by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), May 16, 2000
ILLEGAL NARCOTICS (House of
Representatives - May 16, 2000)
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 half of the remaining time before midnight, or approximately 32 minutes.
Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I am
pleased to come before the House again on a Tuesday night to talk about
a subject that I usually discuss with my colleagues in the House of Representatives,
and that is the problem we face in our Nation and across our communities
in America of illegal narcotics.
We also have an incredibly
serious problem with drug abuse that is affecting almost every family
in our Nation. If we look at the root of the real problems in our society,
criminal problems, disruption in families, serious crimes committed, we
need look no further than the problem of illegal narcotics.
I know much of the attention
of Washington and some of the Nation was focused here on the events Sunday,
on Mothers Day. I think that every American abhors violence. I think it
is rightful that mothers would come to this city and plead for an end
I think that everyone who
is a rational human being would be against gun violence, gun violence
against another human being, using a weapon to destroy life, to harm an
individual. So I think we all abhor that. But what we fail to address
really is the core problem.
This past Monday, I had the
opportunity to attend the National Memorial and Recognition Service for
police officers who had been slain. Some 139 police officers across our
Nation were slain this past year. Talking to police officers who were
visiting from my community and from around the Nation and speaking to
police officers and law enforcement officials as I go about my responsibilities
as a Member of Congress, they all tell me the same thing; and that is,
that illegal narcotics are at the core and again the source of so many
of our crime problems, so many of our felonies committed. So many of the
people behind a weapon whether it is a gun, a knife, some other instrument
of death and destruction are motivated by illegal narcotics.
In fact, in hearings that
I have conducted as chair of the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug
Policy and Human Resources, hearing after hearing, we have heard individuals
testify that illegal narcotics contribute to crime, disruption of our
social life. That is 60 to 70 percent of those behind bars, and we now
have some 2 million Americans behind bars, are there because of a drug-related
Most of these offenses are
not mere possession of small amounts of marijuana. They are not small
drug offenses, in some localities misdemeanors. These are multiple felonies.
One really has to try hard, according to a New York State judicial survey
of those surveying in that State taken last spring. That survey indicated
most of the people in New York State prisons are there because of multiple
felonies. One really has to try hard to get in prison in some of our jurisdictions,
and it takes multiple and very serious offenses to be there.
There are exceptions to that,
and we have heard testimony of tough minimum mandatory sentencing. But
for the most part, illegal narcotics drives crime in this country. Not
only does it drive murders, but it drives drug-related deaths.
In the last recorded year,
1998, we do not have the 1999 figures yet, 15,973 Americans lost their
life as a direct result of illegal narcotics, consuming illegal narcotics.
These are not the flashy news reports that one sees that are publicized,
say, with the action of a young child shooting a young child with a handgun.
These are silent, nonetheless deadly incidents of overdose, of young people
in the numbers three and four times those lost in one incident in Columbine,
a horrible national tragedy. But that horrible national tragedy is repeated
three and four times each day if we count all of the drug overdoses across
Our Drug Czar, General McCaffrey,
has estimated that the deaths, if we took into account all of the causes
related to use and abuse of illegal narcotics, would exceed some 52,000
a year, an incredible impact. As much of an impact as our last major conflict,
international conflict, the Vietnam War. Again, a deadly problem for this
country and for our society and sometimes pushed into the background.
The march that was held on
Sunday focused on violence and in particular gun violence. The media stories,
as I have recounted over the past month or two, have focused on several
incidents involving guns. A 6 year old shooting a 6 year old, and again
the focus was the gun. But the real problem was the 6 year old came from
a crack cocaine family. The 6 year old came from a family whose parent
was in prison because of narcotics, serious narcotics offenses, an environment
that was harmful, an environment that provided the motivation and the
setting for a 6 year old to commit mayhem.
Then of course the media focused
on, I believe it was, a 12-year-old who brought a gun to school and had
all of his fellow students on the floor and threatened them. When asked
why he brought that gun to school, he said it was because he wanted to
join his mother, be with his mother. She was in prison because of a drug
offense. Another tragedy.
Most recently, we had in Washington,
D.C., during the spring and Easter Passover break a horrible incident
when African American families in our Nation's capital were celebrating
a day in our National Zoo; and what took place there was mayhem among
young teenagers, I believe a 16 or 17-year-old teenager who fired the
weapons in that case, wounding a number of individuals. The focus was
again on the gun.
