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.”
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
Although GOP loyalists dismissed the reports as 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 wondered 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
“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.”