Egged on by Fox News Channel ranter Bill O'Reilly, Passaic County (NJ) Sheriff Jerry Speziale (http://www.pcsheriff.org) called for the United States to seal its border with Mexico, send more Special Forces to Colombia, and cut off economic assistance to a number of Latin American countries. Speziale's prescriptions for victory in the drug war came during an interview on "The O'Reilly Factor" on May 7th as the sheriff flogged his just-published book on his career as an undercover narc whose exploits included infiltrating the so-called Cali cartel.
During the interview, Speziale recommended Panama invasion-style military operations against countries who are not cooperating in the drug war. "We have to go in strong," he said. "We have to deal with the foreign governments and make sure they are 100% with us in this fight against narcotics."
The war could be won despite "a lot of bureaucratic stuff that holds us back" from invading other countries, said Speziale, presumably referring to congressionally-imposed human rights conditions, international law and the UN Charter of Human Rights.
Prodded by O'Reilly, long a vocal proponent of militarizing the US-Mexican border, Speziale recommended blockading that country. "We're never going to beat these guys, because they just bribe their way in and out of everything," O'Reilly said. "And they have territories, and we can't invade Mexico, you know."
"But you know what we can do?" Speziale replied. "We can cut the economic aid that we supply to these countries." The US government wouldn't do that, "they won't even seal the border," O'Reilly complained. Speziale said, "Yes, but if we're really looking to have this war, that's what we need to do... because this is a form of terrorism that's against our country already."
Speziale retired as a narc in 1997, citing stress and sleep deprivation that made him delirious and paranoid, but his mental state was cause for comment long before that. In his memoir, "The Lost Son," former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik wrote that "Jerry Speziale was a nut," while one former NYPD colleague described him as "manic." Speziale himself used terms like "crazy," "insane" and "deranged" to describe himself.
But that didn't stop him from getting back in the game. First Speziale became a sheriff's deputy and registered Republican in Passaic County, where he was investigated for assaulting Democratic Party campaign workers in 1999. Then Speziale ran for and won the Democratic Party nomination for sheriff, and was elected in 2001. Speziale's ascent has also, unsurprisingly, caused fissures in the local Democratic Party, with Democratic county Freeholder Georgia Scott, an African-American from Paterson, booted from the ballot by party higher-ups after refusing to support the hyperkinetic drug warrior.