TREAT TRAFFICKERS LIKE TERRORISTS, OFFICIAL SAYS
The United States should employ some of the techniques it is using to fight international terrorism in its war on drugs, the federal drug control chief said yesterday.
Interviewed a day before President Bush was due to release his national drug control strategy for 2005, John P. Walters said international drug traffickers shared many characteristics with terrorist networks, although there were also some important differences.
"Maybe the brutal experience we've had with terror helps to make this more concrete and understandable," said Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Like terrorist networks, most drug organizations are no longer centrally controlled, with one command running the trade all the way from production to distribution, or as Walters put it, "from the farm to the arm."
That made the drug trade harder to disrupt, since individual cells that were put out of commission by law enforcement agencies could easily be replaced.
However, Walters said it ought to be easier to go after drug traffickers because the drug trade involved many thousands of people, making it more vulnerable to attack and disruption. "We now have tools and ways of sharing intelligence and looking at these organizations more as businesses."
FBI Warns of Virus Spread in 'FBI' E-Mails
The FBI warned that a computer virus is being spread through unsolicited e-mails that purport to come from the FBI.
The e-mails appear to come from an fbi.gov address. They tell recipients that they have accessed illegal Web sites and that their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI's "Internet Fraud Complaint Center," the FBI said.
The messages then direct recipients to open an attachment and answer questions. The computer virus is in the attachment.
High School Summit Targets Dropout Rates
With dropout rates rising, governors nationwide are being asked to lead a high school restructuring that demands more skills of students and help from colleges.
The call for action, outlined by leaders of an upcoming national summit on high schools, would change everything from core course requirements to state graduation standards.
It came as the Educational Testing Service reported yesterday that high school completion rates dropped nationally from 1990 to 2000, with about one-third of students failing to graduate. It is the latest in a string of sobering assessments of high school performance.
Governors from virtually all 50 states and five territories are expected in Washington on Saturday and Sunday for the high school summit.
High Court Declines Rainbow Bridge Case
The Supreme Court refused to review a National Park Service policy of asking visitors to avoid walking near Utah's Rainbow Bridge out of respect for American Indian religion.
The high court also declined to consider a last-ditch appeal by the federal government seeking to remove U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth from deciding an eight-year-old lawsuit pitting 300,000 American Indian landowners against the Interior Department.