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Last Updated:3/20/00
Special order speech by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), February 1, 2000

AMERICA'S PROBLEMS WITH ILLEGAL NARCOTICS AND DRUG ABUSE (House of Representatives - February 01, 2000)

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The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 6, 1999, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica) is recognized for 60 minutes.

Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to return to the floor in really the second half of this session of Congress to renew my continued efforts to bring to the attention of the Members of this body and the American people the problem that we as a Nation face in our tremendous problem of illegal narcotics and drug abuse that have ravished our land.

Tonight I will probably begin my 20-something special order of the 106th Congress by first of all reviewing a little bit of what has taken place in some of the omissions of the President in his State of the Union Address, particularly in regard to the threat we face as a Nation from illegal narcotics.

Then I would like to focus a bit on a General Accounting Office report that I requested last year which is on drug control. It was released a few weeks ago, the end of the last year, in December. It is entitled `Assets That DOD Contributes to Reducing the Illegal Drug Supply Have Declined.' I will speak about that particular report that I requested, along with one of my colleagues from the other body.

Tonight again I think it is important that I cover and the Congress pay attention to items relating to illegal narcotics and drug abuse that were not mentioned by the President of the United States, and as this problem affects our state of the Union.

Just a few days ago, last week, the President took the podium behind me and he gave only glancing lines, one or two lines, a sentence or two, in a very lengthy presentation to the Congress and the American people on the State of the Union, and in particular, with regard to illegal narcotics and drug abuse. I will try to fill in some of the gaps in what really is probably the most serious problem facing us as a Nation, the most difficult social and judicial problem that we face, and one that I have a small responsibility in trying to develop a policy for in the Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives, as chair of the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources.

I think that anyone who just takes a few minutes to look at social problems facing us has to be struck by the sheer magnitude of the illegal narcotics problem. Since President Clinton took office in 1993, and he did not mention these figures, nearly 100,000 Americans have lost their lives as a direct result of illegal narcotics, overdoses and activities related to illegal narcotics and drug abuse. That is only the tip of the iceberg because there are many, many tens of thousands of other deaths related to illegal narcotics that are not even reported in statistics and in the numbers that I have cited.

Just in the most recent reporting period, over 15,900 Americans lost their lives as a result of narcotics in our land. The problem is not diminishing, the problem is in fact growing. That is confirmed by just about every statistical report our subcommittee has received, and also by the sheer facts that we see in picking up our daily newspapers, whether it is in our Nation's Capital, Washington, D.C., or throughout this land.

This problem we did not hear the President talk about has resulted in the incarceration of an unprecedented number of Americans, with over 1.9 million Americans in jail today. It is estimated 60 to 70 percent of those individuals behind bars are there because of drug-related offenses.

The toll goes on and on. The most recent statistic cited in this GAO report has identified $110 billion in costs to our economy.


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[TIME: 2030]

And if all the costs related with this social problem are added up, it could be as much as $250 billion a year.

So the cost is dramatic. The cost in dollars is dramatic, but the cost in destroyed lives across this land is absolutely incredible.

Mr. Speaker, it is something to talk to parents who have lost a young life and drugs, illegal narcotics particularly, impact our youth population. But to try to understand the agony of people that must deal with addiction, the agony of people that have young or adult individuals in their family hooked on illegal narcotics, the ravages that this has done to our economy and what could otherwise be productive lives is just untold.

So we have a problem that has been swept under the table. It was not mentioned by the President in his address, but again except a glancing and I think talking briefly about aid to Colombia, and I will talk about that very shortly.

But we got into this particular situation not by accident, I believe, because in the 1980s under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan and President George Bush, we began a decline. At that point we had a cocaine epidemic and drug epidemic in the early 1980s that we were beginning to get under control. If we look at the statistics, we see clear evidence that, in fact, drug use and prevalence of drugs, particularly among our young people was on the decline. That there was, in fact, a war on drugs in the 1980s and the beginning of 1989.

Mr. Speaker, that multifaceted and comprehensive program was, in fact, dismantled beginning in 1993 with the Clinton administration taking office. Very purposefully, the President began dismantling that effort. Some of that dismantling is detailed in this report that I requested. And, again, not my statistics, but actual statistics compiled by and information compiled independently by the General Accounting Office we will go over a bit tonight.

