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News Link • Drug War

"It's Strictly Business": Inside the Prohibition Racket

• By William Norman Grigg

At the top echelon are found the political figureheads who recite pious bromides. That's likewise where we encounter the bureaucratic scribes responsible for crafting those cynical pronouncements and the legislation that gives them substance. The operational level consists of federally subsidized, hyper-aggressive law enforcement agencies that carry out military-style raids and seizures. This includes squalid undercover police operatives and the petty criminals who act as "cooperating informants," as well as the strutting armored sociopaths who act on that "intelligence" by terrorizing people in home invasions that are typically carried out before dawn or after sunset.

Beneath the lurid violence of narcotics enforcement can be found the gray, undistinguished local bureaucrats who are actually in charge of such task as stealing property said to be "connected" to drug trafficking, caging the people from whom it was taken, and dividing up the spoils. Official transcripts from several meetings of Oregon's Malheur County Commission provide useful insights regarding the retail-level business of that vertically integrated criminal enterprise.

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