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Saturday, January 19, 2019

AG Nominee Bill Barr, Hard-Core Drug Warrior — Perhaps Literally

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

 

William Barr, Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, believes the president has vast, unilateral authority to protect national security, which he says is threatened by the distribution of psychoactive substances the government has decreed Americans should not want.

Those positions are a dangerous combination that is apt to encourage the worst instincts of a president who portrays himself as tough on crime, promises to stop the flow of illegal drugs and revels in pointless military displays. With Barr as attorney general and Trump as president, we may see an increasingly literal war on drugs in which aggression masquerades as self-defense.…

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As U.S. Attorney, Whitaker Was A Fervent Drug Warrior

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

By all accounts, the War on Drugs has been a colossal failure in the United States. Not only has it failed to significantly reduce drug use among Americans—it has also promoted mass incarceration, cost the taxpayers a fortune and resulted in countless innocent Americans being killed in botched no-knock drug raids. And one of the drug war’s ardent supporters—at least in the past—has been Matthew Whitaker, who President Donald Trump picked to serve as acting attorney general after firing Jeff Sessions.

The fact that Whitaker has been an outspoken critic of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-related investigation was no doubt a key factor in the appointment.…

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Despite Trump Blessing, McConnell Blocks Sentencing Reform

Reprinted with permission from  Independent Media Institute.

Prospects for a major federal sentencing reform bill brightened on Wednesday with President Trump’s announcement that he would support the effort, but by week’s end, those prospects dimmed abruptly as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the president he wouldn’t bring the bill to a floor vote this year.

The bill is known as the First Step Act. The House passed a version of this in spring, but the House version was limited to reforms on the “back end,” such as slightly increasing good time credits for federal prisoners and providing higher levels of reentry and rehabilitation services.…

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