DrugSense Weekly, December 29, 2000 

DrugSense Weekly, December 29, 2000 
Posted by FoM on December 29, 2000 at 16:17:01 PT
A Nomination to Oppose by Tom O'Connell
Source: DrugSense
Despite promises to be a "healer," the first president since Rutherford B. Hayes to enter the Oval Office with a minority of the popular vote has acted as if he'd received a huge mandate with at least one of his early cabinet choices. Although two African Americans with impressive credentials, were in his first wave of nominations, their duties will give them little direct effect on domestic policy.
The same can't be said of John Ashcroft, the nominee for Attorney General and member of the religious right with a blatant record of supporting racist policies and institutions. His nomination can only be seen as a direct affront to African Americans- the very group Bush was so clearly trying to placate with his appointment of Colin Powell and Condeleeza Rice to top foreign policy jobs. In addition to his well-known racist sympathies, Ashcroft is an indefatigable drug warrior, a point not given prominent attention by the black and other civil rights groups opposing his nomination- even though it should be. It's been made crystal clear by a cascade of recent studies that drug law enforcement policies play a major role in determining the size and composition of U.S. prison populations; therefore it's likely that the trends already so painfully evident during the Clinton Administration could become significantly worse after four years of Bush and this Attorney General.It's also likely that civilian review of police practices- an area where the U.S. already compares very unfavorably with the rest of the world- will receive predictably little attention from a Department of Justice run by Ashcroft. His advice of appointment of federal judges- a little-known function of the AG's office, can be expected to favor hardliners in the mold of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. As the nation's chief law enforcement officer below the President, the Attorney General also controls the federal police bureaucracy including the DEA, FBI and Bureau of Prisons. He thus sets priorities in choosing which laws to enforce and how vigorously to enforce them. Many drug reformers have been primarily concerned with the identity of the next drug czar; the truth is that while the drug czar is the most visible icon representing the drug war- and while McCaffrey has played a malign role in facilitating drug arrests- the Attorney General has far more control of law enforcement mechanisms and much greater immediate impact on the intensity with which the drug war is waged. At a time when the public has clearly signalled severe misgivings about the fairness and results of our punitive drug policy, the appointment of Ashcroft is more than disturbing. Is the new administration simply out of touch with the public? Or is it in touch and determined to ram a punitive policy down the nation's throat, come what may? In either event, there seems ample reason for our increasingly visible reform movement to draw the line at this nomination and work to either defeat it or make it as politically expensive as possible. That will mean making common cause with those already in opposition- while taking care to clearly define our reasons for joining them.Tom O'ConnellThe opinions expressed above are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of DrugSense or any other organization or individual. Click the link to read all of DrugSense Weekly's News Bulletin.DrugSense Weekly, December 29, 2000 MapInc. Archives
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on December 29, 2000 at 22:25:09 PT
Here's a good Colin Powell info place
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on December 29, 2000 at 20:38:40 PT
Bad to Worse
 The administration of President select bush is shaping up to be every bit as much,as the nightmare I expected. If there are those out there,who are somehow hoping that a new era of reform,tolerance,openness,and honesty was going to happen,then all I can sat to you is,WAKE UP! Much fanfare was given,as the shrub installed Colin Powell as his first appointment.This was strategicly designed to calm the furious black people.Then he picked a woman,and a hispanic.All of this was given obvious maximum coverage nationally.This disgusting display of appointing token minorities to important posts,is supposed to make the questionably elected shrub,and the republicans,appear as a diverse,kind,compassionate,and different improvement. Colin Powell is as much of a puppet as the shrub himself.Just because his ass is black,it dont make him a 'black'.He's black like O.J. is black.He has been portrayed as a man of high principles and goodness,but I think he is just another chip off of the McCaffrey/Oliver North block,,,with the exception of his ass being light black. I have a love/hate relationship about being the 'purveyor of doom',,but the normal folks,who are seen as a flock by the government,,things are going to go downhill....If you thought Billy was a scheming,manipulative politician,,,well you aint seen nothing yet.Your gonna see some Texas style corruption,,,,,world class.Your gonna be dazzled and astonished by shameless corporate influence and monopolization...Hang on,,because I think things are going to get worse before they get better.That's the way I see it.I hope I'm wrong........................dddd
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Comment #1 posted by mr. skullhead on December 29, 2000 at 19:47:11 PT:
Just because Powell and Rice are black doesn't mean that they're not conservatives. Of course, the press has completely ignored this fact. Powell is dedicated to enforcing more sanctions on Iraq, costing more innocent lives while Saddam thumbs his nose at the U.S. As for right wing loonie Ashcroft, let's hope that he won't get confirmed. He will of course, since the Dems are basically a bunch of spineless cowards. 
ghost rocket weblog
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