Friday, October 2, 2009

The iceman driveth

I commented in another blog that it seemed, umm, odd that the Drug Enforcement Agency would let a man they believed to be using and/or dealing ice drive Governor Benigno R. Fitial around for six* months without telling him.

Fitial thinks it's more. "They don't like me," he told the Marianas Variety and Saipan Tribune.

The Governor suspended CNMI participation in a joint task force with DEA following the strip-search of Chinese passengers on a flight from Shanghai.

"This is politically motivated," he told the Variety. "This happened before the election."

I'm not sure, and I wonder what other people think.

* Today's stories say nine months, but the point remains.


Saipan Writer said...

I disagree with Fitial on this (and so many other things).

1. DEA doesn't go about warning people about targets they're investigating. I don't think that's in their job description. In fact, it would probably be considered a serious leak if such information was disclosed.

2.Fitial could have taken measures all along to protect himself. If he wanted to hire someone to drive him around and let him carry a weapon, he had it in his power to use drug screening and other means to ensure that the guy was reliable and safe. This is the real issue--Fitial is incompetent. Or worse. He's trying to blame the Feds to cover up his own fault in the matter.

3. He wasn't hurt. No harm, no foul.

KAP said...

I really have no opinion, and I'm really curious.

The whole getting caught in a crossfire thing smacks of watching too many Jerry Bruckheimer cop shows on TV. I was thinking more that a guy who might be awake for days at a time with the resultant drug psychosis shouldn't be Driving Mr. Fitial. But I suppose he would show enough symptoms to get canned if it was that bad.

I'd agree that warning the governor wouldn't be appropriate, but they waited a long time to file charges. Maybe their resources were tied up in the Lt. Governor's trial.

The drug screening, well, two thoughts. 1) That's a tempting cost-cut for a government that's broke. 2) My understanding is that methamphetamine is relatively hard to catch in a drug test if the subject knows it's coming. I could be wrong. (I do chuckle every time some politico offers to take a voluntary drug test.)

I can't argue with your third point.

Assuming, of course, that Reyes is guilty.

Captain said...

Another issue here is that this driver is supposed to have a serious heart condition and is awaiting referral.(reason for home confinement)
Use of "Ice" on top of the heart condition could not be helping his (driver)health.
The Gov does not seem to understand that this, if true, on both problems, was more dangerous to him,his family and the community than the possibility of any consequences from a "Drug gang"
It seems like the usual with the Gov. everything is the Feds fault,he (Gov) has a serious persecution complex.(or is he on a guilt trip)

KAP said...

Way back, I was taught to salute the uniform not the man, so I'm sympathetic. I think any Governor would complain in the same circumstances-- and DEA would probably shrug it off.

I also think a lot of the flak Fitial is getting over this is personal. If it had been their guy instead... And, yeah, it does sound like more running against Washington.

Shaman U. said...

As I have noticed, government investigations take a LOT of time. They don't tell anyone that they are investigating. It may seem that they could have done the whole investigation in a matter of a week or two. But it doesn't seem to work that way.

My guess -- and it is just a guess -- is that the investigation finished at this time, and they caught the guy. My question is more about whether Fitial knew about the driver's actions before the arrest or not?

KAP said...

You could be right.

I'd really doubt that Fitial knew. I read him as being pretty old school about drug abuse.