A Suburra.com article titled “Getting High on Scorpions: The Afghan Drug War” notes from David Macdonald, Drugs in Afghanistan, book:
As an example, Macdonald notes that in Afghanistan even the ubiquitous scorpions can be used for intoxication. Tartars in Bamiyan province prepare scorpions by smashing them between stones and letting them dry. The main part of the tail, with the sting, is then crushed into a powder and smoked with tobacco and/or hashish (marijuana).
A friend of Macdonald’s who witnessed a man smoke scorpion in the Afghan town of Peshawar described the reaction:
The effect was instantaneous with the man’s face and eyes becoming very red, “much more than a hashish smoker” …. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position …. the smoke tasted “sweeter” than that of hashish, although … it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer. (1, p. 247)
As with most drugs, anecdotal reports of scorpion’s effects vary widely. It is likely that the numerous Afghan scorpion species have divergent psychoactive properties. Scorpion has been reported to keep one awake, cause severe headaches, and rival the effects of a “strong mescaline trip.” (1, p. 248) One Kabul man who had smoked between 20 and 30 times reported the effects to last three days. During these periods he had difficulty opening his eyes, his head spun, and he had constant visual hallucinations.
When Ex-Intel engineer Maher ‘Mike’ Mofeid Hawash was arrested for having done bad things related to the Taliban I was skeptical. I thought that he was probably innocent. My girlfriend disagreed with me, as she usually does, asking, “Why would they arrest him if he didn’t do something wrong?” My argument was that the government was/is desperate to find bad guys so they will find someone who looks like they have done something wrong and try to make an example of them, or to better support the war in Afghanistan. Now he has “pleaded guilty to one of three charges that he conspired to aid and abet the Taliban”. He pleaded guilty either because he cohorsed into it or, more likely, the evidence against him was to overwhelming for him to fight it.
As of recent my thoughts about the government and the media have changed. I still think George Bush is a bad president and his administration is ran just as bad. I still think John Ashcroft is the closest thing to a antichrist that we can get. Mainly because I think the primary mission of the US government and the citizens is to protect and preserve the freedoms that we have. Taking away those freedoms to protect them is the wrong strategy. I have always been aware that the media puts their own spin on the news, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh being the most extreme examples of this. I never considered how much spin was put on even local news. A recent Q&A on slashdot with the DOJs IP Attorneys on piracy has also made me rethink who these government guys are and just how they are running things and that my “they don’t care about the public at large” attitude my be misguided.
I made my assumptions on Mr. Hawash’s innocents not on facts, since none was revealed, but more on media spin. I hope to do this less in the future. However I still don’t really know the facts and cannot be sure that he is really innocent or guilty at this point.