But the first thing that was done was the dismantling of the drug czar's office which was slashed from 120 staffers to 20 staffers. I ask, how can we conduct a war or a concentrated effort against narcotics, against the scourge of drugs by slashing the command structure? I say that is impossible, but that was the very first step in this process.

The next step, and I brought these charts up before, but let me just bring them out again, was dramatic declines starting in 1992-93, here we see dramatic declines in drug spending for international programs. Now, many people might wonder what international programs are. International programs would be stopping drugs at their source.

So this war on drugs or fighting a war on drugs is not really rocket science. It does not take somebody years and years to develop a strategy, because we know that 100 percent of the cocaine that is produced, I will say 99.5 percent of it that is produced, there might be a little bit somewhere else, but we know that it is produced in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. Again, not rocket science.

We know that it is very cost-effective for a source country eradication program to deal with the problem. We tried it and if we eliminate drugs where they are grown, coca that produces cocaine in a limited area of the world where it can be grown, we do not have a lot of cocaine production. Simple.

We also know that today some 65 to 70 percent of the heroin produced in the world that is on our streets, and we know factually that it is on our streets from the fields of Colombia, comes from, in fact, Colombia. We know where the heroin comes from that is spilling over in unbelievable quantities on our streets and throughout our communities.

The reason that we have incredible supply of drugs in this country is basically because in 1993-1994, during the Clinton administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress, they made a very direct decision to cut these cost-effective eradication crop alternative and drug programs in source countries.

Actually, this chart shows the 1995-96, the period the new majority and Republicans took over, that we have begun to restore funds. If we use 1992 dollars in 1999, we are just about back to the 1995 levels.

The same thing happened in interdiction. Let me put this chart up if I may. Again, we are going to stop and think about this. It is a common sense approach. If they cannot produce drugs and we stop them at their source, we have stopped some of the supply. Now, the next most cost-effective way to stop illegal narcotics and a huge supply from reaching our streets is simple. It is to stop it as it is leaving the source where it is produced. That can be very cost-effectively done, as the Reagan administration demonstrated and the Bush administration, with interdiction programs.

We brought the military into the process in the

1980's, not for our military to be law enforcement officers, not for them to conduct combat against illegal narcotics traffickers, but to provide surveillance intelligence information.

Now, first of all we have to realize that our military is conducting this around the world all the time. I must admit some of our resources have been strained to the limit because this President has deployed more forces in various deployments throughout the world than probably any President in the history of the Nation. But in any event, we have in this arena for the most part military, and we have resources in this area. So what they have been supplying is intelligence, surveillance, and information. That is the interdiction program heart and soul.

Now, again, using the military in this fashion, again, 1993, we see a dramatic reduction. In fact, a 50 percent slash. This GAO report which I will cite tonight details even more what took place. It is pretty startling what took place about taking the military and our assets out of this effort.

Again, if we look back here in the Republican administration actually, the Republican control of the House of Representatives and the other body in 1995-96, we began to restore the funds. And, again, because of 1992 dollars versus 1999 dollars, we are just about back at those levels. But, in fact, it has been very difficult to put together those resources. Again, in interdiction programs also with a Department of Defense, which this report outlines that has not really been willing to cooperate, and an administration, starting with the Commander in Chief who has not wanted to conduct a real cost-effective and targeted war on illegal narcotics.

So, again, stopping drugs at the source is most cost-effective, and then the second most cost-effective thing is getting the drugs as they are coming from the source. What is interesting too is that practice, and what I am talking about in interdiction really does not require forces of the United States to go after these. These would be primarily giving intelligence and working in a cooperative international effort with countries like Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia where the heroin and cocaine is produced. We then allow them, and they have, except where the administration has blocked the information and the intelligence, gone after the drug traffickers, in some cases shot them down or had the information and the surveillance fed to them so that they could cost effectively go after drugs as they came from the source but before they reached our border.

Now, this administration has picked the least cost-effective way of going after the war on drugs in my opinion. In 1992 or 1993, they began an effort to, in fact, put most of our war on drugs in the treatment category. Most of the expenditures from the Congress were dedicated or redirected towards treatment. Now, treatment by itself is very necessary, but alone it will not solve the problem. And it is very costly and sometimes fairly ineffective, particularly public sponsored treatment programs which have a 60 to 70 percent failure rate.

I compare this a little bit, if one is going to conduct a war, they target the source, which was not done by the Clinton administration. Then one tries to get at the target as the destruction comes from the source, which is interdiction. This method of the Clinton administration has been pretty much just treating the wounded in the battle, and that is those who were afflicted by illegal narcotics.

In fact, we have almost doubled since 1993 the amount of money for treatment. Now, the President also came up with his 100,000 cops on the street and put the Congress in a bind to fund those. We have funded those. I submit tonight that that is probably one of the most costly approaches to fighting this war on drugs. And we can continue to put cops on the street, it can be effective. Tough enforcement can be very effective. But it is a costly way of doing it, as opposed to putting a few dollars at the source country to stop drugs before they ever get to the street.

The difficulty is once they reach our borders, illegal narcotics, it is almost impossible for all the law enforcement agencies at every level, whether it is local, State or national, to get all the drugs; particularly in the huge quantities that are coming across our borders, again, because the drugs have not been stopped at their source.

So there has been, in my estimation, a major flaw in the whole strategy of the Clinton administration and really a misappropriation of resources in this effort. The results are pretty dramatic. In fact, let me leave this interdiction chart up here. Let me show here the long-term trend and lifetime prevalence of heroin use. As we see in the Reagan and Bush administration, there is some activity here and a decline, activity, and a decline. With the institution of the Clinton-Gore policy in 1992-93 here, this is where it would take effect, we see a dramatic rise in the prevalence of heroin use.

It is amazing how this chart, if we took it and had an overlay of the previous two charts, would show, again, the failure of the current drug policy of this administration.


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That is probably why President Clinton did not want to talk about it the other night when he came before the Congress. We see here a slight decline, and that is with the advent of a Republican-controlled policy and the beginning of our trying to get resources back in place.

One of the problems we have here is the Clinton administration blocking assistance to Colombia. It was their policy that got us into a situation where the President next week is going to make a request to the Congress for $1.5 or $1.6 billion. Now, he sort of mumbled over the situation in Colombia, but Colombia, in his term of office, has become the major producer of cocaine and heroin.

Again, in 1992-1993, there was almost no coca production in Colombia. Almost no heroin production. Almost zip in Colombia. And what the President did through very direct actions, and I will be glad to detail them for the House of Representatives, he actually began the increase of heroin and cocaine production in Colombia.

The first step was in 1994. And having served in the House of Representatives during the 1993-1994 period, let me detail what took place. I served on the committee that oversaw drug policy. I was in the minority at that time. I personally requested and had 130-plus Members, Republicans and Democrats, request a hearing on this change that the Clinton administration had made, on the Clinton's so-called drug policy, the changes that were made. Because I saw then the beginning of a disaster. That request was ignored. One hearing was held. One hearing specifically on the drug policy. There were cursory hearings on the budget items.

In contrast, when the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, we held dozens and dozens of hearings, both under Mr. Zeliff, who chaired the subcommittee with drug policy responsibility, and then under the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert), who is now the Speaker of the House and former chairman who was involved in restarting most of the anti-narcotics effort in the Congress, and particularly in the House of Representatives as chair of that subcommittee.

But the first step in this disaster and how we were going to end up, the taxpayers of this country, with a $15.5, $1.6 billion next week, is that on May 1, 1994, the sharing of drug trafficking intelligence and information with the governments of Peru and Colombia ceased. This was a, and I am sorry to put this into the Record, but a cockamamie plan and decision by the administration and out of the Department of Defense under the Clinton administration, that we would cease sharing intelligence information with Colombia.

Actually, this raised the ire on both sides of the aisle. And I remember meeting the President at the Hemispheric Conference in Miami. He was inundated by protest from Members on both sides of the aisle, and in a closed-door meeting he said he did not know that this had taken place. In fact, the administration fought us in trying to restart this effort, claiming they needed additional legislative authority.

And I might say that the House of Representatives and the Congress did act. And a GAO report in May of 1994 said the decision of the administration to not share this information with Colombia made life easier for drug traffickers. But Congress did step in, passed a law that would require the administration to provide intelligence and information. And even then, after that took place and the damage that was done from that, the administration continued to block aid and assistance to Colombia.

