Cultural Baggage August 01, 2010
Broadcasting on the Drug Truth Network, this is Cultural Baggage.
“It’s not only inhumane, it is really fundamentally Un-American.”
“No more! Drug War!” “No more! Drug War!” “No more! Drug War!” “No more! Drug War!”
My Name is Dean Becker. I don’t condone or encourage the use of any drugs, legal or illegal. I report the unvarnished truth about the pharmaceutical, banking, prison and judicial nightmare that feeds on Eternal Drug War.
(Classic mystery music)
Prohibition’s filled the world with vice and crime.
It’s left a trail of death, graft and slime.
It can’t stop what it’s meant to stop.
Everybody knows this but the cops.
Prohibition don’t prohibit worth a dime.
Indeed, prohibition don’t prohibit worth a dime. This is the Cultural Baggage show. My name is Dean Becker. Here in just a little bit we’re going to have Mr. Larry Talley, a gentleman who’s spent time in the US Navy as an intelligence officer.
First, I kind of want to recount a couple of things. One, is this past week in Washington D.C. many, I will say, great things happened. There are incremental things and as you know Incrementalism is a killer but they are still better than what we currently have.
We will have a report later from Jasmine Tyler of the Drug Policy Alliance about what’s going on in D.C. but for right now, let’s go ahead and bring in our guest, Mr. Larry Talley. Are you with us, sir?
Larry Talley: Yes sir, I sure am. Thank you, Dean, for inviting me.
Dean Becker: Thank you, Larry. It’s good to have you with us. We are speakers for a group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Why don’t you tell us about your experience as a naval officer.
Mr. Larry Talley: Well, Dean, I did retire and I would like to state, because this is about Texas, mostly about what we talked about from what I hear and I’ve heard you on your show. We talk about national news and stuff. This is –
I’m from Texas. I’m a Texas native and I came home after retiring, after a stint of twenty-one years in uniform. I joined from Texas and was depped into what we called the “late entry program” in the navy back in 1986, right here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where I am from in Plano.
I grew up in Amarillo and all over Texas. So, I am from here and I spent twenty-one years away from this state. I came back for a short time. Once I got to take a cool trip back here to the Dallas area for short time because I worked in the federal building awaiting clearance because I worked in Panama.
Mostly, what I found as soon as I joined the military – this is what I thought was so strange – I joined the military here to serve my country but from the very first day when I got on board my very first ship, I found myself involved in a Drug War.
My very first ship, I landed myself on board a frigate the USS John L. Hall which was a small fast frigate and it was doing what they call “Law Enforcement Caribbean Drug Operations” for drug interdiction operations in the Caribbean, in the Caribbean Sea. So, we went out there and I was onboard the ship and we had Coast Guard on board that were actually doing the beat down, if you will, hording drugs, boats and things.
We made a nice nineteen-ton marijuana bust. I hadn’t been in navy but a few days and we made a nice nineteen-ton marijuana bust. We pulled the skiff, got all of the pot off the skiff, sank the skiff, arrested the really bad, mean, horrible Rastafarians and drug heads that were trying to get that stuff to market and this is what we did.
I found myself, my very first port of call, which is really close is this island called Curacao. We had made this island – we had basically staved the people on this island because their main source of income was the exporting marijuana. Understand, in the 1980s that Regan was in power, “Just say no to drugs” was a really big marketing campaign in this country.
In reality, there were billions that were injected into our military. Let’s make this clear, military, not law enforcement, military enforcement in law enforcement operations doing drug enforcement operations.
So, we had surrounded a lot of these Caribbean islands where at the time we were having all this cocaine and marijuana come from throughout the Florida Keys. So we would set up basically naval blockades to try and interdict this stuff and we staved some islands. These people had been exporting marijuana for generations, for generations, for almost a hundred years. For as long as they’d been there, that’s what they had made their money on, so then they were starving.
Being the gracious country that we are, we put the Peace Corps in there to build them huts and things and bars. So that when we anchored off of their island, we brought them liquor and then we made it a port for us to go drink off of. We literally delivered them the liquor and the beer so they could build a bar then it became a sailor hangout.
Now, so skip before, twenty years later, this beautiful native culture, Rastafarian environment has now been inundated with private culture and land developers and alcohol and addiction rates. These things, I watched it occur, right before my eyes. I thought from the very beginning, “Wow! Why are we doing this? This doesn’t make sense. We’re poisoning these people with alcohol”.
It doesn’t take a college education when you first see something like this and realize what’s wrong, what’s ethical and what really isn’t ethical. This is what’s different for me, Dean, which is a little bit different than a lot of LEAP members, in that LEAP is a diverse organization of law enforcement officers, judges, prosecuting attorneys, others and others include military.
