Thursday, 19 January 2017

Bush's Mental State Raises Serious Questions

With his job-approval ratings drastically dropping for handling domestic woes and the increasingly unpopular Iraq war, President Bush nevertheless persists on "staying the course" -- disconnected from reality. Mr. Bush's display of inconsistencies, indifference, and denial to the deteriorating circumstances of America -- domestically and internationally -- raises serious questions about his mental state and his abilities to continue as a leader of a nation.

According to his book, Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (New York: Harper Collins, 2004), and two subsequent interviews on July 26, 2004 and Jan. 20, 2005 with Executive Intelligence Review, Dr. Justin Frank presented an alarming revelation -- Bush has multiple mental illnesses. Once headed the Washington Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. Frank is a leading psychoanalyst who teaches at George Washington University Medical Center. In 2002, he became concerned about Bush's abnormal behavior. Using applied psychoanalysis, a scientific method of studying historical figures and foreign leaders, Dr. Frank reached his conclusions based on massive amounts of public documentation -- autobiographical and biographical accounts, public video footage of the President, and statements by Bush's associates and relatives. This is the first case study of applied psychoanalysis on a sitting president.

Dr. Frank diagnosed the President suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); an Oedipal Complex; untreated and uncured alcoholism ("dry drunk"); paranoia; sadism; psychical reality; and a megalomania complex. He keenly observed that Bush throughout his entire life has been struggling to manage his anxiety. It is through various ways of managing anxiety that Bush has revealed his psychoses. Dr. Frank explained, "…[1] first to manage anxiety is through alcohol. But, by being a born-again Christian, [2] he can also manage anxiety by being connected to God, by feeling that he'll be saved in any kind of a rapture, by feeling that he's always on the side of the Good…[3] to make other people anxious, so he can project his anxiety into the rest of us…[4] to simplify things; to divide the world, his own inner world, into good and bad, into black and white…[5] to be cruel to other people, by making them anxious, and by gratifying your own sense of power to compensate for feeling helpless…[6] to become detached from the consequences of his behavior."

Erratic Behavior
White House aides have been increasingly worried about Bush's wide mood swings and tirades. They report obscene outbursts, cancelled meetings and a shrinking number of aides who have direct access to Bush. According to Capitol Hill Blue, Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, has prescribed anti-depressant drugs for Bush to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia.

Untreated alcoholism
It is known that Bush is an admitted alcoholic, although he never sought treatment in a formal program, and that his allegedly cocaine abuse in the earlier years haunted his campaigns for Texas governorship and for his first-term presidency. When Bush turned 40 years old, he substituted religion for alcohol, which is common among untreated alcoholics. Since 2001, the White House has tried to dispel the rumors that Bush is back on the bottle by claiming that Bush's recurring facial bruises, bodily injuries, and loss of consciousness had been caused by falling off his bike or choking on a pretzel.

Hearing God's Voice?
In Bob Woodward’s book, Plan of Attack (Simon & Schuster, 2004), Bush confessed to Woodward that he asked God for advice before starting the Iraq war and that God wanted him to be president. And the White House promoted this very book when it came out in print. In a recent BBC documentary series, Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen, and his Foreign Minister, Nabil Shaath, recounted their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003, when Bush declared that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and to solve the problem in the Middle East.

It has become a standard practice for Bush to search and screen everybody and everything whenever he appears at a town meeting or in a public building in the United States. His photo-ops had often been choreographed and prepared beforehand because he was so afraid of having any questions or comments that might have disagreed with him. Bush's paranoia heightened when he demanded the Chilean government to screen invited guests (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit leaders) to a dinner for weapons before entering the presidential palace on November 21, 2004. To placate Bush, President Ricardo Lagos of Chile "disinvited" more than 200 guests, according to New York Times (Nov. 22, 2004).

Streak of Sadism
Although Bush often portrayed himself as a compassionate conservative, his actions have proven otherwise -- indifference to human suffering. When he was a child, he used firecrackers to explode frogs. At the annual Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in March 2003, Bush made jokes about the failure to find the weapons of mass destruction, while tens of thousands of Iraqis and a thousand American soldiers died by his lies about WMD. Although the Pentagon tried to pin the sadistic tortures at Abu Ghraib on a handful of undisciplined soldiers, it’s now obvious that Bush, as the Commander-in-Chief, had approved the systematic brutal tortures to be carried out in prisons throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and in Guantanamo Bay. More recently, the U.S. Senate approved 90-9 a bill banning military and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to use torture, nevertheless, a presidential waiver has been proposed in that bill to allow the CIA to continue to do so on foreign detainees in U.S. custody outside the United States.

Disconnected from Reality
Dr. Frank's assessment of Bush's psychical reality and megalomania complex has been made credible by the President's recent actions in dealing with the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, and talks of not ruling out military actions against Iran and Syria -- the former accused of developing nuclear weapons and the latter suspected of harboring terrorists.

As for the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, Bush would always be remembered for two candid shots -- a photo of him laughing and playing a guitar at a speaking event in California the day after New Orleans nearly submerged under water; and a video of him viewing the hurricane-ravaged area on Air Force One, while people below were crying for help and dying.

Even with the recent debacle of Hurricane Katrina's relief efforts managed by his cronies' Michael Brown of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Michael Chertoff of Homeland Security, President Bush nominated another crony, Harriet Miers, who lacks experience as a judge, to the highest court of the land -- the Supreme Court. He's not only mocking other prominent sitting Supreme Court judges with years of experience, but also attempting to degrade the judicial system of the United States. Under severe criticisms from Congress both Democrats and Republicans -- Miers withdrew from her nomination a few days ago.

It's now known that Bush had lied to the Congress and the public into a war with Iraq based on false evidence of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction and of Iraq being a terrorist state threatening the U.S. Yet, Bush and his henchmen are now using the same accusations to incite war with Iran and Syria.

Grandiose Schemes
Dr. Frank points out that Bush's condition will get worse because a megalomaniac person wants to control more things and challenge more traditions to feed his desperation to manage anxiety.

On the domestic front, Bush has tried to push for Social Security reform even though the program is working well; introduced Intelligent Design to be taught in classrooms as an alternative to the scientific theory of evolution; and, ironically, launched a nationwide mental illness screening program in government institutions, including all public school students from kindergarten to the 12th grade.

On the international front, Bush has claimed that he is trying to spread democracy in the Middle East (by military force) and that he's campaigning for a global war against terrorism (an enemy without an army, nation, or borders).

From what we have seen of Bush for more than four and a half years, could we honestly say he's fit to be the President of the United States? And could we realistically say he's good for America, for the world, and for humanity? In Dr. Frank’s warning words, "Bush will not stop of his own choosing. He will only have to be stopped."

And Bush can be stopped by invoking the constitutional Twenty-fifth Amendment -- removal of a sitting president for his inability to conduct presidential duties.

(First published on, October 31, 2005)