Me and Barry McCaffrey 

Me and Barry McCaffrey 
Posted by FoM on April 19, 2001 at 09:20:29 PT
By Doug Casey
Source: WorldNetDaily
As the Bush administration came into town, Clinton appointees went out, including Gen. Barry McCaffrey who resigned his position as U.S. drug czar in January. I met McCaffrey several years ago at a small dinner party put on by the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C. He walked up and introduced himself simply by name, something which stands out favorably in a town where every junior deputy assistant undersecretary likes to make you aware of his title. Barry was a fit-looking, outgoing fellow of about 60. 
I recognized his name, but wasn't 100 percent sure of the context, so after exchanging pleasantries, I cut to the chase: "Say, aren't you the current drug czar?" "Yes." "And weren't you previously a lieutenant general?" "Four star." Score one for Barry. I hate to lack command of the facts. "Wow. Aren't you concerned that if the military gets involved in the war on drugs they'll become as corrupt as the DEA?" "No, not really." It seemed a sincere answer, delivered in a way that was at once affable and straightforward. "You know, you seem like a decent guy. How'd you ever get into the drug czar business?" Barry took no umbrage. "Well, I was somewhat at loose ends, and they really pressed me into it." A far different answer than the arrogant and authoritarian bluenose William Bennett would have had to give. I was starting to get a better feel for the man. Friends know one of my hobbies is creating ugly scenes with public figures; I describe one that took place with the aforementioned William Bennett in "Crisis Investing for the Rest of the 90's," and recount those with Dick Cheney, James Carville and X "Bud" McFarlane, among others, in previous issues of International Speculator. It's perhaps one reason I'm not invited out in polite company as often as might otherwise be the case. But I didn't get a bad feeling from McCaffrey; it wasn't a rhetorical device on my part when I remarked he seemed like a decent guy. And, unlike many others, he appeared to be a man worthy of respect. So rather than trying to humiliate and embarrass him (which, for better or worse, tends to be my default mode when dealing with a suspected sociopath or most political figures), I found myself trying to get a grip on exactly where he was coming from: "Listen, you know the Drug War isn't going to be any more successful than Prohibition was in the '20s. But it's creating a whole new class of criminals, and destroying the freedoms that actually made this country different from any other. And, entirely apart from that, there really isn't any more of a drug problem than there is an alcohol, or tobacco, or sugar, or fat problem. It's become a mass hysteria." By this time a group had gathered about us, their curiosity piqued by the fact someone at a society event was talking about something other than the weather, the state of the roads, or the tenor of Placido Domingo's voice. McCaffrey started to answer, but then some guy, a lobbyist/lawyer, put in his two cents worth in defense of the insane war on drugs. The good general used that as an excuse to bow out, and join another small group, something I also did as quickly as possible. I hate lobbyists. Later in the evening, as everyone was departing, I again saw Barry at the door: "Well, it was certainly nice having chatted with you earlier, however briefly. It's probably a good thing I don't have a controlled substance on my person, otherwise it might not have been so mellow." To my surprise, the comment caused his face to flush, and elicited an emotional response completely out of character with his earlier persona: "If you were, I'd see you in jail tonight." Maybe Barry took my words as a personal challenge, or maybe he just took his job seriously. I'm not sure. "Well, that's the problem. Me, and tens of millions of others. But rest assured I'm not carrying. I don't personally use drugs, and generally eschew the company of those who do. This is an ethical and philosophical issue, not one that can be addressed by putting people in jail. Notwithstanding our differences, it was nice to meet you." "Likewise. Best of luck." So ended our meeting. I would have enjoyed spending some private time with McCaffrey, and maybe the opportunity will present itself in the future. McCaffrey is a soldier, and although I'm automatically suspicious of flag officers, he's also a Medal of Honor winner, with two Silver Stars, two DSCs, three Purple Hearts -- so he's more than just a ticket-punching bureaucrat on the make. Some disturbing allegations: Then came the expose by Seymour Hersh in May 22, 2000, The New Yorker of what may have happened at the so-called Battle of Rumaila. In this episode, which took place two days after the ceasefire, a 5-mile-long column of retreating Iraqis was completely wiped out by McCaffrey's command on the pretense they were about to attack. In fact, all evidence indicates they were totally cowed, in terror, and trying to surrender a second time as the attack was mounted. I wasn't there, but my reading of the facts are that it was a completely unjustified and unjustifiable mass murder, the type of thing which should have brought McCaffrey before a court martial. Several of his three-star colleagues Hersh quotes believe he was just looking for a fight, even though the war was over. But that's another story. Whatever might have happened in Iraq, Barry did far more damage as drug czar. A new form of corruption: In the first place, it's a bad idea employing high-ranking military officers in the government, certainly if they have anything to do with paramilitary enforcement agencies like the DEA. Referring to soldiers, Gibbon correctly observed that, whatever their virtues, any class of men accustomed at once to violence and slavery make poor guardians of the commonweal. McCaffrey's reign as drug czar is just one of many signs that the U.S. military is becoming active in the drug wars. It was he who got the U.S. involved in the Colombian tar baby over the last years, among other things. But the most outrageous of Barry's legacies is the government's