News Release Archive - 1998

Analysts Available on U.S. Missile Attacks

Interviews are available with these specialists on international law and the Middle East:

Editor of Middle East Report.
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Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.
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Professor at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

BARBARA LUBIN [currently in Jerusalem]
Director, Middle East Children’s Alliance.

A professor of International Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, Boyle said: “The U.S. attacks were clearly illegal. Particularly the attack on Sudan was without reason. The Sudanese government can probably sue the U.S. in the World Court over this.”

Professor of Law at Ohio State University. Specializes in international law. Also knowledgeable on the Mideast.

An international lawyer and president of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, Weiss said: “The bombings are not compatible with the rules of international law. It goes to show what is needed to deal with terrorism is the International Criminal Court — which the U.S. recently refused to help establish.”

Professor of Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University.

Political science professor, University of Massachusetts. Author of The Obstruction of Peace.

Associate professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. Also, research fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at University of California at Berkeley.

Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and co-author of The “Terrorism” Industry.

For more information, contact Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.

Terrorism “Experts”: What’s Their Record?

WASHINGTON—While “terrorism experts” are theorizing about the culprits in the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, it may be helpful to consider the track records of such commentators. Here is a selection of statements by widely cited terrorism experts:

VINCENT CANNISTRARO: According to Cannistraro, a former head of CIA counter-intelligence, the Oklahoma City bombing had “the marks of a Middle Eastern group.” (Washington Times, 4/20/95) Cannistraro has claimed that environmentalists are seeking to eradicate humanity with killer viruses: “There are small organized clandestine cells working on the development of technologies to diminish or even eliminate the race of man from the Earth.” (San Francisco Examiner, 4/21/91)

STEVEN EMERSON: “Oklahoma City, I can tell you, is probably considered one of the largest centers of Islamic radical activity outside the Middle East.” “This was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible. That is a Middle Eastern trait.” (CBS News, 4/19/95) Islam, “which has more than 1.4 billion adherents—somehow sanctions genocide, planned genocide, as part of its religious doctrine.” (The Jewish Monthly, 3/95)

LARRY JOHNSON: A former counter-terrorism official with the State Department, Johnson said about the TWA 800 crash: “This was a bomb on board, without a doubt.” (CNN 7/17/96; Dallas Morning News, 7/18/96) On the Oklahoma City bombing: “I think as we sort through the evidence, in my judgment, this has the hallmarks of Islamic ties.” (CNN, 4/20/95)

ROBERT KUPPERMAN: Senior adviser for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Kupperman ascribed guilt for the recent bombings in East Africa to an entire ethnicity. “The Arabs did it,” he said. (AP, 8/14/98)

NEIL LIVINGSTONE: A security consultant, Livingstone said: “Since the end of the Cold War, the biggest threat to the U.S. has come from the Middle East. I’m afraid what happened in Oklahoma has proved that.” (London Daily Mail, 4/21/95)

More credible analysts are available for interviews. They include:

Professor Emeritus at the Wharton School and co-author of The “Terrorism” Industry.

Professor at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

The president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
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Civil rights attorney.

For more information, contact Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.

Analysts Look Beyond Tragic Bombings to Assess Future of East Africa

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of the tragic bombings in East Africa that took the lives of at least 250 people, analysts familiar with the region are assessing major issues confronting Kenya, Tanzania and neighboring countries. Among those available for comment:

Professor of Africana Studies and English at the University of Pittsburgh, Brutus said: “We sympathize with those who are suffering from these tragedies, but we should also sympathize with those suffering independent of these bombings. In Kenya, we should bear in mind the repression of the Daniel Arap Moi government, which has jailed members of the opposition and used the army to put down protests. In looking at East Africa, what is being overlooked is the profound dissatisfaction because of the structural adjustment programs imposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The debt burden means, for example, that Tanzania spends six times as much on the debt than on health care. If the U.S. continues to be the principal protagonist of World Bank/IMF policies, it is likely to face increasing hostility.”

