Bye-Bye, Barry

Bye-Bye, Barry
Posted by FoM on October 19, 2000 at 13:22:26 PT
By Arianna Huffington
Source: Arianna Online
Gen. Barry McCaffrey: He came. He failed. He quit. But not without taking an unearned victory lap. What is it about the job of drug czar that causes its occupants to heed Sen. George Aiken's advice regarding the Vietnam War -- "Declare victory and withdraw"? That's what McCaffrey did this week when he announced that he would resign his post on Jan. 6. "I'm enormously proud of what we've done," crowed the general. "We had exploding rates of adolescent drug use, and we've reduced it." This ludicrous assessment echoed Bill Bennett's upbeat tenor as he ended his stint as drug czar in 1990, predicting that drug use would be cut in half "in five years." 
The truth is, in the decade since Bennett whistled past the drug-war graveyard, things have gone from bad to abysmal. Despite McCaffrey's repeated claims that "we are winning" the fight, the use of illegal drugs by junior high kids has increased by 300 percent; it's easier than ever for high school students to get drugs; drug prices are at an all-time low, and drug purity is climbing. This is an impressive litany of failures. But still more damning is McCaffrey's unequivocal success in convincing both the president and Congress to approve $1.3 billion in mostly military aid to Colombia, dragging the United States into a three-way civil war. McCaffrey's "triumph" is already looking like a disaster. According to the General Accounting Office, in a report to Congress last week, "the Colombian government has not demonstrated it has the detailed plans, management structure and funding necessary" to implement the U.S. aid. McCaffrey's other major claim to shame during his tenure has been the massive escalation of our government's billion-dollar anti-drug media campaign. Despite the saturation of our airwaves with ads designed to promote the horrors of illegal drug use, research indicates that a rising number of young people see less harm in using drugs. Yet President Clinton responded to McCaffrey's resignation by singling out as a sign of the "significant progress" made under the drug czar the fact that "we have dramatically increased our counter-drug spending and launched a $1 billion public-private media campaign to educate young people about the dangers of drug use." As if the mere act of throwing good money after bad represents sound drug policy. As Kevin Zeese, president of Common Sense for Drug Policy, put it: "Gen. McCaffrey clearly preferred funding TV commercials to investing in America's youth. We are spending nearly twice as much on the ad campaign, the glittering jewel in his drug-war crown, than the federal government spends on after-school programs for kids -- even though research shows alternative activity programs to be the most effective way to prevent adolescent drug abuse." This is more like a war on common sense -- which we're definitely winning. Making misguided matters worse, McCaffrey was asleep at the wheel this spring when fraud investigators uncovered evidence that Ogilvy & Mather, the ad agency handling the account, may have seriously over-billed the government for its services -- pumping up its labor charges and doctoring time sheets. Instead of ordering an audit, the good general tried to cover his rear flank, denying that he knew anything about the problem until investigators produced a memo proving McCaffrey had, in fact, been told of the irregularities. As McCaffrey moves on to the requisite book and speaking tour, the matter remains under criminal investigation. A fast-and-loose way with the truth has been a hallmark of the drug czar's office -- with fraudulent claims and blatant manipulation of statistics a standard operating procedure. Take the statistical sleight of hand McCaffrey's office recently used to turn an unambiguous failure into an apparent success: In 1996, the general set a goal of having 80 percent of young people -- based on the perception of 12th-graders -- consider drugs harmful. But despite his ad blitz, the percentage of 12th-graders who looked unfavorably on drugs actually dropped for three straight years, falling to 57.4 percent by 1999 -- a far cry from the promised 80 percent. But this year, the drug czar magically pulled a vastly improved 74 percent drug-disapproval rating out of his hat. How did he do it? Simple. He just changed the rules. He based his latest figures not on the perceptions of 12th-graders but on the opinions of 8th-graders. I'm only surprised that McCaffrey didn't make sure he hit his goal by switching to kindergartners. I have a feeling well over 80 percent of them would agree that drugs are "icky." And like all good illusionists, McCaffrey never revealed how the trick was done -- the switch in criteria wasn't noted anywhere in the Drug Office's published report. This is not only misleading, it may also be illegal since Public Law No. 105-277 requires that when a government agency changes its measuring standards, it must inform Congress. In announcing his resignation, McCaffrey declared that the fight against drugs "is not a war; it's a cancer affecting American communities." After steering a billion dollars into the hands of the Colombian army and spearheading the use of paramilitary tactics here at home -- with more armed drug agents, drug raids and drug arrests --has McCaffrey suddenly seen the light, at long last realizing that drugs are actually a public health issue? Or is he merely trying to rewrite his failed history before anyone else gets to? Office of National Drug Control Policy: Discuss this Column and More in the Forum: DdCSource: Arianna OnlineFiled: October 19, 2000 1158 26th Street, P.O. Box 428Santa Monica, CA 90403email: arianna ariannaonline.comCopyright  1998 Christabella, Inc.Developed and hosted by BOLD NEW WORLD Website: Articles & Web Sites:Common Sense For Drug Policy The General's Farewell Says He Will Leave White House Post Will Resign From Drug Czar Post To Leave White House Job 
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Comment #11 posted by Lehder on October 22, 2000 at 09:11:36 PT
Excellent Idea!
ogalthorp and r.earing I really like that! someone here recently suggested a web page listing citizens who have been killed by SWAT teams. Your idea could form a second list on the same page. Also, lists of politicians and their relatives who have gotten off on drug offenses, and a list of public officials who have been convicted of various forms of drug-related corruption.
