Though the justice system in the United States might continue to be represented by Lady Justice, whose blindfold and scales symbolize the fair and equitable application of law without prejudice, regardless of one’s station in life, few could argue how that original intent has actually played out. With the blindfold long ago ripped off, Lady Justice metes out sentences based solely on power, privilege, and the size of one’s wallet.
This is, of course, most clearly evident in the State’s absurd War on Drugs — far more fittingly called a War on the People. A war in which, just as a recently viral meme describes, “anti-drug” politicians deal drugs, banks launder that illicit profit, the president supplies the cartels with badly needed weapons, and the military ineptly loses massive shipments of drugs — and all of this is carried out with complete impunity. However, if you are not an agent of the State and happen to be caught with one of the most medicinally beneficial plants on Earth in one of the State’s arbitrary areas where possessing or using that plant remains a no-no, it’s guaranteed you will not receive the same treatment.
Take the case of Senator Mitch McConnell who, as The Free Thought Project revealed in November 2014, had solid connections to the cargo ship Ping May which was stopped and searched by Colombian Coast Guard agents — who then discovered roughly 90 pounds of cocaine stashed on board. McConnell’s in-laws, the Chao family — who have donated enormous sums of money to the senator’s various campaigns — own the Foremost Maritime Corporation, which operated the Ping May. In a hubristic irony, possible only by a politician, McConnell — known for his vendetta against cannabis and sponsorship of “The Enhanced Marijuana Penalties Act,” designed to arbitrarily inflate mandatory minimum sentences for anyone caught with weed — never faced any repercussions. That’s not surprising, considering agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency itself received bonuses after they were caught engaging in sex parties with prostitutes they hired using money from drug cartels. Hard to believe, but 100% true.
If you happen to be a member of one of those aforementioned cartels (or, perhaps, a politician or DEA agent who makes business transactions with them), you won’t need to ferret stacks of cash under a mattress anytime soon — the banks are more than happy to help you hide your profits. As Rolling Stone reported in December 2012, then-Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer “signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who’s ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels … Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a ‘record’ financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.” In 2014, HuffPost noted several other Big Banks, including Bank of America, Western Union, and JPMorgan, have also been “allegedly involved in the drug trade.”
Examples of government and corporate misbehavior like these make perfect contextual sense when President Obama and his administration arm those same drug cartels — as the fallout from Operation Fast and Furious continues to be divulged. On Wednesday, as Fox News revealed, recently recaptured drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman had a .50 caliber rifle traced back to Fast and Furious among a cache of weapons discovered by Mexican authorities in one of his safehouses. This isn’t surprising either, considering “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives apparently ordered one of its own agents to purchase firearms with taxpayer money, and sell them directly to a Mexican drug cartel,” according to a description of Fast and Furious in the New York Post.
All those drugs have to be transported somehow, which the military seems to do with alarming frequency — though its competence as a drug mule is questionable. In 2007, a CIA-linked Gulfstream jet carrying some four tons of cocaine crashed in the Yucatan after running out of fuel, according to the Daily Kos. Then in August last year, after effecting one of the biggest drug busts in its history, the U.S. Coast Guard “lost” 4,000 pounds of cocaine. “The agency raided a makeshift submarine off the coast of California, and allegedly seized over 16,000 pounds of cocaine from the vessel, but returned to shore with only 12,000 pounds,” as reported The Free Thought Project. In a press release, the Coast Guard explained, “After removing 12,000 pounds of the narcotics aboard, the crew of Stratton attempted to tow the vessel to shore as evidence. However, the semi-submersible began taking on water and sank.” Oops.
What the State continues to tell us through maniacal mandatory minimum drug sentences and outdated, unwanted drug laws almost exclusively targeting nonviolent, low-level offenders, just to fill quotas in the increasing number of for-profit, private prisons. Excusing itself of any wrongdoing, even when arming violent cartels and perpetuating the illicit trade of dangerous substances and laundering untold cash through equally criminal Big Banks should make it evident to the public that the War on Drugs truly is a War on the People. And it needs to stop.