“One of the biggest stories in Africa is communities inserting themselves into politics and organizing civil society,” said Hurxthal, press officer at Oxfam America, a relief and development organization. Meanwhile, a huge famine is threatening East Africa, Hurxthal said. “The bombings obviously warrant the attention that they’re getting, but right next door, Sudan is on the verge of a huge crisis. Tens of thousands of lives will be lost if serious attention is not given to the current situation. We’re at a point with Sudan where we can save people now instead of looking back and lamenting the loss of life. Some 350,000 people are currently facing starvation — it could go above a million. The networks have sent their reporters to East Africa — they’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from Sudan, and could help avert a major tragedy by alerting the public to it.”

Njehu, co-coordinator of the Kenya Action Network and public outreach coordinator of the 50 Years is Enough Network, said she is “proud of how Kenyans immediately responded, generously putting themselves at risk in the rescue effort.” She added: “After the spotlight has faded, people will need to focus on the issues of continuing economic devastation. The problems surrounding international financial institutions, debt and reconstruction of African countries need to be dealt with. Political will and attention should galvanize the international community to confront Africa’s debt crisis, landmines, poverty and famine which kill millions more than did the terrible bombs last Friday morning.”

For more information, contact Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.

Debate Breaks Out on Efforts to Pressure Burma About Human Rights

WASHINGTON — In the largest such effort since the anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s, the state of Massachusetts and some 20 cities and localities are effectively refusing to buy from companies that do business in Burma, where a military junta seized power and human rights abuses persist. Now, salvos are being fired about the legitimacy of such measures by local governments.

Today, hours after the Cato Institute put out a news release arguing that state and local selective-purchasing laws on Burma are unconstitutional, the think tank drew a barrage of criticism for confusing the issue rather than clarifying it. Among those available for comment:

Senior analyst at the investment firm of Franklin Research & Development and coordinator of the Massachusetts Burma Roundtable, a coalition in support of the Burmese pro-democracy movement, Billenness said: “The Cato Institute professes to support the free market, yet it is arguing that the federal government should prevent Massachusetts from participating in the free market as the state sees fit. This clearly shows how the Cato Institute backs corporate interests rather than the free market.” Billenness also took issue with Cato’s contention that such purchasing laws “collide head-on” with a federal law that bans new investment in Burma. Said Billenness: “Local laws actually supplement sanctions at the federal level.”

Chief sponsor of Burma and South Africa selective-purchasing legislation in Massachusetts, state Rep. Rushing said: “Essentially what Cato has done is to rehash the position the National Foreign Trade Council has been taking in their suit against Massachusetts. They seem to be concerned about the experience with South Africa and the anti-apartheid movement. They don’t want to deal with democratic grassroots movements around human rights issues. The Burma law was modeled on legislation on South Africa…. It WOULD be unconstitutional for us to make it illegal for companies to do business with Burma, but our legislation is about state purchasing. We have the same rights as anyone has in deciding what to buy and from whom.”

A journalist who has written widely on Burma for The Nation and other outlets, Bernstein said: “While Cato deals in questionable constitutional issues, democracy activists in Burma are surely being raped, tortured and murdered in a systematic manner. Many have died in Burma trying to implement some of those concepts Cato now purports to care so much about. I do hope Cato’s sources on Burma’s narco-dictatorship go beyond the drumbeat of phony PR now being produced by high-priced Washington PR firms.”

For more information, contact Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.

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At the End of Sweltering Month, Denial on Global Warming

WASHINGTON — Despite record temperatures and the prevalent view of the scientific community, some denial about global warming has not melted. In recent days, a troop of global-warming deniers journeyed to Capitol Hill.

Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute was among those who testified Wednesday disputing the scientific weight of evidence on climate change. A number of environmentalists and scientists are available for comment, including:

Trenberth, who heads the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said: “This is amazing in view of the heat wave going on in Texas and throughout the southern U.S., major flooding in Iowa and New England, major droughts throughout the world and many fires. Extremes of climate are indeed increasing, breaking records by substantial amounts. In 1995, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated `the balance of evidence suggests there is a discernible human influence on global climate.’ The evidence has since increased. These effects are costing billions of dollars, they are not benign. Michaels has few publications that indicate that he has scientific credentials in this area. When he shows up to conferences, the talk he gives is political, not a scientific talk.”

