04/03/15 Matthew Fogg

Cultural Baggage Radio Show

Matthew Fogg Chief US Marshall (ret), Pres Obama "looks back" at today's drug war, Fresno Dep Chief busted, Special Agents copulate with special whores, Ray Hill Roast & DTN Editorial

Audio file


APRIL 3, 2015


DEAN BECKER: I am Dean Becker and this is Cultural Baggage, the unvarnished truth about the drug war. Today's program will focus on the corruption of cops. Our guests include former US Marshall Matthew Fogg, Tony Papa of the Drug Policy Alliance, plus segments featuring President Obama, the police chief of Fresno, California, DEA agents copulating with special drug cartel whores, and a Drug Truth Network editorial.

FLACO JIMENEZ AND THE FREE MEXICAN AIRFORCE : High in the hills we are harvesting sweet sinsemilla,
Well, the law wants it all 'cause they think the wild weed can free ya.
Freedom for us is a prison for the rulers of might,
And the Free Mexican Air Force – Mescalito riding his white horse –
The Free Mexican Air Force is flying tonight.

DEAN BECKER: All right my friends, hello, hello, welcome to this edition of Cultural Baggage, I'm so glad you could be with us. A little frantic here in the studio today, but here in just a moment, we will be bringing up Mr. Matthew Fogg, a gentleman with a career serving the United States as a US Marshall, and has a pretty good story to tell.

Today, we will indeed be talking about corruption – corruption in law enforcement, corruption in the drug war, and this situation that just seems to be getting worse. It's kind of been extrapolated from what's going on in Mexico. Matthew, are you there sir?


DEAN BECKER: Hey, Matthew, it's been frantic here in the studio, glad you're with us. Matthew, I was trying to introduce you but you can do that much better than I. Tell us about your service as a US Marshall and in law enforcement.

MATTHEW FOGG: Well, I've got 32 years of service, I retired – I started as a deputy US marshal, retired as a a chief deputy US marshal. My service goes back to where – I did a lot of things in the service while I was there. I ran various task forces for drug and gun interdiction, designated as a drug enforcement agent with DEA, ran – was a group supervisor for DEA's Washington field division office.

I ran dragnets around the United States looking for fugitives, looking for gunrunners, drug addicts, I mean, for drug dealers, all of that stuff, I also ran, worked with United Nations on dignitary protection for foreign dignitaries, high profile dignitaries coming to the country, sort of like what the Secret Service does with the president of the United States, we did that.

And then I ultimately ended up fighting the agency that I worked for for race discrimination, I had to file a major lawsuit, Title VII discrimination lawsuit, and ended up going into federal court. Wasn't no settlement, we got a jury verdict and we won, jury found that the US Marshal's Service was a racially hostile environment, for not only me but for all African American deputy US marshal's nationwide. Made them, ordered them to, you know, supposed to fix my situation, pay me $4 million which I always tell people they ended up reducing that to $300,000, saying that federal workers are under a cap of $300,000 but the jury rewarded me $4 million. Shows you still all the things you wind up fighting even afterwards.

But, and then, they made me a chief deputy, and I retired as a chief and then after all of that, they sicced the IRS on me, which I'm fighting them today. But it just, it's a history of a lot of law enforcement stuff that we did, a lot of things we did, and I ended up hooking up with LEAP, and was totally in concert with LEAP's mission plan, that this whole war on drugs is a farce and we shouldn't even be involved in this as law enforcement people, so –

DEAN BECKER: I'm with you, Matthew.

MATTHEW FOGG: Gives you, kind of gives you an idea of me a little bit.

DEAN BECKER: No, and I thank you for that, Matthew, it's important for folks to realize who we're talking with here, we're talking with a man with vast experience serving the US government in all kinds of law enforcement capacity, who was in the end racially profiled, or however you want to say it, they, the enforcement, I understand you were caught –

MATTHEW FOGG: Discrimination.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, thank you, Matthew. I understand one time you were in a situation where you were kind of abandoned because of this position you've taken, is that correct?

MATTHEW FOGG: That's right, that's right. I was in a, we were tracking one of America's, matter of fact the guy had been featured on America's Most Wanted, for doing murder, 20 to life, escaped out of a prison down there in Texas where you guys are. The guys went over a wall, him and a bunch of guys, they had bolt-cutters, everything, man, something like you might see in the movies. Sheets, everything tied together, went over the wall and escaped.

They were on the run for over a year, and they ended up putting me in charge of the task force. The guys that were running the task force before I got on it were a little jealous, didn't want to take orders from me, you know, I know race had a lot to do with it. Bottom line, ended up, when we had staked these guys out in Baltimore, these guys rolled out, the Marshal guys, white guys rolled out and left us and went all the way back to Washington, DC, and was sitting in the boss's office telling him I didn't know what I was doing, I was on a wild goose chase.

Instead of the boss jumping down their throat and saying why are you here, does Mr. Fogg know you're here, he's the inspector in charge, he had the deputy chief to call me up and the deputy chief was telling me that the boss was going to pull the task force back from me in two days, and this was before I got the phone call that the fugitive showed up exactly where we thought they were going to show up in Baltimore.

Went over there, they were heavily armed, and we had to wrestle the dude, both of them had guns on them, everything man, but no shots fired, we were able to take them down, man, good thing I had a couple of marshals from the Baltimore area and I had Baltimore police and state police who backed me up, if it hadn't been for that, no telling what would have happened.

DEAN BECKER: That's a horrible situation to be in, I agree, Matthew. Now Matthew, as I indicated, this show is about corruption, the corruption against you, racial discrimination. Hell, we got this story breaking in Indiana, they're wanting to religioulize discrimination against the gays, again. And, this country needs to just wake up that we are all people, we are all deserving of equal treatment. Am I right, Matthew?

MATTHEW FOGG: No, no, you're 100% correct. I mean, you can't discriminate against someone because of their religious affiliation or their belief systems and all of that, that's the whole thing that, where we came from, that this horrible, horrid history of racism in America and discrimination and the slave trade and everything else, and everything that occurred after that for hundreds of years, even right up til today, that we're facing, and so, any, any threat, what we call, any threat to justice is a threat to justice everywhere, you know, and it's something that we have to always stand up against and take a stand.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. You know, there's a story that kind of broke again this year, it's a little old, but the nuance, the truth of what it brought forward is worthy of reinspection. Let's go ahead and play this track, I want to get your response.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: We're back with the roundtable, Joan, Michael, and Harold, and this is a terrible story. According to a Justice Department report released today from the U.S. Justice Department, several agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, that's the DEA, reportedly had sex parties -- that's the phrase -- with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia, that's the country. The new report outlines the shocking behavior of U.S. law enforcement agents while serving overseas.

The DEA is cited in the report for attempting to stonewall, even, the investigation. Punishment for some of the agents included suspensions -- get this, boy, did they get hit hard – two to ten-day suspensions for this. One of the most serious allegations is about the supervisory special agents, or SSAS, three DEA SSA or special agents, in particular were provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from cartel members. So, Joan, this isn't just about sexual misbehavior –


CHRIS MATTHEWS: It's not about, you know, not upholding the dignity of your office. It's about taking stuff, like sex workers –

JOAN WALSH: It's about corruption.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: – from cartels and saying, what are you doing tonight?

JOAN WALSH: And it's about no chain of command, no obvious repercussions. They charged them. They found over and over, that what they would do is they would find out what was going on, but they would charge them like conduct unbecoming, not sexual misconduct, which could get them thrown out. So, they have consistently undercharged them when they weren't just brushing it under the table and they made it very hard to get the details.

HAROLD FORD: I don't disagree with the misconduct around sexual issues. But what's more bothersome to me is that it was paid for by the people that we were supposed to be ensuring the drugs were not – they were not transporting drugs through our country. So –

MATTHEWS: Are they buying these guys? That's what I'm thinking.

HAROLD FORD: This is almost, it could be treasonous.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: That's what I thought.

DEAN BECKER: All right, Matthew, I hope you were able to hear that, and they were talking about something I believe, and that is it is near treasonous what they were up to, what's your thought, Matthew?

MATTHEW FOGG: Well yeah, now, I saw that, I saw that particular – that was MSNBC, right? I remember seeing that. Well, you know, again, let me just say this. I worked on some operations overseas and so forth. A lot of times, not just DEA, but Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, I would say FBI, DEA, for years when those guys would go overseas, a lot of them would seek out companionship from these women over there, and pay them, pay them for their services.