But here is another young
individual in our Nation's capital, the victim, not just of gun violence
and participating in gun violence, but coming from a home of drug violence.
His father is in prison because he was part of a Washington, D.C. drug
gang. That is a sad event for our Nation's capital.
But, unfortunately, that sad
event has been repeated for the last decade day and day and day again.
I cannot tell my colleagues how many times I have come to the capital
and read on a Monday or Tuesday of the violence over the weekend. Some
of that has been curtailed by tougher enforcement, by change of administration,
which is long overdue in our Nation's capital. This year, the drug-related
deaths are down. But year after year, 300 to 400 young African American
males were slaughtered in this city in a pattern of violence, and almost
all of those incidents of death brought about by involvement with illegal
I would venture today, if
we quizzed our Capitol Police and our Washington Metropolitan Police Officers,
they would tell us the same statistics prevail. Sixty, 70, 80 percent
of those who are murdered in our Nation's capital, 60 to 70 percent of
the violence, the felonies committed in this great city with so many great
people, are caused because someone is involved with illegal narcotics.
Here of course we have a city
in which most firearms, individual possession of an unregistered firearm
is not allowed. We have some of the tightest laws relating to weapons.
In fact, most of the weapons that are used in these murders are stolen
or illegally obtained.
Again, I think it is important
that, rather than to focus on guns, that we need to focus as a Congress
and as responsible legislators on the root cause. Certainly the root cause,
if we ask anyone involved in law enforcement, is illegal narcotics.
I thought I would recite some
statistics relating to other types of violence that my colleagues may
not have heard about, and how they too are brought about by the use of
illegal narcotics. Most of the cases of child abuse that we read about,
if we look a little further behind the news, at the child abuse itself,
the motivation that someone has become involved in child abuse is because
of drug use.
A study that was recently
done indicated that 80 to 90 percent of all referrals for child abuse
to social services in Butte County, California, cases were, in fact, drug
related. Social service workers estimated that 80 percent of the child
abuse cases statewide in California, in that same study, are drug related.
Social service workers across the United States attribute 62 percent or
more of the child abuse cases to an adult substance abuse problem.
Not only is child abuse driven
by illegal narcotics and substance abuse, but the same thing applies to
spousal abuse. Spousal abuse attributed to drug use was also reviewed
by another study, and we found in the study recently that social service
workers across the United States attributed a large percentage of spousal
abuse cases to drug-related causes. A full 50 percent of all domestic
violence cases involved substance abuse in a study conducted in New York
Suicide is also another major
social problem, and studies have recently been conducted to see the impact
of illegal narcotics and drug use as it relates to suicide. The Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also known in Washington
as SAMSHA, estimated that 90 percent of the suicide victims have had a
mental and/or substance abuse disorder. SAMSHA, again our HHS, Health
and Human Services agency, followed up studies of adults with substance
abuse disorders and it revealed an inordinately high risk of suicide for
those who were victimized by illegal drugs and by substance abuse. Youth
who abuse substances combined with serious behavioral problems are much
more likely to commit suicide than those without substance abuse problems,
this study also found.
Of course, I have related
in a previous special order, after conducting a hearing on the problems
of methamphetamine in California, we conducted two hearings there, our
Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources recently,
and I did provide a detailed report in a special order on the methamphetamine
problem both in the Sacramento, north central area of California, and
also in San Diego, where we conducted our second hearing.
Some pretty startling cases
of child abuse, actually beyond description, where children were abandoned
by their parents in incredible numbers because of their problems of being
addicted to methamphetamine. Methamphetamine causes some of the most irrational
behavior in human beings I think I have ever seen recorded. The crack
epidemic of the 1970s and 1980s is nothing compared to the methamphetamine
problems we are experiencing.
This past week, our Subcommittee
on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources conducted a hearing
on the question of minimum mandatory sentencing, particularly as it relates
to drug offenses, and there is some controversy about how those laws have
been applied. But I was startled to learn from one of the witnesses in
that hearing what has taken place in this country relating to methamphetamine
and crack abuse since 1992, since the beginning of this administration.
One of our witnesses was a
United States Sentencing Commission commissioner. That commission has
had vacancies, but they have recently been filled and we were pleased
to have testimony from that commission provided to our subcommittee so
that we can find out what is happening as far as sentencing and also the
prevalence of drug abuse in this country.