MacGillis, director of campaigns for Ozone Action, is critical of Michaels and others who dispute global warming. “Michaels is a vocal skeptic of global warming who receives funding from a number of corporate interests who share his views,” MacGillis said. “Among them are the Edison Electric Institute, the German Coal Mining Association and the Western Fuels Association. This fossil fuel money provides a very loud platform that is out of proportion to the dearth of supporting evidence for skeptic scientists, like Michaels, who claim there is no scientific link between human activities and climate change.”

Hauter, director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy Project, said: “Michaels has no credibility on the subject of climate change; he is a hired gun for the fossil fuel industry. Vested interests, like the ones that fund Michaels, care only about their profits, not the gamble that the human race is taking by failing to immediately and significantly reduce emissions. In 1997, worldwide temperatures were at their highest levels in recorded history. This continues a steady, upward trend that most meteorologists believe is powerful evidence that people are changing the Earth’s climate.”

For more information, contact Theresa Caldwell or Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.

Killing at School: Behind the Images

WASHINGTON — In two weeks, the boys accused of the deadly shooting spree at their school in Jonesboro, Arkansas go on trial. Criminal justice and youth experts associated with the Institute for Public Accuracy say the trial — scheduled to get underway shortly before millions of students across the nation return to classes — should not be used to exploit the tragedy of school violence. The analysts warn against crafting policies and making statements that fuel fear at one of the safest institutions in America: schools.

Among those available for comment are:

Schiraldi is director of the Justice Policy Institute, which is releasing a report July 29th that shows there was no increase in school shooting deaths over a six-year period, despite the recent spate of school shootings. Schiraldi said: “Principals and teachers are going to go to school with this heightened fear of their children, even though our study shows there’s not a shred of evidence that school killing is on the increase — and school killings are extraordinarily rare to begin with. You find me an environment where there are 20 million adults that results in 40 killings in a year, and I’ll get your picture on the cover of Time magazine! If you’re afraid of getting killed in America, you ought to run into one of our schools.”

Staff attorney at the Youth Law Center, Schindler said: “Our concern is that when you have high profile violent events … it’s all too easy for policy makers and elected officials to jump on the bandwagon to look tough. What we really need to do is take a thoughtful approach to what types of things could be done to prevent, or at least reduce, tragedies like this in the future. Clearly the answer is not to just lock more kids up or prosecute them as adults.”

A criminologist and sociologist who teaches in the legal studies program at the University of California-Berkeley, Currie is a researcher at the university’s Center for the Study of Law and Society. “The more effective measures [to end school violence] are going to have to include restoring some of the supportive adult help for kids that we have taken away from them in the last 10 to 15 years,” Currie said. “Just as we have been talking very loudly about cracking down on juvenile crime and getting tough with young thugs, we have been cutting back on school counselors, mental health services for teenagers and other supportive services that could help to prevent these tragedies in the first place.”

Executive director of The National Funding Collaborative on Violence Prevention, Bowen said: “We think in general that alienation, isolation and those types of things often lead to violence. We think that when citizens come together to create visions for their communities and develop solutions for their problems, we can develop safe environments. Youth are a part of that. They have an important role to play in developing communities that are conducive to their own growth and development.”

For more information, contact Theresa Caldwell or Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020 or (202) 332-5055.

Claims for Privatizing Social Security Called

WASHINGTON — While a prominent think tank claimed Monday that privatizing Social Security would help American women, a past president of the American Economic Association called the conclusions “preposterous.” Robert Eisner said the plan would actually harm women and severely damage Social Security as a system of social insurance.

The Cato Institute — whose major contributors include American Express, the Chase Manhattan Bank, Citicorp, Fidelity Investments and other private firms — asserted that women would be better off under a system of privately owned retirement accounts. But a number of specialists quickly disputed the claim and said that privatization would undermine Social Security as a dependable source of economic security.

