The ‘war on drugs’ must end… for the children…

We’re told so many policies must be enacted, no matter how antithetical to liberty, because “it’s for the children.”

Well then, take a good look at this picture.

Bounkham Phonesavanh

This 19-month old has an estimated 50 percent chance of survival after a SWAT invasion of the house in which he was sleeping resulted in a ‘flash-bang’ grenade being thrown into his crib.  The police are saying “we had no way of knowing there was a child in the house.”  That’s because the child and his family–including three older sisters–don’t normally live there.  They were staying with relatives temporarily after their own house suffered a fire!

The raid was ordered after a ‘confidential informant’ (most likely someone already in trouble with the law, whose cooperation may or may not be on the up-and-up) allegedly bought drugs at the residence.  The target of the warrant–the actual owner of the home–wasn’t even present when the raid took place!  He was successfully arrested elsewhere.

That last fact should cause every American to scream for change.  There are many options to deal with and detain suspected criminals.  Why has the 3 am raid, complete with military operations out of Apocalypse Now, become the standard?  Why do we tolerate results like the photo above as some sort of acceptable “collateral damage” when they don’t even result in a successful capture of the operation’s target?  If legal authority is going to conduct a military operation against an American residence, shouldn’t they at least be expected to have ample–and current–intelligence regarding who may or may not be present when the door is broken in?

Or is all of this just OK because it happens more often than not to minorities and the poor?  Where are all the folks who cry out about disparities in racial outcomes when it pertains to law enforcement using legally sanctioned home invasions?  Or is the racial and economic narrative only useful when it increases the power of the State?  (That was a rhetorical question — the answer is readily apparent.)

I am not a drug user and I teach my children to avoid them as well, and why.  I grew up believing in the correctness of vigorously pursuing the ‘war’ on illegal narcotics — a ‘war’ now in its fourth decade.  But now I’m convinced our nation’s approach to this issue is fundamentally flawed and extremely dangerous.  What have been the results?  Massive incarceration rates (and the attendant costs) for petty dealers and users.  The deaths of both law enforcement officers and innocent civilians in raids like this one.  Abuse of the innocent through civil forfeiture laws and a general erosion and loss of our Constitutional protections.

But what is more damaging to our nation and its future: the dime bag dealer on the corner, or the well-connected financial fraudster?  The pot grower or the Ponzi schemer?  The gang-banger or his banker?  Where are the thousands of SWAT raids, flash bang grenades and handcuffs when it comes to misconduct by the “too big to fail” corporations or the wealthy elite that are the real rulers–and ruiners–of the land today?  If we’re going to use military force, shouldn’t it be against the existential threats?

In short, why did banks merely write small checks when caught undermining the integrity of the nation’s property title system via “robosigining,” but the innocent child above is fighting for his life in a hospital?

America, it is long past time to reexamine your priorities and what you demand from your justice system.  After all… it’s “for the children!”

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2 thoughts on “The ‘war on drugs’ must end… for the children…

  1. Pingback: Rolling over the odometer | A True Progressive

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