Drug War

Embattled DEA Chief Expected to Resign

Some reasons not to miss Michele Leonhart


House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Less than a week after members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee expressed "no confidence" in Michele Leonhart, CBS News reports that the embattled head of the Drug Enforcement Administration will resign soon. The Drug Policy Alliance reviews some of the reasons why Leonhart, a hardline holdover from the Bush administration, won't be missed, including "questionable enforcement practices," "numerous scandals and human rights abuses," and "failure to follow statutory requirements that decisions be based on scientific evidence."

The DEA under Leonhart obstructed research on marijuana's medical utility, raided dispensaries despite President Obama's promises that he would leave them alone, and stubbornly defended marijuana's status as a Schedule I substance, a category supposedly reserved for drugs with a high potential for abuse that have no accepted medical use and cannot be used safely, even under a doctor's supervision. Leonhart's know-nothing approach to drugs was crystallized during a 2012 congressional hearing when she refused to say whether heroin is more dangerous than marijuana. Later she publicly criticized Obama for conceding that marijuana is safer than alcohol. She also reportedly said the lowest point of her career with the DEA came when a hemp flag flew over the Capitol, which gives you a sense of her priorities. 

None of that got her fired, of course. Instead it seems to have been the bipartisan outrage aroused by her less-than-forceful response to allegations of wild DEA sex parties underwritten by American taxpayers and Colombian drug traffickers. "Honestly, what power do you have?" Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) asked Leonhart during a recent hearing. "You have to work with agents over whom you can't discipline and have no control. What the hell do you get to do?" The answer: find a real job.

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  1. Good riddance.

  2. I hope her next job will be more beneficial/less harmful to society.

    She could become a bank robber, or professional child molester… you know, better herself.

  3. Good riddance and all, but her successor is going to be appointed by Obama. That means they are likely to be worse and of course rubber stamped by the Republican Senate because you know Obama deserves deference.

    This late in a two term Presidency only the lowest of the low hacks are interested in taking a political appointment. And given the complete and total lack of oversight on the part of Congress and the media, my guess is you are going to end up missing Leonhart when you see her successor. In a just world the Senate would refuse to confirm any Obama nominee for any position as a matter of principle. In our world, they will no doubt confirm someone much worse than even this woman.

    1. John,

      I prefer getting rid of the known criminal rather than keeping her or him over concerns that the next one could be equal or worse.

      1. Your call. It is just almost certain her replacement will be worse.

        1. Yeah I can’t see the replacement being any worse, unless he nominates Nancy Grace or something.

          1. I said the same thing about Eric Holder. And Lynch is by every objective measure worse. She is every bit the race mongering hack Holder is, manages to have a worse record on forfeitures and is less qualified to be AG.

            1. That is true.

    2. The Senate shouldn’t confirm one more person the rest of his term, unless he accidentally appoints someone who isn’t a total hack.

    3. I don’t know if they can find someone worse than her. Seriously, she’s terrible. Even Obama would have a hard time nominating someone worse.

      1. He found Loretta Lynch didn’t he? If he can find someone worse than Eric Holder, he can find someone worse than this woman.

      2. Yeah. She is incredibly awful. The job itself is inherently evil and destructive. But she seems to delight in it. Especially the blatant lying part.

      3. WTF? I’d guess there are a couple thousand DEA employees that feel she isn’t vigilant enough.

    4. I doubt very much that her successor could be worse. I don’t even know what could qualify as worse.

      In any case, the job is inherently evil. I don’t think it really matters who has it. The job is to lie and to hurt people. Anyone willing to do it is going to be completely awful.

      1. the job is inherently evil

        This was my thought – anybody who wants this job is going to be an awful person. There is no reason to think the next one will be any better or worse.

    5. I’d prefer somebody with serious experience in the field to replace her. Since no Asian has yet served as DEA Chief, I’d like somebody like Thomas B. Kin to serve as her replacement. He may be a bit old, but he’s the kind of guy who could inspire real change at the DEA.

  4. I guarantee you she will forever see herself as a martyr. Burn in hell, witch.

  5. Does the DEA head get appointed to a set term regardless of administration? I don’t think so. I don’t see how she is a “holdover” from the Bush Administration. That implies she just happened to stay around until Obama could find someone to pick. No, she has remained the head of the DEA for over six years. She is just as much an Obama appointee as a Bush one. Clearly Obama was just fine with how she ran the DEA.

    1. She was Acting Administrator under Bush, then Obama gave her permanent status. So she’s actually MORE of an Obama appointee.

    2. She is a holdover in the sense that Obama didn’t bother to replace her when he took office. Like when you hang onto the sofa that the previous occupants left in your new apartment.

      1. The one with all the stains?

        1. Exactly, Epi. It’s like that futon you’ve been sleeping on for the past ten years: fully infused with the smell of Taco Bell farts and failure.

          1. Taco Bell?!?

          2. Hey, don’t hate on Epi’s musk. It’s all he’s got. Well, that and the nonthreatening semi-ethnic swarthiness.

            1. Nonthreatening?!?

              1. Yeah dude. All old ladies trying to set you up with their granddaughters/grandsons.

        2. One person’s randomly stained piece of furniture is another person’s twister game just waiting for the right houseguest.

      2. Yeah because being the head of a large federal agency is a job you just can’t give away. It is like an old couch. Obama had to keep her. Ah, no.

        1. Actually, I think he did ‘have’ to keep her.

          President “Not My Fault” came into office weak and scared. Appointing the interim director was a “safe” appointment that wouldn’t get him criticized.

          Being a narcissist, he didn’t care about the drug war. So long as he isn’t the one getting locked up, he doesn’t give a shit.

          He wants to cement his place in history by remaking society, by introducing new restrictions; there’s no fame in repealing them!

        2. Holdover just means that she was in her position before he came to office. It has nothing to do with removing blame. Gates was a Bush administration holdover event though Obama appointed him as well. You’re reading way too much into this.

          1. That happens sometimes with John. I think tarran gets it right. There would have been no political advantage to Obama replacing her.

            1. Yes there would be Zeb, a political supporter would have gotten a job. That is a big deal and anytime someone from the previous administration is held over it creates a lot of bad blood among the people who wanted the job. It is only done when the President really likes the person he is holding over. Tarren missed the point completely.

              1. Maybe. DEA head seems like a pretty shitty job among political appointments, though. Who even knows who it is except for people who follow drug policy issues and real government nerds?

                You may be right, but you haven’t convinced me. My money is on her replacement not being worse in any significant way. DEA head is just not the same sort of thing as AG or IRS director or some other higher profile position. It’s a specially shitty job for a specially shitty person.

                1. Heading one of the largest federal law enforcement agency is not a “shitty job” Zeb. There are hundreds of people lining up for it. Not everyone can be Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State. There are thousands of political appointments ranging from coffee maker to top men all the way up to Chief of Staff to the President. Head of the DEA is pretty high on that food chain even though it is not the top.

                  1. Oh it’s a shitty job. There are just a lot of shitty people out there who seek shitty power. I’m not trying to say it is a job no one wants.

                    I still don’t think her replacement is likely to be worse.

                2. John is correct, head of the DEA is surprisingly powerful. The DEA operates in something like 110 countries around the world. They conduct foreign operations on a scale that approaches the CIA. They actually control drug policy in the US. It’s fucking crazy. They are far huger than you think.

          2. I realize what Holdover means. The fact that she was is at this point in an administration utterly irrelevant. She stayed there for six years. Obama clearly liked her. And notice the difference in her tenure versus Gates.

            1. I’m not sure who said it was of great relevance. No one tried to take the blame away from Obama here.

  6. And remember it is the DEA that had the manual on how to lie to judges and hide the fact that the investigation was initiated because of information given to you by the NSA. All this woman has done, and she finally loses her job over a few sex parties. Again, her replacement will only be worse.

    1. Good thing her replacement will only be in there until President Paul nominates Willie Nelson.

  7. But I loved her argument against marijuana which was essentially “drugs are bad m’kay. All illegal drugs are bad equally.”

  8. Shorter John: The devil you know…

    1. It is only a cliche because it is true. I didn’t think anyone could be worse than Eric Holder. Then I saw Loretta Lynch and realized how wrong I was.

      1. It is only a cliche because it is true.

        That is far from clear. A priori it seems like the devil you don’t know has about even odds of being at least as bad as the one you do know.

        What do you think a DEA administrator could possibly do that would be worse? The whole job description is to be as evil as you possibly can.

        1. Because the pool of people who want the job is going to be very thin. Obama is going to play hell finding anyone who will take the job. Only someone who has no other political job prospects and nothing to offer beyond the assurance that they are desperate and will do anything the President tells them, will be interested in the job. And as bad as Lionhart has been, she hasn’t to my knowledge used the DEA to go after political opponents or run guns to Mexico or been involved in any number of other horrible activities that the Obama people have done.

          1. Every activity of the DEA is horrible.

          2. I agree. Whoever Obama nominates will be worse. But I think we can turn this to our advantage. Mr. President, why settle for just worse when you can have the WORST? I say Nicole should be the next HMIC of the DEA! Please don’t throw us in the briar patch Obama.

  9. Another noble public servant sacrificed on the bloody altar of social conservatism.

  10. John’s right. This lady got taken down by petty shit compared to what else she was doing. And we probably will get fucked by the replacement, although this would be an opportunity for the President to show that he stands behind his words on cannabis and appoints someone who will leave it the hell alone.

    Epi! The promise of a golden age is over!


    1. although this would be an opportunity for the President to show that he stands behind his words

      Okay, that is really funny. I am sure Obama is going to do just that.

      1. Okay, that is really funny. I am sure Obama is going to do just that.

        Once he reads about the abuses in the newspaper, he’ll be forced to act John!

        1. “raided dispensaries despite President Obama’s promises that he would leave them alone”

          If only Comrade Obama knew of these things, surely he would stop them!

      2. Hey! Am I not allowed to dream, sir?! Where’s my soma when I need it…

      3. Well, the weed genie is out of the bottle now, thanks to CO/WA/AK/OR/DC/possibly others. And Obama’s got nothing to lose now that elections are over. His best bet is to nominate someone who’ll take a “leave it to the states” approach. As much as I would like to see some promises on rescheduling or decriminalizing cannabis, I know they’ve got to tread lightly thanks to some recent dick moves by GOP senators in regards to DC’s legalization.

  11. It would be just peachy if the Congress would impeach and remove officials on a fortnightly basis. Give them something to do, and they’d be able to terrorize public officials and each other.

  12. Getting canned over hookers and blow is the cherry on top of her career.

  13. Embattled DEA Chief Expected to Resign

    Aw, that’s a shame. She seemed perfect for the job: an unimaginative, obtuse yet stolid government official. A career little red Marxian.

  14. Agents accepting whores from drug cartels is probably the least bad thing the DEA has ever done.

  15. She’s obviously an addict. Totally addicted to violently eradicating politically incorrect substances and human behaviors. Fucking junkie.

  16. That’s it? What about the rest of the agency?

  17. Dee: Why don’t you try voting for once?

    Mac: And what? Vote for the Democrat who’s going to blast me in the ass? Or the Republican who’s going to blast my ass? Either way, politics is all one big ass blasting.

    1. I just rewatched that episode last night. Stoned off my ass, of course.

      1. I’m pretty sure that’s how ASIP is supposed to be “enjoyed”

        Yeah, that’s one of my top favorite episodes. My mostest favoritest is the D.E.N.N.I.S System one, that whole episode I still laugh my ass off. And cot damn, how gorgeous is that chick Dennis was running game on?

        1. That’s his wife. In real life. Yeah, she’s hot. Also, the Waitress is Charlie Day’s wife in real life too. And Mac and Kaitlin Olsen got married and had a kid.

          1. Holy shit. I knew about Charlie and the waitress but not the others. She is so smoking hot, and that sex scene was too funny. I really like that dude who plays Dennis but I may just hate on him for a bit for snagging that up haha

            You going to check out that game? Or not your style?

            1. Not my style. I’m pretty much down to anything Borderlands and Grand Theft Auto at this point, with a smattering of Civilization and maybe trying Dying Light if it goes on sale. Oh, also some Far Cry too.

              1. I think I made a comment one time about Borderlands TPS being shitty but I think I’m just biased toward 2. All the DLC, the bosses, weapons, etc…still have fun on that game this many years later. TPS is alright, I guess.

                Yeah, Dying Light looks sick! Fuck you and my brother with that Civ crap, that shit’s weak. Alpha Centauri or gtfo

                But if you do like Civ games there’s a good one on Steam sale right now I think, called Endless Legend? I bought it a ways back, still working my way through the single player campaign.

                That GTA Online looks pretty fun, I may have to get that game but I haven’t played any of them since San Andreas (on PS2!)

        2. “ooooops, I dropped my monster condom that I use for my magnum dong.”

          1. “No, no, Mac’s right, there’s a delicate ecosystem here.”

  18. I’m just as cautious as the next guy in figuring out who’s gonna replace Leonhart, and will they be better or worse than her.

    But for now, it’s time to blast “DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD…”

  19. The answer: find a real job.

    Good luck with that, why do you think she was a bureaucrat in the first place? She probably couldn’t get a job in the private sector, they expect results. And at least some modicum of competence.

  20. It’s a good start, but it’s not over until the DEA has been disbanded entirely.

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