order speech by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), February 15, 2000
NARCOTICS IN AMERICA (House of Representatives - February 15, 2000)
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Kingston). 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 come
before the House again on a Tuesday night to talk about the subject of
illegal narcotics and how it affects our Nation.
Today we conducted an almost
6-hour hearing on the administration's proposal to expend more than a
billion dollars in taxpayer funds in an effort to bring the situation
in Colombia under control; and tonight I would like to speak part of my
special order pointed toward that hearing and some commentary on that
I would also like to review
some of the things that have taken place in the last week both in my State
of Florida with a Florida drug summit and also here in Washington with
an international drug summit, which I was one of the cohosts, along with
the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert), the Speaker of the House, and
with the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gilman), chairman of the Committee
on International Relations, and also with the gentleman from Indiana (Mr.
Burton), full chairman of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.
As my colleagues may know,
I chair the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources
of the Committee on Government Reform. And, of course, the responsibility
for national drug policy in trying to make some sense out of what we have
been doing in our anti-narcotics effort really rests with that subcommittee.
So today we had a hearing,
last week a summit at the national level, and a continuation of efforts
at the local level.
Let me just mention, if I
may, the international drug summit, which was held for 2 days last week
here in the Nation's capital. If you look at the war on drugs, and the
international problems relating to narcotics, you see that you cannot
win an effort by yourself. The United States cannot stand alone and combat
illegal narcotics trafficking, illegal narcotics production, illegal narcotics
interdiction and enforcement and eradication.
It is really a simple thing
to determine to look at the pattern of production of hard narcotics, illegal
narcotics, to look at the path of illegal narcotics, and then the problems
that we all have when they reach their source, the various countries.
Quickly you realize that the
United States, even the powerful United States Congress, cannot legislate
or dictate solutions to this international problem. But the problem is
not that complicated, and I wanted to show something that was brought
before our international drug summit last week. In that summit, we brought
together probably the largest gathering of parliament members from various
congresses and parliaments around the world to Washington. We had law
enforcement leaders, including individuals from Scotland Yard, Interpol,
Europol, DEA, other major drug enforcement agencies.
In addition, we had some of
the leaders in treatment. Dr. Leshner, the head of NIDA, National Institute
on Drug Abuse, came, along with others who were involved in successful
treatment and prevention programs. General McCaffrey addressed the group.
The Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert who is intimately knowledgeable
about this whole problem, chaired the subcommittee responsibility antinarcotics
efforts in the House before he became Speaker, and a whole array of others
who were involved in antinarcotics efforts.
This was not my idea; it was
something that I agreed to cohost along with the others I have mentioned,
and it was a follow-up to real efforts that were undertaken by one of
the United Kingdom members of the European parliament, and that was Sir
Jack Stewart-Clark who initiated the first international meeting some
3 years ago.
The second international meeting
was held last year just outside of Vienna. I had an opportunity to attend,
with the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gilman) and others, and participate
behind closed doors in a meeting to discuss an international narcotics
strategy. So we agreed to cohost with the United Nations Office of Drug
Control Policy and its director, a wonderful gentleman, very talented,
Pino Arlacchi, who again heads that office in the U.N.
This third summit, bringing
together everybody who deals with this problem and look at how we could
cooperatively tackle this and get a global approach and solution. We can
look at the globe, and this happens to be a cocaine trafficking route,
we see the problems created by cocaine. Now, cocaine, one does not have
to be a rocket scientist or study the problem of cocaine trafficking very
long, because there are only three countries that produce coca and cocaine.
They are Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia.
One hundred percent of the
world's supply of cocaine comes from that area, but it trafficks throughout
the world. So all of the nations have an interest in that particular drug
trafficking. Cocaine now has really surged in production the last year
or two, and particularly in Colombia where the United States let down
its guard some years ago. And as a result of an effort really that was
instituted by the Speaker of the House, Mr. Hastert, and his predecessor,
Mr. Zeliff, myself, and others who, when we assumed responsibility for
the House of Representatives leading the majority, the new majority in
1995, went down to those source countries to look at firsthand what had
Most of our antinarcotics
programs from 1993 to 1995 were slashed by the Clinton administration.