I never, I was never in law enforcement. So, I never swore an oath to the law. I swore an oath to the Constitution and it’s to the Constitution, to which I am more faithful. It’s through that that I come together with these law enforcement officers and people like you to try to bring the word out, about the truth about what the Drug War, the war against the American people are actually doing is outside boundaries of the continental United States.
Dean Becker: Alright, once again we are speaking to Mr. Larry Talley. He served with the Navy as an intelligence officer. Maybe you weren’t wearing the badge of a law enforcement officer but you were certainly involved in the Drug War.
Eighteen tons of weed is a pretty good haul, I would think. Then again, it really doesn’t make a difference, does it?
Larry Talley: No, it makes no difference at all. I skipped ahead a number of years. I went to Panama. I lived in Panama for a lot of years. We did drug interdiction operations in South America. I worked for Special Operations Command Unit, a naval special worker unit that was down there and we were dropped to or subordinate to General Barry McCaffrey. A lot of listeners may recall that name, General Barry McCaffrey, later became the Drug Czar. I want to say the War Czar, against the American people for President Bill Clinton.
So I worked with him in South America. I interfaced with him. I got to brief him and had a very casual conversations. He probably wouldn’t remember me. I remember him certainly because he was “The Man”. You know, when you talk about “The Man”, when you were in the military he was “The Man”.
He was the guy in charge of every asset in “South of the Border” and South of the Border is once you get into South America, so South and Central America. Every CIA, DEA agent, FBI agent, every asset that’s down there, he belonged to him. It was choppy. He was in charge of every black force in every operation that existed.
It’s real interesting because he’s the one that lead, he really led the charge campaign against the cartels, the cocaine cartels. It was a strategy that was inherited by him from General Borray and he agreed. They believed that he could control the flow of narcotics into this country from South America.
They really believed it. The other people, like in the State Department didn’t think that way, they thought, “You know, you really can’t but what we do have in place is a mechanism that we can actually kind of watch everything that goes on, so we can get more stuff on the back end. So, we can get the drugs on the table and the guys and the pretty pictures”.
They believed the army people believed that they could change the course of Drug War, so what they did is cut of the heads. They disabled and dismembered these huge cocaine cartels from the days of Scarface.
All these various different cocaine cartels were then gone. What picked up in their place were these previously politically motivated organizations that then become pseudo-terrorist organizations that were then financed by the illicit black market. That’s why we have today. If you skip ahead a number of years and what I was involved in back there in South America can’t even be conceived about today.
We can’t go into the town of Cali and monitor the town of Cali because the Cali cartel, that’s where they lived. We couldn’t get intel in that anymore because the forces, the revolutionary forces, they don’t even know. They operate all throughout Central and South America.
They are very fragmented, so now we created an organization of fragmented organizations where we can’t possibly ever control it. It was futile to think that we could, in retrospect. I’ve come around to the modern day, into the modern way of thinking that we can’t and that’s why I’m speaking to LEAP.
Dean Becker: Once again, we’re speaking to Larry Talley, now with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Now Larry, I’m looking at an article I caught today, it comes out of The Fall River Massachusetts Herald News. I want to read just a little bit from it.
The thing I want to talk about here, Larry, is that there’s a balloon affect on the supply and there’s a balloon effect on the power and the power has now moved to Mexico. Let me read a little bit of this. It’s titled, Chaos on the Border.
“It’s practically a daily ritual: Accused drug traffickers and assassins, shackled and bruised from beatings, are paraded before the news media to show that Mexico is winning its drug war. Once the television lights dim, however, [it’s] about three-quarters of them are let go.” and I’m going to skim down here to near the end, “The numbers of arrests [have] increased tremendously but the numbers of prosecutions virtually didn’t change,” said the U.S. ambassador.” And ending it here, it says:
Since the reform was implemented, 98 officials who had received training — police investigators, forensic experts, prosecutors — have been assassinated by gangs, so said Carlos Gonzalez, spokesman for the Chihuahua attorney general’s office.”
And they close with this, “Nobody has been arrested in any of those killings.” Your response, Larry Talley?
Larry Talley: It’s money. It’s all about money you have to go after the cartels where the money is. It’s just like any company. If you want a company to go bankrupt, if you want a cartel to go bankrupt you have to take away their money. Once they have no money, they can’t pay for hit men anymore.
They can’t conduct this level of operations with that level of sophistication. The problem is there a lot of bad information that’s coming from the United States government. We were informed by the Department of Justice, just two, three years ago that the Drug War puts into our economy about $450 billion dollars a year of unregulated – that’s wrong, that’s not true.