Incidentally, in January of 1995, under heavy pressure from both Democrats and Republicans, the intelligence sharing was resumed. The problem was again in actions by the administration, this administration, to cut off assistance to Colombia so it could effectively bring a halt to narcotics trafficking and narcoterrorism in its country.

In 1995 to 1996, I remember writing a request to the administration and to others to try to get aid to that country. In 1997, critically needed law enforcement assistance, such as helicopters, to replace those shot down; defensive ammunition and ballistic protective equipment was delayed by the Department of Defense.

I also brought, and was able to find, a letter dated August 25, 1994, asking the then drug czar to respond to Mr. Clinger about information, intelligence sharing, with the governments of Colombia. And this was in response to protests from Congress about the policy that the administration had adopted dealing with providing that needed intelligence information to Colombia. I just thought it was interesting that we have good documentation of showing exactly how this administration and various agencies thwarted every attempt of the Congress and request of the Congress to get needed critical equipment to Colombia.

Unfortunately, the policy of decertifying Colombia

as not participating in the war on drugs was inappropriately handled by the administration. Having dealt in the development of that law in the 1980s, there is a provision in decertification law to allow the President, when they consider whether a country should be eligible for aid and assistance, to grant a national interest waiver so that assistance, such as counternarcotics aid, can get to that country. The administration failed to implement the waiver and kept any type of assistance in the war on drugs from reaching Colombia during a critical period.

So first we take away information sharing up to 1995, and then from 1995 into 1998 we decertify Colombia and not make it eligible in a manner that could be done with a waiver to get aid and assistance so they could find narcoterrorism and drug production and trafficking in that country. The results are absolutely incredible.

As I said, now we have 65 to 75 percent of the heroin that enters the United States coming from Colombia. We have a majority of the cocaine produced in Colombia today. And again, some 6 or 7 years ago Colombia was not even in the production business of either of these hard narcotics.

Tonight I wanted to focus on a report that I requested, and requested it last year with the Senate caucus chairman on International Narcotics Control, the Honorable Charles Grassley. This report, prepared by the GAO, details exactly what we suspected about this administration's policy. The GAO report is entitled `Assets DOD Contributes to Reducing the Illegal Drug Supply Have Declined.'

The report details some of that decline, and again the Clinton administration's dismantling of anything that could be termed even close to a war on drugs. The report states, in fact on page 4, the number of flight hours dedicated to detecting and monitoring illicit drug shipments declined from approximately 46,000 to 15,000, or a 68 percent decline from 1992 through 1999. Likewise, the GAO report says that the number of shipped days declined from about 4,800 to 1,800, or 62 percent over the same period.

Again, this report details a dismantling of any type of an effort that might even be termed close to a war on drugs. The decline in DOD assets that DOD uses to carry out its counter-drug responsibility is, according to this report, due to a lower priority assigned to the counter-drug mission and, secondly, they say, to reduction in defense budgets and force levels.

Now, I might say that most of the reductions, and we looked at the interdiction, most of the reductions to the war on drug effort were instituted in 1993-1994 by a Democrat-controlled Congress. Only in the last several years have we been able to up the spending in the defense category. And even some of the money that we have appropriated for anti-narcotics efforts has been diverted, according to this report. And even some of the assets have been diverted to other deployments, according to this report, such as Kosovo, Haiti, and other activities directed by the President.

The GAO report also is very critical of DOD's really basic activities or commitments in the war on drugs. It says that DOD has failed to develop measures to assess the effectiveness of its counter-drug activities and recommends that such a system of measuring the effectiveness of its counter-drug activities be instituted.

DOD officials noted that the level of counter-drug assets will continue to be restrained by DOD's requirement to satisfy other priorities. So basically, drugs have not become a priority.

It is also interesting to see the results of the change in policy by the administration. And again I just want to show what has taken place since 1980 with Ronald Reagan and the long-term trend in lifetime prevalence of drug use. In the 1980s we see the beginning of a decline down through the end of President Reagan's term, and on down to a bottom when President Bush left office. The policy adopted by this administration, back again in 1993, with the election of President Clinton and Vice President Gore, shows a steep return to the prevalence of drug use. And this is lifetime drug use.

If we took this chart and just showed our youth, the statistics are even more dramatic.


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Now, this report that again I bring before the House tonight, the GAO report on the decline of our military assets in the war on drugs, has some startling information and comments. I want to take them right out of the report.

According to General Wilhelm, and General Wilhelm is the general in charge of SOUTHCOM, SOUTHCOM is the Southern Command, which is in charge really of this surveillance operation, the detection and interdiction effort. According to General Wilhelm, the Southern Command commander, the Command can only detect and monitor 15 percent of key routes in the overall drug trafficking area about 15 percent of the time. And this is in the report, and I met with General Wilhelm during the recess and he confirmed this statement.

What is even of greater concern and should be a concern to every Member of Congress and every American citizen is not only have they closed down any semblance of the war on drugs and cost-effectively dismantled interdiction and we are down to this capability, but even as this report was written, we had the further damage done to this whole effort by the United States last May being dislodged from Howard Air Force base in Panama.

Almost all of the operations for forward surveillance and forward operating locations in the war on drugs is located at Howard Air Force Base in Panama. All flights ceased last May 1. So we have had an incredible gap left wide.

That is why we continue to see incredible amounts of heroin. And this is not the heroin of the 1980s that was 10 percent pure. This is the heroin of the 1990s that is now 70 and 80 percent pure. That is why we continue to see the death and destruction that we see.

I come from an area that has had heroin overdose deaths, particularly among its young people, that now exceed the homicides in Central Florida. And I represent one of the most prosperous, well-educated districts in the Nation. So we have seen an incredible number of deaths.

I met with local law enforcement officials and particularly the High Intensity Drug Traffic Area Group that I helped establish to deal with this problem of, again, drugs coming into our region in Central Florida. I met with them during the recess, and I was stunned to hear their commentary that the deaths have basically leveled out. We have still a record number of deaths but they have leveled out some. But the overdoses continue to explode.

The only reason that the deaths are not greater in my area and other areas is that medical emergency treatment has become better in helping save young lives and people who suffer from drug overdose. That is sort of a sad commentary that we have even more overdoses, and the only way that we are really making any slight progress is through additional and swifter and better medical treatment for overdose folks.

But if my colleagues want to know where the illegal narcotics are coming from, this basically says that the war on drugs was closed down in 1993 by the Clinton administration. It does not paint a very pretty picture and I know that people are not happy to see this by the commander of our Southern Command who is in charge of that effort, but that basically is what has taken place.

The report is even more disturbing in that in this chart we conducted a hearing the morning of the President's State of the Union address on January 27 and had DOD, the Coast Guard, and U.S. Customs come in, whose activities are also detailed in this record, but we use this chart and it is taken right from the report again and it shows that in the blue here it shows the requested assets of the Department of Defense by SOUTHCOM.

So our commander who is in charge of the interdiction, the important part of keeping drugs from our shores, requested, and these are his requests in blue and part of the graph here in red is what asset he received from DOD.

So we see the requests here again in blue and the red is actually what he got. This is even more disheartening because Congress has put more money into defense and defense in this administration are providing fewer and fewer assets in the war on drugs.

Now, I take great exception to anyone who tells me that the war on drugs is a failure. Because the war on drugs, and I can bring back the chart of the Clinton administration and the Bush-Reagan administration, here, my colleagues, is the failure. It is very evident. This details exactly what took place. That is the failure. And how in heaven's name can Congress appropriate additional money to DOD, and we have appropriated some of the first increases since again the fall of communism and the Berlin Wall to defense.

Now, I know a lot of that has been diverted to Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, and Somalia, but even in this scenario it is just unbelievable that very few assets and the policy of this administration has diverted assets again from this effort.

Now they are coming forward with an emergency appropriation for Colombia. The situation in Colombia, as I said, was really generated by direct policy decisions of this administration, and we are now going to pay for them in a very big way with a very big tab. But this shows again the lack of putting any real cost-effective method of fighting illegal narcotics.

This chart, and I will hold it up for just a minute, shows the decline in the assets that DOD contributes to reducing illegal drugs. And in this chart, this center red here shows DOD decline. A little bit of the slack has been taken up since 1995 by the Coast Guard, which is in this line, I believe it is green, you are dealing with a color blind Member of Congress; and this blue line here is the total assets contributed.

So some of the slack has been taken up by the Coast Guard and also by U.S. Customs. That is the only reason things are not even worse today even with the commitment that the new majority has made since 1995 in the war on drugs.

And again this is the result of what we see today. And these are the latest statistics on heroin. This is provided to me by DEA, our Drug Enforcement Agency, and they can tell us because of scientific analysis, just like DNA analysis, where heroin is coming from. We know South America, and this is all Colombia, 65 to 70 percent is coming from there.

What is scary here is the chart I got from 1997 shows Mexico, which again in the early 1990s was a very very small producer of heroin, is now a 17-percent producer. And that is also I think directly as a result of this administration's policy of give Mexico every possible trade benefit, give Mexico every possible financial benefit, give Mexico access to our financial and international assistance programs, and get nothing in return.

And what we have gotten in return is an increase in heroin produced in that country. And then southeast Asia produces about 14 percent. But the bulk of the heroin that we have seen that is flooding into our streets and our communities, and we have to remember that this red portion would not even have appeared in the early 1990s has been as a direct result of not targeting, going after, the source of illegal narcotics and again in a very cost effective way.

Now, you may say can that be effective. Let me say, since 1995 when we took over, I went with Mr. Zeliff and then also with the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert) who chaired this subcommittee into Peru and Bolivia. We met with President Fujimori, we met with Hugo Banzer Suarez and other leaders of those countries and asked what will it take to reduce cocaine production. And we got small amounts of money, it is almost insignificant in the amounts of money that we are spending and the impact on our economy, but somewhere between $20 million or $40 million out of $178 billion to those countries.

In 2 years of work and 2 years of planning, we have been able to reduce the cocaine production in Bolivia by 53 percent and by almost 60 percent in Peru, which is absolutely remarkable. So very little money has helped curtail that.

Now, there is one problem that we have seen, and in fact that is production of cocaine, and this is from one of the newspapers just a few days ago, January 19 in an Associated Press, `Cocaine Production Surges in Colombia.'

Why is it surging in Colombia? Because the resources that Colombia has requested still have not gotten to Colombia, the resources that this Congress appropriated to Colombia. We appropriated $300 million to Colombia in the last fiscal year, which ended in

December. We are into October in a new fiscal year.

To date, this administration has continued to block or bungle getting aid to Colombia. The record is just unbelievable.

Now, my colleagues may have heard that Colombia is now the third largest recipient of United States foreign assistance. Well, that would be all well and great and factual if they got that money. But, in fact, the record of this administration in blocking and thwarting and bungling getting aid to Colombia is just unbelievable.

Our hearing helped detail some of that. Our closed-door meetings with the Department of Defense, Department of State and other agencies indicated a horrible job and failure in getting assistance there.

Let us take a minute and look at what has happened with the $300 million that Congress appropriated in the past fiscal year. Where is that money? Less than $100 million, a third of that, is actually in Colombia today. Most of $100 million, or one-third of that, is in the form of three Blackhawk helicopters.

It is absolutely unbelievable. It is mind boggling. Every Member of Congress should be contacting the Department of State tomorrow and asking why those helicopters that we have given to and asked for for 3 or 4 years and finally gotten down to Colombia late last fall are still not flying because they do not have protective armor, they do not have ammunition to even conduct combat or participate in the war on drugs.


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What an incredible bungling. We did not hear anything about that from the President when he spoke at the podium last week. We will not hear about that next week when the President asks for $1.5 or $1.6 billion of hard-earned taxpayer money. We will not also hear the incredible story, I do not have this totally documented but I am told by staff that during the holidays when everyone was concerned about the terrorist threat and everything, that the ammunition that was to be delivered years ago and requested and appropriated partly through the $300 million and even promised before that as surplus material for the war on drugs to Colombia, the ammunition was delivered to the back door loading dock of the State Department. This in fact is not only the administration that closed down the war on drugs, this is the administration that bungled the war on drugs. I do not mind putting whatever resource we can cost effectively into these countries to combat illegal narcotics. But what an incredible fiasco to find out that the helicopters that we paid for still are not conducting a war on drugs, to find out they are not armed, to find out they are idled, to find out that the ammunition we have requested time and time again cannot even be delivered to the country in an orderly and timely fashion.

