Bush Administration Slow To Issue Official Apology

Bush Administration Slow To Issue Official Apology
Posted by CN Staff on April 12, 2004 at 23:11:10 PT
Commentary by Ann Woolner
Source: Nashville City Paper
You don't have to ponder the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to notice the Bush administration has trouble admitting it erred.Consider why the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, having lost three rounds in court, would waste more time and tax money appealing the latest one, a court ruling telling the DEA it can't outlaw hemp.
Or how about the military's position in the case against Army Captain James Yee, a Muslim chaplain formerly stationed at the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba? Authorities last September threw him into solitary confinement for more than two months on suspicion of spying, only to discover that there wasn't enough evidence to formally charge him.These cases involve victims of mistaken Bush administration actions who are seeking apologies and are getting the opposite.In the Yee matter, when authorities couldn't justify spy charges they accused him of mishandling classified documents.While looking for treason, they came up instead with evidence of adultery and a government computer containing pornography. At a pre-court-martial hearing in December at Ft. Benning, Ga., the press heard lots of testimony about Yee's sex life and not much else.When it came time to offer proof of document mishandling, the Army suspended the hearing to evaluate its evidence. March 22, Yee, who had first been told he could face execution, received his final punishment. He was reprimanded.Yee's lawyer, Eugene Fidell, is appealing the reprimand and says an apology is in order. A military powerful enough to jail Yee on so little evidence "should be big enough to admit a mistake," says Fidell.The legality of hemp food is remarkable bacause of the lack of a rationale for the administration's belief that hemp foods are as illegal as marijuana.The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco said in a 3-0 ruling Feb. 6 that the DEA has no legal grounds to outlaw hemp.The panel wrote that the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies certain drugs as illegal, specifically exempts that part of the cannabis plant that goes into hemp food."Congress knew what it was doing, and its intent to exclude non-psychoactive hemp from regulation is entirely clear," says the opinion."It's nice to have a clean vindication," says David Bronner, president of the Hemp Industries Association, which sued the DEA.That was the third time the appeals court ruled against the government. Instead of giving up, the DEA Monday filed for reconsideration by the full Ninth Circuit, asserting the panel had misread the law.Apparently, the DEA did also. Its petition arrived a day beyond the deadline, which had already been extended to accommodate the agency.The fight is ingredients that put the hemp into hemp foods. They come from the same cannabis plant as marijuana, but contain almost none of marijuana's mind-altering ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.What matters to the DEA is that even a teeny tiny, itsy bitsy speck of THC is illegal under the law as the DEA reads it.Eric Steenstra, president of the hemp advocacy group Vote Hemp, says advocates will not only seek attorneys fees when the case is over, they are also seeking an apology for the agency's suppression of a perfectly legitimate business."I'm sorry," are words not often heard in Washington. And yet, remorse is recognized in law. Under federal sentencing policy, a criminal who takes responsibility for his mistakes and displays remorse will get a shorter prison term than the criminal who doesn't.The federal government is pretty good at squeezing remorse out of people. What's difficult is for people to squeeze remorse from the federal government. Ann Woolner is a Bloomberg News columnist.  Source: City Paper, The (TN)Author: Ann WoolnerPublished: April 13, 2004Copyright: 2004 The City Paper LLCContact: letters nashvillecitypaper.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Vote Hemp Cannabis News Hemp Links Vs. DEA Hemp Ruling in PDF Declares Hemp Legal To Consume Win Opens Doors for Hemp Food
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 10, 2004 at 18:06:05 PT
Related Press Release from U.S. Newswire
Solicitor General Considering Appeal to Supreme Court of Ninth Circuit Hemp Food Decision; Court Extends Deadline for DEA AppealMonday, May 10, 2004  To: National Desk, Legal Reporter Contact: Adam Eidinger, 202-744-2671, for Vote HempWASHINGTON, May 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Manufacturers of hemp food products who won their 2 1/2-year old court battle on Feb. 6 to keep hemp foods legal to consume in the U.S. now await the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) decision to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The DEA's petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court was due by May 6th, but the deadline was extended today by the Supreme Court until June 5th per the request of Solicitor General Theodore Olsen. See: If the Solicitor General does not appeal by the new deadline, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's landmark decision will stand - protecting sales of nutritious foods made with hemp seed in the U.S. "Manufacturers of healthy foods containing omega-3 rich hemp nut and oil are confident that the DEA cannot win an appeal to the Supreme Court," says David Bronner, chair of the Hemp Industries Association's (HIA) Food and Oil Committee and President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. "The three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled that the DEA ignored the specific Congressional exemption in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that excludes hemp fiber, seed and oil from control along with poppy seeds. The Court reasonably viewed as insignificant and irrelevant harmless trace amounts of THC in hemp seed, just like harmless trace amounts of opiates in poppy seeds," says Bronner.Fighting the DEA's attempted ban has thus far cost leading hemp companies over $200,000. Nevertheless the industry is prepared to spend additional resources to fight any DEA appeal to the Supreme Court. "The public and media should question the DEA's waste of tax dollars in trying to crush the legitimate hemp food industry," says Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp. "A DEA appeal to the Supreme Court will fail and only further embarrass the DEA. Appealing the decision is a last ditch effort for DEA to save face at the expense of taxpayers and limited law enforcement resources."Hemp Foods are Safe and Nutritious -- DEA Rules Were Ridiculous!Hemp seed is one of the most perfect nutritional resources in all of nature. In addition to its excellent flavor profile, the seed meat protein supplies all essential amino acids in an easily digestible form and with a high protein efficiency ratio. But most importantly, hemp seed and oil offer high concentrations of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in a perfect ratio of the omega-3/omega-6 acids. EFA's are the "good fats" that doctors recommend as part of a healthy, balanced diet. This superior nutritional profile makes hemp nut (shelled seed) and oil ideal for a wide range of functional food applications and as an effective fatty acid supplement. Not surprisingly, hemp nut and oil are increasingly used in natural food products, such as breads, frozen waffles, cereals, nutrition bars, meatless burgers and salad dressings.Eating Hemp Food Does Not Interfere with Workplace Drug-TestsU.S. hemp food companies voluntarily observe reasonable THC limits similar to those adopted by European nations as well as Canada and Australia. These limits protect consumers with a wide margin of safety from workplace drug-testing interference. See hemp industry standards regarding trace THC at: The DEA has hypocritically not targeted food manufacturers for using poppy seeds (in bagels and muffins, for example) even though they contain far higher levels of trace opiates. The recently revived global hemp market is a thriving commercial success. Unfortunately, because the DEA's Drug War paranoia has confused non-psychoactive industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive "marijuana" varieties, the U.S. is the only major industrialized nation to prohibit the growing of industrial hemp.--EDITORS NOTE:For more information or to arrange interviews with representatives of the hemp industry, contact Adam Eidinger at 202-232-8997 or 202-744-2671. Beta Sp or DV Cam Video News Release Available Upon Request.  Copyright: 2004 U.S. Newswire 
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Comment #2 posted by Max Flowers on April 13, 2004 at 10:38:30 PT
Bullies don't apologize
Sadists don't apologize.Sociopaths don't apologize.Thugs don't apologize.Criminals who justify their criminal actions by calling those they victimize "criminals" don't apologize.So why would we ever expect anyone from DEA or DOJ or the White House to apologize?
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on April 13, 2004 at 07:11:11 PT
Give It Up
The Feds are just setting themselves up for more humiliation. Their appeal will only draw more attention to industrial hemp and open more eyes towards it's amazing versatility and usefulness. SHADOW OF THE SWASTIKA - The Real Reason the Government Won't Debate Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Re-legalization: 
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