California Watch has uncovered 850 cases of documented abuse of patients with cerebral palsy, mental disabilities and severe autism, but only two arrests and no prosecutions. One case has been called a "homicide." With legislators calling for an investigation, we hear what’s happened at five state-run centers housing 1800 people who can't help themselves. Also, the death in Brentwood of right-wing blogger and publisher Andrew Breitbart. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the drug war moves to Central America.
FROM THIS EPISODE
A report by California Watch has raised questions about the level of care for 1800 Californians with cerebral palsy, mental disabilities and severe autism. It found 850 documented cases in the past three years of patient abuse or unexplained injuries at five so-called "Development Centers" run by the state. In three years, there were only two related arrests. In one incident, an autistic man died after his neck was broken and his spinal cord was crushed and disfigured. Internal investigators failed to protect evidence and waited five days to interview witnesses.
A phenomenon in conservative publishing, Andrew Breitbart helped start the Huffington Post, was a long-time editor of the Drudge Report and ran his own websites attacking what he called "big Hollywood," "big government" and "big media." He brought down New York's Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner for tweeting pictures of himself in his underwear and was accused of cherry-picking a speech by a black Agriculture Department official to make it sound like a racist attack on white people. The 43-year-old had a history of heart trouble and died suddenly near his home in Brentwood early this morning. Mickey Kaus is based in Venice where he writes the blog Kausfiles for the website Daily Caller.
As the drug war continues, the Obama Administration has tried to emphasize prevention and treatment here in the US, to reduce the demand that fuels so much deadly violence south of the border. In the meantime, Mexico's outright warfare against drug cartels has caused the drug dealers to move further South into Central America, where the homicide rate now leads the world. What is the US doing to stop the demand for heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine? Why are Central American leaders calling for legalization?
Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica
Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings Institution (@VFelbabBrown)
Jose R. Cardenas, National Security Council (former)
Gil Kerlikowske, Office of National Drug Control Policy