Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jul 2002
Source: El Paso Times (TX)
Copyright: 2002 El Paso Times
Author: Richard Sinnott

Same Old Story

I know it's the newspaper's job to report the news, and the Times has done 
so with Diana Washington Valdez's story about the El Paso Intelligence 
Center and the recent visit and comments by high-level drug officials.

For a person 25 years old or so, that story and the officials' comments 
about arresting drug kingpins and eliminating this, that, or the other drug 
organization might seem like news. It might convince one that something is 
finally being done about the drug problem.

However, for a person older than 40 Valdez's story is rather like reading 
of similar events for the past 20 years. We can remember Pablo Escobar, 
Carlos Lehder, various Ochoa fellows, and many other "drug kingpins" whose 
arrests were supposed to end the drug problem.

All sorts of wonderful and inspirational language was used to describe how 
quickly the drug trade would be brought to a screeching halt. Those stories 
were misleading, meaningless bureaucratic hype. The government has been 
telling this stale story for so long that it's become, for those of us old 
enough to remember recent history, a known-to-be-false tale.

Richard Sinnott

Fort Pierce, Fla.
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