Part 1 of 2 - Transcript of Asa Hutchinson Hearing

Part 1 of 2 - Transcript of Asa Hutchinson Hearing
Posted by FoM on July 19, 2001 at 20:33:46 PT
Transcripts Courtesy of MapInc.
Source: MapInc.
SEN. LEAHY: (Sounds gavel.) Good morning. The committee today is going to consider the nomination of Asa Hutchinson. Mr. Hutchinson is a distinguished member of the House of Representatives, and he has been nominated by President Bush to serve as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Many of us on the committee know Representative Hutchinson well from his service within the House Judiciary Committee, where he has earned the respect of his peers from both sides of the aisle. 
Indeed, 14 of the committee's Democrats will be in support of his nomination, and the chairman and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee have strongly supported his nomination. The support does not surprise me. I have known Asa Hutchinson for a number of years. I know him as a man of integrity and intelligence, who is committed to reducing drug abuse in this country. Representative Hutchinson has been deeply involved in drug issues as both the United States Attorney in Arkansas in the 1980s and as a House member. In addition to serving on the House Judiciary Committee, he is a member of the Committee on Government Reform Subcommittee for Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources; has served on the speaker's Task Force For A Drug-Free America. He has reviewed Plan Colombia as a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Representative Hutchinson and I have similar views about some of the drug issues facing the United States. I am sure we will occasionally have differing views about others. I will discuss some of the issues that I believe are important. I look forward to hearing his testimony and his responses. Drug abuse has become an increasingly serious problem even in my own state of Vermont. Indeed though Vermont has historically had one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, its crime rate rose 5 percent last year as the national rate held steady. And drug crimes have increased by 6 percent. And recent estimates show that heroin use in Vermont has doubled in just the past three years, and the number of people seeking drug treatment has risen even more rapidly. The average age of a first-time heroin user dropped from 27 to 17 during the 1990s, a very frightening thing to every parent in Vermont, which signaled the sharp rise in teenage drug abuse. Earlier this year, to give one example, Crystal Jones, a 16-year- old girl from Burlington, Vermont, was murdered in New York City. According to the reports, she was recruited in in Burlington to move to New York and become part of a prostitution ring to earn money to feed her heroin habit. When she died, drugs were found in her body. That was not the cause of her death; murder was. And Crystal Jones' tragedy apparently is not unique. As many as a dozen Vermont girls may have been involved in this New York ring. And since her death, others have come forward to say that teenage girls in Burlington are prostituting themselves to get money to buy heroin. As we look at the drug problems facing Vermont and all of our states, we find the same thing. It seems clear there is a shortage of drug treatment. All of us serving on this committee know that the answer is not just law enforcement alone, even though that is such a significant and important part of it. Senator Hatch and I have joined together with a bipartisan coalition of senators on this committee to introduce S. 304, the Drug Abuse Education, Prevention and Treatment Act. And both Senator Hatch and I agree that, as important as law enforcement is in battling drug abuse, it does not solve our drug problem alone. The bill would provide millions of dollars for not only my state but all 50 states for programs for treatment for people addicted to heroin and other drugs, hopefully to prevent them from using illegal drugs in the first place. Donnie Marshall, whom Asa Hutchinson would be succeeding as head of the DEA, testified before this committee in March that treatment and prevention efforts play a vital role in assisting law enforcement. I hope the new director will take a similar view. I have a number of other concerns about our current drug policies. I am increasingly skeptical about the need for and fairness of mandatory minimum sentences, and I am pleased that we have not imposed mandatory minimums in S. 304, and I compliment Senator Hatch for that. I hope we can begin to look at amending existing law to reduce our use of them. A 1997 study by the Rand Corporation of mandatory minimum drug sentences found that mandatory minimums are not justifiable on the basis of cost effectiveness in reducing cocaine consumption, cocaine expenditures, or drug related crimes. But despite this study the mounting evidence of prison overcrowding, legislators continue to propose additional mandatory minimums. I know that Representative Hutchinson has expressed some hesitancy about expanding mandatory minimums. I hope we can work together. He has also expressed concerns about the sentencing disparity between those convicted of offenses involving crack and powder cocaine. Current federal sentencing guidelines treat one gram of crack cocaine and 100 grams of powder cocaine equally for purposes of determining sentences. I don't think that is justifiable. And unfortunately Congress has not followed the recommendation of the U.S. Sentencing Commission that has also found it not justifiable. And, lastly, I want to see how federal law enforcement will address the tension between federal power and states' rights in those states that have adopted laws permitting marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes. I'll put the rest of my statement in the record, because I know that the distinguished senior member of the Republican side of this committee has a conflict with the Finance Committee. So I would yield to Senator Hatch. SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): Well, thank you so much, Senator Leahy. I certainly join with Senator Leahy in welcoming Congressman Hutchinson, his wife, his family, here today. We're very proud of you. You're good people, and we're grateful that you are willing to serve in this capacity. Earlier this year President Bush announced that his administration will wage an all-out effort to reduce illegal drug use in America. Considering the growing amount of illicit drugs flooding into America each year, and the increasing pervasiveness of drug use among our youth, I welcome President Bush's commitment. And today we will consider the nomination of a person who as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration will help spearhead the president's efforts in this regard. Now, I want to begin by taking a moment to thank the outgoing DEA administrator, Donnie Marshall, for his service to this country. In the course of his distinguished 32-year career with the DEA, he rose from special agent to the highest position in the agency. Countless times he made himself available to this committee for hearings. And under his direction the DEA played a helpful role in our successful effort to pass meaningful drug legislation. So while I know Mr. Marshall is not here today, I want him to know how appreciative we are at this service to our country. Congressman Hutchinson, in my view, the president has picked the right person to succeed Administrator Marshall. DEA needs and dynamic, innovative, and experienced leader, and I am confident that Congressman Hutchinson your past experience as prosecuting drug crimes as the United States Attorney and formulating drug policy as a congressman have prepared you, and prepared you well, to take the helm of the DEA. I applaud President Bush for focusing intently on this crucial issue and for his excellent choices of nominees to head America's two most important anti-drug offices, the DEA and ONDCP. The epidemic of illegal drug use in this country remains one of our most urgent priorities. I believe all of us here today will agree we need a comprehensive strategy embracing both demand and supply reduction in our struggle against drug abuse. I have said repeatedly that the time has come to increase the resources we devote to prevent people from using drugs in the first place, and to breaking the cycle of addiction for those whose lives are devastated by these circumstances. This is a bipartisan view, which I am pleased to say is shared by our president and by our chairman of this committee, Senator Leahy. To address this deficit in demand reduction earlier this year, I was joined by Senators Leahy, Biden, DeWine, Thurmond and Feinstein in introducing S. 304, the Drug Abuse Education, Prevention and Treatment Act of 2001. Since introduction, S. 304 has received strong widespread support from federal and state law enforcement agencies, prevention and treatment entities and community groups. What has brought these groups together? The realization of this legislation will ultimately help to cut supply by reducing the demand for drugs by preventing our youth from using drugs in the first place, and by treating those who are the most consistent and addicted users. However, let there be no misunderstanding of our intent with this legislation. While we need to shore up the resources dedicated to prevention and treatment, we remain committed to the necessary and integral role law enforcement plays in combatting drug use. Congressman Hutchinson, I know you are acutely aware of the enormity of this problem, this drug problem that our nation faces. In my opinion the previous administration lost ground, primarily because it failed to make the issue of drug use a national priority. All Americans should be encouraged that this administration will correct this mistake. The president has taken a fresh look at how to lower drug use in America, and is ready to employ effective law enforcement strategies supported by education, prevention and treatment programs that are science-based and have been proven effective. Congressman Hutchinson, I know that you share my concerns, and all of our concerns up here, and I am interested in your thoughts on these issues. I commend Chairman Leahy for holding this very important confirmation hearing, and I urge him to schedule in the near future a hearing for John Walters, the nominee for director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. It is important that the DEA and the ONDCP have effective leadership, especially now that we are heading into this appropriations season. Once the top positions of both the DEA and ONDCP have been filled, we can all begin to work together to effect real change that will benefit all Americans. Let me just say that I can only be here part of the time because of the mark-up in the Finance Committee and the reorganization of the Finance Committee. So I will have to leave, but I will try and get back as much as I can. But I certainly respect you very, very much. I think we all do. And we look forward to working closely with you, and helping you in every step of the way. And I believe you'll make a tremendous difference in this country, and look forward to working with you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. SEN. LEAHY: Thank you. Just so the nominee can hear all of the nice things that would probably be said at his funeral -- ( laughter ) -- and for those who had suggested that's perhaps what this hearing might be, because Congressman Hutchinson and I were on opposite sides during a major event in the Congress, the impeachment trial in the Senate, where he named prosecutor and I was one of the -- for want of a better word, defense counsel. The two of us handled a number of the depositions together. I would note for the record throughout that time, notwithstanding the fact that we were on opposite sides, Congressman Hutchinson's word was gold with me. He never broke his word. He never showed anything but the highest integrity and the highest standard of the Congress. But to continue with the statement, I have to assume that the next person to speak, the senior senator from Arkansas, is in favor of the nominee -- although I have not asked him. ( Laughter. ) So I'd ask Congressman Hutchinson's brother, the senator from Arkansas, Senator Tim Hutchinson, to speak. Go ahead, sir. SEN. HUTCHINSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to thank you for after our reorganization so expeditiously scheduling the confirmation hearing for Asa. And thank you for the opportunity to say a few words of introduction. I know Senator Lincoln and I have during the Clinton administration years had lots of opportunities to introduce Arkansans who were being nominated for various positions, and it was always an honor to do that. But this is very special, to be able to introduce not only a great congressman from Arkansas, but my brother. And I want to say Senator Biden and Senator Feingold, I have resisted enormous constituent pressure from Arkansans who have urged me to put a hold on his nomination -- ( laughter ) -- and do everything I could to block it, because they're going to miss him in the Third District. It is a great honor and it is a proud day for the state of Arkansas, and an especially proud day for me. From the introductory, the opening statements, I know that the committee is already familiar with Asa professionally. You know his work as United States Attorney, and he was a distinguished United States Attorney and did a wonderful job and held the respect of the FBI and the DEA, and all of the law enforcement agencies with which he worked in that position and his familiarity with the drug issue in our country and our society because of his role as United States Attorney. I know you are familiar with his work in Congress -- not only as a fair impeachment manager, but as somebody who on the Judiciary Committee in the House has been very, very involved in this issue, and has shown his concern, not only through legislation but through his travels, through his work on the task force in the House on this issue. So let me just speak a little bit about some of his personal qualities, things that I know not just as the senior senator from Arkansas, but as Asa's brother. I can assure you that he is going to be aggressive and hard- working and tireless in this job. And in every position Asa has ever held, every position, every activity he has been involved in he has brought the quality of aggressiveness, a great work ethic, and just tireless. And I think that you're going to see that, and I think that's the kind of person that we need in this position. May I also say that he brings the quality of being able to unify people, and that is something that in the effort on the drug issue we desperately need, because there are so many competing viewpoints, so many varying ideas. And Asa has always had the capacity to bring those with varying viewpoints to find common ground, to find common interests, and be able to bring people in a spirit of cooperation and to get something accomplished for the common good. I'd also say that Asa will bring a spirit of fearlessness. In his role as U.S. Attorney he was very hands on. He was very engaged, and there were a lot of -- some high profile cases, but he wasn't just somebody who worked in the courtroom, though he's a great courtroom attorney, but he was out on the frontlines. And in the role that he is about to assume, the quality of fearlessness is one that I think is a great attribute. And finally, I found Asa throughout his life to be someone who is compassionate and someone who is passionate. And I have been asked repeatedly by people in Arkansas, why -- why would someone leave a position in the U.S. House of Representatives to direct the Drug Enforcement Administration, and oftentimes thankless job? And I think the answer is that he -- he is compassionate, and he knows the price that America has paid for illegal drugs, and he knows the impact that it has, not only upon our country, but upon families and individuals, and he's very passionate about doing something about it. And so I am very, very pleased and proud to be able to support, and to endorse, and to introduce my brother today. SEN. LEAHY: Thank you very much, Senator Hutchinson. And Senator Lincoln, we're always glad to have you here. Please go ahead. SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN ( D-AR ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is certainly with great pleasure that I am here this morning to introduce my friend and colleague in Arkansas -- in the Arkansas Congressional delegation -- Congressman Asa Hutchinson. And I certainly don't have the background that my senior senator from Arkansas, Senator Hutchinson, and I'm not sure, but if I were Congressman Hutchinson, I'd be a little nervous if three of my siblings were here, of the incredibly colorful stories they could tell of our -- of our growing up -- SEN. LEAHY: That's in the confidential and classified part of the hearing record. SEN. LINCOLN: -- but I certainly know that Senator Hutchinson has been very supportive of his brother, and that's a great thing for us to see. President Bush, obviously, you all know, has nominated Congressman Hutchinson to head the Drug Enforcement Administration, and I don't believe that the president could have selected a more qualified individual for this position. Much of his background has been described, but as a federal prosecutor, Congressman Hutchinson observed first hand the effects of federal drug policy in our law enforcement system. And as a member of Congress, he has continued his commitment to anti-drug efforts, holding field hearings to address the methamphetamine explosion which has been devastating our state, in Arkansas, securing funding for local law enforcement, and supporting measures to stop the flow of drugs into the United States. But Congressman Hutchinson is much more than a one-note drug warrior. He has a keen appreciation of the effects of drug policy on people's lives, as his brother, Senator Hutchinson, has described, and has a great passion in wanting to do something about that effect on individual's lives, especially our young people. He understands that not all drug problems should be addressed through prosecution and punishment. They are also a concern for our communities, for our neighborhoods and for our families. And to that end, Congressman Hutchinson is committed to a balanced approach to the drug problem that includes education and treatment. He supports drug courts as an alternative sentencing method for first and second time non-violent offenders. He has been a strong advocate of community involvement to educate our children about the dangers of drugs. He has been one of the foremost advocates of social work research to address the social dimensions of substance abuse, such as domestic violence, poverty, and broken families. As a U.S. senator, I've enjoyed working with Congressman Hutchinson and his staff on a number of issues important to our state in Arkansas, and I am confident that he will bring to this position at the Drug Enforcement Administration the same diligence, foresight, integrity and passion, as was mentioned before, that he has brought to his service in the United States Congress. So, as a fellow Arkansan, I'm very proud to be here, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of this committee, and I'm happy to support his nomination to this distinguished position. Thank you for allowing me to share with the committee this morning. SEN. LEAHY: Thank you very much. We're also honored and pleased to have before the committee Congressman John Conyers. Congressman Conyers is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee on which Congressman Hutchinson serves, and knows him well from the other side of the aisle, and put together an extraordinary letter signed by him and all Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee endorsing Congressman. It's either the case that they think the world of him, or they want him out of town -- I'm not sure which -- but I suspect it's because they think highly of him. And Congressman Conyers, you honor us by being here. I appreciate you being here, sir. SEN. LINCOLN: Mr. Chairman, excuse me -- SEN. LEAHY: Sure. SEN. LINCOLN: May I just apologize and excuse myself? I have the same mark-up in the Finance Committee. SEN. LEAHY: I understand. And I should mention both you and Senator Hutchinson have other commitments and please feel free to leave. SEN. LINCOLN: Thank you. REP. JOHN CONYERS ( D-MI ): Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'm delighted to see all my friends here today -- Senator DeWine, former chairman Biden, Russ Feingold, and of course, yourself. And I -- I almost got derailed as I listened to Asa's brother, who raised the question, why should anyone want to leave Congress? Well, I've got about 105 reasons why anybody should want to leave Congress with -- without having any appointment in store. But I digress. We come here -- I come here representing in an unusual way my colleagues on the Democratic side of the Judiciary Committee. Just to let you know, as our letter indicates, that we are unusually -- it's unusual that we'd bring this level of support to a nominee not from our administration and not from our party. And I -- I think I know the reason why. This is the case of another charming Arkansan coming to Washington, making his way. I mean, here we go again. So -- I mean, I don't know what they drink down there, but this is -- this is what we're in for. I mean, this is the way it goes from that state. We all like him a lot. We've fought a lot. But, on the other hand, he's joined with us on the violence against women issue, on the questions of juvenile justice, on health care issues we've enjoyed his support, and on racial profiling legislation, Asa Hutchinson has been there with us. And the reason that I want to invest my credibility in his nomination is that he's going to be able to bring the biggest issue that divides us on how we fight the scourge of drugs in this country by raising the level of discussion of whether it's to be increased punishment, mandatory sentences, lock them up and throw away the key, or whether we'll turn to sane methods of prevention and treatment. And it's in -- and that hope for that kind of discussion and leadership, I'm willing to bank on Asa Hutchinson as our next drug enforcement administrator. Now, my chief of staff, Julian Epstein, had written pages and pages of laudatory comments, which I will put in the record, and not -- and let us all get on with the other issues of the day. But thank you for inviting me here. SEN. LEAHY: Thank you. Well, it's always good to have you here, as you know. And the members of this committee have worked with you over the years and appreciate you being here. I also understand the House schedule is such that you're going to have to go back. REP. CONYERS: I do. SEN. LEAHY: So, I appreciate your being here. REP. CONYERS: Thank you. SEN. LEAHY: And I would -- I would call the nominee forward. I wonder if the staff could moves these -- don't sit down yet, Asa, we're going to get - -- do you want to get those other -- Would you raise your right hand? Do you solemnly swear or affirm the truth - -- that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? REP. ASA HUTCHINSON ( R-AR ): I do. SEN. LEAHY: Please sit down. And I wonder if you might be kind enough to introduce any members of the family who are here. REP. HUTCHINSON: I would be delighted to. I have with me my wonderful wife, Susan, and then -- go ahead and stand, Susan; my daughter Sarah, who lives in the Washington, D.C. area and her husband, Dave Wangle ( sp ). And I might also say, senator, that I have my son, Asa the third, who is a lawyer in North Little Rock, and his wife Holly, my grandson, same age as yours, I think, close to it, Asa the fourth, John Paul and Seth. And I don't want to neglect any of them. SEN. LEAHY: Well, this -- you know, the transcript becomes part of also the family archives, I'm sure, so they should all be mentioned. Go ahead. The floor is -- the floor is yours. REP. HUTCHINSON: Thank you, Chairman Leahy, Senator Biden, Senator Feingold, Senator DeWine -- I thank each of you for the courtesies that you've extended to me as a committee during the course of this nomination process. I particularly want to express appreciation to Chairman Leahy and Senator Hatch for their very generous comments this morning. Chairman Leahy, if I might, it would have been easy for you to yield to some of those who expected a critical view of my nomination because of