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Spy Satellite Photos Used To Fight Drug Smugglers

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the we-know-what-you-did-over-the-border dept.

Privacy 381

Hugh Pickens writes "The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, part of the Department of Defense, is using satellites to track the activities of drug cartels operating along the US-Mexican border. The agency is supplying photos to pinpoint Mexican narcotics operations and anticipate smuggling attempts into the United States. During a conference on border security held in Phoenix last week, Scott Zikmanis said his agency already has supplied some data to the El Paso Intelligence Center, a federal clearinghouse for investigating drug cartels. Any border-security surveillance will be done over Mexico, not the US says Zikmanis because a federal law, the Posse Comitatus Act, strictly limits US military operations on American soil unless such operations are authorized by Congress. Civil rights attorneys question the use of satellite technology in law enforcement. 'We are in the midst of a really dangerous time in terms of technology,' said Chris Calabrese, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. 'The idea that such a powerful tool might be turned on US citizens is really troubling.'"

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LUSIK (-1, Offtopic)

LOLoDEN (1558065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017935)

wow !!! http://mazok.ucoz.com/ [ucoz.com]

Re:LUSIK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018227)

Fuck you, you spamming jizzlord. Can someone delete this asshole's account?

I hope an escaped convict breaks into your mother's house, ass-rapes her, burns the house down around her, flings hobo shit at her face as she tries to crawl out of the burning building, and then fucks her steaming corpse in the eye-socket.

Re:LUSIK (3, Funny)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018569)

Don't sugar coat it. Tell him how you really feel.

Military required? (4, Insightful)

ComputerDruid (1499317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28017973)

Is drug smuggling really such a big problem to require the use of military resources? It seems like something like this falls much more into the realm of law enforcement than something the military should get involved in.

I know that it is sometimes called the war on drugs, but is it really so bad that it deserves to be called a war?

Re:Military required? (4, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018017)

Some people are expressing concerns about Mexico's stability in the face of drug-cartel related violence.

Re:Military required? (5, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018103)

"Some people are expressing concerns about Mexico's stability in the face of drug-cartel related violence."

If that's the case, why doesn't the US just annex MX? I mean, we've already got about half the people here, why shouldn't we get the real estate too? Nice beaches, etc....

:)

Re:Military required? (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018283)

Nice beaches

Sexist bastard!

Re:Military required? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018307)

Because we'd have even more poor people to deal with?

Re:Military required? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018419)

why doesn't the US just annex MX?

Good idea! Then the drug smugglers would be US citizens, able to make use of their Second Amendment rights.

Well, of course, they already do their shopping in the US anyway, but it would be slightly cheaper crossing the border, no need to bribe customs officers.

Re:Military required? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018577)

Actually, that's (probably) not true. It's much easier to buy arms by the truck load on the black market from China, Russia, or Venezuela than it is to buy a few at a time in the US and sneak them back over the border.

Re:Military required? (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018469)

If that's the case, why doesn't the US just annex MX?

Because then we'll need a new "threat to the American way" to rile up the idiots so they can be politically manipulated -- illegal Mexican immigrants won't be usable for that anymore.

Who would we blame for taking our jobs? Who would we blame for the drug trade? Who would we pay terrible wages to labor in our fields and in our kitchens -- they'd need to be paid a decent wage if we annexed Mexico!

Re:Military required? (2, Informative)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018897)

Easy, Guatemala and Belize are south of Mexico just waiting to be the new scapegoats.

Re:Military required? (4, Insightful)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018401)

Some people are expressing concerns about Mexico's stability in the face of drug-cartel related violence.

Then legalize the drugs. Then use the profits from the government-sold drugs to start up rehab centers. Problem solved.

Re:Military required? (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018481)

Yeah right.

I agree with you in principle, but this description of how it would play out borders on the hilarious.

I mean, what do you do with the hundreds of thousands of people who are currently in prison on drug charges? Do you just let them out, or do you go further than that? What do you do about the thousands of socially marginal people who just lost their jobs (yes, if you are willing to risk prison to distribute drugs, you are likely socially marginal; sorry.)? And so on.