They were cut out in many instances or, in most cases, halved. We went
into the jungles and saw that in fact the resources were not there to
stop the production of coca. We worked with two countries in particular,
Peru and Bolivia, and their leaders, in Bolivia Hugo Banzer and a dynamic
Vice President Jorge Guerra and others from that country who were willing
to step forward and take a stand against cocaine trafficking and coca
There has been a dramatic
decrease, some 55 percent decrease in some 3 years in Bolivia in coca
production. We went on to Peru and met with President Fujimori and have
worked with him over the past couple of years. President Fujimori inherited
a country that was fraught with turmoil, with Marxist and terrorist operations
throughout the country that destabilized Peru just some 9 or 10 years
ago. It was an intolerable situation.
He brought that country under
control. Meeting with us and working through programs he established in
Peru, he has been able to cut coca production by 60 percent. Now, this
is the good news. I do not want to say the United States or Mr. Hastert,
myself, and others should take credit for that but it was not done all
by the United States. It was also supported by the international community
through the United Nations Office of Drug Control Policy and also under
the leadership of Pino Arlacchi.
I might just as an aside tell
the Members about Pino Arlacchi. Pino Arlacchi is the Italian prosecutor
who helped take down the Mafia and organized crime in Italy. He came on
board and almost single-handedly led the effort to destroy the entrenched
mob in Italy and did an outstanding job. He made Italy a country that
is really free of the organized crime and corruption and did it
single-handedly and then was
chosen to lead the U.N. Office of Drug Control Policy.
I might also say that as a
conservative Republican, it is sort of an odd fellow combination, myself
and the head of the U.N. Office of Drug Control Policy. Although I have
been a critic of the U.N. and some of the bureaucracy it has built up
and some of its ineffectiveness, I do realize that we need international
cooperative efforts, and I think that drug control and a global drug strategy
working together is very important. Also it is important to know that
the United Nations effort, while it does work with the United States and
Peru and also in Bolivia, there are countries that we have no relations
with that are major producers.
In fact, if we could look
at heroin production, 75 percent of the heroin in the world is produced
in Afghanistan. The United States has no relations really and at best
very strained relations with Afghanistan. But yet 75 percent of the entire
world production of heroin comes from Afghanistan. It is in our interest
to see that that activity is curtailed.
So through the United Nations
and through a program that Pino Arlacchi has championed and successfully
put together, even talking with the Taliban and other groups in Afghanistan,
again with which we have no communications, he is doing an effective effort,
and the few dollars, the limited dollars, I believe it is around the $50
million mark over the last couple of years, that we have put into that
effort and the few dollars he spends are very effectively spent.
They are spent in the Golden
Triangle, some in Cambodia and Burma and Laos and other areas in which
we do not have influence. He has had a successful program for the most
part in stopping illegal narcotics, particularly heroin, where we cannot
stop it, and working with us in South America to complement our efforts.
We see that successful effort.
It does work. This is not rocket science. It works. We have stopped it.
He has found, and gave a great presentation to our gathering, that alternative
crops and crop substitution programs do work. But they must be combined
with tough enforcement.
I think Bolivia had tried
programs with just the carrot, and he has said in his remarks to us that
the carrot alone does not work. You must have the carrot and the stick
to enforce that. Both Peru and Bolivia are successful examples. Colombia
is a disaster.
We know 75 percent of the
heroin that is produced in the world comes from Afghanistan. One of the
things that came out of this besides 2 days of discussion is really an
effort to see if we could put a belt around Afghanistan, and also introduce
and support programs that would stop production in Afghanistan of heroin,
and then around the belt countries. There was substantial progress made
in that regard.
Also, again rather than talking
but acting on the issue of coca production and cocaine. The vice president
of Bolivia has offered to host the fourth international summit gathering
sometime next year, in 2001, and hopefully at that time we can celebrate
the demise in 2001 of coca production in Bolivia, which once accounted
for nearly 50 percent of the production.
Peru was the biggest producer,
and now down by some 65 percent. The bad news is the United States curtailed
some of the surveillance operations and information sharing to President
Fujimori and we have seen a slight increase in coca production. The good
news, I guess, is that coca is not coming into the United States; but
the bad news is that it is going into Europe where it can get a higher
These programs are very cost
effective, the crop eradication and substitution. In one year, we put
in some $60 million in South America in the three countries that produce
70 percent of the heroin, 70 percent now of the cocaine, we put a few
dollars, $60 million out of a $17.8 billion project and expenditure that
the Congress undertook last year and will even be exceeded this year,
more than $18 billion this year for the various drug programs that we
So a few million dollars can
provide an alternative to these countries. It has proven to be, in fact,
very successful. Next year, we hope to meet in Bolivia, celebrate that
country's eradication of coca and hopefully the beginning and continuation
of a successful crop substitution program which makes a better life for
their people and certainly one for the people of the United States when
we do not have cocaine and crack on our streets and our young people dying
from drug abuse.
The international summit was
successful, and I think again, everyone who came away is convinced that
it can only be through a cooperative effort that we make progress. Now,
one of the areas that has not been as successful is Colombia. Colombia
is the focus of the national news tonight. It was the focus of a hearing
that we spent 6 hours on in our Criminal Justice, Drug Policy subcommittee.
Almost all of the heroin that
is consumed in the United States is produced in Colombia. DEA through
its signature analysis program, which analyzes really almost the DNA in
the heroin, DEA can tell you through this analysis that the particular
heroin that is seized in the United States comes from Colombia, practically
from the field it comes from. So 75 percent of the heroin coming into
the United States comes from Colombia. Now, I talked about our strategy,
and we have a strategy beyond the administration, because the administration's
strategy is not going to work by itself.
You push this down in one
area, it is like Jello, it pops up in another. That is why the Afghan's
international global strategy is so important. Again, just a few dollars
of our contributions in this effort will do an incredible amount to stop
The same thing can happen
in Colombia, although the situation there has spiraled out of control.
In addition to heroin production, Colombia in 5 or 6 years is now the
major coca-producing country in the world. Some of the production has
shifted from Peru and Bolivia to Colombia.
We know that what we did in
Peru and Bolivia will work in Colombia; there is no question about that.
The problem is, every effort that the new majority has tried, and I tried
to make these efforts in a bipartisan fashion the last 4 or 5 years since
we took over, every effort has been thwarted by the administration to
get resources to Colombia. So where you do not have ammunition, where
you do not have supplies, where you do not have a riverine strategy in
place, where you do not have information-sharing that allows a shootdown
of drug traffickers, when all of these things are taken out or blocked
by the administration, which they have repeatedly done, you have a very
Then you see Mexico on this
chart. Mexico, it is not a big producer of illegal narcotics. It does
produce a great deal of marijuana and about 14 percent of the heroin,
and that is up; but that is because we have this open border. But most
of the heroin that is produced and enters the United States is produced
in Colombia. So that is where we need to concentrate some of our resources.
It will not even reach Mexico to get into the United States.
In addition to these two charts,
I wanted to trace the history of how we got ourselves in this $1 billion-plus
This did not happen by accident.
As I said, the administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress from
1993 to 1995 cut the interdiction, the source programs, the eradication
programs, cut the Coast Guard and began taking the military out of the
war on drugs. Basically, the war on drugs was closed down in 1993 by the
Clinton administration, slashing the drug czar's office from 100-some
staff to 20-some staff.
You cannot fight a war unless
all these things are in place. The media is unbelievable in this. They
say the war on drugs is a failure, there has not been a war on drugs since
January of 1993. What we have tried to do in 1995 and 1996 is restart
the war on drugs, target it to where the drugs are coming from.
Now, just let me read from
1994, my colleague Steve Horn in a hearing, his comments. He said, `As
you recall, as of May 1, 1994, the Department of Defense decided unilaterally
to stop sharing realtime intelligence regarding aerial traffic in drugs
with Colombia and Peru. Now, as I understand it, that decision, which
has not been completely resolved, has thrown diplomatic relations with
the host countries into chaos.'
Now, here is sort of the genesis
of how we get ourselves into that $1 billion fix. Back then the administration
made a decision to stop information sharing. Now, how can anyone fight
a war on drugs without information to conduct combat? The United States
was the source of that intelligence, with overflights, with forward operating
intelligence, with all the information needed to go after drug traffickers.
So the first thing we did,
Steve Horn complained about it back in August 2, 1994, and he was not
the only one. Even the Democrats complained about it in the House of Representatives.
In fact, this is a Washington Post story a couple days later, August 1994.
