Hutchinson Satisfied With Legacy

  Hutchinson Satisfied With Legacy

Posted by CN Staff on January 09, 2003 at 10:39:20 PT
By Alison Vekshin Stephens, Washington Bureau 
Source: Southwest Times-Record  

As he prepares to depart the Drug Enforcement Administration for the newly created Department of Homeland Security, Arkansan Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday expressed satisfaction with his efforts to fight the drug war. The former 3rd District congressman from Fort Smith, who cut short a U.S. House career to become DEA administrator in August 2001, said the counternarcotics agency expanded its mission during his watch from enforcement to prevention and treatment.
“The DEA has always been a top-notch federal agency for drug enforcement,” he said in a meeting to reporters to review his tenure. “But now we have combined that enforcement effort with education and treatment partners across America to have a more cohesive voice and effort in our fight against drugs.”Hutchinson said, “We’re starting to see new reductions” in drug use, although there has been a trend toward increased use of synthetic drugs.In November, President Bush announced he would nominate Hutchinson as the Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security in the new Department of Homeland Security. Hutchinson said Senate confirmation hearings could be held later this month. Anticipating confirmation, Hutchinson would be replaced by DEA Deputy Administrator John Brown on a temporary basis until Bush picks a new DEA director. Not everybody was a Hutchinson fan.The Arkansan’s strict enforcement of drug laws, especially as it relates to medical marijuana use, has come under fire from groups that favor the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.“Asa Hutchinson is a retrograde drug warrior,” said Matthew Briggs, director of publications at the Drug Policy Alliance, a group that supports pot legalization. Briggs said Hutchinson has focused on the “losing effort” of interdiction and incarceration, a policy that “has proven to have failed to affect the availability of drugs.”Hutchinson’s selection for the homeland security slot is an indication of the trust he has built within the Bush administration, said Jay Barth, a political science professor at Hendrix College in Conway. He said the drug war was overshadowed by the war against terror during Hutchinson’s tenure and that he stands a better chance at building a lasting legacy in his new role. “The war on drugs in the end is probably an unwinnable war and he clearly did fine in terms of continuing that process,” Barth said. Speaking before a packed room of reporters in a conference room adorned with his DEA and congressional mementos at the agency’s headquarters near the Pentagon, Hutchinson listed a number of initiatives that shaped his tenure.Among them, a program called “Operation X-Out” attacked the proliferation of the club drug Ecstasy, whose use has tripled in the last two years, according to Hutchinson. The program, which used town hall meetings nationwide to distribute information about the drug, led to increased club and predatory drug investigations, he said. Another program, Integrated Drug Enforcement Assistance, led the DEA to partner with state and local law enforcement to arrest and prosecute drug traffickers. It also partnered with local community groups to reduce demand through prevention and treatment programs.“Operation Webslinger” led to more than 170 arrests in connection to Internet trafficking of the “date rape” drug.Hutchinson also launched a national tour to raise public awareness of methamphetamine, which he called the No. 1 drug threat in rural America, including parts of Arkansas.He also highlighted some high-profile arrests of international drug traffickers, including that of Carlos Bolas, a member of Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia who ran a cocaine ring.Calling the DEA the “unsung partner” in law enforcement, he said the agency was “ideal” preparation for his new role in protecting the nation’s borders. The threat of terrorism led the DEA to increase the use of human intelligence in investigations. One trend in particular includes the increased use of drugs as a currency for weapons exchange among terror groups.“Our operations have led to the indictments and investigations of significant terrorist organizations,” he said. Source: Southwest Times-Record (AR)Author: Alison Vekshin Stephens, Washington BureauPublished: Thursday, January 09, 2003 Copyright: 2003 The Donrey Media GroupContact: letters swtimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Drug Policy Alliance the Terrible - Arkansas Times's Boss Says Homeland His Calling DEA Archives

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Comment #8 posted by FoM on January 09, 2003 at 17:54:27 PT
Here You Go BGreen
Since it isn't about Cannabis or drug policy I went ahead and archived it but you can comment this way if you want.
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Comment #7 posted by BGreen on January 09, 2003 at 17:24:32 PT
FoM, Could You Post The Barr Article
I think it's on topic, even if cannabis isn't mentioned, because Barr has trampled the rights of cannabis users, including squashing the rights of D.C. voters. It is such a dichotomous mindset that I think it deserves a permanent place here at article SCREAMS "respond and refute." If it exists as just an embedded link most readers will never see it.Thanks for the link, p4me!Bud Green
Crimes before the fact
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Comment #6 posted by mayan on January 09, 2003 at 17:11:41 PT
Oh, Yeah...
Buh-Bye, Assa! You failed.P4me...let's not forget that the plane that hit the Pentagon hit nearly an hour after the first WTC hit & 40 minutes after the second WTC hit. No planes were scrambled in our nations capital even after the FAA & NORAD saw the Pentagon plane do a u-turn and head directly for D.C. 45 minutes before it hit! It was always obvious to me.NORAD 9/11 Stand Down Math: to scramble planes on 9/11: Defenses Stood Down On 9/11 AFTER ATC Alerts Given:
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on January 09, 2003 at 16:52:14 PT
Hutchinson said, “We’re starting to see new reductions” in drug use, although there has been a trend toward increased use of synthetic drugs.That comment makes about as much sense as the war on drugs itself! Stop the insanity!!!
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Comment #4 posted by JSM on January 09, 2003 at 15:47:01 PT
Legacy my (three letter word, your choice)
This guy will be forgotten sooner than I can finish writing this rant. What education or what treatment? Same old, probihitionist BS. Lock em up and throw away the key...the only good druggie is one that is locked up for life (unless your daddy is rich, famous, and the governor of Florida). 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 09, 2003 at 12:11:47 PT
I saw that article. All I can think is he must like to drink to go to this extreme or receive contributions from the alcohol industry. That's just my guess though.
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Comment #2 posted by p4me on January 09, 2003 at 12:09:06 PT
Bob Barr Encourages Public Drunkenness
How is that for a librul headline from someone that thinks they need to dismantle the Deparartment of Education? Bob Bar got the Washington Times to print his opinion on arresting people that violate the law by having a blood alcohol content of .08 while in a public place- riddance to Hutchinson. He is not worthy of the big salary or the job in the new department for that matter anywhere in public service. He would make a good human bomb over Iraq though.It is not related directly to cannabis except it was about corruption. I had just finished reading an amazing article at the top of FreeRepublic about 9/11. It is already highly questionalbe to me why they could not stop the second plane that came 20 minutes after the first and why when any airplane crash draws an immediate investigation, the crashing of four planes at one time drew none.But in the article it said that the planes could have been piloted from the ground after they disabled the controls on the plane. It also talked about a CNN reporter's rumored call to her husband using the plane's phones in the back where the passenger's were all herded. Her husband said he received a collect call and the article said it was impossible to make collect call's from the plane. What makes it weird though is that it got pulled. Now why would FreeRepublic remove such an in depth piece? If it was all a lie the Freepers would attack the lies. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 09, 2003 at 11:50:11 PT
Bye Bye Bye Bye
I just had to say something! LOL!
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