War on Terror

Drug Policy Question of the Week – 9-19-11

As answered by Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts for the Drug Truth Network on 9-19-11. http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/3554

Question of the Week: Are the “War on Drugs” and “War on Terror” the same?

An article in the University of Pittsburgh Law Review states,

“Well before the twenty-first century, the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the resulting War on Terror, the country and Supreme Court already had been fighting another war for thirty years—the so-called “War on Drugs”—and it was every bit as devastating to civil liberties, although slower and more methodical, than our new “War on Terror” promises to be.”

The link between the two is described rhetorically by the Transform Drug Policy Foundation,

“Like the war on terror, the war on drugs is framed as a response to an exceptional, existential threat to our health, our security, and indeed the very fabric of society. …. The “Addiction to narcotic drugs” is portrayed as an “evil” the international community has a moral duty to “combat” because it is a “danger of incalculable gravity” that warrants a series of (otherwise publicly unacceptable) extraordinary measures.”

The results of this rhetoric were outlined in a Drexel Law Review article concerning the U.S. Patriot Act,

“the Passage of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act [shortly after 9/11] substantially increased the authority of the government in surveillance, border security, terrorism policing, money laundering policing, and intelligence gathering.”

The University of Pittsburgh Law Review concludes,

“methodically and largely unnoticed in the name of the War on Drugs, and now more rapidly and apparent in the War on Terrorism, our free, open society is casually losing its grip.”

These facts and others like them can be found on the Drugs and Terrorism subchapter of the Drug War Facts Interdiction chapter at http://www.drugwarfacts.org