cannabisnews.com: Bush Keeps Dodging As Addicts Rot in Jail





Bush Keeps Dodging As Addicts Rot in Jail
Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2005 at 10:33:28 PT
By Joe Conason
Source: New York Observer
On the audiotapes of George W. Bush recorded secretly by his erstwhile confidant Douglas Wead in 1999, the future President revealed how much he feared candid discussion of his personal use of marijuana and cocaine. As quoted in The New York Times, Mr. Bush vowed that no matter what rumors and facts circulated about what he did or might have done, he would doggedly decline to answer forthrightly.
His natural urge to protect his own privacy evokes sympathy, however quaint his expectations might be at this point in our political history. But in justifying his refusal to talk about his foolish youth, he appealed to a higher purpose."I wouldnít answer the marijuana questions," he told Mr. Wead. "You know why? Because I donít want some little kid doing what I tried."For many American parents of a certain age, that self-serving yet poignant response must strike an empathetic chord. Concern that children will mimic parental misbehavior is universal, and so is the impulse to conceal embarrassing truths. Mr. Bush rightly worries that children imitate adult models in the belief that they too can escape the consequences.When Mr. Bush uttered those words into the tape recorder, he was in his second term as Governor of Texas and on his way to the White House. After all, if he could drink too much, smoke those forbidden herbs and perhaps even snort illegal powders, and nevertheless become a baseball magnate and successful politician, then "some little kid" might reasonably assume that he or she could sin likewise without undue risk.Any such assumption would be terribly mistaken, of course, unless the kid happened to belong to a wealthy and well-connected family like the Bush clan. Prisons and jails across the country are crowded with nonviolent drug offenders whose lives have been ruinedóand whose families have been damaged or destroyedóby the same punitive legal system that never touched young "Georgie," except to issue him a drunk-driving summons.The poor and the black are incarcerated for using pot and coke, while the rich and the white lie to their kids (and occasionally to the voters) about those same transgressions.Certainly that was how the justice system worked when Mr. Bush and Mr. Wead had their candid chats. The Texas politician couldnít reassure his friend that he hadnít used cocaine, let alone marijuana, but as governor he was imprisoning young men and women unlucky enough to be arrested in possession of those narcotics, often for draconian mandatory-minimum sentences. He always cherished his image as a tough, swaggering, law-and-order politician who didnít hesitate to imprison teenagers.But that isnít what happens to people from good families. His niece Noelle Bush went through a drug-rehabilitation program and was released two years ago. His friend Rush Limbaugh went through rehab and has returned to berating the less fortunate on the radio, without doing one day of time.The lopsided cruelty has only escalated since Mr. Bush entered the White House. Federal agents have cracked down on medical users of marijuana, depriving them of a substance that eases their sickness and keeps them alive. The human and economic costs of the drug war continue to swell. So burdensome are those costs that many conservatives, including such Bush tutors as former Secretary of State George Shultz, have publicly pleaded for saner policies.Despite his claims to be a "compassionate conservative," Mr. Bush has ignored those pleas. He seems to feel that if he overcame his substance-abuse problem (as a youthful and healthy millionaire, with a loving wife and supportive friends and family), then nobody else really has an excuse.No reporter ever asked the Texas governor why all those other people deserved to serve five or 10 or 20 years in prison, when their crimes were no different from what everyone knew he had done, whether he admitted it or not. No reporter will ask the President that question today, either, although it is just as pertinent in light of his revealing conversations with Mr. Wead (who incidentally claims to possess many more tapes that he will "never" release).Indeed, Mr. Bush not only avoided public responsibility for his own past mistakes but found a clever way to turn those wayward years to political advantage. He brandishes his late return to sobriety as a symbol of his Christian faith.On those telltale tapes, Mr. Bush can be heard telling Mr. Wead how heíd learned a couple of "really good lines" from James Robison, an evangelical minister and hard-line conservative. "What you need to say time and time again is not talk about the details of your transgressions, but talk about what I have learned," he said. "Iíve sinned and Iíve learned."It is hard to tell what Mr. Bush learned in his recovery from sin, except that other people got caught and he didnít. That would be enough to make anybody smirk. This column ran on page 5 in the 2/28/2005 edition of The New York Observer. Source: New York Observer (NY)Author: Joe ConasonPublished: February 28, 2005 Copyright: 2005 The New York Observer, L.P.Contact: comments observer.comWebsite: http://www.observer.com/Related Articles:New Tapes Say Bush May Have Smoked Marijuanahttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20266.shtml Secretly Taped Conversations - New York Timeshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20265.shtml 
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Comment #8 posted by global_warming on February 23, 2005 at 16:40:20 PT
I Have Little Faith
Good observation Mayan.I doubt that many people will see that connection and if they do, they will not act on it.Too many people are asking the soft questions and are terrified about the hard questions.This is such a pity, for avoiding the hard questions, is like ignoring the tear in the dam, until it is too late, and then the flood waters will be too big to stop.
