Archive for the ‘drugs’ Category

Coke a Dope: Biden’s Daughter Doing Drugs?

March 29, 2009

Biden resisted Barack’s plan to shut down the drug trade in Afghanistan.  Now we know why…

*********************

A “friend” of Vice President Joseph Biden’s daughter, Ashley, is attempting to hawk a videotape that he claims shows her snorting cocaine at a house party this month in Delaware.

The anonymous male acquaintance of Ashley took the video, said Thomas Dunlap, a lawyer representing the seller.

By Brad Hamilton
New York Post

Dunlap and a man claiming to be a lawyer showed The Post about 90 seconds of 43-minute tape, saying it was legally obtained and that Ashley was aware she was being filmed. The Post refused to pay for the video.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/03282009/new
s/nationalnews/friend_of_bidens_daughter_
shopping_tape__161772.htm

Advertisements

Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration

March 12, 2009

President Obama weighed in Wednesday on the escalating drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that he was looking at possibly deploying National Guard troops to contain the violence but ruled out any immediate military move.

“We’re going to examine whether and if National Guard deployments would make sense and under what circumstances they would make sense,” Obama said during an interview with journalists for regional papers, including a McClatchy reporter.

By Maria Recio | McClatchy Newspapers

“I don’t have a particular tipping point in mind,” he said. “I think it’s unacceptable if you’ve got drug gangs crossing our borders and killing U.S. citizens.”

Read the rest:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2
27/story/63800.html

Losing Terror War? Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran

March 11, 2009
Defense Intelligence Agency chief Army Lt. Gen. Michael Maples tells senators during a Capitol Hill hearing that Al Qaeda has resurfaced in a country it was forced to flee seven years ago.
By Greg Miller
Los Angeles Times
March 11, 2009
Reporting from Washington — Al Qaeda has expanded its presence in Afghanistan, taking advantage of the sinking security situation to resurface in the country it was forced to flee seven years ago, the top U.S. military intelligence official testified Tuesday.

Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, described Al Qaeda’s efforts as one of the reasons for the Obama administration’s decision last month to order additional troops to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is no longer the haven for Al Qaeda that it was before the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. But in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Maples said, “I believe Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan is more significant, although still at a relatively minor scale, than we have seen in the past.”

Maples also cited intelligence indicating that Iran is playing a more active role in supporting a militant group based in Pakistan that is launching attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworl
d/world/la-fg-intel11-2009mar11,0,421
8559.story

Intelligence Officials Testify On National Security Threats 
.
Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, left, and Defense Intelligence Agency chief Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples testify on Capitol Hill at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Maples said Al Qaeda has resurfaced in Afghanistan in a way not seen since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Blair said the U.S. intelligence assessment is that Iran does not have any highly enriched uranium.  Alex Wong / Getty Images

***************

A progressive Presidency is a terrible thing to waste. It only comes around once every so often. Wouldn’t it be a shame if Americans’ hopes for the Obama Administration were squandered in Afghanistan?

See:
http://nasir-khan.blogspot.com/2009/03/c
an-congress-save-obama-from-afghan.html

Top U.S. Military Leader Offers Help to Mexico; Briefs Obama

March 7, 2009

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the United States could help with equipment and intelligence techniques after returning from a six-day trip to Latin America punctuated by news of beheadings and intimidation by Mexican drug cartels.

Mexico could borrow from U.S. tactics in the fight against terrorism as it battles a crisis of drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, the top U.S. military officer said Friday.

Returning from a six-day trip to Latin America punctuated by news of beheadings and intimidation by Mexican drug cartels, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the United States could help with equipment and intelligence techniques.

Adm. Mike Mullen would not be specific about what kind of intelligence or surveillance help the United States might offer, but said he saw ways to employ experience the United States has gained in the ongoing hunt for extremists and terrorists.

He would not say whether there may already be U.S. drones flying over bloodstained cities such as Ciudad Juarez, where 17 bodies came into the morgue on one day recently, including the city police force’s second-in-command and three other officers.

“Obviously it affects us because of the relationship between the two countries,” Mullen said during a telephone news conference as he flew to Washington following meetings in Mexico, his last stop.

Mullen referred to the spike in violence as a crisis, and said it occupied much of his discussions with Mexican military leaders.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence this year. In 2008, the toll doubled from the previous year to 6,290. Both the U.S. and Canada have warned that murders related to drug activity in certain parts of Mexico, particularly along the border with the U.S., raised the level of risk in visiting the country.

There are signs the violent competition among Mexican drug and smuggling cartels is spilling across the border, as cities in Arizona report increases in such crimes as home invasions. More than 700 people were arrested as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating inside the United States, the Justice Department said last month.

Last weekend, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he also saw opportunities for the U.S. military to help with military training, resources and intelligence.