`Chairmen of two House subcommittees blasted the Clinton Administration,'
not Republicans, mind you, `for its continuing refusal to resume sharing
intelligence data with Colombia and Peru that would enable the Andean
nations to shoot down aircraft carrying narcotics into the United States.'
So here is the beginning of
a multi-billion dollar spiral out of control, the drug czar called it
a `flipping nightmare,' to use his term, before the press. This is the
genesis of it; and you see that, again, that both Republicans and Democrats,
their leaders, were absolutely appalled by what was taking place. That
is how you turn a minor producer, and you have to remember, Colombia produced
almost no coca, there was almost no coca grown in Colombia, almost 100
percent was grown in Peru and Bolivia at the beginning of this administration,
almost no heroin. In fact, today I said the only poppies that were grown
could barely fill a flower arrangement, grown in Colombia in 1993. Now
this Nation is the leader in growing and producing both coca, poppy, heroin
Here is the genesis of this.
Now, it would not be bad if this was the only misstep, but the missteps
just continued and continued. The next thing the administration did was
adopt a policy to decertify
Colombia as being eligible
to receive United States assistance.
Now, I helped develop a law
back when I worked in the Senate that allows for decertification of countries
that are not cooperating in either stopping the production or trafficking
of illegal narcotics. It is a good law. It ties aid and financial assistance
and other benefits to their cooperation. It is one of the few handles
As you will notice, we are
getting closer to certification, which is required by law March 1st. Mexico
extradited someone the other day, and these countries start behaving and
cooperating in the anti-narcotics effort when it is time for certification.
But you could not believe
that an administration could possibly mess up a law the way the Clinton
administration messed up the certification law. We allowed under the law
to decertify a country and not let them get benefits for trade and assistance
and foreign aid, but we put in the law a little provision that said the
President could grant a national-interest waiver in our interest, the
United States' national interest, because we knew when we wrote the law
we wanted to be able to get aid to a country that was having a problem
to deal with the problem, to make efforts to eradicate the problem, drugs
at their source, to stop trafficking, et cetera, and get them the resources
they needed to conduct that activity.
You could not believe that
they could mess this up, but they did; and the President decertified Colombia
without a national-interest waiver. Not for Colombia, but national-interest
waiver for the United States.
Repeatedly we asked for, of
course, hearings during the Clinton administration when they controlled
the House of Representatives. I had 132 Members sign a letter requesting
hearings over 2 years when they controlled the House, the Senate and the
White House. One hearing was held, and it was a very brief hearing. Since
we took over, we have had at least 20 hearings on the narcotics issue
in trying to get this effort that was started back so successfully under
Reagan and Bush restarted in 1995-1996.
The next thing we knew as
a Congress, and anyone who looked at the situation, is that it was worsening
in Colombia. This is back in 1995-1996 as a result of the 1994 policies
that were ill-advised in decertifying Colombia.
The next thing that we asked
for was to get to the police in Colombia equipment that could go to high
altitude and go after narcotics traffickers and also do eradication of
the beginning of the poppy fields that were growing there that we saw
that were reported, at the beginning of the coca production that we saw
that was started there.
I cannot tell you how many
letters, how many communications, how many requests were made of this
administration. It was countless, asking the Secretary of State, asking
the President, asking the Secretary of Defense, everyone in the administration,
to get resources to Colombia because the situation was worsening.
Now, this is an interesting
headline. It says `Delay of copters hobbles Colombia in stopping drugs.'
I do not know if you can see
this. I would like to blow this up and just put it on the screen here
so every colleague could read this. This is February 12, 1998, just after
1997. This is an unbelievable sequence of events. Again, first dismantling
the entire command structure of our war on drugs; gutting the drug czar's
office; next, doing away with the shootdown policy; next, doing away with
the information-sharing policy; and then, next, decertifying the country
without granting a national U.S.-interest waiver to allow the equipment
to get there. We knew the equipment needed to get there, we knew what
was happening, we knew that only copters and equipment in the anti-narcotics
effort could eliminate that.
But this is how you turn a
minor problem into destabilizing a whole region, failed policies of an
administration. This is not partisan, this is fact, and it is very well
documented. It should be documented for history, and also for what we
are doing, that these kinds of mistakes are not made in the future. And
you cannot win this by yourself; it is going to take a cooperative effort;
and you are not going to be sending United States troops in. That would
never happen. But you can provide a little bit of assistance to countries
that are trying to stop narco-terrorism within their borders.
