Folks who want to ruin their lives have the right to do so, I guess. More of us have probably come closer than we’d like to admit. But we don’t have the right to ruin the lives of others — especially children, who aren’t given the chance to make their own decisions in life and must suffer the awful choices made by others. And that’s what the Legalization Lobby – comprised of those who want to legalize drugs in America – fails to understand.
Smuggling and Trafficking
With summer quickly approaching, many church groups are making plans for the various mission trips that they sponsor for adults and youth. In the United States, places like post-Katrina New Orleans, Appalachia and other areas with economic challenges and post-disaster problems have benefited for years from the fellowship of many hands repairing old structures, building new ones and bringing faith into action. Like those at my own church, mission trips planned for this summer are being canceled on account of the unrest south of the border. While the needs of many people remain ever-present in Mexico, the ongoing violence makes it next to impossible to support any type of humanitarian service operation in that country.
I thought you might be interested in an editorial I wrote for a CNBC special report on marijuana, money and the issue of legalization.
March 31st, 2010 - by Chris Battle
With his 15 recess appointments, why did President Obama not include DEA nominee Michele Leonhart? It took this White House an embarrassingly long time to simply nominate someone. Now that we have a nominee, we need senate confirmation. Without that approval, it will be difficult for Leonhart to lead the agency in a bold direction. The White House needs to step up and get this done. There is too much border violence not to.
The drug fueled violence along the Southwest Border, highlighted by the recent murder of two United States citizens in Ciudad Juarez, has again focused the White House on Plan Merida. It comes at a time when the US continues to send mixed signals on its narcotics enforcement position.
March 15th, 2010 - by Chris Battle
If this Administration were truly outraged by these drug-related murders and truly planned on working to bring justice to the border violence, it is doing so in an odd way: Practically the entire border security infrastructure of this Administration remains leaderless more than a year into Obama’s tenure.
November 13th, 2009 - by Asa Hutchinson
With the spike in border violence, much of it associated with Mexican drug cartels battle with the Mexican government, we have a greater need than ever to fill the positions of the agencies responsible for protecting our borders — from the DEA and ATF to Customs and Border Protection.
The Border Patrol Foundation held its first annual recognition dinner in downtown D.C. to tout the creation of an organization whose mission is to “provide timely financial grants to the families of fallen” Border Patrol agents. Border Patrol agents often operate alone, in remote areas of our nation, many minutes and miles from backup or support. But given the impressive support shown by the Washington community at its inaugural event on Friday night, the Border Patrol Foundation appears to be off to a solid start.
October 30th, 2009 - by Marty Ficke
The recent death of three DEA Special Agents in Afghanistan is a tragic reminder that the war on narcotics and terrorism cannot be separated in that part of the world. I doubt many heroin dealers and addicts in the U.S. make the connection between the two.
October 27th, 2009 - by Asa Hutchinson
A recent policy from the Obama Administration directs federal prosecutors not to prosecute medical marijuana cases in states where medicinal use of the drug has been approved. This means that even though federal law conflicts with some state laws, those who act in compliance with state laws will not be prosecuted. The advance announcement providing assurance of no prosecution to a select group of people weakens the foundation of our effort to reduce the use of illegal drugs.
October 22nd, 2009 -
Michael Braun, former Chief of Operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, testified before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control regarding the Taliban’s involvement in drug production and trafficking.
At a time when the economy is in the toilet, when we’re fighting (and perhaps losing) wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when healthcare is becoming a fading memory, and we’ve got to worry about Ahmadinejad trying to get his hands on a nuke with all the fervor of a Wall Street fat-cat chasing down a government bailout, Congress seems more concerned about finding ways to belittle one another than fulfilling the oath to serve.
October 8th, 2009 - by Mike Braun
If Americans think we have problems with the recent disruption of a suspected terrorist cell in New York, they haven’t seen anything yet.
October 7th, 2009 - by Chris Battle
As more drugs and illegal aliens are being smuggled northbound, there has been a similar spike in guns and cash heading south. The same false dashboard compartments and hollowed suitcases that carry contraband into the United States are used to move the cash back into Mexico. With the flood of drugs heading north, and the flood of guns traveling south – and the illicit revenues flowing in both directions – it is disconcerting to realize that, nearly a year into the Obama Administration, there is still no nominee to lead the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. No nominee to take charge of the ATF – the law enforcement bureau responsible for enforcing gun and explosives laws. That the man nominated to head of Customs and Border Protection still waits idly to be confirmed.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General recently released a report on DHS’ strategy to address small boat threats in U.S. waters. The threat of a small boat attack in the U.S is real and DHS leadership knows that understanding and control of small boat activity in and around the U.S. is key to addressing the small boat terrorism threat.
Why did it take so long for the Obama Administration to name a chief for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, one of the nation’s premiere federal law enforcement agencies? One reason might be that the initial appointment of a “Border Czar” in the DHS Policy shop diminished the power of the CBP Commissioner to do his or her job. Another might be worries about the Administration’s commitment to immigration enforcement. No one wants to volunteer for failure.
September 22nd, 2009 - by Marty Ficke
The arrest of Richard Cramer earlier this month is very disturbing news for many reasons. Cramer was arrested by DEA on September 4th for his participation in a conspiracy to provide members of a Mexican drug cartel with information and background on U.S. narcotics enforcement activities.
September 15th, 2009 - by Asa Hutchinson
Mexico recently took a dramatic step in the war on drugs, decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin. In the midst of battling the drug cartels that grow fat on the profits of drug abuse and addiction, not to mention all of the violent crime that accompanies drug trafficking, the Mexican Government has sent a clear message. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong message. It is the message of surrender.
September 6th, 2009 - by Chris Battle
I am told, almost as if by way of explanation, that the people doing the shooting in Juarez are very good at what they do. They kill well. They don’t often miss. This is not collateral damage. The executed can usually be tied to the drug trade. Gang-related, as they say in the United States. Small-time dealers who owe money. The double-crossed. The nasty business of achieving dominance over rivals. Still, that doesn’t account for the judges killed. The law enforcement agents and soldiers. The reporters who cover the killings and who end up resented and dead for the effort. It doesn’t account, exactly, for the 18 murdered in cold blood at the rehab center on September 3rd.
August 29th, 2009 - by Chris Battle
There were many things that surprised me during a State Department-sponsored trip to Mexico this week, where we took a tour of U.S. border security operations before heading into Ciudad Juarez and Mexico City to meet with groups organizing against the spiraling violence in that country. I was surprised, for instance, that a representative from one of the Juarez drug cartels did not meet me at the airport, a block-typed sign with my name on it in one hand and a diamond-handled .45 in the other. I was surprised by the Border Patrol video with shrieking death metal background music. I was surprised by the mixture of courage and nonchalance of the college students living in Juarez who have grown sick of the murders and extortions and kidnappings in their city and who want desperately for the world to know that these cartels do not define them. I was surprised that traffic lights in Mexico City are optional …