DEA Agents Sue NBC Universal Over the Film American Gangster

Beneath their flak jackets and blast shields, the super-tough drug soldiers at the DEA are just like everybody else. They have feelings too, and when someone says not-so-nice things about them, it can really hurt:
A group of retired federal drug enforcement agents sued NBC Universal on Wednesday, saying the movie "American Gangster" falsely portrayed them as villains in the story of a Harlem heroin trafficker.

The suit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, claims that the movie defamed hundreds of DEA agents and New York City police officers by claiming at the end that Frank Lucas' collaboration with prosecutors "led to the convictions of three-quarters of New York City's Drug Enforcement Agency."

According to the lawsuit, no DEA agents or New York City police officers were ever convicted as a result of tips provided by Lucas.

"This is absolutely off the wall," said Dominic Amorosa, a prosecutor in the federal case against Lucas in 1975 who now represents the DEA agents. "I don't know what these people were thinking, but they are going to pay for it."

A Universal Pictures spokesman, Michael Moses, said in a written statement that the lawsuit is "entirely without merit." [AP]
I have no knowledge of the specific legal issues involved here, but it's a little creepy to see drug warriors turning to civil court in an effort to suppress the well-known fact that police corruption is commonplace in the war on drugs. Will they now sue us for running our "This Week's Corrupt Cops Story" feature each week?

If you ask me, the DEA impugns its own reputation each and every day as its agents continue to target sick people for using medical marijuana and doctors for prescribing pain relievers to patients in chronic pain.

If DEA agents or police in general are concerned about negative public perceptions, they can begin by rejecting the war on drugs and its infinitely corrupting influence. They can abandon the "Blue Wall of Silence" and endeavor to purge misconduct from the ranks. And on that glorious day when all the crooks, liars, and cowboys have been stripped of their uniforms, then perhaps it will be possible to sue Hollywood for misrepresenting the profession without provoking amusement.
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Yeah, but is it true?

I suspect the important part is "as a result of tips provided by Lucas," but I'd really like to know more about this. This doesn't seem like a particularly difficult issue to fact-check. As noted in the article, the DEA is a bit notorious for corruption, so you may argue that it doesn't matter whether this particular factoid is true, but I'd sure be curious.

how funny --

Maybe meth users should sue the makers of the "anti-meth" TV ads for representing them as thieves and murderers. Maybe pot smokers should sue over the accusations of suporting terrorism.

Cops are such wimps. (Sue me.)

A strategy towards ending the drug war...

The "war on (some)drugs" (as well as "gun control", FDA regulation, etc...) exists in direct contradiction to the idea of individual property rights.

Supporting the Libertarian Party, Ron Paul, and organizations like this one, and the ACLU are all valid and good. But what about the avenue that has traditionally defeated bigotry?: Increased awareness --more neurons firing to address the problem!

Sometime within the next 1-40 years, a great many computer scientsts believe that a superhuman synthetic intelligence will be created.

Will these synthetic intelligence(s) not instantly see through the stupid and bigoted institutions like the DEA, ONDCP, BATFE, FDA, ETC...?

I think they will. And the side with more intelligence ALWAYS wins the war.

This is the greatest reason for humanity to become consistent in the application of its laws. All laws against private property and self-ownership directly violate the US Constitution.

Should we find out how wrong we were when the first nanobot "virus" targets all humanity?

Or should we listen to the objectivist philosophers among us who have thought the issue through completely, and wish a world where intelligences of all levels are not in legal conflict with one another?

Objectivists agree that the "war on drugs" has no right to exist. (As does any group of generally well-educated and emotionally well-adjusted people.) If the consensus in the intellectual community is that drug laws are ignorant and bigoted, and every time there is a moderated and open debate, the logic on the side against drug laws massacres the logic in favor of drug laws, how does the drug war continue? It continues by illegitimately and improperly wielding force.

For those who look forward to an Earth bearing more intelligence on the side of might than bigotry on the side of might, I urge support for the following institution:
More information available at:

The times, they are a changin', and I'd prefer to fight on the side of John Galt, than on the side of "the drug czar".

(And what idiot thinks that such a title should even be allowed to exist in a free country? That's like the media respecting the title "drug nazi". Duuuuuuhrrrr.)

My $.02.,


-Jake Witmer

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