 458,000 prisoners for drug offenses now exceeds $9 billion annually.

If you pay State taxes, which you do unless you live in New Hampshire, you are also paying for this:

According to the American Corrections Association, the average daily cost per state prison inmate per day in the US is $67.55. State prisons held 249,400 inmates for drug offenses in 2006. That means it cost states approximately $16,846,970 per day to imprison drug offenders, or $6,149,144,050 per year.

There are only 301 million people in the United States. It's not too difficult to figure out how much the DEA's war on drugs is costing you personally.

Two Innocent Classes Oppressed by the DEA

If you do not happen to be a chronic pain sufferer or a doctor who treats those with chronic pain, you will not personally be affected by the latest move by the DEA to regulate and intimidate medical doctors. This latest DEA oppression is wreaking great harm on those who are its direct victims, doctors and their patients.

In "The DEA's bad-faith war on pain doctors", learn about two pain doctors being prosecuted for not following guidelines which the DEA set, then took away.

In "Doctors: The new target in the war on drugs" learn why of over 50 million Americans who experience chronic pain, and 25 million others who have bouts each year of acute pain, "as few as one in four receive the proper treatment," because of Doctor's fear "of being led away in handcuffs" by DEA thugs.

In The War on Drugs, the War on Doctors, and the Pain Crisis in America—Eighty Years of Naked Emperors, discover that, "The root cause of the widespread undertreatment of pain can be traced directly to the systematic, nationally coordinated, relentless harassment, arrest, and prosecution of thousands of American physicians, many of whom had been engaged in nothing other than the standard care of pain and addiction of the day."

In The DEA's War on Pain Doctors you will learn about the lives of patients, clinicians, and doctors that have literally been destroyed by DEA prosecution of the innocent. If you read none of the others, please read this one.

This is a very long article from the Cato Institute covering both the history and the danger of the DEA's movement against legitimate pain management. Treating Doctors as Drug Dealers: The DEA's War on Prescription Painkillers At least read the conclusion and summary here.

The Dea Kills People

You are probably thinking the people they kill are criminals and drug dealers. They may kill them too, but the people I'm talking about are innocent people going about living their lives and minding their own business.

The DEA kills people like Sgt. Derek J. Hale, a recently retired Marine. He was peacefully sitting on the front stoop of a house, when police in unmarked cars who had him under surveillance (believing based on his acquaintances that he might be part of a narcotics ring) pulled up and tasered him three times, causing him to go into convulsions and throw up. Because he had not gotten his hand free from his jacket quickly enough (while convulsing) an officer then shot him point blank in the chest with three .40 caliber rounds.

Think you are safe from the DEA when driving your car. No doubt 39 year old Kenneth Walker thought so too. Walker and three companions were pulled over in an SUV by police in a drug investigation. No drugs or weapons were found, but Walker was shot in the head. Walker was a devoted husband and father, a respected member of his church, and a 15-year middle-management employee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Perhaps you think your safe on your own property, like 18 year old Esequiel Hernandez who was shot to death by a sniper while tending his family's goats only a hundred yards from his home.

What if you are a decent citizen, a 45 year old father of nine, with no interest in drugs at all. Surely you have nothing to worry about from the Dea. So Ismael Mena must have thought that, but, "based on information from a drug informant, the police obtained a 'no-knock' entry warrant," and a Denver SWAT team, "busted into Mena's home without announcement, and shot Mena dead, riddling his body with eight bullets." No drugs were found.

Perhaps you are a retired Methodist Minister and substance abuse counselor, doing your own part in the War On Drugs. Certainly you are in no danger from the DEA. You shouldn't be, but after an informant gave police a bad address, a SWAT raid was conducted on the home, of minister, Accelyne Williams. The door was battered down, Williams was tackled to the floor and his hands tied behind his back. He died of a heart attack.

What If You Are Innocent?

If you are already dead it will not make much difference, but even if they do not kill you, the may take your property?without ever charging you with a crime or going to court. The "laws" under which this kind of theft is carried out are called criminal forfeiture laws.

Consider the example of Dr. James Metzger, "whose $40,000 Lexus was taken by the Drug Enforcement Agency in April (1999) because the agency thought Metzger might have illegally filled drug prescriptions. Metzger had not been charged ... much less convicted of criminal acts."

It doesn't matter if you are innocent. You may have to read the following a couple of times. It is not from anything Lewis Carroll wrote. It is the law in, "the Land of the Free."

"Forfeiture laws that allow inanimate objects to be charged with a crime are just a convenient technique for pushing that pesky Fourth Amendment out of the way so that law officials can take people's property without even filing criminal charges, much less having to prove a case in court."

Still think you are free?