DEA's Museum Exhibit Shows Dangers of Drugs


i wanna be cool too!
Oct 22, 2005
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233 Illinois -- After visiting the Museum of Science and Industry's famous coal mine and submarine, patrons might want to check out its new crack den and meth lab.
The Hyde Park museum opens a new exhibit today that highlights the perils of drug abuse and the drug trade, including life-size re-creations of drug lairs and labs.

"Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause" is a traveling exhibit created by the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum. It gives historical and modern-day look at drugs such as opium, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine.
The exhibit, which comes with a warning about bringing young children, includes photos of cops and federal agents killed in the drug war, as well as pictures of teens, adults and even rock stars felled by drug abuse.
'Facts Aren't On Their Side'
"Think of this exhibit as one-stop shock therapy," said DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy, in town to open the exhibit. "The message of this exhibit is: If you think you're not affected or endangered by drugs, think again."
The exhibit has already been shown in several cities, most recently Detroit. It has drawn criticism from some groups that say it's more DEA publicity than education and that it ignores the argument that criminalizing drugs creates the lucrative, underground trade that ends up financing terrorism.
Tandy discounted the criticism. "I think it's hard for these groups because the facts aren't on their side. That's all they can say."
The exhibit, in a two-level temporary hall on the west side of the museum, has a special section dedicated to drugs in Chicago over the years. That section will eventually wind up on display at Navy Pier.
The exhibit also devotes a great deal of space to the foreign drug trade and ties to terror. There's a seized Taliban flag, a giant photo of Osama bin Laden, a re-created Afghan heroin processing lab and a South American cocaine lab complete with mosquito netting and assault rifles.
Mayor Seems Jarred
The crack den -- labeled a "tenement apartment" -- is a small room strewn with empty crack vials and cigarette butts. There's also a bassinet, a dirty diaper, a shotgun and piped-in sounds of sirens and barking dogs.
As Mayor Daley toured the exhibit Thursday, he seemed jarred, including by the meth lab. It's in a simulated hotel room, and it shows how an unsuspecting hotel guest can be just inches away from an explosive meth lab.
Chicago Police Supt. Phil Cline, who also took a tour, called it "a powerful exhibit that will enlighten and fascinate so many people."
It will remain at the museum through Dec. 3. There is no extra fee to see it.
Sidebar: No Ordinary SUV -- It's On Lookout for Dealers
As you look at one part of the new drug exhibit, it will also be looking at you.
At the Museum of Science and Industry, the Drug Enforcement Administration is displaying a special tricked-out Toyota Scion designed to be left on street corners to snoop on drug dealers.
The boxy SUV has multiple hidden cameras, including a 360-degree lens secretly disguised as the rear stereo amplifier. It also has several microphones hidden in its body that, with a court order, can eavesdrop on bad guys.
The display also includes a hidden camera that museum-goers can operate from across the building.
Timothy J. Ogden, assistant special agent in charge of the DEA's Chicago office, said police and federal agents in Chicago don't use a Scion -- but they use other cars with the same technology.
"We made sure none of our local law enforcement partners have that particular type of model in service," Ogden said.
Drug dealers know authorities have secret surveillance methods, he said, so showing them off was decided to be OK.
"Are the gang-bangers going to come here and look at our display? Probably not," he said. "And if we can save some lives and turn some kids to walk the straight and narrow, it's a risk we can live with."
Shamus Toomey Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Author: Shamus Toomey, Staff Reporter
Published: August 11, 2006
Copyright: 2006 The Sun-Times Co.



Stoned Activist
Apr 26, 2006
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"It has drawn criticism from some groups that say it's more DEA publicity than education and that it ignores the argument that criminalizing drugs creates the lucrative, underground trade that ends up financing terrorism."

Obviously they ignor that fact because they profit off that trade. Look at the
Iran-Contra Affair. Soon enough people will be educated. Soon the worlds powers will be pushed out of control. This monster we made will have to die or our society will first.