Longmont High School in Colorado exemplifies the aggressive snitchism directed towards young pot people. After a 12th grade student was busted last year for selling herb to fellow students, Longmont’s principal hired a private company, Interquest Detection Canines, to patrol the school with drug dogs.
Interquest Vice President Mike Ferdinand says his dogs are sensitive enough to alert on a school locker even if it’s “contraband” is merely clothing worn by somebody who has been near marijuana smoke. He says his dogs will alert on a student who has “simply ridden to school in a car where other students were smoking a joint,” and then the student will be asked to snitch on the source of the marijuana smoke.
“Once it becomes apparent to students that even being around marijuana smoke may trigger the dog’s nose, then you see an interesting phenomenon take place,” Ferdinand told a Colorado newspaper. “Non-drug using students become more leery of taking a ride in cars with students who smoke pot, because they know it might result in some explaining later that day. It causes an isolation of the druggies, and that prevents them from gaining influence and control.”
The snitch culture at Longmont High and other schools, documented by Redden’s compelling, cogent, and fact-filled volume, is reviled by teenage students I’ve spoken to at marijuana festivals. One teen reported that a tiny cabal of “born-again narks” had “taken over” the high school he attended near Seattle.
“They come and smell you to see if you reek of weed. Then they run to security to tell on you. They go to school meetings with their folks and demand that more drug dogs and cops patrol the school,” a student told me. “What’s really pukey is that they’ve even done stuff like taking urine testing kits into the bathrooms and trying to get your piss out of the toilet so they can test it for drugs.”
America’s government and power elite want citizens to tell on each other, but they themselves don’t want to be snitched on. Whistleblowers who snitch on corrupt officials or wealthy corporations are often punished for their civic-mindedness.
Hollywood’s rendition of punished snitches can be seen in movies like Serpico and Silkwood.
Serpico depicts the true story of a New York City cop set up by fellow officers to get shot in the face for testifying about police corruption. Karen Silkwood worked in a nuclear power plant in 1974. She was carrying documents to a reporter proving that safety breaches were contaminating workers with deadly radiation, when she died in a mysterious traffic “accident.”
The Enron executive who resigned in revulsion over its accounting practices, months before the company became synonymous with scandal, was reportedly going to become a whistleblower who would give insider information about ways in which President Bush’s Enron friends misled employees and the stock market.
In January, that executive was found dead in his car in a Houston, Texas intersection. The official spin machine called his death a suicide, but there is also suspicion he was murdered to keep him quiet.
Some people are luckier.
Redden reports that when President Bush the Elder got mad at former Panamanian President (and ex-CIA operative) Manuel Noriega and decided to kidnap him from Panama so Noriega could be put on trial in Miami on drug charges, US officials gave big breaks to 20 criminals who testified against Noriega.
Noriega snitch Max Mermelstein had smuggled 56 tons of cocaine worth billions of dollars into the US. His snitching got him released after two years in prison, and he was allowed to keep all his profits from cocaine sales.
Redden’s book lists many shocking examples of the DEA, CIA, and FBI making sweetheart deals with murderers, rapists, child molesters, and other swine. A typical case is the informant who continued on a government snitch payroll ? even though he was murdering lovers and business associates. Whenever local authorities closed in on him, federal handlers helped him get away.
Redden says the US is exporting a worldwide snitch state supervised by American intelligence agencies and the military.
The United Nations assists the US as a leading advocate for globalized snitching. It’s building a satellite network that uses spectrum analysis, supercomputers and micronized photography to provide drug warriors with an inch by inch world map showing where illegal plants are being cultivated.
The UN’s Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention, although besieged by corruption scandals, is cyberpolicing the Internet in pursuit of people who want open debate on drug policies.
Redden says the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board believes that anti-drug treaties require criminal prosecution of people who advocate drug law reform. The UN urged the US to arrest people who convinced voters to approve medical marijuana initiatives.
The UN and the US are dialed-in to a global satellite system capable of monitoring all emails, phone calls and faxes. Other systems allow police to track cars, see inside homes and computers, collect medical, financial, and sexual data, and conduct other tricks without detection.
Soon, everybody’s body may be infiltrated by snitches. Police departments across the US already take genetic codes from criminal suspects, storing them permanently even if suspects are later exonerated.
Researchers are creating security machines that will read the interior and exterior of your body. The machine might include an “iris scan” that looks into the unique membranes of your eyes, membranes that are more revealing than fingerprints and can never be altered during your lifetime.
Or maybe the government and a snitch physician will secretly implant you with the “Digital Angel,” a device patented in 1999 by Applied Digital Solutions, Incorporated. The in-body surveillance microdevice derives operating energy from your movements.
The “Angel” is used in conjunction with Global Positioning Satellites to track you anywhere on earth; similar devices can report physiological data, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
According to Redden, citizens can sometimes defeat the snitch culture. He lauds Canadians for discovering a secret government database that contained information on “virtually everyone in the country.”
The system tracked domestic and external travel, personal finances, and other intimate details on 33 million people.
When journalists revealed that the database was being used by spy agencies and the Mounties, 18,000 Canadians petitioned the health ministry to find out what the government knew about them. Eventually, the government was forced to dismantle the database ? or so they said. Government officials admitted the database was insecure, and so countless copies could easily have been made by police or nosy bureaucrats.
Ultimately, however, most snitches are defeated by karma, and by the uncaring incompetence of police handlers. Ever since the days of Judas Iscariot, who was paid thirty pieces of silver for information leading to the arrest of Jesus Christ and later hung himself in shame, snitches have paid the price of conscience, and even death, for their snitching.
In 1998, for example, California police busted 17-year-old Chad McDonald for being in possession of a few grams of meth. Police told McDonald he had to nark on people or go to jail. McDonald became a snitch, but local drug dealers sniffed him out. They raped and shot McDonald’s 16-year-old girlfriend, and killed him.
The police refused to admit wrongdoing. Chad’s mother had to file a lawsuit to punish the officers who helped her son become a dead snitch.