A lot of times that, that has been going, I mean the Secret Service, all of them. I mean this is just not, you know, specific to DEA, and so, I know their culture, that is a culture that exists. Now, when you start talking about favors for drugs and all of that, that, again, that's part of that culture, if you're going to do it, if you do that, then most likely, what else would you do? I don't know, all I can tell you is that, that has sort of been a systemic culture with law enforcement for years, the foreign, the foreign agents, investigative services, all of those. When people got overseas, man, it's like, you became, what was accepted over there, you went along with their program, and so those things were accepted, the parties, all of that stuff, they would, they would do those things. But now all of a sudden, it's becoming an issue.

Now again, when you start talking about corruption, when you, in the sense of, you know, compromising the drug laws, or compromising gun laws, or whatever, those things, now you're getting into a whole different category of things. But normally what happens when investigations start on something like this, where you're talking about the prostitution or the services, like what happened with the Secret Service, then all of a sudden other things will come out, and you start finding out these same things that we find out that happens here in the United States, where, you know, cops plant drugs on people and people lie and testi-lie when they get on the stand, and control people, and pretty much put people in situations where if you don't do what I tell you to do, I'm going to say, I'm going to put you in this position, and when we see what prosecutors are doing like we see what happened in Ferguson and around the country, and in New York –

What we're seeing is we're seeing a culture of indifference that can, and it's a control factor that, when people are given this type of control, to be able to charge you with crimes and so forth, say you did something, whether you did it or not it doesn't matter. If I've got the backing of the government behind me to say that you did something, I can say you did it, you don't have the resources to fight city hall, I've got all the resources behind me that can, can cause a, can put a stain on your life, mess you up, and there's not a whole lot that you could do but plea bargain or go along with what I'm asking you to do.

DEAN BECKER: Exactly right.

MATTHEW FOGG: I'm just saying to you, I'm making a comparison with, what's happening over there is a part of the culture that we see over here in the United States.

DEAN BECKER: Indeed. Again, friends, we're speaking with Mr. Matthew Fogg, a former US Marshall. Recently, President Obama interviewed David Simon, the producer of The Wire, and it sounds weird. President Obama was interviewing David Simon, and it seemed to be more of a presentation, if you will, from President Obama that what we've been doing is wrong and trying to get a response from David Simon, of course he was very much in agreement, and I take that as a good sign that the fabric of the drug war is beginning to unravel. Your response, here, Matthew Fogg.

MATTHEW FOGG: Okeh. Well, no, no, I agree, 100 percent. I've always kind of said that, when President Obama was elected, I said that in his second term, he would probably aggressively go after ending the war on drugs. And even in his first term, when he started pretty much saying we're going to ratchet down, he didn't want to hear the name war on drugs, he was going away from that vein right from the very beginning of his administration, Eric Holder and him. So that told me right then and there that, there was something in the making to ratchet down this war on drugs, of course we know the devastating effect that it's had, especially on minority, racial communities, black communities.

And we just look at the prison system, we look at the disproportionate, extraordinarily disproportionate numbers of black folks that are arrested on small levels of drugs and so forth, and doing time. So it has devastated, it has completely crushed and devastated the black community, and it is time that it would end. I've always said if it had been an equal opportunity enforcement operation, it would have ended a long time ago the way they did prohibition.

But again once you throw race in there, and somebody says well we can use this to go after certain aspects of people, we can go after black folks the same way somebody said we can go after gays by these laws that they're passing now. People are all up in arms saying hey man, this is horrible. Absolutely. The same thing should have been said when we saw the racial disparities of the war on drugs, but it wasn't. So, but I do think this president, as he gets into these last couple years of his term, is definitely going to do things to change this whole scenario.

DEAN BECKER: I certainly hope so, Matthew. The fact of the matter is, you know, it is changing. I think that it has the ability to kind of morph and adapt, you know, and move forward in the next couple of years. We've got just about a minute left, once again we're speaking with Mr. Matthew Fogg, former US Marshal, one of my band of brothers in Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. And if you'd like him, or me, or someone in your area with law enforcement experience to come talk to you, your organization, your college class, your church, please go to LEAP.CC and we'll find somebody to come talk to your group.

Matthew, one minute, closing thoughts, what are you going to say, sir?