Submitted for the record of
that hearing were several charts, and these charts are exactly as submitted
to our subcommittee. This chart is entitled Predominant Drug Type by State,
and it covers the period starting in 1992 and going up to 1995 with this
series. I think if we look at the lighter yellow here we see crack. In
1992, there is almost very little crack in these States, almost no methamphetamine,
which is in the other color here.
In 1993, we see the beginning
of methamphetamine abuse, some in the Midwest. We see the spreading of
the crack problem. That is 1993. In 1994, we could focus here and we see
methamphetamine, crack in the yellow, spreading. In 1995, we see what
has taken place.
Now, this is under the policy
of the Clinton-Gore administration in their change of emphasis to get
away from source country programs; stopping illegal narcotics at their
source. The source of crack is cocaine. Cocaine comes from only three
countries: Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia. Methamphetamine, most of the precursors,
the chemicals used in processing methamphetamine, come from Mexico.
This is the record from 1992,
untouched, submitted by this administration's sentencing commission. This
is the rest of the story, so to speak; 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. Again,
we are talking about crack, methamphetamine. Crack in the yellow, methamphetamine
in this other color here. Until we get to 1999, when we see almost the
entire Nation covered by methamphetamine and/or crack.
This is one of the most telling
sets of graphs showing again the dramatic increase in these two drugs
across the Nation since 1992.
Now, I have often heard liberal
commentators and liberal legislators talking about the failure of the
war on drugs. This is a chart that I have not altered in any way, except
we have added the Reagan-Bush era during their presidency and the Clinton
presidency with this bar and just labeling here.
The chart itself was produced
by the University of Michigan, and it really tracks the long-term trend
and lifetime prevalence of drug use. I have used this several times in
special orders. But, to me, this is the most telling and graphic representation
of what took place in a real war on drugs.
Again, the liberals both in
the media and in the House and other body would tell us that this is a
record of failure. We have a decline in long-term trend in lifetime prevalence
of drug use.
And if we took up other illegal
narcotics, we would see, again, we could go back to cocaine or to heroin
or some of these other narcotics, methamphetamine, which was not even
on the charts, but we would see a decline in those illegal narcotics during
the Reagan and Bush era.
Now, they will tell us that
this is a failure, both failure in the war on drugs, the war on drugs
failed. I submit that if we look at this point where the Clinton administration
up to the Republicans took over the House of Representatives, we see a
steady incline in the use of illegal narcotics, the prevalence of lifetime
use. And again, we can bring the other charts that were just supplied
by the Sentencing Commission or take charts relating to heroin and other
narcotics and we show the same pattern.
Again, this is what they are
trying to tell us is a record of failure. This is a record of success.
I submit there is absolutely no way the war on drugs was a failure when
it was adequately conducted. When it was a multifaceted effort, when we
had source country programs where we stopped illegal narcotics where they
Again, crack and cocaine,
it does not take a Harvard Ph.D., it does not take a rocket scientist
when we know that crack and its derivative, cocaine and coca, are only
produced in a small Andean region are really only capable of being produced
in that region, Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia.
When the Republicans took
over the House of Representatives, one of the things that they did was
try to restore some of the international programs that had been sliced
and slashed by the Clinton administration.
The Clinton administration,
when it took office in 1993 to 1995 controlled in very large majorities
both this body, the House of Representatives, and the other body, the
United States Senate. One of the first things that they did was to cut
money on the international programs. That would be stopping drugs at their
source. Federal drug spending on international programs declined 21 percent
in just 1 year after the Clinton administration took office.
Federal drug spending on the
international programs decreased from $660 million in 1992 to 1993. And
it is interesting, if we look at these years, as they cut international
programs, drug use and abuse increased.
The same thing happened with
interdiction. Interdiction would be stopping illegal narcotics as they
leave the source country before they get to our borders. The prime area
of assistance is really in surveillance of illegal narcotics, both at
the source so that the host country or the source country can destroy
the illegal narcotics at their source or get the illegal narcotics as
they are leaving the source
from airfields, from waterways, from transit routes.
The United States military
has been involved in providing that surveillance information. Unfortunately,
one of the first decisions of the Clinton administration, again, back
here when we see the beginning of the end of the war on drugs and the
failure of, again, fighting illegal narcotics, Federal spending on drug
interdiction declined 23 percent in 1 year after the Clinton administration
took office, again, with very significant majorities of both Houses here
Federal drug spending decreased
from $1.96 billion in 1992 to $1.5 billion in 1993. Actually, it went
down even more if we take into consideration several years that they controlled
this body in large numbers.
