Preston Clive
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A Day In the DEA: Hookers, Guns, Cash, And Wild Parties

Typical Mix-and-Mingle for deep cover DEA agents on the cartel dime in Columbia (IMG: imgbuddy.com)

So when you enjoy the benefits of a deep cover classified government clearance, as well as deep federal government pockets funding your budget with secret bank accounts and front companies, and you're out in the field in South America rendering surveillance versus the top level drug cartels that are shipping megatons of junk across our borders and into America, the question is this: what do you do for downtime?

Why, you accept some drug money graft and have a daily bounce and party with some local hookers .  .  .   all on the cartel's dime, with love and compliments .  .  .  that's what you do for downtime.

Why worry about struggling with mobile apps like World Around Me or Google Now/Siri to figure out what sort of dining and recreation is available to you when you're a stranger in a strange land on deep cover assignment, when your determined enemy is simply overflowing with surplus funds and would very much like to invite you to a really happening party loaded with all the eh trimmings that are just perfect for a virile, bored (surveillance is doldrums, folks, it is not the glamorous routine portrayed in Hollywood espionage films) agent like our DEA boys?

The answer is: DEA agents out in the field have clearly not been worrying about what to do with themselves during downtime hours. According to an article in the Washington Post:

 The report did not specify the country where the parties occurred, but a law enforcement official familiar with the matter identified it as Colombia.

Seven of the 10 DEA agents alleged to have participated in the gatherings — most of which took place at an agent’s “quarters” leased by the U.S. government — admitted to having attended the parties, the report found. The agents, some of whom had top-secret security clearances, received suspensions of two to 10 days.

Former police officers in Colombia also alleged that three DEA supervisory special agents were provided with money, expensive gifts and weapons from drug cartel members, according to the report.

“Although some of the DEA agents participating in these parties denied it, the information in the case file suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds,” according to the 131-page report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

The findings were part of a much broader investigation into the handling of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct from fiscal 2009 to 2012 at federal law enforcement agencies — the DEA, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The investigation that uncovered this interesting--but ultimately unsurprising--behavior in the DEA was triggered by the 2012 prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia wherein Secret Service agents were caught getting a little too frisky with ladies of the night while out on duty. The report goes on:

“Although some of the DEA agents participating in these parties denied it, the information in the case file suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds,” according to the 131-page report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

So let's review: the agents of our government that are charged with infiltrating and taking down the notoriously murderous drug cartels in Columbia.  .  .  these agents get cozy and allow themselves to be bought by these very cartels that they're charged with destroying--accepting weapons from them, as well as money, expensive gifts, and romper rooms filled with hookers. Just chillin' with the enemy, you know.

And when discovered (after impeding the investigation with obvious lies), the repercussions are: suspension of two to ten days.

Now that is what I call draconian! Maybe we should call the governor of each agent's home state and plead for leniency! Maybe we could get the suspension reduced to one day on Humanitarian Grounds.

Two to ten days suspension for commiserating with the enemy and committing crimes on deep cover assignment? I guess we needed to set an example, and so these guys got the sledgehammer. 

I'm being facetious of course--that is the lightest pat on the wrist I've ever seen, and hardly constitutes a deterrent. The whole affair is absurd, and in and of itself illustrates why the War On Drugs--America's longest, most wasteful and least successful war--is doomed to fail, just as Prohibition was doomed to fail. Prohibition of a product that the world (for better or for worse) wants en masse is going to exist only on paper. The world is going to proceed and do what it wants to do, because they know intrinsically that their personal choices are their own to make. Thus, those who traffic in outlawed substances will grow far far richer than those in law enforcement who are appointed to prohibit those substances, and prosecute those who traffic in them .  .  .  and corruption blossoms like clover in rich soil. It's inevitable and has been endlessly played out over and over again throughout history. This country is at the same level of success--we're probably worse off, actually--in its "war" to prohibit drugs as it was when the "war" first started in 1914. Yet  despite this abysmal failure, and despite the fact that the "enemy" in the war here at home are our own brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles . . .  a bottomless pit of billions are wasted on this fool's game every year. It's time sanity prevailed--decriminalization will collapse these cancerous cartels overnight, just like the end of prohibition collapsed the bootleggers overnight.

Preston Clive

3/27/2015***