MATTHEW FOGG: Well, just tell them they can all look me up on facebook, Matthew Fogg on facebook. You can google my name, I'm all over the internet about my case and the things that I've done. And you can reach me like that. And you can twitter, I'm @MarshalFogg, like US Marshal Fogg, they can reach me on my twitter account, and they can reach out to us and as you said, we're LEAP, we're in the brotherhood of LEAP, Dean and I also, so you guys can contact us in many ways.

DEAN BECKER: All right. Once again, Matthew, I thank you, and now we'll take our break.

A doctor closes the door of his office and removes a large hypodermic syringe from a drawer. He fills the syringe and then injects himself with pure liquid morphine. This doctor then hurries quickly to an operating room to remove a patient's gall bladder. Who is this doctor? Would you want him to operate on you? He’s considered to be the most innovative, influential and important surgeon America has ever produced. One of the founding members of Johns Hopkins: Dr. William Halsted, a lifelong user of morphine.

The following story about former Fresno Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster is courtesy of KMPH. Federal officials have arrested Foster on charges of conspiracy to distribute and or possessing with intent to distribute oxycodone, marijuana, and heroin.

FRESNO POLICE CHIEF JERRY DYER: As the police chief, I'm extremely shocked and disappointed at what has occurred, with the arrest of Deputy Chief Keith Foster. The deputy chief rank in the Fresno Police Department is the second highest position within the organization. It is a position that has great responsibilities, a position that has great trust. And when something like this happens, there is a tremendous impact that occurs on the organization, on the community, as well as law enforcement profession, not only here in Fresno but across the nation, and things of this nature serve to erode the trust that members of this community have in this police department, you know, and we hold that trust near and dear to our hearts in law enforcement.

This also has a tremendous personal impact on me. Many of you know the relationship that I've had with Deputy Chief Foster over the years, and I've considered him to be a friend, and, and so on a personal level, I'm extremely disappointed as well, although I'm going to wait for all of the facts in this case to come forward. I too believe that individuals, when they are arrested, are innocent until proven guilty so Deputy Chief Foster will have his day in court.

This is a very, very sad day for the Fresno Police Department, the citizens of Fresno, and the law enforcement profession. But the message I want to send to everyone is that when we place this badge on our chest, it is a badge of honor, and there's a lot of responsibility that goes with that, and when things of this nature happen, it does serve to erode that trust.

DEAN BECKER: Next up, we have an interview of David Simon, the producer of The Wire, by President Barack Obama. It doesn't seem much like an interview though, it seems more like a mea culpa, or a cry for help at least.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Here's the good news: There's an increasing realization on the left but also on the right politically that what we're doing is counterproductive, either from a libertarian perspective, the way we treat nonviolent drug crimes is problematic, and from a fiscal perspective it's breaking the bank, so much more on prison than you would with these kids being in school or even going to college, that it's counterproductive and it means everybody's taxes are going up or at least services that everybody uses are being squeezed, or we can't afford to hire cops to deal with violent crime as you were talking about.

We're all, we're all responsible for at least finding a solution for this, and the encouraging thing is, I think awareness is increasing, in part because violent crime has gone down in a lot of big cities, people are more open to having a discussion about this –

DAVID SIMON: They're not as frightened.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And, you know, I think we have to seize that opportunity. But, part of the challenge is going to be making sure, number one, that we humanize what so often on the local news is just a bunch of shadowy characters, and tell their stories, and that's where the work you've done has been so important.

And the second thing is, enlisting law enforcement as an ally on this. Yeah, now Eric Holder, my attorney general, we started talking about this several years ago when I first came into office, and one of the things that we tried to do was to change how we talked to US Attorneys, and their offices, about what is a measure of effective prosecution. And when we came into office, I think what was probably true in a lot of state's attorneys offices,the measure was how much time did you get?

DAVID SIMON: Charge the maximum.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Charge the max. And, you know, our point was, effectiveness as a prosecutor involves thinking about justice, and being proportional in how you think about these issues. And that's something we can do administratively, but ultimately we're going to need legislation, and that's where raising awareness is going to be important. And law enforcement and prosecutors have to be able to talk about this, and we have to, you know, let them know, and you showed this in The Wire as well, in the same way you've got to be able to humanize those involved in the drug trade, we have to remind ourselves about the police, they've got a scary tough difficult job, and if the rest of society is saying, just go deal with this and we don't want to hear about it, and you're just on the front lines, and just keep it out of our sightlines, and, you know, it's not our problem, you know, we're betraying them as well.

