Pubdate: Fri, 12 Jan 2001
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
Copyright: 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Contact:  P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802
Fax: (808) 523-8509
Author: Donald M. Topping


The farewell address by Gen. Barry McCaffrey, aka the Drug Czar, was as 
hypocritical and misleading as his four-year crusade while leading the 
failed war on drugs.

In leaving his post, he calls for drug prevention and treatment as the key 
elements of dealing with substance abuse. Yet, during his four-year reign, 
he consistently requested (and received) funding that heavily favored the 
law-enforcement approach, with two-thirds of the budget going for 
interdiction and prosecution, and one-third for drug prevention and treatment.

Has he finally seen the light or is this more of his doubletalk?

When the general claims that drug use by teen-agers has declined by 21 
percent during the last two years, one must wonder what he has been smoking.

Surveys sponsored by his very own office tell a different story. Perhaps 
this is a result of wishful thinking, but it is more likely an effort to 
put a good spin on the outgoing administration.

McCaffrey had four years during which he could have honestly addressed the 
fa iled war on drugs. Instead, he persisted in what he believed was the 
politically (and militarily) correct thing to do, which was to ratchet up 
the war through spending more and more on policing and incarceration.

Hopefully, the next administration will choose a wiser course, such as that 
recommended by the outgoing general.

Donald M. Topping
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