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Comment #10 posted by Lehder on October 22, 2000 at 09:02:54 PT
Kamika, DWI
Drug War Ideology1. Drugs destroy lives. Drugs destroy society.2. Only the government can stop you from taking drugs.3. Everyone is suspect.4. If you disagree with 1-3 then you are on drugs (or a drug pusher).Kamika is herself an example of DWI axiom #4. These people do not debate. They only repeat Drug War Ideology over and over. Keep comin' back, Kamika.
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on October 22, 2000 at 07:35:24 PT:
hello Kamika
Would you care to join us and freely express your views at the DrugSense ChatRoom   9PM tonight? Since you've already demonstrated the courage of conviction necessary to show up here, you can get there by using the link on the left hand portion of this page. We'd love to hear a rational explanation for your vitriolic remarks.That is, of course, if you have one.
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Comment #8 posted by freedom fighter on October 21, 2000 at 18:16:20 PT
my mind generates rhymelike gears in my rolex tells timeif this shit is somethingyou cant' comprehend thenyou need to be apprehendedand amendedthen after the changes take placeyou can now hide your facecuz yo shits turning redlike choking off what you were fedinto your headrhymes keep you spinnin all the timelike the techies the DJs turnto keep the cuts soundin rightdon't get yourself burnedtrying to talk shit on the micbefore you get learnedand slapped like a bitch at the poundopen up your eyes and take a look aroundat your situation foolrealize i read you like a booki see you at the club trying real hard to get some putrying to get a hugbut ya getting turned downbitches have u running aroundman you must be a toothis isn't funny faggotyou won't think so tooif you are waking down the streetand thugs hop outa the car tires screechas they run at you wildw/ mad heat they came blazinnow your runnin in a craze and with at least 3 or 4 bullets grazinyour dome piece one last shotnow your peaced, deceased dead that last bullet hit you heademotion less your expression isas your limbs they fall limpand you fall like an unsupported gimpsuch a fool you were to test suchcivil unrest this crewwill commence again if you or you tootry like many beforeto try to win the warbut like many beforeyou will fall to the floorwitness the stopping power of the four fouri will spit no more(Written by my 16 yr old son.)
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Comment #7 posted by KAMIKA on October 21, 2000 at 06:22:35 PT:
Ms Huffington is too precious, ignorant, and vicious by half. She (and her fellow Shadow Conventioners) should be renamed SHADOW PUSHERS! 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 20, 2000 at 13:11:35 PT:
Alternative News Sources Of Mine
Hi Antianti,I agree that alternative news is great. That's what we are here in a way too when you think about it. I put these links on a board I made during the conventions and then found an article for CannabisNews that I posted from the LA Weekly.
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Comment #5 posted by Antianti on October 20, 2000 at 07:53:51 PT:
Nicotine kills over 2,000,000 people worldwide
Let's not leave tobacco out of the equation. If you look at the (unconstitutional) Controlled Substances Act and read the requirements for admission, and ignoring the part that excludes alcohol and tobacco(they paid for their exclusion), then nicotine would itself be a schedule I controlled substance. (Ethyl) alcohol can only barely be argued as having faint medicinal value.
News for Change (alternative to corrupt major media)
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Comment #4 posted by Pancho on October 19, 2000 at 22:53:34 PT
McCzar & Czar Bennet
If ever there were 2 bigger fools, and I thought it was onlyBush & Gore. The 2 ex's aren't worth the paper I wipe my arse with, yet they continue to spout their drivel. May they waste away in the depths of their megalomania.After listening to Harry Brown in Boston, I can proudly say I am voting for someone who won't treat me like a criminal (for the first time in my life) this November.Peace I have to vote libertarian in Nov
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Comment #3 posted by orfn on October 19, 2000 at 17:51:38 PT
Dont think for one minute the this calling it quits for no good reason . This guy just got approved a boat load of cash to be sent down to Colombia . He is leaving his post for a job in the private sector my butt . This way he can go down there fight his war and get filthy rich at the same time . What a way out of the mess he is in right now . 
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Comment #2 posted by r.earing on October 19, 2000 at 15:59:46 PT:
ogalthorps' comment
A very cagey idea! Anybody a potsmoking bartender inside the Beltway?Anybody a reefer loving waiter at the conventions?Help us out here.Let's make their use of alcohol a subject of Jihad for a while.I.E. "How dare you use alcohol when you might be called to an emergency vote!" "That's bad for national security,ipso facto,You Sir are Unamerican!"
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Comment #1 posted by ogalthorp on October 19, 2000 at 13:58:56 PT:
Does the ex- tsar,czar,tzar, drink alcohol? Who are the drinkers in our government? We need to publisize a list of all alcohol drinkers who have deceided we should'nt smoke marijuna. They lose all credibility !  
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