So here you see in 1997-1998,
asking for the resources denied by the administration, not only denied,
but blocked by the administration, and that helps you get into a multi-billion
dollar pickle that we are now in.
Then we have been asking not
only could we appropriate a few dollars, and under the leadership of Mr.
Hastert, now Speaker of the House, who had this responsibility, he framed
together in 1998 a bill for a supplemental in the war on drugs to restart
source-country programs, restart
eradication, alternative crop programs, to restart interdiction of drugs,
trying to get information and sources down there.
We not only wanted to put
a few more dollars in that that could effectively cure the problem that
was erupting and we saw back from 1994, but we thought it would be wise
to also take surplus United States equipment and get it to Colombia, so
we asked the President to do that.
Now, until a few weeks ago,
equipment requested in 1997 still had not been delivered, surplus equipment,
delivered there. This stuff sits rusting in fields or warehouses or in
lots, and there is no reason why it cannot get to Colombia.
Then almost a slap in the
face. Last year when we began asking why is the equipment not requested,
and even that the President said he would send as surplus in 1997-1998,
getting there? This is another headline that just shows that `the gang
that couldn't shoot straight' was in charge. `Colombia turns down dilapidated
We sent dilapidated trucks,
I think they were trucks used primarily in the tundra or the cold climate,
down to Colombia. So when we do finally get some equipment there, it is
equipment that is not usable in the war on narcotics. It is a pretty sad
story. It would almost be humorous if it did not have consequences.
Now, I know people think that
this is probably something that the Republicans made in a partisan fashion,
but in fact this chart was produced by the Monitoring of the Future Study
by the University of Michigan. Let us just look at it for a minute, because
it shows from 1980 the problem with cocaine and drug use at that time,
it was predominantly cocaine that we were having the big problem with.
This chart shows a long-term trend in lifetime prevalence of drug use.
This shows the Reagan campaign,
the Just Say No, the Andean strategy, the Vice President's task force.
This was reducing drug use among our youth, among our population, in very
good fashion. It was put together, all of these initiatives, the certification
law, and it worked.
It was working. This is nothing
that we made up, it is not a partisan poster. Then we had President Bush,
and he continued the same policies through to the end of his term. We
saw continued dramatic declines in prevalence of drug use, period. This
formula works. A balanced formula of eradication, crop alternative at
the source, interdiction as the drugs are coming up, give the information,
surveillance, get them as the drugs leave their source country, and then
involving the military or whoever to protect our borders as it gets closer
to the borders; the Coast Guard, which also was dramatically cut.
In 1992 and 1993, we see the
beginning of the end of the war on drugs. Again, this is fact. It is just
fact, pure and simple. The media probably would never print this chart.
One would never see this on the evening news.
Tonight I saw the evening
news and they showed a little bit about how Peru and Bolivia went down
in production. Of course, they did not say who did that or what policies
instituted that change. They do not give us the rest of the story, as
Paul Harvey says. One has to listen to myself and my colleagues tonight
to hear that on the floor.
Drug use just climbed, climbed,
climbed with the Clinton administration. One could almost trace the gutting
of the Drug Czar's office. We have the documentation. The slash of the
Drug Czar's office was from 112 to 27. Now, how could one fight the war
on drugs when we slash the command staff. I will say the Republicans have
given Barry McCaffrey I believe 150 positions, he is fully staffed, but
it has taken us a good period of time to get us back into the war on drugs.
Mr. Speaker, 112 to 27. They cut source country and interdiction funding
by 50 percent. We can almost see the actions here.
Mr. Speaker, in 1993, appoint
Jocelyn Elders Surgeon General who said to our children in the next generation,
`just say maybe' instead of `just say no.' There are consequences from
The next consequence is the
information-sharing, the commentary from Torricelli, the Democrats who
mention here, do not stop that. Look at how we see the increase there.
In 1996 and 1997, blocking the aid to Colombia. Finally we see the gentleman
from Illinois (Mr. Hastert), first Mr. Zeliff and then our Speaker of
the House taking over this responsibility and again, turning that ship
We are just starting to see
a slight downturn in these figures. That is with a $1 billion national
education program. The President wanted to pay for all of those ads. I
introduced legislation that said that they must donate them. We ended
up with a compromise. The compromise does give us a $2 billion effort,
$1 billion in public money, $1 billion in donated money. The success of
that I do not know, and I cannot tell my colleagues today. We did preliminary
hearings on the expenditures of one-third of $1 billion, and quite frankly,
I am not pleased with everything I have seen. It is somewhat of an effort.
But I will tell my colleagues
one thing. When we go after production in the source country, we begin
to stem some of the, not supply but glut; and that is what has happened
with cocaine. Now we need to do the same thing with heroin and continue
with the cocaine and hopefully, we will learn by the mistakes that were
made in the past.
Mr. Speaker, this is the history.
It is pretty dramatic.
The Republicans, I might say,
what have they done? Well, we have restored the source country programs
equivalent right now to 1992 dollars the cost-effective stop-drugs-at-their-source.
If we know 100 percent of the cocaine is produced in coca in those three
countries and it really cannot be produced in too many other areas, that
makes a lot of sense to go after that.
We know what we have done
works because we have seen it work in Peru and Bolivia. I will say in
Peru, President Fujimori was able to create stability in that Nation and
then put these programs in place. The same thing President Pastrana in
Colombia is going to do. That is why we are going to have to support that
effort. I do not like that effort, I do not like spending taxpayer money
there. But in comparison, a few billion dollars there; think of what this
administration has squandered in deployments in forays around the world.
In Somalia, which President
Bush started as a humanitarian mission he escalated into the loss of,
I believe, some 30 American lives; a $3 billion enterprise, a failure
in Nation-building and putting our people in there. The Haiti experiment,
which is an absolute disaster, it is a national and international disgrace
that he would impose sanctions on the poorest of the nations in the entire
hemisphere, spend billions of dollars to put more corrupt people in place,
and now Haiti is one of the major drug trafficking areas in the
entire Caribbean, not to mention
that much of the billions of dollars went to institution-building that
failed. Then, to send our troops to Bosnia, to send our troops to Kosovo.
Great international humanitarian missions, probably $10 billion apiece.
But there were very few civilian Americans killed in any of those incursions.
Mr. Speaker, in 1997, 15,973
Americans died because of direct drug-related deaths. Mr. McCaffrey, our
director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, said today that if we take
the total figure in the last year, it is about 52,000. Speaker Hastert,
who spoke to our international drug summit for dinner the other evening
when we convened that meeting and he spoke, he said that if we had 15,000
troops in any conflict anywhere who were killed in one year, that people
would demand action. Unfortunately, these are silent deaths. Unfortunately,
these are young people in our community.
What is interesting, it has
not stopped. It used to be just the urban centers, the ghetto. These were
sort of the community rejects and they were injecting heroin or doing
crack or cocaine, and it was not really covered; nobody really cared.
They just sort of looked the other way. They were drug addicts; they were
bad. Then it spread to our suburban communities and now it has awakened
part of America.
The most recent statistics
are, and should be, alarming to every Member of Congress and every American.
It has not only spread from the urban setting and the core of our cities
to the suburbs, but the latest statistics just released in the past few
weeks this year indicate that our rural areas are now plagued by the worst
narcotics epidemic they have ever seen. So we have managed in 7 years
to see the problem of narcotics spread to every element of our society.
Those 15,700 from 1997, and I am sure were in the 16 thousands in the
past year, are all sort of nameless, but they are someone's child; they
are someone's loved one, and they are human beings who it is our responsibility
Now, if we cannot expend this
money and get the funds to fight this war on drugs, a few dollars towards
the international effort in Southeast Asia where we know those drugs are
produced and do it cooperatively with the United Nations where we do not
have relations with those countries, a few dollars in South America, the
alternative is really the most expensive solution which the administration
has gone for. That is treatment of the wounded in battle.
Now, one would think that
hearing tonight, and I saw the national news, that Republicans did not
spend more money on treatment, the entire strategy of this administration
has been to put the money on treatment. Could we imagine dismantling the
command center in a war, stopping the information in war, not going after
the targets in a war, not providing resources to fight a war, cutting
back any of the aid and ammunition in a war, and just treating the wounded
in a battle.
