(Paul Jacob) – Businessmen tend to be extremely concerned about efficiency, even to the point of talking incessantly about things like “performance metrics.”
Bureaucrats? Not so much.
Indeed, the merest suggestion that a program isn’t cutting the mustard can bring on protests of outrage. John Payne, writing on The Lesson Applied, caught my attention to one such instance. Quoting from the Associated Press, he reveals the passion and “logic” of former “drug czar” John Walters:
“To say that all the things that have been done in the war on drugs haven’t made any difference is ridiculous,” Walters said. “It destroys everything we’ve done. It’s saying all the people involved in law enforcement, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time.”
Payne’s no-nonsense response? “Yes, that is exactly what critics of the drug war are saying.”
Why did Walters take such umbrage? Could it be to intimidate us into not thinking about the evidence that drug-war critics present? Or questioning the logic of the whole program?
And the logic is a tad shaky: Allegedly to prevent some people from ruining their lives, we ruin those lives and many, many others.
Hundreds of thousands of people in prison. Billions in property confiscated without due process. Innocents shot in no-knock raids — including dogs, little girls . . . and the police themselves from innocent Americans defending themselves from seemingly anonymous attackers in the night.
Drug abuse can be very bad. I know. But Constitution-abuse can be worse.
(Mr. Jacob is president of Citizens in Charge)