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Vice President’s Son Discharged from Navy Due to Drug Use

Vice President’s Son Discharged from Navy Due to Drug Use

by Christopher Zoukis

In an embarrassing coda to Vice President Joe Biden’s long career as one of the chief architects of the War on Drugs, one of his sons was booted from the U.S. Navy after testing positive for cocaine.

Hunter Biden, 45, the younger of the Vice President’s two sons, was commissioned as an ensign in May 2013; an attorney and a managing partner at an investment firm, he had received a direct commission. After a short training course he was assigned to a Naval Reserve duty post as a public affairs officer in a Norfolk, Virginia-based unit. His career in the Navy did not last long.

Within a month, Hunter tested positive for cocaine; he was dishonorably discharged in February 2014, though his discharge was not publicly reported until October. Hunter had enlisted with a waiver based on his age and a second waiver due to a previous drug-related charge.

“It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge,” he said, adding, “I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward.”

Vice President Biden declined comment on his son’s troubles. However, some found the situation bitterly ironic. Jesse Walker, an editor with Reason magazine, noted that Joe Biden was “one of the most strident drug warriors” in the modern era, and had key roles in legislation that included federal mandatory minimum sentences, the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity and federal asset forfeiture laws.

“If the Drug War had its own Mount Rushmore, Biden’s face would be carved on it, right next to Richard Nixon and Bill Bennett,” Walker said. He also expressed a sentiment likely shared by many others: “I’m glad the younger Biden hasn’t had to suffer any formal penalty greater [than discharge]. It’s a shame his father’s laws have wrecked the lives of so many people who did no more than he did.”

Although dishonorably discharged, Hunter Biden kept his law license and did not face criminal prosecution.



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