It’s absolutely incorrect. Last year Wachovia alone got in trouble with the government and they got in big trouble with the Federal Government for $430—of unregulated money. Alone, that’s one bank.
Dean Becker: Say it again Larry, you broke up. How much money?
Larry Talley: $432 billions dollars last year that Wachovia got in trouble for. That was money that they got from the cartels in Mexico alone. They were never prosecuted for that, $432 billion. That’s one bank and one organization in that net of multiple cartels in one regionally geographically located area.
Now the government wants to tell us that there is $450 billion a year in total unregulated drug money floating around in the economy, in the world every year. That’s not true. Again, that’s just one case. But Wachovia got caught with $430 billion. There’s more than that. There is so much unregulated drug money in the world today that it’s destabilizing the world economy.
So, this is what we have, the bottom line to answer your question – we have these drug cartels with an enormous amount of money that they have. They don’t have any real way – of – we really don’t have anyway to take out these drug cartels that will eliminate their powerbase and that’s through their financial means and their financial gains.
So how do we do that when they stack money in rooms, in buildings, in boxcars and freeze zones, in the Republic of Panama and in other free zones and countries around the world? The only way to attack that is to get, in some kind of a peaceful way – where we’ve got legalization.
Dean Becker: Larry, you’re breaking up there a bit, I don’t know stay closer to the phone or I hope the battery’s not going dead or something.
Larry Talley: I’m sorry. Unfortunately, I’ve got call waiting and someone is calling in unfortunately.
Dean Becker: Oh, Ok, well fair enough. Once again, we’re speaking to Larry Talley of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Larry, I’m looking at a couple of other stories here and I want to read this, as I indicated earlier, we’re going to have a report from Washington D.C. but this a quote from our current Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske and he has expressed satisfaction with certain local medical marijuana regulations.
I think this is powerful news. Kerlikowske “pointed to how state and local jurisdictions have dealt with the legalization of medical marijuana, saying they are ‘doing a really good job of licensing, land use, those kind of regulations.’ ”
So, perhaps they are beginning to understand that this is a war they are never going to win. Prop 19 may not pass in California. It’s iffy at the moment but the fact is that more and more people are beginning to recognize how futile our current policy is. Your response, Larry Talley?
Larry Talley: Yes, absolutely our current situation is futile. We are growing cartels at an enormous rate and if we don’t stop we’re going to be battling cartels, literally battling cartels and they’re going to take over Mexico.
People think that is very farfetched, “Oh, it’s never going to happen”. Well, we’re on the verge of it happening right now. Mexico is on the verge of a civil war between cartels and the government.
Now, when the cartels do take over Mexico, nobody will be joking anymore but then it’s war. Then we’ll ramp a war even more. I don’t see a de-escalation taking place. For it to deescalate, we have to have some kind of legalization proposal on the table.
I really hope and pray that this Webb Commission is going to lead us in that way, in that direction. That Senate Bill 714, that still needs to get signed by the President but that I, that’s a way out. It’s very similar to the Shafer Commission. You know – I know that you’ve probably talked about that a great deal too but what I think is so neat about this one though is and how the direction it can help us go is because the Shafer Commission was a Presidential appointed commission.
This is run by the House. This is spearheaded by James Webb. I really think this is a way to put “legalization” in the mouth of the President of the United States and Kerlikowske, which is really the only way out. We all know that this is really the only way out.
Dean Becker: Yes, they all say as Kerlikowske was quoted, saying that him and the President, they don’t recognized the word “legalize”. That’s such a shame that the word can’t even be bandied about in their discussion.
It’s preposterous. Once again speaking with Larry Talley of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Here’s another story I want to read from a bit, from the New York Times:
“Up to one-third of Afghanistan’s poppy harvest this spring has been destroyed by a mysterious disease… complicating the American and NATO military offensives this summer”. They say,” the Taliban’s public relations strategy [aimed] against the offensives [from the NATO group] includes trying to convince local residents that Western troops will destroy their poppy crops”, and in fact they are accusing NATO, “of spreading the disease.”
I understand that there is a vast stockpile of opium and heroin products, still in Afghanistan, even if the whole crop were to be destroyed. We’re funding our terrorist enemies. We’re giving them the dollars with which to buy the weapons to kill our fine soldiers. Are we not, Larry?
Larry Talley: Well, are we? This is part of the Drug War that is really a difficult thing to discuss because there’s different poppy fields that are being grown by normal, average, ordinary people that are out there.
This is what they do. They grow it and they sell it. To whom it goes, they don’t know. If we go in and we stop them from growing it then unfortunately we’re going to isolate them. We’re going to make things difficult for them and they’re not going to like us anymore.