“I think we are beginning to be in a position to help the Mexicans more than we have in the past. Some of the old biases against cooperation with our — between our militaries and so on, I think, are being set aside,” Gates said in an interview that aired last Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“It clearly is a serious problem,” he said.

Related:
http://eideard.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/o
bama-mullen-discuss-mexicos-drug-wars/

******

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Military Writer

President Barack Obama was briefed Saturday by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen about the drug wars in Mexico and wanted to know how the United States can help.

“Clearly one of the things the president was interested in was the U.S military capability that may or may not apply to our cooperation with the Mexicans,” said a U.S. military official who requested anonymity because the discussions were private. “He was very interested in what kind of military capabilities may be applied.”

Mullen briefed Obama Saturday morning about discussions with Mexican military leaders about the drug wars there.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009030
8/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_mexico_9

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/america
s/03/07/mexico.headless.bodies/index.html

http://mexicoinstitute.wordpress.com/200
9/03/03/factbox-ciudad-juarez-mexicos-m
ost-violent-city/

Russia Is Top Heroin Consumer

March 7, 2009

Moscow Russia has become the world’s biggest heroin consumer, and the flood of the drug from Afghanistan poses a threat to national security, Russia’s drug enforcement chief said Friday. “In recent years Russia has not just become massively hooked on Afghan opiates, it has also become the world’s absolute leader in the opiate trade and the number one heroin consumer,” Viktor Ivanov, head of the Federal Drug Control Service, said in a report made public on Friday.

–Reuters

Cocaine cheaper than lager and wine as drug price falls by half

February 14, 2009

A line of cocaine is now cheaper than a pint of lager or a glass of wine, official figures have disclosed.

Cocaine cheaper than lager and wine as drug price falls by half

45 kilos of Cocaine Photo: PA

The Home Office has admitted that the street price of both cocaine and heroin has fallen by nearly half in the last ten years, making the most dangerous illegal drugs cheaper than they have ever been.

Based on reports from police forces, the Home Office said that cocaine is now being sold for as little as £20 a gram in some parts of the country.

The most common price for the drug is £40 per gram. Home Office figures for 1998 show the average price was £77.

A gram of heroin can now be bought for as little as £25, with the average price somewhere between £40 and £50 per gram. In 1998, the average was £74.

The Home Office figures are based on data collected from police forces and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

According to DrugScope, a charity that provides research and advice on drugs policy, gram of cocaine can make between 10 and 20 lines for snorting, depending on its strength.

That means a line of cocaine can cost as little as £1, with an average price per line of between £2 and £4.

The average price of a pint of lager is around £2.75, although some pub chains have reacted to the credit crunch by cutting the price of a pint as low as 99p. A glass of wine typically costs £3.50.

The figures were uncovered by the Tories, who said they proved that Labour had failed to stem the flow of Class A drugs into the UK.

James Brokenshire, the Conservative shadow home affairs minister, called the figures “startling.”

He said: “These startling figures show the reality of drug use in Britain. Price falls of this nature indicate that the supply of hard drugs into this country has jumped. It’s a serious indictment of Labour’s failure to combat drug crime and stem the flow of drugs onto our streets.”

Less cocaine is being intercepted on Britain’s borders. The Home Office figures last year showed that the total weight of cocaine seized actually fell by 15 per cent a year, and it has halved in five years.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4602051/Coc
aine-cheaper-than-lager-and-wine-as-drug-price-falls-by-half.html

Health Care: Totally Fair, Equal and Socialists is Good, Right?

February 13, 2009

If health care modernization was easy, Hillary Clinton would have solved our problems some sixteen years ago.  Now she is at the State Department with only monor issues to deal with: China, Russia, North Korea, the Middle East, Afghanistan and other small fry….. Of course she has help from George Mitchell, Susan Rice and Richard Holbrooke.  Even Henry Kissinger will lend a hand.

But health care remains and now without Tom Daschle.

Here is the latest from health care in Britain:

*********************

Patients suffering from the same illness in the same hospital ward could get different drugs under a new top-up scheme, a senior health official admitted yesterday.

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor
Telegraph (UK)

Guidance adopted last year means patients can choose to pay for drugs not provided by the NHS without losing their entitlement to have the rest of their care on the NHS.

It led to fears of a two-tier NHS where those who can afford to pay get better treatment, although the Government has always denied that this will occur.

Dr Peter Carter, the chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, has previously said: “We do not want to face a situation where two patients in neighbouring beds can be offered different menus of treatment, based solely on their ability to pay.”

However, Una O’Brien, the director of policy and strategy for the Department of Health, admitted to MPs that there was a theoretical chance this could happen.

It is believed to be the first time an official has made such and admission.

