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How the War on Drugs Facilitated the Global War on Terrorism

When President George W. Bush announced the Global War on Terrorism in 2001 he did not have to start his war from scratch. Instead, the development of the United States government’s war on drugs that President Richard Nixon announced forty years earlier facilitated much of Bush’s new war. Two revelations this week provide new examples of the linkage between the two wars.

First, Brad Heath reported Wednesday at USA Today that from 1992 through 2013 the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) collected calling records of “virtually all” phone calls from America to a long list of countries. At the list’s peak size, bulk collection was undertaken on calls between the US and over 100 countries. Countries that the article notes were on the list at “one time or another” include most countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, as well as Canada, Mexico, Italy, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and other countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
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As Civilian Deaths Mount in Yemen, US Pledges Saudi Attackers More Support

Saudi fighter planes continue to attack neighboring Yemen in hopes of re-installing ousted Yemeni president Mansur Hadi and putting down the rebellion that forced him to depart. As usual, civilians bear the brunt of such a foreign attack. Today, the Saudi-led coalition bombed a refugee camp, killing more than 40 and wounding as many as 200. 

Hadi's ouster earlier this year came on the heels of mounting public anger over his cooperation with the US government's five years of drone attacks on Yemen, which killed scores of civilians. Hadi, who was "elected" by an impressive 99.80% of the vote (on a single-candidate ballot) had previously overthrown long-time Yemeni ruler, Abdullah Saleh, in the "Arab Spring" uprisings of 2011.
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