Dean Becker: Well, hell, if we just did the LEAP proposition. If we legalized it, the farmers could sell it directly to the pharmaceutical houses. They would make money. The Taliban would lose money and it could be distributed to adults with a known quantity and quality and so forth.
It’s just quite a predicament. I guess the main thing is, do we really need to be in Afghanistan in the first place? Of course, my theory is hell no.
Anyway, we’re speaking to Larry Talley of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition he served our nation as an intelligence officer in South America. Larry we’ve got a couple of minutes left and I kind of want to turn it over to you but I want to start the response with this:
If you could talk to the President, how can he break this logjam? How can he develop the courage to speak what needs to be said? Your thoughts?
Larry Talley: I think it’s been spun in such a bad way for such a long time that we need to start telling the truth. Now here’s the thing Dean, everybody knows there’s only one truth. Now there’s many ways to spin that truth but there’s only one truth.
For the Christians, we want to reduce the harm for everybody. For the Christian groups that I deal with, I want to tell them, I want to reduce the harm associated with turning an addict into a criminal. I would rather do what Christ did and heal that addict. That’s a message to a Christian.
A message to a group about compassionate care, those people that want a medical use for marijuana, for instance. I want to reduce the harm associated with the arrest and incarceration for them to getting a medicine that they need to have.
For the Constitutionalist, there’s that argument as well. The bottom line for all Americans, we want to reduce the harm associated within this disproportionate system that is jailing people for their choice of either a recreational substance or medicinal substance.
Either way we can’t afford it anymore, for many different reasons. One, we know that it’s wrong. It jails people disproportionately. It puts Blacks, still in prison today, there’s still Blacks ,1 in 3 born today that will go to prison in the state of Texas, more than 31% have lost the right to vote. That hasn’t changed, by the passing of this most recent bill. That is still exactly the same. We haven’t mitigated that list to those social groups of people.
To that end, we have to mitigate the law enforcement in this country can’t continue anymore. That, in itself is a big reason to stop this, $80 billion a year spent in law enforcement destabilizing to our economy and the economies of every economy in the world. That’s another big reason.
There’s a lot of ways to spin it but to say that you are tough on crime. Well, they say we’re tough on crime when we have 25% of the world’s prison population, imprisoned right here in the United States. When I first joined the Navy in 1986, there were about 25 federal prisons. Now there’s a 115, as Rip Van Winkle, I woke up. I came back to the country; The land of the free and the home of the brave.
The brave are still overseas. Freedom’s just a marketing campaign and we need to get that fixed and that’s what I want to do and that’s what I hope the President has the courage to do, to reduce the harm associated with a disproportionate and oppressive government as compared to other governments around the country, we are not a free nation. We need to change that.
Join us, be part of LEAP. Go to www.leap.cc. Be part of this, be part of the Texas Drug Policy – the Drug Policy Forum of Texas – dpft.org. We can make a difference but we have to do it together because if we stand here as individuals, we’re never going to get it done. That’s what I say and that’s what I would say to the president.
Dean Becker: Well, very well said indeed, my friend. I thank you Larry Talley and we’ll be in touch here soon. You keep up the good work, my friend.
Larry Talley: Thank you very much for the opportunity, Dean. God bless everybody and everybody have a good Tejas afternoon.
Kevin Adams : My name is Kevin Adams. I’m a criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma.
Dean Becker: A lot of police officers are getting caught, getting involved in the drug trade. Would you please explain to us the situation in Tulsa, what’s been found out and what’s still to be proven.
Kevin Adams: Well, there have been a number of different indictments. Ok. Right now there’s two separate indictments in Tulsa that are pending. There are three officers on one and the other one there are two officers. Jeff Henderson and William Yelton, or Bill Yelton have been indicted in a sixty-one-count indictment. It is my understanding that Jeff Henderson is charged with fifty-eight counts and Bill Yelton is charged with seven counts.
(Game show music)
It’s time to play: Name That Drug By It’s Side Effects
Lightheadedness, nausea , vomiting, headache, malaise, fatal disservice in brain function, imbalanced electrolytes, over dilution of sodium in the blood plasma, osmotic shift in pressure ruptures, cerebral edema, seizures, coma and death.
The answer and before I give you the answer, let me tell you a little bit more about this product, it’s found in baby food. It’s a major component of the explosives used by the terrorists and it’s freely available in the hallways and used in the classroom of every school in our nation.
Prolonged exposure causes severe tissue damage, inhalation of even a slight amount can be deadly. Dihydrogen-monoxide is a killer.
Otherwise know as water.
