The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, August 07, 2004

War on drugs is a bust: Official - now, over to Kerry

A sudden flash of reality from the lie factory:
After flying over blackened coca fields, White House drug czar John Walters conceded that seizing cocaine, destroying coca crops and locking up drug traffickers in Colombia have had little impact on the flow of cocaine on American streets.

Moreover, Walters brazenly disses that darling of the narco-warriors, fumigation of coca fields, under Plan Colombia and similar futilities:
Walters said Washington plans to re-examine the long-term fumigation strategy...

Colombia's counternarcotics police say 85 percent of sprayed crops are quickly replanted by farmers, meaning spray planes must repeatedly fly over the same zones...

Walters said he believes fumigation remains important and effective, but that money could be used elsewhere.

Is that a Walter Cronkite moment for the War on Drugs?

Hardly. But let's chalk up a lucid episode to the Pennsylvania Avenue Asylum.

And so to Kerry: the silence, so far as I can tell, has been deafening. No crowing, no promise to kill off the miserable failure of a policy as a priority of his term in office, nothing.

Up to expectations, in fact. An earlier piece (June 2) raised doubts, judging by preliminary research of his statements and the pedigree of his advisers on the subject, whether Kerry's policy on the War on Drugs would differ much from Bush's.

There is nothing I've seen since to contradict that hypothesis: what there's been has all gone to support it.

One or pieces noted for future reference:

A piece by TNR's Michael Crowley on Kerry's 1997 book The New War [1] - which looks as if it might be a fruitful source - notes Kerry's early mark made in the Senate as a bloodhound over narcotics-related doings in Latin America, in particular Iran-Contra [2].

On top Kerry advisor, and Narco-Warrior par excellence, Rand Beers, a recap of his pedigree, merely confirming, I think, the dire prospect I sketched out on June 15.

A Reason piece indicting Kerry's eagerness to sacrifice civil liberties to the cause of cyber-policing cites Kerry's Pollyanna views on asset forfeiture; when even that old dinosaur Henry Hyde wanted to change the law to make the burden of proof on the government more stringent, Kerry was shooting from the hip, Texas-style:
He thought U.S. asset forfeiture laws were working so well that he wanted to export them. "We absolutely must push for asset forfeiture laws all over the planet," Kerry wrote in The New War. "In the words of one plainspoken lawman, 'Get their ass and get their assets.'" There was, tellingly, no discussion at all of civil liberties issues.

Apparently, the frightfully liberal Washington Monthly called The New War
a kind of international edition of Reefer Madness

And, last, Matt Taibbi has personal testimony: listening to Kerry's Super Tuesday speech in Washington, he meets one Bob Wiener [3], proudly introducing himself as former Communications Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Wiener's take on Kerry:
We're going to have a president with sense again. This current guy is a disaster. Right now, all domestic law enforcement goes through Ashcroft and Ridge. It's all about terrorism now. I mean, the War on Drugs isn't even a priority!

In fact Taibbi says that the Kerry campaign is
crawling with narcs.

Such as
David Morehouse, ...a senior political advisor
to Kerry, formerly number two to Barry McCaffrey at the ONDCP.

When it comes to defoliation under President Kerry - I suspect you ain't seen nuttin' yet...

  1. Summarised by Crowley as
    a wide-ranging, often pedantic tour of impending global catastrophe (complete with grandiose literary references to Yeats, Thoreau, and Shelley).
  2. Why, amid all that boasting at the Convention over Kerry's Vietnam record, and the march-past of generals, was so little (anything?) made of Kerry's role on side of the Good Guys in Iran-Contra? Sidney Blumenthal breathlessly summarises - why the woeful shortage of detail?

    If I understand it aright, Kerry was excluded from the Senate committee investigating Iran-Contra, but was given chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations that produced a report on the Contras' drug connections (excerpted here). A page from the Boston Globe's Kerry bio series fills in the background.

    His Nancy Drew-ing led him to the sorry saga of BCCI, a trough into which several noted Democrats, including Clark Clifford and Jimmy Carter, had had their snouts. According to the Globe,

    When he finally got the 84-year-old Clifford to the witness table during a Senate hearing that fall, Kerry seemed conflicted, pulling his punches and allowing the elderly statesman to claim a loss of memory. During a recess, his aides urged him on. "He's an old man. He couldn't remember. I'm not going to humiliate an old man," Kerry barked...
    We hear a lot from the DEWDROPs about Harken Energy, not as much about BCCI. Funny, that...

  3. Why don't all Wieners get an official change of name? Like Hitlers.


Get their ass and get their assets.

Strangely, that line comes to me: I come to wive it wealthily...

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