In an interview conducted by Harper’s Dan Baum nearly 22 years ago, former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman admitted what many have known ever since the beginning – that the Nixon administrations’ War On Drugs was a giant lie.
To clarify, it was not Nixon’s police state that was a lie. That was very real. It was the justification used for the war, the fearmongering, and the panic-inducing hype produced by the White House that was a monumental obfuscation.
Ehrlichman doesn’t mince words when he discusses the War On Drugs and it is not inference suggesting that the justification given for the War on Drugs was a lie. In fact, Ehrlichman even states that the policy was in order to attack political rivals and alleged “threats” to the Nixon administration like “blacks and hippies.”
“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
As Tom LoBianco writes for CNN, “It’s a stark departure from Nixon’s public explanation for his first piece of legislation in the war on drugs, delivered in message to Congress in July 1969, which framed it as a response to an increase in heroin addiction and the rising use of marijuana and hallucinogens by students.”
Of course, the War On Drugs and the ensuing police and incarceration states that followed had a much larger purpose than merely helping Nixon fight back against potential political threats. Indeed, most drugs were already illegal by Nixon’s election.
Hiding and preventing the knowledge of positive effects of some substances, shredding Constitutional and human rights, creating a culture of incarceration, and implementing a gradual but eventually total police state were most certainly part of the plan as well, which history has demonstrated. For instance, Reagan and especially Clinton were under no threat from the populations mentioned by Ehrlichman but they nevertheless sent the drug war and the natural results of it listed above into overdrive.
Nevertheless, after setting the United States further down the path of totalitarianism, we at least appreciate Ehrlichman’s honesty even if it is decades later. Perhaps now, we can begin dismantling the drug war.
Photo credit: gmcmullen via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA, modified by editor
This article (Former Nixon Aide Admits War On Drugs Was A Big Lie; Was Never About Drugs) can be republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Brandon Turbeville and Natural Blaze.com.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense SolutionsandDispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 600 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.