I meant to post about this yesterday, and now I see from Balko's post here that between then and now a flame war has started over Andy Sullivan's perceived blame of the Bush administration for this heinous crime. Here's what Sullivan said, in part:
What I do know is that when the government launches an ill-defined "war" on a "thing", rather than an explicit foreign enemy, and when you have an administration as profoundly hostile to American liberty as this one is, all sorts of abuses will necessarily follow. And they have.Backed by Instapundit (gosh, the InstaSully feud is so adorable!), Tom Maguire over at Just One Minute sees this as a clear sign that Sullivan has developed Bush Derangement Syndrome, but I'm not sure that's being fair to Sullivan. JOM says
It's not clear from the context whether the "thing" upon which we have declared war is drugs (this was, after all, a drug dealer) or terror.It seems clear to me that "this thing of ours" that Sully references is the immoral, worthless and endless "War on Drugs," particularly given his strong support for the GWOT. Yes, his rhetoric about the Bush administration is a tad overheated, but c'mon: that's Sullivan. You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him. Let Sully be Sully. Etc.
And, in defense of Sullivan, Balko correctly points out that, among other things,
Anyway, I started this post by saying I wasn't gonna write much about it, so leave me alone and follow the damn links that I slaved long and hard preparing just for you that you never appreciate and just once it would be nice to hear "those links were really good" and why are you always working late these days and don't you love me anymore?
[I]t was the Bush administration that ran inflammatory ads accusing recreational drug users of financing international terrorism, attempting to make the case that there's no moral distinction between dope dealers and al-Qaeda operatives. When the White House's top drug policy people run a million-dollar ad campaign suggesting that small-time drug dealers are no better than terrorists, it's certainly reasonable to wonder if that might contribute to the mindset that leads drug cops to treat drug suspects like terrorists, isn't it? [emphasis Cranky's]
It's disingenuous to support an administration that paints drug users and dealers as subhuman scum no better than the 9/11 hijackers, then feign shock when someone dares to suggest that such rhetoric and policies might be to blame when drug cops do in fact treat suspected drug users or dealers ...as subhuman scum no better than the 9/11 hijackers. [emphasis still Cranky's]