ehrlichman

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March, 23 2016 - The “War on Drugs” was actually a political tool to crush leftist protesters and black people, a former Nixon White House adviser admitted in a decades-old interview published Tuesday. John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon’s domestic policy chief, laid bare the sinister use of his boss’ controversial policy in a 1994 interview with journalist Dan Baum that the writer revisited in a new article for Harper’s magazine.


“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,” Ehrlichman continued. “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.”

Ehrlichman served 18 months in prison after being convicted of conspiracy and perjury for his role in the Watergate scandal that toppled his boss.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said Ehrlichman’s comments proved what black people had believed for decades.

“This is a frightening confirmation of what many of us have been saying for years. That this was a real attempt by government to demonize and criminalize a race of people,” Sharpton told the Daily News. “And when we would raise the questions over that targeting, we were accused of all kind of things, from harboring criminality to being un-American and trying to politicize a legitimate concern.”

In 1971, Nixon labeled drug abuse “Public Enemy No. 1” and signed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, putting into place several new laws that cracked down on drug users. He also created the Drug Enforcement Administration. By 1973, about 300,000 people were being arrested every year under the law — the majority of whom were African-American.The drug war was continued in various forms by every President since, including President Ronald Reagan, whose wife Nancy called for people to “Just say no.”Ehrlichman’s 22-year-old comments resurfaced Tuesday after Baum wrote about them in a cover story for the April issue of Harper’s, titled “Legalize It All,” in which he argues in favor of legalizing hard drugs.The original 1994 interview with Ehrlichman was part of Baum’s research for his 1997 book, “Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure,” in which Baum laid bare decades of unsuccessful drug policy.

“Think of all the lives and families that were ruined and absolutely devastated only because they were caught in a racial net from the highest end reaches of government.”

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[Top] “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.”

[Bottom]  “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 ot be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.”

~ John Ehrlichman

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 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.

Nixon started the War on Drugs because he couldn't declare war on black people and hippies

Nixon aide/Watergate jailbird John Ehrlichman confessed to Dan Baum that Richard Nixon started the War on Drugs because “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.”

Baum uses the quote to kick off a long, provocative, informative piece about how to end the war on drugs (ideally, he says, by legalizing everything and selling it in state-run dope stores that could adjust prices dynamically to make it too cheap to sustain a black market, but expensive enough to deter overindulgence), and what realpolitik obstacles stand in the way of a lasting peace in our time.

https://boingboing.net/2016/03/22/nixon-started-the-war-on-drugs.html

Nixon official: real reason for the drug war was to criminalize black people and hippies

A new report by Dan Baum for Harper’s Magazine suggests the latter. Specifically, Baum refers to a quote from John Ehrlichman, who served as domestic policy chief for President Richard Nixon when the administration declared its war on drugs in 1971. According to Baum, Ehrlichman said in 1994 that the drug war was a ploy to undermine Nixon’s political opposition — meaning, black people and critics of the Vietnam War:

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he 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.”

harpers.org
[Report] | Legalize It All, by Dan Baum | Harper's Magazine
How to win 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 adviser to Richard Nixon.

don’t think, for even a second, that every administration since hasn’t had the same idea.

colorlines.com
Former Nixon Advisor Admits 'War on Drugs' Was Racist
John Ehrlichman: "By getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities."

A new piece from Harper’s Magazine, released today (March 22), unearths a quote from a former policy advisor for President Richard Nixon that clears the air on pretty much everything we already thought about the War on Drugs.

The quote comes from a piece by Dan Baum that argues for legalizing banned narcotics and ending the War on Drugs—a costly, decades-long assault on impoverished communities of color, countries struggling under neo-imperialism and leftist political resistance. Baum writes about a 1994 interview with Nixon advisor John Ehrlichman, who spent a year and a half in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal.

CLICK THE HEADER LINK TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

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.

Two twenty dollar bills
crumpled at the bottom of my pocket

weighing me down

I imagined they would feel
much lighter
more like freedom
when I stole them
from your purse

Don’t blame me
Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Nixon
taught me how to lie
or was it my father?

When I close my eyes at night
I can’t tell the difference
between Watergate
and the safety of my bed

— 

Max Mundan, Precocious

© David Rutter 2015

Purchase my book, “JUNKIES DIE ALONE“ on Amazon or iTunes.

salon.com
Former Nixon aide admits racist roots of America’s drug war: Bernie and Hillary must own this issue and fix this injustice — now
By Sean Illing

The drug war is an issue in this campaign, but it ought to be front and center. America’s war on drugs hasn’t worked – for anyone. It’s been a boon to the pharmaceutical companies, who don’t want the competition, and to the prison-industrial complex, who profit from locking up nonviolent offenders, but it’s been a disaster for everyone else.

The April cover story of Harper’s magazine explains not just how counterproductive the drug war has been but also, and perhaps more importantly, its racist roots. Written by Dan Baum, the article lays out the case for legalization, which is worth absorbing on its own. But it begins with a startling revelation from John Ehrlichman, one of Richard Nixon’s close aides and a Watergate co-conspirator.

The destruction of minority communities was a tactical decision by Nixon, the Dems need to stop this travesty