Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Carey Wedler — Nixon Advisor Admitted War on Drugs Invented to Crush Anti-War and Black Movements

In 1994, a former Nixon policy adviser admitted the War on Drugs was waged not to keep Americans safe, but to crush dissent. According to John Ehrlichman, who served time in prison for his involvement in the Watergate scandal, the Drug War was intended to disempower anti-war and black rights movements in the 1970s.
Author Dan Baum wrote in the April edition of Harper’s Magazine that in 1994, he spoke with now-deceased Ehrlichman, who frankly explained why President Nixon pushed prohibition:
“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.”…
And therein lies one of the most powerful, lesser-known reasons for prohibition: it is a heavy-handed tactic to silence dissent.
Whether the government’s effort was a pointed strategy to demonize counterculture and anti-authoritarian thought itself — or simply to suppress the movements that harbored them — is unclear. Regardless, Ehrlichman’s admission clarifies the increasingly evident reality that the Drug War was never about keeping people safe.…

1 comment:

Dan Lynch said...

I thought everyone knew that, but I'm glad it's getting more press.