Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform

committed to preventing tragedy that arises from illicit drug use

Hidden Agendas

An extract from John Pilger's new book on 'narco-trade', Published by Vintage

  "Clinton has effectively criminalised the poor, approving laws that have increased the American prison population to more than 1.5 million people.....

"Of course, there is a 'market' incentive to this. Prisons have become the fastest-growing business in the United States; more people are now employed in what is known as 'prison industries' thanin the country's top 500 corporations, with the exception of General Motors...... Several states now require prisoners to wrok six days a week for less than the minimum wage, making consumer goods in 'enterprise zones', which are run on exploitative lines similar to those in Haiti.

"In the state of Gorgia, always ahead in regression, a company called the United States Corrections Corporation runs prisons which produce a variety of manufactured goods on which it will ultimately realise huge profits.... As one of Georgia's biggest contributors to political campaigns, the prisons company is dictating state policy: a trend that will see other captive factories inaugurated throughout the United States.

"By contrast, the prosecution of serious corporate crime, which is rife, is unusual. While small-time dealers are pursued in Clinton's 'war on drugs', money laundering, much of it related to the international 'narco-trade', flows unimpeded through the Caribbean tax havens cherished by US multinationals, banks and pension-fund managers."

- John Pilger, 1998