Among those available for interviews are:

Eisner, a former president of the American Economic Association, responded to the Cato Institute’s call for Social Security privatization Monday. “The conclusions strike me as preposterous,” Eisner said. “In the first place, they quite ignore the fact that current Social Security is a system of social insurance which insures that people get a minimum benefit that hopefully keeps many out of poverty. It is set up so that those at the bottom get in retirement a much larger proportion of their earnings while they were working than those at the top.”

But, Eisner said, “if you have private investment, those who are earning a lot and investing a lot will get much more and those who have little to invest will get much less. And women actually earn much less, on the average — so, to begin with, since they’re investing much less, they’ll get much less.”

In addition, Eisner said, “when you invest privately, all you get at some point is a lump sum. Then you have the problem of getting an annuity that will last you the rest of your life. The private companies don’t give you actuarially fair annuities. And in a private system, you don’t get an automatic cost-of-living adjustment, which Social Security automatically provides.”

“It is hard to imagine that any but the highest-paid women workers could benefit at all from fully or partially privatized Social Security,” said Mink, author of the 1998 book Welfare’s End and a professor of politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “Most women are not highly paid; in fact, women’s incomes are disproportionately low. If Social Security were partially privatized, its funding base would be depleted. This would eliminate `security’ in Social Security and leave low- income workers who must depend on public benefits extremely vulnerable in retirement.”

Mink added: “Fully privatized Social Security might be a boondoggle for brokerages and investment counselors, but it will leave low-income workers in an even more precarious position — preyed upon by bad investment tips and unprotected against the vagaries of the stock market. Social Security is supposed to provide a safety net for the elderly, not an opportunity for the rich to get richer and the poor to have even less to fall back on. While there are gender inequities in the benefits structure of Social Security, it nevertheless provides important basic guarantees for women. We should improve Social Security, not destroy it.”

A scholar whose books include Regulating the Poor and The Politics of Turmoil, Piven responded to Monday’s pronouncements by Cato this way: “‘Data’ is being thrown in our eyes like sand. A study that looks only at a boom period in the financial markets doesn’t tell us what happens to privatized pensions when the markets go down. It also ignores the huge transition costs entailed by diverting money into private plans, or the costs of providing retirement security to at-risk groups like the disabled.”

Piven, who is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, added: “In fact, the Social Security program is an example of successful — and popular — government, and conservatives are determined to demolish it. Cato is no doubt inspired by the crazed conviction that markets should control everything. Perhaps it is also influenced by the exciting prospect that Wall Street could soon be raking in the profits yielded by millions and millions of private pension accounts?”

Zuckerman, director of research and policy analysis for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said: “Virtually all of the privatization proposals that are under consideration include cuts in benefits that would pay for the costs of changing to a privatized system. Those cuts tend to be disproportionately harmful for women retirees…. By correctly describing the reasons that women are more dependent on Social Security, and then painting rosy forecasts that are apparently totally removed from the fiscal realities of policy making, the Cato reports do a tremendous disservice to women retirees.”

For more information, contact: Theresa Caldwell or Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.

Backers of International Court Challenge Nay-Sayers

WASHINGTON — As discussions on the International Criminal Court treaty were coming to a close in Rome today, backers of a strong Court criticized the U.S. delegation’s end-game approach at the historic meeting. Some Court advocates took particular exception to the common argument that the Court would open a legal Pandora’s box, saying that such allegations are a red herring. Among those available for comment are:

A fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of “Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s UN,” Bennis said: “The U.S. is essentially trying to create an international criminal court for everyone — except itself. The Pentagon claims that they’re against this treaty because they have so many troops on humanitarian missions. In reality, U.S. troops are disproportionately absent from peacekeeping missions. The White House doesn’t want a Court whose findings could be used to mobilize opposition in case of future U.S. interventions.”

A professor of International Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, Boyle said: “The idea that U.S. soldiers on peacekeeping missions could be prosecuted under this is completely bogus. What they really want to do is still make it possible for U.S. soldiers — as well as civilians who conduct offensive, illegal operations — to escape jurisdiction. The Pentagon is concerned that future military operations such as its invasions of Grenada and Panama and its bombings of Tripoli and Benghazi would be found to be criminal. What came out of Nuremberg was that there should be one body of law, not only for the Nazi defendants but also for ourselves in the future. Now, here we are 50 years later trying to prevent it. They are also undoing years of U.S. jurisprudence, taking positions contradicting our own Army Field Manual.”

Burroughs, a board member of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy who is currently in Rome, said “the U.S. and the other nuclear powers are keen that employing poison gas, dumdum bullets, biological agents and chemical weapons are defined as war crimes. This would mean that the rich man’s weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, are excluded.” Ware, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee, recently returned from Rome. He said such a policy would “create the ludicrous anomaly that the Court would have jurisdiction if someone killed one person with a poisoned arrow, but not if the person incinerated a hundred thousand with a nuclear weapon.” The Lawyers’ Committee is part of the Coalition for an International Criminal Court.

For more information, contact Theresa Caldwell or Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.

“Notable Hypocrisy” Cited as Prominent Think Tank Urges Funding Disclosure by Witnesses at Capitol

WASHINGTON — A new report by one of the nation’s most influential think tanks, the Heritage Foundation, criticizes witnesses who testified on Capitol Hill without disclosing grants they had received from the U.S. government. But the report does not mention that the Heritage Foundation presented congressional testimony on American policies toward North Korea without acknowledging that Heritage itself had received $1 million funneled from the South Korean government.

The Heritage report assesses compliance with a “Truth in Testimony” rule, adopted by Congress in January 1997, requiring that witnesses who appear before House committees disclose federal grants and contracts received during the current and past two fiscal years. The report, released Tuesday, includes a “scorecard” listing non-compliant organizations.

But the Institute for Public Accuracy contended Wednesday that the Heritage Foundation has not adhered to the broader spirit of the funding-disclosure rule, which Heritage has long advocated.

“Evidently, as far as the Heritage Foundation is concerned, it’s of vital importance that witnesses on Capitol Hill disclose any grants from the U.S. government,” said Norman Solomon, executive director of the Institute, a nationwide research consortium. “But Heritage presented formal congressional testimony, advocating particular U.S. policies toward the North Koreans, while failing to disclose that it had received sizeable contributions provided by the South Korean government. The hypocrisy is notable.”

In response to an inquiry from the Institute this week, Heritage Foundation public-relations director Cheryl Rubin confirmed that Heritage received a total of $1 million via the Korea Foundation from 1993 through 1995. She said that Heritage stopped receiving funds from the Korea Foundation in 1996.

The Wall Street Journal (8/10/95) reported that the Korea Foundation “is funded by South Korea’s Foreign Ministry” and “is an affiliate of the South Korean government, according to Yoo Lee, a spokesman for South Korea’s embassy” in Washington.

In February 1995, the president of the Heritage Foundation, Edwin J. Feulner Jr., submitted testimony titled “Clinton’s Flawed North Korean Nuclear Deal” to the House International Relations Committee. Feulner’s testimony did not mention that at the time his organization’s work on foreign-policy issues was being partly subsidized by the government of South Korea.

On March 19, 1996, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, Daryl M. Plunk, testified on “U.S.-North Korean Relations” before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the House International Relations Committee. The full text of Plunk’s submitted testimony included no disclosure of the Heritage Foundation’s big-money link to the South Korean government during the previous three years.

Plunk and other policy advocates from Heritage’s Asian Studies Center have presented testimony to House and Senate committees on many occasions. A laudatory new book about the Heritage Foundation, The Power of Ideas by Lee Edwards, states that Heritage established its Asian Studies Center in 1982 and raised an endowment for the Center of “more than $13 million over the next decade and a half, almost all of it from South Korean, Taiwanese, and other Asian foundations and corporations.”

The Heritage Foundation has continued to testify on Capitol Hill about Korea-related issues without noting its recent history of financial ties with the South Korean government. This year, for instance, on Feb. 24, Heritage policy analyst John P. Sweeney testified at a hearing on the Asian financial crisis held by the trade subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. Sweeney told the subcommittee: “We can assume that South Korea is going to do the right thing. Certainly they appear to be moving in the right direction.”

For more information, contact: Theresa Caldwell or Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.

Alternatives to Federal Anti-Drug Policies

WASHINGTON — With a $195 million federal anti-drug ad campaign now underway, some experts on drug policies and the law are questioning the effectiveness of the latest efforts to curb drug use.

Among those available for comment are:

Program Administrator for the Substance Abuse Network of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, Colbert said: “Before the federal government spends the money, they ought to ask people who are on the front lines how they should spend that kind of money. Suppose people see these ads and pick up the phone to call for some help. Where are they going to get it? In the District of Columbia there’s a war among providers to try to get the help they need for their clients because resources are so scarce. So some of that money could go toward drug prevention, intervention and treatment right here in the nation’s capital.”

President of the National Lawyers Guild and trial consultant with the National Jury Project, Koonan said of the high-dollar ad campaign: “That’s really criminal. Until we deal with an environment that does not provide a place for [young people with drug problems] to feel like they belong, does not provide an educational system that seems relevant to them and does not provide jobs that offer hope for advancement in the future, they’re left hanging out with friends and getting high. There’s a lot of insecurity and a sense of lack of mores and consistency in society that make people feel like they belong to something. You can’t give people a sense of belonging to something through advertisements.”

An assistant professor at American University and author of Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs, Lusane said: “Crime and welfare policies have exacerbated the situation with drugs. People are going to make choices to survive. Many of the people eliminated from the welfare lines have not found employment, so the conditions are set for people to become involved in the illegal underground economy and for substance abuse. The most recent decision of the administration not to fund needle exchange will have a negative effect on drug usage as well as AIDS. The needle exchange programs work with users and help bring them into drug treatment programs. The administration recognized this, but still caved in to the conservatives on the Hill who consider needle exchange to be a moral problem.”

The author of Scapegoat Generation: America’s War on Adolescents, Males said: “It’s time to recognize that drug abuse was going down when the drug war started and it’s gone up since. This is what’s been tried for 10 years. It’s politicians spending money for self-aggrandizement. The money goes to media outlets who have faithfully reported the issue the way officials want it. The drug war is a national disaster… There is a desperate need to confront the explosion of drug use among people in the 30-to-50 age range. This popular, emotional attack on kids ignores the serious parental drug problem that we have and the need for family programs. What we need to do is focus on kids being raised by addicted parents.”

Mauer, assistant director of The Sentencing Project, said: “There are real questions about whether this ad campaign is based on the best research and might not be counterproductive. This administration and Congress are doing exactly what their predecessors did — waging the war on drugs primarily with law enforcement, which is after the damage is done, rather than dealing with the problem through prevention and treatment programs. Mandatory minimum sentences have just bloated the prison system with low-level drug offenders. We’ve poured billions into building prison cells and that’s money that’s not available for treatment. Every dollar you invest in treatment is far more effective than building prison cells. Also, remember that alcohol and tobacco remain more of a health problem for both juveniles and adults. To ignore alcohol seems to be a misguided approach.”

Past chair of the Jail and Prison Health Committee of the American Public Health Association and a correctional medical expert, Weinstein said: “It’s more than a waste of money, because it gives a completely inaccurate view of the cause and cure of drug-related behaviors. A campaign like they have done in the past adds to the problem by focusing on individual behavior choices as the key element in the drug use problem in the U.S. It is not. The key part of the puzzle is that we have taken a public health problem and turned it into a problem of detention and punishment. Overlying that is the kind of social despair and alienation that drives people to the use of drugs.” Weinstein added: “But this is a drug-using society, so that only some drugs are criminalized, and only in some communities. An old saw in the public health community is, if you’re white and a working person and you have a cocaine habit, your employer’s insurance pays for an inpatient rehab facility. If you’re poor, black and involved in petty drug sales, you go to prison.”

For more information, contact Theresa Caldwell or Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.