A recent appearance by top US bureaucrat Michele Leonhart is making a stir throughout the blogosphere because of its incompetence and evasiveness. But perhaps there is a bigger story.
In fact, one might argue Leonhart’s appearance signals a turning point in the “war on drugs” … much the way an appearance in 2009 by the Federal Reserve’s Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman helped puncture Fed credibility.
In the video itself (which also accompanies various articles), Drug Enforcement Administrator Leonhart refuses to answer whether heroin is more addictive than marijuana. But her caution – caught in the crosshairs of YouTube’s merciless gaze – comes across as evasion. Her determined rephrasing would seem to present itself as reluctance to convey the truth.
Testifying at a recent House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, she seems either woefully uninformed or maliciously determined to mislead those conducting the hearing. The entire encounter is reminiscent of a video presenting the testimony of Fed Inspector General Coleman on May 5, 2009.
This testimony has already gone down in the history of the alternative press as “The Day that May Have Ended the Fed as We Know It.” The Coleman video basically shows one of the Fed’s top officers shakily denying that she has the authority to find out where trillions of Fed dollars – money printed from nothing – were shipped during the “contagion crisis” of 2008-2009.
In the case of Coleman, her questioner is (former) Representative Alan Grayson. In the case of Leonhart, her questioner is Rep. Jared Polis. But the identity of the questioners is not so important as the appearances of their victims, eventually, on YouTube.
There, on YouTube, they are judged by multi-millions of viewers and subjected increasingly to generalized derision. The omnipotent state that sponsors both the Fed and the “war on the drugs” can withstand almost anything, but not mockery. YouTube’s exposure and the subsequent reaction of viewers are deadly to the state’s justifications for many of its most Draconian and authoritarian policies.
I’ve worked for the prison industrial complex and I’ve seen the damage a prison sentence can do to so many families and people. Way worse than any of these drugs.