The FARC was dealt a severe political, military and public relations defeat last week by the successful operation that led to the release of Ingrid Betencourt and the three American contractors. The days when the FARC was viewed as a meaningful political force are all but gone.
I’ve been accused of many things in my public career, but as a former U.S. Attorney and head of the DEA, nobody has ever accused me of being soft on crime – particularly drug crime. So you may be surprised to find me coming down on the other side of our respected Attorney General with regard to sentencing guidelines on crack and powder cocaine.
As the former head of the DEA, I applaud the decision of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to reduce the disparity and unfairness between penalties for convictions associated with crack cocaine and powder cocaine. I have been a long time advocate for reducing the 100 to 1 disparity on sentencing of crack and powder cocaine convictions because it offends the high principle of equal treatment under the law.
Given the critical role of the DEA in the nation’s federal law enforcement constellation, it’s disappointing that the White House has not announced a successor to Karen Tandy, who has already left the agency. There are a number of qualified candidates – qualified from an operational perspective as well as a political perspective.
Top among such candidates is the current Deputy Administrator and Acting head of the agency:Michele Leonhart.
The Los Angeles Times reports that a dozen people were arrested yesterday on charges of narcotics trafficking, money laundering and selling counterfeit goods after a two-year counter-terrorism and drug investigation centered in Los Angeles’ downtown garment district. The link between drug smuggling and counterfeit goods operations with the financing of terrorist activities is well known […]