When asked by Kevin Baron, the chairman of the Commons health select committee whether patients on the same ward could receive different drugs based on their ability to pay, Ms O’Brien said: “I think it is a theoretical possibility but I would stress that the thrust of the policy overall is to reduce the circumstances in which that would ever arise.”

Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, ordered a review of top-ups following a public outcry over the case of Linda O’Boyle, 64, from Essex, who died last year after being told that she was no longer eligible for free NHS care because she had purchased an expensive bowel cancer drug privately.

The Government subsequently announced that patients who choose to buy drugs deemed too expensive for the NHS would no longer lose their right to free health service care.

Prof Mike Richards, who led the Government review, said that when a cancer patient chooses to buy a drug not available on the NHS it should be administered separately from their NHS care.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/46
05605/Two-tier-care-a-reality-health-chief-admits.html

Mexican Drug War Inside The U.S.: Phoenix Now Kidnap Capital

February 12, 2009
Juan Francisco Perez-Torres was abducted last month in front of his home and ransom demanded. Hundreds of such incidents occur each year in Phoenix, and Mexican drug-smuggling is usually involved.
By Sam Quinones
Los Angeles Times
February 12, 2009
Reporting from Phoenix — In broad daylight one January afternoon, on a street of ranch-style houses with kidney-shaped swimming pools, Juan Francisco Perez-Torres was kidnapped in front of his wife, daughter and three neighbors.

Two men with a gun grabbed the 34-year-old from his van and dragged him 50 yards to a waiting SUV. His wife threw rocks at the car, then gave chase in her own SUV. Neighbors in northwest Phoenix called police. Yet when police found her later, she at first denied there was a problem.

….

Arizona has become the new drug gateway into the United States. Roughly half of all marijuana seized along the U.S.-Mexico border was taken on the state’s 370-mile border with Mexico.
.
One result is an epidemic of kidnapping that many residents are barely aware of. Indeed, most every other crime here is down. But police received 366 kidnapping-for-ransom reports last year, and 359 in 2007. Police estimate twice that number go unreported.

In September, police spun off a separate detective unit to handle only these smuggling-related kidnappings and home-invasion robberies. Its detectives are now considered among the country’s most expert in those crimes.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/
nation/la-na-drug-kidnappings12-2009feb12
,0,1264800.story?track=rss

Related:
Mexico: Drug gang clash with army kills 21
.
Torture, Murder of Top Mexican Anti-Drug Man; “Out of Control” Drug War

Mexico: Drug gang clash with army kills 21

February 11, 2009

Mexican soldiers fought gun battles with drug cartel hitmen near the U.S. border on Tuesday after gangsters abducted local police in violence that killed 21 people and left bodies strewn in the desert.

By Julian Cardona
Reuters

Soldiers pursued the hitmen through freezing desert in the northern state of Chihuahua after they dragged nine people, including some police, out of houses and shot six of them at a ranch in the early hours of Tuesday, the army said.

Heavily armed soldiers burst into the ranch, near the Texan border, and shot dead several of the hitmen, later chasing another group by helicopter before killing them too, army spokesman Enrique Torres said from the area.

“The bodies were strewn across the desert outside the nearby town of Villa Ahumada,” said Torres. An army sergeant was among the dead.

It was one of the bloodiest scenes this year in a spiraling drug war that killed more than 5,700 people across Mexico in 2008, damaging the public’s faith in President Felipe Calderon and raising fears of a spillover into the United States.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090211/
wl_nm/us_mexico_drugs

NATO commander: Afghanistan drug raids imminent

February 8, 2009

In an effort to strike at a key income source for Taliban militants, the top NATO commander said Sunday that operations to attack drug lords and labs in Afghanistan will begin within the “next several days.”

Gen. John Craddock, who also heads the U.S. European Command, also said that the U.S. and its allies are making progress in their efforts to fill the need for more troops, equipment and intelligence gathering in Afghanistan. He, however, would not disclose any specific commitments he got this weekend as world leaders met at a security conference here.

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer

NATO defense ministers, during a meeting last fall in Hungary, authorized troops in Afghanistan to launch the drug attacks, but there had been questions about whether allies would be willing to follow through. Money from Afghanistan’s booming illicit drug trade has been blamed for pumping up to $100 million a year into the coffers of resurgent Taliban fighters.

“Activities and actions will occur soon that will be helpful,” Craddock told reporters. “We’ve got to get started.”

The U.S. delegation to the security conference, led by Vice President Joe Biden, was expected to talk to allies this weekend about the ongoing need for support in Afghanistan. Craddock said he still needs about 5,000 NATO troops to bolster Afghan forces during the coming elections, and he is confident he will get them from other NATO nations.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090208/ap_on_re_eu/nato_afghanistan