Blogs > Liberty and Power > 9/11 Commission, Drugs, and Guns

Apr 26, 2004 1:48 pm

9/11 Commission, Drugs, and Guns

One aspect of the war on people who use certain kinds of drugs that is consistently ignored by its proponents is the opportunity cost involved. However, it seems that 9/11 Commission is not going to make the same mistake. They are acknowledging that one opportunity cost of drug prohibition may very well have been preventing the destruction of the World Trade Center.

In a 1996 speech Arnold Trebach founder of the Drug Policy Foundation said ”all of us would be infinitely safer if the courageous efforts of anti-drug agent’s in the U.S. ... and other countries were focused on terrorists aimed at blowing up airliners and skyscrapers (rather than) drug traffickers seeking to sell the passengers and office dwellers cocaine and marijuana." Those in power gave lip service to his advice but studiously ignored it in practice.

At May 9, 2001 hearing Attorney General Ascroft testified that stopping international terrorism had the highest priority within the Justice Department. Yet, the next day a document pertaining to where fiscal resources would go in 2003 made curbing drug trafficking and reducing gun violence the foremost goals. The FBI did not shift over 400 agents from drug investigations to counter-terrorism until after the September 11th attacks.

Also, as Congressman Ron Paul points out in his excellent piece, on the lessons the 9/11 Commission most likely will miss, the proponents of gun control played their part in making the tragedy happen as well.

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