Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Is Nothing Sacred?"

On March 31, the ONDCP blog trumpeted a DEA press release, Is Nothing Sacred? that says drug traffickers hid cocaine in statues of the Virgin Mary and tombstones. This is the hook to announce the successful completion of Operation Omni Presence: 11 arrests, and 194 kilograms of cocaine and $474,000 in US currency seized. The press release says DEA was able to

"identify and dismantle all levels of criminal activity, from the Mexican
source of supply to the wholesale distributors and retail dealers in our
local communities."

I wonder how many of the 11 arrests were actually high-level Mexican traffickers and how many were simply the street-level dealers in local communities in the U.S. One must wonder about the significance of the distinction in the press release between "identifying" a level of criminal activity and "dismantling" a level of criminal activity. If this was a typical DEA operation the high-level offenders are not going to prison.

On a higher level, the press release has photographs of the statue of theVirgin Mary before it was smashed open by federal agents, and then photographs of the smashed statues.

Spend a few moments thinking about what is sacred and what is not. If you agree with the Christian Broadcasting Network that encourages you to pray for money, run by Pat Robertson, who sees the Almighty's hand at work in the Bush Administration, then enshrining your investment in cocaine in the image of the Virgin Mary is perhaps not so much a sacrilege, as being prayerful.

Evidently the DEA does not fear that posting the picture of DEA agents with the statue of the Virgin Mary they smashed will incite Christians generally, or Roman Catholics more specifically, to rampage as some Muslims did when defamatory cartoons of the Prophet were published in Europe.

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