And ultimately you're going to have to address some of the environmental issues. And I know that's not fashionable, because the notion is oh, you don't want to make excuses for criminals. But we understand, and what, perhaps, one of the most moving sections of The Wire was that whole depiction of the schools in Baltimore, public schools, is that if kids are left so far behind that they don't have recourse, you know, they're going to see what else is available to survive.

DAVID SIMON: They're going to learn.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: They're going to learn something, and so, we're going to have to think about schools and counselors and mental health, and ultimately jobs and reindustrialization, and I think we understand all that. But if we can start down this path to a more productive way of thinking about drugs and its intersection with law enforcement, 20 years from now we can say to ourselves well maybe we got a little smarter. And, you know, we didn't get here overnight and we're not going to get out of it overnight, but the fact that we've got people talking about it in a smarter way gives me a little encouragement.

DAVID SIMON: Your mouth to god's ear.

DEAN BECKER: KPFT, the mothership of the Drug Truth Network, is holding a benefit, a roast and toast of Mr. Ray Hill, the founder of the decades-long Prison Show, one of the founders of this station.

RAY HILL: Stonewall Jackson, who is generally believed to have known something about weapons, is reported to have said, when the war comes, you must draw your swords, throw away the scabbard. The trouble with television is that the sword is rusting in the scabbard. It's about selling, not about the ideas that the selling provides time for. I just saw in Pacifica and now I'm involved at Houston Media Source, that here was an opportunity to throw the scabbard away, so all you've got is the sword, and all that's important is the ideas.

DEAN BECKER: The Ray Hill Comedy Roast and Gala, the fundraiser for KPFT, is going to be on Saturday, April 4th, from 6 to 9 pm. I urge you to go to KPFT, there you can sign up, you can learn more, and come to the roast for Mr. Ray Hill.

RAY HILL: The roast is going to be at the University of Houston, in the school of hostelry there, the Hilton Hotel right there on campus.

DEAN BECKER: I should make note for those outside of Texas who don't know Ray Hill, he's a long-time rabble-rousing Constitution-hugging hero around here. Among those roasting and being roasted will be our mayor, Anise Parker, state senators and representatives, judges, law enforcement officials, and many others. It will be tough to pick on my mentor Ray Hill but now that he's getting old and crippled, it will be a little easier.

The following is a Drug Truth Network editorial. I cry nearly every day, sometimes several times a day, as I encounter drug war news that touches my intelligence, my very soul. Seriously ill children denied access to a life-saving extract made from harmless flowers. Tens of thousands of other children dying each year from drug war violence in Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Nigeria, the United States, around the world. Mostly I cry for the lack of compassion of my fellow man, more interested in sports scores and vacation planning than in the direction our nation is taking or in the health, safety and welfare of our children.

As long as euphoria is a crime, we will all suffer.

SPIRIT: Nineteen eighty four, knocking on your door.
Will you let it come? Will you let it run?
1984, knocking on your door,
Will you let it come?

DEAN BECKER: All right. You did get to hear that quote there from President Obama, he was talking to David Simon. I thought that was just amazing stuff. History is not going to look kindly on those who believe in drug war, even President Obama is beginning to say as much. And, I want to thank Colleen McCool, I've just been named the recipient of the 2015 Rebel With Just Cause Award, she says it's for my trailblazing work for drug policy reform including my reporting for Pacifica Radio and the publication of my book To End The War On Drugs. I appreciate you, Colleen, for giving me that honor, I know you do great work. I look forward to the painting that you will do as well.

Folks, the drug war is ending. You've got to do your part. These die-hards in office, they're going to keep blustering from their bully pulpit, they're going to keep demanding that you believe in this drug war that has never stopped even one determined child from getting their hands on drugs. Please go to our website, there are 7,000 shows available there at DrugTruth.Net.

And as always I remind you, because of prohibition you don't know what's in that bag, please be careful. To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the Unvarnished Truth. This show produced at the Pacifica studios of KPFT, Houston.

Tap dancing… on the edge… of an abyss.