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DEA Scandal: Drugs, Prostitutes and ‘Grotesque’ Double Standards (La Jornada, Mexico)


Given the corruption and duplicity with which U.S. government agencies like the DEA, ATF and Secret Service operate, to say nothing of the public lying and unconstitutional activity of the NSA, what right do U.S. officials have to complain about corruption in places like Colombia and Mexico? This editorial from Mexico’s La Jornada takes on the most recent scandal, which involves DEA agents being entertained by prostitutes at drug-cartel-funded parties, and calls Washington’s use of the issue of foreign corruption as a pretext for sending in armed troops ‘grotesque.’

La Jornada begins by examining the corruption-related resignation of DEA chief Michele Leonhart:

The director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA for its English acronym) Michele Leonhart resigned yesterday following a scandal involving DEA agents partying with prostitutes in Colombia – and after lawmakers in our neighboring country’s House of Representatives issued a statement of no confidence in respect to her performance on the issue.

It should be recalled that last month, the U.S. Department of Justice released an internal report which revealed the involvement of some DEA officers at parties with prostitutes funded by drug cartels in Cartagena, Colombia, which was part of a broader investigation into another scandal in which Secret Service members in 2012 were involved with sex workers in that city as President Barack Obama participated in the Summit of the Americas.

Beyond the sex scandal, its moral implications and the U.S. government’s image, the episode highlights the fuzzy dividing line between the drug fighting and security agencies in our neighbor country and the criminal organizations they claim to pursue. The incident referred to is just a sampling of the hypocrisy and double standards practiced by the U.S. political class on the issue of combating drugs: While countries like Mexico and Colombia have suffered the ravages a drug-fighting policy that was imposed and designed in Washington, U.S. government officials have been involved in episodes in which they supplied weapons to the cartels, as occurred in our country [Operation Fast and Furious] – and at the behest of the U.S. government agency responsible for monitoring drugs, alcohol and firearms (the ATF).

Over the last three years it has been documented and become widely understood that the DEA itself has been involved in laundering the money of drug traffickers south of the Rio Grande; weapons traders in the southern United States have profited handsomely from selling guns bereft of official control and in full knowledge that many are destined for Mexico’s organized crime syndicates; and there remains no sign that the U.S. government plans to undertake any significant police effort to halt the introduction of illegal drugs across our common frontier nor is it striving to dismantle the distribution networks for narcotics on its own territory.

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William Kern, founder of, is the inventor of trans-copyediting, a system for checking the accuracy of translated copy into multiple languages. Since 2005, managing a team of dedicated volunteer translators, Kern has edited, packaged and posted thousands of columns of news and opinion about America from publications around the world and from every major language, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Swedish, Spanish, Hungarian and Farsi. From the height of the Iraq war to the annexation of Crimea right up to today, Kern and his team have provided intelligence to the American people by opening up a whole new media world.

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