Re:Military required? (4, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018651)

I mean, what do you do with the hundreds of thousands of people who are currently in prison on drug charges? Do you just let them out,

Well, yeah. Hell, it's already happening as budget shortfalls are making people realize that spending millions on keeping potheads locked up might not be the best way to spend cash.

or do you go further than that?

What, like give 'em a cookie or something?

What do you do about the thousands of socially marginal people who just lost their jobs (yes, if you are willing to risk prison to distribute drugs, you are likely socially marginal; sorry.)?

And...you lost me. Try this experiment: type in socially marginal jobs in Google, and be just fucking amazed at all the hits you'll get.

And so on.

So on what? you said in your first sentence that the implications of what GP said border on the hilarious, but the rest of your post...devolved somewhat. Care to actually explain yourself?

Re:Military required? (1)

aaandre (526056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018649)

Illegal drugs bring higher profit with no responsibility whatsoever.

If the currently legal drugs like alcohol, coffee and tobacco become illegal, their prices will skyrocket, and the government won't have to put effort into quality control, regulation etc. Everyone who uses them will be a criminal and easy to jail when they become inconvenient for any reason.

At the same time many people would be able to make a killing on the black market. Some of these people may or may not be in collusion with the government, making tax-free money.

Re:Military required? (2, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018621)

Imagine, if you will, that drugs were treated as a public health problem and regulated and taxed. What would happen to all the associated drug crime, where people can't go to police when they've been wronged?

Re:Military required? (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018029)

Why don't we just do something MUCH simpler...and start legalizing them for adults?!?

Just doing that will cut the profit...and take a lot of the crime out of it.

Start with pot...I mean, if people can grow it themselves, why buy from Juan the MX drug thug?

Re:Military required? (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018185)

Actually, most people won't grow it them selves, they will probably buy in from a legal distribute, like cigarettes.

Re:Military required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018605)

Actually, most people won't grow it them selves, they will probably buy in from a legal distribute, like cigarettes.

That and my home owner's association won't let me plant pot all around my house! Also, if I did, I'd have all these damn hippies hanging around, kids wanting to mow my lawn, waking up to find my lawn mowed anyway...arg! I couldn't deal with the hassles!

Re:Military required? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018467)

Next, legalize opium... I mean, if people can grow it themselves, why buy from Arif the Taliban drug thug?

While I don't have a problem with what recreational drugs people partake of in the privacy of their own homes, operating a car, boat, train, or plane while under the influence should result in the permanent loss of one's license to operate said vehicle.

Re:Military required? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018571)

Of course, no one should operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.

Why should opium not be legal for recreational use?

Re:Military required? (3, Informative)

Xoltri (1052470) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018611)

Next, legalize opium... I mean, if people can grow it themselves, why buy from Arif the Taliban drug thug?

For suggested reading I would recommend The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit drugs http://www.druglibrary.org/Schaffer/LIBRARY/studies/cu/cumenu.htm [druglibrary.org] . It's free online. It details how prohibition got us from relatively harmless opium to the dangerous drugs such as heroin.

Re:Military required? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018647)

I agree. Keep people from hurting others. There should continue to be very low tolerance for any intoxicated driving of any kind. But let people do what they will as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else directly.

Re:Military required? (4, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018853)

Alcohol is legal. Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is not legal. Why would you ever assume that just because drugs became legal that operating a vehicle under their influence would suddenly be OK?

Re:Military required? (4, Interesting)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018221)

I doubt the military uses all of their satellites 24/7. When not in use for other things, why not use them to help fight crime? We spent ungodly amounts of money for those things I bet so we might as well get all the use from them we can. When the satellite can take pictures of the border it can only take pictures of what is in its line of sight, so using it to find people in Afghanistan isn't an exclusive task (may depend on how/whether the satellite can adjust its orbit).

Re:Military required? (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018505)

When not in use for other things, why not use them to help fight crime? We spent ungodly amounts of money for those things I bet so we might as well get all the use from them we can.

Because we need to maintain a wall of separation between the military and law enforcement. Even if it's expensive to do so.

I wouldn't welcome any more steps towards the US becoming a fascist state.

