Bush Held Up Bag of Crack Said to be Bought in Front of White House, Turned Out Drug Seller Was Set Up for the Speech
Bush’s Crack Speech Defined America’s Punitive Drug War Approach of 1980s & 90s
25 Years Later Voters and Elected Officials in Both Parties Rolling Back Punitive Drug Policies
On September 5, 1989, President George H.W. Bush gave a speech from the Oval Office that defined a generation. Declaring an escalation of the War On Drugs, Bush held up a bag of crack cocaine that he said undercover agents bought in the park across the street from the White House.
It later turned out that federal agents lured someone to the park to sell crack just so the President could say it was bought from in front of the White House (the crack seller did not even know where the White House was and had to ask for directions).