This is the Federal drug spending
chart on international programs. Again, we see dramatic decreases from
the Reagan-Bush era on down to about half. So if we want to see how we
can get more drugs from the source into this country, we cut these international
When the Republicans took
over in 1995, and it does take several years to get into this process,
since then we have been able to get back to 1991 and 1992 figures. However,
even with these programs, money which we ask to be sent, for example,
to Colombia, funds never made it to Colombia, either through ineptness
or through just pure ignoring the will of the Congress.
So even though funds have
been appropriated to go back to the equal equivalent of 1991-1992 Bush-Reagan
era dollars, the actual resources getting into the war on drugs have not
So this is the era in which
there was a dramatic decline. This is the era in which we had a dramatic
increase in prevalence of drug use among our young people.
I have a second chart which
deals with interdiction, and we see the same pattern again of cutting
interdiction, use of military, for surveillance information gathering.
The military does not arrest anyone, does not become involved in enforcement.
It merely provides that information.
Here again, we have the same
pattern of behavior. Back in 1996, the Republicans did up this and in
1998 we are bringing it back. Again, we have to use equivalent of 1991-1992
dollars. So in the past 4 or 5 years of our control of the House and the
other body, we have managed to get us back to 1991-1992 levels with great
Unfortunately, in the international
area, as I said, resources have not gotten to the countries which are
producing the illegal narcotics. We have had two success stories, both
of those developed by the current Speaker of the House when he chaired
the responsibility of the subcommittee, which I now chair, for our national
The gentleman from Illinois
(Mr. Hastert) chaired, again, this responsibility and got funds and resources
into some of these programs. However, many of the funds and resources,
again, were diverted time and again by this administration and did not,
in fact, get to Colombia, which is now the main source of heroin and cocaine
and illegal substances that are coming into this country.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). The Chair recognizes the gentleman
from Florida (Mr. Mica) for the remainder of his hour, or 28 minutes.
Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I will
continue part of what I am discussing tonight, which is the history of
how we got ourselves into this fix. It is a very difficult situation,
made even more so by, again, the incredible quantity of illegal narcotics
coming into our borders.
I submit, Mr. Speaker, that
there is no more important responsibility for us to attend to as Members
of Congress than, first, to keep illegal narcotics from coming into our
borders. Stopping illegal narcotics in the international arena is not
the responsibility of our local police force, it is not the responsibility
of our State police, it is not the responsibility of the localities or
the school boards. Our number one responsibility is to make certain that
those hard narcotics are kept from our shores, from our borders. Once
they come into the United States, it is very difficult to go after them,
and it does take a great deal of resources.
This, again, is a record,
in my estimation, of failure, the war on drugs being very systematically
closed down. Statistics show, again, a record of success in the Reagan
and Bush era. I have not doctored the figures. This is not meant to be
partisan in any way. These are in fact the facts.
If we see success with an
increase, as the media, the liberals would have you know success, an increase
in drug use, then in fact that is success. We have more heroin addicts,
more people on illegal narcotics, more deaths, almost double the deaths.
Again, if we flip the other charts of the changes in policy made in interdiction
and international programs, we can almost trace again the end of any war
on illegal narcotics.
Again, these are the results
released last week by the administration themselves. I do not know if
we can get both of these up here, but from 1992 to 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996,
1997, 1998, 1999, what an incredibly graphic description of what has taken
place. This is only with several of the drugs, the very serious narcotics
that are affecting our cities and our communities across the land.
Again, the situation with
illegal narcotics is affecting all of us. Recently I participated in an
International Association of Chiefs of Police meeting, and I asked if
I could get from the Drug Enforcement Administration, our U.S. anti-narcotics
agency, information about the purity levels of heroin, because I come
from an area that has been the victim of heroin abuse, heroin overdose.
Deaths now exceed homicides in central Florida, which is the area I represent.
We know that we are getting
more and more illegal narcotics in from the source countries because we
do not have intervention in place, because we are just back to the 1992
levels and because the administration has thwarted our efforts to stop
illegal narcotics coming from their source.
