Pubdate: Sat, 19 Aug 2000
Source: Charlotte Creative Loafing (NC)
Copyright: 2000 Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inc.
Author: Peter Eichenberger


Operations such as Bladerunner are but one small part of MANTA's mission.
MANTA (Mid-Atlantic Narcotics Training Academy) is just a tiny part of a
big, new plan to combat drugs (called CounterDrug) on a global level
emanating from the Office of National Drug Control Policy ( ), headed up by General Barry
McCaffrey, US Army (ret.).

ONDCP and McCaffrey's plan consist of using the personnel and assets of the
US Department of Defense to interfere with drug production and transit,
using an intelligence-based strategy to affect both the supply and demand
side of the business. DOD operations outside the border of the United States
(like the current and growing one in Colombia) fall to military personnel
classified as Title 10.

Title 10 military personnel are forbidden to engage in actions against the
citizenry, so in order to engage DOD in domestic actions, ONDCP must rely on
National Guard, members of which are classified as Title 32.

With a total CounterDrug budget of around a billion dollars, DOD is poised
to attempt to affect a 50-percent decrease in drug use in the US. On the
domestic side, the National Guard operates five regional training academies,
of which MANTA is but one.

MANTA is a multi-jurisdictional organization that provides intelligence,
tactical support, logistics and -- most importantly -- uniform, free
training to any law enforcement agency that wishes to take classes. Classes
include subjects such as clandestine labs, K-9, marijuana spotting, drug
interdiction, SWAT and so forth.

The intent is to provide a consistent, uniform level of training in order to
make operations involving different agencies proceed without errors arising
from different law enforcement cultures.

For more information on ONDCP and McCaffrey's plan, to the general's own
white paper ( ) which he
presented to the Economic Strategy Institute.
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MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk