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posted by azrael on Friday July 11 2014, @02:27PM   Printer-friendly
from the time-to-rethink dept.

A report at Alternet gives some context to the amount spent by the U.S. on its drug policy.

  • 1,100 - The number of Americans that die each year due to violent crime caused by the drug war
  • $51 billion - The amount that the U.S. government spends each year on the war on drugs
  • 61 percent - The percentage of individuals targeted by drug-related SWAT raids who are people of color
  • 82 percent - The number of Americans who believe that the government is losing the War on Drugs
  • 18 months - The age of Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh, a recent American casualty of the drug war

The article goes into further details on the number, including:

On May 28, a team of police officers raided the Phonesavanh's home, with the mistaken belief that the residents were involved with drugs. As they entered, they tossed a flashbang grenade that landed directly in the crib of baby Bou Bou, which exploded within point-blank range - critically injuring him.

In a harrowing article, his mother, Alecia, described seeing "a singed crib" and "a pool of blood", and later being informed by medics: "There's still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs". Alecia said that the sole silver lining to this story is that it may "make us angry enough that we stop accepting brutal SWAT raids as a normal way to fight the war on drugs".

Fortunately, Bou Bou has been making a gradual recovery, but his family is relying on donations to support their living and medical costs.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Kromagv0 on Friday July 11 2014, @05:59PM

    by Kromagv0 (1825) on Friday July 11 2014, @05:59PM (#67737) Homepage

    This is the same logic used to justify the war on terror. A while back there was the claim that the NSA's efforts had stopped something like 50 terrorist attacks. I don't remember if the article pointed out if that was over a year or ~10 years but the math I used was 50 attacks in a single year. It turns out that assuming that each attack was as deadly as the 9/11 attacks the body count would still be lower than other preventable causes of death like smoking and obesity. If it was over 10 years and as each attack was as successful as the Boston bombers were (both of these are much more realistic numbers) then the deaths from terrorist attacks would be very minor statistical noise.
    Both are used as methods to extend the reach and power of the state. Too bad none of my elected representatives care or are willing to take any bold stances.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @07:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @07:32PM (#67774)

    > A while back there was the claim that the NSA's efforts had stopped something like 50 terrorist attacks.

    It was a bullshit claim anyway.

    During testimony to the overisght committee Keith Alexander walked it back to "only one or perhaps two." []