Re:Military required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018873)

wall of separation? is there one?

they are both guys in uniform with guns.
they are both above the above the law.
they will both kill people who don't obey them.

the "military" has a bit more firepower in most jurisdictions than the "police", although in some jurisdictions the opposite is true.

as far as I know the only real difference is that we don't hang "police" for desertion (n.b. new orleans immediately after katrina)

Re:Military required? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018913)

For me it really depends on which satillite your using. If it is a Sigint/comint then yes I have a problem with it. If it is a photoint then no I really don't
They can only see what you could see from a plane anyway. Train some civilian interpreters and there is your separation.

Re:Military required? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018589)

When not in use for other things, why not use them to help fight crime?

When the satellites are over the US, why not use them to check for cars parked in front of fire hydrants? Remodeling being done without required permits? Littering? Dog owners not picking up their droppings? Violations of housing development CC&Rs? Unlawful gatherings without permits? Expired parking meters? Jaywalking? Zoning ordinance violations?

Re:Military required? (1)

aaandre (526056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018745)

Jaywalking is a crime. Speeding is a crime. Maybe we should mandate satellite-friendly car tagging and skull tatoos so that everyone will be identifiable from space.

That way we can start ticketing all speeding and jaywalking criminals.

We can crime-fight and collect the money to keep the crime-fighting effort at the same time.

And, when we need more money, we can make more things illegal. Like not reporting a crime.

Re:Military required? (0)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018225)

It would be more effective to build a fence, and stage 20 man units in bunkers every 10 miles with an array of sensors on each side of the fence. The 700 miles of fence called for by GW and friends worked out costwise to $595.00USD per foot of fence. A simple 12' high metal fence with sensors to detect approaches within 300 yards of the fence should be much cheaper, even with deployment of troops every 10 miles. It would protect our border and country from not only drug smugglers(which if the government would legalize drugs there would be no drug smugglers), terrorists(a low risk of them sneaking over the border, much easier to fly in with a visa) and illegal aliens. But the liberal crowd cries unfair to poor immigrants(check out kidnappings in Arizona for fun and games) coming to America to better themselves, and the conservatives who don't want their big business buddies to lose the low paid slaves from Mexico. Personally, I like the idea of shoot to kill anyone caught crossing the border, it is cheap, effective and the illegals and smugglers would quickly stop trying when death at 2000fps explodes their head every attempt.

Re:Military required? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018403)

The Romans probably had the right idea with Hadrian's wall.

Towers every 555 yards and small fortresses every 5000 feet.

Put in an actual wall with a ditch and a few soldiers in every tower with heavier equipment in the fortresses.

With modern sensors and each tower supporting the adjacent towers for rapid response (either in manpower or firepower) there wouldn't be much making it across the border.

Re:Military required? (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018501)

At almost 2000 miles long that doesn't sound like such a good idea to me, although with modern weaponry we could space out the small fortresses much further, like every 30 miles or such.

Even at that point you're still looking at spending a hell of a lot of money to accomplish something nobody really wants to accomplish.

Really, electronic fencing with video based surveillance is all you really need with camps every few miles or so. If it detects enough movement or heat signatures then it sets off alarms and then you send the border patrol to that location.

We use similar technology to protect expensive cars at our events where we have about 80,000 people on site. It works very well as it's just waiting for a virtual line to be crossed. The system is exceedingly easy to implement and a few orders of magnitude cheaper than building a giant wall that makes any further development almost impossible.

what is needed? (4, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018765)

Really, electronic fencing with video based surveillance is all you really need with camps every few miles or so.

No, what's really needed is to get rid of stupid, liberty denying, racist laws.

Falcon

Re:what is needed? (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018867)

Fair enough hence my second statement about spending a hell of a lot money to accomplish something nobody really wants to accomplish.

Re:Military required? (2, Interesting)

ViennaSt (1138481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018241)

I will be the fear monger here.
Read this shit [cnn.com]
It's scary as hell! Maybe the US needs the technology to counter people like this--the drug cartel is running havoc.

Re:Military required? (3, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018709)

Considering that the man was a coyote, It's hard for me to feel empathy for his situation given that coyotes frequently pack people (who are willing to die to get here) into conditions which even slaughterhouse cattle would envy, all for the mighty buck.

The guy also had a day job. If border crime is as ruthless as the media says it is (and I doubt that because I've lived on the border for 18 years of my life), then a man with a family would be wise to stay out of the traficantes' business.

[tinfoil hat] I doubt that the recent media blitzes against Mexico, border crime and swine flu, are coincidental. [/tinfoil hat]

Re:Military required? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018711)

Ask yourself why the drug cartels and immigration coyotes exist and are so profitable. If you answered "because of prohibitionist, Protestant knee-jerk drug and anti-immigration policy", you win. Change the policy, and the violence stops. This proposal is like trying to treat a broken arm with vicodin. Sure, some of the pain stops, but it ain't gonna fix the REAL problem, which is that demand for drugs exists, and you CANNOT fix that. It's impossible. As long as substances exist that make people feel better, they will be abused. As long as it's easier to get into the US and work illegally than it is to do it legally, the problem will exist.

Re:Military required? (4, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018253)

It's pretty out of control down in Mexico. The cartels outgun the law enforcement agencies and they have paramilitary training. It isn't unheard of for drug gang enforcers to use bodyarmor, automatic weapons and hand grenades.

I'm not as worried about the spy satellites as I am about the government using Mexico's problems as justification to limit our 2nd amendment rights. The handwriting is on the wall with this one. There are numerous stories in the news about how the guns in Mexico are coming from the United States. I can see what is going on in Mexico being used as yet another justification for a NAU style homogeonization of laws (read: a further erosion of the Constitution by entering into treaties with foreign countries).

Re:Military required? (3, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018777)

Lots of stores in the news about US guns in Mexico... the problem is, those are very tortured statistics [agonist.org] . Sure, most of the guns that can be traced do get traced back to the US. But for the overall total of guns sourced from the US, nobody knows for sure [latimes.com] .

Re:Military required? (2, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018891)

You're confusing the issue with facts. So long as the media reports that guns are going to drug smugglers who are killing women and children, the government gets their justification to clamp down on gun rights.

Re:Military required? (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018359)

Where do you draw the line between military and law enforcement? Its outside of our borders, but dealing with a non-state organization who have made attacks on our territory and citizens... in many ways similar to hunting down bin Laden and al-Qaeda (neglecting the misadventures that followed).

Personally, I'm not seeing what the big deal is, its only being used outside of the US borders and its being used for national security, exactly what they're supposed to be used for.

Protecting the borders (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018503)

Is drug smuggling really such a big problem to require the use of military resources?

Isn't protecting the borders exactly what the military are supposed to do?

Re:Military required? (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018687)

Is drug smuggling really such a big problem to require the use of military resources?

Yes. [foxnews.com] Hell yes. [wsj.com]

Re:Military required? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018705)

I know that it is sometimes called the war on drugs, but is it really so bad that it deserves to be called a war?

Calling it a war on drugs is nothing more than propaganda. If government really wanted to stop drug smuggling and gang, organized crime, violence they'd legalize drugs. Treat them just as one of the most dangerous drugs, alcohol, is treated. Legalize and tax them. If someone is under the influence when they commit a crime charge them for that crime. If they get pulled over while driving charge them with driving under the influence. Almost all deaths and harm caused by drugs is due to laws and the war on drugs.

License, regulate, tax. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018011)

Enough said.

Re:License, regulate, tax. (2, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018189)

No kidding. More people have been killed in 2008 due to drug violence in Mexico than US casualties in Iraq for the same year!

Re:License, regulate, tax. (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018229)

Mexican drug smugglers are not limited to cannabis. They also move an enormous amount of cocaine and meth. While legalizing cannabis should have been done years ago already, meth is so clearly destroying the heartland of America (and even making inroads into big cities) that legalization and taxation is not an option.

Re:License, regulate, tax. (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018391)

Mexican drug smugglers are not limited to cannabis.

65% of their business is related to cannabis. I'm sure even more of their business would take a hit (no pun intended) if they knew they could get a cheap legal high from weed rather than paying more for illegal meth.

They also move an enormous amount of cocaine and meth. While legalizing cannabis should have been done years ago already, meth is so clearly destroying the heartland of America.

Meth is also funding the economically challenged "heartland of America," even more so lately with the bad economy. It's a terrible, brain-rotting drug, but it's also one of the few things people will pay for. Talk about your dilemmas...

Re:License, regulate, tax. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018723)

Your last paragraph is specious. On an actual percentage basis, very few people use meth, and they are overwhelmingly poor.