spending $200 million a year to buy ads on radio, TV, magazines and newspapers to promote its insane war on drugs. Under McCaffrey, prodded by Clinton, the U.S. government became one of the largest advertisers in the world, using taxpayers dollars to influence the content and message of the media. Clinton was seconded by Gingrich (who apparently wanted to execute drug users) when he announced the billion dollar ad campaign to "knock America upside the head," putting the insane war on drugs into high gear. In his announcement speech, Clinton recalled his younger brother Roger's problems with cocaine, but didn't mention Roger's observation that Bill's nose turned into a vacuum cleaner whenever a certain white powder was available. My guess is that the anti-drug ad campaign will only serve to raise awareness of drugs, thereby, perversely, increasing potential demand. Most kids see the ads as propaganda, and they've become the butt of jokes, serving only to raise kids curiosity. An excellent expose of the government's drug ad campaign is available at in an article by Daniel Forbes which underlines its highly corrupting effect. Today the media takes payola to push a drug message. Tomorrow a foreign policy, or industrial policy, or immigration, or tax policy message. Before you know it, "The Running Man" (a not-very-tongue-in-cheek Schwarzenegger movie) will become a reality. If the DEA gets away with this, and all indications are they will, then any and every government agency can buy ads to bribe the media to propagandize, and justify its existence. This isn't just a matter of running government "public service" ads, which is bad enough. What's happening is they're altering scripts, and commissioning sympathetic writers to tell stories (in at least 17 identified syndicated programs) with the right spin. In return for giving an anti-drug spin to the scripts, the government allows them to sell its advertising to other, high-paying advertisers, using the message in the shows in lieu of actual ads. Corporate executives are shameless whores even in the best of times; they don't much care where the revenue comes from, or what it requires of them. When times get tough in the next few years, they'll probably vie with each other to kowtow to the government, since that's where all the money is. And it's so much cleaner to pay off than it is to be blackmailed the way J. Edgar Hoover used to do it. The future: I'm not terribly optimistic things are going to get better any time soon, simply because most Americans have become so spineless. A good example is what happened to a friend a while back when he took a commuter plane back to the U.S. from the BVI. When it landed on the tarmac the plane was greeted by a Hummer carrying a half dozen paramilitary types in black jumpsuits, several sporting automatic weapons. One stuck his head in the plane and told the passengers to disembark, on further command, in groups of four, so they could stand by their baggage while it was inspected by drug dogs. Everybody not only did as ordered, but apparently approved of being herded like sheep; my friend's wife grumbled about the procedure to another passenger, who said she was pleased that the government was on the job. In fact all 20 passengers (with the exception of my friends) were not only docile but ingratiating while being subjected to interrogation, inspection and indignities. I'd like to think that, in a nobler, by-gone era, proper Americans would have disarmed their captors and thrashed them half to death before delivering them to the local sheriff. What a bunch of whipped dogs. Legendary speculator Doug Casey logs 150,000 miles a year, trekking through jungles, deserts and high mountain passes, while his readers sit home and collect returns of 400 percent, 4,170 percent, even 10,060 percent. He is the author of the best-selling "Crisis Investing" and "The International Man." He also edits the newsletter International Speculator. Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)Author: Doug CaseyPublished: Thursday, April 19, 2001Copyright: 2001 Inc.Contact: letters worldnetdaily.comWebsite: Articles - Barry McCaffrey
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #3 posted by b i a i on April 21, 2001 at 02:06:40 PT
what an idiot
who care if he won some stupid medals, he's obviously an IDIOT!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by JJM on April 20, 2001 at 05:57:13 PT
drug war is treason
DEPORT MCCAFFREYDRUG WAR IS TREASONBarry refuses to acknowledge the truth about cannabis: that it was and continues to be illegally, immorally and dishonestly criminalized by those with vested special interests. McCaffrey continues to lie about use vs. abuse and knowingly prefers to disinform the world by halting debate whenever challenged... SUPPORT TRUTH NOT D.A.R.E.!How about a cannabis class action lawsuit? Anyone?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Dan B on April 20, 2001 at 00:24:55 PT:
Let's get something straight right here:
As a civilian, you outrank not only every military officer in the armed forces, but the Commander-in-Chief, as well. You outrank every senator and every member of the House of Representatives. You are their boss.You never have to take orders like those described by the friend in the above article, no matter how many guns are pointed in your direction. They answer to you, as a taxpaying American citizen; not the other way around. You pay their bills, you clothe and feed them, you train them, and you supplied the guns they so cavalierly point in your faces.It is high-freaking-time we Americans started claiming our rights and stopped this incessant mantra that what the federal government does is for the good of the people, no matter what. We are the people! And the only reason why we have this sick, depraved, and evil war on drug users is that we the people have not stood up and demended our rights.We should never let any military person give us orders. They will scream at us and point guns at our heads if we refuse their orders, but I say that's a small price to pay for taking what is ours: the freedom to make our own personal choices.Dan B
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: