An Old Soldier Looks Back on the Drug War 

An Old Soldier Looks Back on the Drug War 
Posted by FoM on December 19, 2000 at 06:43:31 PT
By George Gedda, Associated Press Writer
Source: S.F. Gate
 Barry McCaffrey says his experience at West Point did nothing to prepare him for the misery and human destruction that he's seen in his five years as the nation's anti-drug chief. ``I never knew anybody who used cocaine or marijuana,'' he said. That goes for his high school and college days, too. 
With his drug policy under fire from Republicans, President Clinton recruited McCaffrey as his drug-war point man 10 months before the 1996 election. At the time, McCaffrey was the youngest four-star general, and he retired from the Army to take the job. ``I've seen more misery in this job, more human destruction than I did in combat,'' said McCaffrey, who saw fighting in the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. ``There are 5 million chronically addicted Americans,'' he said. ``Each year, probably on the order of 52,000 die from some cause related to drug abuse.'' After McCaffrey's appointment, Congress promptly increased the drug-control budget. The result, McCaffrey says, was a 21 percent drop by narcotics use by 12- to 17-year olds. ``None of this would have happened without a 55 percent increase in drug prevention education funding,'' he said. Statistics showing forward movement in the drug war -- some predating his arrival -- roll off McCaffrey's tongue. ``Casual cocaine use down by 70 percent in a decade,'' he said. ``Overall drug use down by 50 percent, drug-related murders down by 50 percent.'' The federal government reported earlier this month that teen-age drug use held steady in 2000, the fourth straight year it has either fallen or stayed the same. Smoking dropped significantly but use of the club drug ecstasy among eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders climbed for the second year in a row. The report also found the number of high school seniors using heroin hit its highest point since the survey began in 1975, and more 10th-graders are using steroids. In an interview last week, the 58-year-old McCaffrey emphasized that the drug war must be waged across a broad front -- at home, through education and treatment, and abroad through eradication and interdiction programs. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of McCaffrey's tenure has been his support for a significant increase in U.S. help for the counterdrug effort in Colombia, the world's No. 1 producer and distributor of cocaine. The bulk of the $1.3 billion package is earmarked for the Colombian military. Doubts about the program seem to be on the rise. To some, the Colombian military is too prone to human rights abuses to qualify for U.S. help. Others say the assistance could get the United States involved in Colombia's war with leftist insurgents. And some skeptics worry that European donors and Colombia's South American neighbors have not been supportive enough. McCaffrey has an answer: Just wait. When the Colombians receive U.S. spray aircraft next year, the equation will change, he says, particularly for the leftist FARC guerrillas who now make hundreds of millions off the narcotics trade each year. These aircraft ``are going to descend on areas and knock out 10,000 hectares at a whack,'' McCaffrey said. ``It takes you 18 months of hard work with chain saws and sweat, living like an animal, to get a coca crop into production. ``Once you're persuaded that the government is going to intervene on month 15 and wreck your investment, you got to go to some other course of action.'' Perhaps the most difficult moment for McCaffrey occurred in February 1997 when Mexican Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo was ousted as Mexican drug czar on corruption charges just three months after he was appointed. McCaffrey had seen the appointment as a breakthrough in the effort to reduce Mexico's role as a transit point for U.S.-bound cocaine. When Gutierrez was named to the job, McCaffrey praised him as a ``man of impeccable integrity.'' Myles Frechette, a former U.S. ambassador to Colombia, said that praise was one of several ``spectacular mistakes'' McCaffrey made in assessing Latin Americans. ``He absolutely never listened to good advice from people who understood the region much better than him,'' Frechette said. ``He never had more than, at best, a naive understanding of Latin America.'' But Frechette credits McCaffrey for emphasizing the important roles of treatment and education in the struggle against addiction, and for winning multiyear financing from Congress for counterdrug programs. For these advances, he said, ``We all have to take our hats off to McCaffrey.'' On the Net: Drug Policy Office: Source: Associated PressAuthor: George Gedda, Associated Press WriterPublished: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 Copyright: 2000 Associated Press Related Articles: The Drug Czar's Shaky Legacy Old Soldier Never Dies, Damnit with Barry, In With Common Sense Bye Barry General's Farewell 
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Comment #20 posted by aocp on December 20, 2000 at 14:57:11 PT:
Get bent, McCzar
>``There are 5 million chronically addicted Americans,'' he said. ``Each year, probably on the order of 52,000 die from some cause related to drug abuse.''So what? The way i understand it, somewhere around 400K americans DIE every damn year from tobacco-related diseases. Where's your compassion for them, you heartless old fucking bastard? (sorry for the profanity, FoM ... this guy just pisses me off) Screw you and the hoss you rode in on, mc-half-free.>For these advances, he said, ``We all have to take our hats off to McCaffrey.''I'll take my pants off for ole McCzar to get a urine taste test, but that's all i'm takin' off for this utterly reprehensible "man".
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Comment #19 posted by freedom fighter on December 19, 2000 at 17:25:42 PT
I always thought that a drug czar
is the top druglord! I have to say it is true. This last czar we had brought so much drugs in this country. Oh sure, barriee, you have never seen anyone smoke a doobie. yeah!The next one ought to be just like Gen. Burry McCafefree!To all of you dudes/gals, HAPPY HEMPY HOLIDAY!FREEDOM IS ALIVE AND WELL BECAUSE OF YOU GOOD FOLKS!\/
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Comment #18 posted by dddd on December 19, 2000 at 13:51:04 PT
Outstanding Ethan!..I knew I was forgetting some names,and joyce definatly qualifies...Thanx...........dddd
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Comment #17 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on December 19, 2000 at 13:02:37 PT:
D4, you forgot Joyce Nalepka!
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Comment #16 posted by dddd on December 19, 2000 at 12:55:30 PT
a worthy canidate
 Another prime nominee for the gallery of the dreadful,that I overlooked. Thanx Robbie,I think the addition of Herr Leshner is most's who we have so far*)weiner*)mcdonough*)sembler*)leshnerAny one of these creeps would be quite terrifying.Here's a few more nightmarish possible canidates*)bill mccollum*)dianne feinstein*)asa hutchinson*)phil grahamI'm sure there are many more.Feel free to submit some other possibilities. ...................dddd
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Comment #15 posted by ras james rsifwh on December 19, 2000 at 12:39:57 PT
General Burry MeCafeFree had his own-damn-self arrested today. the science-based general acted swiftly after being told by top scientists that his very own body was a "grow room" producing MARIJUANA...aka anandamide.PEOPLE REJOICE! AND GET YOUR LAUGH ON...IN THE CITY OF THE ALMIGHTY!  for cannabis sativa is now manifesting as the promised TREE OF LIFE, REV 22: 1&2...BEARING FRUIT (ACHENES) ON BOTH SIDES OF THE STREETS (IN SMALL GROW ROOMS) EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR...PLUS THE LEAVES ARE MEDICINE.give all praise and thanks to JAH RASTAFARI...for the manifesting TREE OF LIFE is the sign of Eternal Redemption for THE ALL...even including you, me, and barry.
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Comment #14 posted by Robbie on December 19, 2000 at 11:54:45 PT:
New Fox Special!! "When Donkeys Fly"
hey dddd, ya know, it would be wonderful if shrub pick Gary Johnson for drug czar.He'd take marijuana off schedule I immediately, he'd turn the drug war funding over to treatment and prevention, and he'd find new ways to minimize the harm done to users and the rest of the country, all resulting from the War on (some) Drugs.But, as you read in that last passage, there's no way in hell. Even if I believed that Georgie Porgie was moderate and progressive (for a Republican), there would be no way that the Moral Majority Right Wing would let any kind of drug reform come from their puppet in la Casa Blanca.My hope (a faint one, surely) is that he appoints, either, a doctor, or an economist. The doctor would (hopefully) not want to do harm, and the economist would see the waste of the drug war in dollars and the futility of the drug war as in how profitable the balck market is.Of course, we could see further instance of Dubya's idiocy if he decided to keep it in the "family" so to speak and appoint Alan Leshner of NIDA to the post. *shudder*If he appoints the jerk drug czar from Florida, then it's time for we of good conscience to adorn our battle dress and gear up for a real war!
CannabisNews and MAP - On the Right Side
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Comment #13 posted by lehder on December 19, 2000 at 11:23:35 PT
frank rizzo
will never die.
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Comment #12 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on December 19, 2000 at 11:18:15 PT:
Frank Rizzo is dead, but that may make him an ideal candidate for Drug Czar!
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Comment #11 posted by dddd on December 19, 2000 at 11:16:22 PT
Bill Buckley would be great.
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Comment #10 posted by dddd on December 19, 2000 at 11:14:23 PT
The Gallery
 Thank you Observer. Mel looks to be a most worthy addition to the gallery of drug war monsters. I'll be shocked if dubya doesnt pick one of these infamous trolls. If he appoints Gary Johnson,I'll become a republican,and get my first haircut in 16 years...................dddd
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Comment #9 posted by Lehder on December 19, 2000 at 11:12:19 PT
drug czar
first choice for new drug czar - nonesecond choice - bill buckleymore likely choices - bob weiner, frank rizzo, slobodan milosevic
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Comment #8 posted by observer on December 19, 2000 at 09:36:23 PT
I'm thinkin' it will be bob weiner,or james McDonough.If it's either one of these guys,they will be trying to out-do mcaffrey,and carry on his arrogant tradition.Throw Mel Sembler's name in the hat, too. This naked fascist has been buying/bribing his way into power for years through generous contributions to the RNC. Former Ambassador to Australia, he basically bought the Ambassadorship this way. He's the monster who profiteered from "Straight, Inc." (now the overtly political "Drug-Free America Foundation ). I hope this Sembler rodent quietly slides back into his nest and gets out of the political-prisoner-for-profit business, but it would not surprise me if he slimes he was back into freedom-robbing power, again. 
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Comment #7 posted by dddd on December 19, 2000 at 08:22:07 PT
czars qualifications
 Good one TroutMask.. I have always wondered what reasoning was involved in choosing the present czar? One thing for sure,the next czar will not be black,or latino,(he's already got that ethnic diversity thing handled),and I'll betchya the new czar will be at least as much of a sh#thead as this one. I'm thinkin' it will be bob weiner,or james McDonough.If it's either one of these guys,they will be trying to out-do mcaffrey,and carry on his arrogant tradition.........dddd
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Comment #6 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on December 19, 2000 at 08:21:40 PT
Never knew any users
Hey, before I smoked the herb, I didn't think I knew anyone who did it either. After I did, I discovered it was very hard to think of someone I knew who DIDN'T.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 19, 2000 at 08:20:11 PT
Hi Greenfox
Welcome back! I hope you have a wonderful vacation in Amsterdam. Maybe someday our country will mature enough to realize that that is the way it should be here.Peace, FoM!
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Comment #4 posted by mungojelly on December 19, 2000 at 08:05:45 PT:
McCaffrey's ignorance
Can McCaffrey's ignorance have been anything but positive for the drug reform movement? There's not a single person who knows a single thing about drugs, drug users, or drug policy who has taken this man seriously. What we should fear is not this sort of bumbling idiocy. We should be afraid that the next drug czar will be someone who DOES know the facts about drug policy -- someone who quotes facts which are true but misleading instead of blatantly false, someone with the credentials to make amerika's insane drug control policy seem rational. With Mr Bush as our next president I do not think that deviously intelligent drug policy is something that we have to fear. Instead what we will have -- in the face of increasing opposition on the ground and increasing public access to the facts -- is a drug policy which is just as mind-bogglingly ignorant and (though this scarcely seems possible) increasingly hypocritical. We may also have an unpopular ground war in Columbia. And while that would mean the death of many innocent Columbians, it would also almost certainly lead to dramatic public outcry against the WOSD. 
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Comment #3 posted by greenfox on December 19, 2000 at 07:33:59 PT
What's Up, FoM?
Heya I'm back! :) First of all, I want to wish everyone a happy (hempy) holliday season. That's just for starters. Next, I'd like to say that now that McAssfry is leaving office, he's making "retributions". I think this is solely because his entire "policy" is under fire AND he's involved in so many scandals that he had to take a bow.LASTLY: I'm going on holiday myself... to amsterdam.. on my BIRTHDAY! (that's right, I'm on a plane Jan. 2)! :) Anybody that wants a cool post card should let me know. ;)-mighty (aka greenfox)
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 19, 2000 at 06:57:40 PT
I agree
TroutMask first of all you look good in red! When I was setting up this article to post that is what jumped out at me too. How can someone lead something where they don't have any experience? 
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Comment #1 posted by TroutMask on December 19, 2000 at 06:53:35 PT
``I never knew anybody who used cocaine or marijuana,'' he said.Great! Let's put someone who's never seen a gun in charge of the military to even things out!-TM
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