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May 2010
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ONDCP just can't get it right

… nor do they want to.

After claiming that they wanted to communicate with the public on a more regular basis, they started an ONDCP Update Newsletter in January. Then they had an issue in February. Then nothing. Finally, on May 3, they had a March/April issue.

A little embarrassing, particularly since hyping their new Open Government Plan in April.

But you’ve got to give them a break. They’ve been busy — it take a lot of work and time to find more creative ways to lie to the public.

Take a look at the latest “blog” entry: Drug Use in America — it’s a doozy.

Research and data serve as the foundation of ONDCP’s programs and recent statistics show that we need to act now to address this public health and safety issue and reduce the devastating effects of drug use.

Note the emphasis on research and data; then the sneaky mention of drug use (not abuse).

But how do they present that data?

The use of illicit drugs—including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, PCP, ecstasy, inhalants, methamphetamine, and the non-medical use of prescription drugs—is a significant public health problem. The use of these substances led directly to the death of 38,000 Americans in 2006—nearly as many as died in motor vehicle crashes that same year (43,000). In monetary terms, the use of illicit drugs cost the United States billions of dollars in health care, lost productivity, and other costs.

That is a truly diabolical paragraph. Based on the grammatical structure, when I first read it, it appeared that illicit drugs alone (including marijuana, of course) directly caused 38,000 deaths (particularly with the bookended “illicit drugs” phrase at the end of the paragraph).

But no. See how they improperly snuck in “and the non-medical use of prescription drugs” into the dashed clause that was detailing the kinds of illicit drugs? Impressive.

Lying through misdirection and implication. That was a hallmark of the John Walters ONDCP. Looks like the Kerlikowske ONDCP is really getting up to speed.

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11 comments to ONDCP just can’t get it right

  • kaptinemo

    No, they still don’t get it…but for other reasons.

    They’re trapped in a pattern, unable to realize that things have indeed changed. They’ve lied for so long, they believe that they can continue to do so…when it has become obvious that the environment that allowed for their mendacity no longer exists.

    Case in point: just about every DrugCzar has faced very little actual objective, critical inquiry into whether the national drug policy was effective. It’s always been an ‘old school week’, with DrugWarriors and their legislative enablers backslapping each other in a mutual admiration society…when they aren’t casting aspersions on the moral fiber of drug law reformers.

    But the recent Kucinich hearing has shown what the ONDCP can expect in the future…and that future is as cold and grim as a Siberian winter.

    I won’t belabor the economic reasons, as the regulars here have heard it all before. No, I am talking about the human elements, the ones that have, up to now, not been allowed to be added to the soulless equations of national drug policy. Namely, the human cost of drug prohibition.

    Recall the panelists who spoke in favor of harm reduction. They outnumbered Gil and the DrugWarrior parasite who testified with him. And what they had to say was favorably received by Mr. Kucinich. None of that was accidental. It was intentional, because that kind of testimony, so far as I can remember, has never been accepted as willingly or as respectfully as it was. It was a sign that things have changed…and will continue to change. And that change does not favor the DrugWarriors.

    A fact which the ONDCP is in organizational denial about. But they will not be allowed to remain in denial for very long, for this latest bit of mendacity has provided even more fodder for the Kucinich Committee to use as ammo against them.

    No, they still don’t get it…but they will.

    They will. (Wolf’s grin) Right where it hurts.

  • Chris

    Their lying is really getting to me

  • claygooding

    They extended the unemployment benefits,for another 5 months. I could not see them continuing to spend money on keeping banks liquid and allowing millions of Americans to move into tents.
    And right now,the penny pincers are searching even harder for failed policies and an immediate reduction of 15 billion would go a long ways towards covering this continued unemployment with no major spending to improve the situation.
    The economy is still on the shakes too bad for the money to flow. This time,they gave the money to the rich,for them to trickle down to us,but this time,the rich kept it!
    Being broke will make foe some strange bedfellows in the congress,I bet.

  • Just me

    No they still dont get it.

    Na Clay, they will just borrow or print more monopoly money from the fed, thats all it is. What would they care, were all debt/wage slaves anyway. They will farm us till we die.

  • radioairbag

    Change Kaptin? Hmm, heard that before. It appears that in a way, the czar is being ignored. I reckon Obama is doing that on purpose as his only recourse for political power: he knows it’s wrong, but considered “reckless” if he appears cowardice. This is understood among many I’m sure….but how far can that go? Yeah, yeah—-once one legalizes, others will follow. Right? In the meantime, states will pass more restrictive laws (Arizona), and this will trump any efforts as it will once again be pushed into a political racial issue–just like the beginning, but perhaps more so. Highly unlikely “change” will be coming soon, but I really do hope your right.

    I thank you for your proper response on an earlier inquiry of mine, kaptinemo. Though I was somewhat disappointed, I understand. The net can be cold.

  • kaptinemo

    “I thank you for your proper response on an earlier inquiry of mine, kaptinemo. Though I was somewhat disappointed, I understand. The net can be cold.”