previous controversies, which found us on different sides. But I want to thank you personally for taking a different approach and for seeing my nomination as an opportunity to demonstrate to the American people that despite any differences that might exist, we can be in harmony on one of the most critical problems that faces our nation. I also want to thank Senator Hutchinson, Tim, and Senator Lincoln, Blanche - -- we go by first names in Arkansas -- for their support and confidence in my nomination. And I'm gratified that my colleagues in Arkansas are excited and supportive of this nomination and this challenge that I face. It meant a great deal to me to have John Conyers, my colleague from the Judiciary Committee, come over here today, and his colleagues expressing support for my nomination. Probably one of the most gratifying things that's happened to me in Congress is when people that you fight with and disagree with sometimes, but yet you can see through that and see someone's heart. So I'm grateful for his testimony today. Now, I want to -- I introduced Susan, but I want to say a special word that Susan, my wife, has never failed me to join -- with a smile, I might add -- as I seem always to choose a -- the road less traveled by in life. And now, I believe that we are embarking on a noble crusade for the hearts and minds of a generation, and it's good to have Susan travel with me on this road. I will be gratified to have the opportunity to work in a Justice Department led by John Ashcroft. I think he has set a good example in the department, and I look forward to working with him, and I am grateful for his support. Most importantly, it's an honor to be named by President Bush to lead this effort as the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, if confirmed. And I am grateful to the president for the nomination. But more significantly, I am grateful for what I see as his heartfelt desire to strengthen the American character by reducing the nation's dependence on drugs. This is accomplished in part through vigorous enforcement of our laws, which I hope to be engaged in. But there is more. It's also important to focus on educating our youth for the best life choices and the rehabilitation of those who have become addicted to drugs. And I fully support the president's balanced approach to the problem of drug abuse. As everyone in this room knows, it's a high privilege for me to serve in Congress. And it's a distinct honor particularly to represent the people of the Third District that have sent me to Congress three times. And people ask me, as Tim mentioned, why I would leave an institution I love in order to engage in an effort in which success is doubted and progress is hard to measure. The answer goes back to what I learned as a United States attorney in the 1980s. I learned that drug abuse destroys individuals, it shatters families, and it weakens the fabric of a community and a nation. But I also learned that there is hope, and hope that this nation can offer that we can be effective in saving lives and rebuilding families and communities. Surely, from this conclusion I reached in the '80s, this is a noble purpose, worthy of a great crusade. And I think it explains why I'm willing to accept this responsibility. Finally, while I was United States attorney, I learned about the extraordinary and dedicated men and women of the DEA. They put their lives on the line to make a positive difference for our nation, and they deserve the support and praise of the American people for the great work that they do. I hope to provide leadership that is worthy of such dedication and sacrifice. Mr. Chairman, when I came to Congress, I continued my personal commitment in this arena by serving on the Speaker's Task Force for a Drug-Free America, and my oversight responsibility on the Judiciary Committee was very instructive to me. I chaired the oversight hearings on methamphetamine and club drug abuse in California and other states, and it gave me an appreciation for the risk our front- line officers take every day. In California, I was able to see the California drug court system, and drug courts impressed me as a very useful tool to provide intensive long-term rehabilitation for non- violent drug-abuse offenders. And I think that long-term rehabilitation is what it takes, particularly when you're looking at intensive drugs such as methamphetamine. And as a result of my work on the front line as a federal prosecutor, working with our drug agents in the field and my legislative efforts as a member of Congress, I think I bring experience to this noble cause. But this experience includes prosecuting scores of drug cases, providing leadership in the area of cooperation between law enforcement agencies, and encouraging communities to develop anti-drug coalitions to encourage young people to make the correct life decisions. But I think this job is much more than experience. I pledge to bring my heart to this great crusade. My heart will reflect a passion for the law. It will reflect a compassion for those families struggling with this nightmare. It will reflect a devotion to helping young people act upon the strength and not the weaknesses of their character. I want to emphasize that the work of this committee is critical to our anti-drug efforts. Your dedication, your counsel and your leadership are essential to building an effective federal team. I pledge my cooperation and availability to this committee. I look forward to working with you. Charles De Gaulle, the former leader of France, once said that France would not be true to herself if she was not engaged in some great enterprise. Well, it's my belief that America cannot be true to its own character without engaging our young people, our families, our communities and our leaders in this great, just cause of reducing drug abuse. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'll yield to any questions. SEN. LEAHY: Thank you, Congressman, and I appreciate and applaud your statement. As you know from our earlier discussions, Senator Hatch and I introduced S. 304, the Drug Abuse Education, Prevention & Treatment Act. The bill we've introduced would devote substantial federal funding to improving drug treatment and other demand-reduction programs, as well as drug courts for adults and juveniles, drug treatment, testing for prisoners and other programs. I know, as head of DEA, your primary concern is law enforcement. But do you believe that improving drug treatment and prevention programs actually assists law enforcement? Yes, I do, Mr. Chairman, without any doubt whatsoever. I don't think there's anyone more than folks in law enforcement that understand. We keep the finger in the dike and keep the dam from breaking, but it's ultimately education, prevention and treatment that's going to make ultimately the biggest difference in our society. So I applaud you, Chairman Leahy, for this legislation as well as the others that have introduced this. I think that, you know, if you can find more money in the budget to put in treatment -- and I noted that trying to provide treatment for those in prison, I think that's a very important part of it; more education for our young people. I applaud you for that. And I know the department is looking at that legislation, and I wish you success as you try to increase funding for the demand side. SEN. LEAHY: Thank you. During floor debate in the House last year, you said, "We should not extraordinarily expand mandatory minimums. I think that moves us in the wrong direction." I've actually voted for some mandatory minimums in the past, and some of them I now look at and question whether I voted the right way. I have severe reservations about the usefulness and the effects of many of the mandatory minimum sentences Congress has passed over the past few decades. A lot of federal judges, as you know, have complained openly about this. So I might ask you this. Under what circumstances do you think mandatory minimums are helpful to law enforcement? Are there also mandatory minimum sentences under current law that we ought to look at, possibly to change? REP. HUTCHINSON: Well, Mr. Chairman, I think mandatory minimums reflect the concern of society for a particular problem, primarily directed at the drug offenses and the gun offenses. And I think that the mandatory minimums have been helpful in reducing violent crime in our country. I think Congress was very wise in coming back -- was it in '94? -- in creating the safety valve, so that under certain circumstances, the judge can revert to the sentencing guidelines rather than to the mandatory minimum sentence. There's always those extraordinary circumstances that it's appropriate. As I stated in the committee and on the floor, I've been reluctant to expand mandatory minimums because I think they're directed at the serious problems. You asked about the future, and I think we have to be careful, recognizing that you don't want to overly tie the hands of judges. But this is a way that Congress sometimes finds to express the outrage of a community. Ecstasy, for example, is an extraordinary problem. And if you offered mandatory minimums for someone who is selling a thousand pills of Ecstasy at an event that they advertised as alcohol- and drug-free, I think it would probably be appropriate. I mean, it'd be hard for me to say that's not an appropriate discouragement for that activity and you have to assess a firm penalty. SEN. LEAHY: Do you think that possibly with the number of mandatory minimums on the books that there'll be a time that Congress would do well to go back and review them all? REP. HUTCHINSON: I would have no problem in Congress reviewing the mandatory minimums. I think that -- and that's not prejudging any outcome, but I think it's appropriate, whenever you have that type of mandatory sentence that takes it out of the discretion of the judge, that from time to time Congress review that. Again, my policy has been trying to be hesitant about expanding those. I think that in the drug arena and in the violent-crime arena, they've been very effective. But I would certainly support a review of it by Congress. SEN. LEAHY: A number of states, including fairly conservative states like Arizona, have adopted initiatives in recent years legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The Supreme Court recently affirmed the federal government's power, under the Controlled Substances Act, to prosecute those who distribute or manufacture marijuana, including those who distribute it to people who are ill in the states that voted to allow it. I've not been one supporting the legalization of marijuana. I've not taken any position on these initiatives that states have passed. It's not something Vermont has taken up and left that to other states to determine what they want to do. But I am concerned about the tension between the state and federal authority in those states. There's a lot of drug cases that federal agents and prosecutors can bring. And you were a prosecutor, too, and you understand the discretionary power. Do you think the federal government should make it a priority to prosecute people distributing marijuana to ill people in those states that voted to make it legal? REP. HUTCHINSON: Well, there's a tough tension that is there, Mr. Chairman. And you phrased the question as tough as it can be phrased. You're clearly a good former prosecutor. I think that the Supreme Court decision was correct because it affirmed Congress's discretion in designating marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug that has no legitimate medical purpose. I think we have to listen to the scientific and medical community. At this point they have said that there's not any purpose from a medical standpoint for marijuana that cannot we satisfied by some other drug. And so I think we have to -- it's very important that we do not send the wrong signal from a federal level to the young people, to the people in this state, California or wherever, that marijuana use is an acceptable practice. It is still illegal and it is harmful, and there's many potential dangers. And the scientific community does not support the medical use of it. And so I think that as far as the enforcement policies, that's something I want to work with the attorney general on and develop an appropriate policy there reflecting those points. SEN. LEAHY: In other words, you can't take a position today. REP. HUTCHINSON: I'm -- SEN. LEAHY: And that's understandable. But let me urge this -- and my time is up; I'll wait till the next round. This is something that more states are going to do this. And I think you and the attorney general should start having some long talks with the attorneys general of those states who have done it, because this could create a real problem between state and federal relations. There are enough areas where you're going to have to cooperate in the drug war. I'm not suggesting what the outcome should be, but this is something that I think should be fairly high up on your radar screen. Senator DeWine is also, like the two of us, a former prosecutor. I'll yield to Senator DeWine. SEN. MIKE DEWINE ( R-OH ): Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Let me ask that my opening statement be made a part of the record. SEN. LEAHY: Without objection. SEN. DEWINE: Senator, I will spare you all the nice things I'm saying about you. You can read it in the official record. SEN. LEAHY: ( Laughs. ) SEN. DEWINE: We welcome you here today, and I think this is a great nomination by the president. We're very happy about it. REP. HUTCHINSON: Thank you, Senator. SEN. DEWINE: I wonder if you could outline for me what you think DEA's role in the president's Andean region initiative is going to be and how you see that part of the world, that very, very important and troubling part of the world. REP. HUTCHINSON: Well, as you have, Senator, I have traveled down there, looked at Colombia, but also the circumstances in Ecuador that are concerned about a pour-over effect into that country. And I believe that it's a risk that we have to take in order to support a very old democracy in South America and make sure that it survives. I think we should not delude ourselves, but our efforts there hopefully will have some good side benefit for the drug supply in America. But we have to realize the primary impact is to support that democracy. In reference to the DEA's role, one of the probably not-so- greatly-emphasized portions of the initiative is the criminal-justice sector. And if we're going to have an impact on the supply of drugs coming in, we've got to put the major trafficking organizations in jail. That takes investigation. The DEA will be training, supporting better law enforcement efforts in Colombia, in Venezuela, in Peru, in the South American countries, in addition to making sure that they have quality prosecutors, law enforcement people that can get the job done. So we are backing them up. We're doing the training there. And that criminal-justice sector is probably as important as any portion of the Andean initiative. SEN. DEWINE: Well, I'm delighted to hear you say that, because I think when we look at this whole battle of preserving democracies -- and certainly Colombia is not an emerging democracy, but it's true with some of the emerging democracies, but they certainly do need help as well, and that is the developing of that criminal-justice system that actually does work and that gets resolved. And the ability that we have as a country to train, the ability we have to share our ideas, our expertise, I think, is very, very valuable. And you have a lot of that expertise at the DEA, and so I'm delighted to see that you intend to do that. Another area I would just mention -- and this is not directly under your portfolio at DEA -- but I just think that as you will become one of the senior counselors to the president on drugs, that I would just urge you to always keep the balance that you and I have talked about in the past with drug treatment, drug education, domestic law enforcement and international interdiction. I think it's important that every one of us who has any input into this from the point of view of Congress or, in your case, from the administration, weigh in heavily and make it clear to the country that this is what we have to do. It has to be a balanced approach. REP. HUTCHINSON: I agree completely, Senator DeWine. And you can be assured that I will support the president's intention to have a very balanced approach to our anti-drug effort. I've been delighted to know of the success and energy of the demand-reduction section of the DEA. I believe that if you're talking about a law enforcement initiative, there's probably nothing more important than educating folks to obey the law and what the law is. And the demand-reduction section has been very effective in the DEA, working with community coalitions, working to educate schools, administrators, teachers, about the new wave of drugs coming in. So I think that it's something I intend to make sure is alive and well at the DEA, as well as our enforcement efforts. SEN. DEWINE: Let me just close by questioning in regard to Haiti. Last year, it's estimated that about 15 percent of the drugs destined for the U.S. passed through Haiti as a transit point. You and I the other day talked a little bit about this. I would just urge you to keep the few DEA agents that we do have down there, and I would be interested to get reports periodically how they're doing. REP. HUTCHINSON: I'll be happy to. And thank you for that counsel; I appreciate it. SEN. DEWINE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. SEN. LEAHY: Thank you. The former chairman of this committee, Senator Biden, has probably spent more time on the issue of illegal drugs and how to combat them than any other member of the committee, and I yield to Senator Biden. SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN ( D-DE ): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Congressman, I'm for you. And I ask unanimous consent that my statement laying down my reasons why I support your nomination be placed in the record at this time. SEN. LEAHY: Without objection. SEN. BIDEN: One of the things that you and I talked about is this notion about whether or not we are winning or losing in this effort to deal with the drug problem. We have a semantic disagreement we've not discussed, and that is, I've never called it a war. And I read your statement about your not wanting to have it referred to as cancer like the last drug director did, because you were concerned that it would appear as though we thought there wasn't a solution. But the thing that worries me most, after all these years, every single year writing a national drug strategy -- I'm the guy that wrote the law that took six years to get it passed setting up the drug director's office. When I was chairman of this committee, a previous administration wanted to merge DEA with FBI. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say my opposition to that played some role in it not being merged. And my consistent fear has been that we will yield to the frustration that there's not much we can do about this problem, and therefore, why not ultimately legalize it? And where I have some concern about the states that have passed referendum for medical use of marijuana -- I have less concern about the actual medical use than the message it sends. There are other substances, there are other drugs that can alleviate the pain for those who have debilitating and in many cases terminal illnesses. I'm not going to quarrel about that now. But what I do worry about is I worry about this notion that this is either, whether it is marijuana or ecstasy, or I point out initially the club drugs, rohypnol and ketamine, or initially angel dust -- I mean, I can go down the list. Initially we had tended to embrace very drug that has come forward as not being as harmful as other drugs. You may recall, because you were federally prosecuting at the time, the debate I had with the Carter administration and a gentleman who was the chief advisor to the Carter administration, a medical doctor, who came up to see me and asked me why I was, quote, "picking on cocaine." Why was I picking on cocaine? And, to put it in perspective, the American Medical Association did not declare cocaine an addictive substance -- did not declare cocaine an addictive substance until the late '80s. It was a constant battle. And so the point I want to make is this: There is a frustration in dealing with this problem. And when we don't come up with the right answers and reduce the numbers of people who are consuming these drugs, the tendency is out of frustration well thought out, like former Secretary of State Shulz - -- very fine man -- William Buckley, others -- leading conservative voices as well as liberal voices -- Mayor Schmoke, a Rhodes scholar talking about the legalization of drugs. And I think we don't focus on the facts here. The facts are we have made great progress. In 1979 there were 25 million Americans regularly using and abusing controlled substances in America. That is down to 14.8 million. Years ago, when I chaired this committee, there were 5.6 million hard-core addicts. That number is down to 4 million -- still too many -- still too many. But we have actually made some genuine progress. And it seems to me we are right at the point -- I'm making the whole statement, not a question here -- it seems to me the whole point here is that we don't want to let ourselves get into this mind-set that we can't do anything about it. And the key to me at this point is treatment. Treatment works. But it does not work unless we provide the funding for it. In the city of -- in the United States of America there are tens of thousand -- nearly 769,000 people between the ages of 18 and 25 who need drug treatment, can't get it. You show up at any municipal organization in the United States of America, and say, "I'm a drug addict -- I'm out there committing crimes -- I've committed three felonies in the last four weeks." By the way, they commit between 90 and 180, depending on what figure you take, felonies a year to sustain the habit. "Help me." And they'll say come back in 4, 6, 8, 10 weeks -- six months in most major cities. So, Asa, it took me four years to get drug courts endorsed. Your endorsement of them is very helpful. The fellow we are about to bring in as the head of ONDCP does not share your view, unless he has a conversion at the moment of his confirmation hearing. Mr. Walters is a fine man. We have argued for 14 years about treatment. I hope that you will be willing not only to do the job of managing that vast department -- I realize my time is up, Mr. Chairman -- that vast department. But I hope you'll weigh in. And the reason it's important -- you'll be the head of DEA; and, two, you are viewed as a strong conservative voice. And that's the next stage here. We have got to move to treatment and availability of treatment on demand. That's why I didn't give an opening statement. I have no questions for you, because I asked you all the questions I needed to ask you in our private meetings. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Newshawk: Our Mission Statement Pubdate: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 Source: Federal News Service Copyright: 2001 Federal News Service, Inc. Note: MAP makes an exception to our usual news posting policies to post hearings which have a high reader interest. Bookmark: (Hutchinson, Asa) HEARING OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE NOMINATION OF ASA HUTCHINSON TO BE DIRECTOR OF THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION Chaired By: Senator Patrick Leahy ( D-Vt ) Witnesses: Senator Tim Hutchinson ( R-Ar ); Senator Blanche Lincoln ( D-Ar ); And Representative John Conyers ( D-Mi ) Location: 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. US: Part 1 of 2 - Transcript of Asa Hutchinson Hearing Part 2 of 2 - Transcript of Asa Hutchinson Hearing Articles:Part 2 of 2 - Transcript of Asa Hutchinson Hearing Greenfield at Large - War on Drugs Nominee Won't Outline Plans for Marijuana DEA Archives
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Comment #13 posted by mayan on July 20, 2001 at 16:21:07 PT
Orrin Hatch stated " In my opinion the previous administration lost ground, primarily because it failed to make the issue of drug use a national priority."In fact, more people were jailed for drug use during the Clinton administration than during any previous administration. I lost count of the number of outright lies I found in this transcript. These people are extemely dim! 