If it was a joke, well, then whoosh is me.

Re:License, regulate, tax. (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018393)

Is meth "destroying the heartland" or are whatever conditions making the heartlanders turn to meth "destroying the heartland"?

It is arguable that some drugs might sneak up on you, notably the socially acceptable ones; but you don't go from boy scout to raving meth head without some outside motive.

Re:License, regulate, tax. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018463)

uhh .. actually, fucktard, you're wrong. It happened to a friend. One hit, that's all it took. I pray that's not normal, but she was addicted after one hit. And yes, she's dead now.

Re:License, regulate, tax. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018535)

I don't have mod points, but you deserve them. Untreated psychological and physical issues cause this kind of behavior. Besides if all drugs were legalized, they'd have the option of many other stimulants that would be far cheaper and safer than meth currently is.

If effect, we shit on our citizens and lock people into their class (saving the brightest few which we promote a class after working them like dogs), and then foment class warfare between groups of people. Add in that we plaster our media with people living lives that NO FUCKING ONE will ever have (seriously you are more likely to win the lottery).

Yeah, it's not meth screwing up anyone's hometown, it's the gigantic lake of shit we've all been wading in for decades. It's despair.

Re:License, regulate, tax. (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018591)

but you don't go from boy scout to raving meth head without some outside motive

Are you an expert on addiction? On the physiological and psychological pathways to addiction?

No? Didn't think so.

Plenty of people have gone from boy scout to raving meth head. Addiction to meth, like addiction to alcohol, often results in comorbidity with other psychological diseases (like chronic depression, different types of schizophrenia, etc). It's a bit of chicken-or-egg problem, but modern research suggests that not only can meth and/or alcohol addiction exacerbate existing pysch disorders, but they can cause disorders in people with no prior history of mental disease.

Anything that screws with your neurotransmitters can screw with your mental health.

Re:License, regulate, tax. (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018801)

"without some outside motive"

I'm not saying anybody is immune to meth addiction, or addiction generally. Once you hit the neurochemistry, anything is possible. I am suggesting that people don't just pick up meth the way they just pick up scrapbooking or model airplanes. The fact that meth is seriously bad news, even by drug standards, is well known. I'm saying that, without some impetus, people don't just pick up things with reputations like that.

Different societies, and different subsections of society, have different rates of drug use, drug abuse, and adverse drug outcomes. They also use different drugs in different proportions. That is what I'm talking about. As you say, meth can get to pretty much anybody once they start using it. However, some circumstances are more likely than others to induce them to do that. That was the point of my question.

What is it about the economic, social, political, arrangement of the area that causes people to pick meth up in greater numbers?

I'm sorry if I expressed myself poorly. I neither think nor intended to imply that resistance to drugs one has been exposed to differs substantially between people(though, with some drugs, there does seem to be a genetic factor). I do think that there are significant differences between social contexts in how many people are induced to be exposed to drugs.

And even making inroads into big cities (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018475)

OMG like meth could someday come to Philly?

The collective amnesia that goes on with the drug war is so sad.

Decades ago, before pseudo was the precursor and little old ladies and everyone else had to sign books to get allergy medicine, the meth precusor was p2p. There was a decades old movie where Harrison Ford lived amongst them Amish because of police conspiracy involving p2p.

I keep hearing how the meth menace will spread from the mid west to the east coast. I just laugh because the only thing that has changed in the epic waste of decades of the drug war is that meth quality and availibility has gone up. And it is not like some mythical heartland that can be "destroyed" by meth can't be destroyed by Alcohol.

Tax it and regulate it or suffer enternal hell and epic waste of lives and money that makes the waste of addiction look tame. And you still suffer all the waste of addiction under this stupid war we got going.

And don't think the domestic police forces won't end up like the Mexicales. Ask some Philly bodega operators, and they will tell you it has already happened.

Re:And even making inroads into big cities (1)

aaandre (526056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018785)

Mod parent up, this is insightful and informative.

Re:License, regulate, tax. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018537)

If they were legal (or at least, non criminal, I'd be fine with confiscation laws...), the resources expended dealing with the associated crime (I mean things like dealing and gang violence) and with imprisoning addicts could be re-purposed to treatment.

