Pubdate: Mon, 13 Dec 1999
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Chronicle
Author: Tom O'Connell, M.D.


Editor - President Clinton finally bit the bullet and publicly admitted
that his "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy toward gays in the military isn't

His admission is tardy; it had become clear a few years later to several
responsible observers that more gays were being involuntarily discharged
than under the previous policy.

Nevertheless, it is refreshing when a politician is candid enough to admit
that a public policy he once advocated is a failure, no matter how obvious
that failure had become.

It's too bad that neither Clinton nor any of his predecessors had enough
political courage to take the same tack with drug prohibition, a
consistently failed policy from its stealthy beginnings in 1914 under the
Harrison Act. Instead of admitting failure, successive administrations have
poured ever more money and resources into an expanding folly. The result:
we now have both the biggest prison system and the richest illegal drug
market in history.

Now that's REAL policy failure.

Tom O'Connell, M.D., San Mateo
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