ABC (Thurs., May 7, 10 p.m. ET)
In a special, show-long report, correspondent Stone Phillips tells us effectively but often that we are losing the war on drugs. After making the most and more of his war metaphor (“combat gear…soldiers…outgunned by the enemy”), Phillips goes along as Drug Enforcement Administration agents destroy cocaine labs in Bolivia and arrest dealers in New York. Then, in a gripping interview, DEA agent Victor Cortez Jr., tells of being tortured by Mexican police last August. Phillips succeeds in proving that the war is, in the words of a DEA pilot, “futile.” What he doesn’t do is ask whether it has to be futile, whether anyone has a better battle plan. That question begs another report.