Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The roots of Bush's Junta virus

In the online Newsweek, Jonathan Alter shares an interesting scoop, and nails the expression of Dubya's advanced case of the Junta virus:

No wonder Bush was so desperate that The New York Times not publish its story on the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president’s desperation.

The problem was not that the disclosures would compromise national security, as Bush claimed at his press conference. His comparison to the damaging pre-9/11 revelation of Osama bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone, which caused bin Laden to change tactics, is fallacious; any Americans with ties to Muslim extremists—in fact, all American Muslims, period—have long since suspected that the U.S. government might be listening in to their conversations. Bush claimed that “the fact that we are discussing this program is helping the enemy.” But there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so. And rather than the leaking being a “shameful act,” it was the work of a patriot inside the government who was trying to stop a presidential power grab.

No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker.

First, thanks for echoing the point I made yesterday. But as I am wont to do, I have been thinking about the why of it all, because it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I mean, if someone said to you, "Just fill out this form and you can have a thousand dollars," but you decided instead to rob a bank to get that same sum, most of us would think you a sociopath, a moron, or both.

Considering that all the wiretaps Bush could have wanted were his for the asking, you have to wonder why he chose to rob the bank instead. As with so many of the ways he has wreaked havoc on the world stage, I think the reasons flow from his staggering constellation of psychopathology. (cf. Justin Frank's "Bush on the Couch.")

In this case, as in so many others I think it is yet another devastating manifestation of his Oedipal struggle with 41. Shrub has always had a serious problem with authority. Perhaps that's why he effectively flipped off Congressional oversight, and refused to ask any judical authority figures for permission do whatever the hell he damned well wanted to do. The fact that they would almost certainly say yes to his every desire is not the point -- his megalomania means that he feels he shouldn't even have to ask.

And the (current) official justification -- that authority to ignore the law is inherent in his status as President -- sounds to me like a convenient overlay of rationalization gussying up his default view of the world: unlimited privilege in service of a raging, infantile id. He wants what he wants when he wants it, and the mere suggestion that anyone else has a say in the matter triggers a raging "fuck you and the horse you rode in on" response.

In short, I think he deliberately stuck his finger in the eye of the Constitution because his narcissistic self-image is incompatible with anything resembling democracy. Like a typical two year-old, Bush doesn't grok the concept of sharing. That base, emotional incomprehension drove him to drive all the mature kids out of the sandbox in Iraq. And unless the Senate wakes up and puts him in time out, it will make ours the second country Junior destroys in order to get back at his father.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are simply not being cynical enough. Bush, I or II, never decides anything. Puppets have more degrees of freedom than these guys. He is the spearpoint, not the spear and certainly not the guy holding the spear. Therefore, it is irrelevant what his psychology is, since he's not calling the shots. More cynicism please.

7:42 AM  
Blogger spectral_ev said...

you are so right. the republicans have packed the courts and the pres could get a warrant as fast and secret as he wants anytime.
so scary, that americans can be searched without a warrant, imprisoned without charges...
we all need a remedial civics lesson so we see what we are losing.
google 'spectral evidence' to see what happenned in a previous american witch hunt

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the psych angle is interesting but misses why i think they didn't go to FISA - because what they were either doing or wanted to do was so f***ing illegal that even FISA would not approve. and what were they doing ? - i bet we're gonna find out that they were sifting through every single e-mail that americans sent - every single one. and i bet we're gonna find out that they were 'listening' to every single phone call. and another reason that they did not want to go to FISA was that they did not want a written record of the request. no trace whatsoever.

1:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

see web stats