    It’s not so much that it’s ‘cold’, but that it’s been ‘infiltrated’ by the kinds of personalities that favor authoritarianism. To them, the ‘Net is another means of control, not enlightenment. But because of ‘Net neutrality’ they haven’t been able to get a hammerlock on it…yet. They’re up against an idea, and, as a favorite fictional movie character of mine put it, “Ideas are bullet-proof”.

    But, we, unfortunately, are not.

    Until the day we no longer have to live with the insanity of drug prohibition and the influence of those authoritarians who support it is finally extinguished, it behooves us to be circumspect in our dealings with those we don’t know…for everyone’s safety.

  • kaptinemo

    And as to ‘change’, well, I’ve been alive long enough to know that there is far too much truth in the old saying “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”

    I am all too well aware of the…associations…of various political figures, organizations, major financiers, ‘captains of industry’, etc. I am in complete agreement with the observation voiced long ago by British Prime Minister Disraeli, when he wrote that “The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.” I’ve been ‘up close and personal’ with a few of them in my life, and as a result harbor no illusions about the workings of our putative ‘democracy’.

    But something has been set in motion by those ‘movers and shakers’ which has opened a ‘window of opportunity’ courtesy of the very machinations that have made them unimaginably wealthy at our expense. Namely, the false smiley mask of glowing good health has finally been pulled away from the true face of the economy, and in such a way that favors the reform movement by demonstrating that there really never was an inexhaustible supply of funding for the DrugWar. The fiscal party’s over, the tab is due, and the DrugWarriors cannot afford to pay it. And the Kucinich hearing is a ‘symptom’ of that impending change…real change.

  • claygooding

    Agreed,they will change because they have too,not because they want to. When several federal programs are cut for the next budget,we can only hope that the ONDCP budget is a
    too ripe fruit,waiting to be picked.
    Has anyone heard anything about when the next ONDCP budget hearing will be. Now with a strategy available,it will give us a better idea of what to expect by which parts of the strategy the committee focus on.

  • kaptinemo

    “Now with a strategy available,it will give us a better idea of what to expect by which parts of the strategy the committee focus on.”

    As mentioned, since the leak has shown the ONDCP’s ‘strategy’ is just more of the ‘same old, same old’, and demonstrates the usual lack of vision, the next round of hearings will be doubly interesting, seeing what happened the last time.

    Gil entered that hearing essentially with no pants on. Now, with this ‘strategy’ being made public, for the next round, he’ll have no skivvies on. And he’s too old to be streaking.

  • Scott

    As long as they exist, they have no choice but to lie. There is literally not one sustainable point in their favor.

    Because the mainstream media fully depends on the government providing them the freshest (and at times exclusive) information regarding tragic events (the vast majority of “news”), they only challenge the likes of law enforcement when the law enforcement community ostracizes corrupt members.

    Effectively, we have state-run media.

    The term in journalism is simply called “access”, and mainstream media journalists have needed it to survive in their industry.

    This has produced a national “megaphone” dominated by the prohibitionists for decades, inundating the ‘drugs are evil’ message throughout that timeframe to the public.

    However, times have changed, and the mainstream media is being challenged by a powerful communications tool.

    The Internet allows “We the people” to globally communicate around the mainstream media, and those communications generally persist, making it much harder to get away with lying.

    If a blogger or anyone else lies, sometimes (if not generally) within minutes, there are numerous challenges against that lie (e.g. Rathergate). In other words, if you’re not careful, your credibility can be sunk quickly. Without credibility (even if just perceived), you’re life is basically over.

    Our government keeps working to control the Internet the way it controls our educational text books (e.g. I clearly remember learning about Ely Whitney and the cotton gin, but there was never a mention of the truly massive beneficial role that hemp played throughout American history).

    Until the government builds their ‘button’ to turn off Internet access for people they feel ‘threaten the children’ (if memory serves, they have that in France and/or England now), we need to drive the metaphorical dagger deeper, constantly shining whatever light we can to destroy the perceived credibility the prohibitionists have thanks to abusing the credibility of law enforcement and community leadership in general.

    We also need to make it impossible for that ‘button’ to exist, in part by supporting free speech as legally protected by our Constitution, and learning that liberty (by law — see amendment nine) is an unalienable right, and that any exception against that right instantly creates the slippery slope we are on now (allowing our government to ban/regulate ‘indirectly’ or ‘potentially’ rights-infringing acts unavoidably defeats the unalienable part of that right, since people now get to draw the ‘liberty/anti-liberty line’).

    We have captured ‘the hill’ (pun intended), but a solid public majority now needs to know that (so Congress feels the pressure to do what they know they need to do — end drug prohibition), and that is arguably our greatest hurdle right now.

    Without a heavy dose of public relations relying on simple messages that simply provide the whole truth and nothing but the whole truth, we cannot gain the passionate public support we need to defeat the corruption that allows drug prohibition to continue.

  • Cannabis

    The February 2010 issue of the ONDCP Update was posted on their site on April 5th. If you are on the right ONDCP email list you can get it emailed to you earlier. Why the long delay?