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Drug Trafficking And The Financing Of Terrorism

3347 words - 13 pages

"International and Domestic Terrorism Organizations and their supporters engage in a myriad of crimes to fund and facilitate terrorist activities. These crimes include extortion, kidnaping, robbery, corruption, alien smuggling, document fraud, arms trafficking, cyber crime, white collar crime, smuggling of contraband, money laundering and certainly drug trafficking."
-- Steven C. McCraw, Assistant Director, Office of Intelligence, FBI, May 20, 2003

In 2002, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy spent more than three million dollars to buy two commercials for the Super Bowl (Bovard). One of the commercials viewers posed the question of where terrorists get their funding. The answer suggested by that commercial was from buying drugs in the United States (Bovard). Most people in America viewed this as a joke and as an over-exaggeration of the truth. Recreational marijuana users (marijuana is considered a drug) saw no correlation between smoking marijuana and terrorism but more “hard-core” drug users may be in fact aiding terrorism.

A main problem with the commercials put on by the White House was that with all the conflict surrounding Afghanistan and the Taliban government, the general public assumed, or was pushed to assume, that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 were the only terrorists in the world. Terrorist groups exist beyond the Taliban and Al-Qaeda including groups in Columbia, a country renowned for its drug traffic. Most Americans are not well-educated enough on drugs and the so called “War on Drugs,” not so much due to ignorance but because of a lack of teaching on it. It almost seems as if our leader’s believe in a “don’t talk about it and it will go away” kind of manner. If Americans are given more information on the war on terror and how the trafficking of drugs affects terrorism, the commercial the White House played on that Super Bowl Sunday makes a lot more sense but definitely has it loopholes.

Terrorism, according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, is “the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons” (Follendore). Terrorism was more myth than reality for most Americans until the attack of 9/11. The act of terrorism is meant to subdue societies with fear but it is impossible to instill fear without tools. Without capital, terrorists are unable to act; even terrorists are reliant upon money. Since their country of origin dislikes most terrorist groups, it is hard to set up businesses and become successful independently so an outside income source is required. Drugs and drug trafficking are huge moneymakers that are also tax-free. The drug trade is cash-based and full of money. James Bovard says in an essay that “because narcotics are illicit, they tend to attract violent,...

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