No, I dont have any proof of this, just random events and comments from those who work in and around the Bush administration and who tell me the President has acted in ways that suggest the use of alcohol and drugs. Im a recovering alcoholic (sober 11 years, six months and 24 days) and Ive run across a lot of relapsed drinkers who show the same symptoms as the President, including:
* Blacking out while watching television alone;
* Slurred speech and stammering responses to simple questions;
* Anger and hostility in front of staff members;
* Unexplained bruises on his face;
* Trouble remembering recent events or comments.
During his trip to Mongolia last November, Bush openly sampled the local drink Airag, which is fermented milk with an alcohol content ranging from three to twelve percent. In other words, booze.
According to reports, President Bush may be drinking again, David Letterman said in a late-night monologue. And I thought, "Well, why not? He's got everybody else drinking.
Rumors that Bush was hitting the bottle surfaced in Washington two years ago. Sources told us the President was using anti-depressants in 2004 and we reported the story. The same sources told us last year he was drinking again and we reported it in August. The National Enquirer also ran a front page story on it but no mainstream media outlet picked up on the story.
Nothing the president said could be quoted, but it's rare that reporters get uninterrupted access to him for 90 minutes, particularly when beer is served. Bush, who gave up drinking years ago, drank a non-alcoholic Buckler.
In Alcoholics Anonymous, we are warned to stay away from so-called non-alcoholic beers or near beer as it is called. The brew does, in fact, contain some alcohol and can trigger a renewed desire for more.
The November issue of the Journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, cites a study by team of California scientists who report that just the smell of non-alcoholic beer may be enough to trigger cravings and a subsequent relapse among certain alcoholics.
In my original articles about Bushs bouts with anger and depression, I quoted Dr. Gerald Frank, a George Washington University psychiatrist and author of the book: Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President.
Two questions that the press seems particularly determined to ignore have hung silently in the air since before Bush took office, Dr. Frank says. Is he still drinking? And if not, is he impaired by all the years he did spend drinking? Both questions need to be addressed in any serious assessment of his psychological state.
Dr. Franks analysis of the President, which is based on watching and reading and not actual treatment of Bush, agrees with those who have told me the President is also taking anti-depressants.
In writing about Bush's halting appearance in a press conference just before the start of the Iraq War, Washington Post media critic Tom Shales speculated that the president may have been ever so slightly medicated, he said.
Dr. Frank explains Bushs behavior as all-to-typical of an alcoholic who is still in denial: