Amnesty 2024

July 14: On eve of trial, Bush speaks on the origins of Amnesty 2024. "It all started when Dad pardoned Aslam P. Adam, a drug trafficker who had been caught with 1.5 million dollars worth of heroin."

Here's the original press release that started it all:

April, 1999

Governor George W. Bush, Jr. today met with senior law enforcement officials, religious leaders, criminal justice academics and federal prison inmates to discuss a bold policy initiative called "Amnesty 2024." As President, Bush would pardon convicts who have "grown up" but are still serving long sentences for possession of cocaine and other illegal drugs.

Bush has long dismissed questions about his own past cocaine use by saying, "what matters is have you grown up, and I have." [Newsweek, 11/15/98] Today he finally went a step further in a prepared statement saying, "My drug use was about average for children and young adults of my social class and upbringing, and yes, that included cocaine as well as several other drugs."

The Governor said it is a grave injustice that a million Americans are in jail today for non-violent drug offenses, such as those that he himself has committed. "Hundreds of thousands of these prisoners were found guilty with no physical evidence, only on the testimony of others who were also charged with drug offenses," he said.

Bush promised to declare war on domestic human rights abuses as president. "We're talking about women serving 20 years or more because they were dating or married to a drug dealer. Recreational drug users--like I used to be--are serving life sentences because dealer friends made up stories to get a lighter sentence! If this were happening in China, we'd probably start bombing them for human rights violations," said an incensed Bush after listening to reports from leading criminal justice experts. "We have to let these people go!"

A source within the Presidential Exploratory Committee estimated that around 400,000 presidential pardons could be issued in his first year as president. "Already 1 in 9 American children have one or both parents in prison, and G.W. would like to be known as the president who gave those kids their parents back," the source said.