It’s a nuanced swing
An incremental thing
The way you change the law
First you spread the fear
What they don’t want to hear
And you smear it all around
With your media
Keep pumping up the lie
Don’t let hysteria die
Confusion must abound
One shift storm after another
Drug Truth Network programs are archived at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. bakerinstitute.org/dtn
Young man: Ok, let’s say drug prohibition does support terrorism.
Older man: And murder?
Young man: And murder.
Older man: Torture?
Young man: And torture.
Older man: Corruption? Bribery?
Young man: And whatever.
Older man: What’ your point?
Young man: Change the law.
Older man: I gotcha. Make it cheap, more available, everywhere. Like soda or cheesy puffs.
Young man: Exactly.
Older man: Cocaine at the playground. Crack stands at the laundromat. Heroin at the minimart. Like that?
Young man: Face it, old man. That’s what we’ve got now.
Please visit the website of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, leap.cc.
Jasmine Tyler: I am Jasmine Tyler of the Drug Policy Alliance. I’m the Deputy Director of National Affairs here and work on changing federal drug policy.
Dean Becker: Jasmine, you’re based there in Washington D.C., right?
Jasmine Tyler: I am.
Dean Becker: There’s just quite a bit going on regarding drug policy of late, right there in our nation’s capitol. Why don’t you summarize what’s going on?
Jasmine Tyler: It’s been quite a week, indeed. On Monday night, D.C.’s medical marijuana law took effect. The city still needs to issue regulations and review applications from growers. Certainly, in the early part of next year, our nation’s capitol is likely to have about five dispensaries.
On Tuesday, the US House passed Senator Webb’s National Criminal Justice Commission’s Bill by a simple voice vote. The bill, a bipartition bill was passed by the judiciary committee earlier this year and the only thing left to do is to pass that on the floor. That bill will analyze the criminal justice system from arrest to reentry.
The most exciting thing, I think this week was on Wednesday. The House finally passed the legislation to significantly reduce the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. A bill was passed unanimously in March by the full Senate to reduce the current 100 to 1 sentencing disparity. Crack is punished 100 times more harshly than powder cocaine, down to an 18 to 1 disparity.
Which again is still a disparity and the legislation is not retroactive but again, this is a huge step forward and thousands of Americans will benefit from reduced sentences. It just shows that there is a significant bipartisan support for really reigning in our excessive sentencing.
And then yesterday, on Thursday, Representative Serrano’s Subcommittee, Appropriations Subcommittee eliminated all funding to ONDCP’s anti-drug media campaign. We’ve been lobbying on this for years, because the campaign has been hugely ineffective.
Finally both republicans and democrats have seen that – have taken note of that and have zeroed out that budget. We’re hopeful that that will continue along the legislative process as that bill moves through to the full committee and to the house floor.
Dean Becker: The New York Times is saying that the Supreme Court is going to review the voter disenfranchisement situation for all those locked up.
Jasmine Tyler: You know, the Drug War really is the new “Jim Crow” and serves to incarcerate African Americans disproportionately through low-level arrests for non-violent drug offenses. So, the sooner we can reign in the disenfranchisement statutes around the country and nationally, we’ll be really, really able to call ourselves a true democracy.
Dean Becker: Please share your website with the listeners.
Jasmine Tyler: drugpolicy.org
During this time of the Eternal War, I find it my somber duty to report the death toll, from the drug formerly known as marijuana is…. Zero.
Alright, this just in, California Senator Dianne Feinstein is sponsoring a bill to double the penalties for marijuana brownies. The Senate is awaiting a vote on a bill that will double penalties for any edible product combined with medical marijuana in California and other states that provide relief for patients.
Some medical marijuana users however are so sick that they are unable to smoke their medicine and must eat it in baked goods and lozenges. They’re already breaking the law but if they pass S258, the penalties they face would double.
Welcome to the Drug War my friends. Alright, I want to thank you for being with us. I urge you to tune into this week’s Century of Lies show, which follows on many of the Drug Truth Network programs. Our guest will be Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner and also Joseph McNamara, former Police Chief of Kansas City and San Jose California. Please tune in.
You know, you’ve got to educate yourself. You’ve got to fortify yourself. You’ve got to get ready to do your part in this Drug War because without you, it’s going to go on forever. As always, I remind you because of prohibition, you don’t know what’s in that bag. Please be careful.
To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the Unvarnished Truth. This show produced at the Pacifica studios of KPFT, Houston.
Drug Truth Network programs are archived at the James A. Baker III Institute for Policy Studies.
Transcript provided by: Ayn Morgan of www.eigengraupress.com
Tap dancing… on the edge… of an abyss.