Rumours have swirled about President Bush's alleged use of cocaine for decades.
Curiously, for a man to likes to speak frankly and clear the air at every opportunity, Bush has flatly refused to deny or confirm his involvement with cocaine both before and after the 2000 presidential elections.
That a man involved with the Texas oil industries in the 1970s might have snorted a line or three hundred would certainly not be unusual. Many of the Arab oil oligarchs that swept into Texas during the 1970s demanded cocaine at social functions, as being seen consuming alcohol, even if they were not strict Muslims, just wasn't the done thing.
Cocaine was the drug of choice for wealthy Texan oil barons. It is worth pointing out that cocaine was viewed for much of the 1970s as a virtually harmless drug. A perfect drug, in many ways. It made people more social, it added a sensual new edge and energy to sex and there was no crippling hangover.
There are numerous anecdotal stories of massive half kilo piles of cocaine being dumped on tables during Texas oil family parties, where it was consumed, not via a gold tube in neat lines, but in the style of the climatic scenes of Scarface. That is, by the spoonful, fingerful, or by jamming your whole face into the pile.
Bush & Cocaine is back in the news now because the subject was raised by a reporter on Fox News, in the middle of a discussion about possible US presidential candidate for 2008, Barak Obama.
Obama wrote a book in the mid-1990s where he talked about how his cocaine and cannabis use was pulling him towards a life on the dark side. In the past few weeks, Obama has talked openly about how the same strengths that he used to get away from drugs have helped him in his climb through the brittle, brutal world of American politics.
Here's a report from Raw Story on what the Fox News reporter said in a discussion about "Obama's Cocaine Confession" :
...Their conversation took an unusual turn, however, when Fox reporter Kirian Chetry said President Bush had also admitted to using cocaine.The reporter was right. There are two key books discussing Bush's use of cocaine - JH Hatfield's 'Fortunate Son' and Kitty Kelly's ultra-controversial, but exceedingly well researched, biography of the entire Bush dynasty.
Obama "talks very candidly, as did our current president, who admitted to using cocaine...Well, who wrote, somebody wrote in a book -- well, he admitted that he had an alcoholic, he had a drinking problem. Who was it who said they witnessed him using cocaine? It was somebody who wrote a book..."
And this from Salon, 1999 :
..."a high-ranking advisor to Bush" who confirmed that Bush was arrested for cocaine possession in Houston in 1972, and had the record expunged by a judge who was "a fellow Republican and elected official" who helped Bush get off "with a little community service at a minority youth center instead of having to pick cotton on a Texas prison farm."And this :
Hatfield quotes a former Yale classmate who told him: "George W. was arrested for possession of cocaine in 1972, but due to his father's connections, the entire record was expunged by a state judge whom the older Bush helped get elected. It was one of those 'behind closed doors in the judges' chambers' kind of thing between the old man and one of his Texas cronies who owed him a favor ... There's only a handful of us that know the truth."
Bush has said that he did not use illegal drugs at any time since 1974...Until a Bush family insider revealed to Kitty Kelly that cocaine was not an unusual drug of choice for the Bush brothers, the president's use of the drug was all but speculative, not helped by Bush's reluctance to come out openly, like Obama, and deny or confirm the allegations.
In taped recordings of a conversation with an old friend, author Doug Wead, Bush said: “I wouldn’t answer the marijuana question. You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.”
When Wead reminded Bush that the latter had publicly denied using cocaine, Bush replied, "I haven't denied anything."
That the president did cocaine would hardly shock the nation. Per capita, the United States is the biggest consumer of cocaine in the world, snorting and smoking thousands of tons of the drug each and every year.
It is also worth considering that a self-confessed hopeless alcoholic, like Bush, experienced long periods of blackout during the 1970s and early 1980s where he could have easily done just about anything and not have recall of the event(s) the next day.
Perhaps this is the explanation for his "I deny that I ever denied taking it, but I won't confirm that I did" method of getting-round-the-truth.
Perhaps he really doesn't remember whether he did hoover up fat lines of cocaine, but remains convinced that he surely must have, considering the circles in which he moved, and the people he once associated with.