Nixon Chief Policy Officer: We Created ‘War on Drugs’ to Oppress Blacks, Antiwar Movement

According to Harper’s magazine, John Ehrlichman, chief policy officer for Nixon, says of the ‘war on drugs’ implemented by the regime:

“You want to know what this was really all about?

The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and Black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or Black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.

We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Telsur notes that “since the implementation of the war on drugs, the African-American community has seen disproportionately high levels of imprisonment for non-violent crimes.”

A related report released this week confirms that US citizens of European descent (whites) are more likely to abuse hard drugs than those of African descent.

One of the report’s authors summarized: “We found that African Americans are less likely than other racial/ethnic groups to abuse hard drugs. Yet, African Americans are disproportionately incarcerated for drug crimes.”

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  • kimyo

    it’s quite challenging to winnow the list down to the top 3 most scary things about a trump presidency, but his association with arpaio easily makes the cut.

    Chasing the Scream

    Hari spent time with a group of women prisoners serving drug sentences, who work daily in 110° heat on a chain gang. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke go unacknowledged and untreated. They then return to their living quarters, which Arpaio has referred to as his “concentration camp.” These are the tents I’d heard about, unheated in winter and uncooled in summer, donated by the military (some from the Korean war). They get two meals of slop a day, “a brownish gloop of unspecified meat that Arpaio boasted to a reporter contained ‘rotten’ lumps, and costs at most 40 cents a meal”

    ‘One Thing You Can Say for the War on Drugs … Is We Gave It a Fair Shot’

    So it’s very important to understand, and Leigh came to understand, that even when there’s no racist intent, there’s a racist effect. Because if you have a law that’s been broken by half of the population, you can’t put half of the population of the United States in prison — although to be fair, you are giving it a fair shot — so what can you do? You’re going to go after the most unpopular and despised minorities who can’t fight back, and we know who those are in America. So it’s partly that Leigh noticed the incredible racism of it.

    She also noticed something more unexpected — which is if you’re a cop and you arrest a rapist, the next week, there’s less rape in your town, right? Rape goes down. If you’re a cop and you arrest a drug dealer, well, firstly no one thinks there’s less drug dealing, right? We know that because the drug price never goes up. If supply was constricted, the price would go up and that doesn’t happen. But something even more interesting happens. The rate of drug dealing never goes down, but if you bust drug dealers, the rate of murder actually goes up, the killings go up.

    Leigh couldn’t really understand why at first, and then she discovered that basically what happens is if you’re a drug dealer, you establish control of your patch using violence. You establish a reputation for being terrifying and awful. If someone comes along and busts you or kills you, someone else has to come along and establish a reputation for being terrifying and violent. It triggers a turf war for control of the patch where people will kill each other and establish a reputation for violence.

    So, Leigh noticed all this and started to think: Well, I went into this in order to bankrupt the drug gangs. What she realizes is that the drug war actually transfers this whole industry to the drug gangs. It’s what keeps them in business; they depend on it. They’re depending on it so much that at the start of the drug war, they actually bribed the narcotics agents to introduce it

    no one in power has any intention of winning the wars on terror/poverty/drugs/gun violence/carbon.

    • Know and share this information with the government schooled.

      Nov 2, 2015 No, the Police Don’t Work For You


      In the United States, you can get a pizza delivered faster than you can get the police to come to your home! To serve but not protect!

    • Congress passes all bills that have potential to become law. Presidents can sign bills into law.

      Presidents work for Congress. Presidents are employees of Congress. Congress establishes all agency for itself and rules by which presidents can operate specific agency.

      If you have a problem with the USA, you have a problem with Congress and not Trump.

      Good luck!

      • Abner Doubleday

        Pure baloney and contrived nonsense — not that the actual truth would exonerate any president, past, present, or future. It takes a village (of political and corporate criminals) to keep the people ignorant, misinformed, and dutiful to the heinous crimes of the elite.

        • “Pure baloney and contrived nonsense…” ~ @disqus_lST9w6A2Dh:disqus

          Yes, I agree with your subconscious, which alerted us to the rest of your comment — all nonsense.

          Better luck next time!

  • Carl_Herman

    Thanks, Robert; I wanted to “catch and pass” this story, too, but can’t get to most of them 🙂

    Yeah, this is US fascism: psychopathic control with viciously destructive policies. It’s self-destructive, finally, but not before the 99% are destroyed first. “We the People” need to recognize this horror, see its future, and demand arrests of these .01% psychopath criminals.

    In just this one story, millions of Americans have suffered severe harm, with total economic damages in the likely hundreds of billions of our dollars, and all for known lies in order to attempt fascist control.

    • Don Robertson

      You idiot. That’s Obama’s rational about legalizing drugs, the war on drugs disproportionately harms black folks. You complete asshole, Carl. Illegal drugs disproportionately harm black folks is the truth.

      We need to bring back the death penalty for drug dealers, and people like you, Carl, and you, Robert, who are so fucking stupid you cannot see the forest for the trees, and advocate drug legalization like it’s a solution. Look at Portugal. Look at Amsterdam.

      Is that what you want?

      • Carl_Herman

        I’m flagging your comment with request that it be deleted for advocating death to WB authors. History: these types of comments had me delete Don from commenting on my articles on

        Refusing/failing to address the article content other than strawman arguments, and with escalating violent advocacy would have such a person removed from any professional and/or civic discussion.

        • Don Robertson


          I’ll go one better, Carl. I’ll stop posting here on WB, because you’re insinuating I posted something on the Examiner, a blog that I’ve never read.

          There are too many dopers here to bother anyway. One might just as well argue with a dog barking in the night. Woof, woof…

          • Don Robertson

            We have articles like this literally every day in our Maine papers.


            Is this the clientelle that WB caters too? Seven years running the number of overdose deaths in Maine has risen. Screw Obama’s legalize dope statements.

            The people who advocate for dope legalization are on crack. They’ve lost their miinds. People like Carl Herman have not only lost their minds, they completely lost their way too.

            Quit the dope, Carl. Quit the dope, everyone else. I’ve seen what dope does to people over time. Quit the dope before it’s too late.

          • Abner Doubleday

            Get this lunatic off this website!

      • Abner Doubleday

        Look at the U.S., and yes Portugal and Amsterdam would be a huge improvement, especially if that would mean troglodytes like you would leave.

    • Robert Barsocchini

      Yep, that quote seemed like something everyone should know.

  • Don Robertson

    “Nixon Chief Policy Officer: We Created ‘War on Drugs’ to Oppress Blacks, Antiwar Movement”

    Ironically, the author wouldn’t ascribe a flea’s weight of credibility to this guy, except that he’s obviously said something the author thinks is going to work for his legalize-all-dope campaign. Get a fucking life, asshole.. Quit the dope before your life is over and you’ve done nothing with it.

    How old is this guy being quoted? 106? Pathetic! He’s probably on more dope that the dopers.

    War on drugs to oppress the blacks? Oppress the antiwar movement? What the fuck is this guy talking about? The choice of words says it all. Weer gun —oppress— those muthafkkers!

    Snake oil spinmanship is what this is. The pro dope crowd is full of spin.

    • Robert Barsocchini

      Ehrlichman was 69 when he said the above. He died in ’99. Not a secret.

  • MARCH 23, 2016 Former Nixon Aide Admits War On Drugs Was A Big Lie; Was Never About Drugs

    To clarify, it was not Nixon’s police state that was a lie. That was very real. It was the justification used for the war, the fearmongering, and the panic-inducing hype produced by the White House that was a monumental obfuscation.

  • Nov 15, 2015 Over $1 Trillion Spent On The War On Drugs Since Nixon Started the Effort

    The war on drugs has surged through the veins of American life for decades costing the nation more than $1 trillion. The battle formally declared by President Richard Nixon in June1971 reached that peak in 2010. Every year, it costs the country $51 billion, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, a non-profit focused on drug-regulation reform.

  • Run From the Cure – The Rick Simpson Story

    “They let the genie out of the bottle with this one, and the big money can’t put it back in.” A Film By Christian Laurette – After a serious head injury in 1997, Rick Simpson sought relief from his medical condition through the use of medical hemp oil. When Rick discovered that the hemp oil (with its high concentration of T.H.C.) cured cancers and other illnesses

  • Daniel Bruno

    Hey people, dont argue, just see for yourself, the documents that prove the drug war is a

    huge hoax, to wit:

    COPS PLANTING DRUGS AND GUNS ON THOUSANDS OF BLACK MEN for 25 years:,51759.msg62210.html#msg62210


    DEA is a spy agency with drug war as cover story:,9277.msg13195.html#msg13195,51768.msg62219.html#msg62219


    DEA agents have sex parties on your dime:,2103.0.html


    Driving on a road used by drug couriers is “probable cause” So, if you drive on 95 anywhere between New York and Miami, you can be searched. In practice, this applies only to blacks and browns.,9279.msg13197.html#msg13197

    Now, for your doctorate, read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

  • Paranoid Factoid

    I think the drug war policy should be viewed through the historical lens of the old 16th-19th century TransAtlantic Slave trade. Where American cotton was traded for English gold, which went to buy African slaves for import to the United States for cotton production. Consider:

    – The CIA has been known to import drugs. 1) Opium from Laos via Air America as part of funding counterintelligence operations in North Vietnam and Cambodia. 2) Cocaine from Nicaragua and Panama as part of a counterintelligence operations throughout Central America – most notoriously the Contras. And, if this policy continues, one could assume from opium Afghanistan as part of counterintelligence in the Middle East. And likely Mexico as well.

    – The CIA was caught running guns, illegally selling weapons to Iran as part of a Guns for Money operation during Iran-Contra in the 80s. And one can assume the weapons illegally sold over the border in Mexico during the operation Fast and Furious scandal.

    – The Prison Industrial Complex. All those black and brown people not only have their franchise revoked for bogus felonies, but as prisoners they become a new breed of slaves sold by prisons on contract to local manufacturers for pennies an hour.

    Add this all up and you get guns for money for drugs for money and slaves, funding illicit counterintelligence operations on the one hand and slaves for cheap manufacturing on the other. And even suppressing political enemies to boot!

    Anti-drug laws aren’t a mere political suppression tool. They’re part of a wider program of illicit trade to fund intelligence operations off-books and help the industrialist ‘friends of government’. A modern day TransPacific slave triangle.

    • This is brilliant. I commend you. You have just managed to sum up the essence of the Drug War in about 300 words. But dont forget Gary Webb, the “suicided” journalist who brought us the proof and paid with his life.