Does Joseph Lhota support terrorism?

So Bill de Blasio was a sandalista. Does Joe Lhota really want to stand with the Contras?

Joseph Lhota, former Giuliani apparatchik and Goldwater admirer, is attacking Bill de Blasio, his Democratic opponent for Mayor of New York, for de Blasio’s history of supporting the Sandanistas against the Contras in Nicaragua. De Blasio seems inclined to downplay the issue. Maybe his pollsters know something I don’t, or maybe he just figures that when you’re far ahead in the fourth quarter you mount a prevent defense.

But if less pacific counsels were to prevail, it’s not as if de Blasio doesn’t have a potent response to the attacks. It might go something like this:

Yes, when Ronald Reagan made the United States a state sponsor of terrorism, and when Ollie North was funding the Contras – with a mixture of illegal federal expenditures and smuggling cocaine into the United States – to murder nurses, kidnap farmers, and torture captives– I was on the side of the victims.

Whose side were you on, Mr. Lhota?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

4 thoughts on “Does Joseph Lhota support terrorism?”

  1. Seems to me a line designed to appeal to people who still remember the Sandinistas and already like them; the intersection of those sets is small and shrinking.

    But if Lhota thinks his line of attack will work, he has badly misunderstood the city he lives in anyway. As far as the median New Yorker is concerned, a Marxist-Leninist might be slightly reprehensible—but a Goldwater Republican isn’t even comprehensible.

  2. Well, Lhota will get the Ollie North vote.

    What is comprehensible to the average New Yorker is that past Republican support for terrorists had more than a little something to do with 9/11. It’s true it started after the Soviet invasion under Carter, but it ran rampant under Reagan for exactly the same reasons Ollie North was funding Contra terrorism. That poor bin Laden kid needed a job, after all, or he might do something crazy…

      1. Dang, those little terrorist-kittens — after all they shut down a Ne York subway! — are cute! They’ll totally subvert the nation. And if they’re Sandinista kittens, well, they’ve already penetrated well north of the Rio Grande. See how dangerous they are if the Border Patrol doesn’t get its fence? Because we all know how cat-proof fences are…Someone call and warn Ollie, because he’s like in San Diego?

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