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IN DEFENSE OF BUSH - episode 4

In which Ned Needleman defends President George W. Bush against the accusation that he "is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia.


IDB: Okay. We have a caller from TERESA HAMPTON in Washington DC who wants to read something she wrote. Is that right Teresa?

Teresa: That's right. This is from the news website Capitol Hill Blue. It's an article of July 28th, 2004 called Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior By me, TERESA HAMPTON, Editor, Capitol Hill Blue

President George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned.

The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President's mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately.

"It's a double-edged sword," says one aide. "We can't have him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation but we also need a President who is alert mentally."

Angry Bush walked away from reporter's questions. Tubb prescribed the anti-depressants after a clearly-upset Bush stormed off stage on July 8, refusing to answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay.

"Keep those motherfuckers away from me," he screamed at an aide backstage. "If you can't, I'll find someone who can."

Bush's mental stability has become the topic of Washington whispers in recent months. Capitol Hill Blue first reported on June 4 about increasing concern among White House aides over the President's wide mood swings and obscene outbursts.

Although GOP loyalists dismissed the reports an anti-Bush propaganda, the reports were later confirmed by prominent George Washington University psychiatrist Dr. Justin Frank in his book Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President. Dr. Frank diagnosed the President as a "paranoid meglomaniac" and "untreated alcoholic" whose "lifelong streak of sadism, ranging from childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs) to insulting journalists, gloating over state executions and pumping his hand gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad" showcase Bush's instabilities.

"I was really very unsettled by him and I started watching everything he did and reading what he wrote and watching him on videotape. I felt he was disturbed," Dr. Frank said. "He fits the profile of a former drinker whose alcoholism has been arrested but not treated."

Dr. Frank's conclusions have been praised by other prominent psychiatrists, including Dr. James Grotstein, Professor at UCLA Medical Center, and Dr. Irvin Yalom, MD, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University Medical School.

The doctors also worry about the wisdom of giving powerful anti-depressant drugs to a person with a history of chemical dependency. Bush is an admitted alcoholic, although he never sought treatment in a formal program, and stories about his cocaine use as a younger man haunted his campaigns for Texas governor and his first campaign for President.

"President Bush is an untreated alcoholic with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies," Dr. Frank adds.

The White House did not return phone calls seeking comment on this article.
Although the exact drugs Bush takes to control his depression and behavior are not known, White House sources say they are "powerful medications" designed to bring his erratic actions under control. While Col. Tubb regularly releases a synopsis of the President's annual physical, details of the President's health and any drugs or treatment he may receive are not public record and are guarded zealously by the secretive cadre of aides that surround the President.

Veteran White House watchers say the ability to control information about Bush's health, either physical or mental, is similar to Ronald Reagan's second term when aides managed to conceal the President's increasing memory lapses that signaled the onslaught of Alzheimer's Disease.

It also brings back memories of Richard Nixon's final days when the soon-to-resign President wandered the halls and talked to portraits of former Presidents. The stories didn't emerge until after Nixon left office.

One long-time GOP political consultant who - for obvious reasons - asked not to be identified said he is advising his Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush.

"We have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes," he says sadly. "That's not good for my candidates, it's not good for the party and it's certainly not good for the country."

IDB: Is that it?

Teresa: Yes, that's the whole article. What do you think?

IDB: IN DEFENSE OF BUSH. No, that's not true. 

Teresa: Why do you say that?

IDB: Because. And that's all the time we have right now. I'm Ned Needleman In Defense of Bush.

Norbert adds a note to this - Maybe Ned's right here. Capitol Hill Blue took this story off their website. I had asked several well-connected and well-read Bush bashers if they'd heard more on this story and they said no though one guy I know who works in DC said that the guy who started Washington Blue is credible and respected. I don't know who that is but it looks like his team had their doubts. 

Here's their note with a link to an article with more info on the President's mental health. Teresa Hamptonís July 28 story, Bush Taking Anti-Depressants has been removed from this web site because it fails to comply with fact-checking standards implemented by Capitol Hill Blue on September 1, 2004.

While she quotes Dr. Justin Frank on his analysis of the Presidentís behavior, she does not offer any corroboration of the claim that White House Physician Col. Richard J. Tubb actually prescribed any anti-depressant medication to Bush.

For furtehr information on the President's mental condition, we suggest this story:

New Information Suggests Bush Indecisive, Paranoid, Delusional


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