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Speaking Drug-War Truth in the Border Patrol

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Border Patrolby Jacob G. Hornberger

A former Border Patrol agent, Bryan Gonzalez, has filed suit against his former employer. He’s alleging he was fired for pointing out that legalizing drugs would end drug-war violence in Mexico. The agent’s observation prompted an internal affairs investigation, which determined that Gonzalez held “personal views that were contrary to the core characteristics of Border Patrol agents, which are patriotism, dedication, and esprit de corps.”

Well, yeah! If drugs are legalized, then what does that do for all those Border Patrol agents whose jobs depend on the drug war? What is Gonzalez thinking? How can a Border Patrol agent advocate a policy that is going to hurt his fellow agents? What kind of esprit de corps is that?

And what about patriotism? In the eyes of the Border Patrol, patriotism means a undying fealty to the federal government and its policies, whatever they may be.

What about dedication? That means enforcing whatever laws the government enacts, without ever questioning their rightfulness, morality, or usefulness.

How many times have I pointed out that the two primary groups that support the drug war are the drug sellers and the drug-war enforcers? (Lots of times!) The drug war produces jobs, both for the drug dealers and the drug-war enforcers. Drug legalization would put the drug dealers out of business immediately. And without the drug dealers, why would we need to keep paying the drug-war enforcers for doing nothing?

Thus, the Border Patrol’s position is logical and rational. Its jobs depend on the drug war (and the war on immigrants). In the eyes of the Border Patrol, Gonzalez is a traitor for questioning a policy on which Border Patrol (and DEA, and cops, and sheriffs, and judges, and clerks) jobs depend. Oh, and let’s not forget the drug-war bribes that line the pockets of the drug-war enforcers. They add income too!

Gonzalez is right. The drug-war violence in Mexico — and, for that matter, here in the United States — is owing to the drug war. Legalize drugs and the violence comes to an end. So what if those drug-war-enforcement agents are put out to pasture. Taxpayers would be relieved of having to pay their salaries. And the agents losing their jobs would benefit in the long run because they then would get to spend their lives with peaceful, productive jobs rather than the violent, corrupt, dead-end jobs they currently have.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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