Maricopa County, AZ — United States Senator John McCain is conducting damage control after a staff member of his re-election fundraising campaign was arrested Tuesday. Emily Pitha, 34 was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of drug charges after Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies raided her home and found an active meth lab along with other illicit drugs.
Immediately following the bust, McCain’s campaign fired Pitha and issued a statement decrying her actions.
Late Tuesday night, McCain’s campaign manager, Ryan O’Daniel, issued this response:
“We commend the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement officers in their fight to keep our community safe from illegal drugs and associated criminal activity. The campaign immediately terminated any relationship with Ms. Pitha upon learning of her alleged involvement in the operation.”
According to AZ Central, a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said authorities were first alerted to possible drug activity at Pitha’s Phoenix home by a parcel in transit from the Netherlands containing over 250 grams of MDMA – raw ecstasy. Detective Doug Matteson, the MCSO spokesman, said Pitha’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Christopher Hustrulid, signed for the packaged when it arrived at their doorstep Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives executing a search warrant at the home discovered an active meth lab, along with unspecified quantities of LSD, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, about $7,000 in loose currency, and counterfeit money, according to Matteson. A separate building on the property was found to have a hidden room that was to be used as a marijuana-grow facility, he said, according to AZ Central.
Pitha and Hustrulid were arrested and expected to face numerous drug violations, in addition to possible child-endangerment charges.
According to police, inside the home with the meth lab were two children, ages 5 and 10. Police say the children “had easy access to all of (the) drugs and materials, even the bomb-making materials that were located in the back with the meth lab.”
The irony here is the Senator McCain is one of the most ardent drug warriors around. McCain has expressed the most hawkish positions on drug policy. He wants to increase penalties for selling drugs, supports the death penalty for drug kingpins, favors tightening security to stop the flow of drugs into the country, and wants to restrict the availability of methadone for heroin addicts.
However, his hawkish views only apply to those outside of his immediate family. McCain has admitted that his wife not only illegally used drugs but walked away from criminal charges. The McCains have worked to make Cindy McCain’s addiction into a political asset–despite the fact that she stole the drugs from a charity she directed and used them while mothering four young children. Perhaps, the Senator will try out this magic again.
Politicians and their staff members, or businesses getting caught with drugs or conducting their hypocrisy out in the open is nothing new. Just last year, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was under investigation for his involvement in a drug deal worth over $54 million.
The Free Thought Project regularly reports on politicians all over the world getting caught up in drug smuggling scandals.
Last November, we reported that a Saudi Prince was caught with over 2 tons of amphetamines on his private jet. In 2014, we reported that a boat with ties to US politicians Mitch McConnell was found with 90 pounds of cocaine onboard.
Meanwhile, last October, former British Territorial Army mechanic Anthony C Heaford released a report, and a series of photos which paint a rather ominous picture of Western forces and their role in Opium production in Afghanistan.
Heaford’s report is just the most recent of many, and government drug trafficking is so widespread that more cases are surfacing all the time.
In September of 2007, a CIA jet crashed in Mexico with 3.2 tons of cocaine onboard. The jet was on its way from Bolivia when it was spotted by Mexican helicopters that followed in pursuit. The chase resulted in the crash of the jet and the seizure of the cocaine.
Upon inspecting the wreckage site, the Mexican authorities found no body or survivors but did find several thousand pounds of cocaine. The serial numbers on the plane were eventually traced back to a company that transported terrorists for the US government. This story is not uncommon, there have been many cases where government planes have crashed in south and Central America with tons of illegal drugs onboard.
On April 10, 2006, Mexican police seized a DC-9 aircraft that was carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine, flight records showed this aircraft to be another CIA “terrorist transport” plane that was used to transport drugs. The pilot of the DC-9 aircraft also managed to escape from Mexican authorities.
Many times in recent history, the CIA has expanded its drug cartel to include the US military. During the Vietnam War, the US government used their occupation as a basis for covert drug operations, which in turn helped fund the war and other secret projects. Drugs were transported on military aircraft and brought back to America, where they were eventually sold to the mafia and distributed on the streets.
The same techniques are being applied today during the occupation of Afghanistan. When the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, there was an immediate hike in the amount of heroin that was flowing out of the country. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, after the US invasion in 2001 opium production in Afghanistan rose from 7,606 hectares in 2001 to 193,000 hectares in 2007. Now that the CIA has control of Afghanistan, 93% of the world’s heroin comes from inside its borders.
According to the UN, opium cultivation and production in Afghanistan reached record levels at 224,000 hectares in 2014.
It is certainly no coincidence that in recent history we have seen a surge of drug exportation from war-torn countries that were being occupied by western nations. During the Vietnam War, the area surrounding Vietnam was known as “The Golden Triangle,” a hotbed for heroin production. Now the Golden Triangle has taken a back seat to the “Golden Crescent,” which refers to the area in and around Afghanistan of course.
We have seen this all before, during alcohol prohibition, where the government, law enforcement, and organized crime were all working together and making an unbelievable amount of money in the black market. When black markets are created the crime rate goes up, taxes go up, prices go up and the police become more corrupt, all of this is inevitable. These are the very consequences that any type of prohibition intends to create.
To solve these problems, all that we have to do is end all prohibitions. This would cripple the black market and drastically reduce violence. This would also drastically reduce the reach of police and the state, in general, which is why it is looked at as such an impossibility. Drug laws don’t do anything to prevent drug problems in our society, they only encourage violence, raise prices and criminalize half of the population.