One of the things that startled
me in receiving this information on heroin trends in central Florida is,
again, we have an incredible death rate, but that death rate is linked
almost directly to the purity level of the heroin coming in. In the eighties
and seventies the purity level of heroin was in single digits, sometimes
very, very low purity. In 1995-1996 that began to change. In fact, we
have ranged from 71 percent to 60 percent on average since 1995, the purity
rate in central Florida with the heroin that is seized there and analyzed.
What that means is that the
heroin is so pure that it is deadly, it is killing in unprecedented numbers,
it is killing first-time users, and it is killing those who use heroin
with other substances. The only reason the deaths have not gotten worse
than they are, and they have increased in the last several years, is that
in fact our medical personnel are able to resuscitate more of the victims
of drug overdose in central Florida and also around the Nation, but we
have a startling increase in number of drug overdose admissions and in
Part of it is dealing with
the deadly heroin that is on the streets of central Florida, again between
60 and 72 percent pure. That compares to a national purity level of between
40 and 37 percent, still very deadly. But the people in my district are
particularly vulnerable to, again, a very deadly type of heroin that is
Now, we know exactly where
that heroin is coming in. We have the ability through our agencies, and,
again in this case, DEA, Drug Enforcement Agency, to analyze the heroin
that comes in and other drugs that come into our borders. They can conduct
signature analysis, which basically tells us almost to the field where
that heroin or the poppies are grown and where that heroin comes from.
Now we have some 60 to 70
percent of the heroin coming into the United States from Colombia. This
is an incredible figure, if you consider that in 1992 there is almost
zero heroin being produced in Colombia. In six or seven short years of
this administration, through, again, neglect of getting equipment, resources
to fight illegal narcotics, again in the source country or interdicting
it as it came to our shores, before it came to our shores, we have turned
Colombia into the largest producer of heroin.
Following Colombia, is, of
course, our good trading partner who we have given so many trade benefits
to, underwritten their finances when they faltered, opened our borders
in unprecedented fashion to trade and commerce and business, and that
is Mexico, which has jumped, again, the media will not report it, but
a 20 percent increase in the last two recorded years in heroin production,
from 14 to 17 percent of the heroin, black tar heroin on our streets,
killing our kids and our young adults and others, is coming from the fields
of Mexico, our good trading partner.
So between Colombia and Mexico,
and Colombia, of course, is way out there with some 65 to 70 percent of
the heroin being produced, none of that being produced some 6 or 7 years
In 6 or 7 years, through the
policy of this administration, we also find that Colombia, which was really
a single digit producer of cocaine, now produces some 80 percent, according
to DEA and other estimates, of the cocaine and crack coming in to the
United States of America.
We are fortunate that the
plan devised by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert) and the Republicans
3 or 4 years ago to curtail illegal production of cocaine in Peru and
Bolivia has stopped production in those countries to the tune of 55 percent
reduction in Bolivia, and a 60-plus percent reduction in Peru.
Those two countries were the
major producers in the past. The production has shifted and operations
have shifted to Colombia which formerly was just a transit country in
the last 6 or 7 years. Of course, we all know that Colombia is a disaster.
The situation in Colombia gets worse every week. This morning's news,
President Pastrana of Colombia suspended a round of Colombia's peace process
plan for the end of May, something we have all been trying to work to
get accomplished. His action came as a result of Marxist rebels killing
a woman in a most horrible fashion. They rigged a bomb around her neck
and she was killed when the bomb disposal specialists of Colombia tried
to diffuse the dynamite-packed necklace bomb which the Army said had been
rigged by the Marxist FARC leftist rebels who demanded ransom from her
husband. President Pastrana said to his nation, the men of violence have
placed a necklace of dynamite around the hope of all Colombians.
Of course, many people say
well, why should we worry about Colombia; why should we be concerned?
Of course, we know where the source is, again, of the hard narcotics coming
into this country. We know where the death and violence is coming from,
and that is Colombia.
Unfortunately, the administration
turned its back on this problem since 1993 and has very systematically
kept any assistance coming to Colombia and, in fact, even the assistance
that has gotten to Colombia has been almost farcical.
Some people may say why is
Colombia so important in this, other than the production of illegal narcotics
which in itself should justify our involvement? But, in fact, Colombia
and the region surrounding Colombia produces some 20 percent of our daily
oil supply. Some 35,000 individuals have been killed in Colombia through
a war, a civil war, of various factions and that war is being financed
General Barry McCaffrey described
Colombia as an emergency situation last year after, again, this region
exploded not only with narcotics production but also violence which is
now spilling over into the region. In fact, Colombia has become a basket
Americans have already died
in Colombia. U.S. contract pilots have been killed in Colombia, who have
been on missions to eradicate illegal narcotics. Robert Ernest Martin
was killed in 1997. Dane Milgrew was killed in 1998 and Jerry Chestnut,
another pilot, in 1999. Also in Colombia we have had the deaths of five
individuals on July 23, when a U.S. Army reconnaissance aircraft crashed
into Southern Colombia on a surveillance mission. The officers killed
there were Captain Jennifer Odom of Maryland; Captain Jose Santiago of
Florida, my central Florida area; Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Moore from
Arkansas; Private First Class Bruce Cluff of Utah; and Private First Class
Ray Kruegar of Texas.
These are some of the deaths
that have occurred there, including DEA agents, Special Agent Frank Moreno,
who was killed in November of 1998. So indeed we have a great deal at
stake in Colombia and, again, if we linked each of the 52,000 deaths last
year related in the total picture of illegal narcotics and narcotics abuses
and murders and suicides and other things that have brought about death,
or the 15,973 deaths in 1998, we could trace a vast percentage of those
deaths to Colombian narcotics that are coming across our borders.
So indeed this has been identified
by this administration finally as a priority. That is in spite of blocking,
at the beginning of the Clinton administration, Clinton-Gore, of course,
slashed the drug czar's staff from 112 personnel to 27, and the Democrat-controlled
Congress cut the source country and interdiction programs by more than
50 percent. Then appointing just-say-maybe Surgeon General of the United
States, Jocelyn Elders, who again I think said just say maybe and the
results are very dramatic in the increases of illegal narcotics as they
closed down very systematically the war on drugs.
In 1994 and 1995, this administration
single-handedly closed down information and intelligence-sharing with
Colombia and Peru and slashed U.S. military and Coast Guard involvement
in antidrug programs.
If you are going to conduct
a war on drugs and if you see why the liberal and Clinton-Gore program
to stop illegal narcotics was a failure, if you look at cutting, again,
the assistance in these most effective source country programs, the interdiction
programs, the Coast Guard programs, taking the military out of the effort,
that is why you had no war on drugs. Then to stop information-sharing
which is so important to stop the drugs both at the source and as they
leave the source and interdict the drugs before they come into our borders
year after year, this administration blocked assistance to Colombia again
through a bungled decertification of Colombia, a direct action of the
President, without providing a waiver to give Colombia the needed assistance.
The latest part of the fiasco,
again by the Clinton-Gore administration, is news that we received this
week. It was in the Washington Times and other papers across the Nation,
the U.S. Sends Colombia Unsafe Shells from 1952. Now since I came to Congress
in 1993 we have done everything we can to get this administration to get
resources to Colombia because we knew narcotics were going to be produced
there more; we knew they were going to be transited from there. We knew
it was the source of death and destruction coming to our shores. The latest
part of the fiasco is even after the Congress appropriates money, the
administration supplied recently, and this is within the last few weeks
we have sent our staff down to check on the ammunition that is being sent
there, the manufacturer actually said that these shells and this ammunition
which was produced in 1952, which we have given the Colombians with some
of the taxpayer money, is, in fact, unsafe. The story, of course, gets
even worse because for at least some 4 or 5 years we have been trying
to get helicopters, and in this case Black Hawk helicopters, which could
be most effective to go into the mountains, eradicate narcotics, go after
drug traffickers. It is very difficult in Colombia, with the high Andean
regions, to go after traffickers without the right resources.
This is another headline,
Delay of Copters Hobbles Colombia in Stopping Drugs. This is 1998, and
I could take these headlines back to 1997 and 1996, time and time again.
Time and time again, the administration
blocked equipment getting there. Finally when they declared an emergency
last August, we were able to get at the end of last year three Black Hawk
helicopters to Colombia. They were sent there without proper armoring,
so just recently they have gotten them into the position where they are
combat ready. Now we find the ammunition was sent down there in fact was
outdated and may be in fact dangerous for the Colombians to use.
This story continues to get
worse. We asked the President and the administration to send surplus military
equipment to Colombia. We had in mind equipment that could be used. We
unfortunately learned, and we do have quite a bit of surplus military
equipment, that Colombia was provided with dilapidated trucks, military
trucks, and the cost of actually rehabilitating them was high. I think
some of them were used in an arctic terrain and not suitable for the mission
at hand. Unfortunately, Colombia had to turn these down because it would
have cost them more to rehabilitate them than to use them.
