Break the Chain Time For Your Meds, Mr. President

Created 8/15/2004 (8/15/2004) During one of the most heated Presidential campaigns in recent history, word that the incumbent was dependent on powerful mood-altering drugs to control erratic behavior would, indeed, be news. But, if true, would the only source reporting it be and alternative news website, using mostly hearsay from unidentified sources?

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior

By 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."

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.

[Full article omitted - Read it here]

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This article was published on July 28,2004, by Capitol Hill Blue, a self-described "not-for-profit, non- Commercial experiment in on-line journalism..." Blue followed up this article on July 29 with a similar piece titled "Sullen, Depressed President Retreats Into Private, Paranoid World." In their online FAQ, the staff of Blue is described rather lightly as "a ragtag Cast of current and ex- newspapermen and women who wander in and out of here like homeless children," adding that "Some still work for news organizations and use Capitol Hill Blue as an outlet for do stories their outfits don't have the guts to publish." The organization's main tagline is: "because nobody's life, liberty or property is safe while congress is in session."

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Dr. Richard Tubb is indeed the personal physician to President Bush. However, he has not made any public statement that corroborates the claims made in this article. Online searches for corroborating evidence turn up only copies of this piece. In fact, the article never actually cites Dr. Tubb directly, and instead conveys only hearsay reported by several unnamed staffers, aides and "White House sources."

As for the evaluation of the President by Dr. Frank, we have more hearsay and opinion. In writing his book, Dr. Frank used a controversial technique known as applied psychoanalysis, pioneered by Sigmund Freud, in which the analyst builds a psychological profile of a public figure based on memoirs and public accounts (a method eerily similar to the fictitious IQ test used for openly farcical effect in a popular 2001 hoax). When questioned in online chats and radio and TV interviews, Frank admits he has never met, let alone analyzed the president in person. His book has garnered harsh criticism for being biased and far-fetched. Applied psychoanalysis has both its supporters and detractors.

At this point, without more convincing evidence, we must label this one rumor, at best. Break this chain.

What Do You Think?

Category: Political Ponderings
References: Capitol Hill Blue

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