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What we’ve always known about the Drug Czar…

He has no regard for the facts or the truth. Additionally, he is known for spinning the data to completely support administration policies.
I’ve already talked about the recent GAO report that took the Drug Czar and administrative policies to task for their lack of evidence that the drug war in Colombia is actually accomplishing anything.
Here’s an article that really goes after the Czar: “GAO: Data too fuzzy to measure drug war” by David Adams.
The following passages show just how shoddy the Drug Czar’s “reporting” is:

Critics of U.S. drug policy point to the GAO report as evidence that positive pronouncements by the drug czar’s office cannot be trusted. “What this report shows is that we need to take the government’s claims with a grain of salt, and a whole shaker in places,” said John Walsh, a drug expert at the Washington Office on Latin America, or WOLA, a private policy watchdog.

Walsh and others accuse the drug czar’s office of putting an overly favorable spin on the fuzzy data, as well as ignoring less positive news.

The drug czar’s office sat on a November 2004 report it commissioned by the Rand Corp., a California-based nonprofit research organization, which found that drugs were more available than ever and that prices had in fact fallen.

The drug czar’s office turned around and commissioned a second report from the Virginia-based Institute for Defense Analyses, which found prices were rising.

“They (the drug czar’s office) lack credibility unless they can explain such a wide difference,” said Peter Reuter, a University of Maryland drug expert who directed Rand’s research.

He noted that the Rand report was well documented and peer reviewed. Reuter said he was also “generally skeptical” of data in the IDA report. Accurate data takes months to compile, he said.

Other critics point to the IDA’s lackluster record in drug research, noting that it was dropped by the drug czar’s office in the 1990s after alleged flaws in its methodology.

Carnevale, who worked in the White House under three administrations and continues to support the war on drugs, accused Walters of trying to “simplify” data to meet preconceived beliefs. “He thinks the cocaine market is on the brink of collapse,” he said. “We are spending all this money so the price (of cocaine) must go up.”

Officials in the White House drug czar’s office did not return phone calls this week.

Nice to see this kind of scepticism — something that’s only really surfaced strongly in the media in recent years — thanks to John Walters’ outrageous behavior.

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