ehrlichman

The current president of the United States lies. He lies in ways that no American politician ever has before. He has lied about — among many other things — Obama’s birthplace, John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Sept. 11, the Iraq War, ISIS, NATO, military veterans, Mexican immigrants, Muslim immigrants, anti-Semitic attacks, the unemployment rate, the murder rate, the Electoral College, voter fraud and his groping of women.
 
 
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The big question now is not what Trump and the White House are saying about the Russia story. They will evidently say anything. The questions are what really happened and who can uncover the truth.
 
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I was most saddened during Comey’s testimony not by the White House’s response, which I’ve come to expect, but by the Republican House members questioning him. They are members of a branch of government that the Constitution holds as equal to the presidency, but they acted like Trump staff members, decrying leaks about Russia’s attack rather than the attack itself. The Watergate equivalent is claiming that Deep Throat was worse than Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Nixon.

You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,“

Ehrlichman said. "We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did.
—  John Ehrlichman, aide to Richard Nixon

We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.

Did we know we were lying about the drugs?
Of course we did.

—  John Ehrlichman, White House Domestic Affairs Advisor (1969-1973)
You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
—  The Former Nixon Domestic Policy Chief (John Ehrlichman)
By the summer of 1971, nineteen states had adopted Nixon’s model antidrug legislation. His brute force approach to attacking the drug supply had begun to filter down to local police agencies. But Nixon was still stewing over the fact that despite their success in making crime an issue and pushing through some of the toughest crime bills the country had ever seen, they’d yet to reap much political benefit from the effort… The White House needed something tangible to tout to the public. If they couldn’t use actual crime data to show their initiatives were working, perhaps they could just create their own impressive statistics by generating lots of arrests and convictions at the federal level. The journalist Edward Hay Epstein writes, “Nixon reminded Ehrlichman and Krogh that there was only one area in which the federal police could produce such results on demand -and that was narcotics.”
But the question remained of how to do it…Krogh had asked the BNDD director John Ingersoll to reverse course and devote resources to making easy, high-profile arrests of low-level offenders that the administration could use for PR purposes. Ingersoll refused, arguing that those sorts of arrests might have made for good politics, but they did little to reduce crime or addiction…
So the White House crime team came up with a plan. They would launch an all-out PR offensive to scare the hell out of the public about crime, and to tie crime to heroin. Once voters were good and terrified, they would push for reorganization to consolidate drug policy and enforcement power within the White House. Krogh put together a quick-hitting but multifaceted strategy that included planting media scare stories about heroin, publicly recalling ambassadors to embarrass heroin-producing countries like Thailand and Turkey, and holding high-level (but entirely staged) strategy sessions that they’d invite the media to attend. The plan culminated with a planned speech from Nixon that would forge new frontiers in fearmongering. An aide to Krogh told the journalist Epstein years later, “If we hyped the drug problem into a national crisis, we knew that Congress would give us anything we asked for.”
—  Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces by Radley Balko

firebolts  asked:

Nixon didn't begin the War on Drugs. Reagan did around 1983.

Reagan took it to a whole new level but Nixon actually started it. Here’s some more detail from the Drug Policy Alliance:

Nixon and the Generation Gap

In the 1960s, as drugs became symbols of youthful rebellion, social upheaval, and political dissent, the government halted scientific research to evaluate their medical safety and efficacy.

In June 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” He dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants.

A top Nixon aide, John Ehrlichman, later admitted: “You want to know what this was really all about. The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in Schedule One, the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer.

In 1972, the commission unanimously recommended decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations.

Between 1973 and 1977, however, eleven states decriminalized marijuana possession. In January 1977, President Jimmy Carter was inaugurated on a campaign platform that included marijuana decriminalization. In October 1977, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use.

Within just a few years, though, the tide had shifted. Proposals to decriminalize marijuana were abandoned as parents became increasingly concerned about high rates of teen marijuana use. Marijuana was ultimately caught up in a broader cultural backlash against the perceived permissiveness of the 1970s.

The 1980s and 90s: Drug Hysteria and Skyrocketing Incarceration Rates

The presidency of Ronald Reagan marked the start of a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration, largely thanks to his unprecedented expansion of the drug war. The number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997.

Public concern about illicit drug use built throughout the 1980s, largely due to media portrayals of people addicted to the smokeable form of cocaine dubbed “crack.” Soon after Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, his wife, Nancy Reagan, began a highly-publicized anti-drug campaign, coining the slogan “Just Say No.”

This set the stage for the zero tolerance policies implemented in the mid-to-late 1980s. Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, who believed that “casual drug users should be taken out and shot,” founded the DARE drug education program, which was quickly adopted nationwide despite the lack of evidence of its effectiveness. The increasingly harsh drug policies also blocked the expansion of syringe access programs and other harm reduction policies to reduce the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS.