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on February 23, 2005 at 16:24:15 PT
Distraction
These tapes were released to overshadow "Gannon-gate". It doesn't seem to be working... Democratic leadership joins call for Gannon inquiry; Whip calls on members to join push: http://rawstory.com/news/2005/index.php?p=117Bush is in Europe trying to strong-arm support for an Iran invasion but I don't think they are going for it. He sure could use another 9/11 to garner support for yet another war and the coming military draft...Will there be a draft?
http://csmonitor.com/2005/0222/dailyUpdate.htmlNew Recruits Could Be Sent to Boot Camp Within Two Weeks of Passage of Draft Legislation:
http://www.economicsdaily.com/2005/02/new-recruits-could-be-sent-to-boot.htmlReinstating the Draft:
http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2005/24.html
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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on February 23, 2005 at 16:00:05 PT
Crucify The Hypocrite
"No reporter ever asked the Texas governor why all those other people deserved to serve five or 10 or 20 years in prison, when their crimes were no different from what everyone knew he had done, whether he admitted it or not. No reporter will ask the President that question today, either, although it is just as pertinent in light of his revealing conversations with Mr. Wead (who incidentally claims to possess many more tapes that he will "never" release)..Indeed, Mr. Bush not only avoided public responsibility for his own past mistakes but found a clever way to turn those wayward years to political advantage. He brandishes his late return to sobriety as a symbol of his Christian faith..On those telltale tapes, Mr. Bush can be heard telling Mr. Wead how heíd learned a couple of "really good lines" from James Robison, an evangelical minister and hard-line conservative. "What you need to say time and time again is not talk about the details of your transgressions, but talk about what I have learned," he said. "Iíve sinned and Iíve learned."I hope this Mr. Wead, another wretched soul, who has fallen into the pit of greed, also enjoys his crucifixion along side his buddy George "Dooby" Bush.This was a very good article and I hope that Joe Conason, God bless his soul, continues to write and ask these questions.I hope that the Christian community also wakes up and asks these same questions, maybe there is still some hope for this diseased planet held captive by those greedy war mongers and profiteering bastards that survive on the lies that spew out of their mouths."It is hard to tell what Mr. Bush learned in his recovery from sin, except that other people got caught and he didnít. That would be enough to make anybody smirk. "..like a monkey.
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Comment #5 posted by rchandar on February 23, 2005 at 14:31:22 PT:
Bush dug weed
Or: "I won't answer that question (yes or no), because I did it (yes)."So many slip ups in answering fundamental questions of personal character. So many.--rchandar
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 23, 2005 at 13:40:11 PT
Melissa Etheridge
EJ I'm sure she is a medical marijuana patient. I watched her perform the tribute to Janis Joplin and all I can say is she did Janis proud. I was so totally impressed. 
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on February 23, 2005 at 13:32:40 PT
Melissa Etheridge, medpot user?
http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/02/22/breast.cancer/index.htmlThis article makes a big deal of how successful she is at dealing with chemo.Does anyone else suspect what I suspect?She lives in West Hollywood, there are three or four clubs open there now.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 23, 2005 at 12:02:04 PT
Related Article from The AP
Author Will Give Secretly-Recorded Tapes To BushAssociated PressFebruary 23, 2005WASHINGTON ó An old friend of President Bush who secretly recorded their private conversations and released them to the media said he has regrets and is turning the tapes over to Bush. 
Doug Wead allowed journalists to hear and broadcast the tapes in the past week as he promoted his new book on presidential parents. But he said he canceled plans to be on "Hardball" on MSNBC Tuesday night to talk about his regrets because "it would only add to the distraction I have caused to the president's important and historic work.""Contrary to a statement that I made to the New York Times, I have come to realize that personal relationships are more important than history," Wead wrote in a letter to the show's host, Chris Matthews, that MSNBC released to the public today. "I am asking my attorney to direct any future proceeds from the book to charity and to find the best way to vet these tapes and get them back to the president to whom they belong. History can wait."On the tapes, recorded over the course of the two years before Bush became the Republican presidential nominee, Bush discusses strategy for his presidential run and appears to acknowledge past drug use. He says he will refuse to answer questions about using LSD, cocaine and marijuana because "I don't want any kid doing what I tried to do 30 years ago."The White House said Bush did not dispute the content of the tapes. The president's aides brushed off repeated questions about them during his tour of Europe this week by saying Bush considered them casual conversations "with someone he thought was a friend."Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on February 23, 2005 at 10:47:04 PT
Bush dug weed
Now the message out there for the children to grok is:
It's okay to smoke pot -and- lie about it/conceal the truth...Nice job, Georgiebtw, having been denied a security clearance in light of past cannabis use, am I a drug war victim or a drug war hero?Cheers.
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