Walter Cronkite on the Drug War

Epilogue by Walter Cronkite at the close of ""The Drug Dilemma: War or Peace," The Cronkite Report, June 20, 1995:
Every American was shocked when Robert McNamara, one of the master architects of the Vietnam war, acknowledged that not only did he believe the war was, "wrong, terribly wrong," but that he thought so at the very time he was helping to wage it. That's a mistake we must not make in this 10th year of America's all-out War on Drugs. It's surely time for this nation to stop flying blind, stop accepting the assurances of politicians and other officials, that if we only keep doing what we are doing, add a little more cash, break down a few more doors, lock up a few more Jan Warrens and Nicole Richardsons, then we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Victory will be ours. Tonight we have seen a war that in its broad outline is not working. And we've seen some less war-like ideas that appear to hold promise. We've raised more questions than we've answered, because that's where the Drug War stands today. We're a confused people, desperately in need of answers and leadership. Legalization seems to many like too dangerous an experiment; to others, the War on Drugs, as it is now conducted, seems inhumane and too costly. Is there a middle ground? Well, it seems to this reporter that the time has come for President Clinton to do what President Hoover did when prohibition was tearing the nation apart: appoint a bi-partisan commission of distinguished citizens, perhaps including some of the people we heard tonight, a blue-ribbon panel to re-appraise our drug policy right down to its very core, a commission with full investigative authority and the prestige and power to override bureaucratic concerns and political considerations. Such a commission could help us focus our thinking, escape the cliches of the Drug War in favor of scientific fact, and more rationally analyze the real scope of the problem, answer the questions that bedevil us, and present a comprehensive drug policy for the future. We cannot go into tomorrow with the same formulas that are failing today. We must not blindly add to the body count and the terrible cost of the War on Drugs, only to learn from another Robert McNamara 30 years from now that what we've been doing is, "wrong, terribly wrong." Goodnight.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Rest in peace good sir.

Mr. Cronkite you will be missed. You are a reporter with common sense who is not afraid to tell it like it is for the help and healing of all. Thank you sir and rest in peace. Peace and love from James and crew.

Corrupt War

It may be possible that there are still some drug warriors out there who believe they are doing the right thing. Obvously their numbers are dwindling, take LEAP for example. They continue to point out that the drug war is a corrupt war and few people can deny it. The only thing that prevents this country from moving forward is the money.

Prohibition obviously started by illegal drug dealers

Secret drug dealers of high office. Again compare Oliver North and Freeway Ricky Ross. The tragedy shows that the illegal drug dealers who started prohibition are elitist and above the laws they make so they never see the same punishment as the common person or rather lower ranks. Pure profit by pain and suffering inflicted by the global elite on everyone they consider less than human who remain out of the tyrants loop.

Drug war not a Liberal/Conservative issue.

Last year, "Stop the Drug War" eulogized Bill Buckley for his opposition to the "Second Prohibition". He was a conservative. THis year it's Walter Cronkite, a Liberal.

Wake up politicians, the country is tired of this stupid war.

we will miss him and his steady thinking

I have missed Cronkite's steady voice and thoughts on my TV screen for all these decades. I hope with his death that people will revisit what he had to say and a great example of his thinking comes in this article about the insanity of the war on drugs.

I hope many will read his heart felt thoughts on this.

alonzojoe in NH

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