Drug Policy

Where Drug Warriors Get Their Intelligence

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National Journal reports (in a subscriber-only bulletin) that Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) snuck a $23 million earmark for the National Drug Intelligence Center into the intelligence bill the House is considering, to the irritation of fiscal conservatives such as Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). What's the National Drug Intelligence Center? Charles Oliver explains:

In 1990, the Bush administration called for the creation of a National Drug Intelligence Center "to consolidate and coordinate all relevant law enforcement information related to drug trafficking and provide a strategic picture of drug smuggling and distribution organizations." But the proposal changed a bit as it made its way through the legislative process. Instead of coordinating information, the new center will duplicate the functions of 19 existing drug-intelligence centers. And instead of setting up shop in the corridors of national power, it is located in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, an economically depressed town of 35,000 best known for its floods. Rep. John V. Murtha, Democrat of Johnstown, explains the location this way: "That's where I wanted it." He adds that the move saves taxpayers money, since rents are lower in Johnstown than in Washington.

But it's not true that this low-rent operation has produced nothing of value. It did give us an entertaining 2001 report in which the NDIC was shocked to find people talking about drugs online, and not always in government-approved ways.

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  1. The whole point of the federal government in the last 20 years has been to provide connected people jobs and money and to keep miserable pieces of shit like Murtha from having to go home to Johnstown and places like it after they have tasted the fleshpots of Washington. There is just no stopping it. I really don’t have a good sollution. I used to think that if you could ever get a President with any balls, he would just veto every spending bill and shut down the government until every ounce of this kind of shit was eliminated from the budget. He could do it under the guise of “I am not going to cut the social security check or medicare payment of one senior or reduce the healthcare to one veteran until we get rid of all of this pork.”

    It sounds good but the President would end up being impeached because there is no way the Congress would ever give up their right to steal from the American public.

  2. Where Drug Warriors Get Their Intelligence

    When will drug warriers get their intelligence?

  3. …there is no way the Congress would ever give up their right to steal from the American public.

    The real tragedy, is that there is no way the American public would ever give up the right for Congress to steal from them.

  4. The real tragedy, is that there is no way the American public would ever give up the right for Congress to steal from them.

    Bingo

  5. I hereby declare that I revoke the right of Congress to steal from me.

    There. I feel better.

  6. “””The whole point of the federal government in the last 20 years has been to provide connected people jobs and money and to keep miserable pieces of shit like Murtha from having to go home to Johnstown and places like it after they have tasted the fleshpots of Washington.””””

    Muthra doesn’t visit his state? That sounds false.

    Most in Congress get earmarks for their states. Nothing is “snuck” in, that’s the term Congress uses to say “hey I didn’t read that” because they don’t read. It’s not Muthra’s fault or any other Congressman. They should read the friggin things they before they vote.

    Anyone who has any respect for service members shouldn’t be calling a 37 year vet a piece of shit.

  7. Godzilla v. Muthra… who will win?

    Where’s Gaius when you need a fall-of-the-Roman-empire analogy?

  8. Nice to see the new majority is doing something about the republican culture of corruption and earmark reform.

    Unfortunately, the something appears to be carrying on the exact same culture of corruption they were complaining about before the election.

  9. “Most in Congress get earmarks for their states. Nothing is “snuck” in, that’s the term Congress uses to say “hey I didn’t read that” because they don’t read. It’s not Muthra’s fault or any other Congressman. They should read the friggin things they before they vote.”

    Its totally their fault. Every damn one of them refuses do anything about spending because no one wants their chance at the trough cut off.

    Further, it is not that Murtha doesn’t visit PA, it is that he could never make a living doing anything productive besides stealing from the government. He can’t go back to private life after having tasted the pleausres available to the typical corrupt Congressman.

  10. TrickyVic,

    You are dead wrong, earmarks are snuck into bills all of the time.

    That way it allows the sponsor to avoid the bother of explaining why taxpayer money needs to be spent on whatever particular boondoggle they are trying to get money for.

    Porkbusters and the sunlight foundation have done some excellent work illustrating just how corrupt and undemocratic the practice is.

  11. ts totally their fault. Every damn one of them refuses do anything about spending because no one wants their chance at the trough cut off.

    *cough* Ron Paul *cough*

  12. TrickyVic,

    Anyone who has any respect for service members shouldn’t be calling a 37 year vet a piece of shit.

    Let me be the first (today) to step in and state the obvious truth. Just because John Murtha or John Kerry, or hell, me for that matter, served in the military says nothing about their character, morals, or any other personal characteristic. Murtha can be a veteran and I can respect his service to the nation while thinking (and saying) that he’s an addled old shitbag who should be kicked in the taint and ridden back to Johnstown on a rail. The two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive.

  13. TrickyVic,

    Fuck Murtha I am veteran to. More imporantly, the fact that I am doesn’t mean I am right about anything and doesn’t mean that people should call me out when I am wrong. T is exactly right. Good for Murtha that he served. Shame on him for being such a horrible Congressman.

  14. SamB: Amen brother

  15. I have to question the validity of a person who uses so many swearwords in their response to the actions of one congressman. The fact is a lot of them do it, even Saints like Ron Paul.
    Congressman Murtha is an extremely intelligent crafty man who has convinced his hometown that he is their savior and God. Really, my parent’s live there and he would just be another one of many in Congress, he just happens to be better at it than the others.

