OP-ED: Cindy McCain Stole Drugs From Her Own Charity


Since the New York Times is running a story on Cindy McCain’s drug addiction, here’s the story we did a few months back on it.

From 1989 to 1992, Cindy McCain was a drug addict. She was addicted to Percoset and Vicodin. Rather than go to a street dealer or doctor shop like Rush Limbaugh, McCain stole pills from the charity she founded. McCain had founded The American Voluntary Medical Team, a relief organization whose purpose was to aid Third World countries.

The DEA audited her charity and found irregularities which prompted an investigation. A former employee, Tom Gosinski, was the one who tipped off the DEA to check out her organization. Gosinski said he was fired from the organization because he knew too much about Cindy McCain’s drug habit. Gosinski claims McCain would illegally obtain these drugs by using the names of her employees and the charity she founded. So Cindy McCain used pills meant to ease the suffering of starving African children for her own personal drug use.

Gosinski would write about Cindy’s drug addiction in his journal, which he shared with The Phoenix New Times.

July 27, 1992: I have always wondered why John McCain has done nothing to fix the problem. He must either not see that a problem exists or does not choose to do anything about it……. In reality, I am working for a very sad, lonely woman whose marriage of convenience to a U.S. Senator has driven her to: distance herself from friends; cover feelings of despair with drugs; and replace lonely moments with self-indulgences. I do not know what Cindy is up to but it appears as though she is trying to use several doctors’ DEA #’s so that she can acquire drugs for personal use

September 29, 1992: Regardless of what happens with Cindy McCain, it is time for me to get out of AVMT. I have so little respect for Cindy and her objectives–she has made AVMT a media event–that even under the best of circumstances I do not think this organization merits existence. . . .

October 2, 1992: Well, it is done. Last night Jim and Smitty confronted Cindy regarding her dependency to prescription drugs and she admitted to her addiction. I understand that she told the Hensleys her addiction was rooted in her unhappiness–her marriage–and that she took the pills to mask her depression. The Hensleys told Cindy they knew she had a problem because of her severe mood swings and her change in character. They also said her meanness towards others was not excusable and must stop. . . .

When Cindy was eventually caught by the DEA, she confessed to them and reporters that she was a drug addict. Despite the severity of her crime, she was let off the hook on the condition that she underwent treatment. McCain was painted as a ‘courageous soldier beating back the devil of drug addiction.’ Cindy McCain blamed her drug addiction on stress over the Keating 5 scandal her husband went through.

How can McCain and the right wing media portray Cindy McCain as a courageous soldier fighting against drug addiction, while locking up millions of others who fight against drug addiction? Surely, working class Americans who have to struggle to pay bills and live are subject to the same depression billionaire heiresses are! Working class people don’t have charities to steal from to feed their drug addictions. They get there crack, coke, weed and heroin off the street. Shouldn’t they receive the same treatment for their drug addiction as Cindy McCain? They bought drugs off the street; she stole them from suffering Africans: is there real difference in their crimes?

Is there a double standard for rich pill popping heiresses and regular working class people with drug addictions? What does it say about John McCain that he didn’t even know his wife had a drug problem? Given that McCain has lived with someone who has struggled with drugs, shouldn’t McCain’s policies towards drug addicts be more lenient?