(I see this was also covered in a rec'd diary by Joey Dee.)
I have written another diary about Cindy McCain's drug problems. It's not because I am unsympathetic to people struggling with substance abuse issues; rather, I'd hoped to bring awareness to the political circumstances surrounding the issue because that aspect is neither pretty nor at all widely reported by the MSM.
Today, Raw Story has an interview with Tom Gosinski, the man who blew the whistle on Cindy's drug use. Why would he do that? Find out some of the reasons below. You may learn a few things about the incident as well as aspects of John and Cindy McCain's character that you were unaware of before.
First, I'd like to start with a brief recap that's summed up well by The Phoenix New Times in an article with the clever title "Opiate for the Mrs".
You're U.S. Senator John McCain, and you've got a big problem. Your wife, Cindy, was addicted to prescription painkillers. She stole pills from a medical-aid charity she heads and she used the names of unsuspecting employees to get prescriptions.
The public is about to find out about it. Until now, you've managed to keep it all quiet. When Tom Gosinski, a man your wife fired, sued for wrongful termination and threatened to expose the whole sordid story, you didn't hesitate to call in the big guns.
I know it's hard to believe that John McCain could have known of his wife's drug problems and done nothing about it until she was caught writing phony prescriptions, but according to Tom Gosinski, that's exactly what happened.
But, you may say, this was a long time ago! How could Gosinski remember such details?
Unfortunately for John and Cindy McCain, Gosinski kept meticulous notes in a journal. From rawstory, Gosinski explains:
My journal wasn't to trash Cindy or anything, he says. My journal was kept b/c I came in contact w/ so many people. It was a way of keeping an ongoing biography of all the people I met, so I could refer back to it.
Of course the "official" McCain story is that he was shocked to learn of Cindy's drug use and that she came forward about it because of an epiphany - an enlightenment if you will, that by doing so, she could help others with similar problems and the MSM soaked it up.
But Gosinski's journal pokes holes in this batch of McCain "straight talk" because, at first, he too thought McCain might've simply been naive or somehow kept in the dark. Again, from Gosinski's journal:
I have always wondered why John McCain has done nothing to fix the problem," Gosinski wrote on July 27, 1992. "He must either not see that a problem exists or does not choose to do anything about it.
But less than a month later he writes on August 14th, 1992 that "John McCain has known about it for some time,"
Indeed. But again, that wasn't the official story given by the McCains. In fact, when Cindy confessed her addiction problems to an eager press ready to lap it up, the "interviews" were, in fact, "orchestrated" by McCain handlers and Cindy is on record saying she'd kept her problems hidden from her husband.
But once again Gosinski's pesky journal points to a different set of circumstances. In it he writes about a story that's going around just a few days after Cindy's parents, Jim and Smitty Hensley, confront her about her use of prescription medications like Vicodin - a powerfully addictive narcotic analgesic:
Last Friday, late in the afternoon, Miss Jeri (Cindy's aunt) was visiting with Dalton Smith, the Hensley's Pilot about Jim and Smitty confronting Cindy about her drug problem. During the conversation Dalton mentioned an incident which took place a couple of years ago -- Cindy had taken too many pills and had been rushed to a hospital near their home on Oak Creek. John McCain was rushed to the hospital and rather than helping Cindy obtain help he had her dismissed from the hospital and taken to the Cabin. I had assumed the entire family knew of the incident as Kathy Walker had mentioned it to me many months ago but come to find out Jeri and the Hensleys knew nothing of it. Needless to say it was very painful for Miss Jeri to find this out and she was very concerned about what the news of this occurrence would do to Jim and Smitty. Whatever the outcome, I doubt that Jim and Smitty will ever be able to respect John McCain again.
And I think this is very important. According to Raw Story:
Even now, more than a decade-and-a-half later, Gosinski says he's not convinced that Cindy has cleaned herself up. Asked if her behavior in public and on the campaign trail this year mirrored his experiences in 1992, Gosinski agreed.
"I'm probably looking too closely, [but] I would say yes,"
(I realize this is 100 percent anecdotal but Cindy McCain does look awfully thin; I hope my hunch - and that's all it is - is incorrect as to why)
Incidentally, Tom Gosinski is a life-long Republican. And he was cooperating with the DEA's investigation of Cindy. How on earth could he have been expected to "extort" anything from the McCains when the DEA was well aware of what Cindy was doing?
But when John McCain learned what Gosinski knew about his wife's drug use, McCain tried to intimidate Gosinski by approaching the Maricopa County Attorney's office to pursue an extortion case against Gosinski because of Gosinski's threatened lawsuit over the circumstances of his termination from the charity that Cindy McCain headed at the time.
Because McCain tried to sue and/or prosecute Gosinski, the case became public record and thus the McCain camp was forced to drop "Plan A" (ruin the accuser's life) and adopt "Plan B" - a tearful, public confession by Cindy showing how brave and altruistic she was, coming forward publicly about her problem to an eager media that bought the story, hook, line and sinker.
If anything, Gosinski pitied Cindy McCain and again, from his journal, he wrote:
During my short tenure at AVMT, I have been surrounded by what on the surface appears to be the ultimate All American family," he writes on July 27, 1992. "In reality, I am working for a very sad, lonely woman whose marriage of convenience to a US Senator has driven her to: distance herself from friends; cover feelings of despair with drugs; and replace lonely moments with self-indulgences."
But Raw Story uncovers another aspect of this story that, as far as I know, has not come to light until this interview. Again, in that pesky journal there are several entries that mention the McCain's daughter, Meghan - someone who's drawn a bit of attention herself lately.
In Gosinski's journal he talks about a conversation with Jeri Johnson, Cindy McCain's aunt, regarding Cindy's nanny, Diane. This took place in a July 28th, 1992 entry:
Diane voice concerns regarding Cindy's use of drugs and the effect it is having on the kids. Diane told Jeri that Meghan recently told her to "fuck off" after trying to discipline her. She also told Jeri that she is concerned that Cindy is giving the kids drugs which unnecessarily sedate them. I hope that is not happening.
I want to be clear again that I do not fault Cindy McCain for having a drug problem. Most of us have first or second hand experience with this - whether it's battling nicotine addiction, alcohol addiction or even prescription and/or illegal drug addictions. Cindy McCain is a human being and subject to the same "slings and arrows" that we all are.
What does piss me off though are several issues that somehow never get reported by the press about this incident and some that just came to light with this latest Gosinski interview. Namely:
- Cindy McCain did not come forward to help anyone but her husband's re-election bid. There was nothing altruistic about it.
- Cindy McCain never faced any legal consequences for forging prescriptions for a Schedule III narcotic. If you or I did that, we'd probably go to jail. From another article in Salon:
Did Cindy McCain get preferential treatment by the feds? True, Cindy was a first-time offender, which partially explains the fact that she did no prison time; instead, she entered a diversion program. But at the time, defense lawyers told New Times that if Cindy McCain had been a poor minority and not married to a U.S. senator, she likely would have been locked up.
Double standard, anyone?
- There seems to be a question though as to whether Cindy McCain did, in fact, enter that "diversion program". This is from the Phoenix New Times:
Cindy McCain lied about drug treatment she claims to have undergone. Although she told reporters she went into a residential drug treatment program earlier this year, she told investigators she had treatment during 1991 and 1992. Whom did she lie to--investigators or reporters?
If Cindy McCain did undergo treatment before 1994, as she told investigators, the senator's claim that he didn't learn of his wife's addiction until this January simply defies credibility.
Cindy McCain and Jay Smith (a McCain political strategist) lied about her status with federal prosecutors. She told a Tucson reporter she had already completed a pretrial diversion program. Smith told another reporter that the case had come to "resolution." In fact, Cindy McCain hasn't even been accepted into a diversion program.
So Cindy McCain wrote phony prescriptions for narcotic analgesics and not only did she not do any jail time, there's no evidence that she ever even entered rehab to correct the problem!
- According to Tom Gosinski, (an opinion to be sure but the opinion of someone who knows her well) Cindy McCain may still be using drugs
- One of the most disturbing allegations by Gosinski is that Cindy McCain may have used drugs to sedate her own children.
- Why has the real story behind all of this has been completely obliterated by the MSM? Wouldn't voters like to understand the "judgement" that John McCain has shown in terms of how this was handled? It's true that Cindy McCain is not running for president but her husband is and he apparently handled this entire affair very, very badly. In fact, there's ample evidence that he and his wife are liars.
Lastly here are two video excerpts from an interview that Open Left's Matt Stoller did, speaking with Gosinski yesterday, Wednesday, September 10th, 2008:
UPDATE Wow.. rec list. Thanks - I wish it was a happier topic. I want to reiterate something: I don't think Cindy McCain is the "bad guy" here. I honestly don't. My best friend in the whole world died of a drug overdose and I miss him terribly.
All I'd like to see made out of this is questioning John McCain's judgement and how he handled the entire affair. This is about hypocrisy and a double standard too. Our prisons are full of non-violent drug offenders and I doubt seriously John McCain stays up nights worried about that.
That's all I hope anyone takes away from this. There's no reason to think less of Cindy McCain because of this. I think badly of her because she's a Republican! ;-)
Update Deux: Thanks to Dave Williams who's informed us that The Phoenix NewTimes updated their story today.