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sent in by Tim The Wizzard
Libertarian Party runs provocative anti-War on Drugs newspaper ads
LP News Online: March 2002:

[February 26] The Libertarian Party has launched a provocative advertising campaign that accuses Drug Czar John Walters and other pro-War on Drugs politicians of financially aiding terrorism.
 The full-page ads, a parody of an ongoing Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) advertising campaign, appear Tuesday in USA Today and the Washington Times.
 USA Today has a circulation of just under 2.2 million. The Washington Times reaches just over 100,000 readers.
 "We wanted to shake up the nation's drug debate," said Libertarian Party Executive Director Steve Dasbach. "The federal government has been using the hatred of terrorists caused by the September 11 attacks to prop up its sputtering War on Drugs.
 "We want to make sure the other side of the debate is heard -- and we want to make our point in a provocative, in-your-face way that the Drug Czar, the White House, and pro-War on Drugs politicians cannot ignore. We think our ads will do that."
 The Libertarian advertisement charges that the War on Drugs creates black markets that boost the price of illegal drugs by as much as 17,000%, funneling massive profits to terrorist organizations.
 The ad shows a huge blowup of the face of Drug Czar John Walters, and states: "This week, I had lunch with the President, testified before Congress, and helped funnel $40 million in illegal drug money to groups like the Taliban."
 The advertisement tells Americans: "If you support the War on Drugs or vote for the politicians who wage it, you're helping support terrorism." It also directs readers to a website for more information: http://www.LP.org/drugwar.
 The ad is a parody of an ongoing ONDCP advertising campaign alleging that Americans who buy illegal drugs support terrorism.
 One typical ONDCP ad shows a closeup of a young woman's face, and says: "Last week, I washed my car, hung out with a few friends, and helped murder a family in Colombia."
 The bottom of the ONDCP ads state: "Drug money helps support terror. Buy drugs and you could be supporting it too."
 The problem with the ONDCP ads, said Dasbach, is that the War on Drugs causes the very problem those ads complain about.
 "The War on Drugs turns ordinary, cheap plants like marijuana and poppies into fantastically lucrative illegal products that enrich terrorists," he said. "Without the War on Drugs, the financial engine that fuels many terrorist organizations would sputter to a halt."
 The Libertarian advertisement is deliberately designed to be provocative to help get its message across, said Dasbach.
 "We have thrown down the gauntlet," he said. "The Drug Czar wants to tell the 94 million Americans who have peacefully used illegal drugs that they are helping terrorism. That's nonsense.
 "The fact is, the War on Drugs, the politicians who vote for it, and the bureaucrats who administer it are the best friends that terrorists ever had. We want voters to know that federal drug policy is making America less safe."
 At the website given in the advertisement -- www.LP.org/drugwar -- the Libertarian Party presents factual evidence buttressing its claim that the War on Drugs enriches terrorists.
 The website quotes from a report issued by the ONDCP, "The Price of Illicit Drugs: 1981 Through the Second Quarter of 2000" (October 2001), that states: "Illicit drug prices are many magnitudes higher than would otherwise be the case were there no effective source zone, interdiction, and domestic law enforcement programs."
 The site also cites the Hoover Digest (Issue No. 1, 2000), published by the Hoover Institution, which give the "17,000 percent" mark-up figure for illegal drugs. The Hoover Digest article was written by Joseph D. McNamara, former police chief of Kansas City, Missouri and San Jose, California.
> In addition, the site quotes the ONDCP's site, www.theantidrug.com, U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), and the Congressional Research Service.
 "We make a very solid case that the War on Drugs dramatically increases the price of drugs," said Dasbach. "That's why terrorists flock to the drug trade -- and earn hundreds of millions of dollars in artificially inflated profits. They then use that money to finance violence against innocent people, corrupt law enforcement, wage civil wars, and destabilize governments around the world.
 "That's why this is such an important message for us to convey to voters. If we eliminate the War on Drugs, we can eliminate the enormous, inflated profits terrorists get from illegal drug trafficking. We can take away their financial ammunition. We can make America safer."
  The two ads cost the Libertarian Party just over $71,200 to run.  The party raised most of the money from its e-mail list of LP supporters in just five days, said Dasbach -- however, about one-third of the money came from non-LP sources.
  "A number of drug reform groups are very excited about what we're doing," he said. "Groups like the Drug Reform Coordination Network forwarded our messages to their own e-mail lists, and a significant number of non-party members made generous contributions. Their help made these ads possible."
 The party did considerable legal research before booking the ads, said Dasbach, to make sure it would not face any lawsuits.
 "We ran the advertisement by the party's legal counsel, and he said we fall solidly within the 'fair-use' doctrine," he said. "Even though our ad uses the likeness of a real person, mimics the look-and-feel of the ONDCP ads, and makes a provocative claim, we are on solid legal ground."
 Since the ad is "political speech," a much higher standard of scrutiny would be applied than would be the case with commercial ads, said Dasbach.
 The Supreme Court has held -- most notably in the precedent-setting case of Hustler Magazine, Inc., et al v. Jerry Falwell, et al -- that even barbed satire of public figures is protected speech under the Constitution, he said.
 The Libertarian Party ad is running in just two newspapers, said Dasbach, but the party may expand it to other newspapers in the future.
 "The ONDCP ads have run in 293 newspapers around the country," he said. "Wouldn't it be poetic justice to have the face of John Walters, the terrorists' best friend, staring out of every one of those same newspapers?"

To view the ad, visit: http://www.lp.org/issues/drugczarad.html
*NOTE: Add is in PDF format. Must have adobe acrobat to read.
I will post add on this page, as soon as I find it in .jpg or .gif format.
t36

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 Ordo Ab Chao
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