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Comment #12 posted by dddd on July 20, 2001 at 15:44:59 PT
Good Stuff Lehder
Thank You......."If people behaved like governments, you'd call the cops." - Kelvin Throopdddd
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Comment #11 posted by Lehder on July 20, 2001 at 15:18:50 PT
Some Quotes 1. The Renaissance Popes
Some quotes on three topics treated in The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman:1. The Renaissance PopesEnclosed like his predecessors in the Italian drama, the Pope was unaware of the issues and incapable of understanding the protest that had been developing for the century and a half since Wycliffe had repudiated priesthood as necessary to salvation, as well as the sacraments and the Papacy itself. Leo hardly noticed the fracas in Germany except as a heresy to be suppressed like any other. His response was a Bull in November 1518 providing excommunication for all who failed to preach and believe that the Pope has the right to grant indulgences. It proved as effective as Canute's admonition to the waves. Leo, however, was soon to be more distressed by the shock of Raphael's death than by the challenge of Luther.....Leo left the Papacy and the Church in the "lowest possible repute," wrote the contemporary historian Francesco Vettori, "because of the continued advance of the Lutheran sect." A lampoon suggested that if the Pope had lived longer, he would have sold Rome too, and then Christ, and then himself. People in the street hissed the cardinals going to the conclave to choose his successor.
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Comment #10 posted by Lehder on July 20, 2001 at 15:06:45 PT
Some Quotes 2. The American Revolution
Some quotes on three topics treated in The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman:2. The American RevolutionIn summary, Britain's follies were not so perverse as the Popes'. Ministers were not deaf to rising discontent, because they had no chance to be; expressed by their equals, it rang in their ears in every debate and rudely impinged on them in the action of riots and mobs. They remained unresponsive by virtue of their majority in Parliament, but they worried about losing it, worked hard and spent heavily to hold it and could not enjoy the popes' illusion of invulnerability. Nor was private avarice their besetting sin although they were as subject as most men to the stings of ambition. Being accustomed to wealth, property and privilege and most of them born to it, they were not so driven by desire for gain as to make it a primary obsession.Given the intention to retain sovereignty, insistence on the right to tax was justifiable per se; but it was insistence on a right "you know you cannot exert," and in the face of evidence that the attempt would be fatal to the voluntary allegiance of the colonies, that was folly. Furthermore, method rather than motivation was at fault. Implementation of policy grew progressively more inept, ineffective and profoundly provocative. Finally, it came down to attitude.The attitude was a sense of superiority so dense as to be impenetrable. A feeling of this kind leads to ignorance of the world and of others because it suppresses curiousity. The...ministries went through a full decade of mounting conflict with the colonies without any of them sending a representative, much less a minister, across the Atlantic to make acquainatance, to discuss, to find out what was spoiling, even endangering, the relationship and how it might be better managed. They were not interested in the Americans because they considered them rabble or at best children whom it was inconceivable to treat - or even fight - as equals. In all their communications, the British could not bring themselves to refer to the opposite Commander-in-Chief as General Washington but only as Mister. 
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Comment #9 posted by Lehder on July 20, 2001 at 14:48:37 PT
Some Quotes: 3. Vietnam
Some quotes on three topics treated in The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman:3.VietnamEven superficial American acquaintance with the area, when it began to supply reports, provided creditable information. Not ignorance, but refusal to credit the evidence and, more fundamentally, refusal to grant stature and fixed purpose to a "fourth-rate" Asiatic country were the determining factors, much as in the case of the British attitude toward the American colonies. The irony of history is inexorable.Underestimation [of North Vietnam] was matched by overestimation of South Vietnam because it was the beneficiary of American assistance, and because Washington verbiage equated any non-Communist group with the "free" nations, fostering the delusion that its people were prepared to fight for their "freedon" with the will and energy that freedom is supposed to inspire. Such was the stated anchor of our policy; dissonant evidence had to be rejected or it would have made it obvious that this policy was built on sand. When dissonance disturbed attitudes toward either enemy or client, the attitudes, following the rules of woodenheadedness, rigidified.A last folly was the absence of reflective thought about the nature of what we were doing, about effectiveness in relation to the object sought, about balance of possible gain as against loss and against harm both to the ally and to the United States. Absence of intelligent thinking in rulership is another of the universals, and raises the question whether in modern states there is something about political and bureaucratic life that subdues the functioning of the intellect in favor of "working the levers" without regard to rational expectations. This would seem to be an onging prospect.
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Comment #8 posted by Kevin Hebert on July 20, 2001 at 12:07:56 PT:
I Could Puke
We have so much further to go. We have to get some legalizers into office in 2002, before these morons ruin the country.
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Comment #7 posted by Patrick on July 20, 2001 at 09:19:53 PT
Jail is still the status quo
"And so I think we have to -- it's very important that we do not send the wrong signal from a federal level to the young people, to the people in this state, California or wherever, that marijuana use is an acceptable practice. It is till illegal and it is harmful, and there's many potential dangers. And the scientific community does not support the medical use of it."So, if you grow a cannabis plant and smoke the bud of this plant, our nation will still throw you in JAIL. JAIL, unlike using marijuana, is legal, not harmful, and has no potential dangers. And the scientific community supports the use of jail to correct your intoxicating behavior.And in the spirit of sending the "proper" Federal Level message to young people...Smoke tobacco, it is legal, not harmful, and has no potential dangers.Drink alcohol, it is legal, not harmful, and has no potential dangers. Sniff spray paint, it is legal, not harmful, and has no potential dangers.If these substances were as harmful as marijuana, you can trust that your government would make them illegal as well!The above statement from Asa is the only argument prohibitionists have against marijuana! Remind them that current laws will still put people in JAIL. The fruit of a weed is more valuable than gold because it is illegal.END PROHIBITION TODAYHistory proves it is a flawed practice.