  16. I think I just found my new H&R moniker.

  17. Madison,

    I don’t even know that Ron Paul is a saint. You are right that Murtha is no better or worse than most of them. They are all on the take.

  18. “”Anyone who has any respect for service members shouldn’t be calling a 37 year vet a piece of shit”””

    I served too, and I stand by the above statment. There are lots of vets I disagree with or don’t like, but I would not use a term like “piece of shit”.

    “””You are dead wrong, earmarks are snuck into bills all of the time. “””

    My point being Congress has a responsibility to read and to know what a bill sez before voting on it. Therefore, nothing is “snuck” into to the bill, they just didn’t read. Their failure to read is the problem. Not that somebody put something into it after they were briefed by an aide. I’m not going to give them the liberty of an excuse for not reading.

    If someone is guarding a door and falls asleep, or doesn’t pay attention to the door. Then someone enters the door unseen. Is it because the guy was sneaky, or because the guard was ineffective? I don’t think it’s sneaky if it’s in plain sight. Or written within the bill you’re about to sign.

  19. “”” You are right that Murtha is no better or worse than most of them. They are all on the take.”””

    He who holds the purse, will spend.

  20. Most of my fellow GIs that I’ve heard actually opine on Murtha have been decidedly in the “piece of shit” camp.

    Good on him for serving, bad on him for being a douchebag afterwards.

    Being a former Marine didn’t make Oswald any less of a shitbag.

  21. John Murtha is the whore of Babylon. Ironic, but true.

  22. “Anyone who has any respect for service members shouldn’t be calling a 37 year vet a piece of shit.”

    Not all service is deserving of respect.

  23. I served too, and I stand by the above statment. There are lots of vets I disagree with or don’t like, but I would not use a term like “piece of shit”.

    I’d say the military intelligence commander at Abu Ghraib, Thomas Pappas, is a “piece of shit.” I’d even tell him that to his face.

  24. “””Most of my fellow GIs that I’ve heard actually opine on Murtha have been decidedly in the “piece of shit” camp. “””

    Why? For wanting to pull troops from a half-ass attempt? He wanted to send more troops to get the job done, but when he realized the Bush admin was not willing to do so, then he was for getting out. Shit or get off the pot.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-11-17-pullout_x.htm

    From the above article

    “In May 2004, Murtha warned his party that the war was unwinnable unless more U.S. and coalition forces were sent to Iraq.”

    “Murtha says all that’s eating him is seeing troops killed and injured because they lack armored Humvees and body armor.”

    “Murtha voted to authorize the 1991 Persian Gulf War. He voted with 80 other House Democrats to give Bush the authority to use military force against Saddam Hussein in 2002. But his doubts about the administration’s handling of the war have steadily mounted.”

    The idea to call Muthra a piece of shit is a product of the blind republican eye.

  25. Media’s Love Affair With Murtha Ignores His Pork-Filled Past

    Ya know, it is possible to be right on Iraq but otherwise be an absolutely contemptible congressman.

  26. As a congressman, Murtha is an asshole. But, it appears the money was going to either the war on terrorism or the war on drugs, so either way it was a lose-lose situation. However, I’d rather see the lower amount of $16 billion going to close the Drug Intelligence Center.

  27. I’m not a republican, but thanks for playing.

  28. From Brian’s link:

    Tiahrt voted for both amendments, but he is the only Republican on both the House Select Committee on Intelligence and the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, which Murtha chairs.

    Only one Republican sitting on both committees/subcommittees? I thought the seats on these committees were allocated in such a way that the majority party usually had one more seat than the minority party.

  29. Perhaps it means that he is the only Republican to sit on both committes, not the only republican on either committee.

  30. Good catch, wingnutz. Although the House Select Committee on Intelligence is stacked 12-8 in favor of Democrats. I was just flummoxed that it could be possible that only one Republican was on that committee, and I was wrong.

  31. BTW, the Defense Appropriations subcommittee is set at 9-6 Dems over Repubs. My only thought is what I said earlier, I always thought that the majority party had one extra member on committee in order to assure a party-line majority.

  32. “””JF, I don’t know if there is any long term Congressman without a pork filled past. You stay elected by bringing the money to your state. If you can’t bring anything home, what good are you. Their home state decides if they are good or not by the vote. Federal dollars often means jobs. What kind of congressman would pass on bringing jobs to his/her state or district?

    We’ll get the purse zipped up when citizens are no longer interested in federal money or help. Like that’s ever gonna happen!

    I don’t see it changing. Federal power naturally wants to expand. We were warned from the start by the founding fathers. I see very few people that really want to shrink that power once they get elected. I thought Republicans holding two branches of government in 2001 would move toward smaller government. Hell, I voted for Bush in 2000. I was very disappointed.

  33. vote anti-encumbent every time. After ten elections, things will begin to change.

  34. marijuana is a plant.drugs are made by humans and most are employed by some branch of the government so the gov’t can make money. its all about GREED! and if you try to infringe on thier lucrative money machine,well they have guns and jails and can legally shoot you down.as i said its all about GREED and no one elses opinion matters when it comes to money!

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