I read compulsively, mostly non-fiction with a focus on world affairs. I’m always looking for the missing piece of a puzzle. What caused historical actors to do what they did? Why this particular policy and not that one? That sort of thing.
I’m weird, I know.
Anyway, the other day I found one of those missing pieces.
Some background. John Ehrlichman was the chief assistant for domestic affairs under President Nixon, where “he became a member of the inner circle of Nixon’s closest advisors.” Ehrlichman created the “Plumbers,” a group of burglars who broke into Watergate, and he sought to destroy Nixon’s enemies at “virtually any cost.” Ehrlichman was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. He served 18 months in prison.
After prison, Ehrlichman granted an interview to author Dan Baum, and explained why Nixon inaugurated the War on Drugs:
The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar Left, and black people. 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. 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.
Wow! The first thing I thought of is that this may be the best ratfuck ever.
The term ratfuck refers to dirty political tricks or sabotage and was a widely used tactic during the Nixon administration by staffers such as Donald Segretti and H.R. Halderman. And, of course, John Ehrlichman.
The War on Drugs has been used and is still being used by our sociopathic elite as a means to divide and rule. Here at home it’s employed to control and incarcerate people of color in the inner city and to bash hippies. Abroad it’s used to as a proxy to wage counterinsurgency against any group or nation that challenges US hegemony.
War on Drugs. The ratfuck that keeps on giving.
Update: “The coordinated raids of at least a dozen Denver dispensaries on Thursday are the latest federal law enforcement actions to occur in the wake of legalization votes last November in Colorado and Washington states.”
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