Terry Jeffrey

Citing an annual U.S. government analysis called the Interagency Assessment of Cocaine Movement (IACM), the GAO said: "From 2000 to 2006, the IACM reported an increase in the estimated amount of cocaine flowing through Mexico to the United States -- from 66 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2003 to 90 in 2006."

"Despite the apparent increases in cocaine arriving in Mexico, the amount of cocaine reported seized in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexico border for 2000-2006 did not increase proportionately," said GAO. On average during this period, GAO said, only about 13 percent of this cocaine was seized.

The record was worse for heroin. "Reported heroin seizures in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexico border averaged less than 1 metric ton or less than 5 percent a year of the estimated export quality heroin produced in Mexico between 2000 and 2005," said GAO.

Americans have and will pay many prices for the failure of our president and Congress to secure our border. In 2005 alone, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, people using cocaine visited emergency rooms 448,481 times, while people using heroin visited emergency rooms 164,572 times. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that in 2002 Americans paid $180.9 billion to cover the negative consequences of drug use, which includes health costs, criminal justice costs, disability and death-related costs, and the cost of lost productivity.

Then, of course, there are the criminals that cross our borders to conduct business here for the cartels. Mexican drug trafficking organizations, GAO said in an August report, have "regional managers throughout the country and rely on Mexican street gangs to distribute illicit drugs at the retail level."

If, one day, the powder that comes across our border is not heroin or cocaine but something even deadlier, and the thugs who bring it through are not drug dealers but al-Qaida terrorists, the current president and Congress will not be able to say: No one saw it coming.

Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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