In the late 1980s, a political hysteria about drugs led to the passage of draconian penalties in Congress and state legislatures that rapidly increased the prison population. In 1985, the proportion of Americans polled who saw drug abuse as the nation’s “number one problem” was just 2-6 percent. The figure grew through the remainder of the 1980s until, in September 1989, it reached a remarkable 64 percent – one of the most intense fixations by the American public on any issue in polling history. Within less than a year, however, the figure plummeted to less than 10 percent, as the media lost interest. The draconian policies enacted during the hysteria remained, however, and continued to result in escalating levels of arrests and incarceration.

Although Bill Clinton advocated for treatment instead of incarceration during his 1992 presidential campaign, after his first few months in the White House he reverted to the drug war strategies of his Republican predecessors by continuing to escalate the drug war. Notoriously, Clinton rejected a U.S. Sentencing Commission recommendation to eliminate the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences.

He also rejected, with the encouragement of drug czar General Barry McCaffrey, Health Secretary Donna Shalala’s advice to end the federal ban on funding for syringe access programs. Yet, a month before leaving office, Clinton asserted in a Rolling Stone interview that “we really need a re-examination of our entire policy on imprisonment” of people who use drugs, and said that marijuana use “should be decriminalized.”

At the height of the drug war hysteria in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a movement emerged seeking a new approach to drug policy. In 1987, Arnold Trebach and Kevin Zeese founded the Drug Policy Foundation – describing it as the “loyal opposition to the war on drugs.” Prominent conservatives such as William Buckley and Milton Friedman had long advocated for ending drug prohibition, as had civil libertarians such as longtime ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser. In the late 1980s they were joined by Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, Federal Judge Robert Sweet, Princeton professor Ethan Nadelmann, and other activists, scholars and policymakers.

In 1994, Nadelmann founded The Lindesmith Center as the first U.S. project of George Soros’ Open Society Institute. In 2000, the growing Center merged with the Drug Policy Foundation to create the Drug Policy Alliance.

white on black on red

marker, white-out, ink pen on sketchbook paper


”The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

- John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s central domestic advisor

I watched 13th, by Ava DuVernay (producer of Selma), at the IFC a few days ago, and it made me aware of so many wrongs in both our politicians and prison systems. Prison is the newest incarnation of slavery, and the “War on Drugs” effectively was invented to implement it. Drugs should be a health issue, not a crime issue, and the “War on Drugs” was specifically designed to target POC, and send them long sentences in prison to anguish in both physically and psychologically damaging environments instead of rehabilitating them. To add to that, many American industries and corporations fund prison and profit off prison populations, and prison labor is one of the largest and cheapest (almost free) ways to run a farm, ranch, or factory in sweatshop-like conditions. 

Please check out this documentary if its showing in a theater near you; I also believe it is on Netflix.

A Nixon adviser admitted the war on drugs was invented to criminalize black people

John Ehrlichman, a former adviser to President Richard Nixon, said the war on drugs was invented to criminalize black people and suppress the radical left, according to an article published by Harper’s. While this doesn’t reveal that much new information, the full quote and admission is so shockingly blunt it crashed Harper’s website.

We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
— 

John Ehrlichman, who served as domestic policy chief for President Richard Nixon

This is an incredibly blunt, shocking quote — one with troubling implications for the 45-year-old war on drugs. 

Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue that we couldn’t resist it.
—  John Erlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon, revealing the racist origins of the War on Drugs.
The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
— 

John Ehrlichman, domestic policy guy for Nixon administration, 1994

There’s always push-back to the notion that the drug war is explicitly racist. For example, people like to counter that though the politicians were racists, the drug war is actually the result of poorly implemented public health policy (x). That’s all well and good, but it’s a canard.

In the United States, public health policy is white supremacist policy, historically speaking. In 1965, “The Negro Family: The Case For National Action” made black people a public health issue, in a report that pathologized the black family, basically blaming black women for a destructive ghetto culture. Certainly, Moynihan attempted to do something with a sociological problem that resulted from things like Jim Crow. Well-intentioned as it was, it was horribly executed. White people, white legislators, white employers, white landlords, white politcians weren’t to blame and weren’t surveilled; black women and their families were the problem. They were public health problems. The black family reproduced its own problems. Is it any wonder we incarcerated so many black people? After all, we’re just cleaning up the neighborhood.

And this is how Nixon administration people handled “hippies” and “the blacks” via a drug war. Focus public health policy (and the police agencies and military) on them and their drug use. Teach Americans to see a problem a certain way and we can develop a way to fight a cultural war via a public health problem.

…but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
—  John Ehrlichman, former Nixon Advisor.
The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
—  John D. Ehrlichman, White House Domestic Affairs Advisor for the Nixon administration
The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White Hose after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
—  John Ehrlichman, Watergate co-conspirator & Nixon aide, via @adamjohnsonNYC 
The Architect of the “War on Drugs” Tells the Truth

“You want to know what the war on drugs was really all about?” Ehrlichman asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

John Ehrlichman, (1925 - 1999) Advisor to President Richard Nixon and the man who started the Federal Government's “War on Drugs”. Quoted in a 1994 interview.