And what do we see? Cocaine production surges in Colombia. Now, I wonder why.

This report also details an incredible story about a request from the United States Ambassador to Peru. Now, that would be a Clinton appointee. The U.S. Ambassador to Peru on page 17 and 18 of this report warned in an October 1998 letter to the State Department that the reduction in air support could have a serious impact on the price of coca and coca production in Peru. Here we put in place a very cost-effective and effective program and we have gotten a 60 percent reduction in cocaine and coca production in Peru. The Ambassador asked for assistance and warned that the reduction that is detailed here, the reduction that this administration has directed basically taking us out of this effort is going to result in additional coca production. I was stunned to learn by information provided to me at the Southcom briefing in Miami by our leaders down there that for the first time they are now seeing an increase in production of cocaine and coca in Peru again. It is incredible that we cannot get minimal resources and cost-effective resources to the source countries to stop illegal narcotics production and then get the drugs before they get to our shores, interdict them and at least provide the intelligence and surveillance information to countries that have the will like President Fujimora who instituted a shootdown policy. The drug dealers go up and they shot them down. Some people did not want us to provide that information to the government of Peru. Some people said that was cruel and unusual punishment on those drug dealers. I would like to take those who believe that and let them talk to the mothers and fathers in my district that have lost a young person to drug overdose. I would like to take them to the 15,900 Americans who just in 1 year to their families, the survivors who have lost a loved one and see what they think about this failed policy.

I think it is also important to see what this policy has wrought on this Nation of late. Just during the recess in the last few days, there was a report, and actually this is from last week, this is January 27, ironically the same day the President stood a few feet from where I am now standing and talked to us about the State of the Union. He did not talk about the State of the Union in this headline: Drug Use Explodes in Rural America. Not only have our urban centers been decimated by illegal narcotics, not only has now our suburban area, the other parts of the country, and I represent a

suburban area that had really not been victim here, but now, thanks to this great policy and this great failure, we have managed to make our rural areas a killing fields. The statistics are unbelievable. The percent of eighth graders who said they used a drug at least once, the highest percentage of this use in marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin and amphetamines is now in our rural areas. We did not hear the President talk about that. Nor did we hear him talk about this failed policy. And now we know why, because the legacy of this administration to address the most serious social problem we face in our Nation, that is again destroying countless lives, that again is impacting our youth in every part of our country, metropolitan, suburban and now rural, we see why we have gotten ourselves into this situation by again failed policies.

It is nice to talk about who failed, and I do not want to be partisan in that, but I think people must be held accountable. I should also report that the Republican majority has begun to put this effort back together. We have begun to restore the cost-effective programs, the one I described in stopping cocaine production in Peru and Bolivia. We would like to restart it in Colombia, but we need an administration that is capable of at least delivering the resources to our allies in this effort and restarting a real war on drugs where the drugs are produced, where the drugs are coming from. Additionally, we have brought the Coast Guard back and United States customs and provided additional funding and resources. We are back up to the 1992-1993 funding levels for that.

Now, we know that just restarting interdiction and source country programs is not the answer. I had proposed legislation that would require our media and particularly those broadcast media, because I know television, radio impact our lives and particularly our young people, influence their opinion more than just about anything today. But I had proposed that they devote more of their time. In fact, we mandate that that time, public airtime be given to drug messages and not just at odd hours but throughout prime time. The President, of course, has had a different approach, which was spending, and he proposed expenditure and purchase of those. The compromise, and, of course, we must deal in a compromise situation to get anything done here because we have a great diversity and a very narrow majority, the compromise was a plan that combined my plan with the President's plan, and we have $1 billion appropriated for 3 years for drug education, we are 1 year into it, and the other part of the compromise was to have at least a match in donated time. We are 1 year into it. I am not real pleased with the beginning. I thought it was not a good start. Hopefully we will have even more effective drug and antinarcotics ads, education ads for our young people and adults, because it is important that education along with eradication, interdiction, enforcement and also treatment be part of a multifaceted approach.

I look forward to working with my colleagues and bringing that multifaceted approach. I am pleased to report again on this issue to the Congress and the American people.


[Page: H163]
END

As of March 13, 2000, this document is also available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H01FE0-533:

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