Former Drug Czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey Blasts Obama's Drug Legalization

February 17, 2016

In a broad-ranging interview published Feb. 14 in Colombian daily El Heraldo, Gen. (r) Barry McCaffrey, former head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the Clinton administration, underscored the 15-year success of Plan Colombia, the $1.3 billion military and economic aid package begun in 2001 to combat Colombia's drug cartels and the murderous insurgencies they financed.

In the interview, conducted on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Plan Colombia, McCaffrey explained that in the late 1990s, Colombia was in a desperate situation, in danger of becoming a failed state, and that the U.S. had a "historical commitment" to help it. McCaffrey was personally involved in formulating the program and coordinated closely with Colombian military and civilian personnel to monitor its implementation.

Although he praised Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for trying to end a decades-long war by negotiating peace with the narcoterrorist FARC and ELN, Gen. McCaffrey pointed out that there is a major problem with the plan, which Barack Obama has personally brokered. These two groups cannot be considered in any way to be "ideological" or political, he said. "They are criminal organizations and are financed in large part by the drug trade." It's notable that negotiators for the FARC have demanded that drug legalization be included in the deal.

Legalization, McCaffrey said, is "insane. Nothing good can come from it, from these illegal substances. In fact, many of the statements about it are completely absurd...." He told his interviewer that he had been invited to participate in a seminar in Mexico (which he declined) with former Ibero-American heads of state, Colombian Cesar Gaviria and Mexican Vicente Fox, both of whom belong to the George Soros-financed Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, which promotes drug legalization. When these former Presidents were in office, McCaffrey said, they never would have dreamed of telling their populations that they supported drug legalization. But now, they've decided that if the United States legalizes drugs, and the rest of the countries, too, the [drug] problem will just disappear. "That is absurd."