War on Drugs Hurts War on Terrorism
Steven Taylor reflects on a TIME cover story about Haji Bashar Noorzai, the Afghan warlord and pal of fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar who willingly flew to the United States to provide valuable intelligence on international terrorism only to find himself rotting in a New York prison for growing poppies in Afghanistan.
The administration makes claims that the war on terror is an existential struggle that requires extraordinary actions, including a number of highly questionable domestic surveillance programs and “coercive” interrogation of possible terrorists as well as potentially their life-time incarceration; however, we can’t recognize the imperfect nature of potential allies such as Noorzai? We prefer a drug arrest to progress in a central front on the war against radical Islam?
It does rather boggle the mind considering, as Taylor details in the post, the less-than-stellar results of a supply side approach to illicit drugs.
UPDATE: Jim Henley‘s point that “the incremental further ruin of a faraway land wouldn’t have figured in [the prosecutor’s] calculus at all” occurred to me as well. Then again, one would think it would have figured into the calculus of our intelligence agencies and that the president or the Attorney General might have pulled rank?
(BTW, the allusion in his headline to an old Stones song performed much more brilliantly by the late Townes van Zandt is a nice touch.)