On June 15, 2012, the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) officially closed its facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania; also on that date, their official website began offering the following message: "This website is no longer maintained and may contain dated information."
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush announced plans to create the NDIC in order to "consolidate and coordinate all relevant drug intelligence information gathered by law enforcement agencies and analyze it to produce a more complete picture of drug trafficking organizations."
"The mission of NDIC is to provide strategic drug-related intelligence, document and media exploitation support, and training assistance to the drug control, public health, law enforcement, and intelligence communities of the United States in order to reduce the adverse effects of drug trafficking, drug abuse, and other drug-related criminal activity," the website once stated.
The NDIC was opened in 1993 and employed roughly 350 researchers and support staff who analyzed data and produced incredibly detailed reports on the nation’s drug and gang problems.
Those reports, such as the annual National Drug Threat Assessments, were seen by many as an invaluable resource to law enforcement agencies at every level of government and, in recent years, often provided a very sobering look at the growing influence of the Mexican drug cartels across this country.
Then, something strange happened…
In 2011, the annual report stated that the number of U.S. cities in which Mexican drug cartels were distributing illegal drugs through street gangs had been reduced by no less than 1,500 cities.
In 2010, the National Drug Threat Assessment stated that drugs were being sold on behalf of the cartels in "more than 2,500 cities."
The 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment also claimed that the cartels were now only operating in "a thousand U.S. cities."
So, if the report was to be believed, in only one year’s time the Obama administration managed to eradicate all of the cartel operatives and street-level dealers from 1,500 cities, resulting in a 60 percent reduction?
Where were the press releases?
Why didn’t the Obama re-election campaign talk about this rather astounding feat every day?
Why wouldn’t scandal-ridden Attorney General Eric Holder brag about this monumental accomplishment?
Or, was this utterly improbable claim just as absurd as it sounds?
The NDIC’s 2010 report Drug Trafficking by Criminal Gangs noted, “The influence of Hispanic and African American street gangs is expanding as these gangs gain greater control over drug distribution in rural and suburban areas and acquire drugs directly from DTOs (drug trafficking organizations) in Mexico or along the Southwest Border.... In 2009, mid-level and retail drug distribution in the United States was dominated by more than 900,000 criminally active gang members representing approximately 20,000 domestic street gangs in more than 2,500 cities.”
The NDIC’s 2011 report, Transnational Criminal Organizations, points out, “Mexican-based TCOs were operating in more than a thousand U.S. cities during 2009 and 2010, spanning all nine OCDETFs (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces) regions.”
How were cartel smugglers and street dealers completely eliminated from 1,500 U.S. cities without anyone noticing?
Of course, the drug cartels grew more powerful under the Obama administration, and by at least one estimate, had already achieved operational control over 70 percent of Mexico by late 2011.
Additionally, U.S. law enforcement continued to report more and more violent encounters with cartel operatives, as was the case in November 2011, when Los Zetas gunmen attacked Harris County deputies in a shootout.
In 2011, columnist Pedro Vega of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania newspaper known as The Tribune-Democrat wrote:
If we allow NDIC to close, we should be prepared as a nation to tolerate a greater organized, though less understood threat, otherwise defined by DEA’s bureaucratic imperative to justify its continued existence, absent the independent ‘reality check’ provided by the NDIC during the past 17 years.
That preceding statement is not mere speculation, nor is it 'missing context,' it is a simple fact.