That is exactly the philosophy,
it is exactly the strategy, and it has been a failed strategy in communities
like Baltimore. Baltimore had a liberal mayor up until just recently who
said, just do it; we will have needle exchange; we will have all of these
liberal programs. Baltimore went from almost no heroin addicts or drug
addicts and a large population, the population was approaching 1 million,
it is now down to about 600,000. One in 10 people, a city council member
has recently been quoted in Baltimore saying 1 in 8 individual citizens
of Baltimore, Maryland is a drug addict. Now, that is the liberal approach.
The liberal mayor with his liberal policies just left.
If we look at other cities,
but let us go back to Baltimore for a second. Most major cities that have
adopted zero tolerance like New York and Los Angeles, even Richmond, who
have adopted tough prosecution, tough enforcement policies, zero tolerance,
have dramatic reductions in deaths. The statistics we have seen from Baltimore
were 312 in one year, I think in 1997, and 312 in 1998. I do not have
1999 figures, but I guarantee they have not gone down. The rest of the
Nation is where we have zero tolerance. So we have 60,000, one in eight.
Imagine the United States of America adopting this liberal policy that
Baltimore did. One in eight Americans as a drug addict. Could we imagine
the societal costs, the cost to families, the cost to the economy of the
Nation. It would be astronomical.
Now, that is one model we
can look at.
The New York model, zero tolerance,
tough prosecution. I went up during recent months to visit a program that
Mayor Giuliani put into place, DTAP, a prosecution program, tough prosecution
program that tied in with an effective treatment program, one of the most
effective I have seen anywhere in the Nation. Here is a mayor, an elected
executive who inherited one of the most crime-ridden towns in America
where most people would not walk on the streets with over 2,200 deaths
when he took office, the year he took office, and through a zero
tolerance, through a tough
prosecution program, 600 deaths in New York City. This is a successful
program. This is an area where they have successful treatment.
I sat with addicts, and one
of the addicts was 38 years old and had spent half of his lifetime in
prison. Had no hope before the program instituted by the mayor and the
prosecutors in that area. No hope.
Another individual, I talked
to his wife, had died of a heroin overdose. He was a heroin addict, and
the story went on and on. No successful programs. No tough enforcement.
This does work.
Richmond, people talk about
gun violence, and I was glad that the President came just behind us and
talked about gun violence. Now, I believe very strongly in Second Amendment
rights, and I heard the President talk about tough prosecution. We have
asked for tough enforcement of gun laws. We have countless gun laws. Washington,
D.C. has the toughest gun laws. Guns are banned in Washington, D.C. Today,
this community buried a young couple the day after Valentine's Day who
were massacred, slaughtered on the streets, I think they were 17 year-old
sweethearts in this community, a community with every restriction one
could possibly have.
But we know that tough enforcement
works. We know that Project Exile, which they adopted in Richmond, which
was plagued by record numbers of deaths, but tough prosecution of existing
gun laws worked, and we cut the murders dramatically in Richmond, where
people could not walk in their neighborhood, in the street. We know the
Giuliani method is successful, and that tough prosecution does work.
Our hearing today, in addition
to the drug czar, had as a witness an individual who has done an outstanding
job, General Wilhelm, who is in charge of the Southern Command. He has
done a great job, in spite of an administration that is not interested
in having the military work in any way on the war on drugs, and has had
to be drug, really, into this new restarted national strategy. General
Wilhelm has done an outstanding job in piecing together our Southern Command.
Our Southern Command has been
in charge of the surveillance information. Our military does not go after,
in a law enforcement manner, drug traffickers. What they do is provide
surveillance intelligence information, and that is passed on to our allies,
who are really the best suited to go after drug traffickers in their own
communities and states and nations, and drugs, at their source most cost-effectively.
Again, this administration
could not have bungled things more. We were basically removed from Panama,
and we knew we had to be out of Panama. We were unsuccessful, the administration
was, in negotiating, keeping our drug surveillance operations at Howard
Air Force Base, so last May all flights stopped out of there.
One of the problems we have
had is we have had an absolute wide open corridor for narcotics traffickers
to come in through this drug-producing region. Again, the most cost-effective
way, stop drugs at their source, where they are grown, eradicate them;
next, interdict them as they come out.
The glut we are seeing is
because Howard Air Force Base was closed down May 1. We turned over those
assets to the Panamanians. We have had to relocate in Ecuador, and it
will cost us probably $100 million before we are through. We finally signed
a permanent agreement, I think a 10-year lease on that airport there.