A couple of basic classes on life skills at a quiet place away from people is going to go a lot further towards helping people live a more reasonable life than a felony conviction.

Re:License, regulate, tax. (1)

yossarianuk (1402187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018627)

Maybe if cannabis was legalized then people wouldn't been offered meth by their drug dealers....

Re:License, regulate, tax. (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018693)

meth is so clearly destroying the heartland of America (and even making inroads into big cities) that legalization and taxation is not an option

You're making the assumption that if meth were legal and regulated that it would continue to destroy people. I'm not convinced that's the case.

You're also making the assumption that it's better to restrict people's freedom and have a quasi-police state for everyone than to let a few people who chose to ruin their own lives continue to do so quietly at home. I'd much have more freedom for all, even if that means the few people who can't handle that freedom destroy their own lives. As you've observed, they're going to destroy their lives anyway; by making the method of that destruction illegal, it simply causes more collateral damage when that inevitably happens.

pcp? meth? (0, Redundant)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018595)

i support the legalization of marijuana. hell, i even think magic mushrooms and lsd should be legal, if they are used in a controlled environment. because, while they are extremely reality-altering, they are not addictive

but some chemicals, like pcp and meth, are literally life destroyers: they are powerfully chemically addictive and habituating. this means you can't use them for awhile and walk away. they take over your life. where before you had a relationship and a job, now you just have a habit to feed. no, sorry, human willpower is not stronger than these chemical forces

so some drugs must be fought, forever, regardless of the fact the war is never won and regardless of the fact that prohibition feeds organized crime and other social ills. simply because legalization of SOME highly addictive drugs create WORSE negative effects on society than prohibtion of them does. i am all for novel approaches for users: healthcare treatments, for example, rather than stone cold jail. but an addict is an addict is an addict: they need some sort of limits on their freedom, because an addict just uses their freedom to get more drugs

most ironically of all, if you want to get right down to the issue of personal freedoms, guess what: addictive drugs are the most personal freedom destroying force in the world. no harsh fascist intrusive government in the wildest imagination can destroy more personal freedom than an addiction to something like meth can (well, actually, such a government could be that evil by forcefully addicting its citizens to something like meth, but this only further proves my point about some drugs)

alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, lsd... legalize

pcp, oxycodone, methamphetamine... no, sorry, never. these are freedom destorying chemically addicting and habituating monsters that enslave and zombify worse than any government, real or imaginary, ever could. these drugd remain illegal IN THE NAME OF personal freedom

Re:pcp? meth? (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018741)

PCP is a disassociative and is not habit forming. The only folks who claim it is claim MJ is addictive.

That you cannot use some drugs and walk away is again bullshit. No one gets addicted in one use, that takes time and effort. You have been believing to much propaganda.

If you do not have the freedom to decide what chemicals you can consume you are not very free.

No shit. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018019)

Seriously, this seems like a big duh statement. I think I'm going to post "Humans need water to survive!" next since it's just as obvious.

No Such Agency (1)

DamageLabs (980310) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018039)

Well, as long as it is not the NSA, we have nothing to worry about...

Singularity? (1)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018043)

As long as they don't prevent the singularity.

I would have gotten a first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018049)

but I'm high on Mexican brown

techno burst (0, Offtopic)

rawdirt (464725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018079)

really a terrible dilemma...

now try searching for "rfid cyanide patent"

techno will free itself from petty laws

Like that'll work. (0, Flamebait)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018091)

Gee, I seem to recall people getting convicted for something called tax evasion. But then I'm sure all the wonderful lefties who like to chant "Legalize, Regulate and Tax" will make sure to pay the fees, right? None of them would ever break a law.

I'm for as much military intervention as it takes.

Re:Like that'll work. (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018233)

What is your point here? If MJ were legal and taxed, do you think that you would still be buying from "Jose" or "Joe". Unlikely. You (the hypothetical you, of course) would be purchasing from a store, just like you buy your cigarettes from.

How many "wonderful lefties" currently do not pay tax on cigarettes? Very few.

As for your snide comment about "None would ever break the law"... I'll ignore that ignorant, blanket statement.

Re:Like that'll work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018603)

Regardless of political leaning, lots of people avoid paying taxes on cigarettes. I have a co-worker who buys them in bulk from an Indian reservation. And there's really a lot of interstate cigarette smuggling going on where neighboring states have very different tax rates.

Legalization changes smuggling, but doesn't eliminate it.

And the military operations angle? Hell yes, they should be checking out what's crossing the border!
And what's with the "privacy" tag? These people are in public.
Fucking libertarians. If you threaten their weed, all reason goes out the window.

Re:Like that'll work. (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018459)

Seriously? Seriously?

"Drug smugglers" aren't a problem exclusive to brown people outside the border(if they were, your position would be merely jingoistic). They are also a problem inside, and among various other groups(not much of a market among people a few inches from the border).

"As much military intervention as it takes" will mean domestic surveillance, domestic military actions, search and seizure, all kinds of forced entry, and so forth against American citizens. That is an outrageously authoritarian position.

Don't Blunt our Spear!! (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018761)

There are limits to power that must be respected. Our country gets into trouble when projects its power in a blundering way.

Keep the military miles and miles and miles away from drugs. Drug money will corrupt the poorly paid officers and NCOs. It is absolutely stupid to put our soldiers in a position where they can be bribed.

Iraq and Afghanistan are stupid because the USA's not getting anything out of either stupid war.

We are excellent at shock and awe. We can destroy any enemy FAST. Bush and Obama don't get it--we don't blunt our damn spear on stupid shit.

Well (2, Insightful)

moogied (1175879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018097)

To those that don't know.. phoenix/tucson are seeing record kidnappings and murders. These are being primarily carried out by drug cartels. CNN and Fox have been talking about it, which makes this a political move to calm the masses.

Re:Well (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018157)

"To those that don't know.. phoenix/tucson are seeing record kidnappings and murders. These are being primarily carried out by drug cartels. CNN and Fox have been talking about it, which makes this a political move to calm the masses."

How about they just secure (physically) the border??? Just stop them from coming across with drugs? Stop all illegal migration north of the border?!?!

Re:Well (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018203)

How about you bother to attempt to understand the scope of what you are saying they should do?

Re:Well (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018639)

Few people truly comprehend this problem as the ramifications of the possible solutions.

If you make it difficult for people to cross the border then all kinds of commerce is also hurt so it costs you more than just materials to build a wall but also lots of lost revenue.

Think about how many people you probably know that avoid flying because they hate airports and the security bullshit you have to put up with?

From my own corporate experience, you make security so unfriendly and people will either circumvent or lobby to get it removed.

Re:Well (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018859)

He's probably from New England or something. One of my favorite aphorisms about England (and by extension, New England because everything is so close together): "In England, 200 miles is a long way. In the US, 200 years is a long time". It depends entirely on your perceptions. I had a friend from England out on vacation who wanted to see Four Corners, Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon. In a 3 day weekend. Go have fun with a map with that one ;)

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018619)

Do have seriously any idea of how hard it is to "stop all illegal migration north of the border", and "secure (physically) the border"?
Your country has been throwing away millions of dollars trying to do that for the past decades.

People will always use drugs. If drugs are illegal then illegal markets will be created to supply the demand.
You can't stop the demand. You can supply your citizens with drugs though.
That takes a lot of blood out of the equation, and wastes less taxpayer money trying to fight yet another "war".

So they'll get someone else to do it (2, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018115)

So, does anyone think the US is interested in, say, chinese or russian sattelite images of the US for this purpose?

Anyway, I find it hard to believe that law enforcement is not following the letter of the law and saying "It's not on soil! It's in SPACE!"

Re:So they'll get someone else to do it (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018237)

So, does anyone think the US is interested in, say, chinese or russian sattelite images of the US for this purpose?

Yes. But why bother with chinese or russian images, when they can just swap intel with the UK or other close allies?

Anyway, I find it hard to believe that law enforcement is not following the letter of the law and saying "It's not on soil! It's in SPACE!"

Well, I'm sure that competent lawyers could convince a judge that the spirit of the law would forbid this as well, even *if* the letter of the law was restricted to "on American soil".

query: (2, Funny)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018151)

Did we check to see that US military flights over another sovereign nation would be OK with them?

Re:query: (2, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018281)

Once you get above the magic 100 km marker, its all international space.

Originally, when Sputnik flew over what might have been considered US airspace, the Eisenhower administration intelligently agreed that it was legal and valid... otherwise you couldn't have any kind of orbit that wasn't geostationary.

Re:query: (2, Interesting)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018581)

Originally, when Sputnik flew over what might have been considered US airspace, the Eisenhower administration intelligently agreed that it was legal and valid... otherwise you couldn't have any kind of orbit that wasn't geostationary.

Ok, I'll bite... if it's international space, then why worry about posse comitatus in this case?

Re:query: (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018841)

Because we don't want to have our own military/intelligence services spying on US citizens on US soil?

The satellites may very well be over the US when they're observing the border, the key is that the product is strictly restricted to images of areas outside of our borders unless strict court proceedings are followed... and continued development of commercial offerings make that less important.

The real problem is that its a fuzzy area between law enforcement and national security. I think the strict adherence to only looking outside of the borders, and presumably that the images couldn't be used as evidence in criminal proceedings minimizes the issues, and I'm pretty comfortable with it. Of course, it does help that the ACLU is keeping a close eye to make sure it doesn't cross the line. Its definitely much less troubling than the NSA's shenanigans.

Yea, but they do it anyway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018177)

They say they don't, but they do.

They are watching us, to see if we are wearing our tin foil hats or not.

You know, to block their mind control rays.

Soon as you stumble, your hat falls off, bingo, they got you!

Great IDEA!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018201)

The only way I don't see this working is if some idiot posts about it on the internet.

Spy Satellite Photos Used To Fight Drug Smugglers (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018245)

Spy Satellite Photos Used To Fight Drug Smugglers. So what do they do now? Perhaps they fight. For the right. To parteeeeee!

Good to see technology paying off (1)

Edoko (267461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018313)

Great to see the U.S. government finally using some of its high technology to stop the scourge of drug smuggling and sleazy lawless murdering criminal gangs that have been operating almost without limit along the Southern Border.

The next step: bring in the flying drones to intercept and destroy the shipments.

Turn in your nerd card! (1)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018381)

Nerds are against the "drug war".

Re:Turn in your nerd card! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018451)

Only the ones that are trying to date the local Barista by showing off their laptop with a partially digested piece of fruit on the top.

Re:Good to see technology paying off (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018895)

Because that will work. Have robberies stopped since they started arresting robbers? Why would the amazingly profitable drug trade stop just because a few shipments get caught? All that will happen is that drugs will get more expensive, violence will increase, and people will still be jonesing for their next fix. The problem is that you're trying to fight against human nature with drug prohibition. You can just as easily stop the earth from turning. Treat it as a public health issue, tax and regulate drugs. Make it so it's easier to get a clean, legal fix than it is to do so illegally, and you'd see the drug violence die out almost overnight.

The idea that such a powerful tool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28018337)

"The idea that such a powerful tool might be turned on US citizens is really troubling."

They do it anyway, they just say they don't.

It's because they want to catch you off guard

Without your tin foil hat, you know, to block their rays.

You stumble once, your hat falls off, they got you!

Use superglue, and cut your hair off each night.

Government agencies need boogyman Drugs or (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018405)

They will lose their funding.

Anyone think that we've created a monster?

Typical of all government programs.

Doesn't sound like a posse comitatus problem to me (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018407)

While the spy satellites are indeed owned by the military, no military troops are being deployed to meet up with the smugglers. While I haven't exactly read the act lately, I thought it just prohibited the active deployment of troops... I was not under the impression it prohibited cooperation between the military and DoJ.

The GPS system is owned by the military too, but nobody argues that the use of GPS isn't permissible because merely because it's owned by the DoD.

SirWired

Damn (2, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018413)

I knew we shouldn't have run the whole drug-smuggling operation on the roof.

At least all of our communications were done inside, on the phone. Those should be safe.

Satellite is nothing (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018699)

Wait until Argus hits the skies.

Why won't anyone think of the children!!!! (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28018795)

Why waste these spy cameras on drug smuggling when we can catch dogs in the act of shitting on the path? Children can't play in some areas without stepping in dogshit it's time we had action on this. Why won't they think of the children.....and the parents who have to clean them afterwards. At least drugs can make you a little more chilled when scraping another round of dogshit from your soles.
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