Finally, again, how important
it is to have intelligence and surveillance information available to stop
illegal narcotics. Peru has been great about stopping illegal narcotics.
President Fujimora, who has eliminated 60 percent of the production in
that country, has used in the past, when we were able to get information,
surveillance information to him, a shoot-down policy which in fact has
resulted in, again, that lowering of production, the lowering of transiting
of, in this case, particularly cocaine coming out of that country.
This is a March 13 headline
from the Washington Post. `U.S. Officials See Trend in Colombia: Lack
of Air Support Hindering the Drug War.' I have said before, there has
not been a drug war in this country since 1993. We have tried to restart
it in the last 2 or 3 years, but every time we get on course, we find
the administration diverts resources.
They diverted resources to
Haiti. The Vice President diverted some of the planes for surveillance
to check on oil spills in Alaska. The President diverted military resources
to Kosovo, to Bosnia, and to any one of the number of other deployments,
and took them out of in fact action and the war on drugs.
The inability to provide surveillance
is now, for the first time, resulting in an increased production in Peru,
according to reports we are getting, in cocaine.
Without source country programs,
without interdiction, without surveillance and intelligence, the missions
I do not want to just talk
about the failure of the Clinton record. I must say that what we have
done is the Republican majority in a positive fashion I think has been
on target. We have gotten our levels of funding for source country back
to 1991-1992 levels. We have not only concentrated on source country,
but also on interdiction, trying to get those resources where they were
In these cases, we see in
March again a third time the administration is making a fatal mistake
and again closing down our war on drugs, if there ever was under this
administration a war on drugs.
The Republicans have funded
a $1 billion campaign, an education and media campaign. Maybe Members
have seen those ads on television. We hope they are effective. We are
testing them in various markets. We are going to do everything to see
that we reach our young people in education and prevention.
That $1 billion through our
efforts, and the administration, of course, wanted to spend the $1 billion,
but we thought it was important to have also donated an equivalent amount,
at least. So with that compromise we will now have $2 billion in that
program, both through direct taxpayer funding and through private sector
We have dramatically increased
the amount of money for prevention. In fact, one of the primary goals
of this administration was to treat our way out of this problem. We see
examples like Baltimore, Maryland, where they have gone from just a handful
of heroin addicts to now one in eight in the population of Baltimore is
an addict, a drug addict. They could not treat their way out of the problem.
It has grown out of control, while the murder rate has stayed dramatically
high in that city.
The liberals would have us
believe that the war on drugs is a failure. The liberals would have us
believe that if we liberalize the policy, we can just treat people out
of this problem. In fact, Baltimore is a great example of that philosophy
gone wrong. Thank goodness they have a new mayor, a new philosophy, and
are instituting it at this time. I am very pleased with the action they
have taken after we conducted a hearing in the city of Baltimore, and
now we will have a new police chief, someone more inclined to zero tolerance
and tough enforcement, to bring the death and destruction in that great
city on our East Coast to a halt.
Those are some of the things
that the Republicans have done, again, in spite of opposition.
I wanted to close tonight,
I only have a few minutes more, and talk about something else we have
asked the administration to do. That is since 1992. If we are going to
go after, again, illegal narcotics and those who deal in death and destruction,
then we prosecute those people.
We have been after the administration,
because in 1992 we were having prosecutions in Federal courts for drug
offenses at the rate of nearly 30,000. In 1996, the administration dropped
to 26,000. So we have been hammering the administration to go after prosecution
This is almost an embarrassment,
again, if we are going to have a war or serious efforts against those
who are dealing in death and destruction, contributing to the thousands
and thousands of deaths and mayhem around, and 70 percent of the crime,
this is their record. Now, I will say that in 1997 and 1998 they started
up, but they are getting just back to the level of 1992 with our hammering.
This is prosecution. Then
we found this last week when we had in the U.S. Sentencing Commission,
the Commissioners, we found a report that was provided recently that shows
that Federal drug offenders are spending less time in prison, according
to a study that was released about the same time as their testimony. So
we had prosecutions down, we were trying to get prosecutions up, but then
we find that the administration is now reducing sentences and drug offenders,
and this case serious drug offenders, are spending less time in prison.
It seems like everything is being done to thwart a real effort against
As of May 19, 2000, this document
was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H16MY0-870: