Drug czar accused of supporting terror
Libertarian Party ad parodies feds' Super Bowl commercials
By Jon Dougherty
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com
Posted: February 26, 2002 1:00 a.m. Eastern
A full-page ad appearing in two major newspapers and sponsored by the Libertarian Party < http://www.lp.org> accuses the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy of supporting terrorism by fighting its " war on drugs. "
According to party spokesman George Getz, the ad - which is scheduled to appear in today's editions of USA Today and The Washington Times - " is a parody of the ads placed in 293 papers " beginning last month by the drug control policy office. The agency's ads - a pair of which were also aired during January's Super Bowl game at a cost to taxpayers of $3.4 million - seek to paint drug users as supporters of terrorists who market illegal drugs to raise money. One ad pretended to show terrorists buying weapons and asked viewers: " Where do terrorists get their money? If you buy drugs, some of it might come from you. " In the second televised ad, young people made matter-of-fact statements like, " I helped kill a judge. "
One of the drug control office's newspaper ads said: " 'Last week I washed my car, hung out with a few friends and helped murder a family in Colombia.' ... Drug money helps support terror. Buy drugs and you could be supporting it, too. "
The ads drew criticism from the Libertarian Party, which has a long history of opposing the federal government's so-called " drug war. "
" For the Office of National Drug Control Policy to claim that drug users are to blame for financing terrorists is like a maniac who kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan, " said the party in a statement following the airing of the Super Bowl ads. In response, Getz said, the Libertarian Party developed its own drug-related ad, < http://www.lp.org/issues/drugczarad.html> mockingly accusing the drug control office of also contributing to the financing of terrorists.
The LP ad features a full-length photo of Bush administration drug czar John Walters, with the following caption: " This week, I had lunch with the president, testified before Congress and helped funnel $40 million in illegal drug money to groups like the Taliban. ... The war on drugs boosts the price of illegal drugs by as much as 17, 000 percent - funneling huge profits to terrorist organizations. If you support the war on drugs or vote for the politicians who wage it, you're helping support terrorism. "
Following the ad, the party gives a website address - www.lp.org/drugwar < http://www.lp.org/drugwar> - for those who want more information. Getz said the ads cost $71, 297 and were paid for with donations from party members. The Office of National Drug Control Policy was contacted for comment but did not immediately return phone calls. " The ONDCP's strategy is clear: It's trying to take the Sept. 11-inspired hatred of terrorists and use it to bolster the failing war on drugs, " said Ron Crickenberger, the party's political director, in an e-mail to members.
" And, by implication, it's suggesting that if you oppose the war on drugs, you help terrorists. " Well, we hate terrorists, too. In fact, we hate them so much we'd like to squeeze their funding down to almost ZERO, " Crickenberger said. " We'd like to see the $40 million the U.S. government says the Taliban raised from heroin dwindle down to a few pennies. We'd like to see the $300 million that Colombian rebels raised from cocaine shrink down to a handful of pesos. "
The party believes legalizing some drugs would cause prices to fall. " Can you imagine how destitute terrorists would be if marijuana sold for the same price as lettuce? If poppies were worth the same as tulips? And if cocaine-producing coca plants were no more valuable than Brussels sprouts? " Crickenberger said.