HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html US Senator Tells Irvington That Cartels Are Decimating
Pubdate: Tue, 02 Oct 2001
Source: Star-Ledger (NJ)
Copyright: 2001 Newark Morning Ledger Co
Author: Reginald Robert, Star-Ledger Staff


Corzine: Use Same Tactics To Fight Terrorism And Illegal Drugs

In the view of U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine, there's not much difference between a 
terrorist cell and a drug cartel.

With the nation now focusing on a war on terrorism, it should also step up 
its war on drugs, Corzine (D-N.J.) told about 50 people attending the 
Irvington Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting at Don's Diner.

"The war on drugs should be fought just like terrorism," Corzine said, 
noting that drugs have disproportionately affected communities like Irvington.

The senator said the war on drugs has been a failure. But now is the time 
to use the resolve created as a reaction to the terrorist attack on the 
World Trade Center to fight drugs in the United States, he said.

That means the government should use similar tactics in ferreting out 
terrorists -- infiltration and intelligence gathering -- to ferret out drugs.

Corzine had been invited to the chamber of commerce breakfast meeting in 
August, well before the World Trade Center disaster Sept. 11, said Herb 
Ramo, the chamber's executive director.

A well-known speaker usually addresses the chamber, but in Corzine's case 
his invitation turned out to be timely, Ramo said.

In a question and answer session, Joe Incitti, owner of Joe's Army and Navy 
Store, said residents in Irvington had been terrorized by drugs long before 
the terrorist attack in New York.

He wanted to know what the government was going to do about the drugs that 
are ravaging towns like Irvington. "Should drugs be legalized?" Incitti asked.

Corzine said he didn't favor legalizing drugs, but does believe the 
government needs to fight a better war.

In an interview after his speech, Corzine said he believed that drugs and 
terrorism are related, saying that maybe the terrorists are being financed 
through illegal drugs. "We'll find that the terrorist and the drug cartels 
are in the mix."

Corzine said the war on drugs should also include more community policing 
and treatment centers for addicts.

During his talk to the chamber, Corzine said the World Trade Center tragedy 
had brought the Congress together across party lines. "I hope we can keep 
that spirit of unity."

He said that efforts to rebuild lower Manhattan will put "some resources in 
the economy."

But Corzine said the United States should use this opportunity to invest in 
its people, adding that most of the people affected by the tragedy are not 
millionaires, but the working class.

It will also be a good time to upgrade the aging New York metropolitan 
transportation infrastructure, its bridges, tunnels and highways, he said.

In some ways, the World Trade Center disaster will benefit New Jersey, 
Corzine said. "The flip side of the tragedy is that we're seeing a ripple 
effect in the real estate market. I hope it will get to Irvington and Newark."
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