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Drug Wars: Origins and Solutions

Program #MCCA002. Recorded in Madison, WI on September 26, 1991.

Declarations of drug wars in the United States have become ritual incantations. Presidents go on television brandishing bags of drugs, putatively purchased a few blocks from the White House, and warn that narcotics are "the gravest threat facing the nation." Congress appropriates money. Media specials are broadcast. The public is mobilized. A few dramatic arrests and seizures are made or, if necessary, a country is invaded. And then, just as suddenly as it appeared, the issue fades from view. Yet it is always there, waiting for its button to be pushed.

Speaker(s):

Alfred McCoy

Alfred McCoy is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of the classic The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. For Closer than Brothers, his pioneering book on the impact of CIA torture on the Philippine military, he was awarded the Goodman Prize. He is also the author of A Question of Torture and Policing America's Empire.

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