Right now the airfield is in such bad shape that the equipment cannot
take off and land that we need. Aruba is another location we have had
to look at moving those assets to.
In the meantime, today we
are probably only flying 35, 40 percent of the strategic missions to detect
and monitor drug trafficking. In a report which I requested from GAO,
and we held a hearing just a week or two ago, it was `Assets DOD Contributes
to Reducing Illegal Drug Supplies Have Declined.' This is a real indictment
of the administration in dramatically decreasing the flights. From 1992
to 1995, the drug surveillance flights were reduced, according to this
report, by 68 percent. The maritime efforts, anti-narcotics efforts, were
reduced some 62 percent.
What is even scarier is, according
to General Wilhelm, in this report, and he did testify today, the Southern
Command Commander, they can only detect 60 percent of the key routes in
the drug trafficking area about 15 percent of the time.
Mr. Speaker, if Members want
to be even more concerned, the over-the-horizon radar that was supposed
to be in place next month to supplant some of this lost capability is
further delayed for installations.
The good news is some of the
drug-tethered balloons, air balloons that we have in surveillance around
our coasts, I understand we have at least a commitment from the Air Force
and from the Assistant Secretary of Defense where they will stay in place,
although they were going to remove them.
Again, it does not take much
to figure out a good strategy in the war on drugs. We stop it at the source,
eradicate it. Even President Nixon eradicated heroin. They have had various
programs. They were reviewed at the International Drug Control Summit
last week, and some were very successful, and China and Turkey and other
countries. They have been able to eradicate them. We are not on a mission
that will not succeed, but we must get the resources there. We must get
the equipment there. We must aid our allies, who are willing to be partners
in this effort, especially in Colombia, where we have a great leader in
President Pastrana, who is trying to get his Nation back together.
I submit, and it was confirmed
by witnesses at our hearing today, the only reason the rebels are now
in Sweden and in Europe and talking about serious peace settlement in
Colombia is because the threat of the resources finally reaching there.
It is sad that even until a few weeks ago, the three Black Hawk helicopters
that we had requested, and again, Members saw the documents here back
some 4 years, 5 years ago, that finally arrived the end of last year,
and it is unbelievable, they arrived without proper armor.
Today we were told that the
armor that was sent does not fit on all of the helicopters, so some of
these are sent in nonstrategic but support missions. Some are up and flying,
but not in the proper fashion that Congress had intended.
In addition, the ammunition
and mini-guns and other resources to get to the national police, who are
anti-narcotics officers in Colombia, still have not all arrived. It is
unbelievable, but I believe confirmed that half the ammunition was inadvertently
delivered during the Christmas holidays to the loading dock at our State
Department; again, the gang that cannot seem to shoot straight in getting
this drug situation under control.
Again, it is not rocket science.
Almost all of it is coming from Colombia. Seventy-five percent of the
heroin coming into the United States, over 75 percent of the cocaine is
now sourced there. Some of it does transit through Mexico, but if we stop
it at its source cost-effectively, we do not have to have 10,000 Border
Patrol people there.
Even today I see they are
becoming threatened with bounties put on their heads by these reckless
Again, we can win this. We
can win it cost-effectively. We have to learn by our mistakes. It must
be an international effort, a little bit of dollars, with the help of
our friends, the European communities willing to put in more resources,
because they also are becoming more victimized, just like the United States;
with a little help to Colombia and with a little help from both sides
of the aisle, not making the mistakes, joining in and saying, we are going
to get those resources there, we are not going to wait.
If this was Kosovo and we
could not get the helicopters to Kosovo, it would be a disaster. If we
could not have gotten the ammunition and the resources to our troops,
and these are not our troops we are trying to supply, in the Gulf War,
we would have had a disaster there.
So we can start a real war
against narcotics. We have thousands of lives at stake. Out there tonight
in our districts are young people who are overdosing. Three or four times
those who are killed in Columbine will die tomorrow as a result of drug
overdoses in our community, and hundreds more, as the drug czar said today,
will die from the scourge each day across our Nation.
So we have a great responsibility
to get our act together, make certain this administration fulfills the
will of Congress, and that we get resources to those who can help us bring
this situation under control.
As of March 13, 2000, this
document is also available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H15FE0-521: