Pubdate: Wed, 22 Oct 2003
Source: Free Times (SC)
Copyright: 2003 Free Times
Author: Joe Seehusen
Note: The author is executive director of the national Libertarian Party.


The entire nation owes radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh a debt of gratitude,
because his ordeal has exposed every drug warrior in America as a rank

One thing we don't hear from American politicians very often is silence. By
refusing to criticize Rush Limbaugh, every drug warrior has just been
exposed as a shameless, despicable hypocrite. And that's good news, because
the next time they do speak up, there'll be no reason for anyone to listen.

The revelation that Limbaugh had become addicted to painkillers - drugs he
is accused of procuring illegally from his housekeeper - has caused a media
sensation ever since the megastar's shocking, on-air confession on Oct. 10.

As the Limbaugh saga continues, here's an important question for Americans
to ask: Why are all the drug warriors suddenly so silent?

Republican and Democratic politicians have written laws that have condemned
more than 400,000 Americans to prison for committing the same "crime" as
Rush Limbaugh. If this pill-popping pontificator deserves a
get-out-of-jail-free card, these drug warriors had better explain why.

Given their longstanding support for the drug war, it's fair to ask:

Why haven't President Bush, or his tough-on-crime U.S. Attorney General John
Ashcroft, uttered a word criticizing Limbaugh's alleged law breaking?

Why aren't Drug Czar John P. Walters or his predecessor, Barry McCaffrey,
lambasting Limbaugh as a menace to society and a threat to "our children?"

Why aren't federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents storming
Limbaugh's $30 million Florida mansion in a frantic search for criminal

Why haven't federal, state and local police agencies seized the celebrity's
homes and luxury cars under asset-forfeiture laws?

Finally, why aren't blabbermouths like William Bennett publicly explaining
how America would be better off if Limbaugh were prosecuted, locked in a
steel cage and forced to abandon his wife, his friends and his career?

The answer is obvious: America's drug warriors are shameless hypocrites who
believe in one standard of justice for ordinary Americans and another for
themselves, their families and their political allies. That alone should
completely discredit them.

But there's an even more disturbing possibility behind the drug warriors'
mums-the-word approach to the Limbaugh scandal - that the people who are
prosecuting the drug war don't even believe in its central premise, which is
that public safety requires that drug users be jailed.

The Bushes and Ashcrofts and McCaffreys of the world may believe, correctly,
that individuals fighting a drug addiction deserve medical, not criminal
treatment. That would explain why they're not demanding that Limbaugh be

But if that's the case, these politicians have spent decades tearing apart
American families for their own political gain. And that's an unforgivable
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