Bush's Drug Videos Broke Law

Bush's Drug Videos Broke Law
Posted by CN Staff on January 06, 2005 at 22:57:36 PT
By John Files
Source: New York Times
Washington -- The Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said on Thursday that the Bush administration violated federal law by producing and distributing television news segments about the effects of drug use among young people.The accountability office said the videos "constitute covert propaganda" because the government was not identified as the source of the materials, which were distributed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. They were broadcast by nearly 300 television stations and reached 22 million households, the office said.
The accountability office does not have law enforcement powers, but its decisions on federal spending are usually considered authoritative. In May the office found that the Bush administration had violated the same law by producing television news segments that portrayed the new Medicare law as a boon to the elderly. The accountability office was not critical of the content of the video segments from the White House drug office, but found that the format - a made-for-television "story package" - violated the prohibition on using taxpayer money for propaganda. Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, the senior Democrat on the Government Reform Committee, who requested the review, said the use of the mock news segments broke "a fundamental principle of open government."A spokesman for the drug policy office said the review's conclusions made a "mountain out of a molehill." The spokesman, Tom Riley, noted that Congress had authorized the drug policy office to fashion antidrug messages in motion pictures and television programming and on the Internet. His office stopped distributing the antidrug videos after the G.A.O. report on the Medicare segments, Mr. Riley said, and never acted unlawfully. The drug policy office told investigators that it would have been difficult for "a reasonable broadcaster" to mistake the videos for independent news reports.But the G.A.O. said the drug policy office "made it impossible for the targeted viewing audience to ascertain that these stories were produced by the government."Federal law prohibits the use of federal money for "publicity or propaganda purposes" not authorized by Congress. The accountability office has found that federal agencies violated this restriction when they distributed editorials and newspaper articles written by government officials without identifying them. The accountability office said the administration's misuse of federal money "also constitutes a violation of the Antideficiency Act," which prohibits spending in excess of appropriations. Complete Title: Bush's Drug Videos Broke Law, Accountability Office DecidesNewshawk: E_JohnsonSource: New York Times (NY)Author: John FilesPublished: January 7, 2005Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company Contact: letters Website: Articles:ONDCP: Ads Drive Drop in Drug Use Links Drugs, Drinking in New Ads Faults White House Anti-Drug Ads 
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on January 07, 2005 at 14:10:52 PT
Amen, Kap
"Rep. Ron Paul (blessing be upon his name!)"
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on January 07, 2005 at 13:30:04 PT:
Now this is really Orwellian
Let's see: a few months back, the Government Accounting Office said, in resposne to a letter from Rep. Ron Paul (blessing be upon his name!), that it is okay to use taxpayer's dollars to lie to the American public about illicit drugs. Dan Forbes's meticulously researched article on the matter can be found here: now? What's changed since Mr. Forbes poked the hypocrites in the eye with his pen? NOT A BLOODY THING. But *now* they admit that this is 'deceptive'. As if the entire propaganda war against plants wasn't deceptive from the git-go. They say us cannabists have short memories. Yeah, right. I remember every piece of dissembling and outright lies Uncle engages in on this issue, and I am not alone. Sooner or later, the sheer weight of lies will cause this DrugWar to collapse...but not before more people needlessly die. And the credibility of government is further submerged in the slime.
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Comment #8 posted by dongenero on January 07, 2005 at 11:49:45 PT
ooops they did it again
Seems those in the administration are habitual law breakers.but....What are the repercussions!???
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 07, 2005 at 09:33:58 PT
I found his e-mail and sent him a note. Hopefully he will drop in.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on January 07, 2005 at 09:15:45 PT
Sure would like to see a post from you. I'm worried about you.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 07, 2005 at 08:58:39 PT
I know where you are coming from. The only important issue for me is credibility. We don't have a government that cares about honesty or integrity. We must do our best to show the world that honesty is a value to cling to. Even if Cannabis has a few side effects that aren't good it shouldn't matter. Drug companies push drugs down the throats of people and many people die. Cannabis hasn't killed anyone. If a person would die after using Cannabis it probably would be because they were going to die from whatever killed them anyway.
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on January 07, 2005 at 08:43:43 PT
All is fair in love and war
It's a drug war and wars require propaganda and lies. It's fair. Doesn't matter anymore, anyway.When hasn't the Bush Administration broken the 'law'? Lied us into a war. Didn't matter then, it doesn't matter now. They'll use anything under the sun, the rogues.
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on January 07, 2005 at 06:01:39 PT
No Credibility
The accountability office said the videos "constitute covert propaganda" because the government was not identified as the source of the materials, which were distributed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.The government knows that if they had to identify themselves nobody would believe a word they said! The fascist media is complicit as well.Thanks for the heads up, Sukoi! I'm thinking of a question to ask Johnny Pee as I type! Here are a couple articles on Berkeley's "Measure R"...Medical marijuana backers file voting suit: marijuana recount nears end:
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Comment #2 posted by Sukoi on January 07, 2005 at 04:19:12 PT
Heads Up
Courtesy of the Drug War Rant House Drug Czar to Discuss Teenage Drug Use Today 
White House: John Walters, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, will answer your questions about the 2004 Monitoring the Future study and the decline in teenage drug use Friday at 1:30pm (ET). Submit questions now.Go ahead and submit a question -- of course they're all screened in advance, so he's not likely to answer any questions that seem like a criticism. Still, you could ask him what he thinks about lying to teens about drugs.Questions can be submitted here:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 06, 2005 at 23:09:06 PT
Related Article from United Press International
GAO: Drug Ads Amount To PropagandaWashington, DC, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The top congressional watchdog group has ruled prepackaged news stories by the U.S. drug control agency are propaganda because they are not identified. The comptroller general of the Government Accounting Office ruled the Office of National Drug Control Policy violated a federal prohibition on propaganda when it released the news stories and videos produced using public funds. The central issue, the GAO said in a statement Thursday, was that the ONDCP did not identify itself to the viewing audience as the producer and distributor of the news stories and videos.The prepackaged items closely resembled television news programs, including a narrator who said he or she was reporting on a news conference and other events. The office also provided television news programs with suggested lead-in and closing remarks to bracket the story.The GAO decision came in response to an inquiry by Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and John Oliver, D-Mass. Copyright: 2005 United Press International
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