President George Bush wanted to show America what crack cocaine looked like at his first Oval Office address on Sept 5, 1989. He wanted to show you could even buy crack in front of the White House. That’s how bad the crisis had gotten. That’s how Bush announced his War on Drugs. pic.twitter.com/exGGPxJ6f2
But there wasn’t much crack sold near the White House. As a U.S. Park Police official explained, "We don't consider that a problem area…There's too much activity going on there for drug dealers."
Easy solution: invite someone to sell crack outside the White House!
The DEA caught wind of Bush’s plan and they set about arranging a deal for Lafayette Square across from the White House. DEA agents planned to lure someone there to sell them a small amount of crack. Later a WH official claimed no one requested the DEA make the purchase.