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Homing Pigeon Flies Ecstasy into Kuwait

Bill Weinberg

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One of those quirky stories on Fox News informed us this week that authorities in Kuwait intercepted a homing pigeon that had been outfitted with a little backpack containing 178 ecstasy pills.

Kuwaiti authorities had apparently “tracked” the bird as it flew in from Iraq. A BBC News report suggests the airborne trafficker’s error was to fly too close to a border post, where customs agents were already aware that smugglers were thusly exploiting our feathered friends. (The BBC also says the payload was actually ketamine.)

Both reports say that pigeons have been used before to fly small quantities of cannabis and cocaine into prisons in Latin America—noting one such interception in Costa Rica in 2015 and another in Colombia in 2011. Presumably, in all such instances, the pigeon that was caught represented several that made it through.

Whatever the animal-rights folks might say about the ethics of conscripting pigeons into illegal activity against their will, this does rather challenge the Libertarian dogma that regulation stifles innovation. In this case, it seems to have fueled it, if not for the best of reasons. 

And it also again points up the idiotically hubristic nature of Donald Trump’s promises that his border wall will “stop the drugs.”

Apparently, all it takes is a few trained pigeons to get through the efficient Kuwaiti police state. Don’t expect Donald’s burgeoning police state to fare any better. 

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