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Of All People: The DEA Demolishes One of Trump's Main Claims About the Border Wall

As the president attempts to make his case for a wall on the US-Mexico border, one of his main selling points is that the wall would reduce the flow of illicit drugs into the country. Of all people, it's not our favorite agency that has rebutted the claim.

That agency is the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which in its 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment released just two months ago makes clear that at best Trump is uninformed and at worst that he is lying to the American people.

The vast majority of drugs smuggled into the US from Mexico come through ports of entry. (Creative Commons)
"Remember drugs. The drugs are pouring into this country. They don't go through the ports of entry. When they do, they sometimes get caught," Trump claimed at a Rose Garden news conference last Friday.

It's not a new claim for the president; it has been a pillar of his claim that there is a "crisis" on the border. But repeating a false claim doesn't make it any less false. What is true, as the DEA reports, is that the southwest border "remains the primary entry point for heroin into the United States," but it is not being lugged across the desert via a wall-less border.

According to the DEA, "the majority of the flow is through POVs [privately owned vehicles] entering the United States at legal ports of entry, followed by tractor-trailers, where the heroin is co-mingled with legal goods. Body carriers represent a smaller percentage of heroin movement and they typically smuggle amounts ranging from three to six pounds taped to their torso, or in shoes and backpacks."

To be clear, the body carriers the DEA is talking about are people coming through ports of entry -- not across an open border. The agency reported that only "a small percentage of all heroin seized" along the border was seized between ports of entry.

It's the same thing with fentanyl. According to the DEA, which says fentanyl imports are split between China and Mexico, Mexican drug traffickers "most commonly smuggle multi-kilogram loads of fentanyl concealed in POVs before trafficking the drugs through Southwest Border ports of entry." In the San Diego sector, which saw the biggest fentanyl seizures, 74 percent off seizures were from cars at ports of entry. In the Tucson sector, which had the next highest fentanyl seizure numbers, that figure was 91 percent.

Claiming that building a border wall would reduce the flow of drugs into the country is probably not the biggest lie Trump and his allies have told about the wall, but it is patently false.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Dain Bramage's picture

Idiotic. Racist. Fascist. Unwanted! (Trump, I mean.)

Trump's "Wall", like Trump himself, is idiotic, racist, and fascist... and entirely unwanted!

Dain Bramage's picture

Trump is an existential threat to marijuana legalization

Hey, Republicans!

Still say Trump is "cool" with weed?


It's time for you to stop lying on Trump's behalf -- lying is the one thing Trump can do all by himself, without any help from you.  We, the Coalition Of The Decent, don't buy your bullshit, or his.  So cut the crap, already.  We have had quite enough of your fucking lies.

The 2020 presidential election looms.  It is now time for you to make a choice.

Your best bet is to cut your losses now.  Admit you've been played by a con-man, and get over it.  It's now obvious to everybody except you.  The rest of us don't buy his lies, and we don't buy your stupid lies, either.

When you lie to cover for Trump's lies, it just makes you look stupid.  It makes you unworthy of respect.  Are you really as stupid as you pretend to be, or do you think you're "in on the scam" somehow?  (You're not.  You're the sucker here.  We liberals never bought into it for one moment.)

Either way, you're busted.  So come clean now (if, in fact, you are capable of speaking without lying, and knowing the difference.)

Abandon Trump, or be buried next to him in the political graveyard of defeated fascists, tyrants, madmen and monsters.  (You might even do some prison time!)

Abhorrence, derision, and contempt will be your reward as you rot in your eternal resting place -- the cold dirt of historical ignominy.  And, If that is your choice, then to hell with you -- you've earned it.

Dain Bramage's picture

Steel slats: like a cashier's window, you mean?

Trump's idiotic wall: Steel slats might actually be useful to drug dealers in much the same way as the steel bars on a bank teller's window protect the teller; meanwhile money and drugs can easily pass between the slats.

Dain Bramage's picture

Vicente Fox and "dark web schematics" for breaching the wall


Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, reveals "schematics" downloaded from the "dark web."  Terrorists are already developing sophisticated technology for breaching the wall!

Hempigration Solution

Industrial hemp for REFORestation purposes, newly enabled by the recently passed Farm Bill, will create millions of new easily learned JOBS for which IMMIGRANTS can and should be ardently recreuited!

In densely forested areas in the US west, hit in recent years by droughts, fires and murderous bug infestations, megatons of dead wood lie everywhere big agro machines can't and shouldn't penetrate. Humans must enter, gather the fallen dead branches and

(a)  break down whatever can be broken by hand into 2-4-inch sticklets (carbonmulch) to be dropped on the ground (reducing fire hazard) where obtained or into buckets from which bags can be filled to transport to desert areas (to aid in agriculturalization or reforestation). 

(b) using an ANVIL PRUNER, trim thicker firmer parts unbreakable by hand into sticks that can be bundled and transported to urban woodworking shops and converted into furniture, tool handles, toy blocks, music instruments etc. 

(c) develop four-foot-wide roadways over which lift-trucks can deliver palletloads of heavier equipment for harvesting lumber from standing dead trees, as well as materials (CANVAS etc.) for worker housing and services, and haul out (deadwood only!) logs,  mulch and other products.

Taking McConnell at  his word that he wants Kentucky farmers to switch from toxic nicotine tobackgo farming to industrial  hemp, Kentucky and other states could soon  use millions more farm workers to help plant and harvest giant HEMPstalks to be made into 138+ needed products including more mulch for disdesertification worldwide.  Drones will fly over desert areas, determine water-trapping depressions and gullies, and fill them with mulch, with hemp as precursor crop for forest and farming uses.

PS Due to unfortunate scandals surrounding a previous administration that was considered liberal, a right wing SNARLING BULLY has been elected in Brasil who threatens to eliminate restrictions on kkkillearkutting the Amazon forest, no. 1 CO2-eating, O2-supplying agency on our planet.  Like Trump his main promise to voters was More Jobs!-- even if it means killing billions of trees. With a HempMulch for BigTrees program involving biennial transit for REFORworkers (HEMPigration) we can satisfy social demand for JOBS and save money on winter home heating.  Hemigrants would work in perpetual summer, living in the northern hemisphere April to October and the sourthern hemisphere October to April. 

My personal experience anecdotal evidence is that REFORest work-- trimming deadwood, gathering sticks & mulch, making cartways etc.-- is the number one most interesting  work on the planet to do after serving a VAPETOKE of cannabis, basil, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme etc.  Try it and see, Win the Drug War with me!

Drugs across the border

I hate the drug war and everything it represents about the US of A.  At the same time I want to know the truth.  Your opening article makes fast and loose with the truth.  You claim that the "majority" of drugs across the SW border come through POE.  OK .. define majority?  Is it 51% or 99%.  If it is 55% that means 45% does not come through POV.   Given the magnitude of the illegal drug trade coming north, that's a lot of drugs!

I know the impulse is to fight fire with fire in politics.  But I can't take any policy wonk advocacy org. seriously that isn't precise as possible about the facts.  I'm on your side.  For the sake of making your campaign effective, please start reporting precise numbers.

I also think the public needs to know he size of the drug trade (legal and illegal) going south.  Same with guns.  Adds perspective.


Dain Bramage's picture

Trump's Treason is bad for drug policy and bad for USA!!

I think this article by Beerfinger, on Daily Kos, 1/11/2019, sums it up nicely: 

A Semi-Exhaustive List of Trump's Treasons:

1. Trump literally asked Russia to steal his opponents' emails. Out loud. In front of cameras. Honestly the list should end here. But unfortunately, as we all know, that is not the case. So I proceed... 2. His campaign manager, his personal attorney slash “fixer”, and his son all met with a Russian operative during the campaign. The purpose of the meeting was to collect compromising materials that Russian intelligence claimed to have on his political opponent. 3. Trump hired Paul Manafort, a known Russian operative, to be his campaign manager. Manafort was indebted to known Russian oligarchs with close ties to Vladimir Putin and has since been found guilty on 8 counts associated with his financial ties with Russia. Another 10 counts were declared a mistrial because of one corrupt juror. He is also currently under investigation by Special Counsel for colluding with Russia during the election by supplying them with internal polling data. 4. At the Republican National Convention Trump approved a last minute change to the Republican Party platform by watering down support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine, thus satisfying one of Putin's biggest ambitions. 5. Trump, a shameless liar who routinely projects his own transparent insecurities on others, literally said during a debate with Clinton after she accused him of being Putin's puppet, "No puppet! No puppet! YOU'RE the puppet!" I mean.Come on.You don't need a psych degree to see straight through that one. 6. Overall, the Trump campaign had an unprecedented 100+ contacts with Russian’ linked officials. (That we know of) 7. Prior to his inauguration, Trump's National Security Advisor made assurances to Russia that Trump would reverse sanctions placed against Russia by the Obama administration for interfering with the 2016 election. Flynn has since plead guilty to crimes associated with that incident. 8. For 18 days, Trump ignored the acting Attorney General's warnings that Russia had kompromat on the his own National Security Advisor. In fact, he FIRED HER for alerting him to the issue. 9. Trump was literally THE ONLY person in all of these United States to be against Russian sanctions passed by Congress. In fact, the only reason he didn't veto it is because there was supermajority support for it in Congress, even among the GOP, which would have embarrassed him by handing him an early defeat and overturning his veto. 10. Trump fired the FBI director and later admitted he did so to try to end the Russia investigation. On the air. With Lester Holt. 11. The day after firing Comey, Trump secretly invited the Russian ambassador and the Russian foreign minister INTO THE GOD DAMNED OVAL OFFICE where he handed over state secrets and literally told them that he had put an end to the investigation by firing Comey. 12. At a news conference in Helsinki, Trump sided with Putin against his own FBI and then met PRIVATELY with Putin for hours. 13. On countless occasions, Trump has attacked U.S. intelligence, the free press, gold star parents, and the U.S. Courts system. He has called the national press the "enemy of the people." Yet he has consistently defended Vladimir Putin, despite Russia's involvement in interfering with the 2016 election. 


I tell you what, the FBI sure as hell better be investigating him. I'm not sure what more evidence people need to realize that their country has been highjacked by a treasonous con man and his criminal enterprise. If you're not on our side, you're complicit in the betrayal of American democracy.

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