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Comment #6 posted by dddd on July 20, 2001 at 08:28:58 PT
...have you looked into chain saws?I hear they are quitereasonably priced nowdays.......dddd
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on July 20, 2001 at 08:03:25 PT:
But at this rate, I'll need a new knife
My ol' turkey carver is getting worn down to a fish fillet knife, it gets so much use. Jus' too many turkeys, out there.But if I get an electric one, the motor would burn out from the stress. Like I said, too many turkeys.
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Comment #4 posted by dddd on July 20, 2001 at 05:57:04 PT
white meat
.....I'm glad you didnt put away the turkey cutter Kap,,,,,,this ol' boy,,, the "Hutchster",,is gonna need alot of carving.......It's almost no fair,,,it's so easy,,,this guy is like a Dan Quayle with a 3 digit I.Q.This guy makes Waters look harmless,,,,(by the way,,Waters is still a "nominee",,he is not the tsar,,,yet.,,,,,,,but,,his "hearings",will probably be very similar to this one,,,with many a senator having to brush the asshairs off their suits ,,after another brisk and exuberant session of brown-nosing and ass smooching..dd.......................................................d......................d
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on July 20, 2001 at 05:07:58 PT:
"Deeply involved in drug issues." 
Yeah, they got that much right, at least." Representative Hutchinson has been deeply involved in drug issues as both the United States Attorney in Arkansas in the 1980s and as a House member."Yes, indeed. he was so involved in them he turned a blind eye to what went on in Mena, Arkansas in the 1980's, in his own jurisdiction."I'd also say that Asa will bring a spirit of fearlessness. In his role as U.S. Attorney he was very hands on. What Sin-a-tor Hutchinson (children, can you say, "nepotism"? Sure you can!) in his extraordinary praise of his brother's decidely lackluster performance in Arkansas seems to be oblivious to the fact that Mr. Hutchinson does indeed have critics back home...very pointedly unflattering ones. please see:Asa and Me "I've wondered for years: What does Hutchinson know about Arkansas's biggest drug smuggler? And when did he know it?" The Crimes of Mena BOYS ON THE TRACKS AND THE DRUG SMUGGLERS in any event, folks, the 'fix is in'; Hutchinson will parrot the party line:"Well, there's a tough tension that is there, Mr. Chairman. And you phrased the question as tough as it can be phrased. You're clearly a good former prosecutor. I think that the Supreme Court decision was correct because it affirmed Congress's discretion in designating marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug that has no legitimate medical purpose.(Patently false on it's face: it was the DEA that, without a single shred of scientific evidence, proclaimed cannabis as having no medical usage, not Congress. Congress created the act; The DEA was left to make the distinctions within it. Rather like putting Dracula in charge of the Blood Bank. Or, in ol' Asa's case regarding Mena, Arkansas, the fox in charge of the henhouse.) I think we have to listen to the scientific and medical community.(All of them, Asa, or just the ones getting grant money and want to keep their cushy jobs by producing studies which only prop up your beliefs...and justify your paycheck?) At this point they have said that there's not any purpose from a medical standpoint for marijuana that cannot we satisfied by some other drug.(Who, Asa-me-lad, who said that? Your tame, grant-sucking Lysenkoist lab-coats?) And so I think we have to -- it's very important that we do not send the wrong signal from a federal level to the young people, to the people in this state, California or wherever, that marijuana use is an acceptable practice. It is still illegal and it is harmful, and there's many potential dangers. And the scientific community does not support the medical use of it. Now, you didn't honestly expect anything different, did you? Like all of them, he clings desperately to the fiction - and assiduously avoids the facts. Just like every good dogmatist does. We already have this creature's number.We have to keep plugging away at the State level; with this latest example of cranial ossification being installed into power on the Federal level, the only other thing that could save us is a virus that selectively kills the stupid.  
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Comment #2 posted by lookinside on July 20, 2001 at 04:42:48 PT:
i guess...
we all know we are being set up...the next few years aregoing to see the greatest infringements and degradations ofconstitutional and human rights since the japanese/americaninternment camps of WWII...they(the shrub et al..)are stacking the action in the courts is required...10th amendmentchallenges must be presented to the supreme court, SOON...leaving the united states may become a viable option to thepogroms the anti's(nazis) are contemplating...tread carefully, folks...
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on July 20, 2001 at 01:39:40 PT
Is this real?,,,Naa,,its gotta be a hoax...
....yup,,,,it's real,,,you couldnt make this kinda stuff up,,,and if you did make something like this up,,,no one wouldtake it seriously,,too farfetched.........Now perhaps the flavor of these hearings should not impressme so much,,perhaps it should be expected when consideringthe political picture..........but,,,I am awestruck at the actuallack of substance.It seems surreal,,like some weird play.Everyone of these phoney jackasses begins their shpeil with a sickeninground of brown-nosing,,then,,after the noses are dribbling rawexcrement,they start submitting their ass-lickiing to the recordin written form;Senator DeSwine sez;"SEN. DEWINE: Senator, I will spare you all the nice things I'm saying about you. You can read it in the official record."How about that great Charles DeGaulle quote from Hutch;"Charles De Gaulle, the former leader of France, once said that France would not be true to herself if she was not engaged in some great enterprise. Well, it's my belief that America cannot be true to its own character without engaging our young people, our families, our communities and our leaders in this great, just cause of reducing drug abuse." ...Is that enough to make you gasp in disbelief? ,,,or how bout this gem;"But I think this job is much more than experience. I pledge to bring my heart to this great crusade. My heart will reflect a passion for the law. It will reflect a compassion for those families struggling with this nightmare. It will reflect a devotion to helping young people act upon the strength and not the weaknesses of their character. "Now,,the weakness of childrens character is a matter thatour federal government feels it is responsible for....I could go on and on...It is clear that this guy is a deranged,anddisilluded IDIOT!!!..this whole thing is phantasmagorical,,an anomalyin the realm of what is normal(?)...I'm almost embarrassed to be so shocked,when I consider the factthat this is typical of how this government operates.....America slumbers,,,,unaware that the Democracy they assumedexsisted,,,has been silently stolen away by a group of deeplyrooted,,power crazed,demagogs................................................................damdazed&deeplydisturbed 
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